Your morning jolt: Speaker David Ralston wants Roy Barnes and Nathan Deal informed of tax deliberations

Beginning Thursday in Atlanta, a special council assigned the task of overhauling the state tax system will hold a two-week series of hearings across Georgia.


House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge)

Which may be why an entity calling itself Georgians for Ethical Government chose this week to launch a series of robo-calls and a YouTube video aimed at House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge).

And who is/are Georgians for Ethical Government? No one’s saying – which is not entirely ethical, because money is clearly being spent.

“I would hope that whoever this is, that if their real interest is in promoting ethical government and if they have an interest in our state’s fiscal policy,” Ralston said Monday evening, “that they would come out from under their rock and engage in a constructive discussion with us.”

The production values of the attacks on Ralston leave something to be desired. The robo-call asking voters to contact the House speaker gave out the phone number for a dress shop in Rome, a spokeswoman for the House speaker said.

The YouTube video issued by the group does pick up on an AJC piece from last week, detailing cash spent shuttling Ralston and other state lawmakers up and down the coast for annual conventions.

But the video also displays a photo of a handful of happy men playing golf. Which turns out to be Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed and company at an outing in Scotland. “I’ve never been to Scotland,” Ralston said.

The House speaker defends the trips as necessary business. “I’ve been on no vacations,” he said.

In essence, the video attempts to tag Ralston with responsibility for any recommendations that will make – come December. But the House speaker isn’t a member of the council – although Gov. Sonny Perdue is.

Under legislation passed by the General Assembly this spring, the tax reform council will give its recommendations to a joint House-Senate committee winter, which will then pass the measure on to both chambers for up-or-down votes. No changes allowed.

That raises the rather obvious question of whether a new governor will tolerate such a fait accompli.

Said Ralston:

“I haven’t discussed it with either of the two nominees. I would expect – and that’s the curious thing about this robo-call junk. I’m not on this council. I can’t tell them what to do. I’m not going to tell them what to do.

“The only thing I’ve asked them to do is to reach out and engage – to the extent that Governor [Roy] Barnes and Congressman [Nathan] Deal want to, and have their advisors be brought up to date with the work of this group.

“… Hopefully, the governor-elect will engage and have an opportunity between November 3 and when we come into session in January, to have whatever input they wish to have with this group.”


Over at 11Alive/WXIA-TV, former sports reporter-turned-political analyst Jeff Hullinger had a little fun comparing Georgia’s race for governor with the fortunes of the Atlanta Falcons.

In both instances, he noted, fortunes will depend on who plays best on the road, outside Atlanta. Wrote Hullinger:

The only pronounced difference between the Falcons and the two campaigns?

Unlike Matt Ryan, Nathan Deal and Roy Barnes are guaranteed not to be sidelined by either a groin injury or a hip flexor in late October.

Now, this is surely the case with both nominees for governor. But we feel compelled to note that the Georgia political scene is replete with groin injuries. Usually self-inflicted.


Looks like PeachPundit may have some competition. Jeff Breedlove, formerly associated with the John Oxendine campaign for governor, sends word of a new conservative blog backed by 20 or so Republican and independent writers – most from around metro Atlanta.

We Are Politics is the name. Among the writers:

– Chris Brown of Hall County;

– Brian Donegan, chairman of Can Do Conservatives of America;

– Debbie Dooley of Georgia Tea Party Patriots;

– Karen England, executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute in California;

– Melvin Everson, the former candidate for labor commissioner and state lawmaker from Gwinnett County;

– Sadie Fields, the longtime Christian activist;

– Sam fleet, state director of the Pickens Plan;

– Virginia Galloway, state director of Americans for Prosperity;

– Micah Gravely of Paulding County;

– Shawn Hanley, chairman of the Fulton County Republican Party;

– Rhubarb Jones, the longest- running morning radio personality in the Atlanta radio market;

– Bill Knowles of Bibb County;

– Susan Meyers, president of Oak Grove Communications;

– Michael Opitz, chairman of the Madison Forum;

– Mark Rountree, president and CEO of Landmark Communications Inc.;

– Maria Sheffield, the former candidate for insurance commissioner;

– Keith Stone of Berrien County;

– John Taylor, president of Homeland Security Strategy;

– Pat Tippett, co-chair of Georgia Conservatives in Action;

– Taylor Wells of Fayette County;

– Gabe Winslow of Oregon;

– and Martha Zoller of Gainesville, host of the WXKT radio program.


And just for laughs, there’s this news from Mercer University, via the Associated Press:

The private Macon college hopes to be confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records as having the world’s largest game of tag. The previous record holder was an event in Canada with 465 people, but Mercer officials say the campus had 481 at its game last weekend.

