The Deal Conference Call

September 17, 2010 12:16 pm

by Buzz Brockway · 61 comments

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.

Progressive Dem September 17, 2010 at 12:23 pm

“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.”

Oh yeah, that’s it. We’re going to have a ‘kinder and gentler’ GOP in Georgia. Don’t hold your breath.

ZazaPachulia September 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm

“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.”

So Buzz, how exactly does “Ghetto Grandmothers” fit into this pathetic apologetic spin you’re weaving?

center5 September 17, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Yeah, Buzz was doing some serious HEAVY lifting in those last four paragraphs. I was exhausted for him. Really, if you have to work that hard to weave it all together…just stop.

Bottom line…this isn’t regular business kind of debt. This is “big-business-question-my-judgment” kind of debt.

Lady Thinker September 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Good question Zaza

I Am Jacks Post September 17, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Comments like this remind us why Towery remains a two bit wannabe:

“This close to the election, there is no provision that would allow the party to designate a substitute candidate.

There is no indication that Deal is contemplating such a move.”

Just more of Towery fighting for attention. “I worked for Newt Gingrich, respect ‘ma authorita!”

Chris September 17, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Buzz,

So did he admit he deliberately tried to deceive the voters by not disclosing a 2.8Million dollar loan to the SEC, or is he just stupid?

I don’t care he had a debt. Leverage is what grows the economy. The fact it wasn’t made public is a problem.

Lady Thinker September 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Agreed.

Doug Grammer September 18, 2010 at 8:41 pm

It was reported on his federal discloures.

Harry September 17, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Because of all the questions it would be good if Deal would clearly exhibit and explain all his sources and uses of funds and guarantees for the past 2 or 3 years or so. One question is, if he sold his interest in the state inspection part of the Gainesville salvage business, then what else happened to cause him to owe money because of the business sale or be a guarantor debts of the business? I would think his partner owes him for this transaction, rather than him owing his partner or some third party. Are we correct to assume that the Gainesville debt is unrelated to his other problems? I would also be curious to know what was the sales price and terms of the sale of the inspection aspect of the operation, and if Deal retained any residual interest, direct or indirect, in it.

hugoblacksupreme September 17, 2010 at 12:41 pm

It is hard to pull for this guy. I have just decided to sit it out and not vote for Gov. Something just don’t smell right!

seenbetrdayz, Ph.D. September 17, 2010 at 12:45 pm

What if we aren’t in Deal’s shoes? What if we’re flat broke but we actually believe in—hmm, I don’t know—living within our means? Deal made some mistakes. He over-invested, he lost out. That’s capitalism, and that’s how it works, and I’m fine with that. Risks that pay off should be rewarded, and risks that fail should lose out. (at least, that’s the way it used to work).

But let’s not pretend that Deal is in our shoes. Some of us actually believe in living within our means.

(Bracing for incoming ‘conservatives’ to tell me how radical that notion is).

AlanR September 18, 2010 at 12:21 am

Deal was living within his means. There is no lavish lifestyle here. He guaranteed loans for his daughter and son in law. He screwed up . . . he trusted them.

He’s going to make good on their mistakes. The honorable thing to do.

He also has my permission to shoot his son in law. No jury of his peer would ever find him guilty.

bowersville September 18, 2010 at 8:29 am

Some people will say Nathan vouched for this creep when he co-signed the note and was taken in by a shyster.

Others will say worse.

At some point people will begin to believe the bank(CB&T) was throwing money out the front door and being hauled off by the pick-up truck load, both the lender and the recipient throwing good money after bad.

Just Sayin September 17, 2010 at 12:52 pm
ACCmoderate September 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I’d be wary of any individual coming into office under debt obligations. The temptation to take easy money for help from lobbyists is way way too high.

Buzz Brockway September 17, 2010 at 3:21 pm

So nobody with debt can be elected? You might want to rethink that statement.

Does Roy Barnes have any debt? How about John Monds? If so throw them off the ballot.

CobbGOPer September 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Everybody’s got a little debt, Buzz, but not everybody has near $5 MILLION in debt. If Deal were trying to get on board as CEO of a company, I don’t know of one that would even seriously consider him with that type of fiscal track record.

