Of the state GOP’s $1 million in cash, and something called Real PAC

The Georgia Republican party is reporting $1,073,053 in cash on hand as of June 30, according to a financial disclosure filed with the state ethics commission.

The party has raised $854,063 in the last six months, but spent $980,529. Kevin Harris, the party’s executive director, said the fund-raising lull was the result of the economy, and a slack period in the presidential political cycle.

(By comparison, the state Democratic party reports $178,705 in cash on hand.)

That said, given this year’s GOP chairmanship fight, between incumbent Sue Everhart and the governor-backed Tricia Pridemore, fund-raising figures remain something to keep watch on.

Here’s why:

On May 18, four days after Pridemore lost, two major supporters of Gov. Nathan Deal formed something called Real PAC, a political action committee based in Roswell. The chairman is Jim Walters, a major contributor to the Deal campaign and a Deal appointee to the North Georgia Mountains Authority.

The Real PAC treasurer is Rick Thompson, former head of the State Ethics Commission and a Deal appointee to the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission – which oversees such sports as boxing. Thompson’s Roswell-based ethics consulting firm has received $22,500 since February from the Deal campaign, for advice on meeting state disclosure requirements.

There are no limits on contributions that PACs can absorb, which means that Real PAC could become an alternative to the state GOP for cash that flows to candidates.

As of June 30, Real PAC had not accepted any contributions. We’ve got a call into Thompson.

Meanwhile, big donors to the state GOP include:

– $25,000 from Coca-Cola North America;

– $30,000 from General Electric;

– $25,000 from the Georgia Association of Realtors;

– $10,000 from the Georgia Dental Association;

– $5,400 from the Georgia Association of Educators.

***
The GOP financial disclosure has also prompted something of a kerfuffle.

Republican activist Justin Tomczak, who lost a race for vice chairman of the state GOP, posted the following on his Facebook page today:

I rarely am critical of my own party, but I was disappointed to see that the GAGOP paid $7,000 to the individual who continually attacked me (via email/blog) and a candidate for GAGOP Chairman. Using GAGOP resources to pay someone who attacks those seeking to serve the GAGOP is wrong, plain and simple.

Tomczak then posted a screen print showing the $7,000 paid by the state party to ID builders, a firm owned by Cobb County GOP activist Bill Simon – who was indeed an ardent Everhart supporter.

Harris, the executive director, said the payments to Simon had nothing to do with any race for state office or the state convention in May – but went toward the development of a mobile phone application for the party.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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37 comments Add your comment

td

July 12th, 2011
2:24 pm

“$5,400 from the Georgia Association of Educators”

I wonder if they are starting to see the light and will endorse Deal in 3 years or are they just trying to tread water and have a seat at the table?

Webster

July 12th, 2011
2:28 pm

I applaud your willingness to use the word “kerfuffle” in any situation that will allow it. Kudos.

Seat at the table

July 12th, 2011
2:32 pm

As to the donation from GAE – it was for the annual GOP dinner. GAE has been a sponsor for years – even doing Perdue’s administration. The one thing that I can say (and I would know) is that Governor Deal and his staff has met with GAE lobbyists and governance more in the past 18 months (dating back to before the 2010 election) than Perdue and his staff did in eight years.

Choosey Republican

July 12th, 2011
2:47 pm

Bill Simon attacked many members of my Republican women’s group with his lies. The GAGOP giving him money is worse than them paying Democratic candidatess to harass Republicans.

Ghost Rider

July 12th, 2011
2:56 pm

“By comparison, the state Democratic party reports $178,705 in cash on hand.”

Mighty slim pickings from what little is left of the Democrat Party in Georgia. There must be an awful lot of Democrats unwilling to donate a portion of their welfare checks!

DeepCoverGOP

July 12th, 2011
3:11 pm

Maybe those members of your “Republican women’s group” are exactly what they were described to be: white trash.

WAW

July 12th, 2011
3:12 pm

Seat at the table: Who was the last governor who did something FOR education? Not either (R)’s you’ve supported.

GaBlue

July 12th, 2011
3:13 pm

How’s that one-party thing workin’ out for ya? Those with the most money own the government, appoint their friends, approve deals and zone their land the way that most benefits THEM. You have to contribute some pretty big bucks to have even the tiniest smidgen of a voice in this state! Now that Roswell’s ELITE have organized, they’ll be taking the reins and reigning. Heh…. Good luck getting them to care about YOUR sad, sorry little issues. (No, they’re not hiring, either, so don’t bother sending your resume.) Heh…. That’s how y’all wanted it, right?

Just Nasty & Mean

July 12th, 2011
3:19 pm

Oh com’on!! Tomzak is just sour grapes because he lost his race–fair and square—for a GaGOP officer, and now he needs something/someone to blame. Oh…Boo hoo!!

