You have GOT to be kidding...

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Okay, so this is a little off topic -- normally we focus on all things DeLay. But we couldn't resist:

Rep. Mike Bilirakis (R-FL) spoke very candidly to Anita Kumar at the St. Petersburg Times about what motivates him to take a special interest-funded trip. Blackjack.

Since 1997, Bilirakis has accepted eight trips for himself and his family to Las Vegas. Special interest groups have put him up in hotels like the Bellagio and Paris Las Vegas at a combined cost of nearly $40,000.

Bilirakis is quick to point out that the trips are legal, but he can understand why his constituents might find it suspect or unethical. In fact, he said he might be critical of it himself if he weren't a public official!

Bilirakis, who is vice chair of the House Energy and Commerce committee, said that most trips are paid for by the Consumer Electronics Association and the National Association of Broadcasters.

This article is full of great stuff. You should really go read the whole thing. Now.