Echols to Join Oxendine Campaign as New Campaign Manager

From the Political Insider:

We’ve learned that Republican candidate for governor John Oxendine will name a new campaign manager — Tim Echols, a conservative Christian organizer who helped U.S. Rep. Paul Broun of Athens win his seat.

This is the first staff shake-up by a candidate in the 2010 race, which has already been underway for more than a year.

“There are some similarities between Oxendine and Broun,” Echols said. “When a guy is willing to take on the establishment — I’m really drawn to people like that.”

Echols will replace Kathryn Ballou, who will shift to head a separate Oxendine support group, Transform Georgia. Her husband, Jeff Breedlove, will remain as a chief strategist for Oxendine.

Echols is the founder of TeenPact, an organization that introduces kids — often home-schooled — to the workings of government. He’ll remain as president of the TeenPact board, we understand.

Echols, who gave some thought to a run for the state Senate to replace Ralph Hudgens (R-Hull) this year, was a significant player in this year’s fight to defeat Sunday sales of beer and wine in the Legislature.


  1. SFrazier says:

    The Ox is no conservative Christian so he is trying to make up for by naming one as his manager. Just this proves that money is more important to Echols than money. No true Christian conservative would back Oxendine. The Christian vote will solidly align behind Nathan Deal. He is our only viable choice in this race.

    • Jeff says:

      Actually, Sean, Ox is about as Christian Theocrat as they come – which is exactly why he should never step foot inside the Governor’s Mansion.

          • SFrazier says:

            Whatever Breedlove. Are you wearing tight snug jeans just like Ox. Maybe if you all got some loose pants you all would sound more like men. That high pitch women voice that you and Ox have will at least attract the Log Cabin republicans. You may be able to steal that vote away from Handel, but the Christian vote is reserved for a Godly man.

          • Jeff says:

            I’m not Breedlove – not quite THAT crazy!

            To think that the ‘Christian’ vote is still some monolithic political entity is absurd. If it were, President McCain would be bombing Iran right now.

    • BobinBuckhead says:

      I’m just getting acquainted with the Peach Pundit, so forgive me if I don’t know the characters who’re posting here.

      Is it necessary that the governor be a “conservative” Christian? What is that, for Christ’s sake? Is it someone who believes Christ’s teachings were centered around charity and love or one who hates everyone who is different from him or who has a different opinion? The latter, in my opinion, is the hallmark of Georgia Republicans.

      Could a “conservative Jew” ever qualify to be governor?

      Could a “liberal Christian”?

      • Kellie says:

        First things first Bobin. Are you a Christian Conservative? We can not answer your questions if you are not. 😉 Are you a man or a woman? That could make a difference on what answer that is given. Last, are you a “Fair Taxer”? We need to keep everyone here in the proper group. LOL

        Just playing. Welcome and good luck figuring any of these characters out. 😉

        • BobinBuckhead says:

          My questions would get a different answer if I were a man or a woman or if my religious views were clear??? Wow. This gets curiouser with every post.

          I’ll just let you keep guessing for a while, but as my Presbyterian “hint” grandmother would say: “In the fullness of time, all shall be revealed.”


  2. Bucky Plyler says:


    I haven’t made my mind up about the Gov. race. Will you cite some reasons why Ox is not a conservtive Christian & why Deal is? Also how about your statement on Echols-“proves money is more important than money?”

    • SFrazier says:

      The money that Echols is making as his campaign manager is more important than backing a Godly candidate.

    • GOPGeorgia says:

      Sfrazier seems to be a little concerned, so I’ll let him speak for himself.

      I consider myself friends with both the OX and Deal. I have know Deal longer. I met him in 1992. If memory serves, he used to be a deacon and teach Sunday school.

      Sorry, I have no slander or libel for the OX today for all those who demand it.

  3. I Am Jacks Post says:


    If you’re trying to help Deal, you’re not.

    If you’re trying to help Ox, good work.

  4. SFrazier says:

    A true Christian would not back Rudy “I am so sorry I can’t even support a ban on partial birth abortion or same sex marriage” Gulliani. Gulliani was the front runner and he just wanted to win. It is not about values to Oxendine, he has none.

