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Top 3 PACs gave $1M to Ga. politicians

January 14, 2013 --

Jan. 14, 2013 — Trial lawyers, dentists and Realtors — perhaps Georgians’ three most-beloved professions — had the deepest pockets as state legislators convened today for 2013, an analysis of campaign disclosures shows. Between them, trade groups for those three professions donated more than $1.1 million to Georgia politicians and parties over the past two years.

Balfour lawyers up as GBI wraps $$$ probe

Balfour lawyers up as GBI wraps $$$ probe
January 10, 2013 --

Jan. 10, 2013 — The GBI has completed an investigation of state payments to soon-to-be-deposed Senate Rules chairman Don Balfour, but there’s no word yet as to its findings. Attorney General Sam Olens won’t say what the next step might be, if any. Balfour, meanwhile, appears to have retained Andersen, Tate & Carr, a Gwinnett County law firm that is defending ex-Gwinnett Commissioner Kevin Kenerly against bribery charges.

Dec. 31-Jan. 6, 2013

January 7, 2013 --

Despite millions spent, scope of human trafficking is unknown Ethics & the Legislature: Money, secrets, power rule Dome New Clayton Co. commission fires county manager, calls for forensic audits Clayton Co. DA accuses commission of violating Open Meetings Act Free tickets often requested by lawmakers GBI investigating Chatham Co. coroner’s expenses DeKalb Co. school board […]

Jerguson’s filings omit property

Jerguson's filings omit property
January 5, 2013 --

Financial disclosures filed by Senate candidate Sean Jerguson during his six years as a state representative listed ownership interests in several businesses but omitted more than $1 million worth of real estate that they own. Those properties include the site of his Cherokee County shooting range, which it bought from another of his businesses with the help of a federally-guaranteed loan, and a Cedartown mobile home park that is perpetually late paying its property taxes. (Many lawmakers list business properties on their annual disclosures, but others contend the law does not require them to do so. A 1998 attorney general’s opinion held that a candidate must disclose corporately owned real estate “if he has a legally enforceable right to use the land for his own personal enjoyment or profit.”)

Sen. Brandon Beach (SD 21): Campaign kept unused $$

Sen. Brandon Beach (SD 21): Campaign kept unused $$
January 5, 2013 --

When Senate candidate Brandon Beach ran for the Legislature in 2010, he raised $13,600 to be spent on the general election once he’d secured the Republican nomination. He didn’t make it that far, though, losing a close primary runoff. State law requires candidates to refund contributions raised for an election in which they’re not on the ballot. Beach’s campaign kept those donations, spending some and rolling the rest over to a 2012 race. State law may have allowed some of that money to be reallocated after the fact to cover 2010 primary or runoff expenses, but at least $8,400 could not be redesignated since it came from donors who had reached contribution limits for those races.

Mass shootings do little to change gun laws

January 4, 2013 --

Rampage shootings have often prompted legislators in those states to contemplate tightening rules after rampage shootings, but a ProPublica survey shows few measures gained passage. In fact, several states have made it easier to buy more guns and take them to more places.