Thurmond won’t rule out bid for governor

By Kristi Swartz/

Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond was at the Loudermilk Center to talk about the state’s job market today, but people couldn’t resist asking whether he’s going to run for governor.

Thurmond, a Democrat, said he hasn’t decided and likely won’t until former Gov. Roy Barnes announces whether he will run. That will be in early June, Thurmond said. Three other Democrats have already announced a bid for governor: House Minority Leader DuBose Porter (D-Dublin), Adjutant Gen. David Poythress and Attorney General Thurbert Baker.

Thurmond offered two caveats Wednesday:

“I love what I’m doing,” he said.

But, “my mother always told me you should look to the hills.”

Thurmond has said previously he’ll play utility infielder and “go wherever he’s needed” — whether lieutenant governor (where no Democrat has announced) or remaining in his current post. Or running against Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson in 2010.

40 comments Add your comment

[...] IT AND THE HAVE NOTS, ARE **** OUT OF LUCK! M. Thurmond is considering his political options: Thurmond won


May 6th, 2009
8:32 pm

He can forget my vote. The way the GDOL has handled the Extended Benefits program is a slap in the face to everyone who is depending on unemployment benefits to keep the wolves at bay. The governor signed this legislation in April, and yet most people won’t see their first check until mid-June, if that soon. How many of those people will become homeless during that time Mr. Thurmond?

[...] IT AND THE HAVE NOTS, ARE **** OUT OF LUCK! M. Thurmond is considering his political options: Thurmond won

Walter Berman

May 6th, 2009
10:02 pm

I will not vote for Thurmond as governor, or for that matter labor commissioner AGAIN. The EXTENDED BENEFITS PROGRAM that he is administering has been unbelievably mishanded. The bill was passed over a month ago and he says he needs until 25 May to start the program. There are many people that have not had an UI check for several weeks, and will probably go under before this money gets to them. There are other states that have gotten the funds out in an expeditious manner such as IL, NJ, Pa, etc. If he wants to run our state the way the DOL is being run…..NO THANKS MR THURMOND I’ll pass!

[...] Posted by flyfishva M. Thurmond is considering his political options: Thurmond won

hopelessly unemployed

May 6th, 2009
10:51 pm

I got an email from the DoL on 3/24-which tells me that they knew legislature is being passed for EB. I’m about to loose everything and be homeless with my children.My county has over an 11.4% unemployment rate.I cant go look for work with no gas money & soon no internet ,cant pay the bill.The wolves are at the door and He doesnt care.He wanted July 1 to disburse the money and he has found a way to do it.In the mean time 58K are doing without and soon to be homeless if they arent already.The whole point of the EB was so families would not have a gap and loose their security and stability.No he wont get my vote!

lost in the cracks

May 6th, 2009
11:03 pm

I think he just wanted all of the tier 2 exhaustees to drop off the rolls so the states unemployment rate will drop down some.Legislature started this bill in the end of Feb.The Dept of Labor has had plenty of time to update their system and identify potential candidates for eligibility.What are they thinking by making us keep on waiting and possibly no retroactive.A claim only takes 3 weeks and how can a family go months without paying bills and expect to catch up,if there is even anything left to catch up.Most of us waiting are losing everything and the layoffs weren’t our fault to begin with.

No Way

May 6th, 2009
11:26 pm

I voted for him the in the past,never again,not for any office.I depended on him to take care of us and by the mishandling of the funding available to extend benefits through the ARRA,My children and myself have now gotten a late notice for rent and it is soon to be an eviction,disconnect notice for electric and my kids will be uprooted with nowhere to go and see their belongings thrown by the side of the road and doubtfully finish out the school year.He advocated for us to get the money so it proves he has known for months that this was going to occur and why it was important to get the monies out in a timely fashion.The way the eb program has been handled is a disgrace.Govt and politics is choking the middle class out into the streets and for no good reason.This should have been a smooth transition like in many other states instead it is destroying what I used to believe in.How are we supposed to even look for work, if we can’t buy gas or pay car insurance?Let alone pay bills at home while we wait.yes I know the Gov just signed it two weeks ago but they have all KNOWN for months it needed to be done.Ga’s department of labor is the only state that is keeping their eb program a secret even from those it to help!

