Your morning jolt: ‘I’ll close the Governor’s Mansion’ to pay for schools, says Roy Barnes

Three Democratic candidates for governor were down in Savannah last night to speak to a small crowd of school teachers, administrators and parents.

Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News said all three received a warm reception, and all three supported a proposal to increase the minimum dropout age from 16 to 17.

Former National Guard commander David Poythress declared that teachers shouldn’t bear the responsibility for failing schools: “You don’t lead people by …. threatening their jobs if they don’t meet some artificial criteria. You lead people by inspiring them.”

House Minority Leader DuBose Porter of Dublin noted his role in creating the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship program, and a formula for financing education that has been abandoned by Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican.

The Morning News continues:

But the loudest applause went to Barnes, who stressed the importance of early childhood education and vowed to stop furloughs of teachers.

Of the three candidates, he most directly confronted the problem of money.

More funding isn’t the cure but “is a good part of it,” he said.

To set aside more for schools, he said, he’d ask the Legislature to suspend all the tax exemptions passed on Perdue’s watch.

“I’ll close the Governor’s Mansion,” he said. “I’ll close the Capitol. … I’ll do whatever it takes.”

Do not fret. Barnes has a back-up mansion in nearby Marietta, with the state seal embedded in the foyer.

But for now, the former governor – freshly endorsed by the AFL-CIO on Thursday — is emphasizing jobs rather than education. His campaign is out this morning with its first TV ad in the metro Atlanta market – focusing on jobs and education:

We’ve heard much of the content before, but one item strikes the ear as new: Mandatory negotiations between banks and homeowners prior to any foreclosure.

The state Democratic party is chasing U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson for his vote Wednesday (with Saxby Chambliss) against the most far-reaching restraints on big banks since the Great Depression. Here’s Isakson’s response:

“We all want to stop the Wall Street abuses that led to our economic crisis in the first place, but this legislation has significant potential to hurt the small businesses, dentists, community banks, funeral directors, doctors and others who had nothing to do with creating this financial crisis,” Isakson said.

“Additionally, it is absolutely wrong to leave Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae outside the equation and incorporate every other business on Main Street and on Wall Street. The facts are that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae started this economic crisis and they are exempt from this piece of legislation.”

Mark Rountree, the GOP political strategist, is not in the employ of Eric Johnson, the Republican candidate for governor. But they have worked together before, and apparently think along the same lines.

On Wednesday, Rountree twittered the following observation, based on a poll by the Los Angeles Times:

“CA GOP Gov candidate Meg Whitman WAS 50 points ahead of GOP rivals (March). Today only +9. Big reason? She opposed Arizona’s immigration law.”

On Thursday, Johnson declared that he was not done with the saga of Jessica Colotl, the illegal immigrant at Kennesaw State University.

Among his first acts as governor, the GOP candidate said, would be to force the Board of Regents to implement a verification system to determine that every student in the university system was a legitimate U.S. citizen or resident:

The Citizenship Verification for Higher Education Act would require that students applying to Georgia’s colleges, universities, and technical schools complete an affidavit swearing to their lawful presence in the United States.

That information would be verified using the Department of Homeland Security’s SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification of Entitlement) program.

11Alive News reports that U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey has conceded that using campaign funds to renew his $400 personal Georgia medical license last year was “an administrative error.”

Gingrey has reimbursed his campaign.

The expenditure was first spotted by Jim Walls at AtlantaUnfiltered.com.

Finally, the influential law-and-lobbying firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge is letting it be known that former House speaker pro tem Mark Burkhalter is now in its employ. He will focus on “national government affairs as well as public affairs and economic development initiatives in the United Kingdom.”

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

89 comments Add your comment

In The Arena

May 21st, 2010
9:15 am

This would be no problem for Roy given that his own house is bigger than the governor’s mansion. He has the state seal embedded in the marble floor of his foyer.

Jon

May 21st, 2010
9:19 am

Roy got an ovation from teachers?

I guess after the 8 years under the GOP, they realized Roy wasn’t so bad after all.

Deal Real Steal

May 21st, 2010
9:20 am

Why didn’t Johnson introduce and pass that legislation when he was in the senate? Why would we think that he could get it done as governor, if he couldn’t get it done as a legislator.

frank

May 21st, 2010
9:25 am

Reboot barnes-the scum of the earth!

November

May 21st, 2010
9:26 am

That one response by Roy Barnes about giving up the governors mansion to help schools, establishes him as the candidate idiot of the year; although, Ray MacBerry certainly comes in a close second. Folks, Roy Barnes would absolutely sell his soul to the devil to get the chance to ruin Georgia again…….do not trust this guy.

