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.


Payola: The Name of the Game for Georgia Governor Nathan Deal

by PV

“No matter what they say it’s about, it’s always about money.” — Bill O’Neil, American Businessman

Rumors have it that someone (or several “someones”) in the inner circle of the Governor’s Office has received some kind of payola to get the Governor to do whatever he could to prevent the key element of HB 722 from being signed into law this year in order to give a certain company time to put financial resources together so they will be ready in the 2017-2018 timeframe to become the sole provider of medical marijuana oil via in-state cultivation in Georgia.

That “key element” is the permission for in-state cultivation of the hemp plant to allow the production of the cannabis oil that patients need now.

The emphasis on “this year” has to do with the fact that when the finances for building the infrastructure here in Georgia get in place for a certain company, this cultivation legislation will pass in 2017 or 2018 at the latestbefore Governor Deal leaves office.

PV Provides Background Info: Frankly, Folks, some things are just hidden in plain sight. Let us introduce you to a company started in Atlanta in 2014: Surterra Holdings. As per this story in November of 2014 in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, “Surterra Holdings Inc. is focused on the legalization of cannabis-based medicines and plans to help create a business infrastructure which will allow the production, distribution and sale of medical marijuana products in Georgia.”

This is the company Website: http://www.surterra.com/

This company already has a bevy of lobbyists to help make the introductions all around to the Governor and schmooze-up anyone and everyone. Their lead lobbyist is Brad Alexander of McGuire Woods Consulting, and he has established a very good relationship with the Governor via campaign contributions.

Surterra has already made a tiny offering to the Georgia House Republican Trust in the amount of $5,000 on 12/17/2015, undoubtedly to make sure House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee Chair Rich Golick got the word that a token was going to be paid for this session, but much, much more will come to the House Trust account, and likely, Golick’s own campaign coffers after the session…so its okay if he works it hard in committee to act as much of an SOB as he can do to fight against Allen Peake and his legislation in this session.

Surterra has a business plan that includes Georgia, but it is not this year. As explained in this St. Pete, Florida newspaper article, Surterra was chosen late last year to be “…one of the five organizations that can cultivate, process and dispense low-THC cannabis. In January [2016], Surterra requested authorization from the Department of Health to begin cultivating medical marijuana.”

As mentioned in that St Pete article, Surterra “…now has 210 days to make the products available to patients.” Producing product and manufacturing is a labor and capital-intensive process, so capital to build another plant in Georgia in 2016 is not viable for Surterra. So, Surterra has to make sure Georgia does not pass cultivation legislation this session because they would miss-out on the monopoly, or near-monopoly, of being able to provide cannabis-oil based therapeutic medicine to Georgians in-state.

So, you might ask “Where is the connection to the Governor’s Office or his people?” Surterra has made only two contributions in Georgia since its formation, the $5000 to the House Republican Trust, and $500 to Senator Butch Miller.

The connection to the Governor’s people can be derived from the information relayed in this video by Dale Jackson, a political activist who has been working with many other parents to help educate people in the Gold Dome about Peake’s bill, and the importance of allowing in-state cultivation.

Jackson has a child with autism that he wants to get the cannabis medicine for. He has done several videos to let people know what’s going on in the process, but this latest one is the most powerful in what it reveals about the kind of person Governor Deal really is, and what/who must be influencing him to do what he is doing to HB 722, and what he is doing to the families who cannot get the medicine their children desperately need this year, as soon as possible.

It is a short 2 minutes, 47 seconds…but the information it delivers is mind-blowing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXnLOpikNKE&feature=youtu.be

Mind-blown fact #1: The Governor said that “next on the chopping block will be autism”…this after he already cut-out PTSD (like what our veterans experience) and intractable pain as one of the maladies that could be treated with the cannabis oil?

Apparently the Governor thinks that since children with autism are just weird and not deserving of any semblance of a normal life, he decided to send a signal to people like Dale Jackson that, as far as HE, Nathan Deal, was concerned, those autistic children don’t have a right to a better, healthier life, so…he will figuratively chop their heads off by removing autism from the list of acceptable illnesses that the cannabis oil can treat.

Soooo…the Governor has visions of laying Dale Jackson’s son out on a block of wood and chopping his son’s head off. That is the mind of one sick psychopath, and yeah, that is the kind of person this state has as Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal.

Mind-blown fact #2: The Governor has either added language (or offered to add) that will give “immunity” to any manufacturer who is outside the state (In Colorado or California, etc.) and who ships the oil into Georgia. HUH??!

Here is a link to the map of the contiguous United States of America, Governor: http://www.yellowmaps.com/maps/img/US/blank-base/usstates1c.jpg

Note that between Colorado and Georgia, there are a minimum of 4 states between them. Does Nathan Deal have the power to order any of those states to let shipping companies go thru those states unmolested while they are carrying the medicine? Does Nathan Deal have the power to tell the federal government to ignore the transportation of the cannabis medicine while it is being transported either via the roads, rails, or air traffic? No, no, no, and no.

