What should Nathan Deal’s top priorities be?

Now that Nathan Deal has added the “governor-elect” to the front of his name, he is turning his focus from campaigning to governing.

He’s named his transition team and his chief of staff to form his administration and set his legislative priorities.

But, we want to know from you: What should he focus on first? Jobs? Cutting taxes? Transportation? Education?

The AJC’s James Salzer is working on a story that will address the challenges Deal faces. And we want to hear from you on what should be at the top of his priority list. E-mail jsalzer@ajc.com and include your name, age, city of residence, and a phone number where he can reach you for more.

The new governor is making his list, make sure it’s the same as yours.

97 comments Add your comment


November 4th, 2010
11:12 am

Avoiding indictment.

Freedom lover

November 4th, 2010
11:13 am

1. Eliminating the personal income tax.
2. Eliminating all business taxes.
3. Eliminating all property taxes.
4. Shutting down as much of the state government as possible.
5. Allowing private compentitve companies or individuals to provide services that are now restricted to the failed government monopoly.
6. Pass a 10th amendment resolution against all unconstitutional federal laws.
7. Create an impound program for all federal income taxes so that the federal government cannot use its power to hijack federal monies that should be coming back to the state.
8. End the war on drugs at the state level, release all persons convicted of non-violent drug offenses and close the empty prisons.
9. End the state war on alcohol.
10. End the state war on gambling and prostitution.
11. Sit back and watch the prosperity flow.


November 4th, 2010
11:14 am

Lots of bitter liberals on here today.


November 4th, 2010
11:14 am

News flash too, Sunny was a republican and he hasn’t done jack for this state.


November 4th, 2010
11:17 am

Kyle – Not a liberal either, still a republican kind of, voted for Handel, did not vote for that scum bag Deal though. I can actually research a candidate before I vote for them and was against this guy because of his past history, which hopefully now they will go after him on. Most republicans are the absolute dumbest things walking this earth right now…

Winfield J. Abbe

November 4th, 2010
11:18 am

1. Abolish tenure in the entire University System of Education in Georgia.
2. Cut all University System salaries for all professors and above by 50% and more for administrators and coaches. Move the professional football team off campus.
3. Change the voting law to provide that no person is elected or no ballot issue or tax increase passed unless a majority of the registered voters approve period.
4. Abolish home rule for all local government and allow all local government officials to be sued personally and pay their own legal fees if sued.
5. If any local government violates any promise or law or the Georgia or U.S. Constitution, and can be documented by any citizen, their charter should be revoked automatically and they should be taken over by the State of Georgia.
6. End this illegal practice of forcing business, which cannot even vote, to pay the eduation costs of children they did not foster.
7. Abolish the illegal landlord-tenant law to reflect the contracts provision of the U.S. Constitution which it patently and illegally violates.
8. Allow for citizens committees to judge any ethical or improper conduct by public or university officials. Allow these committees to be chosen by random selections of ordinary citizens.
9. Stop local govenment passing illegal laws requiring officers of courts to do or not to do things. Courts must be totally independent. Now illegal laws require courts not to record certain documents unless approved by local adminstrative officials. This procedure is totally illegal and must be stopped.
10. Abolish all police and judical secrecy after a period of two years. After two years all written or other documents of any case in any shape or form must be released to the public period. They must be released voluntarily with stiff penalties of $100,000 per day personally for any officer refusing to release the documents to the public. This law must be made retroactive too.
11 Abolish the new medical school at UGA and use the money toward the trama centers.
12. Do not approve any new Engineering School for UGA. If any new engineering schools are approved place them in other areas of the State. Athens has received enough easy government money from the State over the years, and is over crowded too. UGA should and must be reduced in size. The UGA board of Regents is stacked with cronies of UGA. End this practice.
Many more suggestions could be made.
Winfield J. Abbe, Ph.D., Physics


November 4th, 2010
11:19 am

lmno, good info. But how can that be resolved to the greatest benefit of Nathan deal? Can he solve the Lake Lanier issue and pay off his personal debt at the same time? If not, it likely ain’t gonna happen.


November 4th, 2010
11:20 am

Georgia……….is still the state of the Good Ol’ boys!

Well you got your guy in, Again….lets just hope he doesnt leave us any more buried then we already are in about 4 years!!!


