I sometimes like the idea that lawmakers should wear the same coveralls that NASCAR drivers do. With sponsorship patches of sizes commensurate with the level of contributions received.
The difference is that corporations love to promote athletics, but want to hide their policy initiatives.
Politicians want us to believe the gifts were a result of the lawmaker's convictions, rather than a core ingredient in developing the convictions.
At the state level, the job pays too little to be worth the average campaign expenditure to get elected. But the power to control public policy can be well worth a 6-figure expenditure, for a billion dollar industry.