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Stacey Abrams Is Under Investigation!


If Stacey Abrams wants to make a run for President in 2020, she’s going to have to overcome a state ethics commission investigation first.

The investigation pertains to her gubernatorial campaign and the groups that helped raise money for it. As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The new director of the state ethics commission plans to subpoena bank records from the campaign of 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams and groups that raised money to help her in last year’s nationally watched race.

Former Douglas County prosecutor David Emadi, who started his new job Monday, also said his office will soon decide whether to prosecute the campaigns of Atlanta mayoral candidates.
More than a dozen “independent groups,” mostly funded by out-of-state donors, were created in Georgia last year to help support Abrams’ effort. Emadi said he expects the documents the commission will review will be “voluminous,” likely meaning the investigation will take time.

The investigations into the Abrams and mayoral campaigns came out of audits of contribution and expenditure reports candidates and political groups have to file when they raise and spend money on campaigns. The audits were part of an effort to be more proactive in reviewing reports after years during which most complaints were filed following investigations by the media or opposing campaigns.

Overall, the Abrams campaign raised a record $27.6 million, with tens of thousands of donations coming from out-of-state.

As the Daily Caller notes:

It’s not immediately clear what Abrams’ camp is being investigated for specifically, and the new director did not give many details on the matter. The ethics commission, known formally as the Georgia Government Transparency & Campaign Finance Commission, is tasked with collecting reports on lobbying expenditures, vendor grift and campaign finance. The Commission is also in charge of issuing penalties for any violations pertaining to these issues.

While we don’t know the specifics of the charges, so-called ‘Independent groups” are not legally allowed to coordinate with candidates, so it’s possible some of the charges stem from potential coordination. It could be hard to believe there’s no coordination when one megadonor, Susan Sandler, donated $5.6 million to Abrams through a group called Power PAC. Of course, this is just speculation so far.

Inevitably, Abrams’ former campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo denies any wrongdoing and says that Emadi is “using his power to threaten and lob baseless partisan accusations at the former Abrams campaign when they should be focused on real problems like the unethical ties between the governor’s office and voting machine lobbyists instead.” 11Alive News similarly reported that the Abrams campaign is vowing to fight the “false accusations with every available resource.” 

Accusing her opponent of cheating has been common for Stacey Abrams since her defeat, so it’s unsurprising that her former campaign manager decided to throw in some of the same rhetoric in her denial.

Of course, all of Abrams claims of being cheated out of a gubernatorial victory were nonsense. One of Abrams main arguments that she was being cheated was that Georgia purged 107,000 inactive voters from their voter rolls in July 2017 (and most inactive voters were minorities who voted Democrat), but Georgia’s  “use it or lose it” policy towards voting stems from legislation in the 1990s that was passed by state Democrats.

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