A Charge Made

The Reed campaign is, for the first time, making a substantive charge against the Cagle campaign. In Ralph’s latest press release, they are accusing Cagle of improper conduct because Cagle sat on the Senate Banking Committee and/or co-sponsored legislation to benefit banks while at the same time being a director or chairman of a bank.

The Reed accusation states that

Cagle Voted 33 Times on Bills That Benefited Banks.  Between 1999 and 2006, Cagle sponsored or cosponsored five bills and voted 33 times on legislation that significantly affected banking while serving as chairman of the Southern Heritage Bank or a director of the bank holding company that acquired it, GB&T Bancshares.  The legislation Cagle voted on included bills allowing all banks to sell life insurance, sell securities, buy and sell corporate bonds, and expanded their ability to garnish wages. (Senate Vote 27, SB 19, 2-2-99; S.V. 227, SB 230, 3-9-99; S.V. 475, 3-24-99; S.V. 264, SR 241, 3-15-99; S.V. 269, HB 297, 3-15-99; S.V. 918, HB 1231, 3-13-00; S.V . 717, HB 272, 2-23-00; S.V. 1048, HB 656, 3-16-00; S.V. 922, HB 1364, 3-13-00; S.V.1069, HB 1257, 3-20-00; S.V. 177, SB 70, 3-6-01; S.V. 178, 3-6-01; S.V. 211, SB 25, 3-7-01; S.V. 365, HB 191, 3-19-01; S.V. 555, SB 353, 2-6-02; S.V. 1111, 4-12-02; S.V. 20, SB 53, 2-12-03; S.V. 130, 3-6-03; S.V. 233, SB 157, 4-7-03; S.V. 853, 3-4-04; S.V. 80, SB 78, 3-3-03; S.V. 414, HB 506, 4-17-03; S.V. 568, HB 385, 4-25-03; S.V. 662, SB 405, 2-2-04; S.V. 1028, HB 1258, 3-24-04; S.V. 1027, 3-24-04; S.V. 59, SB 82, 2-14-05; S.V. 95, SB 100, 2-22-05; S.V. 287, 3-17-05; S.V. 207, SB 127, 3-11-05; S.V. 504, 3-31-05; S.V. 436, HB 59, 3-29-05; S.V. 437, 3-29-05) 

The allegations also say that Cagle says he abstained from votes, but the Senate record does not reflect that.

Cagle’s campaign issued a terse response sayiing,

We remind you that Georgia has a citizen legislature – farmers help set agriculture policy, doctors craft health care laws, and businessmen update commercial codes. This is precisely the system our founders set up and we stand proudly behind it. If Ralph believes that Georgia should have a full-time California-style legislature, we invite him to debate that point any time, anywhere. In reality, that is the only way to ensure that no one who serves in the legislature has a job outside the legislature.

We also repeat the challenge we made last time you made a set of false ethical accusations: if you believe your own charges that a legislator acted in violation of the law, you should sign an actual complaint, put a stamp on it, and mail it to the Attorney General. We are committed to running an open, honest and ethical campaign and welcome the opportunity to address these kinds of concerns despite your continued unwillingness to accept the same standard for yourselves.

Interestingly, I got the Cagle response before I even got the Reed accusation. Of all the things Reed has hurled Cagle’s way — and there frankly have not been too many so far — this one has the most potential to leave a bruise.

56 comments

  1. Bill Simon says:

    Isn’t this “charge” old news by now? I thought this came out last week and Cagle responded appropriately that we have a “citizen legislature” in this state, not a professional one, and is a farmer or a lawyer or a doctor supposed to recuse themselves on anything and everything that comes-up in a commitee or on the floor that is related to their industry?

    Erick, this is what happens (i.e., you’re a week late on catch-up) when you knock-back exotic beers and end-up puking your guts out because you forgot your virgin stomach cannot handle the “really good stuff” in large quantities like it used to. 🙂

  2. The Busdriver says:

    Boy, howdy! This new charge from Ralphie is a doozy. Man, I hope Cagle has healed up from the bruise left by the devastating “Cagle missed a procedural vote on Eminent Domain” charge, or the “Casey puffed up his fundraising report” charge.

