Kemp’s Ideas

In what has to be graphically the best looking plan to come out of any politician in this state in quite a while, Brian Kemp is releasing a plan today outlining what he’d do as Agriculture Commissioner. Kemp is proposing the overhauling of departments, expanding research, doing a better job at promoting Georgia grown products, and, most significantly, backing a huge overhaul of property taxation on agriculture land.

Kemp says he wants to cap increases in assessments to inflation and require valuation at current use rather than “highest and best use.” It looks like Kemp just might be willing to run on a really substantive game plan.

With all the bickering back and forth on this site between Kemp partisans and Black partisans, it will be nice to see a debate on agenda specifics and not on whether one is more Republican than the other. This might be the first step.

66 comments

  1. I’m not going to comment on Brain Kemp’s plan until I read it cover to cover (so now I have some reading material for tonight), but my opinion on the Commissioner of Agriculture race is as follows:

    If Georgia Republicans manage to knock off Tommy Irvin, who I consider to be the statewide Tom Murphy, then you’re going to see a serious decline with Democrats in Georgia, just like once Bill Heath beat Tom Murphy, the General Assembly almost immediately went to Republican control.

  2. DoubleDawg3 says:

    While I haven’t read the Kemp plan in full (only glanced) yet either, I think he’s the right man for the job – even given his “developer” background. Not that I don’t think Gary Black wouldn’t be good for the job, but I’ve just been overlyimpressed by Kemp over the past four years (I’d really like to see Black run for the head of the Farm Bureau – as was mentioned earlier as a possibility)— I think Kemp would be great for any office in Georgia, especially Ag Commish – he has a very “down home” feel that helps him relate to common, hardworking farmers across the state (again, not saying Black doesn’t – I’ve only met him once, briefly). It’s no surprise to me that his campaign has come up with such an impressive outline of his plan.

    I am sure that some feel that neither Black/Kemp can beat Irvin, but I think that it is very possible. I’m from a farming community, and I personally know family and neighbors who are farmers that believe its time for a change — surprisingly (as hard as it might be to believe to some) one of their major issues is the lack of “online” information from the Dept. While some might believe that farmers don’t know what computers or the internet are, the fact is that almost all do — farming for a lot of these people is a very large scale, high dollar operation, which employs the use of “modern technology” like the internet for a multitude of things, such as staying up to date on the latest ag. advancements, crop diseases, etc. — I think Kemp & Black are both wise to be addressing this area.

  3. landman says:

    I encourage everyone to take the time to read the Kemp Plan.I have had the pleasure of looking at it the last couple of months and have seen it evolve into a solid,well thought out Plan that will be instrumental in reconfiguring the Departments capabilities and improving its service to all Georgians.This plan is indicative of Kemps leadership capabilities and thinking outside the box management style.Kemp’s vision,experience and work ethic will take this Department to a level never dreamed of by the current administration.
    Kemp is the guy that can beat Mr. Tommy and he will.As this race continues to unfold it will become obvious to the Republican voter who should represent us in the General.
    I disagree with Erick in that I firmly believe Republican credentials do matter in a Republican Primary and they will play a role in this race.Remember the choice is simple Proven Conservative REPUBLICAN State Senator or DEMOCRATIC LOBBYIST.

  4. GAWire says:

    Ok, landman, tell us why Kemp’s plan is a well thought out Plan. How will it “reconfigure the Department’s capabilities and improve its service to all Georgians?”

    I’m not attacking or disagreeing with you, but Erick said in the post that maybe we can debate the “agenda specifics.” So, besides giving the campaign tag lines and embellished characterizations, how is the Kemp Plan better than Gary Black’s?

    I’m not a farmer, and I live in the Metro Atlanta Area, which means miles from any agriculture of significant size, with the exception of the horse farms in the area. So, convince me.

  5. landman says:

    GaWire-fair enough,but first its very important to understand that this Department’s influence extends well beyond just farmers.While you may live in Atlanta you are effected by agricultural policies everyday and while the current administration has not elevated the services so everyone recognizes this,they should have. The technology portion of Brian’s plan will help address not only farmers but also the consumer’s desire to keep current on the many issues related to Agriculture whether it’s food safty,pricing issues,planting reccomdations etc.Technology can be a powerful tool if its implemented properly but its no better than plowing with a mule vs.a John Deere if its not being harnessed and made easily available to those who need and want it.

    Im a Land Broker and Developer and I can tell you that the influx of people and thus the developement that comes with it isnt going to slow down. This is not a bad thing at all for some but for the Agriculture Community it presents several problems.The biggest of which is in the area of taxes on land holdings and I believe the Kemp Plan reflects a true understanding of this very critical but complex challenge of paying for increased city/county services while offering protection for Agricultural based land use.This tax issue not only affects the family farm but also the corporate farms and the large timber tracts.This is one of the reasons Weyerheser sold off its Timber holdings and why International Paper is in the process of selling theirs.

    The third aspect that I really feel impressed by is the creation of the Ag Advisory Council and the Ag Floor Leaders.Agriculture as you know is big business to this state and while its not as sexy as the High Tech world it helps pay the bills so to speak and it deserves a vehicle to carry its message to the decision makers and policy guys in a timely and orderly method.I think these two aspects of the plan accomplish this,its sort of like the squikky wheel gets the oil mentality. The transfer of the needs of the various industries within the Ag Community could have its concerns heard and addressed in a much better process than is now in place.
    So Ga-Wire these are a couple of the reasons I feel thePlan can take this department to the next level and better serve all Georgians.

  6. Jack S says:

    On behalf of Landman, I’m going to take the challenge to compare, because
    I’m tired of the Black cronies and staffers on here talking about how Gary
    is the expert and Kemp is not. Let’s put the cards on the table with what
    these guys have proposed. This is going to be long but it’s got to be to
    get all the facts out. My conclusions are at the bottom.

    Kemp proposes the following according to his plan on his website:

    1. An Agricultural Advisory Council made up of members of
    each area of Georgia agriculture and an economist who will help keep the
    department on the cutting edge and aware of trends in their individual
    fields.

    2. Establishing legislative floor leaders like the Governor
    has to promote agricultural issues in the general assembly.

    3. Strong support for continued ag education funding (a big
    issue when our Kathy Cox proposed eliminating it)

    4. Having the Ag department design the Ag education
    curriculum partnering with the ed department.

    5. A new website that will be a one stop shop for all
    farmers in Georgia. Kemp talks of a site with instant updates on reports,
    commodity prices, weather reports, in sum a site with easy access to all
    information any farmer would want or need. He also proposes doing email
    updates on topics to help keep farmers aware of key issues.