We don't forget

May 21st, 2010
9:29 am

Well stated by Eric Johnson in an email I got the other day:

“You see, Roy Barnes is an outstanding trial lawyer. It is truly his life’s calling. Barnes is much more adept at legal maneuvering than governing, as demonstrated by his disastrous first and only term. That is why you have to closely inspect every lawyered up word that comes out of his mouth, or he might just have you convinced that you were at fault, not him.

“The advertisement [not the one above, the one where he "apologizes"] begins with an apology for not listening to the voters. But then, in typical Roy Barnes fashion, the excuses begin. He says he was working hard to create jobs. He says he was too busy helping teachers better educate our children. Essentially, he tries to rewrite history by masking his propaganda with an apology.

“Unfortunately for Roy, while time has a way of healing old wounds, facts never change. In 2001, Georgia led the entire nation in job loss while then-Governor Barnes was spending his time gerrymandering political districts to keep his Democrat cronies in power. On Barnes’ watch Georgia fell to dead last in SAT scores and he blamed classroom teachers for the failure. Roy Barnes didn’t have a “listening” problem. He had an ego problem, backed by bad policies.”

Nancy Drew

May 21st, 2010
9:30 am

Barnes probably would close the State Capitol. Our elected senators and representatives will not be needed if he is elected. He’ll write the legislation, pass it and enact it as he sees fit. Then he’ll issue a decree to all his subjects….That’s what kings do, isn’t it?

MK

May 21st, 2010
9:49 am

Eric Johnson wants in so he can feather the nest of his own cronies and major supporters, the Reynolds family. I don’t like Barnes either because he panders just like most of the Republicans, and he’d gladly pave and build tacky cardboard subdivisions on every inch of this beautiful state because his major supporters are road builders and developers. It’s alway business as usual here in the backwater state of Georgia. What would be called graft and corruption in other states is called good old boy SOP here. Of all the candidates, I think Poythress and Chapman are the least ethically challenged. Baker had years to stand up to the Republicans but chose not to. Porter also was a Democratic leader in the legislature during the Republican kleptocracy, but chose not to take forceful stands against their excesses and abuse of power.

Puhlease!!

May 21st, 2010
9:49 am

Nvoember – Barnes did show arrogance many times as govenor but he has never sold his soul. The GOP has sold the education system and the soul of this state, and we are up the creek without a paddle. Think to yourself why would Barnes sell his soul to ruin Ga.? Not for money, he makes far more in the legal field than being Gov. Don’t you think he might have learned a lesson or two from his defeat? At LEAST he has an idea – can you say the same for any of the other conadidates?

rightofcenter

May 21st, 2010
9:50 am

Good to see that Roy is still an arrogant jerk. Let’s see – does anybody expect the Democrats to take back the state House and Senate this fall? (It’s almost statistically impossible, considering their poor recruitment efforts). So King Roy is going to wave a magic wand and do all this? If Georgia wants to see a dysfunctional state government, elect King Roy governor and give him a Republican house and senate. DISASTER.

rightofcenter

May 21st, 2010
9:53 am

puhlease!!! What’s the idea? To close down the governor’s mansion? To cancel Delta’s tax credits? Give me a break. King Roy has no soul – he has an incredible ego. Big difference.

????

May 21st, 2010
9:54 am

To understand Johnny Bailout and Saxby’s vote all you have to do is follow the money, that’s the LOBBYIST money they get.

Bernise Williams-Gallimore

May 21st, 2010
9:55 am

While all these folks are downing Roy Barnes, what do they think of the present failure of a governor, Sonny? He has effectively made the great state of Georgia unable to sustain itself. Georgia under Roy Barnes had a budget surplus of $432 milllion dollars. What do we have now? A huge budget deficit of $3.1 BILLION dollars!!!! But, huge budget deficits and Republicans go hand in hand. When we had Clinton in office, the U.S. had a budget surplus of $230 BILLION, but after 8 yrs of GWB we had a huge deficit of $407 BILLION!!! It ain’t hard to do the math. Republican in office=No money Democrat in office=Money
Only people who vote for the letters in front of the candidates names would vote for an (R) instead of more money in their pocket. It is really a sad situation.
Also, teachers may have got ‘burned’ by Barnes, but AT LEAST they got to keep their jobs!! Unlike the chosen Perdue who is taking their jobs left and right and giving them plenty of FURLOUGHS. Maybe u teachers like losing ur jobs and giving away money, vote (R) if u want to, good luck with that.

Ricardo

May 21st, 2010
9:56 am

Throw all the bums out!

