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    Sen. Brandon Beach: Campaign kept unused $$

     

    The information on Atlanta Unfiltered is free to all — except me. Open records requests, research tools, car expenses, insurance, website maintenance – not to mention my time — all cost me money. Atlanta Unfiltered needs your financial support to continue following the money in Georgia politics. Someone’s gotta do it. Use the Donate button on this page to help me produce more articles like this one.

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    Leaders in the public sector have plenty of public resources to promote their political views, accomplishments and experience. But 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:

    Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta)

    District 21 (Cherokee and Fulton counties)

    Campaign website

    Legislative website

    Overview

    Beach

    When Brandon Beach first ran for the Senate in 2010, he raised $13,600 to be spent on the general election once he became the Republican nominee. He didn’t make it that far, though, losing a primary runoff by a thin margin.

    State law requires candidates to refund contributions raised for an election in which they’re not on the ballot. Beach’s campaign kept those donations in his campaign account, using some for expenses and rolling the rest over to his 2012 race. State law may allow some of that money to be reallocated after the fact to cover 2010 primary or runoff expenses, but at least $8,400 could not be redesignated since it came from donors who had reached contribution limits for those races.

    Beach said he had no idea the money should have been refunded.

    “If I made any mistakes, it was unintentional,” he said. “If I made a mistake, it’s a mistake, and I’ll correct it.”

    Donations that were over the limit for the 2010 primary and runoff included: $3,600 from the Georgia Highway Contractors Association, $2,400 from C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., $1,200 from former Rep. Mark Burkhalter and $1,200 from Wellington Healthcare.

    Political career

    • Served 2000-04 as a member of the Alpharetta City Council.
    • Appointed in 2004 to the board of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.
    • Elected in 2008 to the board of the Georgia Department of Transportation by state legislators from the 6th Congressional District.
    • Ran for the state Senate in 2010, finishing first in the Republican primary but losing a runoff to eventual winner John Albers by 201 votes.
    • Won 41 percent of the vote in a primary challenge to Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers after finding that his home was been placed in a different Senate district.
    • Won a January 2013 special election against former Rep. Sean Jerguson to succeed Rogers, who resigned in December 2012 and took a job with Georgia Public Broadcasting.

    Occupation:

    • President & CEO, Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce

    Business ownership

    • None disclosed.

    Fiduciary positions

    • Board member, North Fulton Hospital
    • Board member, Encore Park for the Arts
    • Board member, Alpharetta Public Safety Foundation

    Investments

    • None disclosed.

    Real estate holdings

    • Personal residence in Alpharetta, valued at $289,000

    Business transactions with state government

    • None disclosed.

    Friends and family

    • Retired Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz endorsed Beach’s 2013 bid for the Senate.

    Campaign contributions

    Donors have given Beach’s campaign more than $342,000 since 2009. The breakdown by election cycle:

    • 2009-10: $190,984
    • 2011-12: $116,310
    • 2013 special election: $27,875
    • 2013-14: $120,350
    • Beach also loaned $15,000 of personal funds to his 2012 campaign.
    • Reported cash on hand (July 2014): $50,187

    Top donors

    • $17,750 Jackson Healthcare & CEO Richard Jackson, hospital & nursing home staffing
    • $16,500 C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. & executives
    • $14,600 Ex-Rep. Mark Burkhalter & other Republican legislators
    • $12,500 Yancey Brothers Co., CEO James Stephenson & chairman Goodloe Yancey
    • $10,700 Georgia Highway Contractors Association
    • $9,400 Select Management Resources Inc. & CEO Rod Aycox, title pawn lender
    • $9,000 John D. Stephens, pipeline contractor
    • $7,500 Mark Hennessy, owner Hennessy Automotive Group
    • $6,500 Orkin & Associates LLC
    • $6,000 Patricia Phelan, Alpharetta, Ga.
    • $5,900 Russell Corporate Groups Inc. & affiliates
    • $5,000 Penn Hodge, real estate developer, Duluth, Ga.
    • $5,000 Mahaffey Pickens Tucker LLP & attorneys, Lawrenceville, Ga.
    • $4,800 Wellington Healthcare, nursing homes
    • $4,650 Fulton County Commissioner Tom Lowe & employees of Lowe Engineering
    • $4,500 Jim Cowart, developer, & family members
    • $4,500 Preble-Rish Inc., Port St. Lucie, Fla.
    • $4,500 Reeves Construction Co. & vice president Eric Young
    • $4,000 Rudy Bowen, DOT board member
    • $3,854 Label Source Inc. (in-kind services)

    Campaign to campaign

    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. Beach’s committee made these political donations, totaling more than $15,000:

    • 2009-10: $3,000
    • 2011-12: $500

    Lobbyist freebies

    Lobbyists have reported paying for meals and other gifts valued at nearly $4,000 for Beach since 2008. The big spender: Google ($1,412). BFF lobbyist: Google’s Lilyn Hester ($1,412).

    • 2010: $92
    • 2011: $362
    • 2012: $289
    • 2013: $604
    • 2014: $2,649 through July 31

    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. 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:

    • 2013: $1,464 (7 days)

    Updated April 25, 2013

     

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