The jolt is back: Candidates for governor duck talk about science and jobs

Last month, Georgia Bio invited Democratic and Republican candidates for governor to a pair of forums, where they could express their views on science and economic development before an assembly of the state’s scientists, academics and CEOs of bioresearch companies.

The consortium of research and business interests scheduled two dates at Kennesaw State University: May 20 for Democrats, and May 27 for Republicans.

The stampede of candidates has been less than thunderous.

On the Democratic side, only three have agreed to attend: Attorney General Thurbert Baker, who last week declared biotech to be an essential part of his jobs program; former National Guard commander David Poythress; and Ray City Mayor Carl Camon.

House Democratic Leader DuBose Porter and former Gov. Roy Barnes have yet to commit, even though the KSU event is in Barnes’ backyard.

Response from the GOP side has been even weaker. Only former congressman Nathan Deal has agreed to appear.

Charlie Craig, president of Georgia Bio, says the state’s top technical brains want to know what the men and woman who would be governor think about education, health care reform, economic development and its connection to the life sciences.

“Candidates who are not participating are telling us that these aren’t priorities for them,” Craig said.

But don’t fool yourself. Especially on the Republican side, the reluctance is about the restrictions many of the candidates have advocated for such things as embryonic stem cell research – which researchers say has sent a chill down the spines of industry recruiters.

Just in time for what could be a tough Democratic primary fight, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson of Decatur has landed a seat on the House transportation committee. That will make the two-term congressman a prime contact for MARTA and other transportation funding in the state.

Johnson has already picked out a target in the crucial southern portion of his 4th District. This from his press release::

Johnson said part of his focus will be to upgrade transportation along the I-20 East corridor through the heart of the Fourth District.

“This means jobs. This means serious federal investment in our transportation infrastructure, in roads, bridges, and rail,” said Rep. Johnson. “Metro Atlanta needs a seat at this table. Now we have one.”

The closing 48 hours of the special election in the 9th District congressional race will focus on a tiff between former GOP lawmakers Lee Hawkins of Gainesville and Tom Graves of Ranger.

Late last week, Hawkins blistered Graves with a mailer that accused the former state House member of poor business dealings, releasing a series of documents to back the charges up.

The Graves campaign has charged that Hawkins has tinkered with the documents, mischaracterizing them by applying it’s own stamp reading “judgment.”

That, of course, raised a logistical conundrum: How to show, graphically, the alleged misstep by Hawkins – without giving credence to the underlying documents. The Graves campaign’s solution, apparently, was to blur the documents so they can’t be clearly read.

Jason Carter greets a voter with his grandfather at his side. Associated Press.

Jason Carter greets a voter with his grandfather at his side. Associated Press.

The other high-profile vote on Tuesday is a more polite contest for the state Senate seat vacated by David Adelman of Atlanta, now U.S. ambassador to Singapore. The Associated Press caught former President Jimmy Carter campaigning with his grandson Jason Carter on Saturday.

The other candidate in the race, Thomas Stubbs, a DeKalb County attorney, on Friday condemned an anonymous flier circulating in the 42nd District, depicting a donor to Jason Carter’s campaign with the late Yassir Arafat.

Stubbs has called for an investigation by the State Ethics Commission.

Catching up: Two videos from last week are worth noting. The first was this paid TV ad from former Gov. Roy Barnes, outlining his populist line of attack for the season:

The second was this dystopic, three-minute video from Republican candidate for governor Jeff Chapman of Brunswick – interesting for its accusation that GOP leaders have abandoned the principles of Ronald Reagan:

Last week, the Augusta Chronicle explained why politics makes comedy so superfluous:

The only person to attempt to run for Sen. J.B. Powell’s Senate seat as a Democrat acknowledged Thursday that he rode to the Capitol with Powell but insisted he made the decision to run on his own.
Leon Garvin, a former sheriff’s public relations lieutenant who retired with 40-plus years on the force, said he was surfing the Web last week when he noticed that no one had qualified for Powell’s seat.
“I was actually looking on Craigslist for a pontoon boat,” he said. Then he clicked over to the Georgia secretary of state’s Web site.
“I didn’t even think about qualifying until I saw that on the computer,” he said.

