When you’re a member of Congress, some of the best contributions come in-kind. The following contributions by lobbying groups covered “expenses” at steakhouses during the 110th Congress of 2007 and 2008:
1. The National Community Pharmacists Association PAC covered over $1500 in “meeting expenses” for Senate candidate Jeanne Shaheen in two encounters at the Charlie Palmer Steakhouse in Washington DC in May and June of 2008. Proprietor Charlie Palmer explains, “I’m a patriotic guy and someone has to supply the apple pie around here!” The Porterhouse at Charlie Palmer, with blue foot chanterelle mushrooms, bacon and caramelized peal onions, goes for $84.
2. Congressman Lamar Smith was the beneficiary of $1,927 in “expenses” at the Pappas Brothers Steakhouse in Dallas, Texas covered by the Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A. on June 13, 2008. The Pappas Brothers don’t include prices on their menu. I guess if you have to ask, you shouldn’t be asking.
3. Back at the Charlie Palmer Steakhouse, Rosa DeLauro got the yummiest kind of in kind contribution on September 24, 2008, when Nancy McCann, lobbyist for the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, covered her for $396 in expenses. Rep. DeLauro is fond of using the Charlie Palmer Steakhouse as a fundraising location.
(source: House Lobbying Disclosure Database. Search “Mexican!” Yum, yum.)