Deal appoints friends to port authority
By Aaron Gould Sheinin The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Gov. Nathan Deal has named his business…
Georgia (Jul 5, 2012) — By Aaron Gould Sheinin
Link To Articlehttp://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-politics-elections/deal-appoints-friends-to-1470619.html
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Gov. Nathan Deal has named his business partner and two top contributors to the Georgia Ports Authority, a plum assignment that can open doors for businessmen.
Deal on Friday named Ken Cronan and James Walters, both of Gainesville, and Hugh M. Tarbutton of Sandersville to the governing board of the facilities that create nearly 8 percent of Georgia's gross domestic product.
Deal, through a spokesman, lauded the appointments, saying Walters, Cronan and Tarbutton have deep business experience that will serve the state well. But the public is left to decide whether the moves are aimed at improving one of the state's most valuable business assets or aimed at granting personal favors to the governor's business and political allies.
Deal's ties to Cronan and Walters are deep. Cronan and Deal are partners in Gainesville Salvage & Disposal. Walters leases office space to Deal's campaign and contributed nearly $30,000 to the governor's 2010 election. He was also chairman of the bank that provided Deal's campaign with a $250,000 line of credit.
Walters and Cronan are also officers in the Real political action committee formed in 2011. Deal's campaign slogan was "Deal. Real." …
Kerwin Swint, a political scientist at Kennesaw State University and a Common Cause Georgia board member, said Deal is doing what previous governors have done, "but you would think that if government officials were truly concerned about ethics in government, they would avoid circumstances that could be construed to have conflict, such as this one." Tarbutton, a railroad executive, gave Deal's campaign more than $16,000.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.