Barnes on Deal: Unfit to Serve

Barnes has begun to hammer Congressman Deal, alleging that Deal has “ethics issues.” Surprise!

In an interview with The Associated Press that touched on issues from immigration to predatory lending, Barnes said the lucrative arrangement Deal’s auto salvage business had with the state was a “serious error of judgment.”

“And we have the right to demand our highest elected officials that they not benefit themselves while in public office,” the Democrat told The AP.

“I’m disappointed and it pains me to say that, quite frankly, but I think it disqualifies him.”

This is a song and dance we will all be tired of hearing by November. It is my assumption that Barnes will cite Deal’s reluctance to release his tax records as an example of voters not being able to trust Deal. I point you to the sentence I emphasized – I think that phrase is very important. Former Governor Barnes released 25 years worth of tax records – I’d like to ask for the rest. By his own promulgated standard, we should be privy to a politician’s financial records while they have served in office. Herein is the problem: before two failed bids at the Governor’s mansion, and before his stint as a State Representative, Roy Barnes spent a few years in the State Senate. He was elected in 1974. The current year is 2010. I want the returns for your entire career as an elected official, Mr. Barnes – that is after all the standard you wish to hold others too.

I’m not finished.

This is the same Roy Barnes that bragged about not running negative ads in the primary and who stated that clean campaigns could be ran. Yeah, what happened there. I’m sure calling someone unethical and insinuating that they should be disqualified from running falls into the category of clean campaign tactics. But Barnes goes on to deposit this gem:

Barnes said he and Deal were friends when they served together in the state Senate for a decade in the 1980s. At the time Deal was a Democrat. He swapped parties in 1995 and became a Republican as the Republican revolution was under way led by fellow Georgian Newt Gingrich.

“I think he became Gingrichized,” Barnes said. “This is not the Nathan Deal I knew.”

Gingrichized. Really. I am not a gambling man. If I were, I would be willing to bet that Newt Gingrich is fairly popular in Georgia. Barnes had better be careful using language like this, he may cause Deal to gain more votes. Or is that the strategy now?

I haven’t seen Deal ads on the tv. I have seen plenty of Barnes ads. One told me that Nathan Deal was more of the same. But let me tell you about my favorite Barnes ad. It starts out talking about how we need a fresh start here in Georgia, then runs down Congressman Deal, and then talks about how we need Barnes’ experienced leadership.

This may be a Dodge County thing, but fresh start generally does not involve bringing back someone who has already been in power. Fresh start to me suggests a clean slate, something new – not a restoration of a previous status quo. Speaking of Dodge County – why don’t we talk about Governor Barnes’ judgement. He appointed a County Commissioner in Dodge County a few years back, that man is now in jail for buying votes. I accept that may be an isolated incident. But didn’t Barnes also endorse a man who was having an affair in last presidential election? Is this not the same Roy Barnes who was a character witness for Charles Walker?

I’m not sure we can trust former Governor Barnes. I invite him to come convince me we can, I’ll go buy a game of “Sorry!” from the local Walmart and we can play a game and have some sweet tea. Right now I remain unconvinced. I also remain unconvinced that Deal has done anything to disqualify him from office. So much rhetoric has been thrown around for the past six months – but we have yet to see any evidence of wrong doing. Unsubstantiated allegations make for good rumors, but for little else. The primary is over, it’s put up or shut up time.


  1. fishtail says:

    You doth pontificate a bit, but let me tell you, Deal’s involvement with the salvage equipment business and its State contract are the tip of the iceberg, my friend. Barnes knows some of what Deal was involved in on the side, while Deal was supposed to be a full-time Congressman. Truth be told (and soon), Deal was a part-time Congressman and a full-time hustler. Deal is in a huge bind with reconciling his income tax returns for public view. Stay tuned, my friend….this is gonna be fun to watch. No way he squirms out of this box….and Randy Evans knows exactly what this is all about.

    • Erick's Mortal Enemy says:

      Precisely. Deal is a corrupt, corrupt man. I did not vote for Barnes in the Dem primary for a reason, but damned if Deal will make Georgia into the new Illinois.

      The GOP always slams Obama for his “Chicago-style politics.” Well Deal wants to bring it right to West Paces.

    • Ron Daniels says:

      I need to see it. These elusive, “coming down soon” and so forth isn’t convincing. I can only make judgement calls on what I know to be the facts, when we start talking facts – then the ballgame can change.

      You get me those facts, and I’ll change my tune.

    • AlanR says:

      Prove it. Put up or shut up.

      Whatever it is you think you know, Handel didn’t figure it out, Eric Johnson didn’t figure it out, sleazy John Oxendine didn’t figure it out — and you know he would have leaked it, and the AJC hasn’t figured it out — or is too scared to suggest it because they know Deal will wind up owning the paper after the libel suit.

      So again — Prove it.

      • I don’t think Handel, Ox or Johnson figured Deal had a chance at making it into the runoff. Of course now that they’re all talking this unity BS there’s no way they’re going to push for anything to come out…

      • Doug Grammer says:

        Whereas, your candidate has done nothing in the service of Georgia on the same scale that the 2 Gov.s of CA you asked (I think it was you) me about on a statewide or national scale.

