Thursday, December 24, 2009

30. DuBose Porter family says Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

A Merry Christmas and holiday season and a Happy New Year to you all. Thank you to all our many friends and supporters who have wished us a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Remember to keep the troops who are away from home this season in your thoughts and prayers. And add those to your list who do not have the support of family and friends. Tonight is the candlelight service at our church and it is always one of the most beautiful and moving services of the year for our family. DuBose, Carol and our sons, Stephen, Guyton, Inman, and Asa, wish you all a Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the new year.

(P.S. If you did not receive an emailed Christmas card like the one above to your email address, it is because you have not yet signed up to get our campaign updates. Please click here and sign up for updates. We want to make sure we reach all of our supporters and those whom we hope will soon be supporters in the new year. Thank you and have a Merry Christmas and holiday season. )

Thursday, December 17, 2009

29. New hope with David Ralston expected.

AJC  10:52 am December 17, 2009, by Aaron Gould Sheinin
Update 12:39 p.m: David Ralston wins!

I would like to be the first to say I believe the elected Republican Caucus made the right decision between the two men up for the Speaker position today in their Georgia House caucus. Rep. Ralston has publically stated he would like to see the hawk system abolished and that is a day I have been fighting to see for six years. It may be the beginning of a bipartisian effort to bring Georgia back to the people. We think it was the right one and we offer congratulations to Rep. Ralston. - House Minority Leader DuBose Porter

Letter from David Ralston

by Erick on December 15, 2009
Dear Friends:
  In less than 48 hours, we will meet to choose the Republican candidate for Speaker. We face a challenging decision in a political climate that has changed rapidly in just a few short weeks.
  Reform of our House rules and improvements in our ethics laws have suddenly become very fashionable topics. I am not a “johnny-come-lately” to this discussion. I spoke out loud and clear for change when it wasn’t front page news.
  I do believe we must embrace change at this moment. Ours should be a Caucus of inclusion and openness. Every member should be treated with respect and valued for their input. Strong leaders should not feel threatened by good ideas and must be willing to give credit where it is due.
  Let me remind you, I advocated a year ago for abolishing the “hawk” system. I stood up for changes that would abolish Rules Committee substitutes and curtailing the use of rules that limit the ability to offer amendments and restrict floor debate.
  I know I have the commitment and I hope I have the credibility to enact these and other needed internal reforms.
  There is a growing clamor for ethics reform. We, as Republicans, can and must lead the way on this issue.   Many good and useful ideas have been offered in the past few days. However, this is a serious issue and I, for one, do not think a 6-day caucus campaign is the appropriate way to develop a sensible and solid plan. If you honor me with your nomination on Thursday, we will get to work on putting together a legislative package with input from all of you that we as the Republican caucus can unify around come session.
  We cannot legislate good behavior. However, we can lead by example. I will set specific rules for the Speaker’s office: lobbyists will not be permitted past the reception room without an appointment; the office will not be used as a private dining room; the office will be open to members and their constituents; and, I will meet regularly with the news media.
  As I have said before and will say again and again: we must embrace the newness of the day or be perished to political irrelevance.
  As always, please call me if you have any questions.
David Ralston

28. New Speaker to be named.

The following video speaks of the culture of corruption. Will the elected Republicans nominate someone with a clean slate? Will they stop the hawks (blog 19)? Will they open up your government to you?

Also it mentions harsh budget cuts to come, so remember, if the elected Republican leadership in question had let HB356, a bill DuBose Porter co-sponsored, out of committee during the 2009 session, Georgia could have found an extra $1 billion for our budget without raising taxes. Alabama already did it.
Georgia would have had no state furloughs and would not have needed to raise property taxes, had these elected Republicans not killed HB356, the "point of sale"(see blogs 15, 17, 18.)
DuBose Porter went to the well to fight for you and for HB356 and to keep the Homestead Tax Exemption Grant to help get our middle class through this  financial crisis.  Our people cannot afford another tax. Georgia has more unemployed than the population of Atlanta. Many can barely afford to hold on to their homes now and  in last year's session, Georgia's elected Republicans voted in the largest single property tax increase in Georgia history.
Will this level of doublespeak and corruption continue with the new Speaker?( Who had not been picked when this blog was written. This sentence and the preceding sentence added on 1-5-10 to clarify.))

