Democrats Already Attacking Cagle Over Secret Recording on Politics Over Policy

Though the Republican nominee for Governor of Georgia has yet to be decided, the Georgia Democrat Party is already attacking Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle over a secret recording released last week. The recording reveals Cagle admitting he used legislation to undermine primary opponent Hunter Hill, who came in third place.

Cagle can be heard saying he had to stop a lobbying group from putting $3 million behind Hill.

“Is it bad public policy? Between you and me, it is. And I can tell you how it is (in) a thousand different ways,” Cagle said. “I said, ‘Lindsey, you need to understand this bill is going to happen. It’s going to happen.’ Because it had to, to keep the money away from Hunter,” Cagle said. “I mean, I was playing defense. I’m being honest with you.”

He went on: “It ain’t about public policy. It’s about (expletive) politics. There’s a group that was getting ready to put $3 million behind Hunter Hill. Mr. Pro-Choice. I mean, Mr. Pro-Charters, vouchers.”

The Democrats sent out a press release Tuesday.

Democratic Party of Georgia Chair DuBose Porter releases the following statement regarding Casey Cagle’s admission that he passed bad legislation due to political ambition:

“The Casey Cagle that we heard in the audiotape is the same Casey Cagle that Georgians have gotten to know all too well over the past 28 years. The same Casey Cagle who willingly puts the politics of vouchers over improving the access and quality of education for Georgia children. The same Casey Cagle who has proven time and time again that he will do ANYTHING to win an election–even if it means selling out our children.

“This is the type of shady deal-making that has flourished under Cagle’s watch. He makes decisions based on politics and campaign contributions rather than what is in our best interests—In this case the 1.7 million Georgia children attending our public schools.

“To get Cagle to tell the truth, it requires a secret, closed-door meeting with somebody from whom he needs a favor. Apparently, this is the only type of setting where he can be honest.

“Cagle’s integrity is for sale, and his 28-years of back-room politics has taught him that dark money donors are more important than the needs of Georgia families.

“Some say that Cagle’s actions are despicable. Others say that this is a disturbing pattern. They’re both correct.

“He must answer very serious ethical and legal questions. He must explain to Georgia families without any of his trademark political spin.

“These recordings reveal the truth about Casey Cagle. He will put politics ahead of people to push his own political ambition, and that’s not the kind of leadership Georgians want in their next governor.”

The organization released a video along side the press release .

Cagle has tried to calm the waters after the storm followed the release of the recording. In an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News, Cagle said his remarks were purely “political exchange.”

“In terms of the importance of doing something good for Georgia, we did. And I’m proud of what we accomplished,” he said. “Just like President Trump didn’t get everything he wanted on the budget deal or the tax cut, it was certainly for the greater good. My record speaks for itself.”

Cagle’s runoff opponent, Brian Kemp, says it raises “ethical and legal questions.”

Former candidate Hunter Hill told the AJC that it proves Cagle is “bought and paid for.” “I worked hard in the state senate to advance conservative reforms like school choice with the intention of benefiting our citizens. It’s sad to see those same policies being sold to benefit a career politician’s political ambitions.”

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Caroline
Caroline

Well, of course they are going to use it. The bigger story is how does this play out in the GOP primary?

xdog
xdog

Why are the donks even responding now? Why don’t they let Kemp do his own heavy lifting? Then there’s the response itself. Outrageous behavior calls for an outraged response, not finger wagging about a candidate choosing politics over policy, and not under the name of the party head that no one knows either. Donks should expect their candidate to make better use of the gift Tippins has handed them if they face Cagle in the general, whereas this looks like the start of a great dribbling away of assets. Where’s Kemp and his people in all this? I don’t watch… Read more »

bethebalance
bethebalance

I’m guessing that they would rather have Kemp win the primary anyways, because that would make for a tighter race. And if Kemp’s response is tepid, than it’s justified. “Ethical and legal questions” is a pretty lame response. And I agree the language of the press release is underwhelming- it’s at times verbose, and not well-organized. My first instinct was to give it a
tl;dr. And no vision or alternative is offered. The Abrams camp and independent committees will probably make harder-hitting ads on this sometime in Sept. and Oct.

Benevolus
Benevolus

I guess it’s ironic, but Cagle actually ended up supporting a position most Dems would agree with (preserving public schools) in order to damage a Republican opponent. And I am still not convinced that the reasoning was to block a donation to Hill. That seems like a stretch to me. The premise is that the Waltons are saying “We’re going to give Hunter Hill $3M if the bill we are supporting passes”? Shouldn’t they give the money beforehand to help him and the bill? Is the thinking- if Hill can get this bill passed he’s a legit candidate and we… Read more »

bethebalance
bethebalance

I thought it was that the bill wasn’t going to pass, so they wanted to support Hunter Hill so he could get elected and get it passed. So Cagle made sure it passed, to make the need to support Hill moot.

alpha male
alpha male

Does anyone really care what the dems do with this recording? They conceded the gubernatorial race already by nominating Stacey Abrams.

Caroline
Caroline

I think it’s more about the other offices at this point and taking legislative seats from the GOP. There have been some seat flipping going on under the radar.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

In a universe where a reality TV show can be President, I wouldn’t be making absolutist statements on any election.

Pragmatic Progressive
Pragmatic Progressive

You’re right. You might as well stay home in November. 🙂

Noway2016
Noway2016

Speaking of not voting or staying home, did anything ever come of this guy’s joke? Wonder if any folks actually showed up on 11/9?
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/8/13565524/election-voter-suppression-republican-mayor-democrats-wrong-voting-day

MattMD_actual
MattMD_actual

The Republicans nominated a pathological lying carnival barker and won the fucking presidency.

Will Durant
Will Durant

Actually the position taken by Cagle on this bill does not One that most Democrats would support. This was a builder essentially takes $100 million away from public schools by diverting tax money to private schools

Will Durant
Will Durant

OK, this was meant to be a reply to Benevolus last night from my phone and obviously Siri and I were at loggerheads. This bill is not one that most Dems or even Libertarians would support as it is diverting tax money that could be used for public schools and allowing that money instead to go to private schools. It is essentially the same as $100MM going from the state to private schools but since it is couched in a dollar for dollar tax credit the money doesn’t ever actually hit the state coffers. It is purely semantics and gamesmanship… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

OK I’ve read more about this. it’s a little complicated but here’s a good story. http://www.mdjonline.com/opinion/around-town-tippins-reveals-the-rest-of-the-story-on/article_560b5936-6e70-11e8-9a6e-878d1d03a669.html Tippins didn’t like the original bill (not fair to public schools) and revised it in committee to allocate less money to charter schools (which Cagle supported at one time according to ajc), but Cagle now wanted the original bill with more money to charter schools to pass. Cagle offered to compromise but never followed through, so when Tippens offered his revised bill with a lower amount, Cagle had it amended on the floor, apparently back to near the original spec. So here’s the money… Read more »