Perdue Don’t Need No Stinkin’ AG; Plans To Sue Imperialist Feds On His Own

March 25, 2010 10:29 am

by Icarus · 54 comments

Our friends Jim Tharpe and Aaron Sheinin at the AJC have the scoop:

Gov. Sonny Perdue said Thursday he will appoint a “special attorney general” to challenge federal health care legislation signed into law this week by President Obama.

Perdue made the announcement a day after state Attorney General Thurbert Baker, a Democrat running for governor, told Perdue, a Republican, he would not pursue a lawsuit.

“He’s refusing to do that and I can’t force him to do that,” Perdue said of Baker.

The governor said the state constitution gives him the leeway to appoint a special attorney general if the elected attorney general fails to carry out the wishes of the governor.

Click thru the link, get the rest of the details, and also see that DPG Chair Jane Kidd has submitted an open records request to the Gov’s office. You think she believes someone is playing politics here? Say it ain’t so!

Mayonnaise March 25, 2010 at 10:37 am

I support Sonny on this. We can not afford the increase to the medicaid rolls that is being dictated by the Feds through Obamacare. We’re already broke for the next 10 years and don’t need any more non-funded mandates coming from DC.

griftdrift March 25, 2010 at 11:38 am

Yeah. But Lord knows we can afford ridiculous lawsuits!

benevolus March 25, 2010 at 11:40 am

The feds are paying for it all (at least for the first few years), and the state can opt out if they want to anyway.

GOPGeorgia March 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Whose money is “the feds” using to pay for it all?

benevolus March 25, 2010 at 3:24 pm

It’s not a “non-funded mandate” for the state.

GOPGeorgia March 26, 2010 at 10:13 am

Increasing the medicade rolls to 135% (from memory) of poverty levels will add about another billion to the state budget. I think that qualifies as part of the mother of non-funded mandates. Technically, the Fed Gov. pays part of it and the state of Georgia pays the rest.

benevolus March 26, 2010 at 1:08 pm

The federal government pays 100% of the expansion through 2016. Eventually the states will pick up 10% of that amount. 10%. Eight years from now.
No burden on the states for 6 years. Minimal burden after that with plenty of time to prepare.

GOPGeorgia March 26, 2010 at 3:36 pm

And where does the federal governemnt get that money? I’m sure there is a forest among these trees somewhere around here.

Republican Lady March 26, 2010 at 10:38 pm

If officials could make jobs a top priority, then the Medicaid rolls made up of the unemployed/underemployed would drop off and those funds will go down. Could be a win-win solution.

ByteMe March 27, 2010 at 5:53 am

I thought the Republican line was “government doesn’t create jobs”. How can an under-funded government do more to create jobs without going further into debt and getting the crazies to go crazier over that debt?

The obvious answer is: they can’t.

Really, the next move has to come from consumers who are still deleveraging from their own debt issues. Gonna take a little more time and unemployment is going to remain stubbornly high at least through the next couple of years.

GOPGeorgia March 28, 2010 at 11:29 am

President Obama has created at least three jobs: Two governors and a US Senator.

ByteMe March 28, 2010 at 11:37 am

:roll:

Partisan hackery. Not worthy of rebuttal.

GOPGeorgia March 28, 2010 at 11:43 am

Facts not disputed.

Southern Politico March 25, 2010 at 10:38 am

I wonder who will get the appointment?

LoyaltyIsMyHonor March 25, 2010 at 10:52 am

Brian Kemp

SFrazier March 25, 2010 at 10:54 am

This is a no brainer-Perry McGuire. He deserves it, not only for his loyalty to conservative principles, but also for his ability to win this for Georgia.

The Comma Guy March 25, 2010 at 10:58 am

Really? A guy who got depantsed by Thurbert Baker at a debate in the last election is the one you want to do this? Loyalty to a political party / partisanship are about the last things I’d be looking for in a lawyer. First up would be competency. Then we’d go for cost. How he or she votes would be somewhere close to who designs their clothes.

SFrazier March 25, 2010 at 11:04 am

He is very competent. Ask his colleagues at Chick-fil-a where he served from 96-2004 after the Senate. Perry is a very talented individual with the correct moral compass to represent Georgia better than anyone else.

LoyaltyIsMyHonor March 25, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Good point! He makes a mean Chicken Sandwich; and he don’t work Sundays!

ReaganRepublican March 25, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I agree, Perry Mcguire is the ultimate conservative and a excellent choice.

Provocateur March 26, 2010 at 11:09 am

Perry McGuire? Really? A man who spent all of his lawyer days working as a corporate attorney is the person you think most fit for the role of “special attorney?”

ChiefofStaff65 March 25, 2010 at 11:07 am

There is an attorney in Paulding County that I know has an open schedule currently?

ByteMe March 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Subtle. And funny.

barstool69 March 25, 2010 at 10:45 am

Just wondering, why is it necessary for every state to challenge the bill? If it goes to SCOTUS and they declare it unconstitutional, we’ll be off the hook right?

