MacGinnitie takes the Gloves Off

In his latest press release Doug MacGinnitie calls on Interim Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, to disclose all of his last minute cash contributions. These contributions included funds obtained “last Sunday, on the eve of the legislative session, Kemp was entertained by lobbyists and special interests at an establishment frequented by Capitol regulars with the goal of collecting last-minute campaign cash. State law does not allow constitutional officers to raise funds during the legislative session.”

MacGinnitie Calls on Kemp to Disclose Last Minute Cash

Only two days after being sworn in and twelve hours before it would have been illegal, Brian Kemp executed his first order of business – a dash for the cash of special interests he would be regulating the very next morning.

Last Sunday on the eve of the legislative session, Kemp was entertained by lobbyists and special interests at an establishment frequented by Capitol regulars with the goal of collecting last-minute campaign cash. State law does not allow constitutional officers to raise funds during the legislative session.

“It’s disappointing to see that his first priority as Secretary of State was to send out an invitation to hundreds of lobbyists and special interests asking for the maximum contribution —a group of individuals he will be regulating the very next morning,” said MacGinnitie.

In contrast, MacGinnitie chose to over disclose on his latest financial report. He reported every donation collected during the 2009 period as well as any donations collected during the seven day grace period.

“It was important to me, especially on the eve of session, that Georgians know where I’m getting my money.  I went out of my way to be transparent and accountable to the voters,” said MacGinnitie.

Our system was designed so that citizens know who funded leaders’ campaigns before they take office. Since Kemp is an unelected Secretary of State and he chose to not disclose his last-minute special interest fundraiser, Georgians will not know who contributed to Kemp’s campaign and who could have undue influence on his decision making.

“I call on Brian Kemp to join me in being completely transparent with the voters of Georgia. I challenge him to fully disclose all donations he received that evening along with the name and occupation of the donors. It’s just the right thing to do,” said MacGinnitie.


  1. Howard Roark says:

    So he is complaining that Brian Kemp Did Not Break The Law. A press release can say anything, as it seems this one does and is designed to do one thing, obtain Free Media.

    Brian Kemp observed all laws. Maybe Mr MacGinnitie is having second thoughts about loaning his campaign $430,000.

    Why would a man risk $430,000 for a state job?

    • inlimine says:

      The appearance of ethical impropriety rears its ugly head, but no laws were broken, ahh. Welcome to business as usual at or near the Gold Dome………

      Maybe he’s “risking” $430,000 because he wants the job and has to get elected the old fashioned away?

    • Crazy4Freedom says:

      3 letters E G O. I am tired of hearing that MagGinnitie is so pure. He wants it like all the rest do and there is nothing wrong with that. Let’s just call it what it is.

    • Howard Roark says:

      I tend to agree. If I were running against a guy statewide who had a county chairman in every county in the state (on a down ballot race no less) I would be concerned as well. The 430K loan was intended to scare off competition.

    • BuckheadConservative says:

      Doug MacGinnitie’s success in the private sector speaks for itself. His resume stacks up very well to anyone running for office in Ga right now.

    • HowardRoark says:

      C’mon, man. Is that what you’re down to now? Can you defend your candidate without ad hominems? Surely you must have SOMETHING positive to say about your guy. I’ll take a guy with MacGinnitie’s business smarts over a guy with an endorsement list 8 days a week.

  2. gopgal says:

    He looks smart enough to me:

    # J.D., Emory School of Law, Woodruff Fellow, Order of the Coif
    # White House Intern, 1988 – Reagan Administration
    # Magna Cum Laude graduate of Dartmouth College, B.A. History

  3. Doug Deal says:

    Yeah, this looks bad, but it is hard to be surprised by it considering Kemp’s comfort with shady deals. When your buddy appoints you to the seat to short circuit the electoral process, it is hard to believe ethics or appearances of impropriety would be high on your list of priorities.

    One of the themes on his website is “invest in Brian Kemp”. I guess we learned what type of “investment” he was referring to. My guess is that the “dividends” paid will be in secret.

  4. Georgia Judge says:

    Wow, a fundraiser held before the session starts now thats something novel…..
    The invitation looked pretty impressive,I mean it was hosted by the Gov,Lt Gov,and Speaker along with Senate and House Leadership.I would be concerned to if I were Doug too,but this is laughable.Welcome to the big leagues Doug its not a City Council race,this type of public whining doesnt help your stature as a candidate,the Secretary did nothing ethically wrong and grandstanding on your part says more about you than your opponnent.

    • HowardRoark says:

      “Wow, a fundraiser held before the session starts now thats something novel…..”

      Folks are sick of the typical M.O. That’s why they’re going to start choosing candidates from outside of the usual suspects. If you took some lobbyist money that night, disclose it. May not be the way you USUALLY do things, but it’s the right thing to do.

      I also don’t think MacGinnitie needs a lecture from you on the “big leagues” Looking at his bio, the guy obviously knows a thing or two about how to get things done on a high level. C-level exec’s are normally bright guys. Just because a candidate isn’t a member of the holy Senate clique, doesn’t make them less qualified. I would argue it makes them MORE.

  5. BuckheadConservative says:

    I would like to know what kind of lobbyist money he was pulling in the day before he started the new job. Seems reasonable enough, no? I don’t think this PR was about when and where Kemp held a fundraiser, but who attended. Just release the list, so we know who’s pocket he got into before he started his new job.

