Sept. 4, 2012 — Glenn Richardson walked away from the Georgia Legislature with $220,000 in campaign funds to spend with little oversight. More than 2 1/2 years later, as he plans a run for the state Senate, he still hasn’t officially disclosed what he’s done with it. The former speaker of the House assures me, though, that he hasn’t taken a penny for himself. “I have received no checks from that,” said Richardson.
Everyone should make resolutions for the New Year, if only to have new goals. In that spirit, we offer 10 suggestions for Georgia legislators to strengthen government ethics in 2011. Among them: Let’s make ex-Speaker Glenn Richardson the last legislator to transfer all his leftover campaign cash to a committee where he can spend it any way he wishes.
Former House Speaker Glenn Richardson must pay a $500 fine, but his political fund may keep $219,915 that was transferred improperly from his campaign account last year, the State Ethics Commission ruled today. The panel also dismissed a separate case, ruling that state law may place no limits on campaign contributions from one candidate to another.
Former House Speaker Glenn Richardson has signed a consent order over his apparently unauthorized transfer of nearly $220,000 in campaign funds to a political committee under his control. The State Ethics Commission will decide whether to sign off on the consent agreement Tuesday. It is unclear whether the order would require Richardson or the MMV Alliance Fund to pay a fine.
Thanks to House Speaker David Ralston, departing Georgia lawmakers have $1.3 million in campaign cash to distribute as they see fit this year — to political parties, PACs and other candidates. House Bill 920, if it had passed, would have required that those lawmakers pass the money on to charity, or return it to the original donors. Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a bill last week to allow citizens to donate money to the state treasury. Wonder how many of them will follow through on that?
Political action committees in Georgia operate with little oversight. They don’t have to report spending that’s not campaign-related. Nothing in campaign law addresses how PACs spend their money, the State Ethics Commission observed in 2008. “We did some advisory opinions because we were hoping people would get outraged enough and push for legislation,” said Rick Thompson, the agency’s former executive secretary. It hasn’t worked so far. Georgia lawmakers are sifting through a slew of ethics bills, but none address PAC spending.
Glenn Richardson‘s political action committee registered as tax-exempt Tuesday, but it’s not clear whether that will defuse an investigation into his transfer of $219,915 in leftover campaign cash to the committee. The State Ethics Commission is looking into the payment of that money from Richardson’s campaign account to the MMV Alliance Fund on New Year’s Eve. The question is: Would a tax-exempt filing in February allow MMV to accept a couple hundred thousand dollars in campaign money five weeks earlier?
Georgia law may prohibit ex-House Speaker Glenn Richardson‘s recent transfer of leftover campaign cash to a political fund under his control. On Dec. 31, a day before Richardson’s resignation took effect, he cleaned out his re-election campaign’s bank account with the transfer of $219,915 to the MMV Alliance Fund. One potential problem: MMV does not appear to be among the organizations that may legally accept unused campaign contributions.
Former House Speaker Glenn Richardson‘s political fund, enriched last week with nearly $220,000 from a separate campaign account, can legally spend the money almost any way it wishes. “He could spend it on anything he wants to,” said Rick Thompson, former executive secretary of the State Ethics Commission. “If he wanted to pay his rent or buy an automobile through the MMV PAC fund, there’s no restrictions on what he can do … under the Ethics in Government Act.”
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun has raised nearly $605,000 in campaign funds this year, more than any other Georgia congressman, new financial disclosures show. To do that, he has spent heavily on fund-raising, including $72,652 paid to three companies affiliated with Paul Kilgore, his campaign treasurer.
By JIM WALLS May 4, 2009 — A Georgia-based political action committee gave $123,000 in political donations in the 2008 election cycle without reporting them, Atlanta Unfiltered has learned. The PAC is funded primarily by a Missouri developer, Jeffrey E. Smith (right), whose companies receive state and federal tax credits to build low-income housing in […]
House Speaker Glenn Richardson has 54,000 constituents in his legislative district in eastern Paulding County. Just two of them donated money to the speaker’s 2007-08 election fund. Three businesses in the 19th District also gave to the speaker’s campaign, as did the Paulding Chamber of Commerce. Together, the six donations — totaling $5,840 – added […]