Ethics issues could play big at Georgia polls

Gov. Nathan Deal’s opponents see the ethics questions swirling around his campaign as one of his biggest vulnerabilities — and voters are paying attention.

A statewide poll commissioned by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that a majority of Georgia voters are aware that former state ethics commission director Stacey Kalberman won a $700,000 judgment on her claim she was forced from her job for too vigorously investigating complaints against Deal.

Some 58 percent signaled they agreed with that jury verdict, and 71 percent believe Deal was involved. That may hint at why Deal is trying to turn questions about the state ethics commission into an opening to call for one of the broadest overhauls of the watchdog agency in Georgia history.