Junius March 25, 2010 at 10:51 am

Yes – even if no state’s sued, there would inevitably be numerous challenges to the validity of this thing. If any of them succeed, the law is repealed and Georgia doesn’t have to spend a dime. This is all about pandering to the base.

kyleinatl March 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm

But what part of the law is repealed? Just the individual mandate, which seems to be the focus of the legal challenges? Or the entire bill? Certain portions of that bill being repealed would be a damn hard sell…removing pre-existing condition exclusions, rescissions, high risk insurance pool, etc al.

Junius March 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm

If the Court finds the individual mandate to violate the 10th Amendment, the entire bill would be stricken as unconstitutional, not just the mandate provisions. The mandate, and the income it generates for the insurers, is so essential and intertwined into the legislation that the entire bill falls apart without it.

benevolus March 25, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Hard to see how that would work. Section 1331 says that states can opt out and run their own programs if they prefer.

Junius March 25, 2010 at 10:48 am

Although the issue of the Federal constitutionality of ObamaCare will be determined whether Georgia sues or not, I understand political reality and have no problem with Perdue doing this IF we can simply bootstrap onto the pending suit, minimize our actual litigation costs and prevent spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of the state’s limited dollars.

polisavvy March 25, 2010 at 10:56 am

Junius, I believe that I heard last evening that there were a lot of attorneys who have contacted the Governor’s office and are willing to donate their time and energy to this for FREE. I say go for it!

The Comma Guy March 25, 2010 at 10:55 am

So if Thurbert does as Sonny wants, Sonny will find the money but if he doesn’t there’s no extra money to pay for SAAG’s? Remember, one of the big criticisms of the current AG is the amount of money being spent on things like Water Wars and Voter ID – lawsuits where the AG is using SAAG’s to represent the State though many question the expenditures.

Personally, I think that the bill is doomed too. But it would be nice to allow other states to take the lead and not expect us to find a pot of gold that will only be given to a specific law firm. And drop the whole “we’ve got plenty of lawyers to do it for free” idea. They will get paid some way.

Ronald Daniels March 25, 2010 at 10:57 am

Here’s hoping he doesn’t appoint an AG candidate . . . .

polisavvy March 25, 2010 at 11:02 am

I agree with you, and probably not for the same reasoning as you. I wonder, if someone is running for AG, if they will have the time to devote to this suit and still run their campaign AND be effective with either.

Provocateur March 26, 2010 at 11:11 am

Good question to ask Kemp.

bartsimpsonisdaman March 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Ole Herbie must be drinkin some of that tainted water. A gpod opportunity to grandstand with da gubenor. The old boy is carving up his niche, defying whitey. Must be too dumb to realize he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. It won’t look good though saying he won’t fulfill his constitutional duties. He must be able to pick what parts of the law he likes.

Vote Barnes! He’s ugly as hell but smarter than Herbie. His head don’t spin, doesn’t chase ghosts, aint on drugs and doesn’t beat his wife.

ChuckEaton March 25, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I’m concerned that many years of misguided Supreme Court precedents, regarding the Commerce Clause, will make the Supreme Court battle a difficult one.

ChuckEaton March 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I doubt there will actually be a need to ever amend the Constitution, since apparently anything can be done through the Commerce Clause. At least, when this country had Prohibition, it was approached the right way through amending the Constitution. This day and age, if there was a movement to ban alcohol again, all Congress would need to do is pass a majority vote and shazam, the Feds could preempt the states through the Commerce Clause.

seenbetrdayz March 25, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Unless, of course, you amended the Constitution to take out the commerce clause, or at least clarified it to say that states may not levy tariffs on each other, and that they are to keep commerce ‘regular’ (original intent).

Apparently regulating a health insurance industry which rarely ever crosses state borders (which is one reason there isn’t real competition, which is one reason why costs aren’t kept in check), qualifies as ‘interstate commerce.’

ChuckEaton March 26, 2010 at 10:55 am

A good point. The only reason to now amend the Constitution would be to clarify exisiting language, which at face value, seem fairly clear to me:

“[The Congress shall have power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.”

It’s meaning has been twisted so much over the years, that somehow, we now get a right to healthcare out of it.

Well to revise my previous comment. I don’t think there will ever be another Constitutional amendment, to increase Federal Power again, as it’s all there in the Commerce Clause, and perhaps the Necessary and Proper Clause. The only reason to amend the Costitution will be to limit Federal power; which I thought was one of the original points of the document.

HowardRoark March 25, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Gov. Sonny Perdue said Thursday he will appoint a “special attorney general” to challenge federal health care legislation signed into law this week by President Obama.

Perdue made the announcement a day after state Attorney General Thurbert Baker, a Democrat running for governor, told Perdue, a Republican, he would not pursue a lawsuit.

“He’s refusing to do that and I can’t force him to do that,” Perdue said of Baker.