    As a Catholic we believe that if you divorce and remarry you commit adultery. So according to my church, we do not recognize his current marriage causing him to be living in adultery. I know my Baptist friends have let me know that divorced people cannot serve as deacons in their church. You don’t qualify to be a deacon, but you qualify to run as a Christian conservative? Like satan, Oxendine will say whatever is politically expedient to help his cause; he is anything but a Christian conservative…

  5. SFrazier says:

    The truth is the truth. God is all the help Deal needs and Christian Conservatives that decide the GOP primary in Geotgia will vote Gods Values next July, not some phony PP posters values.

  6. I Am Jacks Post says:


    If you’re trying to help Republicans, you’re not.

    If you’re trying to help Democrats, good work.

    • I’m not sure SFrazier helps Democrats. After all, he just called Ronald Reagan an adulterer and basically implied that Reagan must also have been like Satan since no divorced man can be a Christian conservative.

      • SFrazier says:

        For those that seek true repentence, there is forgiveness through His blood. You can be forgiven of any sin. But the bible clearly states that divorced people should not serve as leaders. If you manage your household how can you manage the state. We are setting him and the GOP up for failure. God’s logic is always the wisest logic.

        I can’t speak for Reagan. I was born during his second term. But my Godly logic embedded in the truth of His word would not change….

        • SFrazier says:

          sorry, hit submit to quickly
          ” If you cannot manage your household, how can you manage the state.”

        • ReaganRepublican says:

          Sean, I appreciate your passion for truth so let me set the record straight on my main man Ronald Reagan. Yes, before Reagan truly found Christ he got divorced and remarried. He wasn’t even pro life as the Governor of California in the late 60”s, pretty sorry right. But than he truly found the Lord and became a new man. It’s the Ronald Reagan after Christ that is my hero, not the one before. After truly receiving Christ, Reagan’s Christian beliefs had their most profound effect. Appalled by the religious repression and state-mandated atheism of Bolshevik Marxism, Reagan felt a calling by God to confront and defeat the evil empire(Communism). Ronald Reagan had the courage to obey God in very difficult times….

    • SFrazier says:

      Standing behind truth will always help the GOP. Being too scared to call out the “Elephant” in the room will help the the Dems as we always put up flawed candidates for office…

      Do not lie to me and tell me that you are against abortion than you turn around and support Gulliani.
      Don’t tell me you are for the fair tax and then support Gulliani who opposes it…

      Don’t tell me that you are for family values and then get a divorce.

  7. I am happy were have people like Sean Frazier to be the judge of other people’s religious convictions here in Georgia. We need more people like him to let all of us know how God would vote.

  8. SFrazier says:

    It his hard to argue with the truth. We need good candidates, not second rate ones with skeletons everywhere. Lets once again become a party of truth, not of putting up crap candidates that say whatever is politically expedient. Every platform that Ox is standing on is not truly embedded in his heart. We know that because of his actions…

  9. Bill Greene says:

    I’m trying to figure out SFrazier’s arguments here. Did Oxendine support Giuliani? I’m pretty sure Tim Echols didn’t. And why exactly is it that Deal is such a staunch Christian? I’m interested to hear that.

    By the way, congrats to Tim. He’s great. Oxendine made a really smart move there. (But Tim, please tell him to start wearing socks!)

  10. SFrazier says:

    As long as I have been following politics , Deal has always got a 100% rating by GRT, so strongly pro life…
    He is happily married to the same Lady. He has only had one wife. He can manage his household which is a minimum prerequisite to lead.
    Comes home to his home church every Sunday to worship God where he has served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher.
    I have never met him, but some Christians that I trust have ensured me of his commitment to God. So I will meet him and pray about it before I stomp for him, but I am feeling pretty good about him after my initial research.
    And yes, when Gulianni was the front runner, Ox was for him and endorsed him. Even though Rudy stood for no Christian values or the fair tax for that matter. So if Tim was allowing God to lead his life, he would show Gods character by rejecting this two faced pseudo Christian imposter.

  11. I’m trying to figure out if SFrazier is serious, of if his persona is a ruse to get a rise out of folks (a la “GodHatesTrash” awhile back). He describes his Christian faith the way a street thug describes his gang membership.

  12. SFrazier says:

    I speak for the majority of GOP voters in Georgia. That is a fact. The Christian conservatives who make up the majority of the party are sick of imposters. And we will no longer allow Pagans like you to choose our candidates…

    • GOPGeorgia says:

      Sean Frazier speaks for the majority of GOP voters in Geogia? I thought we elected someone named Sue to do that?

