The Republican Ethics Problem In GA-2

I didn’t read much on Facebook during my fishing trip, but one of the few times I did glance at the status updates, I was sincerely amused by the postings of one of my friends who is a very vocal Nathan Deal supporter.   She was aghast that a Congressman had used the power of his Congressional office for his family’s financial gain.   She didn’t appear to have any appreciation/acknowledgement of the irony of the situation.

Sanford Bishop, the Democrat representing Georgia’s 2nd District, is under a bit of fire for steering scholarships from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to various relatives.   It’s a bit unseemly, and does appear that he used his position to make sure his family was taken care of during this program.  

Yet, we have a Republican candidate for Governor who also is accused of using the power of his office to protect a no-bid “arrangement” of which the profits seem to have been diverted to family members who later freed them back in to the wild outdoors.

Deal’s supporters in the primary, joined by others now in the general, have taken great pains to excuse this behavior.   A small sampling of those who wish to stick their head in the sand and pretend this didn’t happen have used various excuses including:

1)      Nobody’s perfect.

2)      Don’t bring a family into a campaign.

3)      What he did was not illegal.

4)      He hasn’t been indicted.

5)      He’s had a full career of public service, and he would have made more money in the private sector.

6)      We expect too much from men to always do the right thing.

7)      Voters think all politicians are self-serving, and thus, bringing this unpleasant matter up won’t change anything.

8)      Taxpayer funds were not involved, so it doesn’t matter.

I’m sure we’ll have many commenters/apologists dancing on the head of a pin to explain the  difference between Deal’s situation and Bishop’s.  But the facts are plain.  They have both used their congressional offices to make themselves and/or their families better off.   

With these apologists’ excuses in mind, I routinely ignore the multiple emails I get every day from Mike Keown’s campaign and his supporters chronicling the daily, sometimes hourly revelations in the Sanford Bishop scandal.  Keown clearly didn’t get the memo that we’re not supposed to look at self-serving behavior out of congress critters in this year’s election.  It’s to be expected, explained away, or preferably, totally ignored.

And this is, in fact, quite a shame.  Mike Keown will be an excellent addition to the Georgia delegation should he win.   But the demonstrated selfishness of Nathan Deal, in refusing to admit the severity of his ethics and financial issues prior to the primary, has now placed an entire party in a position of having to pretend something other than what is the clear truth.  And in the process, he has blunted the biggest arrow in Mike Keown’s quiver.  

It requires open hypocrisy to support Deal in one breath, and condemn Sanford Bishop for helping get his relatives scholarships in the next.


  1. rightofcenter says:

    Get over yourself. This is one of the stupidest linkages I’ve seen yet on Anti-Deal Pundit. You really should wear a hat when you fish – I believe the sun baked your brain.

  2. B Balz says:

    Charlie, please consider adding the tag: “I HEART Roy Barnes” to this thread on the formerly premier Republican site known as PeachPundit. (;>)

    Rep. Deal stands accused of allowing a Staffer to spend time setting up a meeting with the GA Rev. Commish and helping his family in business transaction. The former may be a politically driven accusation that grew legs, and the latter is BS. You know that, but remain steadfast in your lack of objectivity.

    By your own words and unfortunately, “…Rep. Bishop Sanford Bishop is under a bit of fire for steering scholarships from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to various relatives. It appears that he used his position to make sure his family was taken care of during this program. …”

    EVERY pol takes an oath to avoid a conflict of interest or the appearance thereof. Rep. Deal’s salvage business is close to that line, but from what I have read, does not cross or appear to cross it. I understand the revenuer wanted to forsake safety over receipts.

    Rep. Deal may prove to be great Governor or not, but are you willing to reduce your credibility to a Party switching shill for a ‘primaried’ candidate? I hope not and cannot understand why you would risk it.

