Welcome to the Bigs

To Disclose or not to Disclose

The  Times reported that three candidates for State House 25 (James Mills’ seat) failed to report their campaign contribution reports on time: Bobby Banks, Paul Wayne Godfrey and Todd W. Reed.  As of 11 am on November 2nd, only Todd W. Reed has submitted his report.

O.C.G.A. § 21-5-2 says, “It is declared to be the policy of this state, in furtherance of its responsibility to protect the integrity of the democratic process and to ensure fair elections for … state offices… to institute and establish a requirement of public disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures relative to the seeking of such offices… Further, it is the policy of this state that the state’s public affairs will be best served by disclosures of significant private interests of public officers and officials which may influence the discharge of their public duties and responsibilities. The General Assembly further finds that it is for the public to determine whether significant private interests of public officers have influenced the state’s public officers to the detriment of their public duties and responsibilities and, in order to make that determination and hold the public officers accountable, the public must have reasonable access to the disclosure of the significant private interests of the public officers of this state.

To show a little leniency, it should be pointed out that since the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission cut over to the electronic system, there have been glitches.  However, the glitches appear to have been with fines that were inappropriately charged.  You can go into the filing schedule page, select “Candidate” for type of campaign, “2011” for report year, “Special Election” for report, and election date as November 8th to get the proper dates to file to see when you need to have your information in the system.  The results indicate that the report has to be filed by 10/31/2011.  Anything filed late should bring a fine ($125 if filed by 11/7).

These 3 who have failed to file in a timely manner are preventing the public from having reasonable access to their reports.  They would like for us to trust them with our vote, but they don’t want us to see who may be influencing them while in office.  Worse yet, perhaps they just don’t understand the laws and now they want to go down to Atlanta to help write the laws?

We might be able to give Mr. Reed a pass since this seems to be his first campaign, but what about Godfrey and Banks?  This isn’t their first rodeo in the public arena.  Bobby Banks was a former commissioner and Dr. Godfrey was just in an election last year.

I don’t anticipate that the late disclosures will make much noise in the campaign, but if any of these three make the runoff, then I can assure you that you will see more about it in your mailbox or hear more about it in one of those robo calls.  Hey guys, you only have one chance to make a first impression, and it looks like you blew it on this one.

Hugh Hall County Akston                                     

  9 comments for “Welcome to the Bigs

  1. BoobyBanks luvs T.O.
    November 2, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Banks has always thought he was above everyone else. He probably thought the Ethics Rules did not apply to him.

    • The Truth
      November 2, 2011 at 8:03 pm

      I am sure he is convinced the rules do not apply. A lesson probably well learned from Tom Oliver. As well, I am sure he no-shows the debate tonight, and as sure as I believe he is guilty of the push poll calls everyone seems to be getting.

  2. rightinhall
    November 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Hugh, why does everyone want to be easy on these guys? Didn’t they know when it was due when they signed up for the gig?

    If they want to represent us, they should be above the law, not on the edge of it.

    • The Truth
      November 2, 2011 at 8:06 pm

      They are counting on the voters being stupid. This election is leaning toward a popularity contest. I, for one, do not want the most popular guy in the seat. I would like the MOST QUALIFIED person doing the job. So far that looks like Yardley.

      • Hugh Akston
        November 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm

        I have received some good feedback from people who attended the debates. Even the “D” came off as an “R” and may have earned some votes, at least until they see the “D”. I agree with you if the most qualified also means the most effective. I have seen a lot of qualified dudes that weren’t very effective in office. I haven’t seen a lot of unqualified dudes, however, that were effective.

    • Hugh Akston
      November 3, 2011 at 11:18 pm

      It is an issue. If anything, they have given ammunition to the others that completed theirs on time.

  3. November 3, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Since converting to the new system, we have all had to go through a learning curve. I owe the state $125 because I assumed that the grace period for the Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports also applied to the Personal Financial Disclosure report. The PFD was due on June 30th; however, the CCDR can be done until after June 30, but within the grace period. When I submitted my PFD on the date that I submitted my CCDR, I was late and “earned” a fine from the ethics commission.

    Since these guys are in campaign mode, it is probably a bigger deal than my issue, but it would be hard for me to say that I don’t understand what may have happened. As it turns out, I don’t think their next report is due until the day before the runoff, so I doubt that we will hear much more about it.

    Craig Lutz

    • Hugh Akston
      November 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Interesting point. I looked at your link and it indicates that the “Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report” for 9/30 was not filed. Umm, the newspaper said that he didn’t even qualify until October 3rd. I guess the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission can now read minds and assumed that the candidates (there are others that have been caught by this issue) would send in campaign disclosures when they hadn’t even qualified yet.

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