Sen. David Lucas (SD 26)
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David Eugene Lucas Sr. (D-Macon)
District 26 (Bibb, Hancock, Houston, Jones, Twiggs, Washington & Wilkinson counties)
David Lucas’s campaign has been filing financial disclosures incorrectly since 2011, making it impossible to tell how much it has in unspent donations. His September 2014 disclosure showed a campaign deficit of $375, but previous filings indicate he’d raised nearly $28,000 more than he had spent. His two 2015 disclosures dropped additional balances of more than $41,000 without explanation. Lucas also doesn’t seem to have heard that he’s been required since 2014 to report his most recent donations by Jan. 31 each year; he has yet to file one of those disclosures.
Lucas has kept much of his campaign spending off the radar over the years as well, moreso perhaps than virtually any other Georgia legislator. Lucas’ campaign disclosures from 1998 through 2010 reported more than $78,000 — nearly half of all his spending — in individual purchases of $100 or less that he was not required to itemize. Curiously, Lucas’s quarterly and six-month disclosures often reported that unitemized spending in nice, round numbers — $1,000, $2,600, $1,700, $3,500. His itemized spending rarely added up so tidily.
Records show Lucas also has not filed his annual disclosure of personal finances for the last four years, although he disputes it. “That is absolutely untrue,” he said. “I don’t know what the problem is. I filed it, and they got it.” State law requires such disclosures be submitted using an online form, but Lucas filed at least one of those missing disclosures by mailing in a paper copy of the form. Records show he was notified by email in 2012 that his paper filing did not comply with the law. Lucas has racked up $1,125 in unpaid late fees for those and other delinquent filings.
Lucas has failed to disclose some of his private business interests as well. His most recent disclosure of personal finances for 2010 omitted ownership of his business, TBL Inc., as well as one operated by his wife. Moreover, none of his disclosures since 1998 have mentioned his role as an officer in the non-profit Bowden Men’s Golf Association, which has received payments from his campaign and from at least two political action committees that employ lobbyists at the Capitol.
NewTown Macon Inc., a non-profit promoting development in downtown Macon, paid Lucas and his company $24,350 in 2010 to campaign for passage of a 1 percent local option sales tax. It failed. He has declined to say how much he made, but a lobbyist expense report filed by NewTown’s CEO, C. Michael Ford, shows the non-profit paid $14,350 to Lucas and $10,000 more to TBL Inc.
NewTown also played a role in a small land transaction that appeared to net Lucas a $3,400 profit in 2008. Property records show Ocmulgee Heritage Trail LLC, an affiliate of NewTown, transferred a vacant lot to Lucas for $100 in 2007. He sold the property a year later to the Macon-Bibb County Economic Opportunity Council for $3,500.
- Elected to the Georgia House in 1974. Served for 37 years until he resigned in June 2011 to seek a state Senate seat.
- Re-elected 1996-2010 without opposition except for 2002, when he swamped a Republican challenger with 69 percent of the vote.
- Ran for Senate District 26 in a 2011 special election. He lost, 56% to 44%, in a runoff with former Macon City Council President Miriam Paris.
- Unseated Paris in a 2012 rematch, winning a primary runoff by a margin of slightly more than 1% of the vote. He won 68% of the vote in the 2012 general election.
- Re-elected in 2014, defeating Paris in the Democratic primary with 68% of the vote.
Senate committee assignments
- Economic Development (2013 – present)
- Regulated Industries and Utilities (2013 – present)
- Retirement (2013 – present)
- Transportation (2017 – )
- Urban Affairs (2013 – present)
- State Institutions and Property (2013 – 2016)
House committee assignments
- Appropriations (1981 – 2011)
- Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications (2007 – 2011)
- Human Relations & Aging (1991-99, chairman 1991-99)
- Industrial Relations (2005 – 2006)
- Insurance (1985 – 2011)
- Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment (2002)
- Public Safety (1981 – 1990)
- Public Utilities and Telecommunications (2003 – 2006; chairman, 2003 – 2004)
- State Institutions & Property (1999 – 2002; chairman, 1999 – 2002)
- Transportation (2007 – 2011)
- University System of Georgia (1981 – 1984)
- (Assignments unavailable before 1981)
- Insurance agent
- Entertainment promoter
- Lucas has accumulated $1,125 in unpaid late fees for filing disclosures of personal and campaign finances.
Business ownership interests
- UNDISCLOSED: TBL Inc. Lucas last reported an ownership interest in the company in a disclosure for 2009. His 2010 report mentions the company, but only under a listing for his wife and children’s business interests. In 2011, papers filed to reinstate TBL’s corporate registration list Lucas as CEO and secretary of the company. State records show the company received a $374 payment in fiscal year 2010 from the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Authority. Community Loans of America, registered as a political action committee with a lobbyist in Atlanta, reported making a $1,500 “contribution” to TBL in 2010.
- UNDISCLOSED: Lucas’s wife, Elaine, owns ELucasConsulting Inc., registered with the state in November 2009. The company’s website says it offers event planning, political consulting and educational support services, including a home-study course intended to help dropouts earn a high school diploma through home schooling.
