David Pennington Makes Noise….Again

August 26, 2014 11:15 am

by Nathan · 14 comments

Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington penned his thoughts on what is ailing Georgia: his fellow Republicans.

The 2014 Republican gubernatorial candidate, who came in second with 17% behind incumbent Governor Nathan Deal who garnered 72% of the Republican vote this past May, outlined the ills of Georgia pointing that Republicans don’t “practice what we preach” when it comes to limited government. Are we there after 12 years of holding the governor’s mansion? No, but I believe we are moving in that direction. Recently, we’ve seen pro-2nd amendment legislation given the green light by the Republican legislature and governor as well as zero-based budgeting and other things that have led to the growth of the Georgia economy.

It’s still sluggish, but with Georgia being ranked number one by a leading business news outlet, I believe it means that Georgia has a good long-term outlook as being a pro-business state. Of course, that also means that we need to work on how our public schools educate children, and Governor Deal has been working on that as well. In fact, the Technology Association of Georgia has joined with the governor in an effort to allow students to study programming languages as an alternative to some core curriculum courses. Chet has an article about that.

The former mayor closed with this:

In the last twelve years, Georgia’s Republican leadership has presided over what is arguably the largest economic decline, relative to the rest of the country, since the Civil War. This decline can be reversed if true limited government Republicans have the courage to enact bold policy changes. But the clock is ticking.

If he’s referring to all of Georgia’s Republican leadership, then I’m curious if he is lumping himself into that category since he served as Dalton’s mayor from 2007 until March of this year. Georgia is not an island (although, I’m sure that there are a few that wish it were). In the past 12 years, we have seen the recovery after 9/11 that was sluggish, and we saw the economic collapse due to the housing market in 2007. Georgia’s economy was impacted by the last downturn, and Mayor Pennington saw it first hand…and did help ease some of the woes caused by floor covering manufacturers closing plants in Dalton.

There are plenty of good Republican men and women governing our state, and put a lot of time, effort, and talent to make Georgia an even better state. I thought David was a good mayor and did a lot to help Dalton, and to an extent Whitfield County, ease the blow of the economic collapse. However, I’m willing to bet that governing a state with a population close to 10 million is a bit different than governing a city of about 33,500. I’m not sure if the former mayor is still licking his wounds from a long primary and flinging a few stones at #TheEstablishment Goliath, or if he’s trying to capitalize on the “anti-establishment” tone that has been fluttering about for the past few months and use it as momentum towards a 2018 campaign. The 2014 primaries are in the books, and no amount of rhetoric will change that and may work against his fellow Republicans.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Joash Thomas August 26, 2014 at 11:36 am

Very interesting…

Harry August 26, 2014 at 11:45 am

There’s no doubt Georgia has experienced a significant economic decline over the last years relative to most of the rest of the country, but Gov. Deal isn’t the reason why. One contributing factor is the effect of free trade policy on textiles and other industrial production. Another factor is the large number of low-income and low skilled people who have moved into the state. In fact nearly all states are comparatively worse off, though perhaps not as extreme as what we’ve seen.

EAVCandor August 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Yup, those things are influencing our economy, but he sure isn’t concerning himself with any solutions. If you’re the Governor and you aren’t doing something to fix things, you’re a part of the problem.

Harry August 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm

What’s he supposed to do – tell low income people they can’t move here, or tell companies they can’t move offshore?

NorthGAGOP August 26, 2014 at 12:47 pm

What is he trying to accomplish? This comes across as a bitter loser. I guess he didn’t learn anything after his press conference that Evans took over.

EAVCandor August 26, 2014 at 2:21 pm

He had 100,000 folks vote for him. I don’t agree with the guy but he has every right to put his thoughts out there. At least he has the gall to in some form address the ridiculous wink-and-nod partisanship going on.

Nathan August 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Of course he has the right to put his opinion out there. However, if he’s looking to garner support beyond those 100K voters, he might want to adjust his tone and not totally alienate those who may support him in the future.

Also, interesting to see that no one has qualified yet for the special election to fill the former mayor’s post as of close of business Monday:

http://www.daltondailycitizen.com/news/article_8b3c3ace-2c9f-11e4-ad45-001a4bcf887a.html

Dave Bearse August 26, 2014 at 2:34 pm

“In the last twelve years, Georgia’s Republican leadership has presided over what is arguably the largest economic decline, relative to the rest of the country, since the Civil War. This decline can be reversed if true limited government Republicans have the courage to enact bold policy changes. But the clock is ticking.”

“Are we there after 12 years of holding the governor’s mansion? No, but I believe we are moving in that direction.”

Pennington overstates, and there’s much, much more to it than a simple switch in governing parties, but Georgia is shaping up to be a case study in the application of GOP ideology.

More guns, more restrictions on abortion, and less spending on everything no matter what. At least implementation is easy to understand.

Three Jack August 26, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Excerpting one paragraph from Pennington’s FB post does not provide proper context. After reading the entire post along with this column from Jay Bookman – http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/jay-bookman/2014/aug/22/time-toss-dirt-hopes-gops-modernization/ – both have very valid points.

When GA GOPers first assumed control of this state after decades of dem rule, they made certain promises regarding economic development, educational improvement and gridlock reduction. In order to help pay for the needed improvements in transportation and education, GOPers called for a robust economy to generate tax revenues that would allow for reform of our antiquated tax system. They succeeded in none of the above because too much time was spent pandering to socons with red meat anti-immigrant, anti-abortion and less restrictive gun laws.

GOPers may yet have the chance to fulfill their original pushcard promises, but it ain’t looking good with the current crop seeking office.

Charlie August 26, 2014 at 4:36 pm

I could go along with some of this, and then I remember who most of David Pennington’s vocal supporters were. And what they wanted.

And therein lies the disconnect, and why David Pennington will have difficulty gaining traction promoting issues that his actual elected experience gives him the resume to speak on.

Three Jack August 26, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Agreed on the supporter part. I give more credence to Bookman’s analysis than Pennington.

Baker September 8, 2014 at 3:36 pm

@3Jack:

I basically agree with you here. I think what Pennington’s point is, and one reason why I have been so disappointed with Ga Repub leaders, they had a real opportunity to implement real change. Drop the income tax. Overhaul regulatory code. Privatize this thing or that thing.

Instead, they basically fiddled around the extreme edges and did very little. I mean, what state policies have really changed sine Roy Barnes was in office. We spend more money on economic development programs? Is that conservative? The car tax is slightly different? I don’t know enough about real policy from the Roy and Sonny eras but someone please correct me if I’m wrong here. This is the feeling I, and I think a lot of other folks looking for bold leadership, have of a missed chance.

Is that just not realistic to implement that kind of stuff because it won’t work? Well then wth are we arguing for? Nunn 2016?

habrams01 August 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Pennington is out of touch with reality. While the Republican Party in Georgia’s leadership contains way to many former Democrats who act like the way they were brought up, the fact that the Great Depression occurred is an uncontestable fact. The US Government said the recession was over some 5 years ago, which is totally false. You can’t pin the economic collapse on the Republican Party.

griftdrift August 28, 2014 at 1:04 pm

“The US Government said the recession was over some 5 years ago, which is totally false”

Do go on! I’m anxious to hear more!