Apparently, Those “No Comments” Were Expensive: Updated

So, it’s nearing the end of spring break/Easter week, and folks with some spare time on their hands are using it to go through disclosures. And, because my friends are generous people, some choose to share their findings with me. And because I’m a generous guy, I’ll share this tidbit with you.

Remember way back when – that time everyone was pretending an ethics report that had been delivered to Congressman Deal didn’t exist? Well, the now re-assigned spokesperson was referring folks who dared to ask of such reports existance to Deal’s attorney. And boy was that expensive.

According to Deal’s March 31 Disclosure, the Deal Campaign racked up over $17,000 in legal fees to the firm of McKenna Long and Aldridge. And I’m sure all those fees were strictly campaign related, because, well, that’s all you can spend campaign money on.

I’m sure it’s just strong coincidence that McKenna submitted the response and Deal’s “Summary Of Facts” to the OCE on January 25th, (starts p 93) and that legal bills from the campaing to McKenna were paid in the amount of $8,377.80 on January 5th, and $8,986.85 on February 1st. It just makes good sense to get $17K of campaing “legal work” done while the same firm is simultaneously working an ethics defense.

I’d call over to the Deal campaign to ask for more details and assurance that the campaign wasn’t spending campaign money on a Congressional Ethics Complaint defense, but I don’t have the heart to get another “No Comment”, nor do I wish to have a campaign that is still spending more money than it is taking in to have to pay an attorney out of campaign funds to answer my questions.

Updated: After checking the report from the previous period ending Dec 31, 2009, it appears that the total paid to McKenna is closer to $40K, with a significant increase in the October – December timeframe, when the ethics complaint was originally filed by CREW. And according to the first commenter, the AP wire has Deal’s spokesperson acknowledging that this is in fact for legal defense relating to his Congressional Ethics complaint. The logic appears to be that this is a “politically motivated witch hunt”, and therefore, using campaign funds to defend an action taken as a US Congressman prior to his announcement that he was running for Governor is kosher.

I’m thinking that strains logic. You guys fight it out. I’m sure someone will be along soon to explain GA code to us soon.

Updated Again: Shannon McAffrey of the AP had this well before I did, and Jim Galloway brings you her report here.


  1. provisional says:

    Apparently the new spokesman makes comments according to an AP report:
    Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said the campaign merely followed Evans’ legal advice in writing a check from his state account. Robinson said Deal “adhered closely to the rules while fighting these attacks that stem from the worst kind of politics.”

  2. Mad Dog says:

    Yeah, it’s that “adhered closely to the rules” that got him in trouble.

    Try complying with the rules, Nathan. It costs less.

  3. fishtail says:

    I suppose from Deal’s perspective, it is “the worst kind of politics”, since the investigation has killed his campaign.

  4. inlimine says:

    It’s so comforting to know Randy Evans is on the State Board of Elections, too. Ethics, rules, laws… they get so confusing sometimes.

    • macho says:

      The beauty of having Randy as your campaign’s legal advisor is you can get on-the-spot rulings.

  5. John Konop says:

    Icarus has the key point of the story all wrong. Nathan Deal is purposely doing all of this as part of a stimulus package via his legal fees for lawyers. Deal is trying hard to keep the legal community in business!


  6. John Konop says:

    Will it be GOPgeorgia or Henry Waxman who will come up with the most ridicules excuse for Nathan Deal?

    I called Vegas and the odds are pickem!

  7. Tireless says:

    Apparently the Deal strategy is to fight ethics charges by being unethical. Brilliant idea Nat.

  8. Pine Knot says:

    When you are an honerable man, and you name has been dragged through the mud from opponents and the like, unfortunately it costs money to defend yourself. This is just typical partison politics.

    • ByteMe says:

      It’s partisan politics for a sitting Federal legislator fighting ethics charges made to the Congress and then using his state gubernatorial campaign fund to pay for his legal fees? Really?? You gonna sell that one to whom? His donors? Good luck with that.

      It might be a gray shade of “legal”, but if I were a donor, I’d want to know why he thought my money should be used to defend him from a Congressional investigation.

      But, of course, I’m not a donor. And you probably are. So you should definitely try to make sure you got your money’s worth.

      • polisavvy says:

        You made a lot of sense on this. It would give me pause were I a donor. I would feel as though I was owed a reasonable and logical explanation.

      • macho says:

        Somehow, I doubt any of Deal’s fundraising pieces has anything like this, “Please help me defend my Congressional ethics investigation today. Timing is urgent. Please consider donating ___$250 ___$1,000 or ___$5,000.”

  9. In The Arena says:

    You rehash the same story since August, and keep patting yourself on the back every time you put a new spin on it. Get a life. People outside of politics have one. Know-it-alls like Doug Deal and John Konop are the reason people hate politics. I would venture to say that since the average person hates politics, we will never see substantial improvement in the system. If you’re so smart, why don’t you all go run in November.

  10. This is one weird election cycle….

    I’ve met Mr. Deal once and he seems to be a likeable person. He’s not the candidate I’m stumping for, but I’m not so sure he’s the satan many are wanting to portray hiim as. He’s surrounded himself with good people and hard workers, that I do know and respect.

    I hope we’re not burning our own for merely political posturing. But what do I know….

    On a note completely off topic, I’ve been re-working a site I host for the benefit of Bibb Republicans. Click on my name and offer some good criticism.

    • Chris says:

      Either we burn them now,before July 20, or the democrats and media will burn them after, when we’ve got no other options.

    • John Konop says:


      I never said Nathan Deal was evil. My issues are simple, ethics and his irresponsible voting record that help create the finical mess in our country. As I have said I have never met the guy personally and to me it is all about policy. His paid bloggers are the people who keep making it personal!

      • Pine Knot says:

        PAID bloggers? I believe it is grassroots support and volunteers. Correct me if I am wrong. I seriously doubt the campaign is paying ANYONE to blog ect.

    • ByteMe says:

      How much honesty in the web site criticism do you want and what level of appeal are you trying to reach with your design?

        • ByteMe says:

          Ok, my first thoughts were:

          1. Start with a canvas that’s 1024 wide by about 600 pixels high. That’s the most visible part of every page on nearly every monitor. Make sure that your most important information stays within that canvas on every single page. Anything outside of that canvas area often won’t get noticed.

          2. Never have scroll bars within a portion of the page if you can help it. That’s usually an indicator of poor pre-design planning.

          3. Re-focus your main page on one or two messages you want to make sure everyone notices and then put links to your blog and other messages that are interesting. I’d probably make the main page a quick blurb on the Bibb GOP and its place within the state GOP network and then have blocks to the right and below that to include things like blog links, a calendar of upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, donation or fundraising opportunities, and so on.

          I’m not focusing on the graphics at all, since it has organizational problems that make the graphics seem less of a concern.

          I hope this helps. Good design is hard to do, so I commend you for wanting to do a good job with this and asking for feedback.

  11. I was only speaking in generalities, not referring to anyone specifically. The vetting process needs to happen on all of our folks. I’m sure they’re all big people and can handle it but sometimes it seems like a rectal exam on politicians. I probably ought to shut up. I’ve thrown quite a few bricks of my own at some folks in other elections in which I felt I was being righteous.

    This election cycle is “the long and winding road” that never seems to end. I’m tired of it and am oh so ready for July.

    • Lawton Sack says:

      Don’t forget that there is the August 10 runoff, the November 2 general election, a possible, though improbable, November 30 runoff, then it is time for Presidential election talk for two years!!!

      Seriously, though, this does seem like one of the longest election cycles I have ever been a part of. I believe today is the 100 day mark before the Primary.

Comments are closed.