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    Sen. Fran Millar (SD 40): State paid $2,100 in campaign expenses

     

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    Francis Rees Millar (R-Dunwoody)

     

    SD 40 (DeKalb, Fulton & Gwinnett counties)

     

    Fran Millar’s campaign spent more than $2,100 on social media, including Tweets and Facebook posts about Republican politics and the failures of Obamacare. Then he got taxpayers to foot the bill.

    Sen. Fran MillarMillar’s Senate expense account paid him back for the social media expenses, even though bills paid with campaign funds aren’t eligible for reimbursement. Millar later returned the money, after Atlanta Unfiltered inquired about it, but insisted the spending was a legitimate use of his Senate account.

    “There’s no doubt that the expenses were valid,” Millar said at the time. “The problem was the way I paid for it.”

    Portions of Millar’s Twitter feed, which showed comments that weren’t confined to official state business, were deleted shortly after I asked about the reimbursements. Copies that I made beforehand included Tweets promoting GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Millar’s own bid for re-election.

    Legislators who tap their state expense accounts sign a statement acknowledging they can’t be reimbursed for expenses paid with campaign contributions.


    Millar used to report how he spent every penny that his campaign fund reimbursed him for — sometimes in excruciating detail.

    His disclosures have gotten slack in recent years, though, often revealing little or nothing about where the money went. Georgia’s campaign finance rules require that candidates disclose the end recipient and purpose of all campaign expenses over $100.

    Since 2007, Millar’s campaign has reimbursed him for $11,949 in expenses without disclosing the end recipient and/or purpose. Another $11,551 was reimbursed to Millar for mileage, which does not have to be itemized, lumped together with other expenses lacking the necessary details.

    Legislative website

    Campaign website

    Voting record

    Born: 1949

    Political career

    • Elected to the House in 1998 with 52% of the vote in a primary runoff over attorney Mark Middleton.
    • Re-elected in 2000 and 2004 with no opposition.
    • Re-elected with 63% of the vote or more in 2002, 2006 and 2008.
    • Elected to the Senate in 2010, winning a three-way GOP primary (64%) and then the general election (65%).
    • Re-elected with no opposition in 2012 and 63-37% in 2014.
    • Re-elected 56-44% over Democratic challenger Tamara Johnson-Shealey in 2016.

    Senate committee assignments

    • Education (2011 – present; chair, 2011 – 2012)
    • Health and Human Services (2011 – present)
    • Higher Education (chair, 2015 – present)
    • Rules (2013 – present)
    • Economic Development (2011 – 2012)
    • Government Oversight (2011 – 2012)
    • MARTA Oversight (2011 – 2014)
    • Retirement (2011 – 2014; chair, 2013 – 2014)

    House committee assignments

    • Children & Youth (1999 – 2004)
    • Economic Development (2005 – 2010)
    • Education (1999 – 2010)
    • Health & Ecology (1999 – 2002)
    • Health & Human Services (2003 – 2010)
    • Rules (2005 – 2010)

    Employment

    • Consultant, Fran Millar LLC.
    • Retired broker/senior vice president, Wells Fargo Insurance Services.

    Real estate holdings

    • Personal residence valued for tax purposes at $650,000.
    • Second home and undeveloped lot at The Lake Club in Jackson County, N.C., valued at $963,000.

    Fiduciary positions

    Business ownership

    • Fran Millar LLC, consulting.

    Investments

    • VIRxSYS
    • AdCare Health

    Ethics cases

    • Millar signed a 2002 consent order with the State Ethics Commission agreeing to provide more details on donors and spending in future disclosures.

