The Stunning Hypocrisy of Sarah Riggs Amico

The Democrat currently running for Lieutenant Governor, Sarah Riggs Amico, managed to get through her entire primary and much of the general election without much scrutiny or publicity. Her biography and resume have mostly been taken at face value. She’s labeled an outsider with Harvard MBA and as a “successful businesswoman”.

One of the roles that journalists are supposed to play in campaigns is to look beyond the candidate’s or their own narrative and vet the person running for office. Mrs. Amico only started to get that scrutiny when it was revealed that part of her stump speech has since at least June included a line that Republican Brian Kemp may not serve a full four years “in the Me Too era”.

This didn’t sit well with many as it only received wide coverage during the conclusion of the Kavanaugh confirmation process. The thought that a Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor was projecting that hypothetical “stuff happens” in the future while a Supreme Court Nominee faced uncorroborated charges of assault and rape brought a spotlight to Amico.

First out of the gate is was news that one of Amico’s business, Jack Cooper Transport Inc, was sued in April by 11 former employees claiming sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and a hostile work environment for the company’s African American employees. “Stuff happens”, indeed.

You can read the full 48-page complaint by clicking here, or part of the summary document outlining the case here. It details claims of African American workers getting few hours, worse shifts, slower to be promoted, and being quicker to be fired than their white counterparts. It also notes that the company didn’t have a posted sexual harassment policy until April 2017. Sarah Riggs Amico became a board member of Jack Cooper Transportation, the company run by her father, in 2011.

But what about the business itself? What defines success? Amico has said in her own materials that her company “… grew from 120 employees in 2008 to over 3,000 employees now. We buy and fix businesses that most people think aren’t ‘fixable’. We’ve been successful because we decided to invest in our people, even when that wasn’t what all the other companies were doing.”

Success? For her. In September of 2016, Amico received an increase in her base pay from Jack Cooper Holdings from $200,000 to $425,000, an increase of 112.5%. The company, however, was drowning in debt and losing money. The company reported a net loss of $33.27 Million that year. In March of 2017, the company reported $284.8 Million in total assets and $642.2 Million in liabilities, leaving shareholder’s equity at a negative $357.4 Million. In June of 2017, the company decided not to make its interest payments due on senior secured financing notes.

So what happened? More “stuff” happened. Bondholders were forced to accept pennies on the dollar in a negotiation for Jack Cooper to avoid bankruptcy. Secured creditors accepted 55 cents on the dollar, whereas unsecured creditors received just 15 cents for every dollar they were owed.

Moody’s Investors Service called this a “distressed exchange” and thus a default on their borrowing.

There are other companies with outstanding financial issues. Amico lists herself as the Executive Director of Jack Cooper CT Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Jack Cooper Holdings. As of September 25, 2018, that firm has been issued nearly $9,000.00 of unemployment compensation liens, which as of that date remained unpaid. “Stuff happens”.

Amico also boasts about taking care of her employees on her website, saying “I have learned that long-term growth and competitiveness come from investing in our people.” Aside, from the above lawsuit that claims her companies only invest in “some” people, there are reports from OSHA that call this claim into question.

In 2013, OSHA cited and fined Jack Cooper for a fatal accident that caused an employee head trauma and a fractured pelvis. In 2015, Jack Cooper was cited and fined again for a fatal accident. There were four citations by OSHA between these two incidents for non-fatal accidents that injured employees. While she says “Taking care of our people is never optional,” OSHA shows the company’s record says otherwise. “Stuff Happens?”

But, Sarah Riggs Amico has been taken care of by Jack Cooper Holdings. A year after defaulting on their debt obligations and forcing bond holders to accept pennies on the dollar, Jack Cooper Holdings was able to invest $17,000.00 into the campaign of their Executive Chairman. They haven’t been able to seem to fund their unemployment obligations to the State of Georgia, but they want Georgia taxpayers to give her a taxpayer funded job.

From making up future Me Too charges against Brian Kemp while her own company faces actual harassment and discrimination charges, from doubling her salary while defaulting on debt, and from leaving tax liens unpaid while funding her own campaign account, there is a stunning amount of hypocrisy surrounding the campaign and businesses of Sarah Riggs Amico.

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edatlanta
edatlanta

It’s odd to see Republicans using populist Democrat playbooks but we live in odd times…

TheDeepDark
TheDeepDark

Odd times indeed… you figured out how to login… and it’s only Monday.

Benevolus
Benevolus

I guess Amico being within 6 points means they gotta dig out the oppo. How much did that cost to put together? Or did someone do it for free?

Lawton Sack
Lawton Sack

Well, the AJC did it for “free.” LINK

Benevolus
Benevolus

The lawsuit is old news already. Who came up with all this about her pay, and the health of the company? There’s no link for that.

Lawton Sack
Lawton Sack

Her company did that in their SEC filings

Benevolus
Benevolus

There must be more than that. That is from 2016 and Charlie has info from 2017 and even 2018.

Benevolus
Benevolus

I was trying to count up the number of times Trump has gone bankrupt. I think it was SIX. But when ‘R’s’ do it it’s just good business I guess.

And yes, every single race will be about Trump in some way. Deal with it.

bethebalance
bethebalance

That’s the problem that Trump brought onto all Repubs. If “business success” were a standard, it becomes a quagmire of illogic and hypocrisy itself.
I personally still value true exemplars of good business, which is why I would never vote for John Barron/John Miller/David Dennison, among other reasons. But Geoff Duncan also describes himself as a successful “serial” entrepreneur. What’s the deets on those businesses? Do we have enough to make a comparison here?

