Buddy Carter faces conflict of interest questions over pharmacy bills

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, shown in the state Senate in 2014. (AJC file/Ben Gray)

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, shown in the state Senate in 2014. (AJC file/Ben Gray)

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter is under scrutiny for co-sponsoring legislation that could benefit his pharmacy business.

A report by Fox 5 Atlanta questioned whether the Savannah Republican, a licensed pharmacist who owned pharmacies in south Georgia before he was elected in 2014, had a conflict of interest.

Carter, who transferred his pharmacies to his wife, was the only pharmacist in Congress before November’s election and a vocal advocate of the pharmacy lobby’s top issues.

He backed measures that would give seniors on Medicare more access to prescription drugs at their pharmacies and another that would give pharmacists “provider status” to expand their scope of practice.

Carter told Dale Russell the legislation was already written by other lawmakers before his election, and that the House Ethics Committee gave him verbal approval for his role.

But Brinkley Serkedekis of the Common Cause transparency advocacy told Russell the legislation financially benefits Carter as well, making it a “clear violation of the spirit” of House ethics rules.

Watch and read Russell’s full report here:

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It is the longest of long shots: A pair of Georgia Democrats said Tuesday they plan to introduce legislation that would overhaul the way legislative districts are drawn by taking it away from the Legislature and giving it to an independent commission.

State Sen. Elena Parent and state Rep. Pat Gardner acknowledged at a press conference Tuesday it was virtually impossible to secure its passage in the GOP-held Legislature.

But they also sent two other important signals. First, they haven’t closed the door on legal action that could force changes in the way districts are drawn, such as the lawsuits in North Carolina and Virginia that could force sweeping changes.

And second, they also wanted to serve notice to their fellow Democrats that they will press for the bill if their party ever regained control of the legislative branch.

“This is not about partisan advantage,” said Gardner. “We have members of the Democratic caucus who won’t sign the bill, and Republicans who are appalled by it.”

***

Add U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson to the list of congressional Republicans backing a Capitol Hill investigation into possible Russian interference of the U.S. election.

We’re told Georgia’s senior Republican senator backs an Intelligence Committee-led investigation, “but ultimately is confident that our intelligence agencies are doing everything they can to keep us safe.”

We’re still waiting to hear back on where David Perdue stands. Democratic Party of Georgia chair DuBose Porter pounced on the news.

“Democrats strongly urge members of Georgia’s congressional delegation to join the call for the establishment of an independent, bi-partisan commission to investigate the full extent and scope of Russia’s interference in the election,” said Porter. “The gravity of this threat to our security is above politics and action must be taken immediately.”

***

As police continue to investigate the death of Tex McIver’s wife, the Republican attorney skipped a hearing before the State Board of Elections.

McIver shot and killed his wife Diane a little more than two months ago as the couple rode back to their Buckhead condo after a weekend at their horse ranch in Putnam County. He has said it was an accident.

His absence on the five-member panel, coupled with another no-show and one member who recused himself, forced Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Tuesday to call for a new hearing on a debate before the board.

***

State Rep. Betty Price hasn’t closed the door on a run for her husband’s U.S. House seat.

The Roswell Republican said in a statement Tuesday it was “premature” to announce her decision until the governor sets a date for qualifying.

He’s likely to announce that date early next year, with U.S. Rep. Tom Price expected to face confirmation hearings in January to be Donald Trump’s health secretary. The husband-and-wife duo were at Trump Tower this week.

***

Sometimes the dominoes don’t fall.

With news leaking that Donald Trump picked Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke to lead the Department of Interior, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers underscored her plans to stay in the House.

McMorris Rodgers staying in the House means that she’s also likely to remain in her position as GOP conference chair, the No. 4 position in the House Republican leadership.

That means Gainesville Republican Doug Collins will be staying put in the No. 5 House leadership position that he won last month. The lawyer and former chaplain was at one point considering a run for McMorris Rodgers’ leadership position should she have been tapped for Donald Trump’s Cabinet.

