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ATLANTA-- A former state senator and backer of Gov. Nathan Deal has filled out an ethics complaint against Sen. Jason Carter, saying the Democratic candidate for governor illegally raised money during this year's session of the legislature.

As this year's session of the legislature wound down, backers of Gov. Deal say they caught wind of a fundraising invitation sent by the Carter's campaign. The New York event would feature Carter's grandfather, former president Jimmy Carter -- soliciting donations for as much as $10,000 for the Georgia Democratic Party.

"I think it's pretty clear. You don't try to raise money for your campaign while the legislature is in session," said former Sen. John Douglas. He prepared an ethics complaint against Carter dated July 17, claiming he violated state law by "raising money during the legislative session."

Except Douglas admits the event itself was three days after the session's final day. Douglas says the invitation, prepared during the session, broke the law and is tantamount to raising money.

"I mean, how can you raise money if you don't schedule something?" Douglas asked.

Carter's campaign responded by saying "the complaint is utterly without merit (and) is a pathetic and transparent attempt to deflect attention from the never-ending ethical quagmire in which Gov. Deal finds himself."

Carter's campaign says Deal's campaign planned fundraisers and raised campaign money during the legislative session. Deal's campaign says it didn't break any laws.

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