Governor Deal Responds: We Saw It Coming

July 15, 2014 10:57 am

by Charlie · 18 comments

Governor Deal has just released the following email.  Meanwhile, Jason Carter has a press conference starting in 5 minutes.  Campaign Season and legal stuff.  Hand in hand like dogs and cats, living together….

Deal for Governor counsel Randy Evans’ memo sets the record straight on “election-year attacks”

Democrats across the country are abusing our legal system for political gain, and Republican governors are targets. Here at home, Better Georgia (bankrolled by former Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes), and activist groups aligned with Jason Carter have tried to make an election year issue out of the troubles at the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

In fact, in a June 16 blog post, Carter’s allies said they were “pleased to announce that we will be working directly with one of the commission staff members that was wrongfully terminated to bring residents the full untold story. We promise some juicy exclusives in the very near future-stay tuned!”

The only problem is, as we predicted, that the facts don’t support any wrongdoing. Instead, a leaked document only now made public confirmed that, contrary to media reporting, past and present commission staff aggressively pursued allegations against the campaign. Indeed, Deal and his campaign were subjected to the highest level of scrutiny in the history of Georgia. This included a full audit of all of his disclosure reports consisting of thousands of entries with no specific formal complaint as a basis-a first for the commission.

After that extensive search, the commission dismissed all claims with the exception of an administrative fee dealing with clerical errors in campaign reports. There was no global settlement, nor does this case pertain to recent settlements between the commission’s board members and ex-staffers.

The complainant even apologized:

“I want to say to Governor Nathan Deal, and to Mr. Evans and McKenna Long, that in some of the language I used, in the complaints, I sincerely apologize… I sincerely, sincerely, apologize.”

But the governor’s opponents aren’t letting the truth get in the way of election-year attacks.

These are the facts:
Our entire legal team has aggressively defended Deal, which we will continue to do throughout his second term.
Notwithstanding our best efforts to convince the commission staff of our positions repeatedly, they insisted on a contested hearing on the two main issues.

Contrary to the recycled attacks that we “influenced” the commission staff, they vigorously opposed our arguments.
We not only won the two main issues based on the specific facts of the complaints against Deal, we also won those issues based on the general rules that apply to all candidates.

Yet, all of these groups working against Deal’s reelection circulated rumors and innuendos about all sorts of investigations and allegations. Finally, the public knows what we have known all along-these rumors are entirely untrue. None of the accusations they raised happened, and no juicy details are forthcoming.

No doubt, these attacks will not stop until November. But, there is now little left to tell. Because of that, maybe we consider this an “I told you so.” They can’t talk about Deal’s record as governor making Georgia the No. 1 place to do business, or his commitment to educating Georgia’s children. So, instead, they try to rehash old stories that have neither life in them, nor any to begin with. With this latest leak, I just thought you should know that at least this one part of the story should now be over.

Chris Huttman July 15, 2014 at 11:11 am

Well that settles it. Deal is the most “Government Transparent and Campaign Finance”* Governor in Georgia’s history and coincidentally one of the biggest charitable benefactors to the ethics commission in history!

(* – replace with ‘ethical’ you will notice that word does not appear in the release I wonder why)

PoliticalJoe July 15, 2014 at 11:24 am

I think it wasn’t added because ethics and ethical isn’t in the name of the Government Transparency and Finance Commission

Chris Huttman July 15, 2014 at 11:53 am

Ha – in my quick scan for the word “ethics” I missed the part Evans promises Deal will have just as many legal problems in his second term if he’s re-elected. Georgia – you have been warned!

xdog July 15, 2014 at 11:22 am

Not a shock that the Deal folks would blame others for their woes. The only surprise is Evans forgot to accuse the donks of seeding the juries handing out big bucks. Probably slipped his mind.

Charlie July 15, 2014 at 11:22 am
Three Jack July 15, 2014 at 11:48 am

dem press release calling for feds to step in. – http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Release—Senate-Dems-Renew-Call-for-Federal-Investigation-into-State-Ethics.html?soid=1101819846149&aid=RGWCd9ZV73Y

I’m 100% about finding the truth with Deal’s shenanigans, but calling for a fed investigation when on the other hand you vehemently oppose the same for Obama’s administration is a bit hypocritical.

