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    Oxendine: Who knew $120,000 came from same source?

     

    On New Year’s Eve last year, Georgia gubernatorial candidate John Oxendine pocketed $100,000 in campaign contributions from donors in Alabama.

    Of that, $70,000 came from political action committees that listed the same Birmingham post office box as their address. Committees listing the same street address in Birmingham chipped in the other $30,000.

    Three months earlier, on Sept. 25, the same 10 donors using the same addresses sent Oxendine’s campaign $20,000.

    Under Georgia law in 2008, a candidate for governor could accept no more than $15,300 from a single donor. That’s for a primary, runoff and general election.

    The Alabama donors, it turns out, were all funded by two affiliated insurance companies based in Rome, Ga., The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday. All told, their $120,000 in contributions to Oxendine amounted to eight times the legal limit.

    The State Ethics Commission will weigh in on the big bucks. The candidate’s campaign requested an advisory opinion Friday on just what donations he may accept, and an ethics complaint filed with the commission Monday accuses Oxendine of violating campaign laws.

    The candidate said Monday he had returned the donations.

    Oxendine, who’s won election as Georgia’s insurance commissioner four times, told the newspaper he did not realize the donations had a common origin. The money, he said, came from “completely different sources.”

    “All we can go by is what the giver tells us,” Oxendine told the AJC.

    This is what the givers told him, according to the campaign’s financial disclosure reports.

     

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