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Sen. David Lucas
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:
David Eugene Lucas Sr. (D-Macon)
District 26 (Bibb, Hancock, Houston, Jones, Twiggs, Washington & Wilkinson counties)
David Lucas has kept much of his campaign spending off the radar over the years, moreso perhaps than any other Georgia legislator. Lucas’ campaign disclosures from 1998 through 2010 reported more than $78,000 — nearly half of all spending — in individual purchases of $100 or less that he was not required to itemize. Curiously, Lucas’s quarterly and six-month disclosures often reported total unitemized spending in nice, round numbers — $1,000, $2,600, $1,700, $3,500. His itemized spending rarely added up so tidily.
Lucas has also kept some of his private business interests off the radar. His most recent disclosure of personal finances omitted ownership of his business, TBL Inc., as well as one operated by his wife. Moreover, none of his disclosures since 1998 have mentioned his role as an officer in the non-profit Bowden Men’s Golf Association, which has received payments from his campaign and from at least two political action committees that employ lobbyists at the Capitol.
Lucas filed no personal disclosures in either 2012 or 2013; disclosures for three previous years were filed at least a year late. “I might have missed that,” Lucas said of the 2012 disclosure. “I ain’t a millionaire.”
NewTown Macon Inc., a non-profit promoting development in downtown Macon, paid Lucas and his company $24,350 in 2010 to campaign for passage of a 1 percent local option sales tax. It failed. He has declined to say how much he made, but a lobbyist expense report filed by NewTown’s CEO, C. Michael Ford, shows the non-profit paid $14,350 to Lucas and $10,000 more to TBL Inc.
NewTown also played a role in a small land transaction that appeared to net Lucas a $3,400 profit in 2008. Property records show Ocmulgee Heritage Trail LLC, an affiliate of NewTown, transferred a vacant lot to Lucas for $100 in 2007. He sold the property a year later to the Macon-Bibb County Economic Opportunity Council for $3,500.
- Elected to the Georgia House in 1974. Served for 37 years until he resigned in June 2011 to seek a state Senate seat.
- Re-elected 1996-2010 without opposition except for 2002, when he swamped a Republican challenger with 69 percent of the vote.
- Ran for Senate District 26 in a 2011 special election. He lost, 56 percent to 44 percent, in a runoff with former Macon City Council President Miriam Paris.
- Unseated Paris in a 2012 rematch, winning a primary runoff by a margin of slightly more than 1 percent of the vote.
- Won the 2012 general election with 68 percent of the vote.
Senate committee assignments
- Economic Development (2013 – )
- Regulated Industries and Utilities (2013 – )
- Retirement (2013 – )
- State Institutions and Property (2013 – )
- Urban Affairs (2013 – )
House committee assignments
- Appropriations (1981 – 2011)
- Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications (2007 – 2011)
- Human Relations & Aging (1991-99, chairman 1991-99)
- Industrial Relations (2005 – 2006)
- Insurance (1985 – 2011)
- Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment (2002)
- Public Safety (1981 – 1990)
- Public Utilities and Telecommunications (2003 – 2006; chairman, 2003 – 2004)
- State Institutions & Property (1999 – 2002; chairman, 1999 – 2002)
- Transportation (2007 – 2011)
- University System of Georgia (1981 – 1984)
- (Assignments unavailable before 1981)
- Insurance agent
- Entertainment promoter
- Lucas has accumulated $875 in unpaid late fees for filing disclosures of personal and campaign finances.
Business ownership interests
- UNDISCLOSED: TBL Inc. Lucas last reported an ownership interest in the company in a disclosure for 2009. His 2010 report mentions the company, but only under a listing for his wife and children’s business interests. In 2011, papers filed to reinstate TBL’s corporate registration list Lucas as CEO and secretary of the company. State records show the company received a $374 payment in fiscal year 2010 from the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Authority. Community Loans of America, registered as a political action committee with a lobbyist in Atlanta, reported making a $1,500 “contribution” to TBL in 2010.
- UNDISCLOSED: Lucas’s wife, Elaine, owns ELucasConsulting Inc., registered with the state in November 2009. The company’s website says it offers event planning, political consulting and educational support services, including a home-study course intended to help dropouts earn a high school diploma through home schooling.
- UNDISCLOSED: CEO of TBL Inc.
- UNDISCLOSED: Formerly CEO of the non-profit Bowden Men’s Golf Association Inc., 2001-02 and perhaps other years; vice president in 1997. Records of the association’s officers are spotty because it often failed to pay its annual state registration fee, a practice for which it was dissolved in 1995 and again in 2008.