      Imposters and pagans? Stop drinking the koolaid.

  13. SFrazier says:

    I am not sure who GHT is. But God hates the trash that people do, not the trash that we are…..

  14. macho says:

    The fact you’ve got some people saying Ox is a hardcore christian conservative and others saying the polar opposite is a true reflection of the Ox’s pandering ways – in the alternative world of the Ox he is both.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Kathryn Ballou is starting a completely different Ox campaign, one that is polar opposite from the current campaign, but both with the same goal of electing the Ox. Perhaps the Ox will be able to get his name on the ballot on two or three different lines , you could have “conservative Ox”, “populist Ox” and “mooching off the government and lobbyists Ox.”

  15. Jane says:

    All of the candidates are mainstream Christians, right of center on virtually all social issues. Handel is only slightly less socially conservative than the others, but would not be considered a liberal by any stretch of the imagination. I like Tim, but his support of the Governor was not enough to get many long time Conservatives appointed to influential positions. Ozendine is probably a better conservative than Purdue, but I was extremely disappointing in Purdue and those around him. I hope I am not let down again.

    I will be supporting Oz unless Eric Johnson somehow proves he is a viable candidate. But the way it looks now, Eric will be lucky to out pull McBerry.

  16. South Fulton Guy says:

    Strategists, managers, advisers…gee whiz what’s next a home errrr image makeover?

    When folks truly have core principals they don’t need someone whispering in their ear to tell them what to say, how to say it or how to demonstrate they are something that they really are not…

    I don’t want a Governor who has to do a poll or ask someone what to do to show they embrace what the electorate wants…. that’s Clinton or Obama’s style.

    I want someone who can lead and act decisively without their team’s group think because they know why they believe what they believe and how to articulate it without a teleprompter….

    I can’t wait for the debates when the rubber will meet the road!

    • ReaganRepublican says:

      Look no further SFG. Nathan Deal is a man who does his own thinking and actually writes his own speeches. I have had the privilege of spending a little time with him and know he believes that the guiding hand of God is in the affairs of all men. In our conversation we agreed on a lot of things, but when he didn’t agree with me, he let me know why. I appreciated his intellectual honesty rather than just pandering to my vote.

  17. Bill Simon says:

    Personally, I think we could make a good show out of a concept I’ve pondered: “Consultant Swap.” The premise is a GOP consultant swaps places with a Dem consultant for 2 weeks, AND they have to act as though they wanted their swapped client to win.

    • That’s actually the most brilliant idea I’ve ever read on Peach Pundit! I’d likewise get a kick out a “bizarro” thread… in which Doug Deal argues the environmentalist position, I argue against gay marriage, and everyone shuts up about the Fair Tax for five minutes.

      • Doug Deal says:

        The environment is for wussies.

        Seriously, though, I care about the environment, I just hate politicization of science and over-hyped disaster scenarios.

        In about 200 years, CO2 could very well cause a problem to an unadapted human population because it would be around .1%, which is the point at which symptoms of CO2 poisoning can hit with long term exposure. But, since the change would be so gradual, it is very likley that someone born into such an environment would not have any problem, much like someone who lives in Denver being adapted to lower partial pressure of O2 compared to somone who lives on the coast.

        Catastrophic man-made global warming is a fraud, but that does not mean that I would not prefer us to go for things like nuclear power and limited application of solar (in remote places or some home use) which do not contribute to the accumulation of a trace gas.

        I could go on, but I just saw a number of pp’ers looking at their watches, so it’s time to go.

  18. Bill Simon says:

    I speak for the majority of GOP voters in Georgia. That is a fact.

    Right, SFrazier. Thus that’s why we all shudder in fear and awe whenever we read one of your posts. We are like…so totally blown away by your awesomeness of representation of all of us. We are so thankful you bother coming to this blog to grant us a few moments to witness your wonderful prose and ideas.

  19. Bill Simon says:

    He describes his Christian faith the way a street thug describes his gang membership.

    As I recall…that is EXACTLY how Mr. Frazier introduced himself back in April. As being (and, I come pretty close to this quote in reality) “big, black, 250 lb male and I’ll take on anyone who gives me lip at the state convention.”

    Something to this effect, anyway.

