Do As I Say
Senator Frank R. Lautenberg is the co-author of a new measure that would bar lawmakers from accepting travel, meals, and other gifts from lobbyists. But the New Jersey Democrat hasn't always felt this way. Senate records show that since 1986, he has taken at least 41 trips paid for in full or in part by special interests. Lautenberg has criticized the Senators' Ski Cup, where lobbyists fly members to a charity benefit in Park City, Utah. But his qualms didn't stop Lautenberg from making the trip four times, as recently as early 1993, according to Senate financial-disclosure documents. Organizations that have funded Lautenberg's travels include Warner-Lambert, MCA, building-trades unions, the Denver Chamber of Commerce, and the United Jewish Appeal. Aides to Lautenberg insist that the Senator, citing a changed political climate, has stopped accepting freebies.