Ken Hodges and Sam Olens on boredom and the AG’s race

The campaign of Democratic nominee for attorney general Ken Hodges on Thursday sent out a YouTube clip quoting Republican Sam Olens as saying that he was running for AG because “I was getting bored.”

Said Hodges, a former Dougherty County district attorney:

“The comment by my opponent that he is running because he was ‘bored’ with his current political job simply highlights what we already knew – Sam Olens is a career politician more interested in moving up in the political hierarchy than he is in keeping Georgia safe.”

But the context was worth chasing down. The quote came from a conference call Olens had with members of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. The interview was originally posted on the chamber’s web site – but a glitch prevented access until today.

You can listen to the entire 17-minute session here.

The comment from Olens came during his closing remarks, when he was recapping his accomplishments as chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners and the Atlanta Regional Commission:

“I’ve proven that I can work within a managed budget, and in fact I had surpluses every single year. In fact the main reason that I seriously considered running for attorney general rather than staying head of the ARC and Cobb County was that I was getting bored. It was not a challenge any more. The attorney general’s position provides a great opportunity and a dream come true for any trial lawyer. The ability to mix 27 years of civil litigation with 12 years of public service, to take on issues such as the water litigation that seems to go on ad nauseam, to be involved in redistricting….”

Hodges’ interview with the chamber can also be found here.

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

52 comments Add your comment

Sallie Brown

October 28th, 2010
6:35 pm

Doesn’t seem out of context to me. Sam is ready to move up the political food chain – no sin in that desire, but why try to hide it?
I am a Democrat, but I thought Sam did a pretty good job in Cobb County bringing moderation to what used to be a right-wing playhouse.
Hate that he chose to move so far to the right to move up the ladder – wanting to sue to stop health care reform, joining in the anti-immigrant chorus – sad to see it, Sam!

SpaceyG

October 28th, 2010
6:37 pm

Yeah, know the feeling. When my career of attending pointless, useless meetings all day long got really dull and tedious I often entertained thoughts of prosecuting someone. Anyone.

The Centrist

October 28th, 2010
6:49 pm

Olens supported Ralph Reed in his 2006 bid for lieutenant governor, used his cronies in the fiscally conservative State legislature to approve doubling his salary as a Cobb County Commissioner, and is supported by Karl Rove. Scary.

Ralph

October 28th, 2010
6:56 pm

Feels weird to be agreeing with some of the Democrats here, but Hodges is right. Olens is a political animal, and will use the AG office as a stepping stone to run for Governor. He has Cobb County baggage in supporting the former Public Safety Director (Mickey Lloyd) who was forced to resign – but not until well after he sacrificed an entire police recruit class to cover up gross instructor procedures. Another one of Olens’ cronies was County Manager Hankerson who may be on the way out, too.

Georgia needs a real Attorney General – not a clubby politician.

Diehard

October 28th, 2010
7:05 pm

What you are hearing from Ken Hodges are the last gasps of a terribly desperate campaign. Bet Ken himself is wishing he had thought a little longer and a little harder about running in the GOP primary now . . .

dano

October 28th, 2010
7:19 pm

As a former assistant district attorney myself, I must say it is critical for the AG to have prior jury trial experience for this very important position. This is not a political position. This job demands prosecution experience and only Mr. Hodges has it. Really, it is the role of the prosecutor to always demand that justice be served, not merely to convict. Oh, i’m voting Rebublican in the other races.

Cutty

October 28th, 2010
7:55 pm

That’s rich dano. Saying that ‘the role of the prosecutor to always demand that justice be served,’ but you’re voting for Deal.

toby

October 28th, 2010
8:12 pm

I can see why Sam Olens, as a guy who was responsible for dealing with metro Atlanta traffic, water supply and land use planning, would have gotten bored. He did such a great job dealing with them, and there really isn’t anything else to do. Everything’s been fixed!

