One of the ways that special interests get privileged access to lawmakers is buying them meals. In many state capitols, there are almost no restrictions on the kinds of fancy dinners lobbyists can treat legislators with.
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) has advice for these lawmakers: don’t do it. In an interview this week with a local paper, he told legislators, “Make your own food” and stop going to lunch with lobbyists:
SCHWEITZER: Don’t show up when they (lobbyists) have a free lunch for you. Don’t show up down at Jorgenson’s. Don’t show up down at the Montana Club. Don’t show up. Make your own food at home. Don’t take that drink. Don’t take that food. If you believe that aspersions have been cast upon you because you’re going to these things, then don’t go to them. Make your own meal. But until you do that, the assumption is going to be that your vote has been bought for an old whiskey and a big steak. And in some cases, it has.”