Lorene Davis

May 6th, 2009
11:31 pm

Brian and Walter should get their facts straight! If not for Thurmond’s successful effort to force Perdue and the Republicans to accept the extended benefits money, no one would be receiving one dime. Georgia is the only state in the south that has accepted U.I. (Unemployment Insurance) stimulus dollars. Thanks solely to Thurmond’s heroic effort! By the way, maybe you should get off this blog, stop whining and start looking for a job!


May 6th, 2009
11:55 pm

Gee, Lorene, defensive much? Sounds like maybe you work for the GDOL. You certainly have the bureaucratic attitude. Sure, everyone who’s out of work should “stop whining and start looking for a job.” Maybe you haven’t heard, but jobs are kind of scarce these days. And frankly, the fact that Thurmond lobbied Perdue to accept the money is all the more reason to expect that the GDOL could have gotten a head start and been preparing for this.

hopelessly unemployed

May 7th, 2009
12:30 am

the following publications from the website speak loudest on what state has done what.
update on states,
explains the importance of the funds and how necessary they are and what state is getting what and how many discouraged workers are getting benefits.

The last time I looked Kentucky and the Carolina’s are part of the South.They are getting their funds in a timely manner and you can google what their extended benefit program is consisting of and who qualifies.
I have at least 30 pages of a verifiable job search history.Georgia’s job openings is not congruent to the number of people seeking employment.There is no whining here just the facts ma’am.
Also not to nit pick but from the posting times I’ld say it was pretty safe to ‘assume’ not too many businesses interview after 8:30 at night


May 7th, 2009
7:36 am

I agree wit you Brian. Lorene maybe when we all lose our homes we can all come and camp out at your place. Sounds to me that the economy has not effected you at all. This is hard times for all of us, so lets try to be a little sentitive.

lost in the cracks

May 7th, 2009
11:07 am

My family has become so poor during this recession it is now a matter of health concerns.Not only are we about too loose everything(my neck of the woods has no Marta and double digit unemplyment for the entire region)that we did work for for all of our lives but we are no longer able to buy the essentials like soap ,shampoo and toilet paper.No laundry soap or dish detergent,these have become a thing of the past.I sent half half a dozen resumes off again this morning because I can’t drive anywhere(no fuel) so I’m taking a break here to let people know how we are being affected by the Govt officials whom are supposed to be helping us.That money was needed as soon as Perude signed it if not sooner.It is a matter of public record how long HB581 was worked on and who all knew it was going to be in effect.Wish I could get a job at AIG!


May 7th, 2009
12:22 pm – I looked on the dept. of labor’s website for the extended benefits process and it provided the information that the folks above did not take the time to read. Why not do your research before whining. It seems to me that the people most upset are folks that never had to wait for anything and had everything handed to them. Maybe, that’s why they are still unemployed. No, i don’t work for the labor department but I do know how to read. Walter and Brian should perhaps take my lead and conduct some research. That’s why I have two interviews next week and they are still looking for a check.

lost in the cracks

May 7th, 2009
12:33 pm

EUC is different than the expected state benefits…perhaps some research should be done


May 7th, 2009
12:37 pm

well Lorene, if that is true about Mr. Thurmond, I stand to be corrected. All I know is there are a lot of good hard working people that got left out in the cold in this shattered economy!


May 7th, 2009
12:37 pm

The gov signed hb581 last month which gives the state extended benefits-the link you posted was from 2008-old info -different program that is the euc that was started by bush in july and nov of last year.The state eb program is hush hush and the letters havent even been mailed yet and the application for it wont be online till 5/22


May 7th, 2009
2:27 pm

Enter your comments here

Patiently Broke

May 7th, 2009
2:32 pm

Ms. Lorine might need to research a little further to understand that she is several MONTHS behind in her findings. The benefits we are entitled to are being held back to pressure us into accepting jobs below our normal standard, so less will have to be paid out.However, they fail to realize that they have allowed illegal immigrants to take all those positions! Thurmond did butter up the voters with his “fight for our sake” garbage, and only now do I understand why. I wonder if the funds are waiting in an interest barring account??Hmmm.

