More on Irvin

&#8220Mr. Irvin has refused to release what company’s stock he sold. This refusal at the very least raises concerns of impropriety, if not illegality.&#8221

I said yesterday that I was still concerned about the propriety of Tommy Irvin investing campaign funds in stock. I actually think that could be a violation of law. Grosclose, in a comment found here, followed up on that and we reach the same conclusion. I’ll save myself time by fronting the comment.

Current GA law is not exactly clear about the admissibility of investments in stocks. Georgia law provides: “(c) Contributions of money received pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section shall be deposited in a campaign depository account opened and maintained by the candidate or the campaign committee.

14 comments

  1. Mad Dog says:

    ugavi,

    Is it something that can be taken somewhere besides a blog?

    On a blog it fails to be libel. There are no burdens of proof for lurid allegations made on a blog. Hearsay and gossip are suitable ‘testimonial’ evidence.

    I have had transactional accounts with brokerage firms. In legal essence, a checking account that paid far more dividend interest than the .5 percent a commercial bank, like Cagle’s GB&T, pays for a checking account. There are limitations to the number of ‘checks’ or ‘drafts’ I could write. My money was not insured as it was held by the brokerage company. The brokerage company then put my money into a pool of funds.

    The pool was invested in a variety of ways. My account never was directly or indirectly invested into capital stocks. But, the terminology was that I held ‘stock’ in a money market account with each share worth, more or less, one dollar.

    The barrier these Black accusations has to cross is proving 1). The Tommy Irvin campaign has directly purchased “stocks” in corporations. 2). That it is illegal to do so.

    Then, a bunch of those trial lawyer types get to argue for a few years about the real meaning of the verb, “is.”

    Having a ‘checking account’ with a brokerage house is not againsty the law.

    It might even meet the standards for the rule of the prudent man.

  2. ugavi says:

    MD,
    Seems to me Eric makes a very good case. If this was Taylor he would be holding press conferences and running new TV ads. He would also be filing an ethics complaint.

  3. Big Mack says:

    Erick,

    Examine Irvin’s past expenditures. If you don’t find where he bought the stock out of his campaign funds, then it has to be a gift, which is illegal. One other thing is that if it was stock that he owned personally, he can sell it and put the money into his campaign. He can use any amount of personal funds that he chooses to use. I would suspect that it would have been booked differently if this was the case.

  4. ugavi says:

    Big Mack,
    Actually he is bound by the same contribution limits as anyone else for campaign contributions. That is $5k per election cycle. He could loan his campaign money. The loan isn’t limited. I believe that this year they limited the amount of money someone could pay back in loans. I think the max is $250k.

  5. ugavi,

    You’re wrong. If Irvin is giving money to someone else, then he is limited by law on how much he can donate.

    He can spend as much as he wants of his own money.

    No one has yet presented any hardcore proof that Irvin purchased capital stock.

    According to the US Treasury, for the purposes of defining the money supply, M1, money on deposit with brokerage firms is CASH.

  6. ugavi says:

    chrishardcore,
    I did just look it up. I was incorrect, a candidate can contribute as much as they want to themselves.

    This still doesn’t pass the smell test

  7. Mad Dog says:

    ugavi,

    I wonder where your nose is!

    There are no over the max contrbutions.

    If the Treasury considers brokerage firms as depository institutions for the purpose of evaulating and tracking money stocks, no one has a beef here.

  8. ugavi says:

    Mad Dog,
    The better question would be is there any Dem butt that your nose isn’t firmly implanted in?

    If in fact the money was in a brokerage firm account, why didn’t it show up on prior disclosures?

  9. gatormathis says:

    Check the situation on whether TI could have pocketed his campaign cash if he hadn’t run this race.

    If he runs and gets beat, then I think he can keep the remainder of the spoils. If he hadn’t run, he may have had to donate them to some charity or other candidates.

    He is grandfathered some exemptions because he was in before some laws affecting this were put in place. A campaign warchest used to be considered a golden parachute for officials who decided not to chance running and keep all the cash on hand from previous elections.

    Now each election cycle (i.e. primary, general, runoff) are treated seperately with donation limits and what has to be done with remaining cash on hand after each one.

    This is the sleeper race statewide, as TI has never had competition of Black’s caliber.

  10. CHelf says:

    If we want to turn this into a race on finance reports, then it is clear Black cannot beat Irvin on the issues.

    Honestly I think anyone that has been in office long enough will have some questionable items in their disclosure reports. Like Erick mentioned, the laws are quite ambiguous and quite open to interpretation. Basically as vague as they are these laws are subject to interpretation of the party in power and thus making legal matters nothing but partisan posturing.

    If Black wants to turn this issue into an ethical one, he is slapping the Governor as well who already has seen finance report concerns. Honestly does he want to group all finance report botches into sleaze and lack of ethics?

    On a broader note, is anyone running on issues? All we hear is questionable actions left and right on all sides. Since no one is innocent and all can have something brought up against them, what good does this serve?

  11. waterboy says:

    CHelf –
    Where have you been? Gary Black has been (and is running) on nothing but issues. I saw Gary with Governor Perdue this evenng at the GA Young Farmer supper at the Ag Expo in Moultrie. They were riding together around the Expo and were headed to a fundraiser for Gary tonight. Gary always talks about supporting innovative technology for agriculture and consumer confidence issues for food, fuels, and staffing at the Department of Agriculture. Irvin needs to simply clarify the sources of his big cash surge. Until then, his fundraising will be suspect and subject to criticism. Gary’s funds are clear and concise. Why should Irvin be different?

  12. ugavi says:

    Wonder if Tommy can, stand up, stay awake, and talk for 30 minutes tomorrow. The contrast between Gary and Tommy in the debate should be very interesting.

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