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October 29th, 2014
10:51 PM ET

Undercover camera captures lawmakers selling access to lobbyists

Laguna Beach, California (CNN) - On any given weekend, lobbyists in Washington head for the airport to jet off to luxurious locations across the country.

Destinations include Napa Valley in California for wine tasting, Wyoming for fly fishing and any number of spas, golf courses, even exclusive hunting trips.

They are invited to these weekend retreats by members of Congress and their political action committees.

The cost of accepting the invite is a political donation of anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. And that doesn't include the cost of travel and lodging at some of the most posh resorts in the United States.

Why go? Lobbyists tell CNN there is no better access to a member of Congress and his or her top staff than spending a relaxing weekend with them, away from Capitol Hill.

It used to be that lobbyists would take politicians on trips, but when rules were changed and that was outlawed, politicians and their fund-raisers came up with this variation - organize the trips and invite the lobbyists along to pay for them.

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Filed under: News • Politics
soundoff (One Response)
  1. carol jigarjian

    A program about money in politics with Koch Industries as your sponsor? You've got to be kidding! Seeing them as sponsors not only casts doubt on the validity of that particular program, but on CNN as a reliable news organization in general. Who do you think is behind AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY ? Who do you think is pouring money into elections in about 35 states? Do you really believe that these $35 billionaire brothers won't control your station completely? I dont. "CNN the most trusted ......" not any more!

    October 30, 2014 at 11:44 am | Reply

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