What a pompous —!

dano

October 28th, 2010
8:22 pm

Cutty..I really didn’t make that up. Look it up in the Code Of Professional Responsibility. I took my job as an ADA very seriously. A prosecutor has a lot power…needs to used wisely…as far as Deal is concerned…Nathan is a good person and will make an excellent Governor…Okay, i wont let him be my investment advisor but thats a different story.

Virginia

October 28th, 2010
8:38 pm

dano, look at your 2009 Georgia tax return….focus on the “taxes paid” number. It’s not as large as your 401K number, but it is the amount of money you’re giving to Nathan to play with. “Nathan is a good person”. Really? Have you lived in Nathan’s district? Do you know him and his family? If so, you must be an ADA who worked under Nathan’s son and have a vested interest in his election.Can you tell us which of Nathan’s very small accomplishments as a congressman impressed you most?

CourtneyF

October 28th, 2010
8:58 pm

Sounds to me like ‘ole Sam needs to come down to Chamblee and get a body shampoo since he’s so bored.

Georgia

October 28th, 2010
8:59 pm

Olens, like most republican politicians, won’t be happy until he comes out of the closet.

Ralph

October 28th, 2010
9:02 pm

Olens has already been outed himself from his pompous ass closet.

CM

October 28th, 2010
9:15 pm

Olens is gross looking. he has a triple chin sag. just saying……

unclefast

October 28th, 2010
9:24 pm

Vote for my old pal, Don Smart.
smartforattorneygeneral.com/

David

October 28th, 2010
9:25 pm

“DANO”

Mike Bowers and Thurbert Baker didn’t have ANY prosecuting experience when they became Attorney General, and didn’t gain much if any while in office! Thus, your theory hasn’t any merit…..stand-up and apologize to these folks for speaking out of turn!

Stop trying to mislead everyone as attorneys usually do.

Would anyone care to hear a few good Attorney jokes?

“Do your homework and Google the name Kenneth B. Hodges, III” before voting for him.

appointed AG

October 28th, 2010
10:52 pm

David, weren’t those two appointed? When was the last time someone was directly elected to the post of AG and not appointed?

dano

October 28th, 2010
10:58 pm

Virginia and David…Wow! I didn’t know that expressing my bias in favor of an AG with actual prosecutorial experience with be so controversial and such a novel idea..Virginia, yes, I live in Nathan’s district and yes I know him personally and no I did not work for his son Jason Deal when he was the DA although I did try many cases against him and his office. Nathan is a good person and I trust he will use his extensive experience to guide Georgia to a better future. He knows how government works and he can draw on his Washington experience and contacts to advance Georgia’s interests. David, Mr. Baker has done very little while AG and Mike Bowers had plenty of trial experience before becoming AG. Go ahead and criticize lawyers and joke all you want but just wait until you or a loved one gets charged with a crime you are innocent of…I can predict who ya gonna call then…

Ralph

October 28th, 2010
11:41 pm

Give Olens a call – he knows where all the north Georgia “all you can eat” buffets are located.

Calhoun

October 29th, 2010
12:34 am

To: dano
Go get ‘em, Tiger. You are right, and you know it. So do I. Unlike the Barnesite squealers and howlers, I have known Nathan Deal many years, and your words “Nathan is a good person . . .” are absolutely true. The reason the Barnesites hate Nathan is because they don’t truly know him. They only know what they read in the AJC, what they hear from the ultra liberal national Democrats, and what they see in Barnes’ atrocious, lying, and distorting TV ads. I voted for Hodges, too. But leave it up to the Barnesite squealers and howlers to turn the AG race into a pile on Nathan event.
Squeals and howls, anyone?

David

October 29th, 2010
1:28 am

Calhoun

Barnes and Hodges are joined at the hip……which side of the fence are you on? You are probably confused about how to wind your battery operated watch too!

I_teach!

October 29th, 2010
3:09 am

I am still trying to wrap my brain around ANYONE voting for Deal.

One of the 15 most corrupt in Congress.

That’s a helluva’n accomplishment!

