Posted: 2:37 pm Monday, July 7th, 2014

Liberal group Better Georgia slapped with ethics complaint 

By Greg Bluestein

Better Georgia, the left-of-center start-up group, faces an ethics complaint claiming the organization improperly engaged in direct campaign activity that needles — as it often does — Gov. Nathan Deal.

James Burnham of St. Marys said in a complaint filed this month that an email he received from the group in May —  slamming Deal — amounted to political conduct that doesn’t comport with its tax status.

He said Better Georgia, designated as a nonprofit social welfare organization, should instead be an independent expenditure committee which would be subject to state and federal disclosure requirements.

You can find a full copy of the complaint here. 

Update: While the complaint lists Burnham as a physician, a Google search turns up no such figure — but does point to a prominent chiropractic practice.

Better Georgia spokesman Brandon Hanick said Burnham was a “Republican party loyalist,” noting his role as a host of local GOP events. He called the complaint was an election-year tactic “as evidenced by the fact that the press was tipped off about the complaint” before his organization received it.

And then he threw in a barb about the ethics questions swirling around the governor:

“Unlike Gov. Deal, who just cost Georgia taxpayers $3 million because of his ongoing ethical issues, Better Georgia has complied with the law and will continue to do so.”

59 comments
Charles50
Charles50

So it's okay for outside groups to run ads that may impact the elections here in GA.  They can say whatever they want about the candidates, but an organization based in Georgia can't express opinions about missteps by Shady Deal Deal?  He's just doing Deal's dirty work and trying to shut them down. 

fatleo
fatleo

Oh God Where Art Thou? ... Bernie - where 'ya been?

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

"I got these two great guys that look after my place man, they're the best."

LookbeforeIleap
LookbeforeIleap

Well I see the AJC bird-cage liner and its Uber conservative political columnists continue their biased reporting as they seek even the smallest taint against Democrats as we slog through yet another election season.

honested
honested

So should I file ethics complaints for all the dishonest wrong-wing propaganda in my mailbox every day?

Only in Gooberstan is TELLING THE TRUTH considered 'unethical'!!!

NWGAL
NWGAL

If this group is engaged in promoting a politician, they should not be a non profit. The same holds true for churches and other non profit entities which promote a candidate. 

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

How about an ethics investigation into Michelle Nunn spamming my facebook page with her propaganda? I mean WTF, just her picture give me nightmares, let alone her agenda!

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Since we are filing complaints can I file a complaint against the Georgia Republican Party?  I received and absentee ballot via e-mail from them to vote in a past election that I did not ask for nor request that had my name and already competed, of course when I called and blasted them they denied knowing anything about it....Next!

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

You mean, stupid conservatives.

Better Georgia, like all social welfare orgs, is permitted to engage in this kind of advocacy. This complaint will be dismissed.

LookbeforeIleap
LookbeforeIleap

Well I thought I'd borrow a favored tactic from some of our resident righties just for yucks.

First time I've ever complained about the messenger as opposed to the message and here is my conclusion:

It's kinda like smoking your first cigarette.  It is generally unpleasant, doesn't taste very good and makes your hair smell bad.

honested
honested

@LookbeforeIleap 

Meanwhile, nathan is still a crook and neither perdue nor kingston have the talent to be a Senator.

GaBlue
GaBlue

@honested


In some  parts of Gooberstan, it's illegal! Like in North Carolina, it's a crime to disclose which chemicals the frackers are pumping into the ground. As in, get arrested and go to jail for telling the truth. 

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

@NWGAL Why only a not-for-profit (aka non-profit)? Most not-for-profits make a profit, otherwise they cannot continue in operation. The not-for-profit only says their primary purpose is something other than profit.

Case in point is the Clinton Family Foundation. 

Point
Point

@NWGAL Nathan Deal was at the pulpit this weekend talking about his plan for non profits to help with his prison reform.  Saw the picture and the article in the AJC today.


What about the Republican Governors group.  Are they non-profit?  They send some political ads out and bought a good bit of tv time.

