Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Cost of Doing Business

Last election cycle, the Georgia Association of Realtors spent more than half a million dollars on campaign contributions and other political spending but failed to report it, as required by state ethics laws. As a consequence, according to the AJC, they have agreed to pay the largest ethics fine in history, $80,000.00.

A big chunk of the money was spent on Cagle, but I also seem to recall at least one piece of mail for Macon republican Allen Freeman that was paid for by Realtors. I can't remember whether it was the Georgia Association or some local group.

I have nothing against Realtors. My sister is a broker in another state, but I hope that this fine sends a message. As long as these large "independent" expenditures are permitted, the least we can do is make sure that the voters know about it, and are able to take it into account as they cast their votes-not two years later.

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