Speaking Outside the Governor’s Mansion

OK, I admit it, I’ve been reading Peach Pundit for some time. I like to find out what the opposition is “thinking.


  1. Silence says:

    Welcome, Bobby. Although I’ll heartily disagree with you on practically every issue we discuss, I find it quite amusing that I’ve been the brunt and target of the same type of attacks you’ll get…ain’t it great? Welcome to the whorehouse…

  2. GAWire says:

    Welcome, Bobby. I, too, use a pseudonym, because Silence is correct in that all of us don’t have the luxury of using our real names . . . yet.

    In regards to your post, it doesn’t sound as though you have any real basis for these accusations. You have a theory and some rationale, which is a little twisted and not necessarily clear as to how you can prove your theory is fact. Moreover, your own words tell me that you are treating this as a political tactic (when mentioning the fact that Mrs. Perdue responded and how that was a good move on behalf of the Gov), rather than trying to unveil some “cloak of secrecy” regarding Friends of the Mansion.

    What you are saying sounds to me like: “It’s too bad the Governor’s wife had to get mixed up in all this, but, hey . . . it’s politics!” – No, those weren’t Bobby Kahn’s words – just my interpretation of what he sounds like!

    Furthermore, the Governor supporter that I mentioned yesterday had a point when talking about the fact that you are calling for more taxpayers’ money to be spent on this investigation, which at this point is based ENTIRELY ON SPECULATION FROM THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY purely for political reasons.

    You are also saying the the Governor should accept responsibility for the actions of the government, but that doesn’t mean he should acknowledge your cheap accusations based on nothing more than speculation and round-about theory. You should know by now that Republicans don’t deal with that trash, and that is why we are on top!

    I am glad you are here now, Bobby, because maybe you can answer some of the many questions that GA voters have as to why the Democratic Party of Georgia continues to dig its hole deeper with these cheap tactics (and many of those voters asking those questions are Democrats!).

  3. Booray says:

    Y’all are missing the point.

    Bobby Kahn thinks it is OK to stretch any possible situation so far out of context it becomes a damnable lie.

    This is what is wrong with our democracy. Winning elections at all costs.

    Bobby thinks that makes him more of a man – the toughest guy on the political playground. I think it makes him a lying piece of trash.

    Want to debate that?

    Booray Bussey

  4. Bill Simon says:

    Booray: As much as I hate to disagree with you (j/k!), but your statement of “Winning at all costs” smacks of naivete.

    I have seen so-called “Republicans” run races full of trash-talk and personal innuendo about their opponents. And, I’ve seen these tactics result in wins for the candidates who threw the mud.

    During the 1990s, the biggest segment of the “Republicans” engaged in this type of nasty politics were members of the self-titled “Christian Coalition.” These are a group of people who know no bounds when it comes to character assasinations, lying, and “win-at-all-costs-because-the-result-is-Godly” type of people.

    I have reached the point in political activism where almost nothing can shock/surprise me. The fact that Mr. Kahn took FACTS uncovered by news media reports about the Friends of the Mansion charity (i.e., it didn’t register as a charity, donors were secret, etc.) and weaves it into an accusation of wrongdoing by the Governor…well, my thinking is a) that’s politics, and b) it is possible that the reason why they didn’t register it as a charity was because it wasn’t intended to be one.

    People that wish to be viewed as being above board should act in that way. In the Friends of the Mansion’s case, we don’t know if it was deliberate, or if it was based on ignorance.

    But, whether the reasons for the protest are for “political reasons” or for reasons that someone thinks a law may be broken, if the protest has some validity (like, a previous pattern exists), then perhaps some questions should be raised, REGARDLESS of the political party in power.

  5. GAWire says:

    I have seen these things too, and nothing is out of bounds anymore in campaigns it seems, but what I disagree with so much about this situation is that calling for money to be spent on an erroneous accusation shows that the Democrats could care less as to whom their tactics are targeted.

    I agree, Bill, that we as Republicans perform a lot of attacks during campaigns, some of which have certainly been uncalled for; however, I can honestly say that the majority of our charges have some basis, and aren’t just blatant attempts at creating scandal where there is nothing more than hearsay and speculation.

