Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Barnes v. Deal: Who do you trust?

From Alan Judd of The AJC:
In the midst of his campaign for governor, Nathan Deal faces such dire financial troubles that he must sell his home to avert foreclosure or bankruptcy.

Even if Deal liquidates all his assets, however, he still might be unable to repay a nearly $2.3 million business loan, documents reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution indicate.
It's a sad story. At least, it's sad for a story about a politically connected millionaire who loses most of his millions trying to help his daughter and son-in-law start a sporting goods business. And you have to wonder how this situation didn't come to light before the GOP primary.

But left unsaid in the response to this story today is why this is so bad. Deal supporters can brush aside concerns about bad judgment — one of the quicker routes to financial ruin for people and governments — by pointing to the family angle. Presumably Deal got in too deep because he wanted to help his family.

But that doesn't address the reality of having a governor with such serious financial issues. That kind of thing makes you vulnerable. It makes you vulnerable to the state contractor who's got his own financial issues, but enough cash for a kickback.

It makes you vulnerable, but it doesn't mean you'll do something illegal. And so the primary question in Georgia's gubernatorial race remains the same: Do you trust Nathan Deal, or do you trust Roy Barnes?

Either way, Georgia, good luck with that.

Update: I should have noted that Libertarian John Monds is also in this race. It's probably not a good sign for him that I'd forgotten he existed. But, then, I live in North Carolina these days.

Update: Shorter Nathan Deal via the AP's Shannon McCaffrey: Also, I forgot about $2.85 million in other loans I failed to disclose. Sorry about that.

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