    • Yes, that’s basically how I remembered it. Back then he was all about the Christian goodness of Cagle against the evils of the Ox. Now he’s on to Deal. Every once in a while he takes a swipe at Karen too, but probably has more to do with his belief that women should not be allowed to speak or hold authority over a man than about any of her policy positions.

  20. fundy1611 says:

    Folks, I’m a crazy, bible-thumping, baptist but I’ll take a stinkin atheist if they’d just get the government out of my life! I have my King James Bible, my Lord, my church, and my Pastor. Now just give me someone who understand the Constitution and will stop the federal government’s takeover of the states.

    Oh by the way, if it was a contest of who the real Christian was, it would be Eric Johnson… 🙂

    • ReaganRepublican says:

      No bible thumping Baptist would say something so stupid as we are taught to vote Gods conscience, not our own . So stop being an imposter. Didn’t Eric support Romney?

        • It means things are only going to get worse. It means people like this will continue to vote for people like the Huckster… due to their “Bible Blindness,” they can’t see past the social issues and their wish to legislate morality… which should have no place in government.

          • Almost all legislation legislates a form of morality; economic, personal behavior, relationships between individuals, etc. The vast majority of legislation is designed to either punish people for behavior that the government deems to be immoral or reward for behavior that the government deems to be moral.

        • ReaganRepublican says:

          One of the rights shared by citizens of Georgia is also a responsibility – to vote. Voting is not a small matter to be dealt with casually or carelessly. It calls upon all to reflect seriously and prayerfully on moral issues that reflect God’s design for the common good.
          Conscience is the voice of God’s law resounding in the human heart, revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good and shun what is evil.
          Thus we cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or same sex marriage, if our intention is to support that position. In doing so we would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil.

          • fundy1611 says:

            Nor can we vote for a candidate who drinks, lies, gossips, covets, etc. Good luck in your pursuit of such a candidate. America’s morals have gone south because of our churches and our pulpits, not because of your politicians.

  21. Jeff says:


    If your first paragraph is what you really want, right now it looks to me like Scott or McBerry will be your best bets on the GOP side, but come November John Monds has ANYONE of the GOP (or Dems) beat.

    • fundy1611 says:

      I can’t understand what Scott is saying half the time and McBerry is still fighting the civil war. As for John Monds, I prefer not to throw my vote away and help Barnes get elected. As every other Libertarian, Monds has never had to walk the walk so therefore he get’s to throw rocks from the “we’ve never governed-before therefore we’ve never compromised” Libertarian peanut gallery.

  22. I Am Jacks Post says:

    Guess the other campaign(s) to whom Echols offered his resume weren’t interested.

  23. ReaganRepublican says:

    Echols needs to find a real job that provides him and his family an honest day’s living like the bible instructs him. If he is knowingly working for a con artist that makes him a con artist. Who did Echols support for President?

  24. Dantes says:

    anyone who has dealt with eric johnson at the capitol knows he’s no example of christians in office.

    the man is a petty, vindictive, arrogant, jackass whose had more than a few episodes he doesn’t want brought up on this blog.

  25. Dantes says:

    I forgot to add….I don’t know Tim Echols, but he deserves kudos for this. it’s always a compliment when a leading statewide candidate chooses someone to run their race. Not sure of his full background but obviously he’s done something right.

    Congrats Tim. Best of luck to you in your new position.

  26. Campaign staffs shift, change and make adjustments all of the time. I don’t remember anyone being up in arms calling Saxby doomed when in 2002, he picked Bo Harmon who was fresh off the Linder campaign to manage his general election campaign. I don’t remember who was Saxby’s campaign manager for the primary against (former House Minority Leader) Bob Irvin, but they didn’t make it to the general election. You start this far out there are bound to be staff changes.

  27. Kellie says:

    What’s the big deal? He changed managers. So what. Some are trying to see more into this than there is.

    • I don’t think people are talking “conspiracy” about the staff changes… I just think the stars aligned for this particular thread, causing all the Bible-folk to turn out and have a Crazy Contest.

      For the past 16 years or so… I’ve generally voted for the most moderate guys in the Republican primary (and then in the general election voted for either the Libertarian or the most moderate major-party candidate). I’m starting to seriously think it’s time to vote for the most moderate guys in the Democratic primary instead. I don’t know that there IS a moderate wing to the GOP at present… and the grassroots is so f*cked up I can’t even tell the crazies from the less-crazies anymore.

  28. bartsimpsonisdaman says:

    Hey dudes, this is evolving into one idiotic circle jerk.

