Posted: 10:16 am Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Nathan Deal’s off-line executive orders get some attention 

By Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Last year’s inexplicable decision by Gov. Nathan Deal to remove links to his executive orders from his official website has attracted national attention.

The links to the orders vanished from his website in late November, and at the time his office said the executive orders would be available for public review in the governor’s second-floor suite. That’s no huge hurdle for the Capitol press corps, but it puts media and residents far from the statehouse in a bind.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogThe Sunlight Foundation reports that Georgia is the only state in the nation that doesn’t put its executive orders online for the public to view. From the foundation’s story:

Deal is no slouch when it comes to executive orders — he’s issued more than 200 of them since the beginning of the calendar year and issued around 600 in 2013. Georgia ranks second in the country in number of executive orders issued in the last five years, a product of the structure of Georgia’s constitution, which requires many executive branch responsibilities to be fulfilled by executive order.

Many orders are appointments to state agencies, commissions and boards — including the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, the Georgia Port Authority and Board of Natural Resources. Others concern the transfer of funds from emergency accounts and responses to natural disasters….

The somewhat good news is that despite the governor’s apparent intentions, these documents are in fact not entirely inaccessible to the public online. Georgia Government Publications (GGP), a project of the Digital Library of Georgia (part of the University System of Georgia), has been uploading these documents as part of their digitization project. While the lag time is in the order of weeks and the document titles aren’t available, at least the full text of the documents is searchable.

Which is how the Sunlight Foundation found three executive orders that weren’t on the office’s official list and weren’t publicized by Deal’s press team:

The orders appoint members of the Deal administration to a review commission examining the indictment of Harris County Commissioner Charles Wyatt for bribery and violations of oath, and appoint representatives to two interstate commissions — a state representative to the Goldwater Institute-engineered Compact for a Balanced Budget and two to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

Update: The governor’s office said it intends to restore the executive orders online, and that they will soon return to the website. It said the plans were in the works since last week.

Deal’s office said that the orders were taken off line because of “administrative” reasons and always made available to the public through media requests or a UGA database, though often they took days or weeks to update.

“Nothing was ever kept in secret. It was always available to the public,” said Deal spokesman Brian Robinson. “But we agreed it is important to restore these orders to the website.”

***

On Wednesday morning, we told you of the dust-up between Georgia Voice, the newspaper of record for the LGBT community in Atlanta, and Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, over his failure — in the Voice’s view — to enunciate properly on the topic of gay marriage.

Later in the day, Carter continued to clear the air.  He told Creative Loafing that he unequivocally supported gay marriage and that he helped convince his grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter, to take a similar stance.

Jason Carter took more nuanced stances on two other questions. When asked whether he backed Attorney General Sam Olens decision to defend the state’s gay marriage ban in court, Carter called it a “tough question legally” but said it could ultimately be a “waste.”

And he offered this to the Creative Loafing when asked if he would support legislation that would protect state workers from discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation:

“I’m against discrimination. How we get there with the Republican legislature is a question. But one thing I know for a fact is that, right now, there are state employees who are living double lives because they’re not allowed to be who they want to be, and who they are, when they’re at work. That’s something where if they know that they have someone in the governor’s office that is a friend, that will make a big difference in those people’s lives. That’s important to me. That’s important to a huge number of other people.”

***

Our WSB Radio blogging colleague Jamie Dupree has a look at today’s Tennessee (mainly) GOP primary races. His handicap on the challenge to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander:

One thing working against the possibility of upsets is that Tennessee does not have a runoff, so any incumbent running in a race with more than a two person field can survive with less than a majority, as Sen. Roberts did this week in Kansas.

And that could be the case in the Volunteer State, where Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) faces six GOP opponents.

Much of the Tea Party focus has gone for Joe Carr, a member of the Tennessee legislature; but Carr doesn’t have the field to himself, as a doctor named George Flinn has self-funded his campaign to the tune of almost $2 million for the race against Alexander.

***

Susan Mitchell Grant, a chief nurse for Emory Healthcare, has an op-ed in the Washington Post that challenges those worried about two Ebola-infected missionaries to Africa who were admitted to her hospital this week. The piece includes these paragraphs:

Those fears are unfounded and reflect a lack of knowledge about Ebola and our ability to safely manage and contain it. Emory University Hospital has a unit created specifically for these types of highly infectious patients, and our staff is thoroughly trained in infection control procedures and protocols. But beyond that, the public alarm overlooks the foundational mission of the U.S. medical system. The purpose of any hospital is to care for the ill and advance knowledge about human health. At Emory, our education, research, dedication and focus on quality — essentially everything we do — is in preparation to handle these types of cases….

