What Crimes? How about these?

In another thread, fishtail threadjacked with a detailed run down of possible laws Nathan Deal and his Chief of Staff might have broken. I’ve asked him to refine his post a tad, and here it is…

What laws has Nathan Deal broken: Here are a few.

1. First, there is 31 USC 1301. Though it makes no mention of enrichment, it strictly prohibits ANY use of taxpayer funds for ANY purpose for which they were not authorized. Deal would not be enriched by issuing a $1 million check to Chris Riley, but it would be illegal. (In actuality, they tried that to the tune of $90,000 and Riley got caught and had to return the cash. In that case they claimed ignorance of overpayment rules, and so far have not been further punished to date, but a prosecutor could well decide that, given that Riley would have had to certify that he had received training in those rules, he therefore was criminally liable — as Deal would be for certifying that the payment was made legally.)

2. Regardless, just so as not to let this bit of Orwellian double-speak pass, enrichment means acting to better yourself financially from what your position might otherwise be had you not acted. If the monopoly was done away with — which is what Deal was trying to prevent — then he would have been worse off. By moving to preserve it, he was attempting to enrich himself. Nice try.

3. There may be corruption here going back to Deal’s originally obtaining the franchise, which could be an ongoing criminal enterprise.

4. There is no circumstance in which Riley committed a crime but Deal did not, because Deal signs the monthly payroll sheet saying that Riley’s salary was solely used to employ him to do official business. That is the import of 18 USCA 1001. 31 USC 1301 forbids the misuse of government resources, and 18 USCA 1001 makes it a felony to sign a false statement about the use of those resources — Riley’s time. Riley is not allowed to have outside employment working for Deal’s firm, nor is he legally allowed to undertake Deal’s personal business as a favor, so the only legal possibility is that he did so as a staff member. Even were he to claim that he could be acting in some other capacity, the use of his official email not only to schedule the meeting, but to negotiate for legislative provisions makes it abundantly clear that he and Deal are using office resources, most notably staff, for Deal’s personal gain (or avoidance of loss, if you prefer, for legally and of course morally, they are no different).

5. As to the constituent issue, you should read the whole report. The House Ethics Manual — the document which defines the purposes for which the monies allotted to Members of Congress is appropriated — strictly prohibits the use of House staff for personal financial interests. That prohibition is absolute, and does not allow for staff to pursue constituent concerns that are in the direct financial interest of the Member of Congress.

6. As a matter of commonsense credibility, we have only Riley and Deal’s testimony that there were any such constituent contacts. Deal states that constituents told him that they could not get information on the program, but his own legislator, who the revenue commissioner said “hotboxed” him about the provision in question at the meeting, admits that no constituent other than Deal and his business partner contacted him. So, let’s decode that: If Deal and Riley have not perjured themselves (a distinct possibility), then in all likelihood the “constituent” in question is Deal’s own business partner. The law is not that easy to get around. Of course, again, as the report notes, it doesn’t matter one bit whether there were “constituent” concerns, because it’s still not legal for Deal’s staff to pursue them. And, uh, since when do Congressmen command state department heads for three meetings on an issue for which there is ZE-RO federal involvement?

There’s just no daylight for the partners in crime here. My opinion? Yeah, but also that of a unanimous panel of six bipartisan investigators. Think a jury would see it any differently? Only if it was made up of Deal’s “constituent”.

7. As an aside, Nathan is fortunate that the statute of limitations has actually run from the time he started this enterprise – when he was in the legislator. Bobby Whitworth went to prison for doing a lot less and getting a lot less money.

66 comments

  1. polisavvy says:

    Chris, if you wouldn’t mind, would you please explain what all this means? Is anything going to be done about these charges/violations? If so, when and by whom? Just curious and trying to understand it all. Thanks for any clarification (or, in my case, simplification) you can do.

    • Chris says:

      A question was asked in the comments, regarding the Grand Jury that subpoenaed Bart Graham, what laws Deal broke. I’m not the US Attorney, but fishtail did some digging and presented two sections of the US Code that could be germaine.

      I’m also told by another source that I should look up the Hobbs Act. When I find some free time I shall do that.

