Brandon Beach Challenges Chip Rogers To Show Bank Statements

The kerfuffle (Jim Galloway owns a trademark on that word, I think) over the Senate Republican Caucus’ decision  to transfer their money to a “Independent” expenditure group managed by a North Carolina political consultant with close ties to one major Georgia based consultant (who, in turn, has close ties to Senate Leadership) is not going away quietly.

Brandon Beach, challenger to Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, fires the following salvo via press release:

Alpharetta, GA – July 13, 2012. Brandon Beach, Candidate for State Senate District 21, is questioning his opponent’s campaign funding.  Beach wants Senator Chip Rogers to make public a copy of a certified bank statement showing the amount of money in his campaign account. 

Rogers’ political and personal financial affairs have been circumspect throughout his tenure as Senator.  The unexplained disappearance of his hotel loan debt coupled with his maneuvers that led to the Senate Caucus paying his wife’s company for marketing materials are just two of Rogers’ attempts to avoid transparency.  Beach said, “This type of behavior is unacceptable and erodes public trust”. 

Beach, who has made transparency the centerpiece of his campaign, insists that his opponent’s behavior is not honorable or ethical.  Recently, the Republican Senate Caucus funneled $140,000 to a newly created PAC which funded seven mail pieces for Senator Rogers.  Beach said, “I have to question whether Senator Rogers really has $291,000 in his campaign account. If he truly has $291,000 in his account why does he need to use Senate Caucus funds?”  This and other inexplicable monetary mysteries could be settled if Rogers would share his financials with his constituency. 

48 comments

  1. Bull Moose says:

    Keep at it Charlie! Transparency, honor and integrity of the legislative process are at stake and you seem to be the only one that gives a heck… Keep it up!

  2. CCFRG says:

    The legal issue here is not the transfer but the coordination between Chip, the Trust and the PAC.

    Chip directed Sen Goggans to transfer the money and you have to have a gaping hole in your head not to believe he didn’t know what would happen after funds were transferred.

    This fits the legal definition of “collaborate” and “coordinate” and should be investigated.

  3. gcp says:

    Rogers is a full time “legislator” occupying a part-time legislator position. Perhaps Senator Rogers would reveal what kind of company his wife runs and how much business they do with the state. It could prove to be very interesting.

  4. NorthGeorgiaGirl says:

    Beach seems a little bit more liberal than Rogers.

    Is Herman Cain going to endorse him like he did liberal Roy Barnes lover David Doss, who was also endorsed by the Georgia Association of Educators?

  5. CCFRG says:

    Don’t think Beach has been endorsed by GAE.

    What makes him more liberal? Because he is opposed to the State authorizing charter schools and opposed to an immediate transition to vouchers statewide?

      • Charlie says:

        I’m still having difficulty understanding how it’s more liberal to say what you believe in and stand behind it than to switch your position based on the convenience of the moment. Can you help me with that part?

        • Three Jack says:

          I thought about that as I was posting. I’m not at all comfortable with the actions of those in Cherokee who sat in during the committee hearings, voted for the bill and even publicly stated full support of the plan before deciding to oppose it during re-election season. Those guys are only slightly better than Beach who stubbornly supports an under funded transportation ‘plan’ that has no chance of accomplishing the stated goals.

          Beach standing behind this major tax increase knowing the plan will not work is in my opinion the more liberal of the two candidates seeking election in that district. Rogers at least realizes his mistake.

          • Charlie says:

            Again, help me understand how you determine this is someone “recognizing his mistake”, and not someone playing the character of Majority Leader Chip Rogers.

            Can you give me any example of an instance where Chip has stood firm against the majority opinion of his constituents based on his core principles? The only one I can think of is when he did as you described above – when he walked the T-SPLOST all the way thru to the vote, and now he’s supposedly resoundingly against it.

            I’m having great difficulty buying this.

            I know you know him well, so this is not rhetorical. If you can help here, please do. Because what you’re seeing as recognizing a mistake is starting to look a lot like a pattern of shirking responsibility, taking the politically popular position of the moment, and failing to use the title of Leader for actual leadership.

