The Beginning Of The End: OX IS TOAST

Some people embody the cliche “fake it ’til you make it”, or in business vernacular, the peter principle. John Oxendine is a living caricature of both.

There have been rumors for years, even before Ox announced and cancelled a bit for Lt. Governor years ago, about the “shakedowns”. Oxendine helps those who give him tickets to Oscar parties, or $600 bottles of wine with dinner, and punishes those who don’t contribute, don’t endorse.

There is a reason that whistleblower statutes exist, and that is because those who choose to do what is just are often the recipients of blowback from powerful forces. The the price to pay for doing the right thing is too great to risk a job or a business. As an example, look at Pete’s post from earlier today regarding what happened to the folks that tried to blow the whistle on a “non-profit” hospital that distributes tens of millions to its executives while serving a relatively poor community.

So, in this environment, it is not surprising that a down ballot constitutional officer would be able to exert the forces of his office for a little personal or political gain if he were to choose to do so. After all, a $600 bottle of wine to an insurance company making millions is a rounding error.

And if his dad were a board member of a charity that served handicapped children to teach them to overcome their disability, there would be no repercussions to delivering 25% of the charity’s annual budget to a lobbyist whose web page, until the day this scandal was uncovered, only bragged about his closeness to John Oxendine?

But the problem with petty shake down artists is they all eventually get greedy, and see so much more than they are when they look in the mirror. They see invincibilitiy.

This could be the only explanation why John Oxendine would place a series of phone calls to Congressman Lynn Westmoreland. Westmoreland has perhaps the best combination of social and fiscal conservative cred in the GA Congressional delegation. Westmoreland’s supporters extend beyond his 3rd Congressional District, and are comprised of those that we generally accuse Ox of pandering to. His supporters are those that Ox covets. When Cagle dropped out of the Governor’s race last April, Westmoreland was thought to be the immediate front runner if he chose to enter the race. During this time, calls from Oxendine increased in frequency, essentially begging Lynn to endorse the Ox. Lynn would have none of it.

Sometime in mid-summer, Westmoreland had enough. He told Oxendine in relatively blunt terms that he needn’t call anymore. There would be no endorsement. Never.

So it was strange when Westmoreland received a call December 9th informing him of the failure of Southeastern U.S. Insurance. It was from Oxendine directly, and he, at the time, questioned Westmoreland’s relationship with the organization.

SE US Insurance was closed because of financial irregularities by the owner (who, coincidentally, had never contributed money to Oxendine. Coincidentally Correction: Fain donated $1,000 in 2006 and $1,500 in 2008 to Ox. Didn’t he get the memo that $100K and Oscar tickets are required to keep you out of trouble?) These events happened in roughly 2007-2009. Westmoreland served on an “advisory board” for about 18 months in 2001-2002. Readers should note that an “advisory board” has no fiduciary responsibilities, and serve generally in a PR/Marketing/Local Community Outreach capacity. They are not the same as the “board of directors” that make financial decisions for, nor audit the books for, a corporation.

But in the December phone call, Oxendine expressed his concern for Lynn if his “director” position of this company was made public. After Westmoreland told him he had nothing to hide, multiple times, Oxendiene told him he would really hate it if this were made public, and he wanted him to know he wouldl do everything in his power to keep this from the press according to sources close to Westmoreland, who recounted the call to them immediately afterward.

So it was rather strange, this week, for Congressman Westmoreland to get a call from Georgia Public Television asking for his comment on his involvement in the failure of Southeastern US Insurance. Strange because the reporter listed his source as one John Oxendine, Insurance Commissioner. The man who pledged in an earlier call to do everything in his power to keep Lynn’s role from the press was now calling GPTV (the press?) to put pressure on Westmoreland. The reporter emphasized Westmoreland was not the subject of wrongdoing, but it was just what his exact role was that was the subject of the investigation.

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot?

If an elected official is not expected of wrongdoing, why is his role significant? More importantly, when it is clear that Westmoreland’s role ended prior to his becoming a Congressman in 2004, why are acts committed years later any reason to investigate his role. But more importantly, why would Oxendine, who pledged (unrequested, and unnecessarily) to do everything in his power to keep Lynn’s name out of the press now dropping hints to folks from GPTV (again, not a news outlet – thus, a state sponsored “warning shot”) that Lynn was the target of an “investigation”?

Eventually, the “fake it ’til you make it” crowd are found to be fake. John Oxendine could have continued his foolishness as Insurance Commissioner and probably never faced an insurance executive willing to challenge his alleged improprieties. But he got greedy. He’s apparently decided he not only deserves to be Governor, but can treat other elected officials the way he has allegedly been treating insurance company executives for over a decade.

Finally, someone has decided to fight back. Congressman Westmoreland has taken the story public, and others are expected to soon do the same.

We’ve had a good run of Oxendine’s tweets, of his fake supporters on Facebook, of his being staunchly against alcohol as he mixes another dockside margarita. But the state of Georgia faces serious issues, and it is time for this campaign to be serious.

So, we have the first official claim of Oxendine using his capacity as a Contitutional Officer of Georgia for personal political gain. It comes from someone who stepped aside from the same race, and who could have easily been the front runner for the office Oxendine seeks. The accuser himself instead elected to maintain his status quo. Hardly the profile of someone who Oxendine claims to be the one “playing politics”.

It’s time for the other victims of Oxendine to come forward, and admit what has been going on in this office for some time. Lynn Westmoreland has made the first step. I expect others to follow soon.

213 comments

    • AlanR says:

      Thank you Icarus — Everyone should understand that this story is completely owned by Oxendine. Nobody at GPTV is doing in depth reseach on failed insurance companies. The GPTV did not discover this story about SE US years after it closed.

      In order for this to be a story, Oxendine had to call GPTV among others who turned it down, and sold it as a corruption story about Westmoreland.

      Oxendine is corrupt, and GPTV is stupid to have fallen for it.

