Perdue seeks a shake-up of state government

We have an internal dispute on this one here at Peach Pundit.

I’ve been calling for this for a long time.

Gov. Sonny Perdue will announce plans today for a major restructuring of state government that would make four constitutional offices appointed, rather than elected, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

Perdue’s plan, which would require approval of voters in November, would allow future governors to appoint the state’s insurance, labor and agriculture commissioners, as well as the state school superintendent.

I think this is a good idea. At the end of the day, the Governor is largely held responsible for each of these issues, but they are outside his areas of power. Giving him the power to appoint these people in a cabinet form of government will give the Governor, already held politically accountable in these areas, the power to actually substantively affect the areas.

That said, this is a fair point — why now? Why wait till the end of his administration to propose a major upheaval? I guess it could be said he did not want it viewed as a power grab, but still, fair question.

134 comments

  1. polisavvy says:

    Timing is the question to be asked. As far as the idea/concept, well, it sounds like a way in which there could be more control over the positions and less likely abuse of power (Oxendine). I particularly like the sentence: “Many states have moved towards a cabinet form of government so that agency heads can focus on policy outcomes and not worry about the next election cycle.” (Code for, making sure the taxpayers are placed above your own political aspirations). There can be no complaining about it later, if the voters are allowed to vote on it in the fall. I would like to know more about the details as far as oversight, though.

      • HankRearden says:

        I don’t. I do not think the Governor should have that much power. You all seem to have a lot of angst with John Ox. Would you want him choosing all those positions? I know I would not want Roy Barnes to choose them.

          • Dave says:

            Presidential cabinet members historically haven’t been elected by the people. The ones Purdue wants to appoint have been. Big difference.

          • polisavvy says:

            I understand that; however, if the people voted for this to be a new law, then would the appointments for the governor not be the same as the appointments of the president, especially if they were voted on by the legislature? That’s all I’m saying/asking.

  2. Buzzfan says:

    Has he also proposed ending the repeated appointment of non-degreed booze peddlers to the Board of Regents?

    I’ll take “Questions undoubtedly answered with ‘NO’ for $200, Alex.”

    • gatormathis says:

      ….that’s where i don’t see a lot of difference between the “degreed” booze peddelers and the “non-degreed” booze peddelers……always seems to result in about the same…..

  3. Dawgfan says:

    Polisavy is right about oversight being the key. Right now the voters theoretically have oversight of these offices. If somebody is doing a really bad job, or running their office really poorly the voters will throw them out. Now, you move all that regulatory authority and budget into the Governors office and the Legislature will want to keep an eye on it. They are not staffed to do that. They get more staff. They have more day’s at the Capitol to have oversight hearings. They are spending too much time at the Capitol for this little pay. Boom, full time legislature. Granted this is a worst case scenario, but there is an issuse of legislative oversight that needs to be thought through.

    • polisavvy says:

      Even if there is not full time legislature; then, there would at least have to be an extended period of time for the legislature to work beyond the normal scope it is now. All that comes at an expense that and is passed onto us.

  4. griftdrift says:

    Voters have no idea what these offices actually do, so we get races where either they just vote for the incumbent because they don’t know any better or an department head that controls if a rollercoaster is properly inspected campaigns on the 10th Amendment.

    These are administrative positions. Not policy positions. That they are subject to the whims of an electorate is rather insane.

    • benevolus says:

      I know what they do!
      The Labor Commissioner regulates midwives.
      The Insurance Commissioner runs Blue Cross.
      The Agricultural Commissioner is the head farmer.
      And the School Superintendent mops the floor. Everybody knows that!

    • Dave says:

      Whether the voters aren’t really aware of what they do or whether they vote based on the whims you mention, I’d much rather have the power of the vote resting with the great unwashed any day than a bunch of potentially self serving and crooked pols. The voters won’t give it up if put to a vote. Take that to the bank.

    • I was trying to remember the last time an incumbent was booted out of one of these positions. It seems once elected, you’re there as long as you want to be. How different is that than being appointed?

      I’m not completely on board just yet but it’s an idea worth considering.

      Of course by not declaring this an evil proposal I’ll forever be banned from any and all Tea Party rallies and Freedomworks meetings. Oh darn.

      • Dave says:

        You are correct in that once elected it’s almost impossible to be dislodged from office. I’d just rather leave the choice up to the voters rather than the whims of a politician.