    6. Continued support for the Market Bulletin but also
    making it part of the new website.

    7. Full time advocacy on key issues like the upcoming farm
    bill. As a legislator, Kemp knows the value of having a commissioner who is
    a real advocate for key issues. In fairness to Gary, he does too, since (to
    put it in a positive light) he was an advocate at the Capitol too as a
    lobbyist.

    8. Free training programs for farmers patterned after the
    successful small business training the state does through UGA (of which I
    have personally benefited and they are great). Basically, help farmers stay
    up to date on all new processes, software, new technology, etc.

    9. An aggressive and effective marketing program for all
    Georgia commodities. Just like the Vidalia Onion, if we market it right an
    onion is not just an onion. The state can help us promote our products
    around the world and increase profits for our farmers.

    10. International promoter. Kemp wants to be the face of
    Georgia agriculture around the world. I can’t resist an editorial comment
    here – kemp’s a guy we can send to any country who will command respect and
    confidence just by the way he carries himself. Tommy and Gary simply don’t.
    Painful but very true.

    11. Patnering up our research universities with capital and
    entrepreneurs and create new agribusinesses – basically expanding what the
    Georgia Research Alliance does but in agriculture.

    12. Supporting and promoting the growth of new industries like
    nurseries, horse farms, and wineries.

    13. Aggressively promoting new vets for public health but also
    to help our farmers and ranchers by having HOPE like scholarships and loans
    to encourage them to enter the field. I read that Georgia Trend article
    that talks about this issue – apparently it’s pretty critical.

    14. Being a leading advocate and promoter for new research at
    our Universities and and finding new ways to team up research and the farmer
    in the field. Fro example, promoting new research on the website to get
    these farmers informed and involved.

    15. Most importantly, property taxes. This is huge what
    Kemp’s proposing. He wants to change the Constitution so that agricultural
    land is taxed at its current use rather than its highest and best use. This
    is a really big shift. He also proposes capping any increase in assessments
    to the rate of inflation and encouraging farmers to consider giving their
    land to greenspace conservation by eliminating property taxes if you promise
    to give the land to greenspace after you die. There’s more to all of this
    but it’s so extensive I can’t put it all here.

    I hope I didn’t miss anything big, but folks, the thing is 15 pages long.
    It’s a huge proposal. I could have missed something.

    Now here’s what Gary’s proposing, and I’m trying my best to be objective and
    fair, so if I leave anything out, it’s unintentional.

    1. Expanding research and use of bio fuels, both to protect the
    environment and help create new markets for our agricultural commodities.
    2. Expanding agribusinesses and expanding access to international
    markets by creating an economic development team in the ag department and
    encouraging various commissions to pursue expansion in their specific areas.

    3. Build strong relationships with a variety of federal and state
    agencies to help address coming problems.

    4. Work to create a balanced statewide water plan

    5. Dedicating a portion of the department’s website to ag education
    efforts and supporting continued funding for ag education.

    6. Encouraging farmers to take advantage of HOPE paid for and other
    programs at our technical schools.

    7. Create an internship program at the department

    8. Promoting homeland security efforts that protect livestock and
    poultry farms so our farmers are not forced out of business by an attack.

    9. Streamlining all permit processes for anyone dealing with the dept

    10. Overhauling the dept’s website to make is very customer friendly and
    easy to use.

    11. Continued support for the Market Bulletin

    12. A strong advocate for farmers in DC and Atlanta. And in the
    interest of fairness, given Black’s extensive time as head of the
    Agribusiness Council and as a lobbyist for them in DC and Atlanta, he would
    likely be a very effective advocate. I’m not commenting on that politically
    – it’s a legitimate point from his supporters that he would be an effective
    “inside baseball” player.

    13. Overhaul of the department with outside teams and inside teams to be
    completed in the few months after he takes over to focus on improving all
    aspects of the department.

    I believe this is a fair representation of the two plans.

    Now to get to GAWire’s point, I think there’s a very clear difference here.
    I think Gary’s plan is focused on changes to the department that would
    benefit farmers and others who have to deal with the department. I think
    Kemp’s plan is focused on saving Georgia agriculture from going under.
    Reading the two plans, that’s what jumps out at me. Kemp makes the point
    repeatedly that farming is going down the same road as manufacturing and we
    need huge changes by both the industry and the state to keep thi industry
    alive or it’s going to die and take with it all those jobs.

    Now, I don’t know anything about farming, but I do know this – we’ve lost
    GM, Ford, Chrysler and maybe Delta. Our economy is really hurting. Kemp
    makes a very effective and valid point that the issue is not an unresponsive
    department. The issue is that the biggest part of our economy could go
    under without a lot of changes. Our state can’t handle that. I have
    political and partisan reasons I’m not backing Black and backing Kemp. But
    from a policy perspective I think Kemp has done a masterful job of
    presenting a real vision and effective plan to save farming in Georgia.
    Gary to his credit has offered a legitimate policy plan but its focus is all
    wrong. It’s all on the department and not really focused on the future of
    farming. That’s a big, very real, very significant difference.

    And I think it’s why Kemp is going to win the primary and the general. He’s
    showing incredible leadership in all facets of the campaign.

    And besides that, looking at this plan and his website and everything else
    he’s done compared to Gary and for that matter every other candidate out
    there – good grief, this stuff is presidential looking. Hell, it’s better
    than presidential looking. It’s incredible.

    That’s why ol Tommy is quaking in his boots!

  7. Groseclose says:

    I just finished reading Senator Kemp’s plan. As Erick has indicated, I am glad we can finally have a substantive debate about the Agriculture Commissioner’s race. I will agree that the pictures in the plan certainly paint the picturesque scene that Senator Kemp probably hoped to convey. Unfortunately, that doesn’t in itself make a plan worth the paper it’s written on. He is got some good ideas . . . and he has some ideas that are little (some more than others) off the mark. One would have thought Senator Kemp would have vetted these ideas a little more considering he took an additional three months (after Candidate Black announced his 2010 plan) to formulate. I will go through some of the real weaknesses of the plan on this post and probably others later on. Landman, it sounds as if you were part of the vetting: I would be most interested in your responses.