  1. Making Sense says:

    This could quickly turn into a situation like Glenn Richardson if we’re not careful where as more stuff comes out John Q. Public is left to wonder what the hell happens there at the Gold Dome. Sex and lies are one thing. Graft and corruption are a completely different story.

    Seriously, everyone in GA Politics knows that this guy is crooked and shady. There have been too many stories of insurance executives shaken down for a contribution, forced to pay for expensive dinners, lavish trips, etc… The only unfortunate situation here are the few people in this state that don’t know or believe the rub on Oxendine. They risk losing all credibility in their respective communities with their insistant support of someone so corrupt and unethical.

    Given that he’s also under investigation with the State Ethics Commission, embroiled in lawsuit regarding investigating insurance companies in exchange for trips to the Oscars, and God knows what else, it’s time for this freak show to come to an end.

    I predict it ends with him in handcuffs similar to Blagovich. It’s just up to us if that’s sooner rather than later.

    • Republican Lady says:

      Oxendine’s public and private record make a convincing argument for term limits. He has been in office for 16 years and that power trip has gone to his head.

      President Nixon thought he was above the law and he quickly found out that wasn’t true, as he left his office in shame and was replaced with the only person who never ran for the presidency, Gerald Ford.

      Oxendine should learn from history but like most inept politicans, he won’t because he feels he is smarter in concealing his bully attitude. It appears that Ox’s downfall will be a very public event because you can’t teach someone something when he knows it all.

      I wonder who will fill out the rest of his term as the Insurance Commissioner. I don’t feel he will have his office much longer much less the governor’s seat.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          I know you have got to be kidding. You are kidding, right? Well of course you are.

          I like Gerry Purcell a lot, but I like the idea of a caretaker more.

          Now I’ll have nightmares about how many ways we Republicans can shoot ourselves in the feet (and apparently we are a regular centipede, make that millipede) an endless number of times.

          • HowardRoark says:

            Ken, Sonny Perdue doesn’t much care what we think. He also carries no concern the 7 (is it seven?) men who have been running for this office for a year now. I don’t know if it’s going to come to that, but if it does, he will appoint Seth Harp or Ralph Hudgens. After all, if a governor can’t give his buddies a slap on the back, and a “leg up” in a hot primary (cough, Brian Kemp) what can he do?

          • Part-Time Atlanta says:

            I agree with you Ken; a caretaker would be better…but that’s wishful thinking.

            BC,
            There is also a woman running, fyi.

          • polisavvy says:

            I must be tired and don’t get it; but, would you please, Part-Time Atlanta, explain “There is also a woman running, fyi.” What’s that supposed to mean? Just curious.

          • anewday says:

            I am pretty sure that he means that Maria Sheffield is also running for Insurance Commissioner. She is an Ox disciple if you will. I think that if he was a betting man that he would bet that she would be put into office to have a holdover from the Ox regime. Now I am not trying to put words in his mouth, and I don’t know that she would be a holdover but I assume this is what he is saying.

            That being said Maria Sheffield is a nice person and a great candidate despite her past relations with the Ox. Can punish a whole corporation because the CEO is crooked.

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            HowardRoark,

            Sadly, that’s the one thing a lame duck has: indifference. And I agree, if there is an appointment made, it wouldn’t be Purcell.

            Maybe things will work out.

          • Mozart says:

            Way to tear into Maria Sheffield by stating she is an “Ox disciple.”

            Maria Sheffield has quite the history of integrity and character associated with her work. She worked for Ox’s insurance commissioner office in the 1990s handling whatever the office demanded, and doing her job with class.

            Try to come up with something more intelligent to offer the gathered throng.

          • anewday says:

            Obviously you did not read the whole thing Mozart. I know it is easier to create an argument when you pick and choose what sections you would like to quote, but if you would have continued reading you would have read “That being said Maria Sheffield is a nice person and a great candidate despite her past relations with the Ox. Can punish a whole corporation because the CEO is crooked.” Now I did mess up and said can instead of can’t. I think Maria Sheffield is a good candidate, and she is in the running for who I support, but with supporters like yourself it would make me second guess my choice.

          • anewday says:

            …And what I was stating isn’t exactly what I believe, but rather what Part-Time Atlanta was trying to convey.

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            Mozart,

            Agreed. It appears to me that simply working in the same agency as Oxendine (and now being in private practice) does not make Ms Sheffield an “Ox disciple” by any means.

          • Making Sense says:

            Sorry Ken – I didn’t mean Gerry to be appointed, I meant Gerry should be elected as the next Insurance Commissioner.

            I tend to favor caretaker appointments, unless it is a US Senate seat and then it should be someone who will run for the seat. And the only reason for the difference there is because of the advantages of seniority.

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            Making sense,

            I was pretty sure you were joking but considering the SoS fiasco, I’m glad to hear you say so for sure. These days who knows what going to happen.

          • Mozart says:

            anewday,

            You’re not used to making decisions on your own, are you? Still living in Mommy’s house? Still relying on what the supporters of a candidate say or think to make judgements?

            A New Day = Not A Very Bright Day

          • anewday says:

            Just wondering why are you going at me. I agree with you that Maria Sheffield would be a good candidate. Anyway won’t resort to petty school yard insults.

  2. macho says:

    I thought this quote from the AJC, referring to Westmoreland and Ox, was absolutely hilarious, “The politicians are two of the most popular figures in the state GOP, especially among conservatives.” Virtually nobody in the “state GOP” apparatus likes Oxendine. I’ve never known a republican so universally detested within the state GOP. His popularity comes from people who don’t know him well, folks within GOP circles are all too familiar with his unethical antics and view him as a constant source of embarrassment. Now the man accusing Ox of his ethical breach of duty is one of the most popular conservative figures in the state GOP.

    I agree with Icarus, it’s time for the others to step forward.

    • Making Sense says:

      That’s what makes the people out there across the state who are still supporting him so dumbfounding. You have to at some point wonder about their judgement or question their integrity too.