        • polisavvy says:

          The only problem with that is, as someone pointed out here a few days ago, the lower on the ballot a state position seems to be, the more likely someone is just to vote for the incumbent. People seem to really follow the governor and lt. governor races, and give a lot of thought to those positions. The others, maybe not so much. As we have seen in previous (and current) positions, sometimes just because someone is the incumbent doesn’t mean that they are necessarily what’s best for Georgia. The other thing is that with parties gaining and losing power within the state those positions would/could change with each administration, whereas, like Buzz said, most incumbents seem to wear out their welcome. I’m not sure exactly where I stand on this one yet. I would need more information regarding oversight. Plus, it could possibly give the governor way too much power. In other words, it could be a double-edged sword. JMO.

    • Mozart says:

      Hey, Grift? Sounds like you’d be happy in Cuba. Never have to worry about trying to figure out what someone does in some archaic public office. It’s all decided for you. All handed to you on a straw basket platter.

      • Doug Deal says:

        Communists dictatorships all have “elections”. What’s your point? The down ballot races have more in common with Chavez and Castro than a real election.

      • rugby says:

        How is your local coroner performing? School board member? Public Service Commissioner? State Rep. or Senator (I trust you aren’t relying on lobbyists’ scorecards)? County Commissioner? The absurd number of judges we vote for (depending which county that could be several dozen)? District Attorney? Any of the environmental regulators you vote for?

        I can go on listing obscure offices we vote on. If you could name half of those easily and then give even the briefest of performance reports on a minority of them I’d have to say you are making it all up.

      • griftdrift says:

        Ooooooooo! I missed this one! Should I worry about being put on a list? Being asked questions that start with “Are you now or have you ever been…”?

        I better go hide my Little Red Book. I think I left it right next to my de Tocqueville and Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations.

  5. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    I like it, but should have included DOE and probably SoS too.
    Seriously, outside of Peach Pundit, no one knows who any of these commissioners are, let alone if they’re elected or appointed. Let the Gov. be accountable and responsible for all of these areas.

    • wmo says:

      Umm… not Secretary of State, not thank you.
      I’ll freely admit my opposition to the current proposal is politically based, as these four positions currently have two democrats serving, on of them an up and comer.
      But, politics aside, is it really a good idea to have the chief elections officer of the state appointed (and therefore beholden to) the top elected official in the state, regardless of which party said governor belongs to?

      • rightofcenter says:

        If your up and comer is Mike Thurmond, I have to laugh. He’s fine as long as he sits in a lower-level office, but just wait until he runs for an office that people actually care about and folks start looking into DOL’s statewide leases and his wive’s involvement. Just what we need – another scandal.

        • polisavvy says:

          Not my choice!! Just saying the SOS should not have to answer to the governor in that there could be too much of an opportunity for impropriety as Loyalty indicated. Don’t have a problem with the ones mentioned in the article, provided there is true bipartisan oversight.

      • LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

        I thought of that, but having the SoS and the Guv from the same party really doesn’t make it any safer. Here’s an example:

        Current Setup:
        Sonny: Hey Brian, I want you to fiddle with the election numbers so Karen wins this primary.
        Brian (Sitting on Sonny’s lap): Ok buddy.

        Appointed SoS:
        Sonny: Hey Brian, I want you to fiddle with the numbers so Karen wins this primary.
        Brian: (Sitting on Sonny’s lap): Ok buddy.

        Oh sh*t, I just shot down my own argument! Brian is already appointed…curses!

        Well I guess I’d be OK with it being Nonpartisan.

        Of course, having all these positions appointed begs the question: What office will Brian and Karen run for next if they do not prevail in their current races?

        • polisavvy says:

          Great post. I think, like you, that there should be either nonpartisan or truly bipartisan oversight. That’s the key to it all.

          • polisavvy says:

            True. Would it be better to say has no loyalty or pledge to any party? Like judges? Help me here. What do you think would work?

          • benevolus says:

            I would rather they claim a party affiliation if they have one rather than pretend they are independent. Just like you can run as an “independent” but be partisan, you can also run as a party candidate but do your job impartially.
            Maybe these positions should be overseen by the PSC.

          • benevolus says:

            And if we want to make School Super an appointed position, let’s let the BoE appoint it. That’s who the Super reports to anyway.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        wmo:

        My thoughts initially too about the SoS. Thinking futher, create an elected Superintendent of Elections to oversee elections, and move the other current SoS responsbilities, corporate registrations, title registrations et al, that are administrative, to the the office of a Gubenatorial appointed SoS.

