Top GOP Fundraising Candidates For Governor Double Down With Loans From Banks With Connections To Campaigns

The (Correction) Associated Press is reportinga stroy published in the Columbus Ledger Inquirer Columbus Ledger Inquirer has published a story indicating that the top two candidates for the GOP nomination for Governor as ranked by fundraising have also taken out $250,000 lines of credit. The story seems to key in on relationships with the banks and bankers who extended the credit.

Oxendine used his personal home in Duluth which has no first mortgage as collateral. The paper takes issue with the relationship between Brand Banking Company, which made the loan, and Oxendine, who previously regulated the Bank which also sold insurance. Oxendine’s office produced a letter indicating that his office has not had jurisdiction over the Bank since June of last year, whereas the loan was made in December.

Deal’s campaign received its loan directly to the campaign from the Chattahoochee Bank. Chattahoochee’s chairman, Jim Walters, has contributed $24,400 to Deal personally and through his companies, and an additional $1,000 to Deal’s son’s campaign for Superior Court.

Because the loan is directly to the campaign, questions are raised in the article as to how the loan is secured and what is the expected source of repayment. While it is possible that the loan could be personally guaranteed and/or collateralized by assets outside the campaign, the non-disclosure of details combined with the assurance that Deal is a “straight shooter” has left both the bank and the campaign open to criticism as to whether this is an inside deal rather than an extension of credit that would be open to a private citizen.

The additional question is why the two candidates who have raised the most money on the Republican side have felt the need to open lines of credit so early in this contest. My guess is that there are at least two answers. The first is that both realize that this will be a very expensive campaign, and in a year where most campaigns have realized that traditional Republican fundraising sources of banking/finance and real estate/construction are hurting severely, some self-funding will be necessary.

There may be at least one other reason for one of these camps. Deal’s campaign raised $638K during the last 6 months, but spent $899K. Deal may just be demonstrating he’s in touch with real Georgians. Those of us who spend more than we take in end up in debt.

47 comments

  1. Doug Deal says:

    Deal learned his highly refined revenue generating skills from Congress. One wonders if he, like they do in Washington, used his grandchildren’s prosperity as collateral.

    • IndyInjun says:

      One wonders if he, like they do in Washington, used his grandchildren’s prosperity as collateral.

      He used all theirs up while in Congress. Now he is working on that of his great-grandchildren.

      If he gains the governorship maybe he can arrange for them to serve only kind Chinese masters who are not pig farmers.

      Maybe they will call him U Deal Ho in honor of his legislative ‘service.’

  2. John Konop says:

    Icarus

    The loan OX got makes sense via lending discipline if the below is true and he did put his home up with a PG.With real-estate down this looks like fairly solid loan as long as the bank has strong covenants on what OX is spending and a personal guarantee. Without that I am not sure how this would pass mustard by loan committee and or regulators.

    …..Oxendine puts the value of his Gwinnett County property at more than $200,000. Echols said the home is paid off in full….

    On the other hand I do not know any bank could get this improved without equity pledged. And once again I am not sure how this would pass mustard by loan committee and or regulators.

    …..Deal campaign spokesman Harris Blackwood said the line of credit was taken by Deal’s campaign – not the congressman. Blackwood declined to say what specifically had been used to secure the line, saying only that the campaign had provided the bank with a look at its financial statements and the bank agreed to provide the money……

    What do you think?

  3. Kellie says:

    Jim Walters may be on the board but he is on many boards around here and I doubt he had anything to do with the loan. Mr. Walters is a good man and I bet if you look you’ll find he has given lots of money to many politicians over the years. He has after all been around for a while.
    As far as Deal getting a loan, so what. He has plenty of money; much more than Ox who took out a $250k loan on a $200k house. My guess is they are both getting ready because if the economy continues on this same path, no one will be able to get a new loan for anything. 😉

    • John Konop says:

      Kellie

      The money they raise is meaningless capital to cover the exposure of the loan if they have no rules on how they spend it. Second most banks are scared of pledged real-estate via the lack of the ability to liquidate it. And if they do it give it credit it than is based on the ability to pay the loan via job, investments…..And if the bank did not get a PG than the net worth is meaningless, and by Deal having the campaign borrowing the money he has no liability. And especially in the Deal loan I do not know many banks that could do this without major regulator problems.

      And remember tax payers are on the hook if the FDIC blows up. And right now we have real issues via bank failures.

