U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Savannah, along with several Republican legislators from Georgia, are the targets of a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission and the FBI’s Public Corruption Unit.
According to the complaint filed by Lisa Ring of Richmond Hill, Carter, a former two-term Georgia state senator, kept his campaign committee active for the state senate after announcing that he would run for Georgia’s 1st Congressional District in May 2013. The complaint alleges that committee made contributions to Georgia state legislators, or expenditures to a campaign consultant, who then made contributions, often in the same amount, to Carter’s federal campaign committee in both the 2014 and 2016 election cycles.
An example cited in the complaint states that on June 21, 2013, Carter’s state committee gave $1,000 to (Barry) Loudermilk for Congress and that four days later Loudermilk’s nonfederal campaign committee, Loudermilk for State Senate, gave $1,000 to Carter’s federal committee.
Another example listed in Ring’s complaint states that on June 28, 2013, state Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, contributed $2,600 to Carter’s federal committee — and Carter’s state committee contributed $1,000 to the Stephens re-election campaign on Dec. 3, 2014.
The complaint goes on to state that Federal Election Commission regulations prohibit the transfer of funds from a candidate’s campaign committee or account for a nonfederal election to his principal campaign committee for a federal election.
Also questioned in the complaint is the expenditure by Carter’s state campaign committee of more than $26,000 on advertising, political consulting and to sponsor political meetings after Carter announced he would not be seeking re-election to state office.
Carter denounced the allegations.
“This appears to be a partisan political stunt from a local Democratic activist. Look no further than the media receiving this before the ink even dried on the signature,” said Carter in a statement.
Ring said she feels elected officials should be held accountable.
“It was timely that at the exact moment I was at the post office sending hard copies of my complaint to the appropriate authorities, Rep. Carter was voting to strip health care protections from over 300,000 of his constituents with pre-existing conditions,” she said. “The days of backroom dealing and shady financial transactions are coming to a close as voters in the 1st District are empowered to hold their Representatives accountable for their actions.”
Ring was a delegate for Bernie Sanders from Bryan County at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last July.