        Sonny gets a prop on this at least as a proposal.

    • Republican Lady says:

      Based on the DOT flouting governmental authority, it shoud be an administrative position but with these areas being appointed rather than elective, one has to worry about the heads “going native” and losing sight of their objectives.

      On a national level, many cabinet members go native and become high company officers and many high company officers go on the cabinet head’s staff. There are pros and cons on each side but I think the pros more than outweigh the cons.

  6. ByteMe says:

    I’d be ok with the proposal if there was a counterweight, like a consumer oversight/advocacy board with some real power. Right now, for example, the insurance commissioner raises campaign cash from the same people who are regulated by him and consumers really don’t have an advocate for their desire for lower costs and smarter coverage. The best we can do is vote them out every four years (or not). Same with the PSC: the utilities are the biggest contributors to the campaigns of PSC members and it taints their viewpoint.

    Being appointed makes them beholden to the governor and not directly to us. Give us a way to take a stand more than once every four years. Pleeeeeeease? Guys?? Hello??

    • Republican Lady says:

      Oxendine is a prime example of a politican going native and it shows with him pandering to insurance executives rather than tending to the voters who put him in office.

      • ByteMe says:

        Ox makes an easy example, but Bubba McDonald and Stan Wise are also bought and paid for by the utilities and sit on the PSC and do whatever the utilities want them to do instead of serving the public. Would an appointment be any better? Probably depends on the governor.

        But a consumer advocacy/oversight board with some real money and real power… now there’s an antidote to the way Georgia government gets run.

        • macho says:

          Wouldn’t be better or worse, just depends on how utility friendly the Governor was and which legislative buddies he wanted to give jobs to.

  7. macho says:

    Political appointments have done so well over at the DOT and its board. A bit ironic this proposal is coming out in the middle of the DOT upheaval.

    I’m neutral on this issue, because you’ll have issues either way. Voters are idiots versus cronyism. It’s hard to believe all the ex Reps and Senators, who have been appointed to the Superior Courts over the years, have been the most qualified.

    I don’t buy the fact that voters are completely clueless on these offices, otherwise Oxendine wouldn’t have his high. name recognition.

    • Republican Lady says:

      Yea but is it name recognition based on his ability or name recognition based on his very public misjudgements.

      • macho says:

        I agree with you on that point. Ox’s legacy might be that the State of Georgia, for the first time in its history, had decided to the Ins. Comm. should be appointed.

        • polisavvy says:

          He’s a prime example of what not to do, isn’t he? I’m still on the fence about this whole appointment thing for all of the ones the Governor is proposing be changed. I see good and bad in the idea. I’m sure that someone is going to challenge this eventually, though.

  8. Nixonstheone says:

    What about the attorney general? It doesn’t work when the state’s legal counsel and the governor are on different pages.

    • AthensRepublican says:

      AG needs to remain independent and accountable only to the voters. We already have a problem with ethics and corruption and don’t need to invite more of a problem.

  9. Rick Day says:

    *slow clap* 4 more offices to pony out to corporate cronies, just like the bought and sold POTUS doles out appointments to his political contributors.

    A Tyson lobbyist as Ag Commissioner.

    BC/BS former CEO on Insurance!

    Your 2012 Vote. Sponsored by WalMart™

    Sweet! Utter transparency in gummit!

  10. aquaman says:

    And in the end government will still be government; a stinking mess, derived by a different formula perhaps but still a stinking mess.

  11. IndyInjun says:

    Isn’t Oxendine the Sam Caldwell of our present day? Sam Caldwell went to prison for his excesses at the Labor department.

    Ox and old Sam lend credence to Sonny’s reorganization.

    Ox’s predecessor (before Ryles, that is) Johnny Caldwell (no relation to Sam, his contemporary at Labor) was Insurance Commissioner for years. My recollection that his last reelection came just before the law that kept officials from converting unused campaign contributions into personal funds went into effect. In a sort of last hurrah, the insurance companies raised an incredible $380,000 or so at one fundraising dinner for JC, an unheard of sum in that day. (late 70’s)

    My theory when SC’s scandal broke was that SC saw JC’s take and got envious. The trouble was that SC’s donor base was mainly Labor department employees, sums of JC’s magnitude could only be extracted by extortion, and the extortion became so painful to the employees that whistle-blowers took SC down.

