As readers of this blog are well aware, SB31 passed but the debate rages on. Several of our Front Page Posters have engaged in a discussion with the folks at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. My problem with GPPF on this issue is despite the fact they are a 501c3 organization and as such do not formally endorse specific legislation, their article arguing for allowing Georgia Power to collect funds in advance of construction came down clearly on the side of SB31 (as Jason pointed out). They ignored contrary evidence on the bill, even when specifically asked about it, then sent out an email celebrating February 26 as a red letter day for the Legislature and the GPPF.
Every Front Page Poster’s comments have been that we respect the GPPF, yet disagree with them on this issue. We continue to seek clarification as to how SB31 was sound public policy based on the criteria set forth by the Foundation. Sadly that issue remains unresolved. While we’re not members of a think tank, we do seek and advocate for sound public policy in our own individual ways.
It’s no fun at all to be on the opposite side of an issue with people you respect. Many of my favorite Senators and Representatives voted for SB31. The GPPF, staffed with people I greatly admire and whose reading materials greatly impact my thinking on issues, is on the other side of the fence. That being said I remain convinced we were right and they were wrong. Nevertheless, for the sake of our State I hope it works out like we’ve been promised it will.
Erick can correct me if I’m wrong, but Peach Pundit was not designed to be a place for activism. We blog about Georgia politics and our Front Page Posters come from several different places on the political spectrum. Contrary to what Minority Leader Porter said on Thursday, Peach Pundit is not a “Republican” blog. What made SB31 unique was that most, if not all of Peach Pundit’s Front Page Posters agreed that this bill was a bad one. That won’t happen very often and thus we won’t often see the level of activism displayed over the past few weeks.
Where do we go from here? I for one am not interested it seeking retribution on those who voted for SB31. Influence comes through relationship, not threats. I think a major reason so many conservative Legislators voted for the bill was that they trust their colleagues. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment: On the one hand you have a colleague you know and respect telling you this is a good bill and on the other hand you have Clark Howard and Peach Pundit telling you it’s not. Who would you listen too? The person you have a relationship with.
If we as individuals want to impact legislation, we must build relationships with our Legislators. We must as individuals build credibility with those around us. As we individually do those things our influence will grow and legislation will be impacted. Doing that will advance good public policy and strengthen our political process.