Do It for the Chillen

May 21st, 2010
10:08 am

Bernise Williams Dash Gallimore apparently hasn’t heard that the economy is in desperate shape, that tax revenues are down, and that the money just isn’t there. Hyphenated Gallimore further must not know, or is feigning ignorance, that most states require balanced budgets via their constitution. (But why read a silly constitution–or a 10-page immigration law for that matter if you’re a lib.)

Miz Dash Gallimore further hasn’t discovered that her Oneness has quadrupled the budget deficit over that of G.W. Bush. If an average $275 billion deficit is bad, then isn’t a $1.4 trillion deficit even worse? Not if you’re an Obama supporter.

Hyphenated Dash Gallimore reminds me of the two women who were ecstatic about Obama’s election. The first was glad because she wouldn’t have to pay her mortgage any longer and was happy that Obama was going to put gas in her tank (I suppose she meant her car.

The second woman, from our area, just knew that Obama was going to give her a new kitchen. How’s that working for you, ma’am?

If these folks are the products of public schools (and you know they are), perhaps some of the teachers need to be fired.

DannyX

May 21st, 2010
10:08 am

Wow. Looks like we privatized government. First Chip Pearson, now Mark Burkhalter.

We don’t have to throw out Republicans. They retire from office then get rich with a big cushy lobby jobs. Ethics reform never had a chance.

Paddy O

May 21st, 2010
10:10 am

It is quite ironic that General Poythress, whose former employer, the US Army, would kick you out if you failed 2 PT tests, would ever utter the words he did. Poythress is from the Office Corp of the military – those gentlemen who receive the big bucks to establish & administer law & order in the military, but somehow are addicted to ducking when the manure hits the fan. They are not the most honorable bunch of folks – personally, I would rather vote for a Command Sergeant Major.

Paddy O

May 21st, 2010
10:12 am

YOu should now, and must have heard, Sonny bragging about our AAA bond rating. He use that good rating to borrow about a billion dollars a year for pet projects around the state – but no mass transit, and no reservoirs – out 2 biggest problems. Now, the budget has to pay those bonds off. Sonny issued so much bond debt for GDoT, that they can now not do any construction work, as they are strapped paying off that debt.

Susan

May 21st, 2010
10:15 am

What are you smoking MK? While the General and Barnes took a vacation from the Democratic Party in 2005, DuBose Porter stayed and fought against Richardson, Cagle and Perdue. He spoke out every chance he could against the Hawks, Perdue’s shady land deal and much more. He’s been talking about the culture of corruption for five years. Please start watching the news and reading the papers before you make comments that are idiotic. The General served under Perdue for goodness sake.

Paddy O

May 21st, 2010
10:15 am

Big ego vs. titanic power trip? Who destroyed the independence of the GDoT because he could ‘nt stand controlling them? Sonny Perdue. What party has systematically interfered with local government, primarily due to those local governments striving to implement mandated STATE LAWS (soil & erosion control, property assessment process)… Who? SONNY PERDUE!!!

Paddy O

May 21st, 2010
10:15 am

I’d vote for either Barnes or Porter – Porter seems like a good guy.

Paddy O

May 21st, 2010
10:18 am

Anybody here know what GEFA does? They are given about 20 million a year to provide low interest loans to local governments for water, sewer & other infrastructure projects. After about 20-25 years, with loan repayments coming in, GEFA would have been fairly self sufficient. The repub morons instead have decided to “securitize” these relatively LOW interest payment loans. Their value is about 700 million, and the state thinks it can sell them for 250-300 million. Is that a good deal for the taxpayers of this state? No, but it will enrich some repub campaign supporters.

Paddy O

May 21st, 2010
10:21 am

rightofcenter – you are jesting right? The best government comes when both parties have crucial elements of power – it mandates compromise, which usually benefits the public the best. Remember Clinton & Gingrich? Balance budgets lead to surplus’. The last time the federal government was actually fairly functional.

bart

May 21st, 2010
10:21 am

Perdue and his Republican cronies in the legislature have devastated public education. And we also know Repubs care nothing for the poor and middle class by their policies. Throw the bums out!

durango

May 21st, 2010
10:24 am

Maybe Mark Burkhalter can also specialize in out-of-wedlock child issues. He is an expert in that area.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 21st, 2010
10:27 am

Wrong Paddy O. The best government USED to come from compromise.

Then the Republicans became the Party of George W. Bush and Sarah Palin.

King Roy

May 21st, 2010
10:31 am

Elect me. Like Obama, I walk on water. I’ve learned my lesson….now I suck up to the teachers. Elect me, King…errr Governor.

Thank.

Jim Gallaway

May 21st, 2010
10:33 am

This site is reserved for left wing, bed wetting, booger eating, Democrat loving, big government supporting liberals.

