PSC newcomer yet to master subtle art of back-scratching

There’s the right way to do these things. And then there’s Tim Echols’ way.

Echols is a member of the state Public Service Commission, charged with regulating the state’s energy utilities, telecom companies and trucking and limousine services. As Kristi Swartz reports in today’s AJC, Echols wrote a letter back in March to Augusta National Golf Club, using official PSC stationery, requesting two tickets to a practice round of the Masters.

“As a statewide elected official, I would welcome the opportunity to visit with constituents and guests in our state,” Echols wrote.

Getting no response to his first letter, Echols stepped up the heat. He wrote another letter, demanding access to the grounds to allow him to inspect limousines being used to service members, players and guests at the tournament, so that he could ensure that they were properly licensed by the PSC.

He still didn’t get in.

If you’re wondering how Echols came up with such a cockamamie approach, I may be able to help you out. You see, before filing to run for the PSC last year, Echols served as campaign manager for then-Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine in his failed run for governor. And Oxendine was renowned for his less-than-subtle use of public office as leverage to get what he wanted.

As Swartz reported in late July, the newly elected Echols has also run up twice as much in expense reimbursements as any other PSC commissioner, spending more than $12,000 on trips that have often been a dubious mix of personal and public business.

“Since he took office in January, Echols’ billings for mileage, hotels and meals have included $1,231.42 for a trip to Savannah to showcase his personal compressed natural gas-fueled car in a St. Patrick’s Day parade; $337.62 to Albany for nuclear waste meetings, which coincided with his daughter’s track meet there; and $79.05 in mileage from his Winterville home to the Woodruff Arts Center because he wore a gold PSC name badge and represented the agency.

There have been additional trips to Brunswick, St. Simons and Ossabaw islands, some of them including members of his family….

That said, Echols has lined up a 10-day trip to France next year to tour some of the country’s 52 nuclear plants and learn how that industry handles spent fuel. He will pay for the trip out of campaign funds rather than expense it.”

Echols defends his blunt approach to the Masters by explaining that he didn’t want to acquire tickets through lobbyists, which might make him beholden to them. That makes a certain strange kind of sense. Indeed, if you look through disclosure forms, you discover that so far this year, Echols has accepted just two meals, worth a total of $66.75, from lobbyists.

On the other hand, Echols’ colleague at the PSC, Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, did wrangle a ticket to a Masters practice round, courtesy of an AT&T lobbyist. So far this year, McDonald has also accepted $1,999.67 in lodging, meals and other goodies from SCANA, a gas marketing company that he was elected to regulate on behalf of the people of Georgia.

SCANA has been even more hospitable to another commissioner, Doug Everett, for whom it has purchased $2,169.96 in lodging, meals and other benefits so far this year.

A third PSC colleague, Stan Wise, isn’t listed as attending the Masters this year but did accept three rounds of golf, for a total of $435, from David Christopher Weaver, a lobbyist for Atlanta Gas Light Co., which the PSC regulates. So far this year, the AGL lobbyist has showered Wise with $1,237.65 in golf, meals and other benefits.

(The fifth PSC member, Chuck Eaton, hasn’t accepted — or perhaps been offered — largesse on that scale.)

And of course, PSC commissioners are hardly alone. Another lobbyist reports spending $990 on tickets, food and lodging to take state Sen. Renee Unterman and her spouse to the Masters, courtesy of Hall, Booth, Smith and Slover, an Atlanta law firm. Two other state legislators are also listed as accepting Masters tickets from lobbyists.

Other entries in the disclosure data base are a little more opaque. One lobbyist reports spending $668 to take two state representatives to an unnamed “golf tournament” on April 7. That happened to be the starting date of the 2011 Masters, which ran April 7-10. Another reported spending $50 to buy “ticket to golf tournament” for House Speaker David Ralston on April 10. (If anybody else knows how to snag a ticket to the final round at Augusta for $50, please let me in on the deal.)

