The RGA looks in on a Roy Barnes candidacy

A Tweet came in this morning, pointing recipients to two weekend pieces concerning former Gov. Roy Barnes, the big dog in a Democratic primary now only 15 days away.

One was this article from the AJC’s James Salzer:

Former Gov. Roy Barnes travels the state slamming special-interest tax breaks and saying they need to be eliminated to fund education.

But for Barnes, the front-runner among Democrats in this year’s governor’s race, that’s a big change of heart.

While serving in the General Assembly, Barnes voted for more than two-dozen sales tax exemptions, according to a review of legislative records.

He supported exemptions for everything from the sale of solar panels and crab bait to aircraft parts and Girl Scout cookies. As governor from 1999 to 2003, he signed at least 13 more exemptions that are still in effect.

The other was this Larry Peterson piece in the Savannah Morning News:

Gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes’ promises could cost more than $2 billion a year, but he hasn’t said how he’ll pay for most of it.

The origin of the Tweet, from the Republican Governors Association, was just as important as the message. And it won’t be the last time we see RGA involvement.

Gov. Sonny Perdue is a former chairman of the organization, and his former aide, Nick Ayers, still runs it. Ayers, incidentally, also served as campaign manager for Karen Handel in her 2003 bid for Fulton County commission chairman.

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48 comments Add your comment


July 5th, 2010
11:25 am

So? I’m still waiting to hear from Barnes as to how he plans to pay for all of his promises.


July 5th, 2010
11:26 am

Different, much harder times, call for different measures. And flexibility of policy too. Not to mention thinking.

Wanna Bet?

July 5th, 2010
11:53 am

Earth to my fellow Democrats: Roy Barnes is a disaster waiting to happen. The last thing we need is a retread with more baggage than the Atlanta airport.

Why don’t we try someone new, anyone new? This is not the year to bring back an old time slick double talking politician and think we’re going to win. Haven’t you been following the national news lately?

Conservative Democrat

July 5th, 2010
12:48 pm

To Wanna Bet @ 11:53. What is Roy’s baggage? In 4 years, he took education heads-on, even upsetting the teacher’s unions in order to get accountability into the school systems. He took on banks with predatory lending reforms. He dealt with the flag when other “slick double talking politicians” (perhaps you meant Zell Miller?) were too cowardly to do it. Roy is a pro-business Democrat who tried to balance low taxation with a fair society. If you think another Democrat is better, fine. But the acrimony of your post suggests you are either a GOP plant or, if truly a Democrat, you need to pay more attention.

Robert Barron

July 5th, 2010
12:50 pm

I am not encouraged for our future that Republicans are still touting tax-cuts while Democrats make unpaid for promises.
Did you see the CNBC special on oil where Sen. Mary Landreau was rediculing someone who warned about drilling in deep water before a Congressional hearing in 2007? Then after the disaster, there she is again playing the poor, pitiful Louisiana card for the mess Canadian laws, if copied, would have greatly reduced.
It’s an example of your typical politician and what we are likely to be stuck with as governor again.
They don’t have principles.
It’s all whichever way the political winds are blowing at the moment and hopefully the public has forgotten all past statements and actions.


July 5th, 2010
1:13 pm

I cannot believe that Converative Democrat would call what RB did to education in GA a plus. As the daughter of two teachers and a one time teacher myself, I was appalled at his arrogrant actions at the time and don’t believe for an instance he’s different now. I am supporting David Poythress who I believe will put education first and do the things necessary to build a 21st century school system for our children. I recommend that you read the position paper on Education on his website that details the changes he thinks are necessary to prepare our children for the future.

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

July 5th, 2010
1:26 pm


Robert Barron

July 5th, 2010
1:45 pm

Our state does seem to produce it’s share of arrogant, I can get away with anything people. Thanks for the info bbdawg. I’ve give Polythress a look.


July 5th, 2010
1:50 pm

Lot’s of promises. No plans to pay for anything. Barnes is change that will be bad for all of us.
We all tried King Roy once…not again.


July 5th, 2010
1:57 pm

If he’s elected wonder what his revised state flag will look like? Probably have his picture on it. He’s a loser.


