WASHINGTON — Hitting the slopes is more than just a way to unwind for some lawmakers — it's also an opportunity to tap key donors.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling's political action committee, the Jobs, Economy and Budget Fund, hosted a fundraising event over the February recess this year for numerous banking industry officials, ProPublica reported Tuesday. The House Financial Services Committee chairman, a Texas Republican, held the event at the St. Regis Deer Valley, in Park Slope, Utah, known as the "Ritz-Carlton of ski resorts," according to the story.
Representatives from the American Securitization Forum, the Mortgage Bankers Association and Visa reportedly attended, while numerous other companies donated to the JEB Fund around the time of the event, including Capital One, Regions Financial, Credit Suisse, PricewaterhouseCoopers, MasterCard, U.S. Bank, UBS, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, Koch Industries, the National Pawnbrokers Association, several payday lenders and a lobbyist for JPMorgan Chase, ProPublica said.
It also found charges of more than $50,000 at the St. Regis around the time of the trip from the campaigns and PACs of several other GOP leaders, including Reps. Pete Sessions of Texas, chairman of the House Rules Committee, David Camp of Michigan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and Greg Walden of Oregon, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. ProPublica noted that there's no evidence the participants broke any fundraising rules.
The trip was "a large, apparently family-friendly affair" that included a Feb. 23 event with two caricature artists booked for 100 people, including 20 children, paid for by the Texas Republican's PAC, according to the story. Hensarling attended a similar event at Deer Valley last year, hosted by the NRCC, and has previously held other ski trip fundraisers in years past.
A spokesman for Hensarling did not immediately respond to requests for comment.