The point is, there’s clearly a “right” way to get your back scratched. If you stay within approved channels, under Georgia law you can legally accept thousands of dollars worth of benefits, even from companies you’re supposed to be regulating. In the words of the Wicked Witch of the West, “these things must be done delicately.”

It’s an approach Echols has yet to master, so to speak.

– Jay Bookman

277 comments Add your comment

stands for decibels

August 25th, 2011
9:54 am

This thing on?

JohnnyReb

August 25th, 2011
10:01 am

The back-scratching needs to be cut to zero and the whole agency given an enema.

(ir)Rational

August 25th, 2011
10:02 am

Amazing how well they protect us. I’m actually going to have to go with the defense of “don’t blame me, I voted for the Democrat” on this one.

In all honesty though, this kind of crap makes me sick. I actually like the PSC, as sometimes they are the only real way to deal with certain companies (AT&T comes to mind), but the fact that they are elected to regulate these companies should make it automatically illegal for them to accept any bribes, I mean gifts from lobbyists, from these companies. I actually think they should be removed from office for it.

Oh-well. Who is John Galt?

Citizen of the World

August 25th, 2011
10:06 am

There are entitlements — disbursements to the elderly, working poor and disenfranchised — and then there are entitlements — gifts and favors and privileges and tax breaks for the already well connected. Guess which ones the Republicans want to put a stop to?

USinUK

August 25th, 2011
10:07 am

“That said, Echols has lined up a 10-day trip to France next year to tour some of the country’s 52 nuclear plants and learn how that industry handles spent fuel. He will pay for the trip out of campaign funds rather than expense it”

if I was a campaign donor, I think I’d be a bit miffed.

Jay

August 25th, 2011
10:09 am

Well, USinUK, if the speaker can take a $17,000 lobbyist-paid trip to Europe to look at fast trains….

Steve Hodges

August 25th, 2011
10:10 am

I don’t know Mr. Echols or his politics and he clearly made a poor decision. I thought it would be the right thing to do to also expose your readers to the following story excerpts, which I feel you should have included.

…”Echols has since said that he should not have asked for the tickets because of the “appearance of impropriety.” Experts say Echols’ letters broke no laws but agree there’s a concern about appearances.

“It’s clear that he’s trying to use the office as if there’s some royal entitlement to complimentary tickets,” said Emmet Bondurant, an Atlanta lawyer whose specialties include ethics cases.

…Echols’ request for tickets, which cost $36 apiece this year, came more than 11 months after the May 1 cutoff for entry into the ticket lottery.”

Adam

August 25th, 2011
10:11 am

Hmm so he can’t get to the Masters, because he won’t accept lobbyist funds? And he can’t regulate something at the Masters for the same reason?

This is a bit confusing, but I kinda like this guy’s insistence on not accepting lobbyist money. Too bad it means he probably will not last long, and probably be completely ineffective. Maybe he can make that case later, loudly, and publicly, and that might help some sort of lobbyist reform. That’s probably overly optimistic, though.

carlosgvv

August 25th, 2011
10:13 am

When I was growing up in Georgia, years ago, my elders used to regularly say those politicians are “just a bunch of crooks”. Looks like things haven’t changed very much. If I were addressing a class of college freshmen and were asked to impart some advice I would say “for as long as you live look for your politicans to be a bunch of crooks”. Hey, is this a great Country or what!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joe the Plutocrat

August 25th, 2011
10:13 am

I like his chuzpah! finally, we have a politician who wants to eliminate the influence of lobbyists, and shake down constituents (some would say extort). and really, who cares if a lobbyist doled out a couple of “practice round” passes?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 25th, 2011
10:15 am

Inspections of limos? Who the heck is stiffling the limo industry with all those regulations. Why I bet if we removed those regulations, everyone in GA would be riding in limos what with all the competitive forces.

