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.
Joe Frank Harris served on the boards of both AFLAC and the state University System while the two were negotiating to let the insurer sell policies on campus. Lasa Joiner lobbied for health care interests while chairing the state Board of Human Resources. And Kenneth Cronan, while sitting on a board regulating auto parts dealers, […]
State Rep. David Ralston’s campaign raised $137,750 in less than a month after Republicans chose him to be speaker of the House, disclosure reports show. He had less than half the fund-raising time as his predecessor, Glenn Richardson, before his first legislative session as speaker, but Ralston nearly reached Richardson’s total of $149,920. The most generous donors to Ralston: hospitals and the health care industry.
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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.
Georgia’s Republican Party has reported raised $684,741 this year. That’s down 29 percent from the amount raised in the first six months of 2007 (the last off-election year). On the other hand, the party reported $2.2 million in the bank. That’s about four times as much as the state GOP had on hand two years ago at this time. The biggest single donors, at $50,000, were Bernie (right) and Wilma Marcus. So who were the party’s other big donors?