Garvin, it was later discovered, doesn’t actually live in the Senate district involved.
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54 comments Add your comment

lmno

May 10th, 2010
10:28 am

Vote for David Poythress!

Tom Knighton

May 10th, 2010
10:29 am

Hank Johnson on the Transportation Committee huh? At least now he’ll have other things to worry himself over other than Guam possibly tipping over.

Tom

May 10th, 2010
10:34 am

Wait! You mean our gubernatorial candidates don’t understand science, economics and how they affect our lives? Really? Could have fooled me!

Jon

May 10th, 2010
10:41 am

Well, the GOP has no interest in those type of high-paying jobs. Manufacturing, construction, agriculture! That’s the ticket!

bart

May 10th, 2010
10:54 am

The GOP is in the back pocket of the Christian Coalition, and the high paying jobs that might involve embryonic stem cell reseach be damned! Forget the fact that we are in worst recession since 1929, and that education is being decimated and that we have one of the highest forclosure rates in the country. Let’s face it, the GOP is anti-science.

You Asked

May 10th, 2010
11:04 am

Welcome back Jim. So for the important update of the week… How was fishing and are the tourists biting?

RetiredSoldier

May 10th, 2010
11:06 am

Let’s see if I have this correct. The Dem’s have two serious candidates attending and the Rep’s one. That makes the republicans anti-science. Wow, now I have heard everything.

am I seeing things?

May 10th, 2010
11:16 am

Okay Jim, tell me if seeing things that aren’t there, but is there a swastika image on the ground at about 1:05 into the Chapman video??

You Asked

May 10th, 2010
11:20 am

@ Am I seeing things-

You are seeing things. The pathways form a cross like shape with bends in the arms but they are not in the same direction and do not form a swastika.

bart

May 10th, 2010
11:23 am

It doesn’t matter how many attend this event, most repubs are ant-science.

Joe

May 10th, 2010
11:32 am

You got to love Nathan Deal. He ducks nothing and will work hard to bring high paying jobs to Ga. Most candidates do not have thec IQ for this that is why they will stay away.

Trey

May 10th, 2010
11:38 am

The last time Karen Handel had a science class was in the 11th grade. She never went to college and is afraid of smart educated people. How is she going to represent us to get these jobs to Georgia?

Rule .303

May 10th, 2010
11:41 am

Is there a Science component to the GED exam? If not, then Karen Handel should not attend this event.

howard

May 10th, 2010
11:45 am

I voted for Sonny and his Republican colleagues when they took over state government in Georgia….BIG MISTAKE. It is a bit more than coincidence that teacher salaries have fallen ever since Republicans took control of our state government. And, now, Given what our Republican controlled legislature has done punish National Board Certified teachers , it will be a cold day in hell before I, again vote for a Republican in Georgia….a cold day, indeed…

RetiredSoldier

May 10th, 2010
11:49 am

Bart-

And what research have you or anyone done to prove most republicans are anti-science? Thought so, another shoot from the hip liberal.

McScary

May 10th, 2010
11:55 am

I still can’t believe Girls Gone Wild wouldn’t let me borrow their bus for my honourable campaign.

You Asked

May 10th, 2010
11:55 am

@ Retired Soldier “And what research have you or anyone done to prove most republicans are anti-science?”

They take it on faith. ;-)

Will

May 10th, 2010
12:07 pm

Poythress haha

Road Scholar

May 10th, 2010
12:20 pm

Republicans believe in creationism. Retired Soldier, are you trying to “create” an issue?

Boots

May 10th, 2010
12:31 pm

What a bunch of yokels in both parties — trying to out-pander one another.

These right wing-nuts believe the Bible literally — many that the world was created 3000 years ago in seven days.

And, these are the ones who will set educational priorities and steer the ship of state those these perilous waters.

Yokels. . .one and all!

RetiredSoldier

May 10th, 2010
12:50 pm

Road, you have me pegged, yes I believe in the Bible, completely and totally. If I’m wrong I have nothing to lose, if I’m right I have heaven to gain. But thanks for being concerned.

Duh!

May 10th, 2010
1:01 pm

Unfortunately the 9th district race only offers more freak-show rednecks like the one that just resigned. But the 9th does lead GA in one category – most meth labs per capita.

