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Ethics reform for dummies, Part 2: Campaign finance

March 28, 2013 --

March 28, 2013 — Sen. Jeff Mullis wants to level the playing field regarding campaign fund-raising for legislative races (because incumbents are at such a disadvantage). A worthy goal, but I’d do it a little differently. Five ideas to improve Georgia’s campaign finance laws:

1) Bar incumbent legislators from accepting political contributions if they don’t draw opposition at qualifying time.

Rashad Taylor reports some undisclosed donations ($15K+ to go)

Rashad Taylor reports some undisclosed donations ($15K+ to go)
July 24, 2012 --

July 24, 2012 — For a guy who votes to pass laws, Rep. Rashad Taylor sure has a hard time obeying them. Under Georgia law, Taylor’s disclosure of personal finances was due June 9. Six weeks later, he hadn’t filed it. (UPDATE: He filed it July 25, a day after this article was posted.) He’s filed just two of seven disclosures of campaign finances due since June 2010. Neither reports any contributions, even though registered donors reported giving him $15,000-plus in that time. Nor do Taylor’s disclosures report any expenditures, so the public has no clue what he may have done with the money that he hasn’t reported collecting.

Rep. Rashad Taylor: Unpaid taxes, missing disclosures

Rep. Rashad Taylor: Unpaid taxes, missing disclosures
December 14, 2011 --

Taylor, a political consultant,  has stayed busy running other candidate’s campaigns, but he’s cut a few corners in running his own. Five times since 2008, Taylor failed to disclose his personal or campaign finances, neglecting to report receipt of at least $11,225 in campaign contributions as a consequence. “There’s really no excuse for not having filed my disclosures that are missing,” Taylor said. “I just haven’t gotten it done.” Taylor also fell behind on his state income taxes, incurring liens totaling $3,161 for 2008 and 2009.

March 8

March 8, 2011 --

Auditors uphold larger lottery payouts, note $2M in bonuses Senate ethics panel OKs political contributions by utilities DeKalb CEO, commissioners visit DC during budget crunch Students’ identities released in harassment files sent out by UGA Regional flights could lose subsidies

Speaker’s appointment assures quorum for Oxendine ethics case

Speaker's appointment assures quorum for Oxendine ethics case
June 30, 2010 --

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.

High court: DeKalb voters must approve arts center bonds (Sembler, too?)

High court: DeKalb voters must approve arts center bonds (Sembler, too?)
September 29, 2009 --

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday that DeKalb County’s development authority needs voter approval to sell bonds to pay off debt on a new performing arts center. But the impact of the decision could be much broader, requiring a public referendum for virtually any bond issue, including a controversial proposal to help the Sembler Co. complete its Town of Brookhaven mixed-use project with tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks.

PAC Watch: United Health Services on spending spree?

PAC Watch: United Health Services on spending spree?
July 1, 2009 --

United Health Services, a Toccoa-based nursing-home chain, has shelled out $73,000 in political contributions to Georgia politicians so far this year. That was by far the largest total to surface on the first day of campaign finance reporting for 2009.

Who’s their fave? U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal (right).

TitleMax Update: $296,000

May 26, 2009 --

TitleMax of Georgia, one of the state’s largest car title pawn companies, filed five more campaign disclosures after our report last week. With those filings, TitleMax has now disclosed — for the first time — $296,000 in political contributions since July 1, 2006. There were 195 donations in that period; in each case, failure to […]