Thursday, January 26, 2006

Giving Ralph Hudgens the Business

Major redistricting post coming up later today with respect to the Mayor and Commission’s vote of condemnation last night.  We’re still waiting on a couple of sources to check in.  We would however, like to go ahead and express our strong support for the move and congratulate the Mayor and Commission for stepping up to the plate and taking a good swing on this one.  (We’ll get to Tom Chasteen in our later post.)

But, we wanted to get a post down about redistricting and an interesting letter in the paper today.  (Athens Banner-Herald: Michael Williams: Hudgens not serving his constituents,” 01/26/06)

Mr. Williams, according to his letter, is a resident of Madison County.  Like many of his neighbors here in Athens, he is less than pleased with his representation in the State Senate.  

Although Ralph Hudgens would like for us to believe otherwise, the orphaned precinct in Madison County is hardly a big political issue.  If it were, then the State House would be considering Keith Heard’s compromise plan, rather than voting it down 6-3 in committee yesterday.  As everyone knows, this is politics, and it has nothing to do with the poor little orphaned Madisonians who are deprived of the benefits of Ralph Hudgens’ inspired legislative leadership.  They’re just pawns in a Republican game of “Stomp on ACC.”

Maybe more interesting is Williams’ mention that Hudgens is going to be monkeying with changing Madison County’s government – at the behest of, guess who?

The Madison County Chamber of Commerce, of course.

Things like this raise some significant questions about exactly who Hudgens works for?  Actually, it doesn’t so much ask the questions as answer them.  

Ralph Hudgens is a tool of any local businessman with a campaign contribution and a political agenda.   Don’t believe us?  That’s cool – we’re Democrats, and we’re biased.  But, before you dismiss us out of hand, take a look at Ralph’s contribution reports.  They’re available to the public, and you can view them at the handy links we provide below.  Here’s a few gems, though.

From Hudgens’ December 31, 2005 disclosure report, which covers the period from July 1, 2005 through December 31, 2005, we see that Hudgens received $37,250.00.  Of that, $29,250.00 was from corporations.  

We’re going to put that on a separate line, because you really need to see this.

Of the $37,250.00 that Ralph Hudgens received from July 1, 2005 to December 31, 2005, 78.5% came from corporations.

Oh but wait, it gets better.  Of the leftover $8,000.00, another 4% ($1,500.00) came in direct donations from corporate officers.  In fact, including those two personal donations, only three of Ralph Hudgens’ 54 donors are actual living, breathing people.  The one personal contribution that wasn’t from a corporate officer was for $200.00

By the way, if you’re curious, the remaining $6,300.00 came from PACs, many of whom (like the Troutman-Sanders, LLP PAC) represent – say it with us now – business.  (Troutman-Sanders is a posh Atlanta law firm that makes its bundle defending insurance companies and corporate polluters.)

So, who exactly is Ralph Hudgens in bed with these days?  

Related: Campaign Disclosure Reports for Senator Ralph Hudgens (R-Comer), via the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.

12/31/05     06/30/05     03/31/04     06/30/04     09/30/04     10/25/04     12/31/04    


Ned said...

Good reporting fellas! Hopefully some other news outlets will pick up on what you have uncovered here.

Dawg Corleone said...

I always thought corporations were comprised of actual living, breathing people. The ones I worked for were.

A serious question: why is "corporation" a dirty word on the Left?

Publius said...

Corporations are composed of living, breathing people, but the vasy majority of those folks don't have a say as far as which candidates the corporation's money goes to. Did you? If so, you must have been in the boardroom.

The single mom of two who answers phones for MetLife in Washington D.C. (one of Ralph's best corporate donor buddies) doesn't have a say in where MetLife sends the money.

Seriously, is there anything that the Republicans can do that you won't defend?

Jmac said...

I don't necessarily think 'corporation' is a bad word at all. A strong economy with a booming private sector is a good thing. And if lots of businesses want to give money to Hudgens' campaign, that's fine with me. After all he's a Republican and typically big business loves Republicans, and he'll do a fine job representing their interests.

What's striking to me, and why I think Publius pointed this out, is the severe lack of individual donors ... people like Michael Williams who make up the bulk of his constituency. One would think more individuals would give some money, be it $20 here or there, if they really liked him.

Dawg Corleone said...

Individuals might be giving him $20 here or there. You're not required to report donations that small, are you? Isn't the cut-off line $100?

monticello_pres said...

I love how there is such venom spit when the word 'corporation' is mentioned. The ironic thing is that it is spoken by the same voice that takes such a stand regarding underemployment.

The bottom line is that a healthy and vibrant corporation is comprised of healthy and vibrant employees (the kind that live-and-breathe). Whether it is the folks in the board room or the mom of two answering phones, a company is at its best when its employees are making a nice wage, have good morale, and are working hard for the interests of the company.

