Perdue made two trips to troubled insurance company’s hunting preserve

Gov. Sonny Perdue twice was flown to a hunting preserve operated by Southeastern U.S. Insurance, once in 2009 while the company – which provided workers compensation coverage for the state Department of Labor and many local governments – was tanking.

Dale Russell of Fox5 counted up four other state officials – all members of the General Assembly – who were beneficiaries of largesse from SEUS chief Clark Fain, now under criminal investigation by the state Department of Insurance. See the clip here:

Russell quotes the governor’s office as saying that Perdue’s own executive order banning gifts from those who do business with the recipient does not apply.

SEUS is the company at the center of the feud between U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland and state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, a Republican candidate for governor.

Oxendine called Westmoreland in December to make him aware of the investigation — then only a civil matter. Westmoreland once sat on an advisory board for the company. The congressman says the call from Oxendine was a “shakedown” attempt. Oxendine said it was a professional courtesy.

State Sen. Mich Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg) on Monday unveiled a revised version of SB 308, his attempt to rewrite the state’s sometimes contradictory laws governing where a concealed weapons can be carried – with the proper permit.

Seabaugh bowed to earlier criticism that would permit handguns (and knives) in churches and bars. Such facilities would have to expressly give permission to holders of concealed weapons carriers.

Likewise, Seabaugh pulled back on his insistence that concealed weapons might be totted into the state Capitol or other government buildings, or into public university classrooms. That wasn’t enough to satisfy the Board of Regents, however.

This from my AJC colleague Ernie Suggs:

Twenty-six university presidents signed a letter given to the Senate Special Judiciary Committee urging lawmakers to keep the law as it is now. Currently, guns are banned within 1,000 feet of college campuses.

A substitute bill by Seabaugh includes college classrooms and research facilities as prohibited areas to carry a gun. It would allow universities to determine whether people with permits would be allowed to carry guns into an athletic event.

But Seabaugh’s larger problem may come from Second Amendment enthusiasts. The basis of the senator’s rewrite of Georgia law is to establish property rights as superior to the right to carry – concealed or otherwise.

Testified John Monroe of GeorgiaCarry.org:

It’s seems like there’s a new civil right that’s being created here in the middle of the criminal code, where it says that private property owners shall have the right to forbid possession of a weapon on their property.

Monroe said that current state law on trespassing should be enough.

ABC news is reporting that a once and future Republican presidential candidate has become a victim of air rage:

Former Gov. Mitt Romney was attacked by a fellow passenger yesterday on a flight returning to the United States from Vancouver, where he was attending Winter Olympic ceremonies.

Romney, R-Mass., was uninjured in the altercation with the passenger on board the Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Los Angeles, according to a spokesman.

The spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, said the other passenger — who was sitting in front of his wife, Ann — became enraged after Romney asked him to move his seat to the upright position during takeoff.

“The passenger became physically violent,” Fehrnstrom said. “Gov. Romney did not retaliate, but instead allowed the airline crew to respond to the incident. The plane returned to the gate and the passenger was arrested by the police. Gov. Romney was not injured. He resumed his flight home on the same plane.”

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

45 comments Add your comment

GoOx

February 16th, 2010
10:08 am

My man Ox leading the charge to uncover corruption with Southern US Insurance.

Chris Mathews is covered in his own spittle because he is drinking, again and becacuse he is a racist

February 16th, 2010
10:14 am

HOLY SMOKES!!!!!!!! What is up with all the democrats senators dropping out? Obama has pushed too far annd has now threatened the democrat majority,

gobacktorunningredlightswithastatecarox

February 16th, 2010
10:16 am

go back to running red lights with a state car, ox.

leave politics to the non-crazies.

Chris Mathews is covered in his own spittle because he is drinking, again and becacuse he is a racist

February 16th, 2010
10:19 am

O ne
B ig
A rse
M istake
A merica!

rightofcenter

February 16th, 2010
10:23 am

Gee, Dale, great investigative work there – did you not “uncover” the fact that Jay Shaw is a Democrat and not a Republican? Really validates the validity of your work. By the way, isn’t the Dept. of Labor under the jurisdiction of another state office holder (i.e., Democrat Michael Thurmond)? So how does the governor have any influence in their contracts?

T-Bone

February 16th, 2010
10:29 am

GoOx: Sadly, I suspect you don’t see the irony of the praise of your man Ox on an article about state officials on hunting trips with insurance company money.

wesleywhatwhat

February 16th, 2010
10:31 am

how funny is it that the genius posting as “Chris Mathews is covered in his own spittle because he is drinking, again and becacuse he is a racist” had TWO chances to spell “because” right and couldn’t do it.

now THERE is a man with an opinion that should be valued.

T-Bone

February 16th, 2010
10:35 am

rightofcenter: I didn’t see Russell’s piece as a Republican vs. Democrat issue. As for Perdue, the point is that the trips arguably violated Perdue’s own ethics policy. And you realize that the Dept of Labor is part of the Executive branch, whose leader is Gov. Perdue, right?

lmno

February 16th, 2010
10:40 am

If you ask almost any American what their feelings on lobbyists and gifts to politicials is, you get an almost uniform answer. We have common ground! Its not often that we do. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and 3rd Party Members, almost universally agree that lobby groups are hurting the country. We agree that politicians should not be receiving gifts, trips, and other perks from ANYONE, yet nothing ever changes.