    These types of things are rarely, if ever the scandal that people are trying to make it out to be. This is about political tactics for media coverage. Bobby knows this investigation won’t ever go anywhere, but it is all in the perception of what the voters hear from the media. The only thing about that is that he is underestimating GA voters – this is clearly cheap, and people will see that.

  6. Melb says:

    If people who are dealing with multi-million dollar state contracts are getting those contracts because they are donating to some pet project of the Governor’s wife and getting political appointments out of it then there is something to be concerned about. Instead of giving those jobs to people who deserve them or who would do the best job at the lowest cost he might be doing something underhanded. I don’t think that is too far of a stretch because according to most of the people on the peach pundit he has a tendency to do underhanded things like this. Like with his appointment to the Ga court, and forgive me but I can’t remember the name, but Perdue gave it to someone else other than the person that deserved it. How do you know he is not doing the same thing here, rewarding those though with state contracts instead of court nominations?

  7. buzzbrockway says:

    Bill & GA Wire,

    I agree with your comments. Political campaigns these days are more about destroying your opponent personally than winning on the issues. Often this works which is why people keep doing it.

    Mr. Kahn is just acting like the national Democrats who would rather destroy the Republicans than come up with better ideas. We’ll see if it works in 2006.

  8. GAWire says:

    Yes, I can answer to that . . . you don’t have any proof that the two actions are the same. Where is your verification that Friends of the Mansion was being used to reward political allies? You have attempted to connect two dots that aren’t even on the same page.

    As far as the Corrections Commissioner . . . sure, Sonny has to be ultimately responsible for what state employees are doing, but can you honestly say that what the Commissioner has done is the fault or responsibility of the Governor? I can assure you that GOP voters won’t fall for that. Furthermore, all the Governor can do is fire him if he is found responsible for the actions of which he is being accused.

    The point, Bobby, is that you and the Democrats are S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G with these accusations, which shows us just how much confidence you have in your own candidates, as well as how scared you are that your heated Primary is going to divide your base beyond repair for the General.

    Be careful – too much stretching can make you pull a muscle!

  9. Mike Hassinger says:

    Bobby, GAWire touched on the answer without saying it directly, which is: The vendors with contracts with the Corrections Department complained that they were being strongarmed, or coerced, or “pressured” to donate to the Corrections Commissioner’s love-fest or whatever it was. The attorneys who looked into it issued what amounted to warnings without saying anything direct like, “nope, don’t do it, there’s a conflict.”

    I didn’t read or hear anything about any complaints from the Friends of the Mansion, in spite of Cardwell’s digging. I also haven’t heard anything about any mis-use of the FOM funds -all the money is going to preserve the antiques at the mansion.

    Not to give free political advice to a Democrat, but you’re shooting yourself in the foot with this one. Georgia voters will not appreciate a partisan attack on Mary Perdue over her efforts to use private money to preserve Georgia’s history. If you plan on using this in the General next year, your nominee for Governor will be portrayed as either a bully or b*tch -depending on which one gets the Democrat nomination.

    Hope you guys find a better issue than that.

  10. Booray says:

    Mr. Kahn,

    Here’s the answer to your question: There is a huge difference. Just because a goat and a Chevrolet pickup truck both share a white paint scheme does not mean you ought to confuse them for the same thing the next time you want to haul a load of wood.

    Any answer beyond that simply plays into your hands.

    The rest of these people will play nice with you. Not me. I’m gonna call you what you are, which is a confounded liar.

    Mr. Simon may think I’m naive for insisting on a minimal level of civilized truth-telling in politics. So be it. Politics ain’t bean-bag and never will be, but it should never be practiced the way you do it.

    This has nothing to do with being a GOP partisan, because I equally despise people like Reed who do it on our side. I also think your antics are why there isn’t a single thing left in Georgia from your reign as co-Barnes (your flag is gone, your so-called education reform is gone, your too-clever-by-half redistricting maps are gone). As a sheer partisan, I’m glad you’re still Democrat chair because you are only helping us Republicans.

    But there ought to be no place in politics for people completely unhinged from the truth.