    The more things change the more they stay the same, eh?

  12. Ken in Eastman says:

    Sorry Erick, but I strongly disagree.

    Do the voters make mistakes? Absolutely. Do our governors make mistakes? Absolutely. This doesn’t mean it’s a wash, though. There is a real problem here.

    Imagine a Roy Barnes governorship for just a moment and its long-term implications (ByteMe, Erick and the many others who would be even more horrified, feel free to imagine a John Oxendine governorship). Think about who gets appointed and how that affects the gubernatorial race in eight years. A small clique with a shrewd strategy could ride that to power for decades.

    If mistakes are going to be made then let them be made by the people – those who profit most from good government and not the politicians – those who profit most be exercise of power.

    As far as I’m concerned, the fact that Jerry Keen is in favor of this makes it smell like a barnyard full of diarhetic poultry.

    There is only so much power to be exercised (decisions affecting our lives are limited to a finite quantity) and if it must be exercised it should be exercised by the people, not the politicians.

  13. Ken in Eastman says:

    “It’s not like we’re taking away the power of the General Assembly,” Keen said. “It’s not a shift in power.”

    “It’s not a shift in power”? Jerry Keen, you have been under the Gold Dome far too long. It IS a shift in power away from the people! What is your opinion of the people of this state? Are you some kind of electable psychopath? Your view of the irrelevance of the citizens of this state is a compelling reason you should not, under any circumstances, be returned to your position as Majority Leader.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      The people as power. Evidently didn’t enter Keen’s mind. He was stating it wasn’t a shift in government power as the change is all within the executive.

      While on this subject, what of an elected (or combination elected and appointed) school board that hires the Supt.

      • Ken in Eastman says:

        I’d like to see the state school board elected with one member from each US Congressional District and if that’s an even number of people then the governor can select one person to give an odd number.

  14. griftdrift says:

    Sorry. But the voters are ignorant. They have no idea what these positions do. I challenge anyone to tell us what the duties of the Labor Commissioner are. Or the Ag Commissioner.

    And I’m very familiar with Sam Caldwell. Who was elected by the way.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      griftdrift,

      To argue that voters are well informed on down-ballot candidates would insult both of us. I know that they are not; however, I am more fearful of well-reasoned larceny than I am of mass ignorance and thus mere chance – at least when it comes to power.

      It’s not the benevolent tyrant that concerns us; it is his son.

      • griftdrift says:

        So we spend money and time every four years voting on whether are not someone does a good job certifying gas pumps? If we even know that’s his job?

        And it’s not as if larceny already. Look at Caldwell. And we still don’t know what stinkbombs might let loose from Oxendine.

        What most are missing here is this actually creates more accountability. If the governor appoints a crook who hires his brother-in-law to inspect roller coasters and one flies off the rails killing twenty sunday school kids from South Georgia, guess who pays politically? That governor and likely his party to boot.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          I still like disorganized thievery better than a tight organization that can self-perpetrate over generations.

          OK, I know most folks don’t know the Insurance Commissioner is also the State Fire Marshall or that the Secretary of State is also the Georgia State Elections Superintendent – and for that reason alone should never be appointed.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          Oversight would make this more palatable but it still concerns me for the reasons listed.

          Some suggested oversight (from a friend): state senate approval of these nominees; in the case of the school superintendent have a state school board comprised of one elected member from each US Congressional District (allow the governor one appointment to the board if there are an even number of US Congressional districts)

          Finally, if this does not happen, then perhaps we should consider moving the election of all Constitutional offices, other than governor and lieutenant governor, forward by two years so people will pay more attention to them than they do now.

          • AthensRepublican says:

            I agree with Erick on this issue. I think having the Governor appoint these positions will allow more accountability and there can be oversight from the legislature on these specific appointments. I think it is imperative to keep some statewide checks and balances and that LG, SOS, AG should remain the direct choice of voters.

            Second, some have questioned the timing. If the Governor had suggested this back in 2003, he would have been accused of a power grab and that criticism would have been justified. That accusation is not likely to stick in his last year in office as he would not be the one making this decision. It would still have to be approved by voters, so any future appointments would not occur until 2015 at the earliest. Who is running for Governor in 2014?

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            AR,

            And what of a lame duck governor? We have seen what mischief Sonny can wield in the SoS business, and I think he doesn’t understand why people are concerned about it. While this is an unusual situation, it’s an example of what can happen.

