Nathan Deal on Jason Carter's 'silly' donor disclosure pledge

Gov. Nathan Deal laced into his Democratic opponent's pledge to disclose more details about political appointments should he win office, calling it a "silly" campaign stunt and issuing a new challenge to his bitter rival.

Democrat Jason Carter promised to reveal campaign contributions and conflicts of interest of each person he appoints to a state board in response to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation that found people with ties to 43 members of three Georgia elite boards contributed nearly $1.3 million to Gov. Nathan Deal's re-election effort.

"This is just another typical display on his part," Deal said Monday. "If he's so concerned about that, and he says he's willing to disclose the financial contributions of those that he would put on the board, then I would suggest he start revealing who those people are right now - so we could make those types of judgment calls."

Consider Carter's camp intrigued.

"We'll gladly start putting together our administration if the governor wants to give up now," said Carter spokesman Bryan Thomas. "We could use the extra time, given all the damage he's done to our schools, the economy and the state's reputation."

The governor made his remarks at Georgia Tech after a higher education announcement. Monday is his 72nd birthday, and he was in a bullish mood. Said Deal:

"That's silly and he knows that's silly. Any governor appoints people who think the way he thinks, who are going to carry out policies that he believes are important in board settings. Some of these boards are very important boards. they do help set the direction and course of our state. I don't want to appoint somebody that I don't know, or I don't have any confidence that they won't have the same general point of view."

The governor said he doesn't "dictate" his views to his political appointees or vet how they feel on individual issues.

"I just want good competent people and that’s what I’ve always tried to do," he said.