Feb. 10, 2015 — A 2005 amendment to Georgia’s campaign finance law was meant to give smaller donors a break on filing public disclosures. A decade later, though, Senate Republicans applied the law to their own PAC, raising $276,000 over a 20-month period before disclosing even a penny of it.
“It’s incredibly disappointing that the law is so weak that $250,000-plus can be raised without being reported for so long,” said William Perry, executive director of the good-government advocacy group Common Cause Georgia. “This is a glaring example of how far we have to go in Georgia for fairer disclosure.”
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Gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal has refunded $130,000 in campaign contributions that allegedly exceeded the legal limit. A campaign disclosure filed shortly before midnight Monday shows Deal returned many of the contributions cited in an Oct. 19 complaint to the State Ethics Commission. The refunds included more than $80,000 from three businessmen in Lawrenceville, Helena and Moultrie.
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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?