Originally created 06/02/04

Save Fort Discovery



Does Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue not have any idea what he's risking?

Does he not realize that his deferment - and possible denial of - desperately needed funds for Fort Discovery has already sent ripples through Georgia and, quite possibly, to the Pentagon?

Does he not realize what a big deal Fort Discovery is? That, as a National Science Center, it's put Augusta on the map in the field of science and math education? That Fort Discovery's reach truly is national?

Does he not understand that the Pentagon, which sends several million dollars a year to Fort Discovery, can't help but be resentful toward Georgia if the state's own commitment to Fort Discovery is yanked - and at a time that the future of Augusta's Fort Gordon and other Georgia military installations is very much in doubt, due to planned base closings?

Beyond that, does he not have an eye on the political ramifications? Does he not fathom that, should he allow Fort Discovery to wither, that would be seen as crippling the Augusta legislative delegation's clout - and would endanger state Sen. Don Cheeks' re-election effort? Does the governor not recall how Cheeks switched parties after the last election to help hand control of the Senate to the governor's Republican Party? Does the governor want to hand local Democrats a wedge issue for this year's election, and cede control of the Senate back to Democrats?

Just what is he thinking?

He's not just playing with fire. He's flirting with a conflagration.

Fort Discovery's laying off of 40 of the center's 60 employees on Monday was just the start.

Governor, denying Fort Discovery the $890,000 the General Assembly appropriated it would be the ultimate in being penny wise and pound foolish.

It's not too late to stop the damage. But it's getting there.