Get over it, man! You lost! Now act like a man and support your party! You’re hurting the cause you–supposedly—wanted to support!

td

July 12th, 2011
3:20 pm

WAW

July 12th, 2011
3:12 pm
Seat at the table: Who was the last governor who did something FOR education? Not either (R)’s you’ve supported.

Go back and take a look at how much the R’s put into education during his first term. The recession hit in the 2nd term so the budget had to be cut. I hate to defend Purdue(because I think he was a RINO) but he did a pretty good job of cutting the minimum amount possible out of education.

Choosey Republican

July 12th, 2011
3:23 pm

DeepCoverGOP – Hi Bill Simon. You’re the only person who treats Republicans with such nastiness. It’s pretty pathetic when you have to quote yourself to get attention.

yuzeyurbrane

July 12th, 2011
3:27 pm

It’s an American right for everyone to be able to have the best political party that money can buy.

Tired of the Tea Party

July 12th, 2011
3:37 pm

Justin Tomczak is one of the hardest working and committed Republicans in Georgia. It’s good to know he isn’t afraid to speak truth and expose the filth in the Republican ranks!!!

Bill Smith

July 12th, 2011
3:44 pm

I believe Tomczak was upset that Simon went after him over and over again in his campaign on his blog.

Macon Mamma

July 12th, 2011
3:54 pm

It’s about time someone took a stand and called folks out for hiring ID Builders to spread profanity filled negative attacks against fellow Republicans! GAGOP money comes from donations to the party and should not be used to pay negative-bloggers-for-hire to attack candidates for party positions. The GAGOP needs more oversight when it comes to Chairmen using party resources to cling to their party titles. No wonder the Tea Party is growing by leaps and bounds in GA.

Tea'd Off

July 12th, 2011
4:03 pm

It looks like ID Builders may have been paid for the same application/mobile site that Amy Borden was paid for. She was a huge advocate for the current chair and was paid with GAGOP funds.

Did she and/or ID Builders work for the chairman’s campaign or for the GAGOP?

I’m all for getting over my candidate losing (Shawn Hanley) and party unity, but I also believe in holding our officials accountable for how they spend our money.

No Teabagging

July 12th, 2011
4:58 pm

Oh Justin Tomczak, stop whining. The GOP candidates ran the nastiest personal attack campaign of all time last year – against each other – never bothering to focus on solutions for jobs, economy, etc. If you are going to hang around this den of thieves you need to grow into some big boy pants and sling mud with the rest of them.
OR you could become a real statesman, think for yourself and communicate your vision of the future to constituents.

DeepCoverGOP

July 12th, 2011
4:59 pm

Justin Tomczak tried to promote himself as a “grassroots activist” for GaGOP’s 1st Vice Chair when all he was was a paid-activist as detailed in this article that documents the facts about Justin Tomczak:

http://politicalvine.com/politicalrumors/odds-and-ends/justin-tomczak-full-of-bullsht-as-a-grassroots-activist/

Justin Tomczak hates facts, so he, like other sleazy people in politics, lashes-out at the people who expose him with documented proof of his charlatan nature. He can’t argue the evidence, so he just whines and stamps his feet. Poor Justin…poor poor Justin…one would have thought that Patrick would have been able to give him all the love and care he would have needed. Guess Patrick is feeling a little blue these days, though.

EthicsMatter

July 12th, 2011
5:20 pm

The real issue here is that after months of attacking her primary opponent, the current Chair, herself then a candidate for reelection, paid $7,000 to this nasty Simon fellow out of state party funds. Illegal, no, unethical, YES. Of all the web developers out there, she went and paid thousands of dollars to the loudest critic of her opponent. No way to make that pig smell good.

WebApps for You!

July 12th, 2011
5:26 pm

I can build mini-websites like the one the GAGOP paid thousand of dollars for and I’ll do it for a few hundred dollars!

I’ll even throw in a weekly email blasting whoever you want me to!

Blog attacks…I can do that too!!!

Being a web designer for Republicans sure does pay well and I want in on the action!

Lisa Wilson

July 12th, 2011
5:31 pm

I thought Republicans were for a balanced budget and reigning in out of control federal spending? Meanwhile they blast our President for running a deficit.

Looks like the Republican Party in Georgia spent over $100,000 more than they took in. Did I read that right?

I see the Democratic Party didn’t raise that much, but it looks like they did a better job of living within their means.

Mr. KnowitAll

July 12th, 2011
5:34 pm

Nice work, Tomzak. ….Taking pot-shots at the people you wanted to work with in the party.
You can FORGET seeking another GOP office. You’ve shown your true colors here–you spoiled, sour puss backstabber.

Patrick

July 12th, 2011
5:45 pm

Bill/DeepCoverGOP,

I don’t have anything to do with this. I did not find out about this post until this afternoon.

Thanks,

P.

