Americans for Prosperity Georgia Releases General Assembly Score Card

Hat-tip: That’s Just Peachy

Americans for Prosperity Georgia have released their 2011-2012 General Assembly Score Card.

“Americans for Prosperity is pleased to provide this snapshot view of where legislators have stood on key issues affecting Georgians’ prosperity,” said Virginia Galloway, State Director of AFP-GA. “This guide is one important way that taxpayers can become educated and engaged in important policies affecting their everyday lives.”

State legislators are scored on 12 separate pieces of legislation including Zero Based Budgeting (SB 33), Student Scholarships (HB 325), Revenue & Tax Relief Act (HB 386), GA Government Accountability Act (HB 456), the State Charter School Commission (HB 797) and the Charter School Constitutional Amendment (HR 1162), among others. Congressional scores were determined by AFP’s national policy office. Letter grade equivalents are listed between A+ and an F.

See how your state senator and representative scored here.

40 comments

  1. Baker says:

    Thanks for the HT!

    Tom Graves wins out for Federal Reps. Definitely worth checking out if you have some time. I believe Buzz got an A+ if I’m remembering what I read this morning correctly.

  2. Full Disclosure, my name is David Hopper and I am the Republican Candidate for GA House District #125 (formerly numbered 122). I am NOT a professional politician and am just an average citizen like most of you. I am running a grass-roots campaign against the Incumbent, Earnest Smith who scored a 45 (an F) on this legislative scorecard. He also scored an F on Georgia Chamber’s scorecard, a pro-business group.

    I was able to speak about this briefly on the Tony Powers, Power To the People, radio show this afternoon. I hope some of you were able to listen to it. If not, that is fine I will be back on again in the future as November draws nearer. In the mean time, I would be humbled if you would call, email, or contact me through Facebook to get to know me and my campaign.

    David Hopper
    Republican Candidate, GA House District #125
    http://www.HopperForHouse.com

    3613 Elliott Blvd
    Augusta, GA 30906
    706-399-6347 Cell

  3. Howard Roark says:

    Danny Yearwood and KOG should take note that Senator Frank Ginn scored 100%. An A+ rating is hard to run against.

    • TheEiger says:

      I’m a huge fan of Graves, but this is BS. Graves, Gingrey, Austin Scott, Price and Westmoreland all cast the same votes. Why did he get a A+ and these other guys didn’t. I honestly would like to know. If Virginia with Americans for Prosperity is reading this please let us know.

      • JoelAaronAFP says:

        Just to clear up the AFP Scorecard question on why Graves is A+ and Gingrey, Scott, Price Westmoreland are only A. The score card grade is correct. For the sake of space one or two of the amendments/resolutions scored by the AFP National office were omitted from what is shown. Graves voted the AFP position on all scored issues. Gingrey, for example, voted against H103, the Blackburn Amendment #104 to HR1 and his vote was cast against the AFP position on that resolution. This was an amendment to cut $100 billion dollars in discretionary spending. Thus he received an A rather than an A+. Scott voted against H941, another House vote counted toward the AFP Score that was not on the abbreviated list on the scorecard. This was in opposition to the AFP position on this issue and reduced him to an A. It was a vote on the conference report to HR 2055, which contained an Omnibus appropriations package. Price also voted against H941. Westmoreland voted against H103 as well and that reduced his overall score to an A. Once again, the grade scores are correct for each of the GA House representatives. You can check out the full list of scores I have mentioned above at the link http://www.americansforprosperity.org/scorecard. Hope this helps clarify

  4. Three Jack says:

    As I mentioned on another thread, check the votes AFP reviewed for the GA grading. If your rep/senator supported less local control of schools and higher taxes, then they got an A.

    AFP is a freakin joke just like so many other special interest groups that form to enrich their executives (see Tim Phillips compensation pkg.).

      • Calypso says:

        Will not the charter school still get some local/county property tax funds? If not, from where will those funds come? If the funds come only from the state, from where does the state derive those funds? Will not the charter school be responsible only to a state committee as opposed to the locally elected school board?

        • Ya’ll need to read HB797, the enabling legislation for the Constitutional amendment.

          No, State authorized charter schools will not get any local/county property taxes. Public Schools will get funded for every student that show up, just like they do now.

          Charter schools have Boards that run the school. HB797 puts rules on who can and cannot serve on a State authorized charter school board. They will be people from the charter school’s community, business leaders etc… You can’t get more local than that. There’s oversight, annual reviews from the State Charter Commission – see my post on the Fulton Charter school for the exact lines from the bill re: oversight. Also bad charter schools get shut down. They have a contract which is for a certain period of time and they must perform to be approved again. What happens to bad public schools? They get more money thrown at them.

          Charter opponents are trying to peddle the notion that this amendment will open the floodgates and we’ll have charter schools on every corner. There are two reasons that won’t happen. 1) During the 5 year period the State was authorizing charter schools they only approved 16 and denied many others and 2) Budgetary constraints will act as a cap on the number that can be approved. We can’t afford to suddenly approve hundreds of charter schools, the money isn’t there.

            • Charter schools will be funded by the State via a formula per full time student and thus is funded on a year to year basis.

              I would hope that issues like that would be caught during the annual review required by HB797 but if they went out of business mid-year we’d seek to get the money back.

              • John Konop says:

                What about the students? What do you do with a 1000 kids, just shove them into schools? Getting the money back does not solve the problem. Buzz, in my county the school was rejected via budget reasons by our school board, and they are now in the red after the state let them open. Help me understand who is on the hook other than us tax payers?

              • John Konop says:

                Buzz I like you and do support you, but this is a simple solution. Why not force the school to buy a security bond gauranteeing they stay open for the year? We have seen what happens when private/public ventures take tax payers money with no risk.