    • Doug Grammer says:

      Even though we agree on Congressman Deal, I’ve always thought of PP as open to all political leanings. If I wanted just GOP leanings I’d be at we are politics or redstate. I’d go to Blog for Democracy for Dems, and I guess SWGA for LO.

      • Jeff says:

        Thanks for the endorsement, I think? 😀

        Question though: What is ‘LO’? We’re ‘LP‘, as in ‘Libertarian Party‘…

        • Doug Grammer says:

          David Staples convinced me that until the LO hits the 20% mark in Georgia, it’s legally treated as a political organization instead of as a political party. Yes, it was meant as a complement. I read there occasionally.

          • Doug – it’s filed with the Secretary of State as the Libertarian Party of Georgia, Inc. Whether the Republicans and Democrats choose to change the law to recognize it as the party that it is or not is up to them. We’re still the Libertarian Party though.

  3. justpeachy says:

    Amen! I’ve been shouting this from rooftops. The ga GOP should be ashamed of our republican nominee. Deal should have Never run knowing the turmoil his family is in. Johnny polling over 60% and Deal 45 shows there are at least 15% of republicans voting principle over party. I will nit be voting Barnes but certainly not Deal. I will likely throw away my note by writing someone that didn’t qualify but I will sleep better at night knowing I didn’t send either of these candidates to the dome. I can’t help but wonder what all the ga legislatures that were fooled by Deal are thinking by their overwhelming support for Deal over Handel in the runoff. Makes you wonder about their credibility as well. Probably time to start some serious ethics investigations down there to see what all of them are hiding.

  4. Doug Grammer says:

    You left off that if Congressman Deal were just all about they money as you imply, he could have kept his inspection business going and STILL kept making money. You can’t wrap your head around the fact that the new process as proposed made vehicles less safe than under the previous process.

    • B Balz says:

      Whatever. Pesky facts make their swollen heads throb, Mr. Grammer. Whatever.



      What, why that reminds me of a song….

      Que Sera, Sera,
      Whatever will be, will be
      The future’s not ours, to see
      Que Sera, Sera
      What will be, will be.

  5. B Balz says:

    “…Replace nit with not and note with vote ..” is pretty humorous and really makes more sense than the whole of your post. Hope you are “nit” driving.

  6. AnyoneElse2010 says:

    In the OCE report it was stated that the agreement entered upon was not “no bid”. Just saying if we are going to call out people lets at least get the facts straight.

    • Doug Grammer says:

      Facts don’t matter to Charlie; if “it doesn’t look right” that’s enough for him. See this thread as proof of my claim.

      Charlie said Congressman Deal used his congressional office to make himself better off. It doesn’t matter that his inspection business was started before he went to congress. He made the same amount of money from that venture had he never been elected to congress.

      • B Balz says:

        STOP, Doug, STOP, I say.

        Repeated use of facts are dangerous to one’s overinflated ego and polemic rhetoric. You are going to make those swollen heads explode like a giant zit on the mirror of political hogwash.

        What will become of them on November 3rd, the headless, mumbling residents of what ‘woulda, shoulda, coulda beenville?” I will tell you: They will become wards of the State and YOU and I will pay for their care….

  7. bluedogdem says:

    Doug, if Roy Barnes was the nominee for the GOP this year you would be defending him. You are biggest GOPer I have ever heard of. By the way that is not compliment.

    Well put, Icarus

    • B Balz says:

      It’s his job, he never flinches or backs down. If the Dems had a few Doug Grammer’s they might have the beginnings of a spine and a heart. They might have life.

    • Doug Grammer says:

      If Roy Barnes were the GOP nominee……King Roy wouldn’t make it through the primary. You know it, I know it, and Roy knows it.

      If frogs had wings, they wouldn’t bump thier butts when they jumped, but they do.

      I am fine with being the biggest Republican you have heard of. Someone has to be. However, have you heard of Karl Rove?

        • Doug Grammer says:

          Nope, I am saying that he is a bigger Republican than I am. Jokes on you, lack of reading comprehension!

