Barnes' political views have shifted over time

Critics accuse him of 'tailoring' platform

ATLANTA --- When he first ran for governor in 1990, Roy Barnes was a vocal opponent of the lottery. He was defeated in a Democratic primary by Zell Miller, who made the creation of a lottery to fund education the centerpiece of his campaign.

Roy Barnes: Former governor is seeking to reclaim the seat and says his opinions have naturally evolved over his 26 years in politics.  Stephen Morton/Associated Press
Stephen Morton/Associated Press
Roy Barnes: Former governor is seeking to reclaim the seat and says his opinions have naturally evolved over his 26 years in politics.

Since then, Barnes has become a convert, saying the funding is vital to education in Georgia.

"Originally, I had problems with the lottery," the former governor said. "I thought that it was the state taking advantage of its own people. But it's here."

Barnes, who is seeking his old job back, has made experience central to his campaign. A look at his 26 years in elected office shows that on some key issues, his views have changed along with the times.

Barnes opposed abortion but now says he favors abortion rights after his daughters persuaded him to rethink his views. He is pledging to remove some of the special interest tax breaks he once favored.

The former governor said it's a perfectly normal "political evolution" for someone who has served as long as he has. Critics, however, accuse the former governor of tailoring his views to suit the prevailing political mood.

Nick Ayers, who led Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue's campaign that ousted Barnes from the governor's mansion in 2002, said Barnes uses a trial lawyer's technique of changing his strategy to suit the jury.

"But the jury in Georgia politics hasn't changed," said Ayers, now the executive director of the Republican Governors Association. "The same people heard Roy be for the lottery and against it, be pro-life and pro-choice, be for (President) Obama, John Edwards and Harry Reid in some crowds and against them in others."

"That's a huge turn off," Ayers added.

Even Barnes' critics agree on one thing: He aims big.

In his four years as governor, Barnes undertook an activist agenda -- from changing Georgia's flag to muscling through a tough predatory lending bill that had Wall Street up in arms. There were sweeping school reforms designed to improve student performance and tax relief for homeowners.

Barnes' supporters applaud his willingness to tackle the state's most intractable problems. Detractors say Barnes' record shows not vision but arrogance -- ramming through big initiatives with a know-it-all attitude that left him with the nickname "King Roy."

"I'm an impatient person by nature," Barnes acknowledged. "My heart was in the right place, but there were times I didn't slow down or explain myself well enough."

When he was elected governor in 1998, Barnes pushed immediately for tax relief for homeowners and delivered a homestead exemption tax credit that delivered billions in tax relief after it was enacted in 1999. Republicans repealed the measure in 2009.

His education reform measure was a precursor to the federal No Child Left Behind law, putting in place more testing and accountability. Teachers, who felt like they were under attack for the poor performance of the state's schools, were irate when Barnes pushed to eliminate teacher tenure. Barnes now says it was a negotiating tactic that backfired.

Barnes pressed to build a $2 billion highway -- dubbed the Northern Arc -- to relieve traffic congestion along the perimeter outside of Atlanta but ran into fierce opposition from local residents who said the roadway would lower their property values. He also faced allegations of cronyism after owners of large tracts of land along the highway's proposed route were found to have contributed to Barnes' campaign. The proposal was eventually scrapped.

Shrinking the Confederate battle symbol on the state's flag was a fight that alienated some rural white voters, who felt their heritage was being stripped away. Many say it weighed heavily in Barnes' 2002 loss to Perdue. Barnes won some consolation in the form of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award soon after losing his re-election bid.

To Barnes, the hardest bill he passed as governor was one that cracked down on predatory lending.

The 2002 measure was widely considered to be the toughest in the nation, and an army of financial industry lobbyists descended on the Capitol to fight it.

Barnes signed the bill, but it had a short lifespan. The new law was gutted soon after his re-election defeat when lending institutions threatened to pull out of the state.

State Sen. Vincent Fort, who worked with Barnes on the predatory lending bill, said Barnes "is always aiming for the fences."

"He doesn't do anything halfway," the Atlanta Democrat said. "That just isn't in his nature."

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Riverrunner30909
149
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Riverrunner30909 09/12/10 - 01:38 am
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Yep they truly have shifted
Unpublished

Yep they truly have shifted and will stay the way they are until he were to get elected. Then back to the same old Roy of Rape the State and its People. Our choice this election year is to choose between, USELESS or WORTHLESS.