- UNDISCLOSED: CEO of TBL Inc.
- UNDISCLOSED: Formerly CEO of the non-profit Bowden Men’s Golf Association Inc., 2001-02 and perhaps other years; vice president in 1997. Records of the association’s officers are spotty because it often failed to pay its annual state registration fee, a practice for which it was dissolved in 1995 and again in 2008.
- None disclosed
Real estate holdings
- Personal residence in Macon, valued for tax purposes at $95,000.
Friends & family
- Lucas’s wife, Elaine, has served on the Macon City Council with just one four-year interruption since 1983. She was elected in September 2013 to a seat on the consolidated Macon-Bibb County Commission.
Lucas has raised more than $405,000 since 1998. The breakdown by election cycle:
- 1998: $17,520
- 1999-2000: $22,345
- 2001-02: $51,165
- 2003-04: $51,000
- 2005-06: $18,125
- 2007-08: $23,000
- 2009-10: $11,950
- 2011 special election: $48,430
- 2012: $50,275
- 2013-14: $73,950
- 2015: $40,300
- Reported cash on hand (Feb. 2016): $26,256
- Actual cash on hand: If Lucas’s disclosures of individual donations and expenses are accurate, his actual balance is probably at least $50,000 higher than he reports.
In addition, two political action committees reported payments to corporations associated with Lucas on their campaign contribution disclosures. The Macon-based Georgia Industrial Loan Association paid $2,500 to the Bowden Men’s Golf Association from 1999 to 2003 and $3,250 to TBL from 2001-04. Lucas said the payments were sponsorships for a charity golf tournament and a rhythm and blues festival. A second PAC, Community Loans of America, paid $1,500 to TBL in 2010.
Top donors (1997-present)
- $19,955 Sen. Steve Henson and other Democratic legislators
- $18,750 Georgia Amusement & Music Operators Association & board members
- $16,450 executives of Mercer University
- $12,800 Everett Dykes Grassing Co. Inc. & related companies, Cochran, Ga.
- $11,950 Georgia Dental Association
- $10,500 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
- $9,250 CEO Mike Ford & other officials of NewTown Macon Inc.
- $8,500 Philip Morris USA & its parent company, Altria
- $7,300 Georgia Industrial Loan Association and past president Jim Walters
- $7,100 Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals
- $5,500 NT Cardiovascular Center, Perry, Ga.
- $5,150 Whitby Inc., Macon, Ga., construction
- $4,750 Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia
- $4,675 Bibb Distributing Co. and owner Winburn E. “Brother” Stewart Jr.
- $4,250 GNB Amusements Inc., Byron, Ga.
- $4,000 Brown & Williamson Tobacco
- $4,000 Hospital Corporation of America
- $3,900 Troutman Sanders, law/lobbying firm
- $3,250 MAG Mutual Insurance Co.
- $3,200 Georgia State AFL-CIO
- $3,150 Virgil Adams, attorney
- $3,150 Dr. Tyrus Ivey, Macon, Ga., dentist
Lucas’ campaign disclosures from 1998 through 2010 reported more than $78,000 — nearly half of all its spending — in individual purchases of $100 or less that he did not itemize. (He is not required to.) Curiously, Lucas’s quarterly and six-month disclosures often reported his total unitemized spending in nice, round numbers — $1,000, $2,600, $1,700, $3,500. His itemized spending rarely added up so tidily.
Candidates may give campaign funds to other candidates, a practice that some say provides a legal means to circumvent contribution limits. A 2003 bill to ban such transfers altogether passed in the Senate but died in the House. Lucas’s campaigns made these contributions:
- 1999-2000: $499
- 2001-02: $1,012
- 2003-04: $7,700
- 2005-06: $200
- 2007-08: $400
- 2009-10: $200
- 2011-12: $1,123
- 2013-14: $2,000
- 2015-16: $1,550
Lobbyists reported gifts to Lucas valued at a fairly modest $3,748 since 2006, including several hunting trips and Atlanta Falcons tickets. The big spender: AT&T ($958). The breakouts by year:
- 2006: $318
- 2007: $447
- 2008: $432
- 2009: $748
- 2010: $460
- 2011: $577
- 2013: $279
- 2014: $194
- 2015: $216
Per diem & travel expenses
When out of session, legislators may collect $173 per day plus mileage for committee meetings or other official business. (Per diem was $127 until 2007.) Those living within 50 miles of the Capitol are taxed on these payments, originally intended to cover out-of-town members’ food and lodging. Here’s the annual breakdown for Lucas:
- 2001: $18,218 (89 days, #3 in House)
- 2002: $14,082 (77 days, #5 in House)
- 2003: $14,490 (73 days)
- 2004: $10,881 (56 days)
- 2005: $1,984 (11 days)
- 2006: $3,326 (12 days)
- 2007: $7,162 (22 days)
- 2008: $5,758 (17 days)
- 2009: $7,358 (26 days)
- 2010: $6,218 (23 days)
- 2011: $3,665 (14 days)
- 2013: $5,393 (20 days)
- 2014: $9,002 (32 days)
- 2015: $5,984 (22 days)
Updated Jan. 10, 2017