Your morning jolt: GOP says Roy Barnes’ law firm appeared 37 times before judges he appointed

From the Savannah Morning News:

Former Gov. Roy Barnes’ law firm has appeared at least 37 times before judges he named, winning clients hundreds of millions of dollars.

Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes/AP

Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes/AP

In one such case, decided last month, the Democratic governor hopeful’s firm helped win a $459 million judgment.

Barnes didn’t appear personally at the trial, but he appointed Marvin Arrington, one of the judges in the case. Official records show Arrington, a Superior Court judge in Atlanta, has contributed $2,000 to Barnes’ current campaign.

Arrington also gave $10,000 to Barnes’ 2002 campaign on Dec. 3, 2001, records show. Barnes named him to the Fulton County Superior Court on Jan. 17, 2002….

Barnes spokesman Emil Runge did not dispute the accuracy of a Georgia Republican Party document describing the cases.

Runge didn’t answer questions about them, but denounced Deal.
“As a fellow lawyer,” Runge said, “Nathan Deal knows better than to recklessly call into question the integrity of judges across this state.”

Heretofore, the campaign of Republican nominee Nathan Deal had pressed reporters to count how many times Barnes had personally appeared before judges he’d appointed. The former governor had said he could only find one instance – in an insurance case in which the jury’s decision was not appealed.

Click here to see the handout from the state GOP.

Republicans did not address how many of these judges should be disciplined for whatever ethical lapses may be involved here. But it’s an interesting question.

***

The Republican Governors Association is dipping into Barnes-Deal contest and 26 other races for governor with the help of $1 million from News Corp., the parent company of Fox News. From Politico:

News Corp.’s $1 million gift to the Republican Governors Association was the result of Rupert Murdoch’s personal friendship with former Fox News host and Ohio gubernatorial hopeful John Kasich, Murdoch [said] Wednesday night.

Murdoch, who was in Washington to receive an award from The Media Institute, brushed aside concerns that the gift, which was unusually large and one-sided for a media company, might hurt Fox’s credibility as a news organization that reports on politics.

“It doesn’t reflect on Fox News,” he said. “It had nothing to do with Fox News. The RGA [gift] was actually [a result of] my friendship with John Kasich.”

***

Take one large cup of Friday night football, remove prayer – and stir. Pardon the religious pun, but some issues are just predestined to become October political topics. From WALB-TV in Albany:

Leesburg, Ga. – Prayer before Lee County High School football games has been silenced after someone complained to the school system.

Local ministers offered prayers over the stadium’s public address system before two home games this year, but that violates the Georgia High School Association’s rules, so the school will stop.

That’s not sitting well with some Christians who say one person’s complaint shouldn’t affect the masses….

There is no truth to the rumor now circulating in the Lee County area that tomorrow’s stadium crowd will be handed individual rubber mats for a mass yoga session.

***

CBS Atlanta has been working a Henry County school board election involving the young son of state Rep. Steve Davis, R-McDonough. The TV station has a tape of 21-year-old Ryan Davis demanding the withdrawal of rival Rodney Christopher:

That recording includes Davis telling Christopher that if he didn’t drop out, information about child abuse charges would be made public.

“I find it hard for someone with child abuse charges to run for school board,” said Davis on the tape.

But Christopher was never charged with child abuse. A letter from Henry County police shows a judge refused to charge Christopher with child abuse for lack of probable cause. The allegations stem from an incident in which Christopher said he disciplined his son and voluntarily went to police to avoid any accusations.

“I have an ex-wife that loves to start drama,” said Christopher. “So I didn’t want anything fabricated.”

During the call, when Christopher confronted Davis about the lack of charges Davis responded, “I think you’ll be explaining it for the next 28 days.”

CBS Atlanta contacted Davis by phone, and he said the calls weren’t threats. He said he was giving Christopher a chance to “save his dignity.”

***

PeachPundit has pointed us to an account of the DeKalb County race for district attorney, which features former solicitor general Robert James against Constance Pinson Heard, a family law attorney who has served two six-months suspensions of her license – the latest when she was fighting a bout of depression.