House GOP Prepares to Nominate Speaker 

Updated: Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009, 5:22 PM EST

Published : Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009, 5:22 PM EST
Edited By: Leigha Baugham |
reported by Paul Yates

DuBose Porter has been fighting for you
and will continue to do so as Georgia's governor.
Vote for DuBose July 20 , 2010.
Put your voice back in your government.

27. Help Georgians get their voice back.

 Many people around the state do not receive Atlanta news. They have asked us to post videos regarding their politics here. Of a random sample on the street 8 in 10 had not heard the Speaker of the Georgia House had to step down, nor that their voice had been taken from politics with the Hawk system. (See blog 19 below to learn more on how the hawk system led to the largest threat to representative government in America.)
TeamDuBose asks you to help us engage the voters of Georgia. Tell your friends what is happening to their government.
A side note beware: as these elected Republicans scramble to deflect from the culture of corruption that has taken away representative government in Georgia they have had success in finding writers to list the past sins of the Democrats as well. However, these articles fail to mention that DuBose Porter ran against the Speaker of his own party to give government's voice back to the people. DuBose fights for you. A vote for DuBose is a vote for you. Vote for DuBose July 20, 2010, and take your government back.

The video below, by Fox 5 Dale Russell: i-team: Richardson Cover-up also speaks of the election for the new speaker which will take place today.

 House Republicans to Select New Speaker
House republicans will meet under the "Gold Dome" Thursday to select new leadership.

Keep coming back to the TeamDuBose blog for more video and news updates. And share with your neighbors what is happening in Georgia. Pass the word if you want your voice back in your government.

A vote for DuBose is a vote for you.
Vote for DuBose for Georgia's governor July 20, 2010
and take your government back.

Monday, December 14, 2009

26. Tonight's DuBose Porter BBQ Details

Kevin Baggett shows off one grill's worth of the boston butts to be later chipped for tonight's event at the Civitan Fairgrounds in Dublin, Georgia

Left to right: Chuck Bass, one of the main hosts takes a break from the BBQing inside the civitan building, along with Steve Gresham, Greg Rowland and Kevin Baggett.

The marquee in front of the fairgrounds will show you where you need to be tonight. For more details scroll down to the blog below, and then come on out and join us.
2593 Hwy 257 South, Dublin, Georgia 31021
Take I-16, Get off Exit 49
(you'll see Love's Gas station)
turn left from Atlanta or right from Savannah
and keep on going it is past Fred's and right before Best Buy

Sunday, December 13, 2009

25. By the people, for the people.

24. Teacher ( and state employee) Furloughs did not have to happen.

A press release from DuBose Porter that went out July 23, 2009 follows:

Dublin -- Teacher furloughs are bad for Georgia’s students, but with the current economic woes you may think there is no choice. Think again. Last session, DuBose Porter (D-Dublin), and candidate for governor in 2010, co-sponsored HB 356, which allows for the collection of sales tax at the point of sale, thus allowing local governments to collect their own, as well as the state's sales taxes, instead of the Department of Revenue. Had this bill been allowed out of committee by the Republican leadership it would have brought in an additional 1 billion dollars in revenue without raising taxes or fees. It was not like this was an experimental or untried idea. Alabama has already passed a similar bill which, when implemented, brought them an additional 1 billion dollars without raising taxes.

HB 356 enables local control, something Republicans ran on and then promptly ran from. The death of the Point of Sales bill is just the latest in a line of bad economic choices that the Republican leadership has allowed due to its adversarial relationship with local governments and its willingness to cut education. Local communities, not the state, would do a much more efficient job of collecting sales taxes. The Department of Revenue, by their own admission leaves millions of uncollected taxes on the table every year.

Acting as a watchdog, local governments could catch tax cheats in their own communities. Local governments would also get revenue much faster under this plan. Disbursement of sales tax revenue would get to local governments the same month it is collected, giving them and the state not only more funds, but faster access to funds they need to continue providing critical services to our citizens.