November 4th, 2010
11:25 am

Sorry Kyle, not a liberal, just a realist. And the reality is that we just elected a crook who may very well finish his term behind bars. You seem to be one of those people that think because he has an R in front of his name, he must be the best choice. Meanwhile, you ignore all the bad and delude yourself that it must be the “liberal” media out to get a good man. Open your eyes, Nathan Deal leaves a trail of slime behind him everywhere he goes. King Roy was just as bad for different reasons and therein lies the real shame, that these were our best choices.


November 4th, 2010
11:26 am

Adam – that Georgia highschool dropout Math.

The R’s have control top to bottom…they have 2 years….wish them luck…


November 4th, 2010
11:27 am

1. Water. Build another resevoir. maybe two.
2. Treat the state budget like a household budget. Maximize our natural
resources and assests. Pay our bills first and any surplus reinvested
and used wisely for ALL Georgia citizens
3. Make Georgia economically strong so Federal Govt can’t tell us what
to do.
That’s a start!

Bring back "Babe Alley" to the Georgia Capitol!

November 4th, 2010
11:30 am

Nathan Deal’s top priorities should also be to resume our frequent outings to many of Georgia’s top adult entertainment clubs and massage parlors. Don’t worry this won’t all be done on the taxpayers’ dime……our favorite lobbyists will be taking care of part of the bill. You the taxpayer will be taking care of the rest because keeping your favorite lawmaker (ME) entertained and contented during a frightening recession is a more than worthy cause.


November 4th, 2010
11:31 am

1. Solve the water issue
2. Help secure funding for light rail along 85 in Gwinnett, 75 in Cobb and 400 in Fulton.
3. Lobby the feds for making chages in NCLB.


November 4th, 2010
11:37 am

To piss off all the whiney libs…


November 4th, 2010
11:45 am

Crack down on employers who hire illegal aliens!
Bring an AZ type immigration law to GA!


November 4th, 2010
11:48 am

Restore the ‘56 flag!!!

Go Figure

November 4th, 2010
11:51 am

Can you imagine someone worse than Sonny? Another self-serving, corrupt politician. I’m sure he has his own hidden agenda which is not in the best interest of Georgia. What a MESS!


November 4th, 2010
11:53 am

His priority should be (1) paying his personal bills, (2) RESIGNING! Ugh!

Bring back "Babe Alley" to the Georgia Capitol!

November 4th, 2010
11:54 am

In all seriousness, as I step away from the champagne and unhand my female lobbyist friend and escort for a brief second, Nathan Deal’s top priority should be WATER, because if North Georgia is cut-off from Lake Lanier and the taps run dry in 2012, all other issues will NULL and VOID anyways as people flee the Metro Atlanta in droves and make what happened to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina look like mere child’s play. Traffic, education and jobs will be the least of our worries when a sizeable chuck of Metro Atlanta is cut-off from Lanier and left to thirst to death. Atlanta could become the first completely abandoned settlement in American history all on the strength of a ruling of a guy (Federal Judge Magneson) from a state (Minnesota) with 10,000 lakes.


November 4th, 2010
11:57 am

1. The first thing he will do is call his creditors and tell them that he just got a new job.
2. Then Nate will have a meeting with the GA Treasurer and tell that person that they are fired.
3. He will hire his cousin (almost a CPA back in the day) to be the next GA Treasurer.
4. Nate’s bank will call him and ask him did he know that a couple hundred thousand dollars was just transferred into his account.
5. Nate will call his bank back and tell them to take a little for themselves and that more is to come. Oh, and he’ll tell them not swear not to say anything and he will hook them up.
6. Nate will go around the state cutting taxes for the wealthy.
7. Nate will cut more public education funding, ’cause his mother and wife don’t teach anymore so he doesn’t care.
8. Nate will listen to anyone, esp. elephants, that have money to give him and that want favors.
9. Nate will take out a couple more loans and hide a few more IRS schedules.
10. Nate will go to Sonny’s Retirement Fish Fry and drink a little moonshine.

Nate and his buddies will have a good time on GA Taxpayers expense. We are in big trouble in this state. He is gonna steal money, decrease tax revenue (by lowering high income taxes, cutting taxes, etc.), spend a ton of money fighting a Federal Law (Health Care) that he can’t win, spending GA Tax money to defend himself, etc. GA looks like the DUMBEST state in the UNION….

