Category Archives: partisan politics

The Yin and Yang of Obama’s “victory”

By Michael Mumper

While I voted for President Obama in yesterday’s election, I’m in no mood to gloat.  National debt is too high, and the weight of corporate and governmental interests overwhelm the voice of the individual.  While the Affordable Care Act, I think, will move us to be a healthier, preventative-care culture, the price tag will be staggering.  While I admire the more respectful tone to our international friends around the globe (which I think Obama brings), there is a lot we can take to heart about our conservative friends’ message regarding individual responsibility, the value of wealth creation and the sustainability of financial conservatism.

Read more »

Official Recap of the GeorgiaForward 2012 Forum

New World, New Georgia: Re-visioning Statewide Prosperity

September 12-13 at the Classic Center in Athens, Georgia

Click here to be taken to the GeorgiaForward website and to see a copy of the final 2012 Forum Report!

Georgia resides in the midst of and is being shaped by major global economic trends. These trends, from the rise of the global middle class, to limited natural resources, to the migration of jobs and the best and brightest to cities, create a playing field on which Georgia is finding its footing. As our state adapts to a globally connected and competitive environment, statewide prosperity remains elusive. Yet, the challenges of the global framework also provide new opportunities.

Read more »

2012 GeorgiaForward Forum drives key themes in moving Georgia….Forward!

By Michael Mumper

Last month I joined some 225 government, academic, civic and education leaders convening in Athens, Georgia, as part of GeorgiaForward’s third annual conference.

The goals of the forum were formidable.

As Maria Saporta captured in her recap of the forum:

As long as we are a divided state with multiple and contradictory visions for Georgia we will never reach our potential.  So how can Georgia build consensus towards a cohesive and inspirational vision for our state? …. How can Georgia in 20 years become a national model for prosperity in every corner of the state?

Read more »

Charlie Harper: I’m right, and you’re evil

By Charlie Harper

Published: August 24, 2012 by, at

I was a little bored, and I decided to weigh in on a Georgia legislator’s Facebook page regarding traffic congestion in suburban Atlanta. I should know better, but I also know better than to slow down and look at car accidents on the side of the road as I pass them, too. Sometimes you just can’t help yourself, despite the fact that you know you’re going to see things you probably wish you hadn’t.

Read more »

A Non-partisan approach to HR 1162

By Michael Mumper

Thinking in non-partisan ways is not so easy in Georgia.   It may not be anywhere.

So I’d like to bring attention from time-to-time to people who think beyond party lines in defense of their principles.

Senator Thompson

I’d like to call out Georgia State Senator Curt Thompson (D-District 5), who voted for HR 1162.  This legislation is largely seen as a Republican-led initiative, and Thompson is a Democrat.

Because it recently passed both houses of our state’s General Assembly, this resolution will go before voters this fall to decide whether the state of Georgia should have the power to authorize charter schools.  Even, potentially, over the objection of local school boards.

But I bring attention to Senator Thompson not because he voted for HR 1162.  Rather, because:

Read more »

Ethics Reform giving Georgia a boost of unity – a beginner’s guide to the story

By Michael Mumper

It’s rare in today’s politically divisive environment to find an issue so many people agree on.  But ethics reform in Georgia, and the lack thereof, is providing just that platform.

Based partly on the observation that Georgia is one of three states without limits on lobbyist gifts (see chart below) – and a recent study sponsored by a consortium led by the Center for Public Integrity that gives Georgia the lowest ranking of all 50 states – Georgia has garnered considerable negative statewide and national attention.

Rather than re-hash, let’s accumulate what we know about this issue

This issue is getting so much press on all media, I don’t know how much value AtlCrossroads would add in re-hashing pieces of what’s already known in 500 words or less.  But it may be useful to have a collection of information in one place that people can visit in order to learn more.  That’s what this compilation will try to accomplish.


The Problem: Limited limits

Jay Bookman sums it up nicely. Among the most glaring, simple-to-understand metrics, Georgia is one of just three states with no limits on lobbyist gifts to legislators.

Read more »

Atlanta’s Transportation Investment Act really needs St. Francis of Assisi (smile)

By Michael Mumper

My mind is grappling with the magnitude of different approaches and reactions to the Transportation Investment Act, particularly for the Atlanta region, with two of these views presented by Steve Brown, Fayette County Commissioner, and Bruce Gunter, president of Progressive Redevelopment Inc(For more information on the TIA, click here).

Yes, we’ll be voting on it on the TIA July 31.

Well, maybe.

Read more »