Updated: Sparring Over Ethics Allegations

As Charlie predicted when the news of federal subpoenas going to members of the Georgia Ethics Commission broke on Wednesday, both sides of the political fence are using the news for their own purposes.

Shortly after the story broke, Georgia Democrats sent out a release tying Governor Deal to the news:

The same behavior that forced Nathan Deal to resign from Congress has now shown up in the way he conducts his administration as Governor,“ said Democratic Party Chair DuBose Porter. “The issue of federal subpoenas is troubling. Every Georgian should pay close attention so that history does not repeat itself in the ethics commission.

On Thursday, the Georgia GOP responded with an email from Randy Evans, Governor Deal’s attorney:

The lawsuit is not against the Governor and does not involve anything that the Governor has done or alleged to have done. Instead, various Commission staff (present and former) have made allegations against each other for things that occurred during the time that claims against Governor Deal (decided in his favor) were pending.

Importantly, the Commission itself, not the staff, decided those claims in Governor Deal’s favor and ruled that he acted in accordance with the rules, regulations and laws that applied – not once, but on multiple occasions.


On Friday, David Pennington, one of Governor Deal’s primary challengers, took to Facebook to add his spin to the controversy:

[I]f we are going to ensure Georgia doesn’t turn into a blue state – we need to hold Republican elected officials accountable for failing to adhere to [limited government] principles. No longer can Georgia Republicans defend reckless spending, increased taxes, and failed economic policies that are harming our families and neighbors.

Georgia Republicans should no longer continue blasting Democrats for ethical problems while turning a blind eye to ethically-challenged Republicans.

Break out the popcorn. This is going to be interesting.


  1. Dave Bearse says:

    “I don’t think it’s coincidental in the timing,” Gov Deal said of news of the subpoena of five current and former state ethics officials in connection with a federal grand jury investigation of the Ethics Commission inquiry into Deal’s 2010 campaign. Then declined to further explain the statement.

    Is Deal suggesting to the tin foil hat crowd that the White House directed the FBI begin an investigation in late 2013, since 2014 is an election year? It’s logical to conclude that it’s occurring at the behest of the White House, since Daryl Issa proved the White House directed the IRS single out only conserviative groups for extra scrutiny.

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