Believe it or not, imposing goverments with high corporate tax rates take money out of our economy. That takes money away from the mouths it can feed.

Are there abusive corporations? Sure. Not all are perfect. But I sure trust my money in capitalistic markets rather than the coffers of our goverment officials. I think we could find some abuse there, no?

Publius said...

Hooboy, did you guys ever miss the point.

Corporations are great. They create jobs. I, for one, would rather not go back to subsistence farming.

The point is: who is Ralph Hudgens working for? I've got little problem with Hudgens taking corporate money. I don't like it, but it's legal, and my guys do it too.

What I do have a problem with is that there is one donor on Hudgens' most recent disclosure that is not either a corporation, an officer of a corporation, or a PAC (many of whom, as I mentioned before) work for corporations.

Ralph can take all the corporate money he wants, for all I care. But if you think he's going to stick up for you against the interests of MetLife, then I've got some prezoned C-N property on Cedar Shoals drive to sell you.

That's the point, and it does a wonderful job of explaining why, when a Chamber of Commerce says "jump," Hudgens starts hopping.

I've got no problem with corporations. Indeed, I think most corporations make a fair and reasonable amount of profit, and that our laws do a pretty good job of handling the ones that try to beat the system.

What I do have a problem with is politicians who are so busy playing step n' fetch it for those corporations that they forget who they really work for. (By the way, that doesn't just apply to the GOP, as we all know.)

Anonymous said...

FYI, you have to report every cent given in donation. Every 20, in this example. However, the donor has to give more than 100 dollars in order to be identified as a donor in the campaign reports. Otherwise those small donations are lumped together as a group...
101 is the magic line drawing place...


DoubleDawgDareYa said...

Anybody thinking about giving $20 to Hudgens should buy lottery tickets instead. Better chance of a payoff, and you'll do more for education.

hillary said...

Also, someone should maybe address here the difference between a corporation and a small business. Not all businesses (small or otherwise) are corporations.

Publius said...

All of the businesses I cited in the post are listed as "corporations" on the disclosure reports. There may be a difference between the legal definition of a corporation and the disclosure report definition of a corporation, although I doubt it.

hillary said...

I figured that. I just mean that one can be anti-corporation and pro-small business.

Publius said...

I happen to be pro-corporation (when they play an honest game, which most do) and pro-small business.

hillary said...

I understand that. And I'm not necessarily saying I'm anti-corporation. I'm saying that when MP says things like I love how there is such venom spit when the word 'corporation' is mentioned. The ironic thing is that it is spoken by the same voice that takes such a stand regarding underemployment. that it could perhaps be pointed out that corporations are not the only sources of employment out there.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

Correct, although the number of jobs would obviously be substantially lower without big corporations. Not many factories run as small businesses.

On the other hand, big corporations are also often the source of low-income jobs and "underemployment" as I understand the definition of that word, which is having a job but not having the opportunity to work full-time or make enough money to live on. Examples? McDonalds, Wal-Mart, etc.

But all of this, as Publius said, is really not the point. Nobody is saying let's get rid of the corporations. We're simply saying that we know whose interests Hudgens represents based on who shows him the money, and those interests ain't necessarily yours.

Are corporate interests sometimes aligned with those of many individuals? Sure, like when a big one wants to come in and open a plant that's going have a lot of jobs. But what if that plant is also going to destroy a local river? Make us unable to breathe our air? Is it worth it?

Many individuals would say no, but their voice would not be represented by Hudgens. That's all we're saying.

monticello_pres said...

While some big corporations (McDonalds and Wal-Mart) create underemployment problems, I would also submit that small businesses aren't exactly guaranteed to provide wealth and fortune. And, in many instances, corporations are much more apt to provide benefits than are small businesses.

I've been on several sides of this debate - as many of us have. I've been employed by a small business. I have owned a small business. I have worked for a Fortune 200 company. And I now work for a 21 person corporation owned by its customers.

Truth be told - it's the company "in the middle" (the small corporation) that provides the best compensation and benefits package. I went broke as a small business employee, I acquired more debt than needed as an owner, and the Fortune 200 company was far more interested in its own @$$ than mine.

On to another point... what is worse? Corporation donations, lobbyist donations, or interest group donations (trial lawyers, etc.)? Bottom line, there is not a candidate out there who has a document much different than Sen Hudgens.

We can debate his leadership and certainly his motives - but I'm not sure either side of the arguement wants to start comparing Campaign Disclosure Reports.

tom folds said...

how can senator ralph (lol) be taking care of his contituents, hes too busy taking free tickets for the sugar bowl from the univerity of georgia........a 4,500 dollar "gift" including expenses.........he, like so many others have forgotten that they were placed in office by the people, for the people, rather than to accept personal tokens of appreciation, or, a favor for a favor in return........