Posted: 4:32 pm Friday, March 21st, 2014

How a fundraiser featuring Jason Carter erupted into a campaign fight 

By Greg Bluestein

The Carter fundraising invitation at the center of a campaign tiff.

The Carter fundraising invitation at the center of a campaign tiff.

As the final hours of the legislative session ticked toward a close, the start of a campaign fight in the governor’s race erupted far from the statehouse. Soon, there were accusations of betrayal and claims of cronyism. One GOP official even alleged “criminal behavior.”

The source of this rhetoric was a fundraiser set for Sunday in New York featuring Democrat Jason Carter, his party’s nominee for the state’s top job, and his famous grandfather, Jimmy Carter. But it was the timing of the event, and not the former president’s appearance, that prompted the outburst.

Georgia campaign law prevents lawmakers and statewide officeholders, like Carter and Gov. Nathan Deal, from accepting contributions or pledges for campaign cash while the Legislature is in session. Deal’s campaign and its allies contend that the fundraiser violated the law by sending out invitations seeking pledges of at least $1,000 before the session gaveled to a close.

“By working on the clock to line up contributions for his gubernatorial campaign, Carter has betrayed the public trust and violated state law,” said Ryan Mahoney, the spokesman for the Georgia GOP. “Carter’s constituents should be outraged by his self-serving, hypocritical, criminal behavior.” Conservative pundit Erick Erickson at RedState had equally harsh words.

Carter’s campaign responded that the invites were legal because the fundraiser, hosted by REM front-man Michael Stipe and other Democratic heavyweights, went to benefit the Democratic Party of Georgia and not Carter’s campaign. Carter spokeswoman Meg Robinson said the event, scheduled for Sunday, would still move forward as scheduled.

“This is nothing more than a desperate attempt by the GOP to distract voters from Nathan Deal’s complete lack of leadership and utter failure to address issues that are important to Georgia families during a wasted legislative session,” she said.

Incidentally, the Georgia GOP also sent word of a party fundraiser on Thursday, during the waning hours of the session, that noted Deal’s appearance. But Deal’s camp said the difference was that the GOP event wasn’t arranged by Deal or his aides, while the invitation for Carter’s event indicated it was authorized by his campaign.

State ethics officials didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Campaign finance laws are rarely cut-and-dry, and this one is complicated by politics. Carter has said he will restore trust in government, a subtle nod to allegations by ethics staffers that Deal’s office improperly interfered with an investigation. Mahoney, for one, claimed “the poster boy of the Georgia Democratic Party has an ethics problem.”

Carter’s camp had a ready retort: “It’s not surprising that the cronies of a governor facing multiple ethics investigations don’t understand the law.”

31 comments
LeslieWolfe
LeslieWolfe

Despite what one may think after reading this article, Mr. Carter's fundraiser was perfectly legal. Even though the invitations were sent out before the legislature had adjourned, the fundraiser itself took place after the session ended. It also fundraised for the Democratic party and not the candidate himself, a perfectly legal thing to do. Mr. Carter, being a lawyer as well as a legislator, must have been positive that this fundraiser was legal, or else it would not have taken place. As a journalism student, I realize that it is the newspaper's job to remain unbiased, but publishing an article falsely accusing a gubernatorial candidate of criminal behavior is not the way to stay impartial.

honested
honested

What can ryan mahoney stick where?


After a dozen years of rethuglican outright criminality and governance devoid of ethics, this is an odd moment to suddenly 'smell the fish'.


What morons.

historywriter
historywriter

Yep, usual Republican non-news. Ho-hum.


However, although conservative Georgians may be embarrassed that Jimmy Carter wasn't a great president in their eyes, Carter has immense worldwide respect.  What Jason Carter would bring to a Georgia governorship is ethics and and a broad vision for Georgia's future.  But he would probably fail in Georgia politics where it's all local----local religion, local power, and local greed.

TFlash
TFlash

We have Jimmy Obama as President now. See how well that's working? He has put us right back where Mr. Carter had us at the end of the 70's. Deeply mired in a cold war, weak leadership and steadily weakening our military. Do we really want another Carter in office? I hope to God not. I'm not enthralled with Deal, but let's not travel back to the REALLY bad ole days of Carterism.

