“Someone please explain to me how guaranteeing your lifelong earnings to support your daughter’s valiant attempts at a business, survive or fail, is an ethical wrongdoing,?!” Katie Deal penned recently in a note displayed on the AJC Blog.
Katie Deal’s note is referring to the political attacks her father has suffered due to financially backing another daughter-and that daughter’s husband (in a business venture), as well as his not disclosing said loans procured for that business.
Katie’s issue: financially helping family isn’t wrongdoing
Katie’s note seeks to address her outrage that her father’s willingness to sign a loan in order to help her sister out professionally has been misconstrued.
“I believe that no one is entitled to tell anyone else what to do, where to live, who to be, or how to spend their money…not me, not you, not anyone.”
Nathan’s youngest daughter is correct that, for the most part, we each are responsible for our own choices. Her parents chose to aid another daughter by borrowing money for her business, and they alone will bear that burden of paying it back.
“My parents made this decision together to invest in my sister’s business. It was not and is still not anyone’s decision but theirs.”
That’s true, but…
Roy Barnes and Nathan Deal illuminate the public about each other
Roy Barnes may be the one letting this cat out of the Deal bag, but when ones family chooses to make a career in the public sphere, disclosures of this nature come with the territory, unfortunately.
Nathan Deal would do the same to Camp Roy, so that is where Katie is wrong to assume some things are “personal” and some things are “professional.” There is no such distinction in public office positions or campaigning.
Loans obtained legally, monies owed to be paid
Katie’s father and mother had every right to give or borrow monies on behalf of their daughter and her husband whether they were starting a business or not. The political issue in this matter revolves around the fact that politicians who hold and seek public office are required to disclose certain financial data.
Katie’s dad didn’t. But that isn’t necessarily cause for disqualification.
Deal says it was an oversight. But Barnes can’t ignore such an oversight if it comes to light, because what if it wasn’t an oversight? These matters have to be aired and discussed and reasonable conclusions drawn. Katie is upset with the last part of that sentence: conclusions drawn.
Bankruptcy of daughter not helping, but still not disqualifying grounds
Another aspect to this particular issue is that the daughter joined financially at the hip with her father in this business that went south has since filed bankruptcy.
But Nathan didn’t disclose his involvement with his daughter’s failed business and her subsequent bankruptcy efforts. He says it has always been-and remains-his and his wife’s intent to repay every penny they borrowed on behalf of their adult child. If that is true, and I have no reason to believe it isn’t, it is likely Deal didn’t see how a “water under the bridge” experience needed to be aired after-the-fact.
Roy Barnes has gone the distance and run the governor’s race before, so he knew the “deal” about dotting the “I’s” and crossing the “T’s,” with such paperwork.
Deal, on the other hand, is new to the governor’s game, so to speak. He made an error in disclosures protocol, which he has addressed quickly. And he has acknowledged his intent to address his financial obligations about his daughter. Fair enough.
Source: “A note from Nathan Deal’s daughter: ‘Now It’s personal’,” AJC’s Political Insider Jim Galloway Column