Utility lobbyists generous to PSC

Take three members of the Georgia Public Service Commission, liberally sprinkle in utility lobbyists, and what do you get?

Quail-hunting trips, dozens of free meals, golf outings, gift bottles of wine and other good times.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution analyzed five years of lobbyist disclosure forms, finding that Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald was the champion gift receiver on the PSC. He accepted trips,   free meals, free golf and so forth to the tune of more than $22,000 since 2009.

The champion gift giver was Terry Hobbs, a lobbyist for SCANA Energy, who alone is responsible for about 40 percent of lobbyist spending on the PSC. McDonald says he and Hobbs are friends, and Hobbs says it’s the “height of cynicism in our political process” to suggest that his generosity could influence votes on the PSC.

Commissioners Stan Wise and Doug Everett accepted free meals, lodging and other gifts valued at more than $10,000, the AJC found.

Everett once asked a lobbyist . . . well, you’ll be surprised by what he asked for. And by the lobbyist’s response.

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