Posted: 11:43 am Thursday, March 6th, 2014

John Barge: ‘Folks who can donate money are afraid to’ 

By Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

bargequalify2

State School Superintendent John Barge signs up in the GOP race for governor.

A fourth candidate for governor signed up on Thursday. Any more will officially qualify as a surprise.

State School Superintendent John Barge, who has raised hardly any money for the contest, wrote a personal check for $5,220 to join former Dalton mayor David Pennington in the primary contest to oust Republican incumbent Nathan Deal.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blog

Barge admitted that he doesn’t have much cash. “Fundraising is a challenge. Frankly, a lot of folks who can donate money are afraid to. They’ll tell you they’re afraid to be on record. So we’re using a lot of social media,” he said.

But Barge said he does have a network of teachers supporting him. “We have some leverage there,” he said. Those votes, he posited, will stampede to Democrat Jason Carter should he lose.

Barge began his post-qualifying session with reporters with an attack on Gov. Nathan Deal:

“Dwight Eisenhower said the supreme character of leadership is integrity. When we rank dead last in the nation in public integrity, we’ve got a lack of leadership.

“True leaders make life better for those that are younger than them. When you look at all of the data and all of the stats, life is not better for young folks in Georgia.”

Barge also explained why he saw no reason to simply run for another term as school superintendent:

“Because we’ve all seen where that’s going. The governor has begun to dismantle the state agency, to take pieces of the state agency under areas of his control. We’ve seen that done with the Department of Labor.

“We saw the department gutted, we saw their money put into offices that he controls. And the same thing will happen with the Department of Education. And that’s not going to benefit anyone.”

Barge said that he’s already had an impact on the race – citing the governor’s retreat on some aspects of a new state employee health insurance plan adopted last fall.

The head of the Department of Education also took the time to condemn SB 167, a bill now in the House that would force Georgia to drop Common Core, the new educational standards that many Republican conservatives have condemned as federal encroachment.

Barge said the legislation could jeopardize “over $1 billion” in Title I and other federal funds desperately needed by schools in Georgia to help poor and disabled students.

The school superintendent also said that language in the bill could forbid use of the SAT and ACT in Georgia – though he conceded that this isn’t the intent of lawmakers. Said Barge:

“When you read the language of that bill, it says that we can’t administer a test that is aligned to national standards. Well, the SAT, the ACT, they’re going to be aligned to the Common Core. You could interpret that literally to mean we can’t administer that test.”

***

While the Obama administration might not want to hand the Port of Savannah expansion a pile of money just yet, the final call lies with Congress, and there are conflicting views on just how feasible such a move will be.

Jack Kingston, a frequent dispenser of earmarks in his day but one who also fought for their extinction, said Wednesday:

“Under the House rules, this is an earmark. And so for us to place something in the budget which is not in the budget already – it’s not allowed.”

But on Wednesday evening, a statement arrived from the Georgia delegation’s other senior appropriator, Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany. Said Bishop:

“While I am disappointed that direct funding was not included in the President’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, Congress can still work to include funds through the budgeting process to continue the project.”

Indications are from the Senate side that Congress could come through with an appropriation if it also passes the long-delayed Water Resources and Development Act. The Obama administration already has dedicated a line item to the project, so Congress is not creating a pork project from thin air.

***

Branko “Dr. Rad” Radulovacki late Wednesday took a shot at Democratic Senate rival Michelle Nunn for what he considered a tepid response to the White House’s failure to come through with cash for the dredging of the Port of Savannah:

“From what I understand, people familiar with this issue had chances to ask questions of the Vice President last night, or the Director of the OMB last week. Why didn’t they get answers? Instead, they played it safe by expressing “disappointment’ and ‘confusion’ and blaming ‘bureaucracy,’ ‘inefficiency,’ and ‘red tape.’  That’s more of the take-no-responsibility finger-pointing that’s indicative of Washington’s dysfunction.

