Lt. Governor race: A policy difference emerges.

From Jim Galloway’s story on last night’s Cagle-Reed combat in Cherokee:

In a Cherokee County debate before nearly 100 spectators, the pair agreed broadly on taxation issues, with Reed emphasizing his support for a 20 percent, across-the-board decrease in the state income tax by 2011.

“Is it possible to totally eliminate it? I don’t know, but I’ll favor it,” Reed said.

Cagle touted his support for excusing senior citizens from paying state income tax, arguing that they — and their pensions — were fleeing the state. “Retirees are not a drain on society. They are a true asset,” Cagle said.

Now I understand what Cagle’s trying to do, Seniors are an important voting bloc and it’s true we don’t want them fleeing our State. However, shouldn’t Republicans support lowering everyone’s taxes, not just various groups’ taxes and various times? This isn’t meant as an attack on Cagle, because plenty of Georgia Republicans propose targeted tax cuts, including our Governor, but I’d sure like to see Republicans do more of what Reed’s proposing.


  1. larry smith says:

    Cagle has always said he supports across the board tax relief.

    What’s the matter, Buzz, those poll numbers got you worried and you feel like you need to blow some sunshine at your boy Ralph?

    You’re on a tear today.

  2. buzzbrockway says:


    Look, we finally have some policy we can talk about in this race so why not avail ourselves of this opportunity?

    I’m glad to hear Cagle supports tax cuts for slightly balding middle-class white guys like me. πŸ™‚

  3. jacewalden says:


    Other than the policy difference, can anyone tell me who won the debate? Who presented themself better? Do you think the debate actually changed anyone’s minds on who they had planned to vote for?

  4. larry smith says:

    I agree, Buzz, but here’s the thing …

    If you eliminated the income tax, you’d have to make up the difference somewhere. There’s waste in the budget, but there’s not that much waste. I mean, I don’t think shutting down UGA or firing half the Georgia State Patrol is advisable, for example.

    Ralph suggested raising the gas tax to make up the difference. Do you think that’s better than an income tax?

  5. larry smith says:

    I heard Cagle was dominant. It was ugly. Ralph left in tears and promised to just turn over his lunch money without a fight in the future.

    I’d say it was a draw from what I’ve been told … Cagle came across as more sincere but less technically skilled, while Ralph was as slick as always. The problem is that slick and polished doesn’t tend to outshine honest and sincere in most parts of GA.

  6. buzzbrockway says:

    No, I don’t like the idea or raising the gas tax – especially with gas where it is now. The ultimate solution is to reduce government spending. Perdue has done a good thing with his New Georgia Commission. They’re selling surplus property and equipment, using more efficient purchasing practices etc… but to really lower taxes we need to eliminate programs. I don’t have any in mind, but I’m sure there are programs that could be done better by the private sector.

  7. debbie0040 says:

    I hear Reed won the debate. In fact, I hope there will be much more of these debates because Reed outshines Cagle at every debate.

    I hear in particular that Cagle really sounded strange when he answered Reed’s question about Tort Reform. His laugh was unusual or sinister and that Cagle gave a different excuse on why he sent it to a committee that he knew would kill it.

  8. gopdoc says:

    Admittedly I am a Reed supporter. And I am sure both candidates would say they support reducing taxes.

    The reality is, for the last two budgets, Republicans have increased state spending dramatically–about one billion more in the 2006 budget and 1.4 billion more in the 07, or something close to that.

    How can we go on spending a billion more every year? How is that Republican?

    Mr. Cagle voted for those budgets. I want someone who is really committed to tax reform and reduced spending. And not the damned targeted tax cuts Cagle is putting forward. We need overall tax reform and cuts, not just for the old or poor.

    I am tired of Republicans not acting like Republicans, or following through on our principles.

    Don’t tinker with the tax system of Georgia. Lower all of our taxes, especially those of us who pay most of them.

    And cut government spending. Sure, I know some will say that when the state cuts funding local taxes go up. But I would argue that is as it should be. You have a better chance of influencing your local government if it is going in the wrong direction. Let local people decide if they want to spend money on local social agencies and programs. Stop taking our tax dollars to Atlanta (or DC), running them through a large inefficient government agency, before sending them back out.

    Given the mess in DC and to a smaller degree in ATL, that is what I am looking for in candidates to support.

    Cagle’s targeted tax cuts do not impress me, nor his record on this issue. It is another reason I am with Reed (that and the 1,000 dollar check to Mark Taylor by Cagle–I just don’t get that).

  9. The Busdriver says:

    Uhh, the one big ticket item Ralphie rountinely takes credit for (which is odd because he’s never voted on a single bill) is the $500 per child tax credit. So don’t make it sound like Ralph is a veteran supply-sider and a charter member of the Laffer-Curve fan club.

