Thursday, March 10, 2005

Sonny the Silent.

It's been awhile since I've mentioned Sonny, hasn't it?

Well, Sonny's been silent. He's left the talking to his conservative cronies in the General Assembly. And boy, do they talk! Here's Bill Shipp's take on their conversation:

Never have Georgians seen such a display of power - or such an avalanche of legislation intruding into their private lives. Perdue and his New Order legislature also gave big business the kind of blank checks and tax breaks the tycoons never envisioned. For the suits, working with the Georgia legislature was suddenly more fun than opening bank accounts in the Caymans or seeking new plant sites in Pakistan.
Corporate lobbyists never looked happier. But Perdue and his boys weren't satisfied with dabbling in the boardrooms. Private bedrooms and personal relationships became an inviting hunting ground.
Proposals to limit or ban abortions piled up. One such notion is on its way to becoming law. A statute to complicate and prolong painful divorce proceedings appeared ready to zip through the Grand Old General Assembly. Another plan - known as the "Mad Dads' Bill" - was hatched to ease the child-support burden on absentee fathers.
Everywhere you looked, Perdue's battalions stamped "secrecy" on their doings.

To recap, the Republicans have made it 1) harder to get an abortion, 2) harder to get a divorce, and 3) harder to collect child support, but 4) easier to fleece the taxpayers. It's like a cartoon; I half expect to see Earl "Mad Dad" Ehrhart tie Nell to the train tracks.

I think Sonny knows it, too; I think he knows that he's Fearless Leader, here, and thus the silence on these issues:

Legislation promoting secrecy in industrial recruitment has sparked noisy debate at the state Capitol. One voice all but missing from the fracas, however, is that of Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Perdue has said through a spokesman that he supports House Bill 218, but noted that it's not part of his legislative agenda. The Republican governor repeatedly has declined requests for an interview on the topic.
"The governor supports 218," Perdue spokesman Dan McLagan said Tuesday. "He thinks it's good for economic development. He thinks media hyperbole over it is completely inaccurate. The media has no interest in accurately portraying the bill."
Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate who has criticized the "Republican secrecy agenda," said it's time for Perdue to speak up.
"If I was Gov. Perdue, I'd want to get the session back on track by coming out and making a strong statement in favor of open records and open government," Taylor said. "This is the man who campaigned statewide about transparency in government. What we've seen is the complete opposite."

Well, if I were Sonny, I wouldn't want that. Because if I were Sonny, I'd know that to win re-election, I'd need every big money donor behind me; and I'd know that to get them behind me, I'd have to offer them everything they want: the right to bribe, the right to steal, and the right to do it all in secret.

And if that were my agenda, I'd sure as hell stay silent about it, too.