            • Three Jack says:

              Charlie,

              I can cite two major examples of Chip standing for his core principles against the majority opinion of his constituents:

              1. Charter schools / vouchers — http://www.cherokeetribune.com/view/full_story/19299172/article-Rogers–remarks-on-vouchers-draw-ire?instance=secondary_story_bullets_left_column

              2. Gambling — http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2012/07/11/your-morning-jolt-chip-rogers-says-hell-vote-yes-on-casino-gambling/

              The fight over charter schools in Cherokee has been brutal. The school board chair race is between a long time board member and supporter of government schools vs. a supporter of school choice. The former chairman even started his own PAC to oppose Rogers along with others advocating school choice. And I think we can all agree support for gambling while running for re-election in the county that is home to Johnny Hunt is the minority position.

              Chip has certainly stumbled over the past few years with the hotel debacle, failure to acknowledge ethics problems in the legislature and the gambling commercial hubbub, but he is at heart a fiscal conservative. I no longer live in Cherokee, but if I did it would be easy to pick between Chip and Brandon Beach.

              • saltycracker says:

                TJ,

                My sentiment too. In this case, he (usually) votes our way. Chip will preserve an undesirable power clique and Beach promises to overcharge us and join a clique to make “good” decisions in running our lives.

                The problem is considering just not voting for either & wondering what that plays into.

              • Dave Bearse says:

                The Cherokee County vote on the charter school funding constitutional amendment may be something of a stand-in the majority of Cherokee County voters positions on Charter Schools / Vouchers. Won’t there be something on the GOP primary vote on gambling? Cherokee County results will answer as to gambling.

  6. Archon says:

    Brandon’s liberal credential come from his unabashed support of the TIA and for his history on the city council raising taxes. His belief that School Boards and Supers are the best determinant of a child’s education in a one size fits all system.

    I do notice that Mr. Beach while calling for Rogers’ bank statements has not released his for this campaign or for the last. Seems to be just a simple attempt by a desperate campaign run by amateurs. If you are going to try this then consult a real team who has done this in the past. If you want someone to show you theirs it is always more affective to show them yours.

  7. CCFRG says:

    Archon- Where do you get your information?

    From what I have read Mr. Beach led the way in Alpharetta to increase the homestead exemption to the highest in the State, $40,000. Alpharetta is the best run city in the Georgia, with a Triple A Bond Rating and great reserves.

    I would think Mr. Beach would release his campaign bank statements if Mr. Rogers meets his request. But I doubt he is living out of his campaign on $21,000. At least he has a real job and a life.

    And with regard to a campaign run by amateurs . . . at least his campaign is not run by crooks.

    • Archon says:

      Wow who is the crook? And since you seem so interested in facts I checked and it seems beyond his real estate and media work that he has mentioned in articles it appears Mr Rogers works for an organization out of Dunwoody.

      As for your facts when did Mr. Beach serve in the legislature? I can’t find his legislation that increases the Homestead Exemption. I did however find votes that increased the taxes on home owners as a city council.

      Oh and one other question, why was Mr. Beach the only one not to vote to stop the 400 toll. His excuse from the video of the debate was he couldn’t call in because he was in another time zone. The vote was 6-5 to keep the toll going with Beach absent if he had voted the tolls would be down.

      If he wants to set the bar for bank statements thats fine but he should release his and that of the chamber where his employee is working full time but seen throughout the district campaigning during business hours.

      • Will Winners says:

        I think you should be concerned about Adam Pipkin and Robert Trim both of whom are on the state payroll as staff for the majority leader and yet they are out there campaigning for Rogers. How can taxpayers be assured that neither is campaigning while on the states dime? As far as the chamber employee I would think that either the board of directors has given their approval or the employee you refer to could be making use of vacation time neither of which should be any concern of yours.

  8. debbie0040 says:

    Mr. Beach strongly supports T-SPLOST which is the largest tax increase in Georgia history if it passes all regions and works for the Chamber. Both big negatives

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Since when did being part of the business community become a “big negative”? And drop this “largest tax increase in history” drivel. That 6% income tax we’ve been living under for all these years has surely brought in more money than a 10-year, 1% sales tax could ever bring in.