  10. Romegaguy says:

    I would rather have someone who gave a check to a Democratic Lt. Gov to try to cover up Ralph/Skandalakis mistakes then someone who actively worked to get rid of 10 Republican Congressmen because that they didnt want to help Ralph’s client sell lottery tickets on the internet… but that is just me.

    I heard Ralph was late to the “debate” last night cuz he thought it was going to be held with his Indian casino friends in Cherokee, NC.

  11. The Busdriver says:

    “Given the mess in DC and to a smaller degree in ATL . . . ”

    I assume you’re referring to the messes created by the Ralph scandals in each of those cities, ’cause he’s smack dab in the middle of both.

  12. Three Jack says:

    schleyguy is right about one thing, the moderator did nothing to encourage interactive debate. Might have been more entertaining if audience members were allowed to ask questions instead of submitting on a card.

    But there was no clear winner; Ralph being the slick, seasoned pol v. Casey’s homespun “raised by a single mom”, experiencing the American Dream story. I still want to know how Ralph can keep a straight face talking about “growing up in the N. GA mountains” with his father the doctor accepting “corn, green beans and other vegetables” in lieu of monetary payment for medical services. Maybe that will be the basis for his healthcare plan; Veggiecare.

    Ralph’s position on eliminating income taxes was countered by Casey’s contention that the issue is more about excessive spending. Combine both positions of serious tax reform and less government spending to equal a real fiscal conservative GOP candidate. We have a winner.


    Looks like “slick, polished Ralph” may get his shot to debate with a pro. Word is THE FACTOR is considering airing a segment in June on the spin taking place in this race that covers relationships RR has with Abromoff and Enron and why based on an article in the WALL STREET JOURNAL Friday that RR’s attorneys have stated he would plead to the FIFTH AMENDMENT if he was put on the stand.This is going to be interesting…

  14. George Allen 08 says:

    Haha, the Reed people think Ralph won the debate and the Cagle people think Casey won the debate? I am completely shocked!

  15. Demonbeck says:

    When asked about tort reform, I understand that Reed’s eyes shifted side-to-side and his forked tongue flitted excitedly while he stroked his handlebar mustache while giggling to himself.

    I also heard that Cagle won the debate so decisively that the audience began throwing rotten produce at Reed and his volunteers. Apparently, Reed immediately left and drove up to the North Carolina mountains for a “fishing trip” with his buddy Jack Abramoff.

    My, we do get a tad bit ridiculous in here from time to time, don’t we?

  16. Bill Simon says:


    You said this: “I am tired of Republicans not acting like Republicans, or following through on our principles.”

    I certainly hope YOU are not wasting your hard-earned money on donating ANY money to Phil Gingrey or Tom Price, are ya?

    And, if you live in their districts, you won’t be voting for them, will you?

  17. conservativecore says:

    No mets cap but what I think was interesting and should be noted is the Ralph would allow eminent domain to be used to take land for a school according to what he said last night. That means those folks the Cobb school board wanted to chase off the family farm would be out of luck under any emeninent domain solution by Ralph and friends. I am all for local control but there are time you need to control the locals and the Cobb school board certainly is the perfect example. Should be interesting to see how this effects the conservative west side of Cobb county

  18. IntheArena says:

    larry smith,

    How does being technically skilled, gifted in the understanding of government, and a ‘polished’ speaker get discounted as being ‘slick’? Didn’t recent polls show Ralph doing well in south georgia?

    Generally speaking, is it truly detrimental to present one’s self as educated and intelligent?

    We express the importance of educating our children — and expect education reform from elected officials — yet appear to devalue eduction in our candidates. Ralph’s training and education (which no doubt contribute to a polished impression) almost appear to be penalties in Georgia politics.

    Besides, presenting one’s self as a mere simpleton is slickest of all — that doesn’t endear honesty and sincerity.

  19. The Busdriver says:

    Ralph’s veneer isn’t a product of his education–it’s a result of a duplicitous soul. Ralph’s “sheen” is the outward reflection of his sincerity deficit. You always feel like you’re getting “stump speech” Ralph, rather than someone who speaks with the passion of his convictions. And it’s impossible to separate the two, because they are one.

    I admit, Ralph is incredibly “book smart,” and I’m certain he’s the guy most of the kids cheated off of in AP History. But again, his wisdom doesn’t make him “slick”–it’s his lack of integrity that does.

  20. Brian from Ellijay says:

    I love how a lot of people who were not there are making judgments on who won. Debbie, Ralph has 6 stickers on people (minus his staff he brought–Dr. and Linda Parker, Paul and Nan, and Helmut and Mrs. Baxter) Everyone else either had a Cagle sticker or none at all because they were party officiers.

    Cagle got their early and stayed late. He out did Reed in every way, but I would have to say the debate was pretty evenly met. Pretty boring, where they only used questions wrote by the audience.

    Reed said that he would not plead the 5th when directly asked by Cagle.

