Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

The Political Vine is the home of political news, satire, rants, and rumors.


SB-85: The Crony Capitalist’s Dream

by Bill Simon

Prelude

Did you know that in the State of Georgia, there is no state law requiring anyone who is either running for office, or who is a sitting elected official (state legislator, Governor, AG, county commissioner, mayor, city council members, etc.) OR even an appointee to a commission or board (…or development authority or CID or…whatever), to have submitted to and cleared a criminal background check performed by the GBI? There is nothing in state law that requires our “elected/appointed government overlords” to pass a background check. Kinda fascinating, eh?

So…keep that in mind as we go thru this episode of the Vine, along with several future Vines.

SB 85

SB-85 is being spun as a “bill to just clean-up some language” in the law that currently exists for development authorities. SB-85 has passed the State Senate and is in the House…somewhere.

This is a link to a PDFed copy of the AJC article from a couple of weeks ago. In it is the claim by the (cough! cough!) “government attorney” (read: Paid to BS people) with the Fulton County Development Authority stating:

“What has happened is, in order to stop these deals, people have gone through and looked through all of the inconsistencies in the law. And what we’ve tried to do is clean them up,” said Lew Horne, attorney for the Development Authority of Fulton County.

Yes, well, interesting wording there, Mr. Horne. Those “inconsistencies” you claim to be clearing-up is more like an attempt to take a specified number of allowed Project types that currently exists in the law (approximately 14 enumerated project types, actually)…and making the number of projects that can be financed by taxpayer dollars to be an UNLIMITED number of projects with the stipulations merely being (from the specific language in the bill), Lines 16-17:

“…improvement for the essential public purpose of the development of trade, commerce, industry, and employment opportunities.”

Here are some questions for Senator Brandon Beach to address:

1) Based on my reading, could you tell me what in your language would prevent a Development Authority from authorizing the financing of any project in a CID that would normally be required via the Ga Constitution to be financed with strictly CID-tax money?

Because according to the Ga Constitution, these are the projects that a CID can use its money to do:

Article IX. Section VII, Paragraph II:

Purposes. The purpose of a community improvement district shall be the provision of any one or more of the following governmental services and facilities:

(1) Street and road construction and maintenance, including curbs, sidewalks, street lights, and devices to control the flow of traffic on streets and roads.
(2) Parks and recreational areas and facilities.
(3) Storm water and sewage collection and disposal systems.
(4) Development, storage, treatment, purification, and distribution of water.
(5) Public transportation.
(6) Terminal and dock facilities and parking facilities.
(7) Such other services and facilities as may be provided for by general law.

While most of these are ‘infrastructure-related’ projects, #2, “Parks and recreational areas and facilities” are not like “stormwater” disposal systems.

Currently, in the Georgia Supreme Court, there is a matter involving the financing of the Braves stadium whereby one of the claims by Cobb County is that the Braves stadium counts as a “recreational facility.”

Now, the word “recreation” can entail ALL kinds of things, and with Georgia being #1 in corruption, the imagination of corrupt government folks, none of whom have criminal background checks performed on them, is limitless. The problem is, maybe a CID would like to construct something that they don’t want to use their money to do, but they can get the development authority to do.

2) Separately, could you tell us where in your new paragraph (that merely “cleans-up existing language”) it would specifically prevent the financing of a project that is NOT in the geographical confines of the specific development authority’s jurisdiction? That is, sayyyy….if Cobb County Dev-Authority might wish to authorize the issuance of bonds to build a whorehouse in Nevada?

A whorehouse in Nevada would be a project that would develop trade and commerce, and provide plenty of employment opportunities.

Who cares if those employment opportunities are not in the geographical area of where the CCDA sits? (And, hey, a whorehouse will generate a ton of money to pay back those bonds, right?)

Senator, show us where your “clean-up language” would prevent a bunch of political appointees who sit on a development authority, none of whom have EVER had a criminal background check run on them by the GBI, from voting to authorize the issuing of bonds to build a project such as a whorehouse in Nevada, or even a new condo-project partly owned by, say, you, Senator Beach (a person who ALSO has not had a criminal background check by the GBI run on you), that is located in a completely different county?

Just a few questions I muse about…I’m sure I’ll have more soon…

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Today's Deep Thought

When I was a child, there were times when we had to entertain ourselves. And usually the best way to do that was to turn on the TV.



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