Vince Dooley, Herschel Walker on opposite sides of billboard fight

The House fight over a measure to loosen restrictions on billboard companies pit former University of Georgia football coach Vince Dooley against his former protégé, Herschel Walker.

Walker won, 98 to 68, as the House passed HB 179.

Dooley recorded a robo-call urging defeat of the bill aimed at residents of lawmakers in key districts. Less publicly, No. 34 made live calls to lawmakers on behalf of the billboard industry.

State Rep. Jay Roberts, R-Ocilla, said from the House well that he was one of those called by the former UGA running back — and that he had saved Walker’s cell phone number.

Here’s a transcript of the recorded message from Dooley:

”This is Coach Vince Dooley. I’m calling to alert you to House Bill 179 which allows billboard companies to clear cut trees on public property for the viewing of billboards on private property. This controversial bill would replace an existing compromise that was agreed to by the billboard companies and the environmental community.

“I am in favor of keeping the existing law because it protects more of our trees and will keep our state roads and highways more scenic and beautiful and at the same time provide proper maintenance for the billboard companies. Please join me on opposing this effort to allow the clear cutting of our trees by calling your state representative and asking him or her. To vote no on House Bill 179. This is Coach Vince Dooley. Thank you for your time and for your help.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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152 comments Add your comment

Aquagirl

February 24th, 2011
10:54 am

Hmmm—let’s see—billboard owners and advertisers vs. people who don’t want Georgia looking even trashier than it does now.

Gosh, I wonder who’s gonna win this one? The suspense is killing me.

WE have lost our way

February 24th, 2011
10:59 am

Knowing the current legislators,I can hear the sound of chain saws starting to run all over this state.

Where is the Outcry

February 24th, 2011
11:03 am

Two beloved UGA football heros. Yet, neither of them are registered as lobbyists. Where is the outcry from the AJC or Common Cause regarding this blatant violation of law?! I won’t hold my breath.

George P. Burdell

February 24th, 2011
11:05 am

Meanwhile, as the General Assembly caters to special interests, education, water, and transportation all go unaddressed.

We can do better than this.

Joe

February 24th, 2011
11:08 am

I called my state representative and left a message asking him to vote no on this bill. Email is better than nothing, but telephone calls are better than email. If you don’t know who your state rep is or don’t know how to contact him or her, you can use this link to enter your address and find out: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/officials/congress/

Ben Dover

February 24th, 2011
11:09 am

Why can’t we all just get along?

jerry

February 24th, 2011
11:15 am

Georgia is a Republican state. Republicans are pro business. Timberrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

Bob Burger

February 24th, 2011
11:26 am

I believe that- by law – the Georgia legislature must meet for 40 (business) days every year. Along with this proposed legislation and the proposal of allowing the individual counties to decide on Sunday alcohol sales for themselves being “shot down,” I think it best for the Georgia legislature to me for just one day every 40 years!

aubre boone

February 24th, 2011
11:32 am

If you ever need a place to deposit your trash or anything else you consider environmentally offensive, just bring it to Washington County in middle Georgia. Since the first of last year, Washington County has managed to have a landfill leaking harmful gases into the atmosphere, underwent a project to pump sewage from Tennille to the Oconee River, and are awaiting a coal burning power plant named Plant Washington, all with little, and futile resistance. Apparently Washinton County has undertaken the dirty job of becoming Georgia’s Trash Dump! Any radioactive waste you need to get rid of??

Jim

February 24th, 2011
11:33 am

Cheers to Coach Dooley and the trees. Trees breath oxygen which people we to live. We already have enough billboards.

GIVE ME A BREAK

February 24th, 2011
11:34 am

Take the billboards down. Drivers don’t need the distraction.

Just Wait

February 24th, 2011
11:34 am

Who really cares what Vince Dooley and Herschel Walker think? Their opinions will have nothing to do with my position or the way the vote goes on this bill. Two very inflated egos at work.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ajc sports editor, gatorhatindawg and Rob Pritts, Georgia Bulldogs-UGA. Georgia Bulldogs-UGA said: http://bit.ly/WireUG Vince Dooley, Herschel Walker on opposite sides of billboard #NCAA #Sports http://bit.ly/f6B1hs [...]

What is next.....

February 24th, 2011
11:48 am

Vince Dooley has offered to settle this matter in an MMA match with Herschel. Dooley didn’t teach his protege everything he knows.

JP

February 24th, 2011
11:54 am

yeah, but one of Herschel’s other personalities is against cutting the trees….

