Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Clubbing with the Arkansas legislature

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 7:46 AM

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I'm in receipt of an e-mail from lobbyist Julie Mullenix urging people in the lobby community to turn out with checkbooks for a fund-raiser for state Rep. Marshall Wright. She writes:

Please make plans to be with Representative Wright on Thursday, August 18, 5 pm at 1836 Club!
The Mullenix lobby firm has used the wine-and-dine model for years to oil the legislature . The newish restriction on corporate contributions has proved little bar to money for the right sorts. Corporate PACs still may contribute. Paid lobbyists can afford to write their own checks.

There's another notable element in this particular party — the venue. It is the private club established  by Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson and partners. We've been promised there'll be no undue favors for legislators; no free drinks and admittance; no suggestion that this club in view of the Capitol dome will be anything but a long-needed spot for relaxation by those who might like a stiff drink and a big stogey in a place not open to just anyone who turns up at the door.

It would be unkind to suggest that pushing business to the club of a senator who chairs a powerful legislative committee could be seen as log-rolling or influence peddling by anyone.

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