Tag: sonny perdue

Newt’s Back, This Time With Forward Momentum

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

Last May, on the eve of Georgia’s State GOP convention, I asked if the Newt Gingrich that would address the local faithful could demonstrate through word and action what he has learned since his exit from elected politics. There is little question that Gingrich is a bright man, and what he knows is not in question. But what he had learned from mistakes made in his public and personal life were a lingering issue. A week later, we had a preliminary answer.

Following his speech to the Georgia GOP, he began a week that included torpedoing Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform proposals on Meet The Press, was “glitter bombed” at a book signing, and asked by an Iowa voter on camera when he was going to get out of the race to quit embarrassing himself. He responded to his stumble by taking a Mediterranean cruise during which virtually his entire staff quit. It was, by any objective measure, a horrible official start to a campaign.

The result was a loss of momentum, endorsements, and fundraising. Former Governor Sonny Perdue switched his support to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty without as much as a phone call to Gingrich. With fundraising drying up, there was not a quick move to replace staff, and the campaign soon announced debt of roughly $1 Million. Gingrich, as John McCain had done 4 years earlier, was reduced to flying commercial for campaign appearances usually without staff in tow.

As Gingrich faded to the background, Tim Pawlenty was unable to capitalize on his newfound supporters. He withdrew from the race after a dust up with Michelle Bachmann prior to the Ames Iowa straw poll which left her in the spotlight and his campaign hemorrhaging cash. On the day of the straw poll, national numbers placed Bachmann on par with Mitt Romney as the front runners in the GOP race. Less than a week later, Rick Perry was a candidate and the presumed front runner, also having poll numbers comparable to Romney. Thirty days later, Herman Cain had the same supporters, with Bachmann’s campaign on life support and Perry fighting for 4th place with Gingrich.

Anit-“Establishment” Republicans have been searching for a “Not Mitt Romney” candidate since this race began. Romney, for his part, has been dutifully bouncing between 25 and 30% in national polls. That’s enough to call him a front runner, but leaving 70% of GOP voters available for anyone else. Romney has yet to demonstrate he can attract the supporters when other candidates stumble. Read more

Georgia’s Trust Problem

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

A couple of weeks ago, the state of Georgia’s budget was so tight that there was no other choice to save money than to eliminate one of the remaining employees at the State Ethics Commission and cut the salary of the Commission’s director 30% to $85,000. The fact that Stacey Kalberman had prepared subpoenas to investigate ethics complaints filed against Governor Nathan Deal was just an unfortunate coincidence.

Today, Georgia is flush with cash again. AJC reporter Aaron Gould Sheinin is reporting that a scheduler for former Governor Sonny Perdue, Corinna Magelund, has been promoted to the state’s mental health ombudsman, doubling her salary from $53,000 to $107,000. The Governor’s office is adamant that her relationship with Deal campaign advisor and now Deputy Chief of Staff Brian Robinson had no part in her promotion, despite the fact that Magelund has no background in mental health. The AJC story indicates that Robinson and Magelund are dating.

Magelund, now earning over six figures, has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Valdosta State. Kalberman, who Deal’s supporters argued was living above the wages of average Georgians, has a law degree from Emory with over 10 years corporate law experience. While Kalberman was told to accept a pay cut from $120,000 to $85,000 or resign, Magelund’s new salary is $25,000 higher than that of the person who last held the job, Jewel Norman. Norman has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology.

The Deal leadership team continues to demonstrate political tone deafness when it comes to public perception of their actions. At the root of this problem are trust issues, but ones not originating from the public, but from within. Read more

Was The Name Of Gingrich’s Cruise Ship The Titanic?

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

Newt Gingrich returned from his summer vacation cruise to find that almost his entire campaign staff had resigned, including his Georgia headquarters team and his frontline personnel in Iowa. It was yet another blow, perhaps a terminal one, to a campaign that has not caught a positive break since it began at the Georgia Republican convention less than one month ago.

