Barnes campaign on closed meeting: ‘It will not happen again’

Over at Georgia Elections Central, my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin posted the following this afternoon:

Many of the Republicans and Democrats who want to be the next governor of Georgia are at this moment discussing the state’s future at a candidates’ forum sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

But what is said there is apparently a secret as the Chamber has denied requests from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other outlets to cover the panel discussion at the Ritz-Carlton along Lake Oconee.

The closing of the forum to the media has prompted protests from the AJC and other publications that are part of the Georgia Newspaper Partnership. Thirteen daily newspapers from around the state have joined together to cover this year’s elections.

The newspaper outburst resulted in this immediate letter of contrition from the Democratic campaign of former Gov. Roy Barnes, who is in the midst of crafting a populist message:


Interesting tidbit: The spokeswoman for the Georgia Chamber is Joselyn Baker, Barnes’ former press secretary.

She said a Fulton County Daily Report reporter was allowed to cover Wednesday’s session, only because his paper’s editor served as moderator.

Read the Daily Report account here.

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15 comments Add your comment


May 27th, 2010
5:55 pm

Roy always apologizing for things he’s done.


May 27th, 2010
5:55 pm

Roy Barnes had a decent record on open government. Thurbert Baker’s record is mixed at best when it comes to open government (though Baker has claimed that he is for transparency). Baker’s record as Attorney General left much to be desired in this area. Does anyone know what any of the Republican candidates say about open government?


May 27th, 2010
6:18 pm

Is this the same U S Chamber-of-Commerce , earlier this year in China , was trying to put more american workers out of their jobs.


May 27th, 2010
8:35 pm

Is the media going to let the rank-and-file public in next month when y’all do the same thing at the Georgia Press Association convention?


May 28th, 2010
12:22 am

The Daily Report article was about the AG’s race, which makes sense, since it is a lawyer’s rag. Any idea on where the governor’s portion of the forum was reported, if anywhere?

Bobby Anthony

May 28th, 2010
1:34 am

Is this event being held at the place owned by the Reynolds which has both prominent Republicans and Georgia Democrats on its Board of Directors?

Not on my watch

May 28th, 2010
7:30 am

What if they held an election and no one covered it?

How about next time these guys have a news conference you turn your backs on them? It would serve them right. Don’t bite the hands that feed…..


May 28th, 2010
9:34 am

Didn’t Roy begin this campaign with an apology to the people? Because his administration “shut the people out” and did not listen? And this isn’t even Roy’s apology. Its his campaign managers!


May 28th, 2010
10:03 am

Didn’t Barnes begin this campaign with an apology to the people? Because he and his administration “shut out the people” and did not listen? Fool me once (or in Barnes’ case, many times) ….


May 28th, 2010
10:45 am

David – You are correct. It seems that Barnes doesn’t understand that we don’t want apologies, we want someone who conducts himself in a way that apologies aren’t necessary.

For some reason, Barnes seems to think we will ignore his repeated lapses of judgment if he just says he’s sorry afterwards. Repeated apologies show that Barnes just doesn’t get the message and will likely continue doing things that need apologizing afterwards. It’s a pattern.

Above that, his condescending attitude that he can fool the citizens of GA is abhorrent. For a man who desecrated a church by filming a political commercial there, and to someone who made a (fake, panderingP promise to listen to people from now on, he sure doesn’t seem to be listening much to the lessons that are likely offered in that church. Treat us with dignity. Be honest. Be above reproach.

How is it anyone is fooled by this man? We deserve so much better.

Paddy O

May 28th, 2010
10:47 am

Barnes recoqnized this was wrong – how about all the other candidates? And what exactly is this corrupt Chamber of Commerce hiding? And really, why call it chamber of commerce, when it is actually chamber of business owners?


May 28th, 2010
4:57 pm

Morals and ethics will carry the day this election. Already many have fallen by the wayside because they did not have either. It is good to see the voters paying attention. Before all is said and done more names will be added to the list..

Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island

May 28th, 2010
7:17 pm

As to transparency views on the GOP candidates. Eric Johnson was on the advisory committee of the JIA…Jekyll Island Authority… and was up to his eyeballs is the most secretive, shameful example of incompetent government this reporter has ever seen. Any elected official that supported the gross mismanagement and ineptness of the JIA does not deserve to hold public office. Contrast this to GOP Senator Jeff Chapman, who led an open and public challenge of the JIA’a backroom dealing. Sen Chapmans’ efforts resulted in the cancellation of a deeply flawed Linger Longer contract.

Ron Revog

May 29th, 2010
12:29 am

Wait a minute, i heard that this thing has always been closed to the press… Which means this had to be Roy’s AT LEAST 4th time attending this conference, but he seemed to have no problem until people called him out on it. This is just seems like another blatant attempt of Barnes to say what Georgia voters want to hear while seriously insulting their intelligence.

Barbara Jones-Glaze

June 13th, 2010
8:13 pm

Hi, is this the same guy who would not talk or speak with the teacher representives in Georgia while he was in office? Did education in Georgia go back 20 years or more under his leadership? Is he the one who hunts? I believe that is a popular soort with people who are running for office or have run for office. If you have time to hunt that is fine, but we were in a mess then and it is still no better. Frankly, I do not believe hunters are the answer to all these problems. My folks hunt, but they can only get off from work once or twice a year. Come on people of Georgia let us not repeat the mistakes of the past. We were speaking to the wall with him, and I believe he had food provided by the people of Georgia.