      None of this is to say the Deal is or is not going to be indicted. That is up to the US Attorney and the Grand Jury.

      • Ambernappe says:

        The Hobbs Act (18 U.S.C. 19520) prohibits any act or attempt at robbery or extortion affecting interstate or foreign commerce. It includes the “right to conduct business under the definition of “property”. Will be interesting to learn how this affects Mr. Deal.

  2. Monica says:

    You couldn’t have posted this before the runoff? I know for a fact that some Deal supporters do not know about Deal’s ethical violations. The media hasn’t really focused on it at all, we do have liberal media here in Georgia as well and they didn’t want to publicize Deal’s transgressions until the general election – they certainly wanted him to win the runoff.. Now the nation will be free to make fun of Republicans for choosing this personification of everything that is wrong with politics as our gubernatorial candidate…

    • eschristian says:

      If they (Deal supporters) did not know that Nathan Deal had ethic problems it is not from lack of information being thrown at them – they chose not to listen & now we are stuck with a candidate under grand jury investigation – trust me WE WARNED THEM!!!

      Perhaps voters could quit listening to stupid campaign commercials and educate themselves & quit voting like this is American Idol – “all that negative campaigns” & “she funds abortions” fyi newsflash she never funded abortions but they did not listen to that or research that themselves either – you need to tell “you should haves” to all the Deal voters not those who tried to warn them!!!

      • GOPwits says:

        apparently there were some who thought that the accusations weren’t true… I think they are all about to get really informed about the salvage business and the details of Congressional ethics…

  3. Harry says:

    If Deal is indicted a couple of weeks prior to election day, it would handicap the GOP leadership in selecting and presenting another candidate. That would be the unfortunate outcome – all’s fair in war and politics. Obviously Deal won the runoff fair and square, and has to be given the benefit of the doubt that all will go well, and we just have to hope that there will be no October surprise.

    • eschristian says:

      Go back to a prior post on here – something like “the real winner last night was” which lays out the case it will hurt Gov & Lt Gov since Casey Cagle is from the same neck of woods as Deal & has his fingerprints on the cookie jar too – way to go voters – we have some great candidates (YES THEY WERE WARNED & should have EDUCATED themselves prior to their vote!!!)

      • eschristian says:

        Oh and by the way the night before the election & day of election I was online telling constantly DO NOT VOTE FOR DEAL r/t I predict an indictment to come down mid October 2010. That would be Chi town Alinsky payback from Obama to the birther Deal.

  4. Henry Waxman says:

    Chris, do the (other) partners at your law firm know you are doing so much pro bono work for PeachPundit.com and Roy2010, Inc.?

  5. Doug Grammer says:

    OK here we go again….

    1.) The money paid to Riley was from campaign funds. The law you cite doesn’t apply.

    http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2009/07/16/deal-donates-91k-in-excess-payments-made-to-ex-chief-of-staff/

    2.) Congressman Deal’s concern was for the safety of the vehicles on the road. It was stated as such several times throughout the report, and even by Graham. You opinion that you think the sole purpose of the meeting was to preserve the program in the third meeting as originally structured is noted. So is the fact that an e-mail was sent that the concerns were withdrawn. It is also sworn testimony that GSD could have made MORE money under the NEW program.

    I found dozens of definitions of unjust enrichment, but could not find a federal statute that defines enrichment. Can you please cite what you are using? None of the definitions I found support your definition.

    3.) There maybe….what? There might be UFO’s in your backyard too. Let’s speculate a little more that Congressman Deal is a vampire while you are at it. My goodness, you have long arms to stretch so much.

    4. Once again I ask, are constituent services not part of the normal operation of a congressional office? You are completely wrong about Riley not being allowed to work for any other employer (including Deal’s Campaign) as being part of the law you cite. If you weren’t there wouldn’t be a limit on how much extra he can make outside of the office. See my the link in my response in point 1.

    5. As to the constituent issue, YOU should read the whole report. The House Ethics Manual is not a law. I thought we were discussing laws? It is debatable about if house rules were broken or not. They are legally irrelevant at this point. They might sway opinion, but I thought you were explaining what laws have been broken.