Obama got elected in large part becauuse he said he would get rid of the “special interest groups influence in Washington”.

I know he doesn’t have a magic wand, but by God, get to work on that Mr. President!

If you could make an effort to get rid of these clowns, we’d ALL stand up and clap.

And Sonny Purdue is incompetent, fat, arrogant, and the possibly the most unqualified Governor in America.

No use for a name

February 16th, 2010
10:52 am

It should also be noted Sonny Perdue was an investor in first oglethorpe, another workers comp comany Fain and Larry Walker were involved in. Perdue has known Fain for years.

Tony

February 16th, 2010
10:57 am

In my book, Perdue and Oxendine are both crooks.

catlady

February 16th, 2010
10:57 am

When the governor does it, it doesn’t count as “against the law”. Silly wabbit. Laws are for losers, and Sonny hasn’t lost a darned thing!

lmno

February 16th, 2010
10:58 am

These “hunting preserves” are really shady.

Killiing tame birds for entertainment is a sign of a messed up mental state.

catlady

February 16th, 2010
11:11 am

It didn’t count because he didn’t have fun.

williebkind

February 16th, 2010
11:35 am

Tony

February 16th, 2010
10:57 am

In my book all progressive liberals are liars and crooks.

Chris Mathews is cover in his own spittle and misspelling words because he is drinking, again and because he is racist

February 16th, 2010
11:36 am

Spread this around. It is gonna drive the libs crazy. They are gonna get mad. I bet they start to blame bush in their fury. Libs are easily sent ’round the bend.

Ezra

February 16th, 2010
11:36 am

Do you think the democrats who are leaving are going home to prepare for the upcoming Civil War?

Chris Mathews is cover in his own spittle and misspelling words because he is drinking, again and because he is racist

February 16th, 2010
11:36 am

Here is what you need to send to all in your address book.

O ne
B ig
A rse
M istake
A merica!

Money Talks

February 16th, 2010
11:38 am

To get the big million dollar government contracts, these perqs, trips, free flights, dinners, etc. are a minimum. In addition, a lot of cash changes hands during the deals that you never hear about in addition to lucrative consulting contracts after the fact. Taxpayers get hosed,but the connected parties get rich—isn’t that the way it is supposed to work in gov’t???

Chris Mathews is cover in his own spittle and misspelling words because he is drinking, again and because he is racist

February 16th, 2010
11:39 am

No, Ezra, they will get jobs lobbying in the lobbyistless Obama Administration or get paid to go on PMSNBC to blame Bush for Obama’s numerous failures. .

Chris Mathews is cover in his own spittle and misspelling words because he is drinking, again and because he is racist

February 16th, 2010
11:40 am

sickofrepterds

February 16th, 2010
11:54 am

Like I said before, Sonny isn’t the worst governor. That title belongs to Bob Riley of Alabama. Goooo repterds!

John E. Crash

February 16th, 2010
11:59 am

Mixing bird hunting and politics seems fashionable these days. I’ve got news for you Mr. Politician. When it comes
votin’ time, I’m gonna be shootin’ them all a bird!

wesleywhatwhat

February 16th, 2010
12:15 pm

dear moron posting as “Chris Mathews is cover in his own spittle and misspelling words because he is drinking, again and because he is racist”:

you ALMOST have your name right. try moving the comma AFTER “again” and you’ll finally have your name correct.

start small, little fella, and we’ll work on your other sadly obvious issues next time.

Miss_Lola

February 16th, 2010
12:18 pm

Well thank heavens for Palin…she saved that idiot Sonny from being THE worst governor ever…once again, he’s an also-ran…can’t even be #1 at being the worst~

wesleywhatwhat

February 16th, 2010
12:25 pm

I liked Obama better before he was President. Where is my change? I’m all out of Hope.

wesleywhatwhat

February 16th, 2010
12:27 pm

GEORGIA97

February 16th, 2010
12:50 pm

Oxendine is a complete sell out who would be horrible as governor. He purchased a new car when he was told not to and had to have the lights and sirens removed because he kept crashing on the way to apartment fires. After every storm he’s on TV estimating the “millions of dollars in damage” when he doesn’t know if a penthouse or an outhouse was damaged. He’s a douche.

Aaron Burr V. Mexico

February 16th, 2010
1:00 pm

@Chris Mathews….. I love this. Sent to all. Thanks.

O ne
B ig
A rse
M istake
A merica!

woodshed guy

February 16th, 2010
1:06 pm

It used to be that politicians had a modicum of decency; now, they basically flip it off and continue with business as usual. The pendulum do swing however and what we will soon see will be better than the Talmadge trilogy. Stay tuned! You ain’t seen nuttin yet folks.

