The revelation that the Republican candidate for governor of Georgia is mired in debt -- $5 million-plus at latest count -- is sad for both Nathan Deal and the Republican Party. It also is sad for Karen Handel, his opponent in the primary, that the Republican Party and Deal kept his debt secret from the Republican voters. Given a second chance with this information, Handel no doubt would be the winner.
Most everyone has sympathy for a father who tries to help his daughter. However, can anyone have sympathy for years of miscalculations and the secrecy that Deal wrapped himself around to keep getting elected? He says he will make a great governor in a time of economic distress? If an elected official can't manage his own financial situation, how will he manage the state of Georgia? When the voters choose a candidate for governor, would they choose a debtor?
The Republicans and the Tea Party folks holler for transparency in government and public servants. Where was the transparency in Deal's deals with the state and his auto salvage business?
Roy Barnes has disclosed all of his tax records while Deal keeps most of it secret. Who is more transparent, Barnes or Deal? The answer is obvious.
The Augusta Chronicle ("Debts and dereliction," Sept. 18) hopes that another shoe doesn't drop. The other shoe will drop when the voters go to the polls. Secrecy is a short-time fix, and it is the Republicans themselves who were hoodwinked into making Deal their candidate -- a bad one at that for Georgia. We don't need his debts. The state has its own economic problems.
(The writer is chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party.)