Politicians, Lobbyists Snag Super Bowl Tickets

The hottest ticket in the country this weekend is for the Super Bowl and somehow Republicans in Congress have been able to get some 150 of them to reward their biggest contributors.

Select corporate lobbyists and executives will begin arriving Friday at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort for what the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) calls its 10th Annual Super Bowl Weekend.

In a letter sent to Washington lobbyists, for each $10,000 contribution, the Republicans promise a weekend of golf, tennis, drinks and dinner, as well as two hard-to-find Super Bowl tickets. The bulk of the tickets were provided at face value to the Republicans by the National Football League, which has its own issues before Congress.

"If you're in power, people are going to pay to get your ear," says Common Cause President Scott Harshbarger, "They're going to give you things that they would not give if you're just the average citizen or not in power."

In fact, Democrats in the Senate would have liked to have had Super Bowl tickets for their big-money people, as well, but they're out of power now and apparently didn't have the clout to get enough Super Bowl tickets.

Democratic leader Tom Daschle apologized about the difficulty in a letter to $20,000 and $50,000 donors, saying the Democrats are being forced to phase out the Super Bowl weekend.

Instead, Democratic senators are throwing a winter getaway at a deluxe beachfront hotel and casino in Puerto Rico, where Daschle promises he and at least eight other Democratic senators will be present for a cozy weekend of golf, politics and sun.

But they'll have to watch the game on a big screen TV in the casino.