According to a Jacksonville Times-Union article by Brandon Larrabee, a planned fundraiser for Casey Cagle's campaign for Lt. Gov. being hosted by "developers, bankers, and other corporate execs" (including some who are employees of regulated companies like Bellsouth and Blue Cross Blue Shield) has come under fire from the Jim Martin campaign. Martin campaign spokesman, Will Martin, calls the fundraiser a "Ball for Sprawl and Special Favors." Cagle, who got into the banking industry after serving on the state senate banking committee, takes exception to this insisting in a letter to Martin that this is a cheap shot.
Cagle was also criticized by the Martin campaign for his record on environmental issues. That seems to go hand-in-hand with the idea that one gets when reading about this fundraiser.
I don't know that Cagle is doing anything technically wrong. But what's with these politicians that just can't grasp the concept of avoiding even the appearance of impropriety?
From the Times-Union:
Cagle fund raiser sparks sharp words
Will Martin takes a dig at the Democrat's planned gala and its list of chairmen and hosts.
By BRANDON LARRABEE, The Times-UnionATLANTA - The campaign of former Human Resources Commissioner Jim Martin, who is seeking to keep the lieutenant governor's seat in Democratic hands, blasted an upcoming fund raiser by Republican opponent Sen. Casey Cagle that features developers, bankers and other corporate executives.
The questions sparked one of the first sharp exchanges in what has been a relatively low-key race for the state's second-highest office, with Cagle writing Martin saying the remarks of a campaign spokesman were "deeply disappointing."
The gala features high-ranking officials from companies including BellSouth, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and The Home Depot. Some of the sponsors are employed by companies regulated by the state.
"It's a 'Ball for Sprawl and Special Favors,' " said Will Martin, a spokesman for the Jim Martin campaign.
Will Martin said the number of developers who are listed as "chairmen" [the highest level of giving] or "hosts" [the next highest level] highlights the different environmental records of Cagle, an Oakwood Republican, and Jim Martin, an Atlanta Democrat.
"It's not surprising, given that Senator Cagle has one of the worst conservation records of anyone in the [General Assembly]," Will Martin said.
Cagle responded late Monday in a letter to Jim Martin provided to the Times-Union.
"The clear intent of your attack is to argue that I - and the civic leaders who support our campaign - are engaged in a quid pro quo transaction where legislative actions are traded for campaign contributions," Cagle wrote. "As you know, such behavior would be both unethical and illegal, and the fact that you would stoop so low as to make such an allegation is deeply disappointing."
In the latter, Cagle also labels Martin "one of the most liberal members of the General Assembly" and points out the employment contributions of the companies involved in the fund raiser.
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I just love these politicians that use a noble word like "liberal" to play on the fears of moderate and conservative voters. When you closely inspect Martin's "liberal" record, you can find a lot of benefit to average, every day Georgians. His contributions to reform in areas like healthcare, education, and family law have been good for Georgia. And he'll take his experience and the respect that he garners from both sides of the aisle to Atlanta with him to do even more good.