Your morning jolt: A Friday night radio confrontation twixt a Nathan Deal spokesman and Dale Russell

While Newt Gingrich was addressing a crowd of GOP faithful in Macon on Friday night, Denny Schaffer over at Talk920 (WGKA) was putting together a program that fits into the category of great radio.

The topic of the evening was Gov. Nathan Deal’s decision to refuse Fox5 Atlanta’s access to the state Capitol ceremonies surrounding the signing of HB 87, the bill addressing illegal immigration.

The cause: A Fox5 piece aired the day before, examining $90,000 paid to the governor’s daughter-in-law, Denise Deal, for her services as a campaign fundraiser. The primary question was whether her company, Southern Magnolia Capital, was a transparent recipient of Deal’s cash.

Brian Robinson, the spokesman for the governor, was on the horn with Schaffer, when the author of the Fox5 piece, Dale Russell, joined in. Below is a 13-minute portion of a longer confrontation, sent to us by Schaffer:

It’s well worth your time.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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122 comments Add your comment

Deal and GA Republicans, are Without a Doubt

May 16th, 2011
7:33 am

The lowest form of trash to take our state down. Deal has been, and continues to steal taxpayer monies. What ever happened to his daughter’s husband’s bankruptcy. He filled for the second bankruptcy before the minimum allowable timed period. Sounds like a judge and some lawyers need to go to jail. Hopefully, we can make it three more years before Deal gives his family the entire state fortunes.

Dagny

May 16th, 2011
7:33 am

It is funny that her business has no website.
I wish I could make $100k a year working for one person for a few months; having no experience.

outsider

May 16th, 2011
7:37 am

I’m no fan of Nathan Deal and would never vote for the guy, but his spokesman has a point. There is no requirement that someone “register” (as Dale Russell called it) with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Denise Deal is under no obligation to join the Chamber. Sure, she was probably trying not to be too visible, but it doesn’t sound like either Deal did anything wrong in this instance. Nathan Deal has had plenty of questionable activities in the past, but this one is a tempest in a teapot.

Dagny

May 16th, 2011
7:38 am

Deal’s son in law got a nice high paying job bc of Nathan. You can bet it will all disappear.

E. Ruffin

May 16th, 2011
7:45 am

I think “outsider” is right. The Georgia Chamber, as the case with all Chambers, wishes someone could be forced to pay their dues, but that is not the case. Likewise, did the Deal campaign break the law or not??? I don’t think so.

Dagny

May 16th, 2011
7:46 am

The point about the Chamber I think is that Denise ran the Hall County Chamber. She encouraged businesses to join the Chamber so it should have been a natural first step for her if this was a legitimate business.

Nothing but smoke

May 16th, 2011
8:17 am

What is the industry norm? Fundraisers get paid 10% of what they raise. Denise was on staff as a fundraiser for the entire campaign- that was no secret.

NO STORY HERE.

John K

May 16th, 2011
8:22 am

Shadiness around Deal? I’m shocked, never would have suspected such a thing from ol’ Nathan!

Light on policy

May 16th, 2011
8:32 am

@ Nothing But Smoke…

Brian never clarified how much she raised, only that she monitored what was raised. Therefore, this suggests that she was paid for services that weren’t rendered.

At any rate, why the backlash towards the I-Reporter at the bill signing? This type of investigative journalism is refreshing.

geez

May 16th, 2011
8:38 am

Where is her business license?

Travis McGee

May 16th, 2011
8:39 am

One thing you can say about ol’ Nathan: he’s consistent. And, you guys knew what you were getting when you voted for him.

geez

May 16th, 2011
8:40 am

The real story is the IRS and reporting income. Not having a business license and conducting business is against the law. Not reporting income is against the law. Not having a website or joining a chamber of commerce is not a story.

Debra Swindall

May 16th, 2011
8:44 am

I think the point is that Southern Magnolia Capital (Denise Deal or one of the governors people) took steps once they knew the news was going to report this story to put the company on the map! Can you say COVER-UP!

really?

May 16th, 2011
8:58 am

Too many things surrounding Gov Deal are questionable. He may have been able to get away with moving money around, giving unquailified people high paying jobs and hooking up his family and friends with government positions when he was in Congress because no one paid attention but people are watching now and we don’t like it.

Ric

May 16th, 2011
8:58 am

Brian Robinson sort of reminds me of Leslie Jordan.

He’s actually a really good campaign spokesman, but there is (or at least should be) a huge difference between the role of a campaign spokesman and the spokesman of the Governor of Georgia. Tone down the cattiness.

Aquagirl

May 16th, 2011
8:58 am

Only $90,000? The other kids got a whole dang sporting goods store from Sugardaddy Nathan.

