Your morning jolt: With his pocket freshly picked, DuBose Porter celebrates

Strangers to the state Capitol might find it strange, but one of the greatest honors of which a Democratic lawmaker can boast is that he has been robbed blind.

That his pockets have been picked. That his intellectual property is considered so valuable that it has been confiscated by the eminent domain wielded by his Republican rulers.

House Democratic Leader DuBose Porter of Dublin, also a candidate for governor, now says it’s happened to him. Last session, he and other Democrats introduced H.B. 356, a bill to give counties and cities authority to collect sales taxes on their own – on the theory that the state Department of Revenue leaves hundreds of millions of on the table.

Porter’s pushing of the issue, in fact, prompted this response in September from state Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham. He conceded that more auditors will always result in more tax collections, but said dreams of large sums are just that.

But earlier this week, Travis Fain at the Macon Telegraph tapped out these lines:

State Rep. Larry O’Neal, a Warner Robins Republican who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he sees more cuts and “a far more aggressive tax collection methodology.”

O’Neal said he wants the Georgia Department of Revenue to hire more auditors. He also said the department is implementing new technology to better zero in on tax scofflaws.

That includes a pilot system implemented in Hall, Chatham, Lowndes and Cherokee counties to compare local business license records with state sales tax records. Already a lot of inconsistencies — businesses that pay taxes but don’t have a license or vice versa — have been found, O’Neal said.

He said he’s looking for the Department of Revenue to make some high-profile busts of retail owners who don’t turn over all the sales taxes they collect to “change the subculture” of fraud and abuse. O’Neal said he thinks there are “hundreds of millions” going uncollected either because of fraud or accidental underpayment.

Said Porter on his campaign blog:

The key Republican leadership can no longer continue to hold it down and have started to try and make it their own. Welcome aboard.

Jason Pye on Tuesday talked with Bob Barr, the former Georgia congressman and Libertarian presidential candidate, about his decision – with conservative leaders Grover Norquist and David Kean – to call out Republicans who were “scaremongering” over the transfer of Guantanamo Bay terror suspects to the U.S. mainland.

Barr says the following in a podcast that Pye has posted here:

“I have faith in our prison system, which is probably the best in the world….I don’t understand why particularly so many Republican senators and so many Republican members of Congress are so worried about all of this.

“They seem to have very little faith in the ability of our federal marshals and our military to transport and maintain the security of these prisoners….They seem to have very little faith in our federal judges and our federal prosecutors and our court personnel to handle these matters.

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14 comments Add your comment

Jeff

November 18th, 2009
9:04 am

Jim, Austin Scott was talking to me over 10 South Ga miles in July about the same things O’Neal is saying that Porter says were stolen from him. HB 358 is approx 20 pages long, but I’ll read it and post some commentary for ya. Your readers may also find The Project very interesting, once I get it done. Data entry sits at 20% complete so far.

Emory Texan

November 18th, 2009
11:08 am

Big boost to Porter. Hopefully more people will take notice.

The only problem I see with this is how it will affect those business owners that were accidentally underpaying their taxes. Their margins will certainly take a hit, but there is no reason they shouldn’t pay what everyone else has to.

I don’t know what he means by “try to make it their own,” though. I am not sure if he is accusing them of trying to “steal” his idea or if it was just an awkward way of saying “lets play nicely and get this done.” I hope it is the latter because that would indicate he might be able to reach across the aisle and actually unite Georgians for a change.

Emory Texan

November 18th, 2009
11:24 am

And regarding the Bob Barr comments, I agree 100%. These republicans argue all day long about “states rights” and the encroachment of DC on their districts and their constituents, but then Obama comes up with a plan that all the direct parties involved agree to, and they start complaining (read: imposing themselves on others). It is very hypocritical, but I have come to expect nothing less from 99.9% of politicians in DC.

trueform

November 18th, 2009
11:35 am

I hear ya brothers, well noted, take a look at this for more insight

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8GuH9oDHrU

Emory Texan

November 18th, 2009
11:37 am

and to clarify, I meant “uniting Georgians for a change” as a swipe at all politicians, not DuBose. I get tired of the non-stop bickering between the two parties because neither one wants to admit the other is right for fear of political repercussions (as DuBose implies with his comment on Repubs holding it down). As a libetarian, I want a governor that takes the best ideas from both parties (presumably near 50-50), so this could be a great building block for either side depending on who plays up the bipartisan nature and actually follows through.

Most of you will prob disagree because you are firmly in the R or D camp. sigh

Mr. Holmes

November 18th, 2009
12:45 pm

Bob Barr “doesn’t understand” why so many GOP politicians publicly worry about bringing Gitmo inmates to the U.S.? Give me a freaking break. Hey, I like Bob a lot more than when he was in Congress, given his decision to actually reside in the reality-based world with the rest of us, but OF COURSE he understands why they’re doing it. What shocks me is that Grover Norquist is involved here; usually he can be counted on to faithfully spout the GOP talking points, at least on economic issues.

Nada Chance

November 18th, 2009
12:57 pm

Regarding these comments:

“I have faith in our prison system, which is probably the best in the world….I don’t understand why particularly so many Republican senators and so many Republican members of Congress are so worried about all of this.

“They seem to have very little faith in the ability of our federal marshals and our military to transport and maintain the security of these prisoners….They seem to have very little faith in our federal judges and our federal prosecutors and our court personnel to handle these matters.”

Yeah, right. Fiascos such as the OJ Simpson trial give me complete faith in our justice system. (NOT)

BW

November 18th, 2009
1:06 pm

When did Americans start wetting the bed so much? Unless people are advocating the take em out back and shoot them approach then those combatants must be brought to justice,

Famuan

November 18th, 2009
1:17 pm

Nada uses a state trial to bash federal marshalls, and the militaries handling of federal prisoners. Reading comprehension is not for the birthers is it?

just me

November 18th, 2009
1:26 pm

Dear Nada,
Having faith in the criminal justice system is totally different from having faith in the prison system. The prison system works quite well. Criminal justice, not so much. I agree with you about OJ’s trial. It was much like any other celebrity (black or white) that has been accused of murder and gotten away with it).

Just Us

November 18th, 2009
2:58 pm

I agree, just me. Nada, considering they are already in prison, their is no need to factor in any concern about the justice system, just considering it a sham.

On the other hand, our PRISON system, which is what the quote is about, is just fine.

Base

November 18th, 2009
4:52 pm

This is a hoax most counties of the 159 are incompetent at doing anything especially involving handling money.

Jobe

November 18th, 2009
5:03 pm

I like this blog, people seem to have operable brains rattling in their melons.

(((((45 - 42)))))

November 18th, 2009
5:08 pm

Probably but that may be why he wants it. I’m sure hes in cahoots with someone that will benefit financially from this, given he’s from rural Georgia. Id be fine with him winning because that will make things that much easier for my man OX.