    First, the plan has all the hallmarks of an urban developer turned urban legislator. The tax breaks are complicated (even in their simplest form: a campaign plan; imagine what they will be like in the tax code!), they reward wealthy landowners (not facially, but when they are applied to real world farmers who have little legal experience and rent thousands of acres), and will impact local governments in ways that Kemp has not addressed in his campaign. He introduces us to his plan by talking about timber—a prime subject for a real estate investor—without talking about the real issue; the one his task force can’t fix— the U.S.-Canada Softwood Timber Dispute. He talks of horses, the green industry, and wineries and nothing of peanuts, pecans, peaches, and poultry. (I will inject your rebuttals here: 1)Its more than just south Georgia agriculture that will win elections and 2) Gary doesn’t mention all of those in his plan). In focusing on those tangential, albeit important, elements of the industry, he appears out of touch with issues really facing agriculture—exuberant energy prices, water shortages, BSE, foot and mouth disease. Believe me, farmers will see right through it and if he is the nominee, Tommy Irvin will exploit this city-slicker, urban developer persona Kemp is trying to create. This plan only provides fuel to the well-founded rhetoric that Kemp is out of touch (as matter of fact, he has never been in touch) with farmers and rural Georgians.

    A Republican is usually known for advocating for smaller government. This plan is not consistent with those ideals. First, he talks about having an advisory committee. The Governor implemented a similar plan 3 years ago. He created an agricultural liaison—Donnie Smith—and establish a diverse committee to be his eyes and ears in the agricultural community. Rather than creating a new committee, why not use the same one. It would create a relationship between the Governor, the committee, and a Kemp Administration (maybe it would heal the strained relationship between Sonny and Brian that would certainly exist if they were re-elected and elected, respectively). Kemp advocates for technology and adult education as an entity of the department. We already have cooperative extension service and the young farmer program that can help fulfill these roles. Rather than centralize power in the agriculture department, let us look at was to better equip the current infrastructure. Extension was cut mightily by the Miller administration and the Young Farmer Program was on the cutting block as recent as 18 months ago. Let us not create duplicate services; empower (both financially and experientially) what we have already for adult education. It will be certainly ok if the management falls outside the agriculture department.

    I think Brian Kemp has a basic misunderstanding about the role of agriculture commissioner. To think one of his important roles is to advocate for the reauthorization of the federal farm legislation in the area of subsidies is simply naïve. Georgia has the chairman of Senate Agriculture Committee. To think Saxby will listen to anything Brian, the land developer from north Georgia, says about counter-cyclical payments, target prices, or CSP is simply ludicrous. He simply gave it lip service because he thought it was important. Important it is, but really relevant to this race—that’s a stretch! I agree he will have to advocate for funds that are focused on state issues that might come from federal handouts, but he doesn’t even address those—i.e. agriculture security, animal identification system. He quickly dismisses Cuba trade (I agree: the Commissioner is a broken record), and focuses on the mega markets—China and India. Cuba is by far the closest untapped market to Georgia; we cannot ignore Cuba’s market potential and the impact on its people.

    I guess that is enough for now. The fundamental criticism I have for a potential Kemp administration remains the same—he is not qualified to be commissioner of agriculture. Neither his experience, his plan, nor his ambition gives me any reassurance that Brian Kemp would be effective as Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture. Visit http://www.votegaryblack.com to see a real leader with a real plan that is plenty qualified to be Georgia’s next Commissioner of Agriculture.

  8. Groseclose says:

    I read Jack’s post after I posted, so I will comment briefly. I didn’t get this from Kemp’s plan, but Jack made the assertion that the Ag department should help create the curriculum (number 4) for AgEd. I think the curriculum development is doing just fine in the education department. Georgia’s agricultural education curriculum is relied on by teachers around the country (we put out 4 CDs of curriculum each year). AgEd enrollment has grown over 50% in 5 years. Our only problem: securing funds year after year. Let the commissioner advocate for that, but otherwise keep the agriculture departments and AgEd separate. It helps make the administration of AgEd in local school systems so much smoother.

    Second, Jack be careful suggesting the agriculture is “going under.

  9. Jack S says:

    One other point that I failed to make earlier to Andre.

    You make a great point. This race is a key race for Republicans.

    And I waited to respond so I could verify something I thought was correct but wanted to make sure of. Kemp’s consultant, McElhenny, ran Bill Heath’s campaign that defeated Murphy.

    I hate him, but he wins and I look forward to him directing that fire at ol Tommy instead of my friends. Although after all the crap on this blog from Gary’s staffers, I also look forward to seeing him bash on Gary some more before he gets to Tommy.

  10. Jack S says:

    Groseclose, you didn’t get it from Kemp’s plan because either 1. you didn’t want to or 2. you are incapable of understanding English.

    That’s the most pathetic defense of the status quo I’ve read on this blog.

    Wake up, Groseclose, agriculture is in serious trouble both in Georgia and across our country. Your ignorance is a fine example of the problem we face- apologists for Tommy Irvin like you and Gary Black refuse to face reality!

    Your absurd attempts to cover for Gary’s weak campaign surpass Bobby Kahn’s ridiculous defenses of the Dems. Oddly appropriate given the fact that Gary Black is a DEMOCRAT.

    I would spend time refuting every point you make but the problem is that it does no good. I can stand here all day and tell you the sky is blue (ie Kemp’s plan is very clear about promoting all Georgia commodities AND expanding new industries) but you stand there and say no, it’s not blue, it’s green (ie claiming, despite clear the clear English in the plan, that
    Kemp’s push to expand industries means he doesn’t talk about promoting all agricultural products). I would like to believe you are not this stupid but
    you are giving me no evidence to the contrary.

    And keep Ag Ed in the Ed department? Our School Superintendent is a moron who hates ag ed. She’s our moron but that doesn’t change the reality that she’s a moron.

    And for the record, I’m a retired attorney. Spare me your obnoxious comments about maturity. Your ad hominem attacks on Kemp are pathetically juvenile and are what truly degrade the quality of debate on this site.

    I’m a Republican. I support Republican leaders.

    There are two very clear differences in this race. Brian Kemp is a proven Republican leader. Gary Black is a Democrat lobbyist who would sell his
    children to Bobby Kahn if it meant passing a bill. The other difference which is very clear now is that Brian Kemp has a clear plan to save our top industry in Georgia – agriculture – and Gary Black has an employment plan for Democrats in a slightly revised Ag Dept.

  11. Groseclose says:

    Jack, I treat you with respect and even compliment the tone of your previous thread. In response, I get the same old personal attacks hurled at me that you and other Kemp supporters have aimed at Gary and his backers for months now. Sounds like a few feathers got ruffled. And please, Jack, you being a retired attorney certainly does not make your personal attacks mature. In one post (on 11/07/05), you called Gary a “goober,

  12. landman says:

    Grose-This primary will be won by Kemp and it will be by a larger margin than most think.You are seriously underestimating Kemp’s support from farmers but we all have our opinions.As I stated in my last post I am a land Broker and I sell alot of Timber Tracts and Farms and the support is there for him.I also own farms and while I dont farm them myself I lease them and spend time with the farmers that do and get their take on this race and they see Gary as someone who has sucked up to Mr. Tommy for the last 15 years and dont think he can beat him in an an election.

