Your morning jolt: Roy Barnes’ biggest apology yet

Just in time for a gathering of the Georgia School Boards Association in Savannah, and with an endorsement decision by the Georgia Association of Educators imminent, former Gov. Roy Barnes has posted his most abject apology yet – specifically targeted at teachers.

My AJC colleague Maureen Downey was on it first. Here’s the clip:

The money quote: “It was never my intent – it’s not my intent now – not to treasure teachers.”

Barnes will be at the courthouse in Decatur this morning to show off another list of endorsements in all-important DeKalb County, home to a large cache of African-American votes. And home to Attorney General Thurbert Baker.

Republican candidate for governor Eric Johnson on Wednesday released 10 years’ worth of income tax returns. Writes my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin:

Johnson joins Democrat Roy Barnes, who last month released 25 years of personal tax records, as the only candidates among the 14 running to release such detailed financial information.

Johnson’s reports show that he and his wife had total gross income in 2009 of $121,613, down considerably from more than $300,000 in 2008. The couple earned nearly $2.4 million in the 10 years and paid taxes of more than $500,000.

One wonders if Johnson foresees that, in the home stretch of the July 20 primary, he’ll be doing battle with either John Oxendine or Nathan Deal. And the topic will be ethics.

The flap over Gov. Sonny Perdue’s veto of SB 1, the zero-based budgeting bill, continues. GOP candidates for governor Nathan Deal and John Oxendine both pledged to revive it.

In an interview on WGAU (1340AM) in Athens, state Sen. Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg) on Wednesday predicted “serious” conversations about a veto override in January.

This morning, Virginia Galloway, leader of the Georgia chapter of the anti-tax group Americans For Prosperity, declared zero-based budgeting would be a scorecard issue in the primary and general elections:

“The lines have been drawn. We must demand that ALL gubernatorial and legislative candidates adopt commonsense ideas like the JOBS Act, Government Accountability Act and zero-based budgeting as platform issues and commit to support them if they hope to hold office as our public servants.

Mastering the public trust means honoring the public’s intent. Georgia has become a red state after Democrat control dating back to Reconstruction. In 2010, it is time we become a truly conservative red state, starting in the governor’s office.

Doug MacGinnitie, the Republican candidate for secretary of state running against GOP incumbent Brian Kemp, has released his first introductory commercial that his campaign said will be slowly introduced – first in metro Atlanta:

The video is standard introductory fare, describing the job that MacGinnitie seeks and his business background. And it takes a crack at Kemp, describing him as a “career politician.”

But let’s play political consultant for a moment: MacGinnitie is fellow who – much like Ralph Reed – is blessed/cursed with a face that makes him look much younger than he is. Given that, is it wise to include – in a TV spot – “intern in Reagan Administration”?

On Tuesday, Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren asked the GBI to investigate Georgia’s university system to see if it has violated federal law by allowing illegal immigrants to enroll in post-secondary institutions – only paying in-state tuition.

On Wednesday, Georgia Public Broadcasting reported that the GBI has decided to hand Warren’s complaint to Attorney General Thurbert Baker. The Democratic candidate for governor must be thrilled.

On the same topic, Walter Jones of the Morris News Service caught this quote from Larry Walker, a member of the state Board of Regents – as that august body was voting to instruct presidents of state universities not to grant any waivers to illegal immigrants:

“If we pass this thing, it’s going to be controversial. If we don’t pass it, it’s going to be really controversial,” said Walker, a veteran legislator.

Mary Norwood, the independent candidate for Fulton County Commission chairman, has a Monday fund-raiser at the Buckhead home of Guy Milner, the former GOP candidate for governor and U.S. Senate.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

77 comments Add your comment


June 10th, 2010
9:56 am

Johnson, the guy who funneled $1,000,000 worth of business to his company, and forgot to disclose $300,000 talking about ethics? Let’s not forget how he dismissed the ethics charges against the Speaker.


June 10th, 2010
10:16 am

Really’s go it right! Johnson’s the last guy who needs to hold himself out as the paragon of ethics. He knew excatly what Speaker Richardson was doing — EVERYBODY knew. Yet he chose to give his fellow Republican a break and allow the shameful behavior to continue. There’s no need to even talk about his convenient loss of memory when it came to failing to report the $300,000. Johnson for Governor? I don’t think so.


June 10th, 2010
10:32 am

Barnes is going to have to aplogize for his gerrymandering…the worst I have ever seen that his own floor leader said was “partisan right down to it’s toenails” and even a federal judge could not stomach.
Barnes can apologize from now to Novemeber but can’t erase the stain that was his time in the Governor’s office

Al Sharptongue

June 10th, 2010
10:35 am

Roy Barnes is a complete fraud.
Please, please, please … anybody but King Roy.
He is the only democratic candidate that makes the Ox man look good.


