Just when my life seemed to have lost all meaning, up jumps Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney, who has announced her intentions to run for Congress as a member of the Green Party this fall in Georgia’s 4th District.
This is quite a comedown for Miss Moonbeam, who was the Green Party’s candidate for president in 2008. But incumbent Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson has impressive space cadet credentials himself. In 2010, Johnson expressed concern in a congressional hearing about a planned military buildup on the Pacific island of Guam, saying, “My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.”
No word yet on whether Daffy Duck plans to enter the race.
• UGA President Michael Adams is retiring after 16 tumultuous years at the university. Dr. Adams and I were once good friends, but somehow that all changed over the years. It may have been that he lost his taste for my zesty sense of humor. Or maybe he was getting his public relations advice from a grapefruit. In spite of his pique, I have continued to faithfully support my beloved Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications with my time and tithes. I hope he appreciates that.
• Someone suggested that former Gov. George E. Perdue might be a candidate to replace Adams. That would not be without precedent. Fred Davidson, president of UGA from 1967 to 1986, was a veterinarian, as is Gov. Perdue. If George E. becomes president, maybe we could start a competitive fishing team. (“Go Dawgs! Fish! Fish! Fish!”).
• Gov. Nathan Deal has signed the bill approving the inclusion of a constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall that would allow the state to establish charter schools, rather than local school boards. He signed the bill in Cherokee County, which was the political equivalent of poking a sharp stick in the eye of public school advocates. The Cherokee public schools are among the state’s best, but Cherokee County also is Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood and state Sen. Maj. Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, is no friend of public schools. The Cherokee school board turned down a petition last year for a charter school to be operated by Florida-based Charter Schools USA. According to campaign finance reports, that group donated to the political campaigns of Gov. Deal, Mr. Rogers and House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, R-Alpharetta, who led the push for the amendment in the House. Fortunately, campaign contributions do not influence political decisions. How do I know? Politicians told me so.
• While I am on the subject, House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, continued to maintain that Georgia doesn’t need limits on lobbying expenditures. Just read the reports filed with the ethics commission, he said. OK. Let’s take a look: In April, Ralston got two sets of $62.15 tickets to the Atlanta Braves opening night from C.W. Matthews Contracting and the Georgia Hospital Association. (Mine must have gotten lost in the mail.) The next night, former legislator Jerry Keen, representing tractor company Kut Kwick, spent $47.77 on him for dinner. A couple of lobbyists also ponied up $9.45 each for lunch with the speaker. That’s $190.17 for April. In four months, Ralston has amassed $2,883.59 in meals and goodies and we still have eight months to go. Good grief. No wonder he doesn’t want limits. No wonder you do.
• In the meantime, the once-mighty Georgia Democratic Party is becoming marginalized and irrelevant. Republicans would do well to remember what happens to arrogant politicians. As humorist Will Rogers once observed, “The more you observe politics, the more you’ve got to admit that each party is worse than the other.” I guess some things never change.
• Finally, Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company in Greater Garfield, Ga., is feeling pretty smug these days. He tried to warn Leroy Gingrich and his wife Louise that they were headed for a train wreck of a presidential primary campaign. The Gingriches obviously didn’t listen and you see what happened. Junior says their campaign is deader than the silverfish he found in Miss Purvey Parker’s drawers. Given his increased status as a political genius, Junior says he is currently in discussions with both the Obama and Romney campaigns and has some recommendations for the upcoming presidential race. This could be interesting.
You can reach Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.