Mismanaging money? Yeah. Okay. He will do well in further screwing up GA’s budget woes.

Bobby Anthony

October 29th, 2010
4:29 am

Republicans are going to sweep this election year in Geotgia and four years from now they will be swept away.

Sorry, Sam « SWGA Politics

October 29th, 2010
5:17 am

[...] Ken Hodges. That said, the full context of this particular clip, as provided by Jim Galloway: The comment from Olens came during his closing remarks, when he was recapping his accomplishments [...]

Road Scholar

October 29th, 2010
6:44 am

Dano and Calhoun: “Can you tell us which of Nathan’s very small accomplishments as a congressman impressed you most?”

Now answer the question!

Last Man Standing

October 29th, 2010
7:28 am

dano:

” can predict who ya gonna call then…”

They would probably call Ghostbusters . . .

McGill

October 29th, 2010
8:02 am

Another example of ruling by deception. Both the Left and the Right are masters of it. Those of us in the “middle?” We’d just better be careful who we vote for.

ROBOCOP

October 29th, 2010
8:11 am

Anyone who can’t see the glaring difference between an experienced trial lawyer (and leader of a prosecution office of over 50 assistant DAs, investigators and support staff) and a political hack, is beyond redemption. The fact of the matter is Ken Hodges is a tough, no-nonsense prosecutor who went after corrupt public officials, child abusers and thugs and thieves who victimized the elderly and communities. How come over 100 of the state’s 159 sheriffs (Republicans and Democrats) have endorsed Hodges and not Olens? How come the vast majority of the 50 District Attorneys statewide(Republicans and Democrats) endorsed Hodges and not Olens?

Can there be any question at all about who would make a better and tougher Attorney General. Oh, and by the way, Hodges is not the kind of guy who lets any politician –Democrat or Republican — push him around. He will stand up on his hind legs and not yield to political demands made of him.

If you vote for Olens, you’re voting for a true political hack. We have more than enough of those in Georgia right now.

Law-yer

October 29th, 2010
8:17 am

Would the elected AG be in position to have to prosecute Deal?

Honest Writer

October 29th, 2010
8:58 am

Dear Uncle Sam-
Then get out of politics, Sam. The good folks of Cobb County are so sorry that you got bored with your job so you’ll take anything on a lark. You’re a useless hack just like Gingrich and Deal. So, you want to climb the GA political ladder to become governor, run for president one day and then write a book?
Jumping in the AG race shows that you really don’t care about doing the job. I’m sure you’ll get bored quickly – especially since you have no direct experience for the job.
You’ll do well next Tuesday since most of the folks in GA who are voting will be punching the ballot for anything that has an “R” next to a name.
Best wishes, you sorry hack.

td

October 29th, 2010
9:05 am

Road Scholar

October 29th, 2010
6:44 am
Dano and Calhoun: “Can you tell us which of Nathan’s very small accomplishments as a congressman impressed you most?”

Now answer the question!

Sometimes the most impressive accomplishments is the decision to do nothing at all. If you are a small government conservative then you want the least amount of government as possible. Voting no on Obmacare, voting no on the stimulus, voting yes for tax cuts are all very good accomplishments. I read a progressive group gave him a 0% voting record on their agenda. Perfect record if you ask me.

td

October 29th, 2010
9:11 am

Dear Honest writer, What in the world are you talking about. Sam has over a 80% approval rate in Cobb county. He has made Cobb county one of the top 10 counties in the country. His mission has been accomplished and it now time for him to turn the state around. He will be a great AG for the next 4 or 8 years and then will make a great Governor, Senator, Congressman or what ever job he chooses to have in the future. If you can not get behind the accomplishments Sam has amassed in Cobb county then you my friend will never be happy.

Jeff

October 29th, 2010
9:11 am

To those who support Ken Hodges:

Pheobe Factoids. Kenneth Walker.

point blank: Kenny Boy is known inside his own former office more for screwing up cases than winning them. There was one murder trial in particular in Albany several years ago where a man had killed his dad. The case was a SLAM DUNK – until Kenny Boy got involved and got an acquittal.

