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BP lavishes free sports, entertainment tickets on California government workers

Petroleum giant BP's corporate sponsorship of Arco Arena has been lucrative for the Sacramento Kings during a long run that's set to end next year.

It's also been a sweet deal for state Capitol workers. Since 2000, Arco's parent company has lavished more than $430,000 in the form of free tickets to basketball games, concerts and other arena events on lawmakers, their staff members and relatives, according to a Bee review of lobbyist disclosures by BP.

"That's a huge amount of money," said Bill Magavern, director for Sierra Club California. "What concerns me is that the ethical bar in the Capitol has been set so low that that a company like BP could brazenly curry influence this way."

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