June 10th, 2010
10:36 am

An “apology” from Barnes? More like a political ploy. Why now? Because the GAE endorsement in the governor’s race is due very soon. That’s why. Barnes thinks this “apology” will help him get that endorsement. And that’s only reason for this “apology”!!!

Uncle Jessie

June 10th, 2010
10:36 am

Roy you got the biggest apology in Gawga histery a waiting on you. Remember how much trouble you caused demercratic party when you changed the flag. Come on down to East Dublin in Hazzard County fer the Red Neck Games on July 10. Timing will be perfect fer you to get up on the stage and beg fer forgiveness from all them good ole boys and gals. Daisy say you needs to mend them fences. Boss Hawg and Cooter agrees. Hope you listens this time. Yee Haw!

King Roy

June 10th, 2010
10:36 am

I am the greatest.
Georgians are too stupid to remember how bad I screwed up this State and I plan to get elected again!

Obama Your Moma

June 10th, 2010
10:38 am

I heard by sell my endorsement to King Roy.

So when in Perdue going to apologize?

June 10th, 2010
10:45 am

After running this state into the ground with his cronies like Oxendine and Handel, he has a lot of ’splaining to do.

Maybe Sonny is just going to go fishing and enjoy the $9 Million horse show complex in his home county and his $19 Million ‘Go Fish’ boondoggle…..all while teachers and state workers are being furloughed.

Priorities: Horse Barn and Fishing > Georgia School children

Oxendine and Handel = Sonny Perdue version 2.0

Barnes = not perfect, but he gets it


June 10th, 2010
10:49 am

Vote for David Poythress on July 20!

Roy Barnes = Never Again


June 10th, 2010
10:51 am

How can anyone forget the last time “King” Roy was governor? He was a tyrant and no one got along with him. Even the demoncrats despised him. He is an arrogant, class action law suit cut throat lawyer and will do whatever he has to any way he can to get what he wants. He has no ethics. He was a total failure last time he was governor and was fired by the voters last time he ran and lost by a wide margin. Georgia can’t afford a bad governor during these hard times. Vote NO “King” Roy.


June 10th, 2010
10:59 am

King Roy should apoligize for defaming the Confederate Flag and the honor and glory HIS ancestors sacrificed in defense of it. All flaggers should be prepared to follow King Roy all over the state during the campaign to remind him of his misdeeds!!!!

Yo Flori-da

June 10th, 2010
11:06 am

Barnes lost by approximately 100K votes in 2002.

1,041,677 to 937,062.

That’s approximately SEVEN percent, which most people would not consider to be a ‘wide margin’

James E. Jarrell

June 10th, 2010
11:06 am

Roy will be a fine governor.

Ned Puddleman

June 10th, 2010
11:07 am

Perhaps Barnes should apologize for trying to kick people out of their homes to build the Northern Arc. Don’t thing for a second that if he gets into office again he won’t attempt to revive it. Barnes needs to be kept away from elected office.

Yo Flori-da

June 10th, 2010
11:09 am

The following description could apply equally well to Perdue, Oxendine, Glenn Richardson……

“arrogant, class action law suit cut throat lawyer and will do whatever he has to any way he can to get what he wants. He has no ethics.”

New Teacher

June 10th, 2010
11:16 am

Two Black female teachers and most likely a single white female=Democrats….
“He was a good governor then?” Please. He was an awful governor. How much did he pay you to say that?

How about going after another demographic that doesnt work in your corner Roy. My friends parents were teachers and they will never again want Roy to be the governor. I dont even like him, and I wasnt a teacher then.

Dear Ned

June 10th, 2010
11:17 am

I drive in Georgia traffic everyday. I don’t see a problem with kicking people out of their homes so I can get to work faster.

Were you kicked out of your house for the Northern Arc project? Since the project was not built, I don’t think that was very likely.

Even if the project were approved and funded today, it would be easily 10-20 years before you see bulldozers at your door. If you are over 50 years old, it is likely, statistically that you will be dead before any homes are removed to make way for the Northern Arc….of course, that’s if it ever gets approved.

Dear Ned

June 10th, 2010
11:18 am

edit “it is likely, statistically speaking, that you will be dead”


June 10th, 2010
11:18 am

LAME. If I were going to vote for a Democratic governor, it’d be Baker or Poythress before Roy Barnes again. But since Barnes is going to screw that up for the honest folks in the race, who knows?


June 10th, 2010
11:19 am

No to King…no…no…no more!


