Anyone who starts a sentence with “I hate to say I told you so…” is lying. People L-O-V-E to be proven right. And since I am just as small and petty as anyone else, let me remind you of this post which opined that Common Cause Georgia’s effort to create a ballot referendum on the Atlanta’s new stadium deal was quixotic and unproductive, and that their energies would be better spent on greater oversight on “judges, district attorneys and school boards...” (Emphasis mine.) Common Cause Georgia’s director William Perry told me in the comments that I was “ill-informed...” which hurt my feelings a lot.
But since then, Greg Bluestein at the AJC wrote “Douglas’ ‘Teflon’ DA faces fresh scrutiny” about Douglas County District Attorney David McDade, who has “…asked for a GBI investigation into his own office after an Atlanta television station reported McDade used drug forfeiture money to finance a fleet of cars for his staff, including his office manager who frequently used her car for non-county business.” Dale Russell at Fox 5 did a story on the topic a couple of weeks ago. And Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard came under fire for spending drug forfeiture money on things like renting a movie theater for his entire office staff, a photo shoot, and registering an office softball team. Note: All these things are perfectly legal uses of money seized from gangsters and drug dealers, though Governor Deal may seek to change that pretty soon. (paywall)
But I was most gratified to see this quotation: “It’s shocking. I mean so many things on that list are well beyond anything that could benefit the taxpayers of Fulton County, much less stop crime in Fulton County,” Who said that? William Perry, executive director of the government watchdog group Common Cause Georgia, telling WSB TV reporter Jodie Fleischer that “voters should demand oversight.” (Emphasis -and sense of malicious delight- mine.)
It’s good to know that Common Cause is concerned about at least one area of public spending that really does need to be addressed. There may be hope for that organization yet.