      • bluedogdem says:

        Doug, isn’t Karl Rove the one that was the master mind behind the failed 8 years of the Bush Admin?

          • bluedogdem says:

            Doug, I guess you think that is a good thing. I like Bush and would like to have a beer with him, but he was a horrible president. Bush doubled the size of gov’t, doubled the debt, created the Department of Homeland (In)security, No Child Left Behind, and I can keep going. I know you don’t want to defend them since this is not an open thread. At least that is what you said earlier any how.

  8. bluedogdem says:

    B Balz, I think you missed my point. Doug puts party over principle. I’m starting to think he would support the GOP nominee even if it was Obama. I have a problem with this kind of thinking and I think most people do as well.

    • Doug Grammer says:

      You can have a problem with what you think about the way I think all you like. I happen to think that every GOP statewide candidate in this election cycle is the best choice available. Am I warm and fuzzy over each and everyone of them? Nope. I had people who I wanted to win the primary that didn’t make it. That doesn’t matter know and all I have to look at are my available choices. I think Congressman Deal will be a good Governor.

      I have voted for Dems before. I voted for Sam Nunn and I have voted Dem locally. I might have voted for a libertarian once or twice. What really bothers you is not my mindset, but that the GOP has put up the better candidates this year compared to the LO and the Dems.

      • The GOvernment Party has put up candidates, sure… but better candidates? I suppose if you think that the more ethics problems one has the better of a candidate they are, then sure… you guys have the best candidates out there. 😉

  9. Clint says:

    Amen Charlie. I think it’s worth pointing out to Doug, who while I disagree with on this issue, must say that I respect his zeal in support of his candidate, that Mr. Deal was in the State Senate when the salvage program was created and after the bill passed he formed a business partner and created a salvage business tailored to the specifics of the bill.

    • Joshua Morris says:

      Did he write the bill? If not, then he’s like any other entrepreneur who saw a business opportunity and formed a business to meet the need. Anyone can do that.

      This witch hunt is really old, and no one has yet to emerge with a smoking gun. I believe Nathan Deal is going to be the best governor Georgia has ever seen.

      • GOPGrassroots says:

        Joshua, why must you continue to attack Tom Graves with this post?

        ok, just kidding. For old time’s sake.


        • drjay says:

          see and i was just wondering how long the primaries have to be over for the blatant ox-bashing posts like this one to stop popping up on here…way to go ic…

      • ZazaPachulia says:

        Joshua Morris: “I believe Nathan Deal is going to be the best governor Georgia has ever seen.”

        There has to be some type of mind-altering substance behind that deceleration… Looks like someone has been hanging out with Judge Jack Camp at the Goldrush…

    • Doug Grammer says:


      You are factually correct that Congressman Deal was in the State Senate when the program was created. However, he and Cronan had known each other well before they considered going into business together. So I don’t think it’s factually correct that he went out and “found a business partner.” They, along with several others, started inspecting salvaged cars after that. I am not sure what type of inspections were going on before then.

      Charlie just likes saying that Congressman Deal used his congressional office to enrich himself. It doesn’t matter that there is zero truth to that.

      • Clint says:

        Actually, there are a lot of facts to point to the fact that he used his Congressional office to enrich himself, but trying to convince you of that is an impossible task.

        Making money while in office is one thing, making money BECAUSE you’re in office is sad. I realize it happens, but I don’t have to agree with it.

        • Doug Grammer says:

          I am open to facts. If you can show me that Congressman Deal made $1 more than if he were not a congressman, other than his congressional salary, heath care, pension, and all of the benefits that every other congressman has, please provide the proof.

          I won’t be swayed by opinion, but I am open to facts. As far as I know, he didn’t make a dime more on his inspection business because he was a congressman. If you can prove otherwise, please cite evidence.

