Posted by: The Last Liberal Gwinnettian | October 12, 2010

Nathan Deal: More Ethics Troubles

Nathan, Nathan, Nathan. What have you done this time?

A recent article in the Savannah Morning News carries this headline: “Barnes says Deal must return $136,970 in ‘illegal’ campaign donations.” The article goes on to detail how the Barnes campaign analyzed Deal’s campaign finance disclosures to determine that Nathan Deal has accepted numerous campaign donations that exceed the legal limit.

A brief refresher course on Georgia’s campaign finance laws: In a state-wide race (like the Governor’s race), donations cannot exceed $6,100. When the Cobb County Liberal waded through Nathan Deal’s disclosure he found at least one donation for $6,500 – a pretty clear violation of the state’s campaign finance laws. He did this by merely exporting Deal’s disclosure to an excel file and searching for the largest donation. It was child’s play to find this illegal donation, and one must wonder why no one in the Deal campaign noticed this – why did it take a random citizen less than 5 minutes to discover an illegal donation when the campaign itself didn’t even see it?

I think we have our answer: This was one of MANY illegal donations. The Barnes campaign, obviously somewhat more qualified to analyze campaign finance disclosures, went further. They waded through the campaign disclosure and searched for donors with common names and/or addresses. By matching up addresses, the Barnes campaign noticed that Nathan Deal had received numerous large donations from companies that share addresses and/or are owned by the same individual. Clearly, companies with the same address or companies with the same owner are affiliated. As such, the affiliated companies as a whole are limited to a donation of $6,100. Instead, such companies donated several thousand apiece, meaning that a single group of affiliated companies donated far more money than is limited by law.

In addition, as with the illegal donation that the Cobb County Liberal spotted, the Barnes campaign also discovered several individuals who had donated more than the legal limit.

Worst of all, the Barnes campaign also spotted several PAC donations that exceeded the legal limit.

In translation, if the Barnes campaign’s analysis of Deal’s donations proves correct (and I somehow doubt the campaign would go public with this if they thought they might be proven wrong – that’s political egg on their faces that they really cannot afford), then Nathan Deal accepted numerous donations from COMPANIES and SPECIAL INTERESTS that exceeded our campaign finance limits.

In further analysis of Deal’s donations, the Cobb County Liberal also spotted this disturbing statistic: Nearly a quarter of a million dollars worth of his donations are from out of state, including such puzzling supporters as the New Jersey Film PAC (which, oddly, lists its address in California). Last I checked, Deal was running to represent the interests of Georgians, not New Jersey film makers…

The Deal campaign has responded to Barnes’s claims with a “politics as usual” attitude, claiming that this is just yet another smear attack from the left. But, one has to at least wonder…why is it that there are so MANY ethics and finance questions revolving around Deal, particularly in a race in which the Republican Governors Association has outspent the Democratic Governors Association three times over? One would think that if these were merely smear attacks, there would be an equal or greater number of retributive attacks on Barnes – but the best they’ve come up with is the fact that Barnes is a lawyer whose firm has tried cases in front of judges that Barnes appointed roughly a decade ago. Even digging as far as they can, Deal’s supporters have not been able to find nearly as much dirt on Barnes as the left has been able to find on Deal.

Do I think that Roy Barnes will make an amazing Governor? To be perfectly honest, no. I don’t think he did a great job last time around, and I don’t think he’ll do much better this time around. BUT – if my options are a so-so former governor who proved that he can run the state without destroying it versus a man who fled Washington while under investigation for ethics violations and who obviously cannot make a sound financial decision to save his life…guess which one I’m going to pick?

 

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Responses

  1. I just wish we had an alternative that DIDN’T suck…

  2. […] On October 12th, state newspapers covered a story in which Roy Barnes, Democratic candidate for governor, declared that Nathan Deal must return $136,970 worth of illegal campaign donations. For more on our initial coverage of the claim, look here. […]

  3. I worked for the State of Georgia for 23 years I was classified and a brain tumor survivor. He has had his assistant call my home tryng to intimidate me and after a lady named Pat in Dept. of administration said I could get my retirement he had them deny it. He is a uncaring bully. I started a petition against him and Dr. Frank Shelp who did some bad things with Governor Deals approval. He asked Dr. Shelp to step down as commissioner after word got out the Los Angeles times was investigating Dr.Shelp. The LA times will not answer my calls or letters or emails. They have just scratched the surface on Nathan Deals corruption.. I am going to send you some of my links. In my first video at the end I am talking about the two top ethics staffers he fired several months before a FOX news afiliate broke the whole story. I got my information from researching the internet.

    Rome citizens want answers!!!!!: Help seek the truth of the corruption in the Georgia State Government. http://www.change.org/petitions/rome-citizens-want-answers-help-seek-the-truth-of-the-corruption-in-the-georgia-state-government?
    YouTube – Videos from this email


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