Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn (D) bought a swath of Georgia land with two registered lobbyists, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
During the 2008 economic downturn, they decided instead to preserve it with a "conservation easement contract" with a land trust that kept the area from being developed — and allows them to get tax breaks for preserving the marshland.
The easements were mentioned as a potential liability in a Nunn campaign memo from last year that leaked to the press this summer.
Nunn's opponent, businessman David Perdue (R), has sought to paint Nunn as a "Washington insider" because of her and her father's connections, and slammed her for the land deal.
"Michelle Nunn's cozy relationships with Washington insiders undercut everything she is saying in her TV ads," Perdue spokesman Derrick Dickey told the newspaper. "They are not only funding her campaign to mislead Georgians about who she really is, but they are apparently funding her personal business deals as well."
Nunn's campaign fired back, pointing out that conservation easements are common and backed by politicians in both parties and that former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R), David's cousin and business partner, has easements of his own.
"It's the highest hypocrisy for David Perdue to criticize a conservation program championed by his cousin and business partner, Governor Sonny Perdue,” Nunn spokesman Nathan Click told the Journal-Constitution. "Michelle, her husband, Senator Nunn and Colleen Nunn were able to protect beautiful land in Glynn County for future generations through a program supported not just by Governor Perdue but a broad swath of Georgia leaders including Senators Chambliss and Isakson."