Your daily jolt: GPB’s Teya Ryan can stay ‘as long as she wants,’ says Nathan Deal

Teya Ryan can breathe a little easier this morning.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, having been forced out of his leadership position, would resign his Senate seat and take a new, full-time job with Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Rogers’ assignment, as outlined by the man who created it, is to make GPB part of the state’s economic development, job-recruitment operation. Rogers will report directly to Ryan, who is GPB’s president and executive director.

After a tree-lighting ceremony in the state Capitol on Thursday, Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) caught up with Gov. Nathan Deal, who helped engineer Rogers’ exit:

O’Hayer: Are you envisioning him to eventually run that organization?

Deal: No, the only vision we have at this point is to use what we had been trying to do for a long time, is use Georgia Public Broadcasting as an economic development tool to a greater extent than we’re currently doing. That’s the role that he’s going to be filling. Certainly we have a great director there. I hope she stays as long as she wants to stay.

O’Hayer: Why create a new job for him?

Deal: I didn’t really create a new job. We had already put funding in for the purposes of economic development, and having a position that would promote that. I think he has a unique qualification in that he does understand state government. He understands the importance of economic development to our state, and has a relationship here in the state Capitol. All of that really ties together.

O’Hayer: Some folks might wonder about the editorial independence of that organization, when you have somebody who is not only very political, but has experience in state government and aligned with you.

Deal: I don’t consider job creation for the citizens of our state to have a political connotation to it. It’s simply doing what’s best for our state.

By the way: WABE is a public radio station, but is not part of Georgia Public Broadcasting.

The Chip Rogers saga is all about second chances. Brandon Beach, the North Fulton chamber executive who lost to Rogers in a hard-fought July primary, on Thursday announced that he would be seeking to replace the exiting Senate majority leader in a special Jan. 8 election called by Gov. Nathan Deal – before the Legislature convenes a week later.

Beach immediately cut loose his list of supporters. From the press release:

Beach has received endorsements from Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Sheriff Roger Garrison, Cherokee County Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens, Commissioners Jason Nelms and Jim Hubbard, Incoming School Board Chair Janet Read, School Board Chairman Mike Chapman, School Board Member-Elect Patsy Jordan, Senator Jeff Mullis, Representative Chuck Martin, Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle, Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood, Woodstock City Councilwoman Tessa Basford and many more elected officials from around the district and the state. Beach stated that the support he has received from hundreds of citizens from all over Cherokee County is especially heartwarming.

State Rep. Sean Jerguson, a Republican gun store owner from Woodstock, has also declared he’ll shoot for the seat. That means he’ll have to resign his House seat. Which gives a second chance to Scott Turner, who ran and lost against Jerguson in the July GOP primary. Turner announced Thursday that he’ll run again for Jerguson’s House seat.

John Bachman with Channel 2 Action News says the Jan. 8 special election to replace state Sen. Chip Rogers — who resigned less than a month after his re-election — will cost Fulton and Cherokee counties a combined $500,000:

You’ve got to read this morning’s piece by my AJC colleagues Rhonda Cook and Johnny Edwards. Here’s the top line:

Fulton County remains unable to free itself from federal oversight of its jail after county commissioners rejected a proposal to replace more than 1,300 faulty locks on cell doors. A supporter of the measure, late for the meeting, missed the vote.

And here’s the dysfunction:

[Tom] Lowe, who is frequently late and leaves meetings early, said he was tied up with an important business matter Wednesday morning and declined to elaborate. Through much of the remaining meeting, he appeared to be napping…

Lowe, who said he would have voted for replacing the locks, acknowledged Wednesday evening that he has an obligation to be present for votes. “I understand that; it’s my job,” he said.

But he said he doesn’t like listening to some commissioners’ protracted grandstanding on many issues, and he makes no apologies for dozing off. Especially, he said, while Vice Chairwoman Emma Darnell is talking.

Some disappointed Republicans have been lining up behind J.C. Watt as an alternative to GOP national chairman Reince Preibus, who faces a re-election bid early next year. In this well-worth-watching CNN clip with Erin Burnett from last night, Watts takes on Republican detachment from the minorities it seeks to bring into the party’s ranks:

From the transcript:

Watts: I don’t necessarily believe that the answer is to take a black face and put him in the chairmanship at the RNC or a female or Hispanic or Asian or Native American. I think it’s much bigger than that.

I think we have to surround ourselves at the RNC and within the party, we have to understand diversity, and diversity is not a bad word. I take a biblical worldview on diversity. God made you white, he made me black, he made you a female, He made me a male. I think God likes diversity.

So, if it’s good for God, it ought to be good for Republicans, but the fact is, it’s hard to have perspective and it’s hard to have diversity with women or black or red or yellow or brown or white if you have no relationships.

And if I don’t know the chairman of the Republican National Committee, I have no confidence that he has an relationship with “chuck roast” black guy, with “billfold working” white guy, with — with “Joe Six-Pack” Hispanic, if I don’t know him.

