Steve Scroggins lives in Macon and serves as the GHC webmaster. He is the
deranged creative force behind the X-Files parody and satire feature.
Taxpayer Bailouts for Perdue and Oaky Woods Lobbyists? – Commentary by Steve Scroggins 1/23/09
Given our knowledge that Gov. Sonny Perdue is an
and based on his long track record of shady and questionable activities (mostly real estate deals and special tax breaks) coupled with
phenomenal wealth accumulation, we're automatically suspicious when unusual Perdue financial events surface in the news.
Alan Judd and the AJC published a story Jan. 18th revealing that
Perdue has a $21 million loan due March 1st --- a balloon payment. Questions immediately develop in the
enquiring mind such as the purpose of the loan and why the large amount.
Perdue refused to answer and we're told that he is not legally required to disclose details because he cannot run for
re-election (we take our blessings where we can). Given the loss of confidence taxpayers have in our government
officials, one would think he might volunteer the information just to clear the air. Not Shady Sonny, the
grandmaster of secrecy.
The largest bombshell in the AJC story is that Perdue received the $21 million loan with,
get this, less that 20 percent collateral. Fifty percent to ninety percent is the norm for commercial loans. Of
course, political loans and cover up loans are not unheard of in Georgia or elsewhere, but in the current climate
of taxpayer bailouts for Freddie and Fannie's sub-prime lending, sloppy Congressional and
regulatory oversight and bank mismanagement, they strike a chord.
Neither Congress nor the taxpayers know where all the bailout money is going, but we suspect
that it's NOT going to help the average joe avoid foreclosure on his home mortgage. Instead, it's going to bailout
millionaires like Perdue or their friendly bankers who have made stupid or risky loans for dubious reasons. We note that,
according to AJC, eight of 23 bank directors contributed to Perdue's 2006 re-election campaign.
if there was less than 20 percent collateral on the loan and the borrower defaults, the bank should eat that loss and learn a lesson...
and perhaps certain bankers should go to jail if they failed to uphold their legal fiduciary duties to protect the bank's
stockholders. Not one dime of taxpayer money should go to cover this bank in Perry.
Perdue's Fortunes Grow
We know from required disclosures that Perdue's net worth almost doubled (from $4.8 to $8 million)
in his first three years in office. Much of that portfolio growth came from real estate ventures such as the property
Perdue owns adjacent to Oaky Woods in Houston County and the property
Perdue bought near Disney World in Florida. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Taylor
suggested in his 2006 ads that the Florida property was worth $30 million while Perdue paid just over $2 million. A complete
timeline of Perdue's real estate deals is already documented.
The Florida property was purchased from a wealthy political ally, Stanley Thomas, who Perdue
appointed to a coveted Georgia economic development board seat on Aug. 12, 2003. Perdue's out of state property
purchase was the sole beneficiary in the entire state of Georgia of a miraculous tax break that just happened by
accident --- or so we're told by Perdue and
the House Ways and Means chairman who ushered the legislation
through last minute passage in the Georgia General Assembly on April 12th (2005). [ A complete
timeline of the miraculous tax break is already documented. ]
The law was passed retroactively for the previous
year --- entirely by lucky accident of course. And then miraculously, just three days later, Perdue's tax advisor knew
about the last minute tax-break and Perdue saved $100,000 on his 2004 Georgia income taxes. But Perdue (wink, wink) knew nothing
about the $100,000 tax break
until he signed the tax return. Yeah. Right.
When questioned about the tax break and
his close relationship
with O'Neal, Perdue essentially said, "Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a hoot what voters think."
Despite the fact that Georgia DNR (Department of Natural Resources) had wanted to purchase Oaky Woods for 40 years and had rated
it a high priority, all that changed soon after Perdue took office. He had purchased property adjacent to Oaky Woods (7/23/03)
by way of a shell corporation named MarySon, LLC, and Perdue didn't disclose that ownership as required by law.
apparent reason for creating the corporation (7/15/03) and having it buy the land (7/23/03) was to conceal Perdue's
ownership interest from public scrutiny. But readers can judge for themselves. Perdue's bold faced lie about why he
bought land in Florida (in response to questions) only became apparent when his ownership of the property adjacent to
Oaky Woods became public.
In February 2004 Weyerhauser announced plans to sell their Georgia land holdings including
Oaky Woods. Did Houston County developers and Perdue have advance knowledge of that? Preservationists swung into
action offering to purchase the land and hold it until the State could buy it for preservation.
In May 2004, Perdue "persuaded" then DNR commissioner Lonice Barrett that the state just
couldn't afford to let a non-profit organization (the Nature Conservancy) purchase the property and hold it until an unspecified future date when the
State could finance the purchase and acquire the property for future preservation. The cost to the State at that point
would have been a simple letter committing to purchase the property at some distant and unspecified future date.
Instead, the State declined any interest in the property and Barrett soon moved to a position
on the governor's executive staff. Nine days after Barrett refused The Nature Conservancy's offer, the shell
corporation transferred the property (adjacent to Oaky Woods) into Perdue's name.
Soon thereafter, private buyers acquired the Oaky Woods property with big plans to develop the pristine
wildlife habitat into a "private city," condos and golf courses. Miraculously, by lucky coincidence AGAIN, Perdue's adjacent property
doubled in value (according to tax records) in a short time. It was a lucky few years for Perdue.
Perdue is so lucky, in fact, that
columnist Bill Shipp recently referred to Perdue as
the "Tim Geithner
of Georgia" ---referring to Obama's nominee for Treasury Secretary -- though Geithner made numerous "mistakes" and reporting failures on his tax returns
(OK, cheating!) over several years, as Shipp notes, "Congress just shrugged."
What's Up With the $21 million loan?
We know that times have been hard for a lot of people over the last year. Perdue's business
ventures are no exception to a declining economy. Would Perdue declare bankruptcy and walk away from the $21 million debt, surrendering
only the meager collateral that secures the debt? If so, the bank grabs some asset or assets formerly valued at about
$4 million and they are forced to write off the rest as a bad debt. Ouch. Even huge banks don't consider $21 million
Again, we wonder if the bank would have the nerve to seek a taxpayer funded bailout
to cover that. If so, we would hope to see newspaper headlines about it splashed across the country and enough pressure
brought to bear to stop such a taxpayer ripoff.
Are we going to learn later that Perdue used the money on other land speculation purchased
through heretofore unknown shell corporations? Did Perdue have a big weekend in Vegas? Did he go to
Reed's Cash Laundry
and then forget to pick up his package? Did Perdue invest with Bernie Madoff? It's none of our business really unless
Perdue was involved in deals where his political influence created a conflict of interest or enabled him personal gain
from his official acts as governor.
Certainly the average citizen should expect some privacy concerning his financial blunders and
business misfortunes. But anyone who runs for governor does so knowing his finances and his life become part of the
public record. Perdue refused to allow his business concerns to be managed by a blind trust. That
practice was followed by Georgia governors for some time (until Perdue) to prevent the appearance of conflicts of
interest in the governor's and the states business dealings.
"When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property." --Thomas Jefferson
For his own financial benefit or reasons of ego and pride, the governor has refused this
reasonable measure (blind trust) to enable taxpayer confidence in our elected officials. In light of this, and the shady nature of
his known activities, can he look us in the eye and act surprised that we're suspicious?
On June 2007, Jeff Davis and I posed a serious question to our readers, and the commentary was entitled,
"Georgia Challenges Louisiana
As Corruption Leader." The Governor of Illinois is making big headlines recently, but we think that Georgia is still
a contender for most corrupt, and more importantly, Georgia citizens re-elected him knowing these details, or at least they
had opportunities to know before November of 2006. Just as the U.S. Senate did with Treasury nominee Tim Geithner, the
voters of Georgia just shrugged and re-elected Perdue.
With apologies to C.S. Lewis, it seems we (Americans and Georgians) laugh at honor and
integrity, we wink and look the other way when corruption is under our noses, and then we are shocked to find
liars and sleazy crooks in high elected office.
"...such is the tragi-comedy of our situation—---we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible....
We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst."
---C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
Oaky Woods Lobbyist
Today, another shoe
dropped in this smelly tale [ see text below ], and we learned that the owners of the
Oaky Woods properties hired a lobbyist to facilitate the sale of Oaky Woods to the State for
The State of Georgia could have bought Oaky Woods much cheaper in 2004 -- but Perdue blocked the
preservation for reasons that are shockingly obvious. The owners bought the Oaky Woods
property for $1,600 per acre and, now, they're willing to sell it for $14,000 per acre.
While I very much want to see Georgia acquire and preserve this unique property, I do not want
to see Georgia taxpayers ripped off. As Warner Robins Mayor Donald Walker said, "they have to get right on the price." Hiring
a lobbyist does not bode well for a cheaper price.
I don't begrudge the new owners making a small profit on the deal, they obviously
have had holding costs associated with purchasing and owning the property for five years. On the other hand, they have
acted like bandits by jacking up the price of the lease to the state making the property the most expensive per acre WMA (wildlife management area)
The 2007 lease increase of 24 percent was, it seems at least in
part, a petty retaliation against DNR because DNR law enforcement
officers prosecuted Charles Ayer and his pals for hunting on a baited dove field and possessing over the legal
limit of doves in Sep. 2006. ( Details here. )
Does Perdue have some heretofore unknown interest in the Oaky Woods property? I mean besides
his adjacent land? Would the sale of the Oaky Woods property give Perdue some much needed cash for his loan repayments?
Let's hope there's no such conflict of interest to be found.
Back when Perdue was bragging about and taking credit for
the budget surplus Georgia had in 2006, I shouted loudly that
Georgia should buy the Oaky Woods with that spare cash. Unfortunately,
the land apparently wasn't for sale at any reasonable price then. And the price may not be reasonable now.
Time will tell.
I hope the good folks of Houston County and the citizens of Georgia win this and get a fair
deal to acquire and preserve Oaky Woods. There are numerous benefits that would accrue as documented on the SaveOakyWoods.com website.
Given that Neal Talton (son of former Houston Sheriff Cullen Talton) and Vice-Chairman of the
Houston County Development Authority, was also
involved in the baited dove field episode (2006), let's hope that the
folks running the Save Oaky Woods group don't get too chummy
with folks like Talton.
Let's hope that statesmen and preservationists from across Georgia will stand up and help make a fair deal
happen. But we certainly don't need a taxpayer bailout (Georgia taxpayers) to help the owners of Oaky Woods with
a windfall profit. For a 20,000 acre tract, $14,000 per acre is not even close to reasonable.
Keep the nose plug handy, folks. We imagine that the stench is going to get a lot worse
before we get to the bottom of Perdue's Pile and know the whole truth about
B.S. Perdue's doings. The
black bears of
Oaky Woods are keeping a silent vigil.
More to come...
"Makin’ his way, with all that backroom know-how.
That’s just a little bit more than the law will allow..."
---The Oaky Woods Boys, Boss Sonny Boy Hit Parody Song!
Steve Scroggins is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and he's the creative (if somewhat deranged) force behind the X-Files.
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Lobbyist hired to sell Oaky Woods as nature preserve
By Travis Fain, The Macon Telegraph
Friday Jan 23, 2009
The group that owns Oaky Woods, a massive tract of prime woodland in Houston County,
has hired a lobbyist in another push to sell the land as a permanent nature preserve.
The group, which includes several Houston County businessmen, hired Brad Alexander — Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s chief of staff until last year — when he left to form a new lobbying and consulting group, Georgia 360 LLC.
Oaky Woods has been a major source of controversy for Gov. Sonny Perdue, who owns land nearby. Perdue said the state couldn’t afford to help purchase the popular hunting area and black bear habitat back in 2004, when the Weyerhauser timber company put it on the market.
Investors bought it for $32.1 million and, though they continue to lease the area to the state as wildlife management and hunting area, the group also announced plans to build more than 30,000 new homes on the land.
That development proposal has been unpopular in Houston County, as well as with hunters and conservationists. Warner Robins Mayor Donald Walker recently called the massive building plans “a dead issue.” Faced with roadblocks to developing the land and with an interest in seeing the area preserved, the owners have been through several rounds of negotiations with the state about selling the land.
But by 2007, the price had gone up significantly — from the $1,600 an acre the group paid for it to about $14,000 an acre. Talks fell apart, with co-owner Charles Ayer saying the state and the ownership group couldn’t agree on a fair price for land in fast-growing Houston County.
Alexander, the lobbyist, said this week that he couldn’t lay out a current per-acre asking price for the land. But he acknowledged that the state’s current budget problems make a sale more difficult. Perdue has suggested more than $2 billion in cuts to this year’s budget, including massive cuts to the land conservation grant program.
Alexander said he’s working with several entities in the hopes that funding for the deal can be split up. John Trussel, who founded Save Oaky Woods, said money could be “stitched together” from public and private sources. That could include a penny sales tax in Houston County, he said.
