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    Rep. John Meadows: Popular with PACs

     

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    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:

    John Dudley Meadows III (R-Calhoun)

    District 5 (Gordon and Murray counties)

    Legislative website

    Voting record

    Born: 1944

    Overview

    John Meadows

    Meadows said he worked hard during his first five years at the Capitol to build a campaign war chest of $41,000. Once he was named Insurance chair, he didn’t have to try so hard, collecting $77,000 in the summer and fall of 2010. Another $277,000 followed once he became Rules chair in 2011.

    He’s given much of that away to other Republican candidates. “I have a lot more money than I ever thought I would,” he said.

    Lobbyists, who spent less than $4,500 on Meadows in 2006-09, have lavished more than $21,000 on meals, entertainment and other gifts for him since 2010.

    Meadows was one of 15 insurance agents in the state Legislature who were exempted from ethics and other continuing education courses needed to retain their licenses, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in 2011. A 1992 law authorized the state insurance commissioner to approve those exemptions for lawmakers. Nevertheless, records show Meadows has completed dozens of courses since his election in 2004.

    Political career

    • Elected to Calhoun City Council, 1982
    • Elected mayor of Calhoun, 1985, serving through 1998
    • Ran for the Georgia Senate in 1998, losing to Bill Stephens in the Republican primary
    • Elected, unopposed, to the Georgia House in 2004
    • Re-elected without opposition in 2006, 2008 and 2010
    • Re-elected in 2012 with 78 percent of the vote.

    Committee assignments

    • Rules (chair, 2011 – present)
    • Game, Fish and Parks (2013 – )
    • Governmental Affairs (2007 – present)
    • Industry & Labor (2011 – present)
    • Insurance (2005 -  present; chairman, 2010)
    • Natural Resources and Environment (2007 – 2012)
    • Retirement (2005 – present)
    • State Planning and Community Affairs (2005 – 2006)

    Occupation

    •  Insurance agent, Starr-Mathews Agency Inc.

    Business ownership interests

    •  None disclosed

    Fiduciary positions

    •  co-trustee, James M. Meadows Trust
    •  co-trustee, Daniel C. Meadows Trust
    •  co-trustee, Esther Meadows Trust
    •  co-trustee, Lacey Meadows Trust

    Investment interests

    • None disclosed

    Real estate holdings

    • Personal residence in Calhoun, valued at $205,000
    • Meadows’ wife, Marie, owns a house and 22 acres of farmland valued at $109,000 in Gordon County

    Campaign contributions

    Donors have contributed more than $613,000 to the candidate’s campaign committee since 2004. Some 65 percent of that has come since he became House Rules chairman in 2011. The breakdown by election cycle:

    • 1998: $26,516
    • 2004: $5,300
    • 2005-06: $42,102
    • 2007-08: $41,030
    • 2009-10: $99,940
    • 2011-12: $277,774
    • 2013: $119,228
    • Reported cash on hand (July 2013): $275,653

    Top donors since 1998

    • $16,500 State Farm Insurance
    • $13,400 WellCare of Georgia Inc., Medicaid and PeachCare administrator
    • $10,900 BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia
    • $10,250 Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia
    • $10,000 United Health Services of Georgia, nursing homes
    • $9,000 American Insurance Association
    • $8,550 Georgia Dental Association
    • $8,500 Alliant Health Plans & executives
    • $8,400 United HealthCare Services Inc. (Minn.), manager of state employees’ health plan
    • $8,250 Aflac Inc.
    • $8,150 Humana Inc., hospitals
    • $8,050 Georgia Association of HMOs (Georgia Fund for Health Care Leadership)
    • $8,000 GEICO
    • $7,750 Georgia Association of Health Underwriters
    • $7,500 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
    • $7,500 Medical Association of Georgia & lobbyist Brandon Reese
    • $7,350 Georgia Hospital Association
    • $7,250 Georgia Optometric Association
    • $6,550 Georgia Association of Realtors
    • $6,500 Allstate Insurance Co.
    • $6,500 MAG Mutual Insurance Co., medical malpractice insurance

    Campaign-to-campaign donations

    Candidates may make political donations with campaign funds, allowing prolific fund-raisers to share their contributions with other legislators or candidates. Some advocacy groups believe such transfers should be limited to an aggregate of $10,000 per election cycle. Meadows’ committee made these political donations:

    • 1998: $250
    • 2004: $500
    • 2005-06: $7,710
    • 2007-08: $10,975
    • 2009-10: $53,933
    • 2011-12: $50,542
    • 2013: $1,000

    Lobbyist gifts (reported value)

    Lobbyists have reported paying for meals and other gifts for Meadows valued at more than $30,000 since 2006. The big spenders: Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia ($2,065), Georgia Power Co. ($1,831), Georgia Municipal Association ($1,758). BFF lobbyist: MEAG’s Frank Crane ($2,034). The breakdown by year:

    • 2006: $522
    • 2007: $674
    • 2008: $2,093
    • 2009: $1,140
    • 2010: $5,520
    • 2011: $9,370
    • 2012: $6,004
    • 2013: $5,225

    Committee days & travel expenses

    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:

    • 2005: $806 (6 days)
    • 2006: $445 (3 days)
    • 2007: $5,609 (24 days)
    • 2008: $3,807 (16 days)
    • 2009: $2,035 (10 days)
    • 2010: $1,882 (8 days)
    • 2011: $3,401 (16 days)
    • 2012: $2,319 (10 days)
    • 2013: $1,600 (7 days through Aug. 14)

    Posted Sept. 24, 2012; last updated Jan. 9, 2014

     

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