Deal On Son-In-Law’s Prior Bankruptcy

He claims he did not know about it. Aaron Gould Sheinin has the scoop.

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Nathan Deal said Monday that he was unaware his son-in-law had previously filed for bankruptcy when when he invested $2 million of his own money into a business venture with his daughter and the man she married.

Deal, speaking to reporters and editors at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said his son-in-law, Clint Wilder, had good financial credentials, including a degree from Emory University, a MBA from Tulane University and job experience with BearingPoint consultants.

“He has been a good husband to my daughter, he’s been a good father to my youngest grandson,” Deal said when asked if he would still have invested so heavily into the couple’s planned sports goods store if he had known about the bankruptcy.  “He had the criteria and the credentials and he’s a fine person. I did not know at the time and things are as they are.”

Read the rest of the story here.


    • center5 says:

      Yes, but, the President did not pour good money after bad into his brother’s business. And if the President had, THEN we “might as well be talking about the President’s brother & the mud hut.”

      But since only Nathan Deal had the misjudgment to do such a thing — we will just keep the conversation about Nathan Deal’s lack of judgment.

    • ACCmoderate says:

      I’m not going to fault people for the bankruptcies of their family members either.

      I am going to fault someone that foolishly invests money. Especially when that person wants to be IN CHARGE OF OUR TAX DOLLARS.

      I don’t care whether you’re loaning the money to family or not, it is unwise to loan money to someone with a sketchy financial history and you should be held accountable when those loans don’t pay off. You don’t have to give your kids everything they want… that’s part of being a good parent.

      It was a move that showed poor judgement and poor financial sense on Nathan Deal’s part. I’m absolutely going to fault him for that.

  1. center5 says:

    Ok, so, there was a 2001 bankruptcy that the son-in-law supposedly did not tell Deal of and, I guess, also did not tell the daughter of? But we do know for sure that no one bothered to tell the bankruptcy court of this in 2009.

    And we also do know for sure that Deal thought it was good judgment to pour good money after bad in the business (apparently he thinks with his heart but not his head?)

    Even worse, in another AJC story out tonight, we find out that the daughter and son-in-law, under penalty of perjury, incorrectly stated to the bankruptcy court in 2009 that they owned 100% of the business (conveniently keeping Deal’s name out of the bankruptcy petition during a primary campaign). Now all of this would seem not to involve Deal, EXCEPT that Deal himself, in both state disclosures and congressional disclosures, mentioned that he was a partner in the business but failed to disclose that the business had more debt than assets and that Deal was now solely responsible for all the debt (which would have showed that Deal himself had more liabilities than assets).

    So either a coordinated effort by the daughter, son-in-law, and Deal to keep Deal’s name out of events surrounding the business debt? Or another example of sloppy financial management by Deal? Or it’s all just too messy for us to tell.

    But in asking to run this state, he’s asking us to swallow an awful lot.

  2. Progressive Dem says:

    I’m sorry, but Deal’s answer does not pass the smell test.

    How do you not know your daughter and son in law filed for bankrupcy? That’s a stretcher! I mean come on. Deal never noticed any difference in their lifestyle? He never saw the strain they were under? No one in the business community that knew about the bankrupcy said anything to Deal or his wife?
    P.U. that stinks.

    He’s a good husband, a good father and he’s got all the right credentials, but he never told Nathan that he filed for bankrupcy? The daughter never mentions any of this to her mother or father, or siblings? Nobody knows?
    This does not add up either.

    • GOPwits says:

      Agree. How do you not know that your daughter and son in law didn’t file bankruptcy. Anyone who believes that lie needs to go buy ocean front property in North Georgia and start their snipe hunting expedition.

      • Jessica J says:

        I guess it depends on how long Deal’s daughter has been married to this man. If he (son in law) filed for bankruptcy before he married, then it’s possible ND didn’t know. Nathan Deal makes BAD decision and I don’t want him as my Governor.

  3. Three Jack says:

    of course he knew. there is no way the daughter kept this from her mother. and there is no way momma deal held back the information as she saw daddy deal taking on more debt than he could ever honestly pay back.

    deal should get out of the race because he supposedly cares about his family more than anything. if that is true, then he has no choice but to bow out.

    btw, where are all the state legislators who endorsed deal because he is not karen handel? why aren’t they holding a mass presser to show support for their chosen good ole boy in his time of crisis?