Charles50
Charles50

Wish you had contacted the SOS and the press.  Please do so in the future, and not necessarily in that order. 

chatchett
chatchett

@StraightNoChaser GAGOP, campaigns, and other political groups can legally solicit you with direct mail just like any other business. They probably targeted you because you've voted in previous elections. When you vote in an election, that information is publicly available.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@Kamchak

82 people shot in ONE weekend in ONE city is "drudgey?"  This hard-left group is vocal about curtailing Second Amendment rights.

Have your mom and dad explain it to you.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@chatchett @StraightNoChaser based on This guide is an overview of Georgia’s absentee voting process and the phone calls I made afterwards I was only suppose to get an absentee ballot if I requested it.  Apparently you missed the part of my post where I said I DID NOT ASK FOR IT. 


ABSENTEE VOTING BY MAIL 

Applying For Your Absentee Ballot 

Paper absentee ballots will be mailed to voters ONLY  upon request. All written requests must be submitted (by mail, fax, email) or personally delivered to the registrar office in the county where you are registered to vote. 


I did not ask for it but someone sure as hell wanted to make sure I voted republican in the election.  This from a party that make accusations of voter misconduct.  NOW THAT'S FUNNY.....

honested
honested

@Retired-Soldier @honested @LookbeforeIleap 

Proven ability to negotiate an effective remedy to problems at hand?

Perdue can do that for lost causes when he gets paid royally (not an option in the Senate).

Kingston, I haven't seen anything he is good at.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@StraightNoChaser - You probably only got the application (and maybe it was pre-filled out for you) for and absentee ballot - not the actual ballot that requires your signature.

I have received those from both parties.  I sometimes sent them in with my signature to get the actual ballot before early voting became an option.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@Kamchak @EdUktr

Learn a little human compassion as you're growing up.

Sport.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@The_Centrist @StraightNoChaser You know what?  I think with two college degrees I am more than capable of passing a voters test so I know the difference between an application and an actual ballot.  You think?  BTW I did file a complaint and the BALLOT I received was passed on the Secretary of States office.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@StraightNoChaser - I still doubt your claim, whether by confusion or embellishment.  Who would do such a fraudulent thing when it wasn't even a vote? 

Since you hate the Republican Party so much, you would be taking the ballot and letter to a district attorney for prosecution if you truly had it sent to you.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@The_Centrist 

I still doubt your claim, whether by confusion or embellishment. 

I've always doubted your claim to be "centrist".

Just sayin'.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@The_Centrist @StraightNoChaser You can doubt what you want, I really could care less what you think because it happened to me.  I would not expect anything less from a supporter of the GOP that's what they did until I turned it in to the Secretary of States office.    I never said I hated the republican party, I don't hate anyone so stop putting words in my mouth.  I don't vote against my or my communities best interest.  I vote on issues not based on hate or race. 

EdUktr
EdUktr

@Kamchak @The_Centrist

I've always doubted your claim to be an adult.

Sport.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@StraightNoChaser - Do tell.  Please keep us advised.  (Bet this is the last we will hear of this whopper).  Why not send copies to the AJC - they would love to use it to attack the GOP (which I am not a member as you falsely accuse).

Kamchak
Kamchak

@EdUktr 

I've never doubted that you are a leg humper.

Just sayin'.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@The_Centrist You not being a member of the GOP?  Now that's the whooper.  You are too funny and you would love to know who I am wouldn't you?   God forbid if you should end up at a level one trauma center you just might find out.  A hit dog will holla.    HA HA

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@StraightNoChaser - OIC.  You gave supposedly gave it to the Secretary of State's office, but now fear well after the fact that you can't give it to the AJC since you just posted and it will give your identity away.

Sure.

Another whopper.


And I am not a member of the GOP because I am secular, pro-choice, in favor of Buffet rule tax brackets, and support Common Core among other non-Republican ideals.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@The_Centrist @StraightNoChaser Gave what?  I told MY story not The_Centrist story of how I receive an inappropriate ballot from a political party in this state.  Why is it bothering you so much?  I bet if I had said it came from the Dem party you would be giving me all kinds of accolades by now.  I just don't get it whenever something is said that shows the GOP is not PERFECT  it's supporters become offended, combative and offensive to whomever is saying it. I am not making an accusation I am saying what happened to me which is different from what you do on here everyday.  You accuse, complain and whine.  If what you are saying is true about you not being GOP you would not have went into attack mode when I stated that I received an inappropriate absentee ballot from the Georgia Republican Party.  You attacked me because you are a republican and YOUR party is always accusing others of voter misconduct.  Just because you were not and still are not privileged to the details of what happened does not mean it did not happen.  Get off my lawn.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@StraightNoChaser - It was YOU who posted asking if you could file a complaint against the Republican Party, but subsequently posted that you had already done so with the Secretary of State - which you have since edited out of your post.  You got caught telling a whopper.

