But they are. Here in Minnesota the legislators have moved to remove the prohibition that prevents them from accepting certain gifts from lobbyists:
On opening day of the 2014 legislative session, a House committee approved a reversal of recent changes to the state’s long-standing ban on legislators accepting gifts from lobbyists.
As of the last legislative session, lawmakers can now accept food and beverages from lobbyists – for instance, at a reception hosted by a lobbying firm – so long as every member of the Legislature is invited.
I think this really shows how corrupt legislators are. The problem for them wasn’t that they could be wined and dined by lobbyists. It’s that some legislators were more apt to get wined and dined and that wasn’t fair to their colleagues. But if a lobbyist is willing to wine and dine all of the legislators then the gift of fancy food and drink can be accepted.
Power has its perks. When you can make the rules that apply to your profession, including what gifts you can accept and how much you can get paid, life is pretty sweet.