A top University of West Georgia official is resigning, two months after his termination of a whistleblower cost taxpayers $272,000. A state audit in April found that university VP Michael Ruffner had improperly hired Capitol Hill lobbyists and questioned the firing of an assistant who complained about it.
DeKalb principal unenrolled students before CRCT Police chief’s daughter failed breath test, but no arrest Body parts stolen, sold for cash Bishop Eddie Long and Ephren Taylor Speaker’s son interning for top lobbying firm Lobbyists drop $250K+ on lawmakers in January Winning election a ticket for freebies Clayton schools’ security chief pleads guilty APS school […]
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.
Twenty-one Georgia legislators accepted gifts valued at $5,000 or more from lobbyists last year. Led by Senate majority leader Chip Rogers, the 21 legislators accounted for 10 percent of the $1.5 million in lobbyist handouts last year. We’re talking gift baskets, food and drink, golf, sports and concert tickets, lodging and airfare. These are the lawmakers who can’t say no.
Six years ago, a group of lawmakers and aides crafted Medicare Part D, the prescription drug program for seniors that has produced billions of dollars of profits for pharmaceutical companies. Today, at least 25 of those key players are back, but this time they’re lobbyists, trying to persuade their former colleagues to protect the lucrative system during the health care reform negotiations.
MARTA hired a lobbyist Tuesday, moments after a union official accused state Rep. Jill Chambers of trying to force a state takeover of the agency. MARTA’s board fears a projected $80 million deficit will result in disastrous service cuts without state relief. “If we don’t get something done, a year from now we’re not going to be providing anything you could reasonably call transit service,” Chairman Michael Walls said. UPDATE: New lobbyist Bernard Reynolds will have to earn his keep, judging from Chambers’ latest e-mail today.
MARTA board members who vote to hire a $160,000-a-year lobbying firm could lose their seats come 2010. So says state Rep. Jill Chambers, the transit agency’s chief nemesis in the Georgia Legislature. As chairman of the MARTA Oversight Committee, she fired off an e-mail over the weekend threatening to eliminate the seat of any board member who supports the contract when the board meets Tuesday. Board chairman Michael Walls terms Chambers’ saber-rattling “outrageous.”