Barnes says Georgia needs to change its image to attract jobs

Former Gov. Roy Barnes told a Metro Chamber of Commerce crowd this morning that the state needs to improve schools and infrastructure to attract companies to  Georgia.

But maybe most importantly, the state needs to improve its image, he said.

“I will keep you off the front page of the New York Times,” said Barnes, who is running for re-election.

Barnes said Georgia has, in recent years, made news for legislation making it illegal to put microchips into people, allowing Georgians to keep and eat road kill and limiting stem cell research.

“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life that we’re not going to do stem cell research,” Barnes said.

The former governor said businesses that Georgia seeks to attract must currently worry about whether there will be enough water, whether transportation problems will be fixed, and whether the state will continue furloughing teachers.

Another Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Thurbert Baker, told metro chamber members much the same thing.

“In some cases we’re sending the wrong message,” Baker said. “We’ve got to give them (businesses) reasons to be here.”

Baker said the state needs to “stay away from all this crazy stuff that sends a bad message.”

Barnes has a new ad out in which he criticizes some of the priorities of the Republican majority at the statehouse.

“We can’t bring jobs to Georgia with the rest of the country laughing at us,” he says in the ad.

Metro Chamber of Commerce members met with three Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls: Barnes, Baker and House Minority Leader DuBose Porter. The chamber had a similar get-together with Republican gubernatorial candidates earlier in the month.

20 comments Add your comment

English teacher

June 29th, 2010
9:32 am

You might want to change it’s to its in your headline. “It’s” easy to confuse the proper use of it’s and its.


June 29th, 2010
9:33 am

If they really want to change Georgia’s image with potential industry, then they’ll do something about Georgia’s tax system. According to the Tax Foundation, Georgia is 29th in the country in terms of tax freedom. That puts us behind all of our sister states with North Carolina being an exception.


June 29th, 2010
9:33 am

Yeah, let’s change our image and not re elect an idiot like barns. How’s that?


June 29th, 2010
9:39 am

Sleazeball Barnes. Wasn’t he a big part of the John Edwards campaign here in Georgia?


June 29th, 2010
9:41 am

Maybe we could start by limiting comments to folks that can actually spell the candidate’s name…
Nah– on the Internet(s) everyone has a voice no matter how dumb…

Lisa T

June 29th, 2010
9:50 am

I agree with English teacher. One would expect better of the AJC. I’ve been seeing lots of grammatical and spelling errors lately. Surely you still have a copy editor over there?


June 29th, 2010
9:54 am

Barnes has a backbone and is willing to do SOMETHING, unlike Perdue. I will give him another chance.

witt butler

June 29th, 2010
10:00 am

Barnes is not afraid to tell it like it is. The right-wingers in the GOP have made a national mockery of Georgia these past 8 years.

James Salzer

June 29th, 2010
10:19 am

Re: English teacher. Thanks for catching that. It’s fixed. That is what you get for writing something while you are also trying to listen to the candidates


June 29th, 2010
10:26 am

“Baker said the state needs to “stay away from all this crazy stuff that sends a bad message.” LIKE……VIDEO BINGO……Mr. Baker?

Now that we’re past the english lesson!

Uncle jessie

June 29th, 2010
10:36 am

Political consultant down hyar in Hazard County (East Dublin) done been sayin if ya’ll want to get them Yankees to spend thar money hyar you gots to make them feel at home, best way is to have Hooters do the food at capitol, Monica Lewinsky be gov’s chief a staff an Lisa Ann Taylor run govs mansion fer parties like she done fer years at her house. That will brang em down hyar Yee Haw


June 29th, 2010
10:40 am

Barnes makes a great point here. We really do send signals to the rest of the nation that we are a bunch of hayseeds down here.

I don’t think that the image we are sending, however, is materially different than what we actually are. So, the reason that the rest of the nation views us as backward sighted, hicks with no sense of modern reality is that we pretty much are.


June 29th, 2010
10:49 am

How is King Roy going to handle the “flaggers”. which will influence 4-5% of votr?


June 29th, 2010
10:51 am

It will take a lot of work to undo the damage of the last 8 years. I’m old enough to remember when Georgia was considered the most progressive State in our region. If anyone can return us to those times, it’s Roy.


June 29th, 2010
11:01 am

The question I have for any of those in the running: Why should a gay citizen vote for you? I know I’d like to see Georgia change its climate by leaps and bounds with such things as a non-discrimination law similar to ENDA here in the state. You can still be fired for being gay in Georgia.


June 29th, 2010
11:05 am

Easy answer on how to create jobs Casinos and Horse racing. Why let our money go to other states. This is a sure job creator use all the money for education that would surely help the state budget.

[...] AJC [...]


June 29th, 2010
12:27 pm

that story about the schoolbooks being considered with slavery described as, “they came here to HELP the plantation owners” wasn’t very motivating to corporations, either.

and the school district’s E-gate scandal is still around…no lessons learned that will give corporations the confidence that things have changed? no lessons learned where they can go to their employees and assure them that a solid (and honest) educational environment will be there for their children?

detroit is the champion for anti-motivating, yet entertaining, stories. and south carolina is vying for second place, thanks to mark sanford and these midterm elections. georgia still has a-ways to go to come close to all of that.

E-gate update, june 2010:


June 29th, 2010
2:48 pm

I have to agree with Steve. A good example is :D RY counties. If people want to drink, they go to another county, get their booze and bring it back home to the dry county, leaving the clean up problems there. Allow it, tax it and use for the clean up. The same goes to gambling. Why not get the benefit of these activities, after all, if they want to drink, gamble, they are going to. As for the criminal element often used as an excuse. Where have you been. It has been here! Get your head out of the sand and really look around.


July 7th, 2010
1:07 pm

I think it is sad that he will get elected in by teachers simply because he is promising no FURLOUGH’s ever. Well Mr. Barns, I am a state employee and have not had a raise in 3 years going on four, have been furloughing, and do not see it getting anybetter for us and again all I hear is poor teachers. 2nd, The day and hour that any state employee makes more that the Gov! the man running the state we have problems.