‘Real PAC’ Not Dealing With The Rules?

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.

8 comments

  1. Three Jack says:

    Raw Deal crooked? Say it ain’t so.

    This fits nicely with the othere news about RD this week where the company that bought his salvage yard owes over $70M in back taxes to the state. The governor has so many crooked deals going at the same time, he can’t even keep up despite all his staffers.

  2. David C says:

    Deal’s not been shy about routing his campaign contributions to his and his family’s coffers. See “North Georgia Aviation” and “Southern Magnolia Capital.” The bit about not disclosing because they’re not donating to candidates makes me think this is a big slush fund to pay off Deal and the rest of his crony companies.

  3. Dave Bearse says:

    The collective knowledge of the Board is “We don’t know nothing, and even if we did, we don’t have to report it anyway.”

    It didn’t move the needle in 2010 when a Congressman resigned to avoid censure for using his office to lobby for a no-bid state contract awarded exclusively awarded to his business while he was a state senator, barely avoided bankruptcy financing a daughter’s bankrupt business, then arranged that the daughter gets a 15% cut of campaign contributions.

    Dubious PAC donations aren’t going to move the needle now.

    • caroline says:

      I agree with you. This is not going to move the needle on bit and I’m willing to bet Deal wins the GOP gubernatorial primary despite opposition and goes onto being reelected governor. He can just say Jesus wanted him to have that money and Jesus wanted him to give that money to his own business and Jesus forgave him for his bad dealings so will the voters of GA.

  4. Dave Bearse says:

    I got around to reading the Atlanta Unfiltered source a short while ago.

    The Crony-In-Chief’s Chief lifelong crony Jim Walters is Real PAC’s Chairman. The Crony-In-Chief’s Chief Crony, Kevin Cronan, is Real PAC’s Secretary. Cronan and Deal co-own the junkyard business Deal was lobbying for when he quit Congress to avoid censure, and North Georgia Aviation, a business Deal’s campaign paid $135,000 for campaign air travel (for comparison, Barnes paid $16,000 and Handel $6,000 for campaign air travel): http://blogs.ajc.com/georgia_elections_news/2010/09/27/campaign-paid-135k-to-lease-aircrafts-from-company-nathan-deal-co-owns/ )

    Not to worry though, GaGOP luminary and Real PAC Treasurer Rick Thompson assure us there’s absolutely no connection between Real PAC and the Governor, despite the crony Board members, the PACs name, and Deal’s photo on the PACs home page. Board members like Thompson can’t say what the message was, but since the message got out Real PAC will fold, it’s mission over. (Makes one warm and tingly that Thompson was formerly Ethics Commission Executive Secretary, doesn’t it?)

    Real PAC raised at least $459,000 without reporting the source of over $300,000 of it, or reporting any spending whatsoever. I got the message. Did you?

    • Three Jack says:

      Thanks Dave. Your 2 posts sum up the situation nicely, but I hold out hope that you will be wrong about the needle moving.

      • Baker says:

        Don’t hold out too much hope, this won’t even be a blip on the radar screen. Summer the year before the election? How many voters are even aware of this? Less than 5%?

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