A senior counsel to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations reported an unusual 50th birthday present in his most recent financial disclosure form: $2,500 as a guest at a three-day charitable event in February from a well-known lobbyist.
David Katz received the gift from Bob Okun, founder of his own lobbying firm, The O Team, longtime lobbyist at NBC Universal and former House Republican aide. Katz said he received a waiver from the ethics committee, clearing him to accept Okun's gift since the total amount went to charity. "The Senate Gift Rule prevents most gifts in excess of $49.99," notes the official paperwork.
Although Katz's paperwork does not delve into specifics such as which charity benefitted from Okun's generosity or where the event took place, Okun has a reputation as one of D.C.'s most prolific golfers.