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.
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