Deal Responds: “Political Witchhunt Fueled By Democrats”, Or Was It My Opponents? Or Perdue’s People? The Lib’ral AJC?…

March 29, 2010 16:23 pm

by Icarus · 75 comments

Aaron Sheinin has received a response from the Deal campaign (since forwarded to Peach Pundit) regarding the eithics report made available by Congress today:

This has always been a political witch hunt fueled by Democrats who fear that Roy Barnes will lose the governor’s race to Nathan Deal.

In its own report, the Office of Congressional Ethics admits that its efforts were incomplete and it does NOT conclude that Mr. Deal did anything wrong.

That’s because Nathan Deal did nothing wrong.

This is a business Nathan was involved with before he went to Congress and was approved by the House ethics committee every year. There were never any tax dollars involved and there was never a contract with the state of Georgia.

This is an attempt by Nathan’s political opponents to drag his good name through the mud. The complaint was brought by a liberal, George Soros sponsored group, fueled by the Democrat party of Georgia.

The only shred of truth in this political attack is that an innocent accounting error was made and subsequently corrected.”

This is a unique explanation from the Deal camp, because in their “Summary Of Facts” (Exhibit 14, page 99) of the report, Deal blamed four other Republican candidates for Governor, the future appointees that would report to that Governor, and, of course, the Lib’ral AJC:

Second, some of the people with knowledge about the events in this matter are involved in the campaigns of primary opponents for Georgia governor. Georgia’s current governor (Republican Governor Sonny Perdue) is term limited and cannot seek reelection. Earlier this year, Congressman Deal announced that he would not seek reelection to the House Of Representatives. Instead, he announced his intention to seek election as Governor of Georgia in 2010.

Both the Democratic and Republican primary contests are hotly contested. In the GOP Primary, the candidates include (i) former Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson; (ii) Commissioner of Insurance John Oxendine; (iii) Secretary of State Karen Handel; and, (iv) Congressman Deal. Not surprisingly, each has support among various groups, with one of Congressman Deal’s primary opponents enjoying the support of many of the current GOP governor’s appointees.

In the context of the election, “ethics” attacks and complaints have been leveled early and often (although this is the only one leveled against Congressman Deal, and he has not leveled any). Of course, the local media has eagerly reported and repeated every attack with the same zeal as the maker and with some embellishment. The instant matter involves an article which appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (“AJC”) on August 23rd, 2009, a Sunday edition, on the front page. Other attacks against other candidates have appeared in similar fashion.”

So, when choosing who made Congressman Deal violate house ethics rules, we have:

1) Democrats funded by George Soros;
2) Primary opponents;
3) Political appointees of Governor Perdue;
4) The Lib’ral AJC.

I’m pretty sure we’re all going to go with 4) The Lib’ral AJC. After all, we should have checked their power when we realized that they could have Congressman Deal invent the term “ghetto grandmother” and then force him to use it “out of context”.

It’s sad to see this man’s career devolve into this. Personal accountability used to mean something. Instead, any enemy real or contrived has been blamed.

There are a lot of skills the next Governor will need to have to tackle the State’s problems when he or she moves into the big house on West Paces. Paranoia about all those out to get them isn’t one of those.

Andre March 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Two words:

Personal Responsibility.

Former Congressman Nathan Deal needs to accept personal responsibility for his actions instead of blaming others.

Kellie March 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Accept nothing but donations ;-)

Sherman County March 29, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Two more words…

done.deal.

polisavvy March 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Amen, Andre and well stated.

B Balz March 29, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Two wrods:

Shrewd politician

Admit nothing, count on voter apathy, blame others.

Ken in Eastman March 29, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Ding! Ding! Dinf-ding! Got it in one.

Plausible deniability maintained; no video of Deal addressing the problem.

Having said that, if he’s not guilty then he should address it himself in a one-on-one TV interview allowing the interviewer to ask as many question as the interviewer would like with the stipulation that there be NO editing to the piece. Show it all or show none of it.

