Is the McDonnell Corruption Case Responsible for Dip in Lobbyist Spending?

The Washington Post reports that lobbyists in Virginia have spent 10% less on “wining and dining” law makers during this year’s legislative session. Many attribute this drop in spending to the scandal around former governor Bob McDonnell and his relationship with Jonnie R. Williams Sr. of StarScientific.

The report juxtaposes the 2013 sessions, when the scandal was revealed and the 2014 session as McDonnell’s trial was about to commence. There were however more overall events, but they were not as extravagant as years past.

This idea which is  dubbed a loophole by many allows the number of events to increase because lobbyists must report which lawmakers attended the events, even if the tickets or meal were only valued at $50.

Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) mentioned that this loophole was on the docket to be discussed during the most recent legislative session; however, no changes to the law were made.


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