It what may be becoming a tradition for the first day of the General Assembly, an ethics complaint has been filed Against Senator Ralph Hudgens, alledging that he improperly transfered $106,600 from his Senate Campaign account to the coffers of his campaign for Insurance Commissioner.
The complaint, filed by Paul Leachman of Macon Georgia, accuses Hudgens of, among other things:
* Using Senate Letterhead to ask previous donors for permission to transfer prior contributions to his Insurance Commission campaign account.
* Not actually returning the $106K in donations, but instead directly transfering them to the campaign account.
* Illegally catorgorizing the return as refunds instead of expenses, and cites OCG 21-5-33, and
* Illegally accepting 126 donations in violation of 21-5-30.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m no expert on elections law. I do know that other candidates have had whey they deemed a “check return party” where by they produced refund check for past donors, and asked them to bring in new checks for an exchange.
Knowing no facts about the actual process Senator Hudgens used to refund then re-accept these contributions, I make no judgments here. Time will tell if this is a serious violation, or gamesmenship between the 30 or so candidates currently seeking this office.