      I mean, can their integrity be bought THAT easily?

      • Ken in Eastman says:

        I mean, can their integrity be bought THAT easily?

        That which people value little can be bought for little.

        To quote the great J. J. Cale:

        Money talks, it’ll tell you a story
        Money talks, it says strange things
        Money talks very loudly
        You’d be surprised;
        the friends you can buy
        with small change

    • macho says:

      Plus, do we really want a Governor infatuated with Hollywood and the Oscars. There is something extremely bizarre, and a little creepy, about that whole story. Even if someone was paying for me to go to the Oscars, like Ox, I wouldn’t go. I can just picture him all starry-eyed hunting down Alec Baldwin and Elton John for autographs. Does anyone actually believe the guy paid for the trip, if he produces a canceled check it will be dated after the story broke.

      I’d like to think my Governor can go hunting without shooting somebody, watch a Georgia bowl game and know which teams are playing, and would rather hang out with some folks here in the South than get giddy over a bunch of celebrities in Hollywood.

    • Making Sense says:

      After almost 18 years in the legislature there isn’t a problem Georgia is facing that Eric Johnson doesn’t share responsibility for. I’m not sure that’s exactly the kind of “leadership” Georgia really wants or is looking for. I mean, after what 18 months on the campaign trail he’s at 2% STILL.

        • anewday says:

          I believe that Eric’s closet is far from clean. You can just look at his disclosure filled with lobbyist contributions to point to that.

          • Mozart says:

            I must say that this concept of “all lobbyists are bad” is the same concept that Handel had when she painted the entire legislature with the same broad brush of “every legislator must be like Glenn Richardson.”

            It smacks of someone who doesn’t have the depth of understanding about anyone, and has spent their entire political life segmenting people’s roles in government as either entirely “good” or entirely “bad.”

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            anewday,

            Accepting legal contributions from lobbyists is not illegal, just as it’s not illegal to accept endorsements.

            Fail. Try again.

      • BSMcElhaney says:

        “I mean, after what 18 months on the campaign trail he’s at 2% STILL.”

        That’s almost as bad as campaigning for 18 months and only having 400k cash on hand.

    • polisavvy says:

      I am still trying to decide which candidate to support so I ask you this question, since you are quite possibly a supporter of Eric Johnson. I have narrowed it down to Mr. Johnson and two others. Do you know if he might have anything untoward in his background that might possibly make him not a viable candidate? I have been researching the other two candidates I am considering and have not been able to find anything. Just asking and you don’t have to respond if you don’t want to do so.

        • polisavvy says:

          Oh great, you were a BIG help. Now, after reading his pages, I am now considering four candidates. The object here was to help narrow the field, not increase it! 🙂 Seriously, thank you for pointing him out to me. He has some really good ideas, doesn’t he?

      • ready2rumble says:

        Eric has plenty of baggage. So far he has managed to slip under the radar screen, but when Ox drops out, it will open the door on Eric and his lobbyist funded trips.

        Why do you think he hasn’t said a word about ethics?

        • polisavvy says:

          Makes one wonder, doesn’t it? You hear all sorts of rumblings during campaign season, and I, for one, have heard (just recently) that he is not as squeaky clean as he purports to be. Of course, not everything you hear is true, so I guess only time will tell, right?

      • Making Sense says:

        I think that it is important to consider the fact that the Democrats are running against the status quo and Eric Johnson embodies the status quo as having been in the legislature for 18 years.

        Additionally, he failed in his role as chairman of the joint ethics committee to investigate the allegations against Glen Richardson. Furthermore there are multiple instinces where he used his position as a member of the legislature to get business for his company. He went from running a going nowhere campaign for Lt. Governor to running a going nowhere campaign for Governor. He may say the right things, but the person behind the closed door is nothing like the person you see in front of it.

        If you want good candidates who are above reproach you really have three options: Karen Handel, Austin Scott, or Jeff Chapman.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          Making Sense,

          Read Bobby Kahn’s complaint. Without taking Kahn’s political bias into account the complaint is still a joke. There are NO specific charges, NO specific names (other than Glenn Richardson’s name), NO specific or approximate dates, NO specific or approximate locations and NO list of witnesses.

          If the Ethics Commission could take Kahn’s complaint and run with it then the Ethics Commission could be used by anyone with a political ax to grind and harass his rivals out of public life. Based on what I do know, there is no way a case could have been made against Richardson with that evidence.

          If Eric Johnson had run with Kahn’s complaint, then I would say that he should not be governor because it would have been an abuse of power.

          • AthensRepublican says:

            Ken, I agree. Eric Johnson did what he was suppose to do in the Richardson matter. However, I do wish he had taken a stronger stand on the need for tighter ethics laws.

        • Mozart says:

          Making Sense would rather the state legislature operate like a kangaroo court: No Rules of Evidence need apply.

  3. ACLOCKWORKORANGE says:

    It’s pretty well known that Lobbyist W. Reece is a homosexual, and with all the shenanigans involving paying Reece’s lobbying company $400k for consultong work will do the Ox-ter in with the bible belt & hard core conservatives. Stick a fork in him folks, cause he’s done!

  4. HowardRoark says:

    At least when his staff disassembles, they’ll be able to read Peach Pundit again. The price of those ads just went up.

  5. Mid Georgia Retiree says:

    What worries me is that Roy Barnes is sitting off to the side with a huge war chest, a memory of what he did to lose his last election bid, and is waiting for Oxendine to convince GA voters that they want no part of another Republican in the Governor’s mansion. Oxendine is an embarrassment to Georgia.

    • polisavvy says:

      Oxendine is an embarrassment; however, he is not the only candidate running. There are several Republicans who are running with no skeletons in their closets — nothing to come out that could cause embarrassment to the State, the GOP, or themselves. King Roy can sit there and ponder all he wants about how he lost the election. I hope he is also pondering why people didn’t want another four years of him. To me, that should be his biggest focus.