Do It for the Chillen

May 21st, 2010
10:36 am

“….Repubs care nothing for the poor and middle class by their policies.”

Democrats show they care about people by enslaving them to government, demanding their labor at the point of a gun–all the while claiming to know more about how to care for people than the people themselves.

“My friends, some years ago, the federal government declared war on poverty and poverty won.” State of the Union Address, January 25, 1988 [President Ronald Reagan]

DannyX

May 21st, 2010
10:53 am

“Repubs care nothing for the poor and middle class by their policies.”

Do it. Do it for the Chillen and everyone else. Now is your chance to defend Georgia Republicans. Your wild deflection to Ronald Reagan won’t save you here.

Tell us how the billions in corporate tax cuts will pay off. How about that Georgia Power gift that forces residential users and not commercial users to pay for a new power plant before its built?

How about last year when they rescinded the state property tax break for home owners, while they handed out massive corporate tax cuts?

Jekyll Island? Sonny’s land deals? Predator lenders? Education cuts? Legislators turned lobbyist? Bank failures? Transportation? Water?

Name one thing Republicans have done for the middle class in their 7 years in power.

MK

May 21st, 2010
10:57 am

In fairness, both Baker and Porter have taken more forceful & public stands against the Republican abuses of power in recent months since their campaigns got underway. But what about 2004? 2005? 2006? 2007? Perhaps they knew and feared what revenge and retribution the Republican leadership was capable of. But Jeff Chapman took principled stands against the leadership of his own party when he thought they were wrong. Look at the history of the attempted giveaway of Jekyll Island. The Dems should’ve been raising hell all along, but laid low for the most part, with a couple of exceptions.

bart

May 21st, 2010
11:02 am

DannyX, You are so right. For example, they have cut over 4 BILLION dollars in funding for education in the 8 years Perdue has been in office, and we’re a state that’s already very near the bottom in terms of educational achievement. To me, that’s a travesty.

bbdawg

May 21st, 2010
11:03 am

ddy O, I think you need to reconsider your comments about General Poythress. You do not say exactly “what words” you are referring too, but I certainly disagree with your assessment. He has served Georgians honorably. Upon returning from Vietnam he joined the Reserve and advanced to 3 star General, while I might add at the same tiime he served elected terms as Georgia’s Secretary of State (returning money to the state treasury by reorganizing the office). In addition he has been Commissioner of Labor, was a deputy secretary of Finance, and was on the procecuting team that first went after organized crime in Georgia. While Adjudent General he led our Guard and Reserve in Iraq and established a very successful school for High School dropouts at Fort Stewart. He also has experience in business and has practiced law. I know this because I followed his career and have volunteered ih his campaign. Personally, I believe he has the experience to make sure that we begin to make progress in Georgia. He does not have the ties to the wealthy or the money that Barnes has and most of his funds have come from average Georgians who are interesed in seeing the power of special interests reduced. For his stands on Water, Transportation and Education please go to his website. After looking at his record, I think even many Republicans will see that he is a “no nonsense”, “squeeze the most out of tax dollars”, “develop jobs”, and “get Georgia moving again” Govenor.

DirtyDawg

May 21st, 2010
11:11 am

Those that are attacking Roy, and of course his former staff chief Bobby Kahn, on the basis that they were abusive, or arrogant, or brash, or whatever, may have a point…but only if you fail to understand that Roy had a mission. He knew what needed to be done and he was driven to do it. It wasn’t that he didn’t ’smooze’ enough, it was that he expected people to ‘push, pull or get the hell out of the way’. Atlanta’s business community wanted the flag changed and promised campaign funds for those across the state that ‘made it happen’, only to fall dramatically short with the resulting political careers either being ended or curtailed. He could see, as can we all, that education in Georgia was at the bottom and had a plan – much of it based on the recommendations of people that are supposed to know about those things – to fix it, but teachers were told that they were his target…and that too cost him.

No, Roy – and Bobby’s not in the picture this time – wasn’t arrogant or brash, he simply didn’t (and still doesn’t) suffer fools lightly – no offense to those that foolishly buy into rightwing talking points and apply them, but certainly offense meant to those that are simply wingnuts and only know how to denigrate and criticize. This time he knows he’s only got four years to 1) fix the damn mess Goober Perdue has created, and 2) put us back on the road to respectability among the states. Of course having to deal with, a likely, Republican-dominated Legislature – and Roy’s no golfer you understand – it’s gonna be ‘hit the ball and drag the Repugs…hit the ball and drag the Repugs’, but he’ll get ‘er done and we’ll be the better for it.