The Fulton County Daily Report produced this glimpse of an unorthodox candidate:

Heard said she knows a variety of taxpayers of different races and hears their concerns. “My family is not all black. I don’t know if you know it, but I am,” she said, explaining that she has traveled and her circle of acquaintances is wide.

“I hear so many people, particularly white people, who are frustrated. … Not that I’m the Great White Hope, but that frustration of having to pay taxes and seeing the kinds of corrupt things that happen,” she said, citing issues during former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell’s reign and issues within the educational systems in Clayton, Fulton and DeKalb Counties. “I think I can make a change.”

***

Gov. Sonny Perdue was in southwest Georgia on Wednesday to launch a pair of multi-lane mega-ramps near Bainbridge, just in time for a series of fishing tournaments – part of his Go Fish program. Who knew they made HOV lanes for bass boats?

From the Bainbridge Post-Searchlight:

Perdue said the new multi-lane boat ramps and associated amenities will give Bainbridge and Decatur County an even better opportunity to showcase the natural beauty of the Flint River and Lake Seminole to fishers from all over the United States. While the river and lake offer beautiful water and good fishing, it will be local citizens’ “great Southern hospitality” that visiting anglers will remember and spread the word about.

“[The mega-ramps are] a gift that keeps on giving,” Perdue said. “With three major tournaments lined up in October, this is kind of like the Super Bowl for Bainbridge and Decatur County. People who fish here will keep coming back.”

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

44 comments Add your comment

findog

October 7th, 2010
9:34 am

But how many of the rurors voted for Barnes?
That is the real scandal!

td

October 7th, 2010
9:43 am

“Runge said, “Nathan Deal knows better than to recklessly call into question the integrity of judges across this state.”

I just about lost my breakfast reading this line.

Also, how many of these Judges contributed to the Barnes campaign?

Last Man Standing

October 7th, 2010
9:44 am

If the folks in Lee County were muslims instead of Christians, I just wonder if they would be allowed to bring their prayer rugs to the football field and pray prior to the start of the game?

The Ghost of Lester Maddox

October 7th, 2010
9:49 am

Wow, what a great job the AJC does of making sure candidates are disclosing fully and being transparent…..which reminds me….

JimBama, how about authoring a column detailing how much money the AJC (or it’s parent company) is receiving from political ads in print or online, and FROM WHOM?

No? Why so shy?

We are NOT allowed to demand of the Almighty AJC the transparency that YOU demand of OTHERS? Hmm?

If your editors won’t allow you to publish it, then how about JayBama Bookman, or Ms. OB-Cyn Tucker?

W. Ray

October 7th, 2010
9:49 am

Jim, where can we find the “list” of judges released by the GOP?

Roybama Barnes

October 7th, 2010
9:52 am

Ole Roy knows how to appoint them judges. One of his favorites is Judge Penny Brown Reynolds. She’s a classic and knee deep in Nuwaubian stuff with ole Barnes. But why would Roy Barnes want to thwart an investigation that netted the most notorious serial pedophile in U.S. history?

Politicians and Pedophiles, they both love power…..

http://bibbrepublicanparty.com

Ralph

October 7th, 2010
9:55 am

Barnes does not discriminate on the caliber of his clients, as long as they have money. Fighting against the Georgia voter ID law is indicative of how he and other Democrats pander to voter fraud in their favor.

The Georgia electorate rebuffed incumbent Barnes attempt at a second term as Governor, and his continued high negatives from his trial lawyer practice has only hurt him more. Thankfully, we are about to be done with him politically, and will only suffer from his continued list of shady clients.

Aquagirl

October 7th, 2010
9:59 am

Last Man Standing
October 7th, 2010
9:44 am
If the folks in Lee County were muslims instead of Christians, I just wonder if they would be allowed to bring their prayer rugs to the football field and pray prior to the start of the game?

Of course they’d be allowed—just like they are now, and just like christians can pray all they want. Grabbing the PA system and having a PUBLIC prayer would not be allowed for anyone.

