Animal behaviorists will tell you that many species attempt to make themselves appear larger and more fierce, in order to fend off challengers.
This comes from the Associated Press bureau at the state Capitol:
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Nathan Deal used campaign contributions to secure a $250,000 line of credit from a bank whose board chairman has ties to the Republican congressman, a campaign spokesman said Friday.
Harris Blackwood told The Associated Press that the campaign placed $250,000 in a certificate of deposit with the Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia which then issued a line of credit for the same amount to Deal’s gubernatorial bid. Last week, Blackwood would not say specifically what Deal had used as collateral for the line of credit.
Blackwood said the money has to remain in the bank until the loan is paid back.
The maneuver effectively allows the Deal campaign — which has been among the fundraising leaders in the race — to appear to have more money on hand than it does. The $250,000 placed into a CD can still be counted as cash on hand even though it is being used to secure the line of credit, Blackwood said.
Deal has reported raising $1.6 million since entering the race for governor in May. His most recent campaign filing showed that he had over $940,000 left in the bank.
Blackwood said the line of credit is not an attempt to pump up Deal’s campaign totals. He said Deal borrowed the cash to pay for startup expenses for the race.
“It was just a way to keep money flowing without dipping into cash on hand,” Blackwood said.
Rick Thompson, former executive secretary of the state ethics commission, said the transaction appeared to be legal because Deal had collateral for the bank line. Thompson suggested the move was likely designed to artificially boost Deal’s bottom line.
“I can’t see why else he would do it,” Thompson said.
The scramble for cash has been intense in the crowded race for governor as 12 candidates fight to appear viable in advance of party primaries in July.
On Sunday, The Associated Press reported that Deal and state insurance Commissioner John Oxendine had each tapped $250,000 lines of credit.
Oxendine used his Duluth home to secure the line from Brand Banking Co., whose chief executive is a generous campaign supporter.
Deal was provided a line of credit from the Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia. The chairman of the bank’s board is Jim Walters, a contributor to Deal and to Deal’s son. Walters also leases space to the elder Deal’s campaign in Gainesville. Walters and one of his companies have contributed $24,400 to Deal’s gubernatorial campaign and another $1,000 to the campaign of Deal’s son, Jason, for Superior Court.
Deal said he is paying fair market rent for the campaign space.
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