Let’s all get on the gravy train!

Brett Harrell, Republican candidate for House District 106, wants you to know something really, really important. Brett wants you to know what a fun time he had last night. Brett wants you to know he hung out with some elected officials and important businessmen at a swanky Lake Lanier lodge. Brett wants you to know that, between courses, Important Issues were also discussed for you little people.

Harrell (Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook) was, last night, having an “[e]njoyable evening with GA Chamber, business community, Lt Gov Cagle, Sen Shafer, and others at Virgil William’s Lake Lanier lodge.” And who is Virgil Williams? This guy.

An hour later we got an update from Harrell between after dinner drinks: “Great evening with the Georgia Chamber, business people, Sen. Shafer, Lt. Gov. Cagle and others focused on improving the lives of all Georgians.”

How wonderful that members of the General Assembly and Casey Cagle, who was no doubt standing tall and erect at this event, are able to get Republican candidates for office on the gravy train early.

And, why precisely did Harrell need to attend? Oh, yeah, to focus on “improving the lives of all Georgians.” Evidently he isn’t already aware of how that can be done and was just blowing smoke in this interview because he has to be spoon fed positions on issues. And, of course, if a filet mignon happens to appear in front of you during the conversation as you enjoy a nicely made beverage, what’s the harm!

With a public attitude decidedly against “business as usual” and with ethics reform proposals being thrown around the Gold Dome almost hourly, what lesson have these people learned? None. And this is the kind of behavior Republican members of the Georgia House can continue to expect to be tolerated under the leadership of Larry “judge-not and I-won’t-be-judged kind of guy, as long as the work gets done” O’Neal and Jerry “don’t look at lobbyist reports” Keen.

Unless real leaders make their case this week, that is, for why they should be given leadership positions within the caucus.

85 comments

  1. John Konop says:

    I AGREE AND VERY WELL SAID!

    …..With a public attitude decidedly against “business as usual” and with ethics reform proposals being thrown around the Gold Dome almost hourly, what lesson have these people learned? None. And this is the kind of behavior Republican members of the Georgia House can continue to expect to be tolerated under the leadership of Larry “judge-not and I-won’t-be-judged kind of guy, as long as the work gets done” O’Neal and Jerry “don’t look at lobbyist reports” Keen……

  2. Reality Check says:

    Not that I disagree with your overall point, I am just curious why you selected Mr. Harrell’s updates? I get updates on facebook daily from political candidates that all say pretty much the same things as Mr. Harrell’s did last night. If you are just venting because you have nothing better to do then fine but I assume you probably get all the “candidate updates” we all get so why did you cherry pick Brett’s?

    • ByteMe says:

      I gotta agree with this. Pete’s acting like a candidate getting together with bigwigs in his area is a bad thing.

      Does it all depend on who picked up the check?

      • ByteMe says:

        They are an advocacy group for businesses, plain and simple. What else would you expect?

        Just the same as I don’t worry about their unyielding stance that polluting the air is just ducky. That’s what their members want from them. However, I look to who is listening too closely to them and decide whether the rest of us are getting a bum deal at the expense of their members.

  3. Pete Randall says:

    Hey, everybody. Not cherry picking this one at all. I do not subscribe to every tweet or facebook update (can you even subscribe to updates?), so my interest in Harrell is a product of (1) coming across it and (2) it happening so close to recent events under the Gold Dome.

    This is an issue of politics as usual continuing to be the meme among some. What would a phone call or letter fail to do in communicating a position that a fancy dinner can? The answer is clear and is at the root of the problem.

    If you see more posts like this from other elected officials and candidates, FEEL FREE to shoot them to us via the tip line. I can’t guarantee that they will all be discussed, but they WILL get our attention.

  4. JSBarrington says:

    Pete what exactly is your problem?

    Why is it a bad thing that a future State Representative had dinner with the GA Chamber of Commerce- an organization working to foster GA Busineses and create jobs?

    Are you saying that he should oppose the chamber and oppose ga businesses? Are saying that he should not have dinner with people that he is going have to work with in the future?

    And exactly what is it sir that apparently gives you this all knowing, superior knowledge of politics? Do you serve in office? Do you work in government or politics?

    One thing I know without a doubt or hestitation is that if those guys in atlanta were like Brett Harrell- this state would be in good damn shape.

    Take a look at Brett’s whole record before you spew your garbage next time.