Benevolus
Benevolus

Well if the standard is ‘no evidence necessary’ I can tell you right now that companies Duncan has been involved with have been sued! And there has probably been sexual harassment complaints too. And if we can’t find them it probably means they are covering it up.

bethebalance
bethebalance

People are saying that…

xdog
xdog

It’s clear that it’s all hands-on-deck time for gopers.

Noway2016
Noway2016

Agreed! I saw them all at the polls this morning!!! Lol!

Noway2016
Noway2016

Lol! You all know I’m holding off on my signature phrase until election night, right?! Tick tock…

Will Durant
Will Durant

Please name the location then. If this is so then not only were you in violation of the law, so were the poll workers for allowing it. This is simply Noway the propagandist attempting a bandwagon marketing technique. LOL indeed.

Will Durant
Will Durant

It is also a glaring hypocrisy to be calling out the business dealings of Ms. Amico while not mentioning those of Brian Kemp. She was probably not even aware of this issue until it made it to the courts, while his own lawsuit for defaulting on a loan is one for which he signed a personal guarantee. In his deposition he answered “I don’t recall,” “I don’t remember,” “I don’t know,” or some variation at least 91 times. https://www.myajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/for-brian-kemp-suit-over-bad-loan-reveals-political-financial-perils/FGeAr04V2A0tphsBVMSObI/ Not to worry though Republicans, it doesn’t go to court until after the election and I’m sure that just like Gov.… Read more »

xdog
xdog

Or my personal favorite, “To the best of my knowledge I don’t recall that.”

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

Why do these remind me of Mitt Romney and the tactics other successful Republican businessmen? Hypocrisy, thy name is Republican. She should just switch parties.
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-183291/

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

Yeah, she’s really ready to serve as Lt. Governor of the state of Georgia. (sarcasm) She’s worked for her daddy’s trucking company in Georgia for 8 years, knows little about the state in general and nothing about Georgia government. Prior to that she lived in New York and Hollywood/Beverly Hills, where she worked at talent agencies. She has done absolutely nothing to prepare herself for state government, and especially not in a state where she has only lived for 8 years. Do the people of Georgia want someone like that one heartbeat away from the Governor’s office??

Will Durant
Will Durant

Don’t forget the lying about daddy’s helping hand by a half-billion or so during the campaign (and to the IRS back then). A substantiated accusation by the NYT and tossed off by the man as “old news”.

Ellynn
Ellynn

Irony thy name is Sally Forth

Benevolus
Benevolus

She’s got an MBA from Harvard Business School. That should be worth something.
As opposed to trump’s undergrad degree in ‘economics’.

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

bone spurs cum laude

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

I shoulda known -everything goes back to POTUS Trump with you guys. So 5 years of college (unless a slow learner who requires two for their masters) vs 4 years. Big woop. Stay on topic: she’s not running for a nationwide election, government at the federal level. She is running for the second highest office in Georgia, which requires individual state government knowledge. And most of all, thorough understanding and experience as a citizen of this particular state – not 8 short years of residency. FYI, I would not vote for anyone whose first choices were New York and California,… Read more »

Will Durant
Will Durant

What about presiding over the state senate requires anything beyond the ability to bang a gavel (or an assistant as the case may be)? Remember Mark Taylor? There is no constitutional requirement for the Lt. Gov. to do anything other than preside. Naming committee chairs and the like has been a traditional power bestowed upon those that happen to be of the majority party, otherwise it’s a wholelotta nuthin’ unless the guv slips this mortal coil and there has only been one of those, Daddy Gene Talmadge. As for me, the mailer I got during the primaries from Duncan that… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

Every race everywhere is going to be about trump one way or another. Get used to it.

Noway2016
Noway2016

Agree wholeheartedly. That’s why every Dem needed to be asked about how the Dems smeared Kav! Thanks fot that reminder.

Benevolus
Benevolus

Ohh, please do.

Caroline
Caroline

Oh, yes, please remind everybody about Kavanaugh the most disliked supreme court nominee in the history of polling. Somebody that only 30% of the country wanted on the court, somebody that showed himself to be a diaper baby in front of the entire country.

Noway2016
Noway2016

He fought against Dem sleaze merchants and kicked their asses!!! Take a day off, sit in some ice, heal that backside. Then apologize and come back!

Caroline
Caroline

He’s an entitled diaper baby and fighting back would be having the FBI clear his name. The white house even said he was guilty of what he was accused of and that is why Kavanaugh did not want an investigation. He did everything he is accused of doing.

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

You guys obviously have never sweated out having a piece of legislation assigned to committee. That power alone makes the Lt. Governor’s job nothing to sneeze at, and often determines whether your bill lives or dies. But the job of President of the Senate involves a lot more than you seem to think.

Benevolus
Benevolus

OK fine. So should we tell the women of Georgia that Duncan would likely support an abortion ban?
And should we tell Georgia’s businesses that Duncan would likely support an RFRA law?

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

The problem with leveling hypocrisy charges at others is that it cuts both ways. If she’s a hypocrite but you’re not, then you’re… fine with both accusations? Not fine with either? Or just an equal and opposite hypocrite. The Kavanaugh post has the same problem.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

The circumstances are reminiscent of David Perdue becoming Pillowtex CEO after it emerged from bankruptcy in 2002, getting paid $1.7M before leaving after nine months, with Pillowtex closing several months later. The closing of Pillowtex put 7,650 workers out of work nationwide, and resulted in the largest single-day job loss, 4,000+, in NC history.
.
Except that Riggs Amico was an employee, while Perdue was paying himself as the company was crashing.

.
But hey, Perdue’s a Republican so in his case it was just good business.