News that former state Sen. Chip Rogers has been given an executive position at Georgia Public Broadcasting with a hefty starting salary of $150,000 has prompted the resignation of a longtime executive producer at the network.
Click here to read the resignation letter from Ashlie Wilson Pendley to GPB President and CEO Teya Ryan, sent to us this morning by Bryan Long of Better Georgia. Here’s the meat:
I know that you have faced a variety of challenges and difficult decisions in the last four years since you assumed leadership of GPB. I’ve witnessed four rounds of layoffs. I’ve watched the outsourcing of the sales staff, the IT helpdesk and most recently, Master Control operations. I have loyally accepted stagnant wages for the last five years, even while the cost of my benefits has increased- even in the times when furloughed- because I believed GPB was an organization that was worth the sacrifice and the hard work.
In December, it became public that GPB was hiring former Senator Chip Rogers to spearhead a new job growth and community development effort. I was shocked and curious about the sudden decision. Having been involved with coverage of 15 legislative sessions with the Lawmakers program, I followed the situation with interest. But interest turned to disgust this weekend after the AJC published Senator Rogers’ salary of $150,000. More than any other Executive Producer, more than many of the Vice Presidents- and all in a time when budget cuts are deep and the rank-and-file have been told there is no money.
I think it is unconscionable to create a position and compensate any individual in this manner during these difficult times. I am quite certain that considerable political pressure was brought to bear to make this a reality. I am disappointed that you felt this was GPB’s best course of action. While I might understand it to some extent, I cannot condone it and I cannot continue to stand idly by.
Up in Washington, during a conversation Tuesday afternoon about the debt ceiling and the ongoing budget battles, my AJC colleague Daniel Malloy asked U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, an Athens Republican, if his role in Congress is to pull the House Republican leadership to the right – given that he is often voting against their wishes and pushing a more conservative course.
Broun said his cause is far bigger, and tied the conversation to President Barack Obama’s inauguration Monday.
“I think my role is to uphold support and defend our Constitution,” he said. “… The Constitution I uphold and defend is the one I carry in my pocket all the time, the U.S. Constitution. I don’t know what Constitution that other members of Congress uphold, but it’s not this one. I think the only Constitution that Barack Obama upholds is the Soviet constitution, not this one. He has no concept of this one, though he claimed to be a constitutional lawyer.”
The most recent constitution for the now-defunct United Soviet Socialist Republic was ratified in 1977. Malloy notes. They don’t sound much like Obama’s inaugural address, but here are a few lines from the preamble :
The Great October Socialist Revolution, made by the workers and peasants of Russia under the leadership of the Communist Party headed by Lenin, overthrew capitalist and landowner rule, broke the fetters of oppression, established the dictatorship of the proletariat, and created the Soviet state, a new type of state, the basic instrument for defending the gains of the revolution and for building socialism and communism. Humanity thereby began the epoch-making turn from capitalist to socialism.
11Alive continues to draw on an automated statewide poll conducted on its behalf by SurveyUSA — this time on new gun legislation. Here’s a link to the video. The stats can be found here. MOE is +/- 4.3 percentage points. To sum up:
– Georgians would favor an a ban on assault weapons and limits on magazine capacity: 56 percent approve, 38 percent oppose, 6 percent undecided;
– They favor background check on all gun purchases, even private ones: 75-20-5
– They oppose state legislation to allow concealed weapons to be carried without permit: 80-17-3;
– They oppose legislation to allow guns to be carried into churches: 64-26-10;
– And they would oppose any legislation to allow guns to be carried on college campuses: 65-29-7.
Speaking of guns. This message from the state Senate Press Office was waiting on Twitter this morning:
We apologize for inappropriate tweets. Our account has been compromised & we’re working hard to solve the problem #hacked
What was the inappropriate message? This endorsement of a state with very few gun laws:
If I’m ever forced to move to New England, Vermont is the only acceptable state.
The final leg of a special election to fill the vacancy left by state Rep. Sean Jerguson of Cherokee County is heating up. Republicans Scott Turner and Brian Laurens are headed for a runoff. This morning, a video surfaced on Facebook in which Laurens is stopped by a Holly Springs police officer for running a stop sign. Laurens can be heard saying – while the cop was writing the ticket – that he had been on the phone with Mayor Tim Downing to have the citation overturned.
Apparently things got testy, and the officer summoned his supervisor. From a second video:
The Gwinnett Post this morning reports that Bob Barr, the former Georgia congressman and Libertarian candidate for president, will represent DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer on child molestation charges that were first filed in 2000:
Kramer, accused of having sexual contact with three teenage boys, was re-booked into the Gwinnett County Detention Center on Saturday after being extradited from Connecticut, where he violated conditions of his bond. Barr was out of the country and was unavailable for comment, but an administrative assistant confirmed that he was now representing Kramer.
The Washington Post has awarded three Pinocchios to an anti-gun violence group that attacked U.S. Rep. John Barrow for displaying his firearms in a 2012 campaign ad.
Also on the fact-checking front, the AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at a claim that “wind powers nearly 13 million homes across the country.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider