A citizens’ group today called out two committees pushing the July 31 transportation sales tax referendum for failing to disclose their donors. The group also named donors of at least $434,000 to the pro-tax effort. While we wait for those disclosures, I’ve found more than $800,000 more given to sell the sales-tax referendum.
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.
Special interests have plunked more than $1 million into statewide and legislative races in Georgia so far this year, the latest financial disclosure reports show. Health-care interests gave more than $375,000. Other big donors: Development interests, beer and liquor, lenders and lobbyists.
Everyone wants to be your friend when you’re chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. Just ask Don Balfour. The Snellville Republican’s campaign fund has collected nearly $85,000 since Jan. 1, for a total of $683,000 since January 2006. No one’s even run against him in that period. The Rules Committee places bills on the Legislature’s calendar, unless it chooses not to — which means the Senate will never, ever vote on your bill. That’s why Don has so many friends.
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).