    6. http://oce.house.gov/disclosures/Review_No_09-1022_Referral_to_Standards.pdf

    Please look at pages 133 and 134 in the pdf. Does that look like an avadavat from a constituent? Yes, I believe it does. please look at pages 135 and 136 in the pdf. Does that look like a letter from a constituent? Yes, I believe it does.

    7. Apple Orange

    • flyonthewall says:

      LOL…we must have been responding at the same time. For the record, I like your’s better.

    • AlanR says:

      In the PMA investigation, OCE referred possibly criminal actions to the DOJ for further investigation. This is the reason OCE would not release materials to members of congress or the public.

      If OCE considered anything Deal did to be criminal, it would have referred the matter to DOJ, and we would know by now. And the investigation would be run by FBI/public integrity in Washington and not the US Attorney in Georgia.

  6. flyonthewall says:

    1. 31 USC 1301 reads “Appropriations shall be applied only to the objects for which the appropriations were made except as otherwise provided by law. First, an appropriation is tax dollars that have been appropriated for a specific purpose through the budgetary process. Thus, to have violated this statute the object of a line-item budget award must have taken those appropriated funds and spent them on something other than the stated or described purpose of the appropriation. What was the source of the “million dollar check?” What is your source? When has Mr. Deal taken a dollar that was “appropriated” to him through the budgetary process and spent it for a non-approved purpose. This libelous post begins with stating “laws Nathan Deal HAS broken” (emphasis added), then uses supposition and assumption to determine Mr. Deal’s intent. But more importantly, here you completely misapply the statute. How money that is budgeted to a a congressional office is spent is not statutory, but is subject to the house rules and is discretionary to the office itself. The circumstance you reference was simply a case that Mr. Riley was technically paid too much out of the congressional budget (which several entities within a congressional office are authorized to spend), which violated H. Rule 23. He immediately reimbursed the money and the matter was settled. But to state that Mr. Deal somehow violated a statute because of this procedural oversight on the part of his staff is far from violating any statute. Thus, thus your argument under #1, to put it nicely, is garbage.

    2. Once again the misuse and arbitrary use of the word “enrichment.” The fact of the matter is that Mr. Deal has as much a right to communicate his concerns with any policy that is under consideration by the legislature. What you describe as a “monopoly” is no different that the hundreds of legal “no bid” contracts that the business currently maintains. You again make an assumption that you are privy to the details of the conversation of the meeting that occurred between Mr. Deal , Lt. Gov Cagle, and Commissioner Graham. Mr. Deal stating his opinion that he feels that it is the best interest of the state not to privatize the program is completely a legitimate action. But the fact of the matter is, to even state that is what he was communicated in that meeting is improper because it assumes that I know what was said. That is my point, anything you say or I say regarding what was said or not said in that meeting is an assumption and to imply otherwise is ignorant. However, this is undisputable; a congressman has no direct power over a Lt. Governor or the commissioner of an agency. Thus, there isn’t a single act that Mr. Deal could have taken in that meeting short of quid-pro-quo that could have risen to the level of using his office or resources to “enrich” himself. You really should go and get a better understanding of the statute that you are using as the foundation of your argument prior to making such absolute statements.

    3. This is a doozy. You accuse the man of corruption, but don’t follow it up with even circumstantial evidence to support the claim. This is what blows my mind. All of the what is being claimed in this post follows the following statement “laws Nathan Deal broke,” but the claims that follow are based on nothing but supposition and assumptions.

    4. This is based on so many false premises that I don’t know where to begin. So, I will simply state that like numbers 1 through 3, it’s garbage.

    I understand that this was brought in from an outside source, but Chris, your willingness to use your front page posting privileges to post this here clearly demonstrates you are a hack; and hack that clearly can’t apply the first rule of statutory construction, “read the what is on the face of the statute.” Without an ambiguity on the face of the statute that prompts the need for some type of interpretation of the statute by the judiciary, it is not the place of the attorney to assume new meaning in the statute. I damn sure hope you aren’t a member of the bar in Georgia, for if that is true, it’s a sad day for the legal field in this great state of ours. This is nothing but you being a sore loser. While everyone around you is trying to move forward and focus on beating Roy Barnes, you are still tilting at windmills. Get over it. Erick, for the sake of all us, please do something about this hack.

