Having focused so much attention on the e-mail scandal the past couple days, I missed a much more serious issue involving John Oxendine.
Apparently, John Oxendine was so put off by the fact that Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-13) would not endorse him for governor, he created a non-scandal in an attempt to discredit Westmoreland.
Westmoreland has perhaps the best combination of social and fiscal conservative cred in the GA Congressional delegation. Westmoreland’s supporters extend beyond his 3rd Congressional District, and are comprised of those that we generally accuse Ox of pandering to. His supporters are those that Ox covets. When Cagle dropped out of the Governor’s race last April, Westmoreland was thought to be the immediate front runner if he chose to enter the race. During this time, calls from Oxendine increased in frequency, essentially begging Lynn to endorse the Ox. Lynn would have none of it.
So it was rather strange, this week, for Congressman Westmoreland to get a call from Georgia Public Television asking for his comment on his involvement in the failure of Southeastern US Insurance. Strange because the reporter listed his source as one John Oxendine, Insurance Commissioner. The man who pledged in an earlier call to do everything in his power to keep Lynn’s role from the press was now calling GPTV (the press?) to put pressure on Westmoreland.
In yet another case of being blatantly obvious, it sounds like Oxendine attempted to influence Westmoreland’s position on the race for governor by issuing subtle threats. It’s pretty clear he used the investigation of Southeastern US Insurance as leverage and in this case it didn’t work.
How many times as Oxendine done this over the years? He’s been Insurance Commissioner since 1994, or whatever, so I’m sure there are probably a lot of people out there who “support” him because they thought they had no other choice.
What a shame. It’s so much easier to stand tall, to be honest, and to be upfront. When you get to telling tales, you end up chasing tails as well, and if the person you’re chasing stops to quickly you never know where you’re going to end up but you know it won’t be pretty.
If this accusation is true (which is sounds more and more like it is), the people of Georgia need to kick Oxendine to the curb.
The last thing our state needs right now is an unethical governor who’s not ethical enough to control his e-mail list, let alone principled enough to sit in that chair.