Tom

February 24th, 2011
11:54 am

No fair. Herschel has Vince outnumbered.

MC W

February 24th, 2011
11:55 am

I wasn’t aware that our state’s billboards were too obscured by God’s creation. I think a drive on 285 near Tucker will convince anybody that the billboard lobby in Georgia is already powerful enough.

Larry

February 24th, 2011
12:10 pm

Jim,

Not a single quote or reference comments by Walker to associate with your title? Weak and lazy!

Come on man!

SugarHillDawg

February 24th, 2011
12:15 pm

And the billboard lobby won’t even have to pay the state the going rate for the trees. Talk about adding insult to injury!!

5150 UOAD

February 24th, 2011
12:21 pm

Tom
Funny. Good Call.

5150 UOAD

February 24th, 2011
12:23 pm

Has anybody purchased anything because they saw it on a Billboard? I know it is more NAME recognition, but still. I would rather drive home without being YELLED At from Signs all over the Highway. Just think if Atlanta didn’t have billboards we would have never had TED TURNER. I could do with LESS of both.

papadawg

February 24th, 2011
12:25 pm

And this relates to Sports HOW

yokel

February 24th, 2011
12:31 pm

the fact that Ralston’s kid is a lobbyist for the outdoor advertisers should be on a headline

Not from California

February 24th, 2011
12:31 pm

They are going to poison them anyway; they’ve been killing them illegally for years. We have the trashiest, ugliest highways of any state except South Carolina. They claim they’re just keeping us “informed.” Right.

Lum

February 24th, 2011
12:33 pm

Both of them should stick to football.

sandman053

February 24th, 2011
12:46 pm

trees are a renewable resource….let’s cut the timber for profit to the state since it is public-owned land, replant, and everyone is happy and the money goes towards the budget shortfalls we have every year…

ugagrad_2001

February 24th, 2011
12:46 pm

GDOT spends money every year to keep the R/W (right of way) clear of trees, but there is not enough tax money in the state to keep all of the R/W’s clear. Trees in the R/W create a traffic hazard when there are traffic accidents that result in vehicles leaving the roadway. Encroachment of trees in the R/W also exacerbate the problem of deer in the roadway. If the R/W is clear deer can be seen as they approach the traffic lanes giving cars a chance to spot and avoid them. GDOT already requires utility companies to clear all trees within the R/W before issuing them a permit to install utilities (power/phone lines, gas lines, water/sewer, etc.)in the GDOT R/W’s. Why not issue permits for clearing in front of billboards. As a condition of the permit you could require the permittee to clear all trees 0.5 mile in each direction from the billboard location. This would save the state and taxpayers a pile of money in R/W clearing costs, not to mention it would cut down on traffic accidents which would eventually lead to lower car insurance rates for everyone in Georgia.

bart

February 24th, 2011
12:48 pm

As much as I respect Herschel, he is no longer a Georgia resident and shouldn’t have a voice in this. Of course, with the Repubs in charge, this will surely become law. It doesn’t matter that it will make our highways trashier and that billboards are a distraction while driving. We will cater to the special interests while the economy, jobs, transportation, and water go lacking.

Wordsmith

February 24th, 2011
12:56 pm

Georgia may be a Republican state and pro-business, but we Republicans are not in lockstep on billboards vs. trees. I am very opposed to the billboard bill and lobby, and so are my conservative friendsn and yes we do vote.

I Like Trees and Dollars

February 24th, 2011
1:07 pm

Am I the only one who thinks ugagrad_2001 might work for a billboard company? I hate to tell you this sport, but the deer are eating the grass, not the pine trees. Come on.

I’m a marketing and advertising executive. I buy a lot of advertising. I’m a republican. But I hate billboards. I refuse to advertise on them because they are an eyesore and I don’t think they are effective. I don’t care for billboard companies. And I really don’t want this legislation to pass. Trees versus tacky billboards? I’ll take the trees, thanks.

flintrock70

February 24th, 2011
1:11 pm

Billboard companies pay NOTHING in any kind of taxes. Maybe they should pay their share then they can talk about messing with public land.

joe

February 24th, 2011
1:13 pm

Guess those billboard companies are lining #34’s pockets…just like they did in 1980. Oh, I’m only kidding…sort of.

Atlanta1

February 24th, 2011
1:35 pm

I’m no tree hugger; but at the same time, who isn’t sick of those stinkin bill boards. I vote for the trees – “Go Vince”…

5150 UOAD

February 24th, 2011
1:36 pm

flintrock70
you are kidding right? They pay NO Taxes? You need to rethink that. If they make an income form advertising sales they do pay taxes.

