On Roy Barnes’ request to congratulate Nathan Deal

[A letter sent to ex-Governor Roy Barnes, care of his campaign, after receipt of this email.]

Dear Governor Barnes,

You, or someone from your campaign acting on your behalf, just sent an e-mail to me and the rest of your supporters asking them to join you in congratulating Nathan Deal. Frankly, I’m surprised at that. 

One of my relatives founded the Buckhead area of Atlanta, and I am fortunate to live in this vibrant city and travel all over Georgia to support the state’s economy.  I feel a profound connection to this land of mountains, ocean, and red clay, so I thought I’d take a few minutes to share my thoughts with you.

While you were governor, you tackled difficult issues, and made tough decisions that cost you politically.  Faced directly with serious problems that could have inflicted long-term damage, you took on issues including education and the Confederate symbolism of the Georgia flag.  Reasonable Georgians understand that your work on those issues was out of love for our great state.

Why would I now welcome a person into office who has not proven that he has this state’s best interests at heart, but appears to have a pattern of behavior of using political might for his own personal gain?  In addition to having been one of Washington’s most corrupt insiders, Mr. Deal has, at best, lied directly and by omission since the beginning of his campaign.  It remains to be seen whether he’ll become civilly or criminally liable during his term as Georgia’s governor, which I personally don’t doubt.

Soon, good citizens of this state will experience government furloughs, the stifling of innovation, and poor transportation and energy/environmental policy.  Even setting social wedge issues aside, you demonstrated knowledge during this campaign that this state needs to stop being a laughingstock and think FORWARD rather than backward.

No, I do not welcome Mr. Deal to the governorship.  The economy in Georgia may recover, as a direct result of the hard work by President Obama and Congress over the past 21 months.  But what will Mr. Deal be doing?  Slowing the recovery by attempting to repeal healthcare reform, slashing needed government services, and continuing to let Georgia’s archaic infrastructure lag behind.

At best, the state we love is more of a laughingstock than ever under Mr. Deal, as you correctly emphasized during the campaign.  At worst, this could be the beginning of a new dark ages for Georgia.  Therefore, this governor — and those in state government who resist forward motion — deserves constant protest, not congratulations.

Thanks again to you and your family for your political and personal sacrifices on Georgia’s behalf.  Best to you in the future.

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