    Ohh and Cagle was the only one to get a standing ovation.

  21. 4ofspades says:

    Moving up, now a sticker guy Stickers, signs and tee shirts they win elections. What even happened to issues and qualifications.

  22. Brian from Ellijay says:

    I was not putting stickers on people dumbass. Perhaps if you attneded events you would know this. Do us all a favor and quit commenting on stuff that you have no idea about.

  23. 4ofspades says:

    No need for me to attend that event. As I’ve said many times before:

    Cagle ’06
    Handel ’06
    Black ’06

    I guess since you were’nt on stickers, I guess your still the yard sign master.

  24. Tommy_a2b says:

    Brian, be the duck. Focus on being the duck. It’s all water skim’n off your back. LOL

  25. larry smith says:


    I’m willing to bet I’ve read more books by people with big brains than you have — not that I’m inviting you to contest that claim by trotting out a list.

    However, I don’t think that coming off as a pompous ass tends to endear candidates to voters. Televangelists appeal to a small segment, but most folks prefer their hometown pastor.

    Could you imagine sitting down and drinking a beer with Ralph Reed? Do you think the guy is even capable of having a normal conversation? I don’t.

    Do you think he’s a self-important prick who has been lying so long and so well that he’s forgotten what the truth is? I do.

  26. George Allen 08 says:

    Larry, try having a conversation with Ralph Reed sometime. I guarantee you’ll change your mind.

  27. larry smith says:

    Same here. Ralph rapidly loses interest as soon as he decides he can’t get something he wants from you.

  28. IntheArena says:


    To be a person who claims to have ‘read more books by people with big brains’ than another, one might assume you’d get along quite well with another equally ‘pompous ass’. I do.

  29. Bill Simon says:

    Actually, Larry, I’ve heard that Ralph likes to drink beers and wines, as much as the next guy. SO, it might be good to talk to him AFTER he’s had a few beers.

  30. conservativecore says:

    The spritzers go with the loafers and the mercedes but they have been put in storage for the campaign. I thik he is drinking bud and takes it in the can with his new red truck

  31. Romegaguy says:

    And I quote ” I thi[n]k he is drinking bud and takes it in the can….”

    which brings us back to the gay marriage issue…

  32. blazer says:

    “Cagle β€˜06
    Handel β€˜06
    Black β€˜06”


    Glad to know a Cagle supporter is also a supporter of the only Republican running (statewide) who has marched in a Gay-Rights Parade.(Karen)


  33. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    From what I heard from a friend that attended last night, Reed was staunchly in favor of shifting to the Fair Tax alomost immidiatley…while Cagle understands that that would be a drastic change and we should start by removing the income tax from Senior Citizens and if all goes well..slowly transfering over…In my mind this sounds like a much more sencebale approach..and my friend also said that Cagle mentioned that states that have transfered to the Fair Tax (ie: Florida, Texas, Tennessee) have increased property taxes substantially…and he said something about Reed mentioned that Florida had to raise the GAS TAX to cover for revenue lost over the Fair Tax…for Reed to advocate that makes me question weather he really understands how us middle classers feel…I really wanted to go last night, but I had to work til 8:00. Im sure it was interesting, at least it sounded like it was from what I heard.

  34. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    From reading everybody’s comments, Id say it sounds like both Candidates did a very good job last night…and from my friend’s account…Brian would be accurate, he said that Cagle out did Reed in signs and stickers.

    It is interesting how Debbie, who like I, was not there..seems to think that Reed slaughterd Cagle or something, despite these many accounts of a very good debate on both sides, this show’s her extreme bias..which I really don’t need to point out, we all know anyway.

    My friend Stephen, the guy that went, said he went in expecting Reed to really out do Cagle because he seemed like a smooth and polished speaker, he said they were both good..but Cagle really amazed him because he showed that he was Ralph’s match, as far as debating ability goes. I really wish I could have gone though.

  35. jsm says:

    The one time I talked to Ralph was regarding a stupid fiasco involving the Hall County Bush-Cheney 04 committee. He paused in his stride long enough to say, “Yes, Hall County will be fine,” and kept on walking as if I was annoying him.

    Treating people this way certainly doesn’t endear him to folks. I’m sure he’s more talkative with the commoners these days, but I think it’s a little too late.

  36. Bill Simon says:

    What kind of Left-Brain foul-up has to be going on to misspell the word “sensible” as “sencebale”???

    I misspell too, but Geezus Kristos, at least I’m semi-phonetic in my misspellings.

  37. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    all I can do is appologize, lol…I am not the greatest speller, and I type fast and forget to skim it over..I assure you I know how to spell “sensible”..I just went too fast.

    you know, this is something I don’t mind joking about..but Im hoping these insults towards me reguarding my spelling are also made in jest, and not in a volitile attitude as I recall some (none on this post, but in the past).

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