Barnes releases 25 years of tax returns; former gov worth $16.6 million

Former Gov. Roy Barnes on Wednesday released 25 years worth of his personal tax returns as part of his campaign to reclaim his old job at the Capitol.

Barnes, speaking at a news conference just steps from his old office, said he posted online more than 1,500 pages of documents. He also released his current financial disclosure statement filed with the State Ethics Commission. It shows he and his wife, Marie, have a net worth of more than $16.6 million, or nearly double the $8.5 million they were worth in 2001.

“Georgia deserves a governor with nothing to hide,” Barnes said, adding that all candidates for governor should release at least 10 years worth of tax returns. Barnes wants his opponents to go further than merely picking a time and place for the media to inspect records, as Republican gubernatorial hopeful Eric Johnson did recently.

He said the release of such personal information is “part of public life. Everyone who is a voter is entitled to it.”

By releasing the financial information, Barnes said, voters can determine whether a candidate benefited or prospered from public life.

“It’s time to either put up or shut up,” he said. “It’s time to say I believe in this, I’m going to do it. You either put it online or you admit to the public that it’s the same old thing done the same old way.”

For tax year 2009, Barnes’ returns show a total income of $5.1 million and nearly $1.5 million in taxes paid. He and his wife gave nearly $400,000 to charity. His total income increased from $900,000 in 2007 to $3.69 million in 2008.

Barnes owns a successful law firm in Marietta, although he reported only $150,000 in wages in 2009. The rest of his income came from capital gains, income from the law firm and an IRA distribution.

Barnes tied the release of his financial records to the need for more accountability and ethics at the Gold Dome. He took a clear shot at Republican front-runner John Oxendine, the current state insurance commissioner, for allegations in a lawsuit that he accepted trips to the Oscars in Hollywood on the tab of a contributor who asked for help in an insurance dispute.

“While the bright lights of Hollywood and red carpets at the Oscars appeal to some candidates, the people of Georgia don’t need to find out about that hob-knobbing from a lawsuit,” Barnes said, later acknowledging that was in reference to Oxendine.

Oxendine, who is not a party to the lawsuit, has said he reimbursed Dr. Jeffrey Gallups for the trip. Gallups, his family and businesses, have contributed about $100,000 to Oxendine’s campaign.

The “culture of corruption” at the Capitol has to stop, he said. Lobbyists and special interests too much influence and candidates and elected officials should avoid their largesse.

“Our current leaders make decisions not on integrity, but on greed,” he said. “They look for ethics loopholes in the very ethics bills they write.”

Barnes called it “lifestyles for the cheap and shameless.”

41 comments Add your comment


May 5th, 2010
3:27 pm

Barnes doubled his wealth in his years outside of office? Good for him.

Let’s see Deal’s returns. I wanna see how much he has made during his last 8 years…

The Snark

May 5th, 2010
3:29 pm

At least you know he isn’t running for Governor for the money.


May 5th, 2010
3:31 pm

Okay. The guy is not just a loser but a rich loser.

goox-and take handel with you...

May 5th, 2010
3:38 pm

I’d like to see how oxendine pays for that helicopter he lands at the atlanta athletic club during the day, while he’s supposed to be working for us at $90,000/year.

Raquel Morris

May 5th, 2010
3:52 pm

Very impressive, indeed. Governor Barnes should follow up with a pledge not to take any salary until Georgia’s public schools and teachers are on firm financial footing.


May 5th, 2010
4:02 pm

Enter your comments here


May 5th, 2010
4:09 pm

He doesn’t need a salary.


May 5th, 2010
4:16 pm

One word defines Georgia and US politics: KAKISTOCRACY. Look it up, you idiots. You helped create it by voting intellectually and morally inept people such as Barnes, Oxendine, Bush 43 and Obama to public office. Thanks.


May 5th, 2010
4:29 pm

No more fatcats running the state—elect regular people who aren’t spending all their time with lobbyists trying to get rich or richer.