    I dont have anything personal against Gary and have not called him any names other than DEMOCRAT LOBBYIST AND THIS IS JUST STATING FACT.If the Dems were still in control one of two things would be happening a)Gary would not be running or b)he would be running in the DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY.

    My goal and what should be everyones goal within the Republican Party is to put proven qualified REPUBLICAN candidates in these positions and not just someone who agrees out of conveince to put a R by their name.Irvin will beat Gary like a stepchild,but he will not beat Brian Kemp.

  13. Romegaguy says:

    yawn

    I would think that Kemp’s staff would be busy trying to run a campaign instead of spending there time in here posting but oh well… and let us not forget Kemp has voted in several Democratic primaries.

  14. Billings says:

    So, here’s the real deal. All of you take a look at Kemp’s plan and Black’s, and then you come back and tell me which one is better. Tell me which one will change the course of GA Ag. Tell me which one has sunstance, a true plan, a true agenda which points out detailed solutions to problems and then tell me which is the feel good BS which is nothing but generalized talking points and rhetoric.

    I think you will find, like I did, that Kemp has the real plan to take to bring down the 40 year incumbant democrat and Gary has the feel good political talking points.

    Let’s take a poll.

    The Kemp Plan–
    Votebriankemp.com/pdf/farmers.pdf

    The Black Plan– Votegaryblack.com/default.asppt=doc&doc=2010

    (sorry dont know how to put hyperlinks on here).

  15. Silence says:

    Um, now I know why Kemp for Commish was sending out a fundraising letter…recieved a hard copy of The Plan to Save the World today. In magazine format. Full color cover, black and white inside, 15 pages worth. On a borderline illegal mailing envelope. Without proper disclaimers. Mailed from Gainesville. I have to say, with the exception of the questionable stuff, it was a darn good mailer. One problem…for ag types? Do they have time to read that whole thing? Um, nope. What will they do with it? Fall asleep and leave it to be buried on the coffee table. It’ll be out of the house before we’re three months out from the primary. Oops. Good idea, great presentation, terrible timing.

  16. Silence says:

    It’s Friday, LOL, I forgot to even put up the point I was trying to make at the beginning…Kemp was asking for money cause he just spent a buttload on this mailer. Yikes.

  17. landman says:

    Silence,so Ag types dont read ?Im going to tell Joel to hurry up and call you because its obvious you are reaching a breaking point.SO sad…………..

  18. Bill Simon says:

    Silence, nice of you to stereotype the “ag folks.”

    Guess the next thing out of your mouth will be to refer to the migrant workers who work for the “ag folks” as nothing but a “bunch of beaners”…

    Hey, Erick, I sure like the way you seek to protect people like Silence Donothing from their own stupidity.

  19. Cotton Boll says:

    Just read the Kemp plan…not going to print it because it will take all of my ink with all of those pictures. Why do we need the pictures anyway? Sorry to say that he still does not understand the way to build a better agriculture so far as I can tell. Appoint floor leaders for agriculture bills – I have never heard of someone that is not a legislator making legislative appointments. Can the Commissioner actually appoint legislative floor leaders? I don’t think so. Seems like the Agriculture Committee Chairmen would be the ones to carry bills that help agriculture and are already doing so. I saw today on the Gary Black campaign update that the House Ag Chairman Rep. McCall has endorsed Gary – not sure about the Senate Chairman for the Ag Committee.

    Bunch of other fluff that doesn’t happen with the snap of your fingers – like property tax reductions. My County Commissioner will have a field day with that issue and I bet Brian never even discussed the impact with commissioners. Maybe that is why the pictures are in there – so you don’t focus on the stupid stuff. After reading this thing it makes understand why Brian Kemp has not introduced bills on agriculture issues during his past three years in the Senate (which I think I have pointed out on previous posts). He does not understand the issues or how to solve them.

    I have heard Gary Black talk about his plan, but I will go read it again. Yes, farmers can read. Just hate long winded info with no substance – maybe Silence has a point to his comment after all.

  20. ConservativeFire says:

    To Cotton fluff and gooseloose or whatever:

    I love this. All the Gary Black Democrats on this board kept saying their guy was the best because he had a plan and Kemp had no plan. Now Kemp unveils his plan, it clearly blows Gary out of the water. Let’s be honest here folks, Kemp’s plan just plain embarrasses the Black high school essay he calls a plan. It’s just plain silly to try to compare the two.

    And the Black Democrat Campaign response? Oh, uh, gee, uhhh, well, Gary had a plan first. Oh, no, wait, Kemp really doesn’t know anything about agriculture. Oh, wait, no, here’ the ticket, I don’t think Kemp really thought through this proposal.

    The excuses are more embarrassing for Gary than his plan is.

    After meeting Gary Black, I didn’t think the guy was really all that sharp. To be honest, he comes off like he’s kinda dumb. I can see now that Gary’s stupidity is only to be outdone by those who support him.

    Cmon, guys, give it up. Kemp flat out kicked Gary’s butt on this. Just admit you got knocked on your butt, get up and dust yourself off, and get ready for Kemp to do it again. Cuz he surely will again very soon!

    Ha ha ha ha!

  21. Groseclose says:

    Honestly, Fire, the reason I continue to post on this board is not to convince you, Jack, Landman or other Kemp supporters that Black’s plan is better or worse that Kemp’s plan. Like Jack said (paraphrasing) nothing will change the minds of those that are already convinced of who will receive their vote in July. That’s fine; politics should be about strongly held beliefs and positions. Rather, I post in hope that someone that reads these posts is still undecided about the Republican agriculture commissioner’s race and have questions about the qualifications of the men involved and the plans that they have put forward. I have too much to do simply to post for the sake of argument, for the sake of calling each other names, or even for a superficial discussion. Let’s debate the issues, the plans, and the qualifications of the men not who’s got the better looking campaign brochure, who can think of the worse names to call, or who each candidate has employed as a strategist. I am not convinced any of those later elements will have any influence on the election and I am sure they will not help them be a successful agriculture commissioner.