***

Republicans are eager to compare Democrat Jason Carter with his famous grandfather, the former president. Gov. Nathan Deal’s camp has several times tried to tie the ex-president’s liberal record to his scion’s bid for governor.

Yet Deal was reminded Wednesday in the middle of a media scrum that he, too, supported the elder Carter in the 1970s while he was a Democrat. Doug Richards, a reporter for 11 Alive, questioned Deal on whether he voted for the native son in 1976 during his presidential run.

“I probably did. I was a Democrat at that time. I had good friends who were very supportive of his campaign,” said Deal, who added that he doesn’t care who Carter’s forefathers are. After all, the governor noted, media aren’t asking him about his lineage.

“I don’t think that’s what’s important. I think the candidate should stand on his own footing.”

104 comments
Tincup
Tincup

The question that eludes me is how a man who fled Washington under the cloud of an ethics investigation and who was virtually bankrupt could be elected governor.  How many red flags must be unfurled before you recognize he's a deeply flawed candidate who couldn't manage his own personal affairs let along those of the state?

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

The underfunded state is crumbling. DFACs is is trouble, the DOT is a shadow of its past glory. The 8th most populous state is in the bottom 20 for spending. Most are for small government, but we need leaders who understand there's such a thing as too small.

honested
honested

Has Dr. barge stopped to think that most people have better sense than to bet on the sure loser?

td1234
td1234

The issue with the teachers and state employees is that he "found" more money but rather that since the Insurance fund is self funded that he took the excess revenues that teachers and state employees contributed to spend in other areas while at the same time giving them crappier insurance. Obamacare has nothing to do with this because the state employees insurance is self funded. Also, "generous  public pensions" in Georgia disappeared under Joe Frank Harris when the retirement plan was changed from receiving 90% of pay to 60%. I was changed a few years back under Sonny to 30%. Is this what you call "generous"? Add to it that Teachers and state employees have not received a raise since Deal took office (7 years if you go back to Sonny's time) and teachers are still on furlough days even though the revenue levels have increased back to 2007 levels and then you have a real problems. 


I admit and most will attest that I am a conservative and have been since 1984 but I also have children getting educated in Georgia and believe they are not receiving the same education since Deal took office. This is not the conservatism that I have advocated my entire adult life and if Deal does not go in the Primary then this may be the first election since 1984 that I will not vote Republican in the general election.

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

Andy

My bad.  You don't ever take that life vest off.  

You be a good boy

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

Andy uses a life vest in his kiddie pool so he doesn't drown in his stupidity. 


lololololol


Poor delusional Andy.  All hat and no cattle.  


Big mouth but no substance.


Just a troll seeking attention that he gets nowhere else but this blog.


Have a goodone, little Andy.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Another $1 billion down the tubes?  Can't take the ACT or SAT in Georgia?  No wonder Barge is bailing out of the 'Education' Department.  Looks like it might be time for all thinking people to bail. 

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

I never quite understood how banks went on a speculative lending binge, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, OPEC raised oil prices, and the military industrial complex was ripping off taxpayers, and they were never blamed for any of the financial crisis of the late 70's.

Bernie31
Bernie31

correction:

Any State Leader who refuses to help the Poor & Needy and it is within his Power to do so is not a Very Nice Person nor someone I would endear My self too, in any capcitty. Especially when I am acutely aware those who are in Need are Overwhelmingly CHILDREN, SENIORS, DISABLED, Mentally Handicapped, Veterans and Single Mothers. Any person who has the Heart to say NO and GO away and I hope you DIE to any of these groups is a COWARD and a CHICKENSHIRT BULLY LOSER!

Bernie31
Bernie31

Any State Leader who refuses to help the Poor & Needy and it is within his Powere to do so is not a Very Nice Person nor someone I would endare my self too any capcitty. Especially when I am acutely aware those who are in Need are Overwhelmingly CHILDREN, SENIORS, DISABLED, Mentally Handicapped, Veterans and Single Mothers. Any person who has the Heart to say NO and GO away I hope you DIE to any of these groups is a COWARD and a CHICKENSHIRT BULLY LOSER!