The Centrist

May 5th, 2010
4:54 pm

I can see how someone could say that Bush 43’s is intellectually inept because of his Presidential decisions and his college grades, and Oxendine ethical behavior by accepting gifts from the insurance industry as morally inept, but mentioning Barnes and Obama as being inept in either case is laughable.


May 5th, 2010
5:01 pm

I would also like to see Deal’s returns……Everyone deserves to know how much money he and his company soaked the state for the last few years. Oh I forgot, he does not consider that personal income….he just changes his tax return.


May 5th, 2010
5:05 pm

Milton Man – I hope you’re not a Republican. Or that’s the dumbest statement ever made by a republic. Rich loser….

Tired Old Waiter

May 5th, 2010
5:27 pm

At the Atlanta Athletic Club, Mr. Oxendine is known as an arrogant, condescending jerk. I once saw him make Staff remove all tableware, and reset because a drop of wine spilled on the tablecloth. He constantly talked down to everyone with his squeaky little voice.

I don’t work there anymore, so screw ‘em.

Tired Old Waiter

May 5th, 2010
5:28 pm

By the way, I usually vote GOP

Atl Resident

May 5th, 2010
9:07 pm


May 5th, 2010
4:16 pm
One word defines Georgia and US politics: KAKISTOCRACY. Look it up, you idiots. You helped create it by voting intellectually and morally inept people such as Barnes, Oxendine, Bush 43 and Obama to public office. Thanks.

Must be another damn liberal comment. By the way, who did you vote for?


May 5th, 2010
9:08 pm

I think Roy Barnes is very courageous to release his financial information. Why won’t the other candidates do the same? Watch ‘em bob ‘n weave and come up with excuses for not doing so.


May 6th, 2010
12:14 am

Apparently, I struck a chord with the idiots who got us into our current situation. The Centrist thinks I’m a Retardican, and the Atl resident thinks I’m a Democrap. Truth be known, I’m an anarcho-capitalist who tends to vote Libertarian when there is a viable candidate. We had a good choice nationally in Ron Paul and blew it.


May 6th, 2010
12:15 am

Oh. Georgia is a hopeless mess in politics. Bob Barr is stupid.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

May 6th, 2010
6:00 am

Roy Barnes, a Vietnam law school draft-dodger who never used his law degree to bring to justice those who killed Kennedy and King to send 58,000 of us to die shedding innocent blood on behalf of the Roman Anti-Christ’s traitorous “Fifth Column’s” Military Industrial/Organized Crime Complex, built his bank while serving in the Georgia Senate overseeing the Banking Committee…a direct conflict of interest, enriching himself in public office, laying the groundwork for Georgia’s banking collapse.

He then got rich selling his bank to Canadians and wants us to reward him by making him governor again?

Corpulent, oily and blind…how else would a Mammon-worshipper manifest physically?

He is the worst of Georgia…no different than the rest of the Vietnam draft dodgers of the Gay Old Pervert party: bi-partisan fascist plutocracy.

What other sort of political corruption would condone George W. Bush’s rise to office – a dry drunk, draft-dodging closet-queen, cheated into the White House by only the Roman Catholics of the SCOTUS, and committing 9/11? Which we all know he did.

Barnes is part of the Big Problem: Silence in the presence of evil; passivity and cooperation with the forces bringing America to the brink of the abyss and economic collapse while making himself physically and monetarily fat.

It is true we need to banish the party which gave us Bush/Cheney, until they repent and help hang Bush and Cheney at the Navy Yard, and President Obama, while evidence that G-d hasn’t forgotten the covenant with Our Founders, can’t do it by himself: We must vote Democrat in November and there has to be a “lesser evil” than Roy Barnes.

Perhaps DuBose Porter is the man.

Would some real, named person, of established, good reputation, vouch for DuBose Porter here, please?

No Veteran, no true Georgian, should vote for any “Republican,” or for Roy Barnes. Their “party” is fascist plutocracy.

Georgia must be for The People, by G-d. Righteousness must be established in Our Land.