Jim Bob April 6, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Hey Ken,

He did.

Nathan March 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Taking a page from the Ox’s political playbook, eh? I suppose everyone will be jumping on the AJC at some point in this year’s election.

GOPGeorgia March 29, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Well, I am glad the report is out. There should be no more talk about trying to dodge it. I am still reading the report, so I haven’t came to a final conclusion yet.

I have always thought that they may have Chris Riley for sending out e-mails on the wrong account, but I didn’t see that as a huge violation, if it is one. There are at least two things that trouble me, so far. The first is that it looks like he broke some type of earnings cap on income derived from things by other than his congressional salary. The second things is that if he was breaking some type of earnings cap, I would think that’s he’s being doing that as long as he has been in DC. Why is it just now a problem?

GOPGeorgia March 29, 2010 at 5:12 pm

“For purposes of this Opinion, there are two types of income – earned and unearned. If the compensation received is essentially a return on equity, then it would generally not be considered to be earned income.”

I answered my own question. I don’t think the congressman was out running the equipment; he just was getting a return on his money. I’ll keep reading.

macho March 29, 2010 at 6:07 pm

“There should be no more talk about trying to dodge it.”

This statement implies that the Deal campaign was the one that came forward with the report. Let’s not forget, they were referring all questions on the matter to their attorney.

John Konop March 29, 2010 at 8:26 pm

GOP

What part of this is not a huge violation?

….The Office of Congressional Ethics released a report Monday alleging that recently-retired Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) was guilty of violating House rules by improperly using his office to push policy that would benefit his family’s auto salvage company.

“It is undisputed that as a ‘public servant,’ Representative Deal took active steps to preserve a purely state program, one that had generated financial benefit for Representative Deal and his business partner. Further, while taking these steps, Representative Deal used resources of the House of Representatives,” the OCE report found.

On top of these dealings for the benefit of Deal’s business, the report found that “the $75,000 reported as earned income on the tax return exceeded the limit on outside
earned income and prohibition on receiving any income while serving as a corporate
officer.”…..

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/29/nathan-deal-ethics-report_n_517493.html

Pine Knot March 29, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Love your source on this one.

Icarus March 29, 2010 at 8:41 pm

And the Deal-bots continue to blame the messenger, despite the fact that the quote is directly from the ethics report.

GOPGeorgia March 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Icarus, have you read the conclusions of the report? JK, have you? I have and posted my reaction to it in another thread. JK, if you are looking for facts, look in the report. Also try to be smart enough to realize the difference between facts and conclusions.

John Konop March 29, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Icarus

Please do not confuse the debate with facts. :)

GOPGeorgia April 1, 2010 at 8:48 pm

None of it has been concluded to be a violation. If you quit reading the huffington post and read the actual report, you might understand that. I have noticed that your reading comprehension skills are poor, but then again, I think your compression skills in general are poor.

rugby April 2, 2010 at 10:26 am

Uh dude…read the conclusion. It acknowledges there are inconsistencies with Deal’s disclosures, that he broke House ethics rules, and that more investigation is needed. So yeah, while there were no conclusions (something I believe these panels can’t offer) it is pretty apparent that something isn’t right.

Would you like some ice for your Kool-Aid?

GOPGeorgia April 2, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Rugby,

I’ve read the whole report…twice. I’ve also taken the time to watch Congressman Deal’s response to it about four times. Have you done either? Once?

The only way that money received from the salvage yard is earned income instead of passive income is if Congressman Deal were out there crushing cars. He acknowledges that there are inconsistencies with his disclosures but it’s an easy fix by amending his tax returns. BTW, amending his tax returns gives him more money, but he was paying in more than he owed. It’s not an issue, and all of your talking about a molehill won’t make it into a mountain.

I was right. It’s been less than a week and you are spreading rumors and lies. Typical. It does not say that he broke house ethics rules. That was a charge, not a conclusion.

