A bill to create new fundraising committees for political campaigns in Georgia passed in the state Senate late last week.
Sponsored by Republican Senator Jeff Mullis of Chickamauga, the bill would create so-called “leadership committees” run by the governor, lieutenant governor and their opponents – plus top leaders in the General Assembly – to collect campaign donations ahead of statewide and legislative elections.
The leadership committees would have to disclose the names of donors but would not be subject to candidate contribution limits ranging from $14,000 to $22,200 for statewide seats and $5,600 to $8,600 per donor, depending on whether a candidate is forced into a primary or general-election runoff. Mullis framed the leadership committees as avenues for promoting transparency in political spending that both Republicans and Democrats could use.
Critics, on the other hand, argue allowing leadership committees in Georgia could serve as a workaround for candidates to receive campaign funds from dark-money groups not bound by contribution limits and from special interests that could steer money to state lawmakers during the legislative session.
Currently, Georgia law forbids members of the General Assembly from campaigning or accepting donations during the session due to the influence special-interest groups could wield to push through their favored policies.
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