    So let me be more candid: Cotton, Rome and I have asked you to defend elements of the Kemp plan. Specifically, we have asked about the convoluted tax plan, the agricultural floor leaders, the redundancy of state services, and a fundamental failure of the plan to touch on important issues like energy, water management, and communicable animal diseases. You have failed to respond. If you attacked the Black plan, I guarantee we would defend and defend it vigorously. We would not hide behind name-calling, the graphic design of the plan, or hearsay and rumors about statewide farmer support. Such a discussion would allow undecided Republicans on the board to understand the issues, how each plan will address those issues, and why the respective supporters on this board have taken their positions. Otherwise, it will appear as if the failure of Kemp supporter’s to take on such a substantive debate indicates their lack of knowledge about agriculture and quite possibly parallels their candidate’s lack of understanding of the issues and the industry’s people. Speaking of people in agriculture, doesn’t it strike you a little more than simply coincidental that the people that know agriculture and farming on this broad support Gary Back and not Brian Kemp? So my message is to those undecided: please say tuned and hopefully we can have a substantive debate.

  22. Silence says:

    Hey, Fire, Brian needs the keys to his van, and while you’re at it, you might load his suit bag for him, too!

  23. ConservativeFire says:

    aww cute little silence. it looks my continuous calling you out as the failed politico you are has really gotten under your skin. I mean hell I don’t even work for kemp. I support him like you supprt reed black and how u supported mitch skandalakis. your cute little immature, unture attacks on me show your jealousy and show how threatened you are of me.

    or maybe it is just the fact that I called gary out as the democrat lobbyist he is and called his shallow plan of simple high school rhetoric it is.

    oh well…. no one takes you seriously anyway. you better hold on to your false since of usefulness because when I fire the next shot of perpetual dual pearl handled revolvers it is going to blow that confidence away.

  24. Romegaguy says:

    I dont understand the need for Agriculture floor leaders. Does Oxendine have some? What about Kathy (with a K) Cox? Thurbert Baker? Cathy (with a C) Cox? None of these folks have floor leaders. Oxendine and Kathy use the appropriate committee chairs to act on their behalf for legislation.

    Maybe that is the real reason Kemp is looking for support elsewhere… since he doesnt have the endorsement of EITHER of the two Agriculture committee chairs…

  25. Romegaguy says:

    or could it be that the Ag Floor Leaders will help hide the fact that a Gentleman horse fancier that hires someone to look after his horses doesnt understand Agriculture or Ag issues?

  26. landman says:

    Rome-you have to get out of the Black\Irvin Democrat way of thinking and actually look for ways to improve things.Endorsements you say?there will be plenty to go around,I assure you.

    Just remember CONSERVATIVE STATE SENATOR vs DEMOCRATIC LOBBYIST……..In a REPUBLICAN PRIMARY a no brainer!!!!!!!!

  27. Jack S says:

    I listed 15 aggressive goals that Kemp outlines and this is all you came up with? This is it? He’s not a Republican because he wants to create an advisory council, but his tax cuts are too complex? God grant me the patience to deal with these unbelievably stupid Black/Democrat zealots.

    I hadn’t responded to your questions because nothing you Democrats have said
    so far is worth responding to. But since it’s the holidays…

    1. Ag floor leaders – Cotton Boll – The Governor appoints floor leaders because he can’t introduce legislation without having someone in the General Assembly do so. It’s a title and it’s not decided by anyone in leadership. This isn’t hard to figure out. What Brian proposes is for the Ag
    Commissioner to have his own floor leaders to both introduce his legislation and to serve as additional support in the General Assembly to pass pro-ag legislation. The more folks on the task the more likely it is to pass.
    Duh!
    2. Energy, water management, communicable diseases: Energy costs –
    yeah, an ag commissioner can do a lot about that. The President can’t do anything about it, but Gary Black is going to save the day. Kemp will work with federal officials just like anybody else, including Gary, will. Water management – there’s a statewide water plan study commission that’s been working on this and something is likely to be done before the 06 election. Even if it’s not, it’s going to require a Governor who will actually lead on something before something of this magnitude gets passed. And finally, diseases – Kemp clearly talks about the need for more public health vets in the plan to address this issue. You didn’t address that little omission from your ridiculous arguments because you don’t have any serious challenges
    to this entire policy.
    3. Redundancy? What redundancy?! It’s an advisory panel. It doesn’t cost anything! And the reason we have an elected ag commissioner is to guarantee that the already incredibly powerful Governor of Georgia
    (regardless of who it is) doesn’t run roughshod over everything. This attack is ludicrous.
    4. And finally the tax cut plan. Yes, it’s a complex solution to a complex problem. Kemp never said it would be easy. He also says he will work with local governments to find ways to stop people from “gaming the system” and to help counties cope with the cost. The point is that property taxes are a huge problem for farmers, and Kemp is offering a solution. The more important question is where is Gary’s tax plan?! Oh, I forgot, he’s a Democrat. He’s also scared to death right now because he knows that every farmer who reads this plan is going to say “Hell yes I’m voting for that guy
    Kemp!”

    Fire has it right. Kemp whooped up on Gary. And despite all the nitpicking, pathetic attempts to argue otherwise – the sky is still blue, yes, it’s air that we are breathing, and Kemp did whoop Gary on this ag plan. Thankfully, it’s a preview of what’s to come in July.

    Now please, for everybody’s sake, either learn to read English or stop
    posting here.

  28. landman says:

    Grose-your arrogance is starting to sound like Silence babble,there is people on this board supporting Kemp that know a liitle more than you think about Agriculture.Tell me Grose how much acreage do you farm,how about BLACK???
    kEMP’S Plan trumped your boy Black’s and Gary can try from now til 2010 and he will not come up with anything that requires stepping outside the box you Dems have been operating out of the past 40 years.
    And again… CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN SENATOR vs. DEMOCRATIC LOBBYIST…. nuff said!!!!

  29. Cotton Boll says:

    Jack S – Just so you know, the Ag Commissioner CANNOT veto legislation – you must not understand that. The Governor CAN – thus the floor appointments. Sorry I didn’t explain that to you earlier.

    Nobody said brian’s plan was bad. Most issues are good, but the suggested solutions show he doesn’t have experience in ag. Gary Black knows the issues. He has proven it in his ag leadership the past 25 years. Everyone knows it.

    Sorry, but property tax reform hype without details will not win over the farm folks.

  30. Romegaguy says:

    Which brings us back to the reasoning behind the horse fancier’s suggestion he needs help passing legislation, either 1) he doesnt understand agriculture or 2) the committee chairs that one would normally count on to pass ag legislation arent endorsing the horse fancier. Could be both…

  31. Jack S says:

    Cotton boll – what in the world are you taking about? Vetoing legislation has zero to do with floor leaders. The gov has them to introduce his legislation and push for their passage independent of leadership which often has their own agenda. Kemp is simply proposing a bold new idea to help pass pro-ag legislation and you’re trashing it because gary just got blown out of the water with kemps new ideas.