Trussel said he talked to Ayer recently about the plan and that Ayer said the ownership group won’t raise the price it charges the state to lease the land as a wildlife management area next year.
“As a sign of goodwill,” Trussel said.
Ayer and other owners did not return telephone messages seeking comment.
Alexander said development is “not off the table” for the area, but the ownership group wants to “put the land in some kind of permanent conservation status ... if they can work out a deal that’s fair.” Trussel called recent developments “encouraging.”
To sell the land, though, Walker noted the owners are going to “have to get right on the price.”
Perdue’s $21 million loan raises questions
By Alan Judd, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Friday Jan 18, 2009
Gov. Sonny Perdue faces a personal financial challenge this winter that rivals state government’s budget crisis: repaying a $21 million loan that comes due March 1.
Perdue and his two agricultural businesses borrowed the money last September, just as tight credit markets escalated the nation’s economic downturn. Perdue won’t say in detail why he took out the loan, or how he plans to pay it off.
“He’s a small businessman,” said Bert Brantley, Perdue’s spokesman. “As small businesses and small business owners around the state know, sometimes you have to personally sign for loans for your business.”
Nevertheless, public records and interviews suggest the governor got the loan under remarkable circumstances.
The lender — a farm credit bank based in Perry — allowed Perdue to put up collateral worth less than 20 percent of the loan’s value, according to a security deed filed in Houston County Superior Court. Commercial lenders typically insist on a far greater level of collateral, and the federal agency that regulates farm banks requires strict underwriting standards to guarantee loan repayment.
The bank, AgGeorgia Farm Credit, focuses on real estate lending and carries just $55 million in business loans on its books, according to its latest quarterly report. Now a large proportion of that portfolio is devoted to the governor, who is a familiar figure to AgGeorgia’s leaders: Eight of the bank’s 23 directors contributed to Perdue’s re-election campaign in 2006.
The bank’s chief executive declined to comment.
The loan highlights the degree to which Perdue has departed from the way previous governors handled their personal finances.
The three most recent former governors — Roy Barnes, Zell Miller and Joe Frank Harris — placed their financial interests in blind trusts, managed by independent surrogates. During Barnes’ time in office, from 1999 to 2003, his net worth dropped by 25 percent.
Perdue, however, has kept command of his business affairs while running state government, a job that pays $137,310 a year. He has bought and sold real estate and has overseen his grain elevator and fertilizer businesses long-distance from Atlanta. In 2006, when Perdue last released a detailed statement of his finances, his holdings had increased by more than one-third in four years.
In that 2006 financial disclosure, Perdue reported a net worth of almost $6.1 million, with debts totaling less than $60,000.
Now, as he deals with an unprecedented deficit in the state budget, Perdue also must contend with the biggest personal debt of his life — an amount more than three times the value of his assets.
But, because term limits prevent him from running again, the governor doesn’t have to disclose details of the loan or its influence on his financial standing.
“He’s within the law to not disclose it,” said Bill Bozarth, executive director of the public interest group Common Cause of Georgia. “But it begs for further explanation he should be willing to give. Why does he need $21 million?”
Approaching Sonny Perdue’s hometown from the south, on the road from Perry, two rusted metal grain elevators dominate the horizon of tiny Bonaire. It’s the headquarters of Perdue’s main business enterprises: Houston Fertilizer & Grain Co. and AGrowStar LLC.
Perdue got into the grain elevator business in 1976 and built one of the largest grain dealers in the state. His companies, which buy grain from farmers and resell it to food processors, operate elevators in six Georgia towns.
These businesses would have suffered if he had put his finances in a blind trust, Perdue said in 2006.
“I don’t have investments,” Perdue said then. “I have operating businesses. Operating businesses do not do well in blind trusts.”
Through his first term as governor, Perdue operated with little debt. On his 2006 financial disclosure form, he said Houston Fertilizer owed AgGeorgia $877,985 on a loan dating to 1996. He owed nothing on his home or other property.
But in 2007, shortly after his re-election, Perdue took on substantially more debt, public records filed in Houston County show.
First, in March 2007, Perdue borrowed $10 million from AgGeorgia. A few weeks later, he paid off the 1996 loan. In December 2007, Perdue took out another loan from AgGeorgia, this one for $3 million.