Maybe someone will complain the pregame warmup is yoga. That would be interesting.

clear choice

October 7th, 2010
10:00 am

The cases are public record. Anyone can go read the transcripts and the verdicts and make an informed decision of whether there was any conflict of interest.

On the other hand, Nathan Deal’s back-room wrangling to strong-arm the state into preserving his sweetheart, no-bid salvage contract happened behind closed doors, out of public view.

Bottom line: Roy Barnes, doing the job he was hired to do as an attorney, in full view of the public. Nathan Deal, skulking behind the scenes with Casey Cagle to line his pockets with taxpayer dollars, instead of acting as the public servant he was hired to be.

Choice seems clear to me.

findog

October 7th, 2010
10:01 am

td,
Exactly, even more important is how much money did the jurors donated to Barnes?
Those democrat jurors giving millions to the democrat complainants from those good godly republican corporations need to be exposed along with these corrupt democrat judges that if it were not for those democrat district attorney’s would have been investigated for judicial misconduct.

David S

October 7th, 2010
10:06 am

John Monds for governor. How many more stories about Deal and Barnes will it take before everyone finally figures out that GA deserves better than them?

Northside Native

October 7th, 2010
10:13 am

You mean there is someone who is willing to argue that the “integrity” of Georgia judges is impeccable? And this after Weingarden and Camp and how many others? Lord, I’d hate to have to run on that thin statement.

findog

October 7th, 2010
10:14 am

Last Man,
Good question!
Would it require a call to prayer from the announcer booth or just a mass facing to the east?
If the State of Georgia High School Association will not stand up for God what has this state come to?
If only we had some good God fearing republican lawyer that could come up with a way for us to pray for our boy’s will defeat our grid iron foes.
If only we had good godly republicans in positions of authority in this state to come up with Christian solutions to our problems…

Peachtree Pete

October 7th, 2010
10:15 am

John Monds is just as bad, if not a good deal worse than Deal or Barnes. His political philosophy is untried, untested and in all likelihood, unworkable. Looks good on paper; smells bad in the wind.

Sat nite massacre

October 7th, 2010
10:15 am

I’m astonished at how formal this corruption is. Judges. Courts.

I thought that was a cliche and a too familiar plot for movies. Wrong. It’s real. Ouch.

Jerry Mandering

October 7th, 2010
10:15 am

Only one instance that Ol’ Roy can recall . . . HAHAHAHA! This state has gotten itself into quite a mess with candidates nobody really wants to vote for. We’ve seen what Roy can do and that should be enough to deny him another shot. We’ve read what a mess Nathan is in and that should be enough to deny him a term as Governor. Can I really be considering voting for Monds? You betcha.

MD

October 7th, 2010
10:16 am

good ole boy at its best.

MD

October 7th, 2010
10:18 am

Barnes your motion is denied!!!

Ugatiger

October 7th, 2010
10:18 am

Come on, where are all the Barnes folks now, oh, your boy isn’t as clean as you thought or is it that you are not thinking at all! Run, run, run!

Jerry Mandering

October 7th, 2010
10:24 am

One more thing . . . Roy will “have to see who’s running” before saying whether he’d vote for Obama in the next election. HAHAHAHAHAHA! That is priceless. Ol’ Roy just won’t do. Of course, neither will Nathan.

“Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten us into,” said Ollie. We have no one worthy to govern.

professional skeptic

October 7th, 2010
10:26 am

Imagine that. A lawyer accusing a lawyer of being a lawyer. Is that the Best ol’ shady brother Deal’s got?

Move it along, people, nothing to see here…

Georgia Girl

October 7th, 2010
10:40 am

all the voting for Monds is only going to put us in a run off because no one will be 51% of the vote. That is another expense that the State of Georgia does not need right now. If you vote for Monds you are just throwing your vote out the door, he has no chance to win and you must know that.

Last Man Standing

October 7th, 2010
10:50 am

I must agree with Georgia Girl here. A vote for Monds is, in effect, a vote for Barnes.

