Interesting note on the free
A designated “special event” — which means state legislators can legally attend and accept free food and drink — is the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce dinner tonight at the John G. Hammons Center. With no legislative meetings scheduled Friday, Northwest Arkansas area legislators can make it to Rogers tonight. Others most likely won’t make the trek.
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Slippery slope here. If the legislature can declare any meeting anywhere open to all legislators — even if practically not really intended for all legislators — it further widens the gaping loophole in the laughingly named ethics amendment the legislature got voters to approve under the false pretense it was a term limits amendment (when it actually extended term limits).
Free booze, like water, will find an outlet, not to mention a legislative swamp in which it collects.
The chamber of commerce owes the legislature for the taxpayer welfare handouts they now may enjoy. They probably should give a trophy at the meeting to former Republican Sen. Jon Woods, even though he has some pressing felonious court issues nearby that are currently occupying his time. He not only was the lead engineer of the bogus ethics amendment, he also engineered the constitutional amendment that legalized taxpayer subsidies of chambers of commerce. Every chamber of commerce in the state should name its annual dinner after Woods. Surely to goodness if an FBI agent’s screwup gives him a technicality to beat the kickback rap he faces, one of them will put him on their payroll.