Buzz Brockway September 17, 2010 at 3:37 pm

It’s all relative. If Deal has the ability to pay it off it’s no problem.

CobbGOPer September 17, 2010 at 3:49 pm

By selling property? His house? The property the business is located on? Last time I checked, real estate in Georgia is not a good place to be right now. Unless of course some of his associates get together to buy the property and bail him out.

ZazaPachulia September 20, 2010 at 1:06 am

just remember, Deal was against the “blind trust” concept in the primary debates… Now we know why. Number one reason Nathan Deal wants to be governor — it gives him a free place to live so he can sell his house and cover his debts.

Buzz, your defense of Sweetheart Deal is insufferable… I’m still waiting for an answer to my question at the top of this thread.

Progressive Dem September 17, 2010 at 7:06 pm

I remember a certain candidate in the GOP primary for the 9th (Evans) who backed out because he had too much debt and he needed to concentrate on his personal finances. That was refreshing.

AlanR September 18, 2010 at 12:24 am

And remember the other candidate in the 9th who didn’t act very honorably and now they call him Congressman.

bobspolitics September 19, 2010 at 7:13 pm

No the guy who didnt act very honorably we all call a sore loser. The guy that continued to drag up mud and got beat 4 times because the people of the 9th district didn’t buy into it.

bowersville September 17, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Did anyone take note of Barnes’ reaction to this latest revelation?

Barnes: Deal needs to make full disclosure.

I translate that double speak to mean, put it out there and get it over with.

View from Brookhaven September 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I think Barnes is wise enough to understand how to use this one. This isn’t his first rodeo, after all.

He can’t go direct with the “Deal is irresponsible! He’s a debtor! Throw him in the stocks!” line. Too much of a risk that he would create sympathy among those that have been in Deal’s spot.

Rather, he should continue to ask for full disclosure to leave that seed of “What else is Deal hiding? What won’t he tell us?” in the minds of the undecideds…

Harry September 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Yeah. The guy’s a trial lawyer, after all.

CobbGOPer September 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm

That would be the best strategy at this point, barring any other bad news out of the Deal camp. Which isn’t a given apparently, what with the grand jury still snooping around him and his associates.

BuckheadConservative September 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm

If he had one venture go bad and owed say, like, a million. Fine, Buzz’s statement could be make sense. But, this was a series of bad business decisions and a huge pile of debt, some of it connected to a business that you are already in hot water over, all concealed. If this is truly inconsequential…why wasn’t it disclosed?

ACCmoderate September 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Someone pointed me to @realdeal4gov on twitter. I’ve been laughing all morning.

CobbGOPer September 17, 2010 at 2:21 pm

More financial information that Deal didn’t disclose? I’m sorry, you can only have so many bookkeeping “oversights” before it looks like you’re deliberately trying to hide something or obfuscate the truth. Or you need to get a new freaking accountant, because the one you have is apparently drinking on the job.

This man is a liar, and we don’t need him in the Governor’s Mansion.

Lady Thinker September 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm

It seem everything that comes out on deal is an oversight or he’s being picked on or whatever. The congressional ethics thing is someone picking on him, the congressional quitting, unquitting, and quitting again is picking on him, the money is an oversigh. The influence peddling with Cagle is a misunderstanding. What else is hidden or misunderstood that he will never admit until he has too?

jackson September 17, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Its so funny how ya’ll are so easily manipulated by the AJC. Its sad actually. I was reading the article today and they through in the thing about the OCE review and it had nothing to do with the article and wasn’t even germaine to what they were talking about. It didnt even transisition, it just went into it.

Really? He didnt disclose a business loan? How many of you actually read these financial disclosures, let alone the public? If he had put it in there, would everyone really be worried about it? I am not saying he shoudnt have put in in there, its required, but it could have been an oversight. I just think its funny that ya’ll think it should be front page news and is such a big issue.

Even worse, if he owes that debt, but has a value that is double that amount, how is he going to be insolvent personally. He could sell teh other business, pay off that debt, liquidate other items, and be fine. ya’ll act like its the end of the world.