    • If we have any chance at all, Oxendine has got to go. He is losing staff like rats jumping off a sinking ship. The ones left are the ones that most resemble the negative aspects of their boss.

      Soon, the other victims of his “shakedowns” will have the courage to come forward. With Westmoreland coming out first and showing them how to handle sleaze bags like this, they will not fear Oxendine’s veiled threats.

      If it comes down to Oxendine and Roy Barnes, I wonder how many people will ask themselves…is Roy really all that bad?

      • polisavvy says:

        So true, luke, so very true. It will come down to “who is the lesser of two evils?” If that’s the case, then it’s a lose lose proposition, in my opinion.

      • If John Monds wasn’t in the race and I had to choose between Barnes and Oxendine, I’d choose Barnes any day of the week. Thankfully, I’ve got someone that agrees with my limited government principles to vote for. I’m wondering just how many people will be voting Libertarian this time around.

        • KingWulfgar says:

          I’ve said the very thing you said–if I had to choose between Barnes and Oxendine, I’d pick Barnes.

    • Republican Lady says:

      I watched him during the Democratic debate on WXIA Channel 46. He only wanted to talk about educational issues saying the only reason he is running again is that Perdue messed up the educational system. He didn’t seem believable.

      • AthensRepublican says:

        I watched as well and I agree. However, he has a good chance of becoming Governor again depending on who we put up against him in the General. The Ox as the Republican nominee would be his dream come true followed closely by Deal. I hear he would least like to run against Handel.

        • Making Sense says:

          I hear the same thing Athens. His pecking order is Ox, Deal, Johnson, and then Karen.

          We really do not need to nominate someone out of the legislature. That would be the kiss of death for us in 2010.

    • Mayonnaise says:

      Hahahaha ….. “Deal’s collateral for his $250,000 line of credit? It was $250,000 in cash taken from existing campaign funds and put in a CD at the bank. In other words, he set up a line of credit using the exact same amount of cash he borrowed.”

      • polisavvy says:

        As the article, put up by NorthGaGOP, says, “It’s the political equivalent of puffer fish swelling up to scare off predators and lure mates.” Problem with that statement is that none of the other five candidates seem very frightened at all. They keep persevering and moving ahead with their respective campaigns. The two mentioned in the article seem to have their own issues which all the money in the world does not seem to be helping their image a bit. In other words, the money does not appear to be helping the voters’ perception or opinion of these two men.

        • benevolus says:

          Still, it may serve to dry up donations to the opponents. Many donors might not contribute if they feel their candidate can’t compete.

          • polisavvy says:

            Or, it could serve as a backfire mechanism and people start getting behind someone who would make a good governor without baggage.

        • Mozart says:

          How is Karen’s fundraising going since she departed the SoS’s office? Good fishing opportunities over the past month?

  6. Dave Bearse says:

    I would find the answers to two questions would be illuminating:

    1 – Who else was on the Board at the same time as Westmoreland?

    and

    2 – Who else on the Board at that time received a personal call from the Ox that he’d try to keep their connection under wraps?

      • You’re right Mayo, I thought about that also. Why did he call his “friend” to warn him? When investigations come before his office, does he regularly go through the case and pick out all of his “buddies” to give them a heads up?

        Either way, this stinks to high heaven. Intimidation and the abuse of one’s office is probably the worse thing a person in a position of trust can do to the public.

        • Mayonnaise says:

          I feel sorry for all the people out there supporting and working for Ox. Many of them have no idea about the character of this man. Hopefully someone can reach out and rescue them before the ship goes down.

          • polisavvy says:

            I agree with you; however, are they deaf, blind, and dumb? His antics have been well documented for quite a long time. All they have to do is watch television or read a newspaper and his character (or lack thereof) is thrown out there for them to see. There are some people who will believe whatever they are told (by Ox) as being the absolute gospel. They don’t know any better. As far as rescuing them, I don’t think there’s hope. I have met quite a few who are so in the tank for him that they “can’t see the forest for the trees.”

          • Mayonnaise says:

            All I can say is that there are a lot of folks getting involved in grassroot campaigns for the first time (thanks to Obama). Some of these folks are as green as they come and vulnerable. Hopefully their experience with OX doesn’t discourage them from continuing to participate and volunteer for other GOP candidates.

          • polisavvy says:

            Exactly, Mayonnaise. I hope that they educate themselves on his man (and I use the term loosely) before they make a rash decision.

          • Making Sense says:

            I agree with you. Some of these Ox people need a political intervention. They are supporting the worse kind of person to ever serve in public office. He makes the entire idea of public service seem so perverse and corrupt.

  7. Ag Smith says:

    I support Gerry Purcell. He is the candidate who talked about cleaning up the mess with Ga’s insurance, from back in the Spring. Now, I think we know what he has been referring to. Several of the other INS Commish candidates fall all over themselves to sing Ox’s praises, especially Ms Sheffield (Ox may as well be her finance director from what I hear) and also Hudgens (who has his own ethics problems). Mr. Purcell speaks of his plans to audit the whole operation, which I am sure Ox just loves to hear. It will all come out in the wash.

    • First of all, Oxendine is imploding and we will soon have him escorted out of the building.

      Second, look at your State House and Senate Leadership, assuming they are all paid up on their taxes come election time, they are hardly a group you would want to put back on the Speaker’s Dais or back in control of the Senate.

      Lastly, given the way your national party’s leaders are running the country, they will not exactly have the coattails to help you guys out down here. It will be more like riding a Nehru jacket.

      Not a good year to attempt a Democrat comeback in Georgia.

  8. IndyInjun says:

    Aw, come on now, this a crock.

    Nobody can accuse me of being an Ox supporter as he is not even on my choice list – everyone else trumps him.

    HOWEVER, this ‘revelation’ would carry zero weight with me because Westmoreland is firmly in the Deal camp. Deal is the one other candidate in this race that I absolutely will not vote for.

    If Westmoreland were all that admirable he would not be supporting Deal.

