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.