Let’s Retire John Oxendine From Georgia Politics

I almost forgot to mention that I heard back from Tim Echols, John Oxendine’s campaing manager, on Friday. It turns out the information from their database was shared by a “similar consultant”.

Michael,

We share a similar consultant with the Sheffield campaign, and it appears that is how your name wound up in their database. Please know that I did not authorize the sharing of any list, and certainly
apologize for this happening if it occurred that way.

I do value my reputation and work hard to maintain a good name. Sorry for your trouble.

All the best,

Tim Echols

So who is the consultant?

We know that Sheffield’s campaign manager, Kathryn Ballou, is Oxendine’s former campaign manager. We also know that she stayed on to help the Oxendine campaign after she stepped down, but before she stepped in to run the Sheffield campaign. Is she the “similar consultant” Mr. Echols is referring too?

If not, how many other consultants are being shared between the two campaigns?

Speaking of John Oxendine, did you read the latest?

Ten Alabama political action committees, found last year to have funneled insurance company money to Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine’s campaign for governor, have rejected subpoenas from the Georgia State Ethics Commission.

This is bad. This is very bad. It seems two local Georgia insurance companies funneled money into multiple PACs that turned around and donated equal amounts back into the state of Georgia and candidate John Oxendine’s campaign.

Last May, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that two Rome, Ga. insurance companies – State Mutual Insurance Co. and Admiral Life Insurance Co. – sent checks to the 10 PACS. The insurance companies are both headed by the same CEO, Delos “Dee” Yancey III. The PACs are administered by the son of Donald V. Watkins, the head of the bank who also sits on the board of both insurance companies. The bank also once was co-owned by Yancey’s father.

Most of the PACs had little or no money in their accounts before the infusion of cash.

Once the payments were made from the insurance companies, the PACs each sent $12,000 – a total of $120,000 — to Oxendine’s campaign. The money was all sent in the same amounts and on the same dates from all the PACs.

Georgia’s Ethics-in-Government Act prohibits officials from taking money directly from companies they regulate. The law also prohibits funneling money through multiple PACs to get around contribution limits of $12,200 per candidate in a normal election cycle.

If the law prohibits funneling money through multiple PACs then State Mutual Insurance and Admiral Life Insurance have some questions to answer.

Even though he returned the money after the original story ran in May, John Oxendine has some questions to answer as well.

Yancey, whom Oxendine describes as a friend, is a major player in the insurance industry. Oxendine and Yancey often spend time together. Oxendine has gone on hunted trips as Yancey’s guest in Mexico and Georgia. Oxendine repeatedly has appointed Yancey chair of the Georgia Life & Health Guaranty Association, a state-created organization that pays claims when insurance companies become insolvent.

Does John Oxendine actually expect us to believe he had no knowledge that his good friend and hunting partner was making such sizable donations to his campaign?

Many people have told me that John Oxendine has been fooling voters since 1994, and it appears to me that he thinks he can still get away with it.

After the whole e-mail fiasco, the attacks on Lynn Westmoreland, and now this, I’m through with John Oxendine and his antics. He’s the last person I want to see in the Governor’s mansion.

It’s time for John Oxendine to retire from the Georgia political scene.

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