May 6th, 2010
8:10 am

Here’s the bed we lie in:
In the Georgia Senate, 23 senators have no opposition in either the primary or general election (14 Republicans and nine Democrats).
In the Georgia House of Representatives, 91 representatives have neither primary nor general election opposition (46 Republicans and 45 Democrats). As a result, almost one-half of the Georgia Senate (56 total members) and over one-half of the Georgia House of Representatives (180 total members) will face no opposition in 2010.
Go back to sleep.

Whacks Eloquent

May 6th, 2010
8:14 am

As I see it now, it will come down to John Monds vs. Ray Boyd for me.

Whacks Eloquent

May 6th, 2010
8:15 am

Morrus, what do you think of Ray Boyd’s VOILA movement?


May 6th, 2010
8:44 am

jm, you are right. Roy barnes is not a loser:

(1) Because he easily crushed Soony Perdue to win re-election as Governor
(2) Because the teachers in this state (the most loyal of Democrats) so loved Barnes that they all supported him
(3) His diamond was Atlantic Station. We only found out later that he siphoned money from GA400 tolls to fund this.
(4) He made his millions by “defending poor” people.

He has already been rejected once by the GA voters. He will be rejected a second time in November

Whacks Eloquent

May 6th, 2010
9:06 am

MiltonMan, I hope you are right. Barnes has continued his despicable ways while out of office too. When the residents of the city of Duluth wanted to block a Wal-Mart from moving into an upscale area, ol Roy came bounding to the rescue of the land owner, a good friend of his named Jack Bandy. Now while I definitely support private property rights, but at the same time I do believe communities should have the right to limit what types of businesses operate in the area, as they have a vested monetary interest as well in their residents’ property values. Barnes may have a hard time defending this move (the lawsuits were eventually dropped) as one where he was sticking up for the poor. Thurbert Baker might even go so far as to say he was helping out a greedy landowner – would not expect to hear that language from the GOP though.

Whacks Eloquent

May 6th, 2010
9:20 am

And what was Roy Barnes doing during his time off? As a lawyer for the “little people” of course! like Wal-Mart

I wonder if Thurbert Baker will mention this one, Barnes sticking up for a “greedy” landowner. Not language I’d expect to see the GOP use though.

Poor White Trash

May 6th, 2010
9:56 am

How does a man with a 150k salary accumulate a net worth of almost 17 million? Oh yeah, he’s a politcian.


May 6th, 2010
10:04 am

Where did Roy get his money?


May 6th, 2010
2:14 pm

Ron Roy got his money from buying and developing property on the east-west connector.Thousands of acers.Who knew the highway was going to be built there ??????? BARNES


May 6th, 2010
3:42 pm

“The rest of his income came from capital gains, income from the law firm and an IRA distribution.”

Its called reading and comprehension.


May 6th, 2010
4:48 pm

Will Jones – Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis….boy you certainly let it all hang out, didn’t you… glad you got that off your chest… What I love is how all these politicians say they want to plug the loop holes that they used to become wealthy on the Tax payers dime and time….making sure no one else can use what they now percieve as their loop hole. The political position of governer that some people seek is not for the money the job pays, but for the power, the money will come later….when past politicians use that position to demand high fee’s to “make things happen”….and use their positions past and present to bilk hard working people out of their hard to earn $$$, who dowhat tehy do because it us the right thing to do without the hefty payout or payback, and tehy demand thousands of dollars to attached a signature to a document when the people who are doing the actual work will not see a tenth of that amount of money….it becomes clear that it is all about power, the use and abuse of it! The more people say they want everything out in the open the more supicious I am, as it usually just means they have hid what they need to… VERY VERY well!

Warrior and Mom

May 6th, 2010
4:51 pm

King Roy got rid of video gambling because “it was a cancer on society.” his words. The next day the change game was added to the lottery. GA was greedy…don’t forget Roy was best friends with cinthia mckinney.
McBerry is a berry good child molester. only in GA


May 6th, 2010
6:02 pm

have you ever seen a poor politician??


