Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Gonzo Lawmakers - Day 11

A daily recap of the Georgia Public Broadcasting show "Lawmakers". The show airs weekdays at 7:00pm with a replay at 5:30am the following weekday

Day 11 - We're officially past the 25% mark

* Everybody's in the right place. They are getting so good at this it's hard to be snarky.

* Budget. Yes, it's always about the budget. Sen. Tommie Williams and Chip Rogers want to talk about furloughs. I was a lowly clerk in 1992 and I was furloughed. I had no money which sucked but I knew many friendly bartenders which made it suck less.

* Rogers preaches unity. But economic development is the number one task. The house building lobby goes wild!

* Sen. George Hooks (D-Americus) wants to hang around for the stimulating money. Democrats are hammering the illogic of across the board cuts. Little known fact - several state agencies already receive a large portion of their funding from the feds so across the board cuts don't seem quite fair. At least it didn't 17 years ago when my agency (received around 90% from the feds) forced young clerks to rely on the largesse of bartenders.

* Big topic #2 - Transportation. And our first live shot. Same spot. Mullis again. He's the Senate point man, don't ya know. Now the House has revealed its plan. We also have new traffic b-roll. Back to the House plan, Rep. Vance Smith has a map with "freight routes" highlighted in blue and I recognize one. Rep. Smith doesn't use it as an example but the long blue streak in southwest Georgia is Ga Hwy 133. For years, the locals have been trying to get that sucker 4-laned from Albany to Valdosta. How much "freight" actually goes from Albany to Valdosta? Just something to think about. A truism of politics - old can always be new again - especially if you can find the money.

* And Valerie Edwards delivers the bottom line - the difference in the House and Senate plans is whether to make the sales tax statewide or regional. That's where the fight really lies.

* It's Chip Rogers day. Reminds us all that other than the budget they aren't really required to anything else. But it would be nice. Snark aside, what he says about taking time to educate the voters on big constitutional issues makes sense.

* Democratic response is from Doug Stoner. Stoner again? What's the deal here Cobb people? Is he about to throw his hat in the ring for something?

* Weird parlimentary moment. Immediately after voting on HR-1 and before the technicallity of sending it back to the rules committee, someone made the motion to adjourn. This provided Speaker Richardoson (R-Parts Unknown) to remind new legislators that if they try to pull a fast one, he will simply smack them down. However, Richardson allowed the adjournment which normally would have been ruled out of order. But yesterday he simply brought HR-1 back up again and it was returned to Rules without objection. There's probably some subtext here but all I can say for now is weirdness abounds. And they still have 29 days to go. Imagine how loopy they will be in the last week.

* Casey time! Lt. Guv Cagle wants to double the homestead exemption. Nothing new here.

* Vouchers finally pop up. We're about to see the other Lite Guv candidate - Sen. Eric Johnson. If you are a regular reader, you probably remember some of Sen. Johnson's previous "shining moments".

* Same live shot.

* Johnson shaved the goatee. BOO! How does a politician prep for election? Gets clean cut. Prevents any comparisons to being the devil.

* Sen. Robert Brown (D-Not Doug Stoner) references Brown vs. Board. If race is seeping in this early, its a good indicator of how nasty this could get.

* A follow up question from Nwandi! That's a first! Smoothly handled. Well done.

* Poll results! Who cares what they asked - what was the vote total? 26. Well that's more than double last time. Get your lazy asses over there and vote.

* A banking regulation bill. These are usually the kinds of bills which turn into stink bombs later but frankly they're just boring as hell. Bathroom break.

* Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Usually Fired Up) is preaching about predatory lending reform. It ain't gonna pass. But a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. HAH! He cracked up Sen. George Hooks (D-I'm The Oldest Dude Here). Sen. Fort always knows how to play the audience.

* First appearence of Rep. Mike Jacobs (DR-Land of Torches and Pitchforks)! Some licensing thing. This is the type of "meaty" treat you get from your new friends when you jump parties.

* Sen. John Douglas (R-Crazyland) got something passed unanimously out of committee. You know why? Because it wasn't crazy.

* No Minoo! Three day weekend?

*Obligatory Groundhog Day reference. They are asking what animal legislators use to determine when the session will end. Dubose said possum. Heh. That's a wrap.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I noticed that Minoo wasn't on too. Is it just me or was Day 11 more boring because of it? Hopefully she'll be back soon, she gives the show life!