Below is a campaign disclosure chart for a member of the Georgia House. You’ll notice that with few exceptions, the Representative has pretty much has been careful to spend no more than the Representative raised. That is, in fact, how most of them do it.
For the past two election cycles, the Representative in question has been in a dogfight for re-election. Yet, despite having a war chest of over $160,000.00, the Representative has not in the past two cycles dipped into that war chest. In fact, as you can see, despite this being the toughest campaign in a long time that the Representative has faced, the amount raised and amount spent is tracking perfectly.
More telling, despite supposedly having $160,000.00 in the bank, the Representative solicited other individuals to pay for recent advertising, instead of the campaign paying for that advertising.
Picking up on rumors and innuendo that the $160,000.00 is long gone from the campaign account, the Representative’s challenger issued a press release which called for a new ethics law. The law would require that for the first campaign disclosure of each year, the campaign should also provide the coverpage of the most recent bank statement for the campaign. While the amounts would probably deviate, that deviation should not be too extreme. A reasonable person should be able to clearly extrapolate that the amount in the campaign contribution disclosure report does not deviate dramatically from the year end bank statement. The challenger went so far as to include his bank statement along with the press release to show that he had roughly the same amount of money in his campaign bank account as he had in his disclosure report.
After doing that, a funny thing happened. He started getting threats. The threats went beyond the usual campaign threats to threats on his employment. In fact, his employer was encouraged to fire him and the challenger himself was told that if he didn’t drop this issue, he would lose his job.
All Bill Quarterman did was suggest, through a press release, that maybe the rumors were true. Maybe, just maybe, Jeanette Jamieson does not have $160,000.00 in her campaign bank account. And with that, for the first time in this campaign, he received threats. Peach Pundit called Ms. Jamieson on Monday and we were told she’d call us on Wednesday. We followed up when we did not hear from her, but as of yet she has not responded to our inquiries.
In 2002, Mark Taylor’s spokesman, Rick Dent, pointed out the numerous tax liens against Ms. Jamieson’s property. While the tax liens were stacking up on her from 1996 to 2001, she tried to pass legislation making it more difficult to place tax liens on property. When hospitals put hospital liens on her property, Ms. Jamieson drafted legislation to hinder the collection of hospital liens. Neither effort was successful.
Given the facts that Ms. Jamieson has had to use outside parties to pay for campaign advertising, has not spent more than she raised, has had numerous tax and hospital liens on her property that she has had to pay off, and has failed even in tough races to tap into the $160,000.00 combined with the fact that Mr. Quarterman had his livelihood threatened once he raised this issue, one could reasonably speculate that the money Ms. Jamieson claims to have in her campaign account does not really exist.
Sure, we could speculate that Ms. Jamieson just does not feel threatened enough to dip into her war chest. Maybe Mr. Quarterman isn’t a serious challenger. That’s fair. But anyone knowledgeable of the district and current polling would probably be hesitant to come to that conclusion.
And Mr. Quarterman’s idea? It’s time has probably come.