    Thank you.

    • Pete Randall says:

      Why is it a bad thing that a future State Representative had dinner with the GA Chamber of Commerce- an organization working to foster GA Busineses and create jobs?

      See my comment above.

      Are you saying that he should oppose the chamber and oppose ga businesses?

      I said that?

      Are saying that he should not have dinner with people that he is going have to work with in the future?

      When they are paying, yes.

      And exactly what is it sir that apparently gives you this all knowing, superior knowledge of politics? Do you serve in office? Do you work in government or politics?

      You think this is how politics is supposed to work?

      One thing I know without a doubt or hestitation is that if those guys in atlanta were like Brett Harrell- this state would be in good damn shape.

      I agree…the restaurant industry could be kept afloat by people like him from January-March each year in Atlanta!

      Take a look at Brett’s whole record before you spew your garbage next time.

      I don’t spew. I layer. There’s a difference (grin).

      Thank you.

      Sure!

    • Jason Pye says:

      My problem is that business interests are often aligned against taxpayers, just look at Wall Street and TARP or even the stimulus bill, though to a smaller extent. I could keep going.

      I want a separation of business and the state through a free market with less taxes for all individuals and business, not just certain business that get special tax breaks.

      No interest group has a legitimate right to disparage another group of some right, whether it be a majority or a minority. Madison called this the problem of faction (Federalist 10).

      • IndyInjun says:

        Yeah, Jason and what did we get the last 4 years…..an expansion of an already liberal conservation use tax exemption to cover corporations, which means in a LOT of suburban and rural counties, the property tax drills down to rooftops, instead of being based upon equal taxation.

        We got that Georgia Power Bill that let GPC not only bill us in advance for future construction costs, but pay for future profits, too.

        Thrown them out.

        THROW THEM ALL OUT.

      • DTK says:

        Exactly. And that’s why I think it’s funny that everyone is tripping over each other to clamor for “cleaner” politicians and more ethics laws.

        Guys, so long as government is doling out subsidies or passing special regulations for targeted businesses or industries, the Gold Dome will continue to be swarmed by lobbyists. And legislators being human, corruption and cronyism will continue. No special ethics rules will change this.

        I think most of you are missing the biggest reason these legislators are corrupt: it’s not huge PAC donations or nice dinners. It’s attention. That’s why they’re on the take.

        You can outlaw all lobbyist expenditures to legislators and you would still get the same good ol’ boy routine. These legislators love walking out of a committee hearing and being swarmed by literally dozens of people. It’s the closest to being a rock star any of them will ever get. Most of us would succumb to the pressure of helping out our favorite lobbyists every now and then, if it meant they’d always be around asking us for favors.

        The only way to firmly resist these temptations is to have a governing philosophy that virtually all of these special rules and subsidies are wrong and that you’ll never grant them. If you concede that it’s legitimate for government to be in the business of picking winners and losers, you’ll yield to the lobbyists’ temptation. You can rail against your unethical colleagues for selling their offices, but you’ll only make that distinction because you think you have a better justification for your own special interest legislation.

        Pro-business is not pro-market. There’s a difference. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the vast majority of the state’s Republicans believe in the former, not the latter. To be “pro-market” means you have to be able to resist the Sirens’ song of “helping” a special business or industry because of its “vitalness to the economy”, or some such. Unfortunately, there aren’t many in Atlanta willing to do so.

  5. Reality Check says:

    Pete – I don’t know Mr. Harrell or his record but you are really reaching here and at Mr. Harrell’s cost so to speak. Should elected officials or those running for office not meet with the GA. Chamber or other elected officials? I for one hope my representative is meeting with them. I personally don’t care for the updates on facebook or twitter (and by the way you don’t have to “subscribe to them”), but to try and turn what Brett said on his updates into some kind of good ole boy system he wants to join is not very accurate.

  6. IndyInjun says:

    The time for this degree of scrutiny was in 1992 when those of us concerned about the nexus of lobbyists and government’s fiat money/debt without limit did our level best to elect Buchanan or Perot on the national level.

    We scared them straight – both parties – for a while.

    What has happened since is just bat-sh!* insane.

    I really don’t think that there are enough thinking, level-headed people running and probably not in the electorate to save this state or nation. Anyone running now has ulterior motives and just wants aboard the gravy train. What is worse is that the people will reject anyone with the honor and integrity to tell people that the inevitable truth is that BOTH tax increases and HUGE spending cuts are coming, if the state and nation are to be preserved.

