AJC Editors on Perdue,Taylor ethics.

Perdue’s land purchase in Florida violates no laws, but donations to Taylor campaign raise eyebrows:

Not surprisingly, ethics have become a central issue in the campaign for governor between GOP incumbent Sonny Perdue and his Democratic challenger, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, with charges of impropriety raised against both.

Of the two, the allegations against Taylor seem the more serious and well-documented. The lieutenant governor has clearly violated the spirit of state ethics law and perhaps the rules as well by accepting $40,000 in campaign contributions from multiple businesses owned by a Columbus car dealer. Taylor should immediately return $35,000 in excess donations.

What about it Mr. Taylor?

12 comments

  1. Amazing. The AJC sees nothing wrong with Thomas serving on a powerful board at the same time as he is developing hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate projects in Georgia, which require approval from other state boards and could benefit from the advance knowledge of serving on this board.

    Meanwhile, if Perdue wants to avoid paying taxes — don’t sell. Or, have a blind trust invest the money in a like kind exchange. Perdue claims that he can’t put his active investments (his businesses) in a blind trust because he has to oversee their management. But this land, according to Perdue is not active, it’s passive. Perfect for a blind trust.

    At the same time, Thomas has carved out a piece of property from a development that, once Perdue leaves office, will be fully developed, leaving Perdue’s chunk in prime territory to make millions of dollars. In case people have forgotten how to divide, that would be a return of well over 100% on his investment in just a few short years.

    Let me set up a parallel for you guys. Imagine a wealthy Florida developer is appointed to a powerful Florida board and has access in advance to state development positions and also starts to receive favorable opinions on land projects in the state from other state boards. In return, the developer sells Jeb Bush a piece of property right in the middle of Atlantic Station. While Jeb is in office, Atlantic Station is developed around the property, which leaves one valuable chunk undeveloped and sought after. As soon as Jeb leaves office he can either develop it himself, sell it back to the developer for a big profit, or sell to others for a big profit.

    And we don’t think there’s anything wrong with that?

    The AJC editorial makes it seem like Perdue just bought undeveloped land in Florida, like the kind you would drive by in rural Georgia with a for sale sign on it and nothing but pine trees as far as the eye can see. Not so. He bought undeveloped land that will be surrounded on all sides by pristine, appreciating development from someone he appointed to a state board. I await someone showing me where that has ever happened in state history.

    Some liberal media we have.

  2. Demonbeck says:

    “Some liberal media we have.”

    Go online to AJC.com and try and find any mention of Taylor’s acceptance of $40,000 from the same company.

    The Perdue story is 3rd or 4th from the top.

  3. Bill Simon says:

    Chris,

    Where the hell were you during the 1990s when the Georgia legislature and the Governor’s office were Grand Central Station for people being appointed to “powerful state agencies?”

    Oh, that’s right…Republicans are the only ones in this world who could be corrupt. Yeah, and Bill Clinton wasn’t a liar on so many levels, was he?

  4. Eddie T says:

    Bill,

    So we replace corrupt Democrats with more corrupt Republicans. What’s the difference?

    Throw the current crowd out–maybe the next folks will finally get the picture that Georgians aren’t going to stand for unethical government any more.

  5. John,

    Taylor’s folks will have to deal with the provision themselves. However, at this point, Carl Gregory or any other company could give a $35,000 donation to either state party and it would be legal. The Republican party, on behalf of Perdue, accepted $240,000 this year from Stan Thomas (the developer) and no one batted an eye.

    Since Perdue basically ran unopposed, he could accept large soft money contributions via the Georgia GOP. So it is debatable whether or not Taylor violated the law, although as I’ve said the campaign believes they have not done so.

    However, if the issue is large amounts of contributions, I believe Perdue in this instance would not like to talk about that, since Thomas contributed 6 figures to the GOP this year that is now purchasing the Perdue television ads Erick linked to today on the site.

  6. Bill Simon says:

    Eddie,

    There’s ZERO proof of the current governor being corrupt. What, are we supposed to change the laws such that if an opposite political party THINKS someone is corrupt, then they must be corrupt???

    You guys on the Dem side are just SO pissed-off and disappointed that Ralph Reed didn’t win so you could have some real mud to throw at the GOP. Because he’s not here on the ticket, y’all are reaching for straw men to try and prove that you deserve another shot at governing this state.

    Rotsa ruck with ‘dat strategy.

    – Scooby Doo

  7. Bill do you think Duke Cunningham deserves to be in jail for selling his house to a lobbyist for $700,000 more than it was worth, and in turn hooking up the lobbyist with line item funds from the US budget?

  8. Mad Dog says:

    Stan Thomas is benefitting from the ‘deals’ and Sonny “Did it.”

    I’ll bet there is more to this story than will ever make any newspaper.

    It sounds to me like Stan paid off Sonny to get the job, then used the job … etc.

    Why do people rant about corupt policitians on the other side of the isle?

    Politicians control billions of your tax dollars in this state. Shouldn’t they do what is best for you, not what is best for them?

  9. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Chris, the Perdue situation aside, I’d like to address your Duke Cunningham comment. I’m a conservative first, Republican second, and I think Duke Cunningham was a man of amazing courage and honor during his wartime military career; I wish we had more men like he was at that stage of his life.

    I think that he was a good man who made some very, VERY bad decisions in his life as an elected representative of the people, and, regardless of any similarities I may have with him in party affiliation or philosophical beliefs, I think he deserves EVERY BIT of the punishment he is getting, and will get in the future, for what he did.

    Agreed?

  10. atlantaman says:

    “I believe Perdue in this instance would not like to talk about that, since Thomas contributed 6 figures to the GOP this year that is now purchasing the Perdue television ads Erick linked to today on the site.”

    I believe ol’ Mark Taylor gave the State Dem party 400,000 big ones to close his LG Account – substantially more than Stan Thomas and a unique way to side-step not being able to utilize campaign funds from one office to run for another.

    From a pure Machiavellian standpoint the major reason a candidate wants to keep the money in his campaign account versus “indirectly” running it through the state party is that campaign cash is a barometer. It’s much easier to raise money if you look competitive. Taylor and his folks want to fluff up their cash-on-hand and in doing do they skirted some very basic campaign finance laws.

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