Dave Davies draws an important distinction for discussions of this weekend's Pennsylvania Society:

Disgust at the Pennsylvania Society weekend is not uncommon among citizens of the commonwealth. But I should make it clear that the events are not government-sponsored or taxpayer-funded.

They're done the way things are always done in Harrisburg – by politicians and special interests who seek their favor. Events are either political fundraisers for politicians, or receptions sponsored by banks, law firms, unions or others who court their favor.

Politicians typically cover their travel and lodging expenses personally or from their campaign funds.

I can't swear that no legislator sneaks in some state expense vouchers for part of his or her trip, but I think they mostly don't, because someone would find out and they'd pay a price.

If pols were using taxpayer money for this event, it would be definitely unconscionable, as opposed to what it is now, which is arguably unconscionable, an event whose main purpose is to facilitate access to, and pamapering of, elected representatives by powerful interests. And once those interests get the representatives' ear ... that's where the taxpayer money comes in.

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