What a smelly, white trash thug, we now have as Gov. of GA. What were you people thinking, because I sure did not vote for this crook/ liar of a person…. UUUGHHHHHH…..

No Deal

November 4th, 2010
12:02 pm

No Deal needs to go ahead and arrange to have his family’s financial problems solved by taking his leftver campaign funds (he didn”t know he couldn”t do that) get any bribes out of the way and then resign and let Karen Handel have the job. We surely would not want Cagle to take the job. His back and neck hurts for some reason ……..

GA Voter

November 4th, 2010
12:04 pm

1) Start process of getting GA in the black. Operating in a deficit makes for cuts in vital areas in which we don’t need to like…..
2) Education. Lets think outside of the box to start the process of removing the dubious distinction of being in the lower tenth of education in the nation
3). Transportation. First, the state should start funding mass transit. I feel if we can at least show we care about alternatives methods of transportation outside of expanding highways (light rail, expand MARTA) we will be able to secure federal funding. The gridlock of traffic needs to be mitigated.
4) Water. We want to be proactive and not reactive to a water shortage. Even though people talk of moving, I highly doubt it will happen in droves. Start finding ways to ensure we have an adequate water supply for the next 100 years
5). Taxes….sticky issue. We all want lower taxes; however, tax revenues are vital. I read someone discuss eliminating the income tax….my question is where would we get revenues? From a sales tax? Possibly but I don’t know completely cutting off all tax is the answer.
6. Casino? I like what a prior poster said about that…should be taken into consideration

Whether a person voted for him or not, he is our Gov-elect. Lets hope he has the best interests of the ENTIRE state at heart (specifically the blue island I’ve seen mentioned here. It is the economic driver of the state)

Its been some great suggestions on here. Hopefully it remains civil.


November 4th, 2010
12:09 pm

Deal is a criminal! Hands-down. I’m ashamed at Georgia for electing him. How many times would you and i forget we lost $3 million on a bad investment. If at work i tried to bend the rules to benefit myself financially i would be fired. In this case, Georgia hired Deal. Shameful!


November 4th, 2010
12:09 pm

Listen everyone I know it’s a bit of a long-shot, but hey I think Nathan could actually be a pretty good Governor. I’m a Dem and voted for Roy, but follow me on this one. I believe Roy Barnes to be a man of integrity who follows both the letter and spirit of the law, and made some very unpopular but necessary decisions (the flag). However, integrity may not be what we need right now in these specific times. Think of it, who better to have than a “back alley dealer” like Nathan Deal at the helm when we have to do something in the water wars. I’m confident he can totally screw over Florida and Alabama – just give him a chance. And unfunded federal mandates, it would probably only take half the tax evasion knowledge he has from personal experience for Nathan to figure out how we can shuck and jive the feds out of at least half of what we owe them. I’m really looking forward to this.

Bring back "Babe Alley" to the Georgia Capitol!

November 4th, 2010
12:11 pm


November 4th, 2010
11:45 am
“Crack down on employers who hire illegal aliens!”
“Bring an AZ type immigration law to GA!”

There’s already supposed to be a tough immigration law on the books in Georgia that was passed in 2006, but is rarely, if ever, seriously enforced as the law was passed and never financed, on purpose. Even if they got around to passing an even tougher Arizona-style immigration law here in Georgia, our inglorious lawmakers would leave some type of gigantic loophole open so that big business, corporations and agriculturers in South Georgia could still have access to an unlimited supply of cheap labor willing to work for next to nothing, read: ILLEGALS. The fact is that there are just too many Fortune 500 companies in Georgia that support a much larger Gross State Product than Arizona to get type of legislation here. In other words, there’s alot more money to be made off illegal immigration in GA than in AZ.


