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FLASHBACK: Chambliss Hosted Golf Event At Whites-Only Country Club

By Amanda Terkel  

"FLASHBACK: Chambliss Hosted Golf Event At Whites-Only Country Club"

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ap081115034597.jpg As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, Chambliss has a long history of using official funds to feed his golf habit and endear himself to lobbyists. For example, Chambliss oversees the Republican Majority Fund PAC. Under him, 68 percent of its spending has gone to travel, golf events, meals and administrative costs. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, “[O]f the top 10 recipients of the Majority Fund’s money since 2007, only one was a political organization.”

At the 2000 Republican convention, Chambliss — along with then-lawmakers Bob Ney and Tom DeLay, who have both faced significant legal and ethical troubles — hosted a golf event for lobbyists at Aronimink Golf Club in Philadelphia, which has a long history of discrimination against people of color. As the New York Times reported in 1993:

Unable to meet the requirement that clubs must have nondiscriminatory membership policies to host tournaments, the Aronimink Golf Club has asked to be relieved of its agreement to be the site of the 1993 P.G.A. Championship, the Professional Golfers’ Association of America said tonight.

Aronimink, a private club in Newtown Square, Pa., near Philadelphia, has no minority-group members. [...]

O’Brien said the club had told the P.G.A. it had a seven-year waiting list for new members, but asked that it be considered as the site for a future championship when is is able to conform to the national association’s policy on membership.

However, 10 years later — and three years after Chambliss’s golf event — it’s still not clear whether the club had stopped its discriminatory policies. USA Today reported that as of April 2003, Aronimink had 325 members. Just five were women. The club “declined to elaborate on the number of minority members.”

And even if the club was discriminating against people of color, it’s not clear Chambliss would care. Earlier this month, Chambliss lamented that because of Barack Obama, there was a “high percentage of minority vote” and Republicans weren’t “able to get enough of our folks out” to vote. Last month, he said that “a rush to the polls by African-Americans…got our side energized.”

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