Payola. Whether it's a trip to Turkey for religious understanding, a Microsoft or Apple junket or a trip to Washington so the Electric Co-ops can ingratiate themselves with legislators for a coming special-treatment electricity ratemaking bill, it shouldn't be legal.
Democrat-Gazette reports today on some of the free trips legislators take on the tab of special interest lobbies. And often "forget" to report until caught.
If the Co-op needs to educate legislators, it can ask them out to HQ on I-30 for a day of classes. Let legislators buy their own meals.
Oh, yeah. Could be nobody would go to such a session without the free swill, deluxe hotel rooms and chance for a free air ticket to an exciting city with extended stay possibilities on either end.
Wal-Mart gets it. It would never allow its employees to take such freebies because the possibility of undue influence is too great. Taxpayers let our employees, legislators, get away with it because -- absent a petition campaign for better ethics laws -- the ones getting slopped are the ones making the rules.