Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Power tripping

NPR's Marketplace just finished an amazing series on lobbyist-funded trips for members of Congress. The final piece, which aired yesterday, features statistics that simply blew my mind. Senator Breaux abuses these "fact finding" missions more than anyone else. He has taken 56 "free" trips provided by lobbyists in the past 4 years at the cost of more than $158,000. The average amount spent on these Breaux trips each year is more than the median income in Louisiana. Evidently, the week following a key vote on the medicare bill (which passed by one vote), Breaux was given a trip to Palm Springs, Florida and the PGA National Resort and Spa...all at the expense of the a lobbying firm with a drug industry client. To listen to the full report and search NPR's database of Congressional trips, follow this link to the Marketplace archives and scroll down to the feature on Power Trips.

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