USinUK

August 25th, 2011
10:17 am

“Well, USinUK, if the speaker can take a $17,000 lobbyist-paid trip to Europe to look at fast trains….”

the new motto for Ga politics:

GA … the only difference to LA is 4 letters

Brosephus

August 25th, 2011
10:20 am

Joe @ 10:13

I think he’s only trying to cut out the middleman (lobbyist). Maybe he thinks he can get a bigger piece of the pie that way. :)

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 25th, 2011
10:22 am

Well there is also Newt’s “campaign trip” to Hawaii…. which coincides with his wedding anniversary.

Bosch

August 25th, 2011
10:22 am

Keep,

I had the same thought? Limo inspection? WTF? Seriously, what DOES that have to do with the PSC?

Bosch

August 25th, 2011
10:23 am

And wow, I can’t think that limo inspection is like high priority at the PSC if they are, in fact, the agency that oversees such things.

And wow, I think if I realllllly wanted something I did for a living to get me some benefits, I’d come up with something better than limo inspection.

USinUK

August 25th, 2011
10:23 am

“which coincides with his wedding anniversary.”

:lol:

I wonder how that account with Tiffanies is holding up

jm

August 25th, 2011
10:24 am

Is Echols a Georgian? No class…. not surprised this guy got turned down for tickets from Augusta.

He must not know anyone. :)

bill arp

August 25th, 2011
10:24 am

I heard this morning that President Obama seems to think the fault line that caused the earthquake this week was Bushs Fault. Others seem to think it was caused by our founding fathers turning over in their graves all at one time..

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 25th, 2011
10:25 am

Bosch, I suspect that hole inspection is the governors job ;)

Bosch

August 25th, 2011
10:25 am

“which coincides with his wedding anniversary.”

I have to admit. I am guilty of that. I used to go to a conference in DC every year around my anniversary and the OB would go with me, but I only paid for my airplane ticket and room — we paid for the OB’s expenses. We’d make a weekend of it and visit with friends after the conference.

kayaker 71

August 25th, 2011
10:26 am

Lobbyists have been a part of our political scene as long as we have been having a political scene. The GA legislature, whether Democrat or Republican controlled, could eliminate lobbyists with a single vote. Same with the US Congress. This knows no political party. Happens to one as well as another. They like the gifts, bribes and freebies that go along with the job…. and that’s not about to change anytime soon.

Bosch

August 25th, 2011
10:27 am

bill arp

August 25th, 2011
10:24 am

I heard this morning that President Obama seems to think the fault line that caused the earthquake this week was Bushs Fault.

OMG would you people PLEASE stop posting this — it was funny like the first hundred times!!!

jm

August 25th, 2011
10:27 am

Hey Jay, 51% blame Bush for the economy.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/62038.html

Unfortunately for Obama, that won’t be the metric he’s measured against in 2012. Instead it will be: are your policies making the economy better. And on that, he gets a 25% approval rating.

AmVet

August 25th, 2011
10:28 am

carlos @10:13, nope not much.

Unless by change you mean that the Georgia GOP has doubled down on corruption, cronyism, malfeasance and scandals.

These guys are major league embarrassments, even for their shameless apologists…

Hoof Hearted

August 25th, 2011
10:29 am

Joe and Bro,

I was thinking the same thing. He’s just cutting out the inefficient middle men (lobbyists) to directly shake down constituents. It’s the “free market” at work!

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
10:30 am

“Lobbyists have been a part of our political scene as long as we have been having a political scene”

They have, and they always will be. Lobbyist actually OUGHT to serve a vital function: helping our legislators understand the issues in their particular filed of knowledge. It’s not LOBBYING that is the problem, it is UNDUE INFLUENCE that is the problem.

Anyone who has every written, or otherwise contacted, a legislator to give them information on an issue has been “guilty” of lobbying.

JohnnyReb

August 25th, 2011
10:31 am

Citizen of the World @ 10:06 (BTW, where is that country on the map?) – there is a big difference between entitlements and political graft. This Republican wants the graft stopped.

Brosephus

August 25th, 2011
10:31 am

Bosch

I’d tell you the reason I heard, but I’d be labeled “racist” for saying such. ;)

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 25th, 2011
10:31 am

Bosch, if you got the money to pay for that trip by campaigning or getting elected, you may be a politician.

