Cobb GOP delegation: We need to end reliance on federal dollars
by Geoff Folsom
January 07, 2013 12:52 AM | 5543 views | 13 13 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) answers questions from the Cobb GOP members during Saturday's breakfast. Staff/Todd Hull
Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) answers questions from the Cobb GOP members during Saturday's breakfast. Staff/Todd Hull
slideshow
The Cobb GOP held a breakfast on Saturday morning with a pannel of local Legislative members. Here, Cobb GOP Chairman Joe Dendy introduces each of the eight members at the start of Saturday's breakfast. Staff/Todd Hull
The Cobb GOP held a breakfast on Saturday morning with a pannel of local Legislative members. Here, Cobb GOP Chairman Joe Dendy introduces each of the eight members at the start of Saturday's breakfast. Staff/Todd Hull
slideshow
MARIETTA — Some of Cobb’s Republican state legislators said it’s time for Georgia to move away from the federal government during Saturday’s Cobb Republican Party Legislative Breakfast.

State Sen. Barry Loudermilk of Cassville, who will represent some of the Highway 92 area in north Cobb in the upcoming legislative session, said he recently talked with a Georgia Department of Transportation board member who expressed interest in a proposal to have the state control all the fuel taxes it issues and spends.

“There are no federal taxes that go for it, that’s what we need to be looking at,” Loudermilk said to applause, while dropping in quotes from Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. “I’ll take it a step further: we need to start in the direction to where we don’t have a Medicaid system, but we turn it back to the way it was before Medicaid, where there were nonprofit hospitals that provided indigent care to the people, that were run by churches and religious organizations. As soon as Medicaid came into being, they went away. They saw a way of becoming a profitable institution by government funding.”

Loudermilk’s comments came at the same meeting where state Rep.-elect Charles Gregory of Kennesaw said Georgia should look at making its own currency in future years, which could allow the state to get away from a reliance on federal grants.

Rep. John Carson of northeast Cobb said a major focus of his first full term in office will be reform of the SPLOST sales tax referendums, allowing for SPLOSTs of less than 1 percent.

“We ask the taxpayers for more than what we need,” he said. “Let’s scale that down, let’s ask for a quarter of a percent or a half of a percent.”

Sen. Judson Hill of east Cobb said that with the failure of the TSPLOST referendum in July, he is looking at some new transportation plans.

“We do need a Plan B that has a funding source that doesn’t tax people,” he said.

Hill said he believes the budget will take up the majority of the General Assembly’s time during the session, which convenes Jan. 14. He hopes the backlog won’t lead to a special session this summer.

“With all the things you referenced in Washington, the fiscal cliff type issues, it’s been very difficult for Gov. (Nathan) Deal to determine the revenue estimate, which is the basis for us to write the budget,” he said. “About half of our budget comes from the federal government.”

Rep. Ed Setzler of Acworth said the state will need to look at an alternative to current electronic voting machines that would produce a “physically verifiable” record of a vote. But it could take several years to show the need for it.

“It’s got to be a mainstream issue among the citizens,” he said. “We can’t allow it to be framed as an extremist issue, that seen as a conspiracy theory. We have to be very measured as conservatives to not say, ‘Hey, over here in this state they had the elections thrown because they didn’t have a physically verifiable system.’ As soon as someone says something kooky and tries to present it as factual, then the whole movement loses credibility.”

Rep. Sharon Cooper of east Cobb, chairwoman of the House Health and Human Services Committee, said that with the recent wave of mass shootings across the country, more needs to be done to deal with mental health services that the federal government has defunded.

“Families and physicians that used to put people in hospitals when they thought that they were mentally ill and they could keep them there, back in the ’60s or ’70s, the United States Supreme Court basically ruled that you could not be kept against your will unless you were right at that minute where a doctor could say you were going to kill yourself or kill somebody else,” Cooper said. “That ties the hands of psychiatrists and doctors to keep people who are mentally ill, who are really severely incapacitated but not at that minute going to kill themselves or somebody else, from getting treatment. I don’t know what the solution is, but we’re working on a statewide system now.”

The Republican delegation’s other newcomer, Sen.-elect Hunter Hill of Vinings, avoided the kind of headline-grabbing ideas promoted by Gregory, instead staying quiet for most of the event. But the man who defeated longtime Democratic incumbent Sen. Doug Stoner did get the loudest applause after being introduced by Cobb GOP Chairman Joe Dendy.

“Our committees have not been assigned, but I’m very much looking forward to seeing where the leadership has decided to place me,” Hunter Hill said.

