Farm Subsidies

On the front page of the Wall Street Journal, there is an interesting article about farm subsidies, including the current debates over the right and wrong of this issue, and the parties involved with supporting or opposing further subsidy increases from the government.

While the article discusses this as a key political issue in Iowa, and is not directly related to anything in Georgia politics right now; I would like to know how this issue plays in our current Ag Commissioner race, and where Georgia farmers stand on this issue. 

We currently have a very actice race for Ag Commissioner in Georgia, at a level that I have never seen, and although I am not an expert on farming and ag issues, I think this is a key issue in this race.

It would be nice to hear from the candidates or campaigns on this issue.  Anyone from the Black or Kemp campaigns want to sound off on this issue? 


  1. Jack S says:

    So you’re not “from” any camp, Grose, but you finish up your incoherent ramblings with and endorsement of Black.

    Every farmer wants subsidies and the Farm bill in 2007 will be critical so all candidates in the Ag race will back subsidies in theory.

    Yet another completely asinine argument from a Black supporter who, after smoking a lot of illegal drugs, thinks that somehow you can beat a 36 year Democrat incumbent by arguing that your candidate is more experienced and qualified.

    When are you people going to get that it simply won’t fly. It’s unbelievably stupid on its face to claim that any candidate can out – experience Tommy Irvin.

    Republican – not a democrat lobbyist in 06. Vote Kemp.

  2. landman says:

    Folks it is real simple if your desire is to put a REPUBLICAN in the Ag Commissioners seat,because there is only one running!!!!!


  3. Capt. says:

    “They will take great solace in the fact that someone with tremendous understanding of and experience with federal agricultural program like Gary Black is the Commissioner of Agriculture. No one, in this race, including Tommy Irvin, has the farm friends in Washington that Gary Black does.”

    This, simply put, means that Gary is a lobbyist who has been sucking up to politicians (mainly Dems) in Washington for special interests which are sometimes not what the “farmers” have wanted.

    Gary Black=Democrat, SPECIAL INTEREST Lobbyist

    For some reason, Gary Black reminds me of someone who makes gift baskets.

  4. GAWire says:

    Ok, we get it – you guys don’t like the fact that Gary Black is a lobbyist.

    But, I still haven’t heard anything about Kemp on this subject. Instead of you guys giving Kemp campaign taglines, perhaps you can enlighten us on where Kemp stands on subsidies, and what he would do if this issue comes up for GA farmers, which it no doubt will.

  5. Lets talk about Brian Kemp and Lobbyist’s, Senator Kemp has consistantly received gifts and money from Lobbyist while he has been a Senator.

    Brian Kemp’s Record:

    – As a Freshman Senator, Brian Kemp accepted two tickets to a Tim McGraw Concert from a LOBBYIST. Senator Kemp told the Georgia Times Union “I dont see that as much different from going out to eat”

    – The same year, Senator Kemp also accepted Atlanta Thrasher tickets from a LOBBYIST

    – This year, Senator Kemp also accepted tickets to the Sugar Bowl from a LOBBYIST

    – During te 2004 and 2005 Legislative Sessions, Senator Kemp accepted over $2,600 in dinners and gifts from LOBBYIST

    Senator Kemp also told the Times Union when questioned about the gifts he received from the LOBBYIST “I think it is good to meet these people and sell them on doing business in Georgia”

    On the whole Democrat thing, please correct me if I am wrong but Senator Kemp did vote in the 1998 and 2000 Democratic Primaires. I know that the Kemp campaign claims they were supporting local conservative democrats, but last time I checked Local Clarke County Democrats are the most liberal people in the state. I am curious as to which Local Democrats Kemp was supporting. Also, I want to know if Senator Kemp voted for Roy Barnes in the 1998 Democratic Primary sense he was on the ballot.

    On that same note, I looked up the numbers and Gary Black Contributors gave $182,000 to Democrats, most of those were republicans and the money went to Tommy Irvin. Brian Kemp contributors gave $408,000 to Democrats and most of that money went to the Georgia Democratic Party, Mark Taylor, and Cathy Cox.

    Everyone always wants Gary Black to explain, I just would like for Senator Kemp to explain………

  6. Capt. says:

    So, if Dennis Kusinich (Sp??) runs for President in 2008, will Gary support him then as he did in 2004?

  7. Statesman says:

    GwinnettFarmer, AKA Black Staffer???? More than likely.

    And what is this thing with Gift Baskets, did Gary sell gift baskets or something??? Just wondering, I am not following.

  8. Jack S says:

    Gwinnett Farmer is clearly Black staff.