          • Three Jack says:

            seriously doug, do you think any person could get the millions in loans congressman deal got if he were not a congressman? he did not have adequate collateral to support even the first $2.8m.

            unfortunately i agree with you that the slimey scoundrel will be the next governor of ga. he will ultimately spend considerable time defending himself after taking office (and probably filing bankruptcy sometime around feb.).

            • Doug Grammer says:

              He did not make that money, it is loaned to him and his assets outweigh his liabilities.

              What rational was used to approve those loans? I don’t know. Maybe they had a better business plan than what people think, and the economy tanked on them. I don’t know what he would have been doing if he weren’t in congress. If he were a corporate officer for coke-a-cola, he might have got those loans. I’ll agree that the average person probably could not get those loans. I’d have to know the exact justification for getting them before I could say he would not have received them if he weren’t a congressman.

              Asking open ended questions is not a fact.

              • Three Jack says:

                “his assets outweigh his liabilities.” sure doug and i just won the lotto.

                using his inflated values, he still comes out with only 4.3m in section a, but shows it as $5.7m. i guess he overlooks the fact that he shows 1/2 interest in many of the over valued properties.

                my bet is raw deal will either secure a very friendly cya loan after winning the election or file bankruptcy. he is damaged goods and will inflict further damage to the already severely tarnished gop brand.

                  • Three Jack says:

                    fact – deal voted for the largest new entitlement program in almost 50 years, medicare part d.

                    fact – deal supported chambliss ag bill loaded with increased entitlements including more funding of food stamps leading to over 48m leeches now in the redistribution food program.

                    fact – deal voted for nclb, the kennedy/bush federal takeover of education.

                    my bet is based on facts doug. deal is a career bureaucrat. name one piece of legislation this guy introduced and passed that did anything to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. he sure supported huge increases in spending, influence and future taxation.

                    oh yeah, and he is a lying crook…but i know that is not supposed to be an issue.

                    • Doug Grammer says:

                      Congressman Deal voted for NCLB and Gov. Barnes supported that as well. So?

                      You have gotten off target. Please provide any facts that show that Congressman Deal made $1 more than if he weren’t a congressman.

  10. bluedogdem says:

    Doug, calm down I would hate for you to get your blood pressure up. They only thing I said is that you are saying that the GOP has put the best candidates up this cycle. Deal = Corrupt and had to resign from Congress before the investigation went further. Cagle “can’t tie his own shoes” Cagle, Johnny Isakson voted for TARP and well I don’t have enough time or space to write the rest, Tim Elchos worked for John Oxendine and that says it all, Gary “the lobbyist and tax cheat” Black….do u want me to keep going???? I guess your right those are some great choices if your head is the sand!!!!

    • Doug Grammer says:

      My blood pressure is fine. Actually, it runs a little lower than average. We’ll count the votes in less than 30 days and see if the voters agree with me or you. The Dem candidate for school superintendent can’t even teach. Your Gov. candidate has a nick name of King Roy. Is there anyone even running against Johnny Isakson? Really? Really?

      • bluedogdem says:

        Doug, I’m not a Dem. I vote for the person and NOT the party. I have voted for Dem, GOP, Ind, and LP. I have my name to just get a rise out of folks like I did you. Let me ask you the ?? again. Are you happy with the candidates that your party has put forth? If so, please explain to me why I should vote for them

        • Doug Grammer says:

          Some of them I like more than others. Before we go into a candidate by candidate overview of what I may like or not like about them, let’s get an open thread.

    • bluedogdem,

      I guess you miss the good ole days when fine upstanding Democrats like Tom Murphy, Larry Walker, and Mark Taylor ran the state. Practically saints walking amongst men.

      None of these guys ever enriched themselves or their friends with political favors. No, just did the people’s bidness.

  11. Again, Charlie, Tyler, and other like minded PP posters and commentators…biggest sore losers I have ever witnessed in a lifetime. Please grow up and move on. Nathan beat your chosen, flawless, Saint of a Candidate Karen Handel and he’s on the way to beating Obama’s Boy Roy. It’s going to be a boring eight years listening to you little girls whine as Governor Deal turns this state around and accomplishes what we hoped Sonny would have done eight years ago.

