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    Rep. Mandi Ballinger: Disclosures leave Q’s

     

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    Mandi Lia Ballinger (R-Canton)

     

    District 23 (Cherokee County)

     

    Mandi Ballinger

    Mandi Ballinger

    Ballinger’s campaign disclosures remain a puzzlement. She reported making eight loans totaling $70,000 to her 2012 campaign but did not carry the outstanding balance over from one report to the next, making it appear the campaign had no debt as 2012 ended. None of her disclosures reported payment on the loans. In July 2013, after Atlanta Unfiltered raised questions about the loans, she reported the debt as $30,000, but she said she couldn’t correct earlier disclosures.

    “I am currently trying to amend the reports, but a computer glitch won’t let me – I’m a Mac [user] and suspect therein lies the problem,” she wrote in a July 2013 email. “They will be amended to reflect the correct amounts.”

    The reports were never amended, records show.

    Ballinger also failed to carry over a $12,000-plus cash balance in her campaign account in September 2012. As a result, her campaign appeared to be short that amount in subsequent disclosures.

    Seven PACs have also reported donating to Ballinger’s campaign, but she has only disclosed receiving a check from one of them — $2,500 from the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. “Those [other] checks were apparently misplaced,” Ballinger wrote. “There is no indication that the checks were ever tendered.”

    Legislative website

    Campaign website

    Voting record

    Born: 1975

    Political career

    • Elected to the House in 2012, taking 52.5% of the vote to win a four-candidate primary without a runoff.
    • Re-elected in 2014 and 2016 without opposition.

    Committee assignments

    • Appropriations (2017 – )
    • Budget & Fiscal Affairs Oversight (2014 – present)
    • Information and Audits (2013 – present)
    • Judiciary Non-Civil (2013 – present)
    • Juvenile Justice (chair, 2017 – )
    • Rules (2017 – )
    • Transportation (2013 – present)

    Employment

    • Self-employed business consultant.

    Business ownership interests

    • UNDISCLOSED: Ballinger’s husband owns & operates his own law practice, Eric A. Ballinger P.C. She disclosed his ownership in the firm when she ran for office in 2012 but left it off the disclosure she filed in 2013.

    Other fiduciary positions

    • Board member, Cherokee FOCUS.
    • Board member, The Children’s Haven Inc. (formerly CASA for Children Inc.), Canton, Ga., non-profit for abused and neglected children.

    Real estate holdings

    • Personal residence in Canton valued at $443,000.
    • UNDISCLOSED: House at 170 Chamlee Lane, Canton, valued at $190,000

    Other investments

    • None disclosed.

    Payments from state agencies

    • The Children’s Center Inc. received $98,000 from DFCS and $70,000 in federal pass-though funds from the GBI in FY 2016.

    Campaign contributions

    Ballinger has reported raising more than $30,000 in political donations and loaning her campaign $70,000 of personal funds. The breakdown of donations by election cycle:

    • 2012: $22,424
    • 2013-14: $700
    • 2015-16: $6,900
    • Reported cash on hand (Jan. 2017): $6.644. However, Ballinger did not carry over a balance of $12,049 from her June 2012 disclosure to the net, so her actual campaign balance remains unclear.

    Disclosure discrepancies

    As of mid-2013, six PACs had reported donating $1,850 to Ballinger that she had not acknowledged receiving. “Those checks were apparently misplaced,” Ballinger wrote in a July 2013 email. “There is no indication that the checks were ever tendered.”

    The unreported donations are:

    • Georgia Dental Association, $250, 7/25/2012
    • Georgia Auto Pawn Inc., $400, 8/28/2012
    • MAG Mutual Insurance Co., $250, 8/29/2012
    • Georgia Dental Association, $200, 12/9/2012
    • Georgia Hospital Association, $250, 11/1/2012
    • Publix Super Markets, $250, 1/10/2013
    • Georgia Obstetrical & Gynecological Society, $250, 6/14/2013

    Top donors

    • $10,000 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association & leadership
    • $2,500 Curtis Dickenson, Woodstock, Ga., lawyer
    • $1,500 David Jordan, president North Cherokee Electrical Contractors Inc.
    • $1,500 Mark Molinari, COO 4th Source Inc., IT consulting firm

    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. Ballinger’s committee reported making no such contributions, although she personally donated $250 to House Speaker David Ralston.

    Lobbyist freebies

    Lobbyists have reported paying more than $1,000 for meals and other gifts for Ballinger since 2013. The big spender:

    • $110 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association

    Per diem & travel

    When out of session, lawmakers may collect $173 per diem plus mileage for 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.

    • 2013: $891 (4 days)
    • 2014: $442 (2 days)

    Updated Jan. 16, 2017

     

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    One Response to “Rep. Mandi Ballinger: Disclosures leave Q’s”

    1. Kevin Adler says:

      Not surprising. I knew she was ethically challenged while working for her husband’s law office a few years back.

      1. I personally witnessed her signing her husband’s name, without his knowledge, to court documents/pleadings. Usually these documents involved cases she didn’t believe her husband should handle or she simply didn’t care for. Prohibition of the practice of law without a license does not apply to her. Typical politician.

      2. It appears, as noted above, that she has issues with negotiable instruments. Odd, as her degree was in finance. We had heated political differences such that she eventually convinced her husband to release me. She intentionally confiscated one of our client’s checks, which I was responsible for, and blamed me for its disappearance. I was released for same.

      I realized her lack of values when her “personal car cleaner dude” found a $100.00 bill under the front seat of her car. She laughed, and claimed in an arrogant manner that she “…never had missed it.” Such arrogance from a woman who hadn’t accomplished anything other than landing an attorney as a husband. She can thank her husband for the money, connections, and a government seat.

      Its only a matter of time before her lack of character leads to her downfall; unfortunately, her husband, son, and her Canton district will pay a heavy price for same.

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