    To answer your question, GA Wire, at the forum I attended with all four candidates they said they all supported continued subsidies in some form and a strong farm bill in 2007. I believe Kemp addresses subsidies in his Farmer plan (I’m going off memory here, I didn’t check, but I”m pretty sure he does in his Plan).

    guess what folks, legislators take football tickets and meals from lobbyists (like Gary Black) at the Capitol. The Gov has done it, the Dems do it, the Repubs do it. It’s not a golf trip to Scotland, it’s just a dinner and some football tickets, which is hte same as any other business. Sales people take folks to dinner all the time. Big deal.

    This weird connection about which donors gave what to whom is just silly. Is this what the Black campaign does all day?

    And on the voting record thing, I will say it again. Everywhere in Georgia except GOP bastions like Gwinnett, often the only choices for local races are in the Dem primary. That’s very true in Athens. So kemp wants to vote for Mayor or Sheriff and votes in a Dem primary, so what? That does not compare to a lobbyist who goes out of his way to go vote for John Kerry or Edwards or some other loser in a Dem PRESIDENTIAL Preference primary. It’s the equivalent of treason in my mind.

    Gary Black is a Democrat and a Lobbyist who hasn’t done a damn thing for the Republican Party except kiss up to elected officials who were already elected. He was Irvin’s heir apparent and then sold old Tommy out, just like he’ll sell out Republicans or anybody else who gets in his way. He’s a lobbyist, which in Latin mean whore.

  9. I love how everytime someone questions Brian Kemp they must be a Campaign Staffer for the other side. So for the record, I am one of the last cattlemen in North Gwinnett and West Barrow Counties and I apologize that I have an interest in a race that affects the way I make my living. I am SUPORTTING GARY BLACK, there is no doubt about it. I am just sick and tired of people on here beating up Gary Black without putting all the facts on the table about the other candidate, I also apologize if I do my homework before I open my mouth.

    Furthermore, Developers like Brian Kemp have runied Agriculture, so you are damn right I am doing my research and I will work everyday to see that a developer is not Commissioner of Agriculture.

  10. Jack S says:

    A farmer and a communist, GF?

    In case you missed the fundamentals of a market economy in whatever worthless school you attended, pay attention. Land prices are driven by market forces that can’t be stopped by your pie in the sky, gee I like a pasture next door, communist delusions. Developers aren’t hurting farming – the overall growth of the state’s economy over the last 30 years have driven up land prices across the board and developers simply respond to that market. In case you missed it, there’s not a big subdivision development rush in south Alabama.

    And for the record, Kemp offers a clear and aggressive proposal to address the challenges facing farming becuase of rising property values and taxes in his farming plan unlike you and Gary who blabber on with some rhetoric about how nice it woudl be to still farm in Georgia.

    You and your fellow communists would sink our whole state’s economy so you can continue to breed some cattle on grandaddy’s property. Well, the rest of here in Georgia would like a job and the ability to raise our families so excuse us if we don’t fall on our sword for your Mayberry.

  11. Billings says:

    Well said Jack S. I think Gwinnett Farmer has been reading too much from Karl Marx.

    Gwinnett Farmer, if you would take your nose out of the communist manifesto, you would understand that it is a farmer’s choice to sell their land. Usually due to not being able to afford to stay on the farm because of property taxes. If you read Kemp’s plan he addresses the property tax issue and how to keep farmers on their land.

    I guess you voted for Dennis Kusinich like Gary did. I mean, you Black staffers always mention that we need to discuss the FACTS. Why dont you do some research and read Kemp’s plan?

    What a joke. The choice is simple…..

    Liberal Democrat Special Interest Lobbyist who supposidly makes gift baskets OR Conservetive State Senator and Leader.

  12. Statesman says:

    Are you serious? Gary makes or made gift baskets for a living? And he wants to be Ag. Commissioner, I don’t know much about this race or either candidate, but that is kind of odd.

    I guess this could be an easy choice- florists or Senator!

  13. Groseclose says:

    Maybe, the most intellectually shallow, least contemplated argument that has been made on this thread (at least before the communist assertions) is Kemp supporters’ rebuttal to my acclamation of Black’s qualifications. Kemp backers seem to suggest that experience, knowledge, and relationships are not important criteria for consideration when determining who we should elect to public office. By following their logic, one reaches several conclusion (1) no incumbent should ever be beat because of their superior experience and (2) Brian Kemp’s candidacy is futile as well because he lacks the experience in both politics and especially agriculture that Tommy Irvin possesses. Kemp, however, consistently extols his “experience

  14. Capt. says:

    Cute response Grose or Gary or whoever you are. I suppose you are trying to use long winded responses to shield the fact that you in are playing the same game when it comes to insults.

    I have a request for you and all of the others Black staffers. Go to Kemp’s website and look at the Kemp Plans. If you have the intelligence to read, then do it. Afterwards, go to Gary’s site and read his plan.

