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Convention loophole gives lobbyist perks

Ken Dilanian of USA Today reported Thursday that both Republicans and Democrats are using convention loopholes to give perks to special interest groups.

A new ethics law reduced the amount of influence that big donors can have to a political party, but the law states nothing about fundraisers at party conventions.

As a result, both parties are giving perks to donors who give large amounts of money to either party. The Democrats are listing a meeting with Nancy Pelosi and rooms at hotels during the convention in Denver. Similarly, Republicans are giving away rooms at hotels in Minneapolis and other perks for their big donors.

Dilanian used records to see how much money a donor would have to bring in to get the perks. He found out the cheapest donation is $100,000 and that only really special interest groups can afford this sum of money.

In addition, Dilanian used his computer skills to figure out what perks donors were going to receive. However, he was not able to find all the perks because the Democrats did not disclose all of their perks.

In the end, Dilanian uses information he gathered through computer-assisted reporting to tell how lobbyist are contributing to political parties even though there is an ethics law that is suppose to stop it. He talks about how the loophole exists and though he doesn’t suggest it, he indirectly tells about how the loophole needs to be fixed.