The benefits of family ties to House members from Georgia

Today, much of Washington is poring over a mammoth study on members of the U.S. House, documenting how federal and campaign cash flow to their family members.

Eight of Georgia’s 13 House members earned a mention. An overview by the New York Times starts this way:

The 346-page report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, is an extraordinary compendium of creative accounting, self-interested budgeting and generous expense reimbursements. It highlights common practices that translate into tens of millions of dollars in payments to relatives or the lawmakers themselves.

Read the CREW report here. The look at Georgia congressmen begins at Page 86.

On Sanford Bishop, D-Albany:

From the CREW report:

Rep. Bishop earmarked money to his daughter and son-in-law’s employer, and to an organization with which he is affiliated. He also awarded scholarships to family members through a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) program.

This was aired out during the last campaign cycle.

On Paul Broun, R-Athens:

From the CREW report:

Rep. Broun made six separate loans to his campaign, totaling $309,000, during the 2008 election cycle. His campaign committee’s filings said Rep. Broun would not charge interest. Nonetheless, during the 2010 election cycle, Rep. Broun’s campaign committee paid Rep. Broun $28,756 in loan interest.

On Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta:

From the CREW report:

Rep. Gingrey’s campaign committee, Gingrey for Congress, Inc., contributed to a campaign managed by his daughter [Gannon Gingrey Manning] and donated to his daughter’s employer. In addition, the campaign committee contributed to his daughter’s mother-in-law’s [state Rep. Judy Manning’s] campaign…

Ms. Manning is the political affairs chair for the East Region of the March of Dimes, and is also a former chair of the March of Dimes’ Georgia Board. During the 2008 election cycle, Rep. Gingrey’s campaign committee donated $4,500 to the March of Dimes Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia. During the 2010 election cycle, Rep. Gingrey’s campaign committee donated $5,000 to the March of Dimes Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia.

On Hank Johnson, D-Decatur:

From the CREW report:

During the 2008 election cycle, Rep. Johnson’s campaign committee paid Ms. Johnson $9,250 in salary and consulting fees. During the 2010 election cycle, Rep. Johnson’s campaign committee paid Ms. Johnson. $19,750 in salary and consulting fees.

On Jack Kingston, R-Savannah:

During the 2008 election cycle, the Kingston campaign paid Ann Kingston, the congressman’s mother, $3,232 in salary.

On John Lewis, D-Atlanta:

During the 2010 election cycle, the congressman’s campaign committee paid his son, John Miles Lewis, $1,250 in administrative and consulting fees.

On Austin Scott, R-Tifton:

From the CREW report:

During the 2010 election cycle, Rep. Scott’s campaign committee reimbursed Rep. Scott $10,996 for mileage and candidate meals. During the 2010 election cycle, Rep. Scott’s campaign committee reimbursed [his wife Vivien] Scott $4,269 for mileage.

On David Scott, D-Atlanta:

From the CREW report:

[Scott and his wife, Alfredia Aaron Scott ] started the advertising company Dayn-Mark Advertising. During the 2008 election cycle, Rep. Scott’s campaign committee paid the firm $22,791 for printing, office rent and canvassing. During the 2008 election cycle, Rep. Scott’s campaign committee reimbursed Ms. Scott 1,052 for travel expenses.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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34 comments Add your comment

Don't Tread

March 22nd, 2012
2:20 pm

Gingrey’s campaign contributed money to charity. Quick, send the Gestapo to teach him a lesson!

LMAO

March 22nd, 2012
2:28 pm

David Scott’s company has existed since he was a state representative. At least there are four crooks on each side.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 22nd, 2012
2:31 pm

I have become convinced that Legislatures have failed us as a society. Either we draw them randomly like Juries (yes, we’ll get idiots, but can they do worse than what we already have) or allow referendums initiated by citizens to amend the US constitution.

Yes, this has screwed up California. That is why you do what NE states do which is require a vote for two years in a row to reduce the idiotic mob mentality AND force the proposed amendment to state how it will be paid for inside of the amendment itself.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 22nd, 2012
2:35 pm

Re: Gingrey giving to charity….well there is nothing inherently wrong with that…but the nepotism in campaign funds is kind of annoying.