So why didn’t the Republican leadership pass HB 356 out of committee? Furloughs and across the board cuts are the status quo. They require no new thinking nor innovation. They take no work to implement, nor complex strategies to fund. There is no real accountability to the politician as responsibility for the cuts gets passed on to the agencies. For lack of a better word, they are easy. Georgia does not deserve, nor can she afford the easy way out. We have had over a year to identify the problem. It is time for politicians to quit bemoaning the obvious, get to work and start offering solutions. HB 356 is a solution.

The Elected Republican Leadership in Georgia cut 1.6 billion dollars to education when we had money. It should come as no surprise that furloughing teachers was one of the first places they would go. When they allowed the Point of Sales bill to die in committee this Republican leadership showed once again- education is not their priority. If it is yours, now is the time to stand up for Georgia’s future by calling for a special session to push for the passage of HB356, allowing for the work necessary to prevent furloughs to teachers and other state employees.


The special session did not happen. HB356 did not pass.
State employees were furloughed.

Vote to create the Georgia that will attract jobs and industry.
Vote for DuBose Porter. Ready to work for you.

Friday, December 11, 2009

23. Why closed doors?

68 to 22 elected Republicans voted to shut you out of your own business. It is time the faith community that supports family values step away from the Republican brand and truly look at the content of the character of each person individually.
State Republican legislators, holding a caucus meeting at Georgia Tech Friday morning, voted in secret ballot to remove and exclude the press from the meeting.

22. Mary Margaret Oliver supports ethics reform and DuBose.

In the video from last night’s Fox 5 report below, State Representative Mary Margaret Oliver, speaks up about anti-corruption ethics reform. Rep. Oliver is supporting my bid for the Governor’s office. She and I have worked on ethics reform our entire careers. She has chaired the Judiciary Committee in both the House and the Senate during her service to our state. She is now serving in the House representing Dekalb County.  Our press release on our anti-corruption ethics bill will come out today. (More info on this subject is in Blog 21)


Thursday, December 10, 2009

21. Hawks are more than Ethics Violations.

 In 2005, State Representative Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, and I offered amendments to the Governor’s Ethics Package that were voted down by the Republican members of the committee. We also introduced a similar comprehensive measure in 2006, HB 47, but House Republican leaders buried it in committee and never gave it a hearing.  

In fact,
the House Ethics Committee, 
where the bill was assigned, 
never even met that year.

     We will try
to pass a similar measure again this year, but the lobbyist's expenses are not the only issue at stake in the level of corruption that has taken control of the leadership of the General Assembly.
      The Hawks (Blog 19.) allow the massive corruption that has taken down the Speaker and a continuing list of legislators. With the Hawk system the Speaker and his Hawks can change the vote on any bill in committee. The power that should be evenly distributed to the entire House of 180 members was allowed to exist in a handful of self-appointed legislators controlled by the Speaker. Democracy or Dictatorship? Who would have thought Georgia would produce the greatest threat to democracy in America? Will the true reform needed to give Georgians back their representative government come forth from this latest shake-up? That remains to be seen.

See DuBose in Fox 5 video below
New Ethics Laws Expected for Ga. House
Updated: Wednesday, 09 Dec 2009, 10:53 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 09 Dec 2009, 10:53 PM EST

Edited By: Leigha Baugham |
Paul Yates reporting

20. Across-the-board cuts. Corruption in practice.

Across-the-board cuts.
Just one more way the culture of corruption in Georgia politics 
continues to steal the people's voice.    

Across-the-board cuts are bad for Georgia.    
They are the easy way out. Requiring little time or effort, they allow legislators to avoid the heavy lifting and leave work early to pursue whatever other interests they deem more important than the people's business. The result is a total abdication of accountability, as legislators pass their responsibility to state agencies. If a constituent tells the politician later that a high-performing program was cut while a low-performing one was kept, the legislator is able to duck responsibility by saying, “I didn’t cut your program. I just said to cut 10%. Some bureaucrat cut your program.” (Or, in other words, “You can’t blame me, and you can’t vote them out.”)