ByteMe April 2, 2010 at 8:06 pm

If you are more than a small percentage owner of a business, it’s not “passive income”, since you have the ability to control the operations of the business. It’s only considered “passive” if you have no control over its operations.

In this case, it’s he and a partner being the majority owners, so it’s most definitely not a passive income from that business.

But that’s not where the ethics charge comes in for real anyway. It’s the meetings with the head of the state program that he was trying to use his influence to make sure the contract stayed with his firm instead of getting put out to bid. And calling in his friend Casey Cagle to help him do this. That’s where the “abuse of power for personal gain” charge comes from, not passive vs. active income.

kcordell April 3, 2010 at 6:29 am

“The only way that money received from the salvage yard is earned income instead of passive income is if Congressman Deal were out there crushing cars.”

This is one of the most ignorant comments I’ve read on PP. Thousands of business owners run their operation without actually getting their hands dirty. That’s why they have employess.

GOPGeorgia April 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm

You two brain trusts have not read his statement which said he did not control any of the day to day operations…just another part of the report you haven’t read.

Did you read page 138 of the report? How about page 104? Page 94? Page 95? Page 27? 23? 22?

Are you saying you know more about tax law than his accountant?

“For purposes of this Opinion, there are two types of income – earned and
unearned. If the compensation received is essentially a return on equity, then it
would generally not be considered to be earned income.”

Under NATURE OF THE ALLEGED VIOLATION: There is no “abuse of power for personal gain” charge.

Kcordell, I was talking about Deal cushing cars or even telling others how to crush cars. In other words, he had nothing to do with how the business was opperated. If you can’t understand that, the short bus will be along soon to pick you up to take you to the special class.

If you are going to debate, come with facts, not smoke and mirrors, lies, conjecture and innuendo. I can’t say what you motivations are, but it’s apparent that the tools you are using to get your message out don’t include the truth.

ByteMe April 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I clearly explained the difference between a “passive investment” and an “active investment”. Actually doing day-to-day operations is not the difference. #FAIL.

GOPGeorgia April 3, 2010 at 1:07 pm

So you are you saying you know more about tax law than his accountant….OK.

ByteMe April 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I’m saying I know more about it than you.

GOPGeorgia April 3, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Well you have the option to blow hot air and that’s OK. You can’t back up what you say with provable facts. On page 138, there is a letter from a tax accountant that I agree with that says you are wrong. But I’m willing to bet you haven’t read word one from the report, and that’s why you are so wrong on your facts. I wouldn’t think you would have to lie to sway opinion would you? I think you are just try to spin it to get others to believe what you want to them believe.

ByteMe April 3, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Don’t continue to blow smoke Dougie. I already told you I thought that it was a non-issue with whether the income was passive or active. As an owner of several businesses and an investor in others, I’m real clear on what’s considered passive or active ownership and it doesn’t have to do with whether I’m actually sweeping the floors in the place.

The real ethical issue he’s guilty of is trying to use his political clout to keep his sweetheart deal in the face of a bureaucrat wanting to put it out to bid. Everything else you’re trying to say is just blowing smoke to protect your homey.

And the worse part for you is that everyone else out here knows it.

GOPGeorgia April 3, 2010 at 11:20 pm

I’ve defended Johnson and Handel in the last few minutes, so you can’t say I’m in the bag for just one candidate. I’ll defend those that I like when they get an unfair accusation. I notice you’ve never answered my question about if you’ve read the report, so I will still assume you still haven’t.

Deal had three meetings with the head of the DOR. In the first one, the issue of a new program didn’t even come up. In the second one, the issue of the new program came up. Safety concerns were raised. State employee inspectors and
inspection station owners could not obtain information on the status of the new program. The third meeting tried to address those concerns and they were never addressed satisfactorily. The truth is that Deal could have made even more money under the new program. If he were out just to make money for himself and not care about the safety of the citizens of Georgia, he would have jumped on the band wagon. He and his partner decided to get out of that business before CREW and the OCE ever got interested in him. If you bothered to read the report, you might know some of this.