hopelessly unemployed

May 7th, 2009
2:35 pm

Kentucty and the Carolina’s also have the eb program. Ga is NOT the only Southern state. If one goes to nelp dot org and reads the publication from feb 09 that was updated may 09 it shows exactly what states are doing what and how many people are affected by eb benefits.(see the last table)
It’s all a numbers game. When the claimants have dropped off the rolls the unemployment rate goes down making it seem like the recession is getting better when in truth they havent quit drawing because they found work.They become discouraged workers instead of jobless workers.NELP and some constituants fought like the dickens to get the date changed on the house bill to 5/25 from July 1.The dol wont tell us anything about what we are eligible for or when the money will be granted.58 thousand people are going through this in Ga with no hope in site.


May 7th, 2009
7:37 pm

Hey, someareidiots, what an appropriate handle for yourself. With your amazing reading comprehension, you’d think you would have noticed that the information you reference was regarding previous extensions. Maybe if you weren’t looking for the slightest provocation to push whatever ideological agenda you have you would have read further. Go back to listening to talk radio.


May 7th, 2009
11:53 pm

hopelessly, I realise that other southern states have the EB ball rolling, however slow process for them too. What I was referring to was Thurmond going to bat for us to get EB….that was news to me.


May 8th, 2009
12:00 am

Brian, a big Ditto on your last post. SAI doesn’t have a clue what benefits we’re talking about!


May 8th, 2009
12:07 am

Brian a big Ditto, he’s clueless about the EB topic. He was reading EUC tier 1 and 2 info. It’s amazing this whole thing has been so hush hush in Ga! The letters are going out today they say, then maybe we’ll see.

hopelessly unemployed

May 8th, 2009
7:58 am

i think so carolina is getting their funds. yeah thurmond n perdue had a slight fallin out back in late feb early or march over the acceptance of funds. i remember a slight blurb on the news about perdue being mad cause thurmond took it public.strictly a political move to get backers for his next position in govt politics. he is still trying to stay with the date of july 1 to get us the money. if we get retro within days of our applyin on 5/22…i’ll be shocked…its being kept hush hush for a reason and has anyone read the latest ui figures for april…higher than ever across the states.hoping yall get the golden letter today


May 11th, 2009
1:53 pm

Thurmond is a dynamic candidate and public official. He’s a great motivator and administrator. Anyone who discounts him is foolish.

hopelessly unemployed

May 13th, 2009
7:57 pm

he has the power to keep 58K families from being homeless in this state and he does not care. I find nothing motivating about that nor is it in the best interest of anyone!


May 14th, 2009
2:10 pm

Mr. Thurmond is a man with a vision and he will carry out his vision. Never, ever count him out in winning whatever race he enters. He can better serve all the people in another position beside the one he is in now, Comm. of Labor. He will do the job he is elected to do.

hopelessly unemployed

May 15th, 2009
4:20 pm

seems his mission right now is to hang onto the federal money for the state and let exhaustee’s fall into deeper poverty. that money was meant to help 58K and only 35K letters went out-our monies have been stopped for months and some of us live in rural counties with extremely high unemployment .he has known for months this needed to be done -there is nothing expedious about its implementation.He isnt giving retroactive funds like the other does he expect those who didnt get homeless to catch up. I dont think that was what obama and the ARRA had in mind when they ok’d the funds.

