Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

'I need your help now' Candidates plead for donors as 2017 winds down


The end of the year deadlines for campaign contributions have spurred candidates to plead for money with varying levels of urgency.

Although candidates for federal and state office don't have to report their fundraising hauls until late January, they are scrambling to close the books on 2017 and wring out a few extra dollars from donors before the new year.

Candidates for state offices also have a different sort of deadline in mind. Once the session begins on Jan. 8, state office-holders are barred from raising cash contributions. That means a flurry of last-minute fundraisers to hold them over before the session ends about three months later.

Republican David Shafer, a state senator running for lieutenant governor, sent his supporters an invite to a Jan. 4 fundraiser that costs $100 to attend and $6,600 to be listed as a benefactor.

"Thank you again for your friendship," he wrote to donors. "I need your help now."

 

U.S. Rep. Karen Handel, readying a re-election bid for Georgia's 6th District, didn't raise the specter of a comeback bid by Democrat Jon Ossoff, as she has done in the past. But her note to donors warned that "Nancy Pelosi and her liberal allies will be examining our report looking for any sign of weakness."

And state Sen. Michael Williams, a GOP candidate for governor who trails his rivals in fundraising, took a similar approach.

"If our financial disclosure has a small list of donors, career politicians and establishment Republicans will know that they can get away with raising taxes and spending more of your money on pet projects for special interest groups," he wrote.

The award for creativity, though, might belong to state Rep. Buzz Brockway, a Republican candidate for secretary of state. In his appeal, headlined "not quitting," he wrote that he refused to resign from the statehouse to raise cash.

"Consequently, by keeping my word, it will be harder to get my campaign message to the voters," he added, launching into a fundraising ask.

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A somber note to end the year: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported Thursday that the beaverpond marstonia, a freshwater snail from Georgia, is now extinct. The Center for Biological Diversity said the snail was lost to extinction in part because of creeping urbanization, groundwater withdrawal from agricultural fields and pollution. First discovered in 1977, the species was a tiny, tan, freshwater snail from Cedar Creek, a tributary of the Flint River in middle Georgia.

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Columbus-based Aflac joined the list of firms that announced additional investments after the $1.5 trillion package of tax cuts was approved in Congress. The insurance firm said it would increase its 401(k) match for employees and chip in $500 to each staffer's plan. It also said it would boost its U.S. investment by $250 million over the next five years, in part by expanding its U.S. operations and training programs.


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.