Posted on June 18, 2020

Group Backing Stacey Abrams’ 2018 Gubernatorial Bid Fined $50k by Ethics Panel

James Salzer, Atlanta Journal Constitution, June 18, 2020

A group backing Stacey Abrams’ 2018 gubernatorial bid was fined $50,000 by the state ethics commission Thursday for failing to report what it spent to help her win the Democratic primary.

Gente4Abrams (People for Abrams) spent $240,000 for canvassing, social media posts and print and radio advertising to help Abrams win the primary but didn’t report what it spent or where it got the money to pay for it, the commission said.


The commission voted 4-1 to accept a consent order with the group. The one vote in opposition came from Eric Barnum. {snip}

Abrams narrowly lost the 2018 general election to Kemp in the most expensive gubernatorial contest in Georgia history.

David Emadi, the executive director of the commission, said the group agreed to the fine. {snip}

Emadi told the commission he thought the fine for what he described as a “dark money Super PAC” was appropriate.

“A quarter of a million dollars was dumped into this race without anyone knowing where the money was coming from,” he said.

An investigation found big checks came from groups in New York, California, Colorado and Canada.


Emadi revealed that investigators intend to present evidence the Abrams campaign accepted donations from four groups that exceeded maximum contribution limits for a statewide campaign. {snip}


Barnum, the commissioner member who opposed the consent order, contributed to Abrams’ campaign.