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This right here is a receipt for a $22,241.03 dinner at downtown steakhouse III Forks.
Don't panic, though, it's all a normal part of the way our elected officials like to wind down after a long legislative session, and the House Calendars Committee appears to party pretty hard. Via the Texas Tribune:
It cost $22,241.03 and required the use of 34 American Express cards, 11 MasterCards, and 20 Visa cards. The committee chairman, state Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, said there were about 140 people there, and most of them stayed for dinner.
That's an extraordinary amount of money, as these things go, but the events themselves are common. In a tradition that stretches back as far as anyone can remember, committees in the Texas Legislature throw self-congratulatory dinners to celebrate the completion of their work.
Besides the actual food, the legislators, staffers, lobbyists and other hangers-on spent the most money on wine, Don Julio and Glenlivet. One person slummed it with a $5.25 Bud Light.
The lobbyists, rather than the taxpayers of Texas, picked up the tab: "it's completely legal, as Hunter pointed out, so long as the lobbyists paying the bills report their expenses where everybody can go see them."
[Photo: Texas Tribune]