Winners And Losers, 2014


Trawling the hallways of the capitol on Sine Die, polster and stalwart conservative Mark Rountree inveighed against the sheer bloody-minded bucket of fail that the Patient Injury Act — and its chief proponent Richard Jackson of Jackson Healthcare — perpetrated this year.

In the waning hours of the last day of the legislative session, it’s clear the proposal to send malpractice claims to an arbitration panel stocked with doctors is as dead as a 16-seed. What’s seems astonishing is the cost of failure. Jackson apparently spent $3 million pressing the case, hiring lobbyists, contributing to campaigns and running attack ads in the local papers of powerful politicians.

For nothing.

On the flip side, you have Moral Monday protesters winning national media coverage from the New York Times, MSNBC and other outlets for little more cost than the time it took to get arrested in the legislative galleries and at Governor Nathan Deal’s office. Granted, people can argue that these victories are … well, mostly moral victories … but they’re a bigger result than a million-dollar goose egg.

Of course, I’m biased. I’m a lefty communist pinko who’s going to hell. And I’m a Tech fan.

But after reading Creative Loafing’s Golden Sleaze Awards and Arnie’s, focused on deeds of public woe and weal, it occurs to me that there’s another set of criteria to measure the outcomes of the legislative session. Sheer Machiavellian effectiveness. Forget good deeds for a moment. Think wins over replacement player, or return on investment. Think Frank Underwood.

Who did well this round, given the resources at their disposal and the resistance they faced? Who made the best of an opportunity, or made the best high-stakes risk play? And … who screwed up? Who were the lottery winners living in a van down by the river at the end of the session?

I can’t pretend to know. But you do, gentle reader.

Now, asking for your suggestions will elicit the usual self-interested, self-congratulatory blather in public. So instead … email me. I’m after an honest assessment. Tell us a story. I’ll parse these with other (differently-biased) Pundits and we’ll lay out the results.


  1. South Fulton Guy says:

    City of South Fulton Dies on Last Day of 2014 Legislative Session
    by Andre Walker

    As the clock struck midnight, Thursday, House Bill 704 –the proposal to create a city of South Fulton– became a casualty of the fast paced 2014 legislative session.

    With the failure of the city of South Fulton bill to pass, the future is unknown for unincorporated south Fulton County and how its nearly 90,000 residents will be governed.

  2. UpHere says:

    Big loser: McKenna Long & Aldridge. Not only did they have Mark Burkhalter having Brandon Beach kill the Tax Commissioner bill due to his friendship with Buddy Ramsey (plus, Burkhalter was the one that authored the bill that created the mess), you had Ben Vinson getting cross ways with House Leadership over Foster Care. Add in the Richard Jackson mess (which they assisted), their stock dropped severely.

  3. Rambler14 says:

    People that are sitting in traffic.

    Georgia is still 49th out of 50 in infrastructure spending per capita, and I don’t see anything that was passed that would help this.

  4. saltycracker says:

    Those at the controls of what drives the economy of Georgia, right down to the store owner on the corner have seen a year reinforcing what a waste of time it would be to try to get politicians focused on the big picture. They were right to hire lobbyists or join a group that keeps an eye on legislation and go about their business or pleasure.

    Or maybe the results just tell some, nothing to see here, we are safe for another year.

  5. Michael Silver says:


    #1 – House Leadership and House Republicans – Despite overwhelming opposition and obstruction from Gov. Deal, Lt.Gov Cagle, and Senate Republicans, they moved the ball forward toward Liberty ALOT. These guys and gals are awesome. Our state is a much better place with them in leadership positions.

    #2 – Board of Regents, they won another one with a timely assist from Gov. Deal.

    #3 – Senate Republicans and the Lt Gov. – they get to campaign that they are pro-gun despite working hard to weaken and kill nearly every gun bill since 2010. As a matter of fact, they even weakened SB308 in 2010.

    #4 – Senator Jesse Stone, who will be nominated as a Judge for his tireless efforts to scuttle the gun-bill on behalf of Gov. Deal.


    #1 – Students on Georgia’s university campuses – who continue to be defenseless by law. Violent crime is increasing on campus, despite the Regents efforts to hide that fact. Victims of crime should send a thank you note to Gov. Deal and Lt. Gov Cagle.

    # 2 – Churches That Ban Guns – Come July, we’ll see why the leftist clergy objected to decriminalizing church carry: MONEY. We will see a lot of people shifting congregations to churches that match their personal views on self-defense. Since Ga Weapons Licensees tend to be older and economically wealthier, the collection bowls should shrink at the churches that oppose the human right of self defense (my prediction but impossible to measure)

    • xdog says:

      ‘We will see a lot of people shifting congregations to churches that match their personal views on self-defense.’

      Who would have guessed that the second amendment trumps personal religious beliefs.

      • Michael Silver says:

        The history of man is filled with examples of personal safety trumping religious beliefs. For example, people and nations are often forced to convert to another religion in order to stay alive after being conquered.

        • xdog says:

          Well, they used to be. Now the winners just kill the losers or ship them somewhere else.

          I also see you moved from ‘second amendment’ to ‘personal safety’. Not the same.

          • Michael Silver says:

            It is the same. I was mirroring your term.

            The Second Amendment protects the fundamental human right of self-defense. Self-defense from a tyrannical government and criminals. Our nation’s founding fathers wrote a lot about the benefit of guns in the hands of citizens and how armed citizen’s reduce violent crime. It was true then and it is true now. Gun-Control protects the criminal.

            By the way, the Christians in Syria aren’t being allowed to leave. They have a choice: Convert or pay a tax for being a Christian.