    Honestly. Amateurs. You’d think $4.4 million in casino chips could buy a lot better campaign staff.

  3. The Busdriver says:

    I hear Cagle also voted to expand bankruptcy protections for LLCs, which would end up helping Century Strategies.

  4. SouthernConservative says:

    A citizen legislature is a good concept, when it applies to issues being voted on to benefit the PEOPLE, that just so happen to also benefit a particular demographic or industry.

    That concept changes when bills/votes show up that are proven to specifically benefit a particular individual. That’s different.

    Alleged: Big bad lobbyist Ralph Reed uses close government connections to push casinos out of business and pad his pockets. As a lobbyist. It’s his job.

    Alleged: Big bad state senator Casey Cagle uses government position and influence as an elected official to pad his pockets.

    Big difference.

  5. debbie0040 says:

    The campaign has just begun to heat up. Just stay tuned…

    Ralph will win the GOP Primary and he will win in November.

    Timing is everything in politics.

    Busdriver, I look forward to July 18th. What are you going to do when Ralph wins?

  6. debbie0040 says:

    Cagle is not the choir boy you suppose him to be. He has already proven he thinks nothing about lying.

  7. grassrootsguy says:

    So let me get this right. Ralph Reed is bad because he made money as a lobbyist/consultant, but Cagle can enrich himself as chairman of a committee that impacts his own investments and finances and his followers turn a blind eye? What hypocrites.

    At least be consistent and criticize your guy. This is a big issue and it does impact Cagle’s campaign. It says that the guy who has made character the central issue of his campaign doesn’t have as much character as we thought.

    What’s the old saying, about living in glass houses.

    Cagle–what a hypocrite.

  8. lobbyga says:

    Yes, many lobbyists have know this about Cagle for a long time. He is not above using his position to feather his own nest.

    I was at an event last week in Atlanta with several other lobbyists and we heard a rumor about a scandal that may break very soon about a senator padding committee expenses for himself and other members.

    I saw how the Democrats ran things for years. I hate to think the Republicans may not clean things up and do things differently.

    Cagle is a part of the problem, not the solution.

    I’m going to vote for Jim Martin–I think.

  9. debbie0040 says:

    Busdriver, when is Ralph going to be charged? Please enlighten us . You are just spreading FALSE rumors .

    Ralph will be the Lt. Governor. Get used to it!

  10. jacewalden says:

    Bill,

    Although I’m pretty sure you made your comment in jest, I would like to offer something.

    Blaming lobbyists for the corruption of elected officials is like blaming a gun manufacturer because his gun was used to kill someone.

    The gun is a tool–the real problem is the murderer.

    Same concept. The lobbyist is just the tool. The corrupt politician is the root problem.

  11. lobbyga says:

    Thanks Bill. I don’t know which is worse, a lobbyist or a political commentator?

    Seriously, we do have a unique perspective on candidates because we get to see them upclose, at least when they have previously served in the legislature.

    The all have reputations among the lobbyists. We can tell you who is really smart, which ones are dumbasses. We can tell you who cares and who does not, who is real behind the closed doors, and which are hypocrites.

    We keep our mouths closed most of the time because we need their votes, but thank God for the anonymity of an internet blog!

    Cagle has some support because he has used his position and there is fear he may just win. Lobbyists have to have access and that means campaign contributions. But if Reed wins, or Martin, those checks will come there way too.

    As I have said before, Cagle is not that smart of a guy in my experience and he does know how to use his position for his own benefit. But then I am always amazed at who wins political contests. They are not always the most worthy people.

    I wouldn’t want to run my campaign on ethics if I were Cagle, but that’s about all I should say.

  12. SouthernConservative says:

    Jace, I think I agree with you, but I’d take it a step further: money. It’s the money that drives the deciet.

  13. debbie0040 says:

    Jace is right on target. Power corrupts. You can’t blame a lobbyist for doing their job. The politicians are to blame.

  14. Briardawg says:

    No Debbie, youre incorrect.

    Politicians are not to blame. Citizens are to blame for turning blind eye to lapses of ethics in goverments. More Americans are concerned with “American Idol” than with the ethics of politicians or the openess of government.

