Archive for the ‘campaign finance’ Category

House Judiciary chairman asks Thurbert Baker to rule on contribution loophole

Jim Walls at Atlanta Unfiltered says the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has asked Attorney General Thurbert Baker to rule on whether the State Ethics Commission is about to open the barn door when it comes to campaign contributions:

The State Ethics Commission on Aug. 17 dismissed a complaint against Warner Robins mayoral candidate Chuck Chalk for accepting a $10,000 check (the so-called “Chuck Chalk check”) from the campaign of the late mayor Donald Walker.

Donations in municipal elections are capped at $2,400, but commission members held that the limit may not apply to contributions from other political candidates.

The decision applied only to that complaint, but it raised the possibility that unopposed candidates with fat campaign accounts could give unlimited amounts to candidates in close races, creating a legal path to circumvent contribution limits….

Walls points out that Baker could rule that the loophole indeed exists. The response from …

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Your morning jolt: ‘I’m a big boy. It’s over with,’ says John Oxendine

More than a month after his plunge to fourth place in the Republican primary for governor, 11Alive on Tuesday caught up with state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine – at a news conference about that arson case up in Calhoun.

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Oxendine, who plans to open his own law firm after he leaves office in January, pulled on his big-boy pants and gave this quick analysis of his fortunes:

“Part of it’s the fact that if you are the frontrunner for a long period of time, it makes you the natural target. I’m a big boy. Whether I think the media was always fair or unfair doesn’t matter. I’m a big boy. I don’t cry over spilled milk or anything.

“I think a lot of the media was not always as flattering as it could be. I think of that may have had play in it. But it doesn’t really matter to me. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter. It’s over with, it’s done with. And I’m good.”

We’re told that Oxendine’s decision to hammer on a rising Karen Handel in the final days of the primary was a …

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Your morning jolt: Too much hardball from Handel?

Updated at 4:55 p.m.: Steve Dillard, central Georgia campaign chairman for Karen Handel, called to say that Nathan Deal was mistaken in remarks he made during Sunday’s debates. Maurice Atkinson, the Bibb County co-chairman for Handel, had indeed withdrawn his support for Handel. But Dillard said that he has not.

Statewide contests in the past have been won and lost on television – and that remains mostly true.

But with campaigns for governor vastly underfunded this year – in Georgia, political money is real estate-based, and free-spending developers have tanked – other tactics have been crucial.

Direct mail in particular.

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Over the weekend, the Republican runoff campaign of Karen Handel mailed out 400,000 flyers to GOP-voting households – a four-page, glossy look at congressional allegations leveled at rival Nathan Deal.

Deal himself gave it a mention in Sunday evening’s confrontation on Fox5 (WAGA).

The significance is that this is the second major attack Handel has …

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Your morning jolt: Right-wing will target Sanford Bishop — just like it targeted her, says Shirley Sherrod

Political analyst Charlie Cook recently downgraded Sanford Bishop’s 2nd Congressional District in southwest Georgia from “safe Democratic” to “likely Democratic.”

Bishop is taking no chances.

Shirley Sherrod at her home in Albany, Ga., last week. Associated Press

Shirley Sherrod at her home in Albany, Ga., last week. Associated Press

On Monday, his first full day of campaigning against newly nominated Republican Mike Keown, the congressman pulled out the biggest gun he could find – Shirley Sherrod, the wrongly fired U.S. Department of Agriculture worker.

Sherrod, by virtue of apologies delivered to her from President Barack Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, is the region’s newest political celebrity.

From WALB-TV:

…[H]er message at Bishop’s headquarters in Albany came in loud and clear. “He has my vote,” she said. “I will do all I can to make sure he is reelected in this district and I hope you’ll do the same.”

In her years working with farmers, Sherrod says Bishop has fought for them and that’s why she’ll fight for him. She said, …

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Your morning jolt: Happy Fathers Day to me, says Thurbert Baker in first TV ad

Jekyll Island — Thurbert Baker’s Democratic campaign for governor goes up on TV for the first time on Sunday with a message geared specifically for Father’s Day:

The ad is introductory in nature: “Growing up, my dad didn’t even knew his father. But it was never going to be that way with him,” said Chelsea Baker, one of the attorney general’s two daughters – who is now a DeKalb County teacher like her mother. So education is a subtext.

Spies tell us that the Republican campaign of John Oxendine has purchased TV time starting early next week, and that former GOP congressman Nathan Deal looks like he’s focusing on a 10-day strategy for his ads next month.

Thursday’s debates of Republican and Democratic candidates for governor on Jekyll Island were jointly sponsored by the Georgia Press Association and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce – two entities that have often warred over public access to information.

So it was significant that every single candidate, regardless of party, …

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One-stop shopping for federal and state campaign contributions

A group called the Sunlight Foundation in D.C. today is launching something called TransparencyData.com, which merges all campaign contribution data at both the federal and state level.

Says the foundation:

We’ve merged all of OpenSecrets data with all the data fromFollowTheMoney.org allowing you, for the first time, to get a clear picture of campaign contributions at both the state and federal level.

Before now, there were two datasets: the OpenSecrets data focusing on federal data, and the FollowTheMoney data, focusing on state data. Now, finally, you can use TransparencyData.com to query, filter, and download this data.

It’s certainly worth a test drive.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

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David Ralston raised $137k in weeks after election as House speaker

Jim Walls over at Atlanta Unfiltered has posted this:

State Rep. David Ralston’s campaign raised $137,750 in less than a month after Republicans chose him to be speaker of the House, disclosure reports show.

He had less than half the fund-raising time as his predecessor, Glenn Richardson, before his first legislative session as speaker, but Ralston nearly reached Richardson’s total.

The largest chunk of Ralston’s money came from hospitals and the health care industry. See for yourself by clicking here.

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Your morning jolt: If the race is for 2nd place, Karen Handel is leading

If the real contest among the Republican candidates for governor is for the No. 2 spot in a runoff, former secretary of state Karen Handel has the lead, according to an automated poll conducted by InsiderAdvantage for WSB-TV.

As in the past, state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine leads. The numbers:

– Oxendine, 26%;

– Handel, 18%;

– Nathan Deal, 9%;

– Eric Johnson, 5%;

– Other candidates, 11%;

– And no opinion, 31%.

The poll was conducted April 5 among 396 likely voters in the Georgia Republican gubernatorial primary, for a margin of error of plus or minus 5%.

One new addition to InsiderAdvantage’s polling boilerplate: The firm is disclosing that the poll was conducted via automated phone calls.

For those still trying to fathom Ray Boyd, the real estate executive who just jumped into the Republican race for governor with $2 million of his own money, the Associated Press adds the following:

Georgia law allows candidates to funnel an unlimited amount of their own money into …

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Foreign corporations may be the big winners from Supreme Court’s campaign finance ruling

Over at Newsweek’s political blog, The Gaggle, this thought is spurring a deal of talk:

Foreign businesses might be the real winners in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, the landmark case that allows corporations and unions to spend limitless amounts of money on presidential and congressional political campaigns. A majority of large businesses are now owned by foreign entities, and this means international corporations could pour tons of money into the United States political scene, potentially swaying the political climate.

The biggest questions with this ruling is the scope of the term “corporation,” says Edward Foley, law professor at the Ohio State University College of Law and director of the election-law program. Does the high court want this decision to apply to foreign corporations as well as domestic ones, he ponders? The truth is, the court didn’t make a decision one way or the other.

Meanwhile, USA Today has this:

More than 40 current and former …

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