On January 10 Nathan Deal will be sworn in as Governor to lead a state with significant budget problems and rankings across many markers (education, health, transportation, to name a few) which put our state consistently at the bottom nationally. Perdue leaves us with a $1.2 billion dollar debt, which includes $60 million for three of his pet projects (recently purchased Oaky Woods, the Go Fish project, and expanded facilities at the Georgia fairgrounds).
In Perdue's place we will be saddled with Nathan Deal, who left Congress under a thick blanket of ethics complaints followed by a personal financial mess which was obscured from Republican party leaders and voters.
Deal was never recognized as a leader among Georgia's Congressional delegation. He has made his staff and transition team appointments based on people and lobbyists who have contributed to his campaigns, or in the case of his Chief of Staff, Chris Riley, have also had questions raised about their own ethics. Deal declined the money budgeted by the state for the inauguration, and instead has allow private donations of up to $50K to fund the festivities. When the confetti and streamers are cleaned up, my bet is the people who paid for the parties will be the first phone messages returned when they need something from the Governor's office.
I am afraid that Georgians are about to learn more than one hard lesson about who we have elected to lead in our state and who will profit from our lawmakers' decisions. We have large challenges ahead for our state, and I have little confidence in our elected leaders for real solutions that will benefit all Georgians.