    Then you come back here and give us an answer as to which candidate has a plan of vision, a plan that will help Georgia, a plan to move Georgia and Agriculture forward and to protect our families.

    The answer will be clear and that is Brian Kemp. He brings the visionary leadership that is needed to defeat Irvin, and he does not bring the same useless talking points that Gary and Irvin both use.

    I know Gary pretends to be this long-time farmer, but he is not. This is a fallacious lie that continues to be hurled around by the likes of the great unwashed and informed like yourself. He is a lobbyist, plain and simple.

    Gary offers no alternative to Tommy Irvin. He will continue the same stagnant policies as Irvin has now and will continue to steer the Department and Georgia’s families into an iceberg.

    Who has the experince necessary? The State Senator or the lobbyist?

    The choice is clear: The State Senator

    (It is not too late for Gary to run for something like dog catcher to learn something about elected office.)

  15. landman says:

    Unlike you Black supporters I will be short and to the point:





  16. Capt. says:

    FACT #4- Gary voted in the 2004 Democrat Presidential Preference Primary Al Sharpton or Dennis Kusinich

    Conservative Leader not Liberal Lobbyist

    Kemp ’06

  17. Cadillac says:

    This is amazing. When it comes to experience in this race nobody is going to defeat Irvin, just can’t do it. So nobody is going to be able to run against Tommy Irvin with this experience crap. It is going to take a candidate who can mount a naggresive grassroots campaign against Irvin.

    Right now Kemp is winning on that front, and it could change over the next few months.

    One thing I find very intersting is that Gary Black talks about his many years of farming experience. Well I talked the other day with a long time friend who has been involved in the Farm Bureau Leadership for years (and actually worked with Gary there) and he said Gary has never farmed a day in his life. In fact their were many people who did not want Gary to get his position with Agribusiness Council, because of his lack of ability to lead, and those people still do not think that Gary will be able to lead this state agency.

    I don’t know, I want to do some more research on both candidates, not that I think a farmer has to be Ag Commish, but we need sombody who can be a leader in this important office.

  18. GAWire says:

    I do admit, there are some double standards, and mostly coming from Kemp defenders.

    I’m not trying to defend Black’s past, b/c quite frankly, I don’t know enough about him – that is why I am trying to decide this race based on the candidates’ plans and stances – but, the only thing I hear from Kemp folks is that Gary Black was a lobbyist. However, above Jack is defending the fact that Members accept football tickets, etc and it is apart of business. Trust me, I totally agree, but Members are accepting those things from lobbyists, so on one hand you are criticising Black for being a lobbyist, and then defending Kemp for making decisions to accept gifts from lobbyists, b/c it’s just business. Well, if it’s just business for Kemp, then it is just business for Black, too. Don’t shoot the lobbyists! Didn’t you read that post? 🙂

    The point is, I just don’t think the fact that Black being a lobbyist is going to win it for you, and sure isn’t going to win me. Just the same as the fact that Ralph Reed is a consultant isn’t going to win me over for him. If you told me Black was connected to questionable relations with Jack Abramoff and received millions of dollars from those questionable projects, then I might be convinced he isn’t right to hold office.

    I am admittedly naive and clueless on this race – I am basing my vote solely on candidate info, their plan, and their experience. Kemp has it on the background/experience, b/c I am more likely to vote for a sitting Senator, rather than someone that hasn’t held office. And, the fact that Black used to be a Dem and has some questionable voting moves in the past; however, Sonny was also a Dem, and I easily accept his leadership as a Republican. I have heard, though, some questionable votes by Kemp, so I am not sold on that factor yet. Black being a lobbyist is not going to do it for me, b/c there is nothing wrong with that.

    As for the candidates’ plans – they both have great plans. Kemp’s plan was steller, and Black’s plan is also really good too. The points above about tax credits are very valid, and that is the stuff I really want to take into consideration.

    Finally, candidate info and campaigns, I like Gary Black a little more. From what I have seen, it seems like Black is making more of an effort to be a friend of the farmers, while, it sometimes seems like Ag Comm is just a stepping stone for Sen Kemp. That probably isn’t the truth, but I am just telling you what I see.

    It’s actually kind of nice to make a decision on a race based on these things that normal voters consider, rather than basing it on firsthand knowledge or experience with candidates or campaigns in the past. And, since I don’t know anything about Ag Comm or have any real stake in that position, that is also nice.

    Bottom line: Kemp people need to get better arguments. Jack S had a good point about Kemp’s plan and how the market plays a role in that plan; however, contradicted when defending members for accepting gifts, while criticising those from whom the gifts came.