A Position Jesus himself would agree with....

Uh...huh

td1234
td1234

100,000 teachers in the state of Georgia and in a red state and some believe that they are all Democrats. Our Republican party is getting arrogant to believe there are not many Republican teachers and that Deal has been hurting them. 

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@td1234  

Pony up the money for private school and stop crying.

You have a choice.  The fact that you have decided not to exercise that choice is on you.  


Barge will not even garner enough votes to force a run off.  Deal will have a second term.  


That is unless Barge can "pull an inside straight". 

Bernie31
Bernie31

@td1234 - Now if TD can see the Light...there is HOPE for the rest f you....Nathan is a Bad SEED. You know it and I know it...The question remains are you going to forgive him this time?

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Ralph-43 It's what the jawja repuppies were saying when they voted to not comply with Common Core, "we can be dull and ignorant all by ourselves, we don't need no federal guidelines for that."

Andy123
Andy123

@Bernie31

Jesus?  That Mexican that cuts my commercial lawn?  

uh...huh  

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

4 years ago in the Republican primary there were over 680,000 voters when there was an open seat for Governor.  We might get something similar this year with an open seat for Senator.  The traditional Democratic teacher and other state worker crossover votes along with some lost Republican teacher votes are not going to be nearly enough to unseat the incumbent Governor.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

@td1234  It is rather funny to me to consider that the teachers are considered liberal.  If they were, Perdue would not have been re-elected, Republicans would not be in the majority, and definitely, Deal would have never been elected.  Since Red State conservatives do not believe in government but they love to get elected.  Likewise, conservative teachers do not believe education or the educated, and it shows with Georgia ranking at the bottom in secondary education.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@td1234  


As a retired teacher I would guess half are Republican in this Red state. But even those GAE members don't always know that their dues are the lifeblood of the Democrat Party. (Google "NEA" and "contributions" to see.)

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@td1234 - Maybe 20,000 of them are Republican.  My guess - 40,000 teachers will vote, and most will do so in the Democratic primary.  The small remainder will evenly split between Deal, Barge, and Pennington in the Republican primary.  None of this is statistically relevant when compared to the overall vote.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@td1234  


True, some teachers are republican. Most aren't, but there are enough.  Deal probably hasn't hurt them...but he has not helped them either.

td1234
td1234

@Nobody_Knows, Look who has turned all conservative on this blog. It is not only Barge running against Deal it is also Pennington and he is garnering the vote of the Tea Party that also does not like Deal. I think there will be a run-off.

td1234
td1234

@Bernie31, See the "light" that Deal is corrupt? Yes, and this is the reason he must be sent to retirement in the primary. Carter can not mathematically win a general election and I would not vote for him anyway. I just would not support or vote for Deal.  

Bernie31
Bernie31

@AuntieChrist @Ralph-43Georgia Historically has ALWAYS been on the WRONG SIDE of American History. One would think they would tire of being Labelled as Backasswards and Ignorant. But NO, they Pride themselves on this Fine Southern Tradition...Its called HERITAGE!

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

@Andy123 I hear you have not been paying social security and Medicare taxes for that gardener.  Fortunately, the blogs are now monitored by the F.B.I.  I assume they'll be forwarding your identity to the I.R.S.  I think there is a warm bunk down in Macon (shared of course) waiting.  You can try that out before your trip to the furnace.  

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Andy123 @Bernie31 Posted earlier by andy:  " but as a small business owner,"  

andy thinks he's a 'small business owner' because his picking up Latinos from the Home Depot parking lot to help him cut the neighbors' grass constitutes being a 'small business owner,'

td1234
td1234

@The_Centrist Wow, 20% of the teachers in the state of Georgia are Republicans. No way my friend. EdUktr is probably closer to the truth. Deal has hurt them, state employees and retirees with his changes to the state insurance. This is hurting him or he would not have place over $100 million back into their funds. 