SouthGeorgiareader
SouthGeorgiareader

Meant to add the list of good legislation from the GOP and Governor during the session ending yesterday.......nothing, zero. 

SouthGeorgiareader
SouthGeorgiareader

This is the first ugly argument of the campaign.  More to come from both sides.  Deal has plenty of baggage and dirty laundry, so his folks need to watch their glass house while they toss stones.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Not an astute move because Deal has repeatedly had ethics complaints filed against him both as a U.S. Representative and as Governor.  The on-going federal investigation and firings of the state ethics commission has finally lead to Deal winning 'Worst Governor in the United States' award.  We all know his failures in multiple areas but the worst are overseeing the closure of 4 hospitals and blocking the Medicaid Expansion which is necessitating the raising of property taxes in Fulton Country and state taxes.  Southern Regional Hospital, Phoebe Putney, Athens Regional, and Grady Memorial are listed as in financial distress because of his poor decisions.  Any Governor who tries to shorten the life spans of his state's citizens and reduce their wealth can only be re-elected if there is fraud, voter blockade, and intimidation.  That, of course, will be attempted with the 'guns everywhere' being the start.  Georgians are likely to be a lot tougher than that.  Throw the bum out.  Clean House.


http://www.citizensforethics.org/worst-governors-in-America




lvg
lvg

Nathan Deal lodging an ethics complaint against someone????That is like Bill Clinton complaining about someone committing adultery with Hilary.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

A fund raiser in New York?  So, what is the big deal?  Looks like somebody is really frightened.  That's good and, especially good it has nothing to do with carrying guns.  Shut down this right wing neo-confederate movement.  Move Jason Carter into the Governor's mansion.

Bernie31
Bernie31

The Horror...The OutRage.....The much ado about Nothing! - Georgia GOP

DS
DS

Has Carter received money or pledges before midnight last night? And the proof is... what? An invitation for an event that will occur after the legislative session has ended?

Meanwhile, not a peep about Chris Christie's trip to Atlanta on March 7 to help raise money with Nathan Deal. From the Associated Press report: "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is in Georgia to raise money for Gov. Nathan Deal's re-election."

MyThreeCents
MyThreeCents

Ethics? All are guilty but no one will do a thing - just business as usual.

AvailableName
AvailableName

Pot and kettle.  If anyone makes up their mind based on this....

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

If this is such an egregious breach of the law, then by all means have sam olens prosecute Carter. Start the investigation, get an indictment, or else STFU, This will never happen because there is no law being broken. There is nothing to indicate that pledges have been made or money has changed hands. Those checks will be written at the time of the event.

Their hissy fit over the timing of invitations belies their public posture of self assurance that they have the November race sewn up. Their grasping at straws such as this demonstrates their very real uneasiness that they will lose in November.

anothercomment
anothercomment

So many of you all live in your narrow worlds. The townhouse/condo within my 14 year old daughter was conceived in St. Simons's Island, Ga. featured a blown up snap shot of President Carter, the owners of the condo, his secret service agent to a 36"x 42: size photo of them all in their bathing suits on the beach on St. Simons island. The previous famous picture in the condo was an 8x 10 framed of the owners husband and son with Davis Love III on the Golf Course. 


Featuring a a 36 x 42" photo of President Carter in his bathing suit then in his 70's tells me clearly that he is well liked by the people of Georgia. This was not the second home of Liberals. But card carrying small town Georgia Country Club members.


President Carter and all his good work after he left office is well liked by a large sector of the state. President Carter and the work of the Carter Center has demonstrated what a Good Christian is. Many folks in Georgia want to go back to this type of politician, not the boss hogg type that has rulled Georgia the last 11 years.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

This is the sort of fuzzy campaign "ethics" charges that will continue to go back and forth until at least the election.  Most won't stick - but that won't stop partisans and campaigns from pursuing each and every item even after the cases are closed.  There are always other avenues to use during election years.  Just part of hardball politics attempting to make mountains out of molehills.  Typical hyperbolic words above like "betrayal, criminal behavior, violated state law, desperate attempt, complete lack of leadership and utter failure, and cronies".


Time for voters to put their filters and shields up.

RantNRave
RantNRave

@Obama-is-The-Anti-Christ

2 Timothy 3:1-5, 8-9
Godlessness in the Last Days
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people

THIS scripture DESCRIBES Republicans.