B. Bunny

February 16th, 2010
1:22 pm

Sonny is the most corrupt “maroon” ever to take a bribe or shoot a caged bird.

Bone

February 16th, 2010
1:29 pm

Do most of you writing on this blog vote? If so, someone take their voting cards away from them. Every single politican, from the Civil War on (and some before that), have cheated the taxpayers out of our money. Doesn’t matter who you vote in…if they’re not crooks when they go in, give it 6 months.

If you believe someone other than who’s in office now will do a better job, I’ve got a power plant on the Savannah River I can sell you for cheap.

Wake up and start smelling the coffee for a change.

Tip

February 16th, 2010
1:30 pm

To T-Bone: WRONG!!! Check your facts. The Labor Com., (who happens to be a Democrat) is elected by the people of Ga. Most would say that he is not influenced by the Governor in any way. Perdue was not doing business with the insurance company (the Labor Com. was) and the Governor probably did not know a state agency carried separate Worker’s Comp. There is even a good chance that the Labor Com. or his people released information on this subject. However, this is a position that the Gov. proposes to be appointed by the Gov. Now that would make him responsible.

woodshed guy

February 16th, 2010
1:50 pm

Birds of a feather they be, the OX and Gov. Rank and priviledges above the law. It would take a long needle just to get a drop of honesty out of either. Private hunting preserves are just that. Private, no law enforcement, no hunting enforcement until someone gets shot or doesn’t want to play stooge any longer., This and stranger things will come out before election time. Hidden taxes? Tax evasions?

The Late Maynord Jackson

February 16th, 2010
1:58 pm

Why don’t any of us black folks get invited to these private hunting preserves?

T-Bone

February 16th, 2010
2:12 pm

Tip: Check my facts on what? On what “most would say” or what the Governor “probably did not know?” Or the part about the Commissioner of Labor being an executive officer of the Executive Branch? Fact check Article V of the Georgia Constitution, if you don’t believe me.

woodshed guy

February 16th, 2010
2:30 pm

@ The Late Maynord J. None of us white folks get invited to these private hunting preserves either. You have to have rank and connections. You also need to sell your soul for mammon. These hunts start at about $1500 per paying customer. If it is a gift you have to pay taxes on it. HMMMMMMMM!

Wounded Warrior

February 16th, 2010
3:47 pm

So Sonny was shootin where oxendufus shot someone? Does he have a hunting license?

Alabama Communist

February 16th, 2010
5:53 pm

No doubt Governor Perdue was taking the Dick Cheney approach to Corporate politics by shooting his lawyers in the back with a water pistol to make a political point. And speaking of Cowards! Why didn’t Mitt Romney defend himself instead of acting like a Republican Sissy and running from a real fight.

Tip

February 16th, 2010
7:05 pm

T-Bone: You missed the point. Being on the same “branch” does not mean that you are on the same team, even if the Ga. Constitution put you there. Both positions are elected, independent of the other, and do not necessarily support, or even like each other.
That is all that I can say about this topic.

get the facts

February 16th, 2010
10:29 pm

SEUS did not insure the GA Dept of Labor. They insured the unemployment claimants who were in the GA Works Program for work comp only. The DOL did not want the burden. Fox 5 needs to check its facts or report the whole story for once. I don’t know why they want Oxe to win, he will be a terrible governor. Why doesn’t anyone ask how much the DOI is paying contractors to run SEUS???

Wounded Warrior

February 17th, 2010
10:52 am

State Board of workers comp is funded by the fees charged to businesses. They are not under Oxendufus…thet are separate agency like the lottery is funded soley by ticket sells.

Wounded Warrior

February 17th, 2010
10:53 am

ox is an idiot.

InTheCenter

February 17th, 2010
6:00 pm

For RightofCenter From the Governor’s Home Page:

“The chief official in the EXECUTIVE branch is the Governor….In addition to the Governor, Georgia’s Constitution provides for several constitutional officers who are the heads of EXECUTIVE departments and are elected directly by the voters….

Gee, that would be the Labor Department now wouldn’t it.

If you read the Constitution (perhpas you could start with Article V, Section 2, Paragraph X) or Section III to see about those “other EXECUTIVE officers” who are elected and how the Governor has limited authority over these CONSTITUTIONAL officers.

Or you might check labor Department’s Workforce Investment Act, designated by THE GOVERNOR to be placed under Labor.

SEUS provided insurance for trainees under this ACT.

And curious. If not EXECUTIVE branch, exactly where did you see Labor fitting. I know of only three Branches of Government in the State Constitution and Legislative and Judicial seem to be a bit of a reach.

Finally, try reading the Governor’s Executive Order and tell everyone here what you think the spirit of the ethics act is.

Let the lawyers haggle over the rest of it.

wesleywhatwhat

February 18th, 2010
10:07 am

to the moron posting as me at 12:25 and 12:27:

get an education, son. how did u find your way onto the internet from your parent’s basement?

at least u spelled my name correctly, which u couldn’t do with yours. sad, just sad.

not at all surprised that u support oxendine and purdue, and think obama was a mistake.

typical. go back to school, man.