Whether the topic is banks, pensions or teachers — it’s all about Roy Barnes

In an interview this morning on WGAU (1340AM) in Athens, former Gov. Roy Barnes expounded on a pair of topics – his own banking interests, and how teacher pensions should be invested.

Radio host Tim Bryant kindly sent us some of the sound – and Barnes’ Democratic rival, David Poythress, sent us a transcript. With his own commentary.

Then there’s the matter of Barnes’ fifth television ad, which debuted today. It’s aimed directly at teachers. But first, the radio interview.

Bryant specifically asked Barnes about charges by Poythress — and other candidates — that the former governor’s proposal to require banks to negotiate with homeowners before foreclosures is hypocritical, because Barnes has invested in banks.

Said Barnes:

“Unfortunately, it’s just personal politics as usual. I’d ask David, is he opposed to the mortgage foreclosure relief that I’m advocating. Why not disagree on issues rather than personalities.

“Now, have I invested in banks? Yes, I have. Over the years, going back to the ’80s. And will continue to do so. I’m not saying banks are evil. I’m saying they have to be responsible. The same way in 2002 that I advocated and pushed through the Legislature what Newsweek called the toughest anti-predatory lending bill in the nation.

“To say, well, you own stock in this or that or the other, and therefore you can’t speak on this issue is kind of saying, if you owned a Chevrolet, and when General Motors got a little assistance from the federal government, you’re supposed to pull that Chevrolet over to the side and park it on the side. Quit attacking the messenger, and start talking about issues…”

Then there was the matter of an Athens Banner-Herald report that – in a closed forum with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce last week – Barnes suggested that the state teacher’s pension system be allowed to participate in riskier venture capital investments.

Said Barnes:

“I’ve had this position for years, it’s nothing new. What I’ve said is that the teachers, you should take the employees retirement fund first to show the teachers that you get benefits from venture capital.

“Now Georgia is the only state in the nation that doesn’t allow this, by the way. Is there more risk? Now you take 1 or 2 percent and invest. Now let me ask you this, if Georgia had invested in the start-up called Apple, would anybody be criticizing that.”

No, Bryant said, but they’d probably be critical if Georgia had invested in Enron. Replied Barnes:

Well, Enron was not a start up… what we’re talking about is technology companies, high tech and bio tech companies that helps to invest. All you’ve got to do is hit one, and it helps bring about the investment increase that you have.

“Now, let me tell you, not only that, but the employees of the state of Georgia, and teachers, as far as this goes, have their retirement guaranteed by the taxpayers. They have what is called a defined benefits program. It is not dependent on how well the investments do.”

One note: Both men probably forgot, but state pension authorities did in fact invest in Enron. And lost their shirts — to the tune of $127 million when the company filed bankruptcy.

Said Poythress:

“As governor, I will not, under any circumstances, gamble the hard-earned retirements of state employees and school teachers in venture capital funding or any other risky investments. If there were ever an instance in which Roy Barnes revealed his true colors, this is it. “

And here’s the TV ad mentioned above:

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19 comments Add your comment


June 3rd, 2010
3:33 pm

Can’t wait for My Man Ox to gore King Rat in November.


June 3rd, 2010
3:36 pm

Same ol’ egotistical Roy! Or maybe: same song (and dance), second verse?


June 3rd, 2010
3:38 pm

Roy can not win in November. Democrats need to vote for David Poythress in the Primary so that we can turn this state around… otherwise we’re going to have 4 more years of Republicans running everything!


June 3rd, 2010
4:13 pm

Same old Roy – Banks, lenders, etc. should all be reponsible but not the individual. If the individual borrows to much money it’s not their poor little ole self to blame but everybody else.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 3rd, 2010
4:53 pm

Such weak-eyed vanity on Barnes’ part. Patricia is correct – unless the team of Porters, with proven character, could do better. But never Barnes: his corruption is as obvious as his false manner, life of Mammon worship, and craven conduct during and about Vietnam. After a life of lies, cowardice and greed, he wishes public office only to try to convince himself he’s a man worthy of respect. Let us not be fooled Georgia.

No Ox Noo Raw Deal, Nooo Linger Longer Johnson Noooo King Roy

June 3rd, 2010
5:01 pm

The name says it ALL


June 3rd, 2010
5:14 pm

miltonman you are right, people need to be responsible too. but let’s face it, ga has more than it’s share of stupid people who were preyed upon.


June 3rd, 2010
5:20 pm

Who are you people talking about? Mammon worship? Roy’s a Methodist Sunday School Teacher. False manner? Roy will go way out of his way to help anyone. Craven conduct? I wouldn’t say that to the Vietnam Vets he’s helped get or the folks at Legal Aide. Sonny’s people ran that rat cartoon at the same time they had Sonny on horse looking like fat Roy Rogers. Well, Sonny ain’t Roy Rogers and Roy Barnes is not a rat.

Poythress is a fine man I’m sure, but the Republicans are not afraid of him. They sure a heck are of Roy because they know he’s out for their behinds. They’ll pay big for their cartoon!

[...] Then there’s the matter of Barnes’ fifth television ad, which debuted today. It’s aimed directly at teachers. But first, the radio interview. Read the complete story. [...]

