Wednesday, February 3, 2010

52. DuBose Porter: Won the DUBATE!

A young student was at the Democratic Debate typing furiously away throughout the debate. We found out later he was live blogging. This same student, Dustin Baker, posted his opinion on a blog at Georgia Liberal today at lunch and it did not take long before our, "Dawgs for DuBose" members where emailing us with the link. Needless to say we all agreed Dustin got it right.

(And then this came in so we are adding it before Dustin's recaps:)

The Du-Bate: More Proof
that Porter takes the Win

February 3, 2010 by Dustin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Election 2010, State News

I just wanted to point out that I am not the only person that thinks Porter lead the debate last night:

By Tom Baxter, InsiderAdvantage Georgia

House Minority Leader DuBose Porter isn’t the front-running Democrat in polls of the governor’s race, nor is he the top fundraiser. But as was evidenced again Tuesday night in the first televised debate of the Democratic candidates, he has given his party what is so far its defining issue.

Porter’s rivals have endorsed House Bill 356 the measure he authored which would let local governments collect sales taxes at the point of sale. But the lawmaker and newspaper publisher from Dublin can claim first dibs on the issue of uncollected taxes….


By Aaron Gould Sheinin The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

House Minority Leader DuBose Porter (D-Dublin), who has said for years that the state loses hundreds of millions of dollars a year in uncollected sales taxes, repeated that mantra Tuesday and said it could be a source of education funding. That proposal also was seconded by Attorney General Thurbert Baker and former Gov. Roy Barnes….

Democratic debates by Dustin Baker:

Debate Recap: DuBose Porter #1
By Dustin Baker
February 3, 2010 by Dustin
Filed under: Election 2010, State News

The star of the night was Dubose Porter#1. As some of his supporters said at the after-party, it was a Du-bate, and I have to agree with them. Porter showed up and he showed up strong. He had the most shirts and supporters there. I would say there were easily 15-20 people there with Porter shirts on.

Porter said education needs to be our number one priority. He said we need to collect money that is owed from sales taxes that are unpaid. He also noted his work on the education committee.

Porter also talked about a high-speed train system. He says we need to get one to deal with our traffic problems. Better transportation, he argued, would attract more businesses. The federal government would be footing the bill for most of it. He said he would support such efforts if he were governor.

Porter also took a well-deserved shot at Barnes. Porter said, as governor, he would expand the PSO program. He said he would not veto it as Governor Barnes did. I can say I am disappointed with Barnes for this. PSO is an excellent program.

Porter also said we need a zero-tolerance ethics policy. I could not agree more. Porter has fought for six years against the Hawk system, so he is no Johnny Come Lately on Ethics Reform. I feel very comfortable with his history on Ethics.

Porter brought up a Constitutional Amendment he is sponsoring, which would ban individuals from serving the Legislature if they have not filed and paid their taxes. This is the type of ethics reform we need.

Porter laid out his priorities in relation to health care:

  1. Cover children in GA “needs to be a priority.” Do not reduce Peachcare
  2. Put in a electronic health care system. (I believe this is correct, but if I misheard this, please correct me).
  3. Reorganize reimbursement system.

Porter was also asked about Sunday Sales in Georgia. I thought this question was basically a politically divisive question that I doubt would have much impact on the state economy. He said he would leave it up to the people by a referendum or the legislature to take the initiative. He seemed to indicate that he would support a referendum to allow the people of Georgia to decide.

Barnes tried to say that he had the experience that other candidates did not have, but Porter did a great job answering it, saying: I have been in the legislature for 28 years, I have the experience. I am running for education. (paraphrase).

Overall, I say Porter gets first place. He showed up, presented himself well, and talked about the issues.

General David Poythress #2 was great at the debate. Though the poor guy had to go last almost every time, but what he said was good.

Poythress advocated closing tax loopholes to help pay for education. He said we did not need new taxes, we just need to close these loopholes and collect the taxes already on the books. He wants to overhaul the Revenue Department to make it more efficient.

Poythress is making a commitment to getting people back to work… and he is willing to put his salary on the line. He said he would not take a salary as governor until unemployment was under 7%. This got a shock across the room and everyone sat up just a little bit higher. Whether or not you feel this is a gimmick, it will resonate with voter, especially those who are furloughed or getting laid off.

Poythress also said his military background help him understand that Georgia needs a strategic plan. He said “Our state does not have a strategic plan about anything that makes any sense.”

When asked about the Water issue, Poythress said we need Congressional reauthorization. Politically, that is not likely to happen. Perdue and administration are going the legal route, but that is not a sure route, as the court could decide either way. He said the least successful attempt would be to negotiate a resolution with FL and AL.