    • Ambernappe says:

      A quandary is before me – I lost sleep wondering when certain people would exercise their civic responsibility and reveal certain questionable items in the background of “The Ox”. Do you feel a responsibility to reveal information that may, or may not, affect the Deal candidacy negatively ? Do not we voters deserve to h ave all pertinent information before voting ? Did you have information which could have affected the outcome of the primary run-off ? Is it dishonest to withhold such information ? Are patriots such as me naive ? Who is Randy Evans ?

  2. Georgia Judge says:

    Good post!

    Barnes campaign to date can best be described as”The rantings of an old fat guy with a chip on his shoulder”.He hasnt gotten over the beat down that a virtually unknown State Senator put on him eight years ago.He would have us forget the miserable job he did and focus on a bunch allegations that are going nowhere and will not go anywhere.He would have us forget his liberal loving ways ,it will not work,he has had his shot and it was a total trainwreck.

  3. Pine Knot says:

    Good post.
    Figured someone would have a post up on the FP about the lead story on the 6 PM news today on Ch. 2. A very interesting poll.
    Will your opinion of President Obama and the national Democratic party’s job performance impact how you vote for statewide offices such as governor?
    InsiderAdvantage Poll
    Will Impact 67%
    Not An Impact 24%
    No Opinion 9%
    Margin of error +/-3%

    What is your opinion of the job performance of President Barack Obama?
    InsiderAdvantage Poll
    Approve 35%
    Disapprove 64%
    No Opinion 1%
    Margin of error +/-3%

    Deal hasn’t even put out an ad yet, but Barnes is running the same stuff others have tried to no avail….

  4. Gray says:

    Just to clarify:

    1 – Barnes releases 25 years of taxes.
    2- Deal releases zero years of taxes.
    3 – Peach Pundit demands that Barnes release more taxes from the 70’s
    4- Peach Pundit doesn’t demand Deal release any.

    …sounds about right…

    • Ron Daniels says:

      While we are clarifying, it says Ron Daniels authored this post. I am not a collective entity known as Peach Pundit.

      Also to clarify, there is an age old axiom – those in glass houses don’t throw stones. When Deal starts fussing about taxes, I’ll certainly admonish him for such – I’ve yet to see the great value of such an action.

      This is less about tax returns and more about double standards and double speak. You clarify that for me, and we will have gotten somewhere.

      • bowersville says:

        …it says Ron Daniels authored this post. Really? At first reading I thought it was authored by Miguel de Cervantes.

        It’s going to take more than a fly swat to get rid of the gorilla in the room.

    • All I’ve seen is that they’ll release them when they’re ready. I guess it takes a bit longer to file your returns when you have to figure out how best to hide things. Personally, I like to file in February. However, I don’t know that I’d be able to go back however many years of returns… I’d probably have to request copies from the IRS of what I sent them ’cause I didn’t always keep a copy.

  5. Harry says:

    If Deal is really disposed of his interest in the salvage business as of August 2009, how did it happen and what were the terms of sale and to whom? In what other quasi-governmental business activities has he been engaged? If Nathan Deal would release his tax returns for the last 5 years it would help put unanswered questions to rest, and might cause me vote for him.

  6. James Fannin says:

    Go online and pull down Nathan Deal’s federal disclosures. You will find that he rarely listed his outside income. He lists his Georgia Senate retirement, his wife’s retirement but no income from his salvage business except for one year. He also rarely disclosed his investment property in Hall or Habersham Counties although he has a several properties other than his personal home listed on the tax roles that he is required to disclose. His disclosures look like they were filled out with crayon and they are seriously very sloppy. I’m guessing that this is because his Chief of Staff Chris Riley filled them out and Nathan signed them without a serious review. My guess is that Nathan Deal’s tax returns are just as sloppy as his federal financial disclosures and that should he release them, there may be some obvious discrepancies between his disclosures and his 1040s and some obvious errors.

    I don’t really think Nathan Deal is a crook but he’s not much of leader either and he could be the poster child for the Tea Party view that we need to throw all the Washington bums out. That said, he is going to be the next governor because this is going to be the worst year ever for Democrats and absent some game changer revelation besides sloppy accounting and questionable ethics he is simply not going to lose to Barnes who is an even more dreadful alternative. I’m already starting to miss Sonny.

    • Harry says:

      Just curious…are you related to James Fannin, martyr of the Texas War of Independence – together with 400 of his men, and for whom Fannin County is named?

  7. Monica says:

    He he, I laughed at that line with “fresh start” in it also, I thought it was a really bad choice of words – it almost felt like someone responsible for the ad is trying to jeopardize the campaign. A guy who’s been in politics since the 70’s is not a “fresh starts,” no matter how they bend it.

    I have little interest in seeing Barnes’ tax records from the last 36 years, I have by far more interest in seeing Deal’s records, since he was caught already one time not paying all the taxes he was supposed to. Deal has violated just about any finance ethics rules, so no matter how many years of tax records we see from Barnes, Deal’s still a crook …

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