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21 GA lawmakers soliciting donations during session

21 GA lawmakers soliciting donations during session
February 25, 2016 --

Feb. 25, 2016 — By law, Georgia legislators may not accept campaign donations from supporters or others hoping to curry favor during their annual 40-day session.

So why did Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson’s campaign website say that he could?

Sen. William Ligon (SD 3): Racial bias complaint settled for $80K

Sen. William Ligon (SD 3): Racial bias complaint settled for $80K
February 24, 2016 --

Ligon found himself in the headlines in 2011 when an African-American secretary claimed she was fired because of her race just weeks after being assigned to his office. The Senate paid $80,000 to settle her complaint.

The secretary, Ethel Blackmon, complained to the EEOC that Ligon told her to remove photos of her family and African-American artwork from her desk. She said he spoke to her condescendingly after the incident. A month later, when she was fired, a human resources officer told her she was “not the face they want representing them to their constituency.”

Ligon denied discriminating against Blackmon.

Sen. Mullis’ campaign disclosures short by $165K, include $107K in mystery spending

Sen. Mullis' campaign disclosures short by $165K, include $107K in mystery spending
February 22, 2016 --

Feb. 22, 2016 — For most of Jeff Mullis’s 15 years in the Georgia Senate, the cash balance in his campaign account has been anybody’s guess.

Since 2010, Atlanta Unfiltered has found, accounting errors in Mullis’ campaign disclosures have lowballed his cash on hand by more than $165,000. Those discrepancies came on top of inaccuracies in earlier disclosures that misreported tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket spending as cash.

The upshot: Mullis’ disclosures have not accurately reported the size of his campaign’s bank account since 2002.

Senator can’t get quorum to hear revolving-door job ban

Senator can't get quorum to hear revolving-door job ban
February 18, 2016 --

Feb. 18, 2016 — Georgia legislators today were supposed to hear a colleague’s proposal that could limit their future job prospects. Only the crickets — and Sen. Butch Miller — showed up.

Sen. Mike Crane was ready to pitch his plan to bar members of the House and Senate from taking any appointed state job for two years after leaving their seats.

But as 4 p.m. arrived, when a Senate Rules subcommittee was scheduled to vet the bill, only one member had shown up. An aide texted absent members but all were apparently in other meetings.

Judson Hill reports $34K in missing donations, but are there more?

Judson Hill reports $34K in missing donations, but are there more?
February 17, 2016 --

Feb. 17, 2016 — Most legislators have misplaced a few campaign donations over the years. Sen. Judson Hill, at least figuratively, misplaced at least 68 of them.

Now, following inquiries by Atlanta Unfiltered, Hill’s campaign has disclosed that the Marietta Republican received more than $34,000 of previously unreported contributions since 2013.

Hill did not respond to our questions, though, regarding more than $20,000 that donors reported giving him earlier but that he has not reported receiving.

Campaign amnesty bill advances in GA Senate

February 16, 2016 --

Feb. 16, 2016 –– A bill allowing local political candidates to file old campaign disclosures without penalty passed out of a Senate committee today.

The Senate Ethics Committee, without discussion, voted 6-1 to approve the legislation sponsored by Rep. Barry Fleming.