Thursday, May 31, 2007

From this week's City Strobe...

GOP 4 Sale
RU a lobbyist seeking influence? Tuff-wristed Kentucky $enate prez seeks $$$ for Republican Party. Luvs long walks on former mountaintops, God, big corporations & making the state’s largest city dangle in the wind. Turn-ons: 10 cmdmnts, bashing gays, drowning gvt in bathtub. Let’s keep KY in Dark Ages 2gether 4ever. Corporate donations welcome. Convenient sway packages from $5k-$50k. Call David Williams (270) 864-5636.

That little bit of prose might as well be the personals-ad equivalent of the message Kentucky Senate President David Williams delivered to a gathering of about 40 lobbyists last week at the Muhammad Ali Center. The shameless senator, perhaps recognizing that the GOP brand has lost some value in recent years, wants to shore up Republican coffers in advance of the 2008 election. But there‘s a pesky little problem: state law prohibits lobbyists from giving directly to candidates. Because if it didn’t, a legislator might, you know, let the donation corrupt his or her legislative efforts. The gathered lobbyists represented banks, technology, medical and pharmaceutical companies, and other corporations keenly interested in the goings on in Frankfort.

Not to be stymied by mere law, Williams printed up some handy pledge forms and invited lobbyists to give amounts ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to a trust fund set up to filter money to Republican candidates. Because the campaign donations won’t go to candidates directly, the scheme is legal.

If you’re a lobbyist seeking influence and you missed the shindig, don’t fret. Williams plans another sell-out in July.

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