Ga Values
27
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Ga Values 09/12/10 - 06:48 am
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Vote NONE OF THE ABOVE, John

Vote NONE OF THE ABOVE, John Monds

http://www.votemonds.com/

chascush
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chascush 09/12/10 - 09:13 am
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"Originally, I had problems

"Originally, I had problems with the lottery," the former governor said. "I thought that it was the state taking advantage of its own people. But it's here."
A tax on the poor and the dumb, mostly DUMocrats. It is the only tax most of them pay.

bornigan
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bornigan 09/12/10 - 12:14 pm
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What's with the favorable

What's with the favorable articles on King Roy this week? Is the Chronicle endorsing him or something?

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 09/12/10 - 03:41 pm
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This is an AP article.

This is an AP article.

Brad Owens
4229
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Brad Owens 09/12/10 - 06:02 pm
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Roy is sounding pretty good

Roy is sounding pretty good these days...

Little Lamb
45207
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Little Lamb 09/12/10 - 09:04 pm
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And to amplify on Taylor's

And to amplify on Taylor's comment, the AP is the public relations arm of the Democratic Party.

And to amplify on Brad's comment, Roy has adopted the strategy that proved successful for Bill Clinton. Do lots of polls and champion positions, causes, legislation that appeals to the most voters, no matter what you believe. It's about power, not principle.

Richmnd Cty Votr
1
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Richmnd Cty Votr 09/12/10 - 09:15 pm
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Where are you on illegals in

Where are you on illegals in this country? If you cross the North Korean border illegally, you get 12 years hard labor.________If you cross the Iranian border illegally, you are detained indefinitely._________If you cross the Afghan border illegally, you get shot._______If you cross the Saudi Arabian border illegally, you will be jailed.________If you cross the Chinese border illegally, you may never be heard from again._______If you cross the Venezuelan border illegally, you will be branded a spy and your fate will be sealed._______If you cross the Mexican border illegally, you will be thrown into a political prison to rot._________________If you cross the U.S. border illegally, you get______A JOB, A DRIVERS LICENSE, A SOCIAL SECURITY CARD, WELFARE, FOOD STAMPS, CREDIT CARDS, SUBSIDIZED RENT OR LOAN TO BUY A HOUSE, FREE EDUCATION, FREE HEALTH CARE, A LOBBYIST IN WASHINGTON, BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS PRINTED IN YOUR LANGUAGE, AND THE RIGHT TO CARRY YOUR COUNTRY'S FLAG WHILE YOU PROTEST THAT YOU DON'T GET ENOUGH RESPECT._____________Of course, North Korea, China, and the others are dictatorships, but the fact remains that America's immigration policy is destructive. It encourages illegal immigration and the bankruptcy of the states. It creates social and racial tensions._______Most illegal immigrants are not in search of liberty. They are looking for economic opportunity and in many instances the social freebies handed out by the state at the expense of the producers. Mexico is a third world cesspool lorded over by a small financial and hereditary elite that has held the people of Mexico in poverty and slavery for hundreds of years._______ It is human nature to escape this sort of brutality.________Once upon a time, immigration policies ensured that immigrants arriving on our shores were not only free of disease, but had marketable skills and would not impose an economic burden on the country. Immigrants were expected to accept American culture and speak the language.______Now the exact opposite is the case.__________“An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide,” wrote the famed British historian Arnold Toynbee. America — through its immigration and economic policies — is well on its way to committing suicide.______This is no mistake. It was planned that way.______In order to destroy the United States and establish world government, the elite plan to not only take America to her knees economically, but splinter the nation into a half dozen or more antagonistic pieces (a process known as Balkanization). The British did this as they set about conquering the world (as a glance at a map of the Middle East reveals). It is also called divide and conquer._______In the streets of Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and elsewhere, thousands of pro-illegal immigration demonstrators have called for “amnesty” and demanded the tidal wave of illegal immigrants continue it destructive course. Arizona’s attempt to control its border — in lieu of the federal government refusing to do so — is the lightning rod that has catapulted to the point of violence (that remains largely unreported by the globalist controlled corporate media)._______It is not coincidental the immigration issue has reached a breaking point at the same time as much of the world is wracked by economic crisis. In response to this manufactured crisis, the elite through their appointed minions have called for “global governance” (world government) and a “unified global approach” to economic and social issues. Immigration is part of the effort to merge nations into a union designed by the bankers........

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/buDtTu

sgachief
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sgachief 09/14/10 - 07:38 am
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king roy is shifty alright.

king roy is shifty alright. let's do our part to shift him right back under his rock for good. go DEAL!!!

ruach
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ruach 09/14/10 - 08:59 am
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Barnes and Deal are no

Barnes and Deal are no choices at all....same ol "stuff"....John Monds will get my vote.

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