RELEASE: Democratic Party of Georgia Chair DuBose Porter and Dara Lindenbaum, Senior Counsel Sandler, Reiff, Lamb, Rosenstein, and Birkenstock, Host Press Call to Detail Complaint Filed to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission Regarding Official Secretary of State App Linking to Brian Kemp’s Campaign Social Media Accounts

August 2, 2018

Part-time Secretary of State and Full-time Gubernatorial Candidate Brian Kemp Used Official Secretary of State App to Promote His Campaign’s Social Media Accounts

GEORGIA — Earlier today, DuBose Porter, Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia and Dara Lindenbaum, Senior Counsel Sandler, Reiff, Lamb, Rosenstein, and Birkenstock, held a press call detailing the official ethics complaint regarding Brian Kemp’s misuse of state resources to promote his campaign for governor. They requested that the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission launch an immediate investigation into Brian Kemp and the Secretary of State’s office.

Lindenbaum laid out how Brian Kemp violated Georgia law by accepting prohibited contributions from Mr. Kemp’s public office to his gubernatorial Campaign.  “By having these links to his social media pages, the Secretary of State office is using taxpayer funds to make an in-kind contribution to the campaign, which the campaign has accepted.”

The Secretary of State’s office is using a “very important app that is very useful to voters. They can look-up their polling location and find their sample ballots remotely.” More importantly, “If [Brian Kemp] were to say that he didn’t know about this, then he is not doing his job to oversee his department.”

Lindenbaum made it clear that the ethics commission must investigate this complaint:

“There is a strict timeline for the [ethics commission] to follow. After the complaint is filed, they will quickly review it and send it off to the Kemp campaign where they will have 30 days to respond. Then, the ethics commission will review that response and launch an investigation. I think there is plenty of time for them to research this. The office holds complaints that are filed within 30 days of an election, but we are outside of that 30-day window, and they have plenty of time to investigate this, and they should.”

Chair Porter decided to file the official complaint and request an investigation. He asserted “In all my years in politics, I have never seen anything this blatant or this corrupt. Brian Kemp is trying to use his current political position as Secretary of State to give himself an advantage in his current campaign because he knows he cannot run on his failed record as Secretary of State.”

Chair Porter also stressed, “the newest update of the app has the links taken down, but taxpayers are confused because old versions still have the links up… There needs to be a public message to update the app.” Chair Porter also pointed out that, “It has been five months since he was warned, and he has ignored [the fact] that his office is linking [these accounts] to his campaign.”

Furthermore, Chair Porter noted that it took Kemp’s office nearly 20 hours to take the links down after they had already told the press they had done so. “That is not the sign of a campaign that makes ethics and integrity a priority. We must protect the integrity of this election, and this is the top priority.”

Finally, Chair Porter wanted to make sure that taxpayers knew that their tax dollars aren’t being used as a slush fund to promote Kemp’s campaign. “Georgian’s deserve to know that Brian Kemp is abusing his current office and obviously doesn’t care.”

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