    Oxendine, the wife swapping pervert. The man swapped wives with Sen. Shafer. Holy hells bells, you Republicans love the trailer parks. All we need is a high pitched talking pervert under the gold dome. GO BARNES!

    Congrats to Mr. Echols for supporting a stellar beacon of “Trailer Court Family Values”.

    BARNES. 2010!!!

  29. Bill Simon says:

    Is it necessary that the governor be a “conservative” Christian? What is that, for Christ’s sake?

    Hilarious use of “for Christ’sake.”

  30. Bill Simon says:

    bartsimpson is an effing moron, South Fulton Guy.

    Five years….5 years after John Oxendine divorced his wife Lee, David Shafer married Lee.

    No “swapping,” no nothing.

    If Icarus is around, “bartsimpsonisdaman” should have his posting privleges revoked. He’s an idiot. And a royal pain in the rear to bother reading.

        • ReaganRepublican says:

          They should not make an oath before God “until death do us part”, if the do not intend to keep their promise. If you cannot keep an oath before God, how can we trust you when you take the oath to serve our state to the best of your ability…

          • fundy1611 says:

            There are Biblical grounds for divorce. I’m not sure about this case but you may not have all the information either.

          • Then how do you trust them with anything? Breaking an oath to God sounds serious.

            Considering more than 50% of marriages end in divorce, then there are a lot of people you cannot trust., even Ronald Reagan.

    • ReaganRepublican says:

      Oh Bill, you are just a bitter liberal Fulton county GOP member. You represent 10% of the GOP vote in Georgia and therefore your voice is minimized. I represent the other 90%, uhhhh, I know, it hurts…

  31. Bill Simon says:

    ReaganRepublican (sic)

    As I recall, your hero Ralph Reed got his a** slammed down in 2006. In fact, I’m certain MOST of your candidates have lost in the past 2 cycles.

    • ReaganRepublican says:

      No, I have a pretty good record. Huckabee won Georgia, Cagle won. Every cycle in the biggest raises my guys have won. Tons of small races where major upsets took place as well…

  32. ReaganRepublican says:

    Casey Cagle was my candidate, Ralph Reed put money before God and the Christian right put the true Christian conservative in office.

  33. Keep in mind ReaganRepublican, up until a week ago, most South Carolinians would have said Sanford was a true Christian who upheld strong Christian values. It’s dangerous to put those labels on people, whether it is Ralph Reed, Casey Cagle, John Oxendine or Nathan Deal.

    What’s more, my definition of what a “true Christian” is and what defines “true Christian behavior” might be vastly different than yours.

    • ReaganRepublican says:

      Sheppard, you are grasping for straws as usual. Your man is unfit to serve, and as a theology major , he should know that.

      • Kellie says:

        Why do you get blue space around your post? Are you special? lol

        RR – If you’re going to insult or call names please post under your own name.

  34. ReaganRepublican says:

    Oh Bill, you are so tough behind your computer. In person you are a overweight, lumbering, uncoordinated poor excuse for a man. You are a man whore, who sells himself to the highest bidder in what you call “building their name ID”. It is not about character, it’s about doing whatever it takes to help whoever pays you. And you are pathetic at that. How scum like you sleep at night is beyond me. At the end of the day, one can just feel sorry for you…

  35. ReaganRepublican says:

    The offer still stands, if you want to get in the ring. I will even make it fun, if you get in the ring with me I will give $500 to the charity of your choice. Common Bill, you have a foot and 100 pounds on me, lets see what you are really made of….. I think you are a cheap man whore….

  36. bartsimpsonisdaman says:

    Hey Mr. Simon, ban me for what? Pointing out a fact? Is it not a fact that Ivy Oxendine used to by Ivy Shafer? Is it not also true the Lee Oxendine is now Lee Oxendine Shafer? Hmmmm, aint the trailer park kind of big?

    5 years or 5 months, that’s just plain trashy. Y’all coddled ole Ralph Reed as he was pandering. Y’all coddle Speaker Richardson as he was poking the lobbyist. Yeah big boy, you a card carrying member of the Georgia GOP trailer court gang?

    Go BARNES! We see wht family values you pals have.

  37. whitemalevoters says:

    SFraizer is really just a 155 lb, 32 year-old white boy who still lives with his mother. Trust us. We know.

