Posted: 11:56 am Saturday, August 9th, 2014

A rolling blog weekend: Greg Hecht says Sam Olens ‘hid evidence,’ allowed corruption 

By Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Democratic Convention

You can find an account of Jason Carter’s speech to his party’s convention here and Michelle Nunn’s new attacks on David Perdue here.

Below is a rolling account of the rest of the meeting.

Updated at 5 p.m.: A state Democratic convention is a natural venue for Republican-bashing, and a slate of statewide candidates has been doing just that.

But Greg Hecht, the former Clayton County state senator and candidate for attorney general, set the bar with a lengthy denunciation of the Republican incumbent, Sam Olens. In part:

“As opposed to investigating corruption, our attorney general believes its right to allow corruption – to hide evidence, to be complicit in whatever’s going on in the governor’s office. And not appoint an independent counsel to investigate.

“When in May of 2011, draft subpoenas by the Republican-appointed ethics director and Republican-appointed deputy director were presented to the attorney general’s office showing violations of the law, or potential violations, what did the attorney general do? Nothing.

“He let the ethics director and deputy director to get squeezed out so there’d be no investigation.

“There have been only whistleblowers.”

Which, of course, set off a roomful of shrieks from whistles passed out to delegates.

 

 

Update at 4:00 p.m.: The Dublin convention gave many down-ticket Democrats a chance to address their biggest audiences yet. Here’s a taste of some of their rhetoric:

David Vogel, who is challenging Rep. Doug Collins in a deeply conservative north Georgia district, said Democrats were facing “evil” forces that he compared to the “Lord of the Rings” saga.

Ken Dious made clear his campaign for an open Congress seat in northeast Georgia was about exposing some of GOP nominee Jody Hice’s conservative views.

“If you know anyone in the 10th District, tell them about Jody Hice. All they have to do is put him in Google. They’ll find out.”

Chris Irvin, the party’s candidate for agriculture commissioner, said the state’s immigration crackdown “kicked our workforce out of this great state,” and cost farmers untold millions of dollars in losses.

And Dan Blackmon, the party’s candidate for a Public Service Commission seat, used part of his time to promote Jason Carter’s gubernatorial bid.

“We are going to get Jason Carter elected so we can have the Affordable Care Act right here in Georgia,” he told the cheering audience.

***

Update at 3:00 p.m. As those “No Deal” whistles shrieked in Dublin, Democrats unanimously adopted a quartet of resolutions drafted with the November election in mind.

The most noteworthy was a proposal urging Gov. Nathan Deal “to do the right thing and not leave the taxpayers of this state on the hook for settlements to whistleblowers fired during the cover-up of his campaign finance violations.”

It urged the governor to dip into his own wallet to pay nearly $3 million the state agreed to spend to settle whistleblower lawsuits from former ethics staffers.

Democrats have cheered the drip-drip of developments in ethics cases and the resolution is a sign, as we noted yesterday, that part of the party’s November appeal hinges on a call for more transparency.

The other resolutions, by the way, involved support of a “reasonable” campaign finance overhaul, one recognizing the importance of a quality education and a fourth commending and supporting the mobilization of women’s vote.

***

Update at 2:50 p.m.: Republican Senate candidate David Perdue had an interestingly timed campaign stop at a Dublin ice cream shop around the corner  from the Democratic convention this afternoon.

After his standard stump speech – an attempt to tie Michelle Nunn to President Barack Obama’s administration – he offered this message to Democratic poobahs meeting across the way:

“I wish they would stand up against their leaders in Washington – Harry Reid and Barack Obama – and bring some common sense to the crises we have today on our border, and foreign policy and the economy and get people working again.”

David Perdue addresses a GOP crowd in Dublin.

David Perdue addresses a GOP crowd in Dublin.

He also sought to link Nunn and other Democrats with former President Jimmy Carter’s recent editorial that declared Hamas, the Palestinian faction locked in a monthlong war with Israel, should be recognized as a legitimate “political actor.” Said Perdue:

“We’ve got to honor our relationship with Israel, our obligations to them. We’re dedicated to their survival, and frankly I’m offended by the way that some people equate what Israel is doing to what Hamas has done. Hamas is a terrorist organization that attacks Israel, and Israel is defending herself. And frankly right now the United States should be giving Israel all the support it can to defend itself.”

