(APN) ATLANTA - With the Georgia Primary for Secretary of State only days away, Atlanta Progressive News has learned Democratic Candidate Michael "Scott" Holcomb has accepted campaign contributions from the President of Choicepoint Corporation and the President's wife.
Choicepoint has come under scrutiny for its well-researched acquisition of the company responsible for the false felon voter list which disenfranchised tens of thousands of minorities in the 2000 elections in Florida. Choicepoint, headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, with over a billion dollars in revenue in 2005, is synonymous with voter fraud and Bush cronyism to many advocates. It has billions of data points about individuals and has contracts with the US government to provide much of that information to them toward their goal of total information awareness.
Mr. Douglas Curling, the President of Choicepoint, gave $500 to Holcomb's Campaign on December 19, 2005, according to campaign finance disclosures dated December 31, 2005.
Curling's wife, Donna Curling, gave $1,000 to Holcomb's Campaign on December 21, 2005.
Holcomb is the only candidate running for Secretary of State among all parties to have accepted money from Choicepoint leadership. And it would be unlikely given the amount of elections-related research on Holcomb's website that he would be unaware of the concerns many citizens have about Choicepoint.
But there's much more.
Donna Curling, the wife of the President of Choicepoint, it seems, is also the Co-founder of a group which has endorsed Holcomb, Georgians for Verified Voting, and has funded a national voter integrity organization, VoteTrustUSA.
"Candidates for office should not take dirty money, and voting advocates should not take dirty money either," Greg Palast, an award-winning BBC journalist who has studied voting issues and Choicepoint, told Atlanta Progressive News.
"It's called a conflict of interest. It's NOT a question of [whether the Curlings are] good or bad [people]. When your decisions could effect the financial fate of a company, are they investing in you? Is there a quid pro quo?" Palast said.
It's like asking the citizens of Georgia to take a big leap of faith when faith in our elections leadership is not so high.
The Office of Georgia Secretary of State is responsible for ensuring honest elections. The Elections Division "plays a crucial role in keeping Georgia's elections fair and free from fraud," according to the state's website.
"The Curlings have donated to Scott Holcomb's Campaign solely as individuals. Donna Curling, in particular, has been a supporter of many Democratic causes and candidates," Matt Gewolb, Chief Counsel and Chief of Staff for the Holcomb Campaign, told Atlanta Progressive News in response to our inquiry.
Seeing as how Mr. Curling has been one of Choicepoint's top executives since 1997, first as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, then Chief Operation Officer, and now President, it seems disingenuous to try to separate the man from his company's record.
But that's just what Choicepoint and others have tried to do.
"Doug and Donna Curling contribute to many Democrat candidates," Choicepoint spokesperson Matt Furman wrote in an email to Atlanta Progressive News.