Sunday, March 3, 2013

Georgians Under Attack

SB 31 allows Georgia Power to charge its customers except big business and industry, $1.6 billion in financing charges and an additional $400 million beginning in 2011, continuing until 2017 or beyond. Georgia Regents University (GRU) was imposed with little input from the taxpayers, and another bailout with taxpayers money was given to Augusta Riverfront, LLC for the construction of the TEE Center or Augusta Convention as the management decided to called it. 

 A House subcommittee voted overwhelmingly on 3/5/2013 to kill a bill designed to reduce the profits Georgia Power Co. could earn on Plant Vogtle construction expenses that exceed the original budget.

The company announced last week that the project to add two nuclear reactors to the plant near Waynesboro, Ga., was $737 million over the $6.11 billion budget. That news came after the initial hearing on House Bill 267 in the Utilities Subcommittee.

The bill had the support of a diverse group that included liberal-leaning consumer-advocacy group Georgia Watch and the conservatives Tea Party.

"The Georgia legislators that tell you their votes for this unprecedented collection of fees to pay for infrastructure you don't own, is good for you and Georgia....Don't be fooled, only the stockholders of Georgia Power will be the beneficiaries of your forced donations." -- J.A. Davis, from The Mother of All Powerplays - Advance Bailout for Georgia Power, 3/2/09

Georgia Power is regarded by many as one of the most powerful forces in state government. 

There is a consistent pattern on all these maneuvers with the typical actors; a powerful minority (conservatives) influencing the majority (liberals and independents), and the minority (Democrats) in power going with the flow. The extra minority (other Democrats) is just making noises. How much fees and taxes can afford customers and taxpayers in Georgia? Nobody can see the difference between fiscally conservatives and spenders in the state. They all look alike.

Will taxpayers and customers ever regain power in Georgia? The answer is no since the voters keep electing the same people. The only solution will be the Republicans "self deportation" advocacy of Georgians to another state with less intrusion of government in every aspect of the lives and pockets of their residents. 

Clash of the Giants: The Saga Continues 
The Owner of The Augusta Chronicle (The Insider) and Dr. Azziz (The Outsider) Plus...

For considering very enlightening, fallowing a excerpt of Sylvia Coopers's City Ink

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something comes along to prove you wrong.

Who could have imagined Georgia Regents Uni­versity would remove Augusta State University logos from photographs of ASU championship teams’ jerseys and hats in a recruitment brochure, especially after GRU President Ricardo Azziz promised the word “Augusta” would be used in all advertising?
Why, we’ve hardly recovered – and never will – from our outrage over the deceitful way he lobbied the Geor­gia Board of Regents to vote for the GRUsome name he chose – without even telling them the results of a $45,500 survey showing the name “Augusta” elicited by far the most positive responses.

The University System of Geor­gia’s Code of Conduct, which applies to all members of the system, states that everyone is to “uphold the highest standards of intellectual honesty and integrity” (tell the truth), “act as good stewards of the resources and information entrusted” to their care (don’t waste money on bogus surveys and brochures with altered photos), and “respect the intellectual property rights of others” (don’t alter another publication’s photos).

I think Azziz needs to hold an ethics workshop at GRU and sit on the front row. It could be a joint workshop with the city, and Au­gusta commissioners who’ve been doing business with the city could sit beside him.

Everybody was aghast that in one fell swoop their institutions of higher learning, their histories, legacies, their championship sports teams’ records, logos and trophies were gone.

They looked to their mayor, but the only thing he stepped forward for was a ribbon-cutting. They looked to their commissioners, but they were too busy watching NASCAR because they heard it had something to do with race. So they turned to their local legislators, who met and issued a resolution that didn’t even have the name “Augusta” in it.

The people in Augusta tried to “Save the A,” but Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Board of Regents said, “Kiss our A.”

“WHAT ARE WE TURNING INTO? SALEM, MASS.?”: Au­gusta Commissioner Grady Smith asked that question while talking about his company’s subcontracting on city projects, a violation of the ethics code.
Smith is one of three commissioners facing possible censure or reprimand at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

Smith’s plumbing and air-conditioning business has earned more than $240,000 working as a subcontractor on Augusta Utili­ties construction at Fort Gordon.
Commissioner Wayne Guil­foyle’s business, Au­gusta Tile Crafters, was paid $70,785 subcontracting for general contractor Choate Construction at Augusta Regional Airport.
Commissioner Joe Jack­son’s company, Kirby Lock­smith, did work for Operation Augusta Ink and the sheriff’s training range for two years until City Administrator Fred Russell advised him to stop. Jackson said nobody ever told him the city had an ethics ordinance.

“I take full responsibility, but somebody could share the blame,” he said. “We have a purchasing department, a finance department and a legal department, and somebody could have come to us and told us it was unethical.”
Jackson contends that black commissioners Mar­ion Williams and Bill Lock­ett are pushing for him, Guil­foyle and Jackson to be punished because they’re white.

“I feel if the shoe were on the other foot, that’s what you’d hear,” he said. “I think this is a witch hunt to go after us.”

Williams agrees that it’s a racial issue, but not for the same reason Jackson gives. He said if black commissioners had violated the ethics policy, they’d have been prosecuted vigorously.
Lockett said it really hurt him when he heard what Jackson had said.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “We don’t need that.”

“It’s turning racial because somebody’s been digging, and I suspect it’s Mar­ion Williams,” Smith said. “I’m sorry that Richmond County is sending a message to young folks not to be involved with the commission because it might affect your business or your relatives’ businesses. It’s sending a message that all we want are retirees or double or triple dippers. We don’t want businessmen.”

Commissioner Corey John­son said he’s not in favor of “lambasting his colleagues.”

“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “It was an ethics violation, not a crime. It’s time to move on.”

Commissioner Donnie Smith said, “We need to deal with this publicly. And we need to quit calling these guys criminals. They violated a city policy. They did not violate the law.

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” he said.

In Defense of Bigger Magazine

Also, the daily today explains why is needed magazines with more than 30 rounds. In the front page there is the case for stoping gun control telling the story of a gun shop owner.

"In August, he used an AR-15 to fire 30 rounds at three men who drove a stolen van through the side of his store while he and his wife slept in an apartment in the back.

The men, who had been loading merchandise into the van, yelled “kill him” just before (the gun shop owner) fired the first shot. Two got away despite being shot several times, but one died at the store."


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