Can ANYONE name a front page article thats been negative about Roy Barnes? Doesnt exist. Really? Nothing about him being a slumlord, representing cases before people he appointed, anything? He’s really that clean?

C’mon. Ya’ll really are uneducated and easy to manipulate.

David Staples September 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm

“Nothing about him being a slumlord”

From what I’ve read, the houses he owns are kept in good shape and the people that rent from him are very happy. Could you show some evidence of his slumlordiness please?

CobbGOPer September 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm

“…it could have been an oversight.”

I point to my above post. He’s had way too many “oversights” the last few years with regards to fully disclosing information about his finances and business interests. Either his accountant is grossly incompetent, or he was trying to hide this information.

ACCmoderate September 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm

So we shouldn’t believe the AJC, but we should believe an anonymous commenter on a conservative blog?

Hmmmmmmmmm. Decisions. Decisions.

I think I’ll roll with the actual journalists. Especially considering that its their job to “actually read these financial disclosures”

rightofcenter September 17, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Actually, interestingly enough, all of the info that came out in the AJC this week in regards to the debts regarding his daughter’s business were right there in the financial disclosure he filed with the state back when he qualified (if you don’t believe me, go to the Ethics Commission and look it up). It was all right there in the open to see that he had high contingent liabilities.

Now the loans involving GSD is another matter. Not having it on there was sloppy and stupid. If it was as it has been presented (both in the AJC and by Deal himself), there was no reason to not include it – it was easily explainable if someone bothered to ask. The omission was dumb.

jackson September 17, 2010 at 3:08 pm

COBB – “He’s had way too many “oversights” the last few years with regards to fully disclosing information about his finances and business interests. ” Name the oversights, please. I could be wrong, but my recollection is that issues with Deal are not oversights, they are issues with the state using his business to inspect cars. I think everything was disclosed as it related to that. I am not going to get into that argument, I am just wondering how many oversights he had on his campaign about failing to disclose required information.

ACC – I reread my post. Did I make any statements of fact (outside of, maybe, explaining how he could pay his debts)?. Its not about believing me or believing the AJC. It’s about choosing to focus on what the AJC says is important but isn’t really important. I may believe the AJC, but that doesn’t mean they are the arbiters of what is a legitimate issue or not. I clearly pointed out that they have an agenda in writing these stories. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t include non-germaine issues in their stories and they would focus on both candidates misgivings. Again, where are the negative articles on Roy Barnes? Where is the article about Roy Barnes failing to disclose he was lobbyist? Isn’t that important? Exactly.

DAVID – I don’t know if its even worth responding to you as clearly, based on all your posts on this site, there is probably nothing that will convince you Roy has ever done anything wrong. What have you actually READ about his real estate ventures? Was there really an article written on all his renters being happy? Wow. I am surprised. Must have been a really great read.

HowardRoark September 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Here, David let me field this one for you.

JACKSON – I don’t if it’s even worth responding to you as clearly, based on all your post on this site, there is probably nothing that will convince you Nathan has done anything wrong. What have you actually read about his business ventures and meetings with Bart Graham? Are there any articles about any businesses that Deal is involved in that hasn’t failed or is requiring large cash infusions in the form of multi-million dollar loans to stay afloat? I bet if there were any of those, it would be a great read.

CobbGOPer September 17, 2010 at 3:55 pm

If you’d care to read the OCE report on Deal, it lists several “omissions” to his financial disclosures, relating to money he didn’t report as income from the salvage business, as well as not disclosing that he was listed as an officer in the company. Deal wrote these off as paperwork “oversights” and later amended his disclosures. But only after he was found out first. Again, errors in paperwork are certainly possible, but when you start finding so many errors, it gives the strong appearance that you’re deliberately trying to hide the information. Again, that, or his accountant deserves to be drawn and quartered.