Don Abernethy

March 22nd, 2012
2:38 pm

They are saying Georgia is number 1 in government corruption. Voters seem to be too stupid to vote all of them out of office.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 22nd, 2012
2:46 pm

This is true. In a democracy, or even a ’sham democracy’ like the US is turning into or some place like Russia, elected leaders are a reflection of the public.

This is why the people of Gaza are responsible for electing Hamas.

This is why the people of Russia are responsible for electing Putin (the first time).

This is why the people of Veneuzela are responsible for electing Chavez (the first time and many more actually since as messed up as they are, their elections are still ‘freeish).

This is why the people of the United States are responsible for reelecting Bush and soon to reelect Obama (NDAA, SOPA, Occupy Crushing).

This is why the people of Georgia are responsible for Roy Barnes, Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal.

Look at those three together….wow. Just wow. Says a LOT about this state.

Centrist

March 22nd, 2012
3:22 pm

Tip of the iceberg. Insider trading has come to light – they set up new rules and immediately make trades accordingly.

Can we just pay these crooks to stay home for a year or two?

Ol' Timer

March 22nd, 2012
3:25 pm

“In politics stupidity is not a handicap.” Napoleon Bonaparte

catlady

March 22nd, 2012
3:26 pm

Greed seems pretty even dispersed. I still have issues with what our state legislators do, and the lack of requirement for proof of their claims. When I traveled for the state, I had quite a bit I had to fund myself because the college comptroller disallowed the claims (and I had full documentation). On one, I remember, I flew in a day earlier because I was presenting at 8 am, but he said I should have found a way to come there that morning before 8. No planes flew at that time. And their per diem is QUITE generous, compared to regular state employees.

Auntie Christ

March 22nd, 2012
3:29 pm

Aaron Burr, thanks for the update of all election results for the last several years from around the globe. But I would think that if you’re going to waste ten minutes of your life and half a web page, your comment should have some point other than “elected leaders are a reflection of the public.” Well DUH!

[...] 435 members wound up in the survey of how representatives use their campaigns to benefit …The benefits of family ties to House members from GeorgiaAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Report: Broun gained personally from campaign contributionsOnline [...]

Bernie

March 22nd, 2012
3:41 pm

Jim, this similar behavior can be found and documented through the elected leaders of our cities, city coucil members, county commisioners and any other elected office throughout Georgia. This is no surprise to any of Altanta’s long term residents. A number of the Atlanta airport concessions today can be traced back to the same type of activity of family members benefiting from their elected relatives.
This is the expected MO here.

findog

March 22nd, 2012
3:44 pm

who took the charitable deduction?

findog

March 22nd, 2012
3:47 pm

— Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a GOP presidential hopeful, paid more than $300,000 in salaries or fees to his daughter, brother, grandson, daughter’s mother-in-law, granddaughter and grandson-in-law, the report said. (Paul spokesman Jesse Benton told the Times: “Any implication that there is anything inappropriate is wildly off base.”)

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 22nd, 2012
3:51 pm

@Auntie – I admit it. I have a character flaw. I like to poke the stupid with sticks sometimes. Sometimes it is a particularly large stick, but then, sometimes the intended target is particularly stupid and thus only capable of understanding it if you repeat it many many many many many times.

FYI: I do not include you in that category.

Centrist

March 22nd, 2012
3:56 pm

findog posted “— Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)”.

Here come the partisans cherry picking their favorite enemies as if it isn’t universal for both parties.

findog

March 22nd, 2012
4:10 pm

Centrist, Rep Paul is running on runaway spending, how bad all those bloated bills in congress are and he voted against every one of them; how the federal deficit is killing us and he votes against raising the ceiling every time it comes up. But the man lards ear marks for his district into those bills he votes against, and now is found to legally funnel money to the family from the federal trough.
I guess you have to attack the truth as you are a Romney man and the two have some sort of agreement.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 22nd, 2012
4:14 pm

@Centrist – I used to think differently. After SOPA, I realized that both parties are indeed equally corrupt.

However to say that they are both equally insane is reality denial at its height.

Sin-I-Cull

March 22nd, 2012
4:29 pm

” the road goes on forever and the party never ends” and “that’s just the way it is”

candide

March 22nd, 2012
4:49 pm

As usual the biggest crooks are black.