GOPGeorgia April 3, 2010 at 11:24 pm

BTW, I’m not blowing smoke. I’m providing facts from this report that you are trying to twist into something that it is not. You are are one of the ones who is trying to tear down Deal for your own reasons. And everyone else reading this knows it.

ByteMe April 4, 2010 at 6:46 am

And if you’re not a politician in Georgia, how exactly do you get that meeting in Casey Cagle’s office to talk about a no-bid state program and your desire to expand it in a way that no other equivalent business gets to expand theirs?

And if he were really “passive” as you claim, the meeting would NEVER have happened. Instead, he arranged for the meeting in the office of someone who could make the bureaucrat’s job painfully difficult.

It’s called “unethical”. And Casey Cagle claiming that the meeting was covered under “legislative secrecy” is baloney and if the Georgia ethics laws had any teeth, he would be looking for a new job as well.

I didn’t say you were in the bag about one candidate, but you can’t deny your relationship with Deal.

GOPGeorgia April 5, 2010 at 8:47 am

“According to the Revenue Commissioner, the first meeting on January 28, 2008, concerned a proposed program named GRATIS (Georgia Registration and Title Information System).34 GRATIS sought to streamline the sharing of title information between insurance companies and the state.”

The quote is from page 10 of the Report. Do I have to read the whole thing to you? Does your mother still read you books at night to help you fall asleep?

If you read the report, the bureaucrat was making his subordinates jobs and other members of the existing program painfully difficult to get information as to what his intentions were, that didn’t come up until the second meeting. Therefore, there was not one, but two meetings called that had no previous knowledge of an existing change planned. All three were in Casey’s office. So you are complaining about the third meeting, when they had already met there twice before? Logic fail.

Congressman Deal is a friend and I don’t deny that. I am also friends with others running for Gov. Do you have any friends?

ByteMe April 5, 2010 at 8:57 am

So on one hand you’re trying to claim it was a “passive” investment and on the other you’re claiming he’s in the Lt. Governor’s office trying to get a state bureaucrat to do something for his supposedly “passive” investment.

You need to pick more ethical friends.

GOPGeorgia April 5, 2010 at 9:24 am

That’s not what I said. I said it’s a passive investment because he invested money and then had no input on the day to day operations, but I am replying on his accountant for that clarification. His (third) meeting went over the issue of safety. How many times am I going to have to ask if you have read the report? Did you learn how to read?

rugby April 6, 2010 at 11:39 am

I really can’t believe how far backward you are bending for Congressman Deal.

rugby April 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Just for the record, here are some of the “rumors and lies” I’m spreading,courtesy of the House report itself:

W/R/T inconsistencies found by the investigators: “This inconsistency, as of the end of the second-phase review and
Board vote, has not been resolved.”

W/R/T breaking House rules: “The $75,000 reported as earned income on the tax return exceeded the limit on outside
earned income and prohibition on receiving any income while serving as a corporate
officer.”

W/R/T further investigation being needed: “For all the reasons stated above, the OCE Board recommends further review by the
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.”

That’s for the guy who a few posts above was criticizing someone for a perceived lack of reading comprehension skills.

But of course I forgot, GOPGeorgia has enough pathos on this matter to prove a House investigation panel wrong. It really is remarkable dude. Not quite as remarkable as you having that much insight and knowledge on a topic yet you are twiddling away on Peach Pundit rather than doing something useful with your authority.

Doug, at least put in a little effort into your asinine posts.

GOPGeorgia April 6, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Well you get 2 points for showing you can read. I appreciate that you are now citing the report.

Your first quote was not presented in full. Here is the full quote: “The OCE reviews the facts as presented at the time of review and does not take a position on whether Representative Deal’s income from GSD was mistakenly reported as earned income since 2006 on his federal income taxes. The evidence before the Board is that
Representative Deal characterized his income from GSD as wages on his tax return and, by contrast, as unearned “Dividends” or unearned “Partnership Income” on his Financial Disclosure Statements. This inconsistency, as of the end of the second-phase review and Board vote, has not been resolved.”