    And speaking of not answering questions – what about gary’s tax cut plan? I think gary’s been to too many democratic conventions to even think tax cuts. He’s over there right now trying to come up with a way to raise taxes. Gary, show me the money!

    This is really a lot of fun watching black’s staff squirming and ducking and lamely trying to make excuses for that Democrat

  32. Groseclose says:

    Landman, My father, brother and I have collectively about 60 head of beef cows, own/manage over 250 acres, and produce hay for ourselves and for sale on about 40-60 acres a year. In my youth, we produced peanuts, cotton, corn, cows, and hogs. Admittedly, we have downsized and we all work off the farm at the present. So we are not the biggest, but believe me, water issues, animal diseases, the department’s online resources (specifically the hay directory), fair trade, property taxes, fuel costs, and agricultural education are all important issues for me and my family. Believe me, I would not claim to know agriculture if I had not sweated in the fields, had cow manure on my boots, and felt the pain or pleasure of the bottom line. So, I do apologize if the last line of my last post sounded arrogant, but it was nothing more than a poignant attempt to demonstrate the great disparity on this board between Kemp supporters that claim agriculture roots/background and those of Gary supporters that have actual knowledge/experience in the industry.

  33. Groseclose says:

    Well that’s weird! Here is the essence of what I have been trying to post:

    1. Floor Leaders—“Trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist:

  34. Cotton Boll says:

    I have stated repeatedly the issues that Gary Black has supoorted for agriculture, including the removal for state sales tax for fuel used for irrigation pumps that passed this year and saved farmers big money on fuel costs.

    What legislation has Brian introduced that helps farmers or cut taxes??? NONE – in three years he has not led a single effort to help farmers.

  35. Bill Simon says:

    And, that was Gary’s job because he was getting PAID as a lobbyist to specifically work on those issues. But, that doesn’t make him qualified to serve in a Constitutional office.

  36. Cotton Boll says:

    Mr. Simon – Gary works for the Georgia Agribusiness Council. They work on many ag issues including legislation, but you surely know that only legislators can introduce legislation. So what bills has Brian introduced? That is the point. If he is supposed to be a leader then where is the leadership? Reminds me of the “Where’s the Beef” commercials for Wendy’s a few years back.

    Good post Groseclose. You summarized the points (and our ag concerns) very well.

  37. Jack S says:

    Groseclose, you say that Kemp doesn’t address a laundry list of issues, but Gary Black doesn’t address in any meaningful way a single issue you bring up. This is ridiculous. You are intentionally misrepresenting what both Brian and Gary have proposed in a pathetic attempt to prop your Democrat lobbyist candidate from the butt whooping he got this past week.

    But to answer your points:

    Legislative floor leaders and relationships with legislators/governor? Groseclose, are you kidding me? According to Kemp’s senate website, he passed more legislation in his first two years than any other Senator. And Gary? Yeah, he has a great relationship with someone’s intern. Wow, I’m impressed. That will get things done. Kemp is one of the most respected members of the Senate Caucus. Those relationships mean something – not the backslapping BS that gary sells as a lobbyist.

    Energy/Bio fuels – it is beyond laughable to think that Gary Black or any Ag Commissioner can single handedly change the US energy policy. I commend him on his PR stunt to use some bio fuel. But honestly, who cares. It won’t gain our farmers a single thing. Saxby and Presidential candidates can do something about it. Gary Black? That would be funny except you’re serious about it. That makes you funny.

    Brian voted for the study commission on water policy. Kemp addressed it by voting for it. And all Gary says is it will be a top priority for him? GC, you make it out like Black actually proposed something – HE DIDN’T! He said he’ll pay attention – gee, thanks, Gary, that’s great.

    Gary doesn’t address a single issue you bring up about diseases and doesn’t address the issue of funding for research at our universities. Brian talks extensively about supporting research for bird flu, etc. You are attacking kemp saying he doesn’t address broader issues when he does and you imply Gary does address issues when he clearly does not. This is beyond defending your candidate, this is an outright misrepresentation of the facts to defend yourself and your candidate when there is no excuse for either of you.

    And Gary never addresses any of the adult education issues you bring up. Yet Kemp proposes new partnership and new training programs specifically for farmers. Gary’s proposal? Nothing!!!

    Kemp does not propose bring adult ed into the Ag Department. He proposes having tailored training classes for farmers to keep them up to date on current trends and working with Tech schools to provide additional training. Again, an intentional misrepresentation. Kemp proposes helping farmers and neither you nor Gary having anything to say but “No!

  38. landman says:

    Grose-I can’t speak for others that post here for Brian but my family has been in farming a long time and I ramain active in the Ag Business.As yourself I raise cattle,(150 head of Angus) but lease out my row crop acreage,and have timberland holdings so some of us know what we are talking about.I suppose unlike yourself that several of Blacks posters here are merely staffers and full of BS.
    The bottom line is that Im a staunch Republican and this is a Republican Primary and we have got to have a candidate that can beat Mr.Tommy.Gary as you guys are well aware of has been sucking up to him for a long time due to what he has been doing for a living.IM not making a judgement call on what he does for a living just stating fact,and the Dems are hoping that Black could somehow pull out a win,so Irvin would have a chance at keeping his position.Kemp can deliver a win in the General and will do a great job as Ag Commish.
    As Ive stated before if you do the political calculas the numbers arent there Black,and Kemp is clearly the choice to win the Republican Primary.The Plan is a solid plan its good for the Ag interest in our state and unlike the Black staffers on here the industry will understand that once they have a chance to read through it.
    And once again because this is a REPUBLICAN PRIMARY…the choice is simple CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN SENATOR vs.DEMOCRATIC LOBBYIST.

  39. Michael says:

    For the past few days I have sat back and just watched the discussion and arguments back and forth from solid Black supporters and Kemp supporters. Over the last few days, I have also researched each of these candidates because I see that this is going to be a big race, and I and others need to make a informed decision.

    I have made one. Let me, however, break down how I feel about this race.

    For weeks on this site, Black supporters have criticized and hit Brian Kemp for not having a plan. All I have heard is that, Black has a plan and Kemp doesn’t. It has been like the bantor of a high school cheerleading squad. That is fine, I understood the argument. Here is the deal though, Kemp, as of last week, has a plan, a very detailed plan with problems and solutions to age old problems in agriculture.

