I'm heading out of town this morning for a few days so I want to get the news out now on Monday's free events for legislators. Just so you'll know how the other half lives. Days away from a 150 percent pay raise, you'd think they could pick up a check. But why should they. Silly you for thinking Amendment 94 tightened ethics for our now longer-serving, higher-paid and still freeloading legislature.
STANDING COCKTAILS: 5-7 p.m., Capitol Square Apartments #4, "Choo Choo Room."
These have been identified as corporate clients of a local law/lobbying firm.
Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association
Arkansas Hospital Association
Arkansas Medical Society
Arkansas Pharmacists Association
Arkansas Podiatric Medical Association
Arkansas State Dental Association
Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas
Arkansas Community Colleges
DINNER AND PRAYER: 6-7:30, Capitol Room 19, Capitol Commission,
a group that promotes religion in government.
HOUSE DINNER, 6 p.m., Governor's Mansion, Gov. Asa and Susan Hutchinson
: SENATE AND HOUSE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEES DINNER: 7 p.m., Cajun's Wharf, Arkansas Farm Bureau
I'll update as I'm able. With last week's perversion of the Amendment 94 by the Republican Party — serving as a cutout for lobbyists' contributions to pay for galas for the legislative leaders — the dam has officially broken on any pretense of a prohibition on free slopping of lawmakers. And they also may declare these "purely social events," where I understand lobbyists were clustered Thursday night like flies on a cow patty, off limits to the public.
Many predict the legislature will quickly amend some pending shell bills in the waning hour to "clean up" Amendment 94, which the amendment allows them to do by a simple vote. The clean-ups will not be in the public interest, rest assured.