Posted: 4:44 pm Monday, April 7th, 2014

Nathan Deal proposes a ‘comprehensive’ ethics overhaul in wake of jury verdict 

By Greg Bluestein

A victorious Stacey Kalberman greets state prosecutors after she won a $700,000 jury verdict in an ethics trial.

A victorious Stacey Kalberman greets state prosecutors after she won a $700,000 jury verdict in an ethics trial.

The jury verdict siding with a former ethics commission head who claimed she was forced out because she was too aggressively investigating Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign has already sent ripple waves through his office. Today we see one of the results.

Our colleague Janel Davis was with the governor in Athens on Monday, and afterwards he told her and a few other reporters the changes to the five-member ethics panel he plans to push on the campaign trail.

He proposes that the three branches of government – judicial, executive and legislative – each appoint four members to a commission. The 12 members would select a chair, and they would not be allowed to hear any cases involving their branch. Said Deal:

“It is very clear we have had an ineffective commission in terms of being able to deal with cases appropriately and in the fashion they have been dealt with. We have seen for example in the case involving me. … It appears that the staff spent almost a year focusing exclusively on my campaign.

The governor said this more “comprehensive” commission would not infringe on legislative ethics committees or the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which probes judicial branch issues.

“It is important to remember that this commission now and under any new configuration only deals with issues relating not to taxpayer funds but to private campaign funds that have been raised by candidates,” he said.

It echoes a yearslong push by Democrats to make the commission more independent. Democrat Jason Carter’s campaign said in a statement that “Gov. Deal is now scrambling to cover himself in the midst of an election year political crisis.”

Deal, too, conceded that the overhaul is “probably overdue.”

“It has been an ineffective Commission for a very long period of time. Just recently I think we heard that they have not disposed of a single case in many many months, which in my opinion is inexcusable. There are resources available. The proposal that I am making will require legislative action in the next session of the General Assembly. The budget that I will be proposing will include additional funding to be sure that can be carried out.”

95 comments
JdJackson
JdJackson

Time to ,"Close the Deal." Let's send this corrupt on the take (Pig Squeel Deal) back to the Hog Pen he crawled out of. He is a poster boy for corruption and an embarrassment to the state and the country. Pig Squeel Deal is out to steal ,  whatever and whomever he can. CLOSE THE DEAL!

Starik
Starik

Hell, I was drafted in late 1969 - they did start the lottery then, but the draft went on. 

TomGaff
TomGaff

Starik - I was in Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam in 1968-1969! Thought draft ended before then because I was never on a list to my knowledge. But I did go in military at age 17. That was a long time ago, perhaps you are right?

Joeleejohnson
Joeleejohnson

Five gets you ten the General Assembly will have a bell on this cat.

Andy123
Andy123

Newsflash:  You don't become elected to any state office by being ethical regardless of political party affiliation. 

Starik
Starik

"The draft ended before Retired Soldier and I volunteered for service! You really missed a great life experience to help you grow as a person!"  "You and I have similiar views on politics. Possibly because I am a Viet Vet(USAF) and retired Lawman!"


The draft ended in early 1973 and our combat role ended in mid 1973, so I doubt you were in Vietnam.

TomGaff
TomGaff

Roger 142 - Anyone can make a complaint about any thing. It can be from meal money to a more serious offense. It does not mean you've done any thing wrong. That is why it is called an investigation! Did the Gov have a child out of wedlock(like you know who), do drugs, commit a crime, steal from a old lady, beat someone up, or create a traffic jam on a bridge? Just some silly ethics complaint filed by people who file them daily! Hardly any one ever found guilty!

TomGaff
TomGaff

Honested - The draft ended before Retired Soldier and I volunteered for service! You really missed a great life experience to help you grow as a person!

Roger142
Roger142

Wow, who would have ever thought that a guy who resigned from congress to avoid an ethics investigation, could actually then get elected as a governor, and then find himself in another ethics investigation.   Way to go Governor (Let's Make A) Deal, once everything settles back down, you will have an excellent tax payer funded pension and benefits, and more people who owe you political favors than you can shake a stick at.

CanBee
CanBee

TomGraff - You are wasting your time with the slime-ball Ralph43, who use ONLY that portion of quotes or statically data that support his position! The truth is NEVER utters from is fat lips!

