Deal Campaign Draws Ethics Complaint; Frequent Filer Contests Aircraft, Fundraising Contracts

Article excerpt

Byline: Walter C. Jones

ATLANTA - A formal complaint filed Monday asks the Ethics Commission to investigate whether Gov. Nathan Deal's campaign last year broke any laws in purchasing services from an aircraft company he owned and a fundraising firm owned by his daughter-in-law.

Deal's attorney says there are no laws against campaigns contracting with relatives or companies that candidates own.

The complaint comes from Rome businessman George Anderson, who has filed hundreds of similar complaints against officials and candidates of both major parties, some over minor technicalities, many that have been dismissed as baseless and a few resulting in fines.

Anderson drew from media reports on both issues. The Atlanta television station that first reported the fundraising contract triggered such an angry response from Deal's office that it has been barred from attending news conferences in the governor's office.

Anderson charges that, while running for governor, Deal used both inflated payments for the aircraft and commissions to his daughter-in-law's company as a way to illegally funnel the money into his own pocket to prop up his crumbling personal finances. …