The State Campaign Finance Commission has changed its mind and wants to hire a staff attorney after all, four months after firing its last one. The difference is, this one won’t make more than $55,000 a year and won’t be named Sherilyn Streicker, whose job was eliminated by the commission in June.
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.”
Ethics probes involving Gov. Nathan Deal, House Speaker David Ralston and former Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine are in limbo today as the attorneys conducting those investigations look for new jobs. Stacey Kalberman and Sherilyn Streicker, the top two staffers at the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, learned last week they must clean out their desks by June 30.
The State Ethics Commission in coming months will talk to the governor, the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the House about their alleged ethics violations. At roughly the same time, the agency’s leadership will ask these very same officials for more money to fulfill its mission and to restore powers that have been stripped away in recent years. This would make sense in only two places: the Georgia Capitol and Alice’s Wonderland. You can decide where the hatter is madder.
A Georgia insurance company had no inkling that $120,000 in political donations would wind up almost immediately in the campaign of Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, the State Ethics Commission was told Thursday. The commission is considering whether to advance or dismiss an ethics case against the company and an affiliate, both run by Delos W. Yancey III, a friend and hunting buddy of Oxendine’s. No decision is expected until early next year.
The other shoe dropped Tuesday at the State Ethics Commission, as the agency’s lone remaining full-time attorney resigned. Tom Plank, a lawyer there since 2007 and the agency’s top administrator earlier this year, quit to take another job. Colleagues said Plank dropped off his resignation letter and left without saying what that job would be.
House Speaker David Ralston today named Brunswick attorney Hillary S. Stringfellow to fill a 5-month-old vacancy on the State Ethics Commission, just in time for a hearing on charges against Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine. Attorneys’ challenge to the impartiality of two members could have left the ethics panel one member short of a quorum to hear the Oxendine matter.
Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine’s much-awaited ethics hearing was postponed today, but it may still be held before the July 20 Republican primary.
Two Rome-based insurance companies have gone to court to challenge investigators’ demand for documents related to $120,000 in potentially improper contributions to Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine’s bid for governor. State Mutual Insurance Co. and Admiral Life Insurance Co. of America contend the State Ethics Commission overreached its authority when it subpoenaed the records. They also […]
An ethics complaint could cost Sen. Ralph Hudgens much of his fund-raising edge in the race for Georgia insurance commissioner. Last month, Hudgens shifted $106,000 from his Senate re-election race to his campaign for the insurance job. The State Ethics Commission declared in a 2008 advisory opinion that candidates can’t do it that way, but Hudgens reportedly doesn’t plan to return the money.
Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine may be personally off the hook for accepting $120,000 in campaign funds from two Alabama-based political action committees, according to language in a new opinion from the State Ethics Commission. But the opinion does not directly address the amount of the contributions, which may have far exceeded limits set by state […]
By JIM WALLS May 9, 2009 — One of the state’s largest title pawn companies poured $192,000 into Georgia political campaigns, primarily those of state lawmakers, in 2007 and 2008. Nobody really knew that during the 2008 election season, though. Nor was it public knowledge during the 2009 legislative session (which preserved the status quo […]