Real estate, contractors top TSPLOST’s $8M donor list
By JIM WALLS
(Updated July 26, 2012: The Georgia Transportation Alliance, which is promoting the transportation sales tax outside metro Atlanta, has now raised $2 million to promote the transportation sales tax. Many of the same donors backing the Untie Atlanta campaign have contributed. I’ve updated totals below for donors of $25,000 or more)
July 24, 2012 — Advocates promoting the “Untie Atlanta” campaign for a transportation sales tax have raised more $8 million, topped by donations from real estate interests and highway contractors, newly released disclosures show.
The money’s been used to push passage of a controversial 1-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in metro Atlanta. Voters will decide July 31 whether to approve the plan, variously described as a job-creator that will save commuters $9 billion in travel time costs or as the largest tax increase in Georgia history.
The top five cash donors to the campaign — the National Association of Realtors, the Georgia Highway Contractors Association, heavy equipment suppliers Yancey Brothers Co. and C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. Inc. — kicked in $981,000 among them. Cox Enterprises, owners of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV, and Georgia Power Co. also donated $250,000 each.
Citizens for Transportation Mobility, sponsors of the ubiquitous Untie Atlanta advertising campaign in print, broadcast and billboards, has been raising money for more than a year. But it held its cards closely, only disclosing its donors at 4:50 p.m. Monday in a filing with the state Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. The organization had previously released the names of some donors (but not the amounts) to news outlets.
Atlanta Unfiltered, using a reverse-lookup technique, compiled and published a list of more than $1.2 million in donations last week.
Monday’s disclosure shows many of Atlanta’s most prominent corporate citizens — AGL Resources, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Home Depot, SunTrust Banks — gave $100,000 or more to the advocacy group. The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce pitched in $25,000 cash and more than $61,000 in-kind for advertising, buttons, yard signs and the like.
But the bulk of the campaign’s $5,991,000 in financial support came from utilities, real estate interests, road-builders and other vendors that stand to benefit from a binge of highway construction — not that there’s anything wrong with that. The campaign also reported in-kind contributions totaling $477,000.
$401,000 – $500,000
Georgia Highway Contractors Association $500,000
National Association of Realtors $431,000
$301,000 – $400,000
Georgia Power Co. $395,000
Yancey Brothers Co. (construction equipment) $350,000
C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. Inc. $300,000
Clear Channel Outdoor (in-kind donation of billboards) $295,000
Cox Enterprises $250,000
Delta Air Lines $225,000
$101,000 – $200,000
Home Depot $150,000
Post Apartment Homes $105,000
United Parcel Service $140,000
Vulcan Materials Co. $161,275
Carlyle Fraser Employee Benefit Fund
ICE (IntercontinentalExchange Inc.)
Jamestown (real estate)
$51,000 – $99,000
AECOM (engineering) $60,000
American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia $57,500
Bank of America $52,500E.R. Snell Contractor 75,000
Georgia Association of Realtors $67,947
Georgia Concrete PAC $67,800
PB Americas Inc./Parsons Brinkerhoff (engineering) $64,500
Pittman Construction $60,000
Wells Fargo $51,000
Bombardier Transportation (rail equipment)
GE Power Systems
Georgia Chamber of Commerce
Georgia Construction Aggregate Association
Holder Construction Group
Invesco (investment management)
Jackson Healthcare LLC
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
Wolverton & Associates Inc. (engineering
Georgia Concrete and Products Association $31,834
Global Payments Inc. $40,000
Jacobs Engineering Group $30,000
King and Spalding LLP $30,000
Norfolk Southern Corp. (railroad) $27,500
Stantec Consulting Services $30,000
Troutman Sanders LLP $30,000
Stephens Rock and Dirt Inc. $26,000
Alston & Bird LLP
AMC Inc. (AmericasMart)
Bank of North Georgia
CH2M Hill Inc. (engineering)
Cisco Systems Inc. (computer networking equipment)
Duke Realty Services
Enterprise Holdings Inc. (rental cars)
First Data Corp. (electronic payment processing)
Gables Limited Partnership (real estate)
Georgia Apartment Association
Georgia Crown Distributing Co.
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia
KPMG LLP (accounting)
Lehigh Hanson Materials (cement)
Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
National Distributing Co.
Piedmont Operating Partnership (real estate)
Portman Financial Inc. (investments)
Sunbelt Structures (road builders)
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP
United Distributors Inc.