  15. Bull Moose says:

    Erick, I think you just need to come out and admit that you support Ralph Reed… It’s obvious in how you write about the race…

    As for this accusation, Ralph Reed has the credibility of a pile of dirt. If he knew better, he’d know that we have a citizen legislature and that often times that Members vote on matters affecting their businesses, especially one as broad as “banking”.

  16. jacewalden says:

    CMOB,

    Nice play on words. Haha.

    Now to get my hands dirty a little…

    I don’t think this “charge” has much behind it, if we accept that that we have a citizen legislature.

    Here’s the question I have to pose: Would a citizen legislature be more effective if we kept bankers off of the banking committee? Would it be more effective if we kept Veterans and Military types off the Veterans & Mil affairs committee? Would it be more effective if we kept lawyers off of the Judiciary Committee?

    The answer of course, is no. Well, it may be better to keep lawyers out totally (just kidding). But the answer is no. SO, where does that take us?

    It means that members of committees are inevitably going to be placed in positions where a vote they make has the potential to benefit them as well.

    I’m going to go ahead with the Veterans & Mil affairs example, since it’s the only thing I have in my bag of experience…If Senator Douglas voted for a bill in committee which would expand some type of monetary benefit to retired servicemembers, would he automatically be considered “corrupt” because the bill also benefited him? I don’t think so. And I don’t think anyone else does either.

    Now, I realize Banking and Finance is considerably more high-profile than Vet & Mil affairs, but you have to stand on principle. If it’s alright for one committee, it needs to be all right for another committee.

    That’s why I don’t see this “charge” as having any substantial effect on the Cagle campaign.

  17. jacewalden says:

    SC,

    I think we agree. I don’t think its really money though. It’s the corrupt politicians insatiable desire for money. Probably just discussing semantics at this point, but I think in the end, the blame must always be placed on the individual.

  18. landman says:

    This is a charge from a candidate and campaign who are grasping.It should come as no surprise that RR is going negative with anything he can,but the problem is the box he is in has no exit route.Buckle up its game time so expect any and everything from the Reed Team,meanwhile Team Cagle keeps gaining steam.

    BTW the Forbes event was a HOMERUN EVENT in every aspect,and the momentum continues to build for Casey.It becomes clearer everyday who the first Republican Lt.Gov in Georgia will be.

    CAGLE ’06

  19. Chris says:

    “legislation that significantly affected banking while serving as chairman of …”

    Has anyone not on the Reed campaign checked to see if that alphabet soup of SBs and SVs actually harmed anyone? Contrary to what pretty much everyone wants you to believe, public policy is NOT a zero sum game.

  20. GAWire says:

    Item: This is a rediculous claim. But, I’m not going to whine and give a woe-is-me complaint that Ralph is playing dirty.

    Item: There is a much better defense that Team Cagle could give on this, b/c I know for a fact that this claim is not only illegitimate, it could be considered outright lying in campaigning, but I’m not on the Cagle staff, so I’m not going to worry about defending the claims.

    Item: I could complain about how ironic it is that Ralph Reed is claiming unethical conduct, but I’m just going to leave it with my previous comment.

    With all that out there, I just want to say this … Ralph Reed is bringing decline upon himself. He is starting to make this FUN for us, meaning no longer do Cagle supporters need to sit back and look at things strategically or cautiously. It is open season on Ralph Reed and there is more ammo here than buckshot at Bass Pro Shop!

    You know those sayings about your actions coming back to bite you?

  21. Bull Moose says:

    Casey Cagle had a powerful day today… This was a $100K plus day for the Cagle camp!

    The Reed group better be careful, they are complaining about the basis of our democracy, the fact that citizens are elected to serve… I personally would like to have farmers setting farm policy, and bankers setting bank policy.

    There is NO – ABSOLUTELY NO credibility to Ralph Reed’s desperate allegations against Casey.

    Funny that the candidate with the criminal defense attorney is the one making allegations… Hmm…

  22. bowersville says:

    Bull Moose, GA Wire and others,
    Let them rant, it shows Reed’s desperation. Encourage Reed to take this onto the campaign trail. Citizen Representatives, Citizen soldiers, that was the wrong course in the late 1700’s wasn’t it? Let Reed explain why we need fulltime, fully paid, year round full time representative legislators, 24/7, fully funded by the citizen taxpayers to avoid corruption. That theory certainly worked for Abramnof & Ney didn’t it?