     As DuBose Porter travels around the state,  his common sense ideas for governing and his anti-corruption leadership are gaining popularity. The people of Georgia are finding out that DuBose is the alternative to the corrupt policies that continue to block jobs and keep industry away. As DuBose's message finds larger audiences, others are joining in.
Three recent examples:
  •  Republican leadership killed the "Point of Sale" bill  in committee; now they like it (Blog 17, “Steal my bill, please.”).
  • The current replacement speaker has said he may end the Hawks system (Blog 19, “The most corrupt state in America? Georgia.”).
  • And now, across-the-board cuts, which DuBose has fought against for years, are starting to appear in other candidates’ speeches (see below).

Posted Yesterday: Dec 08, 2009 3:33 PM, by Jennifer Emert (
"I really don't believe in across the board really prioritize our top priorities " said the Secretary of State.*
Given last January: What follows is a speech DuBose gave at a press conference last January (References to across-the-board cuts are in bold.):      

Democratic House Caucus 
Response To the Governor’s State of the State Address 2009
by State Representative DuBose Porter

I am privileged to represent Laurens County in the Georgia House of Representatives and I’m also honored to serve as Leader of the House Democratic Caucus and to represent them here today.
Last year, the Governor presented his state of the state address, and the session began. It was marked by bitter rivalry and what seemed to be partisan politics within the same party. There was no action taken to move forward on transportation, trauma care, or tax reform; additional cuts which amounted to one and a half billion dollars had already been stripped from our schools shifting that financial burden to our local governments and your property taxes; and with no meaningful progress on addressing the coming economic challenges, the session ended just as disjointed as it had begun.

During that session our Democratic House Caucus became the stabilizing factor in Georgia’s state government.

By working together within our party and with others we were able to find a consensus. We in the House came together to pass a transportation bill that would have moved forward on solving one of our state’s most crippling problems. The bill failed in the Senate and when we looked to the Governor for leadership, he was in China.
When gas prices spiraled out of control, we called on the Governor to take bold, dramatic action. To step up to the plate and give Georgians relief by reducing the gas tax. Instead he went to Spain and our families were left here, to take the brunt of higher gas prices from which they still have not recovered.

In September, after seeing August revenue figures, our Democratic House Caucus realized the extent of Georgia’s faltering economy and we called on the Governor to bring us back into session – to give parties on both side of the aisle a chance to roll up our sleeves, fix the problem before it got worse, and do the job the people of this state elected us to do. That call went unheeded.
Because we did not have that session, this week, we began a session that has found our state in an even deeper financial crisis. We would have still had to make some very tough decisions in that special session, but we now find ourselves having to make even tougher decisions in far less time.
To cut an already tight budget while living up to our obligation to keep Georgia safe, healthy, and secure will be a great challenge. We have to make the effort to work together to give Georgians the highest value for every one of their tax dollars.
The Governor has said that he wants to borrow our way out of this crisis, and put our good credit on the line, but we cannot borrow our way out of debt. More debt is not the answer. We must prioritize our budget so that instead of disastrous across-the-board cuts, we make the effort to keep the programs that give the most value and cut the ones that are underperforming.
Georgia’s crisis was created by many factors, but our Democratic House Caucus is ready to bring back the stability by working together to provide the fiscal responsibility our state deserves.
Georgia families knew we were heading for a recession months ago, as did our caucus. Our state government failed to act quickly and efficiently, and now we have a $2 billion hole in this year’s budget.

Our current bleak financial situation points to one thing – a lack of priorities. Parents and teachers are calling for help for our schools, but instead we built boat ramps.

In Georgia today, law enforcement is working overtime to keep us safe, and due to across-the-board cuts our law enforcement officers are stretched almost to the breaking point, but the majority party is building a multi-million dollar horse park in Houston County.
In Perry we are building a fish pond while veterans, who were willing to give their very lives for that land were being evicted from their home. Evicted because in across-the-board cuts, they were not a priority.

The priorities of this administration do not match the values that I know are the values of the Georgia I grew up in and the Georgia I know and love. With across-the-board cuts, there are no priorities.

But we no longer have the time to rehash what led us to this financial crisis, now we must work together to lead our state out of our current economic crisis by using bold new and innovative ideas that will produce a progressive, active legislature, that acts in the best interests of all Georgians.

