If you really want to get irritated about corruption in Congress, next time you're sitting next to a baby with colic in the back row of a Southwest Airlines flight out of Midland, struggling to open a lousy bag of peanuts, imagine your trusty congressman and staff sipping champagne with some high-powered lobbyist on a private jet over the Rockies. They're doing it more often than you think. Your public servants in Congress and their staffs accepted nearly $50 million worth of free trips between January 200 and June 2005...

"It is also important because these trips--and the unfettered access that they represent--offer lobbyists time to persuade members of Congress to support special interests. The Texas delegation, in particular, rarely seems to turn down an opportunity to travel. Texas congressmen, Senators, and their staffs took 1.773 trips that cost access-seekers $3.7 million" ("First-Class Action." Texas Observer, June 16, 2006: 4).

Colby Glass, MLIS