Posted by: The Last Liberal Gwinnettian | October 21, 2010

Nathan Deal’s Salvaged Contract

Unless you live under a rock (or in a different state), you’ve probably heard about Nathan Deal’s no-bid contract with the state of Georgia. This was the subject of the Office of Congressional Ethics investigation on Nathan Deal, which was never actually completed because Nathan Deal left office during the investigation. According to a recent piece in Atlanta Unfiltered, it turns out that there wasn’t really a no-bid contract…per se. The real story is actually much more confusing, and in some ways more disturbing, than the story of the no-bid agreement.


One point of interest, as Charlie over at Peach Pundit pointed out, is the fact that the details in this article differ from the statements of Nathan Deal and his campaign: “Specifically, Deal and his folks get indignant when you use the word contract, yet there was a 2004 bid that resulted in a contract for GSD that was then cancelled on a technicality. So, there was a ‘contract’.” Nathan Deal has also claimed that he wasn’t really profiting from the agreement – but new information suggests that Deal and his business partner netted about $415,000 in just two years from their business with the state. That sounds like profit to me.


But what really caught my attention was the way that things unfolded between Georgia and Gainesville Salvage Disposal (GSD). Read the full article for the details, but here’s a brief summary:


In 2004, GSD won a contract with the state through a somewhat complex and, quite frankly weird, bidding process. Under the terms of the contract, GSD would provide facilities and equipment to inspectors so that they could examine salvaged vehicles before they were put up for auction. GSD would charge $60 per vehicle, and would give 10% to the state as a commission. However, the contract was almost immediately cancelled and never rebid. Despite the cancellation, GSD continued to be the only functioning inspection site in its region. By July 2006, GSD was charging $100 per vehicle – way more than any other inspection site in the state – but was still only paying 10% to the state. In other words, instead of earning $54 per car, as under the original contract, the company was earning $90 per car. This $46 difference, when multiplied by the 6,384 cars inspected at the site in 2007 and 2008, netted Deal and his business partner nearly $300,000 more than they would have under the original contract.


In some ways, the truth is even worse than the idea that Deal benefited from a no-bid contract. Had he benefited from a no-bid agreement, then yes, that would be somewhat reprehensible because it goes against everything that he is supposed to be standing for (capitalism, the free market, etc.). Instead, we have a situation in which he reached an agreement with the state, the agreement was cancelled due to a technicality, and he used that situation as an excuse to go back on his word and turn a huge profit. It’s so slimy that I may need to go wash my hands after posting this.


This won’t be a game changer. The people who are determined to vote for Deal will probably do so even if it should come out that Deal keeps small children locked up in his basement for cheap labor. And that depresses me.


No Deal, Georgia.



  1. […] “contract” with the state; from us (with plenty of links supporting allegations) on Nathan Deal’s agreement with the state, and on Nathan Deal pressuring officials to rezone land and pay for his private […]

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