May 6th, 2010
9:20 pm

Never seen a poor one, but I have seen a few that are not millionaires. Those few are not monied because they do have personal beliefs which are followed so strictly that lobbyists know their vote can not be purchased. This is untrue regarding most members of Congress and also of individual registered voters who sell their vote purchased with federal funds obtained from taxes and the federal deficit.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

May 7th, 2010
12:02 am

Barnes is thoroughly corrupt. By his words he was a strong supporter of Rebecca Paul…and “someone” guided what became the lottery in our state to be connected to an out-of-state (RC/Mafia-run RI) company whose CEO was convicted of felony bribery in England, for trying to get a piece of their businesss…and how many Mob-connected lawyers, politicians, and housekeepers (from S.America never heard from again) have won The Big Game, over the years? It’s statistically telling.

Barnes showed out his lack of character by dodging Vietnam in law school then never pursuing justice for those who went in his place.

One Nation, One Creed, One G-d. Barnes is not of, by, or, for, the People. He’s into “money” and is no man.

[...] days after showing the world his assets, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes has unveiled another TV ad. In it, the former [...]


May 10th, 2010
8:31 am

Among other things, Barnes sues banks and mortgage companies over predatory lending to consumers. Check his website.


July 18th, 2010
12:17 pm

Roy Barnes owns a bank which handles mortgages and he runs a law office. Way to dodge and weave out of this economic mess. One hand washes the other hand in need indeed. Georgia was the number place for mortgage fraud. Wonder if his bank had any say in this mess. Roy probably will not work for no pay. 900,000 for charity sounds like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett doing their thing to save money and put it towards their own charity fund. I think you can put 10 cents on every dollar towards towards you own fund and keep 90cents to your own savings.

kick em out

July 19th, 2010
9:59 am

Ol’ King roy (lower case used to keep from inflating his ego any more than it is now) Has money deeply rooted in many, many, many, places in cobb county. like little treasure chest buried everywhere. Watch the the companies that get the work if get elected. I know of one engineering company in particular! I’m not saying any of the other guy’s are different, in fact I’ll say they are all the same! Wow we really have loads of choices don’t we?

As a side note just watch the scowl on roy’s face in the commercial! I think he must hate the fact he’s from Ga. All things he’s critizing in the ad are the will of the Ga people!


August 31st, 2010
12:49 pm

n., pl., -cies.
Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.
[Greek kakistos, worst, superlative of kakos, bad; see caco- + -CRACY.]

Ok, I have know for years we elected the wrong people, (are there any right people). It looks like the Greeks knew it too. Maybe when James Madison wrote the second amendment it was supposed to help the people keep the government inline.

The greatest dangers to liberty
lurk in insidious encroachment
by men of zeal
well meaning but without understanding.


August 31st, 2010
12:55 pm

I Googled those tax returns. Anyone find them?


September 16th, 2010
8:23 am

It’s pretty simple to explain how Barnes made so much money after he left office. He conveniently had a major highway (the E/W Connector) built right through his own property, the plans for which were made while he was governor. He then sold his land to developers to build townhouses, shopping centers, upscale neighborhoods, etc.

In 2001 I was working on a project for school in which we had to locate a vacant tract of land and plan a mock development. The land that I chose was called the Lucy Barnes estate. It was nothing but pine trees and pastures. That land is located just West of the Publix at Highland Station and is now covered in high-end townhouses. And the very upscale community at the Connector and Cooper Lake Road called “Covered Bridge at Barnes Mill”— it’s called Barnes Mill for a reason. The Barnes family inhabited that area for years and years.

Roy Barnes was not a shrewd investor who purchased land and then developed it. He was a lucky s.o.b. who inherited land which his family had owned for generations and then, lo and behold, a highway just happened to be built right through the middle of it when he was governor. Imagine that.

Oh, and where does he live now? Well, after generations of his family living in the Mableton area, Roy sold off everything and built himself a nice new mansion on Whitlock Avenue in Marietta. Is nice to see that he appreciates where he came from.