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After McDonnell scandal, wining and dining of Va. pols down

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Registered lobbyists spent about 16 percent less on wining and dining lawmakers in a recent six-month period compared to just before a corruption scandal involving former Gov. Bob McDonnell changed how things operate in Virginia politics.

An analysis of newly filed disclosure forms shows lobbyists reported spending $456,000 on entertaining lawmakers and other officials between November and April. Two years ago, before McDonnell was completely engulfed in a gifts scandal with a vitamin salesman, that figure was $541,000.

Lawmakers passed a new $100 gift limit earlier this year, which will go into effect next year.

A jury in September found McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty of doing favors for former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts and loans.

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