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Stacey Abrams: - Fiscally Fit for Georgia?

Stacey Abrams:

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams was a quick study as a tax associate at the Sutherland Asbill & Brennan law firm in Atlanta, where her practice focused on taxexempt organizations. She obviously used her experience to establish and fund tax-exempt projects for her own benefit. Abrams, who represents the 89th district Atlanta, used her experience as a tax lawyer to create nonproductive, nonprofit organizations from which she paid herself a substantial salary and shafted her employees of these organizations by not paying unemployment, workman’s compensation and social security contributions resulting in Georgia tax liens against her on unpaid unemployment contributions.

In 2013, Abrams orchestrated the initiative called the New Georgia Project, a subsidiary of another of Abrams’s projects created in 1998 called Third Sector Development whose main objective was to register minority voters across the state. In 2014 she registered an advocacy organization called Voter Access Institute, Inc.

According to campaign contribution disclosure reports, Abrams’ tax-exempt organizations are receiving contributions from wealthy donors such as Democratic mega-donor and California based billionaire Tom Steyer and liberal billionaire George Soros. Soros himself gave her political action committee, Georgia Next, Inc., a check for half a million dollars in 2014 to help her voter registration efforts, according to Atlanta Magazine.

From fundraising memos obtained by Atlanta Magazine, Abrams asked Democracy Alliance, a network of progressive donors, including liberal billionaires Soros and Steyer, to donate up to $5.9 million for her New Georgia Project and contribute another $4.35 million for her Voter Access Institute.

Although the objective of these projects was to register minority voters, there is no evidence that contributed funds funneled through Abrams tax exempt organizations had any significant impact on the voting rosters of either the Republican or Democratic parties. Votebuilder, an election database used by Democrats, shows that almost 10,000 fewer minorities statewide were registered to vote in 2014 following the creation of her New Georgia Project versus the previous midterm election in 2010 when hardly any money was spent on voter registration. The state department investigated allegations that the New Georgia Project submitted dozens of fraudulent voter registration applications in the months leading up to the 2018 vote.

Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has also questioned the need for the New Georgia Project. 'I don’t believe nor did I believe that the New Georgia Project is the model [for voter registration],' Reed told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Black Democratic state Senator David Lucas from Macon said the New Georgia Project did not seek his input, nor that of other longtime voter registration advocates. According to Lucas, “We were kept in the dark, period. [We didn’t know] how much money was raised, who they paid to go out to do the work. We literally didn’t know anything.”

Abrams has spoken out against “wage theft” from “firms who hire full-time employees and then classify them as independent contractors to deprive them continued from page

of benefits.” Abrams sent out a press release saying the practice cheats workers out of “unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation, Social Security.” However, the gubernatorial candidate is skilled in crafting loopholes to exempt her own non-profits from paying tax revenues. As it turns out, Abrams’ own nonprofits have been penalized for not paying unemployment contributions to their own workers.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Third Sector Development was expanded to oversee her New Georgia Project voter-registration effort and reportedly incurred penalties for that very practice. “A nonprofit created by Abrams tallied four liens worth $13,000 from the Georgia Department of Labor for unpaid unemployment contributions between 2014 and 2016, according to state tax records. Abrams earned about $180,000 in 2014 as the part-time chief executive of the New Georgia Project, which set out to register hundreds of thousands of new voters in time for the midterm election.”

In 2018 Stacey Abrams owed $54,000 to the IRS, $96,000 in student loans and $83,000 in credit card debt. In 2019 she paid off all those. Now she is worth more than $3 million including $725,000 in stocks and bonds, a $975,000 property outside of Atlanta, a $370,000 house in Atlanta for her parents, and assets of $560,000 set aside in a “tax account, along with her income from various organizations, cowriting books and making speeches.

In the private sector, candidate Abrams created self-serving organizations structured to deprive the state and federal governments of tax revenues. These contrived projects showed no results from the millions of dollars contributed to them other than taking advantage of the people who were employed as workers on her projects. Stacy Abrams has repeatedly exhibited less than stellar character traits by cheating the state out of tax revenues and is not fiscally fit to be governor of Georgia.

In the 2020 presidential election, Stacey Abrams bragged about requesting 1.2 million absentee ballots for her newly registered voters, most of whom didn’t even know who was running. Abrams said, “85,000 of those applications are from voters who did not vote in the general election, and they are disproportionately between the ages of 18 and 29 and disproportionately people of color.” Many Georgians still have “serious concerns” about the state’s elections and must have confidence in the progress for future elections. They want Raffensperger to implement a more “robust verification process” for reviewing signatures on absentee ballot applications and mail-in ballot envelopes that will include independent observers so that Stacey Abrams and her ilk will not take advantage of people.

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