    Also, Kemp folks are really quick to criticize someone who was making a point based on their current situation or feelings. That, my friends, is called a voter. If you guys are from the Kemp campaign, I suggest you do some focus groups, and better evaluate your defenses. GwinnettFarmer, in my opinion, sounds more like a farmer that cares about keeping farmland and Ag issues in general, and is taking part in this race, which has affects on him. Calling him a communist – regardless of whether or not the argument is totally fiscally conservative – isn’t going to make him support your guy. I agree with the overall argument defending the position, but I hardly think he is a Karl Marx guy – Irvin and the Dems have a monopoly on those voters anyways.

    Those are just some of my observations – not as a political/policy analyst, but as a voter and observer of the arguments b/t the two camps.

  19. Mike says:

    Nice summary GAWire. I really don’t give a flip who wins the primary. They will have my vote against Tommy regardless. However, it would be nice to picture some of these arrogant Kemp staffers eating crow after a Kemp loss.

  20. landman says:

    GaWire-somethings to remember:

    1.This is a Republican Primary and thus your Political Pedigree is a valid issue.

    2.The point about the fact that Gary is a LOBBYIST,is that he is going to have to try and beat the Dem opponnent in the General that he has been sucking up to for upteen years.Irvin will take Black to the woodshed,whereas Kemp can draw a sharp contrast between the differing points of veiw and give us a better chance in the General.
    3.We are not electing the Farmer of the Year here,but rather the person that has the knoiwledge and skill set to run a Multi-billion dollar enterprise,and legislative experience to move initiatives through the process in a timely fashion.

    4. Mike-Im not a staffer for Kemp,but rather a solid supporter of someone who has carried the Republican banner for years not just a Johnny come lately Republican Candidate out of convience.

  21. GAWire says:

    One other issue I am going to throw into this discussion for supporters/staff of the different camps …

    I was listening to C-Span Washington Journal on XM radio this a.m. (ok, no nerd comments – I’m just really tied to my job!), and they were talking about the affects immigration has on the ag industry.

    My question to the candidates in this race is, what affects will/does immigration (and potential reform) have on the ag industry in Georgia, and where do the candidates stand on immigration?

    I imagine that both GOP candidates in the Primary would probably be in somewhat aggreement on this issue, but who knows. And, I wonder if they support the President’s guest worker initiatives.

    Bottom line: Do Kemp and Black support immigrants coming in (regardless of legal status) to further the state’s ag industry? What is the solution here?

  22. Bill Simon says:

    Some days I wonder if it just wouldn’t be better for me if I went back to the time when I didn’t know what a primary was and just turned-out in the General to vote the Republican nominee, but, here goes my input: You guys who are deeply embedded in the Kemp v. Black race are entrenched as deep in your positions as myself and others are in the Cagle/Reed race.

    But, with all due respect to both sides, the “crimes” of Gary Black being a lobbyist is nowhere near the level of Ralph Reed being a lobbyist who earned his living by duping gullible people into following him for a certain cause, all the while stuffing money into his pocket paid to him by the purveyors of the same cause he was supposedly fighting against.

    Now, for the record, I am for Brian Kemp. I think his research into what the Ag Commish does has been phenomenal and is reflected in his well-developed plan.

    But, unless someone can draw a line that connects Gary Black to Jack Abramoff, I think the rancor against Gary Black being a lobbyist isn’t going to fly as that huge of a negative in the actual race for votes. Just my opinion.

  23. Beth says:

    I’ve met them both, still haven’t made up my mind. Kemp has the whole I a Senator thing going on, while Black is very down to earth. I hear Black is working the state a lot harder than Kemp.

  24. Pinetop says:

    As I have stated before, I am in the Forestry Business and I have great interest in BioFuels and how wood chips are being discussed as by products of BioFuels. As I have stated before, I Support Gary Black and his plan for BioFuels. However, a friend sent me an email from the Sierra Club and how they are supporting Brian Kemps BioFuels Bill which MANDATES 2% use of BioFuels in Government vehicles. I appreciate the fact that Sen. Kemp is trying, but MANDATING use is not what I call “republican” or good for the BioFuels Industry. The fact that the Sierra Club supports the bill also makes me nervous. The reason I mention this, is because the point of this thread was to discuss Farm Subsidies and the Farm Bill and I think BioFuels are going to be a hot topic in the 2007 Farm Bill Discussions, and in discussions about corn subsidies. If Congress moves on this, I would like to see if the republicans in Congress move toward a mandated approach or one that is market based and market driven.

  25. ConservativeFire says:

    Gary Black=Liberal Special Interest Lobbyist and goober

    Brian Kemp=Conservative State Senator and Experienced Leader

    Deanna Strickland and Bob Greer= haha what is there to say

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