  23. debbie0040 says:

    You Cagle guys are really funny. Stay tuned there is more to come… Your candidate is not squeaky clean.

    Reed will win.

  24. jacewalden says:

    Debbie,

    What I think is funny, is that none of you Reed supporters have been able to answer the questions I posed in my last post on here…

  25. Bill B. says:

    Bull Moose is an idiot, but he’s not alone. I do NOT want bankers deciding the rules they live under. Imagine the interest rates…or the fees to use an ATM…or the lack of the bank being penalized when your identity is stolen because of their lack of security.

    No, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. It’s when politicians that are elected to do what’s best for the people of Georgia, begin to do what’s best for their own business interests. And to hell with what is good for the consumer! But it is only Christmas for them and their families.

    It would be interesting to see is how many of our fine elected officials actually recuse themselves on votes.

    The big question that no one has talked about and seems to have been overlooked is, “Why did Cagle claim to have abstained when he obviously didn’t?” Why did he lie about it? Does he feel guilty?

    There is a pattern here. He lies about this…lies about Mark Taylor extorting him for money…lies about where he was during the eminent domain vote.

    Q – How do you know when Casey Cagle is lying?
    A – His lips are moving!

  26. debbie0040 says:

    Jace , You Cagle have not answered questions posed to you as well. You can not explain why Cagle lies . Cagle used his position as State Senator to feather his own cap.

    Judges recuse themselves when case come before them that will be a conflict of interest. Why didn’t Cagle?

  27. SOUTHERNCOMFORT says:

    If all you kool aide drinkers can bring is this dribble you are in for a hot June/ early July. The NUCLEAR summer has not yet begun and when it does Ralpie boy will be running to jump in some cold water. In the words of one of my favorite authors the reckoning day drawth nigh….CAGLE 06 WINNERS NO WHINERS

  28. Jimbo says:

    I received this from a friend:

    Pollster Matt Towery, C.E.O. of InsiderAdvantage, said all of this back-and-forth–from tax policy to ethics–has not yet registered with many Republican voters. Towery said over half of the potential G.O.P. primary voters are undecided. And a surprising number don’t know either candidate.

    “There are three things in this race that people don’t realize,” said Towery. “One, most Georgians don’t know who Ralph Reed is, believe it or not. Second, Casey Cagle is an unknown entity. And third, the problems which Reed has encountered on a national level are not known by the average voter in Georgia.”

    Towery said the winner will be the one who most effectively gets his message — positive about himself or negative about his opponent — on TV. “You’re not real until you’re on television,” Towery said.

    So, which voters will make the difference when the two men start putting their messages on TV? Towery predicted the key battle will be for politically independent women.

    I can not wait until July 18th.

  29. northside elephant says:

    John Linder
    Arlen Specter
    Bob Dole

    What do they have in common? They have all had this same stupid, baseless accusation made against them in past elections by desperate opponents!

    To accuse Casey of this is completely unoriginal. Frankly I am not impressed by Ralph’s people at all.

  30. SouthernConservative says:

    Jimbo and others – your quote from Towery is good material. For once, Insider Advantage has it primarily correct.

    However, the twist is this: turnout. Dan O’Conner, the brain trust of the Republican party, has, as I’ve heard, predicted a medium to low (very average, in other words) turnout. I’ve never known O’Conner to be wrong. The issue is this: among Republican primary voters, an average turnout means that the primary vote will be largely made up of hardcore, long time Republicans.

    This is a plus for Reed, because most of those types of voters at least recognize his name and the work he’s done for the GOP in Georgia.

    This good for Ralph. Low turnout = Reed wins.

    SC, Simon, Bull Moose, Jack S – spin. All spin. Try to stop using sugar coated rhetoric and argue facts, numbers, and logic once in a while.

  31. jacewalden says:

    Still trying to get a straight answer here…

    Would our legislature be more effective if no bankers were on the banking committee, yes or no?

    Would our legislature be more effective if no lawyers were on the judiciary committee, yes or no?

