Kemp Wins; Archives To Stay Open

October 18, 2012 15:08 pm

by Charlie · 16 comments

We mock the trick around here often.  Budget cuts are called for, and so a sacrificial lamb is offered.  One that will cause a public outcry so that cuts don’t have to be made.

At the local level it is usually reduced police and/or fire service.  Let a few houses burn or take 20 minutes to respond to a home invasion and the public is usually ready to pay more taxes to fund the existing bureaucracy.

At the state level it gets more dicey.  The Board of Regents managed this successfully a couple of years ago when it threatened to cut the 4-H program from UGA.  That program reaches to every corner of the state.  The calls and letters came in, and the cuts were quickly restored.

There’s not much the SOS office can cut in terms of total service.  A few less voting machines, but people are going to gripe about the lines anyway.  So when he was asked to offer THREE WHOLE PERCENT from his budget, he chose to close the state archives.  After somewhat of an outcry, he appears to have won this round:

Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Thursday the state will restore $125,000 to Kemp’s budget to keep the Georgia Archives open until at least the middle of next year.

The emergency move came two weeks before the archives faced closure as a full-time facility.

So, the governor asked for cuts, and instead the SOS office gets more money.  Without having to answer any other questions about his existing budget.  For now, at least.

Well done Secretary Kemp.  You played this one like a pro.

griftdrift October 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm

It’s all in the game, yo

Calypso October 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm

“So, the governor asked for cuts, and instead the SOS office gets more money. Without having to answer any other questions about his existing budget. For now, at least.”

So, Kemp’s reduction is not 3% less the $125K to keep archives open? It’s no reduction PLUS $125K?

I’m missing something.

Charlie October 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm

The $125K is short term for a few months while they try to find the money as I understand it. Budget hearings are in January. Expect quite a few questions of the Secretary for some alternatives he “may” want to consider.

NorthGAGOP October 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Just saw that on July 1 they will be transferring the archives to the University System. I wonder if SoS Kemp will take the hit then.

Charlie October 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Maybe he traded it for 4-H?

Five Forks October 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I would guess the Governor will have the last word on this issue. Just ask Mark Butler.

UpHere October 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm


Blog Goliard October 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Everything I know about budget cuts I learned from “Yes, Minister”. See, for instance, Series 1 Episode 3, “The Economy Drive”.

Velasco October 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Interesting that the Georgia State Patrol and the prison system can figure out how to manage a budget cut, but a Secretary can’t.

Calypso October 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Well, he is just a secretary, not even an administrative assistant.


novicegirl October 18, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Short of having a bake sale, I’m not sure what he could have done to balance his budget, other than fire people and reduce services.

Romegaguy October 18, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Maybe he could get rid of the outside consultant he hires just to lobby the legislature during the session.

Bloodhound October 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm

He most likely have saved $125K by firing whoever he is using to write the ballot questions for CA’s.

That person is certainly expendable!

Romegaguy October 18, 2012 at 9:42 pm

What does the Agriculture Commissioner have to do with the Archives anyway?

Calypso October 19, 2012 at 6:08 am

You fished with that bait before, but let’s see if any new ones bite.

NorthGAGOP October 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I just looked on the SOS website. The 2011 budget is about $26Million. He couldn’t find $125,000 some where other than archives?

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