Sept. 26, 2013 — Real PAC, a political committee with close ties to Gov. Nathan Deal, has filed its first tax forms with the IRS, one of which was more than a year overdue. The filings raise new questions about the timing of large gifts from businesses seeking state contracts or legislation.
Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, it would appear, is a giver. Her campaign committee since 2007 has donated $379,000 — nearly half of the funds it raised during that period — to other campaigns and political organizations. That’s more than any House member other than Speaker David Ralston and Majority Leader Larry O’Neal. Like most other campaign donors, though, she likes a sure thing, contributing almost exclusively to incumbents who would decide whether she would hold a leadership position in the House.
Georgia’s two largest title-pawn lenders represent the largest single special-interest sector among Jones’ political donors. Select Management Resources, TitleMax and their CEOs — who have lobbied to keep Georgia’s regulation of the industry among the weakest in the U.S. — have given more than $33,000 to her campaign.
Former state ethics official Rick Thompson says Georgia doesn’t need all the auditors and investigators it once had because auditing of politicians’ financial disclosures is now automated. This would seem to refute some of my recent findings about weak ethics enforcement in Georgia.
Except, of course, that it’s not true.
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.
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 […]
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 […]