On another note, anyone who has spent a little time in courtrooms knows that judges do, in some cases, affect jurys’ verdicts. The judge, who should be impartial, can convey his feelings to the jury in his tone and manner of speech as he talks to the lawyers.

DifferentDrummer

October 7th, 2010
11:04 am

Well, at least Barnes never leaned on a Revenue Commissioner to save a no-bid contract paid by state taxpayers, and never leased property to the state Parole Board.

Last Man Standing

October 7th, 2010
11:11 am

DifferentDrummer:

I didn’t know that it was illegal to lease property.

Jeff

October 7th, 2010
11:12 am

A vote for Monds is a vote for Monds, period. You can either maintain your honor and vote for the man who is actually best qualified, or you can hide snivelling in fear and vote for the “lesser” evil and show that you have NO honor or dignity. If you value social justice – John Monds is your man. He is the ONLY Governor candidate openly saying that Government has ZERO business in your bedroom. If you value limited government/ lower taxes, John Monds is your man. He is the ONLY Governor candidate who actually stands for actively limiting the power of government and lowering your taxes. If you value honesty and integrity, John Monds is your man. He is the ONLY Governor candidate who doesn’t have to hide anything about himself or his record.

John

October 7th, 2010
11:13 am

I have been a PA announcer for 20 years at a public high school in a small Georgia city. Not once during that time have we had a prayer over the public address system. That has not affected any person in the crowd who wanted to pray on their own. We are an overwhelmingly Christian community and I am a devout born again Christian who is active in my local Baptist church. However, we must recognize that everyone does not believe like we do and we must honor the freedom of religion upon which this country was founded. As Baptists, we must remember that we at one time were the oppressed minority in much of this country. Prayer has no place over the public address system on Friday nights.

professional skeptic

October 7th, 2010
11:19 am

Georgia Girl
October 7th, 2010
10:40 am

People must vote their conscience, GA Girl. If voting for Monds results in an expensive runoff, you can place the blame for that squarely on the other parties for not nominating better people.

Republicans chose to nominate a shyster and a crook in the primary, but half of Deal’s misdeeds didn’t come to light until after the fact.

It’s a shame Republicans didn’t thoroughly vet their man. But now, it’s too late… the stink in the air surrounding Nathan Deal is so thick, you could cut it with a butter knife.

If people choose to vote for Monds over Deal because they want to vote with a clear conscience, you can’t blame them for that. Republicans should have thought about that before rubber-stamping Deal’s nomination without doing a routine background check.

Colonel Cornpone

October 7th, 2010
11:29 am

Jawja judges are crooked as a dog’s hind leg? Why, my good man, we have the best justice system money can buy! It all just depends on how much justice you can afford…

DifferentDrummer

October 7th, 2010
11:44 am

Last Man Standing @ 11:11 AM — It could be illegal under Georgia law in certain circumstances. It sure is unethical, especially if you get to decide who gets contracts and who doesn’t. It’s not illegal to appoint people to judgeships, either. Your Governor Perdue appointed a ton of them and they contributed to his campaigns, too. You Republicans have a strange way of pointing fingers at those so-called “liberals,” but have a real tough time calling a crook a crook, when he has an R next to his name.

Lynn43

October 7th, 2010
12:01 pm

You may not like Mr. Barnes for whatever reason, but so far, I haven’t heard anything that he has done is “illegal” and is a felon. Even the Republican account said that Mr. Barnes did not go before these judges-just other lawyers in his law firm. And for those of you who keep adding “bama” to someone’s name. You are showing your “true colors”.

Alabama Communist

October 7th, 2010
12:19 pm

Roy’s law firm appear before 37 times before Judges he appointed…..Jim

That’s like the Cox Communication System appear 498 times before Judges they endorse in past campaigns………

Last Man Standing

October 7th, 2010
12:48 pm

I am even more convinced with each passing day that people running as democrats will not fare well at all in this election. To run as a democrat is to approve the actions of Obama, Reed and Pelosi. Barnes admitted that he supported Obama. He had little choice in admitting that fact since he has courted the black vote. That is not to say that Deal would get black votes in any case, but that those voters might stay home on election day if Ol’ Roy didn’t pay homage to Obama.

