May 9, 2014 — Nearly $28,000 in political donations appear to be missing from Sen. David Lucas’ campaign account. While the longtime Macon lawmaker says it isn’t so, his latest disclosure shows a negative balance in his Senate campaign account.
Lucas said his campaign had money that wasn’t reflected in his most recent disclosure, but he wasn’t sure how much. “I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t been trying to keep with up with that. All I do is write checks.”
The problem stems from his campaign’s failure to fill out disclosures properly.
Oct. 8, 2013 — Georgia lawmakers touted their 2013 ethics bill as historic, noting that they’d restored rule-making authority to the Campaign Finance Commission. Now, though, House Speaker David Ralston’s lawyer, Doug Chalmers, contends the commission can’t enforce a key disclosure rule on campaign spending. That interpretation, if it prevails, could muzzle the watchdog charged with policing campaign finance and disclosure in Georgia. Politicians could obscure details of countless dollars in campaign spending simply by using a personal credit card and getting reimbursed with campaign funds.
If I didn’t know better, I’d be outraged by the allegedly shameful and irresponsible conduct of the Center for Public Integrity, called to our attention Thursday in the AJC. But I do know better, so please allow me to explain how Rick Thompson’s opinion piece ignored CPI’s findings about Georgia’s limp anti-corruption laws while building a straw man that could easily be ripped apart.
General Assembly cut $80K check over discrimination complaint APS spends nearly $700K fighting abuse claim Ga. owes $720M for unemployment insurance Ex-medical board chair accused of misusing vaccines Cobb EMC fights disclosure of ex-CEO’s pay Church leader admits taking money in questionable mortgage scheme Ethics charge on Lucas’ Facebook posts rejected
Deal campaign paid $90K to daughter’s firm Ralston: Punish lawmakers who owe late fees Ex-Glynn Co. superintendent suspended Malpractice disclosure becomes law Columbus councilors question marshal’s spending Appeals court upholds $17M verdict against Savannah
Last month, the Senate Republican Caucus reported spending $22,000-plus to support Gwinnettian Garry Guan’s race for the state Senate. That would be a problem. Georgia law treats those expenditures as campaign contributions — capped at $2,400 per race. The remaining 20 grand would be illegal. Now, Republicans say that disclosure was a mistake, that the spending benefited other candidates as well. But that explanation only underscores other weaknesses in campaign finance practices.
Lawrenceville attorney Tammy Lynn Adkins got 735,000 votes Nov. 2 for a seat on the Georgia Supreme Court without spending a nickel. But she still hasn’t explained what she did with nearly $40,000 from her previous political campaign. Adkins will have to explain it to the State Ethics Commission, in response to an ethics complaint filed a couple weeks ago.
Federal court vacancies in Atlanta remain unfilled Disclosure on late Warner Robins mayor’s funds long overdue Few use tracking tool to verify immigrants
Fayette deputy discovered judge, defense attorney in subdivision Opinion: Is public body serving as Cobb Chamber’s private piggybank? Small Georgia banks bet too big on Atlanta Wealthiest Ga. candidate insists on disclosure State stands by youth facility operator after sexual assault
Georgia lawmakers hail their 2010 ethics bill as a much-needed reform that toughens ethics fines and shines a brighter light on money flowing from campaign donors and lobbyists. But it always helps to read the fine print. The bill’s “reforms” including raising fines that are rarely imposed and fees that are never collected. Two sentences on local candidates’ disclosure directly contradict each other. Take a closer look at the winners and losers in this year’s bill…
UPDATE: The ethics bill was recommitted just now (12:20 p.m. Wednesday) to the Rules Committee. Not sure what’s up with that. We’ll find out when the committee meets at 1:30 p.m.
The House Rules Committee today pushed ahead with Speaker David Ralston’s ethics bill after rejecting Democrats’ drive for a $50 cap on gifts from lobbyists. The panel scheduled the bill, tweaked just before the meeting, for debate by the full House on Wednesday. Procedurally, the measure was passed in such a way that it cannot be amended on the House floor.
Better late than never: Four Georgia legislators, including Rep. Sheila Jones of Atlanta, filed personal financial disclosures last week for 2008. Some, we’re told, even mentioned Atlanta Unfiltered when they made sure the state received their reports. That leaves 10 Democrats who still haven’t filed. UP NEXT: We’ll take a closer look at where the money’s flowing in the Legislature, and to whom. One hint: It ain’t to the Democrats.