Gingrich managed to stop the public hemorrhaging by lowering his profile and getting out of the country for more than half his official time as a candidate. His decision to seek sun and solitude instead of doubling down on lackluster fundraising efforts is being frequently cited as a key source of frustration that motivated the staff exodus.

For his part, Gingrich says his campaign will begin anew this weekend in Los Angeles and that he will appear in a debate in New Hampshire on Monday. Georgia and national pundits, however, have already written an obituary for Gingrich 2012. Gingrich and his remaining supporters may find solace in the 2008 campaign of John McCain, also written off as viable when he had to slash most staff and traveled to and from events solo, flying coach.

For now, however, Gingrich’s severe troubles are presenting opportunities for other candidates. Read more

Perdue to back Pawlenty

WSB-TV’s Lori Geary reports that former Governor Sonny Perdue, who had previously endorsed Newt Gingrich and was serving as his national campaign co-chair, is now backing Tim Pawlenty.

[UPDATE] Gingrich has lost his paid staff in Iowa as well.

[UPDATE – 5:50pm] Perdue on Pawlenty: “Tim Pawlenty is a great man, he was a phenomenal governor, and he is the person I now believe stands the greatest chance of defeating President Obama. He is the only candidate who has laid out a real plan to grow the American economy, and his track record in Minnesota is proof he’s the right man for the job.”

Perdue Appointees Now “Perdue Partners”

Just got the following forwarded via email:

> Dear Friends, On Monday the 18th of April Perdue Partners will be 
> formally launched. It is a joint venture of Governor Sonny Perdue, 
> David Perdue, Trey Childress and Heidi Green. Given your friendship 
> over the years, we want to welcome you to our new office so you will 
> know where to find us as we hope to see you often. Please come by on 
> Thursday, April 21, 2011 between 5:30 – 7:00 pm. We look forward to 
> catching up with you! Sincerely,Sonny, Heidi & Trey  Please join 
> usThursday, April 21, 2011at 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm Perdue Partners 3110 
> Maple Drive NE, Suite 100Atlanta, GA 30305

David Perdue is the cousin of the former Govenor, whom Cousin Sonny appointed to the Georgia Ports Authority Board.  Trey Childress has served as the director of the Georgia Office of Planning and Budget and Georgia’s COOHeidi Green most recently was the director of Economic Development.

No word came with the email on the intent of Perdue Partners.  Given the partners now have “Former State Employee” status, there need be no pretense that whatever they’re doing is “for the children”.

On the GAGOP Campaign Trail: Updates for the Week of 3/27 – 4/2

Here is your weekly round-up of campaign updates for the GAGOP that were sent in to us for the week of February 20th:

NOTE: If I didn’t post enough or anything about your favorite candidate for chairman or 1st vice chairman for the state GOP this week, email me press releases or other notes of interest to me by noon on Fridays before  the state convention in May.  Click here to email me.

Read more

Former Governor Wades into Party Political Pool

We’ll break with our normal weekend GOP updates to bring you this latest news from the GAGOP campaign trail.  Former Governor Sonny Perdue has decided to wade into the GAGOP political pool once again by endorsing Justin Tomczak for 1st vice chairman of the Georgia Republican Party:

Georgia’s former governor, Sonny Perdue, has added his name to the list of supporters of Justin Tomczak’s campaign for 1st Vice Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party.

“I don’t get involved in many intra-party races because party activists know better than I who gets the job done,” Perdue said. “But this one is unique-because I have personally observed Justin’s heart for the grassroots. His dedication was obvious to me from the day I asked him to join our team. He helped us build one of the largest, best equipped, and most successful grassroots political operations this state has ever seen.”

Read more

All We’re Missing Is The Resolution To Rename Savannah ‘Port Perdue’

Dan Chapman with the AJC takes a lengthy and detailed look at the attention Governor Perdue has paid to the Port of Savannah since he’s been Governor.  Much of that attention has focused on how he can get paid to move his grain from his agribusiness to the ports.

During the past three years, Perdue and his companies’ employees have tapped the expertise of state workers at the Ports Authority and the departments of economic development and agriculture several times to boost the governor’s grain and trucking businesses, according to documents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through the Georgia Open Records Act.

