Jan. 21, 2016 — Jack Hill’s come a long way. For his first Senate campaign in 1990, he vowed not to take donations over $100. After serving three terms, his 1996 re-election bid raised $3,050 — less than any other senator.
Now, Hill raises more than $100,000 a year in political donations because, as Senate Appropriations chair, he’s one of the guys that everyone sucks up to. Hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, dentists and other medical providers — all dependent on state Medicaid reimbursements that Hill’s committee oversees — are prominent among the top contributors to his campaign fund.
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Jan. 19, 2016 — After serving 24 years in the Georgia Legislature, Bill Jackson should have financial disclosures down pat.
Or so you’d think. Twice since 2007, Jackson has filed his annual disclosure of personal finances two to four months late. One, due five weeks before a special election, wasn’t submitted until three weeks after he’d won and taken office. Jackson didn’t file a personal disclosure at all in 2014 or 2015.
“You got me buffaloed there,” he said recently when reminded of the oversight.
Jan. 13, 2016 — Burt Jones’ 2012 Senate campaign enjoyed two distinct advantages: His good name, as special teams captain of the 2002 SEC champion Georgia Bulldogs, and that of his father, a prominent businessman who’d served eight years in the Georgia House.
The $103,500 borrowed from his father’s business also made a difference. That help, though, may not have been entirely legal.
The following legislators received about $350,000 in travel reimbursements from the American Legislative Exchange Council that have not been disclosed under Georgia’s lobbyist disclosure law, documents obtained by Atlanta Unfiltered show. Most donors to the reimbursement fund are corporations with registered lobbyists in Georgia.
- $21,686 Ex-Rep. Calvin Hill
- $19,328 Sen. Judson Hill
- $17,363 Rep. Tom Rice
Jesse Stone is a candidate for both the Senate and a Burke County judgeship — a quandary that’s raised questions as to how open he was with constituents when he qualified for re-election. In early March, Stone qualified for re-election to the Senate and denied reports that he was seeking appointment to a State Court vacancy. Later, just hours after qualifying for the Senate closed, Stone announced he’d decided to seek the judgeship after all. He remained ambivalent about whether he’d accept the judicial post until recently stating, after it became a campaign issue, that he’d withdraw his name from consideration if re-elected to the Legislature. (UPDATE: Stone withdrew his name from consideration for the Burke County State Court judgeship a week after winning re-election.)
Diane Evans owes $500 in late filing fees as of October 2014, according to the state ethics commission’s website. The commission does not routinely notify candidates that they owe late fees.
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Jan. 28, 2016 — Georgia’s appellate court judges could retire at age 60 under a bill passed out of a House committee Wednesday.
Fleming said the lower retirement age would encourage the best young lawyers to take a pay cut to leave a lucrative law practice for a judicial appointment.
Jan. 27, 2016 — A bill allowing Sandy Springs to spend hotel/motel taxes on a new performing arts center stalled today as senators questioned whether the levy shouldn’t be abolished instead.
Sept. 27, 2013 — Sen. Don Balfour was indicted today, based largely on Atlanta Unfiltered’s February 2012 report on sketchy entries in his expense account, for claiming per diem and mileage that he wasn’t entitled to.
Over at Fox 5, Dale Russell reported Wednesday night on an allegation that politics is behind a push to reopen an ethics investigation of U.S. Senate candidate Karen Handel. The state ethics commission settled three complaints against Handel in April with dismissals and her payment of a $75 late filing fee. Now, Russell reports, ethics […]