In other words, we aren’t saying that he did anything wrong, but we can look at it more.

Your second quote is accurate, but as stated in the first quote (could have been) “mistakenly reported as earned income.”

Question: Does “recommend further review” say innocent, guilty, or keep that cloud over your head?

Question: Why release a report by it’s own admission in incomplete?

I’m helping host a picnic in April, an event in June, another event in July, and a golf tournament in October. I’m also doing other things that I don’t want the average reader to know, but you can’t imply that I’m not working for my District. I consider my time on PP to be well spent if I can engage in useful debate and sway the average reader.

ByteMe April 6, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Are you sure you’re swaying them toward your side with your partisan ‘defend at all costs” postings? You might only be attracting those who already drank the Red kool-aid while turning off anyone else.

Just sayin’.

GOPGeorgia April 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I don’t defend at all costs. As I said to others, if you want to come after Deal on ghetto gandmothers, I have no problems with that. I won’t sit back and watch a pack of political hounds to say this report says gulity when it doesn’t. I’ll defend Handle and others when I think the are unfairly attacked as well.

As for if I am effective, we will find out on election day.

rugby April 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Continue the investigation means not innocent.

GOPGeorgia April 6, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Not accurate. It doesn’t mean innocent or gulity. It means keep looking.

Andre March 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Honestly, are there any Republicans left in Georgia that aren’t crazy or crooked?

polisavvy March 29, 2010 at 5:27 pm

There are a few; but, the list seems to be getting shorter and shorter.

Chris March 29, 2010 at 9:06 pm

I’m trying to move from the former to the latter. Does that count?

Ken in Eastman March 29, 2010 at 11:56 pm

I recommend keeping a foot in both camps just in case things go awry.

B Balz March 30, 2010 at 9:08 am

That’s funny, Ken:

Facts are stubborn things.

KariDee March 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I hope that each of you take the opportunity to read the 138 page report before you make ANY comments……..it’s only fair.

KariDee March 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm

By, the way, yes I have and there are so many mays, possiblys, and back and forth facts…….it kinda looks like a he said he said to me……….

rugby March 29, 2010 at 7:02 pm

You’re the only one.

Technocrat March 29, 2010 at 5:41 pm

” “Mr. Deal shouldn’t be able to dodge responsibility for his misconduct by hightailing it out of Congress before he could be held accountable. Although the House Ethics Committee no longer has jurisdiction over him, the Justice Department certainly does and the OCE’s report should be enough to start a criminal inquiry.” Sloan continued, “Rep. Deal may skate for abusing his position as a member of Congress for his personal financial benefit, but lying on personal financial disclosure forms is not just a violation of House rules, it’s a federal crime. The Public Integrity Section – charged with ensuring our public officials are not complete crooks – should sit up and take notice; after all, Deal didn’t resign to become a private citizen, he is running for governor.” “……..CREW

Ken in Eastman March 29, 2010 at 11:59 pm

CREW is not exactly non-biased despite their protestations. Look at the “former” Congressmen on their list and their party affiliations.

macho March 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm

I’m obviously not a Deal supporter, but I do believe that if he would take responsibility for a few mistakes, this issue would probably go away by the Primary. But, like so many campaigns do, they’ve decided to treat the voters all like a bunch of idiots, so this issue will fester for a while. We are supposed to seriously believe, that Barnes is so much more terrified of running against Deal, than Johnson or Handel, that Barnes called in a few chits from Washington and orchestrated the release of the report.

If Barnes had that much power in Washington, don’t you think he would wait until after the Primary to sink Deal?

John Konop March 29, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Obama’s birth certificate is the blame. :)

B Balz March 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Plus 120,000 points.