November 4th, 2010
12:12 pm

I would like to see him balance the budget not just on paper, but in real dollars. Government in general talks balanced budget, but then overspends and carries over the burden. Simply put, if the money isn’t there physically, don’t spend it- hum- sounds like my house. Quit relying on “credit” and only spend what we actually have. People on unemployment need to be more strictly watched. I’ve seen too many people “play” the system when they are more capable than me to work- they simply won’t until the free money runs out. I agree, there are real cases of help needed of unemployment and welfare and I am all for keeping people taken care of, there are just too many cases of people receiving money and then you look outside of their rental and see a huge, gas guzzling vehicle that isn’t used to go to work.
I’m sure I’ll hit a nerve with this one, but, if the state is trying to find ways to “make money” I have 1 idea. I don’t mind “sharing the road”- really- with cyclist, but it is really irritating when they ride on roads that do not have bike lanes or when they ride so close to dark with no protective lights or reflectors on them or the bike. Maybe we should make them purchase a tag so that bike lanes can be added to more roads and the roads maintained. That way they are happy with a place to ride and we car drivers are happy that they are out of the car lanes. Country roads seem to be the worst place. I harbor no ill feelings for them wanting to enjoy the area, just get on the side of the road and wear reflective clothing.

Red Clay

November 4th, 2010
12:13 pm

Transportation, Transportation, Transportation, Transportation.
Traffic is a mess in the ATL


November 4th, 2010
12:15 pm

Hey, all you Deal tomato throwers. The man is our governor now, so we should respect him and give him a chance. Like the ones of us that didn’t vote for Obama, I recognize he is my president now and although I don’t agree with many things he does or says, I respect his office and know that I could live in a country that is far worse off. Let’s give Deal a chance to make some progress and if he doesn’t prove capable of doing it, we’ll exercise our right to vote him out and try again. Enough of the bashing.

Freedom lover

November 4th, 2010
12:16 pm

Winfield J. Abbe – While you can see that I believe in the battle axe approach to addressing big government, I like your ideas a whole lot. It just goes to show that government is screwed up on so many levels in so many ways that nobody could possibly fathom. There are plenty of problems with private businesses, and those of us who work for them could certainly tell some stories, but nobody really cares because they are not funded by theft (taxation) and there are competitive businesses to choose from if their problems spill over into areas that impact the customers. Further, unless government shields them, they are also liable for damages they do to others (unlike governments – who ultimately use stolen money/taxes to pay for their misdeeds).

Give me a break

November 4th, 2010
12:22 pm

Is sad that no one knows what his top priority is because his all his ads were focusing on his opponent.
I sense he doesn’t know either, because he was too busy throwing stones at his opponents. Now he lives in a glass house so we will know more about him in a few months.

Freedom lover

November 4th, 2010
12:25 pm

Gigi – Please explain why the political office someone holds should automatically entitle them to respect. There is nothing worth repecting about any political office. The entirety of government is based on force and theft. Every job is paid for by the theft of monies from the citizens of the affected area. The laws that are passed, whether by majority vote or not are still backed ultimately by the force of the gun (whether or not you wish to acknowledge this). Further, when you look at the number of votes elected officials REALLY get, they represent far less than half of the number of eligible voters as at least 50% choose not to participate in the futile election process.

Deal, Obama, Bush, Perdue nor any other elected official deserves one bit of respect and neither does their office. Should their actions increase liberty, reduce the burden of theft upon the people, reduce laws and regulations, and generally be in the direction of honoring the god-given rights we all are supposed to have and which government was SUPPOSED to be created to protect, then maybe that individual is worthy of some respect. Aside from congressman Ron Paul one would have to go a LONG way back in our history to truly find anyone worthy of the sentiment.

You clearly have learned well from the government education system and the government-controlled media.

Bring back "Babe Alley" to the Georgia Capitol!

November 4th, 2010
12:25 pm


November 4th, 2010
12:09 pm
“Listen everyone I know it’s a bit of a long-shot, but hey I think Nathan could actually be a pretty good Governor. I’m a Dem and voted for Roy, but follow me on this one. I believe Roy Barnes to be a man of integrity who follows both the letter and spirit of the law, and made some very unpopular but necessary decisions (the flag). However, integrity may not be what we need right now in these specific times. Think of it, who better to have than a “back alley dealer” like Nathan Deal at the helm when we have to do something in the water wars. I’m confident he can totally screw over Florida and Alabama – just give him a chance. And unfunded federal mandates, it would probably only take half the tax evasion knowledge he has from personal experience for Nathan to figure out how we can shuck and jive the feds out of at least half of what we owe them. I’m really looking forward to this.”

