Former Aide: Lobbyist Gifts Made "Life A Little More Fun"

11/22/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A former congressional staffer testified Monday that gifts received from former lobbyist Kevin Ring made "life a little easier" and "a little more fun," National Journal's Under the Influence reports.

Ann Copeland, a former aide to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, told prosecutors she requested tickets to an American Idol concert and Washington Redskins games and received a range of personal gifts and dinners valued at about $25,000 from associates of disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. She assisted the lobbyists with legislative issues related to both the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and Primedia.

Ring, a close associate of Abramoff, is facing felony charges in connection to controversial lobbying practices.

According to Under the Influence:

"I accepted gifts from the lobbyists --- the tickets and the meals --- and accepting those things had some influence on decisions I was making while (working) in the Senate," Copeland said.

Copeland pleaded guilty in March to accepting those gifts.

More here.

-- Jenna Staul