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Bull Meter: Is Nathan Deal Financially 'Transparent'? | News

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Bull Meter: Is Nathan Deal Financially 'Transparent'?
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ATLANTA -- Republican Nathan Deal says his personal finances are now public.  Last week, he disclosed summaries of his income tax returns.  That, he says, supplements disclosure forms he submitted to Congress.  Deal claims it gives the public insight into his income sources -- including his ownership in a Gainesville salvage company that became part of a Congressional ethics investigation.

"It does show it on the Congressional disclosure form," Deal told 11Alive News.  We asked why he didn't disclose those details on his tax form.

"Well, I just don't think it's required that individuals who are not running for public office be disclosed as part of my disclosure," said Deal.  He's referring to his partners in the salvage business.  He says disclosing those details in his taxes would disclose their private business. 

Deal's Congressional disclosure statements show ranges of income.  In 2009, Deal checked two boxes showing personal income from the salvage business between $65,000 and $150,000.  It gives no indication how much of it came from a partnership arrangement with the state of Georgia.

"There's been in particular some allegation with Congressman Deal that he got a no bid, monopoly contract with the state that put hundreds of thousands of dollars in his pocket.  None of that is shown in what is disclosed," said Democrat Roy Barnes. 

Barnes released hundreds of pages of detailed income tax information -- the kind of detail withheld by Deal.  The Barnes information is specific, unlike the ranges of information provided in Deal's Congressional disclosure forms -- and unlike the income tax summaries.  

"So, I think it matters to allow the people to make a judgment as to who is transparent in office and who is going to have the interest of the state above their individual interest," said Barnes.
 
Deal's campaign claims the disclosures are fully transparent.  But the absence of supporting tax material leaves open questions about the relationship between his business and the state government. 

The 11Alive Bull Meter detects the strong whiff of bull on this one, giving the Deal campaign a four. 

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