***

Updated at 2:30 .m.: On the eve of the Democratic gathering here in Dublin, which will feature speeches by Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter, the Georgia Voice posted a tough op-ed by Dan Grossman and Jeff Cleghorn – which skewers Nunn’s let-states-decide position on gay marriage. A taste:

Ms. Nunn’s position that the dignity of our relationships should be left up to the will of Georgia voters is a despicable thing to say. To say that voters should decide whether gays and lesbians should have equal rights is as despicable as saying that voters should decide if black children should attend the same schools as white children.

Or that the electorate should control whether loving interracial couples are allowed to marry. To declare that a person of color does not have a “right” to equality, but only as much equality as the voters are willing to provide, would be a hateful, racist statement. And to tell a gay person that she or he has no “right” to equality—but only as much equality as the voters are willing to provide—is no less hateful and arguably homophobic.

Here at the state Democratic convention, we just ran into Glen Paul Freedman of Atlanta, a delegate from the LGBT caucus and a leader within Georgia Equality. Freedman was wearing stickers for both Carter and Nunn.

We asked Freeman if the above criticism of Nunn was warranted. His reply:

“I don’t think so. I think [both Nunn and Carter] have stated their positions. They’ve said it in public and in private. I believe both of them are friends of the LGBT community. I think they’re deserving of our votes, and donations if people can spare it.”

Freedman also said that such quibbles over the specifics of the two candidates’ positions on gay marriage – who has said what to whom – don’t take into account a necessary comparison to Republicans. “The two individuals they’re running against will never say the words,” Freedman said.

Freedman also said that the governing board of Georgia Equality will be holding endorsement interviews with candidates for constitutional offices on Tuesday in Atlanta.

Carter will be there. It will be the first time ever, Freedman said, that a candidate for governor has shown up in person.

***

Dublin, Ga. – With a skirling bagpipe rendition of “God Bless America” and a videotaped message from President Barack Obama, the Democratic Party of Georgia has just convened.

The house is pretty much full. The house, incidentally, is the DuBose Porter Center. Porter is the current state Democratic party chairman. “This place was built when Democrats were in control,” the chairman said.

The Porter center is located on the campus of the local technical college, which — Porter quickly pointed out — lost 40 percent of its students several years ago in a remake of HOPE scholarship grants. “We’re here to take our state back,” he said, hijacking a phrase usually used by Republicans.

Highlights of the day will be addresses from Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter, the party’s respective candidates for U.S. Senate and governor.

The gist of Obama’s message: Republicans are pursuing an ideological agenda that hurts the middle class.

David Perdue, the GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, is scheduled to be in town within the next hour, at a local ice cream store, to provide the counterweight.

Keep checking back here for updates.

Pat Pullar works the "Why not a woman" table under the gaze of DuBose Porter -- in the DuBose Porter Center.

Pat Pullar works the “Why not a woman” table under the gaze of DuBose Porter — in the DuBose Porter Center.

***

The whistles you see below are a constant (and ear-splitting) presence at the convention.

Emblazoned with the words “No Deal,” party chair DuBose Porter said they were meant to symbolize the whistleblower lawsuits dogging Gov. Nathan Deal’s administration.

A side effect: Some overzealous types may have already blown a few eardrums in these parts.

Democratic activist Free Palazzo shows off his "No Deal" whistle.

Democratic activist Free Palazzo shows off his “No Deal” whistle.

84 comments
GraceD
GraceD

I know what Perdue is against. What is he for? And what are his solutions to out problems?


GeorgiaVoter
GeorgiaVoter

If the Republicans lose any of these races, they have nobody but themselves to blame.  Their actions have been irresponsible and against the good of the average taxpayer.  Their unethical behavior has become legendary and I hope it comes back to bite them in the rear end.

LostGoat
LostGoat

why did georgia taxpayers pay 5 star travel costs for sam olens to go to israel with his buddy nathan??? what phony reason did his spin people come up with??? 

bigdoggie1
bigdoggie1

Oooo...look at all the people at Per"Don'ts" rally: Maybe 15 people, and half of them are media!

LostGoat
LostGoat

who paid off all those millions deal owed for his daughter's loan guarantees on the failed business???