  7. Henry Waxman says:

    By the way, Chris, while you are doing all of this crack legal research and public posting, you may want to closely review Georgia Code, Title 51 “Torts,” Chapter 5: “Libel and Slander.”

  8. Georgia Judge says:

    Chris,
    Repeat after me, Deal and Cagle will win in November.I know this bothers you to no end but a little reality check is what is needed here.This post is a JOKE.

  9. Pine Knot says:

    As I type I see there are 20 online. I get on everyday probably about a dozen times. The 60 or so regulars who read this site are serious about politics. Most of them make up their own mind no matter what the daily negative poll says about the GOP nominee Nathan Deal. I understand some people can’t let things go and are upset, but like Erick said, “DEAL WITH IT”, because he is the Republican nominee. Nathan is the GOP nominee and I find is rediculous that “conservatives” are trying to bring him down when our other option is Roy Barnes. Roy Barnes is a full fledged Obama Democrat. If you look back at a post I put up about a FP post a few days or a week before the primary that was referring to Roy giving a bunch of money to Obama, you would see how I feel that we need to support the Republican against King Roy. It was looking like Handel was going to win at that point. I said, “Another reason we should back the nominee.” I would have been upset that Nathan didn’t win, but I would work hard for Karen Handel against Roy Barnes.

  10. fishtail says:

    I’ve read, with some amusement, the various posts. A number of points:

    1. Riley was paid both U.S. House and campaign funds. He was paid a
    high enough salary from taxpayers to qualify him as “very senior
    staff”. That made his outside earnings illegal to the tune of $90,000.
    Or his outside earnings made the payment of the salary illegal and the
    certification that his salary was in compliance with House rules
    illegal under 18 USC 1001. A prosecutor would have to conclude at
    least one, and perhaps both of those to be true.

    2. I am using the English language to rebut your Orwellian, self-
    serving definition. But, again, misappropriation is illegal regardless
    of the purpose to which the misappropriation is put. Where does it
    mention enrichment in the statute, even obliquely, or even by
    implication? It simply does not.

    Every white collar offender offers a precontextual motive. You are the
    only one speaking up for Nathan Deal’s pretext. Regardless, even if,
    ah, “sincere”, Deal was not permitted to pursue this particular, ah,
    “constituent service” with public funds — see #4 below.

    3. It’s an observation (hence the word “may”). But it makes tremendous
    sense. He was a legislative leader who just “happened” to get a
    taxpayer-funded monopoly in a business he had not previously been
    involved in. You do the math. Oh, wait, your math always comes up,
    “Even if God himself tells us Deal is guilty, Deal’s innocent.”

    4. No, intervening to affect state law on behalf of a vendor who
    profits from that law is not part of the normal definition of
    Congressonal constituent services. This is not akin to tracking down a
    Social Security check. That is the bipartisan panel’s conclusion as
    well. Regardless, the fact that this issue would have a direct effect
    on Nathan Deal’s financial interests precludes the expenditure of
    staff and other resources on pursuing it, even if it had been an
    otherwise legitimate constituent services issue. So this fails on two
    levels (or three, since Deal offers no evidence that his constituents
    contacted him on the matter — see below).

    There is a specific exemption for outside income from campaigns, but
    it is limited (limits that Deal and Riley blew the doors off). There
    is also a specific prohibition on performing non-Congressional tasks
    for a Member (other than working for his campaign). Riley could
    legally have unrelated outside employment (provided he had not hit the
    overall compensation limit, which he regularly did), but not to
    perform the sort of tasks he was performing for Deal’s business, er,
    “constituent services”.

