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    Sen. Miriam Paris

     

    Leaders in the public sector have plenty of public resources to promote their political views, accomplishments and experience. Often the public record holds much more: personal and campaign finance disclosures, expense reports, and business, tax and court filings. Here’s what they show:

    Miriam Lucas Paris (D-Macon)

    District 26 (Twiggs and portions of Bibb, Houston and Wilkinson counties)

    (Redrawn district also includes Hancock, Jones and Washington counties)

    Legislative website

    Campaign website

    Voting record

    Overview

    Paris has been assessed $500 in unpaid late filing fees by the state Campaign Finance Commission. Half of those fees, however, were for disclosures that appear to have been filed on time.

    She has also left her membership on two-non profit boards — the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce and NewTown Macon Inc. — off her personal financial disclosures.

    Paris’ biggest financial backer has been Georgia’s WIN List, a political committee dedicated to electing Democratic women. Her second-biggest campaign donor, though, is a Republican: Rep. Allen Peake, whose restaurant businesses have donated $5,000 to her Senate campaign. Other Republican donors include Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens ($500) and CNN pundit and conservative blogger Erick Erickson ($250), who served with Paris on the Macon City Council.

    Political career

    • Elected 2006 to the Macon City Council, winning a five-candidate race.
    • Elected 2007 to an at-large post on the Macon City Council, unseating incumbent Willette Hill-Chambliss.
    • Chosen by the council to serve as its president until she resigned in 2011 to run for the Senate.
    • Elected 2011 to the Senate in a special election, defeating Rep. David Lucas 56 to 44 percent in a runoff.
    • Finished second to Lucas in the July 31, 2012 Democratic primary and will face him again in an Aug. 21 runoff.

    Committee Assignments

    • Economic Development (2011 – present)
    • Education and Youth (2011 – present)
    • Health and Human Services (2011 – present)
    • Veterans, Military and Homeland Security (2011 – present)

    Occupation

    • Real estate agent, Stuckey Realty.

    Ethics cases

    Business ownership interests

    • None disclosed

    Fiduciary positions

    • UNDISCLOSED Board of directors, Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce
    • UNDISCLOSED Board of directors, NewTown Macon Inc.

    Investment interests

    • None disclosed

    Real estate holdings

    • Personal residence in Macon, valued for tax purposes at $42,000

    Friends & family

    • Javors Lucas, her father, has served as an elected member of the Macon Water Authority Board since 1982. The city named its reservoir after him.

    Campaign contributions

    • 2011 special election: $59,760
    • 2011-12: $44,650 (through Aug. 17, 2012)

    Top donors

    • $6,600 Georgia’s WIN List and board secretary Lauren Logan Benedict
    • $5,000 C&P Seafood Co. and C&P Restaurant Co. (Rep. Allen Peake is co-owner)
    • $5,000 Michael and Bridget Wright, oral surgeon
    • $4,800 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (Civil Justice PAC)
    • $4,500 Robert L. Schwartz, developer
    • $4,300 David D. and G. Scott Thompson, Piedmont Construction Group
    • $3,300 R. Kirby Godsey, retired Mercer University president
    • $3,200 Georgia Association of Realtors
    • $3,000 Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson
    • $3,000 Violet Poe, educator

    Campaign spending

    •  Paris’s campaign reimbursed herself for $1,225 in 2011 for office supplies and for an election-night victory party.

    Campaign-to-campaign donations

    •  None disclosed

    Lobbyist gifts (reported value)

    Lobbyists have reported spending $932 on Taylor since 2011. The American Federation for Children also reported spending $4,800 in March 2012 on advertising to influence Paris. The money, far from being a gift, paid for robocalls criticizing her stance against allowing state government to approve local charters. Lobbyist spending, broken down by year:

    • 2011: $469
    • 2012: $463 through July 31.

    Per diem & travel expenses (committee days)

    Georgia legislators may request $173 per diem for “committee days” when they are attending out-of-session meetings or otherwise handling public business. Lawmakers who live within 50 miles of the Capitol pay income tax on these payments, which were originally intended to cover food and lodging for out-of-town members.

    • 2011: not available

     

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