  4. MediaGuyAtl says:

    I’m upset with the Georgia Republican Party. Did they not vet their candidates? Wouldn’t they know that Deal had a son-in-law and couldn’t they look his financial history up?

    I’m surprised that Karen Handel’s campaign did not find this out. Doesn’t the party or campaigns hire Private Investigators to do background checks on candidates and family members?

    With the Media in this town in the middle of a budget crunch, I understand the media outlets can’t do it, but why not opponents or the Republican Party?

    What are the laws in Georgia? If Deal steps aside, and he should, what happens? In New Jersey when “The Torch” was caught for taking bribes the party picked Lautenberg to run. What will happen here?

    I’m mad at Deal, the Republican Party and the Karen Handel campaign. She would have been a shoo in if this was uncovered before the primary.

    Roy Barnes AGAIN! Good Grief! I’ve lived here for 30 years, Zell Miller is still my favorite Governor.

    • polisavvy says:

      I’ve been asking the same thing for a week now. How could the opposition researchers for ANY of the other gubernatorial candidates not have found out this information? Like LT, I’d love to have a logical answer.

    • bowersville says:

      It’s my understanding that quite a bit of this information was disclosed on congressional disclosure forms and state ethics disclosure forms. Not all, but enough to ask about.

      As to why the media didn’t pursue it, I guess you’ll have to ask Phil Kent as he seems to know it all.

  5. Progressive Dem says:

    In 2007, with a gross income of about $205,000, Deal’s federal taxes totaled $2,068.

    Chew on that for a moment.

    That’s an effective tax rate of 1%.

    Do you think the typical first responder, soldier, teacher, nurse had an effective tax rate of 1%?
    Holy cow, and the Democrats aren’t even trying to raise his tax rate.

    • rightofcenter says:

      Here’s a little nugget for you – no one pays taxes on gross income. Not the first responder, teacher, or congressman. There’s this thing called deductions, including ways to account for business and investment losses. Further, the typical first responder, soldier, teacher, or nurse with several kids, a mortgage, etc. probably has a darn low effective tax rate as well. Now resume your Deal bashing.

      • Progressive Dem says:

        You’re right. I should have calculated it on taxable income. Let’s look at your way. Deal’s taxable income for 2007 (that’s after his $127,000 in deductions) was $71,365. He paid an effective tax rate of 2.89% and he paid state income tax of $1,903.

        The effective federal income tax rate for a family of 4 with the median household income is 4.6%. Deal’s income is way above median family income. Deal did very well with his taxes and much better than average Joe. We’re supposed to have an income tax that is based partially on one’s ability to pay. (Keep in mind the effective tax rate has only been calculated for federal income taxes. Tax burdens are increased signifcantly by local, state and payroll taxes.)

        Using the same formula and years, Barnes taxable income was $591,400 and he paid $97,700 in federal income taxes – an effective tax rate of 16.5% and he paid $34,000 in Georgia income taxes. Barnes has released his business tax returns, but since Deal hasn’t, they can’t be compared.

        If I was running for office my tax information might be germane. If you’re interested in Pelosi and Rangel go look it up. The President paid an effective tax rate of 36% and the VP and his wife paid an effective tax rate of 27%. Does that help your sore head?

  6. KenHack13 says:

    It looks like Deal was intentionally left off the bankruptcy of the sporting good store to hide this until after the primary. This article explains it rather well.

    “It also is clear that the omissions in the Wilders’ bankruptcy filings — whether inadvertent or intentional — insulated Deal from political fallout during a hard-fought Republican primary campaign. The Wilders declared bankruptcy in July 2009, two months after Deal launched his campaign for governor.”

    Just another oversight I guess.

  7. MediaGuyAtl says:

    Progressive Dem,
    What was your effective tax rate? How about Pelosi’s? Reid’s? Let’s talk about their Health Care compared to ours! What about their votes on their own raise increases? You progressives can not keep your hands out of OUR wallets. You just want to redistribute wealth and make us all ONE! If Deal’s returns are on the up and up then he’s fine. Just think if we had fair tax, we all would pay our fair share on things we consumed. Instead we have that Charlie Rangel Tax Code of 10,000 pages that no one can understand. Even old Charlie can’t keep his own taxes right.

    The problem we are discussing here is, if Deal is competent to run for Governor, at this point? I don’t think so. What happens if he steps aside?

