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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday, explaining why he doesn't bother going to Senate Agriculture Committee hearings on issues important to his home state of Kentucky:
"If you’re the leader of one of the parties, honestly you have more consequential things to do than simply go to hearings.

"The hearings are important, (but) they are typically attended by people who are ranking members and people who just got into Washington."

And as everybody knows, Mitch McConnell is not a D.C. newbie—he's been around there forever. And he definitely has "more consequential things to do than simply go to hearings" on issues important to his state. For example, having power breakfasts in the Senate Dining Room:
One morning last month, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, the minority leader, was dining with Richard H. Anderson, the chief executive of Delta Air Lines.
And now we know what happened shortly after that breakfast, thanks to the sleuthing of National Journal reporter Shane Goldmacher:
Only one week after Sen. Mitch McConnell took the CEO of Delta Air Lines to breakfast in the exclusive Senate Dining Room last month, the airline executive and his wife wrote $10,000 worth of checks to help fund McConnell's political operation.

The donations, which were reported to the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, made Rick and Susan Anderson the largest contributors to McConnell's Bluegrass Committee in July. Delta Air Lines' PAC contributed another $2,500 within days of the breakfast.

Take a CEO out to breakfast, get a more than $20 grand a few days later? As Mitch McConnell would say, only "people who just got into Washington" would see anything wrong with that. Seems like exactly the kind of thing the Ethics Committee should be taking a look at—which is exactly what Kentucky Democrats are asking them to do.

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