Perdue v. Taylor, round I

[UPDATE #2] The Perdue and Taylor campaigns’ responses to the debate can be found in the comments. Thanks, Andre, for the Taylor response.
[UPDATE] The video is up at Thanks to hankrearden for the info via the comments.

I confess, I didn’t see the debate. Here’s a bit of the AJC’s write-up; those who did see it, please let we who did not know what we missed!

Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor went on the offensive against Gov. Sonny Perdue in their first debate of the campaign for governor, blasting the incumbent for buying land near Walt Disney World from a political appointee.Firing back, Perdue said Taylor’s attack was “ludicrous,” called him “Pinocchio” for allegedly stretching the truth and said the lieutenant governor has relied on his father’s deep pockets.

The feisty, fast-paced showdown gave Taylor and Perdue their first chance to confront each other, and their exchanges gave voters a glimpse of the nastiness sure to come in the three and a half weeks remaining before the Nov. 7 election.

Taylor, the Democratic nominee, took the first shot in the debate at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter,

saying the Republican governor got a “sweetheart” deal when he bought land in Florida for $2 million from Newnan developer Stan Thomas.

Trailing badly in the polls and low on money, Taylor sought to gain some much needed ground in the debate. Recent polls show Perdue’s lead ranging from 19 to 24 percentage points.

Perdue dismissed Taylor’s attacks, saying the tax break was available to all Georgians.

“Every single Georgian benefits from this,” Perdue said. “When I first learned of this my accountant informed me when he was doing my taxes.”

Taylor shot back: “Governor Perdue, if you believe that, then I have some swampland in Florida to sell you. This was a retroactive tax cut inserted in a midnight amendment to a House bill.”

Taylor added: “Governor Perdue has mentioned Pinocchio. Governor, if you were one of the Seven Dwarves, your nickname would be Greedy. Who else has benefited from that tax break?”

That’s all of the article I’m posting here; besides, those of you who did see it can recount it better than the AJC anyway 😉


  1. buzzbrockway says:

    Sounds like it was a circus atmosphere:

    Just outside the arena, Taylor campaign workers, dressed in Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Goofy costumes, handed out bright green play money labeled “Funny Sonny Money for Insiders.” There was a raucous scene inside the arena with Taylor supporters marching around, waving campaign signs and shouting: “Sonny got a tax break!”

    Perdue supporters shouted “Pinocchio” and “Four more years!” and handed out pork rinds in packages printed with the message: “Take the pork out of politics!”

  2. hankreardan says:

    I thought Garrett Hayes looked better than the other two (I have a dog inthe fight I am the Libertarian Political Director) The other other two justed beat up on each other while Hayes stayed above the fray.Hayes got cheers from both side of the isle.We were very happy with the debate tonight but not happy with the coverage we are not getting considering how well we did.

  3. RandyMiller says:


    It seems Taylor went ahead and threw everything he had at Perdue. Don’t know what he can throw at him the next 3 weeks that he hasn’t thrown tonight.
    Hayes and Perdue looked rested and at ease, Hayes was real good I thought. Perdue held himself very well considering the attacks hurled at him from Taylor. Taylor sidestepped some questions about where he lives, who bought it, and family business. Taylor also looked fidgety,
    on the verge on jumpy, and in dire need of a strong chemical laxative.

  4. jsellers186 says:

    I watched the debate and I am amazed at how Sonny hardly answered a question. All he does is make up figures and his supporters rally around him like he is so great. He also couldn’t stop laughing at everything Taylor had to say, being governor is not a joke, his campaign is just a joke. He thinks he has it in the bag, but I hope for the State of Georgia’s sake, he does not.

  5. defnotrep says:


    I was impressed with Hayes. He did a good job. Even when they tried to pull him into the negative mess, he stayed on his message. I only saw the last half of the debate tho.

  6. Jason Pye says:

    Hank and I had the chance to attend the debate and like him…I have a dog in the fight.

    Taylor and Perdue were negative the entire time and both lacked substance. It seems like Hayes was the only one focusing on issues that concerned Georgia.

  7. Mojo says:

    I watched the debate livestream, but it kept messing up, pausing and then skipping forward, but it was a real nasty debate. The bad stream caused me to miss several key points, like the flag question. My impression of that was that Hayes and Taylor hit Perdue’s duplicity on the matter, but I didn’t hear Perdue’s response. Hayes stayed above the maelstrom but he has that luxury since he is a third party candidate with no real shot of winning.

    My impression was that Taylor got some real good shots in, especially concerning the retroactive tax cut. Perdue really didn’t offer any new ideas like Hayes and Taylor. The only time when he said anything of substance was during the closing statement when he did a good job of summarizing his past term. I think with his focus on eliminating the state income tax and having an actual idea, unlike Perdue, of a prescription drug plan Hayes may steal some more votes at Perdue’s expense, especially considering his appeal to the flagger by launching a little potshot at Perdue over the flag. I see Hayes gaining 8 or 9% election time. He may even grab 10 to 12% but that is unlikely.

    Also, what was with the laughing? All I heard from Perdue was “Pinocchio” juvenile name calling and him doing his little smart ass laugh. It was a major turn off, sort of like the Bush smirk during the first debate with Kerry. Perdue’s debate staff need to stop that b/c Bush did a much better job during the 2nd debate and created a much more positive impression as well.

    The runoff, and it will happen, will be even nastier.

  8. Eddie T says:

    Perdue did look a lot like Round 1 Bush from ’04. Laughing off these accusations isn’t going to work.

    Unless Perdue comes up with some real responses to that plum land deal and his personally tailored (no pun intended) $100,000 tax break, he’s going to start to run into some problems.

    Oh yeah, and bad call offering to sell the land. Taylor’s got a developer offering $5 million for it if Perdue donates the profit to charity. That’s a no-win situation for Sonny.

  9. landman says:

    Mojo,get real there will be no runoff in this race Perdue will close this out on election night.

    The Dems are done…thank God !!!!!!

  10. RandyMiller says:

    “The runoff, and it will happen, will be even nastier”

    Mojo, I told you to stop taking those hypnotics for sleep!

  11. ugavi says:

    I find it interesting that the Dem’s (mojo) are now admitting that Taylor can’t win on 11/7 and are now hoping for a run-off, so that Taylor may have a shot.

  12. jsm says:

    Taylor doesn’t have the money to stay competitive in the media for the next three weeks. He has no chance of lasting past Nov. 7.

  13. dingleberry says:

    Liberal Democrat Mark Taylor couldn’t hold a candle to conservative stalwart Sonny Perdue. Mark tried to hide his true liberal agenda, ditching his reciting of the Communist Manifesto for personal attacks on Sonny’s legal and ethical land deal.

    By far, the best Candidate for the job is Sonny Perdue, followed CLOSELY by Garret Hayes.

    Mark Taylor, you ran for governor a few years too late and in the wrong country. Maybe you can hijack a time machine and go back to the golden days of communist soviet union. I’m sure your message will be WELL recieved there.

  14. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Here’s the Perdue campaign’s take on the debate:

    Governor Perdue and Mark Taylor faced off for the first time last night at the National Fairgrounds. As the debate unfolded it was clear that Governor Perdue was articulating the best vision for Georgia. By the time the debate ended it was evident the Governor had outclassed his opponent.

    Governor Perdue answered every question clearly and directly. He laid out his accomplishments: 243,900 new jobs, record graduation rates and SAT ranking, $1 billion more for education, cracking down on illegal immigration, and protecting private property.

    Mark Taylor responded with personal political attacks to which the Governor replied simply, “There he goes again.” The exchange showed everyone that only one man on the stage was worthy of being Governor, and that man was Sonny Perdue.

    Mark Taylor’s propensity for tall tales proved to everyone watching that he cannot be trusted. Taylor steered clear of the issues in his desperation to take down our Governor. He attacked relentlessly and used cheap political gimmicks that drew jeers from those in attendance. Governor Perdue stood tall though, and Pinocchio’s nose only grew longer.

    At the end of the night it was clear that Sonny Perdue was the one man who showed the honesty, knowledge, and vision necessary to be Governor of Georgia.

    I’m interested to hear what the Taylor take is.

  15. Here’s the Taylor take…

    Mark Taylor easily won the first debate with Sonny Perdue. From the outset, Mark showed Georgians why they need a new Governor. He clearly showed how Sonny Perdue spent the last four years using the Office of the Governor to enrich himself while cutting more than $1 billion from our schools, neglecting law enforcement and slashing health care for disabled children.

    Throughout the debate, Mark outlined his positive agenda, informing voters of his commitment to stop the annual cuts to our schools, make healthcare more accessible and affordable and make every community in Georgia safer.

    Mark’s victory last night demonstrated that Mark has the record and the agenda to move Georgia forward. When comparing the two candidates, it is clear: Georgia needs a new Governor and Mark Taylor will be elected the new Governor on November 7th.

    Click here to view the debate in its entirety.

    The campaign continues to gain momentum as each day passes. Mark has traveled the state, visiting every region of the state. Everywhere he goes, voters are telling him that they want a Governor who works for them – not someone who uses the office to get rich while ignoring everyday Georgians’ priorities.

    Over the next 25 days, Mark will continue traveling the state detailing his plans for Georgia’s future. He works night and day to reach every voter, visiting small towns and cities across Georgia but he cannot win without your help.

    Sonny Perdue and his $20 million attack machine have no shame and will continue to attack Mark non-stop. They try to distract voters from Sonny Perdue’s education cuts. They will try to make voters forget that his personal lawyer and hometown State Representative passed a retroactive $100,000 tax break for Sonny. They will try to trick voters into forgetting that Sonny got a $100,000 tax break while raising your taxes.

  16. dingleberry says:

    See. Mark Taylor is a liberal democrat liar. Just like all liberal democrats.

    Sonny Perdue represents all that is the conservative movement. He is the perfect embodiment of fiscally conservative principles and traditional social values. He is a conservative juggernaut.

    Mark Taylor likes Communism. Is favorite authors are Marx and Engles.

  17. Jason Pye says:

    Sonny Perdue represents all that is the conservative movement. He is the perfect embodiment of fiscally conservative principles and traditional social values. He is a conservative juggernaut.

    You have got to be kidding me. Perdue is NOT a fiscal conservative.

  18. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Jason, I doubt you’d find an honest Republican who’d disagree with you on that.

    Any chance you or hankreardan could shed some light on the Hayes response?

  19. dingleberry says:

    No Jason,

    I’m not kidding you. You and your liberal friends need to quit smearing Sonny Perdue’s conservative record.

    He is the MOST fiscally conservative governor in America.

  20. Jason Pye says:

    I haven’t spoken to Garrett since last night. I don’t know what his response is at this point. I’m at work and haven’t been able to call him.

    There is a brief post on the Libertarian Party website about the debate.

  21. Three Jack says:

    Last I checked, being fiscally conservative did not include proposing property, cigarette and alcohol tax increases….Sonny did.

    It is not conservative to propose targeted tax cuts to attract the geezer vote…Sonny did.

    It is not conservative to give teacher raises while they continue to fail at their jobs…Sonny did.

    Sonny is to fiscal conservatism what Taylor is to anorexia…Garrett Hayes for Governor!

  22. Jason Pye says:


    My original comment to you is awaiting moderation because it contained a link.

    I’m not kidding you. You and your liberal friends need to quit smearing Sonny Perdue’s conservative record.
    I’m a capitalist, not a liberal. I’m also a member of the Libertarian Party.

    Sonny is to fiscal conservatism what Taylor is to anorexia…Garrett Hayes for Governor!
    Perdue proposed the largest tax increase in Georgia history, that’s not conservative.

    The Cato Institute has given Perdue a “D” in fiscal policy, in a previous study they gave Barnes a “B.”

  23. dingleberry says:


    What exactly do you think the root word is in “Libertarian” IT’S LIBERAL!!!

    Libertarians are nothing more than fiscally conservative Liberal Democrats.

    Three Jack, it’s cool if you hate teachers and love cigarettes. That’s fine. But don’t push your liberal agenda on us.

    Sonny Perdue is the great protector in this state against the liberal onslaught.

    SONNY PERDUE ’06!!!!!

    The Cato Institute is nothing but a partisan think tank for the Libertarian Party. They have no credibility when it comes to the REAL political parties in America.

    Don’t call me a troll, you liberal loon. Get with the program. It’s an Us vs. Them world. You need to come back to the right side, Jason.

  24. Jason Pye says:

    The Cato Institute is nothing but a partisan think tank for the Libertarian Party.
    Actually, no. It’s not. The Cato Institute advances the philosophy of libertarianism, but not the party.

    There is a difference between libertarian and Libertarian.

    Modern liberals tend to think in terms of group rights. While captialists, libertarians and Libertarians think in terms of individual rights. Yes, we are liberal on many social issues, but we base it on what is best for the individual. We easily could be called classical liberals (which is what many of the Founders were).

    “If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.” – Ronald Reagan

  25. dingleberry says:


    I don’t know how you can honestly believe an organization which emphasizes libertarianism (which is the long version of the word “Liberal”) When it rates fiscal conservatism. The way I see it, a “D” from this liberal institution is really an “A” in any other place.

    You need to put down the cato kool aid.

    You don’t have to support Sonny Perdue…that’s fine. Support the next best choice.

    There is a guy who is a conservative and is running on an independent platform. His name is Garrett Hayes. Look him up:

    He would be my second choice. But I could never support a liberal or a l(L)ibertarian.

    Ronald Reagan was a raging socialist, by the way.

  26. John Konop says:


    Libertarianism is often viewed as a right-wing movement, especially by non-libertarians in the United States, where libertarians tend to have more in common with traditional conservatives than American liberals, especially with regards to economic and gun control policies. However, many describe libertarians as being “conservative” on economic issues and “liberal” on social issues. (For example, most libertarians view Texas congressman and former Libertarian U.S. Presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-14) to be a philosophical libertarian, even though he is technically affiliated with the Republican Party.)

  27. Three Jack says:

    Sonny is to fiscal conservatism what Taylor is to anorexia…Garrett Hayes for Governor!
    Perdue proposed the largest tax increase in Georgia history, that’s not conservative.

    No kidding, thus the statement, I’m on your side.

  28. Big Mack says:

    I was there. Sonny’s supporters were mostly his family, friends and activists from about a 50 mile radius of Perry. Fat Boy’s supporters were mostly his sisters, friends and transit union members bussed in from ATL. A union member in Perry is about as out of place as a milk cow on Peachtree St. There were some slimey looking men with expensive suits and brief cases, with Taylor signs and badges that looked like shyster lawyers . Fat Boy lit into Sonny on the land deal, medicaid cuts, education cuts and tax cuts for senior citizens. A lot of Fat Boy’s statements were lies. Sonny handled himself well but did not attack as hard as he should. He did not get one answer out of Fat Boy. When Fat Boy felt that he had made points he would rear back and grin like a mule eating briars. He did a lot of sweat wiping during the half hour commercial and later in the debate. All in all I think that Sonny won the debate, but it wasn’t a runaway by any means. Garrett Hayes handled the questions well; but as someone said above, it really did not matter because he doesn’t have a prayer of winning. I think that he was the only one there that cared that he was a recovering alcoholic. It will be interesting to see what the next debate brings.

  29. defnotrep says:


    I am so sick and tired of Repubs like you. You can’t have a legitimate discussion of ideas without resorting to name-calling and arrogant behavior…..very much like Sonny Perdue.

    I use to respect conservative Repubs but I don’t think there are too many of those left. If they are around, they are being drowned out by right-wing nut cases. People like dingleberry will be the death of the Repub party…wait and see.

    People will become Libertarians or Demos.

  30. John Konop says:


    was the American politician most often credited for sparking the resurgence of the American conservative political movement

    He was criticized in 1964 as a radical reactionary, yet he energized a conservative grass roots movement which, sixteen years later, helped to nominate and elect Ronald Reagan. However, after 1981, the influence of the Christian Right on the Republican Party so conflicted with Goldwater’s libertarian views, that he openly voiced his opposition.

    In a 1994 interview with the Washington Post the retired Senator said, “When you say ‘radical right’ today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.” He said about Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority, “I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass,” in response to Falwell’s opposition to the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court where Falwell said, “Every good Christian should be concerned.”

  31. That’s one of the reasons why I could never be a Republican these days because the Republicans that call themselves Republicans today aren’t Republicans in the mold of Barry Goldwater.

    Oh they’re Republicans in that they hold conservative values on the social issues, but what self-respecting Republican (a real Republican who believes that government is the problem with no real answer instead of being an answer to the problem) would want the government to legislate marriage; what self-respecting Republican would want the government to determine what we can and cannot watch on t.v., read in a book, or listen to on the radio; what self-respecting Republican would want the government telling women that they can or cannot have an abortion.

    All these examples that I’ve provided represent what I believe to be personal freedoms, personal choices, and personal responsibility, and that’s what I believe to be at the heart of what it means to be a Republican.

    From my understanding, Republicans believe in less government. Republicans believe in controlled spending. Republicans believe in a free market economy with as few government controls as possible.

    But…when you look at the current batch of Republicans, you don’t see any of the core beliefs that Republicans like Barry Goldwater and Everett Dirksen stood for.

    My mother, a lifelong Democrat who supported Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, and the rest, has told me on numerous occassions that one her favorite Senators was the Republican Senate Minority Leader, Everett Dirksen of the great state of Illinois.


    Because just like LBJ, Dirksen helped to expand the personal freedoms and personal liberties of African-Americans by working for and winning passage of the Civil Rights Act.

    My favorite quote from Sen. Dirksen is “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.” That’s fiscal conservatism right there, but where are Republicans like Everett Dirksen today?

    Where are Republicans that hold true conservative values of less government, controlled spending, personal freedom, personal responsibilities, and personal responsibility?

    I’m sure they’re out there somewhere, but just like moderate and conservative Democrats are being choked blue by the liberals in our Party, I’m sure that the true conservatives are being beaten down until their bloody red by the radical right in the Republican Party who believe that you can’t call yourself a conservative or call yourself a Republican if you don’t believe in prayer in schools, restricting the right to an abortion, legislating morality, and all the other questions that are part of that rigid radical right litmus test that folks like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell impose on everyone that wants to carry the Republican banner.

  32. John Konop says:


    Read about your own Party.

    “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

    Kennedy was unequivocal. He understood that there is no price too high to pay for liberty, a message his own party seems to have completely forgotten in pursuit of political interests ahead of the common good.

  33. Mojo says:


    “I find it interesting that the Dem’s (mojo) are now admitting that Taylor can’t win on 11/7 and are now hoping for a run-off, so that Taylor may have a shot. ”

    I didn’t say that Taylor had to have a run off, or that he would win a run off. I find it less likely for him to win the run off than a straight election with 3rd party candidates included, mostly b/c I feel that more Hayes voters would lean Perdue than to the Big Guy. Chill dude!

  34. Mojo says:

    Perdue’s campaign says that he simply said, “There he goes again.” That is untrue. They conveniently leave out his little spat of juvenile name calling. What he actually said was, “There you go again, Pinocchio.” He then called Taylor Pinocchio two or three times more. The more I think about the debate the sicker I become. From the juvenile attacks by the candidates, to the raucous, kindergarten crowd chanting and booing, to the yellow journalist questions offered by the panelists so eager to wallow in the muck and mire rather than ask real issue oriented questions. I wish that it would get better, but it’s only going to get nastier.

  35. defnotrep says:

    Andre, What a thoughtful piece you wrote. I agree with you on most of your points.

    True to form….JohnKonop….made no comment except to question your patriotism.

    I rest your case Andre.

    SHAME ON YOU JohnKonop!!!

  36. John Konop says:


    I merely pointed out hypocrisy on both sides of the argument. I do not think Andre was offended for the both post I made on Kennedy or Goldwater. You should re-read what both man said you might see the issues beyond a football game. Hey its only your future.

  37. JasonW says:

    Sonny fiscal Conservative? Nah, not really.
    Sonny fiscal liberal? Definitely Not

    I know, I know, raising taxes is not my idea of being a good fiscal conservative, but lets look at it realistically. I’m not sure he had much choice. King Roy left the state budget in such disarray and in such a deficit that to quickly and efficently bring it back to a surplus Sonny had few options. He also raised taxes on the the products with the least impact on the majority of people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Pro-Tax in any way, shape, or form, but honestly I’m not sure there was any other option.

    In defense of Mark Taylor, I like what i’m seeing on being “Tough on Crime.” I’m just not convinced that will last. Mark has had years to make it happen and has yet to do it. Election years do alot.

    Overall, I have no reason NOT to vote for Sonny. While he hasn’t passed a super high amount of legislation, maybe thats a good thing.

  38. Jason Pye says:

    I’m not Pro-Tax in any way, shape, or form, but honestly I’m not sure there was any other option.
    You don’t raise taxes when the economy is struggling. You cut spending and cut taxes.

  39. JasonW says:

    Your right Jason, and Sonny did that, but it wasn’t enough. He had to supplement that with the tax increases on commodity goods, such as the cigarettes and alcohol.

  40. Jason Pye says:

    Your right Jason, and Sonny did that, but it wasn’t enough. He had to supplement that with the tax increases on commodity goods, such as the cigarettes and alcohol.
    No…he didn’t. He proposed the largest tax increase in Georgia history and has increased the budget every year he has been in office.

  41. Jace Walden says:


    He didn’t have to raise taxes on anything. He chose to raise taxes on commodities because he spent his entire political career, prior to running for Governor, as a member of a party whose answer for every fiscal problem is either “Tax”, “Regulate”, or “Subsidize”. It’s all he knew. And it’s all he still knows.

  42. gatormathis says:

    The cigarette tax was raised by 25 cents, from 12 cents per pack to 37 cents per pack. Wow what an increase. The tax per pack in New York State is $1.50. If in New York City, you pay an additional tax of $1.50 per pack, that is $3 per pack, plus additional state, local and federal taxes.

    Sonny’s cigarette tax increase is MINUTE!!!

  43. gatormathis says:

    No you simple-minded dumb asses, “are we doing better than New York?”.

    The Georgia tax was 12 cents per pack. It went to 37 cents per pack. Total for Georgia. New York is getting 3 bucks per pack for their treasury. Georgia’s tax was a slight increase, NY equates to a deterrent.

    One acre of tobacco produces approx. 100,000 packs of cigarettes.

    Georgia gov’t gets $37,000 per acre, NY gets $300,000 per acre, the Georgia farmer gets about $2500 for growing the tobacco.

    So, with all this talk about subsidies, looks like the government is the one making out like a bandit.

    Sonny only requested a small tax increase, 25 cents. The democrats a few years ago raised all kinds of fees on hunting, driving and state liscenses, which brought in many extra dollars. So Sonny and company increased a few fees, and you guys wanna go off the chain.

    I looked up the per pack taxes a years ago on an RJR website which gives the tax per pack for each state. I then searched the internet until I found a site explaining the amount of packs per acre. It’s funny how much the gov’t makes from each private business sale of goods compared to what the people who actually produce the items get for their labors.And all the gov’t has to do is assign an arbitrary figure, and the dough rolls in.

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