July 23, 2012 — Gov. Nathan Deal has agreed to pay $3,350 in “administrative fees” after state investigators found dozens of minor violations in his 2010 campaign finance disclosures. In one consent order accepted this morning, Deal acknowledged 53 violations in reports on individual disclosures, which are considered “technical defects” under Georgia law. Generally, examples of technical defects include omitting a donor’s employer or full address or the purpose of an expenditure.
Attorney General Sam Olens – who’s taking on a larger role in investigations of public officials, political action committees and lobbyists — has raised more than a third of his campaign money from public officials, PACs, lobbyists and their clients. Donors include parties in high-profile inquiries into possible misuse of campaign funds or receipt of improper contributions.“There is always a potential for a conflict,” acknowledged Josh Belinfante, vice chairman of the campaign finance commission, “but I don’t think … that means a conflict exists.”
The candidate who promises as attorney general to “aggressively raise the bar on ethics reform” is systematically skimping on reports of his own campaign expenditures. Sam Olens, former chairman of the Cobb County Commission, received more than $55,000 in unitemized reimbursements from campaign funds since January 2009, his disclosures show. But Olens’ reports do not reveal the end recipients of the spending, as required by the State Ethics Commission.
Ralph Hudgens‘ bid for Georgia insurance commissioner has returned $106,600 in contributions that were transferred improperly last year from his state Senate campaign fund. Hudgens said he’s signed a consent order to resolve an ethics complaint on the matter that would not impose a financial penalty. “No fines, no anything,” he said. UPDATE: Maria Sheffield, another Republican running for insurance commissioner, today attacked Hudgens for his handling of the improper transfer.
Public Service Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald Jr. (right) should pay a sharply reduced fine for campaign disclosure violations, a judge has recommended. The judge ruled that McDonald’s campaign committed 169 violations of disclosure requirements after his losing 2002 campaign for the PSC, as investigators for the State Ethics Commission had contended. But administrative law judge […]
Georgia Public Service Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald Jr., facing a possible five-figure fine for breaking election finance laws in 2002, filed campaign finance reports with similar discrepancies in 2008, state records show. McDonald last week admitted dozens of violations in reporting the finances for his 2002 campaign. He blamed the mistakes on his campaign staff […]
Public Service Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald is looking at a possible $24,850 fine for campaign finance violations during his 2002 race against Angela Speir. McDonald failed to report $46,000 in campaign contributions and $76,000 in spending from that race, a state investigator testified today.