    I just don’t see that happening. Our goose is very thoroughly cooked…..the numbers don’t lie on that account. Collapse will come then the brain dead electorate that put us here will stupidly buy some totally wrong scapegoating version of ‘history,’ then jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.

    Who will pick up the pieces when the collapse comes?

    It won’t be intelligent, prudent people. It will be fresh faces with the same financial lunacy wrapped in a seductive wrapper furnished by FOX news or CNN.

    Cynical? Nope…..just my analysis of 40 years of watching this nation and state implode, while seeing reformers ridiculed and sent packing.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      We allow candidates to talk about “issues” and never force them to talk about their core beliefs. If we did that, even people with weak BS detectors might be able to see the difference.

      If John McCain had been forced to discuss his core beliefs then he would have never been the GOP nominee. This could be applied to those currently running for office in this state.

      Make them talk about what they believe in their hearts and we’ll be better off than we are now.

      • Bill Greene says:

        McCain would have still gotten the nomination. Our GOP leaders – state and national – were more than willing to kiss his tail, even though they KNEW what his core beliefs were. Party over principle. Blech.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          Actually, the national GOP needs to ride herd on its primaries and restrict the early ones to states that do not allow crossover voting by Dems and Independents.

          McCain was nominated but I cannot find a single grassroots Republican who says McCain was his or her first choice for the nomination.

    • IndyInjun says:

      After what OBAMA did for HIM, he needs to switch to supporting DEMS.

      Real estate developers who lost money the last couple of years can carry back those losses and get TAX REFUNDS of taxes paid all the way back to 5 years ago.

      The hand really is quicker than the eye.

  7. IndyInjun says:

    It is the overwhelming power of free money thrown about by Keynesians and monetarists until the insanity reached the point of no return.

    4 Years ago, I asked both GOP candidates for the GA senate what they intended to do about the $20 billion unfunded retiree/employee health care obligation. I foolishly thought I might get LEADERSHIP, but instead both said they intended to kick the can down the road. Both used nearly the same BS “We will fund the costs as they come due out of future revenues.”

    Now that can is filled with lead and has rebar fixing it to a granite base. Legislators trying to kick the can will break all toes and probably their foot bones.

    You see, you CAN’T tell the teachers across the state that they need to take a 15% pay cut, plus pitch in more for their benies AND at the same time raises taxes on the electorate.

    No, what we will do is ask the DC pols with the UNLIMITED money supply spreadsheet to bail the states out…..and the banks…..and the pension funds…..and the FDIC…and the GSEs.

    You see, the math says that the USA has to write down its ponzi finance 95 cents on the dollar by hook or crook, so we will take the “EASY” way out and inflate to the stratosphere.

    Don’t tell me to elect Republicans either, for just about every one I talked to thought that TARP was something “we HAVE TO DO.”

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      IndyInjun,

      I’m a Republican and make no apologies for it. I will also go on record that not all Republicans wear white hats.

      In my local GOP county party, do you know how many of our party regulars had John McCain as a first choice for the GOP nomination? None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Empty set. For many of us, he was the last or next-to-last choice. I had a loyal GOP member tell me this morning that if Barack Obama had not been so radical that he would have simply skipped over the presidential race on his ballot.

      There are a large group of Republicans who are unhappy with the national party because it often gets in the way of doing what is right. Even deeply held clear-cut values have been blurred.

      As you rightly point out, the dependence on Washington is sickening.

      We no longer have a “federal” government. Oh, on paper we do, but in truth we have a “national” government that uses our own tax dollars to dictate to us what we as citizens of a state and as individual citizens can do.

      In the polls we Republicans are looking better on the national level. I don’t believe it’s because we are doing better; I believe it’s because the Democrats are doing what they promised.

      TARP should be listed as a synonym for “stupid” in the thesaurus. This was against every principle that conservatives hold. Yet the national party skipped gaily along the TARP path holding hands and giggling.

      My experience is that the beliefs of the Republicans in the rural areas of this state do not happily co-exist with those of the national party on TARP, on porous borders, on expansion of Medicare or on interfering in local and congressional races.

