Last week, Gov. Sonny Perdue added insult to (narrowly averted) injury, cutting a number of Harbin’s pet projects, including the Golf Hall of Fame. In an Augusta Chronicle column that ran on April Fool’s Day, Harbin invoked the memory of Bobby Jones to justify his request for an “emergency” appropriation for the museum.
Perdue was not persuaded. His veto of $575,000 in state spending for the Golf Hall of Fame was the knockout blow in a nasty budget fight that dragged on through the legislative session, and left the Augusta area a budgetary loser.
As chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Harbin was one of the most powerful lawmakers in Atlanta. “Fiscal conservative” or no, Harbin’s supporters expected him to use his influence to steer state funds back home.
Perdue finally hit Harbin where it hurts — in the pork.
The governor didn’t hesitate to pounce while Harbin was still reeling from his encounter with an Atlanta utility pole.