Jay

August 25th, 2011
10:33 am

kayaker, you can’t outlaw lobbyists. The First Amendment guarantees the right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

But you can sure as hell tell them they can’t shower legislators, regulators and state employees with gifts.

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
10:35 am

Jay – I *think* you owe me a coke!

jm

August 25th, 2011
10:35 am

“But you can sure as hell tell them they can’t shower legislators, regulators and state employees with gifts.”

amen

Adam

August 25th, 2011
10:35 am

I heard this morning that President Obama seems to think the fault line that caused the earthquake this week was Bushs Fault. Others seem to think it was caused by our founding fathers turning over in their graves all at one time..

I think the earthquake happened because of tectonic plate movement.

But that’s just me.

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JohnnyReb

August 25th, 2011
10:37 am

One of my customers is huge American corporation that everyone would recognize. Their policies prevent corruption. They will go to lunch/dinner on my dime, but that’s it. The same needs to be put in place in government at all levels, fed, state. local.

getalife

August 25th, 2011
10:37 am

cons will never act on corruption.

Just talk.

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
10:38 am

“cons will never act on corruption”

Might I make a slight correction? “cons will never act TO ELIMINATE corruption”

Scooter

August 25th, 2011
10:38 am

And in other news… power corrupts.

Stonethrower

August 25th, 2011
10:39 am

Jay that should read “peaceab$$$$$$$ly to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances!”

kayaker 71

August 25th, 2011
10:39 am

Bookman,

I think that that is what I meant to say. Many thanks.

Butch Cassidy

August 25th, 2011
10:39 am

How is it that whenever there is an article written specifically about Georgia and it’s represenatives, some d bag always has to throw Obama into the discussion? Seriously, I’m not a fan of the man, but could you reserve the Obama banter for articles and commentarry that actually, oh I don’t know, have something to do with Obama?

getalife

August 25th, 2011
10:41 am

Yes, my bad.

If they thought about a better chance for the kids to make a livable wage, they may act to eliminate it one day.

I don’t see that day coming from this generation of cons.

kayaker 71

August 25th, 2011
10:41 am

The most ridiculous part of this thread is that it implies that this kind of behavior is limited to the GOP.

Jay

August 25th, 2011
10:41 am

getalife

August 25th, 2011
10:43 am

“The First Amendment guarantees the right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.””

Why are lobbyist special and can’t redress grievances like the rest of the people?

Butch Cassidy

August 25th, 2011
10:44 am

Thanks Jay, forgive my rant. Some days I just have a low tolerance for the irrelevant. :)

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Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 25th, 2011
10:44 am

of my customers is huge American corporation that everyone would recognize. Their policies prevent corruption.

Ummm….policies like that never “prevent” corruption. They may punish it as a deterrence. Several senior officials at Walmart lost their jobs for taking small “gifts” a few years back if I recall. Other corporations have such similar policies.

Those policies will not “work” effectively when the campaign donations are solicited. But certainly stronger ethics policies, actual investigations (and the budgets to do so) and some actual enforcement with penalties would help deter.

Adam

August 25th, 2011
10:44 am

Seriously, I’m not a fan of the man, but could you reserve the Obama banter for articles and commentarry that actually, oh I don’t know, have something to do with Obama?

You didn’t get the memo that everything is Obama’s fault? It’s a memo in response to the false idea that Obama thinks everything is Bush’s fault. So, you know, revenge will be OURS! or something…

Brosephus

August 25th, 2011
10:45 am

Butch

It’s a combination of Obama Derangement Syndrome and Obama Patella Convulsitis. When someone’s suffering from both of those afflictions, they can’t help it.

;)

Jay

August 25th, 2011
10:45 am

kayaker, I could have — but did not — point out that all five of the PSC commissioners are Republican. In fact, party affiliation was never mentioned.

JohnnyReb

August 25th, 2011
10:46 am

The reason you are not hearing about Dems having the same transgressions, there are hardly any left in state government!!!

