July 19, 2013 — A political committee run by close associates of Gov. Nathan Deal has pocketed at least $327,500 since 2012 without reporting it, apparently skirting disclosure rules and the federal tax code.
Major benefactors of the committee, Real PAC, include health-care interests seeking tens of millions — even billions — of dollars in business with state government. One donor, WellCare of Georgia, gave Real PAC $50,000 on the same day that state Medicaid officials said they planned to extend WellCare’s $1 billion-a-year contract for two years.
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.
A simple rule meant to cut paperwork for U.S. companies has grown into one of the biggest multinational tax breaks around, costing the United States and other governments billions of dollars in lost taxes each year. It thrives thanks to determined business support, including a campaign two years ago that forced the Obama administration to retreat from altering it and tax professionals worldwide who exploit its benefits.
Fellow travelers Vincent Fort and Jim Wooten are among those who think Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, needs to resign over the chamber’s complicity in covering up the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal. If he does, Williams will leave behind an annual salary nearing 7 figures.
Mark Elgart, when not scaring the pants off of local school boards, draws a paycheck of more than $350,000 from this Alpharetta-based non-profit, Advance Education Inc. Tax records show four other senior staffers also earn $150,000 or more.
Michael Lomax, former Fulton County Commission chairman, has done quite well for himself since leaving town. He’s served since 2004 as president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, which paid Lomax $1,271,938 last year. That sum included base pay of about $354,000, a partial retirement package of $686,000 and another $96,000 toward his next retirement package, which vests in 2012.