Your morning jolt: Why Tommy Irvin was the tallest man at a Republican fundraiser

Gary Black, the Republican nominee for agriculture commissioner, held a fundraiser at the Depot near the state Capitol on Thursday evening.

State Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin/AJC

State Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin/AJC

We were only there a few minutes, so we have no crowd count. But certainly the tallest man in the room was state Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin – a Democrat who will be absent from the November ballot for the first time since most Georgians have been alive.

Why was he there?

“It’s a big job, a big department with a lot of people. He’s going to need some help,” said Irvin. And he was speaking of Black. Say what? asked a mentally sputtering reporter.

“I think he’s going to win,” said Irvin.

And somewhere in the distance, Democrat J.B. Powell of Blythe, Ga., the Democratic nominee for ag commissioner, is shaking his head and wondering why he ever agreed to leave the state Senate.


The Cato Institute, a Washington-based Libertarian group, has made its peace with Gov. Sonny Perdue.

In 2004, in a two-year review of the freshman governor, the institute gave Perdue a “D” in its twice-a-year grading of the nation’s governor – primarily for his decision to call for a tax increase within days of taking office.

In 2006, Perdue was moved up to a “C.” And in 2008, into his second term, the man from Houston County earned a “B.”

On Thursday, the Cato Institute awarded Perdue the same grade in its final look at his administration.

“This time, on the tax front, he got dinged because he raised the hospital tax in 2010 and in 2009 he vetoed a capital gains cuts,” said Chris Edwards director of tax policy for Cato and the author of the annual report. “He’s not a Cato champion, but he certainly isn’t the worst, either.”

Libertarian blogger Jason Pye takes exception to the grade. Also worth noting: In 2002, Cato gave Gov. Roy Barnes a “B” – and the third-highest score in the nation.


My AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon has the details on a new job plan unveiled on Thursday by Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes.

Accompanying that debut was a new Barnes TV spot – the first one in a while, as pointed out by 11Alive’s Jeff Hullinger – that doesn’t mention Republican rival Nathan Deal:

The script:

Roy Barnes: I’ve got a jobs plan. If there’s a nail driven, a wire connected or concrete poured by local or state government, it’ll be by legal Georgia workers.

Let me tell you something else we need to do. Any company that moves jobs overseas shouldn’t be eligible for Georgia tax credits and should be able to bid on work for state and local governments.

Male voiceover: Roy Barnes. No on-the-job training necessary.


Earlier this week, the state Public Service Commission announced that a Monday, Oct. 4 hearing on the Georgia Power rate case in downtown Atlanta was shifted from 6 p.m. – a time perhaps convenient to many employed bill-payers – to 9 a.m.

Scheduling conflicts, you see.

And, by the way, the Georgia GOP will have its Victory Dinner next Monday, Oct. 4. The reception starts at 6 p.m. Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, is the main speaker.


AJC PolitiFact Georgia was challenged by Chuck Donavan, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, to examine some of his charges against Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson. Click here to read.

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14 comments Add your comment

Doug Alexander

October 1st, 2010
9:06 am

If Tommy’s for Black, then so am I.


October 1st, 2010
9:22 am

Mr. Galloway, you may also be interested in this story:

In it, Mr. Mike Carter, listed as of last night on as a State Committee member from the 9th District (where frequent Peach Pundit commenter Doug Grammar is chair), serves notice that he has resigned his post on the State Committee because while he is committed to all other Republican candidates, he CANNOT support one Nathan Deal due to what has already been disclosed and that “there is a heck of a lot more that will be coming out that further displays that Nathan Deal is not acceptable and incapable of being the Governor of this great state”. He resigned his post so that he could say this freely without reprisal from the State Party.

Bobby Kahn

October 1st, 2010
9:27 am

A Republican Ag Commissioner won’t matter – the King and I will take over that governmental function when we are back in power anyway. Commissioners come and go, but there’s only one King Roy.

After looking around, I’m not sure the corner office at the Capital will be opulent enough for me. Perhaps we need to tear down a wall between two smaller offices. I’ll give this some thought as I am picking out the new carpet.