USinUK

August 25th, 2011
10:48 am

Stonethrower – WELL SAID.

but, then, it was the Supreme Court that said that corporations are people, too

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
10:49 am

“Why are lobbyist special and can’t redress grievances like the rest of the people?”

Actually, you should as the question the other way around

Brosephus

August 25th, 2011
10:49 am

The reason you are not hearing about Dems having the same transgressions, there are hardly any left in state government!!!

Even knowing that, the Right finds some kind of way to blame Liberals for sh*t that happens in GA instead of holding the very people THEY voted into office responsible. Instead of deflecting blame and such, maybe y’all should look at the quality of people you’re voting into office and quit blaming the opposition for problems that you created on your own.

USinUK

August 25th, 2011
10:49 am

“Obama Patella Convulsitis. ”

OPC.

I luvs it!

Adam

August 25th, 2011
10:49 am

I could have — but did not — point out that all five of the PSC commissioners are Republican. In fact, party affiliation was never mentioned.

I still like the guy for not taking lobbyist money. Even if he is trying real hard to be in the in crowd without accepting any such money.

JohnnyReb

August 25th, 2011
10:49 am

re, my 10:46 – I should have stated – hardly any Dems in state government excluding the house and senate.

AmVet

August 25th, 2011
10:50 am

And with even more disreputable gerrymandering in the works, it’s only going to get worse for we the people but a lot “better” for the faux conservative incumbency protection racket.

How ya liking your Georgia GOP government so far, Reb?

A model of ethical, effective governance, huh?

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
10:50 am

“I still like the guy for not taking lobbyist money. Even if he is trying real hard to be in the in crowd without accepting any such money”

Adam – I suggest you looke up “plausible deniablity”

Brosephus

August 25th, 2011
10:51 am

[...] PSC newcomer yet to master subtle art of back-scratching – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)As Kristi Swartz reports in today’s AJC, Echols wrote a letter back in March to Augusta National Golf Club, using official PSC stationery, requesting two tickets to a practice round of the Masters. “As a statewide elected official, I would welcome the [...]

larry

August 25th, 2011
10:52 am

Aw, come on everyone , quit picking on the guy. He was just wanting to make sure all the limo’s that were used at Masters were from Georgia. He just didnt want those South Carolina limo thugs nosing into the event.

And i have some ocean front property in Blairsville to sell you.

JohnnyReb

August 25th, 2011
10:54 am

Brosephus – I believe if you asked anyone regadless of political affiliation, excluding those who benefit from graft, if they think laws should be put in place to stop what Jay describes, it would be near 100% yes. The problem is, the people who benefit have to pass the law. Very similar to the 47% not paying federal income tax voting for someone that will result in them having to pay something regardless of income level.

Brosephus

August 25th, 2011
10:55 am

re, my 10:46 – I should have stated – hardly any Dems in state government excluding the house and senate.

Three minutes and already trying to shift the blame. The GOP own’s all of the major elected offices as well as most of the major appointed ones (PSC for example). Until people are ready to take ownership in the problems THEY help create, we’ll keep having this circle jerk over who’s at fault. The big problem for the GOP in GA and other Southern states is that they’ve driven the Democratic Party so far out of office, they can’t blame nobody but themselves when they fail. The GOP damn near controls the entire South. By their own hubris, the Southern US should be the shining example for the rest of the country to follow by 2020. I won’t hold my breath to see that happen.

jm

August 25th, 2011
10:56 am

Be honest folks. GA is about as much a “pay to play” state as TX.

Which is not good for business, the economy, consumers, or anyone else.

Adam

August 25th, 2011
10:56 am

Doggone: Plausible deniability? No need. The guy could easily accept money if he’s just going to do what lobbyists want anyway. Why not? People do it all the time and if they get criticized… well there’s a long history of how to respond and it works. I can’t think of too many people who accepted lobbyist money and that became a reason they DIDN’T get back into office.