Tickedtodeath, I kinda of agree, or at least I very much hope that Deal can be and will be a very good governor for Georgia. My thing is that Deal and Cagle are from North Georgia and both know personally how much the lake means to the area as they and their families live and depend on the lake to survive. I really hope that he might be the guy that saves this state from a very, very, very bad day in 2012 and it’s parching aftermath

Freedom lover

November 4th, 2010
12:28 pm

And Gigi, give america some time. You will be living in a country that is far worse off. There was once a time when this country was FAR better off and such comments like “I could live in a country that is far worse off” only serve as an excuse for tollerating the horrible way political officials currently treat all of us and the blatant way they disregard the constitutional limits that were supposed to keep us free.

Seal the Deal

November 4th, 2010
12:35 pm

Transportation and
Law Enforcement. Simple.

What we will see is,

Lower income taxes for businesses,
Lower property taxes,
Political corruption (read the Hobbs Act), and
Heavy investment in Gainsville.

G'Vegas Dawg

November 4th, 2010
12:36 pm

Why are all of you leftist fools leaving out the obvious? Everyone keeps listing jobs, education, and the economy as the most needed areas of attention. Are you all so far left that you can’t realize that tackling illegal immigration will fix the vast majority of problems in Ga? I could care less what nationality the illegal immigrants are, so go ahead and leave your “he’s just a racist redneck” comments behind. The problem with illegal immigration is that the people who are “undocumented” don’t pay into the system. Go to a hospital and tell me what you see. How many of them have health insurance? People want to complian that the trauma ammendment didn’t pass. Ask yourself this – if illegal immigrants were paying their part of the taxes wouldn’t there be a much bigger pot of money to pull from? Jobs. If illegal immigrants had to pay into the system would it still be as attractive to work here rather than at home? Tax free money beats the hell out of taxed money all day long. Once some of the illegals leave, more jobs for tax paying citizens. Education. Again, one pot of money meant for X amonut of people has to be distributed to X times 5. The left will do anything to say that people who are against illegal immigration are racist biggots. Not so. I don’t care who you are, just pay your fair share.


November 4th, 2010
12:41 pm

Water for the Atlanta Region. I don’t care if that means raising taxes to buy old stone quarries for water retention, replacing the aging water pipes of the city of Atlanta, cleaning up overflowing sewer systems so that water returned to the ‘Hooch is potable. Don’t care.

Education – because no matter how good the tax breaks look, you can’t lure a company here with a poorly educated populace.
*Fund trades training in high schools and post high schools for skills like plumbers, electricians, carpenters, house painters, along with a few basic courses in running ones own business.
*Fund medical school for those who commit to primary care practice in Georgia – we need more primary care doctors.
*Means test the Hope Scholarship – to keep hope alive for those who otherwise could not afford college. Wasn’t there a study several years ago that showed that most of those who buy lottery tickets are in the lower third of the income range while most of those who get Hope Scholarships are in the upper third?

Get the feds off our backs about mental health care in Georgia – and comply with the agreements the State made with the feds – to appropriately fund local mental health care and the properly run the mental health hospitals.

Vigorously enforce laws against illegal immigrants AND vigorously enforce laws against employers of illegal immigrants. If Georgia law does not provide enough punishment for employers of illegals, work with the legislature to strengthen those laws. The problem won’t go away until jobs are denied illegals and it is the employers who are enabling illegal immigration.

Get your finances in order; correctly and timely make financial disclosures of both your personal financial information in so far as such information is required by law and tellt he truth about the State finances. Don’t use your office and your government staff to promote your private business interests. Try to tell the truth, occasionally.


November 4th, 2010
12:42 pm

The losers may be the ones whom voted for Deal & the ones who didn’t.
Let’s watch & see the dire-straights that Georgia will be in when it’s all said & done.


November 4th, 2010
12:49 pm

First, recognize that the economic health of Atlanta is vital to GA (and a corollary – make sure everyone outside of Atlanta understands this and that right now rural GA receives more back from GA tax revenue than it pays in — simply stated, bashing Atlanta is foolish). Then, do something to solve the water issue and transportation issues. Without solving these problems it won’t matter how much the budget is slashed or taxes are lowered — if Atlanta declines (and it’s losing now to cities like Charlotte where the state and city have worked together for the betterment of all North Carolinians) then GA goes with it.


