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