    • Will Winners says:

      I was under the impression that you and the tea party were very concerned about ethics, yet you are willing to overlook a person with a long list of unethical behavior and a leader that refuses to take personal responsibility for any of his past indiscretions over his opponent that is honest enough to admit that he is going to vote in favor of the T-SPLOST knowing it is not a popular issue in his district.

      I don’t understand why you would be against a person that works for the Chamber, especially one that has been so successful in bringing thousands of good jobs to his community.

      I won’t be voting for the T-SPLOST, but I will be voting for Brandon Beach because I want an honest ethical person as my state senator.

      • Cloverhurst says:

        Good point Charlie.

        Debbie, I respect you because I find you to be generally pretty principled.

        But to Charlies point. Rogers voted for the TSPLOST, praised it at a press conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBoRMCRqcNg

        Appointed himself to the roundtable, but never showed up and now he is against it and wants to sue. If you listen to that video you will see he knew that local officials like Kasim Reed, John Eaves and Burrell Ellis would choose the projects and knew transit would be involved.

        But put aside the TSPLOST, why has the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots not condemned Chip for this 140,000 dollar PAC to PAC transfer, something your group called to be outlawed.

        You call out Balfour, from the looks of this Chip is worse. He orchestrates the funneling of $140,000 from the Senate trust to a new Independent Committee which spent all of its money at a mailhouse registered the same day as the Cmte and uses a UPS Store as their office all for the benefit of a few Senators (which given the coordination might be illegal), tells the AJC he doesn’t have a job but a little google-ing shows he really does work as a lobbyist out of state for such groups as the Asian American Hotel Owners and PCRMA a PETA front, and he still keeps people like Jack Murphy and Balfour as cmte chairs.

        This screams bad, corrupt, non-transparent, untrustworthy government. I think the Atlanta Tea Party should step up to the plate. You don’t have to support Mr. Beach, but you can certainly condemn Rogers actions.

      • debbie0040 says:

        My favorite for Romney VP – Gov. Jindal, once said that it is never too late to do the right thing.

        I am not happy with that transfer, but from what I gather, it is legal under the current ethics laws. Changing that is part of the ethics legislation we pushed for and we will be pushing Chip hard for those changes. I let Sen. Roges know that we disapproved of that.

        Mr. Beach is trying to distract from his strong support of T-SPLOST and chamber ties and it is not going to work…

        I am personally supporting Chip for re-election.

        Mr. Beach brings far more baggage to the table that is unacceptable than Chip does.. As I have said, T-SPLOST is a huge influence in this election. The Chamber has far too much influence under the Gold dome already..

        • debbie0040 says:

          As far as keeping Murphy and Balfour as committee chairs, the ball is in Tommy Williams court to call a meeting of the Committee on Assignments. I spoke to a member (Definitely not Chip) and asked about why they were not removed and was told that Tommy Williams will not call a meeting..

          • Charlie says:

            Debbie, this is nonsensical. While I am neutral in this race, Chip actually has the word “leader” in his title. He’s also on the committee on assignments. Yet every time I asked him personally about this over the past year, he shrugs any responsibilty for it.

            At some point, Chip needs to assume responsibilty for something. Anything would be nice.

            Instead, he has a distinct pattern of being for things when they are popular, and against them when not.

            It’s not what I look for when I seek leadership.

        • DeKalb Wonkette says:

          Debbie: You know that Chip has been lauded by the GA Chamber as “lawmaker of the year” for a long time! It’s a little late in the day to declare him the “un-Chamber” candidate.

        • gsujohn says:

          ” I am personnaly supporting Chip for re-election”

          And to think I was going to join my local TPP organization

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        Actually, I’d like to offer a perspective that if a legislator voted yes to allow for the referendum and then publically announces that they are not in favor of the T-SPLOST ballot question in their region, that the law is working.

        The law created a process to address transportation in a regional way where the local elected officials would work with the DOT Planning Director to identify projects that matched the different factors that the law set forth to qualify a project for the list. So, the legislator, and everyone else, had no clue what project lists would look like. They just voted to allow a group of elected officials, both state and local, to get together and make the effort at seeing whether or not they could agree on a list.

