Archive for the ‘campaign finance’ Category

The ‘independent’ effort to protect state Senate Republicans

Last week, Charlie Harper over at PeachPundit delved into the Georgia Republican Senate Caucus Promotion PAC, which is not a political action committee, but an independent political committee subject to the state’s transparency laws – which have not been met.

Harper reported that the promotion group has spent thousands of dollars sending direct mail into exurban areas of metro Atlanta on behalf of several state senators with Republican primary challengers: Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock, Bill Heath of Bremen, and Jack Murphy of Cumming. Wrote Harper:

Michael Luethy, a North Carolina political consultant is registered as the agent for the PAC, using a UPS Mailbox store address in Grayson Georgia as the address of the PAC. Luthy’s name is the full extent of “transparency” that these Senate incumbents have chose to express over these mailpieces.

On Friday, three Republican senate leaders – Rogers, Bill Cowsert of Athens, and Greg Goggans of Douglas – sent out an email …

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An evening to remember: You, Neil Diamond and Tom Price

The musical portfolio of U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, keeps growing and growing.

Earlier this month, we found out that Price had been to a Jimi Hendrix concert in ’69, and still has the ticket.

But the man gets ever wilder. Tonight, it’s Neil Diamond. Politico reports that Price has built a fund-raising operation for his political action committee, Voice for Freedom, around a series of concerts at Washington’s Verizon Center.

After this evening’s Diamond concert comes Coldplay, Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks and Madonna. The per-ticket cost is $1,500, with a pair for $2,500. For $5,000, Price will let you wave his encore lighter. For $6,000, he promises not stand on his seat and to shout “Freebird!”

Politico offers more details here.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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Mitt Romney promises big Georgia donors access to inaugural event

A fundraising email circulating out of Georgia is already promising big donors to a Mitt Romney “victory fund” that they will have special access to a “Presidential Inaugural retreat” after the candidate’s election in November.

The presumptive email was obtained by Buzzfeed, which said it originated with a “top Georgia supporter.” (We confirmed the contents independently). Romney will be in Atlanta on June 11 for a pair of fundraisers.

From the solicitation:

The legal maximum that an individual can donate to Romney Victory is $75,800. The campaign is asking people who are able to make a $50,000 contribution to do so today and become a “Founding Member” of Romney Victory. These donors will be invited to a special retreat with Governor Romney in late June in California and will have preferred status at the first Presidential Inaugural retreat as well as yet to be determined access at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August.

As for our Georgia efforts, Governor …

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Your morning jolt: Tim Pawlenty heads to Georgia for much-needed cash

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will make his first appearance in Georgia as a presidential candidate next Tuesday at a West Paces Ferry fundraiser.

GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. AP

GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. AP

The $500-a-head event will be held at the Cherokee Town & Country Club, just down the way from the state’s most prominent public housing occupant, Gov. Nathan Deal – who has declared he’s sticking with Newt Gingrich.

But as you can see on invitation, the list of hosts – after former Gov. Sonny Perdue, former state Sen. Eric Johnson, and Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus – includes Tricia Pridemore, Deal’s unsuccessful candidate for state GOP chairman.

Otherwise, the host list looks like a reunion of Perdue staffers, led by Nick Ayers, Pawlenty’s campaign manager. Click here to see the entire invitation.

The cash is much needed. With a campaign contribution disclosure looming — which will be a measure of his viability — the Washington Post reported on Thursday that at …

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The quiet money behind talk radio’s biggest names may have come up with today’s best behind-the-scenes piece:

If you’re a regular listener of Glenn Beck’s radio show and you wanted to contribute to a political group that would advance the populist conservative ideals he touts on his show, you’d have plenty of reason to think that FreedomWorks was your best investment.

But if you’re a fan of Mark Levin’s radio show, you’d have just as much cause to believe that Americans for Prosperity, a FreedomWorks rival, was the most effective conservative advocacy group. And, if Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity are who you listen to, you’d be hear a steady stream of entreaties to support the important work of the Heritage Foundation.

That’s not coincidence. In search of donations and influence, the three prominent conservative groups are paying hefty sponsorship fees to the popular talk show hosts. Those fees buy them a variety of promotional tie-ins, as well as regular on-air plugs – praising or sometimes defending the groups, …

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Your morning jolt: Another anti-abortion bill may be sinking

Over in Iowa, the hot topic is the resurgence of social conservatives in the budding Republican caucus season.

Not so much in Georgia.

