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Former Commissioner Bell helps Gibbs, Lutz raise funds
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Campaign contributions

(listed with name of individual or organization, hometown and amount of donation)

Hall County Commissioner Craig Lutz

Donald Bolia, Atlanta, Peachtree Government Affairs LLC, $250

Lohrasb Jafari, Alpharetta, jp2, $1,000

Monte Edwards, Johns Creek, S.R.S., $300

Stanley King, Atlanta, SL King and Associates Inc., $500

Grant Property Strategies LLC, Columbia, Md., $1,000

BEPC LLC, Johns Creek, $2,500

Peachtree Government Affairs LLC, Atlanta, $250

Benjamin DeCosta, Atlanta, DeCosta Consulting LLC, $125

Eddy Benoit Jr., Marietta, The Benoit Group, $2,500

Sridhar Marupudi, Alpharetta, Wipro EcoEnergy, $2,500

Hall Booth Smith PC, Atlanta, $500

Nova Engineering and Environmental, Kennesaw, $250


Hall County Commissioner Scott Gibbs

Donald Bolia, Atlanta, Peachtree Government Affairs LLC, $250

Peachtree Government Affairs LLC, Atlanta, $250

Eddie Benoit, Marietta, $2,500

Hall Booth Smith, PC, Atlanta, $500

M.A. Edwards, Johns Creek, $300

Lohrasb Jafari, Alpharetta, $1,000

MMW Financials, LLC, Atlanta, $250

Stanley King, Atlanta, $500

Grant Services, LLC, Columbia, Md., $1,000

BEPC LLC, Johns Creek, $2,500

Ben Decosta, Atlanta, Decosta, LLC, $125

Sridhar Marupudi, Alpharetta, $2,500

Nova Engineering, Kennesaw, $250

Note: Campaign disclosure reports for the period ending June 30.

Source: The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission (formerly known as the State Ethics Commission).

Hall County Commissioners Craig Lutz and Scott Gibbs each raised more than $11,000 in the first six months of 2013, campaign disclosure reports show.

Gibbs said he and Lutz had a fundraiser in Atlanta in June, organized by Daylight Solutions LLC, a company owned by former Commissioner Ashley Bell. Current law requires disclosure reports in a nonelection year to be filed twice a year for the periods ending June 30 and Dec. 31.

“We had a joint fundraiser,” Gibbs said. “It was just a dinner party.”

Lutz has announced he is running for the District 4 seat on the state Public Service Commission next year, but the money raised was for his county commission campaign from 2010. He raised $11,675 during the reporting period. He had $123.92 in previous contributions outside of the current reporting period.

He had a net balance as of June 30 of $10,947.49. All of the contributions raised were for the 2010 general election. Jared Thomas, spokesman for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, said it’s normal to raise money to pay debt from earlier election cycles.

Lutz declined to comment on his disclosure report.

“I’m not going to contribute to that story,” he said.

When asked why he wouldn’t comment, he declined to say, repeating his earlier statement.

Many of the same businesses and donors appear on both disclosure reports. Eddy Benoit Jr., president and CEO of the Marietta-based Benoit Group, gave $2,500 to Lutz for the 2010 general election in April. BEPC LLC in Johns Creek and Sridhar Marupudi, an engineer with Wipro EcoEnergy, based in East Brunswick, N.J., also gave Lutz $2,500.

Gibbs raised $11,925 in the first six months of this year, including $550 in contributions of $100 or less. He had a net balance of $4,085.89 due in great part to a loan of $5,013 that he repaid to himself.

He received donations for the 2010 primary and for the 2014 primary elections. Benoit, Marupudi and BEPC gave Gibbs $2,500 each.

He is likely running for re-election to the county commission, although he has yet to release an announcement.

Bell is a partner with the law firm Bell & Washington LLP. He filed articles of incorporation for Daylight Solutions with the state in February 2012, while he was still on the board of commissioners. He said the company helps candidates with consulting and fundraising events, but added that he didn’t help any clients in Hall County while he was a commissioner.

The consulting company doesn’t have a website, and Bell declined to release the names of other clients. It doesn’t have any full-time employees. Bell said the company works through word-of-mouth and networking with people he knows. Daylight Solutions is a side business or hobby, not a full-time job, he said.

“We help out with different events with different clients, whatever they need,” Bell said. “If it’s a big event, you know, we’ll bring in people to help staff events.”

Gibbs paid Daylight Solutions about $1,247 for the fundraiser. Lutz paid the company about $1,212 for fundraising activity, his report said. Companies that put fundraising events together typically charge about 10 percent, Gibbs said.

“It’s pretty much standard in the industry,” he said.

Bell had announced he was planning to run for the Gainesville Ward 1 seat, but recently said he is not running this election cycle in part because of changes in the qualifying criteria. Changes approved last year did away with a nominating petition, but require a candidate to have lived in the ward the individual wants to represent for 12 continuous months before running.

Commissioner Billy Powell had no donations during the reporting period. Board Chairman Richard Mecum and Commissioner Jeff Stowe also had no donations to report.

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