Whether by default or by design, the secret conference call I (as an incoming State Rep.) was invited to participate in was not much of a secret. Jim Galloway listened in as did Martin Matheny, the former mouthpiece for the Ga. Democrats (and they we’re worried about me leaking stuff!). That the contents of Deal’s call is out there is actually a good thing and once again I’ll urge elected officials to be as transparent as possible with their interactions with the public and supporters. If the information is going to get out anyway so why not just be open and transparent?
Galloway’s transcript is accurate and he’s right that the key moment was this:
“The obligations are certainly outstanding, and we are in the process of addressing those obligations. The press would have you believe we are insolvent, and that is far from the truth. We have assets that are going to be liquidated, including the place where the business was in operation, as well as other assets that we are willing to sacrifice in order to live up to our obligations.
“We believe that’s the responsible thing to do. Now, of course, on top of all of this is the implication that this in some way should have something to do with the governor’s race. I, quite frankly, don’t think that it has. I believe, if anything, this is an illustration of the fact that you need a governor who understands the pain that Georgians are facing.
Some may scoff at that last bit but I think it’s true. If you’ve never experienced financial difficulty you don’t know what those who have go through. Our financial system is not kind to those who struggle. Before you shout “just pay your freaking bills” I’ll ask you to talk to a business owner who’s risked everything and failed.
I’m not saying we should offer bailouts to failing businesses, not at all. Deal is certainly not asking for a handout, he’s attempting to pay his obligations back and reiterated in the call today that he can and will make payment in full. I’m talking about (and I think Deal is too) how we treat those on the lower end of our economic system. We treat them like crap, and sometimes you need to stare financial ruin in the face to understand that.
I must say, I was disappointed that Deal made no attempt to reassure us that there is nothing else out there. It’s easier to go to bat for someone when you know no other shoes will drop. I hope there’s nothing but we just don’t know.
I have no idea what impact Deal’s financial woes will have on his race for Governor. Already some anonymous GOP insiders (showing true courage) are running for the proverbial tall grass. I’m not jumping ship but Deal needs to get this behind him and talk about something else.