An earlier e-mail by Hawkins, this one dated July 10, 2009, said of a meeting with Perdue’s employees: “Of course their main question was how they can become a player here.”

Oh man, the Governor needs to know how  to become a player.  Well, perhaps stacking the board could help. Read more

Gwinnett Grand Jury Finds Commissioners Used Land Purchases To Reward Friends And Punish Rivals

The AJC has the story here.

Jurors probed five county land purchases, finding fault with four of them. The report claims commissioners used some purchases to reward political allies and punish rivals. It says the county routinely paid 10 percent above appraised value for land, even after the real estate market tanked.

The result: Taxpayers spent millions of dollars more for some land than it was worth.

Read more

Power Shift 2.0

There was a time that lasted until the last decade where central Georgia, specifically the area around Houston County, was the epicenter of Georgia politics. Stalwarts like Richard Russell established the area’s dominance of political influence. Sam Nunn single handedly kept this red state blue for a decade longer than demographic shifts would have suggested. And only when native son Sonny Perdue moved over to the Republican party did the rest of the state follow.

Assuming Republicans win with their slate, the Governor and Lt. Governor will both be from the same town of Gainesville, and the Speaker of the House will be from the congressional district. Most now accept this as a foregone conclusion.

Travis Fain at The Macon Telegraph today reports that Representative Larry O’Neal, a Warner Robbins Republican who finished runner up to David Ralston for the position of House Speaker, will seek the postion of House Majority Leader being vacated by Rep Jerry Keen. If successful, this would represent the highest ranking person at the state level for a region used to having one of the key seats of power.
Read more

GA 400 Toll: Stay or Go? But you promised!

From the AJC:

If a board led by Gov. Sonny Perdue votes Friday to keep the tolls on Ga. 400 after 2011, it will be breaking the promises state officials made in years past.

But it also will be creating a revenue stream, largely under control of a board the governor chairs, that could build several projects the state can’t afford to do now.

The State Road and Tollway Authority board, chaired by Perdue, and the state Department of Transportation’s board are each scheduled to meet Friday and discuss the Ga. 400 toll.  DOT would decide whether to keep leasing Ga. 400 to SRTA, and SRTA would then decide whether to keep the toll.  The listed projects might not even be part of the vote, and are subject to change.

SRTA provided the list under the Georgia Open Records Act.

An SRTA project list and the rest of the article can be found here.

In these times of budget distress, Perdue decides it’s the perfect time to buy land

And, remember, Perdue thinks he’s the Wizard of Budgets! Details here.

Gov. Sonny Perdue says the state has acquired a 469-acre tract in north Georgia’s Dawson County for conservation purposes.

State officials say the newly acquired land connects two previously separate tracts of the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area.

The Nature Conservancy acquired the Amicalola Creek property from the Forestar Real Estate Group in 2008 and held it until the state could arrange funding.

Sooooo, the Nature Conservancy was going to hold the property until the State could pay…and Perdue chose this fiscal year to do so. Glad there isn’t anything else the money could go for…like more staffing at the GBI Crime Lab.

Remember: the land was already being held for conservation purposes. But the genius that is Sonny Perdue couldn’t wait and had to spend more money now. Genius!

Perdue: State standards are good for cops (and booze), but horrible for judges

Sonny Perdue yesterday vetoed HB 1236, which would have required Municipal Court judges throughout Georgia to be licensed to practice law and be a member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia. Those already serving who were not qualified would have been grandfathered in.

Pretty good idea, right? Having judges in Municipal Court who are actually lawyers and actually have experience in the law? No so, says the Guv’na:

Because I believe cities should be able to decide what qualifications their municipal judges should have, I VETO HB 1236.

So local municipalities should be able to make their own decisions about who they want as judges. Okay, I’ll admit it, I can understand it if the citizens of, for example, Pavo or Brinson, want their judge to be Joe who runs the pharmacy down the street. Because if the guy chosen really screws up, he can be given the proverbial boot quickly.