Last Man Standing

May 16th, 2011
9:05 am

As has been stated before, there is no REQUIREMENT

Frederick Douglass

May 16th, 2011
9:09 am

Deal demonstrates arrogance to the nth degree on this.Whatever happened to avoidance of all appearances of wrongdoing if you hold an office involving the public’s trust?

Nathan Deal IS the real deal

May 16th, 2011
9:09 am

I love the immigration bill. The states in the USA are broke. Why? We have to build schools and hire hispanic teachers for these illegals. Hospitals are going broke caring for them. This nation is broke due to LIBERALS spening other folk’s money and it is coming to an end.

Nathan is a fabulous Governor.

Frederick Douglass

May 16th, 2011
9:17 am

Deal’s an unabashed thief, but he has (R) in front of his title, and that’s all that matters in this state right now.

Junior Samples

May 16th, 2011
9:17 am

yeah…. that’s the reason we’re going broke…
So you think Deal is an upfront kind of guy, huh?

Bill Orvis White

May 16th, 2011
9:19 am

The honorable governor is not guilty of anything. It’s the far left liberal media that is fixated on bringing him down and trying to chase him out of town. I love this man for following his convictions and staring down the elitists who try to derail his common sense policies. Give ‘em, Governor Deal! Hang strong and you know something, you will win!
Love and amen,
Bill

double

May 16th, 2011
9:24 am

maybe a little ethics,and fewer secrets.Liberals give to the needy(and ones taking advantage of system)This bunch takes from the tax payer for self,family,associates.Where is the middle?

lmno

May 16th, 2011
9:28 am

Are you shocked at allegations of improper or unethical financial dealings coming from Deal?

If you voted for an arsonist, would you be surprised if he started a fire?

Last Man Standing

May 16th, 2011
9:29 am

As has been stated before, there is no REQUIREMENT, legal or otherwise, that any entity join the Chamber of Commerce. There simply was no point to that question except to discredit the Governor via his daughter.

“Investigative” reporters often paint people/situations in a negative light. It is their bread and butter. My limited interactions with the news media, and particularly with the television media, has taught me to NEVER trust them to be accurate with a story.

This whole deal stinks from the reporting aspect. The reporter obviously is ethically challenged.

Jerome Horowitz

May 16th, 2011
9:40 am

Illegal – probably not. Ethical – questionable at best. Politicans have padded their payrolls with family for years. If you gave money to Deal’s campaign and don’t mind him spending it this way, there’s not a problem. My own opinion is that he’s a snake so I’m not surprised.

pcBobby

May 16th, 2011
9:43 am

Brian is a total BS artist and a horrible one at that. Anyone can tell that Brian went to a bunch of coaching sessions through GAGOP and other organizations. If Brian didn’t have those sessions, he would be a bigger failure.

Southern Capital didn’t show up on Google until after Dale’s investigation. Plus, it doesn’t cost much to start a Web site, Brian, you congenital liar. A PR firm just bought the domain and quickly put a logo up.

Brian, it’s disgusting that the Deal folks wouldn’t let another FOX5 reporter in for the immigration bill signing. It’s obvious that this administration is corrupt and has a lot to hide. This house of cards is going to collapse very soon.

atlin83

May 16th, 2011
9:44 am

Anybody (besides me) going to bring up that it’s incredibly sketchy to selectively deny media access to an unrelated event, especially when so obviously (hell, Brian Robinson personally explained) based on personal vendettas? Not exactly open or transparent if they’ll just shut out those who might/do report on what they’re doing that looks (or is) bad. And for a government employee, Robinson is pathetically unprofessional.

Frederick Douglass

May 16th, 2011
9:44 am

Nathan’s an ideal conservative, he’s shrinking government down so much, that it’s become a family run operation.

SpaceyG on Twitter

May 16th, 2011
9:44 am

Brian Robinson is a one-man freak show. Keep it coming, Brian! That Google entry he keeps referring to was a plant. It wasn’t there until sometime just last week.

Debra

May 16th, 2011
9:55 am

It’s the fact that she joined the Chamber etc…… once they knew this was being investigated and Fox 5 was going to report it. They had to get the company name out there and tie Denise to the company before the story ran. Now they can say… Google the company, it’s forth from the top. The cover-up really shows that this stinks to high heaven!

SpaceyG on Twitter

May 16th, 2011
9:56 am

It is sooooo much media-fun here in GA having an unhinged, loose cannon running our governor’s press office! The Media Goddess is indeed merciful.

pcBobby

May 16th, 2011
9:58 am

@Last Man Standing Are you a bitter ex-spokesperson? So what’s your point on the REQUIREMENT? No one said or intimated that there was a requirement. This is about a corrupt administration that masquerades as a transparent administration. When someone has the guts to call them out on their corruption, people like you and Brian Robinson lie and cover up. Indeed @Frederick Douglass, why does the state of Georgia have to be run by a corrupt family? This administration is praying that the public will remain ignorant so they simply bar reporters from their activities. Hmmm, control of the media? There’s a guy named Fidel and few other fellow leaeders out there who did that and we see how that turned out.