The university is sending documentation including videos, media coverage and notarized witness statements to Guinness in hopes of snagging the title. The massive game was part of freshman orientation at the 8,000-student college.

Tag, you’re it.

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19 comments Add your comment


August 24th, 2010
11:06 am

Hey!! New BLOG PEOPLE!!1!!

Contact me so I can write INSIGHTFUL ARTICLES about the evils of the SATAN LOVING DEMOCRATS!!1!!



And also, I have a new copy of Strunk and Wright.

Fire Burrell Ellis

August 24th, 2010
11:27 am

Since when is it OK for a county government to force their taxpayers to speculate on commercial real estate? Welcome to the age of Obama. And Roy Barnes the lawyer has been of counsel trying to help this forsaken county government pull off over reaching stunts like this for a long time.

Fulton Resident

August 24th, 2010
11:34 am

Gabe Winslow…….of Oregon.

I guess he didn’t want the title “formerly associated with the John Oxendine campaign for governor”.

Innocent Bystander

August 24th, 2010
12:35 pm

“And who is/are Georgians for Ethical Government? No one’s saying – which is not entirely ethical, because money is clearly being spent.”

This alone would make me discount anything this group has to say.


August 24th, 2010
12:47 pm

A vote for Deal is a vote for corruption.

Angry Voter

August 24th, 2010
1:04 pm

Voting for either Deal or Barnes is a vote for corruption. If these two are the best that Republicans and Democrats have to offer, they don’t deserve anyone’s vote. Vote John Monds.

The Snark

August 24th, 2010
1:06 pm

The slash and burn, scorched earth tactics that Republican Party has perfected are now being used by Republicans against other Republicans. The noise machine is out of control and answers to no one. I can’t say I enjoy watching this. David Ralston is a decent, honorable public servant. It’s bad for the state and for the country.


August 24th, 2010
1:48 pm

Angry voter, give an example of ann abuse of power that Barnes has committed.

I should hope that everyone is aware of Mr. Deal’s shananagans involving his car salvage business by now.

Teddy K

August 24th, 2010
2:41 pm

Roy Barnes is corrupt – don’t vote for Barnes.


August 24th, 2010
2:57 pm

I’ll be voting for Monds I guess, and I don’t know that much about him. But it would certainly be better than Roy and especially that corrupt POS Nathan Deal. Cannot believe the voters in this state. Makes me a little sick.


August 24th, 2010
3:00 pm

lmno: I’ll give you an example or TWO!!1!


If King Roy – notice how his supporters have crowned him KING even though we FOUGHT A WAR TO REMOVE KINGS from their dominion over US – wants to rule he needs to acknowledge GOD AS HIS MASTER and submit himself to THE WORD OF THE LORD!!1!!!1!!!11!



And also, He11 is not a nice place – YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO THERE.


August 24th, 2010
3:11 pm

Fred, friends do not let friends blog while impaired. Step away from the keyboard nice and slow and go with the men in the white coats to the hospital.


August 24th, 2010
3:29 pm

As usual there is no one who deserves s**t. When you have to separate who is less corrupt..give me a break..Fred I thought I was blogger impaired!!!! thanks for the help.

Keep doing this GOP

August 24th, 2010
3:44 pm

Things are going so well for me, yes me, Casey Cagle. My buddy, Nathan( i steal real deal from Holyfield) Deal is going to romp ole Roy in November. Ya’ll just ignore the fact that the Feds are talking with some state people he’s been dealing with. He, he. Then, about this time next year, guess what? Nathan gets indicted by the Feds. boo hoo. He has to step down.

Which leaves me, yes me, Casey Cagle, govenor. And i dont have to lift a finger or raise a thin dime. And ya’ll think Sonny has screwed this state over while increasing his personel wealth….. You havent seen nothing yet.


Paddy O

August 24th, 2010
7:10 pm

snark – why don’t you tell us about how effective nbc, abc, cbs were at presenting a complete picture of Obama? indepth interviews of his grandparents? How about the Ayers? Send a guy in to cover Rev Wright? Scorched earth or the annointed one who never received and constructive coverage of who he was/is.

Paddy O

August 24th, 2010
7:11 pm

Fred – you are one gigantic bozo. Keep throwing the irrational temper tantrum, mr. kindergarden escapee.

[...] Galloway described We Are Politics as “competition” for Peach Pundit. We disagree. There is plenty of room in Georgia’s blogosphere for all of [...]


August 24th, 2010
9:37 pm

Fred is farcical folks. He is having fun aping the wingnuts. Keep up the good work.

Savannah Belle

August 24th, 2010
11:53 pm

WE ARE POLITICS: You need to add two more bloggers. Suzanne Wood of Macon and Cindye Coates of Marietta. They are very insightful and rising stars in the GOP.