      • AlanR says:

        Kellie: Think of it as a credit card with a $250k limit, in the hands of someone with nothing to lose if the bill can’t be paid — no house or car to go after.

        • Kellie says:

          I understand it and I didn’t say it was right but the article doesn’t say the loan wasn’t secure, does it?
          Ox put his house up, Deal may have collateral too. If there is more to this then fine I may change my mind when it comes out but as of now, it ain’t much. 😉

          I guess I’m giving them both the benefit of the doubt. (and I don’t support either)

          My comment was mainly about Mr. Walters because I don’t think he had anything to do with it.

        • Joshua Morris says:

          Seriously, Alan? If Deal doesn’t repay the loan, a creditor could go after anything he has. He would have quite a bit to lose.

          • ByteMe says:

            Only if it’s secured by his personal assets. Otherwise, they got nothing if the loan was made to his campaign and not to him personally, because the campaign can just shut down in debt — and many do — and the unsecured creditors are just screwed.

            If it was made to him personally without specific assets as collateral, it’s an unsecured loan and the law around that governs, but it’s as difficult to collect that as it is to collect credit card lines of credit.

            I don’t know the details of the loan.

  4. ready2rumble says:

    How many small businesses can get a $250K line of credit right now? In business terms these are two very small businesses, less than $3,000,000 in revenue, and they manage to get $250,000 lines of credit? The one bank owned an insurance company until 6 month before the line of credit to OX, feels like the $120,000 in PAC money deal to me.

  5. Making Sense says:

    These are very shady loans. Ready2rumble makes a good point – most small businesses couldn’t get this kind of loan right now if they wanted to.

    It’s wrong of these two gentlemen to use their special interest connections to get something the private sector couldn’t.

  6. Technocrat says:

    Maybe Roy will mortgage his new wantabe Gov mansion NORTH with the GA seal in the entrance floor? Handel should step up to the plate also. Everyone should take a loan.
    After all the local TV stations need the commercials and the printers, oh the poor printers.

    Without expensive elections so many will suffer and be out of work.

  7. GOPGeorgia says:

    A campaign loan is still secured by the good name of the candidate. When the campaigns are over, at least one of these two men will have to pay back a loan from remaining campaign funds or by other means. Does anyone doubt that these guys cannot get a job in the private sector or have a government pension that would be able to pay back these loans?

    • John Konop says:

      GOP

      That is why I said both should have a personal guarantee. The Deal loan avoids the personal guarantee via it being through the campaign. The Ox loan does have his house secured against it but must banks would still require a PG.

      What you are advocating is the irresponsible lending that got us into this mess. And btw if people do not have to pay back the loan via the agreement many would not. Finally I would be shocked how the Deal loan would pass any audit by the regulators.

      • GOPGeorgia says:

        Konop the liar,

        Please show me where I advocated anything? I was explaining what was going on, not making judgments on if it is sound lending policy or not. If you don’t want to make a loan to these two gentlemen, don’t. Why must you lie so much?

        • John Konop says:

          GOPGeorgia

          You are the poster child why most of us have no trust for party leadership. Once again you will defend almost anything in the name of protecting the party. Only the blindest unethical partisan party leader would post what you did.

          We need leadership that cares more about our country than being part of a frat house!

          • AlanR says:

            Konop is right. Something isn’t right here. There must be more to this.

            And as for anyone’s good name — Remember former astronaut and senator John Glenn? He had a pretty good name. His failed presidential campaign walked away from $3 million dollars in campaign debt. And left a lot of hard working people high and dry.

            When dealing in politics always use the Ronald Reagan method “trust but verify.”

          • Mozart says:

            Oh! Oh! I know the answer to this one!

            Answer: Because Konop is a politician himself, having run for office before. Lying just comes with the job.

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            That might be true for him. (pun intended) However, I know a few honorable people serving now who I can trust what they say. I try very hard to be accurate when I post or speak, but SOME PEOPLE like to try to twist what I say and lie about it. Disclaimer, I ran for office back in 1996.

          • John Konop says:

            GOP and Mozart

            Baseless attacks on me do not change the facts. The irony of GOPGEORIA a party leader supporting attacks on me because I once ran for office years ago and I dare say something truthful about his candidates. And Mozart who is obviously part of campaign attacking politicians when I am running for nothing and the issues is about current office holders’ ethical behavior.

            The more you guys post the more you proof my point.