Most importantly, we are caring for these patients because it is the right thing to do. These Americans generously went to Africa on a humanitarian mission to help eradicate a disease that is especially deadly in countries without our health-care infrastructure. They deserve the same selflessness from us. To refuse to care for these professionals would raise enormous questions about the ethical foundation of our profession. They have a right to come home for their care when it can be done effectively and safely.

***

But Emory, at its heart, is still a college campus. Which means you have faux first-person articles in the Emory Spoke that begin like this:

I, Ebola, like all of you freshman out there, am very excited to begin my journey in the United States at Emory University, a world-class institution with an impressive reputation. It’s not every day that a hemorrhagic fever from West Africa gets the chance to come to such a prestigious university. While I’m a little bummed about not getting to spend some time in Yale hospital’s class four containment facility, I am definitely going to seize all the opportunities Emory is giving me on my way to a hopefully long tenure in the US.

***

Holly LaBerge, the top staffer for the state ethics commission, isn’t the only state employee Gov. Nathan Deal endorsed for the prestigious Leadership Georgia program. A records request revealed that Deal and Chris Riley, his chief-of-staff, backed more than a dozen applicants over the last three years. Many of them are allies or aides, including Bart Gobeil, his chief operating officer, and David Werner, a top aide.

LaBerge’s letter of recommendation was among the shortest; Deal spilled the most ink on a Gainesville banker who is a long-time friend of his family.  You can find each of the letters here.

***

Our AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin has a piece on House Speaker David Ralston’s formal answer to a State Bar of Georgia complaint lodged by a former client:

…Ralston is also accused of sending [accident victim Paul E.] Chernak $22,000 via 12 separate checks to help Chernak pay for living expenses. The complaint claims the money came from other clients, third parties and Ralston’s personal accounts. It is generally the most serious of the charges Ralston faces.

On Wednesday, however, Ralston’s attorneys — Robert Ingram of Marietta and Jim Spence of Decatur — said the complaint is simply wrong.

Instead, they said, Ralston used money from his “earned, but previously undisbursed legal fees from an unrelated case. Mr. Ralston denies that he said funds belonged to his other clients or third persons.”

Your copy of Ralston’s legal reply can be found here.

***

It’s becoming very clear that, in both the race for governor and U.S. Senate, the Middle East and support for Israel will continue to be an issue.

Appearing on CNBC yesterday, Gov. Nathan Deal let slip that Georgia would be doubling its investment in Israel bonds to celebrate closer ties between the state and the nation. Deal’s staff said the investment is in the works and that more details would be available in the next two weeks.

But Deal spokesman Brian Robinson did tell our AJC colleague Nicholas Fouriezos this much:

 

“The state was already investing $5 million annually under Gov. Deal and decided to add more. That transaction is in the process of being completed, and we’ll provide details once it has happened. This money is core deposits at the state treasury and these are floating rate bonds issued by the state of Israel.”

***

jewishtimesad2In initial reports on that leaked Michelle Nunn campaign memo, the National Review reported that $33,000 passed through Points of Light Foundation to Islamic Relief USA — a number we picked up and used as well. The magazine has corrected that figure to $13,500, because of a misreading of one of Points of Light’s IRS forms.

***

The Super PAC called Ending Spending Action Fund continues to hit Michelle Nunn on the memo. It has taken out this full-page ad (right) in Friday’s Atlanta Jewish Times, per the Washington Free Beacon, to highlight how the memo referred to Jewish supporters as a “tremendous financial opportunity,” but one that might rely on her position on Israel.

***

Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Amanda Swafford has tacked to the left of Democrat Michelle Nunn on gay marriage. Swafford tells Project Q Atlanta that she “fully support[s]” her party’s position on marriage equality — an embrace she points out came decades before the Democrats.

Nunn has said she personally supports gay marriage but as a legal matter it should be left to the states. Republican David Perdue says he supports the will of Georgia voters who backed a same-sex marriage ban in 2004 but considers it a state issue that he would not get involved in as a U.S. senator.

***

In Washington-based The Hill newspaper, Matt L. Barron has an op-ed about the Democratic Party’s rural problem — a topic with real implications for Georgia. These paragraphs from the president of a political consulting and “rural strategy” firm in Massachusetts caught our eye:

With the exception of a Native American outreach effort, the national party committees have no rural vote components anymore. When the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced its community outreach chairs in March 2013, labor, LGBT, New Americas, defense and tribal panels were named to accompany the women and Latino councils that were previously appointed. The councils are designed to keep the DCCC connected with various communities supportive of Democrats. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has no rural desk.

