AUSTIN (September 8, 2013)—Football season is underway in Texas and lobbyists will give away tens of thousands of dollars in tickets to state lawmakers for Cowboys and Texans NFL games, as well as highly-anticipated college match-ups.
The San Antonio Express-News reported Sunday that since 2005, lobbyists have given away tickets to sporting events worth as much as $192,000.
According to state ethics records, tickets went to a combination of lawmakers, state employees and their families.
In 2012 alone, lobbyists doled out sporting tickets valued at as much as $16,600, the product of Texas ethics laws that allow them to shower lawmakers, state employees and their immediate families with freebies, as long as the value doesn't exceed $500 annually.
But lobbyists can give gifts that exceed $500 if they simply split the cost.