On Thursday, the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club issued a list of primary endorsements that included Carol Porter in the Democratic race for lieutenant governor, plus eight Democratic and two GOP state lawmakers.
But the conservation group made no endorsement in the contest for governor – deadlocked between two Democrats, former Gov. Roy Barnes and House Minority Leader DuBose Porter of Dublin.
How do we know? Here are excerpts from a letter penned by Mark Woodall, vice chairman of the group’s executive committee, summing up the dilemma:
It’s unfortunate that the two best environmental office holders we have seen over the last 20 years in Georgia are both running in the Democratic primary for Governor. Here is some history on the record of Roy Barnes and DuBose Porter.
Roy Barnes as Governor gave us some good appointments to the DNR Board, although he didn’t fire EPD Director Harold Reheis.
As Governor, Roy was against the mining of the Okefenokee by DuPont which led to the eventual agreement, which protected the swamp.
As Governor, Roy was against the attempt to turn Georgia into a hog hell with 10 million hogs like eastern North Carolina. DNR Board members Jim Butler and Jim Langford couldn’t have gotten the rest of the DNR Board to go along with the regs on CAFOs if Roy hadn’t backed them.
As Governor, Roy established GRTA to address the problem of the DOT roads and bridges only policy.
As a legislator, Roy helped pass MRPA, SB 317, the Metropolitan River Protection Act, in 1986 which protected the Chattahoochee. I think Roy was the sponsor. Roger Buerki and Alan Toney worked on this.
As a legislator, Roy sponsored and passed clean lakes legislation in 1990 which helped fix West Point’ Lake’s phosphorus problem.
As for DuBose Porter, he has been the leading politician to oppose construction of new coal plants in Georgia. He has spoken against new coal plants at hearings in Early County and Washington County. DuBose also spoke at the Sierra Club’s preview of the movie COAL COUNTRY in Decatur last year.
As House minority leader for the last 6 years, DuBose has helped defeat a series of Chip Pearson projects, including narrowing of stream buffers, septic tanks on drinking water reservoirs and more dirt in streams.
As House minority leader, DuBose led the successful fights, at least three times, against the billlboard industry’s endless campaign to cut down trees on highway rights of way.
As House minority leader, DuBose has tried to get immediate funding for passenger rail and other public transit. Until Casey Cagle as errand boy for C. W. Matthews pulled the plug at midnight on SR 845 in 2008, DuBose had negotiated a penny of the sales tax on motor fuel to be opened to any transportation use, a goal of the Sierra Club since 1990.
As House minority leader, DuBose fought against GA Power’s SB 31, raising rates to pay for nuclear power plant construction before a plant is built, if it is built.
As House minority leader, DuBose fought the State Water Plan “ratification” and tried to get a plan that created planning districts based on river basins instead of the political districts we have now.
As a legislator, DuBose succesfully fought the sale of water withdrawal permits, pushed by DNR in 2003.
As a legislator, DuBose supported every effort to regulate Interbasin Transfers of water for supply purposes.
I could go on but I’ll stop and review the endorsement history.
The Sierra Club endorsed DuBose Porter when he ran against Tom Murphy for Speaker in 1994 or thereabouts. We have endorsed DuBose many times as a legislator. After riding with Ogden Doremus and me to get yet another award as GEC legislator for the year, DuBose said thanks but we needed to find some more legislators to help instead of giving him the award every year or two.
The Sierra Club endorsed Roy Barnes in both the primary and general election in 1998. In the 1998 primary, all four candidates thought they should be endorsed: Steve Langford, Lewis Massey, David Poythress and Roy Barnes. We endorsed Roy again in 2002.
Republican candidate for governor Karen Handel uses a lipstick theme in going after all three of her major GOP rivals in her first TV ad of the primary today. Here’s the link. We’ll post the video box as soon as it’s up on YouTube. The ad is Fred Davis’ handiwork.
He did it last cycle, and he’s done it again. Peach Pundit blogger (and now Gwinnett County candidate for the state House) Buzz Brockway has put together some splendid Excel spreadsheets that map the campaign contributions of all statewide candidates, and all candidates for the Legislature. Check them out here.
As reported Thursday by the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Rob Teilhet, a Democratic candidate for attorney general, is up today with this harsh 30-second spot criticizing primary rival Ken Hodges for failing to bring a deputy sheriff to trial in the 2003 death of Kenneth Walker:
Release of the Teilhet TV ad overshadowed a state Capitol press conference held by Hodges on Thursday afternoon to announce endorsements by Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and Solicitor General Carmen Smith.
Hodges was also endorsed by International Brotherhood of Police Local 623, which represents 1,000 or so law enforcement officers in metro Atlanta.
“Ken Hodges understands the needs of law enforcement because he carried a badge for 15 years,” Lt. Scott Kreher of the Atlanta Police Department, president of the local, is quoted as saying.
Creative Loafing has a nice catch-up piece on the Democratic primary brawl between state Sen. Vincent Fort of Atlanta and biology teacher Graham Balch:
With weeks until polls close, both candidates have begun blasting each other in quotes to the press and glossy mailers. Balch has knocked Fort’s combative style, his missed Senate votes and his inclusion on a list of lawmakers in 2009 who failed to pay their taxes.
“I’m not happy our state senator is raising our taxes while not paying his own,” says Balch.
Fort, who said he’s since settled his debts, has fired back with, among other charges, a tactic that worked well for Kasim Reed during his mayoral race against Mary Norwood and Borders: Questioning whether Balch, who, records show, has voted in two Republican primaries and once worked for an eco-minded GOP congressman, is really a Democrat.
“Graham Balch can’t buy this election,” says Fort, who hasn’t had an opponent since 1998. “He can’t hide his Republican-in-Democrat clothing.”
Jody Hice, a Republican candidate in the 7th District scrum to replace U.S. Rep. John Linder, has ingratiated himself with untold numbers of Georgians in this press release:
Jody Hice (GA-7) is the only candidate running for office in the State of GA that has agreed to honor the National Political Do Not Contact Registry. This means that voters from GA-7 who have registered their phone number at StopPoliticalCalls.org should expect their phones to be quiet – at least from robocalls from Jody Hice.