    • gatormathis says:

      Labor Commissioner inspect the elevators.

      Ag Commissioner inspects the gas pumps………

      …so there….

  15. Technocrat says:

    Oxendine and the future voters are being punished for their impertinence to defy [stick up middle finger] at sitting Gov and Legislatures.
    Well OX there is no going back now [nothing to go back to if it passes].
    Do or Die and TAKE as many [other politicans] as you can with you if unsuccessful.
    Let the MAYHEM begin.

  16. Dennis Do Right says:

    We should be spending more time streamlining state government. We have the 2nd most state gov. employees per capita in the nation. Start with the DOT, they can’t manage their way out of a paper bag. Start with firing the board and work down.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      In an era of privatized government services, saying the state has the 2nd most state government employees may or may not mean anything with respect to efficiency of service delivery.

      With respect to GDOT, a Governor controlled DOT might mean not only would we have new boat ramps, but four lane road would be constructed to get to ’em.

  17. The General says:

    I would have to agree with the tone of the majority of the posts before me. The “down the ballot” races, especially for Ag and Labor Commissioner, are crucial for Georgia’s economy, but they can afford to be appointed.

    The timing of the proposal is interesting, like many of you have mentioned. I don’t know if the Governor has been thinking about this for sometime and just waited until his last year to release it or recognized its benefits when he appointed Kemp. However, I agree with the Governor’s proposal. I think it would be beneficial to the state, especially with some type of State Senate confirmation. I believe though it would also need some time of term limits. A person in constitutional office could only serve in that role for a total of 2 terms, for example.

    The benefits of this proposal far outweigh the associated “costs.” One, it gives the Governor additional opportunity to shape his (or her) agenda for the next 4 years (or eight). Two, It holds the leader of our state accountable for more decisions that they might make. It also makes the GOP work even harder to find qualified candidates to run for the highest office in our state. It would add to the vetting process of campaigning for Governor.

    To those that claim there are “costs” associated with this proposal, there will be politics involved regardless of how people get into statewide office. If people think this will enlarge “good ole boy” network, just think: Tommy Irvin has been Ag Commissioner since 1969, and he was voted by the PEOPLE every 4 years since. On the liberty/people choose/tea party argument, remember that though this country was founded on “the power of the people,” this country was founded with an appointed campaign and without direct election of U.S. Senators. Imagine that.

    And the SOS should not EVEN be mentioned as a part of this idea. I think if a constitutional officer resigns or dies, the State Senate should find a replacement by majority vote, and this person would serve the remainder of the term or until the time was fixed for a special election.

  18. Icarus says:

    Got to admit I’m surprised at both the number as well as some of the individuals who are supporting this. Count me in the “no” column. I’ll revisit when I have more time to explain why.

    • IndyInjun says:

      I am a “No” too, despite my posting about the Caldwells, both of whom were elected.

      My reason is simple – I don’t feel that the departments directly under the governor are exquisitely better managed than the constitutionals ones. That is the pragmatic part.

      Separation of powers is enhanced by the Status Quo and the power of the electorate is enhanced, even though they/we don’t use it very often. That is the constitutional/theoretical part.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      I know SoS isn’t part of the proposal, but thought I’d drop it in as a clearcut example of what NOT to do. On reflection, it probably muddied the waters more than it cleared them. Thanks.

  19. foray says:

    dead on arrival: doesn’t have a chance of passage in the legislature – whole lot of ambitious folks who see those offices as steps to the top

    • macho says:

      You would probably end up with more legislators holding these offices, with a Governor making appointments than with elections. Look no further than 100% of the current statewide office holders who, due to their offices previously going vacant, had to be appointed: Brian Kemp, Thurbert Baker, Michael Thurmond, and Tommy Irvin are all ex-GA Legislators. If history is any guide, Governor appointments will be a boon to legislators.

        • macho says:

          Although, I’m not sure if taking someone, who has been in the legislature too long, and placing them in a more important office is the right course of action.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        Look at also at Gubenatorial appointments to support your argument. Steve Stancil’s principal qualification as Executive Director of GRTA in the early years of the last decade appears to have been he was a metro area Republican that was without an office shortly after Sonny was elected.

  20. griftdrift says:

    I suspected Icarus and I were on opposite sides. Doesn’t happen often. Can’t wait to hear your perspective.

