Editor's Note: This story includes information about state ethics commission fines for each of the four mayoral candidates. Due to a filing schedule error, some of these fines (which were showing on the
Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission website as of this morning and even on Tuesday afternoon) have been and will be inactivated.
The follow-up story can be found here.
The third and final Brookhaven mayoral debate, which had several rebuttals from candidate J. Max Davis mostly, was a stark contrast to the first mayoral debate, which had no rebuttals. Like the first mayoral debate, the candidates were allowed a rebuttal any time an opponent mentioned his or her name when answering the questions posed by audience members.
Davis himself said he was under attack.
“It’s funny that now I’m being attacked for my leadership of Brookhaven YES, which helped give us this city, because we had to fight a battle when they (NO City Brookhaven) outspent us 2 to 1.”
He also said, “I’m sorry that one of my opponents here has brought this campaign to a lower level. I didn’t want it to be this way. I didn’t attack anybody. I just thought the issues were more important. But here we are, in our first campaign. It’s already started. It’s a shame, and I apologize to you, the voters, for this situation that we’re now in.”
A hot topic during the forum was Davis’ acceptance of campaign contributions from vendors who could potentially be paid by the city to provide services. Both Davis and Murray brought copies of their campaign disclosures, which they have filed early. Both Davis’ and Murray's campaign disclosures are available for viewing on the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission (formerly state Ethics Commission) website. On Monday night, Murray's disclosure report had not yet been posted online as it had not yet been processed.
Candidate Larry Danese has not yet filed his most recent disclosure, which must be filed by Oct. 31.
Davis fired back, pointing out that his opponent has two ethics violations and fines for not previously reporting personal financial disclosures, as required by state law.
Brookhaven Patch uncovered only one outstanding fee of $125 for Murray (under the name Sandy Murray) for not filing a campaign disclosure report with the Campaign Finance Commission by the last due date of Sept. 30. However, under Sandra Murrary, there were two more additional outstanding upaid fees of $125, all for a total of $375, for not filing her personal disclosure reports by the last few deadlines.
“If there were (fees), they would surely notify the candidate,” Murray told Brookhaven Patch. “I never got any notification. I don’t know anything about it, but I don’t know why there would be. I filed all my reports on time.”
Danese and candidate Thom Shepard also owe $250 each for filing their last couple of campaign contribution disclosure reports after the deadlines.
Davis himself owes $125 for not filing his prior report by the Sept. 30 deadline.
UPDATE: Davis now owes no late-filing fines. The $125 late-filing fine reported here for Brookhaven candidates was found to be an error made by the qualifying office since there is no Sept. 30 disclosure report filing deadline for the Brookhaven Special Election.
“Is that the kind of mayor that you want? A mayor that doesn’t disclose its personal finances? I don’t think so,” Davis said at the forum.
Brookhaven Patch will have video of the mayoral forum in its entirety posted later. Additionally, Patch will provide more coverage of topics discussed at the final forum.