Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lobbyists Who Pay $25,000 Get To Mingle With GOP At Winter Retreat Next Week

The Huffington Post

As reported by The Hill, lobbyists who pay a $25,000 fee will get to mingle with House Republicans at their annual winter retreat next weekend:

The lobbyists are board members or sit on the private sector advisory committee for the Congressional Institute, a nonprofit organization that arranges conferences and lunches for both parties. Lobbyists attending the event will have no part in the closed-door caucus planning session, but lawmakers and lobbyists alike said business does come up informally.

"Of course it's about access and building relationships -- that's what this town is all about," said one lawmaker who has attended the retreats for years. He said lobbyists who travel to the retreats often stay on for after-hours socializing throughout the weekend.

The lobbyists in question work for General Motors, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC, United Healthcare, UPS, and Altria, among other places.

The Huffington Post has learned that the retreat, taking place on January 29-31, will be at the Homestead, a mountain resort in Hot Springs, VA.

The 15,000-acre luxury resort boasts of its full spa services, "three championship golf courses", horseback riding, carriage rides, lawn bowling, "a world-class shooting club," skiing, and "fly fishing with Orvis-endorsed instructors."...........

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