Al Sharpton

June 3rd, 2010
8:25 pm

Bobby Anthony

June 3rd, 2010
10:41 pm

When some people asked earlier in articles about what did Barnes do to teachers, I answered that question with several instances where he tried to hurt educators, One point I made was how he tried to destabalize the pension plan, He hasproven that what I said was correct. He still aims to do this. Do you people really think educators can vote for him? At least this time he is not apoligising for the mistake and admits he will try to do it again. Vote for Poythress.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 3rd, 2010
11:10 pm

Roy’s a Methodist Sunday School teacher? A close relative is too…who like Roy dodged Vietnam by going to law school, then jumped into service for the “power elite” traitors who killed Kennedy to send us there to die for the pope.

Who lets such scum of the earth in their churches, let alone near their kids? Abominable hypocrites and cowards.

G-d is not mocked. Why should the good and decent, G-dly people of Georgia be?

Someone thinks Roy’s a “good” man? Watch his mouth and listen to him speak. Then wonder if he’s a “man” at all…as if Glenn Richardson’s speech didn’t give him away. Of course other draft-dodgers and “men” whose “wife” is the “man” of the family can be expected to disagree.

Let the Gay Old Pervert party keep the “corner” on phony men.

Democrats Porter or Poythress for Georgia.

Ron Revog

June 4th, 2010
1:20 am

Porter should stop being compared to Poythress! This race is between Barnes and Porter and If there’s a chance for democrats to win we have to rally behind Porter. I’m not saying Poythress is a bad man but he’s got some baggage himself and is slowly turning into a joke. He’s ALREADY lost to Roy in 1998 during the primary when Roy didn’t have all his problems. And 8 years ago he even worked for Sonny Purdue for four years and then ran a bank into the ground. DuBose Porter on the other hand is the LEADER OF THE HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS with ZERO baggage. People love him. Look him up or listen to him, he is the obvious candidate.

Ron Revog

June 4th, 2010
1:29 am

Also Poythress and Barnes are both proven losers. DuBose has been re-elected 14 times by HUGE majorities in a VERY conservative county, this speaks volumes. Poythress’s and Barnes’s careers are political roller coasters. Of course Barnes is defiantly the “biggest loser” considering he lost his last election as an incumbent governor with 35 million dollars! He can spend all the money he wants on commercials like these, it didn’t win him the election in 2002, and it’s not gonna win him the election in 2010.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 4th, 2010
7:06 am

Good enough. Porter it is. Thanks for helping the move away from Bush’s and Cheney’s “farm team.” It is Georgia and Atlanta which shall lead Our Nation up from the crash their “ravening wolves’” evil and hypocrisy caused. Thank G-d it is not too late. Despite all, we are blessed to be Georgians.

Now let’s turn the perverts out of office and make Elect a proven Georgian all good and decent can see is dwelling in the Grace we want prospering each of us, and this greatest state’s posterity. Of course, “Trust only G-d,” but unless someone can prove otherwise, it appears his wife and family is convincing evidence that he is a righteous man.

May G-d bless Georgia and the United States of America.

Bobby Anthony

June 4th, 2010
11:21 am

My fear with Porter is having his wife run for the number 2 spot. Consolidating so much power in one family is not good for a democracy.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 4th, 2010
2:21 pm

Poythress was apparently commissioned as an AF officer at graduation from Emory in ‘64, then went to law school, graduating in ‘67, after which he spent a year buttoned up at DaNang as an AF lawyer. By his own admission he “spent much of his civilian career in public service,” including time helping Bush’s and Cheney’s “Go-fish” farm team rip off Georgia. Is he just a “time server” drawing a check off the public dime without doing the “heavy lifting” needed to establish justice and make Georgia shine as the beacon of American Righteousness it ought to be?

There is no hope if we keep in office those who don’t know who and what “the problem” is.

Perhaps the team of Porters will be the breath of fresh air Georgia needs and deserves.

Carol Porter’s wisdom and grace shine through and DuBose wins in that connection. We are not “unequally yoked.”

Now let’s make Georgia win again by making them Gov. and Lt. Gov. Nothing they do could be worse than the evil we’ve suffered with the Gay Old Pervert party’s phonies, and Carol Porter is already showing out as a lady of high virtue. Who wouldn’t want such an example in public office to inspire our daughters as well as sons?

Porters’ lives show them to be good and decent. Let us call on divine Providence that “good and decent” is Georgia again. “Annuit Coeptis” will take care of the rest.

Paddy O

June 5th, 2010
12:28 pm

Personally, I would vote for either Barnes, Poythress or Porter. All seem to be good men. Of the two, I think that Barnes or Porter are more interesting due to political experience. Of the two, I voted for Barnes prior to the Perdue fiasco. Thus, I would vote for Barnes. Unfortunately, Republicans in this state still have a problem matching their actions & candidates with their rhetoric. Even Newt Gingrich, who is conservative family values can not avoid chonic divorcism. Of the various repubs, the only desirable ones are Chapman, Johnson & Handel. Handel I won’t vote for because she does not have the requisite education. Johnson was involved in the Linger Longer Jekyll Island land swipe, so he too is out. That leaves me with Chapman – who seems to be an honest, decent – advocate for the average Georgia voter type of guy. So, he is my choice. Deal & Oxendine are both so immersed in corruption it is leaking out their eyes, mouth and all other orifices. If you vote for them, you must think they’ll get you a job.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 5th, 2010
8:13 pm

Identify your church, RC priest “Paddy O,” so we can yank your tax-free status.