Lynn43

May 10th, 2010
1:01 pm

I haven’t done research on Rep.s attitude toward science, but, being in education and watching on the front line of everything they have done, I, with knowledge and fact based research, know they are against education unless it is promoting paying for private schools for their friends. It is about the destruction of public schools, and science is a part of that-a subject which they cannot change to coincide with their beliefs.

retiredds

May 10th, 2010
1:05 pm

I believe that the GA politicians didn’t attend the conference of science and economics because the subjects are so far over their heads. Now if if was a conference on how to get more money from special interest groups, freebie vacations, stay in the good graces of the NRA (and their $$$$ largesse), and how to double their income with the per diem allowance, just about the whole legislature would be there, IF, they were fed some bar-b-que and wings.

RetiredSoldier

May 10th, 2010
1:14 pm

Lynn-

I’m a republican, I’m a former school teacher, I volunteer with my local high school and my business provides small scholarships to several of our seniors. Does that make me anti-education?

Paddy O

May 10th, 2010
1:14 pm

Lynn43’s front line is maximizing the salary for teachers who work 180 days a year, but on average earn well over $40,000. Teachers are not underpaid – they are however, master of manipulation at public opinion. Go to your local BOE & ask the average salary of the teacher their – most likely it is almost $50,000.

David S

May 10th, 2010
1:18 pm

All the technology folks want is a handout. If they really cared about the economic climate of GA they would want to hear that a candidate wants to slash spending, slash business taxes (if not eliminate them), and basically get the government completely out of their way of being successful. Generally all they want is some sort of subsidy. Its that kind of crap that got us into this mess.

Capitalism is not our current “crony capitalism”. Lowering the costs of doing business in GA for every business, and lowering the costs of living in GA for everyone (by slashing government size and regulations) would attract all businesses and all types of folks. That’s the direction our so called “leaders” should be taking.

Monroe Burbank

May 10th, 2010
1:19 pm

So Nathan Deal will work hard to bring high-paying jobs to GA? Bull! He’s been our congressman here in Pickens County for at least the past 8 years, and there is no evidence whatsoever he ever did anything to bring one job to this county.

Sunny Daze

May 10th, 2010
1:20 pm

Stem cell research? I want their views on evolution.

Republican Hypocrits

May 10th, 2010
1:23 pm

90% of the Republicans in Georgia claim evolution and science overall is stupid and filled with lies….that is until they need serious medical (science) help. Then they are the first in lines. Hey if you really believe God is all powerful then pray for medical help and stay out of the hospitals and doctor’s offices. After all those places are ruled by science and yes that includes evolution. IF there was no evolution there would have been no H1N1 virus or many others. Shoot the common cold would also disappear!

senate race

May 10th, 2010
1:28 pm

Jason Carter should win this race hands down. not because he is jimmy carter’s grandson, but because of the community service he has done in the last five years in DeKalb and the state. his opponent stubbs cannot be trusted and has run for everything in dekalb except for dog catcher. stubbs has aligned himself with other no account legislators like coach williams and ron ramsey who sold out their constituents for that price increase with georgia power. i live in the district and i will be the first one at the polls tomorrow to vote for Jason Carter.

RetiredSoldier

May 10th, 2010
1:35 pm

Rep Hypo-

What’s the source of the 90% claim? Or is it just your opinion? Medical science and religion are completely compatable. Who do you think gave the doctors their skill and intelligence, a big bang?

P'TREE

May 10th, 2010
1:55 pm

DuBose Porter for Governor!

Kyle

May 10th, 2010
2:03 pm

Retired Soldier…

No, it was a Medical School Professor.

RetiredSoldier

May 10th, 2010
2:13 pm

Ok Kyle, that is true. Do you feel better now?

Disavantaged Insider

May 10th, 2010
3:13 pm

Jim, I don’t object to your taking vacations, but man do you have to try to catch us all up at once? Gee whiz!

Aquagirl

May 10th, 2010
3:44 pm

Nothing in Biology makes sense without evolution. If you want a doctor who prefers praying, make sure your will is up to date.

RetiredSoldier

May 10th, 2010
3:57 pm

Aquagirl-

If I have a choice between a skilled doctor that believes and a skilled doctor that thinks the world just happened, I’ll take choice number one. Besides, that helps free up Number two for you. Can I get an amen?