Chris Huttman July 15, 2014 at 11:52 am

As if a lack of Congressional investigating and oversight is really the problem with the Obama administration? I guessed you missed the press release when Nancy Pelosi appointed Democrats to the Benghazi committee?

Harry July 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Uh, yes, the Obama/Holder administration is not being transparent and cooperative with congress and the public on multiple issues. Any technical oversights by the Deal administration are minor in comparison.

Three Jack July 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Chris,

You left out one word between Pelosi and appointed, ‘reluctantly’.

I guess I missed the pr from GA dems calling for a special investigation into Benghazi too. Must have been because they were too busy pushing the diversion talking point about raising the minimum wage.

Chris Huttman July 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm

I guess the same way you missed the Democratic press releases about the numerous embassy attacks during the Bush administration. Probably because grown ups accept that war and diplomacy are dangerous.

objective July 15, 2014 at 12:01 pm

while i respect Mr. Evans’ skill set, he misrepresents here and there. the Commission is specifically empowered to conduct audits of any disclosure submitted, and it is actually a core function. when they were appropriately funded, they had specific staff responsible for audits. and arguably, statewide office-seekers should be scrutinized more, and not just because they have more extensive reports to audit. such campaigns are also in the best position to have staff dedicated to proper disclosure, or disclosure avoidance.
and when you “win” on the issues based on spoliation of evidence, it really doesn’t count.

Spacey G July 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm

If all these dreadful memo writers of late, Evans, LaBerge, etc., possessed the slightest bit of writing style then maybe Sam Olens wouldn’t have so much trouble locating the darn things.

MattMD July 15, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Mass hysteria!!!

Left Turn Only July 15, 2014 at 2:40 pm

We The People elected a man who got out of Washington a step ahead of the posse, avoiding a (rare) Congressional investigation and probable censure. This was no secret then, so we deserve what we get. Stop defending the man and just accept him as he is. We asked for it.

Three Jack July 15, 2014 at 2:41 pm

On another topic of questionable ethics by the governor, wonder what his daughter-in-law will do for an income after Deal is either A> busted, finally; or B> loses due to the rancid smell of ethical malfeasance surrounding his campaign and administration – http://media.ethics.ga.gov/search/Campaign/campaign_ByExpendituresearchresults.aspx?Name=sassafrass&ExpTypeID=0&OccEmp=&Purpose=&From=&To=&Item=&Paid=&Filer=&Candidate=&Committee=

Nepotism is great for the beneficiary, but it reeks when so much money is involved.

Trey A. July 16, 2014 at 12:18 am

In the era before the internet, Deal was a much loved Democratic congressman and could have been a much loved governor. By most accounts, he’s a thoughtful guy and most of his policy decisions–at least those that aren’t overtly political–make sense. But somebody needs to wake him up to the fact that ethics and accountability matter in the 21st century.

As LTO and others point out, we deserve what we voted for. It’s up to us not to make the same mistake again.

WeymanCWannamakerJr July 16, 2014 at 4:30 am

These statements from the Guvnah’s attorneys keep belaboring the near exoneration of the original complaints and ignore the fact that those results are fatally tainted given the forced expulsions and firings from the commission. How about they address the FACTS that a jury awarded a huge settlement to Kalberman and the Atty General’s subsequent settlements to the 3 others to keep trials and further revelations of the Guvnah’s staff’s interventions out of the news in an election year. The taxpayers are out more than $3MM in settlements alone to this point and yet somehow the Guvnah has been wronged? Yes Mr. Evans it appears this is all an evil plot by the Democrats to me too. And yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus as well.

Ghost of William F. Buckley July 16, 2014 at 6:33 am

http://youtu.be/zxUaadrxuDk

“One of these days, Chumley, one of these days we’ll have some light around here.” – Tennessee Tuxedo.

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