  6. rightofcenter says:

    Well, I’m shocked! Shocked! I say that a candidate had a fundraiser right before the legislation convened. As to who was there and contributed, we can all find out when the next report is due. It’s not like it’s a double secret probation kind of thing. But if I had $430,000 of my own dollars tied up in this thing, I would be grasping at straws, too.

  7. oompaloompa says:

    The fact is that DM went negative first. When you go negative, it’s a crap shoot if it will win you votes or lose them. I’m not happy about the way BK got appointed by Sonny, but I’m thumbs down on DM’s tactics.

  8. capitolguy says:

    During the last disclosure period, Thurbert Baker was lambasted on here for doing the same thing MacGinnitie did: adding contributions to a previous disclosure that should be reported in the current disclosure.

    The same debate was had regarding Baker. Is it puffing up the contributions or “over-disclosing.”

    Any contributions Kemp received will be disclosed well before the Primary election as there are two disclosures due before then.

    • Doug Deal says:

      Yeah, and I am totally consistent in that I thought it was stupid to complain about Baker.

      With ethics it is the spirit of the law that matters more than anything else. Take Brian “Governor’s Boy” Kemp and his shady lobbyist fundraiser the night before the session started. That is a clear breach of the spirit of the ethics laws, but not the text.

      The purpose, a.k.a. spirit, of the law is to prevent shady things like lobbyists buying influence while the legislature is in the process of enacting laws and spending the tax-payers’ money. So, instead, Kemp sold himself pre-order, like a new electronics gadget. Like it says on his website, invest in Kemp (with donations) it will pay off (special favors).

      Mac, on the other hand, reported money raised and from what source it came from. This is the point of the law, so that voters know where politicians are getting their campaign funds. As far as ethics are concerned, he fulfilled that duty. As I stated last year, if they are going to do this reporting, they should do it real time.

      You Kemp sycophants, on the other hand, only care about the pissing contest of who raised how much money. The fact Mac reported something early, does not change the fact he has more money than you. Boo Hoo. Perhaps if Kemp spent more time trying to win on his own merits rather than having others give it to him, he would be a better candidate.

      • capitolguy says:

        “The purpose, a.k.a. spirit, of the law is to prevent shady things like lobbyists buying influence while the legislature is in the process of enacting laws and spending the tax-payers’ money.”

        The thing is that Kemp is not a legislator. His job is year round, so it’s really impossible for a fulltime, elected leader to violate the spirit of the law. The legislative session is irrelevant to Brian’s day-to-day, year-round duties as SOS.

        The disclosure was due on December 31st, the following days are simply a grace period to get the prior year’s report in. But in reality, and spirit, it makes no difference whether Brian discloses in the 2009 disclosure or the March 2010 disclosure. Doug’s campagin staff will have their opportunity to put out the obligatory, “he’s in bed with the lobbyists” press release.

        • Doug Deal says:

          That’s a load of bunk. The fund raising restrictions apply to all Constitutional officers as well as legislators.

          Please correct me if I am wrong.

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            Funding restrictions do apply to Georgia Constitutional officers, which is why the fundraiser was held when it was held.

            Kemp is not breaking the law, but in the “Information Age” is there a reason the law can’t require weekly disclosures posted online for all to see?

  9. AthensRepublican says:

    So MacGinnitie wants Kemp to quit raising money? Knowing he was matched and slightly outraised in cash by MacGinnitie who could then spend the next 3-4 months raising money when Kemp could not legally do it, I don’t blame Kemp for holding a fundraiser as soon as he could.

  10. HowardRoark says:

    Speaking of lobbyist, I wonder if Kemp had to register as a lobbyist when he was begging the governor for a bailout?

  11. Reality Check says:

    Over disclose? The MacGinnitie Campaign chose to over disclose contributions/loans but did not over disclose any expenses. That’s not over disclosing based on the premis of ethics. That over disclosing what you want to make your cash on hand look better than it really is. Stay classy MacGinnitie!

  12. Reality Check says:

    BC – I assume they will release the list when they are legally suppose to for the 1/1/2010 to 3/31/2010 disclosure. I know its probably hard for a MacGinnitie supporter to know when you are suppose to disclose contributions or in your case loans.

  13. Silent Outrage says:

    Because now, even being in compliance is somehow not? I’m confused. Why are we having a food fight over Secretary of State? That is what this seems like.

    These guys should run campaigns based on the issues and not some made up issue like this that – will get coverage no where but here because it’s not a ligitimate issue.

    • Romegaguy says:

      Food fight? What does this have to do with Agriculture Commissioner? Is that what Kemp is running for this year?

  14. GOPGeorgia says:

    I would think that with today’s technology that campaign contributions to all candidates could be uploaded to the state ethics commission website within 3 days after receiving it. If we are going to call on one candidate to disclose what they have raised almost immediately, let’s make all of them do it.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      Hi Doug, I didn’t see this before I made my post. Perhaps this needs to be a part of an ethics package and some candidate will get smart and pick it up.

      I suggested a weekly posting (say by Midnight every Monday evening), but within 72 hours would work, too.

      • GOPGeorgia says:

        I’m willing to bet something like this is being talked about under the dome. I don’t know if it will pass. I would guess that would depend on the final language.

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