Being a corrupt Democrat comes with perks. This guy is constant;y under scrutiny for funny money scmas, yet he’s got that protective coating of melanin so he avoids getting in any trouble. I wonder why?
Rep. Gregory Meeks is a super fan of Super Bowl fund-raising.
The Queens Democrat has thrown pricey parties at the last four games, buying up tickets not available to the general public and selling them to donors willing to shell out big bucks.
And while he uses the gridiron to garner the green for campaign coffers, the embattled congressman keeps his plans super-secret.
Two weeks ago, his fund-raising agency said he was holding a $5,000-a-ticket event this weekend. A few days later it said the Super Bowl party was up in the air.
Meeks’ office, meanwhile, refused to say whether he’s going to Indianapolis for tonight’s Super Bowl XLVI between the Giants and New England Patriots.
The lawmaker, who is ranked as one of the poorest members of Congress, likes to venture out on the dime of his campaign and political action committees or take junkets sponsored by corporations and lobbyists.
He holds an annual Las Vegas fund-raiser at a posh hotel, even skipping a 2008 congressional hearing on an auto-industry bailout package in favor of Sin City.
Junkets have taken Meeks from Nigeria to Norway. In October, he and his wife traveled to Turkey for an eight-day excursion sponsored by the Turkey Coalition of America and another group. The trip’s total value was $17,307.
To get to the Super Bowl, all Meeks has to do is pick up the phone.
The NFL said it makes tickets available at face value — $800, $900 or $1,200 — to elected officials but refused to discuss who was buying. Television networks also provide tickets but were mum on purchasers.
Meanwhile, tickets for regular fans were selling on StubHub for $2,000 and up.
As long as the pols or their PACs pay for the tickets, the practice does not violate congressional gift rules, but some say it is ethically troubling because the officials are getting something not available to the public.
“Not only can we not call and get them, they won’t take our calls. A congressman obviously can get through to them, and that’s a perfect example of why it does create an ethical question,” said Jordan I. Kobritz, a sports management expert at Eastern New Mexico University. “Congressmen are in a position to benefit sports teams and sports leagues, and in a manner that the general public isn’t.”
Meeks held his first Super Bowl bash in 2008 at the Giants-Patriots match-up in Phoenix. His Build America PAC bought $20,340 worth of tickets, including $5,400 from a Chicago marketing agency. A spokeswoman for that agency, GMR Marketing, said the firm does not sell tickets but refused to provide further details.