Freebees on the Hill

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "No such thing as a free lunch? Tell Utah legislators" (Tribune, Feb. 19):

Our annual session of the Utah Legislature has so far shown it's business as usual! Special interest groups (Association of Realtors, American Heart Association, Utah Pharmacists, EnergySolutions, Comcast) and many other large donors are preparing to lavish untold amounts of legal gifts upon our public servants with the absolute understanding that no special interest or favors with be given.

In the 33 workdays of this year's session, Utah senators will receive "32 lunches, 25 sponsored snack breaks, 11 breakfasts, 13 receptions, 10 dinners, seven 'family events,' a ski competition (including free day passes for family members) and some free health screening." Then there's the equally beneficial package for our House members.

And there are many other events to help influence — sorry, educate — our elected officials. Of course, none of these gifts will have any effect on decisions concerning legislation involving these donors.

Yeah, right, I believe that! Just like I believe Utah Attorney General John Swallow was just helping find a lobbyist for his meal ticket — I mean business friend — Jeremy Johnson.

Robert Hoff

West Jordan