We did not hear this from the Governor today. There again is no plan for transportation, no funding for education and a new tax on hospitals.
This is a time to work together, across party lines and across the levels of government. To bring our citizens the greatest value for the amount they are able to pay. That will include working with local governments to make sure that our budget crisis doesn’t get passed on them. Our state government cannot continue to shift our obligations to our local governments. An under funded education system with reduced law enforcement is not a state we want to become, just as it will not be a state in which industry wants to locate. We must educate our children and make sure their parents have decent jobs.
In order to enhance our revenue at the state level we must also work with the new Presidential administration and Congress to make sure that Georgia remains on their minds. The incoming Administration in Washington has pledged to do what it can to help families keep their heads above water.
Georgians pay their share to run the federal government, and we must make certain that we get our fair share from our federal government in return.
Currently talk is coming back that, Georgia and Texas are being referred to as the orphan states because our current administration is not playing well with others. The money that comes to our state in the form of a stimulus was our money to begin with and it will keep our state on par with the rest of the county. We too can choose to move forward with America or we can choose to become less prosperous, less educated, less healthy, less safe, and less mobile.

We must not only work with Washington for revenue enhancement, we must manage the cuts we will have to make responsibly.

And, once again I stress that across-the-board budget cuts will not work.

Cutting across-the-board may be the simple answer, but it’s not the right answer.

Some programs can be cut by more than 6%, 8%, or 10%, while some can’t handle a cut that big. This Republican leadership has slashed over one and a half billions from our schools. Education is the one thing we can do that directly puts more people into the workforce. If more people are working, more people are paying taxes and the tax burden becomes less on us all. We simply cannot afford to be this short sighted with our future.

Ask a teacher or a parent – our schools simply cannot handle another across-the-board austerity cut.
We cannot and should not take the easy way out on this complicated issue.
It’s time for our legislature to roll up our sleeves and get to work instead of cutting everything across-the-board and then waiting for the calendar to run out.

There is another way, and this is what this Democratic House Caucus is going to fight for. We know what our Democratic House Caucus priorities
are: creating jobs for our workforce; providing students with a superior education; making sure that every family has a family doctor and access to preventive care; developing long-term plans to manage our natural resources; keeping our families safe from crime and drugs and developing a transportation plan that will take Georgia into the future.
We can determine what our best practices are.
We can budget with these clear priorities in mind.
It is not too late.
Let us come together and reason together, and determine what we must fund and where we must cut back. Let our priorities be the priorities of Georgia’s middle class, not the powerful and politically-connected and let’s give Georgians the most value for their tax dollars.
Like the consensus we reached by coming together in the House to pass a progressive and forward thinking transportation bill, we can provide the stability Georgia needs to move forward.
We need to think like that middle-class family in hard times; look at how much money we have, and figure out what expenditures are most important.
We need to cut what we can, while making sure that we’re keeping our family healthy, safe, and well-educated. It is all a matter of priorities.

We know what our Democratic House Caucus priorities are: jobs, education, transportation, healthcare and conservation of our natural resources. Horse parks, ponds and boat ramps seem to be the current priorities of this disjointed elected Republican leadership.
And as many of you know, I like fishing as well as the next guy, but I like well-educated students and safe neighborhoods even better.
I want to close today with a call to our legislature to focus on Georgia’s economy with vigor and intensity. We must work together, with Georgia’s best interests at heart if we are to move forward.
But we will not: with the budget that was introduced by this Governor today.
This is not a time for politics; this is a time to work together to ensure that we create the Georgia we want our children and grandchildren to inherit. My family has lived in Georgia over 10 generations. I want the next 10 generations to have the same security and prosperity as those who came before and I want a Georgia where we have the opportunity to succeed and a Georgia where the innovation and initiative of our citizens continues to raise the quality of life for us all - that Georgia can still be ours.

Thank you all, and may God bless the state of Georgia.                                                         
Thank you, DuBose Porter

Across-the-board cuts.
Just one more way the culture of corruption in Georgia politics continues to steal the people's voice.

True Leadership is about taking a stand
for what you believe in,
before the poll tells you
it is the correct thing to do. 
Vote for DuBose Porter. He works for you.
Put real leadership and your voice back in government.