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June 18

June 18, 2012 --

  Poor schools still get short end of ‘equalization’ fund Court says bond-fighting lawyer must be disciplined Questions stalk congressional hopeful’s campaign donors Ethics panel sends Oxendine case to trial Obama administration, citing Atlanta’s Renee Glover, sets housing agency pay caps Atlanta audit shows rules on development arm’s use of tax money too lax State’s […]

Spotlight on Don Balfour’s $29K condo, 123 committee days

Spotlight on Don Balfour's $29K condo, 123 committee days
February 6, 2012 --

Sen. Don Balfour in 2011 spent more than $29,000 given to him by political supporters to rent a downtown Atlanta condo that he could use year-round. For eight-plus months of the year, though, records indicate he drove home to Snellville, rather than stay in the condo, on each of the 103 days that he worked on public business. Most of those days were charged to a committee — Rules — that never met.

House Speaker David Ralston: Lingering tax Q’s, $1M loan

House Speaker David Ralston: Lingering tax Q's, $1M loan
December 12, 2011 --

Rep. Ralston, who championed a 2010 law that he touted as ethics reform, accepted a $17,279 lobbyist-funded trip to Europe later that year for himself, his chief of staff and their families. Ralston has had recurring tax difficulties, facing state and federal tax liens of more than $500,000, and he’s needed a little help paying off those debts.

Feb. 11

February 11, 2011 --

APD won’t hinder citizens who videotape cops Deal names campaign donors to state jobs Mall restaurants failing inspections Warner Robins councilman’s case goes to governor

Ga.’s ethics reform: Look a little closer at the fine print

May 3, 2010 --

Georgia lawmakers hail their 2010 ethics bill as a much-needed reform that toughens ethics fines and shines a brighter light on money flowing from campaign donors and lobbyists. But it always helps to read the fine print. The bill’s “reforms” including raising fines that are rarely imposed and fees that are never collected. Two sentences on local candidates’ disclosure directly contradict each other. Take a closer look at the winners and losers in this year’s bill…

Lobbyists and lawmakers bond during Springsteen concerts

Lobbyists and lawmakers bond during Springsteen concerts
April 16, 2010 --

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Bruce Springsteen belted out his working-class anthems on the floor of the Verizon Center last May, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chairman of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee, was raising money in the privacy of a luxury suite overlooking the stage. Ten other members of Congress were also asking for cash that night. At least 19 congressional fundraisers were held at Springsteen’s two Washington concerts last year, almost half of them in boxes rented from companies or organizations with business before the committees of the lawmakers who used them.

DeKalb CEO’s campaign fund nearly wipes out 2008 debt

DeKalb CEO's campaign fund nearly wipes out 2008 debt
July 13, 2009 --

Burrell Ellis has just about paid off his $700,000-plus campaign for DeKalb County CEO. Now, it’s time to start thinking about 2012. His latest financial disclosure report shows Ellis has collected $132,514 from campaign donors since winning an August 2008 runoff, allowing him to retire most of his campaign debt.