Over at the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Rural Council is unstaffed and still stuck in second-class status, unable to become a full-fledged caucus. Why? Because under party rules, the group must represent at least 2 percent of the DNC membership and its members must share an “immutable characteristic.” As a result, the roadblock is that being rural is not a permanent trait. I swear, you can’t make this stuff up.

Things are no better at the state level — only a handful of state parties have a rural caucus to recognize geographic minorities. Despite running on platforms that included pledges to form rural caucuses in their states, the Democratic chairmen in Georgia and South Carolina have yet to create them. In Massachusetts, a rural subcommittee adopted by the state party in February remains stillborn, having never met.

This is as good a time as any to note that the Democratic Party of Georgia will have its state convention on Saturday in Dublin, Ga., the rural hometown of chairman DuBose Porter.

158 comments
Bernie31
Bernie31

So much for the So Called MUSLIM President many supposedly GOD FEARING Jesus Following Pretending False Claiming Christians of America claimed for this President to BE!. Now that OUR MUSLIM President according to YOU and YOUR DARK HATRED has started a CHRISTIAN ACT to Save a Group of isolated Christians surrounded by Angry Muslims, your Hatred still continues with Vengence!  Why would a so called MUSLIM Leader come to the DEFENSE of Unknown CHRISTIANS half a World away!  Providing for them Food, Water and Tents.


ALL of the now ANGRY CHRISTIANS of America who has passed Judgement on this American President. Now owes this American President an APOLOGY! 

However, we ALL know that an APOLOGY will NOT be coming forth. Why? Because the So Called American Christians with Hatred in their Heart for this American President are not even CHRISTIAN ENOUGH to admit THEY were WRONG!

Thank-You God for President Obama. It has been said you work in MYSTERIOUS WAYS....nothing was ever said about American Christians and their VERY MYSTERIOUS and STRANGE UN-CHRISTIAN LIKE WAYS.

Praise JAYSUS!

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

Agree with your last paragraphs. Dems need to get their act together and compete for the rural vote. Dems support food aid, which ultimately funnels money back into rural communities and the pockets of farmers. We support Medicaid expansion, which keeps rural hospitals open. And we support good public schools which allow everyone to improve their success in life.

All things which improve the quality of life in rural areas.

dreluv
dreluv

The true side coming out about Deal it time for us Georgia to vote him out.

Nathan Deal need touse his executive order and get 600,000 poor Georgian Medicaid.

November please hurry up so Georgia can turn Blue.

td1234
td1234

Stir the pot a little more and yet bash another progressive mythology. 


U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow urged President Barack Obama not to grant temporary amnesty and work permits to millions more illegal immigrants via executive action, asserting Obama's timing could not be any worse for American workers, especially black Americans. 

In a Tuesday letter to Obama, Kirsanow emphasized "the disastrous effect of illegal immigration on the employment of all Americans, but particularly black Americans." He also said that the "proposed executive order is unfair to people who are attempting to immigrate legally."

"Any grant of legal status will serve as a magnet to prospective illegal immigrants and further depress employment opportunities and wages for African-Americans," he wrote. "Given that the labor force participation rate is at an historic low, the unemployment rate is 6.2 percent, and there has been a precipitous decline in household wealth, the timing for such a grant of legal status could not be worse."

Kirsanow reminded Obama that in 2008, "Well-regarded scholars from leading universities and independent groups" who "were ideologically diverse ...  acknowledged that illegal immigration has a negative impact on black employment, both in terms of employment opportunities and wages."


http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/07/Civil-Rights-Commissioner-Timing-of-Obama-s-Amnesty-Could-Not-Be-Worse-for-Black-Workers

td1234
td1234

This should just make the progressive go on the personal attacks again. 


"A new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation finds that Obamacare's myriad exemptions mean nearly 90% of America's 30 million uninsured individuals will pay zero penalty as part of the individual mandate. 
In an effort to soften one of Obamacare's most unpopular provisions ahead of the midterm elections, the Obama administration carved out 14 so-called hardship exemptions in December to allow individuals to sidestep having to pay the much-maligned $95 tax or 1% of family income--a figure that jumps to $695 per adult or 2.5% of family income by 2016. 
"If your pajamas don't fit well, you don't need health insurance," joked former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, now President of the American Action Forum, to the Wall Street Journal. "It basically waives the individual mandate." 
Obamacare remains more unpopular than ever, according to the latest Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation poll. Just 37% of Americans say they support President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement, Obamacare."