Social conservatives here have had a rough few years getting anti-abortion bills through the Legislature. This year, they have been reduced to one: SB 210, sponsored by state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, would make it easier to sue abortion providers.

Pro-life forces have long suspected that many of the state restrictions imposed on physicians who perform abortions – parental consent for women under 18 among them – are routinely ignored. Enforcement by the state is nearly non-existent, they claim.

SB 210 would allow another avenue for enforcement, through civil suits.

Pro-life forces have been concerned enough with the friction between certain portions of the Legislature and Georgia Right to Life, the state’s preeminent anti-abortion group, that they have asked former state GOP chairman Rusty Paul to help smooth the way for SB 210.

The …

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Reynolds Plantation may dump millions in assets to satisfy creditors

Why is this important? Because the Reynolds family is one of the most important underwriters of Republican causes and campaigns. From my AJC colleagues Rachel Tobin and J. Scott Trubey:

The developers of the Reynolds Plantation, one of Georgia’s most exclusive enclaves of vacation homes and golf courses, have floated a plan to sell off key assets like golf courses, clubhouses and even swimming pools to pay off $45 million in debt to impatient lenders.

The news about Reynolds Plantation came to light after a letter was sent to homeowners Thursday, detailing issues for the development that is about an hour and a half drive east of Atlanta on I-20 on Lake Oconee.

According to the letter, signed by Reynolds Plantation Chairman Mercer Reynolds III, a group of banks is demanding a hasty payment of $45 million by April. The payment was requested while the development company was negotiating renewal of a line of credit.

In the letter, Reynolds says he and his cousin, Jamie Reynolds, …

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Roy Barnes on ‘Citizens United’ decision: ‘What a crock’

The State Bar held a series of seminars Friday on the implications of the Citizens United on campaign financing – the famous U.S. Supreme Court decision is now just over a year old.

One of the participants was state Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Williard made a bit of news when he said it was likely that a) the Legislature would soon consider a measure to restore the rule-making authority of the body once known as the State Ethics Commission; and b) he favored more reliable financing of the agency.

Former Gov. Roy Barnes at a Thursday news conference, defending Cobb EMC's chief on theft and racketeering charges. Vino Wong,

Former Gov. Roy Barnes at a Thursday news conference, defending Cobb EMC’s chief on theft and racketeering charges. Vino Wong,

Stacey Kalberman, executive secretary of the awkwardly renamed Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, was in the audience. And seemed pleased.

Another participant was former Gov. Roy Barnes, who made light of his November defeat – and said he was done with …

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The tea party enters an ethics alliance aimed at Legislature

Thousands gather at the state Capitol for a huge tea party last spring. Hyosub Shin,

Thousands gather at the state Capitol for a huge tea party last spring. Hyosub Shin,

Politics is the story of old alliances falling apart and the formation of new ones — the birth of feuds and burial of ancient hatchets.

At the state Capitol, we’re about to witness the creation of a new collaboration that — if successful — could give permanent, Georgia-centered purpose to a tea party movement that so far has concentrated on the sins of Washington.

Last October, the state’s network of tea party groups gathered to put the finishing touches on a list of positions they wanted candidates for the state Legislature to put their names to.

Many of the aims could be classed as ideological: Property and income tax reform, hard limits on the growth of the state budget, and mandatory school courses on the U.S. Constitution.

Other demands were not. Candidates for the General Assembly were asked to endorse bans on trips paid by lobbyists, on all gifts from lobbyists, and on …

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Your morning jolt: Keep the 3.0 for HOPE scholarships, says Nathan Deal

The Georgia Lottery can’t keep up with the demand as the HOPE scholarship enrollment and tuition costs keep rising.

Some lawmakers have suggested raising the minimum grade point average from 3.0 to 3.2 to winnow the number of eligible students.

But Nathan Deal, who takes office Monday, says no. From Paul Yates at Fox5:

Said Deal:

“I think keeping it at the 3.0 is a reasonable standard. If we raise it too much higher than that, we really do cut out some of those very deserving students who work very hard and deserve the opportunity to go to college.”

But the governor-elect did indicate he’s open to other fixes:

”We’ve got to look at the allocation. Some would suggest that perhaps we need to decouple it from the tuition cost. Just fix an amount. There are many options that are on the table.”

Congressman-elect Rob Woodall, who replaces his old boss, U.S. Rep. John Linder, announced this morning that he’s won a spot on the all-powerful House Rules Committee.

“This was my top …

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