Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oxendine tries to stall Georgia Ethics Commission

I must confess that I do not follow Georgia politics as closely as I should, probably because doing so would require me to read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on a regular basis, which I simply do not have the stomach to do.  But this unfolding political story is just too good to pass up.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner and Republican candidate for governor, John Oxendine, is scheduled to appear before the State Ethics Commission on June 24, less than a month before a crowded primary contest in which he is currently considered the frontrunner.  The ethics hearing was prompted by an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in May of last year which stated in part:

Two Georgia insurance companies with the same boss funneled $120,000 — nearly 10 times the legal limit — to Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine’s campaign for governor, records in Georgia and Alabama show.

The documents show Oxendine, who wields regulatory power over all insurance companies in Georgia, received the money through 10 Alabama-based political action committees set up by Donald V. Watkins, a director of Admiral Life Insurance Co. of America and State Mutual Insurance. Both companies are headed by prominent businessman Delos “Dee” Yancey III and are run out of the same building in Rome.

Georgia’s Ethics-in-Government Act prohibits officials from taking money directly from companies they regulate. The law also prohibits funneling money through multiple PACs to get around contribution limits of $12,200 per candidate in an election cycle.
The day after the article appeared, Oxendine announced that he had returned the suspect contributions, and ethics watchdog, George Anderson, of Rome, Georgia, filed a complaint against him with the State Ethics Commission.

Last week, in an effort to postpone the ethics hearing until after the primary, Oxendine's lawyer complained to the press that the timing  "smacked of a political hit job," and threatened legal action.  Coincidentally (and concurrently) his regulated buddies at State Mutual and Admiral Life filed a lawsuit against the State Ethics Commission.  No conflict there.

Delos Yancey III, the CEO of State Mutual and Admiral Life, has served as the chairman of Georgia Life & Health Guaranty Association, a state-created bailout organization that pays claims when insurance companies become insolvent, since 1999 (when his father retired from the position).  He has repeatedly been reappointed to that powerful spot by his friend, John Oxendine.

In the interest of tranparency and disclosure, I proudly support Karen Handel for governor.


  1. I am definitely a Karen Handel voter!

  2. "You'll pay me because you'll be scared not to"-JOxendine

    Guy is a crook, nothing more nothing less.