      Finally,as to the Keynesians and Neo-Keynesians, thank Jimmy Carter for proving that Keynesian economics does not work. The Keynesian model is based largely on the Philips Curve which states that there is a negative relationship between Unemployment and Inflation. Crazy Jimmy created a situation in which Inflation and Unemployment both skyrocketed simultaneously. The monetarist theories are a little harder to debunk.

      • IndyInjun says:

        Ah, you started posting here during my hiatus, so here we go. I will be brief.

        There is a treatise that 4 years ago was used by nearly every GOP chapter in the state and country. It was “I am a Republican, because……” and it stated the PRINCIPLES of being a Republican very succinctly.

        I AM A REPUBLICAN because I believe and practice those principles.

        On PeachPundit I used these PRINCIPLES relentlessly, like a junkyard dog, against the folks campaigning for Saxby Chambliss. THEY didn’t like it.

        I confess to being blunt.

        If you voted for Saxby Chambliss or intend to support Johnny Isakson or the bulk of the GOP delegation to DC, you ARE NOT A REPUBLICAN.

        You are a PROBLEM.

        I am a REPUBLICAN.

        I don’t make excuses and I don’t vote for or support liars and charlatans like that bunch.

        Those who do have destroyed this country.

        • Bill Greene says:

          The same problem sprung up when McCain was about to be coronated at the GOP National Convention last year. Anyone who merely suggested that the delegates act like real delegates used to, and vote on principle instead of kissing a RINO’s tail, was promptly slapped down by our “leaders” and their sycophants. Thus, we got what we deserved: Juan McCain, and our heads handed to us by a Marxist-turned-fascist. I keep hoping we’ve learned something…

          • IndyInjun says:

            My vote didn’t count.

            I wrote in Ron Paul.

            My PRINCIPLES would not allow me to vote for McCain.

            I considered Obama but concluded he was insane.

  8. ByteMe says:

    for just about every one I talked to thought that TARP was something “we HAVE TO DO.”

    Not to derail you rant, but they were right. A few hundred billion (and the price tag keeps coming down) was better than letting those banks (and several countries) fail and then having to bail out the FDIC and numerous pension funds (via the PBGC) to the tune of several trillion.

    You can hate it or you can understand that the options weren’t pretty and the best possible option available in a politically charged environment was what happened.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      Sorry, ByteMe, but I must disagree.

      Nothing is too big to fail. Capitalism weeds out inefficiencies. The only sad part is that government programs (FannieMae, FreddieMac etc) and policies were partially to blame.

      I do agree that the options weren’t pretty.

      I’m not being argumentative (Heck, I even said something nice about the Gators on another thread), but I’m curious. Does it bother you that some assets were bailed out and other were allowed to fail?

      To be more specific, we saved some banks and let other go under. Someone made the choice and all I know about that person is that he or she was not me. I trust me – everyone else, I keep an eye on. 🙂

      • ByteMe says:

        I was doing a lot of reading on this both before the crisis and after, because anyone who was paying attention — but wasn’t on TV being a cheerleader — could see the problem coming.

        And the problem wasn’t Fanny or Freddie. The problem was waaaay more complex than that. Check out Bailout Nation if you want to get your head around all the businesses and politicians complicit in the crime.

        Just a side note: You think having your bank taken over by the Feds doesn’t look like a “fail”?

        Anyway, the big disconnect that most people miss is the deposits that the FDIC guarantees and the pension funds that were buying bank bonds and the payout from those pensions are guaranteed by PBGC. If those banks were allowed to fail, depositors and pensioners were guaranteed to be backstopped by the government. So the banks and pension funds — in effect — are always gambling with our money. If they fail, we take the hit. It’s really that simple and nothing will change on that, so crying about it doesn’t matter.

        So the real question in Sept 2008 was: how do we control the damage? If they let AIG fail, several banks — all backstopped by the government — and countries fail (and a European sovereign failing could also have triggered further failures). If they let Citi tank, so do several pension funds and something near a trillion in deposits, all backstopped by the government. And so on.

        Thankfully some of the economically challenged here were not part of the decision process.

        Do I worry that LEH and Bear were allowed to fail, but the others were not? Some days yes, but other days no. Hindsight makes some things clearer and others not so clear.

        But I do think the “too big to fail” concept needs to be stopped and that’s going to require government intrusion — something Republicans hate, but you can’t have an entity so large and backstopped by the government without having some way to stop it from getting out of control.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          Thanks for the reply.