Bobby Anthony

May 21st, 2010
11:15 am

I am a teacher at Thomson High School in McDuffie County and will vote for a Republican before I vote for Barnes. However, I am planning to do as much as I possibly can to elect David Poythress. Most of the teachers at my school have voiced a similar opinion.

Joyce M.

May 21st, 2010
11:15 am

ROTFL! Roy Barnes and his wife don’t want to live in the Governor’s mansion. Have you seen it? Have you heard her complain about it? She wants to live in their Marietta mansion. What a joke Retread Roy is! Grandstanding and windbagging are not qualities I’m looking for in a governor.

DannyX

May 21st, 2010
11:16 am

It is a travesty bart. The Republican response pretty much sums it up.

Sen. Seth Harp (R)………“If you don’t beg, you don’t get to the table.”

Susan

May 21st, 2010
11:18 am

MK, DuBose Porter has been fighting corruption his entire 28 year career in the General Assembly. He even fought against corruption in his own party when he exposed a slush fund that Tom Murphy had, and later, ran against him for Speaker of the House. I don’t think anyone in the race for Governor can come close to those principles. DuBose Porter has alway told it like it is and as Governor will stop the elected Republicans culture of corruption. He has even partnered with Jeff Chapman (http://www.porterforgeorgia.com/view/full_story/6986983/article-Time-to-Take-the-Next-Step-to-Secure-Georgia%E2%80%99s-Water-Future–LaGrange-Daily-News-?instance=secondary_stories_left_column) on protecting our water resources and has spoken out against the giveaway of Jekyll Island. DuBose Porter by far is the best candidate for Governor of the state of Georgia.

bart

May 21st, 2010
11:22 am

Other things to consider…under Oxendine, we have the EIGHTH highest car insurance rates in the country. And talking about foreclosures and bank failings… we are SIXTH in home forclosures, and FIRST in bank falures. Our state is in terrible shape, and we can put a lot of blame on the Republicans.

bart

May 21st, 2010
11:26 am

Bobby Anthony, if you vote Republican in the election, you will be “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” The Republicans are ruining education, and as a teacher you should realize that. I like Poythress too, but as a retired educator, I will vote for any Democrat before I vote Republican again.

Patricia

May 21st, 2010
11:27 am

Susan, where have you been? DuBose Porter has been rolling over and playing dead for 28 years.

He says he has been working on Georgia education for 28 years, and we’re what, 48th in the country! WAY TO GO, DUBOSE, GREAT JOB!

In 2009, DuBose Porter didn’t even have the guts to stand up and run for Speaker of the House… HE SECONDED THE NOMINATION OF GLENN RICHARDSON!

He’s nothing but a coward.

DannyX

May 21st, 2010
11:27 am

Republican education budget: “Beg”

Republican transportation plan: “We’ll Squeeze you in.”

Republican water plan:

Republican ethics reform: “Go to Hell”

Republican retirement plan: Lobbyist

spoiled milk

May 21st, 2010
11:30 am

this barnes agruement about running for Gov. Is like having Milk in your frig that is spoiled, you take it out taste it, then put it back in the frig and say maybe it will be good tomorrow.

spoiled milk

May 21st, 2010
11:36 am

one more thing, to be even handed, the republicans have run GA pretty much into the ground.

tc

May 21st, 2010
11:38 am

though roy was not an athlete, most of you all complaining about him could not hold his jock strap…especially the still sulking teachers

Whacks Eloquent

May 21st, 2010
11:46 am

Ray Boyd for Governor!

@tc

May 21st, 2010
11:48 am

sounds as though you want to hold his jock strap; GO FOR IT; LOL

Paddy O

May 21st, 2010
11:52 am

Aaron – how long has Bush & Palin served in the Georgia statehouse?

Paddy O

May 21st, 2010
11:56 am

bbdawg, Poythress quote: ““You don’t lead people by …. threatening their jobs if they don’t meet some artificial criteria. You lead people by inspiring them.” This quote is profound crap, considering the US Army’s PT test, fail and you get kicked out. So, is Mr. Poythress then playing politics, or did he just disagree with Army regs the entire time he was in the Army? What artificial criteria? Should not student achievement factor into teacher evaluations? If a typical teacher has 30 non-special ed kids in her/his class, and less than 75% of them pass the CRCT, should you not start to consider whether or not the teacher is any good?

Susan

May 21st, 2010
11:57 am

Coward, Patricia? Playing dead, really? Blaming DuBose Porter for Georgia’s education problems, okay, whatever. DuBose Porter fully explained the nomination process for speaker here:
http://www.peachpundit.com/2009/12/18/porter-responds/
Why don’t you nut up and say who you are supporting.