    Now that he has this plan the Black supporters are saying he doesn’t understand “agriculture.” Well, judging from his plan, I would say he does. I have compared the plans of Black and Kemp. Black’s does cover some problems we have, but offers no substantive solutions, just the problems and the fact we need to fix them. THis fact is obvious. Kemp’s have the problem and a detailed solution.

    Kemp has been called a “horse fancier” by his opponents. This comment shows Gary Black’s campaign team’s lack of understanding of Georgia’s modern agriculture industry. The horse industry according to Kemp’s plan and many other sources, the horse industry is contributing 750 MILLION dollars a year to our economy and it is continuing to grow. The comments from the Black campaign show their complete disregard and misunderstanding of modern agriculture and an industry that is growing faster than any other.

    This shows one of Gary Black’s similarities to Tommy Irvin. Irvin also believes that current agriculture is the same as it was during the Civil War when he was serving. They believe it is only cotton and peanuts. Both are very important, but they have a complete misunderstanding of the modern Ag industry which is made up by new forms of Ag like Horses.

    Not only does this show a similarity between Black and Irvin. There lobbying for select sectors and businesses in Ag are another. Irvin, for years, has picked and choosed his favorites in Ag (those who contribute to his campaigns). He has promoted those companies and farmers and ran the others out of business. Black also has promoted only certain forms and companies in the Ag Indutry.

    Eventhough, Black’s supporters are making him out to be some kind of savior and martyr for farmers, he is not. Black, for the last 15 years, has been a registered lobbyist. He has kissed and sucked up to politicians and their aides for 15 years, fighting for not every farmer, but the select few that paid him to looby for them. Did he do this out of the good of his heart, no. He was getting paid for his time. For at least 10 of those years, he was having to deal with a Democrat controled government. In order to get legislation passed, you had to donate to and support the democrats. I can bet that he did this. Who knows how much money he may of had to slip under the table to Tom Murphy and Charles Walker and others.

    Kemp, however, is different. He, for the last 2 terms, as a GA State Senator has proven to all of GA that he is there out of the good of his heart–not for a select few, not for a pay check, but for all of Georgians. He did not have to run for the Senate but did because the job wasn’t getting done, and just as he didn’t have to run for the Senate, he doesn;t have to run for AG Commissioner. He is doing so because the job hasn’t been getting done for the last 10 years. And if Gary Black was allowed to serve AG Comm with his disregard and misunderstanding of modern Agriculture, the job wouldn’t get done.

    Kemp has proiven through the Senate that he is the only manin this race that can get the job done. His collegues will tell you that he is the hardest working, strongest leader, most level headed, honest, and capable leader in the GA Senate. This is why he has the strong public support of 27 of his Senate collegues. And the support of several others.

    Kemp has proposed Conservaitve Common Sense Legislation over his tenure in the Senate. What legislation has Gary passed? I am not talking about what legislation he talked other politicians into voting for, I am talking about what legislation has he VOTED for? None is the answer. He does not know a thing about being elected and having to make tough decisions.

    Last but not least, how can we trust a manlike Gary Black when he like Jack Abramnoff(Sp?) is a registered special interest lobbyist? How can we trust a man who is claiming to be a Republican when he voted for John Kerry in the 2004 Democrat Presidential preference Primary? How can we trust a man that claims to have made his living a farmer, when he has in fact made his living as a registered lobbyist? How can we trust a lobbyist (who generally tak out of each side of their mouths and play both political fields) to run one of the most important offices in the State of Georgia?? I do not believe we can. How can we trust Gary to make tough choices when he can;t even admit the fact that he voted for a democrat and is a democrat? Or how can we trust him to make tough decisions when he has never had to make tough political decisions before due to have never being elected to anything.

    Sorry this is so long. I just couldn’t hold back. I had to be honest. I am sure all I will get from this is blantant attacks and I will not respond to those.

  40. Cotton Boll says:

    WOW! Just checked the site while grabbing a sandwich and see that the long-winded Kemp supporters must not have jobs. Michael, you are long in verbage, but with no content to back it up. If boring us with your tantrum was supposed to impress us – it failed.

    Still waiting for that list of bills that support agriculture from the Brian fans on here. I keep up with legislation impacting my industry – Gary has helped gain support for many issues over the years, but Brian has never put in a bill that helps agriculture. That is a real fact boys. Walk the walk as we say down here. Empty promises on issues Brian does not fully understand is not a Plan – it is Marketing. Where’s the beef?

  41. Romegaguy says:

    Nice post Grose..

    As the only person that has referred to Kemp as a horse fancier, I was unaware I was running for office or working for Gary’s campaign.

    It seems the only people that refer to Kemp as one of the most respected members of the state Senate are his supporters. If this was true then Kemp would have the majority of the state legislature as his supporters, as well as most of the Congressional delegation, wouldnt he? But as we all know, this is not the case. And who was it that asked Gary to get in this race? Sonny something or other…

    The same people that attack Gary for voting ONCE in a Democratic Primary are also the ones that forget that their “conservative darling” has voted in SEVERAL Dem Primaries.

    I saw a reference to a water planning bill that Kemp voted for… isnt that the same bill that Gary helped write?

  42. Groseclose says:

    Jack, I am glad we are actually having a substantive debate for the most part: Here are the counterpoints:
    Legislative floor leaders: There is no doubt that Brian Kemp has relationships in Senate—he should have, he has served there three years. In contrast, there is no evidence that he has any kind of support in the House Agricultural Leadership, with the Governor’s office, or with the leaders of farm groups. Jack sidestepped the real issue: Brian would have a practical problem passing and enacting legislation because of his “outsider

  43. Bill Simon says:

    Hey, Cotton Boll! Why don’t you assail Groseclose with the same manure you slammed Michael on for having his one lengthy response? That is, he must not have a real job because he has so much time to post a lengthy response?

    MAYBE people like Michael are smart and can type faster than folks like you who just last year got themselves their first Pentium and are still trying to figure out how to program it so the cows get milked on time, and the hogs get slopped. 🙂

  44. Groseclose says:

    Landman: Accept my apologies: I underestimated your involvement in agriculture. This incorrect perception was based on your comments about being a land broker, but none about owning cattle. With all sincerity, I respect anyone who makes part of their living from agricultural pursuits.

    In your effort to frame the debate, you have taken a play from the Bush School of Staying on Message. Unfortunately, many of your counterparts have taken a lesson from the Hillary Institute for Reshaping My Image—I am running for higher office. That is exactly what Brian Kemp is trying to do. He has never taken on agriculture issues prior to his campaign (Cotton continues to point out his failure to introduce agriculture legislation) and has made his fortune by developing land that once was used for agricultural pursuits. So let me frame debate the more appropriate way (this might become my tag line, Landman, like you have yours): UNDERQUALIFIED URBAN DEVELOPER v. EXPERIENCED AGRICULTURAL POLICYMAKER. That choice is easy enough for most in our industry.

