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Elmo and Pitbull are popular free tickets with state officials

August 06, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • Pitbull, shown performing during baseball All-Star game activities in New York in July, was a popular ticket for California state officials seeking free entrance to concerts.
Pitbull, shown performing during baseball All-Star game activities in… (Andrew Gombert / EPA )

It turns out Elmo is more popular than Pitbull among staffers at the state Capitol.

Companies that lobby state government have filed reports listing the gifts they gave state workers during the three months ending June 30 and, as usual, AT&T, is one of the biggest givers.

Legislative staffers accepted 13 free tickets from AT&T to a concert by rapper PitbullĀ  at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. The tickets were worth nearly $2,000

But there was one show that was more popular. Staffers asked for 21 tickets to the Sesame Street Live show at the same venue.

Legislators also routinely ask AT&T for free tickets. Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) was provided two tickets worth $367 to a Giants baseball game, the reports show.

Another company that lobbies the Capitol is Walt Disney Co., which is also a source of free tickets to lawmakers and their staffs.

Those who received Disneyland passes last quarter included state Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), who received tickets worth $425.


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