hopelessly unemployed

May 18th, 2009
6:26 pm

Wednesday May 6 | The Daily Tribune News – Cartersville, GA…. Bartow’s unemployment rate reaches 11.5 percent Read the original story w/Photo …. Copyright ©2009 Topix LLC. ,well that isnt good now is it?HB581 overwhelmingly passed through house and Senate on 4/3 with the change of date of implemetation for funding.Legislature started writing it in late feb.DOL Commissioner knew about publicly in statements back in March when he n Gov Perdue argued over acceptance of funds.Perdue signed it on 4/21.(all of this is verifiable with simple google searches)guess what…My landlord told me they can wait NO LOnger for rent!!!I have 4 kids who will officially be homeless because of the way the SEB funds are being handled. there is no fast implementation. I have no idea when i will get them,or how much i will get.Only that i can apply on 5/22-i can certify on 5/31 and sometime in midjune perhaps I will get them. nelp dot org stresses the importance of the funds provided for by the ARRA so this would not happen to families. Thank you Commisioner Thurmond for my state of being. The economy and unemployment rate were not my mess yet my children will pay the price for political games. there is no retroactive funds and we are being told we will not even be getting the 25per week increase that other UIC and EUC receipients are getting. believe you me I would rather be working because I brought home over 500 per week.This is an outrage that my family will have to suffer and I want it known whom is responsible!other states got their funds faster and retroactive from feb 22,09 on… can even google search states rules for SEB that havent implemented theirs yet but can you do that with Ga-NOT! Even the DOL offices havent a clue as to what is going on-BUT The Comish knows-cause he is the one in charge and it is the biggest secret since the recipe for MickeyDee’s secret sauce!We not only are losing our security and stability but everything we own as we have been without funds since my second tier ran out mid april.Thank God i worked as long and hard as i did or i wouldnt have even gotten what I did but to be at the mercy of beaurocracy is awful–do they have any idea what they are doing to people, I know they do because I have correspondence to them and from them and it isnt just me-their is between 30-60K families in this state having the same nightmare

hopelessly unemployed

May 23rd, 2009
11:18 am

kentucky and fla got there bills for extended benefits signed after georgia did and guess what-they are getting their eb funds sooner too, and retroactive too-go figure-all i’m getting is a 28 day wait (a regular ui claim is only 21 days,hm-whats up with that) and a higher rate of unemployment (11.5)in the county where I live-and an eviction notice-….thanks Michael L Thurmond!!My family appreciates the fact that you understand the plight of the long term unemployed.You were much faster in 2001-My kids will remember this is future elections!!!They are voters too- 2 of them now and by the time the next Gov race comes along there will be 2 more old enough to vote-they’ll speak on who cost them their home and stability playin games with umemployment funds that were waited on for months-and no way to catch up without getting retro-course there’s nothing to catch up any more- its all bye bye

lost in the cracks

May 24th, 2009
10:31 am

it is from 2002, but reflects that GA has known for 7 years now that they were not prepared for a crisis even though their trust fund was above average due to less than average generosity in UI program.

Georgia Fails to Make the Grade
in Meeting the Needs of Its Unemployed Workers
Georgia’s unemployment insurance system, like that of 22 other states, fails to meet the
needs of out-of-work Americans and is in urgent need of repair, particularly given the
increase in workers losing their jobs or exhausting their unemployment benefits since Sept.
A newly released report, “Failing the Unemployed: A State-by-State Evaluation of
Unemployment Insurance Systems,” grades Georgia and the other 49 states on five criteria
that determine how much families are helped by a state’s unemployment insurance program.
Thousands of workers in each state have seen their unemployment insurance benefits run
out before they are able to find work. In Georgia:
Between Sept. 11, 2001, and Jan. 31,2002, more than 44,857 laid-off workers
exhausted their unemployment benefits—an increase of 136 percent over the same
period last year.
52,700 unemployed workers are expected to run out of benefits by July 1, 2002—an
increase of 87 percent over the same period last year.
Each week, 2,030 laid-off workers are expected to run out of unemployment benefits.
1. State’s Eligibility Policies. GRADE: FAIL
States establish eligibility policies to determine under what circumstances workers can qualify
for assistance. Badly structured eligibility requirements often end up denying benefits to the
workers who are likely to need them most: low-wage and part-time workers, even if they have
substantial earnings and work histories. Failing on the eligibility measure means such policies
as extending benefits and raising benefit amounts will have virtually no impact on workers
who are not eligible for benefits.
Georgia does not have an alternate base period, which is a fairer way of calculating a
worker’s eligibility for unemployment benefits. It requires the state to use the worker’s
most recent earnings prior to layoff—which typically are higher—to calculate eligibility.
Georgia does not allow part-time workers to collect unemployment insurance benefits
if they are laid off.
2. Adequacy of Unemployment Benefits. GRADE: PASS
Unemployment Insurance (UI) is the first line of defense during economic downturns—not
only because it provides vital income support to laid-off workers, but also because the money
workers receive from UI goes right back into the community, which boosts and stabilizes the
economy. Paying workers adequate benefits when they are unemployed may mean the
difference between moderate hardship and an inability to pay bills, buy sufficient food or other
minimal needs. If states provide particularly low benefits, middle-income families are forced to
spend their savings or live at poverty levels, while low-wage workers may have no alternative
but to seek welfare/Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. Georgia’s maximum weekly benefits lift a family of three above the poverty line—but
by just $10 per week.
3. Recession Preparedness. GRADE: FAIL
During a recession it is critical that states have strategies in place to help families who are
temporarily out of work. Some states have adopted such measures that trigger automatically
when unemployment exceeds a certain level or that may suspend the regular one-week
waiting period before workers can receive any benefits.
Georgia has failed to adopt an extended benefits trigger or to fund extended benefits
for workers.
Georgia is one of 34 states that received a FAILING grade on this measure.
4. Employer Tax Practices. GRADE: FAIL
The report calls attention to the disturbing inequity between the treatment of workers seeking
to collect unemployment benefits and employer tax rates used to fund the unemployment
insurance system. Systems that do not collect enough revenue during periods of economic
expansion will not be able to expand coverage during a recession, and will fall far short of
meeting the needs of unemployed workers.
Georgia earns failing marks on employer taxation because employers pay only 0.1
percent of their total wages in unemployment taxes, while Georgia denies
unemployment benefits to more than two-thirds of its laid-off workers.
5. Solvency of UI Trust Fund. GRADE: PASS
If there is any good news in this report, it is in the finding that most of the state UI trust funds
have nine months or more of benefits available, with just 12 states falling below that mark. Georgia’s trust fund has a higher than average balance, largely because its UI
programs are less generous than average.

