Without exaggeration, last week was THE single most important week in Georgia’s governor’s race.
Gov. Nathan Deal’s team is falling apart as the governor is facing mounting pressure to come clean about his ethics scandal and the cover-up.
Better Georgia needs your help TODAY. Will you chip in $8 to keep the pressure on Gov. Deal to tell the truth?
Gov. Deal’s new problems started at the beginning of the week with an uncovered bombshell memo from Holly LaBerge, Georgia’s ethics chief. She revealed a series of text messages and phone calls showing the governor’s top staffers threatened and intimidated her about the ongoing investigation into Gov. Deal’s campaign finance scandal.
Instead of sending a formal communication from the governor’s office to LaBerge, who Gov. Deal calls the “prosecutor,” the governor’s chief-of-staff sent this text message:
“So, since you are at the beach, with your feet in the sand and probably something cold to drink. Does this mean we can resolve all the DFG (Deal for Governor) issues by Monday? :)”
Call us old fashioned, but text messages with smiley face emoticons seem more appropriate for a middle school romance than a governor’s chief-of-staff’s contact with the state ethics chief.
And that’s before the conversation took an even more inappropriate turn.
Attorney General Sam Olens knew about these text messages for about a year but didn’t turn them over to courts during a trial or even open his own investigation to determine whether Gov. Deal’s top government staffers were interfering in an open investigation.
Now that LaBerge has released these once-secret text messages, one fact has become clear: Gov. Deal’s team is turning on him.
LaBerge is the governor’s own handpicked ethics chief that he put into power. She replaced the ethics chief and ethics deputy who were fired immediately before they issued subpoenas in the Deal investigation. They are just two of four ethics commission whistleblowers who were recently awarded more than $3 million because they were collateral damage in a taxpayer-funded cover-up for Gov. Deal.
Now that Gov. Deal’s team members know the governor’s cover-up is coming unraveled, they’re jumping ship to save themselves.
And the situation continues to get worse for the governor. He took interviews all week and is trying to distract voters with conflicting versions of his story. But neither the public nor the media are buying it.
In fact, Deal’s story changed so much last week that the AJC’s Greg Bluestein wrote:
“We had to update one post with new details so many times yesterday our head is still spinning.”
And the latest poll numbers reflect the public’s distrust in the governor. Late last week, a conservative-leaning pollster found Democratic challenger Jason Carter up 49% to 41% over Deal.
We’ve never seen anything like this in Georgia.
Throughout the governor’s scandal and cover-up, not one elected official from his own party has come out in support of Deal. The governor’s team has tried to circle the wagons within the GOP and “get back on message,” but they botched their internal PR efforts through an email leak.
It’s time for Gov. Deal to come clean.
Instead of meeting with members of his own political party to provide “talking points,” Gov. Deal should face all Georgians to simply be honest and tell the truth.
Expect to hear the governor blame anyone and everyone, including Better Georgia, for all of Gov. Deal’s problems.
Expect them to say we shouldn’t waste any more time talking about Gov. Deal’s unethical and potentially illegal conduct.
We know why they don’t want to talk about it.
It’s because Gov. Deal is in serious trouble of his own making, and there just aren’t enough “talking points” to explain away the truth.
At Better Georgia, we promise not to stop until the full truth is known. We’re winning this battle, but we can’t stop now.
Chip in $8 TODAY. Your support will keep us working to expose Gov. Deal’s lies.