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27 December 2009

Regarding The Georgia Democratic Party's Finances

Last week, I published the November 30th FEC reports for both the state Democratic and Republican parties. The Georgia GOP has almost $1.7 million in the bank, while the Democratic Party of Georgia (DPG) trails badly with just over $150,000.

A Democratic activist saw the numbers and inquired if I had looked at the state Democratic Party's report with the State Ethics Commission (SEC). The short answer is yes; yes I have. However, the SEC report raises more questions than it answers.

For the year 2009, the state Democratic Party says it raised $959,319.90, spent $808,775.94, has $150,543.96 in the bank and a debt load of $118,000.

Contributions
(as of November 30th)
Contributions
(YTD)
Cash On Hand
Debt
Democratic Party
of Georgia
$163,066.00
$959,319.90
$150,543.96
$118,000
If the numbers from the FEC and SEC reports are combined, then the Georgia Democratic Party has raised over $2.2 million and has just over $300,000 in the bank. Heading into an election year, that's a rather low figure to be posting.

The problem though comes from the fact that Georgia's Democratic Party freely transfers money back and forth between its federal and state accounts; making it impossible to get an accurate account of the State Party's finances.

For example, on the June 30th SEC reports, the DPG transferred a total of $14,466.20 from its federal account to its state account. However, on that same report, $39,338.56 back to the federal account from the state account. On the November 2nd SEC report, the DPG transferred $12,815.53. But again, the Democrats transferred $179,794.11 from state back to federal. Finally, for the November 30th campaign finance report, Georgia's Democratic Party transferred $16,519.59 to its federal account.

Below is a table summarizing all those numbers:
Transferred From
Federal To State
Transferred From
State To Federal
Democratic Party
of Georgia
$27,281.73
$235,652.26
Honestly, all this moving of money by the Democrats seems very fishy. It may not be illegal, but it just doesn't pass the smell test.

By the way, I did check the Georgia Republican Party's FEC and SEC campaign finance reports for 2009. If the Georgia GOP is engaging in the same kind of fuzzy math that the Democrats are, then they're doing a better job at hiding it.