Georgia lawmakers made history, of a sort, two years ago when they imposed a $75 limit on the value of gifts that lobbyists may offer public officials.
But the devil’s in the details, and it’s never been clear exactly how the limit would be enforced. Now, the state ethics commission is considering an interpretation so broad that it would allow gifts of $1,000 or more in some circumstances.
Legislative leaders are in discussions to hire a prominent lobbying firm to help redraw district lines for the Georgia House and Senate this year. Under the proposal, Troutman Sanders Strategies would work on reapportionment maps for the Legislature and the state’s delegation to Congress. The firm recently hired former House Majority Leader Jerry Keen, and chairman Pete Robinson serves on Gov.-elect Nathan Deal’s transition team.
Former Georgia legislator Pete Robinson put his lobbying clients on hold this month when he joined Gov.-elect Nathan Deal’s transition team. Those clients paid at least $320,000 (probably much more) for his services in 2010, state records show. That sum represents the amount paid to Troutman Sanders Strategies. Robinson, as chairman of the firm, receives an undisclosed portion of that sum.