Posted: 6:24 pm Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Nathan Deal tries to keep ethics decision at arm’s length 

By Greg Bluestein

Even before the verdict was in Friday, Gov. Nathan Deal was already distancing himself from the ethics trial going on just down the block from the statehouse. He told us that “they try to drag me into it; I have no involvement whatsoever.”

Speaking in Macon for the first time since the jury’s decision, he stuck to that line. GPB’s Adam Ragusea reports that Deal declined to comment on the verdict, which sided in favor of former ethics agency head Stacey Kalberman, who claimed she was forced from her job for too aggressively investigating a complaint from Deal’s 2010 campaign.

He dodged questions about specific testimony by saying he wasn’t monitoring the case. And when pressed for comment, he said only that he has no control over the ethics commission.

From the GPB story:

“I would simply say that any ethics allegations against me were resolved about two years ago,” Deal said.  “The only (substantiated allegations) were technical violations, such as failure to list somebody’s name appropriately that was a member of our campaign staff, those kind of technical violations.”

His campaign opponents certainly haven’t been quiet about it.

***

Democrat Jason Carter’s operation was the first gubernatorial campaign to report how much it had raised by the March 31 deadline.

The campaign said Sunday it raised about $416,000 in the 11 days after the session’s end. Carter, Deal and Superintendent John Barge were all prohibited from raising cash during the legislative session that ended March 20.

Carter’s camp said he’ll report having $1.6 million cash on hand when the report is filed on Monday. It says the brunt of its donors  – about 5,100 of the 5,500 who gave this quarter – were new to the campaign, which could also mean many of them are out-of-state donors. Those details weren’t immediately available and the campaign declined to comment.

Deal is sitting on the biggest cash hoard – about $4.3 million by January’s end – and he’ll report his fundraising figures Monday. Same with Barge, who had about $26,000 in cash the last filing. (His camp advises not to expect big figures).

But the most interesting could be from former Dalton Mayor David Pennington, who had roughly $200,000 in his campaign piggy bank as of late January. He was the only gubernatorial candidate who was able to raise funds freely over the last three months, giving him an advantage none of his rivals had this winter.

39 comments
notagain
notagain

along about sundown we all come together.......Beach property going to be flooded with this global warming..

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

If you believe this governor, I have some great beach property in the mountains to sell you!

PappyODeal
PappyODeal

I don' know nuttin' 'bout nuttin'. 


Thas mah story an' eye'm stickin' to it.

styymy
styymy

Nathan Deal lies even more than Obama.

tomkat1111
tomkat1111

This is not about democrats and republicans.This is about ethics and Deal has none.

Andy123
Andy123

The sad part is this is nothing.  Imagine how corrupt the governor of NY, IL and LA in comparison to GA.  

honested
honested

After listening to the Governor's comments on GPB I can only wonder, will randy be disbarred before or after he is indicted?

SouthGeorgiareader
SouthGeorgiareader

The Guv is so tainted with ethics problems that all he can do is deny and hope it works. His minions lead him around and declare that he is innocent of any wrongdoing.  The upcoming campaign and debates will be interesting.

DS
DS

"I have no involvement whatsoever." --- Nathan Deal.

Good luck convincing anyone of that.

The Ethics Commission starts investigating Deal's 2010 campaign. Director, attorney and staff member are sacked. The governor's office had a hand in suggesting a replacement director. The new director tells the new attorney to drop it. Later, the new director said that Deal "owes her one." The former director wins a civil lawsuit against the Ethics Commission. In this lawsuit, sworn testimony is given that the former director, attorney and staff member were sacked because of the Deal investigation, and that the new attorney was told to drop it.

Nathan Deal took office under an ethics cloud, and now it's a thunderstorm.

Joeleejohnson
Joeleejohnson

C. 1955 A democrat working for my grand mother was asked to kill and dress a chicken from the yard. When he brought the dressed chicken to the kitchen 'Gran' noticed there were two gizzards in the pan.

When confronted with the evidence the democrat said,

"Yes Mam, them domineckers sometime has two gizzards"

And most of my life our governor was also a democrat.

DudeMac
DudeMac

Governor Deal is in great company:


"I am not a crook"-Richard Nixon

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman"-Bill Clinton

"Read my lips, no new taxes"-George H.W.Bush

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

Deal was responsible for blocking the former commission's efforts to deal with his unethical behavior.  The buck stops with him.  

electric1234
electric1234

I am sure with elections this year, he will distance himself like the plague

SouthernDem
SouthernDem

Thank God the AJC keeps the spotlight on this issue because the vast majority of news outlets in this state seem oblivious to Deal's ever growing chamber of scandals and inquiries.


For the record, Republicans only care about ethics in government when Dems are in power. And Nathan Deal is barely a mediocre governor--at best--and also a crooked one at that. What's the point of supporting such an individual? 


I'm convinced that most Georgia GOP voters are so afraid of gays, blacks and immigrants that they feel compelled to support these political villains who they view as some sort of buffer that will preserve a  long-gone 1950s-era racial and social status quo that only exists, sadly, in the minds of Tea Partiers and Alzheimer's patients. Wake up, Scarlett: the plantation is gone, and the slaves have left town! It all happened while you were taking a nap.


Note to Republicans: change comes. Whether you accept it or not. So stop kidding yourselves. What has Nathan Deal done to deserve reelection to a second term? Is Georgia any better off after four years of his ethically challenged rule? Its a simple question that deserves an honest answer. If the Dems in Georgia had any balls, they'd be asking the same question--but in TV ads.