JohnnyReb

August 25th, 2011
10:56 am

AmVet – I have zero use for the Public Service Commission. See my post on giving the whole agency an enema. As to the state government in general, I’ll take those Repubs with all their faults any day versus Democrats.

Adam

August 25th, 2011
10:57 am

JohnnyReb: Very similar to the 47% not paying federal income tax voting for someone that will result in them having to pay something regardless of income level

If it’s that simple, why try so hard to tax them more, and try so hard to avoid taxing the top more?

larry

August 25th, 2011
10:58 am

I mean , its no different than a certain Congressman and a certain Lt. Gov. , who are from the same city, going into the Lt. Gov’s office to twist both arms of a certain Revenue commissioner who told said Congressman that he was going to take a program that a said Congressman was benefiting from private.

Poor Bart Graham, his arms are still smarting from all that twisting.

Libertarian

August 25th, 2011
10:59 am

Why couldn’t he acquire tickets like the rest of us?? Buy them on ebay. You can’t push Augusta National around.

Brosephus

August 25th, 2011
10:59 am

Very similar to the 47% not paying federal income tax voting for someone that will result in them having to pay something regardless of income level.

:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

How many of that 47% actually belongs to the super contributors to political campaigns? You should leave well enough alone with that one. If Congress wanted to change that 47%, they could do it anytime they chose to. It has nothing to do with who voted for them.

Peter

August 25th, 2011
10:59 am

These were the same guys that voted any cost over run on the Nuclear power plants out of GA Powers control, we the tax payer and citizen get the bill.

Talk about a free hand out…. Republican’s complain about food stamps, helping the poor, etc…..but they get Millions upon Millions in free welfare from the government.

JohnnyReb

August 25th, 2011
11:01 am

Adam – I don’t understand your question. However, our current situation would be greatly improved by having more income tax paying workers. Having more income tax paying workers who get all that was deducted back in April is nothing more than a shell game. Raising taxes on the rich and even the middle class won’t fix the problem. Everyone needs to be paying their fair share, and fair share is not zero.

Bosch

August 25th, 2011
11:01 am

“kayaker, you can’t outlaw lobbyists. ”

That’s unfortunate. Damn Constitution and all.

AmVet

August 25th, 2011
11:01 am

“I’ll take those Repubs with all their faults any day versus Democrats…”

Regardless that they have raised the already high levels of state-wide, self-serving corruption, fraud and criminal behavior since they have gained control of power.

Otay…

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Bosch

August 25th, 2011
11:03 am

“Raising taxes on the rich and even the middle class won’t fix the problem. Everyone needs to be paying their fair share, and fair share is not zero”

Some people have no idea how a consumer based and driven economy works.

USinUK

August 25th, 2011
11:03 am

“The problem is, the people who benefit have to pass the law. Very similar to the 47% not paying federal income tax voting for someone that will result in them having to pay something regardless of income level.”

um. yeah.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FClGhto1vIg

I believe there’s a message for you in that video

Doggone/GA

August 25th, 2011
11:04 am

“Doggone: Plausible deniability? No need. The guy could easily accept money if he’s just going to do what lobbyists want anyway”

Sure, but then he wouldn’t be able to impress people by saying he DOESN’T take it. THAT is “plausible deniablity” and he seems well on his way to mastering THAT.

Adam

August 25th, 2011
11:06 am

JohnnyReb: However, our current situation would be greatly improved by having more income tax paying workers. Having more income tax paying workers who get all that was deducted back in April is nothing more than a shell game.

So our income situation would be improved by taxing the poor. This is a position.

Raising taxes on the rich and even the middle class won’t fix the problem.

Ah, so raising taxes on the poor is only “getting their skin in the game” but raising taxes on the rich won’t help. I see.

So if we raise the top tax rate back to Clinton levels, that’s a mere 700B over 10 years. Such a piddly amount. But if you take 5 more percent of what the bottom half earn, that’ll fix the problem. And that amount is SURELY greater than the 700B you rejected, right? Want to place a bet on that?

Everyone needs to be paying their fair share, and fair share is not zero.