  38. John Konop says:


    Can you list all the sins that disqualify people for office in your mind? As a so-called true Christian do you disregard the judging people concept and walking in another man’s shoes? Also what did the parable about the Good Samaritan mean to you?

  39. ReaganRepublican says:

    Oxendines paid bloggers are starting to squirm when the truth is before them. I would be careful at making Frazier mad, he is a bad man. Just ask Willie Talton, I am pretty sure they are related…

  40. Bill Simon says:

    ReaganRepublican = Racist punk who lives with his mommy and daddy and tries to hack porn sites all day. Mommy cannot figure out where all the tolet paper rolls go because RR has them stockpiled in his bedroom so he doesn’t have to leave the computer.

  41. AlanR says:

    We need both a good Christian and someone with some common sense. Being a good Christian is the most important thing in life, but as governor do we want someone that doesn’t have the common sense not to use red lights and a siren to run stop lights because he’s late for dinner? Or the common sense not to admit the appearance of a conflict when ruling on rate requests from the company that pays his wife’s salary as an executive? I won’t go on . . .
    I don’t worry about Oxendine’s committment to his faith, I worry about his ability to think straight on a daily basis.

  42. So Alan, John Oxendine should have ordered Ivy to quit her career since she was already working for BC/BS when they met and started dating? Regardless of what appearances you want to create from it, it sounds more self-centered for him to say, “I’ll marry you, but you have to give up everything you have worked for your entire working adult life.”

    And if the only other thing you can bring up is that same, old, tired, irrelevant crap about his car going back 13-14 years ago, then that’s pretty sad.

    It’s also pretty sad that although I have been labelled such a hard-core Oxendine supporter that I am constantly accused of being on the Oxendine payroll, I’m probably the only one on here who has ever expressed my support for one candidate, but has never felt the need to trash any of the others, even when they have opened themselves up to criticism in the press.

  43. South Fulton Guy says:

    Actually they were blue lights not fire engine red:

    Oxendine’s ready to take the wheel
    Tom Crawford
    POSTED Dec. 17, 2008 5 a.m.

    If there’s one lesson that John Oxendine should have learned by now, it’s that cars and politics don’t mix.

    Georgia’s insurance commissioner, who is hard at work on a 2010 campaign for governor, has had more than his share of misfortune caused by his involvement with official state vehicles.

    Shortly after he first took office as insurance commissioner in 1995, Oxendine ran his state-issued vehicle off the road and crashed into some trees in Gwinnett County, causing damages estimated at $17,000. He told police that he had swerved the car to avoid hitting a deer.

    A few years later, when he was at the wheel of a state car equipped with blue lights and a siren (Oxendine also serves as the state fire marshal), he had the lights flashing and was weaving through traffic on Interstate 285 when he crashed into a pickup truck. As a result of this accident, it cost nearly $7,000 to repair the truck and the Crown Victoria was totaled at a cost to taxpayers of $18,000.

    “People go years and years without a situation, and then have strings of bad luck,” Oxendine was quoted in media accounts at the time. “Accidents are accidents.”

    Oxendine claimed that this particular accident happened because he was rushing to get to his capitol office after a fire alarm had forced an evacuation of the building. The truthfulness of that statement was investigated by both the GBI and the attorney general’s office.

    Investigators later concluded that Oxendine had used his emergency blue light on several occasions to get around traffic and avoid being late to social functions, including one dinner engagement with his son.

    These “repeated misuses” of emergency equipment prompted Attorney General Thurbert Baker to recommend that Oxendine’s emergency privileges be revoked.

    “Every time you flip on that blue light, you can potentially create a situation of danger out there on the highway,” Baker said, adding that with Oxendine “there clearly seems to be a pattern of abuse.”

    Oxendine subsequently removed the blue lights and sirens from his cars and requested that his permits be “deactivated.” The state Board of Public Safety voted formally in 2001 to rescind his permits to operate emergency lights and sirens. Newspaper columnists also started referring to the insurance commissioner as “Crash” Oxendine.

    You would think that after two high-profile accidents Oxendine would go out of his way to avoid any other incidents with state vehicles. But no. In 2003, Oxendine spent $25,322 in taxpayer funds on yet another Crown Victoria, including $6,363 for extras like leather seats, a CD player and a “pursuit suspension” package. This purchase occurred after he had been instructed not to buy the vehicle because of the state’s budget problems.