Just like statical data about gun violence in the USA. When I ask that he include the FULL data, his big fat lips uttered no more!

taters
taters

Dirty Deal...trying to bring ethics to the golden dome...what a freakin joke!

NWGAL
NWGAL

Ethics in the same sentence as Nathan Deal, now that is a real joke.

TomGaff
TomGaff

Ralph 43 Face it, Georgia tax-payers do not want to pay an extra $2.5 Billion more over 10 yrs for expansion of Medicaid!! It's either raise taxes on Georgians or cut back on education, public safety, etc? Quit leaving out these facts for people on the fence trying to decide which side to support!

TomGaff
TomGaff

honested We want him to "pander" to business interests! Get more companies to move to Georgia with their JOBS any way you can! Get Georgia people back to work in the private sector with smaller govt intervention!

honested
honested

Isn't it a little late for nathan to find his name and anything approaching 'ethics reform' in the same paragraph?


He has done nothing in office but pander to business interests with fat PAC ties. Why would anyone expect the leopard to change his spots a month from the primary.


Rather than changing spots, it is clearly time for stripes (as in the state provided kind).

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Too little.  Too late.  Like many of the bloggers on this site - many voters will not understand the case or care.  Some of us will and know the details.  Deal is well known as an unethical shyster.  He was run out of the U.S. Congress and external review agencies concur that he is genetically unethical and ruthless.  His decision on Medicaid will murder many Georgians, close at least six more hospitals, and lose $8 billion dollars of our federal taxes to those states that expand.  Because it is paid 100 percent by the return of our federal taxes, that would have allowed Jason Carter to put away plenty to meet the states requirements in 2018.  Probably too complicated for the average Republican failed businessman to comprehend.  My assessment of the Emerging Leaders Group is that Deal is Dead.   



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


TomGaff
TomGaff

Barry Pendry - After Hillary, maybe we could elect Bill's kid next and make it a real family affair? Wonder what Monica is doing these days?

TomGaff
TomGaff

Barry Pendry - Your comment about Bill Clinton is interesting? Your words about "go down" somehow struck me as funny!

TomGaff
TomGaff

Retired Soldier - You and I have similiar views on politics. Possibly because I am a Viet Vet(USAF) and retired Lawman!

TomGaff
TomGaff

TrueBlueDem - Don't blast Chris Christie, I like him a lot more than Hillary and the baggage she brings. Besides if the worst thing he is involved in is causing extra traffic on a bridge,I can live with that. I guess he is not qualified, since he is only a Gov and has no experience as a Community Organizer? Yes, I do believe the State and Federal govt's go hand in hand.

BarryPendry
BarryPendry

If Deal wants true ethics in government the first thing he should do is resign from office.

TomGaff
TomGaff

Curious Pine - I agree completely, a case should never had been brought over meal money and minor expenses. State wasted a lot of money trying it? Now State has to pay his lawyers around $160K for his attys fees.

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

He is the former mayor of Dalton. Goggle, I think you might be pleased.

TomGaff
TomGaff

Retired soldier - No one has ever heard of Pennington, no chance there sir? I've heard of Pennington grass seed, any connection?

TomGaff
TomGaff

DannyX - Why put him in if he can not get the GOP legislature to work with him? Definitely nothing gets done. It will be just like Obama and the GOP House and GOP Senate(if prognosticators(mispelled) are correct).

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

I'll believe it when I see it. . .  A real independent Ethics commission with power to punish and not just "find out". 



TomGaff
TomGaff

Look I will agree, Deal is not the Messiah but he is better than the other candidates. Which is not saying much. If you put in a Dem, he will spend, spend and raises taxes, like all Dems do?

TomGaff
TomGaff

Tomkat1111- What the Centrist was actually saying was  juries in other counties might have came to a different verdict. Let's be frank and honest for a moment. The large Dem areas like Atl, Clayton Cty, Dekalb Cty & parts of Fulton will vote Carter, probably the rest of State will vote Deal? Deal should win?