Then, last Sept. 26, he borrowed the $21 million and repaid the two loans from 2007. The $21 million was due five months later.
AgGeorgia operates out of a gleaming modern office building set amid the shopping centers, gas stations and fast-food restaurants of Perry’s booming outskirts. But the bank is a vestige of the federal government’s intervention in an early 20th-century credit crisis.
Congress established federal land banks in 1916 to give farmers a source of affordable credit. During the Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Farm Credit Administration to regulate the land banks and their growing network of associated institutions.
Today, AgGeorgia is one of 97 farm credit banks across the country (and one of two in Georgia). Chartered to operate in 79 counties, AgGeorgia has assets of slightly more than $1 billion.
A board of 23 farmers and agribusiness owners govern the bank. Perdue’s 2006 campaign collected $6,770 in donations from eight board members, their close relatives or companies they control, records show.
Last fall, AgGeorgia lent to Perdue even though his collateral covered just 19 percent of the loan value. The deed that secured the loan shows Perdue put up 13 pieces of real estate — including his home in Bonaire — worth about $1.6 million. He also pledged his businesses and all their assets — another $2.3 million, according to his 2006 financial disclosure.
The Farm Credit Administration requires the institutions it regulates to make borrowers provide enough collateral to ensure loans are sound. The agency doesn’t specify how much collateral is enough.
But in the Perdue loan, “there does seem to be quite a bit of variance,” said Don Sullivan, a senior portfolio risk manager at the agency. “Bottom line is, that type of loan would have to show repayment capacity.”
Most commercial lenders require collateral worth at least 50 percent of a loan’s value and many insist on guarantees of 80 percent to 90 percent of the amount borrowed, said Wendell Brock, a McKinney, Texas, banking consultant who has worked with Georgia banks. As credit markets have contracted, Brock said, collateral standards tightened, especially for large loans and especially among smaller institutions such as AgGeorgia.
“But I don’t care if you’re Citibank,” he said, “$21 million is a big loan.”
AgGeorgia’s chief executive, William Newberry Jr., declined to comment on Perdue’s loan. Speaking in general about collateral ratios, he said: “That can vary a great deal depending on what kinds of loans we make. We handle the whole spectrum.”
Perdue has said little in public about his personal finances since 2006, when he described the toll that being governor was taking on his business enterprises.
“Most people,” he said, “don’t appreciate that this is a full-time job and your personal affairs suffer.”
Oaky Woods lease increases after owner cited
By S. Heather Duncan, The Macon Telegraph
Sunday June 17, 2007
Developers who own the Oaky Woods Wildlife Management Area in Houston County are requiring that the state pay 24 percent more
this year for the privilege of managing wildlife and public hunting on the land.
The wildlife management lease between the owners and the state Department of Natural Resources
is renegotiated every year. But this was the first revision since one of the owners, about to receive a hunting citation for
holding an illegal dove hunt on his land, threatened retaliation through the Oaky Woods lease, according to DNR documents.
Charles Ayer, one of the owners of Oaky Woods and spokesman for the group, was cited for
unlawful enticement of game after a large group of hunters was caught hunting doves in September over a field baited with
wheat. He informed DNR law enforcement agent Sgt. Tony Fox that a second Oaky Woods owner, Scott Free, was part of the
hunting party on Ayer's Peach County property.
According to a DNR incident report, Ayer, who also owns The Sports Center in Perry, told
Fox that federal regulations allow this type of dove hunting. The report said that when Fox offered to consult a U.S. Fish
& Wildlife Services special agent, Ayer "responded by telling (Fox) that ... the Department's ability to lease the WMA in
the future was dependent upon how officers elected to pursue prosecution - he plainly stated that federal involvement would
adversely impact the lease."
Contacted by The Telegraph, Ayer said he disagreed with this description of what happened
but declined to comment further about the incident. He also declined to comment about the reason for the increase in the
cost of the lease.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife officials were not contacted about the incident, but that's normal,
said Col. Terry West, chief of DNR law enforcement. He said unless federal agents are already on the scene, DNR agents
usually write a citation, which is heard in state or local probate court rather than federal court. The exception is
in counties where the court system has a history of failing to support DNR law enforcement, he said.
"At the time, that wasn't the case down there," he said. But because the case still has not
been heard, he said, "this will probably lead to a change in that. ... I would have expected that a case made last
September would have been adjudicated by this time."
