No matter how hard Georgia Republicans try to make us forget the 2005-2006 General Assembly sessions, everyone recalls the push by Gov. Perdue and Republican legislative leaders to undercut the rights of property owners and to allow back room, secret deals with developers to seize private property for commercial uses. Gov. Perdue’s signing of eminent domain legislation today cannot change history, and cannot change the fact that it was Georgia Republicans who tried to ambush private property rights and open government.
Gov. Perdue and Republican Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson led the charge to undermine private property rights and to hide the workings of government from the people. Public outcry and editorial outrage from around the state prevented – at least for now – some of the worst abuses (SB 5 and HB 218), although Republican leaders have said they are not giving up on their plan to allow these secret, back room deals between government and developers.
And now, the Republican leadership is trying to say they are for individual property rights. The Republican hypocrisy on this won’t wash. Sen. Johnson is a developer who is looking for new ways in which to grow his business. Gov. Perdue’s own Commission for a New Georgia meets in secret and his Department of Economic Development was the big advocate for HB 218 – the developers’ secrecy bill.
Gov. Perdue and the Republicans cannot hide from their record of supporting bills that would allow private developers to cut secret deals with government to seize your property. The fact is in 2005 and 2006 they were trying to pass bills that would have allowed secret back room deals to seize Georgians’ property against their will. Feigning outrage now, while still pushing secrecy bills, won’t fool the public.