But, then, if our Governor is sooooo interested in local control over law enforcement standards, why does Perdue continue to fund the Georgia Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Council? Georgia P.O.S.T. administers the law enforcement regulatory process and sets the standards for training and certification for all law enforcement officers across Georgia! Isn’t that telling “small town Georgia” how they can organize their own police force?

What if Ty Ty, Georgia, wanted to organize their own police force in some inventive way or just have ‘ol Fred standing on the corner issuing traffic citations? Why should they have to be burdened by the “rules” from “the man” in Atlanta? Can’t they decide how they want their law enforcement organized and operated?

No, I’m not actually calling for the destruction of Georgia P.O.S.T. But it points out, yet again, how the thought processes of our current Governor always sounds pretty fair on the first pass but then end up making very little sense. A Municipal Court judge should at least be licensed to practice law in Georgia.

Barney Fife just e-mailed in to note, “Rule Number One: Obey ALL rules!”

[UPDATE] In the comments comes another excellent point: Perdue is all hot and bothered by the concept of local municipalities being able to set the standards for their judges, but GOD FORBID if a municipality wants to permit its citizens to purchase alcohol on a Sunday from a store.

What Perdue signed on the last day and what he crapped on

Dear Leader has announced, on the last day for him to approve or veto legislation, that he has signed the following bills into law: HB 705, HB 936, HB 948, HB 991, HB 994, HB 997, HB 1002, HB 1040, HB 1069, HB 1072, HB 1123, HB 1186, HB 1197, HB 1213, HB 1214, HB 1261, HB 1285, HB 1286, HB 1288, HB 1355, HB 1364, HB 1429, HB 1430, HB 1447, HB 1448, HB 1467, HB 1470, HB 1490, HB 1500, HR 1588, SB 17, SB 277, SB 371, SB 389, SB 390, SB 419, SB 436 and SR 1083.

The following bills were vetoed by He Who Knows Better Than You™: HB 321, HB 417, HB 827, HB 907, HB 990, HB 1023, HB 1028, HB 1082, HB 1236, HB 1251, HB 1272, HB 1321, HB 1407, HB 1422, HB 1465, HB 1478, SB 1, SB 148, SB 239, SB 291, SB 373, SB 374, SB 414, SB 415, SB 480, SB 539 and SB 547.

Perdue vetos Zero Based Budgeting

Dear Leader has vetoed SB 1. As if anyone really thought he was in favor of smaller government. Here’s his whining reason why:

SB 1 provides changes to Georgia’s budget act requiring a purported zero-based budgeting methodology to be applied to a fraction of all state programs annually and for all programs once every four years. Georgia first attempted this budget methodology in the 1970s under Governor Jimmy Carter and has abandoned it since that time. A survey of states finds that of the states that currently maintain this methodology in their statutes all have effectively abandoned the practice because of the additional bureaucratic process and overhead while producing few identifiable results. Additionally, SB 1 does not change the budget process employed by the General Assembly (which could employ zero-based budgeting in its budget process under current law if it so chose). Instead, SB 1 requires state agencies to administer dual budget processes concurrently, the new and the current budget process, to be implemented immediately for the upcoming budget cycle. It is not technically feasible to reprogram state information technology systems or to provide resources for this endeavor on the timeline stated in the bill. While SB 1 is motivated by an admirable goal, the realities of Georgia’s and other states’ experiences have demonstrated few results worth the overhead associated with this new process. Moreover, anyone familiar with the budget process I have employed during my eight years as Governor knows that I and my staff examine all facets of each agency’s budget each year. Because existing law provides sufficient flexibility to conduct a searching examination of each agency’s budget, and because SB 1 unnecessarily imposes new bureaucracy and restrictions on the Executive function of submitting budget requests, I VETO SB 1. I have already committed to work with supporters of the legislation to formalize Executive Branch policies that are consistent with the goals of this legislation.

Let the bloat live on! And, Sonny, I’m curious: how will your formalization of “Executive Branch policies” be binding in any way on the next guy to sit in your chair? That right, I forgot:

You. Don’t. Care.