We’ve seen a troubling pattern with Gov. Nathan Deal.
Instead of taking care of Georgia’s business, Gov. Deal is busy taking care of his own personal interests and constantly trying to fix scandals.
Whether he is preparing to testify in court about an alleged cover-up of his campaign’s finance violations, or putting $76 million dollars in federal funding at risk, or collecting $20,000 per month rent from one of Georgia’s largest corporate tax debtors, Gov. Deal is just too self-interested to do his job as governor.
And Georgians pay the price.
The facts show that Gov. Deal repeatedly misses problems as they grow and then reacts dangerously late to the crisis that results.
Here are just a few examples:
- Georgia taxpayers are shelling out nearly half a million dollars a week just in overtime pay to fix Gov. Deal’s broken system for Georgia’s neediest families – those applying for help to feed their families. Gov. Deal’s excuse? “I’d only become aware that it was of that magnitude just fairly recently.”
- Instead of preparing for a previously forecast snowstorm, Gov. Nathan Deal went to an awards ceremony at the Atlanta Ritz-Carlton. To explain why the state wasn’t prepared, Gov. Deal called the snowstorm “unexpected.”
- The governor changed every teacher’s health insurance plan, causing dramatic increases in out-of-pocket expenses, the elimination of copayments and less choice for doctors. Only after teachers organized and marched to his office did Gov. Deal say, “If there’s a problem, we will address it.”
- Four rural hospitals have closed on Gov. Deal’s watch. Members of his own party have compared Georgia’s hospitals to “crack addicts” and said, “there are some of those rural hospitals that need to close.” But Gov. Deal kept silent and, instead, pushed a bill that would take away his responsibility on this critical issue and give it to the part-time legislature. Only after all of this did the governor release his three-point plan to cut even more services to rural hospitals, make someone else responsible and form a committee to study the problem.
- During this year’s Legislative session Georgia voters called on Gov. Deal to support a bill to legalize marijuana to treat seizures, pain and other extreme illnesses. More than 15,000 people signed a petition in support of the bill but Gov. Deal offered no support and said, “it is my policy to not comment on pending legislation that is not part of my legislative agenda.” But now that the session is over, Gov. Deal finally wants to be seen as supportive of medical marijuana.
The governor has been recklessly slow to react to problems with the food stamp system; a snow storm in 2011 and again in 2014; teachers’ health care policy changes; the cascading failure of the state’s rural hospital system; the growing push for medical marijuana and a long list of other problems.
Gov. Deal is doing just fine for himself, but the people of Georgia have not fared as well.
Since Gov. Deal was elected, he’s gone from being on the cusp of bankruptcy to making millions by selling his troubled salvage business to a competitor after Gov. Deal’s Department of Revenue found the company owed the state nearly $74 million in back taxes. Gov. Deal collects $20,000 in rent every month from this debtor but he refuses to do anything to collect the money the company owes the state.
Meanwhile, our schools are struggling from years of neglect, and teachers haven’t gotten a cost of living raise in years. The HOPE Scholarship is available to fewer Georgia students, and for those who are eligible, the scholarship no longer covers the full cost of college. And the transportation gridlock is worse than ever in metro-Atlanta.
Georgians deserve a governor who will focus on the people’s business instead of lining his own pockets while managing scandal after scandal that he creates.
Today you can help make sure your neighbors understand the harm caused by Gov. Deal’s administration. Give $8 to Better Georgia to make sure we are able to inform your friends and coworkers who may not know the governor’s failed track record.