          I live in the real world (mostly), so I won’t get into the FDIC should not exist and that private insurance should cover bank failures, because that’s not how it is now (which would solve future concerns without adding more regulations and more safety nets). That’s another argument for another day.

          FannieMae and FreddieMac, at the behest of the federal government (specifically certain federal legislators), began to make loans that were less safe than in the past. Combined with a housing bubble that many of us also saw coming – as an aside, if you saw it and I saw it and even many folks on TV business shows saw it coming, why was the damage not minimized? – this turned into a slowly moving but irresistible glacier moving to the sea.

          If the stockholders were not adversely affected in the long term then it wasn’t a failure. It may have looked like a failure and been embarrassing, but it wasn’t a real failure. CITI’s stock, for example will probably bounce back over the next couple of years.

          By the way, I agree that allowing the failures would have hurt worse at that time, and there would have been other repercussions. I also believe it would have been better in the long run and forced managers in the future to be more responsible.

          Finally, there’s no Constitutional authority to do this stuff. There really isn’t; and, that’s the biggest concern to me.

          • Bill Greene says:

            “Finally, there’s no Constitutional authority to do this stuff. There really isn’t; and, that’s the biggest concern to me.”

            Thank God someone said it.

            Of course, it means that now Charlie is going to hit the bar, right after he quotes Matthew 16:26 again.

          • IndyInjun says:

            Indeed. The Constitution requires that SPENDING bills originate in the HOUSE, so the Senate voted on an amendment to a bill that had passed the House.

            WE THE PEOPLE had gotten through to the HOUSE and killed this nonsense.

            Saxby and Johnny were eager participants in this fraud.

            Never forget that.

            I won’t.

        • IndyInjun says:

          I totally disagree.

          Before the FDIC limit was increased to $250,000, there were $12 trillion in assets to cover $4 trillion in insured accounts. After the increase there were $12 trillion to cover $7 trillion.

          Even with the horrendous losses of 30% that FDIC is taking when it closes banks, depositors had and have adequate coverage for their deposits.

          Wipe out the bank shareholders. Wipe out the Preferred holders. Wipe out the bank bondholders. Distribute the net recoverable assets to INSURED DEPOSITORS – THE FRUGAL FOLKS WHO SAVED AND DIDN’T GAMBLE.

          That is how the system was supposed to function. Depositors before everyone else.

          The FRAUDSTERS who ran the banks were bailed out and now depositors will see their money incinerated from the monetary inflation caused by $24 trillions in bailouts. (With more on the way…don’t look know but the system is in greater danger now than when TARP was “necessary.”)

          As a depositor I would even have accepted a haircut in the knowledge that my money would buy more goods and services in an deflationary environment.

          By punishing the frugal saver and bailing out CRIMINALS, a wave of moral hazard will wreck the last vestiges of a civilized society.

          We have funded and institutionalized ponzi economics, lying, and accounting fraud.

          I recommend Thomas Woods’ Meltdown.

          • ByteMe says:

            Your numbers work great if the institutions that were failing were properly capitalized and not allowed by the Bush SEC to over-leverage to, say, over 30-1 as Bear was. And as I said, it wasn’t just the FDIC that had to cover stuff, it was also PBGC, because pension funds were big buyers of mortgage paper as well as bank bonds. You wipe out the preferreds and bond holders, you wipe out a lot of retirees, pensions, future pensions (which then takes out the underlying business, because they wouldn’t be able to properly recapitalize the pension), and so on. No way a politician — regardless of the letter after their name — is going to let that happen.

          • IndyInjun says:

            No way a politician — regardless of the letter after their name — is going to let that happen.

            And THAT is why the most wild-eyed of the goldbugs have it nailed.

  9. IndyInjun says:

    How could they have been “RIGHT” when none of the money ended up being spent to buy toxic assets and was a BLANK CHECK (we tried specifically to warn about this) that was used to buy equity in the Too Big To Fail Banks?

    If the entire system was about to implode as stated and for the reason stated, it would have done it, because TARP money was totally redirected.

    Go read what the MORON senators who voted for this con job wrote after their dastardly vote. NOT ONE OF THE ASSURANCES MADE turned out to be true.

    • ByteMe says:

      The problem was that no one really knew what those assets were really worth — some were toxic because they were bad and others were toxic because the market for them temporarily dried up — so if the government did buy them, you’d be complaining about the price paid. The banks were complaining about the price being offered. It was just a mess with a tight deadline.