Jim Massara

May 16th, 2011
10:04 am

Love the exchange, but … you got the call letters of the radio station wrong. It’s WGKA. WGST hasn’t been on 920 in years.

Ga Values

May 16th, 2011
10:10 am

We all knew Deal was a crook when ge was elected. I just hope he steals enough in his 1st term that he doesn’t need a 2nd.

Diehard

May 16th, 2011
10:17 am

This is the biggest non story in the history of Georgia politics: She was hired, she did a good job and she was paid — saddest of all is that this is the best thing Dale Russell had to do on a Friday night.

Joe Mama

May 16th, 2011
10:26 am

LMS — ““Investigative” reporters often paint people/situations in a negative light. It is their bread and butter. My limited interactions with the news media, and particularly with the television media, has taught me to NEVER trust them to be accurate with a story.”

If there are inaccuracies, then it is Deal’s spokesman’s JOB to correct them and set the record straight. Freezing a legitimate news organization out of a presser is NEVER the right way to handle this sort of disagreement.

Where there’s smoke, there’s sometimes fire. If Governor Deal maintains there’s no fire, then let the media in to have a look at where the smoke is coming from and ask questions about it, not draw the curtains and lock people out.

“This whole deal stinks from the reporting aspect. The reporter obviously is ethically challenged.”

I agree that it stinks, but not for the same reason you apparently do. If the reporter’s wrong, then let Mr. Deal and his spokesman EXPLAIN WHY. If anyone’s ethically challenged here, it’s likely Mr. Deal and there are papers in Congress to support that opinion.

Bajaboy

May 16th, 2011
10:30 am

Illegal immigrants do support state services. If they get a paycheck, taxes are deducted. But with a fake SSN they won’t get credit to their SSN account and neither will the true owner of the SSN.

John R

May 16th, 2011
10:45 am

Denying a certain station or network access, is an old american tradition established by Barack Obama who tried to deny access to Fox News Channel. Didn’t work out too well for him either.

Joe Mama

May 16th, 2011
10:49 am

Actually, John R., in the US, it dates back to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. But you go right on believing that it started here with Mr. Obama.

gsueagle

May 16th, 2011
10:51 am

ole Newt has done it again. he is messing with conservative republicans. No to saxby and Newt.

Aquagirl

May 16th, 2011
10:54 am

Last Man Standing
May 16th, 2011
9:29 am
My limited interactions with the news media, and particularly with the television media, has taught me to NEVER trust them to be accurate with a story.

….sez the birther.

LMS wouldn’t know a reliable source if it ran up and bit him on the bum. Bless his heart.

Big Tuna

May 16th, 2011
11:07 am

Does this mean Dale Russell is off the Christmas list for the Governor?

Michael

May 16th, 2011
11:09 am

Illegal aliens attending school and going to hospitals are not making the nation broke. It’s people like Deal who get the insider contracts for hospitals, roads, schools etc., and feather their own nests, that have made the country go broke over the past 60 years. And by the way, since we are several TRILLION in debt, we are BROKE!

Frederick Douglass

May 16th, 2011
11:16 am

You’re right Joe Mama, Thomas Jefferson wouldn’t allow the media to look into his private “affairs” either, come to find out, the “Founding Father” had fathered a passel of brown kids.

GaBlue

May 16th, 2011
11:18 am

Michael is correct. Nathan Deal’s only consistent pursuit as a Congessman, candidate, and now Governor, has been to feather his own nest, often stashing feathers in the nests of family and friends. Sure, he made some “bad” financial decisions, but he’ll reap no consequences from those. See, his financial savvy is improving exponentially now that he’s Governor! Watch how FAST he can turn $4mil/debt into a surplus on just $135K/year salary!

And you rubes voted for him because he shares your “values.” D’OH! If he shares your “values” then you belong in JAIL, creeps!

Brenda

May 16th, 2011
11:24 am

Of course it was a cover up! Were taxes paid on the “income”?

Real Athens

May 16th, 2011
11:24 am

LMS has had “limited interactions” with the human race.

He is the last man standing on one leg, in a field of straw.

Is This The Best We Can Do?

May 16th, 2011
11:25 am

If enough folks out there who are complaining believe Nathan Deal is guilty of improper condut in the operation of his office and is not worthy of contiuning to serve as Governor of Georgia he can be recalled by petition and forced into a recall election if enough signatures of registered voters are obtained. Should be a lot easier with Twitter, Facebook and the internet to get enough circulators. If enough of you are really dissatisfied do it! Otherwise shut up and quit howling like a bunch of turpintined hound dogs!