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@td1234 @Nobody_Knows 

There is no if about it.  It's just like the election in 2012.

Romney was never going to win but we as voters had to go through the official process to validate what commonsense should have been telling those who didn't vote for Obama was going to happen.  

Mind you surprises do occur in elections but Deal losing in the primary is not going to be one of them because it will not happen.  

All that said, you keep fighting for Barge and putting whatever pressure you can on your buddy Deal.  

 
Or is he no longer your buddy?

td1234
td1234

@Nobody_Knows, I am not disputing the fact that if Deal gets out of the primary he will be reelected. 

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@td1234 @Nobody_Knows

Barge will not be part of it if there is one.  

As for as saying Deal will serve a second term, it has nothing to do with liberal, conservative, D or R.

It's called reality.  

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Nobody_Knows @Bernie31@td1234- well if Jesus is good enough for the Children of DARKNESS here in Georgia called Republicans....I know Jesus will not Abandon The Poor & Needy like Georgia Republicans who say NO to FOOdstamps and healthcare.  For Jesus has always promised  The POOR & Needy..." I will Not FORSAKE YOU!

uh..huh

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@Bernie31 @td1234 

Jesus is not a D or R.

You are just like many on the right who attempt to co-opt your delusional version of Christianity for political purposes. 



Bernie31
Bernie31

@td1234 @Bernie31- I will take that too...While Jesus himself will be in the Next Booth Voting for a Real Christian with Compassion Named Jason. Our very own DAVID against your Ruthless and cruel Goliath.

td1234
td1234

@Bernie31.


Absolutely not. I will pull the lever for every other Republican on the ballot. I will just not vote for Deal. Maybe Libertarian or maybe just not vote in the Governors race.  

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Andy123 @Bernie31@AuntieChrist@Ralph-43- I never voted for Kasim and I have you to know that most Blacks in Atlanta never trusted Kasim. They Always thought he  was a MUSLIM, and did not trust him. Kasim Begged and begged for a chance. Many Gave it to him over Mary Norwood. They regretted it to after seeing Kasim SLOBBER KISS Nathan at every chance he gets. ALL  know Kasim is part of  the Georgia Taliban. For he supports the Taliban Administration here in Georgia like YOU. Like the Taliban overseas, you Hate Women, Gays and All Minorities. The only difference OUR TALIBAN wear Suits instead of TURBANS. 

The mindset is the same....all they want is more Power and money for themselves.

uh...huh.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Andy123 @Bernie31@AuntieChrist@Ralph-43- ANd leave you GOOBERS to finish the Job of Flushing all the hard work sacrificed in making your Daddy and Your GrandPAPPY understand that this is America and the not the Confederate STATES of America...No way!


You Turds are going down just like ya Grand Pappy did...


Andy123
Andy123

@Bernie31 @AuntieChrist@Ralph-43

I'm sure there's Section 8 housing in other states so don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.  Maybe your boy Obama has a federal program to give you some gas money so you can leave? 

uh..huh   

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Andy123

I bet both of my girlfriends, Victoria's Secret models Nina Agdal and Lily Aldrige make more in 30 seconds than you will in 30 years.  

Andy123
Andy123

@AuntieChrist @Andy123@Bernie31

Its not like you could afford a shotcrete pool with pebble.  Once again, something that cost an entire year of your salary, assuming you even have a decent job.   

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Admittedly, it was a blunder going with the single BCBS health insurance.  He did the right thing in putting back some funds now that the added tax receipts allow it.  It won't gain him votes, but may somewhat reduce backlash.  But the Obamacare cost of healthcare increases and generous public pensions are under fire in every state.  Again, I refute your claim that half of teachers are Republicans.  No doubt the political campaigns know the breakdown, and act accordingly.