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Governor (candidate): Sen. Jason Carter
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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:
Jason James Carter (D-Atlanta)
Senate District 42 (Fulton & DeKalb counties)
Before announcing his bid for governor, Sen. Jason Carter had raised an astonishing $468,000 in campaign donations in just three years, much of it from attorneys at Atlanta law firms. His grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter, and other family members kicked in nearly $25,000.
Carter’s campaign committee for governor registered with the state ethics commission on Nov. 6, 2013. The campaign’s treasurer is Bess Weyandt, executive director of Startup Atlanta. Her brother Matt is a former executive director of the Democratic Party of Georgia.
The Georgia Department of Human Services paid Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore, the law firm that employs Carter, nearly $10.5 million in fiscal years 2010 and 2012. The firm also did $188,500 of legal work in FY2012 for the University of West Georgia. Carter does not hold a fiduciary position at the firm, so he is not required to disclose the payments.
- Won a May 2010 special election with 66% of the vote to replace Sen. David Adelman, who’d been named U.S. ambassador to Singapore.
- Re-elected without opposition in November 2010.
- Re-elected 2012 with 74% of the vote.
- Announced his candidacy in November 2013 for governor of Georgia.
- Judiciary (2011 – present)
- Public Safety (2011 – 2012)
- Science and Technology (2011 – present)
- Special Judiciary (2011 – present)
- Transportation (2013 – )
- Urban Affairs (2011 – present)
- Attorney, Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore LLP, business litigation.
Business ownership interests
- Carter’s Farm Inc., Plains, Ga., farming.
- Delta Plains LP, investment company based in Las Vegas.
- Board member, DeKalb Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence.
- Board member, Hands on Atlanta.
- Board member, Inman Park Cooperative Preschool.
- Board of trustees, The Carter Center.
Other investment interests
- None disclosed.
Real estate holdings
- Personal residence in DeKalb County valued at $299,000.
Payments from state agencies
- None listed. The Georgia Department of Human Services paid Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore, the law firm that employs Carter, nearly $10.5 million in fiscal years 2010 and 2012. The firm also did $188,500 of legal work in FY2012 for the University of West Georgia. Carter does not hold a fiduciary position at the firm, so he is not required to disclose the payments.
Donors have given Carter’s campaign more than $468,000 since 2010. The breakdown by election cycle:
- 2010 special election: $280,320
- 2010 general election: $10,980
- 2011-12: $172,559
- 2013: $4,400
- Reported cash on hand (July 2013): $27,824
- $30,130 fellow attorneys at Bondurant, Dixson & Elmore LLP
- $24,875 ex-President Jimmy Carter ($11,800) & other family members
- $16,281 fellow board members & staffers at The Carter Center (including Grapevine Partners chairman Wendell S. Reilly and San Diego Padres chairman John Moores)
- $13,000 founder Steve Stevanovich & other employees of SGS Asset Management
- $8,400 Jeffrey & Leslie Lewis, former dean St. Louis University School of Law
- $7,000 attorneys of King & Spalding LLP
- $7,069 attorneys of Alston & Bird LLP
- $6,835 attorneys of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP
- $6,300 attorneys of Doffermyre, Shields, Canfield, Knowles & Devine
- $6,050 Adolphus & Clair Frazier, Mineral Bluff, Ga.
- $6,000 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
- $5,800 attorneys of Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer LLP
- $5,525 attorneys of Kilpatrick Stockton LLP
- $5,400 Anne Weltner, widow of Georgia Chief Justice Charles Weltner
- $4,900 Anne Cox Chambers, principal owner Cox Enterprises Inc.
- $4,820 employees of Emory University
- $4,000 R. Wayne Thorpe, attorney Peachtree ADR LLC, mediation & alternative dispute resolution
- $3,750 Steve Suitts, vice president Southern Education Foundation
- $3,500 Malone Law Office, P.C.
- $3,450 Carter Global LLC
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. Carter’s committee made these political donations:
- 2010: $19,400
- 2011-12: $10,250
Friends and Family
- DUH. The senator’s grandfather is Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States.
- Emmet Bondurant, founder of the law firm that employs Carter, serves on the national governing board of Common Cause.
- Carter’s maternal grandfather, J. Beverly Langford, served in the Georgia House and Senate for 14 years and later on the board of the state Department of Transportation.
Lobbyists have reported paying for meals and other gifts for Carter valued at $516 since 2010.
- 2010: $54
- 2011: $125
- 2012: $298
- 2013: $38
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:
- 2010: $354 (2 days)
- 2011: $354 (2 days)
- 2012: $173 (1 day)
- 2013: $356 (2 days)
Posted Oct. 25, 2012; updated March 7, 2014