    Like Washington said, “Treat not a clown like a prince.”

    You’re a clown. And a lying one at that.

    Booray Bussey

  11. landman says:

    Guys, this boils down to nothing more than Grandstanding,Kahn knows there is no “smoking gun” to be found here.The sad part for the Dems is they have to do this to seem relevent in the scheme of things. Thet are looking at becoming even less relevent when you look at the ’06 races.

    1.Gov Race- it will be a dog fight,but if Cagle wins the Lt.Gov.race we will have taken away the Coruption Theme ,Kahn is praying will happen and we will win by 3-5%

    2. Lt.Gov.-Martin will probably win the Dem side setting up a classic Ultra liberal Dem against a Conservative State Senator with an 11 year record of being able build a concensus across party isles.Dems lose big

    3.SOS-We will win this race with either Stephens or Handel.

    4.Ag Commissioner-this longtime layup for the Dems will be taken away by Kemp.Kemp will beat Mr. Tommy by a comfortable margin.

    We will maintain our majority in both the House and Senate,leaving the Dems in the position we found ourselves for so many years.Good luck Bobby its not a fun place to be,so take your shots at our leaders wives if you must,but start working on plan B for 2010.

  12. Eddie T says:

    Impressive variety of logical fallacies in this thread–everything from Booray’s ad hominem and false analogy to GAWire’s ad ignorantiam to landman’s begging the question to just about everyone’s slothful induction and straw man.

    Thankfully, Mike Hassinger decided to make an argument–but the problem is that the final conclusion of the corrections investigation was that no one had been strong armed. But ya know what? No one HAS to be strong armed in order for the fundraising to be ethically suspect. I’m not sure why y’all can’t see the problems with tapping companies that receive state contracts for donations for the Governor’s pet projects. I understand partisanship–I really do. But when Democrats are caught with their hand in the cookie jar, I’m not gonna spring to their defense–I’ll try to beat them in the primary with someone with ethics. Why wouldn’t y’all want to solidify your hold on the state by supporting open and honest candidates?

    Oh, btw. This was not DPG research. This was Dale Cardwell research. So don’t sit here and say it’s the Democrats stretching with the accusations when they were not initially made by Democrats, but by members of the media.

    I’d suggest a investment, maybe an early Christmas present, in a short work on logical reasoning, folks. Who knows. You just might learn something.

  13. Jen says:

    “..I thought of several good candidates, but in the Dick Cheney/Harriet Miers tradition, I decided to nominate myself.”

    Ha! Way to step up to the plate Bobby.

  14. GAWire says:

    Alright, alright – now it sounds like we got some good debate going. I’m glad Eddie has stepped up to the plate to back up his boy, Bobby; albeit, he’s wrong. Nevertheless, the debate makes things more interesting, and his sources of definitions for insults is also amusing (not really). Apparently Bobby has instructed some of his staffers to quit sitting around the office and apply themselves to backing up his bombarded butt . . .

    I’m a little confused with this comment:

    >>”””I’m not sure why y’all can’t see the problems with tapping companies that receive state contracts for donations for the Governor’s pet projects.”””

    Now, I am sure Erick can clarify requirements and guidelines for contributions such as this, but why is the Governor – any Governor – shouldn’t be able to raise money that goes to state projects from companies, whether they receive state contracts or not? Do you realize how many companies technically have “state contracts”? If this were restricted, he wouldn’t be able to accept donations for anything.

    Moreover, you are getting away from the point here . . . you, or Bobby have no proof that the Governor used the funds raised by those companies to do anything other than what it was designed to do. What you DO have is a state organization raising money from other organizations (some of which have state contracts, which is something not uncommon for many companies, as well as organizations that have no ties whatsoever to the state) for the benefit of the state (i.e. the Governor’s Mansion).

    With all that being said, I still haven’t seen any proof or substance to these accusations, but Bobby and the Dems still want to cost taxpayers to look into this theory that for all we know, was crafted on one of the op research computers at the DPG.