    Campaign contributions

    Millar has raised more than $898,000 in political donations. The breakdown by election cycle:

    • 1997-98: $71,056
    • 1999-2000: $50,257
    • 2001-02: $85,755
    • 2003-04: $15,285
    • 2005-06: $35,707
    • 2007-08: $52,250
    • 2009-10: $133,351
    • 2011-12: $65,088
    • 2013-14: $150,600
    • 2015-16: $227,753
    • Reported cash on hand (Jan. 2017): $63,334

    Top donors

    • $107,295 Sen. Tommie Williams and other Republican legislators
    • $18,000 Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia
    • $13,750 Georgia Dental Association
    • $11,500 BlueCross BlueShield/Anthem/Amerigroup
    • $10,400 Georgia Optometric Association
    • $10,350 Coca-Cola & the Georgia Beverage Association
    • $10,150 State Farm Insurance
    • $9,500 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
    • $9,500 MAG Mutual Insurance Co.
    • $9,250 Georgia Apartment Association
    • $8,950 Wellcare of Georgia & affiliated business
    • $8,000 Georgia Chiropractic Association
    • $7,800 Associated General Contractors of Georgia
    • $7,650 Georgia Association of Educators
    • $7,550 Georgia Automobile Dealers Association
    • $7,500 Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals
    • $7,450 Georgia Association of Realtors
    • $7,450 Georgia Hospital Association
    • $6,941 Palmer & Cay Inc., Savannah, Ga., insurance
    • $6,750 John Deere PAC
    • $6,350 Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Georgia
    • $6,250 Georgia Society of Anesthesiologists
    • $6,000 Associated General Contractors of Georgia
    • $6,000 Pull-A-Part LLC, auto salvage
    • $5,850 Troutman Sanders LLP
    • $5,750 General Electric Co.
    • $5,750 Georgia Emergency Medicine PAC
    • $5,700 Comcast Corp.
    • $5,650 Georgia Orthopaedic Society
    • $5,500 Guardian Products Inc., apparel & automotive supplies
    • $5,500 Jackson Healthcare LLC
    • $5,400 Georgia Bankers Association
    • $5,250 Centene Management Co. LLC
    • $5,100 AT&T / BellSouth
    • $5,000 Georgia Pharmacy Association
    • $5,000 McGuire Woods

    Campaign selfies

    Since 2007, Millar’s campaign has reimbursed him for $11,549 in expenses without disclosing the end recipient and/or purpose. Another $9,500 or so was reimbursed to Millar for mileage, which does not have to be itemized, lumped together with other expenses lacking the necessary details.

    Campaign-to-campaign donations

    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. Millar’s campaign made these donations:

    • 1999-2000: $4,361
    • 2001-02: $2,944
    • 2003-04: $12,470
    • 2005-06: $7,750
    • 2007-08: $8,274
    • 2009-10: $12,750
    • 2011-12: $21,549
    • 2013-14: $28,610
    • 2015-16: $15,000

    Lobbyist freebies

    Since 2006 lobbyists have reported paying more than $11,000 for meals and other gifts for Millar. The big spenders:

    • $1,377 Georgia World Congress Center
    • $1,322 China Clay Producers Association
    • $908 Georgia Association of Manufacturers
    • $752 Georgia Forestry Association
    • $687 Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
    • $584 Georgia Chamber of Commerce
    • $473 Perimeter Community Improvement District

    The American Legislative Exchange Council also awarded two “scholarships” totaling $715 to Millar in 2011. Corporate donors that employ lobbyists in Georgia fund the scholarships, but the payments generally are not disclosed since ALEC has no lobbyists registered in its name here.

    Committee days & 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.

    • 2001: $1,410 (10 days)
    • 2002: $1,692 (12 days)
    • 2003: $1,816 (13 days)
    • 2004: $1,956 (14 days)
    • 2005: $2,265 (16 days)
    • 2006: $2,503 (12 days)
    • 2007: $4,838 (20 days)
    • 2008: $4,327 (22 days)
    • 2009: $2,380 (13 days)
    • 2010: $1,746 (9 days)
    • 2011: $6,567 (34 days)
    • 2012: $9,606 (49 days) #10 in Senate
    • 2013: $10,968 (54 days)
    • 2014: $8,639 (44 days)
    • 2015: $8,836 (44 days)

    Updated Jan. 3, 2017

     

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