    And yes, I have relayed my disappointment that Paul Broun endorsed Deal, too.

    • AlanR says:

      I understand your disappointment that Westmoreland and Broun endorsed Deal. But at least they did it publicly — you know where they stand. Complain to each. They’ll listen even if its too late to change.

      • IndyInjun says:

        I looked on Opensecrets and saw where Deal’s campaign fund donated to Broun’s when the latter was badly needing money.

        This is why I think Broun felt compelled to endorse Deal.

        Nevertheless, Deal represents the kind of PSEUDO-REPUBLICAN or “republican” expedient voting record Broun has claimed to oppose.

        When it comes to politics, there are no heroes anymore.

        They are all compromised.

    • macho says:

      Strategically, it’s a bad move for Lynn to come after Ox, if Lynn supports Deal. All of the GOP candidates for Governor want to run against Ox in the runoff, this is an obvious point, so why would you knock Ox off ahead of time? It would make more sense for Lynn to come after Johnson or Handel.

      The reason Lynn came after Ox is he didn’t like the way Ox tried to intimidate him; Lynn does not take to bullying tactics lightly.

    • Making Sense says:

      I agree with you. While Ox may be bad, he hasn’t become a millionaire off of public service the way that Deal has and Ox didn’t abuse his staff to protect his inside deal with the State of Georgia.

      No wonder Deal wants to be Governor. He wants to protect the other inside deals that he has, by which I mean the real estate that he owns that the state is leasing.

  9. fishtail says:

    The OX may have called more than Westmoreland. Two of Sonny Perdue’s pals, Larry Walker and Hugh McNatt, were closely involved with establishing Clark Fain’s insurance company and serving as advisors. Both these guys are expert at cut-and-run manuevers when the heat gets turned up, but if there is a criminal investigation of their business dealings, all bets are off. This story may provide lots of entertainment before it’s over.

  10. Mozart says:

    “During this time, calls from Oxendine increased in frequency”

    Maybe that explains his high-pitched voice…he’s operating at a much higher frequency than us mortals.

  11. polisavvy says:

    I have a question. Where have all the Oxendine supporters/defenders gone? I haven’t seen anyone on here today taking up for the Ox. I wonder why that is? It’s like “Elvis has left the building.”

    • anewday says:

      Ah, there we go…I was wondering how long it would take for a delusional post.

      Here’s the deal with that. No regular citizen cares about the Insurance Commission race. Heck I have voted for Ox a couple of times in that race because it was a down ballot race that I did not feel directly affected me to much. I have since changed my ways and will be doing research on all down ballot races. When you are way down ballot, and I mean more down ballot then SOS, AG, Ag. Com., and maybe even Labor Com., then it is easy to get away with being a crook. No one cares. As long as the status quo was kept it wasn’t anyones concern. Oxendine could have lived a long happy life as insurance commissioner and no one would have ever said a thing to him, but that all important quest for more power will do him in.

      • AlanR says:

        There is only one consistent thing in republican politics over the last 15 years — Oxendine will do something to embarrass his party. He goes off about once a year. There’s too many incidents to even get started listing them. It started when he ran against Ryles claiming Ryles took money from insurance company executives, and one month in office Ox started his Commissioner’s Roundtable that collected donations from insurance executives. Its been all down hill since. He hasn’t faked it — he’s just in an office that doesn’t attract much attention and he is absolutely brazen. Doug Deal’s joke about citing another attack by the liberals is always funny because that’s always Ox first defense when he’s caught doing something stupid.

        If he’s the candidate for governor it’ll be a disaster up and down the ticket.

      • True Grit says:

        The only one that is delusional is someone who thinks that an Insurance Commissioner doesn’t go through the same kind of scrutiny that any other politician goes through.

        • Making Sense says:

          Grit give it up man. You’re supporting someone who is evil to the core. If he thought selling you off to a band of gypsys would help him become Governor you’d be off to the market in minutes.

          You are a good person and need to take leave now before it gets worse. You have a reputation that is better than going off the deep end for John Oxendine.

        • AlanR says:

          Delusional? More like denial. You want to see scrutiny? If Oxendine is the nominee the democrats will rerun every embarrassing incident over and over and over. They will run out of money before they run out of things to talk about. The flashing lights and sirens — the purchase of a new luxuary car during a budget crisis, filling his office with campaign workers, and Oh! I didn’t know all that money was from a guy I don’t know except he takes me hunting on his private reserve on and on and on.

          • polisavvy says:

            What an absolute spectacle it would be! Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they don’t get that opportunity. Oh wait, Ox is shooting that happening in the foot (or leg, no pun intended) on a daily basis.

  12. IndyInjun says:

    I recall when Ox stunningly defeated Tim Ryles in the race for Insurance Commissioner.

    Ryles had done a pretty dedicated job of protecting the consumer.

    He amassed the insurance fortunes behind Ox and the rest is history.

    This was the same year that the now-proven-corrupt Linda Schrenko pulled off an even more remarkable victory to become Supt. of Schools.

    Ox and Shrenk – the bookends…….or the book ends?

  13. Ken in Eastman says:

    Excellent post, Icarus!

    Especially the call for action at the end. Your post has now made it to talk radio here in Middle Georgia. The story has “legs.”

  14. BuckheadConservative says:

    This is a wonderful combination of the worst candidate possible, running the worst campaign possible, and we get to watch it live. I would get up for more popcorn, but I’m afraid I’d miss something.

    • polisavvy says:

      Ain’t that the truth?! It’s like watching the broadcasting of an imploding building — you know it’s coming and you just can’t stop watching!

  15. GOPGeorgia says:

    If Sonny were to appoint Doug MacGinnitie to Insurance Commssioner, how would you feel about that? (Yes, it’s a joke…unless it happened.)

  16. True Grit says:

    Ok…Everybody is out for Ox’s head on a platter as all of you “know” that he is the “corrupt” one.