Doug Grammer September 17, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Be accurate. He reported the income as earned income instead of passive income. He did not hide the income as you suggest. (page 138 of the OCE.) He listed himself as member/partner/owner on GSD (Gainesville Salvage and Disposal) , but you want to complain that he didn’t also list himself as Secretary? (page 91 of the OCE) Loans for the GSD and the daughter and son in-laws business are disclosed in the report. (Page 112 of the OCE.) It plainly states that “Sandra and I guaranteed the bank note (loan).”(page 91 of the OCE. )

These loans have been public knowledge since the OCE reports came out in March, and because these are part of his disclosures, I imagine they have been out much longer than that. I would guess that his accountant deserves to be drawn and quartered, for not disclosing the same information already publicly available, twice.

The only thing new is that his daughter declared banruptcy.

Doug Grammer September 17, 2010 at 6:13 pm

My modify time has expired. Some loans were disclosed but I need to do research to see if all of them were.

CobbGOPer September 17, 2010 at 6:50 pm

You do that Chairman. Meantime we’ll wait and see what new revelation we’re going to get about Nathan on Monday. Then you can start spinning that too.

Doug Grammer September 17, 2010 at 6:56 pm

He listed himself as member/partner/owner on GSD (Gainesville Salvage and Disposal) , but you want to complain that he didn’t also list himself as Secretary?

If you’re going to nitpick everything as little as this, I won’t have time to spin. Next we will be talking about if he jaywalked in 1982 or if he really had the crosswalk sign.

CobbGOPer September 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm

He jaywalked. I’m sure of it.

Doug Grammer September 17, 2010 at 8:17 pm

1.6 & 500K, both for Wilder Outdoors, were listed on the May disclosures. Nothing for GSD. The creditor and debtor seem to be reversed.

On the OCE report, the loans are listed between more than 1 million and less than 5 million. Technically, they look accurate and reflect what’s on his newly revised report.

jackson September 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Cobb — Understood. I see how it could create that impression. I forgot that it was part of the OCE report. My mistake. That said, I don’t think this disqualifies someone running for governor but I understand it could create an impression something was up. At the end of the day, the question, in my mind, is: Does the newly disclosed information change anything? Or better put maybe, if by keeping that information “secret” would it protect any specious activity? In none of the cases was any activity (beyond failure to disclose it obviously) illegal, unethical, or against any laws/rules that may have governed them at the time.

HOWARD – Wow. Such a well put statement. I don’t normally make a ton of posts on this site. I have kids and don’t have time to constantly bicker with people with whom the presentation of actual facts doesn’t matter. I don’t have a problem criticizing Nathan Deal, and I have. I just don’t, as I stated earlier, blindly decide to think something is important just because someone else says it is important.

And, as to your questions, I’ll answer them, even though You (nor apparently David or anyone) care to answer mine (save for COBBGOPer):

Howard asks: What have you actually read about his business ventures and meetings with Bart Graham? I’ve read a lot. The good ole AJC puts it in every story, even ones where it has nothing to do with it. (I think I even read about it in an article about an education debate.) I just don’t see how talking to Bart Graham about changing that program is wrong. What is wrong about that? ANY Citizen would be entitled to do that. I came to that conclusion on my own by actually reading the information about what actually happened. You may disagree, but again, what law/rule was broken?

Howard Asks: Are there any articles about any businesses that Deal is involved in that hasn’t failed or is requiring large cash infusions in the form of multi-million dollar loans to stay afloat? I really don’t know how to answer this but I’ll try. Sorry Howard.

Deal was involved with ONE failed business, his daughters. Why is that so terrible? As for a multi-million dollar loan for a multi-million dollar company, ummmm…dude, that’s how a lot of multi-million dollar companies work. The loan is a commercial loan, is paid in full each month, and is only HALF the value of the property/business it is collateralized for. Again, whats the big deal? Are you serious that the fact he and a business partner got a business loan for their business is so terrible? Yeesh. I cant believe that is your argument.

Dave Bearse September 18, 2010 at 12:35 am

“I just don’t see how talking to Bart Graham about changing that program is wrong. What is wrong about that? ANY Citizen would be entitled to do that. ”

What’s wrong with that is that regular citizens don’t have an entitlement to private access to senior state officials (though perhaps Congressmen do). There’s about as much chance winning big in the state lottery as any other small junkyard owner-citizen being granted three personal audiences with Bart Graham, one with the Lt Governor in the room, to try to change Graham’s mind.

