July 18, 2016 — In 2008 Linda Pritchett bought a house in Forest Park, hoping to flip it for a quick profit. The crash of the housing market changed her plans. She kept it without paying property taxes for six more years, until Clayton County sold the home to recoup unpaid taxes and penalties of more than $8,900.
Pritchett wouldn’t give up without a fight, though. In 2015, she filed suit to allege that procedural missteps should void the tax sale. Claiming defamation and violation of privacy, Pritchett also sought damages from the county and the new owner under a racketeering statute.
Pritchett’s legal fight was hardly her first time in a courtroom. WGCL-TV (CBS46) has reported that Pritchett pleaded no contest in 2010 to forging the registration sticker on her Lexus’s license plate. WGCL’s Jeff Chirico reported that Pritchett also had convictions in Virginia for larceny, driving with no insurance and expired registration.
July 18, 2016 — Debra Bazemore filed her 2016 personal financial disclosure today, nearly four months after it was due. When we called last week, she said she’d just learned it was overdue when the state ethics commission sent her a late notice. Bazemore said a campaign aide was supposed to have filed the disclosure as well as a campaign finance report due in February. The two filings cost her $250 in late fees.
July 13, 2016 — Rhonda Burnough’s most generous campaign supporter is based outside Georgia.
The American Federation for Children, a national group that advocates for school vouchers and tax credits for private schools, gave her campaign $2,600 on May 4. Two days later, a federation-affiliated committee paid an additional $4,044 for an direct-mail piece supporting her candidacy. (Because that committee is ostensibly independent of the federation, Georgia’s $2,600 contribution limit for the primary did not apply.)
July 13, 2016 — Rep. Darryl Jordan’s most generous single campaign donor is the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, which his given him $10,800 since 2000. However, reflecting his long tenure on the House Banking Committee, Jordan has collected more from banking interests, which have donated $15,700 over the years. Title-pawn and other subprime lenders have kicked in almost $6,000 more.
July 13, 2016 — There’s little doubt that Karen Mathiak is the candidate of Georgia’s chiropractors. “This is an unprecedented opportunity for ALL chiropractors in Georgia to have a voice at the capitol,” PAC chair Dr. Brad Pizza writes on the Georgia Council of Chiropractic’s website. Mathiak is treasurer of the Georgia Chiropractic Association’s PAC, and more than 80 percent of her campaign donations come from the profession.
July 13, 2016 — Never a prolific fund-raiser, Rep. John Yates has leaned more than ever this year on his House colleagues for campaign funds. They gave him $31,500 from April to June, or nearly 80% of all his donations during that period. Since 1998, more than one-third of all his contributions have come from other legislators.
July 6, 2016 — Ex-Rep. Tonya Anderson plunked down the $400 qualifying fee for her 2016 Senate race in March, but she didn’t file the campaign disclosure that was due a couple weeks later.
Not until July 5, that is — after Atlanta Unfiltered had called her twice to ask where it was. (She didn’t return our calls, though.)
July 6, 2016 — Every time Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler files a campaign finance disclosure, it’s wrong. Cash on hand routinely disappears, debt fluctuates without explanation, and expenses go unreported.
As a result, it’s been impossible to tell how much campaign cash she’s had at any given point during her four terms in the Georgia House.
(UPDATE: Since our first report, Dawkins-Haigler filed two disclosures that reported prior contributions for her Senate campaign correctly. That leaves $12,330 in unspent donations to her past House campaigns unaccounted for.)
Brooks Coleman, chairman of the House Education Committee since 2005, has raised more than $36,000 in campaign donations from education interests. The amounts are about equally divided between public school advocates and those promoting charter schools and privatization.
Other Republican legislators have donated much more to Coleman’s campaigns over the years, with slightly more than $100,000 in contribution.
Tom Kirby is one of those legislators whose campaign gets most of its money from other legislators. They’ve given him nearly $90,000 since 2011, or almost 60 percent of all his reported donations.
Steve Gooch’s most generous bloc of campaign contributors reflect his service since 2011 on the Senate Transportation Committee, which he chaired in 2013 and 2014. Highway contractors have donated more than $93,000, while railroads, billboard companies and other transportation interests have kicked in $18,000 more.
Gooch’s campaign raised $147,000 in 2013-14 as Senate Transportation chair. After trading that job for Senate majority whip in late 2014, he’s on track to double that amount in 2015-16.
May 18, 2016 — House Banking chair Greg Morris has tentatively agreed to settle federal charges that he and other executives of a south Georgia bank allowed a flim-flam man to run it into the ground, court papers show.
News of the potential settlement comes in the midst of a tough re-election fight for Morris, whose opponent came within 71 votes of unseating him in 2014.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s 2015 complaint alleges that lax oversight by Morris and others allowed investor Aubrey Lee Price to swindle the defunct Montgomery Bank & Trust of $14.7 million. Papers filed Tuesday in federal court state Morris and other board members have “agreed to the form” of a written settlement with the FDIC. The deal could be sealed by June 3.
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Some criminals have their photos and crimes plastered all over the Internet, so people know who they are and what they did. Not politicians -- until now. The Crooked Politician Registry is an archive of info on public servants who crossed the line.
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