            I will try to educate you guys why any ethical and especially fiscally conservative responsible tax payer should have many questions. One when a bank fails via poor lending practices the FDIC bails them out ie tax payers. And because of poor lending practices FDIC insurance keeps going up and the banks passes that cost onto all of us similar to a forced tax increase. The other scary part is with the increases the FDIC still has many fiscal problems which at the end will be put on tax payers.

            Second you guys promoting and turning a blind eye to this possible abuse you open up the bank and all of us to further exposure. If this was truly a private loan in which a tax payer had no risk I could careless. But when it my pockets are put at risk by the government especially officeholders who have connections and or power regulating the bank I have a major issue.

            Finally this is the “Pandora box” that has been used in the past ie read about the Keating 5 scandal. The scandal started by politicians using banks to finance their campaigns’ not following the proper banking regulations. Do you understand how this could get out of control because the banks had leverage over the office holders to cover up poor lending practices that we ended up paying for?

          • John Konop says:

            Did you notice Glenn got a loan on his “good name” in which he never paid it back and we got stuck with that bill! Once the rules are abused by officeholders if they pay it back or not under their “good name” is not the issue , it opens up exposure way beyond the officeholders loans!

            …..The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The five senators, Alan Cranston (Democrat of California), Dennis DeConcini (Democrat of Arizona), John Glenn (Democrat of Ohio), John McCain (Republican of Arizona), and Donald W. Riegle, Jr. (Democrat of Michigan), were accused of improperly intervening in 1987 on behalf of Charles H. Keating, Jr., chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which was the target of a regulatory investigation by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB). The FHLBB subsequently backed off taking action against Lincoln.

            Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed in 1989, at a cost of over $3 billion to the federal government. Some 23,000 Lincoln bondholders were defrauded and many elderly investors lost their life savings. The substantial political contributions that Keating had made to each of the senators, totaling $1.3 million, attracted considerable public and media attention. After a lengthy investigation, the Senate Ethics Committee determined in 1991 that Alan Cranston, Dennis DeConcini, and Donald Riegle had substantially and improperly interfered with the FHLBB in its investigation of Lincoln Savings, with Cranston receiving a formal reprimand. Senators John Glenn and John McCain were cleared of having acted improperly but were criticized for having exercised “poor judgment”………

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keating_Five

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            Konop the liar,

            Any “attacks” on you are basic statement of fact. You are a liar. I plan on pointing out when you lie about me, cite what you lied about, and give you a chance to either lie some more, prove I am wrong, or admit your mistake(s).

            In this thread, YOU SAID: “What you are advocating is the irresponsible lending that got us into this mess.”
            &
            “Once again you will defend almost anything in the name of protecting the party.”

            I ASKED: “Please show me where I advocated anything?”
            &
            “Please show me where I defended anything.”

            As to your newest and latest lies: “The irony of GOPGEORIA a party leader supporting attacks on me because I once ran for office years ago and I dare say something truthful about his candidates.”

            There are 3 lies there.
            1.) I am not “supporting attacks on you.” I asked why you must lie so much? An explanation was offered because you ran for office. I think that if anyone were attacking you, that would be me and not Mozart.

            2.) I have established that you are not being truthful. That’s the point, and you are still missing that. If anyone is attacking you, it would be me, but calling out where you are truth challenged (in regards to me) is not an attack, it is a defense.

            3.) They are not my candidates. They belong to the State of Georgia or at least voters who vote for them in the primary. I can’t vote for both of them at the same time, now can I? Unless you are implying that because they are both running on the GOP ticket, that they are mine and so is everyone across the state who is running as a Republicans. If so, then we can talk about a logic fail, but it has a chance of being true.

            Bank Failures, John Glenn, the Keating Five, the mortgage meltdown, and countrywide have nothing to do with your repeated lies about ME.

            Please show me where I supported an attack on you.
            Please show me how pointing out that you are lying about me is an attack and not a defense.
            Please show me how OX and Deal are “my” candidates.

            I don’t feel like going through the rest of you comments or replying about them right now until you answer my questions, some of them, already asked.

            Why must you lie so much?

          • John Konop says:

            GOP

            I am glad you saw the light and you agree we must of us about the ethical questions surrounding the loans. Will you as chairman and a tax payer question Deal and Ox about the loan?

            Let me help you with the questions:

            1) Did you personally guarantee the loan why or why not?

            2) Do you think a regular everyday businessman could get a loan on a project that could end anytime in less than a year with no personal guarantee?

