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.
Jan. 28, 2016 — Georgia’s appellate court judges could retire at age 60 under a bill passed out of a House committee Wednesday.
Fleming said the lower retirement age would encourage the best young lawyers to take a pay cut to leave a lucrative law practice for a judicial appointment.
Jan. 27, 2016 — A bill allowing Sandy Springs to spend hotel/motel taxes on a new performing arts center stalled today as senators questioned whether the levy shouldn’t be abolished instead.
Jan. 7, 2016 — Two state senators are asking Attorney General Sam Olens whether a colleague had the authority to remove a member of DeKalb County’s new Audit Oversight Committee. Sen. Gloria Butler rescinded the appointment of former county employee Harmel Codi last week, prompting speculation that politics has compromised the panel before it even started work.
Dec. 16, 2015 — State ethics commissioners have the statute-of-limitation blues. Today, a decade-old legislative gaffe led them to drop nearly two dozen charges alleging campaign finance violations by former Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine.
But the commission also voted to continue to pursue charges that Oxendine spent $208,000 that should have been returned to donors after he finished fourth in the 2010 Republican primary for governor. The agency is also looking into the legality of the campaign’s loan of $237,000 to Oxendine’s private law practice.
Dec. 15, 2015 — Two new campaign finance rules prevent the kind of maneuver that Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign used to avoid explaining more than $9,100 in credit card charges.
On a 4-0 vote today, the Georgia Campaign Finance Commission clarified that failing to disclose how campaign donations are spent cannot be considered a so-called “technical defect.”
The commission settled a 2012 case by treating Deal’s failure to itemize the spending as technical defects and allowing him to pay a small fee rather than say how the money was spent.
Dec. 1, 2015 — U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s leadership PAC registered in Georgia last week, a day after Atlanta Unfiltered asked about its failure to report more than $53,000 in political donations last year.
Isakson’s 21st Century Majority Fund donated $33,300 to state and local candidates in Georgia in 2014, triggering a requirement that it also file disclosures with the state Campaign Finance Commission.
Information on Atlanta Unfiltered is free to all — except me. To help me continue following the money in Georgia politics, please use the Donate button on this page. By JIM WALLS Nov. 10, 2015 — Much of Georgia’s remarkable upgrade in ethics rankings – from 50th in the nation in 2012 to 24th today […]
Nov. 9, 2015 — Former Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine took a novel approach to investing his campaign funds, new disclosures show: loaning hundreds of thousands of dollars to his private business — much of it just weeks before Oxendine bought a $965,000 house in north Fulton County.
State law allows campaigns to make investments but forbids candidates from using political donations as personal assets.
Sept. 23, 2015 — A DeKalb County commissioner’s lawyer is promising a full-court press against allegations that she misused a taxpayer-funded purchasing card. Dwight Thomas, attorney for Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton, pushed the DeKalb Board of Ethics on Tuesday for access to her investigative file, then waived her preliminary hearing when he couldn’t get them. Thomas told the board to set aside “a couple days” for a full hearing on her case, tentatively set for December.
March 30, 2015 — Members of the state ethics commission have distanced themselves from a proposal requiring that they deliberate privately on complaints against political candidates and lobbyists. At a public hearing last week, no commission members took ownership of the proposed language on closed sessions, and staff attorneys said they don’t even know how it got there.
March 4, 2015 — Cities and counties could not remove monuments and other symbols of the Confederacy without relocating them to a place of equal prominence under a bill passed today by a House committee.
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Some criminals have their photos and crimes plastered all over the Internet, so people know who they are and what they did. Not politicians -- until now. The Crooked Politician Registry is an archive of info on public servants who crossed the line.
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