How Much Were Gov. Corbett’s Free Barnes Tickets Actually Worth?

NewsWorks has a story about the different ways Pennsylvania public officials account for the free stuff they frequently get. You would’ve paid $5,000 to get into last year’s opening gala for the Barnes, for example—but most politicians, including Gov. Tom Corbett, gave a smaller value on their financial disclosure forms this year.

Philadelphia Democratic state Sen. Anthony Williams’ disclosure form doesn’t show a ticket, though a spokeswoman said it should have been reported.

Philadelphia Democratic state Sen. Vincent Hughes only reported receiving two free tickets after he was questioned.

The Corbett administration considered the ticket’s raw cost, and not its price.

The Barnes Foundation provided the bottom-line cost as $300. That amount falls below the reporting threshold under the ethics law for such gifts, though Corbett did report the tickets under a more stringent set of rules applying to the executive branch.

Seems like the most stringent set of rules would be to value the tickets at their face value—what a private citizen would’ve paid for the exact same service and experience. That apparently would be $5,000. What’s so tough about that?