John Galt

October 7th, 2010
12:55 pm

Roy Barnes also represented delinquent taxpayers against the State before he bacame Governor.

As I have said on here many times, the only candidate who is different at all is Monds. A vote for either the Demopublican or Republicrat candidate is a vote for the status quo.

AngryVoter

October 7th, 2010
1:54 pm

Not a Barnes fan here in the least, and hope the people of GA see past the phony politician and vote for the corrupt Deal, who, unfortunately, is the better of two very flawed choices.

With that said, for the second time in a week, I need to defend Barnes here. No improper activity on the part of Barnes or any Judge is being brought forth. There is no corruption here. It’s virtually impossible that the former Gov could practice law without being in front of those he appointed. If there is evidence that any cases were decided wrongly because of this, bring the information forward. Otherwise, concentrate on the many, many reasons Barnes should not be allowed to fail us again instead of trying to create fake scandal.

td

October 7th, 2010
2:08 pm

AngryVoter, You are correct about “No improper activity on the part of Barnes or any Judge is being brought forth.”

It does bring up an ethical question as to if a practicing attorney elected governor, that knows he will go back to practising law, has an ethical obligation to set up a method in which he/she should not look like there is influence.

dagny

October 7th, 2010
2:09 pm

Didn’t Barnes appoint Nathan Deal’s son – Judge Jason Deal?? So is Nathan saying that his own son, Jason Deal would be so unethical?

What if we wanted to know how many Insurance companies sent all their total cars to Gainesville Salvage just because Deal, a congressman with lots of power, owed it.

professional skeptic

October 7th, 2010
2:18 pm

Last Man Standing
October 7th, 2010
12:48 pm

No, to run as a Democrat is to be labeled by Republicans as an approver of Obama/Pelosi/Reid.

This is understandable. Today’s Republican politicians and their corporate and media overlords present themselves as a monolithic voting bloc, consisting of one mind, one body, one thought process. No individual thought is permitted, no exceptions allowed.

Republicans have adopted a Borg-like, hive-mind modus operandi for themselves and see things only black and white. Their sole purpose is to impose that unilateral world view on free people everywhere, so they do their best to try to paint Dems as an enemy hive mind… like two ant colonies at war.

Liberals, progressives and moderates reject this harsh world view, because it tramples on the individual’s liberty and freedom to think for himself. To be successful as a Democrat, he/she must reject the labels that the Republican corporatist machine imposes on them against their will. Some Dems are successful, some are not. The spineless Dems are the ones that sit back and accept those labels, out of fear and cowardice.

Bobby Anthony

October 7th, 2010
5:02 pm

The donation by Rupert will not damage Fox’s credibility. They have never had any credibility. This opinion comes from someone who voted for Nathan Deal.

[...] the largest campaign donation that I saw mentioned in the AJC article or the Savannah Morning News article was for $2,000 – in campaign finance terms, especially in a [...]

Perimeter Progressive

October 7th, 2010
6:54 pm

How about doing some research on the actual cases in question? Barnes has been standing up for us everyday Georgians.

http://perimeterprogressive.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/the-pot-and-the-kettle/

Perimeter Progressive

October 7th, 2010
7:28 pm

Deal tries to paint Barnes with the ethics brush…but once again, dig half an inch under the surface of the GOP’s claims and you find yourself waist deep in manure: http://perimeterprogressive.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/the-pot-and-the-kettle/

TJ

October 7th, 2010
7:35 pm

It’s free speech for FOX to contribute to campaigns. This move levels the playing field since the liberals are supported by Hollywood, the ACLU and other anti-God organizations. This article is huge and I wonder why we’re not seeing a lot of TV coverage going after this crook Barnes. How could anyone vote for Barnes-a man with serious ethical challenges. The only choice here is Nathan Deal.

DifferentDrummer

October 8th, 2010
12:02 pm

TJ–What are you smoking? I think you’re getting the names Barnes and Deal criss-crossed. You have no ethics or don’t know what the term means.