Before announcing his bid for governor, Sen. Jason Carter had raised an astonishing $468,000 in campaign donations in just three years, much of it from attorneys at Atlanta law firms. His grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter, other family members and fellow board members of the Carter Center kicked in nearly $41,000.
Carter’s campaign committee for governor registered with the state ethics commission on Nov. 6, 2013. The campaign’s treasurer is Bess Weyandt, executive director of Startup Atlanta.
The Georgia Department of Human Services paid Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore, the law firm that employs Carter, nearly $10.5 million in fiscal years 2010 and 2012. The firm also did $188,500 of legal work in FY2012 for the University of West Georgia. Carter does not hold a fiduciary position at the firm, so he is not required to disclose the payments.
Natalyn Archibong paid a $250 fine in September 2013 for failing to disclose payments from her city expense account to her brother Warren’s business. The fine could have been higher, investigative files show, but for her cooperation and the timing of a complaint about the transactions.
City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, by way of contrast, paid $15,000 in fines and restitution in 2009 for a similar violation. The key difference: Archibong’s brother appeared to make no profit. With a minor exception, she said, her brother simply passed the money — in cash — on to other vendors.
Natalyn Archibong’s largest bloc of campaign contributions came early in her first term. In October 2003, her campaign received $17,500 from owners and executives of The Sembler Co., developer of the Edgewood Retail District, an 800,000-square-foot shopping complex that initially faced heavy opposition from neighborhood residents. Archibong was heavily involved in negotiations with the developer before the council agreed to rezone the site. Most of the donations came in October 2003, six months after the council voted unanimously to approve the Sembler project.
Christian Enterkin’s campaign through Oct. 25 had raised nearly $25,000, more than half of which came from airport concessionaire Wassim Hojeij, his employees and affiliated businesses.
News reports have raised questions about Enterkin’s objectivity on community billboard issues in that her employer, Landmark Dividend LLC, buys property leases for billboards, cellphone towers and other interests. Property records show Landmark with recent transactions at a half-dozen locations in DeKalb and Fulton counties. Enterkin, Landmark’s vice president for acquisitions, has accused the source of the reports — Atlanta Progressive News editor Matthew Cardinale, who’s accepted paid advertising from incumbent Natalyn Archibong, of being her “paid operative.”
Atlanta Unfiltered needs your financial support to continue our reporting and analysis of money in Georgia politics — a topic rarely explored by other news outlets. Use the Donate button on this page to help us produce more articles like this one. Leaders in the public sector have plenty of public resources to promote their […]