    Oh, btw, whether it was DPG research or whatever, I got the original information from a DPG press release (http://www.georgiaparty.com/newsroom/pressRelease.asp?pressID=131), which I believe is the same place AJC writers got their information. I’m not sure I understand how you believe the media created it when they heard it from Bobby Kahn. However, I can indeed say that the Democrats are definitely stretching with these accusations b/c I am hearing from their leader, and nobody is buying it.

  15. GAWire says:

    Perhaps I didn’t clarify my point well enough . . . what I was saying is that the funds raised were not used for political reasons – they were used for the Governor’s Mansion; therefore, it doesn’t matter where they came from.

    It has nothing to do with “political slush funds,” or politics at all, for that matter (except in Bobby Kahn’s mind).

  16. Bobby Kahn says:

    The attempts to draw a distinction between the Corrections Commissioner and Friends of the Mansion are simply dodging the question. We know from the GBI report that prison vendors felt compelled to contribute. Did contributors to Friends of the Mansion feel compelled to give? The protestations that there was no pressure coming from the Perdue Administration ring similar to the denials coming from Governor Perdue’s Corrections Commissioner.

    The WSB report stated that multiple state vendors had given money to Friends of the Mansion. I presume the argument is that Yancey Bros. Construction and Scientific Games just happen to have executives and shareholders who are particularly concerned about the antique collection at the Georgia Governor’s Mansion. I also presume this argument means that Hugh and Gena Tarbutton are antiques enthusiasts as well, and that the Governor’s appointment of their son to an economic development board three days after a $20,000 contribution was coincidence.

    What I said on Monday is that the facts that are known and were reported by WSB raise sufficient questions that the matter should be examined, as was the matter of the “Excellence in Corrections

  17. Bobby Kahn says:

    Random historical reference:

    My Fellow Americans:

    I come before you tonight as a candidate for the Vice Presidency and as a man whose honesty and integrity have been questioned.

    The usual political thing to do when charges are made against you is to either ignore them or to deny them without giving details.

    I believe we’ve had enough of that in the United States, particularly with the present Administration in Washington, D.C. To me the office of the Vice Presidency of the United States is a great office and I feel that the people have got to have confidence in the integrity of the men who run for that office and who might obtain it.

    I have a theory, too, that the best and only answer to a smear or to an honest misunderstanding of the facts is to tell the truth. And that’s why I’m here tonight. I want to tell you my side of the case.

    I am sure that you have read the charge and you’ve heard that I, Senator Nixon, took $18,000 from a group of my supporters.

    Now, was that wrong? And let me say that it was wrong—I’m saying, incidentally, that it was wrong and not just illegal. Because it isn’t a question of whether it was legal or illegal, that isn’t enough. The question is, was it morally wrong?

    Read the rest…

  18. Eddie T says:

    Oh, those weren’t meant as insults–I’m sure most/all of you have the ABILITY to post without the use of logical fallacy. But if you choose not to go that route, I’m gonna call you out on it.

    But you’re missing the point. I don’t care if the money is actually being used to renovate Sonny’s living quarters or not. I do care that the situation sets up an effective blackmail. Help renovate my living quarters or you lose your contract.

    I still haven’t seen any effectively good reason why the situation is ANY different than the GBI’s investigation.

    And like I said before–this was Dale Cardwell research. The DPG merely noted what had already been reported by Channel 2.

    Oh, and if Bobby wanted/needed a staffer to back him up, I’m pretty sure he’d turn to Chris, don’t ya think? But who says he needs someone to back him up anyway? He’s perfectly able to speak for himself….

  19. GAWire says:

    >>”””The WSB report stated that multiple state vendors had given money to Friends of the Mansion. I presume the argument is that Yancey Bros. Construction and Scientific Games just happen to have executives and shareholders who are particularly concerned about the antique collection at the Georgia Governor’s Mansion. I also presume this argument means that Hugh and Gena Tarbutton are antiques enthusiasts as well,”””

    You obviously can’t prove those companies didn’t donate money purely at the request of their state’s First Lady for purposes of improving a state historical building . . . So, what you are saying is that your accusations are based on assumptions or presumptions?

    As far as your reference to the unrelated Senator Nixon . . . I now realized why we as Republicans are not really concerned about losing next year.

