Two months ago, Rick Thompson resigned as executive director of the State Ethics Commission.
At the time, Thompson said he intended to start a public strategy firm.
That idea has a little more flesh on it now. Thompson will ally himself with the well-connected law firm of McKenna, Long & Aldridge to help candidates and corporations chart their way through federal and state ethics laws.
Here’s a taste of the press release:
This alliance presents [McKenna, Long & Aldridge] with the unique opportunity to utilize Thompson’s expertise on personal and campaign finance disclosure by state, county and municipal candidates, election officials and registration and disclosure by lobbyists, according to Stefan Passantino, head of MLA’s Political Law practice.
“Georgia corporations and candidates have come under ever-increasing scrutiny in recent years,” said Political Law Team Leader Stefan Passantino. “Having the ability to team with the ultimate Ethics Commission insider on issues pertaining to filings and the Committee’s most pressing concerns is an invaluable asset for our clients.”
The law firm, by the way, has now has a blog dedicated to pay-to-play law.
Passantino should ring a bell with you. He’s John Oxendine’s attorney, and last week was tasked with defending the Republican candidate for governor before the ethics commission.
Passantino argued before the board that Oxendine had no reason to believe that the $120,000 in contributions from political action committees were improper or worse, illegal. One of the questions is whether the PACs involved are separate entities. They have the same address, the same director and were all mailed to Oxendine on the same dates.
Already, pay-to-play has become a hot topic in the Atlanta city races, according to my AJC colleague Cameron McWhirter:
As Atlanta campaigns approach their climax, Common Cause Georgia has launched a lobbying effort for the next City Council to pass a “no pay to play” ordinance to limit political donations from individuals and companies that do business with the city.
City Council members said they saw the group’s intentions as good but wondered whether the legislation was practical. They also said the ordinance implies that donors that do business with the city only give to get or keep business, or “pay to play.”
The wire service AFP reports that Jimmy Carter, 85, next month will lead thousands of Habitat for Humanity volunteers building homes for the poor in five Asian nations along the Mekong River, including Vietnam.
Speaking of missions, Republican candidate for governor Eric Johnson of Savannah returned Tuesday from a two-week, church-sponsored to India. Now to back to fund-raising.
While you ponder the above, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:
Nathan Deal worries about vaccine distribution. Clayton OKs in-house study on impact of shutting down C-Tran. Atlanta’s new officers may not hit streets for months. Fulton students to get shorter school year but longer days. Sandy Springs sidesteps Scientology decision. System under siege after murder suspect removes ankle monitor. Former UGA player charged with murder.
‘Other’ voters emerge in Atlanta races. Bob Barr says making nasty faces now a Patriot Act violation.
And from beyond:
WP: U.S. deeply split on troop increase for Afghan war. Boston Globe: Amherst, Mass., mulls resolution welcoming Guantanamo detainees. NYT: Vatican bidding to get Anglicans to join its fold.
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