Kemp: “Very Proud” of Disastrous “Kemp Card” Rollout

November 4, 2022

Kemp Admits “Fraud and Abuse and Theft” Was Anticipated

After Gov. Brian Kemp’s $350 “Kemp card” assistance program’s rollout was exposed in a joint report by Axios and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a bungled, disastrous, and potentially illegal mess affecting “tens of thousands” of Georgians, Kemp defended his election-year gimmick.

Kemp: “We’re very proud of the rollout…I’m not concerned about any legal issues,” while attempting to dodge accountability by claiming “you’re gonna have fraud and abuse and theft” with programs that are doling out government funds.

LISTEN: Kemp Defends Disastrous “Kemp Card” Rollout

More: Less than two months before Election Day, Kemp announced he was using funds from Democrats’ American Rescue Plan (a package he had opposed) to send $350 to Georgians. The governor said this was needed because of inflation.

Thousands of Georgians are still having trouble accessing and using the funds. Many have reported their identities have been compromised and funds stolen off the cards. Georgians are also reporting that many stores, like Dollar Tree and Walmart, won’t accept the “Kemp cards.”

The “Kemp cards” came after the governor cut off pandemic food stamp support, which was providing 770,000 Georgians about $100 in food support every month. Kemp said that due to a strong economy, people didn’t need extra help.

Axios: Inside the messy rollout of Kemp’s $350 payments to Georgians:

  • The rollout of Gov. Brian Kemp’s cash payments to millions of low-income Georgia residents and families has been a mess for many from the outset. For nearly two months Georgians have reported they’ve had transactions declined, cards suspended and even the money stolen before it could be spent.
  • Why it matters: Kemp’s office said the plan — which uses federal COVID aid dollars — was designed to help people “cope” with the pandemic and record inflation. But nearly a dozen recipients have told Axios and AJC reporters the state has struggled with the rollout, leaving many resorting to giving each other advice on social media about how to troubleshoot problems.
  • Separately, two legal experts tell Axios and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the administration of these payments violated federal data privacy regulations — something the state denies.
  • Since the Sept. 20 launch, DHS’ Facebook page has been inundated with tens of thousands of complaints about declined transactions, suspended cards, or stolen funds.
  • The intrigue: Some recipients have complained that the rollout appeared rushed for political gain as money was released in the months ahead of the midterm election.
  • “This is a stunt,” Chanae Forrest, a day care teacher from Newton, claims. “You did this right before election time… You’ve been sitting on this money for how long?”
  • “Everybody I know who was eligible for it had some sort of issue,” she said. “It’s like throwing somebody a life preserver but the line is too short.”
  • What they’re saying: David Super, a lawyer and legal scholar at Georgetown University who has specialized in Medicaid, said the program “clearly violates the privacy protections in the Medicaid law.”


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