    As for this:

    >>”””Let me also address the allegations here that I “attacked

  20. Booray says:

    Eddie T,

    Here’s some Boolean logic for you:

    IF an individual maliciously and intentionally says something not true, THEN that individual is a liar.

    Conclusion: Bobby Kahn is a liar.

    By the way – if you think the governor can just cancel a contract with a company for no good reason without anyone noticing, you don’t have a clue how government or contracts work.

    Some more logic from lDr. Boole for you:

    IF you don’t know what you’re talking about, THEN don’t offer an opinion…

    Booray Bussey

  21. Eddie T says:

    Hm. Begging the question, appeal to force, style over substance, and just a general lack of understanding about how arguments work. All in one post. Again, very impressive…Amazing that in a post predicated with “here’s some logic for you,” you managed to write a post that contains no amount of logic whatsoever.

    You’re not very good at this, are you? GAWire picked it up pretty quickly–I KNOW you can do it if you want.

  22. Bill Simon says:

    Booray and his Boolean logic…very clever. But, I liked the white Chevrolet and a goat comment the best on this whole thread. Any time you can bring a goat into the conversation and you’re not doing something unnatural with it, it’s a big plus in my book.

  23. Booray says:

    Eddie T,

    I know a touch more about logic than you might think.

    In fact, enough to know this site is not a demonstration in logic. It is an exercise in public speaking.

    Aristotle said there are three parts to public communication: ethos, pathos, and logos (logic).

    You are obsessed with the logos. You, of course, are wrong in your analysis of my logic. Wrapping my logos in good pathos does not make my argument bad. If you think so, it again shows you’re out of your depth sparring with me on this.

    And if you’re defending Bobby Kahn, it shows you are definitely swimming in the shallow end of the ethos pool…

    Booray Aristotle Bussey, AKA Goat

  24. Ben King says:

    man. fun stuff. i’d love to get into all the nitty gritty details, but I don’t have the time just now. I do have two questions.

    Is it a legitimate response to Bobby’s (yes, politically motivated, that’s his job) call for an investigation to say, “oh, you want to spend more tax payer money on an investigation”?

    Even if an investigation shows no corruption, would anyone really argue that attempting to root out corruption is not a necessary and worthy state expenditure? I think that WSB (and Bobby) put together enough stuff that an investigation is not ridiculous (the $20,000 donation followed by the appointment alone would be enough to make me squirm, or at least be embarrassed at how it looked).

    How specifically has Bobby lied? He may believe things about the governor that turn out to be untrue (or that turn out to be true – isn’t that the point of calling for an investigation??), but he hasn’t said anything untrue. He has said things that some people may not like, but nothing untrue.

    If you are going to call someone a liar and demand proof for what they say, you better have some proof yourself.

    I’m a Democrat, but I can assure you that if I was a Republican I’d be pissed off at how the $20,000 donation-appointment thing looked. Even if it was above board, even if it was legal, and even if it was unrelated (none of which have been proven), I’d be mad at someone from my party doing something so stupid as appointing the son of a wealthy contributor to anything, much less three days after the donation.

  25. Bull Moose says:

    Okay, I get busy for a day, log on before bed and all kinds of crazy stuff happens… My my and to think it’s not even about Ralph Reed!

    First and foremost, this is a blog. It’s public. Anyone in the world who is interested in Georgia politics can log on and check it out. It’s not like it’s a big secret site with a password to read, so I’m not worried about giving advice or whatnot.

    I think it is good that we have some balance here now to some of the more extreme elements of the posters here (and yes, that includes me sometimes).

    Though, let me say this, and this is a word to both us Republicans and Democrats alike, enough of this snipping, and more and more people are going to get fed up with politics as a whole, tune it out, and either stop participating or be really ready for a fresh new alternative — perhaps an Independent…

    That said, here is my opinion, about as straight as it can get coming from someone who bleeds elephant blood…

    1. Applaud Mrs. Perdue for trying to preserve the mansion for future generations — encourage it to be a bipartisan effort lead by her and maybe Mrs. Barnes or perhaps Mrs. Harris or some other former Governor’s wife…

    2. Who cares what the law REQUIRES — if you donate money to this charity, the same rules of disclosure that apply to campaigns should apply here as well. If that isn’t what the law REQUIRES, it is what it SHOULD REQUIRE. Whomever is the head of the charity should make the list of donors, amounts donated and dates of donation available to the public and media ASAP. If there’s nothing to hide, why worry…

    3. Guess what, in the game of politics, a lot of things go. Don’t be a hypocrite and that goes for the D’s and the R’s. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen… In my personal life I don’t like hypocrites and I certainly don’t like hypocritical politicians… News flash, a lot of people don’t like hypocrites… Just stop it. Enough already.