***

Democratic uber-lawyer Jeremy Berry argues that it’s time to allow Georgians to take “selfies” at the ballot box.

From his column in the SaportaReport:

[The] Georgia legislature should repeal the statute that prohibits Georgians from taking “voter selfies” at the ballot box. Though Justin Timberlake presumably had good intentions when he took and posted a “voting selfie” recently, his actions might have violated Tennessee’s law against such photography in the voting booth. Similarly, Georgia law currently states that “no photography shall be allowed of a ballot or the face of a voting machine” (O.C.G.A. § 21-2-413(e)). Georgia and Tennessee are not alone: more than 18 states prohibit photography in polling locations, including voting selfies.

 

 

Allowing voters to post pictures of their ballot or of people voting could encourage more people to vote and foster even more pride in voting. There is something memorable about voting for the first time or participating in a historic election.  Imagine if a voter could document and share a picture of such a vote.

***

Someone is gearing up for a run for higher office.

Reader Comments 0

49 comments
Fred South
Fred South

These one way turds don't care about anyone but themselves! That's how they become wealthy while being on a politians salary! Vote em out!!

Nolan Teter
Nolan Teter

It's the latest and greatest thing about being an American kleptocrat.

Clara Madison
Clara Madison

This Is Georgia, What Do You Expect. My Doctors Black,My Dentist Is Black ( And Very Sweet, And My Pharmacy Black.Don't Brother Me At All. Wake Up My People!!!!!

Roberta Cromlish
Roberta Cromlish

What is wrong with expanding the pharmacies that Medicare recipients use. As it is, I now cannot use the pharmacy I have used for years without paying an outrageous premium. God forbid, that we should have pharmacies who might compete with each other.

Annie Cook
Annie Cook

As if this isn't what republicans do. See trump. And no taxes.

Alex Gross
Alex Gross

Increasing access to prescription drugs for seniors: Yes! Increasing scope of practice for pharmacists: No!

Gregory Cancryn
Gregory Cancryn

This is what happens when people elect these republicans who do not CARE ABOUT THEM. VOTE THEM OUT

Robert Zakem
Robert Zakem

As they saying goes, a fish rots from the head down. If we have a President riddled with conflicts of interest, why can't I?

Gregory Cancryn
Gregory Cancryn

We as citizens, in this case, have to be BETTER than the president. Vote him out asap and never let this type of crap happen again

Stephen Sorrels
Stephen Sorrels

A few years back, this might have just been swept under the rug... Hopefully this is a repercussion of Trump's nomination. This is the type of discussion and transparency that America needs to clean up politics

William Hopson
William Hopson

A congressman drafting legislation that would be beneficial to himself, say it isn't so. Buddy Carter cares nothing for Georgia or the people he represents. He cares about himself. I've said it to him personally.

Ken Wats
Ken Wats

Tracy Martin O no u didnt!!! Politician no dought.

William Hopson
William Hopson

Ken, the discussion isn't about the Clintons. Try to stay on topic.

Ken Wats
Ken Wats

Tell him again for me too.

William Hopson
William Hopson

It happens on both sides of the isle. I just happen to live a short distance from him.

Ken Wats
Ken Wats

Gregory Cancryn You are a stupid ifiot. Its fact that the CLINTON MACHINE is the MOST CORUPT family that ever existed in the history of politics. Period

William Hopson
William Hopson

Gregory Cancryn, It does happen on both sides of the isle. Just because you believe that the Republicans do it more often, shouldn't blind you when the Democrats do it. Pointing out the truth does not create victims or keep them chained in victimhood. What makes you think I've not been trying to rid congress of these types of things, and why should I sit down and shut up? Could it be that there is truth to what I'm saying and it doesn't fit in with your rhetoric? People empower themselves, and government isn't the answer, and the polling booth isn't the only place to create change.

Constance Rutledge
Constance Rutledge

William Hopson it may have on both sides but really, can you name just one republican bill that's favored citizens over corporate interests in the last 8+ years ? Our republican congress has blocked every jobs and veterans bill and any bill that would benefit the majority in this nation for the last 6 years and McConnell has openly bragged about it too.