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/07/90-of-the-Uninsured-Will-Pay-Zero-Obamacare-Penalty

The_Real_Centrist
The_Real_Centrist

I would call for Deal's impeachment but it might be better just to vote the scoundrel out of office in November.  He's a troll masquerading as a Governor.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

Why does Deal need executive orders when his party has near absolute control of Georgia's government?  Is it time to call him a dictator and, either a law suit or impeachment actions must be taken immediately?

td1234
td1234

The kooks are banding together and are throwing the personal attacks out left and right. They do not like it when their philosophy is shown for what it really is, EVIL. 



Red_GA
Red_GA

A chief executive with transparency issues and an itch for executive orders along with his incompetent Attorney General who covers for him. And I thought we were discussing another story on Obama and Holder. But it's Republicans - Deal and Olens. No biggie. We will give them a pass. We won't give them a hard time....just reelect them.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Deal is a crook.  Fact.  Crooks vote for crooks.

td1234
td1234

I see the kook progressives have been reduced to personal attacks. This is a typical last resort of the progressives when they have gotten their butts handed to them on facts and philosophy. Bwhahahahaha

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 It's ok the God I worship still loves you he does not look at what you do, have or contribute and afterwards tell me to do stupid things to hurt you if you fall short.

Bernie31
Bernie31

Jest LQQK at this statement - "Nothing was ever kept in secret. It was always available to the public,” said Deal spokesman Brian Robinson. “But we agreed it is important to restore these orders to the website.”

Am I the only ONE with WHIP LASH here? LOL!  

Let's take a look a this Word Salad!  first part - "Nothing was ever kept in secret. It was always available to the public."  In Georgia speak it says "We Did not HIDE anything from you. We jest put it in such a way that YOU cannot Read it, that is ALL".  what a great use of the English language!


Second Part - “But we agreed it is important to restore these orders to the website.” In Georgia SPeak

forgive My LIE in the previous statement. WE Got Caught LYING,AGAIN and OUR King Yella Teeth sent me out here to explain his Lies and I do not feel comfortable in doing that. so this is why this statement is so confusing and CRAZY! But anyway, we are going to put it back online for you to see...Remember I did not say when! most likely some time after the election for The Yella Teeth one does not want JIMMY's grandson to use any of the Govenor's decision against him. He don't mind until then...if ya know what I mean. 

if ya want it, SUE US!  cause yer ain't git'n it until after November!

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty So just because the report was made by a news organization you do not like means you can disregard the facts laid out in the article?  

honested
honested

@td1234 

As I can't help but repeat, reality does not visit your home.

Kamchak
Kamchak

 ...grant temporary amnesty...

1986 Ronaldo Reaganendez called and said. "I got yer amnesty hangin' right here, sport."

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

@td1234 It appears that the kooks are not banding together as evident of  what it took to pass "Non-Refugee Bill". Road Kill GOPossums are throwing personal attacks from the right because their left refuses to compromise.  We only see the right acting out their social conservative philosophy that is showing what it have been and continues to be...vile, vicious, and vindictive.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@td1234 "EVIL," says the guy who's okay with letting the Waffle House waitress die rather than allow the government to assist with her medical care.

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@td1234 

Too funny!!!  The boy starts by calling people kooks then goes into a whine about personal attacks.

Much more and he will o.d. on irony

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 still waiting on your story with LINK which disputes that the Koch brothers want to mine the world’s largest red salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, Alaska proving that what I say is a "hit piece".  No personal attacks her td1234 it's just that without the spin you are dizzy and confused about the truth.

honested
honested

@td1234 

What personal attacks?

You make outrageous, unsupportable pronouncements and expect others to see them as anything but a load of crap?

Heck, I was listening to BBC-World earlier and heard about an anonymously funded PRIVATE program in Colorado providing birth control at no cost to ANYONE in Colorado who wants it. The program has been in place for 4 1/2 years and has cut the teen pregnancy rate by more than half. 

Yet, the geniuses at 'colorado right to life (also known as be forced into life so you can starve) oppose the plan because it is 'not in god's image'.

When people speak and behave as fools, welcome the recognition.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@td1234 - Td you are ALONE in your OCEAN of STUPIDITY!  here is an ANVIL to help you out! Catch...take care NOW!

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@EdUktr  This Huffington Post story is more interesting to me since we have one too. Virginia GOP Official Who Posted Anti-Muslim Facebook Comments Resigns.  It is what Georgia has to look forward to when Anti-Islam pastor Jody Hice goes to Washington keeping Georgia cloutless in Washington. Who the hell gives a $h!t about a poll when this is what you guys want to send to Washington.  I sure as hell don't. 