    Would our legislature be more effective if no veterans or retired military were on the Veterans & Mil affairs committee?

    Since no one has given me a straight answer, I’m going to assume I’m right here. The legislature would be less effective if we took the SME off of the committees. It sounds like some of you are honestly trying to propose that our committees should be ran by and filled with people who aren’t necessarily up on the subject matter.

    Debbie, should all bankers abstain from a vote if they have the potential to benefit from it?

    Or here’s an even better one: Should all Senators abstain from a bill that benefits tax payers since the Senators themselves are tax payers?

    Someone, please give me a straight answer!

  32. SouthernConservative says:

    Jace, good questions, and I see where you’re going with it. I think we’re splitting hairs here. We put lawyers on the courts because they know the law. I think we should put lawyers, bankers, docs, a farmers on respective committees, because they are qualified. However, as do judges, I think they should have the discretion to recuse themselves on certain pieces of legislation. Obviously, I think some of those 33 bills would fit into that category.

    Example: when Vernon Lee’s outdoor advertising bill (HB 1097 I think) came before the Senate this past session, Senator Raph Hudgens recused himself from the vote because he owns alot of bill boards around the state.

    That’s what I’m talking about.

  33. Michael C says:

    Anyone See “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” this past weekend. That movie still gets me. Citizen legislature, Great retort from the Cagle Campaign. Reed is showing signs of desperaton.

  34. Michael C says:

    SC, that is a very specific case that would directly affect Hudgens individualy. Having not gone through the bills can you cite one that Cagle voted for that would directly affect his bank and not just the banking industry as a whole?

  35. SouthernConservative says:

    Oh, Michael, trust me, that bill benefitted the outdoor advertising industry as a whole, not just Hudgens.

  36. Bill B. says:

    Jace,
    I’m going to make the assumption that you are seriously asking this question and respond.

    Let’s stay with the banking illustration. If it makes the bank (and it’s owners) more money, but is bad for the consumer, what will the bank do? Obvious, right? Until the consumer wises up and moves their money to a bank not doing so. It’s the free market.

    Take ATMs for example. The bank your money is in charges you a fee to use another bank’s ATM. The other bank charges you a fee for your having used it. The cell companies aren’t even that bad, they just charge you one time for “roaming” fees. Now imagine the internet, when you look at pages on your ISPs server there would be no charge, but to view other pages would cost. Or stores. When you use your Macy’s charge card there is no additional charge in Macy’s, but your VISA usage adds a fee to you – both by Macys and VISA. It’s actually cheaper for the bank to deal with it’s customers by ATM and computer than paying the teller to sit there. But they charge us a fee for that! How do banks get away with this? The laws that govern them.

    Now if you have the ability to change the laws to make you more money, but hurt the general public, is that wrong? I think so. An elected office is a position of public trust.

    Can we know of every instance where an elected official has something to gain? No. But we expect them to be honest and upfront and tell us when they do. It happens all the time in courts and is called a conflict of interest. Harold Melton just stepped back from the gay marriage ammendment because of this issue. Not that he had anything to gain, but because he had a conflict having worked on this in the Governor’s office.

    We do need bankers, lawyers, doctors, farmers, educators, etc. in our legislature. They have experience in their fields. However, they need to give advice, not vote, when it directly affects them and just their specific interest. Everyone knows lobbyists and the people testifying have a “dog in that fight.” So do the people who make their living in that industry. Let’s acknowledge what every thinking person knows, if you stand to gain, your judgement will be clouded.

    If the issue affects all Georgians or the vast majority, even if the legislator is also going to benefit, it is acceptable. Because it’s not just a small group or industry that is receiving the benefit.

    Of course that’s just my opinion and worth about nothing. 🙂

  37. SOUTHERNCOMFORT says:

    SC,DEBBIE AND ALL OTHERS BLIND FOLLOWERS, it boils down to the fact that Ralph is not a LEADER and will never again garner the respect he once deseved. He is a washout and he’s taking you clowns down with him. Our party deserves better and will come out in July and make a statment that will finally put you guys where you belong… in the past.

  38. debbie0040 says:

    I agree with Southern Conservative and BillB on the legislative issue.

    A true leader stands his grounds and leads when his side is not in power. They don’t turn tail and run like Cagle did in the Barnes regime.

