The Local Knowlege

Politics

Greenbrier owner got Tiger Woods, now setting sights on West Virginia governor's office

Jim Justice, the owner of the Greenbrier, has higher aspirations than simply luring Tiger Woods to the Greenbrier Classic, as he has done this year. Justice has announced he will run for governor of West Virginia next year.

Justice, a billionaire coal-mining executive, changed his party affiliation from Republican to Democratic at the end of February, the Wall Street Journal reported, and will seek the latter party’s nomination.

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(Getty Images)

“Our state and our people are hurting,” Justice said. “You need somebody that loves our state and somebody that doesn’t want a nickel for doing it.”

Justice said that if he is elected, he would take a salary of only $1.

Justice began the Greenbrier Classic in 2010. Two years later, he ran into controversy over reports that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson each received payments of $1 million or more to participate in corporate events, then to play in the tournament. Appearance fees are forbidden on the PGA Tour. Each player, incidentally, missed the cut that year.

Woods recently announced that he would return to the Greenbrier Classic in July.

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Politics

Was Phil Mickelson actually participating in a political fundraiser in New York?

By John Strege

What is wrong with this photo that accompanied a recent New York Daily News story on New York politicians using golf outings for fundraisers?

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The story in the New York Daily News is an amusing one, given that several politicians who have an aversion to golf or are otherwise uninterested in pursuing the game still use the sport to raise money. “This season, legislators and assorted Albany campaign committees are holding at least 21 golf fund-raisers,” Annie Karni wrote.

The best part of the story is what Karni identified as the 22nd fundraiser, the case of State Senator Malcolm Smith. In March, Smith attempted to use a virtual golf outing to raise money. He was offering three levels of contributions, the highest being $500 for a foursome/sponsor. No golf, or anything else, as far as we can tell, was actually involved. Participants simply wrote a check to “MalcolmSmithForNewYork.”

So, back to the photo. It shows Phil Mickelson at Bethpage Black with caddie Jim Mackay standing nearby. So what is Mickelson doing participating in a political fundraiser? He wasn't. He is playing his second shot at Bethpage Black’s fourth hole in the final round of the Barclays in 2012, according to the caption provided with the photo at Getty Images.

For some odd reason, this was the photo chosen to accompany the story, presumably because a story involving golf needed a golf photo and apparently any would suffice.

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Politics

Party scandals force California Dems to cancel Torrey Pines golf fundraiser

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

California State Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg cancelled a swanky Democratic golf tournament/fundraiser to be held at Torrey Pines outside San Digeo on Tuesday after criminal proceedings were recently brought against a handful of fellow party members.

Democratic State Senator Ronald Calderon is facing federal charges after allegedly accepting $100,000 in bribes, while Leland Yee faces similar charges for his alleged role in accepting bribes and an international gun-running operation. A third Senator, Rod Wright, was convicted of eight counts of voter fraud in January and now faces up to eight years in prison. CBS Sacramento has a good round up of the timeline of the events.

Related: Washington's Top 150 Golfers

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The confluence of those three events led Senate Leader Steinberg, pictured above left, to cancel the annual tournament, saying instead his party would "take a step back and take stock of how we all do the people's business." Here's a video of his entire statement. And in case you were wondering, the cost to play in the tournament ranged from $15,000 to almost $70,000.

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