But payments from the fund have gone to Deal’s family, friends, business partners and his own political machine.
Real PAC paid $10,355 for piloting and jet service to a man who was Gov. Deal’s business partner at the time.
Real PAC paid for parties at the Governor’s Mansion.
Real PAC paid $46,108.15 to his daughter-in-law’s firm.
But don’t worry. This is all perfectly fine, according to Gov. Deal and his team.
Last night, the governor’s attorney told Christopher King with CBS Atlanta, “all of the terms of that arrangement, completely vetted with the ethics commission, completely found to be legitimate.”
The Sad State of Georgia’s Ethics Commission
The only ethics commission left in Georgia is you — and maybe your local newspaper.
When Gov. Deal took office he slashed the ethics budget and cut the staff from 26 people to just nine.
Gov. Deal also changed the rules, making it tougher to even file a complaint.
In a radical change from previous rules, the person who files a complaint is responsible for the governor’s attorney’s fees if the complaint doesn’t rise to the standards of his hand-picked commission.
This is true. If you lose in front of his hand-picked panel, you pay his attorney’s fees.
Just recently, a substitute teacher in north Georgia filed a complaint with the ethics commission because Gov. Deal paid his daughter-in-law from his campaign funds. The governor’s hand-picked ethics panel told the teacher that Gov. Deal had done nothing wrong and handed the teacher a bill for $10,387.50.
The teacher worked an extra job at Subway for 10 months to be able to pay Gov. Deal’s attorney’s fees. Eventually the ethics commission voted 3-1 to suspend the fee.
When the previous ethics director, Stacey Kalberman, and her deputy director attempted to investigate complaints filed against the governor and his campaign, Gov. Deal promptly fired her.
So with that background, we get to today.
The governor’s attorney says that Gov. Deal’s hand-picked ethics commission and under-staffed ethics office “completely vetted” Real PAC and its payments to the governor’s family, friends, business partners and his own political machine.
While the ethics commission typically publishes advisory opinions on its website, Better Georgia searched high and low and couldn’t find a public (transparent) advisory opinion on Real PAC and its payments to Gov. Deal’s family, friends, business partners and political machine.
There is a growing scandal in the governor’s office that has attracted national attention.
The scandal continues to grow because the governor has gutted the state ethics committee. And now he wants you to believe that everything is OK.
Gov. Deal thinks he can get away with anything.
You have to decide whether you will let him.
It’s up to you to decide whether this is acceptable.