      So they chose to re-capitalize the banks holding the assets so that they could keep operating and restart the market and start earning money. Did they get enough of a premium? Likely not. But it worked. Even BAC, which I considered one of the two banks primed to kick the bucket because of their purchase of Countrywide, has paid off their loan. Citi has the space to be slowly dismantled because of the cash and they were in the worst shape of all the ones remaining. And as they dismantle, the cash from the deals will help pay off the loans.

      Will we ever see all the money back? Of course not. Was the investment in GM and Chrysler bad even though it wasn’t supposed to be part of TARP? No, because that kept 1,000,000 people on the job, paying taxes, buying food, and so on. The alternatives were worse.

      Anyway, you can be p-o’ed, that’s your right, but you’re focusing on the wrong end of the problem. You should use your anger to get some financial reform to keep the problem from happening again for another 4 generations (it seems that’s how long it took us to forget how we screwed up the first time by letting banks gamble with depositors money).

          • ByteMe says:

            I’ll wait until there’s a room available. Gotta get back to earning a livin’. I suspect if we hashed it out over a beer, we would find that we would eventually agree on a bunch more than we will here.

            And, yes, it’s not in the constitution… except for the overly broad commerce clause that lets them do pretty much anything anyway.

      • IndyInjun says:

        I support Ron Paul and did last election. I support his bill to audit the Fed.

        The reason that TARP is being repaid and the reason your logic is faulty is that the actions of the Fed in doubling the money supply and creating $24 trillion (anybody with a brain should shiver at that number ) in guarantees.

        Tha banks are getting well off of shafting depositors while charging 30% rates on Credit cards and 5 % on mortgages. The FED is making the banks whole with ZIRP. Tarp just let them pay bonuses for 2 years.

        The entire system is about to fall.

        Who will pick up the pieces……it won’t be frugal, responsible people like me.

        We are targeted for extinction.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          Anyone with US bonds and savings accounts needs to make other arrangements. I’m not saying they won’t be repaid. They’ll just be repaid with highly inflated dollars.

          Purposefully inflating the dollar is the most likely way the federal debt will be rapid.

          I wasn’t a Ron Paul supporter, but there is no good reason in the world why the Fed should not be audited. It should be audited and the results made public.

          I believe federal regulations have led to a systematic destruction of the capital held by middle-income people. I don’t even necessarily think it was purposeful. The middle-class and its plight are simply overlooked – again and again.

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            rapid=repaid.

            If you can’t tell, I am a brilliantly inventive keyboard user. OK, actually I can’t type worth a flip.

          • IndyInjun says:

            Nope.

            The middle class is targeted for extinction.

            We are headed straight for declining wages and increasing cost of necessities.

            Wage arbitrage under “free” trade (ha , that’s a joke) is bringing wages to parity with Asia.

            Free money is flowing from FED fed commercial banks over into investment banking, which is ‘wisely’ buying into food, energy, water, and commodities NECESSARY FOR LIFE.

            Someone wrote about a revolutionary mindset.

            You ain’t seen nothing yet. There is a financial meltdown of the USA government coming that was caused by traitors.

            Fitch Ratings is one of the few entities to study toxic assets and they concluded that FRAUD was massive and pervasive.

            There are NO PROSECUTIONS of the biggest theft in world history which is wiping out real conservatives.

            And, no we won’t let you change the subject.

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            IndyInjun,

            That’s reason for concern. I’m not surprised at the massive fraud, and I’m sure you are not surprised either.

            And thanks for that clarification, too, about changing the subject. 🙂 I could talk about this stuff all day – BUT I do have a meeting to chair tonight and I have to make a few calls first.

            Also, I got my “Holiday Season” card from the state GOP today. Not Christmas, not Hanukkah, not even Kwanzaa, but “Holiday Season”. That gives me a case of “Seasonal Depression.” *sigh*

      • Ken in Eastman says:

        As for more regulation, we do that already. Hegel’s dialectic still applies.

        Thesis =>
        Synthesis=> New Thesis etc.
        Antithesis =>

        Given time and motivation, there will always be ways around regulations and laws. More regulation will alway beget more regulation.

      • IndyInjun says:

        What are those Toxic assets worth NOW, over a year later?

