In early February of 2018, the Pridemore campaign issued a press release that was published in a post on GeorgiaPol.com. In that PR, Tricia claims the following about her contributors through January 31, 2018: “We have a long journey ahead of us, but this early investment by hundreds of Georgia voters shows our message is resonating. “
An analysis of the campaign contributions received by all PSC candidates this election cycle was performed by Daniel Tait at the Energy and Policy Institute. Tait analyzed all of the contributions to the candidates on the basis of identifying what type of contributor the source of money came from (he provided a Google spreadsheet of all PSC-related contributions through the March 31, 2018 report period). Contributors were classified as to whether they were connected to a regulated entity, connected to Southern Company/Georgia Power, or no utility-connection could be found.
The results Tait found are rather astounding:
- 70% of contributions to Pridemore came from people or companies associated with entities that are regulated by the PSC.
- 51% of Pridemore’s contributions came from people or companies associated with Southern Company, the parent company of Georgia Power.
Using Tait’s Google spreadsheet as our base source, further analysis was made on Pridemore’s disclosures. It was determined that of the total of $217,725 Pridemore received from 211 contributors, $99,850 of it (46%) was from 49 non-voting entities. By “non-voting,” we mean they were business entities of some sort (law firms, PACs, lobbying groups, LLCs, utility-related contractors, etc.), and as such, these financial contributors are not “Georgia voters” who can show-up, show their ID for Lobbyist-PAC-A, and be granted a legal ballot to cast at the voting precinct.
So, subtracting 49 from 211, one ends-up with 162 contributors. However, there is no guarantee that the remaining 162 contributors are actual Republican voters who will show-up and vote in the Republican primary.
So, to return to Pridemore’s statement from February regarding her campaign spin of “…this early investment by hundreds of Georgia voters shows our message is resonating…”, you now know what this really means:
- The “investment” is primarily from people whose employment and livelihoods depend on “investing” their money and their time in ensuring that a PSC commissioner will always look favorably in their direction when it comes to the time to vote for their cause (and ignore the voters they actually are responsible for representing).
- That there are not “hundreds of Georgia voters” supporting her campaign by way of campaign contributions (where her average contribution amount is $1050)
- And, her message is not resonating with anyone who pays their own utility bill that has line items that would be more appropriately titled “Incompetent Construction Management Fee Recovery.”