Lobbyist donations dodge gift ban
Things are backward, as is often the case in the state capital, when it comes to policing what lobbyists give lawmakers: They sweat the small stuff while blessing the big bucks that really matter.
So, a legislator is barred from accepting a free coffee mug from National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer. But to pay for its annual golf tournament, the Hispanic legislative caucus is free to hit lobbyists up for $20,000 each. So, like any lawmaker, Rep. Don Brown, R-DeFuniak Springs, cannot accept a free key chain from a lobbyist. But he is free to solicit lobbyists to contribute unlimited amounts to Donald's Duck Hunt to raise money for his hometown Washington-Holmes Vocational Technical Foundation.