    • bluedogdem says:

      lukethedrifter, we will see as long as your man Deal doesn’t get put in jail. I would want a free place to stay to if I was about to lose my house.

      • Maybe he could stay in one of Ole’Roy’s extended stay motels. Sure, there is the occasional domestic violence yells coming through the walls, and those meth lab explosions can really ruin a good night’s sleep.

    • Tyler says:

      The fact that you really think this is b/c Karen lost is quite amusing. If I listened to the “Saint of a Candidate Karen Handel”, as you called her, I’d have voted for Nathan Deal on Day 1 of early voting as she told her supporters to do when she conceded victory.

        • Tyler says:

          “The best thing for our party is to rally around Congressman Deal as our nominee in the fight against Roy Barnes. Barnes would return Georgia to a past that is best kept in our rearview mirror. We must marshal all of our resources to defeat him.” -Karen Handel

          • B Balz says:

            “The best thing for our party is to rally around Congressman Deal as our nominee in the fight against Roy Barnes. Barnes would return Georgia to a past that is best kept in our rearview mirror. We must marshal all of our resources to defeat him.” -Karen Handel

            I said it before, Candidate Handel graciously conceded the close race, and did not ask for a recount. Many of her followers, much less gracious and not at all conciliatory. That was my point.

  12. slyram says:

    I would like to provide a little background about the Congressional Black Caucus scholarship program. Before Bishop came to congress, the CBC members held a CBC Legislative Weekend in mid September to provide small business people and those interested in the federal government an opportunity to come to the Hill and better understand the fed.

    The weekend, which doesn’t involve federal funds, was accused of being lite on substances and a networking/social affair. The CBC addressed this my creating braintrust sections that have become extremely useful and beneficial. I don’t know when but at some point before I came to work at the congress (maybe from the start of the weekends) extra money leftover from the CBC Legislative Weekend went to scholarships and fellowships. So, the scholarship program was basically charity money that the CBC members raised—money they didn’t have to raise.

    Since members of congress are crazy busy, congressional staff or spouses generally decide who gets these relatively small amounts of money but it’s not like Tea Pot Dome. If the MOCs knew this much drama would grow from the program, they would have given it to existing scholarship programs or home district colleges. Even if the MOCs knew the recipients, that doesn’t mean the students weren’t worthy, bright and needy.

    Regarding Bishop and Deal, I would like to tell one story about these two colleagues from the General Assembly and the U.S. Congress. I was walking to the National Pork Producers reception with SDB and we saw Rep. Deal, by then a GOP member. Deal told SDB that he was circulating a letter of importance to his north Georgia district. SDB said he would sign it because Deal had always been supportive of peanuts and our other south Georgia crops and military bases. SDB told Deal to have his staffer get it over to me and I would get it to the staff member in our office for SDB’s signature.

    After we walked away, I respectfully asked the congressman if greenlighting a letter before reading it was wise and he looked at me like I didn’t understand the importance of trust in governing. I didn’t.

    The letter was regarding a classic example of regulatory overreaching. Some pinheads at a national science agency decided after long study that carpeting was made of petroleum and the fumes from new carpet could damage the lungs of babies whose little noses are inches off the floor when crawling. The rule would add labels to new carpet that recommended keeping babies off for a certain period of time and keeping the windows open.

    It’s rough seeing these two former colleagues picked apart over every little thing but that’s part of the game. The game also involves members never mentioning when they worked together or the fact that the other guys doesn’t have horns. This post is correct about SDB catching crazy heat for things that staff and family might have done with good intentions.

    Deal, like any good father, was trying to help his family but the GOP never listens to moderates. Check the archives of PP and my blog because I said all along that Handel would have been crushing us Dems with her diverse political background in Atlanta…so would Austin and Eric Johnson for the same reasons.

