INSIDE EDITION Investigates Democratic Convention Parties
Why did LeeAnn Petersen, a Washington lobbyist, try to get away from us when we showed up at a charity event she organized during the DNC and not allow our cameras inside?
"No, no, no. Can you get security please," Petersen said when Inside Edition’s chief investigative correspondent Lisa Guerrero tried to ask her some questions about the event.
So, what's her problem? It turns out, you need to pay up to $50,000 to get into the charity event she organized where you can mingle with members of Congress.
"The last thing she wants is to be on your camera on Inside Edition, showing the world what they're up to. That's the last thing they need,”former lobbyist Jack Abramoff told Guerrero.
Abramoff should know, he was once one of the most powerful lobbyists in the USA before his career ended in a corruption scandal that sent him to prison for four years. He was a paid INSIDE EDITION consultant at the Republican National Convention and we asked him to perform the same analysis for us here at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"Is this a case of folks paying for access to politicians?” Guerrero asked Abramoff.
Abramoff responded, "Absolutely, pay for access and have fun while doing it."
The fun continued into the night at an invite only VIP party put on by the Distilled Spirits Council, which represents the liquor industry. They had a similar party at the Republican convention. Inside Edition was welcomed into this A-list event complete with a rock group featuring Dave Navarro. There was free alcohol, plenty of tasty hors d'oeuvres and you could even have your own hand rolled cigars. Price was not an issue for guests because the costs were picked up by the Spirits Council.
“We have a system unfortunately that people who deploy money and use money gain access and buy access, tilt the playing field in a way, so they have a bigger voice unfairly than the average citizen,” explained Abramoff.