ROBOCOP

October 29th, 2010
9:17 am

Spoken like a true partisan. How amny cases do you think his office handled in 15 years. So you come up with one case that YOU say he messed up. Big deal. You don’t list all the thousads of cases he or his assistant prosecutors got convictuions on, do you? How come?

Olens couldn’t find the courthouse in Cobb County

Jeff

October 29th, 2010
9:22 am

Robo:

More like spoken like a man who truly knows Ken Hodges. It’ll certainly be interesting to see his Dougherty County numbers – they know him all too well, and know the only reason he was elected so much was because Greg Edwards was holding his hand in certain areas of town that Kenny Boy wouldn’t be caught dead in without an escort.

Jeff

October 29th, 2010
9:24 am

Robo:

And btw, never said anything bad about his assistants – by and large (there are a couple of exceptions), they are GREAT, including (mostly) Greg Edwards. They were not the problem – their “leader” was, and they did GREAT things IN SPITE OF Kenny Boy.

Skeptical

October 29th, 2010
9:25 am

Voters should know now if indictments are pending against Deal. I understand the Justice Dept.’s reluctance to confirm or deny, but there’s a lot at stake. Voters shouldn’t have to learn about indictments after the election.

td

October 29th, 2010
9:31 am

ROBOCOP

October 29th, 2010
9:17 am

“Olens couldn’t find the courthouse in Cobb County”

I guess you have never been to Cobb county because the court houses are right next door to Olens office. I have seen him in the courthouse a few times.

td

October 29th, 2010
9:34 am

Skeptical

October 29th, 2010
9:25 am
Voters should know now if indictments are pending against Deal. I understand the Justice Dept.’s reluctance to confirm or deny, but there’s a lot at stake. Voters shouldn’t have to learn about indictments after the election.

If indictments happen (I seriously doubt it) then it is no problem because Cagle can be governor. This argument is lame for Republican voters because Cagle is probably more conservative than Deal.

This one is getting way to old.

ROBOCOP

October 29th, 2010
9:40 am

td — You obviously aren’t able to appreciate the value of sardonic expressions.

Tell me how many sheriffs and DAs around the state have endorsed Sam. Give us the numbers. Also, I find uit interesting that you are firmly committed to our Attorney General spending his time and making decisions that would help him achieve higher political office. Is that what you feel is an approriate use of OUR time and the Office of Attorney General? The only reason you support him is because he’s got an “R” next to his name. If he didn’t, you’d be bashing him left and right. The fact of the matter is that Sam’s a RINO at best.

RINO

October 29th, 2010
10:03 am

Sam, Do what CourtneyF aksks u 2 do and get your butt back on down to Chamblee for that body rub. Weren’t you the Treasurer of the Party of Choice (Dem’s) in Cobb Co. before u went thru ‘dat GOP transformation?

td

October 29th, 2010
10:16 am

ROBOCOP

October 29th, 2010
9:40 am

There are two candidates running for office this year that I support because of personal knowledge of their accomplishments, management and have followed their careers for many many years. Sam is one of them and Dr. John Barge is the other. Both of these gentlemen have done excellent work and have a very long track record of success that shows the type of work they have done. No one can say that Dr. Barge is not the most qualified candidate for the State school Superintendent (probably the most qualified to ever run for the position). One can make an argument that the AG needs to be a former prosecutor or not and that is a legitimate argument. From what I have seen from former Ag’s in this state the most important quality is to be a manager and the job has a lot more to do with civil or investigative duties then prosecuting criminal matters. No one can argue that Sam is not a great manager. Cobb county has been consistently ranked as one of the ten run counties in the country. Do you really think this proven leadership would not be invaluable at the AG’s office.

Yes, the rest of the candidates on the ballot I am voting for because they have an ‘R’ by their name and I think the R is much better than a D in this election cycle.

lmno

October 29th, 2010
10:36 am

I never liked Ken Hodges. I think he sold out a long time ago during the Phoebe Putney ordeal.