June 10th, 2010
11:26 am

I love reading the Barnes bashing by the Republicans who are TERRIFIED of Roy, who was a leader, not a do-nothing placeholder like the guy who has occupied the governor’s mansion the last eight years. Barnes had a workable plan to fix transportation in Georgia, which Perdue scrapped and then did nothing. His eighth-year transportation fix is a too-late pass the buck to the next governor. Barnes did PO a lot of groups, the flaggers and the teachers included. The latter now realize that at least Barnes didn’t preside over the firing of hundreds of teachers due to an inability to lead like Perdue. Georgia education has reverted to last place and will stay there until we get a governor who cares about fixing our schools, not dismantling them.

Tired of the politics

June 10th, 2010
11:27 am

Watch who you vote for. Americans have said they are sick of this government and the democratic mess. Yes it is the dems mess and the budget is way overboard. We cant take this mess. When you vote, dont listen to what they say, they will say anything to keep their cushy job, but do go look at what they did and who they supported. They will tell you what you want to hear just to get re-elected. Then go right back to their dealings and voting against american taxpayers.

Watch, listen and then research. If you cant do that then you dont deserve to vote.

Not buying it at all

June 10th, 2010
11:30 am

Politico….You think Barns takes the schools seriously? Come on. Dont you know what Barns did to the teachers in this great state? I dont think there is a single educator who would give Roy Barns the time of day. He s##t all over the educational system. WOW.

New Teacher > needs more schoolin'

June 10th, 2010
11:34 am

Since you’ve researched this a lot, obviously, exactly how was Barnes an ‘awful governor’?

Barnes tried to implement educational reform, including taking a TEST to see if students were ready to advance to the next grade. Woooo, that’s controversial…. CRCT? anyone? anyone?

Imagine having to take a test to prove that you are ready for the next grade….shocking.

When Barnes took office, SAT scores for Georgia were….wait for it….dead LAST in the US.

Barnes tried to do some education reform, but he made some teachers mad at him. For example, teachers getting tenure when they are hired is a recipe for mediocracy….once the bad teachers are in the door and have tenure, you’re married to them.

Under Barnes watch, the scores improved a bit, after that the scores remained relatively flat, with some improvement around 2005-2006.

Stop the bickering and fix the education system

June 10th, 2010
11:43 am

Barnes tried to do two simple things to education:

1) Implement Standards: have kids take a test to prove they are ready for next grade

2) Improve Accountability: make teachers accountable for their performance.

Item number two involved the dirty little word called ‘Tenure’.

Tenure means that, even if you’re a drooling neanderthal with a teaching certificate, once you’ve got the job, you keep the job. Just like a union. Barnes had the nerve to question ‘the system’ and teachers got all hot and bothered about that.

Standards and Accountability: Are these concepts really so difficult to grasp?


June 10th, 2010
11:45 am

I voted early and had no reservation about voting for Roy Barnes. He was good for GA 8 years ago and will be better for the next 8 as governor. He got the job done and is a proven leader that was and is scandal free. As an educator I supported what he did, and what he will do to bring integrity back to the profession here in Ga.

I'm a Realist

June 10th, 2010
11:48 am


There’s a Greyhound leaving for Mississippi in an hour. Should get there just in time for the next cross burning. Quick, sell the tires off your mobile home and buy yourself a one-way ticket.

Yea right lol

June 10th, 2010
11:50 am

Patricia….The problem with this government is that its full of big time lawyers who have no real business experience in creating job growth. They have never ran a business, they have no idea how the real world is run. I mean look at the top admininistration now. They think that they created hundreds of thousands of jobs but what they really did was create a big temp agency. Once the census jobs are over, so it their giant job growth.

No to Barns, no to Poythress. They are not what Georgia needs. We need someone who can stand firm and fix the problems, not ride of the coattails of their counterparts in Washington. Its time to fix this problem and it starts with state level officials all the way up.

Travis McGee

June 10th, 2010
11:52 am

Speaking of apologies: the Republicans and the Democrats should apologize to the people of Georgia for fielding such lacklust and ethically challenged candidates.

OK, Yea right lol, we

June 10th, 2010
11:54 am

Enter your comments here

Mustang Sally

June 10th, 2010
11:55 am

I always thought Gov Barnes was a great governor, much better than Sonny. I had the pleasure of having them as my customers when I used to wait tables. He and his family were always a gracious class act. We need that kind of class act back in the governor’s office.

OK, Yea right lol, we're all ears

June 10th, 2010
12:03 pm

You make some good points.

But the question is, who do you recommend to be governor?

I’m all for the ‘dream candidate’, but at this point, we’re staring down the barrel of either Governor Oxendine or Governor Barnes….which is a worse choice for you?

Barnes has some experience that is useful….governor of the state of Georgia from 1998-2002. He worked at his family hardware store before he went into politics.


June 10th, 2010
12:15 pm

I’ll consider voting for King Roy when he apologizes for replacing the 1956 Georgia flag and insulting out Confederate ancestors for political correctness. But looks like I’ll be voting for whomever the Republican candidate is again, even though I disagree with the Republican Party on most social and monetary issues.