    • Progressive Dem says:

      Yeah, the Fair Tax. That will fix everything. How far did that advance when the GOP had a majority in the House? Its a gimmick prostituted by a media ratings whore (Boortz).

  8. MediaGuyAtl says:

    But Progressive, as usual, you didn’t answer my questions? All you did was use a Saul Alinsky tactic. Nice! Why don’t you crawl back under your rock. November 2nd should take care of the majority of you name calling thugs. No debate, no reasoning, just name calling. That’s all you progressives can do.. Guess what? America is catching on, did you see how Obama got smacked down on one of his own networks today, CNBC?

    Come on answer the question, What was your effective tax rate? How about Pelosi’s? Reid’s? Rangel’s?

    • MediaGuy – I’m not a fan of the Fair Tax as written due to a few different items in it such as the pre-bate, but I am a fan of a consumption tax / national sales tax (assuming the income tax is repealed). Either way though, does it really matter what PD’s effective tax rate is or my effective tax rate or anyone else’s? Are you saying that Deal is paying his “fair” share of taxes at the 1% level?

      • MediaGuyAtl says:

        David, I’m not a huge fan of the fair tax either. However, I’m willing to listen about legislation to close the IRS. National Sales Tax etc.. all the alternatives. I am worried that this “commission” that is looking at taxes and will have a report ready in December, conveniently after the election, will suggest a VAT tax and they will also keep the current income tax system on place and with most likely higher rates too.

        Is Deal paying his fair share? No. But is Pelosi, Rangel, Reid, Boehner, McConnell, and the rest of our Congress critters? The IRS and the current tax code is a sham. It punishes the very people that the government claims they are “helping”!

        I want the government to stop spending! I read more and more about the bureaucracy that these crazy thousand page bills are creating. Seems to me the only people these bills are helping are Unionized Government employees and Congress and the people they are punishing are the small business owners who are the engine of the economy.

        Progressive Dem angered me with his little tax comment because if Deal filed honest tax returns and paid what he owed, which is not enough in my opinion, then maybe we need to re-write or repeal the ridiculous tax code we have.

        However, the real issue with this thread has nothing to do with taxes but with the sham that Deal really is. Deal should step aside and I was wondering what the laws in Georgia are when someone steps aside after a primary and before a general election? Who replaces the candidate that steps aside?

        • bowersville says:

          From Tom Crawford’s blog. Official Code of Georgia, 21-2-134, “….withdrawal of a candidate less than 60 days prior to election shall not be filled……”

        • “Is Deal paying his fair share? No. But is Pelosi, Rangel, Reid, Boehner, McConnell, and the rest of our Congress critters?”

          But we don’t vote for Peliosi, Rangel, Reid, Boehner, or McConnell. Deal will be on November’s ballot. We have a choice of electing him or electing someone else.

          “I want the government to stop spending! I read more and more about the bureaucracy that these crazy thousand page bills are creating.”


  9. ZazaPachulia says:

    What’s the fat man’s quote from the Barnes ad again? Slippery as a bag of snakes? Yeah, I think that’s about right.

      • rightofcenter says:

        Lady Thinker (aka Rocket Scientist), let me speak for the couple of people on this blog who occasionally defend Deal: we’re pretty much tired of arguing with a bunch of regular posters who have been relentlessly negative about Nathan Deal from the start.

        • Three Jack says:

          roc, it would get tiresome defending a crook who could care less about supporters like you. he lied to you, and now to make matters worse, he is playing you like a cheap fiddle. it’s hard to believe anybody would attempt to defend raw deal.

        • Lady Thinker says:

          You may speak for a couple of people but I represent far more who have been more aggressive than I have in holding deal’s feet to the fire. The majority of comments on this post alone are anti-deal.

          Feel free to keep your head in the clouds regarding deal as ours are firmly planted on the ground.

          • rightofcenter says:

            “Lady” Thinker –
            I was through arguing with deal-haters, but I must comment after seeing your response. You truly are an idiot. Do you not realize that I basically said the same thing you did in the first paragraph? Let me repeat – you’re an idiot.

            • Lady Thinker says:

              An idiot is a person with an IQ of 70 or below. Mine is 143 and I teach college part-time, so you are wrong in labeling me an idiot as I don’t fit the definition. Once again, when one is unable to present a cohesive argument or one bases an argument on emotion rather than fact, one resorts to name calling. Get a cohesive argument and try again.

