Sonny’s Bridge Burning

Dick Pettys over at Insider Advantage had an article yesterday about Sonny’s quest to save Peach Care leaving some relationships in tatters.

Case in point: the state’s senior senator, Saxby Chambliss, got the brush off from Perdue when he was at the statehouse in late February and had an appointment to see the governor. He was kept cooling his heels for a while and then was told by a top Perdue staffer that the meeting had been cancelled to allow the governor time to cool off. Seems the governor was angered by remarks Chambliss had just made to reporters about PeachCare.

First, if you don’t subscribe you should. Second, good grief.

According to Sonny, time is running out. But you know, if he and the legislature would get off their collective asses and innovate instead of demanding the nation’s taxpayers subsidize Georgia’s children, they might be surprised what they could come up with. Apparently, however, the always on the verge of bankruptcy status quo seems to be the most comfortable place for some of them.

15 comments

  1. Harry says:

    Another example: As black Democrats go Sanford Bishop is not a bad guy – but he’s a total porker. Got the Democrat leadership to stick into President Bush’s request for “emergency” spending on the Iraq war, a request for $74 million in “peanut storage”…

  2. Skeptical says:

    Harry, I don’t consider $74 million for “peanut storage” to be pork for his district. His district is where Georgia’s peanuts are grown – you know, one of Georgia’s main crops. In 2005, Georgia’s peanut farmers earned $368 million for their crop.

    Those peanuts gotta be stored somewhere. I call this an effective congressman pulling it in for his district.

  3. CHelf says:

    Skeptical,

    You mean to tell me that corporate farms have the cash to grow the crops but none to store them? That seems a little far fetched. Is there a reason we have to pick up the tab on crop storage?

  4. Bull Moose says:

    Erick, thank you for this very direct post. This is what this blog should do! Call them out and hold them accountable.

    Leadership is a lot of things to a lot of people. Playing it safe and reacting wisely is not leadership.

    There are a couple of things that should be tackled in Georgia:

    1. Reinvent Government – Review top to bottom all the codes, rules, regulations, etc… in Georgia and ensured that they were productive. Make recommendations where needed and have various legislators carry the water on different changes and revisions to make Georgia leaner and a more efficient state government. That doesn’t mean just cutting programs, that means assessing people as well.

    2. Comprehensive Tax Reform – Form a panel of experts and policy makers and review how government is funded and what are areas of government funding and what are areas best left to private sector, non-profits, charitable foundations, and churches. Look at how programs are funded from the state as well as county and city governments. How best do you fund the services in an efficient manner? How do we ensure successful results, not just complicated proccesses?

    3. Reform Health Care – Top to bottom review of every regulation, rule, program, etc… Have a seat at the table for the doctors, nurses, patients, hospitals, regulators, advocacy groups, etc… Have an open and honest dialogue across the state about how do we ensure we are on the cutting edge of providing coverage for health care in an efficient manner? How can we shift some of our resources from illness management to wellness?

    4. Transportation – Reign in DOT and make it more accountable to local governments and the public. Implement time and money saving innovations used by other states. Remove the secrecy over how DOT Board members are elected. Transparency is good.

    Those are 4 points where it seems logical energies need to be applied. However, you never see anyone really take the bull by the horns and make it happen.

  5. JasonW says:

    I actually agree with Bull Moose….lol. I’m basically from Florida and have great respect for the reforms and the open government that Gov. Crist is doing there. Sonny should do the same.

  6. GAWire says:

    Bull, it’s not that your ideas aren’t good – they’re just all very ideal and theoretical. Take healthcare for example … I encourage you to try to sit doctors, nurses, patients, insurance companies, et al (essentially all the stakeholders) into a room to try and “solve” or even address healthcare’ problems. You would have 1,092,385,987 ideas, perspectives and agendas trying to be pushed at the same time, with not one person willing to compromise, and I would put an over/under time it would take for someone to be physically assaulted in that room at about 38 seconds.

    Now, we see the other extreme with GA legislators – these guys can sit on the most important issues forever without ever lifting a finger or have any intention to make a real move b/c they can’t remove their lips from Sonny’s tush for 2.5 seconds. Furthermore, they’re all more concerned about moving up another rung on the ladder or which dying Congressman’s seat they can be the first to announce they’re running for, than ever learning how to legislate.

    But then you have the “all important” issues like Sunday alcohol sales – a lot of these jokers can’t jump up from their overstuffed chamber chairs fast enough to get involved in that debate, as if it had any real value in consuming this legislative session.

    And then Sonny is over here listening more to Nick’s drunk talk than taking much needed advice from an experienced leader like Saxby.

    Now, I’m not trying to just bash Sonny here, but I mean, come on. We have an absurd amount of leadership and quite frankly an amazing amount of quality leadership – yet, we can’t seem to address any real policy.

    But, hey … at least we still won’t be able to purchase a six pack on Sunday …

  7. CHelf says:

    Regardless of the band-aid fix that addresses the current funding crisis, will anyone step up to address meaningful and long-term reform? A husband and wife with two children with a household income of about $47K is eligible for PC. Now I am not a CPA but know that many families in GA would technically qualify. It also does not take a CPA to figure that you can slip past the household income requirement with some assets in other areas.

    Essentially many people who are very capable of paying for their own or using insurance through their employer are misusing this program. Perhaps since this is a state and federal program, what about some tougher scrutiny from the IRS and DoR with some information sharing and matching.

  8. Bull Moose says:

    Getting everyone in the room would be a good start don’t you think?

    It may take some time to make headway on the issues, but heck, you’ve got to start somewhere. And perhaps, after a little give and take we might make some progress and actually improve things.

    To say it’s too hard so we won’t try is just not cutting it for me.

  9. Jason Pye says:

    In 2005, Georgia’s peanut farmers earned $368 million for their crop.

    Then maybe they won’t mind paying back that money they’ve raided from the taxpayers.

  10. GAWire says:

    >>”””Getting everyone in the room would be a good start don’t you think?”””

    It’s not like that hasn’t been tried, Bull. Geez, what world do you live in. You think just getting all those people in a room will solve the issue. Well, teh fact is, we’ve tried that and we continue to try things like that all the time and it gets nowhere.

    So, what we need is for a elected representatives (who are elected specificall to get into a room and make things happen) to actually take action on something. The stakeholders aren’t going to solve it all together, so the appointed (i.e. elected) policymakers MUST take some action.

    That’s the point here – not get everyone in a room and hope some good comes out of it.

    We need policymakers who are there to actually do what they are supposed to do.

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