    4. This stuff about the prison commissioner didn’t make my radar, but it is what it is… You can’t have two different standards and two different levels of accountability and have credibility — Go back to item 1 and 2 — if that had been done in the first place, this would not be an issue.

    That’s all. I’m a Republican, but like I say a lot these days, it sure is getting hard to say that without getting a little bit of a headache…

  26. GAWire says:

    >>”””Even if an investigation shows no corruption, would anyone really argue that attempting to root out corruption is not a necessary and worthy state expenditure?”””

    It’s not about spending money on legitimate investigations – you are saying that you want to spend taxpayers’ dollars on an investigation that is purely political and based on speculation.

    >>”””I’m a Democrat, but I can assure you that if I was a Republican I’d be pissed off at how the $20,000 donation-appointment thing looked.”””

    Being pissed off about how something looks, even though it is completely legal and legitimate, is no reason to make accusations based on no fact as cheap political tactics. But, as you said, you are a Democrat, so that kind of thing must be right on par for you.

  27. buzzbrockway says:

    “One of those porn names, like ‘Buck Naked,’ or ‘Buzz Brockway.’ (Heh.)”

    That’s funny. I think I’ll put that on my website right next to my quote from Bill Simon: “you’re unable to use the left side of your brain”. 🙂

  28. Romegaguy says:

    And while we are investigating, let’s look to see if anybody that in the past joined the Governor’s Club of the Dems, back before they started losing, was ever appointed to a board or commission after they joined and gave money to the party. I wonder what we would find there?

  29. Booray says:

    Romegaguy –

    Not only were Democrat supporters named to boards, a well-known lobbyist who had been a Democrat legislator was put on the Georgia DOT Board WHILE serving as a registered lobbyist.

    Don’t have to be a logic professor to figure that one out…

    Booray Aristotle Bussey, aka The Goat

  30. kspencer says:

    Booray (re your response to Romegaguy),

    Did you object then to the Dem supporters named to boards and such?

    If so, then your complaints of Dems complaining now are without merit. If not, then you are well-sustained in your apparent position that the Dems have no grounds for complaint.

  31. Ben King says:

    >>”It’s not about spending money on legitimate investigations – you are saying that you want to spend taxpayers’ dollars on an investigation that is purely political and based on speculation. ”

    >>”Being pissed off about how something looks, even though it is completely legal and legitimate, is no reason to make accusations based on no fact as cheap political tactics”

    My point was that if there is a reasonable appearance of impropriety, then an investigation is warranted. I think that reasons have been stated which create a reasonable appearance of impropriety. We can disagree on that, of course.

    But you can’t really get mad at Bobby for criticizing and scrutinizing his political opponents. “oh, what a political stunt” – that’s the name of game, man. If political opponents didn’t scrutinize people’s behaviors and call for investigations on (well founded) speculation, how would we ever root out corruption? Sit around and wait for companies to tell the GBI that they are being strong-armed?

    My ‘as a democrat’ point was that if someone from my party had done the same thing, I’d want it investigated a)to prove I have nothing to hide, and b) because I’d want to know for sure.

    Booray – I agre with kspencer. I’ll add that I’m not an idiot, and that Democrats controlled this state for years, and that there was corruption associated with that. If you point out things that look suspicious, then I’m all for having them looked at.

    Based on the entirely nameless non-cited conflict you indicated, yeah, that looks fishy and I’d want it looked at – but if you want me to take your argument seriously, you are going to actually do some research and prove that. I wouldn’t support that any more than I support Perdue’s actions. I’m not niave enough to think that people in my party aren’t capable of that.

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