William Hopson
William Hopson

Constance, Once again, my position is misunderstood. I have nothing positive to say about Buddy and the work that he does. I know what our congressmen have been doing for the last eight years. One would have to have had a traumatic brain injury to not see what was being done.

Kathy Thompson
Kathy Thompson

vote is sorry self out.... remember that election time... Many are there for the love of money... remember the dean of thieves...where there ya go...

Bobby Lamb
Bobby Lamb

Congressman Buddy Carter got some explaining to do!

Ben Collins
Ben Collins

How is it any different from Attorney's in the senate and house passing laws they defend with their clients?

Becky Fly
Becky Fly

Or laws that benefit their major contributors.

Gregory Cancryn
Gregory Cancryn

No such thing. Nothing supreme about them Just white racists.

Gregory Cancryn
Gregory Cancryn

That was 50 YEARS ago!!!! They have to MOVE their mentality

Doug Rogers
Doug Rogers

Sheryll Smalley step away from the kool-aid. Your overdosed on stupid.

Doug Rogers
Doug Rogers

Gregory Cancryn good idea except for gerrymandering

Becky Fly
Becky Fly

Its completely legal and done all the time. Represent.Us is a bipartisan group fighting corruption in government. They got a few laws passed this last election in a couple of states. Citizens need to come together and demand change.

Doug Rogers
Doug Rogers

With the crooked Republican's in control nothing will get changed

Sheryll Smalley
Sheryll Smalley

The crooked Republicans aren't nearly as crooked as the crooked Democrats. We put up with the worst president in history, yes Obama beat Jimmy Carter. We the deplorables put up with a corrupt administration for 8 years. We DID NOT riot, loot, protest, cry, whine or expect the outcome to change because we lost. The Obama administration succeeded in turning Americans against each other. Black Lives Matter is a racist group, ALL LIVES MATTER! Obamacare is a joke! It is difficult to find Dr's that will take this insurance that all people are supposed to have but can't afford while others are getting it for free unless you make less than $12,000.00 a year then you don't qualify so you still don't have insurance. America can't take anymore! That is why Americans not Russians voted Trump for president. Hillary & the crooked media thought she had it in the bag so I guess she didn't try hard enough. The entitlement era is over it is time for people to take responsibility for themselves. So many people would rather the government take care of them instead of taking care of themselves. Under the Obama regime people that desperately needed help couldn't get it because of all the perfectly capable people freeloading. Trump is the next president, he will bring jobs back that Clinton & Obama are responsible for leaving our country. Just know that people of all color & all walks of life voted for Trump. Life can't be one sided all the time, it works best when we compromise. It's about time a NON politician was elected president. Now to get rid of the worthless career politicians and put people in office that will work for the people not for themselves, that's what public servants are supposed to do.

Gregory Cancryn
Gregory Cancryn

Doug Rogers Republicans have to demand more. They must exit their racism, and realize that turning against a party that threw them overboard 40 years ago is not helping them or their children.

Doug Rogers
Doug Rogers

Sheryll Smalley actually President Obama has the highest rating of any President ever. President Obama actually has the only Presidental administration that is corruption and scandel free. If you stop watching Fox Fake "News", reading Breitbart, and all the other white supremacists terrorist NEWS you obviously source you might get informed. You see actually the most corrupt, scandal ridden, and ineffective Presidental administration ever was Ronald Reagan. It's obvious your mad because a black man is in your white House. That is what white supremacists terrorist like you do. You are a liar. When you repeat lies and misinformation which has been debunked repeatedly, your a liar.

Doug Rogers
Doug Rogers

Gregory Cancryn the problem is they don't have the mental capabilities to see what they are doing to themselves. I think LBJ explained best why poor white people vote against their interest “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s is better than the best colored man, he won’t know you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him someone to look down on and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon B Johnson

Doug Rogers
Doug Rogers

White supremacists have not changed.