George Anderson Announces Retirement (of sorts)?

November 21, 2012 9:46 am

by Ed · 10 comments

George Anderson, Georgia’s favorite gadfly and watchdog seems to have announced his retirement from the ethics beat.

Saturday’s AJC featured a story about Nathan Deal’s quest for retribution against he who would deign to file an ethics complaint against the guvnuh. Deal had sought to recover legal fees from Anderson after an ethics complaint from Anderson was dismissed.

Anyway, Anderson said before the state Ethics Commission:

“I can’t handle the stress anymore. I have had too many health problems. The message is … they will come after you. They are determined to silence citizens and censor and intimidate.”

Emphasis added (duh) and there seems to be more truth than fiction to the last sentence.

Politicians of all stripes in Georgia can now rest a little easier without Anderson waiting and willing to file ethics complaints.

What is unclear is if Anderson fits the label of “political arsonist” as Deal so lovingly calls bloggers and journalists.

Ken November 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Ed, here’s a link to a music video that I think is appropriate. Some good ol’ boys from Kathleen got it right.

I don’t like trouble don’tcha get me wrong
Don’t mean to be contrary
I’m just a man with a mind of his own
Ain’t no revolutionary
I don’t like being told what to do
I reckon you can say I’m stubborn
All my life I been a independent man
I don’t like being governed (sorry ’bout that, guvnah)

And a link to the Stillwater video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-L_hRJZ0JA

Rick Day November 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Why you guys picked this bogus bully for Governor is still beyond my comprehension. He was a DEMOCRAT. Until he needed to be something else.

Can I get sued for typing that? I hope so.

Andersen’s actions are verified free speech, once one uses the system to pursue justice from political tribalists, one can not be punished based on the findings of some government tribunal (The Gov’s goodfellas over in “Ethics”).

In my opinion, Deal had no counter-claim, he DESERVES no counter claim; we all know that. And unless someone wants step up and apologize for this skate of a leader man, you know in your heart this maroon needs the boot. I’ll vote for Buzz.

I swear I am one election cycle from being the next ‘gadfly’ those piles of turds have to contend with. I detest bullies, especially demrepublirats like Squeal Deal.

Like Willard Romney, Gove Deal would never have dinner with any of you, unless you paid to be at his table or he thought it would be good for his PR to be seen with you that moment, like kissing babbys.

But you all know this. We all know what is really going on here.

Napoleon November 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I’m probably not going to win any popularity points by saying this, but it is truth and anyone who has had to deal with Anderson for any length of time knows it (I’ve been dealing with him since 2000). He is a crackpot who has proclaimed himself a “government watchdog.” If a Democrat needed someone to file a frivilous ethics complaint against a Republican (or even a fellow Democrat who needed to be silenced), George Anderson was the man you went to. He’s no different than a guy who sits around filing random pro-se cases in court against people who bug him.

The fact is, the people who George files against do have expenses incurred to defend the charges.

I agree with Common Cause that making Anderson pay attorney fees COULD discourage a legitimate complaint, but I think the Commission could so narrowly tailor a ruling based on the hundreds of frivilous complaints Anderson has filed that they could send the message that the system is not to be abused.

Bob Loblaw November 22, 2012 at 9:51 am

Attorney’s fees awarded for a suit deemed to be an abuse of litigation is a staple of civil litigation. Our courts are full of crap cases and the Commission, while not a court, constantly complains of being overworked and underpaid. Seems like a perfect fit.

Kenneth Stepp November 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Napoleon
I agree with most of your post. Anderson damaged a lot of innocent people with unfounded claims, and reputation burning facts that quite frankly did not matter. ACOG hired him to go after someone he didn’t even know. They have posted their story and email thread back and forth with Anderson. It’s ugly. They hired Anderson by “donating” to his now defunct nonprofit. A nonprofit he was still receiving funds in the name and cause of even after it was closed by the SOS office. Anyone could hire him to go after anyone as best I can tell. I hate this lawsuit, even if it didn’t go in the governor’s favor. It sent a clear message that I’m uncomfortable with. But it could only happen because of the 100’s of frivolous ethics complaints Anderson filed simply for profit. Innocent people, many times taxpayers had to pay to investigate & adjudicate these complaints. I do not believe Mr Anderson cared about which party someone was with. He just sold out to the highest bidder and moved on. At least according to ACOG and Mr Anderson’s emails. I hope he enjoys his retirement, and stays in it. Georgia has real ethics problems that need tackling. We do not need distractions from a serial complainer. When an ethics complaint is filed, it should be taken seriously. Hired guns just muddy those waters.

John Vestal November 23, 2012 at 11:13 am

Video of the referenced meeting of the Folks Formerly Known as the State Ethics Commission™ can be seen here, with an attached timeline for jumping about amidst the highlights.

Kenneth Stepp November 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I watched the video. Disturbing to watch.

Dave Emanuel November 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm

The essential problems with ethics laws in Georgia (and numerous other states) are that there aren’t enough of them, the ones that do exist have no teeth and most proposals for new laws don’t adequately address the shortcomings of the existing ones. At the other end of the spectrum, there are virtually no requirements to assure that the complaints filed by self-proclaimed watchdogs (many of whom are secretly paid to discredit someone) are legitimate.

A favorite tactic of for-hire watchdogs is to instigate headlines by filing complaints with agencies that have absolutely no purview over an alleged ethics violation. As an example, “Watchdog A” files a baseless ethics complaint with a county district attorney. The DA promptly files the complaint in the nearest trash receptacle because it’s a civil matter; DAs only deal with criminal matters. But that doesn’t stop “Watchdog A” from sending out a press release naming his target and announcing that he filed a complaint against him or her with the district attorney.

For-hire watchdogs are detrimental on multiple levels. Their filing of baseless complaints harms innocent people, costs taxpayers money, creates unnecessary work for some governmental agencies and tarnishes the image of legitimate citizens and watchdogs, and the equally legitimate complaints that they file.

Until we have comprehensive ethics guidelines and the requisite laws to enforce them, abuses will continue unabated. And watchdogs-for-hire will continue to file baseless/frivolous complaints. It’s a marriage made in heaven.

IndyInjun December 1, 2012 at 11:51 pm

“(many of whom are secretly paid to discredit someone)”

You have proof of this assertion?

Kenneth Stepp December 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Well said Dave. Gun for hire watchdogs just muddy the waters for legitimate citizen groups.

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