Other candidates and the Savannah Morning News are pointing out that the latest TV ad by former Gov. Roy Barnes leaves a few details out. Writes Larry Peterson:
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Roy Barnes is airing a television ad that takes aim at lobbyists – and banks that receive federal bailouts.
But the former governor – the frontrunner for his party’s nomination – was himself a registered lobbyist in 2007.
And his state financial disclosure report says he owned stock last year in five banks that received more than $34 billion in bailout loans.
The stock he said he owned in them was worth about $654,000 as of Wednesday. Since late 2008, they have paid him dividends that may have totaled almost $23,000.
In his ad, Barnes says that, as governor, he’d make sure banks don’t foreclose on a home before there are negotiations.
“Bankers and their lobbyists got bonuses and bailouts, but you lost your home,” Barnes says in the ad as video shows a family being evicted.
Viewed against the backdrop of his investments, the ad drew sharp rebukes from other candidates.
The ad in question:
Rival candidates for governor, Democrat and Republican, were happy to pile on:
“This goes to the heart of credibility,” said Democratic state House Leader DuBose Porter. “He’s got little to none. It’s another example of what he says, as opposed to what he does.”
Ben Fry, campaign manager for former Savannah Republican State Sen. Eric Johnson, was equally blunt.
“This is just typical Roy,” Fry said. “He thinks his trial lawyer-funded TV ads and slick political double-speak can cover up the truth.”
The explanation from the Barnes camp:
Chris Carpenter, Barnes’ campaign manager, defended the candidate and his television commercial.
Carpenter said Barnes, an attorney, represented a client in a zoning dispute before the Atlanta City Council.
“He didn’t do any lobbying,” Carpenter said.
Barnes was unsure of whether the law required him to register, but he did so out of “an abundance of caution,” Carpenter said.
Later, the Georgia State Bar told him registration for such work isn’t required and Barnes hasn’t registered since 2007, Carpenter said….
Carpenter said Barnes’ investments should be viewed in a wider context.
“Roy,” he said, “has owned most of these stocks for years, well before the financial crisis, and most of them are currently at a loss.
“And despite owning these stocks, he still passed the toughest anti-predatory lending law in the nation.”
Barnes supported and signed legislation dealing with the issue.
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