            3) Congressman Deal what security did you put up for your loan? And if you got the loan with no security at all is not a big issue with the bank lending policies?

            4) Do you think this special treatment could cloud your judgment in anyway with regulating the banks and or signing legislation relative to the banking industry?

            I am sure any real concerned responsible fiscally conservative politically connected leader would get back to us ASAP with the answers.

          • Mozart says:

            I wasn’t aware that calling someone a “politician” was an “attack on their character.”

            But, whatever world you live in, John Konop, you just keep on assuming every time someone disagrees with you that they are “attacking” you.

          • Mozart says:

            Mr. Konop, will you please re-write that question and insert some commas so I can figure out exactly what you’re asking of me?

          • John Konop says:

            Mozart

            I realize it would be difficult for you to deal with questions based on ethics. I guess paying for bank failures is ok as long as it helps your candidate.

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            Konop the liar,

            The only reason you are being called a lair now is the fact that you imply I have “seen the light” and I have now changed my attitude about ethics and loans. I daily practice ethics while dealing with loans, but that’s another issue.

            Your question is if I as Chairman will be asking 2 candidates questions that I will not be asking all candidates. The answers is no. Those campaigns will live or die without my help. To ask questions of some candidates and not all of them, as Chairman, would seem to imply that I favor the other candidates not being asked hard questions. I am not publicly advocating for or against any candidate in the GOP primary. I will leave it to the voters to decide.

            I suggest that you submit your questions to the moderator of a debate.

      • John Konop says:

        Are recent collapse of the home lending market was tainted with the same issue of office holders get preferential loans and or campaign donations. I am not saying all office holders and or party leaders are corrupt. And I have friends in both positions I think are mostly people trying to do the right thing. Yet when party leaders on either side cover up this behavior we all know it we only end up with tax payers holding the bag.

        ….Two U.S. senators, two former Cabinet members, and a former ambassador to the United Nations received loans from Countrywide Financial through a little-known program that waived points, lender fees, and company borrowing rules for prominent people.

        Senators Christopher Dodd, Democrat from Connecticut and chairman of the Banking Committee, and Kent Conrad, Democrat from North Dakota, chairman of the Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, refinanced properties through Countrywide’s “V.I.P.” program in 2003 and 2004, according to company documents and emails and a former employee familiar with the loans.

        Other participants in the V.I.P. program included former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and former U.N. ambassador and assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke. Jackson was deputy H.U.D. secretary in the Bush administration when he received the loans in 2003. Shalala, who received two loans in 2002, had by then left the Clinton administration for her current position as president of the University of Miami. She is scheduled to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom on June 19…….

        http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/top-5/2008/06/12/Countrywide-Loan-Scandal/

    • Silent Outrage says:

      I don’t know many small businesses, builders, etc… who could go out right now in this climate and get a loan of that size on their name alone…

      Seriously.

  8. GodHatesTrash says:

    Well, Deal and the Ox can try the lobbyist route when their campaigns blow up.

    Although what Georgia legislator is gonna want a lap-dance from the Ox?

    Never mind.

    I’m sure there are way too many to count, and I’m sorry I asked.

  9. Technocrat says:

    THE POINT IS who is more Serious the man who puts his house up or the man who doesn’t? I know that is painful for some to answer!

  10. chefdavid says:

    I have often pondered this point, can unlimited money buy a campaign?
    My thesis is that in large population areas this is true. In smaller communities we know who we vote for. So what do these loans mean? In my community both will send out post cards to get name reconition or the so called memory vote. What I mean is that you don’t know, but in the booth this is the gut feeling, you don’t know why but this is who you vote for.
    In local elections in small areas this does not play true but in larger populations it will. This year I think if you have an (Incumbent) next to your name it will not matter how much money you spend, you will be gone. Even if you have done a good job. The electorate is ready for real change.
    I think what will make the most difference in the next election is not the same old ” I will make schools better, I will cut crime, I will lower your taxes, I will make government more efficient.” speech. What will ring in the voter’s ears more will be real measurable milestones.
    So if a loan is needed to get candidates message on how they will really cut spending with specific points on how they will do it, then I think it is a good gamble for them to do. If they are just going to use the money to say how great they are, then in this voters mind I will vote for another.

  11. kcordell says:

    The one thing I’ve learned about campaign loans is that if the candidate wins he/she holds fund raisers to pay off campaign debts. If he/she loses then their friends hold fund raisers for them.

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