Liberal group Better Georgia slapped with ethics complaint

Better Georgia, the left-of-center start-up group, faces an ethics complaint claiming the organization improperly engaged in direct campaign activity that needles -- as it often does -- Gov. Nathan Deal.

James Burnham of St. Marys said in a complaint filed this month that an email he received from the group in May --  slamming Deal -- amounted to political conduct that doesn't comport with its tax status.

He said Better Georgia, designated as a nonprofit social welfare organization, should instead be an independent expenditure committee which would be subject to state and federal disclosure requirements.

You can find a full copy of the complaint here. 

Update: While the complaint lists Burnham as a physician, a Google search turns up no such figure -- but does point to a prominent chiropractic practice.

Better Georgia spokesman Brandon Hanick said Burnham was a "Republican party loyalist," noting his role as a host of local GOP events. He called the complaint was an election-year tactic "as evidenced by the fact that the press was tipped off about the complaint" before his organization received it.

And then he threw in a barb about the ethics questions swirling around the governor:

"Unlike Gov. Deal, who just cost Georgia taxpayers $3 million because of his ongoing ethical issues, Better Georgia has complied with the law and will continue to do so."

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.