Pine Knot March 29, 2010 at 8:42 pm

This story was obviously brought out more by one of his opponents. Deal is an honerable man. Never seen the Real. Integrity.? In all seriousness though, I believe this story has been overblown, and he derserves the chance to clear his name.

Icarus March 29, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Deal has been making comments (mostly through his spokeman) that he wants to do that.

Yet he’s a mute on the subject.

Who exactly is stopping him from telling his side of the story?

Pine Knot March 29, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I’m sure he’ll make a statement in the next couple of days.

Icarus March 29, 2010 at 9:05 pm

And this is the swift action we can expect in a crisis from a guy who wants to be the state’s CEO?

Chris March 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm

It’s still probably a step up from do-nothing Perdue, or the guy who wanted to call out the National Guard because there were lines at the local QT.

ByteMe March 29, 2010 at 9:11 pm

I thought that was the same person.

Doug Deal March 29, 2010 at 11:53 pm

No. It was that episode when we coined “Dumb as an Ox”.

SFrazier March 30, 2010 at 7:46 am

At least Deal served in the Army during a war and therefore is qualified to lead the national guard. Did any other candidate serve their country in the military where it counts?

rugby March 30, 2010 at 9:04 am

I believe General David Poythress did but I’m not sure.

And just to be clear, merely serving as a private means one is now capable of being a general? Really? So a fry cook at McDonald’s is qualified to be its President?

SFrazier March 30, 2010 at 9:18 am

Deal was a Captain during the Vietnam war. And yes, amongst republican candidates for Governor, he was the only one that served. What is more amazing is that he joined while at Mercer. When people were running away from serving their country by going to college, he did the opposite. REAL INTEGRITY.

Republican Lady March 30, 2010 at 10:31 am

If he joined while at Mercer, does that mean he was stateside during the Vietnam war? OR did he quit Mercer to join?

Your post sounds like while he was a Mercer student, he joined the military. Do you know what branch he served?

polisavvy March 30, 2010 at 12:09 pm

This is a pretty diluted argument. I didn’t know that military service was a prerequisite to being governor. So basically you are saying that without military service that the other gubernatorial candidates have no credibility. Nice.

ByteMe March 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I say that without the ability to program computers using a high-level language, you are unfit to be governor!

Just raising the bar in an equally absurd fashion.

polisavvy March 30, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I know, right? What’s up with that? Like I said, a diluted argument. BTW, when do you sleep? I took at the times you post and you’re here at all hours.

ByteMe March 30, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Most nights, I get about 6-7 hours. But I work after the kids are in bed and before they get up, so I can usually post around what I’m doing.

ByteMe March 29, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I’m sure he’s going to make several statements in the next couple of days. And maybe even beyond that.

macho March 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm

What’s interesting to me is that he might make a statement in a couple of days, but rumors of the report have been circulating for weeks. It’s obvious, he’d hoped to never have to address it, but now that it’s out there in public, he’ll have to address it; without his attorney. Not really the actions of someone who’s been trying to clear his name.

benevolus March 29, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Maybe Nathan could follow Cagle’s lead and decide that running for governor was too, umm, strenuous (or at least involved too much scrutiny) under the circumstances, and run for LG instead.

GOPGeorgia March 31, 2010 at 11:01 pm

For those that want to hear what the congressman had to say, here it is, answering the questions and telling his side, in his own words:
http://www.youtube.com/user/thedealreel?feature=mhw5#p/a/u/0/9IPxkyvlX4o

ivyjohn10 April 3, 2010 at 2:53 pm

When is the Congressman going to realize his campaign is over. He’s been in DC so long, that he is using DC budgeting techniques. He spent more than he raised last disclosure period. I wonder if he did it again.

Howard Masters April 6, 2010 at 2:24 pm

How much money did Congressman Deal make while he was an officer of the company?

Did he start the business while he was in office in Georgia?

How did his company become the sole provider of the service for the entire North West corner of Georgia?

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