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

@TomGaff  

No it has been proven that he's personally done anything wrong. This jury has just determined that this lady and likely two others were wrongfully terminated as a direct result of trying to establish that proof. By the time all this is said and done the taxpayers will be out of $2 million or so. Compared to the Governor giving Chip Rogers $150K to go away it appears it is a better deal for a state employee to get fired by him. Will proof that the Governor ordered the hits ever surface? He isn't that stupid. But apparently quite a few voters are.

PappyODeal
PappyODeal

@TomGaff

"Hardly any one ever found guilty!"

Now I ask you, is this a great country or what?  Iss good to be thuh KING! 

PappyODeal
PappyODeal

@TomGaff

You soun' like mah kinda' guy. You jus' grab the lil' lady an' come on up to the lake next week to mah bahbacue 'cuz coincydently we ah gonna' have thuh Froggy Bottom Gals singin' thar' newly penned song in mah ahnah, "He's a Panderer."  Iss only a hunert bucks a head unless ya'll are developers or corporations that have already paid mah PAC. They don' pay nuthin' more for nuthin' includin' mah bahbacue, state taxes or infrastructure affer they've paid mah PAC. Now thas' thuh REAL DEAL!  

honested
honested

@TomGaff  

What about complicity in developing a program to allow those most able to finance the system that benefits them the most a method to avoid paying their bills?

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

@TomGaff So it's ok to steal from the taxpayers as long as it is only chump change?  His high-priced lawyers convinced a jury that even though the CPA and corporate CFO filed fraudulent claims he didn't mean to. Try telling that to the Cop next time you get caught speeding. I'm sure it does get confusing when you claim that you are working on the taxpayer's dime for 75% of the year while at the same time performing as a Waffle House VP.


Why did he require a million dollar campaign fund when he averages spending about $25K per election cycle? Campaign funds in Georgia are just the legal, above-board bribes. Then you have Real PACs and in-laws and outlaws that get paid too. They are almost all ethically challenged and too many voters like you are OK with that.

DannyX
DannyX

Actually TomGaff, most "pundits" believe that it is better if one party doesn't control the House, Senate, and Presidency.  When we have a split government the extremists have no power, and two parties are forced to compromise.  Heck, good ol' conservative AJC columnist Jim Wooten for years would preach the virtues of split power, (that is until Republicans took control of the Georgia House and Senate and had a Republican governor.)


Of course you changed the subject.  Again, how would a Dem governor be able to spend, spend, spend here in Georgia?

DannyX
DannyX

@TomGaff said "If you put in a Dem, he will spend, spend and raises taxes, like all Dems do?"


How in the world could a Democrat spend, spend, spend without the Republican dominated legislature?  

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@TomGaff Have you taken a hard look at Pennington? I think you will find a strong conservative w/o the ethics baggage.

DannyX
DannyX

@TomGaff, the large Dem area of Fulton County just acquitted Republican Don Balfour, this is yet another thing for you to whine at.

BarryPendry
BarryPendry

@Retired-Soldier @BarryPendry  Actually I did....but despite his faults Clinton will go down as one of the great presidents in US History....and so will his wife when she is elected in 2016.


CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

@DannyX @TomGaff  The "large Dem area of Fulton County" had nothing to do for or against the acquittal of Balfour.  This appears to have been a GOP witchhunt against their own.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

22 million jobs (compared to his successor who lost net jobs during his time in office)

A balanced budget.

A thriving stock market.

you know, things that cons always say they want, but Dems produce...

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

@DannyX  The logic is that the GOP went on a witchhunt, and for the moment, Balfour was acquitted.  If conservatives feel that the "Dems" made the wrong decision, prove them wrong!

DannyX
DannyX

Witch hunt or not, the fact is the Dem area/Fulton jury, acquitted Balfour,  according to the logic of TomGaff and the Centrist that would not be possible.

Trackbacks

  1. […] It would be the fourth whistle-blower case filed against the embattled agency, and an unwelcome development for a 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” overhaul. […]

  2. […] Nathan Deal proposes a ‘comprehensive’ ethics overhaul in wake of jury verdict […]

  3. […] unveiled a plan this week to replace the five-person commission with 12 members appointed by the judicial, executive and […]

  4. […] clear now that despite Gov. Nathan Deal’s support for an overhaul of the ethics commission, no help for the agency he called “broken” is on the way until next […]