- None disclosed
Real estate holdings
- Personal residence in Macon, valued for tax purposes at $95,000.
Friends & family
- Lucas’s wife, Elaine, has served on the Macon City Council with just one four-year interruption since 1983. She was elected in September 2013 to the consolidated Macon-Bibb County Commission and will take office in January 2014.
Lucas has reported receiving more than $263,000 since 1998, broken down by election cycle:
- 1998: $17,520
- 1999-2000: $22,345
- 2001-02: $51,165
- 2003-04: $51,000
- 2005-06: $18,125
- 2007-08: $23,000
- 2009-10: $15,450
- 2011 special election: $48,430
- 2012: $50,275
- 2013: $1,500
- Reported cash on hand (July 2013): $382
In addition, two political action committees reported payments to corporations associated with Lucas on their campaign contribution disclosures. The Macon-based Georgia Industrial Loan Association paid $2,500 to the Bowden Men’s Golf Association from 1999 to 2003 and $3,250 to TBL from 2001-04. Lucas said the payments were sponsorships for a charity golf tournament and a rhythm and blues festival, respectively. A second PAC, Community Loans of America, paid $1,500 to TBL in 2010.
Top donors (1997-present)
- $9,200 R. Kirby Godsey, retired president Mercer University
- $8,450 Georgia Dental Association
- $6,500 Philip Morris USA
- $5,500 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (Civil Justice PAC)
- $5,300 Colonial Village LLC, Cochran, Ga.
- $5,100 Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals
- $4,250 Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia
- $4,000 Bibb Distributing Co. and owner Winburn E. “Brother” Stewart Jr.
- $4,000 Brown & Williamson Tobacco
- $4,000 Hospital Corporation of America
- $3,500 Troutman Sanders, law/lobbying firm
- $3,100 *Georgia Industrial Loan Association
- $3,000 CNL/Resource Marketing Corp.
- $3,000 GEICO
- $3,000 MAG Mutual Insurance
- $3,000 Roy Robinson III, lobbyist
- $2,750 GNB Amusement Inc.
- $2,650 Virgil Adams, attorney
- $2,500 Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson
- $2,450 Mike Ford, CEO NewTown Macon Inc.
*The Georgia Industrial Loan Association has also disclosed $5,750 in payments to two organizations affiliated with Lucas, the Bowden Men’s Golf Association and TBL Inc.
Lucas’ campaign disclosures from 1998 through 2010 reported more than $78,000 — nearly half of all its spending — in individual purchases of $100 or less that he did not itemize. (He is not required to.) Curiously, Lucas’s quarterly and six-month disclosures often reported his total unitemized spending in nice, round numbers — $1,000, $2,600, $1,700, $3,500. His itemized spending rarely added up so tidily.
Campaign committees may give unlimited funds to other candidates and political parties, allowing prolific fund-raisers in the House and Senate leadership to spread donations to as many other legislators as they choose. Some advocacy groups believe such transfers should be limited to an aggregate of $10,000 for each election cycle. Here are the political donations from Lucas’s committee:
- 1999-2000: $499
- 2001-02: $1,012
- 2003-04: $7,700
- 2005-06: $200
- 2007-08: $400
- 2009-10: $200
- 2011-12: $1,123
Lobbyists reported gifts to Lucas valued at a fairly modest $3,261 since 2006, including several hunting trips and Atlanta Falcons tickets. The breakouts by year:
- 2006: $318
- 2007: $447
- 2008: $432
- 2009: $748
- 2010: $460
- 2011: $577
- 2013: $279
Per diem & travel expenses (committee days)
When the Legislature is out of session, members may collect $173 per diem, plus mileage, for committee meetings or other official business. (Per diem was $127 prior to 2007.) Lawmakers living within 50 miles of the Capitol are taxed on these payments, which were originally intended to cover out-of-town members’ food and lodging. Here’s the annual breakdown, based on the year in which the expenses were paid:
- 2001: $18,218 (89 days, #3 in House)
- 2002: $14,082 (77 days, #5 in House)
- 2003: $14,490 (73 days)
- 2004: $10,881 (56 days)
- 2005: $1,984 (11 days)
- 2006: $3,326 (12 days)
- 2007: $7,162 (22 days)
- 2008: $5,758 (17 days)
- 2009: $7,358 (26 days)
- 2010: $6,218 (23 days)
- 2011: $3,665 (14 days)
- 2013: $5,393 (20 days)
Posted Aug. 18, 2012; last updated March 7, 2014