Poythress also said he would put initiatives into place that would get doctors into south Georgia. I think this is a great idea, as south Georgia has a shortage of doctors.

Sadly, I have to give Poythress his demerit for mentioning 9/11. Again, that noun+verb+9/11 thing just is not going to cut it here. However, overall I have to say Poythress gets 2nd place. Good job guys.

Thurbert Baker #3 did a good job at the debate last night. Baker did a great job of hitting on education issues. Many of his family members are involved in education, and I think that helps him prioritize as the top issue for a potential Baker administration.

Baker was also asked a question on property taxes. He answered that property owners should have their properties assessed each year and also have the right and ability to appeal any rulings on their property values.

I did feel like Baker dodged the question on the JOBS bill. He was asked if he philosophically supported it, but he did not answer that and instead diverted to saying he supports getting Georgians back to work with specifically addressing the JOBS bill.

Baker said he would also be willing to consider making Georgia Sunshine Law violations a felony.

Baker also expressed his support for the second amendment. I am concerned about this, as he was asked if he supported allowing people to carry guns in church and on public transportation. While he said it would be handled in court, he did not give a specific answer. I support gun rights as much as the next Georgia, and probably more than many of my fellow Democrats, but I do not support people carrying guns on public transportation.

Baker also shared a personal story during the debate about his daughter having diabetes and how it helps him understand how the average Georgian deals with the health care issues.

I give Baker third place in the debate.

Carl Camon #4 would be what VH1 calls the “Jump of the Week.” Many who I talked to were very impressed with Camon’s performance. While it may not have persuaded them to vote for him, they say he was the unknown candidate that really “hung in with the big boys” at the debate.

Camon is a small town mayor of Ray, GA. One of the moderators called it “similar to the size of Wasilla.” This got a few laughs from the audience. Camon spent a good bit of time talking about how it helps him relate to the people.

One of Camon’s promises was that he would go to a different school in each county of the state and teach a course. He wanted to see first hand our school system is and how he could improve it. I thought this was a good proposal.

He also talked about Quality Basic Education. He said, for example, that we should keep children from repeating grades by doing a better job the first time. In the end, he argues, this will save money.

Camon also said ”Some believe you have to have money, ‘look a certain way’ to be governor…” I am not saying that Camon played the race card here, but some people got that impression. I think he was simply referring to the fact that he was from a small town and a mayor, not on the state level. However, the word choice could have been better.

I give Camon fourth place.

I was very unimpressed with Roy Barnes #5. I am not on the “hate-Roy-because-he-is-too-moderate” bandwagon. And, I am going to try to be fair in my analysis here:

First, Barnes did not seem too excited to be there. Being a former governor, I might have had higher expectations of him than some of the other candidates. Perhaps my expectations are informing my judgement. He seemed to be uncomfortable on the stage and also seemed to be moving from side to side frequently. He looked the least-professional on the stage.

That being said, Barnes wanted to help recoup some sales tax to help fund education. He also was against some ear-mark projects in the state budget, such as an equestrian park. He said education should take priority over these projects, and I whole-heartedly agree.

He also said we should not be furloughing teachers. I think this may be an attempt to reach out to the teachers he alienated. He also said he supported his unpopular educational reform from his past term in office. He seemed to imply that No Child Left Behind had co-opted his idea. However, NCLB has been an epic failure, so equating the two projects was probably a bad idea.

Barnes said he had no intentions of running for governor, but his grandchildren inspired him to run again so that he could help strengthen the education system. I felt this was noble. He said he was not doing it to get another a line on his resume.

He also said we could cut the state government but that we should not cut direct (teacher) education.

He said Young Georgians should stay in Georgia, because there are better days to come!

Also, how many time can you mention 9/11. You are both a Democrat and NOT Rudy G. That noun+verb+9/11 stuff just is not going to cut it, at least not in my blogs domain.

Overall, maybe due to my high expectations of him, I have to give Barnes fifth place. Sorry Roy, Nothing personal! You did not do a BAD job at the debate; but, you did not really stand out either. There was something about all the other candidates that I walked away saying “oh candidate X said this/stood for that.” I did not have that with you.

The 9/11 references were a little weak, but you seem to think you are going to walk-in and win the primary.

I caution you to look at Martha Coakley, the MA Democrat that lost Kennedy’s senate seat. She lost because she took her popularity for granted. She thought she was a sure-win, and the people assured her that she was not.

You decide 1 to 5,
DuBose Porter will put your voice,
back in your government.