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Jan. 21, 2016 — Jack Hill’s come a long way. For his first Senate campaign in 1990, he vowed not to take donations over $100. After serving three terms, his 1996 re-election bid raised $3,050 — less than any other senator.
Now, Hill raises more than $100,000 a year in political donations because, as Senate Appropriations chair, he’s one of the guys that everyone sucks up to. Hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, dentists and other medical providers — all dependent on state Medicaid reimbursements that Hill’s committee oversees — are prominent among the top contributors to his campaign fund.
Jan. 19, 2016 — After serving 24 years in the Georgia Legislature, Bill Jackson should have financial disclosures down pat.
Or so you’d think. Twice since 2007, Jackson has filed his annual disclosure of personal finances two to four months late. One, due five weeks before a special election, wasn’t submitted until three weeks after he’d won and taken office. Jackson didn’t file a personal disclosure at all in 2014 or 2015.
“You got me buffaloed there,” he said recently when reminded of the oversight.
Jan. 13, 2016 — Burt Jones’ 2012 Senate campaign enjoyed two distinct advantages: His good name, as special teams captain of the 2002 SEC champion Georgia Bulldogs, and that of his father, a prominent businessman who’d served eight years in the Georgia House.
The $103,500 borrowed from his father’s business also made a difference. That help, though, may not have been entirely legal.
Jesse Stone is a candidate for both the Senate and a Burke County judgeship — a quandary that’s raised questions as to how open he was with constituents when he qualified for re-election. In early March, Stone qualified for re-election to the Senate and denied reports that he was seeking appointment to a State Court vacancy. Later, just hours after qualifying for the Senate closed, Stone announced he’d decided to seek the judgeship after all. He remained ambivalent about whether he’d accept the judicial post until recently stating, after it became a campaign issue, that he’d withdraw his name from consideration if re-elected to the Legislature. (UPDATE: Stone withdrew his name from consideration for the Burke County State Court judgeship a week after winning re-election.)
Diane Evans owes $500 in late filing fees as of October 2014, according to the state ethics commission’s website. The commission does not routinely notify candidates that they owe late fees.
At first, Ellis Black’s 2014 personal financial disclosure omitted 491 acres of farmland, including his home, that he transferred to a limited partnership two years earlier. He amended the disclosure in October to include the property after we asked about it. He did not, however, include partial ownership of six single-family homes that he transferred from his own name in 2012. A 1998 attorney general’s opinion holds that a candidate must disclose corporate real estate holdings if he has “a legally enforceable right to use the land for his own personal enjoyment or profit.” Black said he saw no need to disclose the homes because they’re not producing income.
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July 16, 2014 — Alisha Morgan has made no secret of her support for charter schools or her affiliation with the pro-charter Black Alliance for Educational Options, noting it in several online biographies. But when filed her personal financial disclosures with the state ethics commission in 2012, she neglected to mention that the alliance had been paying her.
Morgan served on the alliance’s board in 2010 and 2011 before taking a salaried position there to recruit and train other activists for charter schools and school choice. A campaign spokesman said Morgan would review her past disclosures, which did not list either position at the alliance, and amend them “if necessary.”
July 16, 2014 — Wilson’s Democratic opponent for state school superintendent omitted information from personal financial disclosures, but Wilson didn’t file a disclosure at all in 2012. Her 2014 disclosure, due in March, was filed July 13 after Atlanta Unfiltered contacted her campaign to ask where it was. A staffer indicated Wilson had tried to file the 2014 report twice previously but did not respond to telephone messages seeking more information.
As of July 2014, Wilson owed the state ethics commission $250 in late filing fees. Wilson’s campaign manager said she paid $325 in late fees on Wilson’s behalf July 18 when ethics staffers told her that was all that she owed. (The remaining unpaid fees can be found under a different spelling of Wilson’s name.) The commission, for logistical and cost reasons, does not notify candidates when they owe late filing fees.
Buck’s biggest donor so far is International Teacher Training Institute Global (ITTI Global), an organization with offices in Duluth that organized a 2013 cultural exchange with South Korea for Georgia teachers. ITTI also donated $20,000 to Buck’s boss, state School Superintendent John Barge, for his 2014 race for governor.
Woods came close to becoming Georgia’s school superintendent in 2010, losing the Republican primary by just 16,000 votes to eventual winner John Barge. His campaign raised about $28,000 through June 30. He missed the filing deadline for his most recent disclosure, which was due July 16.
Prior to May 2014, Horacena Tate did not disclose her role as CEO of an Atlanta day-care center, the Ashby Street Learning Academy. Nor did she disclose her role as partial owner of the day care or of the $560,000 it had received from the state Department of Early Care and Learning since 2009
. Tate amended her most recent disclosure to include fiduciary positions for Ashby Street and several other for- and non-profit corporations after Atlanta Unfiltered called the omissions to her attention.
about this page
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.
do it yourself corruption investigation
Most public corruption cases in Georgia are prosecuted in federal court. The U.S. attorney for North Georgia, including metro Atlanta, has an excellent Web site with archived news releases on prominent cases.
Federal court files may be searched online for a nominal fee through PACER. (The first $10 a year of searches are free.)
With the right keywords, online search engines will also turn up news releases or court rulings on a particular case at no cost.