Tuesday's Peach State gubernatorial primaries a turnout test for teachers, tea partiers and the courage to say no
The former governor dubbed "King Roy", vying for the Democratic Party nomination to return to his old job, surrendered the throne to the education lobby in his first major television ad of the campaign.
Newt Gingrich endorsed Republican Nathan Deal who follows term-limited Governor Sonny Perdue in prioritizing "teacher jobs and small class sizes even in these difficult times".
When the candidates aren't sucking up to the education lobby, they stumble over each other promising to "bring jobs" to Georgia and modernize the transportation system of the largest state east of the Mississippi.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a deep recession on? Have they heard about it?
Roy Barnes went off the deep end of denial in his latest ad that blames job losses on pro-life legislation that failed to pass the Georgia legislature rather than the economic policies of his ObamaDem party in Washington.
Roy forgets that Georgia's economy boomed during his first term despite howls of laughter at him and the flaggers. Roy wants voters to give him credit for the Reagan Recovery, rather than to Reagan, Clinton and Newt.
It was easy to be governor in a time of plenty made possible by lower tax rates and the rule of law in D.C. It is much harder to govern a state in these times of want, as even the state GOP majorities discovered when they caved to the "teachers" lobby last term when, rather than make the tough education budget choices.
The scare quotes around "teachers" reflects the fact of the past 30+ years that the problems with education have nothing to do with money. Education spending in America and Georgia has increased exponentially for decades as results have fallen. Teacher pay is competitive with private sector jobs.
Ethics complaints concerning private business lobbyists and state legislators dominated the latest term of the General Assembly, but none dare speak a discouraging word against the more accurately-named Non-Teacher Education lobby for "administrative" jobs that a recession-wracked state should have cut rather than raise hospital bed fees.
Barnes and Deal go further and speak encouraging words to those that would have us believe throwing even more money at schools will improve them. Republican Eric Johnson wants a huge regional transportation tax to build a high-speed rail Xanadu...despite economic conditions. Attorney General Thurbert Baker has been all but invisible, but when the Democrat has been spotted, nary a discouraging word is heard that would suggest our pockets aren't always open to keep that assistant deputy substitute paper-pusher employed at the school district office. Republican John Oxendine talks jobs as if he is running to replace President Barack Obama rather than Sonny Perdue.
And then there is former Secretary of State Karen Handel.
Don't get me wrong, Handel hasn't gone on the attack against those that turn out in proportionally higher numbers in mid-term elections, but at least she hasn't sucked up to them.
Moreover, her message has consistently been about permanently reducing the size of state government and improving education, rather than mere promises to spend more on same.
DeVine Law Factory, along with many tea partiers, will vote for Handel in the July 20 Georgia GOP primary in hopes that we can return Georgia to the rule of law rather than Rule by Education.
[Cross-posted at 73Wire Law Factory]
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson