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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.
State legislators say they welcome transparency regarding their personal finances — corporate and real estate holdings, government contracts and the like. But who decides what constitutes transparency and how diligently to check whether they’re truly telling us what we’re entitled to know? They do. Just as war is too important to be left to the generals, transparency is too important to be left to the politicians.
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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.
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.