Monday, May 15, 2006

Gov's Gone Wild! Sonny Parties After Prom

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, center, dances with students including Christie Siciliano, 17, left, and Emily Melo, 16, right, during an after prom party for students of Brookwood High School, at the Governor's mansion in Atlanta, from 12:30 AM to 4:00 AM Sunday, May, 14, 2006. The party featured a host of activities and promoted safe driving and responsible behavior for teenagers. (AP Photo/John Amis)

If Perdue has a plan for funding our schools, it now probably involves selling the soon-to-be hot copies of a new DVD : Gov's Gone Wild: Sonny Parties After Prom. Anyone out there taking bets that this will make it on The Daily Show tonight?

Seriously, I don't have a problem with rewarding kids for doing the right thing, but the Governor's bash for one Atlanta area high school set taxpayers back a cool thirty grand, again underscoring that when it comes to our schools, Perdue is interested in election strategy, not education strategy. The same year the legislature removed funding for some drug and alcohol prevention programs in schools, the Governor throws this expensive party. Strange priorities.

Sonny's party is getting mixed reviews, but let me assure you: had any school district in the state pulled a similar stunt, taxpayers would be aiming for the members in the fall elections.

For Perdue, the criteria for whether to proceed with any plan seems to be whether it will earn media and fit into a sound bite. This stunt accomplished both, but the Governor ended up looking like a losing contestant on American Idol. And I'll bet that there are a few Houston County kids wondering why the Gov's not throwing a bash for his hometown high schools.

This was more of a PR stunt than anything else, and for that purpose, effective. After all Sonny found himself in the national spotlight again- something he has not managed since canceling school for a possible gas shortage. Do you think that our Governor could possibly get on television for something positive? He's ruining our progressive image. Okay, maybe not so much.

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