Nov. 26, 2012 — Legally, Georgians can’t spend campaign money raised for one political office to run for a different one. There’s a wide-open loophole, though, and veteran legislator Bill Hembree of Douglas County is only the latest to use it.
When Hembree left the Georgia House recently, he refunded $60,400 from his House campaign account to donors. Within a week, those same supporters gave all but $1,000 of the money back to Hembree to run for a just-opened Senate seat. Here’s the clever part: Rather than simply returning the most recent contributions, Hembree reached back as far as 11 years to choose the donors who got refunds.
Health-care interests — including a $700 million-a-year state vendor — top a partial list of donors to Gov. Nathan Deal’s transition committee. Twenty donors gave more than $130,000, including $77,500 from health-care interests. Among the largest donors: the parent company of Peach State Health Plan, which earned $713 million in 2010 as one of Georgia Medicaid’s managed care organizations. Peach State’s contract runs out this year.
Justice Dept. pushes to move patients out of mental hospitals Gwinnett commissioner accused in $1M bribery case Lawsuit: ATL police erased evidence in Eagle bar raid Donors to Barnes, Deal have interest in casinos, Sunday sales MARTA fiscal watchdog now bankrupt EPA proposed Bibb industrial site for Superfund list
The State Ethics Commission ruled today that political campaigns may not give unlimited amounts of donations to other campaigns, reversing a position it took just two weeks ago. On Aug. 17, the commission dismissed a complaint over a $10,000 contribution to Warner Robins mayoral candidate Chuck Chalk late last year, holding that state law might exempt political candidates from contribution limits. But the commission said today that other language in the statute caps those types of donations.
Lobbyists, more than anything else, sell access to politicians. Political fund-raisers sell candidates on their ability to generate boodles of campaign cash, frequently from donors that want, well, access to politicians. Put the two jobs together, and you get Dave Simons.
Oxendine donors deny link to favorable directive Ethics panel: Corporations may campaign for candidates Jury awards $88,500 in turtle case Ex-Clayton Co. chief seeks grand jury investigation of demotion Forsyth Co. planning director might face discipline for misconduct
Sen. Ralph Hudgens says he loaned his campaign the money to pay for two weeks of TV ads but neglected to file the necessary last-minute disclosures. The Madison County Republican, a candidate for state insurance commissioner, says he could file complaints against several opponents if he chose, but “I want to honor Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment of ‘Speak no ill of your Republican brothers.'”
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.
This Washington-based advocacy group made its name by endorsing a handful of candidates, primarily in House and Senate races, and serving as a conduit for donors across the country to support them financially. It’s put more than $300,000 into Georgia’s 9th Congressional District race on behalf of former state Rep. Tom Graves. It’s also worked out well financially for Pat Toomey, a former three-term congressman from Pennsylvania who became president of the Club for Growth in 2005.
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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.
Average CEO pay at American non-profit groups is $158,075, up 6 percent over last year, according to a study released today by Charity Navigator. The New Jersey-based watchdog group compared CEO compensation based on geography (pay at Atlanta charities ranked 15th among U.S. cities), categories and size. Charity Navigator’s report also offered tips for donors trying to assess whether a non-profit’s CEO pay is too high.