June 10th, 2010
12:21 pm

Love seeing all you Repulsicans gathering to bash the Democratic candidate in the lead. Roy Barnes was a fine governor and leader for GA. Take a look at the crap your good ole boy Perdue has piled on the state. All his unfulfilled promises to teachers (to get their vote) that have gone unfulfilled. Good riddance of him! Repulsican pols, when not sleeping with same-sex members (not that there’s anything wrong with that) in public bathrooms, getting caught and crying for forgiveness, ar so corrupt they can decimate a state or even country (ie the “wonderful” Dubya) in a few years. Go Roy – you certainly have my vote.


June 10th, 2010
12:24 pm

I don’t deny that Perdue has been bad for Georgia, but I still would never vote for Barnes for any political office, let alone Governor.

I will vote Baker in the Democrat primary but assuming Barnes does win their I’ll be voting Republican, not because I really want to, but I just can’t stomach Barnes.

I thought Barnes was a very effective Governor until he changed the State flag behind our backs.

Sonny Per-don't

June 10th, 2010
12:27 pm

I think I’ll go to the steps of the capital building and pray for the right candidate to be elected. Hey, it worked during the drought. Hehehehe. oh, and go dawgs!


June 10th, 2010
12:37 pm

Do your homework. The 5th grade teacher who claimed Barnes was trying to do the right thing was in HIGH SCHOOL when Barnes was elected!

Be careful what you pray for

June 10th, 2010
12:37 pm

If you’re on your knees at the capital building praying, watch out for speeding crown victoria with flashing blue lights driving on the sidewalk….that would be John Oxendine late for a hairdresser appointment.

Mr. Barnes

June 10th, 2010
12:38 pm

C’mon folks, I wasn’t THAT bad!


June 10th, 2010
12:39 pm

Since Roy Barnes is capable (if you believe his current promises) of altering the planetary orbits and resurrecting the dead, we need him as the WORLD’S leader immediately so he can work his magic and correct all the ills on this planet. Then we can ALL live happily ever after safe in the knowledge that we have a true savior looking after us.


June 10th, 2010
12:42 pm

Well, since Sonny Perdue believed he could alter weather patterns, I think that altering planetary orbits kinda fits in with that, no?

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 10th, 2010
12:46 pm

Wasn’t it while Barnes was governor that firecrackers were made illegal in Georgia? So South Carolina and Alabama can give their sons a leg up on explosives’ discipline and munitions training for the Armed Forces, while selling to patriotic Georgians who want to properly celebrate The Fourth?

Pansy draft-dodger. His wife is the “man of his family.”

Let’s elect DuBose Porter and his wife as Lt. Gov. – People worthy of our respect, well-graced by G-d.

Umm Will

June 10th, 2010
12:49 pm

The fireworks laws changed in 2006, so you blame Sonny Perdue for that. Next….


June 10th, 2010
12:52 pm

The last politician I truly thought was ethical was Angela Speir at the PSC. Too bad she left the commission. I thought perhaps she would seek higher office some day. I would certainly have voted for her. Maybe its just too hard to be elected if you have strong ethics

Umm Will

June 10th, 2010
12:57 pm

Going to college is not ‘draft dodging’, as there were many college students who fought and died in Vietnam.

A college student, if he was drafted, would have a “Student Postponement” – a college student may have his induction postponed until he finishes the current semester or, if a senior, the end of the academic year.

Barnes was not drafted, so this does not apply.

About the Vietnam Draft

Captain Midnight

June 10th, 2010
1:01 pm

@ I’m a realist, The “Confederate flag is racist” arguement is dead.
Btw, do a little research into your Klan and you’ll learn according to the bylaws of the Klan, the only flag that is Mandatory at all meetings is..wait for it…The American Flag. While your at it, check on out of your sec 8 crib and go back to Nola.

Bill Campbell

June 10th, 2010
1:04 pm

We don’t need this loser again!


June 10th, 2010
1:12 pm

Gotta love a guy who runs on the promise…”No one will get foreclosed on while I’m Govnr…” oh yeah, “without a hearing of some sort”. Can a Govnr. really just put a stop to foreclosures? I thought we had Civil Laws that dictated contractual obligations and their resolution. I’ll vote for the King if he will also make all tuna fish sandwiches free too (I’d like free lunches).

Sorry, cleaning coffee spew off of monitor

June 10th, 2010
1:14 pm

Well, since the Klan does not make the Southern Cross flag MANDATORY, then obviously there are no racial issues there. (more coffee spewing onto monitor)

If there are no racial issues with the flag, why was it changed?

Some groups use the Southern Cross as one of the symbols associated with their organizations, including racist groups such as the Neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. The flag is also sometimes used by separatist organizations such as the Aryan Nations.