July 5th, 2010
2:00 pm

Consider this, conservative Democrat. If Barnes had not been governor before, his current campaign and unbelievable pledges of what he planned to do would make him a laughingstock. The only reasons he might get the nomination this time are name recognition and money. Eight years ago the voters tossed him out of office in favor of what everyone thought then was a mediocre politician. The fact that Sonny Perdue has been an OK governor is no reason to bring back millionaire Barnes. Wanna Bet is right when asking for a new face. Seriously, what could Barnes do now that he couldn’t do before? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice and we are all fools.

Tired of BS

July 5th, 2010
2:15 pm

Cons. Dem @ 12:48…. The jobs Roy is talking about saving are teachers! Get a grip and stop drinking the koolaide.


July 5th, 2010
2:39 pm

If Barnes gets the nod it will be similar to Obama getting the Presidency. People wanted a change from Bush but voters were too stupid to see Bush wasn’t running again (ignorance lives in the voters). Barnes is running against the Perdue era, well Perdue is out of there no matter what (thank God). I agree there was a lot to like from Barnes first term, but his arrogance and king like attitude didn’t make him friends. And while he was on the right track with the teachers (I have 7 in my family), he needed to accept input from others on the best way to implement his ideas. But he wasn’t willing to do that before and I feel he will refuse outside input to any of his ideas again. I’m just not that gullible to go back to what we wanted changed 8 years ago. However the thought of another Perdue like character is scary as well. I haven’t personally decided (Repub or Demo makes no difference as the candidate). But I know Baker, Barnes, Handel, and Oxendine are not going to be my choices.Honestly I like Jeff Chapman, but because he is not from the metro area little attention has been giving to him. But even as a Republican he stood up to the party and fought eminent domain and the “selling” of Jekyll Island to a private firm. I know little about him, but plan to do my research before the primary.


July 5th, 2010
2:50 pm

We FLAGGERS and TEACHERS haven’t forgotten about King Roy!!!


July 5th, 2010
3:00 pm

Barnes is typical of his era – say anything, do anything to win and then do whatever it takes to reward himself and his backers, in that order. King Roy should stay put – on his own “throne” in Marietta.


July 5th, 2010
3:07 pm

“The fact that Sonny Perdue has been an OK governor …”

It’s a fact that the opposite is true.

Old saw

July 5th, 2010
3:11 pm

It’s just like the old saying, you can put lipstick on a pig and it’s still Roy Barnes.

Wanna Bet?

July 5th, 2010
3:37 pm

Conservative Democrat – Did you read the two articles Mr. Galloway is talking about? They both say that Barnes is a fraud. He talks a good game, but he acted in a different way when he was governor last time. If you don’t think the republicans will use his lousy record against him when he tries to criticize them, you’re crazy.

The other thing is this – your hero goes on and on about how he’s going to fix this or that. Why didn’t he do any of this stuff last time? That’s the ultimate glass house. You say he fixed the schools. Last time I checked, they weren’t any good when he left. About all he did about schools last time was disrespect the teachers.

As for plants, if there’s any on here, it’s you on behalf of your royal hero.

Logic 05

July 5th, 2010
3:45 pm

Why would anyone vote for King Roy.
He has made more promises that will cost billions that we don’t have.
He’s sucking up to teachers trying to buy their vote.
This man is a total and complete moron…ANYBODY but King Roy or the Ox Man.

Democrat Supporter

July 5th, 2010
3:46 pm

King Roy is a joke.
Vote for Baker.

sci teacher

July 5th, 2010
3:51 pm

I’m a teacher and have no faith in any politicians above city level. I believe King Roy wants a second term for vengeance against teachers, no matter what he says. Remember how to tell when a lawyer’s lying?

at least we know the rat

July 5th, 2010
4:02 pm

“He supported exemptions for everything from the sale of solar panels and crab bait to aircraft parts and Girl Scout cookies. As governor from 1999 to 2003, he signed at least 13 more exemptions that are still in effect.”

Hmmmm…. dont know about you but exempting the Girl Scouts sounds okay to me?

If this article was meant to bash Barnes it kind of went the other way for me. Now dont think I’m about to get suckered by Roy again. But when it comes time to vote in the main; I will vote Barnes before I vote for any Republican.

To push Perdue’s and KCox agenda is something im not willing to do for another 4 years


July 5th, 2010
4:32 pm

I haven’t voted for a Democrat in a long time, but I’ll vote for Barnes. Why? The Republicans we have in Georgia government are the dumbest bunch of cattle I’ve seen in one herd. I just wish Zell would run again. And the guy who called Zell a coward, well I’d like to see you call the old Marine sergeant a coward to his face.