Hey Zeus!

May 10th, 2010
4:10 pm

Retired, why do you even bother going to a doctor?

If you are sick, it is God’s will that you are sick. Recover or die…..it’s all God’s will. If He is ready to call you, a doctor won’t make a difference.

Aquagirl

May 10th, 2010
4:12 pm

Retired Soldier, no amens from me–nothing personal.
You also seem to be confusing evolution and Cosmology, or perhaps abiogenesis. They’re not the same thing. Evolution does not propose things “just happened” either, so I would also avoid your choice of doc #2.

RetiredSoldier

May 10th, 2010
4:22 pm

No you miss my point Aquqgirl. In my opinion evolution and religion do not have to be at odds with each. The earth was created in six days, don’t forgrt God rested on the seventh. But how long is a day? 24 hours, 24 decades, 24 centuries? My point is the earth didn’t just happen from a big bang. Absolutely the earth and man have evolved. No question about it. The central question is if a supreme being, God, exists or not. I am convinced he does.

So yes I would prefer the skilled doctor that believes vs. the same level of skilled that doesn’t.

Hey Zeus- That is true, if God is calling you home, a doctor won’t help. In all other instances use of a skilled doctor doing the Lord’s work is very helpful. Prayer and skilled doctors can do wonderful things.

Beeg Boi

May 10th, 2010
4:34 pm

Retired has cake and eats it too.

RetiredSoldier

May 10th, 2010
4:37 pm

Boi-

Congrats Beeg Boi you are exactly correct.

CAROLINE CARR-LOCKE

May 10th, 2010
4:51 pm

I wish some american citizens would enter the real world and go travelling and see how really 3rd world countries live we need science REMEMBER PENICILLIN now we need stem cells and God wants us to be well!!!

Aquagirl

May 10th, 2010
4:54 pm

RS, if you take the 6 day creation story as metaphorical, I’m not sure why the big bang would be a stumbling block. How the original singularity occurred isn’t really addressed either.

Perhaps you also missed my point, as my doctors personal belief doesn’t matter much, unless they conflict with reality and medical science. A doctor who rejects modern biology isn’t much of a doctor. Unfortunately, the creationist crowd is pretty much Republican, maybe you have some influence with them.

RetiredSoldier

May 10th, 2010
4:54 pm

God certainly wants you to be well, saved first, well second. Many believers are well travelled if that was the point your making. For instance I have been to at least 14 countries other than the U.S.

RetiredSoldier

May 10th, 2010
5:01 pm

Aqua girl-

I don’t take creation metaphorically at all. I’m just saying we don’t know the length of a “day” that is discribed by Moses in Genisis. I have never seen a doctor in which his religious beliefs contridicted modern medical science. My point was only that if given a choice of equally skilled doctors, one of which is a believer and one that wasn’t, I would prefer the believer.

I wouldn’t say the creationist “crowd” is pretty much Republican, but I would say they are pretty much conservative.

Aquagirl

May 10th, 2010
5:10 pm

I’d still prefer the doctor concentrate on my physical body, and leave my metaphysical status to others.

My point was to Jim’s original column, where Republican anti-science kicks have discouraged researchers from locating facilities in this State. I don’t think believing in god(s) means you aren’t well traveled, unless you’re a big-time proselytizer. Then your world travels might end abruptly in places like Saudi Arabia.

RetiredSoldier

May 10th, 2010
5:25 pm

Been to Saudi and they seemed like they were pleased to have me. (They were a bit worried Iraq would continue south and take their oil wells).
I haven’t seen a single instance were reseachers failed to move to Georgia due to our politics. If you have an instance Aquagirl I would like to know about it.

The travel was a response to the 4:51 entry.

Aquagirl

May 10th, 2010
5:25 pm

Sorry Retired, hit “post” before I read your last one. I get what you’re saying, I’m just neutral on a doctors religious beliefs for *me* unless they interrupt an exam to preach Jesus or Shiva or whatnot.

No major Democratic candidate in 2008 agreed with creationists. Huckabee openly did, and a lot more Republicans (GW Bush, Palin) have said they favor teaching creationism. The number of creationists who describe themselves as democrats is microscopic. C’mon, you’re not really saying they’re balanced between the two parties?