            • objective says:

              interestingly, the tax on non-Muslims is called the jizyah (spelling may be a touch off) and is much preferable to slaughter. you wouldn’t see the point unless you support theocracies, but where ppl have survived by paying a tax instead, there have often been prosperous communities. the point being that i hope the religious minorities in those theocracies survive and prosper.

            • xdog says:

              My point was that personal safety entails more than the right to carry a firearm into a crowded theater.

              Regarding forced conversion, I was speaking about the best conquerors in history. Alexander, the original Muslim expansion, the various Turkish invaders from the steppes, none of them gave a rat about who the defeated people worshiped as long as they swore allegiance and ponied up on time.

              Changing the topic slightly, why the push for silencers on hunting rifles? My understanding is that outside of the movies silencers aren’t that effective at reducing noise and can adversely affect muzzle velocity and accuracy. What’s the attraction?

              • Michael Silver says:

                Its primarily a safety and comfort issue. The use of suppressors reduces the decibel level of high powered rifles to be just below the level where hearing damage occurs. My father-in-law went essentially deaf from a lifetime of hunting with big rifles. My brother-in-laws don’t hunt because of what they saw happen their father.

                Wearing hearing protection doesn’t work when hunting because hearing is one of the important senses to find game and know what is happening around you and ear muffs get in the way when mounting a rifle.

                You are right about the noise reduction. It reduces the noise level for the shooter but because of the sonic crack the noise level for everyone else is roughly the same, although slightly shorter in duration.

  6. Spacey G says:

    George, good gawd man, your silly word-vanity and keyboard pounding has yet again obscured clarity. (It pretty much destroyed simplicity ages ago, but let’s move on.) I have no earthly idea where Rountree falls on this matter, given the obtuseness and clumsiness of that opening sentence of yours. Is he for the fail or against the fail? Forget the bill, as who knows what that was by now. A journalist would have inserted a Rountree quote to firm-up something, anything, if unable to clearly convey what the heck he was doing last night, other than what his, Rountree’s, clients were paying him to go do.

    Either way, you’re right. I think. Old-school is clumsy, overly-dramatic and costly. New-school is far more effective and a heck of a lot cheaper. Jackson looks like a chump, but not one of these clown car bubbas has anything remotely akin to Frank Underwood’s (fictional) undercurrent of edgy elegance. So don’t even go there.

    And you’re no Zoe.

  7. Three Jack says:

    If a legislative body convenes but does absolutely nothing and nobody notices, does it make a difference?

    After 40 days, we are left to debate guns, abortions and pot. No mention of education, transportation or tax reform. As I have suggested many times before, there is no need for election year legislative sessions. In fact, under the current political climate, these sessions are actually detrimental to taxpayers and those seeking less government. I look forward to hearing at least one challenger call for bi-annual sessions as not only a cost saving measure, but also as a means of decreasing the power and influence of government.

    • saltycracker says:

      Biannual ok, but throw in term limits and redistricting by commercial/geographical guidelines.

      But as we learned in business 101 to get some folks out of the way so we can get on, form a committee, put them on it and ask them to get back with us when they have an idea.

  8. UpHere says:


    Mike Dudgeon with the education bills
    Allen Peake
    Casey Cagle – until he got crossways with Governor over foster care
    Don Balfour “I’m a Survivor!”


    Fran Millar
    William Ligon (not being able to answer Amy Carter’s simple question pretty much nailed this)
    Allan Powell for Uber bill
    Sam Moore

  9. Baker says:

    Another loser: Anyone that snorts pot…

    I pretty much agree with everything ThreeJack said…
    “After 40 days, we are left to debate guns, abortions and pot. No mention of education, transportation or tax reform.”

    After the debacle that was TSPLOST and the “tax reform” that turned out to just be shuffling money around when you get a car it is embarrassing that these get totally ignored.

    How could they say the TSPLOST was such a necessity/must pass (which I believe it is/was) and then after it doesn’t pass, not try for any other significant transportation measures?

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      “How could they say the TSPLOST was such a necessity/must pass (which I believe it is/was) and then after it doesn’t pass, not try for any other significant transportation measures?”

      …Because seemingly almost every time that state government tries to do something with transportation, the public gets extremely angry and votes against them in very-large numbers.

      After the T-SPLOST debacle the state legislature probably decided that broaching the very-touchy issue of transportation is not worth the political risk of further angering an electorate that is already very-touchy when it comes to transportation issues.

      For the state legislature, there is much more political risk in just attempting to do something on transportation then there is in doing absolutely nothing and pretending that our transportation issues don’t exist.

      • Rambler14 says:

        “…Because seemingly almost every time that state government tries to do something with transportation, the public gets extremely angry and votes against them in very-large numbers.”

        Oh really?
        Like who? (votes against them in very-large numbers)

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          “Oh really?…
          …Like who? (votes against them in very-large numbers)”

          Like, uh, the public, that’s who…

          …Like when the unpopular T-SPLOST was voted down by a tally of 62%-38% back in 2012 or when public anger over the unpopular Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter proposal played a starring role in Roy Barnes failed re-election bid in 2002…an election defeat that brought about the end of 130 years of rule by Georgia Democrats and started the current overwhelming dominance of Georgia Republicans.

          After seeing their own political lives flash before their eyes in the wake of the 2012 T-SPLOST debacle (good thing that 2012 was not a gubernatorial election year), Georgia Republicans have likely decided that it is not worth the political risk to propose or pursue something on transportation that could cause them to suffer the same political fate as Georgia Democrats did in 2002 after the Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter debacle.

          Georgia Republicans see the state’s demographics changing rapidly in favor of the other party and they know that if they do anything that alienates their base and energizes the entire electorate against them (like 2012’s T-SPLOST debacle or 2002’s Northern Arc debacle), they may not necessarily get another shot at political dominance in this state for a very-long time, if ever.

Comments are closed.