Rep. Taylor’s Undisclosed Contributions Surpass 24,000 Dollars

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(APN) ATLANTA — State Rep. Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta), who is in a heated Democratic Primary with incumbent State Rep. Pat Gardner (D-Atlanta), has undisclosed campaign contributions now totaling over twenty-four thousand dollars.  The new total was first revealed by Atlanta Unfiltered.

Taylor’s campaign finance disclosure reports for the period ending December 31, 2011, and March 31, 2012, list no contributions, according to the website of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

Taylor has yet to file at least one other report from 2011 that became due on June 30, 2011.

However, despite reporting no donations during the years 2011 and 2012, Taylor has received at least 12,975 dollars from Political Action Committees and other candidates during that period, according to an analysis by Atlanta Unfiltered of expenditure reports.  Other donors may have given him more.

Among those donations, State Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) appears to have given Taylor five thousand dollars in 2012, according to records reviewed by APN, consisting of five separate payments between April and June 2012.  None of the payments have been disclosed by Taylor.

“Vincent Fort appears to have given him more than the legal limit this year,” Jim Walls, editor of Atlanta Unfiltered, told Atlanta Progressive News.  The legal limit for a Primary Election is 2,500 dollars.

In addition, although Taylor has filed several late reports for 2009 and 2010, these reports do not disclose an additional 11,275 dollars that Taylor received from PACs and other candidates during those periods, according to Atlanta Unfiltered.

“Taylor, as of late July 2012, also had not filed the disclosure of his personal finances that was due six weeks earlier when he qualified for re-election.  He did not file those disclosures for 2009 and 2010 until November 2011, shortly after Atlanta Unfiltered asked him about them.  He has never filed the disclosure required in May 2008 when he first ran for the House; he has said he didn’t know he had to,” Atlanta Unfiltered reported.

Taylor still owes 750 dollars in unpaid fines for nine different disclosures that were either filed late, or have yet to be filed to date.  For example, Taylor owes 125 dollars for a report that he has not yet filed that was due June 30, 2011.

Rep. Gardner’s campaign recently made an issue of the fines, in addition to two unsatisfied tax liens that Taylor has, in a mailer sent to voters in District 57.

“TRANSPARENCY MATTERS IN POLITICS: Rashad Taylor has several outstanding tax liens and he has not filed 2012 campaign disclosures.  He says one thing and does another,” the mailer, which includes a black and white photograph of Taylor, states.

“He said, ‘I believe in transparency,’ but… not when it comes to him.”

The back of the flyer includes copies of the two tax liens that are delinquent and an invoice from the State of Georgia for 750 dollars for late disclosures.

A resident of District 57, Barbara Gallo, also sent a letter, dated July 19, 2012, to Secretary of State Brian Kemp, asking him to disqualify Taylor from the ballot for failing to make adequate payment arrangements regarding his tax liens.

“I have recently learned that Rashad Taylor is in default on his state income tax obligations and is therefore not eligible to serve as a Representative for House District 57. I am writing to request your assistance in addressing his ineligibility for this office,” Gallo wrote, attaching copies of the Tax Liens and an affidavit from a Monique Winters, attesting to verifying with the Clerk of Fulton County Superior Court that the liens have not been satisfied.

APN attempted to reach Gallo, but her voicemail was full, and APN could not leave a message.

Jared Thomas, spokesman for Kemp, told APN that he was unaware of Kemp’s Office receiving any letter from Gallo, but did confirm that Kemp still has the authority to disqualify candidates at this point, even though the deadline for individual residents to file a challenge has already passed.

Dwanda Farmer, also a District 57 voter, created a cartoon series regarding Taylor.  One installment of the series depicted Taylor as a rodent with a cowboy hat, awash in dollar bills, noting, “He makes the tax law.  He breaks the tax law.”  

Farmer posted the cartoon on Facebook; however, Facebook was not pleased.  The company banned Farmer from posting to Facebook for one day due to what they said was a violation of their policies, according to copies of messages from Facebook that Farmer sent to APN.

(END/2012)

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