In Peach County, hunting violations are usually heard in probate
court. However, someone, probably the defendant, was granted a request for the case to be transferred to Superior Court,
said Michelle Riley, probate court traffic clerk.
Sandy Jones, office administrator for the district attorney's office
in Peach County, which tries Superior Court cases, said the lag in trying the case is not unusual because the court has
a backlog of misdemeanor cases.
"We hope to get to the misdemeanors by August," she said.
OAKY WOODS LEASE
The state has had a wildlife management lease on Oaky Woods, a popular Middle Georgia
hunting spot, for more than three decades. During most of that time, the land was owned by various timber companies,
most recently Weyerhaeuser. A group of Houston County businessmen purchased Oaky Woods in 2004, and the owners have
announced plans to develop it into a community that would rival the size of nearby cities. Owners have continued the
DNR lease in the meantime.
When the lease was renegotiated in April for the hunting year that starts this August,
the rate was increased from $8.25 to $10.25 per acre, said Kevin Kramer, DNR regional supervisor of game management. The
total cost for leasing the roughly 16,200 acres is now about $165,960.
Of all the state's 92 wildlife management areas, Oaky Woods now has the most expensive
lease per acre. The average lease rate in the state is $5.76 an acre, said Melissa Cummings, public affairs coordinator
for the DNR Wildlife Resources Division. Cummings said there is no set limit on the amount the state will pay for the
lease in future years.
THE HUNTING CITATIONS
Fox, the initial responding officer, stopped at Ayer's property on U.S. 341 outside Fort
Valley for a routine compliance check when he heard gunshots. His report describes a group of hunters shooting doves
over a baited field.
In accordance with federal guidelines, only Ayer was charged for this because the other
hunters might not have realized the field was baited, said the DNR's West. The citation, unlawful enticement of game,
carries a potential penalty of $540 to $1,000 in Peach County, where the incident occurred.
The DNR Web site indicates that illegal hunting of doves over bait is a significant
problem in Georgia, with hunters and landowners often being confused about what constitutes baiting.
According to the incident report, Ayer disputed the charge, saying the field was a
feed lot for his elk. The wheat was not growing but had been scattered across a field of Bermuda grass, photos taken
at the scene show. DNR officers informed Ayer that this was not a reasonable feed lot under Georgia regulations.
The incident report says Ayer called DNR Commissioner Noel Holcomb. West said Ayer
told Holcomb to get the DNR officers off his property. Holcomb then spoke with one of the DNR rangers.
"Holcomb told them to do their job," West said. "He backed us wholly. There was never
any question about us doing the right thing." Officers with the Macon law enforcement office, which handled the
incident, verified that Holcomb did not try to interfere.
Later, when Ayer continued to contact the commissioner
to argue that he had done nothing wrong, West and DNR game chief Mark Whitney visited Ayer at his property, West said.
"We did not want to upset the cart because Oaky Woods is a very valuable piece of property
to us," West said. "It is so important to the black bear population, and it has been one of our most popular management
areas for well over 20 years. I'm sure all that played into the decision to send the two chiefs down there."
However, after listening to Ayer and also consulting the state agronomist about
normal agricultural practices, they concluded that their officers had made the right decision, West said.
"In my time as chief we've never reversed a decision our officers have made," he added.
According to the incident report, a number of prominent men were in the hunting party on
Ayer's land. Among them was Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton, who "directed a great deal of profanity towards
(the responding officer) upon his request to inspect Talton's birds," according to the report.
Talton did not return phone calls last week.
Talton's son Neal Talton, vice chairman of the Houston County Development Authority,
was ticketed during the same incident for having shot more doves than the 12 permitted to one hunter in a single day.
According to the DNR incident report, he ran away before being apprehended with 61 doves.
To contact writer S. Heather Duncan, call 744-4225.
