An ethics complaint is being filed today by State Senate Candidate Steve Voshall regarding mailpieces that have been sent praising Boshall’s opponent, incumbent State Senator Jack Murphy (R-Failed Bank). The mailpieces are from a group called “Georgia Republican Senate Caucus Promotion PAC”. This “PAC” is not actually a political action committee at all, but in fact has registered as a independent political committee. This has a specific meaning as an IPC has transparency requirements for income and expenditures at the first dollar.
While Voshall is leading the charge by filing the first complaint, other challengers to Senate Republican incumbents report having the same group involved in their races. Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers has been the beneficiary of SEVEN! mailpieces from this group, while Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bill Heath has received at least five on his behalf. Murphy has received at least 3 and possibly a 4th hitting today. These are the only three campaigns that Peach Pundit has thus far contacted, other Senate GOP incumbents may be receiving the same.
Even if this IPC were registred as a PAC, there is a $25,000 threshold where expenditures must be disclosed. No disclosures have thus been filed according to the State Campaign Finance and Transparency Commission.
Senate Republicans spent most of last session defeating ethics reform attempts on the basis that “TRANSPARENCY” was all that was needed to keep elected officials honest.
Now, in the grips of tightly contested re-election campaigns, someone – who just registered this new “PAC” on 5/17/2012, is spending a significant amount of money to protect incumbent Senators without any trace of the identity of the operators or the donors.
Michael Luethy, a North Carolina political consultant is registered as the agent for the PAC, using a UPS Mailbox store address in Grayson Georgia as the address of the PAC. Luthy’s name is the full extent of “transparency” that these Senate incumbents have chose to express over these mailpieces.
Peach Pundit welcomes a response from the Senators regarding who is paying for these pieces, and who is behind the PAC. We would also welcome real ethics reform that puts teeth into “transparency” next fall.