If you don’t even earn enough to care for your family, yes it is.

Bosch

August 25th, 2011
11:08 am

I LOVE GROVER!!! He was my fav. Elmo is just plain stupid.

ty webb

August 25th, 2011
11:09 am

the “bottom 47%” just needs to be allowed/forced to be more “patriotic”.

getalife

August 25th, 2011
11:10 am

Americans failed to stand up to corruption after the collapse.

Perhaps after the next collapse.

It is not even a issue this cycle.

Adam

August 25th, 2011
11:10 am

ty webb: And the top 2%, well they’ve been taxed enough already, what with their 15% effective tax rate. Guess we’ll just have to take more from the poor to give to the rich! It’s the only way!

USinUK

August 25th, 2011
11:10 am

I think I see the problem.

the people who love to sling around the “half of all taxpayers don’t pay income taxes” stat seem to think that that 47% = 47% of the country’s economy. It doesn’t.

Brosephus

August 25th, 2011
11:11 am

the “bottom 47%” just needs to be allowed/forced to be more “patriotic”.

Help them increase their income so that they end up with net liability.

Obozononics

August 25th, 2011
11:12 am

Outlaw lobbyist, set term limits, problem solved…

carlosgvv

August 25th, 2011
11:13 am

AmVet – 10:28

The problem is politicians cannot be shamed or embarrassed because they are incapable of having these feelings.

DannyX

August 25th, 2011
11:13 am

Lol, I hear Echols applied for a 4 million dollar signature loan and was turned down.

Everyone knows there is a 2 million dollar limit. Fool.

Adam

August 25th, 2011
11:15 am

47% = 2.5% of the country’s economy
2% = 80% of the country’s economy.

Which one would you hit up for money?

carlosgvv

August 25th, 2011
11:16 am

“But you can sure as hell tell them they can’t shower legislators, regulators and state employes with gifts”

Jay, you can tell that to them all you like. But, no one seems to be able to find a way to actually make them stop these practicies.

Mary Elizabeth

August 25th, 2011
11:16 am

All for viewing a golf ball on a green runway. . .

So pitiful. . . what we deem valuable. . .

At least, selling one’s soul – for 30 pieces of silver – was for a Master of depth. . .

No wonder we have no understanding of the humble and the poor. . .

AmVet

August 25th, 2011
11:17 am

carlos, only because their blind, ethically-challenged enablers give them a free pass.

One of the many horrific legacies of Reagan was that idiotic and unpatriotic 11th Commandment – “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the Liar Obama - BEND OVER, Here comes the CHANGE!

August 25th, 2011
11:18 am

One word fits this – Loser!

USinUK

August 25th, 2011
11:18 am

“47% = 2.5% of the country’s economy
2% = 80% of the country’s economy.

Which one would you hit up for money?”

well, it’s obvious – the bottom 80% – they don’t have anything, anyway, so what’s a little less.

good thing that the economy isn’t driven by consumer spending …

oh. wait.

Paul

August 25th, 2011
11:21 am

Thanks, Jay.

Whenever I get kerfullfled regarding Gov Perry, I read something like this and think “at least it’s just one guy… not the whole darn state apparatus like in Georgia…

and followup from 6:00 pm last night;

“My problem with him vs. Obama is that because he is reliant on his party for support, he has to pretend to believe and think things he doesn’t think or believe. And that won’t cease should he be elected.
Every politician has to do that to a degree. But I can’t recall a politician who has been forced to take it as far as Romney has.”

I used to think the Democratic Party had a lock on hoops for candidates to jump through for the presidential nomination. No more. Republicans have left them in the dust on this.

Puts Romney in perspective. Pres Obama got elected, then did what he thought right, regardless of party power base. The though Romney would not do the same is disturbing.

Bosch

August 25th, 2011
11:22 am

USinUK,

Or they seem to think that those 47% are all on welfare.

USinUK

August 25th, 2011
11:23 am

Bosch – 11:22 – or, at the very least, layabouts without a job