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Accusations Fly Over Brookhaven City Campaign Filing

Brookhaven Yes is accusing No City Brookhaven of missing a mandatory state filing deadline. But the No campaign says it still has time to file.

Accusations Fly Over Brookhaven City Campaign Filing

The argument over Brookhaven becoming a city got uglier late Tuesday afternoon.

BrookhavenYES sent out an email to its subscribers, claiming that the other side – NoCityBrookhaven – missed a mandatory state deadline for filing campaign disclosures.

But NoCityBrookhaven said it has not missed the deadline and has until July 23.

According to the state ethics commission, named the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, ballot committees – such as those formed around the Brookhaven issue - have to disclose campaign contributions and expenditures.

The commission’s website states that such committees must file their disclosures 15 days before a special election. In this case, because voters will decide on July 31 whether to make Brookhaven its own city, the filing deadline is July 16. But the site also gives a grace period deadline of July 23.

In an email, BrookhavenYES told its subscribers, “Yesterday was the deadline for ballot committees to disclose who has been contributing to their campaign. The 'No City' campaign missed this electronic filing deadline and has violated state law as a result.  This level of transparency is mandatory, not optional.”

“We did not miss the filing deadline,” Jodi Cobb, treasurer of NoCityBrookhaven, wrote in an email to Patch. “Any campaign worth their salt knows not to file their disclosures until the last day of the grace period. I was actually surprised to see both the BrookhavenYES and Brookhaven Ballot Committees filed theirs yesterday since they have political people on their team, as we do.”

When contacted by phone, Cobb said, “This is standard politics 101. You don’t file your disclosures until the last day of the grace period.”

But J. Max Davis, chairman of BrookhavenYES, said that other groups, whether for or against the ballot issue, have all made the deadline.

"The deadline is July 16; that’s a fact. Every other ballot committee, pro or against, saw fit to the meet the deadline. They [NoCityBrookhaven] are using a grace period to hide their contributions from the voters," Davis said.

At issue is whether voters will decide in a July 31 election to make Brookhaven a city with its own police and municipal services.

Forms filed with the state commission show that BrookhavenYES has raised almost $37,000 in cash in the current reporting period, and the Brookhaven Ballot Committee has raised $11,000 in cash. Ashford Neighbors, opposed to cityhood, has raised $2,100.

When asked how much NoCityBrookhaven has raised, Cobb responded, “We haven’t disclosed that yet. The smart campaign waits until the very last minute.”

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