A criminal investigation may soon be launched against GOP gubernatorial candidate, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle.
Last week 11Alive shared the secret recording of him admitting to changing his support for a bill in order to keep financial support from a political rival. Former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr said this is about abuse of power.
Cagle was secretly recorded by Clay Tippins who lost in the Republican Primary.
The recording was made just days after Cagle finished first in the Republican primary. Clay Tippins had lost and he met with Cagle and secretly recorded their conversation.
“I decided it was important to me at least to provide a window into Casey Cagle’s character,” Tippins told 11Alive's Doug Richards last week.
Tippins asked Cagle about a bill that Cagle backed in the Senate, providing tax credits for private schools. Cagle had opposed previous versions of the bill.
“Every year, every year I killed that bill,” Cagle was heard saying on tape. “We beat it to a pulp.”
But this year, it passed with Cagle’s support.
Tippins heard Cagle say he backed the bill to steer campaign money away from Hunter Hill, another candidate for governor.
“He said listen to me carefully. ‘This was about politics it’s not about policy. That was a bad policy. I did this because Hunter Hill was going to get three million dollars. I couldn’t let that happen,’” Tippins said.
The donors “were going to back Hunter. The deal had already been done,” Cagle said in the recording. “He ran out of money in his own campaign. You know, because he had nothing to spend at the last – down to the finish line. But if he had $3 million behind him, against me?”
Barr, who as a prosecutor, has cracked down hard on both Democrats and Republicans. He is also a supporter of Brian Kemp who will compete in a runoff against Cagle next month. Barr said despite who he supports this is an issue of violating the system and a case of quid quo pro.
Now, there’s a letter from State Senator Bill Heath calling for a federal investigation.
The letter calling for an investigation against Cagle asks many questions and goes on to state they need to be answered because “he will lie with a straight face to the media and voters.”
“It also undercuts our system of fairness and perception of fairness to our electorates and have the effect of turning people off and that's not good either,” Barr told 11Alive.
Democratic candidate for governor Stacey Abrams also skirted around the issue at Tuesday night’s town hall.
Barr said this is the time voters should ask the tough questions: why.
“Why did you let us down, why did you do this,” Barr said. “Tell us exactly what happened so we can make an informed decision.”
Barr, drawing on his background as a prosecutor, said this isn’t a party issue. He said it’s about a politician saying one thing privately and taking a different approach publicly all for their own benefit.