In The Know

Lobbyists ‘who know what’s good for them’ lose ball game to lawmakers

Sen. Jeff Flake says when lobbyists compete against Congress, it’s usually a good idea for them to let the lawmakers win. Lobbyists appeared to heed the Arizona Republican’s advice on Monday, losing the congressional charity basketball game 46-40.

{mosads}“Usually lobbyists, if they know what’s good for them, by the fourth quarter they let the members win. If not, their bills are in the dumpster. Most of them are smart enough to realize that,” Flake quipped ahead of the bipartisan game.

The 16th annual showdown between lawmakers and lobbyists, held at The George Washington University’s arena, raises money for the Hoops for Youth Foundation, which helps at-risk youth in the D.C. area.

Flake, who rushed in a few minutes before tip-off following a late Senate vote, playfully jested about the chance to stick it to a few lobbyists: “I’ve been going down the list to see who I’m going to elbow.”

Seasoned player Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) delivered a series of crowd-pleasing shots, including multiple three-pointers that helped lead the congressional team to victory. The lobbyist team remained close during the entire game, but was edged out by shots from the line.

For 78-year-old Jim Martin, a lobbyist for the senior advocacy group 60 Plus Association, the plan was simple: “Basically I do a cameo role: they have me play and I shoot a couple of [three-pointers] and then I go sit down.”

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), a first-year player, said he tried not to take the competition too seriously.
 
“We’re just looking to not only have a good time but raise some money for a great organization for kids that are at-risk,” Huelskamp said. “Folks don’t play really hard here. This is for fun.”
 
— Judy Kurtz contributed 

Tags Hoops for Youth Foundation Jeff Flake Steve Scalise
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