Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ethics Scandals have Bruised the Georgia GOP's image! Expect that to continue going into November.

And expect that to continue with the nomination of Nathan Deal. Deal won the hotly contested runoff with Karen Handel, despite Handel having the backing of Sarah Palin & Mitt Romney.

Let's recap: The OCE, (Office of Congressional Ethics) investigated allegations that Deal intervened to preserve a state vehicle inspection program run by a private company he owns. The report concludes that Deal did intervene in his official capacity for his own personal benefit, earned more outside income than he is legally allowed as a congressman and did not properly disclose his involvement with the company.

Basically he used his position to make money on the side, while trying to to hide it from the public.

Deal is not alone in this. There's Casey Cagle along with the Georgia Dept of Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham.

Deal met with state Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham on three occasions over a year to question proposed changes Graham wanted to make in the way Georgia inspects rebuilt salvaged vehicles. Deal coordinated his efforts through the office Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle who is also under a cloud of suspicion over potential ethics issues.

Deal & his supporters called the OCE Investigation, a "Partisan Witch hut", despite the OCE being a Bi-Partisan group.

Another Candidate Mark Butler who's running for Labor Commissioner has been in hot water as well & it concerns two-and-a-half-year relationship he had with a woman who served as a lobbyist for the University System of Georgia.

He maintained a relationship with Erin Henderson, a lobbyist who's registered with the State Ethics Commission of Georgia, from April 2006 to February of this year. Henderson began as a lobbyist in January of 2008 when she was hired by the University of West Georgia as Director of Governmental Relations and Special Projects in the Division of University Advancement.

Then there's the former House Speaker Glen Richardson who resigned when his ex-wife went on TV and accused him of having "a full-out affair" with a lobbyist while they were still married. Susan Richardson revealed emails that she said detailed a long, intimate relationship with an Atlanta Gas Light lobbyist, while Richardson was co-sponsoring a bill the lobbyist was trying to get passed in the house.

And there Gary Black, who is running for Agricluture Commissioner who was accused by challenger Darwin Carter (R) for failure to disclose the use of his office as CEO/Lobbyist for the Georgia Agribusiness Council (Not-for-Profit) to run for Commissioner of Agriculture. Additionally, Carter charges that Black's Lobbying
firm, Georgia Agribusiness Council (GAC) is a non profit 501c6 corporation and according to the IRS should pay taxes on their extensive partisan political work.

Now Ethic cuts both ways. There have been some democrats who have been bitten by the ethics bug, like Sharon Beasley Teague, so no party can lay claim to having the high ground when it comes to ethics.

Roy Barnes will no doubt run on cleaning up the ethical mess at the State Capitol. In doing so he needs to admonish both parties for its ethical lapses, but lets get real here, the big kahuna here is Nathan Deal & if he and State Dems are successful in doing exactly that, he will be back in the mansion in Jan. 2011. This is more of a anti-incumbent, anti-government, anti-washington year that a anti-democratic year many are trying to make it out to be. Some will survive, some will not.

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