                • Three Jack says:

                  Even better, get out of the business of education. The state cannot fund current government schools, yet they take on the burden of quasi-government charter schools. Again major reform with new ideas should be the goal instead of placating certain senators by jumping into the charter business on a state level.

                  • You sound like some of the bureaucrats I talk to. There’s never enough money. Schools are always underfunded no matter how much they have. Not even big spending Roy Barnes “fully funded” education.

                    Charter schools are not a silver bullet but a tool that when done right can help students and inject choice into a government run system which fights change with all it’s might. We had a system that was working until the Supreme Court tossed it out in a controversial 5-4 decision.

                    We responded in an appropriate manner by proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to recreate the system we had before. Seems reasonable and responsible to me.

          • Calypso says:

            Buzz, thanks for answering my first and fourth question, now please answer my second and third question above. Thanks-Calypso

              • Calypso says:

                I fear you’re avoiding answering my questions. So to be clear, if 1,000 homeowners in Gwinnett are each paying $1,000 school property tax that full $1,000,000 continues to go to Gwinnett County Public Schools, correct? Then from where does the money the state is going to send this charter school come?

                  • Calypso says:

                    Hypothetically speaking, if Gwinnett Schools derives $1 billion a year from local county property taxes and half of the 160,000 current students decide to go to one of Buzz’s state-funded charter schools, Gwinnett Schools will continue to receive the $1 billion in local property tax to fund the now 80,000 students that they now serve?

                    • Gwinnett’s school system budget is $1.7 billion. Roughly half that comes from local SPLOST and property taxes. All that money stays no matter how many students show up. Last year Gwinnett had a little over 162,000 students.

                      The other half of the $1.7 billion comes from the State and the Feds. Federal money is roughly 10% of Gwinnett’s school budget. The money from the State is delivered via a number of ways but principally via the QBE formula. QBE funding is calculated based on the number of full time equivalents that attend the system. They do a count a couple of times a year and report those numbers to the State.

                      Neither the charter amendment nor HB797 will change any of that.

                • I’m not avoiding anything. Let me answer again for the third time.

                  Yes property taxes Gwinnett raises for schools will stay in Gwinnett. Always have, always will.

                  We’ll get the money for the charter schools we want to fund out of the State budget. If we can’t get it from either increased revenue (not tax increases, as the economy improves) or via cuts somewhere then it won’t get funded.

      • Three Jack says:

        Buzz,

        HB386 is a tax increase for everybody other than the special interests you folks favored when writing the legislation. Worse, many of your colleagues have been trying to sell it as ‘tax reform’ which is a total crock of feces. Add the cost of attorneys if/when the law is challenged and taxpayers get burned yet again.

        I’ll await your response to Calypso’s questions in regard to the charter school legislation. Everything I have read indicates this legislation removes control from local school b0ards to be replaced by the state committee…can you show otherwise?

        • Wow so manufacturers and farmers and married people are “special interests.”

          It’s tax reform but it’s not where I want to end up. Baby steps sir.

          • Three Jack says:

            Yes, manufacturers and farmers have lobbyists thus can be considered special interests. As a single man who regularly purchases on the internet and who recently purchased a new vehicle, I got a tax increase. Are you implying that I should setup a manufacturing company, a farm and get married to be in the good graces of GOPers when it comes time to divvy out tax revenues?

            How about the charter bill…care to explain how it increases local control as Calypso asked?

              • Three Jack says:

                Internet purchases, auto purchases.

                Why should certain taxpayers get a decrease simply because they have a marriage license? Should they then be required to repay the savings when they inevitably divorce?

                We can pick nits Buzz, but the main point is that the GOP promised reform for years but failed to do so even after almost 10 years of control. Instead they did exactly what many voters opposed, social engineering via the tax code. Get married, get a tax cut. Manufacture something, get a tax cut. Buy a product online, tax increase. Purchase a vehicle, 7% ad valorem at the time of purchase…tax increase.

                Instead of dancing around the issue, do what the GOP was sent there to do…reform the system by eliminating all the special interest breaks.

                • HB386 was in keeping with the Tax council’s recommendations to stop taxing business inputs like electricity.

                  The tax on internet purchases is not a new tax. If you weren’t sending a check to the State when you purchased something online you were a tax evader. An unwitting one perhaps but still a tax evader.

                  The marriage penalty exists because single people were given a larger personal exemption than couples.

                  I agree, we haven’t done enough to reform our tax system but HB386 made things better. It was a small step but in the right direction for a change.

          • Baker says:

            While not agreeing with Three Jack completely, I will agree with this: “manufacturers and farmers have lobbyists thus can be considered special interests”. I wouldn’t connect it with lobbyists per say, the Tea Party probably has lobbyists, or its influence could be counted as having one.

            Any carving out of credits and loopholes should be pulled back across the country. I know we as a state want to stay competitive with other states, but this further, unnecessary complication of the tax code is out of hand.

            I definitely don’t think this is a Federal issue, but I do think this should be spotlighted at the National Governor’s Association. Governors need to ban together on simplifying tax codes and work with other states rather than always trying to nab other places jobs. I know that is waaay over-simplified, but as one who strongly believes in some kind of Flat, Fair, or whatever tax code, I’m confident that would more than make up for any credits that are gotten rid of.

          • Calypso says:

            Of course manufacturers and farmers and married people are special interests. How could you claim otherwise?

            You’re getting a little weird on us, Buzz.

              • Calypso says:

                I’m saying you are being disingenuous by saying manufacturers, farmers, and married folks are not special interest groups. Two of these three have substantial lobbyists. Throw in the Dan Beckerheads of the world and the married folk do to.

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