by Robin Kemp
Ever been frustrated by the Georgia Campaign Finance Commission’s candidate filings? Check out the new, revamped website, which makes it easier for citizens to follow the money.
There you can find the following documents:
- DOI: Declaration of Intention to Accept Campaign Contributions (official word that someone plans to run for office before completing the candidate qualification process)
- Non-Election Year CCDR: Non-Election Year Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report (campaign money that people already in office get from their political supporters)
- PFDS: Personal Financial Disclosure Statement (how elected officials make their living, where they work, and whether they own a business or any real estate–a useful starting point for investigation if an elected official or public employee seems to be living way above his or her means and doesn’t have a wealthy spouse, parent, or winning Powerball ticket)
Here are the latest filings the state has logged as of July 7, 2021:
These filings can reveal who is thinking about running for office in the near future. Some examples:
Thomas C. Storey of Hampton (Committee to Elect Chris Storey, Inc.) is raising money to run for sheriff in 2024, which is when Sheriff Victor Hill's term expires.
Also throwing his hat in the ring for sheriff in 2024 is Carl Anthony Cogdell of Jonesboro, who filed a DOI on June 17.
Tax assessor Terry Baskin reports no campaign money coming in or going out, and no campaign committee.
Likewise for BOC District 4 commissioner DeMont Davis and District 8 School Board member and Vice Chair Dr. Alieka Anderson.
Anderson announced weeks ago that she would run for District 1 on the BOC. Her personal financial disclosure includes two businesses: Colin Powell [Military Academy] and Enlarge My Territory [Consulting, LLC], which offers "Consulting, Notary, and Jewelry Services." It also reports a 2,500 square-foot home valued between $100,000.01 and $200,000. Anderson lists her occupation as an educator with Dekalb County Schools.
The campaign finance filings also show who is donating money to sitting elected officials in a non-election year. Clayton County District 2 Commissioner Gail Hambrick got $700 on June 16 from a company called J. Airport Connections, Inc., which is owned by Satchel B. Jester, Sr. of Riverdale and was administratively dissolved in 2015. Jester also owns a company called J Charter Services, Inc., which is currently active. Hambrick also spent $300 on January 14 for an unspecified campaign donation to the Georgia Democratic Party, $243 on February with the U.S. Post Office, and $100 on June 17 for the Raphael Warnock campaign, leaving her with $16,139.85 in her war chest for the next election.
Clayton County Commission Chair Jeff Turner has much less in reserve, with donations to Motherless Daughters on January 1 ($250), Special Olympics on February 5 ($210), "State of County" (presumably the annual State of the County Address) on March 9 ($200), and $119.88 to GoDaddy on February 4. That leaves his Committee to Elect Jeff Turner with $6,861.90 on hand--but plenty of time before the 2024 election.
District 6 School Board member Mary Baker doesn't own any business, but does own a home in Jonesboro worth between $100,000.01 and $200,000. She lists her occupation as a preschool teacher at Jonesboro United Methodist Church; her husband, Randy, is retired from Delta Air Lines and he doesn't own any business interests, either.
Solicitor General Charles Brooks does have $14,506.42 in his campaign war chest. Brooks made no contributions, but did have a few expenses: $568 to Honey Baked Ham on May 6 for a teacher appreciation luncheon at Suder Elementary, $129.06 on June 3 to Tara Florist and Gift for a funeral floral arrangement for the late District 1 Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory, and a $501.30 donation on June 8 to Faith Walk Ministries, Inc. in College Park "for opening of Food and Clothing Pantry in Clayton County."
You'll also see other candidates' campaign finance and personal financial disclosures, as well as the DOIs for Gregory's old District 1 seat that we reported exclusively last week.
Explore the new interface, complete with a pretty if somewhat broad statewide dashboard, at https://efile.ethics.ga.gov/index.html#/index.
To see when your elected officials' terms are up, visit the Clayton County Elections and Registration's Elected Officials page.