EdUktr
EdUktr

Democrats run the risk of being perceived the party of cheap plastic whistles and phony allegations—with nothing more to offer than association with an increasingly unpopular president Obama and his policies: 

http://tinyurl.com/mrttwof

LostGoat
LostGoat

deal/olens---in the pocket of the big republican money running this state---nothing will change--all these corrupt deals will get covered up, whistle blowers fired, taxpayers get hosed

likeitis
likeitis

Maybe it is time for Sam Olens to move to New Olens.

FirstDerivative
FirstDerivative

Sam Olens has really shocked me.  I did not know that he could be materialized into a Republican cover up hack.

electric1234
electric1234

Well, look where Sam Olens was in charge before? Cobb, and look at what his followers did after him? 

QuestionMan
QuestionMan

Am I the only one hearing murmurs that it might be best if Sam Olens left office soon?

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Sam Olens has forgiven himself for not enforcing Georgia state law because he states that he was very busy suing the federal government to allow dirty water to be pumped into Chesapeake Bay (apparently a very important Georgia issue in Mr. Olen's mind).  Time for a real lawyer in the State House - unload these embarrassments.

NOlongerRepublican
NOlongerRepublican

Hopefully someone in that room shared a plan to turn out record numbers of young people and minority voters. That is where the Dems have a chance. If normal mid-term numbers hold it will be very difficult for Carter and Nunn or Hecht because GA voters only look for an (r) next to the name. Nothing else matters.

dreluv
dreluv

Yes Nathan Deal got to go.

Perdue is a another Nathan Deal.

Let turn Georgia Blue! Democrat are fire up!

SouthGeorgiareader
SouthGeorgiareader

Well, one thing that has to happen is a get-out-the-vote for November.  There are enough voters across the state who can elect Carter, Nunn, and other Democrats if they'll just show up in November.

td1234
td1234

And Dan Blackmon, the party’s candidate for a Public Service Commission seat, used part of his time to promote Jason Carter’s gubernatorial bid.

“We are going to get Jason Carter elected so we can have the Affordable Care Act right here in Georgia,” he told the cheering audience.

***************


I wonder if he even knows he is lying to hundreds of people? No matter if Carter got elected the expansion of Medicaid is not going to happen in GA. It is a legislative decision now totally taken out of the hands of the Governor. 

honested
honested

A technical college lost 40% of it's students?

I thought shady was attempting to pretend he was the 'education governor'.

I guess the people who believe that nonsense just got schooled.

AvailableName
AvailableName

The Georgia Voice editorial is right and wrong.  That it is necessary for Nunn and Carter to a lesser extent to pander to an electorate that opposes equal protection and due process for LGBT people to have a hope of election is a bad thing.  But it is a real thing.  Does the paper want Deal and Perdue to win?

GaBlue
GaBlue

@EdUktr


Cheap plastics whistles are just not CLASSY like teabags hanging from a hat! What are people thinking, getting involved in their own state's election, anyhow? Don't they know we're supposed to stay home, watch America's Got Talent, and let the oligarchs make all the decisions FOR us? So what if Gov. Shady greases his own pockets, and those of his family members?  Power and importance come with so many burdens, he's entitled to some privilege, too. The malcontents and common trash of this state need to just get over it, and stay home on election day. Right, Edu-hater?

DS
DS

@QuestionMan

I hope Olens goes. He's clearly using the attorney general (AG) office for politics and not doing his job.

Josh McKoon got Olens to go after Don Balfour on a bunch of petty expense report problems just so Balfour could be pushed aside. Olens gladly provided the hit job. Olens lost the case, and the state had to reimburse Balfour's $157k legal expenses, but Balfour lost reelection, so the hit job ultimately worked.

Then Olens hid the one piece of evidence in the Kalberman trial that would have forced either Deal or his staff to testify. He could have showed the memo to the judge and then argued that it should be excluded, but he chose to hide it instead. That's just wrong. Immoral and unethical.

Despite repeated calls into conduct a proper investigation of the allegations against Deal, Olens has refused. But he has found time to accompany Deal on a government-paid visit to Israel. I don't see that type of work on the list of AG duties posted on their website.

