Christopher Noah, Ph.D., wrote The News-Times last week and expressed his kudos to the legislative delegation from Columbia County, as well as his optimism for future actions on their parts.
Such thinking by Noah raises several questions and issues, but when a person uses a Ph.D. title to substantiate his political opinion, it becomes suspect. Noah praises those legislators, but his praise makes no sense when viewed in light of their past performance.
Specifically, state Rep. Ben Harbins leadership for the past eight years has failed to resolve funding for the library; he has failed to produce an Augusta Tech Campus in Columbia County; and has failed to oppose the tax-and-spend mentality of the Atlanta Democrats. In fact, he has shown that he continuously voted for budget bills filled with pork. A sour economy and pork-barrel spending make this years $650 million budget deficit reality.
Oh, and lets not forget about his yes vote for the education reform bill.
State Sen. Joey Brush has had six years in the Senate, punctuated by his annual push to repeal the motorcycle helmet law. He also has been an advocate for the relaxation of standards and inspections of the builders. In the latter case, his father is a builder and Brush himself is a member of the real estate establishment and the Metro Augusta Homebuilders Association. It could be said that he has a vested interest, but he has demonstrated that his leadership in the legislature is reserved for those to whom he is closest.
And who could ever forget his episode with the removal of the New York State flag at the Georgia capital? Now thats real leadership!
State Rep. Barry Fleming is new to the Legislature this year, making criticism or praise of his performance premature. But as a Columbia County commissioner, he was in the forefront with Frank Spears in establishing the notorious rain tax, now a legal liability for the county.
As far as leadership is concerned and contrary to Noahs opinion and glowing comments, I cant see that any of our delegation, with the possible exception of state Sen. Don Cheeks, who has just joined Columbia Countys group, has demonstrated anything of significance to contribute.
Noah should check the records first and then write his opinion. It doesnt require a Ph.D. to do it!
(Mr. Dykes is first vice-chairman of the Columbia County Republican Party.)
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