Spotted! Governor Nathan Deal selects a, um, unlikely lunch spot
It's been said that politics makes strange bedfellows. On Tuesday, during an impromptu visit to Candler Park eatery Radial Cafe, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal proved that politics also makes for some downright dotty luncheon companions as well.
Intel has learned that Deal and eight staffers breezed into Radial Cafe at lunchtime where the governor enjoyed the Tuesday Special: Cuban pulled pork on ciabatta with black beans and plantain relish. Other staffers enjoyed the breakfast special of buttermilk waffles with roasted plum sauce and organic maple syrup.
Apparently, Deal is in need of a new GPS unit. Or some Gaydar. In addition to their innovative green initiatives, Radial Cafe also prides itself on being a gay-owned business. On Friday night, owner Frank Bragg was awarded a "Best Brunch" certificate at gay and lesbian newspaper The Georgia Voice's annual "Best of Atlanta" awards. Politicos will recall that one of Deal's final 2010 campaign ads, "The Last Straw," accused opponent Karen Handel of "giving our taxpayer dollars to YouthPride, a group that promotes homosexuality among teenagers as young as 13" when she was Fulton County Commission chair. YouthPride board president Jordan Myers responded to the ad, saying: Nathan Deal is half right — we promote the idea that gay youth should not commit suicide. . .stop lying."
You'll probably also recall that on May 13 the governor signed into law Georgia House Bill 87, an Arizona-esque immigration enforcement measure that sets new hiring requirements for state employers and punishes those who harbor illegals. On his hurry to settle into his Cuban pulled pork, Deal and his staff presumably blew past the rather pronounced "Immigrants Welcome" sign posted in window courtesy of SOMOS Georgia, a Georgia non-profit "committed to immigrant, racial and economic justice." Georgia businesses posting the "Buy Spots" signs pledge "to welcome immigrants of all statuses and pledge not to allow police to enter their premises for the sole purpose of checking immigration status," according to the non-profit's website.
"I was really surprised he ate here," Bragg conceded in a message to Intel. Still, Bragg was the perfect host and shook hands with the governor and his staff. Alas, the governor did not linger for the Radial house-made dessert of Oreo cookie ice cream pie with chocolate coffee sauce.
Our theory? One of the guys talking into their sleeves lunching with the governor may have tipped him that Radial's adjacent neighbor is Georgia Equality, the politcal watchdog group committed to "advancing fairness, safety and opportunity for Georgia's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities." The group campaigned against Deal last fall, handing out thousands of "No Deal" stickers . . .