    5. I was very clear about why the House Ethics Manual is relevant;
    federal funds are appropriated for the Representatives’ office
    accounts. Legal expenditures to be made from those particular federal
    funds are defined by the House Administration Committee and the House
    Committee on Standards of Conduct (the “Ethics Committee”), the latter
    as detailed in the House Ethics Manual as well as advisory opinions
    (which are distributed to each office on bright pink sheets that are
    impossible to miss). If one spends funds not in accordance with the
    restrictions in the Ethics Manual, one violates 31 USC 1301(a). If one
    certifies that funds were spent in accordance with House rules, you
    also violate 18 USC 1001. Deal and Riley did the first; Deal did both.

    6. Does it look like an affadavit from Deal’s constituent? Nope. It’s
    someone from Douglasville, and one of the small fraternity of people
    with a similar regional taxpayer-funded monopoly — hardly an arms-
    length contact. There is an approved process for dealing with that; it
    is to refer the matter to the citizen’s actual Representative — in
    this case, David Scott or Lynn Westmoreland. It would also have been
    standard practice for either of those gentlemen to advise the
    constituent that this was a state matter, and to perhaps advise their
    state representative of the communication, and pursue it no further.
    If any of Deal’s actual constitutents contacted him, it was most
    likely Deal himself, or his business partner. Now, this is probably as
    good a place as any to point out that “get some answers” is one of
    those silly phrases people use in this sort of situation to disguise
    what’s really going on. They wanted to preserve their monopoly, and
    they weren’t able to get a sympathetic ear for that. I think these
    days we call that, “a feature, not a bug” of the way state government
    handled this situation up until the point Nathan Deal tried to bigfoot
    it.

    7. Proof of principle, as previously stated. MacIntosh and Red
    Delicious, perhaps, but a good illustration of how this area of the
    law generally works. Federal snd state law in this area are very
    similar. I could have cited examples dealing with the Rostenkowski and
    Traficant cases, but this one is from Georgia. Substitute the others
    instead, if you like; they both served time in federal prison for
    their offenses. Traficant had staff members work on his boat, not work
    for his taxpayer-funded monopoly.

    • Doug Grammer says:

      Fishtail,

      From now on I’m going to call you Charlotte. (as in Charlotte’s web.) You’ve been doing some heavy spinning. I’ll defer to fly on the wall’s rebuttal. There’s no need for both of us to do it.

      However, I think it’s funny you use the it depends on what the word enrichment menas to make your case and you can’t cite a source.

  11. MSBassSinger says:

    What – no misuse of public property because Nathan Deal jaywalked sometime in the past?

    Or misappropriation of taxpayer-funded air when Deal breathed government air when he was in a government building?

    Whether this stuff is coming from bitter Handel supporters or overzealous Roy2010 fanatics, this kind of slander does more harm to the accuser than to Deal.

  12. fishtail says:

    I’ve answered your question exhaustively: “What laws has Nathan Deal broken” (Actually, I wish it were exhaustively, but in fact there may be more.)

    Now please answer mine: If it’s so silly to think laws were broken, why is the U.S. Attorney investigating?

    Maybe y’all’s narrow legal constructions are as tortured as they sound

    • flyonthewall says:

      The limitation for outside income for congressional staff is not set statorily, it’s set by House rule, thus, even the excess 90k that Mr. Riley made and promptly paid back initially violated a rule, not a statute. The point is that it was “illegal,” you should really go look up the definition of the term to get a high school basic understanding of what it means.

      The only reasonable inferrence that can be made from the facts taht are known is that Mr. Deal may have violated the House ethics rules regarding the use of his congressional resources to set up a private meeting that dealt with a private matter (ie office email and phone).

      You ask what they are investigating? We can only infer the answer of that question. But this is what I believe to be true. The only federal statute that Mr. Deal would be the “Honest Services” Act. However, the SCOTUS recently determined that to violate Honest Services an actual extortion or kickback must be involved (see: Skilling v. United States).

      So, the US Attorney is likely investigating to ensure that Honest Services wasn’t violated. But to have violated this statute Mr. Deal must have actually extorted Lt. Gov. Cagle or Comm. Graham or offerred either or both of them a kickback.

      If you believe this gentleman, who is a former prosecutor,a former judge, and has served 30 years in public service without so much as a sniff of an ethics problem until after he announced he was running for governor attempted to extort these gentleman or offered them a kickback, then you are truly delusional; that, or you lack he intellectual capacity to understand any of this.