    Make sure you include references to roller coasters and gas pumps.

  21. Mad Dog says:

    I wish Sonny had been part of a shake up at the ballot box …

    Indirectly there’s an argument here for a protected class of Civil Service aka a union.

    I didn’t see a mechanism to nominate and validate appointees. Maybe I didn’t read enough before speaking up.

    Sort of think just like others that the pool of the capable and the willing are incapable. One pool for the able. And an ocean for the willing.

  22. Mad Dog says:

    Was also brought down from my TGIF mood when thinking about that wonderful phrase …. politically held accountable.

    Yeah, yeah.
    Sure, sure.

    Ops… maybe we do vote against something instead of voting for sometime.

  23. Silent Outrage says:

    Finally some conservative leadership out of Sonny Perdue.

    I suppose he didn’t want to be remembered as the GO FISH Governor.

    Whatever the reason – THANK YOU!

    • macho says:

      Well I think there are good points to be made on both sides, but I fail to see how this is a Conservative/Liberal issue.

      I’ve been a Devil’s advocate on some of these posts. I think there are issues either way. You can have term limits, appointments or elected positions; in the end, there is no way to protect us from ourselves.

  24. gatormathis says:

    I think a lot of Sonny, so when I say this, it isn’t meant to disparage him, nor anyone else.

    So we take a little time from our busy day, to listen to ads, decide, and then as we cast other votes, we turn in a submission of our thoughts on some other offices. So be it. Maybe somewhere in the process, we might spend a little time, and only those truly dedicated and interested in the office will apply to begin with. No tenure, contracts, retirememnt nor severence packages included.

    The alternative is that we let the governor continue to round out all the offices, and appoint who he thinks well of.

    Submit to the fact, that a lot appointments didn’t fare as well as hoped. Case in point is DOT for a prime example. I feel Sonny really made a good appointment, felt good about it, and had no idea that it would develop as it did, nor did any of us. There are other examples in this administration, as there are issues with other such appointments across the country, whether in offices state or federal. You never get it 100% correct. Let some folks stand on their own merits.

    The governor already has a lot of appointments he has to take credit/blame for. Don’t add more to the mayhem. Maybe the citizens might find an acorn in the hailstorm from time to time.

    I do feel it is a good time to have forum on this. The end of an administration, eliminating the “self-serving” talk. The beginning of an election cycle, that if implemented, these newly elected officers would finish out the transition period. Election season also giving practice for the theories of elected/appointed Commissioners of such offices. We might even decide to make us some czars.

    Funny when I think of cee zars, I think of diamond grades, and of the cee zee grade….cubic zirconium……and its worth.

    In the most modern of times, where communications are readily available, media easily transcends the masses, who would want to stifle the voice of the people.

    We don’t seem to have a lot of voice left, let’s not do away with it all just yet…………

      • B Balz says:

        Mornin’ Gator! and great post Ken.

        I like the following:
        Gator: Keeping public selection for the heads for these offices,
        Byte’s: Idea of oversight,
        Dave Bearse concept of splitting duties in SoS,

        Insurance Comm should have much greater oversight, much greater.

        Ag Commish should be overseen by growers and breeders,

        Remove elections from SoS, give judicial oversight to new Dir. of Elections and get a doggone paper trail already. The current system is unaccountable and nobody is screeching about it loudly enough.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          Paper trail is an great, old idea whose time has come again! We need that ability to verify results other than just a recheck of electronic ballots.

          Interesting info I heard today from Gerry Purcell at the Houston County GOP breakfast meeting: Georgia has over twice as many state mandates as Alabama and, amazingly, our health insurance premiums are much higher (15 – 20%?).

          Yep, there needs to be some changes and oversight should be a part of that.

  25. fishtail says:

    This legislation won’t get approved by 2/3 of the legislature, so quit worrying about it. The Democrats see it as an attempt to remove sitting Democrats from their down-ballot positions….Tommy Irvin, Michael Thurmond…no Republican in modern times has held those jobs. Assuming Georgia remains a Red State, this legislation, if approved and passed as a Constitutional Amendment, would accomplish what the GOP never could…get Republicans into these jobs. Throw in some Republican legislators who view this as a power grab that would give the Governor too much power and there’s enough Democratic and Republican “NO” votes in the General Assembly to make sure this idea never makes it out of the third floor.