Governor Perdue’s announcement has sparked a debate about who the special attorney general should be. Among those actively seeking the job is former State Senator Brian Kemp. “I believe this job would be a good fit for me. I’d love the opportunity to serve the citizens of Georgia as special attorney general,” stated the Athens Republican. Kemp cites his legislative experience and campaign organization he built in his failed bid at Agriculture Commissioner in 2006 as qualifications. “As a small businessman, farmer, and state Senator, I understand the constitutional law issues concerning a lawsuit of this nature. I hope to get the opportunity to apply that experience to make Georgia a better place to do agriculture,” said Kemp, looking a little confused.

Not everyone is sold on Kemp however. Several feel that Perdue should appoint one of the men currently running for the Republican nomination for Attorney General. Sources close to the governor say Perdue may also favor this option as a means to give his favored Attorney General candidate a leg up in the Republican primary. “We don’t really need primaries to decide who the best candidate is. Sonny should just decide who he wants to win that primary and give the job to them. He knows best,” said Jeff Doe, an Augusta Republican. Doe continued, “Isn’t Brian Kemp a farmer anyway?”

Steve Perkins March 25, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Sadly, I can’t tell if this is a legitimately-sourced article or a parody. I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

poolerpeach March 25, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I love how these people are getting so worked up over so-called government intrusion b/c it involves money, but they will gladly hand over their freedom, liberty and civil rights with no question and a smile (a little something called the Patriot Act) just so long as it doesn’t cost a penny. However, this whole episode has had one upside – we really get to see people’s priorities. Money, Power, Pettiness, or Freedom, Liberty, Happiness. Makes things easier for me, at least, to judge how to vote in the future.

macho March 25, 2010 at 5:54 pm

In the end, it’s all about your liberty. Your money is simply a representation of your time.

Progressive Dem March 25, 2010 at 10:02 pm

The Govornor needs to get back to his Sonny Do list.

kolt473 March 26, 2010 at 1:15 am

Reason Baker not filling suit, dem puppeteers said baker wouldn’t get elected, he knows what happened with Patterson of New York, wouldn’t trust Baker, anymore than OX or BARNES. the aftermath of 44 care is far from being over, the dems gave the voters the finger, dropped the ”f” bomb called us nazis, now blaming us for imaginary assaults they can’t back up. just plain humbug, why trust liberals to run health care, when they continue to find demons to blame and refuse to accept culpability for own stupidity.

rugby March 26, 2010 at 9:15 am

WTF?

ByteMe March 26, 2010 at 9:19 am

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

rugby March 26, 2010 at 9:22 am

And a waist is a terrible thing to mind.

Dave March 26, 2010 at 7:37 am

I find it strange for folks to all of a sudden be so fiscally “responsible.” Georgia has every right to try and opt out of what is an unconstitutional federal mandate. Go for it, Sonny! Baker won’t do it for purely political reasons. He is still under the delusion that he can be elected to the state’s highest political office. Good luck, Thurbert, let us know how that works out for you.

The Comma Guy March 26, 2010 at 9:10 am

The key is that right now the legislation conditions this requirements upon the States’ decision to accept federal money for Medicaid. If Georgia decides to either pay 100% of Medicaid or drop it completely, we don’t have to follow along with Obamacare. It’s like what Louisiana did back in the 1980′s with the drinking age and highway funding or what Georgia has done with the seatbelt law and highway funding. If a state doesn’t want to follow a federal conditions (21 year old drinking age; seat belts in trucks) the state doesn’t have to do it. The only problem is that the state does not get a full share of funding. Obamacare is tied to accepting money to pay for Medicaid (the fed’s percentage seems to be 60% or so). Otherwise, if the state wants to money, the state has to agree with the conditions and the US Supreme Court (South Dakota v. Dole) has ruled that the federal government can do that under its “tax and spend” power. Commerce Clause may not be in play here.

ByteMe March 26, 2010 at 9:15 am

Do you have the particular section of HR 3590? Some people won’t believe you unless you read it to them.

ChuckEaton March 26, 2010 at 10:57 am

You might be right, but Commerce Clause is the ultimate trump card.

ChuckEaton March 26, 2010 at 11:01 am

You’re talking about the carrott and stick of the Feds. I’ve always felt the carrott was more constitutional than the stick.

Of course, I’m pretty sure the Feds got the right to dole out cash for highway funding through the Commerce Clause. If you take away the expansion of the Commerc Clause, you eliminate about 2/3′s of what the Federal Government has become.

ByteMe March 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Wow. Just wow. Did anyone actually read the complaint that the other AGs submitted to the court?

http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MRAY-83TKWB/$file/HealthCareReformLawsuit.pdf

Mostly, it’s a really really long whine. “It’s too expensive”, “We can’t afford it”, “We can’t afford to opt out of Medicaid” and so on. Amazing the level of thought that didn’t go into this.

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