Though she lost to Gregory in the July 31 Republican Primary, and therefore won’t be voting under the Gold Dome this year, Rep. Judy Manning of Marietta sat in with the panel.

“It’s been my pleasure to serve you, and I’ve really, really enjoyed the ride,” she said. “I don’t know where it’s going from here, but it’s going somewhere.”

Rob Sifen of Vinings, president of the Cobb County Civic Coalition, said he was pleased with the discussion.

“A lot of really good points were made on a variety of topics,” he said. “Transportation needs to be addressed, reforming the SPLOST system needs to be addressed.”

Along with the legislators, a number of other dignitaries were in attendance Saturday, including Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens; Cobb Chairman Tim Lee and commissioners Bob Ott and JoAnn Birrell; District Attorney Vic Reynolds; school board members Scott Sweeney, Tim Stultz and Brad Wheeler; Superior Court Judge Reuben Green, Solicitor General Barry Wilson and Georgia Tea Party Chairman J.D. Van Brink. Ott was seated at a table with anti-illegal immigration activist D.A. King, Michael Opitz of the Madison Forum and former chairman candidate Larry Savage.

Comments
(13)
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Julez
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January 09, 2013
This headline is very misleading... should read "Cobb GOP or Republican Delegation".

The way it's written it appears that there are no other party's members.

Cobb does have elected Democratic members, who are part of the entire Cobb Delegation.

I hope that representative from the Department of the Treasury have a minute to meet with Rep. Gregory and remind him that states can't issue their own currency, that would be forgery. Before any one gets their undies in a bunch, states haven't been able to issue their own currency since about 1789, so this isn't a "states rights issue.

Perhaps the ghost of Alexander Hamilton will visit Rep. Gregory before the Jan14th gavel in the Gold Dome Follies.

Friendly Web Editor
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January 09, 2013
You are 100% correct about the headline. It has been changed.

FWE
GaRez
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January 08, 2013
How do these people get elected??? Print our own currency? Really? Go back to watching our seniors and poor people die from health issues because they couldn't afford health care? Churches and non-profits don't have the resources to provide those levels of health care. Being a conservative republican used to mean being fiscally responsible now it just means crazy. Time for some real leadership in the party.
West Cobb
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January 07, 2013
sounds like Judy Manning may be related to John Wiles (the man who did not know he was defeated). lol
Jim G
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January 07, 2013
I'm sure Barry Morgan is still Cobb County Solictor General.
anonymous
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January 07, 2013
Well, if we are going to be subverting the intentions of our founding fathers with respect to the 2nd amendment, I think we should actaully do so good and put restrictions on who can speak freely...God knows the damage that a liar can do in a country where there is no shortage of idiots willing to accept the lies. I say the lying types, such as those members of the ranks of community organizers and rinos, should be required to register as such and thereon be banned from exercising free speech.
anonymous
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January 07, 2013
I am all for breaking the ties to Federal dollars. Charles Gregory seems like a nice enough guy, but I can get you a date with a nice guy. We need leaders! Printing our own currency and giving guns to anybody with a driver's license? I am a strong proponent of the 2nd Amendment but this is naive at best. Plenty of people who have or have had mental problems or done time for felony crimes have driver's licenses and should not have guns. And what about those who enter our country illegally who have feld their native countries because they have violent pasts? Any illegal can get a license, this is a bad idea and poorly thought out. As for printing our own currency, has little Chucky been checking to make sure such currency would be accepted the world over? What's the standard going to be? Best grow up a little Charles, this is the real deal. No Ron Paul is going to help you out here.
John Galt
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January 07, 2013
Excellent! This will make it easier to secede.
Johnny H
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January 07, 2013
The Republicans still don't get it.
frogbreath
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January 07, 2013
--also we don't have to read in the national rags that we receive more from the Fed than we pay. I would much rather see our great state self supporting in as many areas as possible.
Weekender2
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January 07, 2013
I like the idea of refusing federal money and the strings that come with it. It will have to be done in small steps but it can be done. How can we tie our refusal of federal funds to our reluctance to pay federal taxes? We'll continue to pay and it will be redistributed to other states but we have to start somewhere.
Mike H
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January 07, 2013
Georgia gets more in federal taxes than it pays.

Cobb gets a LOT of federal taxe dollars - Lockheed jobs, and Dobbins Air Force Base jobs as an example.

If you folks want to shut down the economic backbone of our county and state, I hope you have thought the issue through and just aren't complaining in your little echo chamber.
SG68
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January 07, 2013
Wrong Mike H Georgia is a "donor" state.

Show me where you found information that indicates otherwise.
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