    If you read the following story on GPTV with an open mind you may think differently.

    http://www.gpb.org/news/2010/02/02/oxendine-overseas-trips-gop-congressman-ex-uga-football-coach-%E2%80%9Cpopping-up%E2%80%9D-in-crimin

    Pay particular attention to the spot that says “They are not persons of interest…” Oxendine says and added, “We are looking at anybody that had any involvement.” Speaking about not only Lynn Westmoreland, but Former State House Speaker Terry Coleman, and Middle Georgia Judge Bryant Culpepper as well.

    So the “corrupt” insurance commissioner is investigating an “Enron type” company with ties that reach to several prominent names. He’s supposed to turn his head right? Especially since Ray Goff is involved in it too.

    As far as this allegation by Westmoreland and his office that they “feel” Ox is trying to smear him, there is NO evidence of that, yet there is evidence that Westmoreland is smearing Oxendine.

    Further, could there be a possibility of someone at GPTV possibly forgot to mention to Westmoreland that while Oxendine said that the Congressman had involvement that he was “not a person of interest” as they reported an hour ago?

    The only reason this thing has blown up is due to Westmoreland. Is anyone questioning his political motives and how it could help his chosen candidate Deal?

    • polisavvy says:

      Of course, the thought has entered my mind that perhaps it was for political gain on Westmoreland’s part (either for himself or for someone else); however, I keep going back to the conversation that Ox made to Westmoreland initially. That raises suspicion with me.

    • I challenge anyone to sit down for ten minutes with Lynn Westmoreland and ten minutes with John Oxendine and let them tell you their version of this story. With Lynn, you will not only get the truth, but you’ll probably walk away wishing you could go have a beer with the guy or ask him to join you and some buddies for a hunting trip. After ten minutes with Oxendine you’ll probably just want to take a shower. As for a hunting trip with him…well… maybe you should just pass on a hunting trip with him.

      • polisavvy says:

        Luke, I screwed up. My response to you in lower on the page. I have absolutely no idea what happened to this darn computer — I really think it has a mind of its own sometimes. Anyway, I did respond to you.

    • Making Sense says:

      The difference here is that Lynn is a decent and honorable man and John Oxendine is evil to the core and creepy.

      Team Westmoreland.

    • Mozart says:

      Was Westmoreland able to remember the “Thou shalt not lie” part of the Ten Commandments before he drew a blank on Colbert Report?

  17. ready2rumble says:

    TG,
    If this was an isolated instance, it might be believable. The challenge is it just continues that pattern of abuse of power, and shakedowns.

    If you are looking out for the best interests of Ox, you would be encouraging him to resign.

  18. True Grit says:

    Why should he resign? For investigating a crooked company that happened to have some prominent names in their “advidory board”? For giving one of the people on the board a heads up that his name was mentioned?

    What I continue to find interesting is that no one can really remember what their duties were on this advisory board…If that was Ox, I’m sure you would all be calling it selective amnesia.

  19. Ken in Eastman says:

    TG,

    If one believe’s Oxendine’s version, then you make a good point. If one believes Westmoreland’s version, then Oxendine has slipped into the abyss. It’s a matter of whom one believes.

  20. polisavvy says:

    Agreed. There are some good and decent men in politics, and then there are others who are not. In this day and age, one does have a tendency to become a tad cynical with politicians and their stories. About the shower, I do sincerely hope you were meaning taking a shower alone as opposed to doing so with the Ox. [Gag, hack, vomit][I feel a nightmare coming on and I may be afraid to close my eyes]. 😉

  21. Three Jack says:

    this reminds me of the other gop primary candidate with as much momentum as the ox who screwed up as bad as the ox; rudy.

    what is it going to take to get this pompous, arrogant ahole to just go away — illegal contributions, kid shoots another hunter, expensive trips to hollywood…i mean really, if only there was a picture of the ox in drag to just end this insanity candidacy.

  22. John Konop says:

    The part that makes no sense to me is if OX merely was giving a heads up to Westmoreland is that not unethical in any investigation? Do you think the police give a heads up to people they are investigated? My dad always told the truth makes more sense than a lie most times!

    • True Grit says:

      The one part of the story that everyone keeps leaving out is that Ox told Westmoreland his name was found on company documents. Nothing more. If he thought that Westmoreland had further involvement in it and was doing a complete investigation then Konop is right. But he ISN’T! He knows there was no wrong doing by the Congressman. The fact is that his name was associated with it.

      Once the investigation became part of the public record, doesn’t anyone think that even the crack reporters of Peach Pundit would have “unearthed” Westmoreland’s name as an involved participant. I can see the big headline on the front page:

      “Westmoreland’s Former Company Caught Up In Scandal” followed by a lengthy complete narrative of the whole event along with pointing a finger back at Oxendine for not revealing that Westmoreland, Goff, Walker, etc. had served on this board.

      Westmoreland has made a mountain out of a mole hill. All he had to tell GPTV was that he was on this board way before any laws had been broken, he has no ties with it now and that Commissioner Oxendine had called him earlier to let him know that though his name was involved, there was nothing on his part that was being investigated. Even by his own admission, Westmoreland said Ox said nothing explicit. It was his “feeling” that Oxendine had alterior motives. Nothing more than a feeling.

      • NorthGAGOP says:

        Grit,
        Ox is dieing the death of a thousand cuts. It’s getting very painful to watch. It’s not about just the perceived or real shakedown of the Congressman.

        • AlanR says:

          Body of evidence. Lack of integrity over the course of a career makes it hard to believe Oxendine. Sorry. He’s never been straight about anything his entire career. Insert Doug Deal joke here.

          And you need to understand there is no story here. Of course Westmoreland served on an advisory committee. Of course the company later had problems. It has not come to the public’s attention because there is nothing there.

          The only reason anyone cares about any of this now is because Oxendine is out peddling a story that somehow Westmoreland has done something wrong. And he’s doing it for his own political ends. This is typical Ox stuff — run around off the record giving reporters rumors and pushing stories against his enemies. Sometimes it works. This time it didn’t.