    A fun political parlor game could be playing candidate musical chairs. Let me see: Bishop should have been ag secretary then Austin would have been a more natural milder GOP candidate in the 2nd and Keown would have been better running in the more conservative 8th.

    Candidates and officeholders should be able to relate to the entire district and SDB and Jack Kingston do that well. With nothing against Keown, he isn’t the person I see relating to the huge Dem pockets in the my 2nd. I could see Austin doing that in the 8th and Marshall seems to relate to the GOP sections more than… (I better stop here)

    Vote early and often.

    • hannah says:

      Fiscal conservatives are like deadbeat dads. When Democrats validate their “concerns” and give them legitimacy, they’re enablers of deprivation. Whose more despicable, the predator or the decoy? Democrats have to stop being enablers.

    • “A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state finds Deal earning 50% of the vote, while Barnes receives 41% support. Libertarian candidate John Monds is a far distant third with three percent (3%).”

    • bowersville says:

      Oh there’s a little interesting tidbit on the Rasmussen Report about half way down the page.

      87% of Barnes voters have made up there mind. 68% of Deal voters have made up their mind.

      Sounds to me like some voters could still vote either way. More so for Deal voters than Barnes voters.

    • bowersville says:

      I find this interesting too.

      47 % view Deal as unfavorable.
      54 % view Barnes as unfavorable.

      With the reported +/- 4% both are within the margin of error that about half of the voters view each as unfavorable.

  13. Georgia Judge says:

    The only one pretending here is you,you need to come to terms with the fact that your candidate lost.There is no limits to your attacks on Republicans who are not of your choosing.Get used to saying Governor Deal because it will be reality in less than a month and many Republicans are very happy about it.

    • Georgia Judge is correct… the GOvernment Party will probably win the Governor’s seat again and continue to expand our ever struggling state government. Just bend over, grab your ankles and get used to it…

  14. seenbetrdayz, Ph.D. says:

    Kind of a misleading title. For a second there, I thought Mike Keown had done gone and got mixed up in some sort of ethics blunder.

  15. bartsimpsonisdaman says:

    Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin like a fool with your pants on the ground.

    Barnes wins by 3 points without a runoff.

    We’re keeping our tone and pace consistent and are seeing Deal’s support soften. It would have been nice to have mustang sally, but we’ll take the old man anyway. I was really likin that tune. Guess all good things must come to an end.

    • B Balz says:

      Well Creative Loafing offered a scathing assessment of Rep. Deal, so you must be right. Three points, no runoff, who’s got the vig on that one?

      • Deal wins this one. From what I’ve seen, there’s a lot of hot air flowing from several factions. The “regional monopoly” issue really is pretty bogus. Now that they have been dissolved and every buy here pay here car lot can now put their junk in unsuspecting consumers hands, I think we’ll see changes in the coming years. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Deal’s salvage business wasn’t compensated by the state, it merely provided the site usage for inspections. The fees were paid by individuals and insurance companies wanting to obtain a clear title.

        Deal has a solid platform. He’ll do well and will win, then go on to govern in a respectable manner.

        Barnes, from what I’ve read and talked with others will be a nightmare. Not only will Georgia be a stomping ground for Obama, but the various appointments should be haunting to anyone wishing to throw away their vote.

        Barnes’ involvement in the Putnam County affair is pretty alarming. His lust for power and maintaining his political base at the expense of women and children as young as the age of 4 is repulsive. No Barnes, no way.

  16. Georgia Judge says:

    Three Jack are you talking about the tarnished brand GOP that is going to sweep the statewide races and possibly pickup two Congressional seats in Ga,and regain the majority in the House on the federal level?????

    Lady Thinker enough with Deal going to prison BS,there is no Federal Grand jury and there will not be one.

    • Just because the GOvernment Party will probably sweep the statewide races doesn’t mean that people like them. It just means they’d rather cut off their left arm instead of their right arm.

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