      FYI, whoever is trying to even reference the Hobbs Act here needs to take a close look at what that statute covers. It deals with racketering and public corruption. Again, actually requiring an objective and identifiable corrupt act.

      I leave you with this fish. Go learn the difference between a cogressional rule and a statute. You are a perfect example of someone who understands a few “sexy” words in a statute, but then thinks they understand what it means and how it is applied.

      Short of the US Attorney discovering that Mr. Deal actually attempted some type of quid pro quo arrangement, there won’t be an indictment. That did not happen.

      • Provocateur says:

        Fly, keep in mind that neither the US Attorney nor grand jury may be informed of Skilling, et al. and COULD indict regardless of the SCOTUS decision. It would then be up to Deal to defend himself with Skilling.

        There have been cases of US Attorneys falsely accusing someone of a federal crime, prosecuting it, losing it, and not facing any repercussions from doing so.

        The standards of decency for how people act in this country keeps on getting lower and lower every year. It is a natural thing to see the justice and law enforcement branches of our government(s) also experience lower standards in their operations and methods.

        • AlanR says:

          Honest services is ripe for prosecutorial abuse. Anyone in business or government can probably be charged. It is way too broad. If a staff member goes to a golf outing sponsored by a lobbyist and his boss later votes for legislation supported by the lobbyist, the staff person could be charged. Its a way for prosecutors to destroy people if they won’t do what they’re told by the USattorney.

    • Lady Thinker says:

      Good post fishtail. I am sure we have not heard the last of Deal’s ethical and legal problems. At one point, he had spent over $4o,000 on legal fees. I wonder what that figure is now?

  13. fishtail says:

    Listen, all you “cracker-jack” lawyers. The House rules are, legally, what defines the permissible uses of the Member’s Representational Allowance (part of which used to be called the “clerk-hire allowance”). That’s not some strange guess. Besides being common sense, it’s settled law. Congress does not commmit directly to statute all the ins-and-outs of what the MRA may be spent on; it writes a few lines in the Legislative Branch Appropriatons Act, and counts on the House Administration and the House Standards of Conduct (Ethics) Committees to flesh out the details. If the House rules say that it is impermissible to use funds for a purpose, then the funds are by definition not appropriated for that purpose.

    From U.S. v. Diggs (wherein one Congressman Diggs was convicted of a particularly blatant form of misappropriation and attendant violations of 18 U.S.C.1001) :

    “The legal standard is the law and rules Congress has passed, not the conduct some may have engaged in. “[F]acing up to reality,” in our colleague’s phrase, may tell us that congressmen other than Diggs convinced themselves that there was an “ambiguity” associated with the clerk-hire rules, but the “reality” of other offenders does not change the law; for this court the law is plain.” [Emphasis added.]

    This is the controlling case. It is well-settled law. There’s much, much more in it that tears your ludicrously narrow wished-for reading of the law to shreds. Here’s the link to the full opinion of the court:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=8185901693441828862&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr#%5B38%5D

    Some of you seem to doubt whether Deal’s signing incorrect payroll forms violated 18 USC 1001. It does, per the same case:

    “[W]e address the question of whether the defendant was also guilty of transgressing 18 U.S.C. § 1001. The courts have interpreted section 1001 to require that the false representations made to the “department or agency” be material. The test of materiality is whether the statement “has a natural tendency to influence, or was capable of influencing, the decision of the tribunal in making a [particular] determination.” Proof of actual reliance on the statement is not required; the Government need only make a reasonable showing of its potential effects.”]

    In this case, the defendant was accused of falsifying the payroll authorization forms submitted to the House of Representatives Office of Finance for his employees Stultz, Matlock, and Dukes. In seeking the payroll increases for these employees, Congressman Diggs failed to disclose to the Office of Finance the real purpose for which the monies were intended—the defrayal of his personal and congressional expenses. Had the defendant revealed these intentions, it reasonably could be expected that the Office of Finance would not have honored the payroll requests or at least would have referred the matter to the appropriate House committee for advice. We hold, therefore, that the defendant’s omissions were material.””