  45. landman says:

    Grose-no apology needed,but accepted nonetheless.I spoke to several farmers yesterday in South West Ga. and got there take on the Ag race and it was a very interesting conversation considering I have known them all my life and know that only one has been active in the political game on a statewide level.It confirmed some thoughts that I had regarding the Governor’s race effect on this race,which I have stated on here before.
    If you would,Ive done some political calculas on this subject before but would like to plug your numbers into the formula,so
    could you give me some numbers on how many votes you think there is in the entire Ag Industry that you think will vote in the Republican Primary.
    And of course I must leave you with the thought of the day….PROVEN CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN SENATOR vs.DEMOCRATIC LOBBYIST…….Despite the strong rhetoric expressed here at PP at times the KEMP TEAM will gladly welcome yourself,Gary,Rome,and Cotton Boll on board after July!!!!

  46. Jack S says:

    GC – I’m not going to allow you to keep intentionally misrepresenting the
    clear facts.

    You obviously know a good bit about agriculture. You obviously know more
    than Gary or his staff, because all the arguments you make and all the
    points you make are not points Gary makes. You keep implying or stating
    that Gary has offered all these great plans and details and he simply has
    not.

    Gary offered nothing but a bunch of – oh gee, this is an issue and I promise
    I’ll work real hard to do something very generic to fix it.

    Your claims that a sitting Senate Committee Chair with a long list of
    legislative accomplishments will not be able to effectively pass legislation
    in the legislature is just plain silly. The other responses you post are
    semantic and ridiculous. All except the tax plan. Fuel costs fluctuate.
    Yes, they are a major issue now but they will likely drop even further as
    Iraq stabilizes. Property taxes are consistently increasing and
    dramatically in some places. Kemp is right on the facts about timber. All
    these major timber companies didn’t sell all their property because they
    don’t like Georgia bbq. They sold because property taxes are simply too
    high. Your arguments against the Kemp tax cut plan are the same old
    Democrat crap about why we can’t cut taxes. Spare me the liberal crap. We
    need property tax relief if farming is to survive in Georgia. Gary has no
    plan because he’s a DEMOCRAT! Kemp offers a realistic and workable plan
    because he’s a REPUBLICAN and he’s a leader with a real vision.

    Again, Kemp offers a vision to save Georgia agriculture. Gary offers some
    ideas to make a bureaucracy easier to access. Huge difference because
    Kemp’s a leader and Gary’s a lobbyist.

  47. waterboy says:

    I’m impressed to see that there is some attempt at substantive comments on this thread for a change….but not all. Groseclose and landman seem to be on target for debating issues – Cotton Boll’s “Where’s the beef?

  48. Romegaguy says:

    Half a precinct Bill? Then I guess the Kemp supporters, judging by the Kemp list of supporters on his website, would be the unregistered voters of this state.

    UNDERQUALIFIED URBAN DEVELOPER v. EXPERIENCED AGRICULTURAL POLICYMAKER…. I like that Grose. Of course I still like UNDERQUALIFIED HORSE FANCIER v. EXPERIENCED AGRICULTURAL POLICYMAKER.

  49. Bill Simon says:

    A precinct is about 2200 votes, Rome…so, I suspect Gary Black will get a total of 1100 votes. Kemp will get the rest of the 500,000 GOP primary votes.

  50. waterboy says:

    Bill is utilizing landman’s “calculus” for his wishful thinking. This works out great though, because it will make the Gary Black victory that much sweeter knowing Bill has to eat his words.

    The Kemp fans refuse to respond to Cotton Boll’s question about Kemp legislation (Where’s the beef?) and the Romegaguy request for a list of Kemp supporters. So far all they have is bad math and a brochure full of pretty pictures. Nice job!

  51. Romegaguy says:

    Bill, can we get Ralph Reed to help us legalize some wagering? And if so, how much would you like to lose on your belief of 1100 votes?

  52. Groseclose says:

    Bill, you might want to refer back to your earlier post on 12/08/05: ” . . . on the Ag stuff, I see that I’m out of my league. “

  53. Jack S says:

    A prediction.

    I don’t know about Kemp’s legislative record specifically on agricultural issues. And I don’t know about who has endorsed his campaign other than his fellow Senators.

    I have emailed his campaign staff and they have stated that they could care less what Gary is doing.

    What I do know is this. For the last couple of months all the Black Democrats/staffers on this site have been attacking Kemp because Gary rolled out a “plan

  54. Bill Simon says:

    Rome and Water:

    Look-up the word “facetious” in your dictionaries. I predict a minimum of 60%-40% win for Kemp.

    I won’t get into exact numbers, but yes, I will eat my words if Black wins. But, if he wins, then Irvin stays as Ag Commish because no one will take Black seriously in the general.

  55. Romegaguy says:

    Bill I will be glad to serve you some crowe. Of course I disagree with your assesment of the general election. I can tell you that people that have supported Irving in the past are more likely to go with Gary because of his PROVEN record on Ag issues rather than the horse fancier/developer.

    Jack, since you asked for a list of Kemp’s agricultural legislative accomplishments, I will list them for you below. Here you go.

  56. Groseclose says:

    Someone on this board recently said that it is if people think when they type something and earnestly believe it that alone makes it true. Similarly, people have responded to my substantive attack on the Kemp record and plan by calling my assault “ridiculous

  57. waterboy says:

    Summary of Groseclose posting:

    Gary Black will be your next Commissioner of Agriculture. Thanks for playing.

  58. Groseclose says:

    And another point on this political calculus. Several have suggested that Brian can beat Irvin, but Gary can’t. What block of voters would Kemp get in the general that Gary wouldn’t? Rather, I think Gary would pick up the undecided farmer much more quickly than Kemp (if for no other reason than Kemp is a land developer). Please explain your logic?

  59. GANATIVE says:

    Initially I felt that Kemp was a clear favorite and would say that, as someone in the Ag business, would much rather see him in office than Black. That is until the Farmer’s Bureau a couple of weeks back in Jekyll Island. I spoke with Bob Greer, another candidate for the position and was pretty impressed. He’s a strong conservative with with some pretty progressive plans for the office. I checked back up on this guy a week ago and he just got the endorsement of the GA Black Farmer’s Association. From what it seems to me, he has been running a grass roots campaign that has stayed just under the radar, but some friends of mine in the state house have taken notice of this guy. Just another name to be thinking about and one that could be added to the debate.

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