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    Unopposed speaker raised $953,000

     

    House Speaker Glenn Richardson has 54,000 constituents in his legislative district in eastern Paulding County. Just two of them donated money to the speaker’s 2007-08 election fund.

    Three businesses in the 19th District also gave to the speaker’s campaign, as did the Paulding Chamber of Commerce. Together, the six donations — totaling $5,840 – added up to less than 1 percent of the $953,000 that Richardson raised in that period.

    The rest of Richardson’s financial supporters, as they say, ain’t from around those parts. One dollar in four didn’t even come from Georgia.

    Georgia lobbyists, and the special-interest groups that employ them, made up half of all contributions to Richardson’s campaign treasury and to the MMV Alliance Fund, a separate political action committee that benefits him, according to an analysis of campaign records by AtlantaUnfiltered.

    The breakdown:

    $488,250 — Georgia lobbyists and groups that hired them

    $229,291 — Out-of-state donors

    $86,940 — Other Georgia businesses

    $142,750 — Other Georgia individuals

    $5,840 — Constituents in Richardson’s 19th district

    Final analysis of Richardson’s 2007-08 only became possible last week, when the MMV Fund filed its last disclosure report for 2008. The report was not filed with the State Ethics Commission until AtlantaUnfiltered called to ask about it.

    Richardson collected nearly $1 million without even having a campaign to run. He ran without opposition in 2008, and he hails from solidly Republican turf. John McCain won 69 percent of the Paulding County vote in November.

    In fact, the speaker’s two funds collected $500,664 in 2008 after qualifying closed May 2 and it was clear he would have no opposition.

    The biggest givers to Richardson’s funds were health care, development and financial interests, particularly title pawn and other small loan businesses.

     

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