Every Christmas our small machine tool company used to get a letter* from the big defense contractors in the area about how to deal with their buyers during the X-mas season. Pretty much any gratuities other than pens and notepads were banned. That even included meals.
Recently I saw a republican politician who had written a book about corruption in DC on one of the late nite talk shows. He said with a straight face that Congress usually spends about a week or two on business as the new session opens, and then the rest of their term is spent raising the funds they need in order to be reelected.
I think all of our politicians should go on the govt contractor's program. If they all were required to use only public money for the elections, we could get more than a couple of weeks work out of them in exchange for their amazing salaries and benefits. They would cater to the voters rather than their biggest corporate funders, and they would have the time to craft laws that would strengthen the US rather than enrich the most fortunate among us.
Simple common sense, you say?
That's probably why we won't see it in our lifetimes.
*we used to get those letters until they outsourced all their procurement facilities...