Political Notes – He’s willing to ‘swap apologies’ with Deal

[private]Carlton Fletcher of the Albany Herald predicted a few weeks ago that Gov. Nathan Deal would sign HB 757, the “religious liberty” bill that stirred up massive amounts of controversy during the session.

“Deal would be wise to veto this legislation, but expecting wisdom from this governor is akin to tossing up a three-quarter court prayer at the buzzer in a one-point game,” Fletcher wrote on Feb. 27.

Deal, of course, proved Fletcher and his other critics wrong on Monday when he vetoed HB 757.

Within an hour of Deal’s veto announcement, Fletcher said he received an email from an irate reader who denounced him as a jerk, a no-name journalist, and a “liberal puke,” while demanding that Fletcher apologize to Deal. That prompted Fletcher to write:

I was wrong about Deal signing the bill. I’ll cop to that. But I think I’ll hold off on my apology until he apologizes to me and others downriver for telling me — that’s me, to my face, at a campaign rally in Albany — that he had no intention of interfering with the flow of the Flint and other state rivers once he claimed the governor’s seat and then doing just that not long after taking that seat.

Being a no-name journalist puke is one thing. Breaking campaign promises before you’ve even settled into the state’s highest office is, I believe, deserving of derision and distrust on a whole other level. Of course, on some level you have to consider the folks who elected him in the first place.

Franklin Graham’s not pleased either

While Deal has been lauded by many Democrats for his veto, he has also endured some harsh criticisms from religious fundamentalists. One such critic is Franklin Graham, son of Billy, who posted on Facebook:

“By vetoing the Free Exercise Protection Act this morning [March 28], he warmly welcomed the LGBT community and in effect told people of faith that they take second place. House Bill 757 would have protected pastors from having to perform same-sex marriages and would have protected churches from being forced to use their facilities for ceremonies against their religious beliefs. This conservative governor has caved in to pressure from the NFL and major corporations and is now a part of backing the LGBT agenda. This is a dark hour in Nathan Deal’s long political career.”

Rusty has to explain things

Rep. Rusty Kidd of Milledgeville, the lone independent serving in the House of Representatives, sent this email to friends and supporters two weeks ago:

“Despite the rumors of my political demise, I am well and rolling for reelection to my current house seat district 145. Because I am an independent and my election is not till November, my name does not show up on the Secretary of State list as qualified. I did qualify for reelection on the first day. When you go over the list of persons qualified, you won’t see my name at district 145, but I am alive, well and running. Any contributions you might have, I would graciously accept for I have 5 opponents, 3 democrats and 2 republicans, but I think I can get reelected one more time. See you in the hallway for day 38-39 and sine-die day 40.”

It is against the law for legislators, even independent ones, to solicit campaign contributions while the General Assembly is in session. Kidd was compelled to send out a followup that explained his prior email wasn’t really an appeal for contributions:

“I am not soliciting contributions at this time. I have had several people calling my offices and coming up telling me that they didn’t think I had qualified due to me not being on the Secretary of State qualifying list. I’m not on the May 24 primary list. It is on the November list. I just wanted everyone to know that I am running for House District 145 one more time.”

The other candidates running in House District 145 are Democrats Floyd Griffin, Harold Simmons and John Reid, and Republicans Ricky Williams and Tom Glover.

Cancer charities scam

Attorney General Sam Olens said Georgia is part of a 50-state agreement with the federal government to shut down two fraudulent cancer charities and prohibit their president from profiting from future fundraising.

The settlement involves Cancer Fund of America Inc., Cancer Support Services Inc., which were headed by James Reynolds Sr. It was alleged that the organizations claimed to help cancer patients but spent most of the contributions on their operators, families and friends, and fundraisers.

“Joining forces with federal and state partners, we have put an end to an egregious and extensive charity fraud scheme which claimed to assist children with cancer and breast cancer patients,” Olens said. “These so-called charities took advantage of the generosity of others to fund their lavish lifestyles.”

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Carlton Fletcher , Franklin Graham , Nathan Deal , religious liberty , Rusty Kidd , Sam Olens