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.