        So, the list comes out and as a legislator, you make the policy determination as to whether the list is good for your district or not. Some have decided that they don’t like their lists, so they have publically stated that they will vote no. Some have decided to vote yes. Just like the voters themselves, the legislators go to the polls and vote. Their opinions on the ballot question matter to constituents, so they get asked the question: are you voting for it or not?

        A legislator voting for the law that created the regional T-SPLOSTs should not be automatically labeled as a supporter of the T-SPLOST. Many moons had to pass and many meetings of the minds had to occur before the lists would be ready. The list is the deciding factor. Not the decision to vote to create the governance structure that would decide whether or not a referendum would be held.

        Largely, what you have seen is local elected officials working with the state and coming up with regional project lists that each believed would benefit his or her constituents. They had to line facts up with funds and determine if projects were worthy. By and large, most lists were passed unanimously. The idea of local elected officials from different counties, all basically charged with looking out for their own county, coming to agreement on a project list means something.

        • Charlie says:

          If by “working”, you mean advancing the legislation for a huge tax increase and then being able to say that you are against it but hope Democratic voters pass it, then yes. It’s working great.

        • GTKay says:

          But did those who voted for the legislation not anticipate that if you bring together representatives from the 10 metro counties you’re going to have projects that appeal to some counties and not others? The process to get to this point was tedious. Those who say it was sloppy are wrong. Someone said Rogers appointed himself to the committee, which is not correct. It was made up of each county commissioner and a mayor from each county. If Rogers was willing to vote for this process to take place but is unhappy with the outcome, then he should personally vote against it. Otherwise he should stay neutral and encourage voters to educate themselves and vote accordingly. He said in an interview that we need to “get it right” so what was he doing in 2010? And why would he think that next year’s legislature with the help of activists like Debbie Dooley and her Sierra Club and Dekalb NAACP friends will be able to “get it right?”

          • Dave Bearse says:

            Wrong GTKay, on Chip Rogers not appointing himself to the committee.

            “In addition to these local elected officials, the Executive Committee included several non‐voting members of the Georgia General Assembly. Although TIA 2010 mandated the appointment of only three state officials, participants in the Atlanta region’s process included:
             House of Representatives
            o Mike Jacobs, District 80
            o Sean Jerguson, District 22
             Senate
            o Chip Rogers, District 21
            o Jack Murphy, District 27
            o Alternates
             Valencia Seay, District 34
             Doug Stoner, District 6
             Renee Unterman, District 45”

  9. I Miss the 90s says:

    Beach is a loser. What, does he think the financial records of a state senator will make a difference to the voting public?

    Naivete.

    • Cloverhurst says:

      I think Beach’s idea here is why would a Senator who claims to have $291k Cash on Hand have to use 70k of a 140k PAC to PAC transfer to fund direct mail for his campaign.

      Given the honor system Georgia currently relies on for campaign disclosures, Chips record of managing finances and this latest transfer salvo raise a lot of questions. Does he really have all of the money he claims to have in his campaign account?

    • gsujohn says:

      Would rather elect one who is naive than one who holds in contempt those who put him in office.

  10. DeKalb Wonkette says:

    Why is a candidate’s position on the T-SPLOST the litmus test?

    I too am opposed to the T-SPLOST but I think voters have to look at the totality of attributes and views that each candidate has to offer. Honesty and the ability to shoot straight with me – even if I disagree on an issue – trumps all in my book.

    And just because a candidate does something that is “legal” doesn’t make it right. The law is the floor – not the ceiling – for ethical behavior. Tea party folks: Don’t let yourselves get “played” in this manner!

    What y’all do in Senate District 21 affects everyone in the state. I wish I could vote in that race!

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      “Why is a candidate’s position on the T-SPLOST the litmus test?”

      Because the T-SPLOST is quickly turning into one of the most controversial and most-widely hated and despised policy decisions in state history, that’s why.

      The T-SPLOST is on the front pages of newspapers, it’s often one of the lead stories on the nightly news on a daily basis, it’s one of the biggest political stories and public policy issues that’s ever been voted on in this state’s history.