    After reviewing the circumstances surrounding the vehicle purchase, the state inspector general’s office reported: “Commissioner Oxendine’s actions were in blatant disregard for established authority. When informed that he would not be allowed to purchase his automobile, his response was, in general, ‘Try and stop me.”

    Oxendine eventually reimbursed the state for the vehicle but also issued this defiant statement: “I have stated publicly my disagreement with the report’s findings of fact and conclusions. Although this office is not bound by the opinion of the Office of Inspector General, I have decided to purchase this vehicle personally and donate it to the Georgia Department of Insurance to finally resolve this matter and demonstrate this office’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.”

    As he gets deeper into the 2010 governor’s race, it appears that Oxendine has retained his taste for high-priced transportation. His initial disclosure report shows that Oxendine spent $36,933 from his campaign account on June 30 to buy what was described as a “campaign auto.” The vehicle was identified as a 2007 GMC Denali, a luxury SUV that can cost as much as $58,785 when new.

    Oxendine’s aides say the purchase and use of the SUV will be in accord with all the applicable campaign finance laws, but you can bet that one of Oxendine’s critics will, at some point, try to file an ethics complaint and stir up a controversy about it.

    Since the insurance commissioner obviously likes those expensive cars, my advice to the other candidates in the governor’s race is this: buckle your seatbelts and check your rear-view mirror. You could be in for a bumpy ride.

    Tom Crawford is the editor of Capitol Impact’s Georgia Report, an Internet news service at that covers government and politics in Georgia. He can be reached at [email protected] .

  44. BobinBuckhead says:

    Wow, I’m relatively new to Georgia, but this guy Oxendine sounds like an absolutely perfect fit. I predict he’ll win easily.

  45. One thing that is not told in the article in 2002 is Oxendine was driving a car that had roughly 125,000 miles on it. He passed that car down to one of his arson inspectors who was driving a car with, I believe, closer to 300,000 miles and bought the new car out of the Dept. of Insurance’s budget after Roy Barnes, who has a lame duck at that time having already lost to Perdue, denied the request to purchase a new car through DOAS. The car he passed down had a police intercepted package and so did the new one because at some point it would also likely be passed down to one of Oxendine’s arson or insurance fraud agents.

    The budget didn’t stop other state officials at the time from purchasing Eddie Bauer Edition Ford Explorers, which cost more than $10,000 more than Oxendine’s car, but that was never covered because it did not fit into the running gag about Oxendine and his cars.

  46. Bill Simon says:

    The budget didn’t stop other state officials at the time from purchasing Eddie Bauer Edition Ford Explorers, which cost more than $10,000 more than Oxendine’s car, but that was never covered because it did not fit into the running gag about Oxendine and his cars.

    And, Crawford is pretty well known for taking short-cuts on story-covering…

  47. bartsimpsonisdaman says:

    Oh Dear Bill Simon you say I am spouting lies? Before you trash me you better get your facts straight.

    Wonder where your main wife swapping insurance commissioner was heading with his big blue lights?

    You big boys like your babes, but I would never in a million years thought the trailer court gang would swap wives…. That’s just too freaky.

  48. AlanR says:

    Well done, Jason. Case closed, except the company asking for a rate increase still controls the compensation of the wife of the person who has absolute power over the decision. The honorable thing to do, Jason, would be for the commissioner to recuse himself, turn the decision over to his deputies or outside counsel, and make a written decision public. But I don’t think John Oxendine is capable of admitting that there is even the appearance of conflict.

    As to the old car incident, age not withstanding, it still speaks volumes about the commissioner’s judgement. It is not as though it happened while he was in college, or a very young man. It happened, when? mid term his second term in office?

    The same lack of judgement that allowed him to think it was ok to use his emergency equipment for personal use prevents him from seeing the obvious conflict of interest in ruling on rate increases and other regulatory matters involving the company that pays his wife’s salary.

    If you don’t see this, then I guess we just disagree.

  49. Bill Simon says:

    Oh Dear Bill Simon you say I am spouting lies? Before you trash me you better get your facts straight.

    Wonder where your main wife swapping insurance commissioner was heading with his big blue lights?

    You big boys like your babes, but I would never in a million years thought the trailer court gang would swap wives…. That’s just too freak

    Dude, you’re just plain effed-up in the head. NOTHING you write has any cohesion or coherency.

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