UPDATE: Senate's big party leads the freebie list this week | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 27, 2017

UPDATE: Senate's big party leads the freebie list this week

Posted By on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 7:42 AM

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The legislature is pushing toward adjournment, but that doesn't mean there's not time to work in some free drinks and eats. It's a big week, particularly for the Senate, where the lavish event celebrating Senate President Pro Temper Jonathan Dismang is on the card. The House has already had its regal celebration of Speaker Jeremy Gillam.

On the agenda so far:

TUESDAY

Reception, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Junior League Building. Marking the Junior League's 95th anniversary.

WEDNESDAY

Lunch, 11:30 a.m., location not announced, hosts are the Associated General Contractors of Arkansas/Arkansas Asphalt Pavement Association/Arkansas Good Roads Foundation. (The mood of this party could be affected by events today if there's an adverse vote on another try at passing a highway bond program backed by a fuel tax increase.)

THURSDAY

Soiree, 6 p.m., Junior League Building, dinner for Senate President Pro Tem Dismang. Through legislation passed this session to further puncture holes in the ethics amendment, they've established a workaround to pay for such throw downs. The Arkansas Republican Party will be the host. Which special interests pony up the money to pay for it is a matter buried deep in political party financial reporting. Note that the ethics loopholes carved out for these events totally removes the ban on gifts at such events. Elon Musk could give a new car to everyone who attends, just so long as the swag bag for EVERY attendee includes a set of car keys.

I'm checking for committee "special events," another ethics carve-out that has allowed high-dollar wining and dining to continue unabated for those who are members of the right power committees.

UPDATE: There is one high-dollar committe dining event.

TONIGHT

Dinner, Sonny Williams, for the House Insurance and Commerce Committee by the Capitol Advisors Group.

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