Plenty of free eats and drinks for legislators today despite the ban on same by Amendment 94. Not to worry. The legislature has unilaterally declared that if they call something a planned event lobbyists can pick up the tab. The Ethics Commission stands stonily silent on the issue, despite the new powers nominally given it by Amendment 94. Wouldn’t want to stand between a legislator and his or her grub.
Note: Tomorrow is the “Speaker’s Ball” at the Marriott and the “Pro Tem Dinner” at the Old State House. Both are listed as “Invitation only.” Is the entire House and Senate invited to these two events? Are they so-called “planned events”? Who is paying for them? If it they are planned events so as to qualify for special interest financing and entail a gathering of the entire respective bodies of the legislature, are they not open under the Arkansas Constitution? Is the public invited? I’ve posed these questions to staff of the respective chambers. Still time to rent a tux. But that’s tomorrow. Maybe my invite will be in the afternoon mail.
LUNCH: 11:30-1:30, Capitol Square Apartments #13, Arkansas Health Care Association (nursing home lobby, Michael Morton chief bottle washer)
COCKTAILS: 4-6 p.m., Capitol Square Apartments, #13, Arkansas Health Care Association (nursing home lobby, Michael Morton chief bar back.)
COCKTAILS: 5-7 p.m., Capitol Square Apartments, #4, “Choo Choo Room.” Here Mike Mitchell or other law firm colleagues offer refreshments courtesy of:
Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association
Arkansas Hospital Association
Arkansas Medical Society
Arkansas Pharmacists Association
Arkansas Podiatric Medical Association
Arkansas State Dental Association
Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas
Arkansas Community Colleges
COCKTAILS: 5-7 p.m., Capitol Hill Building, UA Division of Agriculture Research and Extension.
DINNER: 6 p.m., Cajun’s Wharf, for Senate Agriculture Committee by Stephens Production and AIPRO (lobby for independent oil and gas producers and royalty owners)
DINNERS: 6 p.m., Riverfront Steakhouse, for House Aging, Children and Youth Committee by AT&T.