July 5th, 2010
4:36 pm

Jim, if this was an attack ad on Roy Barnes, it was weak as bouillon. Running 90% of your articles on Repubs and 10% on Dems is glaring. Again, Mr. Cellophane.


July 5th, 2010
4:55 pm

Georgia schools were on the upswing when Barnes was governor and Atlanta was the hub of business in the southeast. It’s amazing how we have gone down hill in the last eight years.

Jack 24

July 5th, 2010
5:05 pm

I Perfer and trust Dubose Porter over all the rest!
nuff said.


July 5th, 2010
5:32 pm

“Jim, if this was an attack ad on Roy Barnes, it was weak as bouillon. Running 90% of your articles on Repubs and 10% on Dems is glaring. Again, Mr. Cellophane.”

Jim owes nothing to your point of view, absolutely nothing. This is the age of the internet, if you don’t like it here find a place that suits your needs. Your entitlement mentality is absurd. Here’s an idea, just say no by not clicking your mouse button on his posts, its that easy.


July 5th, 2010
6:23 pm

Is Roy still pro-life and a social conservative who once ran for governor to the right of Zell Miller and Andrew Young. Or has he changed this mind again on issues in order to get elected?


July 5th, 2010
9:08 pm

Please, please AJC, give Poythress, Porters, Chapman a fair break. Give them some face time while there is still time before the primary. All three are sane, experienced, non-fringe, and not in government service just to line their own and their cronies’ pockets. As much as I would like to put Baker along side them for consideration, alas he was a milquetoast who let the greedy Republican bully-boys control him. Handel never completed her tenure in previous elected office. There is almost no question that Ox, Deal, Johnson, Barnes are committed to lining the pockets of their contributors and cronies if they can buy their way into office. Politics in Georgia stinks to high heavens. We need folks who will change the status quo from non-stop greed and self-dealing back to public service.


July 5th, 2010
9:36 pm

Never liked a sissy talking man that walks like a duck. He may be Fred Sandfords flip floping hand. In other words……………………

Plain and simple truth

July 5th, 2010
10:45 pm

All Barnes has to do as Governor is use the toilet instead of the schools and he’ll be a step up from what we got.

All GOP trash must go.


July 5th, 2010
11:18 pm

I hate to pee on the corn flakes of all the Dems on this blog but your choice in our current President has doomed all of your candidates in this election cycle. The before known silent majority has woke up from their slumber and will take out their anger on anyone with a D beside their name in November. If you do not believe me then please step up and lets make a wager because I need some more money to pay these increased taxes that will be laid on me after Nov.


July 5th, 2010
11:54 pm

I will vote for Isakson for the Senate, and for whoever opposes John Lewis for the House. And I will almost certainly vote Republican in the next presidential. But I will support any of the Democrats for Governor over any of the Republicans. It’s not about party – I’m sorry Isakson didn’t come home and run for Governor. I just think all the Republicans look like careerists – people who need to be Governor to sustain a politcal trajectory – and I don’t think that’s true of this particular batch of Democrats. Barnes, in particular, will be 66 when the next Governor’s first term ends, and is richer than two feet up a bull’s behind. He doesn’t need to be Governor, and most people in his position wouldn’t want to. I think he wants to do good for Georgia. He’s very capable, knows the ropes, and God willing has learned that you can be right without making others wrong. After 8 years of a not-so-bad caretaker, I’m ready to risk a little arrogance in the Governor’s office to get the vision thing going again.


July 6th, 2010
6:15 am

Isakson is owned by the Pay-Day Loan Corporation. Vote him out.

US Grant

July 6th, 2010
7:46 am

Does anyone think that making promises one knows he cannot keep is new? Does anyone still believe that if we change all the officeholders that the new ones will do better than the old? This is the “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” myth. We live by our myths but many times they outlive their usefulness. Frank Capra is dead and this myth should die also.


July 6th, 2010
8:05 am

OH NO!! Circumstances have changed dramatically, and a politician changed his position. We can’t have this. Give us politicians whose minds are made up ahead of time and never change, no matter what.

Rooster, to say that the republican candidates for governor look like careerists is being way too kind. If you are considering a democrat, look at General Poythress.


