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    Top 3 PACs gave $1M to Ga. politicians

     

    By JIM WALLS

    Jan. 14, 2013 — Trial lawyers, dentists and Realtors — perhaps Georgians’ three most-beloved professions — had the deepest pockets as state legislators convened today for 2013, an analysis of campaign disclosures shows. Between them, trade groups for those three professions donated more than $1.1 million to Georgia politicians and parties over the past two years.

    Those totals don’t count contributions made since Jan. 1, which won’t be disclosed until July — long after the General Assembly has adjourned. Lawmakers may not accept donations during the legislative session, so they like to hold fund-raisers in the week or two beforehand, which also happens to be when special interests’ lobbyists are preparing to push their own agendas. It’s win-win on both sides of the equation.

    Sometimes, political fund-raisers and lobbyists are one and the same, as was Dave Simons of Savannah when he organized David Ralston’s first fund-raiser as speaker of the House in 2010. (Simons, by the way, is no longer a registered lobbyist.)

    Among this year’s top donors, trial lawyers are watching for any effort to bring up any sort of so-called “tort reform” that could depress damage claims. Dentists are always looking to improve insurance coverage for their services. Realtors focus on a range of issues, from limiting local governments’ attempts to registered foreclosed properties to blocking a proposal to levy a sales tax on their commissions.

    Members of other trusted occupations and institutions — including insurance salesman, title pawn lenders, lobbyists and the phone company — were also among Georgia’s biggest political donors in the 2011-12. Most limit online access to their legislative agendas, but we’ve linked below to a few of their webpages where you can get some sense of their activity in past legislative sessions.

    The following list may unintentionally exclude a few of Georgia’s biggest spenders. We’ll make sure to include them as we refine and expand the information:

    Georgia’s Big Bucks political donors

     

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    One Response to “Top 3 PACs gave $1M to Ga. politicians”

    1. James P. Wesberry, Jr. says:

      It is a shame that democracy has been replaced by dollarcracy in Georgia, thropughout the USA and across much of the world where we once thought democracy had a chance to serve civilization.

      If the USA cannot make democracy work, who can?

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