Though the Governor is clearly a psychopath, is he also this stupid? The answer is no. He’s not stupid, but he’s coming up with stupid ways to kill the in-state cultivation AND, at the same time, he and his crew are trying to figure out how they can oppose the in-state cultivation this year, but allow it to pass in either 2017 or 2018 for the payola his inner-circle friends will receive…and make their “logic” (sic) line-up with their current stall of this legislation for this year to help Surterra Holdings in the next two years gain a prime spot for in-state cultivation.

Folks, if he gets away with it this year, but allows the in-state cultivation it within two years, he will offer the reasoning “Well, I thought about it a long time, and I decided I was wrong, and blah-blah-blah…”

Meanwhile, children like Dale Jackson’s and plenty of other sick children, who could have been helped by a quicker delivery of in-state cultivated cannabis oil, will continue to suffer longer whilst the Governor’s friends and family wait patiently for their payoff via payola in some form for the Governor delaying this.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the objections raised from the Georgia Baptist Convention…behind closed doors, a psychopath like Governor Deal laughs at the GBC and their charade because he uses the same charade of being a person of deep faith while working on making state government bigger and bigger, taxing Georgians more than any Democratic governor before him ever accomplished, and destroying individual liberties.

It also has absolutely nothing to do with the objections raised by the Georgia Sheriff’s Association or any other police organization. In fact, as a side discussion, anyone ever wonder why Georgia has become one of the top states for child-sex-trafficking?

It is because our state’s various law enforcement organizations would rather spend their limited time and resources chasing people using marijuana and eagerly seeking-out opportunities to steal private property via asset forfeiture than spend the time uncovering human and child-trafficking rings.

Busting a child-sex-trafficking ring offers no assets or cash for police departments to confiscate, so, they’d rather ignore that law breakage and focus on the “fun” police work of stealing money via asset “forfeiture.” You could draw a chart that shows the rate of increase in child-sex-trafficking incidents occurring in Georgia parallels the increase in the rates of cops spending time on other, more departmental “lucrative” operations that generate revenue for themselves and their county/city jurisdictions (i.e., ticket writing, busting people for recreational use of marijuana, meth, etc.).

Conclusion

If you have a child who has one of the diseases listed in HB 722 that can possibly be helped by the cannabis oil this state has already approved of, OR you know of a child who could be helped (because nothing else exists to help heal them), OR you are just fed-up with a selfish, dirty-dealing Governor who does not make ANY deals in this state unless he and/or his pals get a payoff in some way from it, it’s time to hit the phones, and not only contact the Governor’s Office and express your support of HB 722 with in-state cultivation this year (2016), but you should also call your own legislators (both senate and house) to express your disgust with them failing to stand-up for their constituents.

Crossover Day is this Monday. This is the cut-off date for legislation to be passed in either house and cross-over to the other house for consideration. It is important to make your calls today, Friday, to the Governor and your legislators to express your opinion on this bill.

This is the Governor’s Office phone contact info (be nice to the person who answers the phone) to express your demand that he put in-state cultivation back into HB 722 this year:

Phone: 404-656-1776
Fax: 404-657-7332

Here is an online link to the Georgia State House members (and their office phone numbers, along with their assistant’s name….be nice to the assistants…it’s not their fault who they work for…)

Here is an online link to the Georgia State Senate members (and their office phone numbers, along with their assistant’s name….be nice to the assistants…it’s not their fault who they work for…)

P.S. Just discovered something rather laughable about this current Governor. This is a link to the Governor’s government web page…and this is what is described at the top as to his duties: “The governor is the chief executive of the state and oversees the executive branch. He or she is the chief law enforcement officer and the commander-in-chief of the state’s military forces….The governor shall “take care that the laws are faithfully executed and shall be the conservator of the peace” in the state. This power to enforce laws is almost identical to that of the president of the United States. He or she has the power to veto legislation, although the Georgia General Assembly can override a gubernatorial veto with a two-thirds majority in each chamber.”

The Governor’s role is spelled-out in the Georgia Constitution that he is to “execute laws”, NOT make them. He has no business meddling in HB 722. What he is doing is neutering your representation via your State Rep or your State Senator…and, essentially, he is ruling as a dictator would. Don’t let him take your rights away, not this time, not ever.

Pound the Governor’s phone with your calls. Fax him your opinion. Melt his office lines. Pound your legislator’s office phones too. No primary on Tuesday is more important than what happens in this state. Spread the word.

P.S.S. If the Governor DOES fight in-state cultivation this year, but allows it in 2017 or 2018 before he leaves office…then that will help give the FBI probable cause that what PV is claiming is happening with payola and the Governor’s Office today is enough probable cause to investigate all parties in this story (in 2017-2018 timeframe), from the Governor, to Surterra, the Rich Golick to the lobbyists, to the Governor’s Chief of Staff and other inner-circle people.

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Today's Deep Thought

Even though he was an enemy of mine, I had to admit that what he had accomplished was a brilliant piece of strategy. First, he punched me, then he kicked me, then he punched me again.







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