It Gets Worse For David Perdue

Speaking of politically damaging material the New York Times is looking into, Jonathan Weisman today notes the bankruptcy deposition that revealed Georgia GOP Senate candidate David Perdue’s bland revelations of a long career in outsourcing contains some other interesting stuff:

A bankruptcy court document that surfaced last week has roiled the Georgia race for retiring Senator Saxby Chambliss’s seat and put the Republican David Perdue on the defensive over his record as a business executive and his role sending jobs to low-wage countries.

Though most of the attention — and the attacks from his opponent, Michelle Nunn — have focused on comments he made about outsourcing, a close reading of the 186-page deposition, first disclosed last week by Politico, paints Mr. Perdue as a hard-charging hired gun who was so aggressive in claiming his compensation perks from his failing textile company that other executives accused him of a “money grab,” a characterization he hotly denied.

In page after page, Mr. Perdue, who had come from a lucrative post at Reebok, expresses more concern with his own financial security than with the tanking business and the 7,600 jobs that were going down with it….

As his company was heading toward bankruptcy, Mr. Perdue pressed the board for a $700,000 payout to cover taxes he owed on a signing bonus and $100,000 for a relocation he never actually took. He received both, as well as a $500,000 stipend to stay on during final, failed takeover negotiations that could have rescued Pillowtex. He announced his resignation that spring, effective after a two-week paid vacation.

Sounds like we’re about one juicy quote away from the text of another Michelle Nunn or Super-PAC ad. And given Perdue’s penchant for gaffes, he might well just serve it up in the present tense.

The lessen here is that if you’re going to run one of those CEO/outsider campaigns, you should probably have a business career that doesn’t sound as damaging to regular folks–or as self-serving–as a political career.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.