Lisa Wilson

July 12th, 2011
5:59 pm

It’s funny to watch you Republicans attack someone to raised a red flag over a clear ethical lapse at your state HQ. If there were more Republicans willing to stand up for what is right, maybe I’d switch parties.

rule difference

July 12th, 2011
9:53 pm

liberals don’t like corporations to make contributions to candidates, but they love their unions to have unlimited power to elect more union loving liberals. unions have ruined the country.

Lisa Wilson

July 12th, 2011
10:13 pm

BTW, I’ve been searching the App Store looking for this “mobile phone application” and I can’t find anything.

Can someone point me towards what all this money purchased? I’d like to check it out on my iPhone.

Thanks!

DeepCoverGOP

July 12th, 2011
11:48 pm

Here’s the link: http://www.gagopmobile.com. It was designed to provide information about all the convention activities to the state convention attendees for the 2 days of the convention.

Apparently, Jim Galloway got something a little inaccurate in his story above when he wrote that the application wasn’t for the state convention when that is all it was designed for. The state GOP received lots of positive feedback about the application from the attendees.

Sylvia

July 13th, 2011
12:28 am

I’ve always thought Bill Simon was a hit man for-hire. Now it is obvious he is what rumors say. If candidates for GOP office pay him there not good with me. No more rinos and trash pigs!

Dick Siemens

July 13th, 2011
12:48 am

The GAGOP has a big problem on its hands. Best case scenario they were negligent. Worst case scenario they’re corrupt.

Ru kidding

July 13th, 2011
8:13 am

For years Smon has been a hit man for hire. At one point he tried to make his living being a political consultant, he failed miserably. He has been reduced to selling trinkets from his mother basement. The good news is he’s a cheap hit man all you have to do is buy a few trinkets from him and he’ll go on the attack.

He is totally unethical in the fact that he never mentions that he is getting paid by an other candidate when he is attacking.

PatDowns

July 13th, 2011
9:01 am

@ Lisa Wilson
July 12th, 2011
5:31 pm
“I thought Republicans were for a balanced budget and reigning in out of control federal spending? Meanwhile they blast our President for running a deficit.

Looks like the Republican Party in Georgia spent over $100,000 more than they took in. Did I read that right?

I see the Democratic Party didn’t raise that much, but it looks like they did a better job of living within their means.”

Um, Lisa, while the GaGOP spent $100K more than it took in during the reporting period, they had an ON HAND BALANCE of $1 million plus. Obviously, you are both a koolaid drinking liberal and an APS graduate, in not understanding how finance balance sheets work.

PatDowns

July 13th, 2011
9:13 am

@ Jim Galloway

I’m sure you purposely showed that the GaGOP spent more in the financial disclosing period compared to the GaDEMS ON HAND BALANCE to make the GOP look like it was running a deficit. Your looney left base wouldn’t understand this would be comparing apples to oranges or have the mental capacity to go look at the disclosure form to see the GOP had an ON HAND BALANCE of $1M+. But then again, why should you report the true facts?

DeepCoverGOP

July 13th, 2011
9:18 am

PatDowns,

Jim Galloway’s very first sentence is this “The Georgia Republican party is reporting $1,073,053 in cash on hand as of June 30, according to a financial disclosure filed with the state ethics commission.”

So, he did report the cash on hand. But, you cannot rely on the “looney left base” to know how to read very well.

mum

July 13th, 2011
10:03 am

It is interesting to note that every blog you come across is nothing but negative. It’s no wonder the country is sliding backwards with all of this “let’s hate and beat up on the other guy”. There is no personal responsibility in this country and the politicians love it because it keep them all employed while you and the rest of the county are sidetracked by the bickering, and out economy and standard of living disappears. Such a shame!

Hall Pass

July 13th, 2011
11:31 am

How is it legal or ethical for a member of a state board to chair a PAC?

Jim Walters represents the 9th Congressional District on the DNR board.

Does anyone else see a problem with this or am I just paranoid?

Cobber

July 13th, 2011
12:12 pm

One has to wonder how “DeepCoverGOP” got all his inside information during the campaign? He shot a lot of bullets at those not paying him. Were those paying for his web application also feeding him the negative information on those challenging the entrenched power stucture?

As I said, one has to wonder just how closely these folks were working together.

DeepCoverGOP

July 13th, 2011
10:54 pm

@HallPass

Since the GOP has taken full control over the legislature, they have diligently worked to obliterate any semblance of “ethics laws” that the Democrats had in place for years. Just look at their deliberate acts of defunding the former Ethics Commission, as well as completely rewriting the laws so as to allow what you’re describing to happen with no law preventing it.

Another part of the law that was rewritten is to allow registered, active state lobbyists to sit as members of the ethics commission. Yeah…there’s no quid-pro-quo opportunity there, is there? Nahhhh…