does anyone else find it surprising how cheaply these guys will bend over?
No. The petty cost of trading influence is well known. William Greider detailed this phenomena 23 years ago in "Who Will Tell the People." A nice fur coat or use of a private plane is often sufficient.
Seems almost like you could troll for fun at those prices
That won't work. They don't simply spin about on a whim. The sellouts are predisposed to the buyers for many reasons and the tokens you're dwelling on are really just obligatory offerings and partly symbolic; tossing a liberal some exclusive theater tickets usually won't buy a pro-gun vote.