Bernie31
Bernie31

This is why he is THERE. ALL know Georgia Republicans Heads are stuck in some very Dark Place. They have no problem with their Yella Teeth King Leader and his Dark and criminal ways. They will tell you.."DAT is why HE is THERE!" We know DIS already and WE is JEST FINE with this kind of EVIL!  Nathan reminds so many of them of DEY DADDY!


uh...huh.

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@EdUktr 

You can get away with your stupidity on this blog but not at Bookman's.

He spanked your punk as$ today.

LOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

honested
honested

@td1234 @CherokeeCounty 

News organization?

Did you mean bright-butt?

They never put any 'facts' in the articles, just red meat nonsense for the nuts who can barely read.

td1234
td1234

@Kamchak And as I said before the worst mistake of his Presidency. 

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty @td1234 Because that waitress in not married, had children and did not get an education so she is rewarded by the government giving her something for free? 


Is this the high moral values we want to be teaching our citizens. 

NWGAL
NWGAL

@Nobody_Knows @td1234 td is not a new type. 2,400 years ago, Euripides wrote: Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser There is nothing else on this story besides the PAC's story. Where is any collaborating evidence that the story is true with quotes or actual analysis from the EPA?  

EdUktr
EdUktr

@StraightNoChaser @EdUktr

The Huffington Post does ANALYSIS of polls. It doesn't do election polls. But that point's apparently lost on a butt-head like you.

Zwei
Zwei

@Nobody_Knows

How bad was EdUktr's trouncing?

Kamchak
Kamchak

LOL. Do not like to hear the truth now do you? 

td1234
td1234

@NWGAL LOL. Do not like to hear the truth now do you? 

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@NWGAL @Nobody_Knows @td1234 And, even though I'm guilty myself, the great Ann Richards once said "never wrestle with a pig. You'll just get dirty, and he'll enjoy it."

Good advice when reading td's 'stuff'.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser As if it will make a difference.  The Lord himself can give you evidence and you would pull out your partisan bible and argue with him.  Google it, the Post wrote a piece on June 17.  Hint type in Koch brothers mine in Bristol Bay that's how I found out.  The mind is a terrible thing to waste.  God told me to tell you to turn off fixed news there is a wealth of information out there.

honested
honested

@EdUktr 

Look at the moving RCP averages. 

They are still a little stilted republican but they tend to come closer to the end result.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@EdUktr @StraightNoChaser They also report on politics so how do you like the story?  Is it true or not? Since you put so much stock in HP analysis of polls.  

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@Zwei 

Check out Bookman's current column.  By the time I got there Ed had already had a comment deleted by Bookman and was chastised for his stupidity. 

His reply was something stupid then he ran off and pouted. 


I'd bet the comment was the same crap he posts here.  Heck does he post more than two or three things.  Not too hard to guess what they are or going to be.


LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser Bookman is a typical progressive butthead. He allows his progressive followers to do whatever they please while at the same time makes stupid comments about showing a poll that is not favorable to the side he wants to win. 

td1234
td1234

@LookbeforeIleap No, an education gives one a marketable skill set so that the taxpayer is not charged with taking care of the children. 

td1234
td1234

@BuckheadBoy Wow, when you can not argue the facts then go after trivial stuff. LOL

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser He was off topic which is something that the right does on a regular basis.  Take you for instance when things start to go wrong for you on here you roll out your partisan God who tells Republicans to do dumb things.

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser 

Yet you have been a regular there for a long time............. and getting laughed at there just like here.

LOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 And are you also saying that Bookman does the same as your hero Rush and the only difference is that you agree with Rush and not Bookman?

Hypocrite much? 

td1234
td1234

@Nobody_Knows Well at least in this state there are way more people laughing at your progressive views than there are laughing at mine. 

honested
honested

@td1234 @Nobody_Knows 

Identifying a liar appropriately is never a 'personal attack'.

Today is a special day to remember, if nixon had been appropriately identified before the 1972 election, much pain and death could have been avoided.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@EdUktr @StraightNoChaser @td1234 did you pass td1234? I think he's headed your way with his a$$ on fire too off topic  loaded with no facts just spin.

honested
honested

@td1234 @Nobody_Knows 

Is that why the Governor's race is a dead heat and the Senator's race is within the margin of error?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @Nobody_Knows Your comment is so childish it's like saying "If I am then what are you"  td1234 has reached a new low ladies and gentlemen and he wonders why we don't want him to vote on representatives for this state.  Priceless

Bernie31
Bernie31

@td1234 @Nobody_Knows - Td you cannot here the Loud Snickering of WHAT AN IDIOT and a TOOL! being expressed all over the World!

uh.huh