They are are lovers of money........................KOCH BROS.

They are heartless......................................Denying veterans and the poor unemployment benefits, food stamps

They are slanderous....................................Calling Obama anti-christ

They have the appearance of godliness.........But they are HYPOCRITES

RantNRave
RantNRave

@Obama-is-The-Anti-Christ

Judging by the names on that list, I doubt if Jason Carter will be able to masquerade as a conservative or moderate Democrat, and expect to win the governor's race in Georgia. 


Grandpa is not exactly held in great esteem by most Georgians outside the Atlanta perimeter, and those who remember the nightmare years of the Carter presidency.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Obama-is-The-Anti-Christ
Obama-is-The-Anti-Christ

Judging by the names on that list, I doubt if Jason Carter will be able to masquerade as a conservative or moderate Democrat, and expect to win the governor's race in Georgia. 


Grandpa is not exactly held in great esteem by most Georgians outside the Atlanta perimeter, and those who remember the nightmare years of the Carter presidency.

honested
honested

@TFlash  

I guess you like living with the shrub deficits and paying the shrub war debt, but facts were never big with repugs.

td1234
td1234

@Ralph-43  And those complaints were brought out ad nauseum during the last campaign and only allowed Deal to win by 10 points.  

td1234
td1234

@Ralph-43  Keep dreaming my friend because the moment Deal outplayed Carter and forced him to vote yes on the Constitutional Amendment to cap state income taxes he lost the race next year. 


Carter had no choice but to vote yes but he sealed his fate in the general election this time around by doing it. 

centgaboy
centgaboy

@RantNRave   Perhaps there are more Ga Christians that still have great affection for the Carter name- I know I surely do.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

@Obama-is-The-Anti-Christ  


1. Based on the track record of "conservatives," why should Jason "masquerade" to be one.  Especially if we are talking about all the great attributes of Nathan Deal.  


2. As for Jimmy Carter, he made mistakes, but the late 1970s was a team effort.  For example:  

a. The ongoing rise of OPEC oil prices, and oil companies lobbying against alternative energy, 

 b. a disfunctional federal reserve (who controlled interest rates), 

 c. banks speculating on commerical real estate deals with REIT's the start of leasing of consumer products scam, 

 d. a military industrial complex that was still ripping off taxpayers with overpriced and substandard products.

e. a vice president  resigning for extortion, tax fraud, bribery, and conspiracy, and president resigning before being impeached for real crimes, and a placeholder president who did little.

f. military leaders who were still operating on WWII strategies, as reflected by their failure in Vietnam and having no clue as to the handle an offensive in the Middle East. 

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@td1234 @Ralph-43So td you do not want the people of this state to vote on this amendment ? So td, you are in favor of King Roy......er....King Deal!

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

sillier than your normal comments td.

No one - cept for you and a few other diehard political junkies - will care whether Jason voted for the Amendment.

RantNRave
RantNRave

What am I smoking?

I AM NOT SMOKING ACETONE OR FERTILIZER like you CONS DO.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@CuriousPrime @Obama-is-The-Anti-Christ Funny how the cons during the entire boom of the Clinton years, claimed that 'raygunomics were at the root of Clinton's success, yet they ignored how the failures of the previous 8 years under Nixon/Agnew/Ford crippled the economy for Carter. They blithely ignored the recession and high unemployment Carter inherited. Just like now, they never heard of gw bush, all the weakness in the economy, and soaring deficits is laid on Obama, as if bush/cheney's incompetence had nothing to do with it

td1234
td1234

@RoadScholar: Sure the people should vote on the amendment and the people will vote on the amendment. The Tea Party and the conservatives will turn out in force to vote on the amendment and they will not be crossing over to punch a democrats name so therefore the dems will yet again get killed in any statewide race. 

td1234
td1234

@The-Centrist  You do not understand the point. The point is Carter was forced to vote on the amendment or the Republican nominee would have been able to run ad after ad portraying him as a big tax and spend lib but by voting for the amendment he ensured a extremely high voter turnout of the Tea Party and Conservatives and sealed his own fate of getting beat in the general election.


I have to giver Deal credit because it was a brilliant political move.  

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