November's vote should be about leadership and integrity. Deal has displayed neither. 



AADD
AADD

The people in this state would vote for Bernie Madoff if he gets released from jail, moves to GA, develops a Southern accent and runs as a Republican...What a sad place this is...

taters
taters

Deal wants this to go away because he knows he's dirty. Voters need to keep this in mind at election time.  Time to throw Deal out of office and bring in some new blood.

EdUktr
EdUktr

 JIM GALLOWAY AND THE AJC TRY TO KEEP ETHICS DECISION ON FRONT PAGE

Bernie31
Bernie31

One-eyed mule can’t be handled on de bline side. - Uncle Remus

Bernie31
Bernie31

How can a Skunk separate itself from its own smell?

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Distance himself?  This creep is guilty as charged.  We all know that.  Put this loser on the bench.  Time for a brand new operation - 21st century style.  Will Deal go to prison?

PoliticalOutsider
PoliticalOutsider

Deal resigns his seat in Congress at 11:59pm or be indicted the next day in DC for criminal wrong doing. He comes back to Georgia with a message of more guns, more tax breaks for big business, more loopholes in the ethics laws, less healthcare options, less money for public education, and the disinterested voters elect this crook as Georgia's Governor. And with Deal, you get his criminal mastermind Chris Riley who has been involved in every crooked scheme with Nathan Deal.

To my knowledge, Deal is the first Georgia Governor in modern times to have a seated Federal Grand Jury conducting a criminal investigation of the Governor and his Chief of Staff. Now a jury of 12 citizens have found in a mere 2 hours that Deal and his personally appointed Ethics Board, retaliated against staff members who were trying to investigate his ethical misconduct. Three more suits were filed by whistleblowers and will certainly be settled at tax payer expense or be played out in another courtroom disaster for Deal.

And don't forget there is the very ugly lawsuit pending over Deal and Riley's corrupt handling of the state employees health insurance administrator. Politicians in Alabama used to flaunt their corruption, and today, many are sitting in federal prisons. Sadly, Georgia has become the new Alabama. We can only hope the Feds get here in time to save us from ourselves.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

Deal had no control. Pardon me as I wipe my screen off. Who suggest to the legislators what is in the budget? Who signed the budget? Who signed legislation last year to form and empower the ethics agency?  Who was the focus of the ethics investigation? Who appoints and allegedly manage their staff ( er not Chris Christie!) . Who supposedly put his assets into a blind trust and then made millions in a business transaction?


Er President Obama (well he gets blamed by cons for everything that they do not like, no matter how much they whine!) He's responsible for the pollen level, ya' know!?

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

@Andy123 You can try to deflect all you want. Politics and ethics in Georgia are two words that don't even belong in the same paragraph, much less the same sentence. Always has been, regardless of which party has been in power. 

honested
honested

@Andy123  

The only one that stands out is the Governor of Louisiana as you mentioned. 

Corrupt and goofy.

honested
honested

@DS  

Both the Governor and his attorney would seem to have some detailed questions to answer in front of an investigative board that was not hired by the Governor's attorney.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@DudeMac  

"If you like your doctor, you'll be able to keep him," B.O.

"If you've got a business, you didn't build that," B.O.

"These small towns ... (where) they get bitter—they cling to guns or religion," B.O.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@AADD  I think they would vote for him even if he did not get out of jail or move to Georgia, just as long as he appears on the ballot with an R beside his name!

Lynn43
Lynn43

@EdUktr  Thankfully some people keep the problem of honesty in the forefront.

NOlongerRepublican
NOlongerRepublican

@EdUktr  Continuing to support Nathan Deal in the wake of all that is going on with him just proves how absolutely stupid you are. Unfortunately many Georgians are like you and will blame the media and/or Obama for trying to sabotage Deal, which is nothing short of ridiculous. This man is not worthy or your allegiance. If you are a conservative who wants responsible and ethical leadership in Georgia there are two other candidates who do not have Deal's ethical or criminal issues that you can support. To continue to support Deal means you do not give a flip about our state or its people. In my opinion Georgia deserves better! 

TrueBlueDem
TrueBlueDem

EdUktr...I love it when you squeal like a pig....

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

Well...it could call itself a conservative to dupe a bunch of morons into voting for it.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

All out of context, of course, Ed.

Not that it matters to someone with such a bad case of ODS.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@TrueBlueDem  

With all the Georgia ballot disappointments you Dems have suffered, I can't begrudge you that ...

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

@EdUktr Historically no one ever gets enough on them to convince a jury in Georgia even when the evidence is clear as in Don Balfour and Roscoe Dean. Or further back when the smoke was thick but evidence never even came before a grand jury with people like Herman Talmadge and Marvin Griffin.  

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that you use go-betweens and keep your distance. In the old days cash was king, now it is in PACs and the like. Get your head out of your posterior and quit trying to defend the indefensible.

Trackbacks

  1. […] From Greg Bluestein, one of the AJC’s Political Insiders: […]

  2. […] < Nathan Deal tries to keep ethics decision at arm’s length […]

  3. […] comes a day after Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter released his totals for the same time period: A $416,000 haul. Both Deal and Carter are prohibited by state law from raising campaign cash during the legislative […]

  4. […] governor facing re-election against opponents who have taken up ethics as a mantra. Deal on Monday abandoned his attempts to distance himself from the agency and instead called for a “comprehensive” […]