lost in the cracks

May 24th, 2009
3:59 pm

Your Extended Benefits claim will be effective Sunday of the week following the last week for which you were paid Emergency Unemployment Compensation….. Kentucky

When we begin processing Ohio EB, claimants will receive payment retroactive
to February 22 or their date of federal EUC exhaustion, whichever is later.

Michigan signed into law the EB bill on April 21. EB was retroactive to Jan 31, or the date that EUC was exhausted. This sounds good, however, considering the date that Tier 1 began, it would be not be possible for someone to qualify for retro to Jan 31.

The additional payments will be made retroactive to the week ending March 1, 2009…… New York

provide benefits retroactively back to Feb. 22, 2009…… California

For those who have exhausted benefits, the bill would give retroactive extended benefits, as long as their benefit year did not end before Feb. 22……Florida

The implement would be retroactive back to Feb 22……Oregon

Kreanna Austin

May 26th, 2009
6:47 pm

I am quite sure the benefits will be retroactive !!1

lost in the cracks

May 27th, 2009
1:04 pm

The ga dol has repeatedly told callers that the benefits are not retroactive. the claimants will be paid from 5/24 onwarsds till they reach a total that is 80% of their original ui claim. no one will probably even get a full 20 weeks.


May 29th, 2009
3:53 pm

Just found out hubby does not qualify even though he has not missed a week calling in, states he missed it by almost two weeks. this is disgusting, bet the gov and the rest don’t miss sleep over what the rest of us are facing


May 29th, 2009
3:55 pm

we have waited just like the rest for Tier 3 and now find out claim expired too early

hopelessly unemployed

May 31st, 2009
10:35 am

My son in law missed it by 1 day.
It’s rididuclous


June 12th, 2009
7:14 am

Okay my 2nd tier ran out this week so I went ahead and completed the SEB application online before a letter was sent to me. What are they basing it on? I worked 3 times since my layoff but when those short term positions ended, I had to resubmit my claim. I originallly applied on April 1, 2008 wilth my 2nd tier ending this week. I’m just confused right now.When was the cut off for 2nd tier? How long does it take to process the SEB?


February 15th, 2010
3:30 pm

Unemployment Insurance is not supposed to be a person(s) income. It’s an insurance. People who rely on UI benefits should use the income as a supplement to finding a new job. People need to learn to save and live below their means. This will prevent lack, in situations where employment it tight. Learn to save, and not be dependent upon government. If you cannot find work in a particular area, you may have to venture out.