And I don’t say that to be self-serving, I just say that to point out how perplexing this is when we think that we can get people to vote for us if we don’t know them.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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16 comments Add your comment

Terminsilly Hip

December 6th, 2012
9:32 am

“State Rep. Sean Jerguson, a Republican gun store owner from Woodstock, has also declared he’ll shoot for the seat. ”

Gun store owner? Shoot for the seat? Come on, man.


December 6th, 2012
9:36 am

Terminsilly Hip:

Allow me some low-brow fun. It’s almost the weekend.


December 6th, 2012
10:27 am

” He understands the importance of economic development to our state, and has a relationship here in the state Capitol. All of that really ties together.”

Says our bankrupt Governor trying hard to justify this boneheaded move that puts Chip Graves into a phony government job that supposedly promotes economic development.

What experience does Chip Rogers have in economic development? Is it Chip’s “I could never pay it back” $2.1 million no collateral loan that was used to build his failed roach motel, that caused a bank to fail?

Brilliant move Governor.


December 6th, 2012
10:31 am

We should go into politics. A governor and a Senate Majority Leader both with questionable ethics and they seem to be the only ones in Georgia who can find a job. Mr Watts was an excellent football player. However hasn’t he learned anything from the way the repubs treated him? Making him the chairman will not convince most people who look like him to vote repub. Try another gimmick since this one will not work.


December 6th, 2012
10:40 am

Would have commented on the actual Fulton County story, but it takes your first born jump through all the registration hoops.

Alot of hoo-ha over Tom Lowe. He’s always late and frequently naps. Breaking news? I think not. Besides, he has sat near Emma Darnell all these years. Give him some special dispensation.

What I thought was interesting was that there was no mention in the AJC story (or here, for that matter) of the three commissioners who voted no. There was some vague reference, but the names of the “no” voters was never actually mentioned.

Oh well…a lot more fund to do a hit piece on the guys who is late rather than the three who actually voted again. Typical Johnny Edwards piece.


December 6th, 2012
10:41 am

Oops. Sorry for the typos above. You get the idea.

Jerry Lee

December 6th, 2012
10:44 am

I wouldn’t want to spend much time awake listening to Emma Darnell either.


December 6th, 2012
10:49 am

Now there will also be folks shooting for the gun store owner’s House seat, district 22 in Cherokee County.


December 6th, 2012
11:05 am

Teva can keep the job as long as she agrees with the Governor’s choices for made-up, plum jobs.

How much will the special election cost? We should take it out of Roger’s hide.


December 6th, 2012
11:06 am

And, will the AJC be the one who finds out the real reason for Rogers’ leaving?

Auntie Christ

December 6th, 2012
11:16 am

Al Jolson in black face was amusing, but not as amusing as the republicans in black face, i.e. trying to put a black face on their party with Herman Cain, Michael Steele, J C Watts, or even Bobby Jindal and Nicki Haley when the essence of the party is haley barbour, joe arpiao, and the ghost of strom thurmond. The party is literally and figuratively the Neanderthals, facing certain extinction and unwilling/unable to adapt to the circumstances bringing about their extirpation.

Prominent Black entertainers and athletes who are republican include LL Cool J, Dwayne ‘the rock’ Johnson, 50 cents, Karl Malone, and Michael Jordan. Yet romney/ryan chose Clint Eastwood to deliver a rambling soliloquy at their convention, presumably because had any of the aforementioned prominent Black folk showed up with their entourage, guns would have begun blazing as the old white people would have thought they were under attack by the new Black Panther party. Instead of utilizing these celebrities to draw young urban youth to the party, they ignore or outright insult these potential republicans of tomorrow, by catering to the geriatric and southern white demographic. How many votes of the young urbanites might Obama have lost in Philadelphia, or Cleveland or Miami had Romney appeared at a rally with 50 Cents or Cool J. Instead the party chose to alienate this group even further by their attempts at voter suppression, because they have to please and appease and rely on a ‘base’ of old White people.


December 6th, 2012
11:16 am

Is anyone keeping a running tally on the costs for:
the special election
the imaginary (and probably temporary) job at GPB
the costs to the State for the unpaid loan

This is what currently passes for ‘leadership’ in Georgia?


December 6th, 2012
12:16 pm

What honested said. Why did we bother to hold an election last month? Ole Nate can find the money to hold a bunch of special elections, and meanwhile the staff at the DMV is down to 2.


December 6th, 2012
6:08 pm

About time that public radio thing started skewing to the right! I kid.

Puerile Pedant

December 7th, 2012
10:05 am

Great — WABE is run by the spectacularly dysfunctional Atlanta School Board and Nathan Deal and the Georgia GOP are calling the shots at GPB. I can’t wait to see the new programming line-up at GPB — “when dinosaurs roamed the earth, 6,000 years ago” and medical documentaries about how women cannot get pregnant unless they have consensual sex. Just when you thought Georgia could not sink any lower on the national stage…..

So much for public broadcasting in Georgia. At least we can get WUTC fromm Chattanooga on-line.

[...] general election had he stepped down earlier. Channel 2 Action News reports the special election will cost Cherokee and Fulton counties [...]