I just saw Lauren Benedict’s ad attacking Allen Freeman. She’s attacking him for voting for legislation that increasing the wage paid to incarcerated felons.

The problem is that the law she’s attacking him on passed both houses of the General Assembly unanimously and the wage was raised to speed up the time it takes felons to repay counties for expenses and victims for restitution.

So, uh, no, he’s not helping criminals. He’s helping law enforcement and the victims of crime.

Meanwhile, Lauren is out criticizing the child predator crackdown law the legislature passed last year.


  1. (9) Procedures for deductions from inmate wages for federal, state, and local taxes; reasonable charges for room and board; court-ordered child support and voluntary family support; and payments to the Georgia Crime Victims Emergency Fund of not less than 5 percent nor greater than 20 percent of gross wages, in compliance with Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program requirements.

    OK, so let me get this straight. You are in prison. You get a job that pays the prevailing wage. After you pay taxes and a “reasonable” charge for room and board and maybe a small fine to the Georgia Crime Victims Emergency Fund, where does the rest of the money go?

    Anyone? I love it how the General Assembly told Atlanta they aren’t allowed to require their contractors to pay a living wage, but they told prisoners that they must be paid the “prevailing wage” which in many cases is higher than the minimum.

    Hey, maybe our jails are overcrowded because that’s where all the good jobs are these days?

  2. Erick says:

    Hey Chris,
    I understand and tend to agree with you. But attacking Freeman for something that passed unanimously and had the support of all the major law enforcement associations and victims of crimes groups seems like bad form.

  3. mercergirl says:

    I agree Erick, Chris I understand as well but this is just typical for Lauren. Nevermind the fact that it passed unanimously (and that obviously means members of her own party passed it as well) let’s just use it against my opponent. I have less and less respect for her as this campaign goes on.

    Erick, in your opinion- should Freeman attack Lauren or keep to his positive ads?

  4. Erick,
    I’m sure you remember when the Republicans and Zell attacked Kerry for “cutting the defense budget” back in the early 90’s when really he was just voting for the same stuff Cheney recommended to Congress when Cheney was Defense Secretary. This stuff is pretty common and the idea that Democrats or Republicans have a monopoly on using someone’s voting record against them is pretty laughable.

    I find it ironic that Republicans think the whole Taylor prison labor thing that Cox brought up during the primary is a great issue for them — but they think there is nothing wrong with Alan Freeman or any other member of the legislature for that matter voting to give prisoners the prevailing wage and then not even mandating that all of that money goes to restitution or prison costs.

    The fact of the matter is that a lot of bills pass unanimously and a lot of those same bills are not good pieces of legislation. Lauren’s doing something I bet a lot of people would like to see more of — holding elected officials accountable for their votes.

    If Freeman thinks giving prisoners the prevailing wage is good policy, I await his defense of the bill. “Everyone else voted for it” isn’t going to cut it. If I know Alan’s tactics, he’d rather talk to voters about Lauren’s divorce than the issues in the race.

  5. Mad Dog says:


    She’s divorced and you’re dead.

    But, this is the internet. You can be revived over and over.

    But, let’s make an issue out of a woman being divorced. But, elect Ronald Reagan, the former actor, to be the first President with an ex-first lady.

  6. betsyross says:

    “let’s make an issue out of a woman being divorced ” must mean yes to my question?
    So are you saying Lauren is now running for President?

  7. HeartofGa says:

    It’s high time that someone had the backbone to stand up and say that it’s wrong for jailed criminals (perhaps even child molesters) to have the opportunity to create a savings account while working families in Georgia, perhaps even their victims, are living paycheck to paycheck. To comply with federal guidlines, at least 20% of money earned though this program must be available for the inmates to save or to put on account at the prison store. Job training-fine, child support- you bet, restitution-good, paying fines and offsetting costs of incarcertion-great, but lining their pockets while doing their time? What was Allen Freeman thinking? If no one is the legislature had the guts to say that’s wrong, then we definately need someone like Lauren who is not afraid to do what’s right. She”ll stand up for the values of the people in her district even if that means taking as stand against her own party. That’s the kind of representative we need.

  8. housecreek says:

    Hey Lauren… i mean… HeartofGA… You oppose the Sexual Predator bill… but you are tough on criminals? Good lord… And the bill your attacking Freeman on… They CAN have a savings account that they can use when they get out of prison so that they don’t just take the $25 check, clothes and a bus ticket and rob someone else on the way out. It reduces the recidivism rate by half in the states where it has been tried.

  9. gatormathis says:

    “I find it ironic that Republicans think the whole Taylor prison labor thing that Cox brought up during the primary is a great issue for them — but they think there is nothing wrong with Alan Freeman or any other member of the legislature for that matter voting to give prisoners the prevailing wage and then not even mandating that all of that money goes to restitution or prison costs.”

    I find it ironic that that dems don’t have a problem with taylor making a phone call to get prison labor to replace paid labor so that the trash company that he had a personal interest in could make some more money. taylor, his family, and associates made a lot of dough off the Solid Waste Management Authority of Crisp County. The prison labor wasn’t the major avenue.

    And there were tax breaks galore associated with this venture also, considering how many semi-trucks and trailers were operated without having to pay a commercial rate tag.

    But then again, that’s all a long story, one that is to complicated for simple-minded quick buck reporters to grasp and decipher.

    It’s funny how a thread starts on a subject of one person and something that affects them, and digressed into a full scale battle on someone else or some other issue.

    I’ve saw blogs post a thread, “slow news day, open thread, go for it”. Maybe it’s time to post open candidate threads. “Sonny Perdue…open thread….go for it” , Mark Taylor….open thread….go for it”.and so on. People can vent their pro and con veiws and try to stick with a little bit more narrow mind set

    Could get interesting……….

  10. heroV says:

    this kind of back and worth is pointless. i think most reasonable people can agree that neither is either pro-incarcerated felon or pro-child predator.

  11. mercergirl says:


    I’m not sure that it matters, but yes Lauren is divorced. From what I undestand it was actually a pretty friendly divorce, they are still friends from what I hear (I don’t know for sure however). Again I don’t know if this ties in to this particular post, but I have heard of Lauren attacking Freeman’s family values (ie: the Myspace crap) and I’m not entirely sure a divorcee should go in that direction- even if the terms of her own divorce were friendly.

    And yes heroV- I’m pretty sure anyone with any common sense could argue that as well. If nothing else it’s hopefully the one issue our elected officials can agree on.

  12. betsyross says:

    I hear L auren is now out begging for FREE media coverage on local talk shows……and calling on anyone that she’s managed not to offend (seeing as how she doesn’t care what her party thinks) to beg for last minute contributions….an island is a lonely place to be when you need $$$$ to fund a campaign.

  13. katurner says:

    I can see how some dislike sending sex offenders to the sticks (where few school bus stops, etc exist). But please clarify this. Will I have to move away from wherever kids congregate if I relieve myself behind a bush, some kid sees me, and some clown convicts me? I hope the bus-stop law will not concern ALL sex offenders.


  14. gatormathis says:

    You probably better stick to using the john in the house to be safe. Toilet paper will be a lot more accessable and won’t litter the country side either.

    The laws aren’t made to make idiots suffer, they’re made so you can stop people from infringinging on another’s space.

  15. mercergirl says:

    Did anyone see Freeman’s response ad to Benedict’s? I thought it was pretty good, although I do wonder if acknowledging (sorry if thats spelled wrong) what Lauren said was wise. Anyone else see it?

  16. HowDdoodle says:

    Maybe we should examine this “divorce.” It appears that her “former” made a contribution to her campaign. . . . was that before or after their “divorce,” and why’s he living in Atlanta while they/she stilled owned that house she owned off ingleside while carpetbagging into our district?
    Anyone got a way to search who owns the house he’s in?
    Anyone got any idea why Lauren’s got soooo much money from Florida?
    Must be trying to get more money for her new district by dealing with other orange grove owners in florida to buy our orange crop . . . hmmmmm
    Will Lauren publically condemn the members of her “progressive” party from allowing the high wage jobs to “progress” from those who wanted them to the criminals?
    Come on . . . condemn all or shut up . . .

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