Lobbyists’ gifts are a red herring

by J Scott Christianson, Columbia Daily Tribune Columnist

In Sunday’s Tribune, an article by Jason Rosenbaum outlined the gifts, meals and other perks state legislators regularly receive from Capitol lobbyists while the General Assembly is in session. The total spent by lobbyists is impressive. The gifts buy access — legislators are a captive audience while eating a free dinner or watching a Cardinals game from a Skybox. It’s smart politics on the part of the lobbyists and the modus operandi of our state legislature.