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@StraightNoChaser @The_Centrist 


If you received an application it could have been sent by the republican party or a sample ballot. If you received an actual absentee ballot it would have come from your county registrar's office. No way would a political party send an actual ballot or be able to get their hands on one.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@The_Centrist @StraightNoChaser You just can't tell the truth and you are very biased.  Must I paste from my previous post which is still there what I said.  "I would not expect anything less from a supporter of the GOP that's what they did until I turned it in to the Secretary of States office"  End quotes.  Not that it's any of your business because I can and will say whatever I want, my original post asking "Can I file a complain? Was a conversation starter and fodder for political junkies like you. Yes I filed a complaint and yes I will do it again no matter which party sends it.  

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Retired-Soldier @StraightNoChaser @The_Centrist The return e-mail address was for the Georgia Republican party.  I do not know who sent it out but it had their e-mail address and contact information.  I could care less who sent it out I just did not and still do not appreciate another party trying to pick who I should vote for, that's way different than campaigning and it crossed the line.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Retired-Soldier @StraightNoChaser @The_Centrist 


I still have the e-mail and yes I sent it to Ms. Hamilton at the Secretary of States office.  I have not reason to lie.  Below is a copy of the email.  


Good Morning Ms. Hamilton,

 Here is the e-mail I received from the GA GOP that I spoke with you about yesterday.  Yes it is an absantee ballot which opens in adobe. Thanks and have a great day.  


-----Original Message-----
From: Georgia Republican Party <donotreply@gagop.org>
To: 
Sent: Thu, Oct 25, 2012 2:50 am
Subject: You can still absentee vote!

You can absentee vote until Election Day!
If this absentee ballot request correctly lists your information just click on it to print and mail (or hand deliver) to your registrar. If this absentee ballot request is not correct, or you need another one, just click here to get an official application.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Retired-Soldier @StraightNoChaser @The_Centrist Thanks for clearing that up it really bothered me when I received it.  In the words of Dr. James Burnham, a St. Marys physician,  this amounts to political conduct that doesn’t comport with "Don't tread on me".    What is my issue?  My issue is how can the GOP accuse the dems of doing what they do themselves? St. Mary's may not do it but there are plenty of religious organizations that wade into the political arena where they have no business being.  It's like he's preaching to the choir.   Both parties do it so neither party is exempt from bad behavior.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@StraightNoChaser posted further above when I questioned whether he got an actual absentee ballot instead of just an application: "@The_Centrist  You know what?  I think with two college degrees I am more than capable of passing a voters test so I know the difference between an application and an actual ballot.  You think?"

Those two college degrees along with a couple of us questioning him did not help.  Then he got all P.O.'d when I doubted it was an actual ballot.  He had to post the letter that clearly stated it was simply a request for a ballot.  

Case closed.  He is not telling whoppers, he is just so spring loaded with his partisanship - or a little slow.  Probably the first.

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@StraightNoChaser @Retired-Soldier @The_Centrist 


This may seen like a small distinction to you, but here we go. The Georgia Republican Party is a political organization, Better Georgia is not supposed to be a political organization.


One can do political activities, the other can't.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@The_Centrist 

...he is just so spring loaded with his partisanship...

FairTaxers say, "What?"

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Retired-Soldier @StraightNoChaser @The_Centrist It does not matter I just don't like how The_Centrist called me an outright liar about my experience during an election year.  I have no respect for people who vote party and not issues.  None what so ever.  I am all over the place with my ideology.  I am conservative on some issues (62%), I support the green party on some (80%) , and I am liberal (72%)  on some so I am not married to any party.