Lobbyists are used to hitting the golf course to help their clients give to political campaigns and schmooze with lawmakers.
But this week, more than two dozen lobbyists and other Capitol advocates hit the links with a different purpose: to raise money for the children of two deceased Capitol staff members and a foundation that gives scholarships to students pursuing careers in government.
Monday's game at Morgan Creek in Roseville raised $25,000, said Matt Back, a lobbyist with Ackler & Associates who organized the event. The money is going toward education funds for the children of Will Smith, former Sen. George Runner's chief of staff who died of a heart attack last year at age 41, and Parrish Collins, an adviser to former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñezwho died unexpectedly in 2009 at age 30. Contributions are also going to the Bob Moretti Memorial Scholarship Foundation, which helps students interested in careers in government or politics pay for school.
"Well over a year ago I had the idea of having a fun golf competition between friends in the Capitol community," Back said. "In talking to my friends and colleagues we had the idea to make it a worthwhile event to raise money for these families."
The game pitted contract lobbyists against in-house lobbyists, all of whom had to give at least $250 to participate. (The contractors won.) The rest of the money raised came from some well-heeled corporate sponsors, including PG&E, Chevron and Anheuser-Busch.