GA GOP Governor-Elect Nathan Deal’s Transition Team Is Comprised Of State’s Top Special Interests And Lobbyists

November 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Few states were impacted by last week’s Republican victories as much as Georgia. In addition to defeating Blue Dog Rep. Jim Marshall (D), Republicans seized control of every single state-wide office and expanded powerful majorities in the legislature, giving them a position of strength they have not had in modern political history.

Former Rep. Nathan Deal (R) won the governor’s race 53-43, handily defeating former Gov. Roy Barnes (D). During the campaign, Deal had to overcome numerous serious investigations and allegations of corrupt behavior, including his history of exerting political influence to win no-bid contracts for businesses he had a financial stake in. Many good government watchdogs worried that a Deal governorship would continue to use political means for the private profit of special interests tied to Deal.

This morning, the Deal campaign released a list of staffers who comprise his transition team. The list reads like a who’s who list of some of the state’s top special interests and lobbyists — people who have represented corporate giants ranging from Georgia Power to Goldman Sachs. Here are a few highlights:

- Rogers Wade: Wade is leading the transition team. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation (GPPF), a far-right local think tank which seats numerous corporate special interests on its board. Before joining GPPF, Wade was a “senior partner in the public affairs firm of Edington, Wade and Associates.” While there, he represented “over half of the Fortune 100 companies from throughout the United States and Europe.” He is also the former vice president of Watkins Associated Industries, a “national company with major holdings in transportation, development, seafood processing, insurance and communications.”

- Pete Robinson: Robinson is the Chairman of Troutman Sanders Strategies, a major Atlanta-based lobbying firm. The firm has in the past defended major polluters and employers fending off labor abuse lawsuits.

- Joe Tanner: Tanner is the president of Joe Tanner & Associates, another Atlanta-based firm heavily involved in lobbying. His firm has served such clients such as WellStar Health System and energy giant Georgia Power.

- Monty Veazey: Veazey is what the Center for Public Integrity calls a “hired gun” — a former legislator who was quickly snapped up to be a lobbyist soon after he left office. He has lobbied on behalf of the Georgia Industrial Loan Association and Kraft Foods, among other corporate clients.

- Rob Leebern: Despite the fact that Deal spent much of his campaign attacking Washington, D.C., he has hired a D.C.-based lobbyist to work on his transition team. Leebern, like Robinson, does lobbying work for Troutman Sanders Strategies.

- Dan Lee: Lee, like Veazey, is a “hired gun.” Shortly after leaving office, he lobbied for such clients as the Corrections Corporation of America, United Healthcare, Goldman Sachs, and New South Energy.

The Deal campaign maintains that none of the transition team members will engage in lobbying activities while they are working for the Governor-elect. Yet the fact remains that Deal has chosen some of the state’s most well-connected conduits for corporate influence in government to staff the team that will be moving him into the Governor’s mansion. If anything, it appears that Deal is signaling to the state’s special interests that pay-for-play is well and alive in the state’s capitol.

ThinkProgress

Nathan Deal’s Path To Victory In GA GOV

October 6, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Welcome back to Hotline On Call‘s Path To Victory feature, where we take a close look at some of the marquee races this year. On Monday, we examined how former Gov. Roy Barnes‘ (D) plans to return to the Georgia governor’s mansion this year.

Today, we look at former Rep. Nathan Deal (R), who emerged from a crowded and competitive primary to carry the GOP banner. While Barnes’ brand has been a part of Georgia politics for more than 10 years, Deal - who represents a northern Georgia congressional district — is less well known statewide.

But Deal has a lot of things going for him. Most notably, he’s the Republican nominee in a Republican state in a Republican year. If that wasn’t enough, his opponent has plenty of baggage to use against him. “This should be a no brainer for the GOP,” said one prominent Georgia Republican strategist not involved in the campaign.

And with that, here is Deal’s path to victory:

Weather The Storm: As we noted on Monday, Deal has faced a steady stream of stories alleging corruption in the last week. Fortunately for him, though, they don’t seem to be having much effect on the polls. Deal has consistently led in polls, in some cases by double digits.

One Georgia Republican not involved in the campaign put Deal’s position this way: “He just has to not screw it up.”

“Deal just needs to get the normal Republican vote,” said University of Georgia political science guru Charles Bullock. “If he does, he wins.”

Hotline On Call

Meet Heritage’s Facebook Featured Fan, Nathan Lamborn

September 13, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 
style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 10px;"> href="http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/Featured-Fan-Lamborn.jpg"> class="alignnone size-full wp-image-42795" title="Nathan Lamborn" src="http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/Featured-Fan-Lamborn.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="300" />

Each week, The Heritage Foundation features one of its nearly 250,000 Facebook Fans on its “Featured Fan” page. This week’s fan is Nathan Lamborn, a medical student from Denver, Colorado. Read his story, below, and href="http://www.facebook.com/heritagefoundation?v=app_162599332922&ref=ts">be sure to become a fan on Facebook!

As a second-year medical school student, Nathan Lamborn knows the health care field will be vastly different by the time he graduates. But like most aspiring physicians too busy studying medicine to digest two thousand pages of big government prose, it’s difficult for the 24-year-old student to put his finger on every provision of the new health care law.

“It can be hard to know exactly what’s going on,” Lamborn told The Heritage Foundation. id="more-42791">

A September 4-5 Rasmussen Reports poll shows that 56 percent of Americans want the health care reform legislation rammed through by congressional Democrats repealed. Many more surveys show continuing anger at lawmakers who failed to read the transformative bill. As a young man focused on learning how to save lives, Lamborn cares most about how the legislation will impact his future relationships with patients.

href="http://www.facebook.com/heritagefoundation?v=app_162599332922&ref=ts">Click here to read the rest of Nathan’s story >>>

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

Nathan Bedford Forrest High School

August 16, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

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Via Matt Zeitlin, here’s an odd postcard from 2008 regarding the practice of naming things after Confederate General, Fort Pillow Massacre perpetrator, and KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest:

More than half the students at Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Fla., are black, and some members of the community object that they are forced to attend a school that was named in honor of a racist.

Nathan Bedford Forrest was a slave trader before the Civil War, a top-notch Confederate cavalry leader during the war, and the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in Tennessee when it was over, according to University of North Carolina-Greensboro emeritus professor Allen Trelease, a Civil War scholar.

Forrest High got its name in 1959, when the Daughters of the Confederacy, angry about the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision forcing school integration, pushed for the name.

The school board voted 5-2 to keep the name, with all five white members in favor of Forrest. Of course lots of things in the United States are named after people with a bad record on racial issues, but not only is Forrest an unusually egregious case in this instance it’s clear from the timing that the school was given that name specifically as an f-you to blacks and supporters of racial equality.

I’d frankly like to see more hay made out of this thing politically. Southern-based conservative politicians frequently campaign in the contested midwest and southwest areas with appeals to shared dislike of coastal liberalism. But I’m pretty sure voters in Wisconsin and New Mexico and Iowa and Colorado have no particular affection for the Confederacy and the Klan.


Matthew Yglesias

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