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This topic deserves more time and attention than I can give to it, but no other diaries have even touched it, so here goes. Maybe the commenters can flesh it out.

There was a GREAT story on NPR's Marketplace today about a luxury fishing trip held each year in AK and attended by congresscritters in droves.

Every year, fat congressmen like Hastert dip their hooks beside energy industry execs and lobbyists at the price of $1000 per day. Marketplace reports that at least 3 congressmen (former member) Phil Graham (R-TX), Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), and Sen Michael Enzi (R-WY) admitted accepting trips to the posh AK event--in violation of Congressional ethics rules because the trips were paid for by special interests. Hastert has gone every year for the past 10 years. Last year his PAC shelled out $25k for the event. He's not saying how (or whether) he paid for it the other years. In 2001, when an electricity dereg bill was moving through congress, two electrical companies flew high-level reps to the event to...uh...contribute to the cause (it's a fundraiser for breast cancer). Yeah! That's it!

Hey, John Laesch, how many of your (soon to be) constituents can afford that trip or have special industry groups paying for the trip?

Please, please read or listen to the story at the link. And rec this diary if you think the topic is important.

Originally posted to captainahab on Mon Jun 26, 2006 at 06:49 PM PDT.

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