To the dismay of many executives and lobbyists, you will no longer be able to freebase with Zell Miller or join the mile-high club with Nancy Pelosi in your corporate jet. According to new measures in both chambers of Congress, you will instead have to shroom with Zell using toothpicks and bang Pelosi in one of Paul Allen’s non-winged vehicles, which ironically form a Voltron-esque galactic crime fighting entity that is considered to be winged.
The Congressional meal restrictions apply to any company that employs registered lobbyists, meaning a large number of execs will be sticking to hors d’oeuvres when entertaining politicians. While some of the lubricant of traditional glad-handing may have been stripped from the calloused hands of many companies that rely more heavily on a distinct political climate for profitability, most of these new restrictions do not apply to fund-raising activity, where most glad-handing climaxes are achieved anyway.
However, one grave consequence of the new measures:
Because the rules ban gift-giving by lobbying groups, dozens of amateur softball teams on Capitol Hill will no longer be allowed to accept balls, bats and league fees from corporations and lobbying organizations. The Nuclear Energy Institute's sponsorship of the team of Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican who until recently headed the Energy and Commerce Committee, could be in trouble.
Not only does this threaten Barton’s Isotopes squad (or whatever it is called), but also it means that your corporate leagues will now be flooded with earnest K Streeters. If you thought that Lehman VP was obnoxious arguing the hotly disputed kickball strike zone, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
No Free Lunch: New Ethics Rules Vex Capitol Hill – [WSJ]