Friday, September 17, 2010

Will he drop out?

Nathan Deal resigned from Congress earlier this year, so that he could spend more time in Georgia and devote more attention and energy to his bid to become our next Governor. Had he not resigned, he would have been next in line for an expected rebuke (or worse) from the House Ethics Committee for use of Congressional staff to protect Mr. Deal’s no-bid contract with the State of Georgia.

In this summer’s Republican primary election, Deal came in second to Karen Handel; in the run-off, he came in ahead of her by a few hundred votes and she conceded even before the last ballots were counted. I did not like this; I think she might have prevailed in a final count and a recount. In any event, she should have stood her ground and continued to talk about ethics. Wasn’t that one of her campaign points – that she was the only not-ethically-challenged candidate in the race?

Be that as it may, Deal’s Democrat opponent, former Governor Roy Barnes – another good ole boy – has been hammering Deal on his alleged ethics violations as Congressman, and his unwillingness to, until recently, disclose his financial information. Now we know where that unwillingness came from: a $2.85 million business loan in 2009 and a $2.3 million investment in his daughter and son-in-law’s failed business in Habersham County. Wilder Outdoors, owned by Carrie and Clint Wilder, was established in 2006 and administratively dissolved on September 8 of this year. The Wilders are reported to have filed for bankruptcy. Nathan Deal asserts that he and his wife, Sandra, will not. They listed their home in Gainesville for sale last year for $985,000, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen ( and have not found a buyer yet. There are currently 190 homes priced between $500 thousand and $1 million for sale in Gainesville. It’s a tough Real Estate market in Georgia.

How it will all work out is impossible to say, but I expect the Republican leadership in Georgia will have a heart-to-heart with Mr. Deal soon, followed by his departure from the race. Then what?

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