HowardRoark September 18, 2010 at 6:24 am

So you don’t think it’s kinda odd that the loan he forgot to disclose just so happened to be for the business that had a salvage arrangement with the state that he fought to preserve at taxpayer expense?

I’m familiar with how businesses work. I’m just not so sure Nathan Deal does :)

David Staples September 20, 2010 at 9:48 am

Jackson – I typically don’t get on Peach Pundit from noon or so on Friday until Monday at some point. If I’m not on here, I don’t see your responses. However, you’ve obviously got a bit more reading to do here, as I’m not a Barnes supporter… I’m a Monds supporter. I prefer smaller government, not larger. But yes, I did see an article where at least one of Barnes’ renters was interviewed.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/government/elections/2010-06-28/land-buys-help-barnes-amass-wealth?quicktabs_5=1

“Robert Singleton, 55, lives in one of the former governor’s rental homes and said Barnes Land and Investments — the holding company that manages the property — has been an attentive and responsive landlord.”

So again… can you provide an example of where Barnes is a slumlord? I’m sincerely interested if so… otherwise you’re just making it up as you go along. I prefer facts, not just random wild accusations.

jackson September 17, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Thanks Doug. I hope you are not wasting your time presenting facts to people that don’t care about them.

Romegaguy September 17, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Hey Buzz were you or anyone allowed to ask Deal any questions or did he just read a prepared statement and end the call?

Buzz Brockway September 18, 2010 at 11:20 am

No questions.

debbie0040 September 20, 2010 at 8:34 am

I received a phone call about someone starting a write in campaign but I don’t believe that would succeed. The only alternative to Deal (if you don’t want Barnes) is Monds..

I have a problem with the fact it was left off the reporting form. I also don ‘t think it was accidential either..

I thought there were provisions if the nominee stepped down for whatever reason, the GA GOP Executive Committee could replace him. Is that wrong?

Doug Grammer September 20, 2010 at 9:57 am

There are no valid write in choices. Congressman Deal won’t be stepping down as the nominee. You are correct that if he died, the GA GOP Executive Committee could replace him. That’s the only way he won’t be willing to serve, and I still think he will be elected.

polisavvy September 20, 2010 at 10:02 am

Doug, it is true that write-ins can only be done with absentee ballots? Hasn’t the time already passed for one to obtain an absentee ballot? I don’t know why I thought that’s the case. Please let me know if I’m incorrect. Plus, there is not way to “write in” a candidate on the machines, either — true? And, didn’t you let us know months ago that a person has to have their name added to be a write in candidate? (I might be imagining that, but I thought that to be the case). Sorry to ask so many questions, but perhaps others are wondering the same as me. Thanks in advance.

Doug Grammer September 20, 2010 at 10:13 am

If someone were interested in being a write in candidate, I think they would have to follow the same procedures that Ray Boyd talked about doing. It’s basically the same thing as running as an independent. They way, they could appear on the touch screens. The time for that has passed. Georgians have three names on the ballot, but really only two choices.

polisavvy September 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

Thanks, Doug.

David Staples September 20, 2010 at 10:46 am

“Really only two choices”

Agreed – Barnes and Monds.

inlimine September 20, 2010 at 11:14 am

Write-ins have to qualify and pay the fee, but their name never appears on any ballots. A voter can write in any name they choose on the touchscreen or absentee ballot, but the votes don’t count unless a person has qualified as a legitimate write in and ran the requisite notice in the legal organ, etc. The time has long passed for a write-in to qualify. People are already voting on paper and on machines, many began today statewide.

polisavvy September 20, 2010 at 11:33 am

Thanks for the additional info, inlimine.

Three Jack September 20, 2010 at 10:31 am

hell no deal won’t step down because he is an ego-driven, self centered lifelong politician who will do anything to get elected.

“willing to serve”…lol! the only person deals serves is himself.

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