    • AthensRepublican says:

      After 2010, the Democrats might reconsider. Republicans might pick up all the rest of the down ballot positions but actually lose the Governor’s race.

      • ByteMe says:

        You appear to completely misunderstand the inability to recruit and promote talent by the D-Party in this state. It’s not about fighting the last battle, but about having the right talent to fight the next one. And they don’t. And probably won’t as long as the people in charge of it continue to do what they’re doing.

          • ByteMe says:

            The last two cycles, the (D)’s had great success recruiting and promoting their talent at the national level. They found people with credible messages who could run a campaign in their districts or states. However, here in Georgia, not so much (at pretty much any level outside the big cities).

            As for the (R)’s, I’m waiting for the civil war within the party to end before proclaiming anything about their national abilities.

  26. Mozart says:

    If this comes to pass, there goes a whole lot of opportunity (and money) for running the races of all the candidates who now run for these constitutional slots. Woe to all the jobs that future campaign workers and consultants would have filled.

  27. B Balz says:

    Spoken as only a true pol-op could.

    All those high powered folks having to earn an honest living, a total shame huh?

    Easy, mates, I jest, I do. I really do.

  28. debbie0040 says:

    Put me down as a “Hell No” ! The governor already gets to appoint approx. 2,000 people to boards. He does not need more power..

    This is not the right message the GOP should be sending at this time. People are angry over the fact they think their elected officials are not listening to them. Now they are hearing from Keen and others that the governor can make better decisions than the voters. That the voters don’t always elect the best qualfied . That is the same elitist dribble we hear from the left..You wonder why that angered people? There is a huge anti – incumbent mood out there. The GOP is the incumbent in Georgia and this proposal will not help..

    Those offices do need greater oversight and reform, but they still need to be elected. The voters would have lose power to elect those offices in a time they don’t feel like they have any influence with their elected officials…

    Georgia is not the federal government and there are many things other states do that Georgia doesn’t…

    • AthensRepublican says:

      I would be interested to see if this proposal saves or has the potential to save Georgia taxpayers money.

      • Ken in Eastman says:

        I’d rather pay more money and have a great voice for the individuals.

        Having said that, griftdrift is right that most people don’t know a thing about our Georgia Constitutional officials other than governor and lieutenant governor. I still like my idea of moving all of those races forward by two years except governor and lieutenant governor so that those who don’t pay attention and don’t care don’t go to the polls.

        • debbie0040 says:

          That DOT Chairman appointment did not work out so well…

          We need to educate voters that all offices on the ballot are equally important. If we want to take our country back, we need to elect conservatives from the bottom of the ballot to the top of the ballot..

        • AthensRepublican says:

          Yes, but they are appointed for a specified term. One agency head can be removed much easier than a board member (s).

    • appachtrail70 says:

      We should be allowed to vote for this come November. The Assembly should pass it and let the people decide. Its the same thing with Sunday Sales. Let the people decide at the ballot box

  29. richie.rashad says:

    George “Sonny” Perdue is locked in a “weak governor” position. After running the state down in a 7+ year spiral, George is trying to shift the blame by asking for a “strong governor” constitutional amendment. When George steps down next January, his legacy will be “go fish”. Quite a statement about GOP rule in Georgia!

  30. The only way I would begin to consider this as an alternative worth even looking at, is if there was some guarantee that the appointed people would serve only as long as the Governor who appointed them.

    I just can’t fathom how this will work in all practicality. Will the Governor have broad power to appoint whomever he wants without any sort of approval? Or are we going to extend the Georgia legislative session so they can approve nominees?

    I also don’t buy into accountability. People don’t know who the Speaker of the House is most of the time, nor the Lt. Gov. Heck, many people can’t tell you who the Vice President of the US is right now. How is having the Governor appoint these positions increasing accountability? The people who presently do not know diddly about the AG Com won’t even know the Governor appointed an AG Com.

    It just seems like a lot of movin’ and a shakin’ and a whole lot of nothing substantively.

  31. rugby says:

    We already vote for too many things (I’m really supposed to know who is the best candidate for Soil and Water Conservation Commission in Fulton County? Really?).

    We give the POTUS even more power.

    It isn’t like we are losing power. The way incumbency works in these races means every four years we re-elect who was in. If a major scandal happens to one of these we’d still have to wait for an election.

    Ultimately, with (potentially) as many millions of votes that are cast, individuals really have no sway.

    I’m not sure why we don’t just go ahead with it.

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