    You should note that the only question is whether knowing the true nature of the expenditures would have led the agency (the U.S. House) to inquire further. In this case, we know, because of the clear text of the House Ethics Manual, that it would in fact have not only inquired further, but rejected the expenditure.

    Violations of one particular kind House Rules — how a Congressman sends the money allotted to his office — are indeed violations of 31 U.S.C. 1301(a). Signing forms attesting that you are in compliance with the House’s expenditure rules when in fact you are not is a violation of 31 U.S.C. 1001, punishable by up to five years in federal prison — per violation.

    The courts have considered your reading and decided it simply leaves too much room for corruption. But common sense could have told you that. There’s always a way to read a law so narrrowly that it only applies to cases that rarely happen in the real world. Thankfully, most courts don’t fall for that sort of sophistry.

    BTW, Diggs was also convicted eleven counts of mail fraud. To the extent that the mails, interstate telephone service, or the internet were used in connection with the Deal/Riley offenses, those would also apply here.

    • GOPwits says:

      Well at least someone has an understanding of the seriousness of the issue… The question for Deal and his enthusiasts is, If he is indicted by the federal grand jury investigating this, will he step aside as the nominee?

      • Lady Thinker says:

        I doubt that Deal will step aside for any reason. At his age, this is his one and only change at the governorship and he won’t step aside as graciously as Karen did.

    • Doug Grammer says:

      Charlotte.

      I went to your link and stopped reading after I got to this section: “paid out of the salary allotted to them from the congressional clerk-hire allowance various personal, business, or official expenses of the defendant.”

      The case and law you cite do not apply, because Riley was paid with campaign funds for campaign work. He was paid by the congressional allocation for congressional work. You have NO PROOF other than your OPINION that he was representing Congressman Deal in any personal business venture.

      I liked this link so much I think it’s appropriate to use it again for you, Charlotte:

      http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/835419-crying-baby-sound-effect-wav

  14. Mama_grizzly says:

    Time will tell who is right? I keep hearing the same theme from you Deal supporters-he did not violate the law. You ignore the fact that what he did was unethical. Oh, that is right, he was just trying to keep unsafe cars off the road. Sure, he had three high level meetings to do that when he just could have gone to the press. you need to stop living in disney world

  15. B Balz says:

    Interesting comments, mostly impossible for the layperson to KNOW which argument is correct as they are in the Byzantine provinces of learned lawyers.

    One thing that strikes me about all this ethics discussion: Will PP, or some of its’ contributors, be brought up on ethics charges if they don’t disclose their candidate advocacy? If PP claims of being GA’s leading GOP pol voice are considered true, then the concerted efforts to sway public opinion may have ethical implications.

    As long as the discussions were intra-GOP, I guess the issue was moot, but now the most influential GOP blog in GA seems to be advocating for the opposition. Some of y’all may need to consider registering as Roy’s lobbyists!

    Headlines scream, “Popular bloggers face ethics charges.” Could it happen? I guess everyone has done their due diligence and knows where the chalk lines are, correct?

  16. jeff says:

    Fishtail – could you tell me how you believe it was a “tax payer funded monopoly”? If you would do a little research on how the system worked you would realize that state inspectors went to several businesses around the state to inspect salvaged vehicles. Each region of the state probably has a central location or business that the inspector would visit a certain times. The person who wanted a clean title for their salvaged vehicle would bring that vehicle to the central location to have it inspected. Part of the fee the person paid was for the state and the inspector for inspecting the car and a small portion of the fee was for the business who set the meeting up and held it on their property. Please explain to me how “tax payer funds” enter into the equation anywhere in this type of transaction?

    • Ambernappe says:

      The fact is, that the business of Mr. Deal and his partner was paid $100.00 per auto, and all others were paid $50.00 per auto. How was the difference made up ? The ripple effect most certainly has created a bookkeeping problem somewhere. Mr. Deal informed the AJC that he did not have, and never had “any contract”, “only an agreement”. No details. What a way for a State to do business. How does this not equate to unethical activity ?