            • Doug Grammer says:


              Just say “whatever.” It’s the smart thing to say if you have an IQ of 143 and can’t think of what to say.

  10. macho says:

    I’m mad at Handel, Johnson and Ox for not researching Deal. This stuff is really basic. If any of the campaigns had spent $15,000 on a private eye, we wouldn’t be stuck with this awful choice for Governor.

    Can we all agree that the “Deal Real” campaign slogan has gone from being ironic to flat out pathetic?

    • CobbGOPer says:

      They needed their $15,000 for other things, seriously. Sure, you always want good oppo, but it can cost money, and since Nathan and Ox (though mostly Ox as I saw it) were sucking up so much of the available donation dollars, campaigns were running on the cheap. Karen Handel certainly was running on a shoestring the entire time. $15K is most of the cost of a good targeted mail piece, or signs, or other activities to increase name recognition and get the message out.

      So they went for the low-hanging fruit, the already public OCE report and the CREW hits like “top 15 most corrrupt in congress” labels… Too bad it wasn’t enough to convince the 9th district knuckleheads to stay home or give her 2500 votes. For those folk, I guess it’s a matter of “yeah he’s a crook, but he’s OUR crook.”

  11. Max Power says:

    As much as I think Deal would be a disaster as governor, this whole bankruptcy/sil bankruptcy is much ado about nothing. Small businesses fail all the time and a lot of the time the entrepreneurs that failed at one business start another. Sometimes that fail again sometimes they succeed. Just as being a good CEO doesn’t necessarily make you a good governor or president, failing at business even repeatedly doesn’t mean you’ll be a failure in politics.

  12. MediaGuyAtl says:

    This has nothing to do with a failing business but has everything to do with honesty. I read the AJC article and even with their “spin” on it I want to know if Deal knowingly hid this stuff until after the primary. Do you honestly think he could have beaten Karen Handel if this was known before the primary? Doubtful..

    Once again, I want to know the Georgia Election laws. When Deal steps aside, and he should! Who decides who gets to replace him on the ballot? Can the ballot now be changed? Do the Repubs have to have some ridiculous write in campaign? In New Jersey, when “the Torch” was caught in a huge bribery scam, the Dems in NJ were able to change the ballots and the candidate without any electorate deciding who would run. They chose Frank Lautenberg and he won. If I recall this was back when the senate was 51-49 dem majority, was it not?

    What are the Georgia laws? The Repubs have some explaining to do! Geez, 4 more years of tax and spend King Roy?! really?

    • Romegaguy says:

      According to OCGA 21-2-134, now that we are within 60 days of the General Election the only way Deal can be replaced is if he dies or is convicted in a court of law of certain felonies

      • CobbGOPer says:

        Yeah, there’s no chance of getting another nominee at this point, even if the federal grand jury comes out with an indictment. A trial wouldn’t be until after the election anyway. We’re stuck with whatever happens: King Roy again, or Deal doing his best impression of Blago (in the event federal prosecutors move forward with a case targeting him, which admittedly we don’t know at this point. Though the last guy to get a subpoena is usually the target, and as far as I know this grand jury hasn’t issued that…).

  13. rugby says:

    Hey guys, Deal was in office for 35 years and no one ever once questioned his business or moral acumen so he could not have done wrong.

    I think that was a good Doug Grammer impression.

  14. MediaGuyAtl says:

    How convenient for King Roy! The Libertarians might need some donations to compete with Roy. The Repubs get what they deserve, a lousy candidate.

    The Georgia Republican party should pull every dollar out of Deals campaign and focus on the Ga. House and Senate candidates. Wow, what a mess!

    Exit questions.. Did anyone at the AJC know this before the primary? Did any media source know this before the primary? Not their duty to report however, how convenient, IF they did.

    Maybe the Georgia Republican Party will hire a PI in 4 years. it could help! Can’t wait to hear from Newt and the rest of the Deal supporters. They seem to be silent on this thread…..

  15. Goldwater Conservative says:

    Well, regardless of whether Career-Politician Nathan Deal is a small businessman or not, can we afford to have a governor that makes business decisions with out important information?

    Sure, Deal was right to help his family…he was just wrong in how he did so. A “good businessman” would probably have told his daughter and her husband that their business idea was a poor one rather than simply coughing up the money.

    All of this just goods to show, Deal would rather “give you a fish than a fishing pole.”

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