The old saying, “desperate times call for desperate measures” seems to be the guiding philosophy for some candidates running for elective office. Unfortunately, desperation all too often leads to statements that are more fiction than fact. Based on our research, that appears to be the case with Gwinnett Superior Court candidate B.T. Parker.
Parker has posted an abundance of photos on social media of herself positioned next to people who are well-known within the county. That wouldn’t be an issue except that in some of instances, she has claimed that the people in these photos have endorsed her candidacy when they have not.
Melvin Everson is one person who has taken exception to a photo with a caption indicating he has endorsed Parker. Everson commented on the social media photo saying, “I take photos with many people! I have not, I repeat I have not endorsed anyone in this race!” Everson found that his comment was subsequently removed.
Parker has another issue we find troubling- something we believe should be investigated by the Georgia Government Transparency & Campaign Finance Commission (formerly known as the Ethics Commission). Last year, Parker advertised, “BT Parker’s Golf and Tennis Challenge”, with the tag line, “Benefitting the Gwinnett Boys & Girls Club”. The “Challenge” took place on October 30, 2021, but it’s difficult to see how it benefited the Boys & Girls Club. According to Parker’s Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report, $8,575 raised from contributions and sponsorship of the golf/tennis challenge and the accompanying masquerade ball went into her campaign fund.
On the expenditure side, a total of $175.73 is listed as the cost of, “Trophies for Golf and Tennis Fundraising events Support B. Thassanee Gutter-Parker”. Another $5694.55 is listed as expenses for a variety of fundraising events, to “Support B Thassanee Gutter-Parker”. All expenditure entries are accompanied by, “Fundraising Events Support B Thassanee Gutter-Parker” in the Description column. Nowhere is there any indication that any money was donated to the Gwinnett Boys & Girls Club.
To make matters even more questionable, the campaign contribution report cited above was filed for “January 31st Election Year”. However, in the column identifying the election for which each contribution or expense was made is “May 21, 2024” which would be the election for the Judicial Circuit of Judge Fluker. The report filed by Parker for the next reporting period, “April 30th Election Year is for the Judicial Circuit of Judge Duncan. That election takes place this month.
The two reports contain different filer identification numbers and are not connected to each other in any way. Essentially, the campaign for which the January 31st report was filed has been closed, with a zero balance and with none of the supposed donations to the Boys & Girls Club having been documented. Also of interest is that the zero balance was created through a loan repayment of $19,477.24 with no previous indication of a loan having been made, in either this or previous campaign reports. (This report can be found on the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission’s web site at- https://efile.ethics.ga.gov/ReportsOutput/103/75bddffd-3c86-44cc-9f7c-b42f483250fe.pdf )
While some people may subscribe to the philosophy that “all’s fair in love, war and politics”, we don’t. Especially when the actions of a candidate for a superior court judge position cause us to see a red flag as a result of actions that seem unethical at best and possibly illegal at worst.
As we all know, social media is often a hotbed of misinformation so when heard claims of campaign malfeasance we investigated. The report above is a result of that investigation. Some may consider our conclusions to be a matter of opinion, so we encourage voters the review available documentation and reach their own conclusions.
This is amazing. If I’m reading the contribution report right Parker is taking campaign contributions and putting them in her pocket.
This article provides only 1 report. Pull the other reports for the full picture. BT Parker clearly loaned herself $50,000, and was reimbursed a portion of that. Additionally, state of Georgia transitioned to a different Campaign reporting system in between BT Parker’s 2020 and 2022 judicial campaigns. Georgia Transparency Campaign Finance employees assisted with the filings since 2 reporting systems incompatible. Also, see BT Parker’s Facebook post today which shows her actual Boys & Girls Club donation. And, lies about her endorsers/supporters. Horrible, shoddy journalism. Defamation suit.
This article provides only 1 campaign finance report. Pull the other reports for all information. BT Parker clearly loaned her campaign $50k, and was reimbursed. Additionally, state of Georgia transitioned to a different campaign reporting system in between BT Parker’s 2020 and 2022 campaigns. Georgia Transparency Campaign Finance employees assisted with the filing since the 2 reporting systems were incompatible. Also, see BT Parker’s Facebook post today which shows actual Boy & Girls donation. And, lies about her endorsers/supporters. Call them. Horrible, shoddy journalism. Defamation suit.
She tried to do the same thing with a photo with me when I was District Attornr
She tried to do the same thing with a photo with me when I was District Attorney
Danny Porter, that’s not true. I met with you in your office on 9/5/19 at 1:30pm. You told me that you supported me against Kathryn Schrader. We took a picture. Then when I contacted you via email on 3/30/20 to get your endorsement language for my mailer, you then, for the first time, responded that you could not endorse me because you had your own race to run. (Also, there were now 5 candidates in the race (no longer just Kathryn Schrader and myself)). I still have the emails we exchanged. And to the Staff at Georgia News Daily, contact Melvin Everson. He definitely supports me over my opponent. I have it in writing to prove it. Moreover, Georgia News Daily, you said that I’ve misrepresented “some” supporters/endorsers, yet you only identified Everson, which again is inaccurate. Who are those “some of instances”? “Some” means more than one.
She is unfit for public office especially a judgeship
Danny Porter, as you know, the voters will decide.
Our article got some strong comments from former Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter. It also got one from BT Parker who is threatening a defamation lawsuit. There is no defamation. Our staff did extensive research before publishing the article. We believe everything it contains is accurate. We did have a person contact Melvin Everson. He sent back a screenshot of the photo and his comment. Your statement that we never contacted Mr. Everson is incorrect.
As for the claim of defamation, we do not see any. The article never states that you did not make a donation to the boys and girls Club. It states that in your disclosure report there is no indication that any money was donated. If you can provide evidence of a donation we would be happy to revise the article.
We also stated there was no evidence of a loan being made on your disclosure report. We never said a loan wasn’t made. We never made any accusations. We said we found no mention of a loan being made. We did look at older reports and found no mention of a loan. We would be happy to remove mention of the loan if you provide the documentation.
Rob Smith, Managing Editor
More digging found a $50,000 loan listed on Parker’s 7/04/2019 report. However, on the last for that campaign made on 2/08/2021 there is no outstanding indebtedness for the beginning of the reporting period and no outstanding indebtedness listed at the end of the reporting period. If there was no outstanding indebtedness as of 2/08/21 why was there a loan repayment made on 12/31/2021?