I’m so close to being back in power I can just smell it.

John Galt

October 1st, 2010
9:43 am

Mr. Irvin is a good man, and so is Gary. Both are friends and I am pleased that Tommy has chosen to support him. I think that is also a reflection of the positive campaign Black ran against Tommy 4 years ago.

Oh Intown Writer...

October 1st, 2010
9:47 am

What is it going to take to get Georgia Power under control?
Everyone keeps carping about “King Roy” – screw that – what about the Emperor of Ga Power?

professional skeptic

October 1st, 2010
9:51 am

October 1st, 2010
9:22 am

Thank you, Jeff, for that post.

Perimeter Progressive

October 1st, 2010
9:55 am

The state gop committee member abandoning Nathan Deal –

And why is Nathan Deal running scared? Everything over the past two days suggests somethings up.

The Thin Guy

October 1st, 2010
10:01 am

There are two things that could get me to vote for King Roy. First, a gun at the back of my head. Two, solving problems that affect me personally. Nothing made me madder in reign of Governor Sonny than the great gasoline shortage. Every time the wind blows in the Gulf of Mexico we lose our supply of gasoline and can’t go to work, the supermarket, the doctor, etc. Georgia needs an oil refinery on the East Coast so that we don’t have to wait for gasoline from Mississippi. It would also provide jobs for Georgians. Another problem is water. Eventually we will lose Lake Lanier as our supply. We need a new source of water exclusively for Georgians which would also create jobs. King Roy needs to realize that trashing Nice Nathan isn’t going to do the trick and he’ll never win on his personal charm.


October 1st, 2010
2:14 pm

I can’t bring myself to vote for the lobbyist Black after what I saw in the Georgia Organics debate. In no way is Black a friend of small farmers in Georgia and I fear that he will put us all out of business in the interest of helping the big companies he has lobbied for.

Alabama Communist

October 1st, 2010
6:43 pm

More Breaking News On Why Tommy Irvin was the tallest man at a Republican fundraiser……..It was reveal that the Republican fundraiser was for midget farmers from South Georgia who were stunted by a strange Hog virus during the depression era while Irvin was commissor…..Irvin who once stood 9 feet 11 inches tall and played briefly with the Harlen Globetrotters during the depression show some of his old basketball playing form by jugging 5 midget republican farmers and slam dunking them at the end of the fundraiser……..

Chris Irvin

October 3rd, 2010
12:22 am

No doubt that I have met with both Powell and Black along with my grandfather. He is indeed in support of both candidates because that hey face a huge problem. The problem is money. Like all other state departments. He doesn’t want either Black or Powell to stink up the Agriculture Dept. In defense of Powell and Black, there are a lot of holes in the walls of the Commissioners office. Decades of recognitions for service we all should try to achieve. I believe that Mr. Galloway was a little one sided in this article. I also know that “Tommy Irvin supports the democrat ticket”. To think that my granfather would be “ungrateful”, to his party after 56 years of public service, would be truly a moment of unclarity in any Georgians mind. I know “PaPa” better than all in this affair and I assure all that he will support the Dept. of Ag., the incoming commissioner, but always the Democratic Party. I know personally, that it is safe to say, “he was born a democrat and will leave this world a democrat”. I would not jump to conclude he supports one man over the next based upon Galloway’s article. I know that it is safe to say ,from meeting with both candidates , I remember the words spoken, and video recorded with one candidate, “I’m Tommy Irvin, and I support the democrat ticket”. I have yet to to see any of this footage we shot for tv. I wonder why J.B. Powell has yet to run these adds. I support many candidates, “this does not mean they have my VOTE”. Chris Irvin….candidate for the House of Representatives

The Centrist

October 4th, 2010
5:48 pm

Let’s start with 55.9% of Georgia students finish high school with a regular diploma.

The Centrist

October 4th, 2010
5:52 pm

So the Cato gave Gov. Roy Barnes a “B” – …the third-highest score in the nation in 2002, and Sonny has gotten the same grade? Cato must have started grading on a curve the past few years.

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