July 6th, 2010
8:35 am

I believe if Barnes could have, he would have!

Bye Bye Barnes!


July 6th, 2010
9:10 am

Hey, Hector (2:50 PM. 7/5)…Nobody gives a damn about the flaggers and this outdated, “Fergit, Hell” crap. What smart and attentive people know is that another 8 years of a Republican in the Governor’s Office isn’t good for education or business. If you’re a teacher, you haven’t been paying attention to what Perdue and his crew have done to you in the last 8 years.

Wake up, fool!


July 6th, 2010
9:10 am

“your choice in our current President has doomed all of your candidates in this election cycle.”

Please tell us how recent Republicans Bush, Cheney, and Sonny should give anyone confidence to vote Republican. Then tell us which current Republicans are popular with the American public.

Shark Punch!

July 6th, 2010
10:08 am

@td: You’re saying that *all* democrats are going to lose in November? I’m not a democrat nor a fan of the current president–can I still take that bet?

If what you’re saying about the silent majority is true, then that’s just sad. Half the reason we have so many incompetent, corrupt, or ineffective politicians (from BOTH parties) it’s too easy for people to vote “against the other guy” instead of taking the time to educate themselves about the candidates and make a rational decision come election day. It was this kind of attitude that gave Obama victory in both his senate and presidential campaigns, so be careful what you wish for.

Silent Jay

July 6th, 2010
11:27 am

The flag? Get real. 35,000 “Sonny Lied” signs in the south Georgia.

Bobby Anthony

July 6th, 2010
1:08 pm

Only three candidates were concerned enough to show up in Columbia County to debate about the critical water supply in our state. I would like for Barnes, Handel, Oxendine and the rest of the candidates to tell us if they plan on draining water from the Savannah River and dumping it into the Chattahoochee. This action would involve us in a costly water war with South Carolina and endanger Georgia’s commerce at the Port of Savannah. We are already in a legal battle with Florida and Alabama concerning the use of water in our region. Porter, Poythress, and Canon stated they are opposed to draining water from the Savannah. Roy Barnes do you have the intestinal fortitude to tell us where you stand on the issue?

Bobby Anthony

July 6th, 2010
1:15 pm

Bbdawg you speak the truth about Barnes. I am a teacher who has already voted for Poythress and sent him a contribution,


July 7th, 2010
6:47 pm

Anyone who intends to vote for any Democrat must be a glutton for punishment. They will only spend more and more money that we do not have and will be in it only for themselves. At the very least vote for an Independent over a Demo…


July 7th, 2010
7:00 pm

We all need to keep this in perspective. What we do not need is more of what we currently have running this country. The only way we can make a change is to start in this election.I believe and hope with all my heart for major changes to our out of control spending leaders of this country in November.So make sure in your heart that you have done the research and voted for the best of the lot.Not a big pool to choose from but Barnes is certainly not it.

DeKalb Teacher

July 7th, 2010
11:24 pm

Someone on the Get Schooled Blog suggested I post this here.

I heard from a friend who is active in the Organization of DeKalb Educators that the Barnes campaign offered the president of GAE a job and got Martin in the race at the last minute to keep Westlake from getting GAE’s endorsement. She said the Barnes campaign was worried that having a teacher and active GAE member in the race might excite more teachers to come to the polls on election day. Has anyone heard anything about this?

Richard Parrilla

July 8th, 2010
12:25 pm

About the guy who tried to played the military card on Zell Miller. Stop acting like that uniform is the only thing a soldier’s got going for him/her. It’a lie from the pit of hell to keep lots of young men and women falling for our so-called leaders’ interventionist games that go back to Truman at least. I’ll tell Zig Zag Zell to his face that his service, though appreciated, is no excuse for his cowardice actions as of late. That being said, the only hope y’all got left in saving Georgia y’all love to laugh about, but you won’t be laughing when you get more of the same. His name is JOHN MONDS. Look him up at King Roy and the Insurance Ox will be your downfall, Georgia. John Monds is at least something to break the cycle with.

Richard Parrilla

July 8th, 2010
12:27 pm

And to those who were in fear of voting for Barack Obama because of his liberal tendencies instead of (other) reasons. Now you got a black principled conservative running for Governor named John Monds. Now’s the chance to prove that your vote against Obama wasn’t pure racism.