      • So, you are saying that in the 16 years of John Oxendine being in office, he regularly calls VIPs and gives them a friendly heads up that a company he is investigating listed that persons name on a document somewhere between the 5th or 6th box of papers? That hardly sounds fair to regular citizens like you or me.

        “Westmoreland’s Former Company Caught Up In Scandal.”

        What the He_ _? You really think that a reporter was going to look into this investigation, concerning incidents that supposedly happened in 2007, in which Westmoreland served as an “Advisory Board Member” with no fiduciary responsibilities, some 4 to 5 years previously and attended three meetings until he had to quit, and then write a story with the headline that “Westmoreland’s Former Company” was “Caught Up In Scandal?” Give me a break!

        You know and everyone that has ever met this sleaze bag knows he was trying to send a message. Westmoreland obviously knew he was up to something and turned the tables on him.

        Again, either Oxendine makes a regular practice of calling “privileged” Georgians to give them advanced warning of pending investigations, which doesn’t seem very ethical. Or, he uses this information to his advantage for his own gain. Either way, it’s an abuse of his office.

  23. kolt473 says:

    ox past is colorful, but so’s barnes used toll road money to buy land for the atlantic station project its documented ox’s history of car crashes costing taxpayers money, abuse of emergency equipment most have skeletons in closet ox will have to spend every cent hes got to win it, but neither qualified to be gov especially GOV BARNES he royally screwed us on the old flag plus teachers and hopefully they haven’t forgotten, keep track of the money make sure no outside monies get into either campaign.

    • AubieTurtle says:

      Too bad for Ox that he isn’t running against Barnes in the primary, as much as his cartoons would have you believe otherwise.

      • polisavvy says:

        Yes, they are. Like a big rock. He should give it up. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him drop out and then try to run for Insurance Commissioner again, would you? He could, but his baggage will still follow him. Maybe we can finally rid ourselves of this embarrassment once and for all.

    • polisavvy says:

      As an aside, remember those poll numbers were based on name recognition, not what people really think about him. With all the press he’s received of late, he may still be in the lead; however, the name recognition has been for all the WRONG reasons.

  24. NorthGAGOP says:

    Grit,
    On that point we agree, bet he’s down a few points though. His trend in polls has been steadily down, not exactly what your looking for if you are the front runner.

  25. TalmadgeGhost says:

    I did something yesterday I haven’t done before. I wrote a note to Lynn Westmoreland, who actually happens to be my representative. In the note, I explained to him that he and I disagree on just about everything from a policy perspective – but I have met the man in person at a neighbor’s house. I got a chance to speak with him at length and look him in the eye. I also had the chance to speak at length with his wife (who is as savvy a politician’s wife I have ever met before – and I don’t mean that in a bad way.) I told him that I was fully behind him on this matter and that even though I haven’t voted Republican in over a decade (George HW got my vote), I truly respected his integrity and principals.

    Lynn Westmoreland is many things to those of us from a “liberal” persuasion (by Georgia standards), but a liar he is not.

    I have also met the Ox on a couple of occassions and had a chance to speak with him. Each encouter made me yearn for a hot shower to wash off the slime.

    Georgia needs Ox like it needs another economic crisis. Repubs, please take care of this guy before the general election – although as a campaign “junkie” I would love to see the bloodbath a Barnes/Oxendine election would bring…. someone get Rick Dent on the phone, there is much mud to be slung!!!

    • polisavvy says:

      He’s seems to be taking care of himself and won’t be the Republicans’ problem/nominee. Like it was said here a week or so back, “he’s the gift that keeps on giving.” I think a good many people feel the same as you about hot showers.

  26. drjay says:

    everyone will settle down once the nomination is secure and come back into the fold, then we can dispatch barnes or porter or whoever and move on to the oxendine for america movement for 2012 or 2016…

  27. B Balz says:

    Icarus,

    I suggest that the 175 posts on this thread (some kind of record for Peach Pundit) represent a significant, yet unguided, effort to dislodge the current Georgia GOP gubernatorial poll leader. How to guide these sentiments to ‘everyman’?

    An effort to educate the public about Mr. Oxendine ought to extend beyond a blog. I submit, again, that if ‘everyman’ becomes aware of the few important ethics issues, (y’all choose – But hunter education probably isn’t the most important) our GOP will not nominate this fellow.

    Unless the Party perceives that voters have significant and overarching issues with the current poll leader, they will be forced to choose Mr. Oxendine as the GOP candidate. When I talk to non-PP voters, they think Mr. Oxendine is just fine.

    • polisavvy says:

      Do these same non-PP voters actually watch the news or read newspapers? How could they do either and not find a problem with this guy? Just curious.

      • drjay says:

        other than the hunting thing there really hasn’t been any coverage of his “stuff” in my neck of the woods, if you go to the sav’h paper online and do an archive search of “oxendine” there is not a lot of this stuff showing up, same witht he local news down here…

        • polisavvy says:

          That’s really too bad. I wish the papers and news organizations throughout the state would give him some of the press those of us in the Metro area receive so people could know what’s actually going on with this guy. They aren’t doing their readers/viewers any favors by not doing so.

      • B Balz says:

        As drjay suggests, one has to dig deep to find adverse issues with Mr. Oxendine. I suspect PR ‘Reputation Managers’ are employed… Most folks just don’t have the time nor inclination to dig at all.

        Although Peach Punditeers may care, how many other voters really care about a misdirected $120,000 campaign contribution? How many voters would care about that issue after hearing the money was returned?

        Try framing different questions and issues that will resonate more clearly or risk being marginalized later.

    • Mozart says:

      Ha! More proof that the microcosm of PP exists only within itself and has no value to the world Georgia politics much beyond itself.

      How long has this blog been around and it still has no impact on the life of 99.999% Georgians?

