Lobbyists Spent $550K On Gifts For Legislators This Past Year

Tuesday, July 11th 2017, 8:09 am
By: News 9

Lobbyists have spent nearly $550,000 on Oklahoma officials over the past year, according to record from the state Ethics Commission.

The money was spent on items including gifts, food and awards, The Oklahoman reported. It doesn’t include the amount spent on campaign donations.

Records show lobbyists spent $36,000 on gifts for lawmakers, state executives and their staff. Some recipients were given rounds of golf, concert tickets and college football tickets. Almost $10,000 was also spent on basketball tickets for legislators and their staff.

Among the recipients was state Sen. James Leewright, R-Sapulpa. Cox Communications lobbyist Robbie Squires gave him a $200 ticket to see a concert by rock band Coldplay for his birthday.

Squires also gave state Rep. Cory William, D-Stillwater a ticket to see American musician Tom Petty.

Sen. Greg Treat, R-Edmond, received the most gifts, including tickets to basketball, football and soccer games as well as concert tickets for country music singer Eric Church.

Records also show lobbyists spent a large sum on food and drinks. From June 2016 to May 2017, $237,000 was spent on individual meals and catered events.

According to public data, the most spent at one restaurant by lobbyists was $2,500 at Mahogany Prime Steakhouse. Lobbyists also spent nearly $3,500 at a food truck outside the Capitol in May.