        Answer – they are every bit as toxic and they reside within the books of every financial institution in the country.

        Thanks to Mark to Deception accounting urged by Congress, folks are looking at 401k statements and corporate financials that are total fictions.

        Good luck with your EXTEND AND PRETEND policy when CASH FLOW has to be produced from these ‘investments’ to pay benefits.

        There is a principle in estate planning that even the IRS recognizes and that is diminution of value from reduced marketability arising from fractional ownership. Securitization took fractional ownership nearly to infinity, yet by FICTION banks are allowed to claim that they are at 100% Par.

        We are living a lie.

        The lie is DOOMED and the men who made the doom have withdrawn their profits and dumped $trillions of losses on governments.

        The “theory” is that the US government itself is Too Big To Fail.

        It isn’t.

        It will.

  10. BillonCapitolHill says:

    How many accounts does Brett Harrell’s consultant have here on PP. Seems like they have all come out on this thread.

  11. todd rehm says:

    I’ve known Brett Harrell personally for about ten years and it has been my personal experience that he’s an honest man and has been a very good public servant. It is my expectation that Brett Harrell will be elected to serve the 106th District and will make his constituents proud.

    Shortly after I originally met Brett, he ran for Mayor of Snellville against a 20-some year incumbent. Brett and candidates who worked with him like Melvin Everson were a breath of fresh air introduced to a small town that still had the oldest of old-boy governments.

    Brett won his first race by walking door-to-door and keeping in touch with the voters personally. This set the mold for the successful “reform” candidates who would follow. It also ensured that he knew the wishes of his constituents because he was talking to dozens of them everyday.

    I will be shocked if Brett doesn’t wear out another pair or two of shoes in his house campaign.

    I don’t believe that Brett is a “go along to get along” person and his record as a reformed in Snellville backs that up.

    That being said, I see no problem with Brett meeting with the Chamber folks at their dinner and no threat that he’ll sell out his consitutents for a juicy steak and a little attention from the big shots.

    I think that industry deserves a place at the table when talking about legislation that affects them. If for no other reason than to protect us from unintended consequences of well-meaning legislators and legislation.

    My experience has been that most legislators have a limited scope of experience and cannot always understand the ramifications of legislation that sounds good at first blush.

    If well-meaning and good legislation might have the unintended consequence of causing an industry to shutter its doors and throw Georgians out of work, someone has to say something. And who will understand the effects of proposed legislation on an industry or business sector than those who work in it?

    I hope that the Chamber will not be the only business group a legislator listens to, and I hope that legislators are open to hearing from all their constituents.

    To say that a candidate should only talk to business groups on the candidate’s own dime sounds great but is probably impractical. If as a legislator or candidate you are confident that you won’t be overly swayed by a juicy steak or rubber chicken, why shouldn’t you seek the opinions of business people where you find them gathered?

    If Brett Harrell or any other legislator or candidate thinks can’t resist the temptation of an all-you-can-eat buffet lest he sell out the interests of his constituents, he probably shouldn’t be serving in the first place. But I think that refusing to listen to interested parties simply because they happen to offer you a sandwich or steak would do a disservice as well.

    Finally, I’d rather have a candidate who is open about whom he speaks to and on whose check he dines than one who hides it. Hey, everyone who might care about it now knows that Brett had a tasty meal at Virgil’s home. If Brett decides to campaign on something that will line the pockets of developers, industrialists or whomever makes up the Georgia Chamber we can fairly judge his actions.

      • todd rehm says:

        No, I’m not managing his campaign. I’ve worked in the past for candidates who were on Brett’s “side” in Snellville, and I’ve actually worked against Brett as well. I have neither given money to, nor received money from, Brett, his campaign, his consultants or anyone else in relation to that race.

  12. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    This thread cracks me up. You guys never had a problem with Pete singling out (rightfully so most of the time) Black Democratic legislators…but dear god, don’t let Pete single out a white Republican getting wined and dined by the GA. Chamber….sigh.

    This guy isn’t even going out of his way to try and hide the fact that he’s being wined and dined…the guy is either arrogant or clueless.

  13. IndyInjun says:

    Loyalty,

    When I read about Richardson’s threat to bring the wrath and force of Georgia government down in retribution on his ex-wife, another recent GA party leader leapt to mind…

    Charles Walker.

    • LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

      LOL…yeah, Walker was a doozy, but he’s in the klink now. For better or for worse, he’s considered the main reason for Sonny switching parties.

  14. Pete Randall says:

    That anyone thinks I’m engaging in populist business bashing is laughable and shows that there has been a gross misinterpretation of my original post concerning Harrell.

    Some here, evidently, think that you can’t be 100% pro-business without sucking at the teat of lobbyist contributions. Nothing can be further from the truth and I’m pretty sure that you can support pro-business legislation without having swanky parties at the Lake Lanier lodges of certain individuals. I somehow remain pro-business and pro-capitalism without having my gin and tonic mixed by a lobbyist.

    • todd rehm says:

      Pete, you said “Some here, evidently, think that you can’t be 100% pro-business without sucking at the teat of lobbyist contributions.”

      Would it be fair to characterize your position as being that the only way to retain one’s independent judgement as a legislator is to not accept any food, drink, or contributions from lobbyists?

      • Pete Randall says:

        Yes, it would be fair to characterize it as such. Some around here are wailing and gnashing their teeth that about my post and that’s unfortunate. But the point wasn’t about Harrell. And it wasn’t about the Georgia Chamber of Commerce (which I LOVE).

        The point is that these “events” are so common practice that it doesn’t even merit a second glance these days.

        Does Casey Cagle really need drinks and dinner with Virgil Williams to know how to help small businesses? Does Shafer need to have a double scotch while overlooking Lake Lanier to understand the limits on liberty and economic freedom that are chaining down the very engines of economic recovery we need?

        I even made the point that Harrell already knows what he has to do to help business…but he still didn’t turn down the evening of fun!

        Is my proposal of “zero contributions” slightly draconian? Absolutely no doubt about it…yes. But is a radical change needed for even a short while in order to bring about the honest, integrity filled General Assembly that we all want? I say, again, yes.

        Harrell’s incident is a symptom of a bigger problem, a problem that was the point of the post.

        • todd rehm says:

          “Does Casey Cagle really need drinks and dinner with Virgil Williams to know how to help small businesses? Does Shafer need to have a double scotch while overlooking Lake Lanier to understand the limits on liberty and economic freedom that are chaining down the very engines of economic recovery we need?”

          I believe I understand your position and your point. I simply wish it had been made without criticizing Brett, who is not part of the problem.

          As to what Casey Cagle and David Shafer need or don’t need, you’re right that they probably don’t need instruction on the basic points of free market economics. But it’s the actual day-to-day effects of legislation they may propose, support, oppose or simply vote on where I believe that outside opinions are needed.

          I don’t expect Casey Cagle or David Shafer to necessarily know or understand the effects of every piece of legislation on local businesses, industries important to Georgians and the jobs they provide. That’s where lobbyists rightfully have a place.

          We can’t pretend that we live in a free market society today.
          Our markets and our industries are heavily-regulated and legislation often has consequences that are not immediately apparent to legislators who may have no experience with particular industries or businesses.

          Simply saying “I won’t listen to you if you happen to be providing a meal,” would unnecessarily impede the flow of information to legislators. Do you really want your legislators limited to their own knowledge and experience of the world?

  15. BillonCapitolHill says:

    Good thread, let’s keep it going.

    May unleash a bag of worms but who else has a hidden girlfriend in the house since we are talking about ethics?

  16. IndyInjun says:

    I don’t care about the boyfriends and girlfriends. Those are personal matters.

    When the sex is exchanged for votes, because the sex partner is a lobbyist or a lobby supplied whore, I want them JAILED.

  17. BillonCapitolHill says:

    Well when republicans want to be all religious especially when it comes to anti abortion then they commit adultry it says something about their character and their true values.

    • IndyInjun says:

      Oh you mean like Bush giving a gay porn star White House press credentials and access to the White House…..

      Or do you mean covering up for Rep. Mark Foley and his hots for boy pages……

      Or do you mean Sen. Larry Craig going down to public men’s rooms wanting some….

      Or do you mean, Ted Haggard, Bush’s spiritual advisor who reminded all of the 43nd POTUS by saying “I did not have sex with that man……

      All of you socons who lorded over the GOP for the last decade are a real hoot…..you worried about everyone’s bedroom but your leaders’…and you STILL don’t pay attention to their theft of your money.

      And y’all try to tell me how stupid and irresponsible the Democrats are?

Comments are closed.