      • B Balz says:

        If something I associated with saying constitutes proof of anything, then my name is J. S. Bach.

        Web logs containing well written commentary become relevant as search engines and mainstream media pick up on the content, creating a buzz. As well, sitting lawmakers, judges, all comment now and again on Peach Pundit, but probably read much of the content.

        Clearly, you ought to tune your instrument, Mozart, it’s off key, again.

        • Mozart says:

          Ooh. Sorry. I cannot seem to quite maintain the right “tune-age” here.

          I will dutifully attempt to pepper posts with the exclamations of “Good Post!” “Great Post!”….”Right on!”….”Yeah, Baby, you got it going on!” and other such exhortations so that I can be accepted as a member of “Team PP.”

          Thank you, Mr. Balz, for letting me know I was out of tune. Please feel free to point this out in the future should I stray again.

      • Ken in Eastman says:

        Mozart,

        I believe ideas and information on Peach Pundit matter. It’s a matter of who reads PP and what they do with those ideas and information that matters.

        If you think there is a single candidate (at least GOP, who knows about the Dems) who doesn’t either read PP or have a staffer read it or hear about it from friends then you would be mistaken.

        During the legislative session, there will be quite a few folks under the Gold Dome who do pay attention to this. I believe it’s a good thing.

  28. I know quite a few people who vote but don’t take the time to read the newspaper or watch the news any more than maybe a couple of times a year. I rarely watch the news myself… there’s just hardly ever anything interesting on for me to waste my time with it. I’ve typically already read about it on ajc.com or PP.

    I’ve seen way too many Oxendine bumper stickers on the road… including a “Women For Oxendine” sticker on the back of a Lexus while I was on my way back up from Florida back in December. I agree that there has to be a better way to educate the general public about what a nut Ox is…

  29. kolt473 says:

    democrats want ga back, they’ll go low enough to rig and convince you plus negative ads democrats are on you side the health care debate proven they haven’t listen. the national democrats have written off ga last two national elections, frankly dumbama can come down and guarantee red state forever. he can back Barnes, Barnes backed a piece of scum, JOHN EDWARDS aka ”THE BRECK GIRL” DNC under carville, acorn pollster STAN ROSENBERG will rig numbers neither BARNES OX qualified, wish neither in office, but liberals doing polls, numbers are ”allegedly” suspect.

  30. Icarus says:

    “True Grit February 3, 2010 at 7:45 am [edit]
    The one part of the story that everyone keeps leaving out is that Ox told Westmoreland his name was found on company documents. Nothing more. ”

    Nothing more? You wish.

    He told Westmoreland repeatedly that he would just hate it, hate it to see Lynn’s name in the press. And, he told him he would do everything in his power to keep Lynn’s name out of the press.

    1st sentence is the threat.

    2nd sentence is the invitation to play ball to avoid the terms in the threat.

    Keep in mind these conversations happened after Deal had become “Radioactive”, and was touting his new found “birther” status. It would be a great time to pry Lynn away from Deal if he was so inclined.

    Lynn stuck with his man, and about two months later, he got a call from GPTV indicating it was Oxendine personally who gave Lynn’s name to the reporter.

    That’s how shakedowns work, or don’t work.

    Ox = Fail.

  31. Icarus says:

    To B Balz comment and others,

    PP doesn’t pretend we’re about “retail” politics. Most Georgians are content to go about their lives with rational ignorance about politics. Then, a few weeks or even a few hours prior to voting, they’ll start to ask their friends who they know do pay attention about who to vote for.

    That’s when the campaign ground games are active, and that’s when you see who a real front runner is.

    During that time, you will see Ox stories start to resonate with these folks. You will see some attack ads against him, though I’m willing to bet most candidates save that for whom they perceive is numbers 2,3,4, as each wants to be with Ox in the runoff.

    If it were to be one on one with Ox, there will be a lot more people than the candidates throwing everything they have at him. He will not be our nominee.

    By Ox trying to go after Westmoreland, however, he got greedy, and the other shoes may now start dropping from other people who aren’t candidates. I lower my chances of Ox making it into the runoff to 40% or less.

  32. B Balz says:

    Icarus,

    If Rasmussen polls don’t reflect front runner status changes in the next 90-120 days, PP’s nominee will be a side note, much like our final influence over SB31.

    I really am concerned Mr. Oxendine may be nominated. There is no time to wait and assume voters will learn or care about Mr. Oxendines’ peccadillo’s.

    • Icarus says:

      All I can say is “remember the Atlanta Mayor’s race?”

      Mayor Lisa Borders?

      Well, she came in third.

      And the man in third, he’s at City Hall in the big chair.

      NONE of the campaigns have started the actual “campaign” yet. None. Everything now is about raising money and building a GOTV grass roots effort. There is no reason to expect to see polls move significantly before June 1st.

      And there is no reason to expect the polls to look remotely the same as they do today on July 1st.

      June and July will be fun.

      • B Balz says:

        I have always felt that blogs ought to as a bare minimum require contributors to disclose their affiliations, if any, so that folks could judge comments based on that information.

        After a fashion, readers can surmise that certain contributors must be either vol or paid for candidate/cause shills, but it would be nice to know.

  33. kolt473 says:

    if this were 1979 80 both of these buffoons wouldn’t be in the race, king murphy zig zag zell in charge even the governors back then were idiots think it was JIMMY CARTER UGH, GEORGE BUSBEE, JOE FRANK HARRIS!

  34. Archon says:

    The relationship between State House members, including Lynn, with the OX has never been good. In fact until the OX thought about the LG race a few years back he didn’t even engage the house or senate Republican caucus, wouldn’t help raise money, and did nothing to further the move from minority to todays majority.

    Many of the members that are still there and those that sought his help and were snubbed still remember when our two beacons of hope were Mike “don’t come out from under my desk yet” Bowers and the OX. Bowers for his part fought hard and helped when he wasn’t otherwise occupied. From what I hear the OX spent most of his time of junkets with the powerful instead.

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