Georgia bans free football tickets for legislators; giveaways continue at University of Arkansas | Arkansas Blog

Monday, September 16, 2013

Georgia bans free football tickets for legislators; giveaways continue at University of Arkansas

Posted By on Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 9:55 AM

click to enlarge CHEAP SEATS: 39 Arkansas legislators get preferred Hog football tickets at no cost beyond face value thanks to their public offices.
  • CHEAP SEATS: 39 Arkansas legislators get preferred Hog football tickets at no cost beyond face value thanks to their public offices.

A news report says Georgia will ban free football tickets for state legislators.

Arkansas ended giveaway legislative tickets some years ago, but corruption continues.

As we've reported, the University of Arkansas policy is to provide tickets at face value to all legislators, with no charge for priority seating that garden variety football fans must pay to the Razorback Foundation. The 39 lucky legislators enjoy seats that can cost up to $5,000 more per season on top of face value, at no additional charge. They also get free parking, another significant perk, ludicrously valued at $20 a game for the choicest of parking near Razorback Stadium. (By way of comparison, Razorback Foundation preferred parking has been priced at $750 for coming seasons in Fayetteville.) 

The so-called Arkansas Ethics Commission gave an OK to this influence peddling more than a dozen years ago, when seats were much cheaper to come by. How this benefit squares with a $100 state law limit on gifts to public officials or the state law that prohibits a public official from receiving a benefit from office not given to others is a mystery that only the Ethics Commission, the inscrutable University of Arkansas and an ethics-blind Arkansas legislator can explain.

From the report on Georgia:

While Georgia is finally cleaning up this blatant example of political corruption, other states aren’t bothering. State lawmakers in Alabama get the perk of buying tickets at face value, while the common fan has to donate money for access. Wisconsin allowed politicians access to tickets for sold out games back back in 2005.

You may interchange the word "Arkansas" with "Alabama" in that paragraph.

For a closeup look at where the lucky Arkansas legislators get to sit, go to this link.

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