    Reed is the only true leader in this race. Our party deserves Ralph Reed and what he can do for Georgia.

    Southern comfort, July 18th will show who will be in the past.

  39. jacewalden says:

    Southern Conservative and Bill B.,

    Your points are taken. I think we all three agree that the subject matter experts should have input on the drafting of legislation. And I also fully believe in the right of a Judge to recuse himself from specific cases.

    Now, this is just personal opinion, but I think legislators should have to vote on every bill, whether it affects them or not. The reason is that there is no better way for a citizen to know where his/her representative/senator stands on a certain issue than the voting record. Ppliticians often speak one way, then vote another. Actions speak louder than words.

    I realize that this will put some legislators in positions where they have to vote on bills that directly impact them, but so be it, at least we’d know where they stand.

  40. northside elephant says:

    Bottom Line: this is a weak and baseless attack against a senator with a fine voting record.

    This is a recycled charge that Democrats often level at Republicans. They’ll find an instance where someone voted on tax breaks for high tech firms while that person holds stock in a few of the affected firms…or whatever.

    Ralph and company trying to show some conflict of interest? This is flimsy stuff.

  41. Demonbeck says:

    I think Casey should respond with, “Had I known then what I know now…” Seems to do the trick for Reed supporters

  42. SouthernConservative says:

    Northside elephunk sez –

    this is a weak and baseless attack against a senator with a fine voting record.

    A fine voting record = missed votes on immigrant’s driver’s licenses, eminent domain and private property rights, and votes that enriched one’s personal business.

    Fine voting record indeed. The issue is that it’s not an isolated problem. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – it’s a malady that affects 90% of the governmental representatives out there. Given the opportunity, they’ll do things to enrich themselves. Duh. We know it. We watch it. We accept it. Some of us participate in it. Personally, we all do it. Now, with that established, let’s get off personal attacks and talk about issues.

    The only problem is this: with the exception of maybe Wire and Walden, none of the Cagleites on here seem capable of talking about issue. They cannot, as in are completely incapable, of discussing this race without using Ralph’s name in an attack based statement.

  43. northside elephant says:

    Southern Conservative-

    First:
    Do you really believe that anyone besides the Reed campaign will be talking about this 1 week from now?

    Second:
    There is so little discussion of policy because there are no significant policy differences between the candidates. This is like Barr v. Linder in 2002 -the guys had the same ideology, they fought over who was more conservative but in the end it was the difference in style that mattered.

  44. SOUTHERNCOMFORT says:

    SC, The Cagle Team is getting our stance on the issues out to the voters, but you guys are weak as water if you think we are going to let up on your boy’s character flaws. Politics is a full contact sport and Ralphie put his name in the game, we will not sit on the sidelines and let him sucker our Great Party and State like he has you all.

  45. bowersville says:

    I don’t understand all this talk of lawmakers, either House or Senate, Democrat or Republican, recusing themselves on the issues or votes. Everyone at the Statehouse has a conflict of interest. They discuss issues with each other, their constituents, interested groups, news media, etc. prior to taking a vote. Yes if Judges at any level did this he/she would need to recuse themselves. The Georgia Statehouse is not a courtroom. It is a body of citizen legilators, with a multitude of backgrounds and business interests. If they start recusing themselves, what do we need them for? Or when they recuse themselves on a vote, what’s the procedure for finding an alternate to cast a vote? I would rather hold them accountable and if someone needs to be recused from the Statehouse, we can handle that at the polls.

    Some of your viewpoints on this subject make it sound as if there are no other lawmakers in the Statehouse, interested parties, newsmedia, public attention, etc, or any other type of check and balance. Veto anyone?

  46. bowersville says:

    By the way which of these HB’s or SB’s were vetoed? And who do you Reed’s hold accountable for that?

  47. bowersville says:

    Whoops! Don’t tell me, let me guess, was some or part of this legislation signed into law by our present administration?

  48. bowersville says:

    Well
    I’ve sat around for a reply and not getting one, I have to draw the conclusion the Reed’s are mute and have no answer to “Was part of this legilation signed into law by our present adminstration?” and if so, what say you and what are your rants and outrages?

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