At least Nathan Deal is not Sonny Perdue

Nathan DealSomething’s wrong with Gov. Nathan Deal’s administration when the best thing you can say about his first year is “His biggest success is in continuing not to be Sonny Perdue.”

That’s the faint praise veteran lobbyist Neill Herring gives Georgia’s chief executive when asked to sum up Deal’s record so far.

Herring lobbies for the Sierra Club and other environmental groups, which had their hands full with Perdue’s inept administration.

Deal’s first days were rough as he wore a sweatshirt to his first press conference to announce that there wasn’t much he could do to help Georgians paralyzed by icy roads.

But let’s all remember how low the bar was for Deal as he walked into office. He was an ethics-plagued Congressman running from office in D.C. teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Many thought our governor would be indicted on ethics charges or appear in bankruptcy court.

In a Christmas Eve article with the headline “Deal’s 1st year spent facing problems,” the Newnan Times-Herald notes that some of those concerns remain:

Also still lingering are allegations of ethical lapses. Many were related to his personal finances that were damaged by the failure of his daughter’s store.

He took over the store property and sold it and restructured his debt, but some questions remain. By mid year, the staff of the State Ethics Commission was preparing subpoenas for his financial documents when the members of the commission laid off the chief lawyer and cut the pay of the chief of staff, prompting her to quit while alleging the cuts were aimed at protecting Deal.

It’s unclear what connection, if any, Gov. Deal has with the California porn-store king who bought the failed sporting goods store to save Deal’s hide. What is clear is that Gov. Deal has something to cover-up. Otherwise, he would have let the Ethics Commission clear his good name.

Let’s hope that Georgia can find whatever Deal is hiding in 2012.

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