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Brooks Coleman, chairman of the House Education Committee since 2005, has raised more than $36,000 in campaign donations from education interests. The amounts are about equally divided between public school advocates and those promoting charter schools and privatization.
Other Republican legislators have donated much more to Coleman’s campaigns over the years, with slightly more than $100,000 in contribution.
Tom Kirby is one of those legislators whose campaign gets most of its money from other legislators. They’ve given him nearly $90,000 since 2011, or almost 60 percent of all his reported donations.
Steve Gooch’s most generous bloc of campaign contributors reflect his service since 2011 on the Senate Transportation Committee, which he chaired in 2013 and 2014. Highway contractors have donated more than $93,000, while railroads, billboard companies and other transportation interests have kicked in $18,000 more.
Gooch’s campaign raised $147,000 in 2013-14 as Senate Transportation chair. After trading that job for Senate majority whip in late 2014, he’s on track to double that amount in 2015-16.
May 18, 2016 — House Banking chair Greg Morris has tentatively agreed to settle federal charges that he and other executives of a south Georgia bank allowed a flim-flam man to run it into the ground, court papers show.
News of the potential settlement comes in the midst of a tough re-election fight for Morris, whose opponent came within 71 votes of unseating him in 2014.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s 2015 complaint alleges that lax oversight by Morris and others allowed investor Aubrey Lee Price to swindle the defunct Montgomery Bank & Trust of $14.7 million. Papers filed Tuesday in federal court state Morris and other board members have “agreed to the form” of a written settlement with the FDIC. The deal could be sealed by June 3.
Ed Rynders has chaired two House committees, but what the donors really like is his leadership role on Health and Human Services. He’s been the panel’s vice chair or secretary since 2005.
Donors in the health-care sector have responded, giving his campaign more than $240,000 — more than 40 percent of all his financial support.
Chief among them: Phoebe Putney Health System and Hospital Corporation of America (more than $33,000 combined), which owned the competing hospital that Phoebe Putney bought in 2011; and Georgia chiropractors ($28,000-plus).
May 17, 2016 — Sooner or later, just about every new health-care policy in Georgia must go through Sharon Cooper. That’s why health-care interests have showered Cooper with more than $812,000 in campaign donations over the years.
The money flows from drug companies and pharmacies, doctors and dentists, hospitals and nursing homes, insurers and managed-care organizations. Many of these donors will later appear before Cooper’s committee trying to push a bill, kill one or tweak it to their advantage.
Atlanta Unfiltered reached out to Cooper to ask whether the health-care donations that help keep her in office ever represent a conflict for her. Alas, she indicated campaign demands would keep her tied up until after this year’s Republican primary.
“I’ll talk to you after this is all over,” she said on her way to a meet-and-greet reception. “I’m BUSY.”
May 11, 2016 — State Rep. Joyce Chandler, facing opponents in both the primary and general elections this year, had banked barely $12,000 in her campaign fund as of April 1. Other Republican lawmakers scurried to her aid, though, pumping nearly three times that much into her re-election committee in the ensuing five weeks.
“I’ve been grateful for that,” Chandler said. If the money helps win her another term, she can also thank Democrats who blocked a campaign-finance bill pushed a decade ago by a Republican governor and Senate.
Rep. David Wilkerson made a $24,000 enemy when he voted against a 2012 constitutional amendment making it easier for prospective charter schools to open. The American Federation for Children, a Washington-based pro-charter advocacy group, shelled out $4,400 shortly after the vote for a full-page newspaper ad and other communications accusing Wilkerson of flip-flopping on the issue for political reasons. Two years later, the advocacy group spent nearly $20,000 on canvassers, mailings and a direct donation trying to unseat him.
Erica Thomas’ campaign disclosures contain accounting errors that have led to her reporting about $2,300 less cash on hand than she really has. She disclosed a closing cash balance of $2,100 in January 2016, for instance, but did not carry it over to her next report. Thomas said she would review her previous filings and correct any errors.
The information on Atlanta Unfiltered is free to all — except me. Use the Donate button on this page to help produce more articles like this one. Albert Thomas Reeves Jr. (R-Marietta) District 34 (Cobb County) Bert Reeves’ largest bloc of campaign donors, by far, are his fellow Republicans in the Georgia House of Representatives. […]
Curt Thompson, during his first several terms in office, was a serial late-filer of campaign and personal financial disclosures. From 2002 to 2010, he amassed $1,725 in penalties for missing 31 filing deadlines. He paid them all.
March 7, 2016 — Bill Cowsert has had trouble paying property taxes on time for his 89 acres of lakefront property in Elbert County. Five times since 2008, he’s been late — once by nearly two years — in taking care of taxes and penalties amounting to more than $18,000.
This morning, the Elbert County tax commissioner’s website showed unpaid bills in Cowsert’s name for $3,388.74. A buyer for the property was to have paid the taxes, Cowsert said, until the sale fell through. The senator said he paid the bills today.
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