Congressional Charities and Influence Peddling...I'm torn on what I feel about it all. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/06/us/politics/06charity.html Representative Joe Baca has achieved near celebrity status in his suburban Los Angeles district, as much for his record of giveaways Thanksgiving turkeys, college scholarships, spare boots for firefighters as for anything he has done in Congress. That generosity is made possible by the Joe Baca Foundation, a charity his family set up three years ago to aid local organizations. It provides another benefit, too: helping the Democratic congressman run something akin to a permanent political campaign. Since 2009, businesses have sent lobbyists and executives to the plush Boulders resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., for a fund-raiser for the scholarship fund of Representative Steve Buyer, Republican of Indiana; sponsored a skeet shooting competition in Florida to help the favorite food bank of Representative Allen Boyd, Democrat of Florida; and subsidized a spa and speedway outing in Las Vegas to aid the charity of Senator John Ensign, Republican of Nevada. --- Nothing illegal about looking to petition Representatives. Access is an imperative if your voice is to be heard. Influence peddling by itself is not evil. But ethics demand more than meeting the interests of companies at the expense of the people as opposed to corporate interests. Where are the lines and in fairness what did Pelosi do when draining the swamp? The GOP has absolutely NO credibility here either. They sold their collective soul ages ago. So what to do?