Gov.-elect Nathan Deal put his name on three earmarks in his last year in Congress, funneling $2.1 million in federal money to three Georgia recipients. All three are represented by lobbyists Rob Leebern and/or Joe Tanner, who are now serving on his newly-appointed transition team. Those clients are among more than 130 represented by lobbyists serving on Deal’s transition and inaugural efforts. Health-care and financial-services interests dominate those client lists.
When it comes to golf, Sen. Saxby Chambliss has champagne taste. In California, he’s putted with his back to the thundering surf near the 7th hole at Pebble Beach, where a round of golf costs $495. In Florida, he’s driven the ball down the fairways of the Boca Raton Resort, with its signature island green on the 18th hole and its Waldorf Astoria interior. These are among the dozen premiere resorts where Chambliss played golf in 2007 and 2008 at a cost of a quarter-million dollars. Chambliss paid those golf expenses from a political fund, supported almost exclusively by lobbyists, political action committees (PACs) and corporate leaders.