After the primary, Casey Cagle was flying high. He was well ahead of his nearest competitor, Brian Kemp, and most considered him to be the shoo-in to be the gubernatorial nominee on the Republican side, with these next few weeks a mere formality before he’d be the real nominee.
Well, bless his heart.
Cagle has a history of tripping over his own feet, and therefore, it’s not terribly surprising he’s done it again. This time, of course, he’s hitting the ground chin first.
First reported by Channel 2 last night, and then explored in-depth in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Clay Tippins has released a recording of a conversation he had with Cagle about his backing of the student scholarship organization (SSO) bill – that passed – in which Cagle admitted to pushing the bill he knew to be terrible policy (1,000 different ways, apparently) just to prevent the Walton Foundation from donating $3 million to another opponent in the race, Hunter Hill.
We’d like to believe that money doesn’t completely run the show in this country – that our legislators can, and occasionally do, think for themselves and put the good of the country first. Then, there is the transcript from Tippins’ recording to remind us that’s not even remotely true. And not only is that not true, but there’s not even a good guy in this picture. No, Tippins is not the good guy here.
Georgia is a state where it’s legal to record a conversation if one of the parties involved knows it’s happening, which in this case was Tippins. However, if you think he went into recording this conversation with the best of intentions of everyday Georgians at heart, folks, I have some oceanfront property in Colorado I’d like to sell you. I’ve never met Clay Tippins, but it took exactly ten minutes into the last gubernatorial debate for me to sum him up: He thinks he’s awesome and that he knows way more than he actually does. Why Casey Cagle would even talk to Tippins about super-secret reasoning (especially when it’s super-bad) is beyond me, so I don’t sympathize. Not even a little.
Of course, Tippins wanted to prove that Cagle would sell out to big donors. Duh, dude. That clearly happened when he threw Delta under the bus to secure the NRA endorsement. I guess this is further proof, but who really needed it?
On another note, Cagle clearly was worried about Hunter Hill. I do not understand this fear, but perhaps in that gubernatorial debate I watched, Hill forgot to sharpen his knives. Perhaps Cagle should have been scared… but not from what I witnessed. So, not only was this an amateurish mistake, it was totally unnecessary.
What a mess. How it affects Cagle’s poll numbers remains to be seen, but I can imagine this will tighten the race with Kemp significantly.