America the Beautiful

February 24th, 2011
1:40 pm

Let’s clear cut the billboards, so that drivers can better see the trees.

Billboards are Visual Pollution.

curt

February 24th, 2011
1:40 pm

Show us the tax money!! Haven’t they made our roads ugly enough already with their selfish eyesores? Just what are they paying in “campaign contributions” to get this load of garbage through.

TOO MANY BILLBOARDS

February 24th, 2011
1:43 pm

cut those b@stardly signs down

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Galloway, Leah Barnett. Leah Barnett said: RT @politicalinsidr Vince Dooley, Herschel Walker on opposite sides of billboard fight http://bit.ly/ehnUsn [...]

Cliff Clavin

February 24th, 2011
1:46 pm

I’m having trouble deciding on this one. What does Knowshon Moreno think?

freidenker

February 24th, 2011
1:48 pm

i see at this writing that it passed. bet it doesn’t allow for cutting god’s trees if there’s a package store under the billboard, thus exposing it to potential customers. where are the people? who the hell is running this weak attempt at government?

UGASlobberknocker

February 24th, 2011
1:49 pm

I love Herschel but he is not one who I would take political advice from.

UGASlobberknocker

February 24th, 2011
1:50 pm

Am I the only one who wishes those tacky billboards on the interstates would be banned for good.?

Larry

February 24th, 2011
1:51 pm

Is traveling 75-80 mph on I-75, I-85, I-20 or I-285 with 4-6 heavy traffic lanes staring at billboards high and off the road any less of a distraction or any less dangerous than one talking or texting on their phone?

Ban them all–it will look better and safer too!

And I’m a conservative voter, for whatever that matters here…

Joe Mayo

February 24th, 2011
1:53 pm

Why do we need more billboards? I see too many billboards that do not even have ads on them now. Then there are billboards that are a little racy for young eyes. I side with keeping the trees.

Brad

February 24th, 2011
1:54 pm

What about a replinishment plan. If you cut a tree down in front of the billboard, then as a company you are required to plant a new tree in a different area. Seems simple enough. Win-Win

State of Panic

February 24th, 2011
1:54 pm

I get so sick of constantly being sold something. Everywhere we turn we’re bombarded with ads. It’s madness. Are we not more than consumers? You know, someday the state will have yet another budget shortfall even worse than the current one. That’s just the way the economy around the world is working. It will never improve and that’s a good thing because the more of this cheap, non-renewable crap we buy that winds up in some landfill 6 months later the closer we get to our own doom.

This is not a republican or democrat issue because at the end of the day they all want the same thing – to get paid. While voters argue back and forth like children about the virtues of one party over another, these career politicians from both parties are having beers together and sharing stories of corruption gone unchecked and planning their next move. Of course when they get in front of us they act like mortal enemies. It would be amusing if it wasn’t so sickening to see how so many of us fall for the charade.

Keep the bloody trees already. How about cutting

TXDawg

February 24th, 2011
1:55 pm

I’m not a tree-hugger, but having moved to Texas I realized how “pretty” Georgia highways are in comparison. Beautiful lush vegetation and very little sign-pollution. While I’m really enjoying Texas, there are billboards – aka sign pollution – everywhere. Who knew I’d actually miss driving up and down 400! Even my colleagues who visit GA tell me the same thing. Keep GA highways visually clean, please.

GaBlue

February 24th, 2011
1:56 pm

When will the people of this state realize that our opinions mean nothing? WEALTHY BUSINESSMEN who form groups and lobby for their particular needs (via both cash and gifts to our alleged representatives) have their requests answered. (Please do not confuse that to mean working people have a right to form groups and have requests answered.) Since churches are tax-free businesses with wide influence over voters, they get VIP treatment too.

The rest of us and our silly little opinions could not possibly be less significant. If this vote does not convince you, nothing will. Ask NOT whom your representative represents. It ain’t you.

State of Panic

February 24th, 2011
1:56 pm

How about cutting the “political” nonsense instead.

Just Say'in

February 24th, 2011
1:57 pm

I moved away from Georgia many years ago. But recently, I returned to my hometown in South Georgia via I-75. It was hard to believe this is still considered the Bible Belt. I have never seen so many “Skin” advertisments on billboards. It seems as if the major industry in South Georgia must be Peaches, Pecans, Massage Parlors and Totally Nude Show Girl Cafes. Maybe, they should grow the trees tall enough to cover the billboards advertising the Nude trade. Not a prude, just an observation.