Olens has been a useful tool to his friends and a dangerous political hit man, but the AG office shouldn't be used this way. Other politicians must be wondering, "Who's next?" 

Wouldn't it be better to have an honest, capable AG who just does his job?

Olens has got to go.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@NOlongerRepublican If my email inbox is any indication, that's exactly what they are doing. And you're correct, we will have to turn those folks out to win. 

td1234
td1234

@dreluv Only place Deal is going back is into the Governor's Mansion and Perdue is going to DC to represent the good citizens of the state of GA. 

Charles50
Charles50

@td1234 You do realize that laws can be amended or replaced.  

honested
honested

@EdUktr 

Hey, at least he might undertake his Office with the good of the People of Georgia in mind, rather than say the contributors and foreign citizens.

td1234
td1234

@honested Why is it that students at a technical college can not maintain a 3.0 average? Why do they deserve to keep having their education paid for when they are turning out sub par work? 


BTW: As if you did not know, the HOPE has been changed back so that these students just have to maintain a 2.0 and I think that was a wrong decision and sends the wrong message. 

td1234
td1234

@AvailableName So it is better for Carter and Nunn to hide (lie) to the citizens of GA about their true feelings and get elected then to tell the truth and let the people of the state decide on which views they believe best fits their own personal philosophy? 

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty Nate Silver is so confident that those two groups will turn out in average mid-term numbers that he has just recently increased the chances from 10% to 75% the probability Republicans will take the state.  

DS
DS

Especially as Georgians watch their local hospitals go bankrupt, knowing that accepting Medicaid expansion would save their hospitals, save jobs and save lives.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@td1234 @honested  - The reason Governor Yella Teeth changed this requirement was to try to STICK it to the Children of Color in Georgia who were starting to access the HOPE scholarship in Greater and Higher Numbers. So Governor Yella teeth decided on his own without consultation to increase the Hope scholarship grade requirement from 2.00 GPA to a 3.00 GPA . He did not learn of the error of his ways until Governor Yella Teeth went to a UGA game in Athens.

The THRONGS of Students started to BOO, Governor Yella Teeth when they learn he was among them between the hedges. Ole Yella Teeth was surprised and did not have an understanding why all of the Children of Georgia's Racist were BOOING the TOP State Racist. After all he was one of them. It was confusing for ole Sunshine Breath. Someone whispered in his EAR. Soon Governor Sunshine Teeth was HIGH Tailing it outta there with his BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL to the Airport. Days Later...Governor Yella Teeth had a change of mind!


I do hope these 600,00 thousand students that were affected remember good ole Sunshine Teeth in November. Many had to leave or drop out of schools and programs all over the State on Governor Yella Teeth's attempt to HATE ON people of Color, but it all Back Fired right into his Yella Looking smile.


uh..huh.

AvailableName
AvailableName

@td1234 @AvailableName  I'm actually not sure what either thinks.  Carter voted for the idiotic guns everywhere law.  Nunn seems to have no opinions.  I do know that whatever it is that they think, it can't be as bad as what Deal does and I see Perdue doing.  


As to the duplicity thing, explain Perdue attacking McDonnell in the primary and then going to DC to bow down before him if you like.

honested
honested

@td1234 @AvailableName 

Who is hiding or lying about anything?

Their views are most likely contrary to yours, making them both far superior candidates to run our State and represent US in the Senate.

If by some strange accident their views dovetail with yours, then the world has certainly become a sorry place indeed.

GaBlue
GaBlue

@EdUktr


If those are "my" results, then why are YOU the one so full of anger and hate that you come here every day to try to discourage people from voting their own best interests? (That's rhetorical, buddy. Don't embarrass yourself by trying to answer.) Bless your heart!

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@td1234 @CherokeeCounty 

Like said just a minute ago, I'm real happy with Nate's prognostications. 

But to hear uneducated tell it, the races are a slam dunk for Let's Make a Deal Dean and Barbeque Perdue

MrFish
MrFish

@Bernie31 @td1234 @honested  no  bernie you are 100% wrong as most regressive liberals are. HOPE was at one time letting any one who could barely read or write get in Technical schools, Those people would FLUNK OUT AND THEN RE-ENTER UNDER ANOTHER MAJOR.

