Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Richardson Shows His Hand

It's no accident that Glenn Richardson has been long on rhetoric and short on details of his "GREAT" tax plan. This man may be a lot of things, but dumb is not on the list. When it comes to triangulation, he's about to make Bill Clinton looks like an amateur. I've thought for a long time that his sweeping tax proposal was a red herring. Now, Richardson is beginning to show his hand. Here's what I think Glenn Richardson is really up to.
  • By waiting to finalize the plan, he is giving the opposition less time to organize an effective response. Smart.
  • His "shotgun" approach-targeting every service industry and every local taxing authority-has created a lot of enemies and a whole lot of people who will be perfectly happy to trade silence for the opportunity to protect their own interest.
  • In Macon last week, faced with increasing opposition from municipalities and county governments, Richardson began to show his hand.
  • Now, Richardson says that he may just focus on taken tax authority away from school boards.
  • That's both brilliant and evil. Brilliant because he's likely to win that battle. Evil because if he wins, public schools are DOA.
  • That's fine with him. Richardson has repeatedly expressed his dislike for local boards of education, even questioning the value of their existence.
  • By letting city and county governments off the hook, Richardson is betting they will stay out the his fight with school boards-and he's probably making a good bet. The "public schools lobby" will fight alone.
  • Richardson and his cohorts have repeatedly spanked the "public schools lobby." We've lost battle after battle with the republican-led General Assembly. Think about it: we lost the 65% "solution" battle, the Charter Schools/Charter Systems battle, the SB 10 battle. Yep, they've pretty much beaten us at every turn.
  • By focusing on school boards, he tosses red meat to republicans-Cagle and Perdue will have a hard time opposing this scaled-back plan. Why?
  • Because the only way to implement a true state-wide voucher system is for all the education funding to be centralized in Atlanta.
  • The goal is not to just disempower school boards, but to dismantle public schools.

This is going to be an expensive battle for public school advocates, one that we will not win unless we fight differently than we have in the past. An organized, well-funded plan is needed to defeat this legislation and keep the Glenntax off the 2008 ballot.


Tina said...

OMG ! Where do we start...and how?

Vic said...

I can't believe how rapidly we forget history in Georgia. One need look no further than the quiet yet catastrophic "Edison Project" Fiasco of 2001 in Macon to see how privatizing schools and vouchers will pan out.

Wall Street will see the piles of money, promise our hick legislators the sky, suck out tens of millions for their corporate officers in faraway lands, put up a wall of excuses to block transparency and then

-turn the bankrupt privatized schools back over to the local communites...

I'm disappointed that my State Rep Allen Peake is so vocally and naively supporting the Glenn tax. There was a clip on tv last week quoting Allen as saying, -paraphrase- "Yes, you know the State takes people's homes for not paying their property taxes, the State won't be able to take people's homes with Glenn's tax."

What a well rounded, thoughtful analysis. I'm sadly but quickly learning it is what Allen does NOT SAY that will getcha.

To be fair, he may just be following the SILENT model governing precedent of our local legislators that came before him, i.e. Staton, Lucas, Brown, etc. Government doesn't get any quieter than with those "role models"...

Vic said...

geeze, i'm getting old, left out our church mice, Randall and Freeman...

Open+Transparent said...

So where are DuBose and Calvin, who should be calling him out for this regressive idiocy??

Amy Morton said...

There needs to be a serious, well-funded effort, that is bi-partisan in nature to fight this. And we have zero time. This is a areups threat to our schools. Lynn Farmer said it best, why would we want to send our tax dollars up to Atlanta politicians and "trust" them to send them back to us?

Vic said...

I'm glad that Bibb County School Board President Lynn Farmer agrees that our current set of state elected officials can't be trusted to do the right thing, too.

If the half a$$, half dozen mentioned before were concerned about central georgia, they would be holding town forums and legislative briefings throughout the year, including all the people and local leaders, formulating open air plans and soliciting grassroots, mid-ga support to carry regional legislative priorities out during the Legislative Session.

Yes, i'm a dreamer, the Georgia Political system has too many built in temptations for the Legislators to worry themselves with the little people over the lobbyists.