  17. AlanR says:

    “Which office do I go to get my reputation back?”

    After all is said and done, we will find out that Nathan Deal did nothing wrong. All the headlines and handwringing are designed to help Barnes and further the democrats who have too many ethical problems.

    Today’s news shows that after six years of allegations and negative news coverage, the DOJ has decided it can’t find anything wrong with Tom Delay.

      • Ambernappe says:

        The situation with Tom DeLay involves actions which DID NOT violate Texas law specifically. He was a “specific target” of Speaker Pelosi.

    • bowersville says:

      The news about Tom Delay came out yesterday. I thought about bringing it up yesterday but I thought it might open a can of worms.

      As in legal fees for 6 years and who’s paying them plus how is the money being raised and what obligations come with the money and thought better of it. But that’s just me.

      • AlanR says:

        Good thoughts. He left congress in June 2006, so he’s not selling his office. Maybe Dancing with the Stars pays well, although it can’t possibly compensate for the total loss of any credibility he had before he went on the show.

        But after years of being vilified by democrats and finally made the subject of an intense investigation that led to his resignation, we finally find that he really didn’t do anything.

        Whatever you think of Nathan Deal, we shouldn’t let the federal prosecutor decide the next governor based on rumors of grand juries and investigations. So far only one witness claims to have been called, and its the same person who likely leaked the Chris Riley emails to the AJC in the first place.

        • KariDee says:

          Ok…..so I am gonna pull a Lady Thinker and say…..Great post AlanR! Hey….where is she anyway??

          • Provocateur says:

            Yes, but if you pull that technique, you’ll no longer be known for your own imaginative answers.

  18. Gop_Youth12 says:

    I to not understand why people continously tend to bring up Nathan Deal’s ethics charges. I have been with his campaign from the beginning, and for those of you who havent, you do not hear the entire story…you just hear what his opponents say, or what the liberal media says. All of the ethics complaints against him are ridiculous and have no merit at all. I suggest that before anyone start pointing fingers at Governor Deal, that they hear his side…that they take into consideration that people are out to ruin his reputation. He is a man of integrity and faith. He has been serving our great state for over 30 years, and it is not until he decides to run for governor that someone starts “mudslinging”. Deal. Real.!

  19. Blog Goliard says:

    I have no idea who’s more right on the facts here. But on the argument over the law, fishtail’s posts seem the strongest and meatiest in this thread. At least that’s my .02, as a member of the Bar–who, unfortunately, knows precious little about the statutes and precedents involved here. (Otherwise I’d have much more than .02 to contribute on that point…and I’d be looking for someone to bill for it too, as a fella’s got to feed his hungry children.) A little more detail and a little less dismissiveness in replying to him would be in order I think.

    Also, it may not be the intended effect, but I get a good laugh out of seeing upset Deal supporters go on about how the man has spent 30 years “serving” us without even a whiff of scandal of any sort, and so this whole liberal-media-driven controversy is an outrage.

    *We* have served *him* for years by bestowing upon him a succession of public offices that afforded him authority, influence, a fat pay packet, and sundry honors and perks. And he may very well not be a criminal, or even measurably worse than the average politician; but I don’t know that he’s ever been above suspicion or a crusading hero fighting for ethics either. At best he seems an average politician who will get away with what he can and who–if everything he’s ever done became public knowledge and he ran up against a prosecutor and judge who were both hostile hard-asses–might very well find himself behind bars…just like most everybody else who has ever served in Congress for more than a week or two.

    For these reasons, this wounded martyr act on his behalf is not going to impress me…and I don’t think it’s likely to impress many other voters undecided in the Governor’s race either. Especially in this election year.

    And I remain undecided. I like Monds but am not impressed with him. I’m impressed with Barnes but do not like him. I’m leaning against Deal on both counts, but only slightly. Maybe it’s just my self-centered hubris talking, but it’s my hunch that there’s more than a few other voters out there just like me.

    • Bridget says:

      “And I remain undecided. I like Monds but am not impressed with him. I’m impressed with Barnes but do not like him. I’m leaning against Deal on both counts”

      Excellent summary.

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