However, I will vote for him simply because Sam Olens plans to sue the Federal Government over HealthCare reform. There are already several other states doing this. It would be a total waste of money for us to now bring a suit. Let the other suits be decided. If by some slim chance another state is successful in their suit and GA wants to follow, fine. But to just file a suit that most experts think you cannot win and when there are other states already spending their money on it, and during hard economic times is stupid.

I am not voting for Sam Olens because he wants to waste money.

Calhoun

October 29th, 2010
10:56 am

To: David
Thanks for the squeal. Believe it or not, I do vote for Democrats from time to time. Look, we are all Americans here, and I try my best to support the candidates that I think (or know) are the best for our state and country. I believe to do otherwise (i.e. strait ticket voting) is not necessarily smart. There are good people of all political persuasions, so I try to find them and vote for them. I expect others to do the same. Is this a great country or what?
More squeals and howls?

ROBOCOP

October 29th, 2010
11:01 am

td–Your opinion of Sam Olens’s managenment style/skills and your belief that the AGs office handles principally civil matters is not correct. One of the largest Divisons is the Criminal Division that handles all manner of challenges to convictions along with the respective county DAs office. Death penalty appellate matters alone eat up a considerable amount of staff attorney time. In addition, Habeas Corpus petitions filed by non-death penalty inmates in county jails and state prisons are filed by the hundreds. Hodges has argued cases before both the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court. While as Attorney General, he may very well choose to do less trial litigation than he’s done in the last 15 years, the fact that he is an experienced trial litigator and has been inivolved in private practice as well in civil matters makes him the ideal candidate for that office. Sam Olens has been a manager of people, resources andvery complex issues, a very worthy job. But if the qualifications to be Attorney General were based exclusively on managing large organizations with scores of staff, you wouldn’t need a law degree to be AG — an MBA would suffice. But we know that someone in that position must know the law, have experience litigating the law, and the ability to hire and retain the best litigators for the state. You don’t acquire that knowledge and expertise by being a good steward of the taxpayers dollars. You get it by having been in the trenches. Hodges has been there for 15 years, and despite what his critics may say, he’s been successful at it.

lmno

October 29th, 2010
12:40 pm

“There was one murder trial in particular in Albany several years ago where a man had killed his dad. The case was a SLAM DUNK – ”

I know the case you are talking about and Ken lost for two reasons. One, the attorney representing the Defendent is the best Attorney in this state, maybe the whole south east. Two, the man was innocent.

The guilty party got away with it, but it wasn’t the son.

td

October 29th, 2010
12:48 pm

ROBOCOP

October 29th, 2010
11:01 am

You make a viable argument and I can see your reasoning in voting for Mr. Hodges and thank you for making an intelligent argument in favor of your candidate and not just running down the person you do not support. I do not know Mr. Hodges nor have I followed his career so I can not comment on whether he has done a good job or not done a good job. I will take your word for it. I do know Sam, he is an attorney, he will manage the criminal division and let the professionals in that arena do their jobs. I will continue to support his election because of the way he has excelled in Cobb county.

Do you have any comments about Dr. Barge or that race?

lmno

October 29th, 2010
12:51 pm

But why support Sam’s position of sueing the federal government over Healthcare reform? Its a waste of money. Is throwing good money after bad worth it just to illustrate your hate for the bill?

Its not like this State can afford to throw money around just to make points. It is fiscally irresponsible to file that suit.

Michael

October 29th, 2010
3:56 pm

Career politicians complaining that other career politicians are career politicians. Georgians get what they deserve.

JustMe

October 29th, 2010
4:04 pm

Olens supported Ralph Reed in his 2006 bid for lieutenant governor, used his cronies in the fiscally conservative State legislature to approve doubling his salary as a Cobb County Commissioner, and is supported by Karl Rove. Scary.

Not that I needed anymore reasons not to vote for Olens, but you just gave them to me … thanks!