Lobbyists Woo Reps with Springsteen Tix

K Street loves the E Street Band: ProPublica reveals that at least 19 congressional fundraisers were held at two Bruce Springstein concerts in Washington last year, and “almost half of them in boxes rented from companies or organizations with business before the committees of the lawmakers who used them.” In May, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), chair of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee, rented a $2,220 private suite with a wet bar, televisions, and bathrooms from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and then resold the individual tickets to donors to net a handsome profit. Others who rented from corporations include Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Patrick Murphy (D-PA), Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y), and Adrian Smith, (R-NE). Former Democratic Senator Bill Bradley questioned the ethics of the operation: "Unless they’re childhood friends of the congressman, why do they do it?...The issue for them is always access and that's what greases the access so when there’s something they need, they'll be able to get in and talk to the (lawmakers or their staff)."