Start studying to be a nurses aid, flunk out and then apply as a computer technology major, flunk out and then apply at a beauty school or a truck driving school. It was becoming a joke. Just like the typical democrats that wants to keep expanding the program from it's original status as set under under Gov Miller.

td1234
td1234

@honested Well Nunn's is exactly like mine on gay marriage. Marriage is not an individual right and is therefore a state's right and the people of a state should be able to define the terms and conditions of marriage. 


That is unless she is lying. 

EdUktr
EdUktr

@GaBlue @EdUktr

Just trying to keep it real.

td1234
td1234

@OldJacketFan And like I commented to your post, it all depends on how you want to define slam dunk. Progressives defined an Obama 3.9% win as a "landslide" and the money is on Perdue winning between 5 to 10 points and Deal winning 4 to 8. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@MrFish 

Start studying to be a nurses[sic] aid[sic]...

 You got a Hope scholarship for English composition then, huh?

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@td1234 @OldJacketFan 

And, of course, as typical of you, you bring the President into this conversation. Stick to candidates that are running, okay? You might have better luck being taken seriously in conversations about a GA state wide race. 

td1234
td1234

@AvailableName We shall see when these cases come before the SCOTUS. 


Just like the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. All the Constitutional lawyers thought it was not an individual right to "keep and bare arms" but the SCOTUS fooled them all. 

td1234
td1234

@OldJacketFan @td1234 Bringing the Presidential race (in Georgia) is very relevant to the conversation. As you and CC and NLR spoke above that the youth turnout and black turnout are critical and both turned out in record numbers 2 years ago for Obama and he still lost the state by 8 points. I am just not seeing how these two candidates will motivate an even higher turnout from these two groups that Obama?  Without an answer and proof to that important question then it is really more wishful thinking and proves the models that prognosticators like Silver are pretty accurate.  

AvailableName
AvailableName

@td1234 @AvailableName Could be, they got that one wrong.  It would be a shame if they made the same mistake and decided that only certain people were deserving of constitutional protection.

honested
honested

@td1234 @AvailableName 

Hopefully thomas and scalia will have retired by then.

With two open vacancies unable to be filled due to the do-nothing-Senate, overturning the various pro-religion-anti-American foolish marriage laws should be a slam dunk!

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@td1234 @OldJacketFan 

We shall see if ol'Nate bags this one. It's going to be fun to watch.

I grew up in GA politics and I just have a sense that these 2 races are going to be interesting. 

AvailableName
AvailableName

@td1234 And td, if you read Heller, the Court didn't quite give away the Second Amendment store.  Reasonable limitations are quite proper even according to Nino.

td1234
td1234

@OldJacketFan @td1234 I have been involved in Georgia politics since I turned 18 in the mid 80's and I just do not see that enthusiasm or anger in any group large enough to swing the election. 


When Sonny upset Barnes there was a sense of it coming because you had the flaggers of rural GA mad and you had the teachers angry. It was in the public and it was visible for all to see. 


There was a huge chance for the teachers and others to send Deal packing in the primary and I actually thought the teachers were angry enough to do it but then Deal went out and received more votes than Barge, Pennington and Carter combined. The teachers could only turn out 66,000 votes or 10% of the numbers of all the employees affected by Deal's insurance decisions. Since the primary all of this has been corrected and they are back to their apathy.   


As far as the youth is concerned, you are correct that they are sick of politics (on both sides). They hate the social agenda of Republicans and they hate the Fiscal policies of the Democrats. As recent polling has shown (Pew) they are more likely to say the hell with both parties and just not vote at all then to get excited and come out in the record numbers needed for Carter or Nunn to win in this state.  

td1234
td1234

@AvailableName @td1234 Agreed. The most important part of the ruling was that owning, possessing and carrying a gun is now an individual right protected by the Constitution. 


In other words the government now can not take away your gun or even put harsh restrictions like locking the gun up and not being able to get it out to defend yourself in Heller suggest without facing the same type looks from the court as restricting your speech or searches.  

AvailableName
AvailableName

@td1234 @AvailableName Yes, we will see over time what is reasonable and what is not.  Depending on the make up of the Court, the Second Amendment will be treated more or less like the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth, changing with the times.  The next amendment up for a fight is the Eighth.  Seems there really isn't a good way to execute people.