Lobbyist hired to sell Oaky Woods as nature preserve -- macon.com
Perdue’s $21 million loan raises questions -- ajc.com
Perdue’s $21 million - Bill Shipp
Save Oaky Woods - saveoakywoods.com
Georgia Challenges Louisiana As Corruption Leader - J.A. Davis & Steve Scroggins 6.06.07
Perdue delivering promises...? Environmentalists alarmed that trucks spotted near Oaky Woods... - X-Files
Oaky Woods update: Perdue in a darned if he does, darned if he doesn’t position -- ajc.com 01.27.07
Connecting dots on Sonny’s Land Deals & Tax Breaks - Steve Scroggins 11.01.06
A Breach of Trust - Steven Harrell
Sonnygate? - Perdue, O'Neal caught with britches down - Steven Harrell
Questions surround Perdue's property tax break - Jay Bookman, AJC.com, 9.07.06
3 minutes, one bill, $100,000 for Perdue - James Salzer, AJC.com, 10.01.06
Perdue has $100,000 Question - Gwinnett Daily Post, 10.05.06
Perdue quip about tax break draws Democratic criticism - AP, 9.13.06
Sonny won, public lost on his refusal to buy Oaky Woods - Marietta Daily Journal, 11.05.06
Oaky Woods purchase was possible - Ken Foskett, ajc.com 11.01.06
Perdue failed to disclose land buy near prized tract - ajc.com 10.28.06
Perdue says no to conservation - Bill Shipp 10.29.06
The Best Government Money Can Buy ... brought to you by the greennecks! - spofga.org 10.31.06
Perdue bought Ga. land; deal seemingly at odds with statement on conflict of interest – AP 09.03.06
Georgia governor's $2 million Florida land deal questioned - AP 08.16.06
Sep. 2006 Development Joint Plan - Houston County – mgrdc.org
Sound the Alarm for Endangered WMAs – gon.com
Central Georgia Wildlands Initiative – wilderness.org
Boss Sonny Boy - hear the new hit song about B.S. Perdue by the Oaky Woods Boys - X-Files
B.S. Perdue scores big on Oaky Woods sellout... - X-Files
WHO signed into law a bill giving himself a $100K tax break? Boss Sonny Did! - X-Files
Oaky Woods protest - X-Files
Gon' Need TaxBreaks, Friend - X-Files
Perdue quip about tax break draws Democratic criticism
Associated Press (9/13/06)
ATLANTA - Gov. Sonny Perdue's quip on a radio call-in show about a law he signed that saved him about $100,000 in state capital gains taxes drew fire Wednesday from Democrats who said it showed he was out of touch with regular Georgians.
Perdue was appearing on WAOK radio on Tuesday when a caller who identified himself only as "Brian" told Perdue he was "a big fan."
The caller went on to say that he had graduated from the University of Georgia, like Perdue, and had married his high school sweetheart.
"The one thing I haven't been able to do is find a way to have a friend of mine write me a bill that saves me a $100,000 on my taxes," "Brian" said. "I was wondering how I might be able to get that done."
"Well, you get elected governor Brian," Perdue fired back.
The Perdue camp defended remark on Wednesday, saying the call was clearly a setup.
"It was a dismissive answer to a ridiculous question," Perdue spokesman Derrick Dickey said. "While the Democrats were busy making prank phone calls, the governor is focused on real issues like stopping illegal immigrants from receiving state services."
But Democrats, who have called for an investigation into the tax break, took Perdue to task for joking about the matter.
"Here is what is really bad about Sonny," state Democratic Party spokesman Emil Runge said. "He thinks it's funny that he's gotten away with stealing this money." Runge said. "His arrogance blinds him to the plight of the rest of us who can't afford health insurance, while our children learn in cash-strapped schools, and our workers lose their jobs."
Perdue has faced questions over legislation he signed in April 2005 that saved him about $100,000 in state capital gains taxes from family land he sold in Houston County, Ga. Perdue used $2 million from that land sale to buy about 20 acres of land in Osceola County, Fla., near Disney World from a politically connected Republican developer.
The bill was a large tax package that state Department of Revenue officials said was designed to bring Georgia's laws in line with the federal government.
But as the bill moved through the state Senate, two provisions that affected Perdue were made retroactive to the beginning of 2004, effectively covering his sale of land in Georgia and purchase of land in Florida
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Perdue denied playing any role in crafting the bill or making the portions that pertained to his own land dealings retroactive.
"Absolutely not," Perdue said. "It's a no-news story."
Two other callers on the WAOK program tossed zingers at Perdue Wednesday. One prank caller impersonated California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's trademark Austrian accent and accused Perdue of copying his campaign advertisements.
Perdue is running for re-election against Democratic Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor and at the end of the WAOK broadcast the show's host, Shelly Wynter, chastised members of Taylor's campaign for what he said were "dirty tricks"
"People's lives are stake and you're going to play around like that?" Wynter said.
The Taylor camp on Wednesday denied orchestrating the calls.
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