      The fact that the increasingly unpopular T-SPLOST is one of the biggest political stories in this state’s history is also why we are seeing so many politicians sprinting away at full speed for their political lives from this horrifically bad legislation that has unsurprisingly quickly devolved into a political thud and a disasterous public relations nightmare.

      • DeKalb Wonkette says:

        Don’t give yourself a heart attack Last Dem! TIA and theT-SPLOST has turned out to be the biggest pig-in-poke lawmakers have ever bought themselves and it has the potential for being a game-changer under the Gold Dome now that voters are actually sitting up and paying attention to what goes on there.

        All I can tell you is that Chip is not now nor has he ever been a straight shooter. Gaming the system to his own benefit seems to be baked into his DNA.

        If you have an opportunity to vote for someone who you can work with and will be direct and honest with you, for God sake man – TAKE IT!

        PS: If Chip says legalized gambling is OK because nobody “gets hurt” what is next? Legalized prostitution among adults? Polygamy? Beastility? Slippery slope……. and given his background I can’t imagine why he’d even weigh in on gambling.

  11. Carlyle says:

    When was it such a crime in this state to be a business owner and associated with the chamber?I’m not speaking of the Senate race in Cherokee ,just the overall message the Tea Partiers project.

    • DTK says:

      Because the Chamber of Commerce is a rent-seeking organization. I think it’s healthy that many conservatives are realizing that being “pro-business” is not the same as being “pro-market.” A lot of us are tired of defending legislation that does nothing but prop up certain industries’ bottom lines at the expense of everyone else.

  12. SFrazier says:

    Chip will not do well in Jail! He is way to skinny, 6-3 and a buck sixty five soaking wet. Maybe he can assist the warden with his gambling picks for protection.

  13. Carlyle says:

    DTK,
    Not buying that line at all.You tea guys keep thinking that your new alliance with groups such as Sierra and the NAACP is beneficial to whatever your longterm strategy is,they are playing you guys like a fiddle.Conservative business people know that the Chamber and other groups that promote for the business owners are not always right but they are a much better bet than these types…

    • DTK says:

      First, I’m not a “tea guy” so I’ll let them speak for themselves. However, I think it’s quite healthy for our politics in Georgia that some conservatives are teaming with some liberals on some issues of common interest. I think we’re all better off if our politics were more issue-oriented than team-oriented. I like that tea party folks have broken tanks from Chamber Of Commerce Republicans on issues such as T-SPLOST, ethics, and the Georgia Power rate hikes.

      I know that mainstream, business Republicans don’t like this development because it lessens the significance of finally attaining a constitutional majority, but I think it’s good for the rest of us that the Chamber crowd doesn’t have complete control over policy for the better part of the rest of the decade.

  14. sunkawakan says:

    Wondering why no state law enforcement entity has looked into the information that Jim Walls dug up on Rogers and his gambling activities. Or is law enforcement afraid of Chip Rogers?

  15. DeKalb Wonkette says:

    Did y’all see this on Georgia Pundit? Apparently our incombent GOP Senators are worse than the Mob; they will wack their own. http://gapundit.com/ More there. I copied/pasted:
    #######

    Is there a problem with the Senate Republican Trust transferring that much money to a new entity that spends it to reelect members of Senate leadership? Apparently not.

    “Georgia has some of the weakest PAC and independent committee laws in the country,” said Rick Thompson, managing partner of R. Thompson & Associates who spent five years as the Ethic Commission’s executive director.

    “If we want to get serious about reform and transparency, we need to abandon the ridiculous $100 limits and ideas being pushed around this election cycle by special interest groups and focus on the reporting requirements of PACs and independent committees.”

    Thompson, whose firm specializes in ethics and compliance consultation, said, “to truly be an expenditure of an independent committee, the candidate cannot have any coordination or control of the expenditure. Otherwise it is an in kind contribution.”

    I failed to make clear that Thompson’s quote was a general statement on the laxity of PAC regulation in the state Act governing campaign finance, but was not meant to state a position on whether the transfer from the Senate Trust to the Promotion PAC was in compliance with the Act. It certainly did not state that Rick Thompson had said the transfer from the Senate Republican Trust to the Georgia Republican Senate Caucus Promotion PAC is okay. That statement was about the general lack of regulation of committee-to-committee transfers.

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