File this under “This smells funny”. Atlanta Unfiltered is reporting that Deal’s close friends at ‘Real PAC’ collected an excess of $302,500 since 2012 and have skimmed over that whole federal tax code thing. The PAC, which filed with the IRS in 2011, has not filed expenditure reports or federal taxes since 2011. There also appears to be some interesting coincidences surrounding finances.
Donors and timing- it is indeed intriguing. Apparently WellCare of Georgia donated $50,000 to Real PAC on the same day that state Medicaid officials said they planned to extend the contract for WellCare, a two year contract totaling $2 billion. Other donors include United Health Group, Inc. (provider of State Health Benefits), BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia (an insurer seeking to replace United Health as a state provider), the Georgia Health Care Association, a key power player in the hospital “bed tax” issue during the 2013 legislative session and AT&T Georgia.
A ping pong match over whether disclosures are actually necessary seems to still be in play. Real PAC’s official status is “qualified state political organization”, or 527 filing, which is not required to file disclosures with the IRS but is required to report financial activity to the state.
Meanwhile, the Real PAC Chairman says he knows nothing of the finances for Real PAC. On the other hand, Real PAC’s treasurer, Rick Thompson, says Real PAC is not subject to Georgia disclosure laws because it made no contributions to political candidates. Thompson claims, “This is an issue-advocacy organization. It doesn’t coordinate with candidates or anything like that.” He also mentioned that Real PAC plans to dissolve in coming weeks.
All of this despite the “Real. Deal” campaign slogan. All of this despite the controversy over campaign contributions. I sense some very serious skirting, but in the mean time, the war chest continues to build- whether it’s direct or not.