November 4th, 2010
1:45 pm

G’VegasDawg, even if there was a way to snap our fingers and instantly be rid of any illegal alien, things wouldn’t be as good as you think. You’re correct that illegal aliens don’t, as a rule, pay directly “into the system”. They do, however, pay property taxes in the form of rent and sales taxes. And while that may not be enough to be their fair share for the hospitals and schools they use, there is another factor to consider. Its estimated that more than half of GA Farm Labor is now made up of illegal migrant workers. If you were to remove them, the jobs would go to Americans who would demand higher salaries, which would, in turn, drive up food prices. Food prices, as you are probably aware, have the biggest impact to daily life on low wage earners. Higher food prices actually affect security.

G'Vegas Dawg

November 4th, 2010
3:10 pm

So what you are saying is indendured servants are A-OK as long as they aren’t tax paying Americans or legal tax paying immigrants? It is ok to diminish property values as long as illegals are paying rent. Renters don’t pay property tax, the landlord does. It will have to be paid rather it is rented or not. In this economy, I would doubt that any famers would have a difficult time finding workers for a fair wage.

The Snark

November 4th, 2010
3:58 pm

Cutting taxes? Are you people high on cocaine? Georgia state government has shriveled to the point that it can’t do its job. Federal agencies are having to step in and run the juvenile justice system, and the criminal defense system doesn’t meet constitutional standards even by Deep South standards. If you want less govenment than that, you’ll have to go to Somalia.

N GA Bubba

November 4th, 2010
4:31 pm

It won’t matter. Did you see the GOP committee chairs are going to strip Lt. Gov Cagle of his powers? I think the same thing is going to happen to Deal. The REAL power is going to be in the legislature and Speaker Ralston. THINK about this: Gingrich was Speaker, Deal was a follower. Haster was Speaker, Deal was a follower. When has Deal ever been in charge of anything other than a subcommittee. AJC – the real power is going to be the legislature – just like it was under Tom Murphy.

Kayla Nicole Mallard

November 4th, 2010
8:16 pm

Hey guys,it’s Kayla.Guess what,I’m Nathan Deal’s actual cousing Kayla.It’s the truth,I promise but I haven’t seen him over a year and I miss him a lot.Congragulations Nathan.I love you.:)

State Worker

November 4th, 2010
10:25 pm

First, fire all of Gov Perdues Commissioners, Executive Directors, etc. If you really want to change and improve govt then start there. Second, do something positive with Education, and set standards. Third, Move all Transportation Items, Projects, ETC under DOT. Delete GRTA, give the buses to Marta and help establish a solid funding source for them with money at GRTA. (PS, get rid of Jim Ritchey) and call on me to help you solve the problems..

good ole earl

November 5th, 2010
1:44 pm

I’m sure glad only 150 to 200 people read this crap and only around 300 subscribe to the AJC. This is one of the most slezzy and cheapest ways i know to take cheap shots at sombody.


November 5th, 2010
1:51 pm

Deal needs to be “educated” on the realities at the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) as Perdue has allowed major ethical and financial violations by his friends and top administrators at the USG to continue – violations that will be brought to the public’s attention soon. While programs were being cut, tuitions increased, and teachers furloughed, top USG administrators laughed all the way to the banks! To read the facts, click on:
And this is just one small chapter in their “book” of lies. The book will be out soon!


November 7th, 2010
6:50 pm

Deal needs to do the following in his first year and here’s 5 good ideas for a start.
1.) Implement a 50% Sin Tax (On immoral porno shops/strip clubs/websites).
2.) Fund the HOPE scholarship, by opening up a Casino in downtown Atlanta ran by the GA lottery and allow Four Peri-Mutual Horse Racing Tracks Permits where the annual permits paid by each track to fund the Hope Scholarship.
3.) Great Expansion of Toll Roads to Alleviate Atlanta and the State’s Traffic Issues Especially on hwy 316 and 400, without raising taxes.
4.) Bring Back the Chain Gang for Prisoners to Mow Highway Medians, Re-Open and have them Clean Highway Rest-Stops, Work the prisoners 50 Hours a week, and Fast Track all those on Death Row to 6 months.
5.) Lower the Corporate Tax ONLY for those GA Companies Creating Jobs and Triple Taxes for those corporations outsourcing GA jobs to Communist China or India.