Sonya B.

March 22nd, 2012
4:57 pm

Georgia is ranked the most corrupt state in America thanks to all the crooked public officials who choose serving themselves over serving the public, the truth is finally exposed. http://open.salon.com/blog/sb4justice/2012/03/19/georgia_ranked_the_most_corrupt_state_out_of_all_50_states

gajustice

March 22nd, 2012
4:59 pm

Well, you can’t vote them out if no one runs against them!!! Our current representative ran unopposed, was elected but had not paid his local property taxes for years. Still hasn’t. But yet he’s up in Atlanta voting and pandering with the rest of them. Most of the public is just too indifferent too care….they feel this is the way is has always been and no one wants people to think they are stirring up trouble by asking questions. (Heaven forbid they be called a “Radical”). I know this from my own experience.

Centrist

March 22nd, 2012
5:00 pm

I don’t read partisan web sites (unless they are local like this one), and it isn’t surprising to hear that salon.com finds a red state to be the most corrupt.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 22nd, 2012
5:00 pm

@Candide – And be assured, you have helped to convince me that when conservatives say that Democrats are the ones who play victim and that the tea party is not racist are entirely correct.

Deonte Knowles

March 22nd, 2012
5:04 pm

On behalf of the African American community, I would like to apologize for disrupting a party that used to be fairly conservative. I have studied political science at the University of Georgia and am disappointed in my own people for ruining the state Democratic Party of Georgia. We were not alone, however, in disrupting the politics of this state. A large group of Northern Republicans also moved to Georgia. They voted Republican party up north and also did so when they moved to Georgia. The African-American community, nonetheless, is currently accepting bribes from the federal level democrats in D.C. In addition to our antics, state leaders in Georgia are nothing short of crooks. As a result, the inhabitants of Georgia are living under tyranny. It is a lose-lose situation for the majority of people.

Centrist

March 22nd, 2012
5:18 pm

@ Deonte Knowles – You sound like a centrist, so standby for incoming from BOTH sides.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 22nd, 2012
5:19 pm

@Deonte – A very literate and well written statement sir.

I also like the bit that insults North Georgia Republicans….

Double Zero Eight

March 22nd, 2012
5:30 pm

The voters in Georgia have very short memories.
Deal is a “chip off the old block” and will easily
be re-elected. “Birds of a feather flock together”.

DannyX

March 22nd, 2012
5:50 pm

“I don’t read partisan web sites”

Then why did you link to a Drudge story 2 weeks ago?

Centrist

March 7th, 2012
3:34 pm

“Accurate blog post linked on Drudge (which some liberal partisans here will deny):”

ld

March 22nd, 2012
6:02 pm

Clearly the Justice Departments–not U.S. or Georgia– has the tools nor ’stones’ to effect justice.

td

March 22nd, 2012
8:45 pm

Geez people, these are private funds donated to a campaign and not public funds. As long as they are transparent (as these seem to be) then what the candidates spends the private donations on is between him/her and the voters of their district. The only thing I even see questionable would be giving scholarships to relatives and if the scholarships were from private funds then it is again between the elected official and voters of the district. There is nothing here that anyone posting on this blog would not do if they were in the same position.

allgood

March 23rd, 2012
7:19 am

It’s undeniable that Santorum has experienced the most atomic wedgies of any candidate in American history.

GET REAL

March 23rd, 2012
8:04 am

td, glad to see that you’ve found an area of common ground among Republican and Democrat officials. I never realized all these elected officials had such talented wives, sons-in-law, grandchildren, daughters-in-law. etc. Hey, this America where everyone can feed themselves at the trough. Well, almost everyone.

In the know

March 23rd, 2012
3:37 pm

The statements the report made about Congressman Phil Gingrey were all messed up. Judy Manning was not the chair of the March of Dimes. The congressman’s daughter was. She is the mother of very premature twins who were in the NICU for 3 months after their birth. Naturally all the Gingreys are interested in preventing premature births, the main thrust of the March of Dimes. The congressman did not contribute to the campaign managed by his daughter. He has been very careful to stay away from her business. Get your facts straight before you print them!!!!