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Rep. Jay Powell
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Leaders in the public sector have plenty of 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:
Alfred J. Powell Jr. (R-Camilla)
District 171 (Mitchell, Colquitt and Decatur counties)
State records show the state Department of Transportation wrote $691,500 in checks to Powell’s law firm in 2009, but he said they were never deposited in the firm’s account. Powell said his law partner, who has handled right-of-way acquisition for the DOT, endorsed the checks over to a new LLC created to continue that work rather than asking the state to reissue them.
- Served 12 years as mayor of Camilla, losing a 2007 bid for re-election by less than 100 votes
- Past president, Georgia Municipal Association (2007)
- Elected to the House in 2008, qualifying with no opposition after predecessor Richard Royal announced his retirement at the last minute.
- Re-elected with 60 percent of the vote in 2010 and 59 percent in 2012.
- Appropriations (2010 – present; vice chairman for public safety, 2011 – present)
- Children & Youth (2009)
- Governmental Affairs (2009 – present)
- Judiciary (2009 – present)
- Ways and Means (2009 – present)
- Attorney, Powell & Erwin P.C.
- Former Recorder’s Court judge, city of Camilla, 1981-91.
Business ownership interests
- President, Powell & Erwin, P.C. (formerly Powell & Waters, P.C.)
- Limited partner, Camilla Retirement Home Ltd. (personal care home)
Other fiduciary positions
- Board member, Planter’s and Citizen’s Bank
- Board member, The Center for Housing Alternatives, non-profit helping to secure development grants for housing for the elderly and disabled
- Board member, Georgia Community Trust, non-profit helping families to plan for financial assistance for disabled family members
- No others disclosed
Real estate holdings
- Personal residence in Camilla, valued at $125,000
- Office building in Camilla used in law practice, valued at $166,000
- Half-interest in a vacant 62-acre tract in Mitchell County, valued at $84,000
- Commercial buildings in Camilla, valued at $52,000
Payments from state agencies
- The state Department of Transportation wrote checks for $691,500 to Powell’s law firm, Powell & Erwin P.C., in 2009 for right-of-way acquisition along Interstate 75 in Clay and Randolph counties. Powell said none of the funds were deposited in the firm’s account. Powell said his law partner, Bill Erwin, worked on DOT right-of-way acquisition before Powell took his seat in the House but created a separate LLC so he could continue to do the work since then. Rather than asking DOT to reissue the 2009 checks, Erwin endorsed them over to his own LLC and distributed the proceeds as directed by DOT, Powell said.
Donors have given Powell’s campaign more than $165,000 since 2008. The breakdown by election cycle:
- 2008: $15,875
- 2009-10: $65,800
- 2011-12: $83,895
- 2013: $1,200
- Reported cash on hand (July 2013): $62,125
- $28,850 Speaker David Ralston and other Republicans in the House
- $8,850 Ex-Rep. Richard Royal (Powell’s predecessor in the House)
- $6,900 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
- $5,000 Lasseter Tractor Co., Moultrie, Ga.
- $4,000 Classic Insurance Co., Moultrie, Ga.
- $4,000 Patrick and Mark Mobley, owners of Mobley Gin Co.
- $3,750 Corrections Corporation of America
- $2,350 Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals
- $1,750 Georgia Affordable Housing Coalition
- $1,750 Georgia Apartment Association
- $1,750 Georgia Bankers Association
- $1,750 Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia
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. Powell’s committee made these political donations:
- 2009-10: $4,150
- 2011-12: $16,000
- 2013: $3,400
Other campaign spending
- Powell reimbursed himself $5,201 from campaign funds in 2008 and 2009 for mileage & lodging without reporting the end recipient of the spending, as required by state disclosure rules.
Lobbyists have reported paying for meals and other gifts for Powell valued at more than $14,000 since 2008. The big spenders: University System of Georgia ($2,087), Georgia Municipal Association ($1,971), ConnectSouth Inc. ($788), Georgia Industrial Loan Association ($749). BFF lobbyist: the University System’s Russell Keen ($2,051).
- 2008: $84
- 2009: $1,357
- 2010: $4,105
- 2011: $3,945
- 2012: $4,343
- 2013: $836 through Feb. 28
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:
- 2009: $4,473 (18 days)
- 2010: $4,510 (20 days)
- 2011: $11,836 (44 days) #12 in House
- 2012: $7,068 (24 days)
- 2013: $6,579 (24 days through Aug. 14) #14 in House
Posted Feb. 6, 2013; updated July 2, 2013