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- Reuben McDaniel hasn’t been much for filing political disclosures since his 2009 election to the Atlanta Board of Education, racking up $750 in unpaid late or non-filing fees as a result. He’s skipped six campaign finance filings and three annual disclosures of his personal finances that are required by law.
- His apparent lassitude regarding filings with securities regulators could prove more problematic. McDaniel, who’s registered as both a securities broker and an investment adviser representative, has made no disclosure of two liens and an IRS tax obligation, each for $11,000 or more, or a $715,000 loan default. Securities brokers and investment advisers must notify regulators about unsatisfied liens as well as foreclosures and other “compromises with creditors” so that potential investors can access and review them.
A first-time political candidate, Cynthia Briscoe Brown has raised $19,000 in campaign donations this year, compared to opponent Reuben McDaniel’s nearly $60,000.
Nov. 13, 2013 – Don Balfour was suspended from the Georgia Senate today over expense account discrepancies first reported by Atlanta Unfiltered in February 2012. Our examination of the senator’s 2011 expense account found Balfour had claimed per diem and mileage reimbursements for several days when he was out of state and therefore ineligible for them. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution later dug up similar examples from prior years.
The Senate Ethics Committee order Balfour to pay a $5,000 fine over the discrepancies, and a Fulton County grand jury indicted him in September for 18 counts of making false expense claims. Records show Balfour’s campaign committee last year paid nearly $80,000 in legal fees to defend him in those cases.
Before announcing his bid for governor, Sen. Jason Carter had raised an astonishing $468,000 in campaign donations in just three years, much of it from attorneys at Atlanta law firms. His grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter, other family members and fellow board members of the Carter Center kicked in nearly $41,000.
Carter’s campaign committee for governor registered with the state ethics commission on Nov. 6, 2013. The campaign’s treasurer is Bess Weyandt, executive director of Startup Atlanta.
The Georgia Department of Human Services paid Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore, the law firm that employs Carter, nearly $10.5 million in fiscal years 2010 and 2012. The firm also did $188,500 of legal work in FY2012 for the University of West Georgia. Carter does not hold a fiduciary position at the firm, so he is not required to disclose the payments.
Natalyn Archibong paid a $250 fine in September 2013 for failing to disclose payments from her city expense account to her brother Warren’s business. The fine could have been higher, investigative files show, but for her cooperation and the timing of a complaint about the transactions.
City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, by way of contrast, paid $15,000 in fines and restitution in 2009 for a similar violation. The key difference: Archibong’s brother appeared to make no profit. With a minor exception, she said, her brother simply passed the money — in cash — on to other vendors.
Natalyn Archibong’s largest bloc of campaign contributions came early in her first term. In October 2003, her campaign received $17,500 from owners and executives of The Sembler Co., developer of the Edgewood Retail District, an 800,000-square-foot shopping complex that initially faced heavy opposition from neighborhood residents. Archibong was heavily involved in negotiations with the developer before the council agreed to rezone the site. Most of the donations came in October 2003, six months after the council voted unanimously to approve the Sembler project.
Christian Enterkin’s campaign through Oct. 25 had raised nearly $25,000, more than half of which came from airport concessionaire Wassim Hojeij, his employees and affiliated businesses.
News reports have raised questions about Enterkin’s objectivity on community billboard issues in that her employer, Landmark Dividend LLC, buys property leases for billboards, cellphone towers and other interests. Property records show Landmark with recent transactions at a half-dozen locations in DeKalb and Fulton counties. Enterkin, Landmark’s vice president for acquisitions, has accused the source of the reports — Atlanta Progressive News editor Matthew Cardinale, who’s accepted paid advertising from incumbent Natalyn Archibong, of being her “paid operative.”
Atlanta Unfiltered needs your financial support to continue our reporting and analysis of money in Georgia politics — a topic rarely explored by other news outlets. Use the Donate button on this page to help us produce more articles like this one. Leaders in the public sector have plenty of public resources to promote their […]
Nov. 4 update: A day before the election, Winslow hasn’t filed a report on her campaign finances since July, missing two disclosure deadlines.
Cleta Winslow paid $6,920 in fines and restitution for spending tax dollars to boost her 2009 re-election bid, after she’d been warned against using city resources in her political activity. This year, her opponent charges, she used public money again to bus senior citizens to her campaign kickoff party. It’s impossible to tell whether she used campaign funds for that event because, three weeks after the deadline, her campaign still hasn’t filed a required report on its donations and spending.
Winslow’s campaign finance are also a bit of a mess. She hasn’t filed a campaign disclosure since June, and earlier reports suggest more than $6,000 in donations are unaccounted for.
Torry Lewis owes the state ethics commission $550 for late filings related to his campaigns for the state Legislature in 2006 and 2008. Some of the late fees were incurred, Lewis said, because he did not realize that the law at the time required filing disclosures with both state and county officials. His business also owes the state Department of Labor $1,695 for unpaid unemployment taxes.
Carla Smith, seeking her fourth term on City Council, has raised a relatively modest $158,000 in campaign funds since 2001. Of her $148,000 in itemized donations, real-estate development interests gave at least $56,050, or 38 percent, an analysis of campaign disclosures shows. Engineers and other construction contractors kicked in another $9,900. The Atlanta Braves, who play their home games in District 1, along with Turner Field food vendor Aramark and broadcaster TBS donated $8,900 between them.
Robert Welsh, a budget manager at the State Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, is making his first run for office. He’s raised more than $11,000 in cash and in-kind donations.
Ivory Young was one to two moths late in filing the last two campaign finance reports due before the 2013 city election, and he still hasn’t filed the personal financial disclosures due in September, lapses that he attributes to the illness of a campaign aide. It’s not the first time he’s filed such disclosures late or not at all, though; he’s accumulated 16 unpaid late fees totaling $1,450 since 2003.
In 2007 and 2008, Young collected $46,245, including donations from real estate investors and developers while he chaired the council’s Zoning Committee, for a trust fund that paid for parties and gifts for constituents. Critics said the spending helped curry political favor with constituents and would have been better handled by a charitable group. Young said donors received no favors in return.
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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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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.
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