Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Senate Subcommittees Examine State Agency Programs

Sen. Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg) chaired a joint meeting of the Senate Fiscal Management Subcommittee and the Best Value in Government Task Force today at the Capitol. Members of both committees gathered to discuss agency reports, efficiencies, and cost savings for the Departments of Audits, Revenue, Banking and Finance, and Administrative Services, as well as the State Accounting Office, State Properties Commission/Georgia Building Authority, Georgia Technology Authority, and the Office of State Administrative Hearings.

“With the current economy causing a significant impact in state revenues, it’s imperative that we find budget savings and efficiencies everywhere we can in order to be fiscally responsible, and to ensure that we fund programs that are fundamental to the role of government in Georgia,” said Sen. Seabaugh.

Each agency presented an overview of programs, efficiencies, and cost savings that have been implemented. The current budgets were submitted and several agencies were asked to provide further detailed information on particular programs or services. Members of the committee focused on uncovering duplicated services between agencies, and encouraged making as many programs self sufficient as possible.

The committee also heard testimony from Commissioner Bart Graham of the Department of Revenue, State Accountant Greg Griffin with the State Accounting Office, State Properties Commission/Georgia Building Authority Director Steve Stancil, Georgia Technology Authority Director Patrick Moore, Department of Audits Commissioner Russell Hinton, Commissioner Rob Braswell of the Department of Banking and Finance, Commissioner Brad Douglas of the Department of Administrative Services, and Chief Judge Lois Oakley with the Office of State Administrative Services.

The Senate has been holding similar joint workshops over the past several months at the request of Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, who has charged the Senate to proactively identify non-essential government services and maximize efficiency and value in our state government. Several of the topics that have been covered include transportation, education, natural resources and community health.
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Friday, December 12, 2008

The Republicans who Vote FOR the Auto Bailout 10/11/08

Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Collins (R-ME)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Lugar (R-IN)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

RNC Chair Discloses Comeback Plan

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is an excerpt of an Op-Ed by Robert M. "Mike" Duncan from Politico, and is being released today by the Republican National Committee:

Sen. Saxby Chambliss' reelection this week was a tremendous victory for the people of Georgia. Voters went to the polls on Tuesday and selected a strong leader prepared to deal with both the domestic and the foreign challenges our nation faces in the months and years to come. Chambliss won his election because he represents the core values of Georgians and voters recognized the very real differences between the candidates.

Georgians refuted any notion that the ideology of the country has shifted to the left. They supported the candidate who believes that people should keep their hard-earned dollars; that every American resource should be leveraged to address our energy crisis; that the role of judges is to interpret the Constitution; and that America must be vigilant against the very real threats to our nation and its citizens.

Notably, Chambliss won in spite of strong support by President-elect Obama and Democrat organizations for Jim Martin. Georgian's clearly sent a message that any rhetoric about a liberal mandate is nothing but hot air. Georgians -- and all Americans -- will be watching Washington closely and expecting policies that make government work for them and not against small businesses and entrepreneurs.

In the first contest since the presidential election and what many believe is the first race of the 2010 cycle, Republicans won because we coupled a strong, conservative candidate in Saxby Chambliss with a solid ground game that reached out to millions of Georgians and turned out the vote. Chambliss' reelection sends a message to all those who believe the Republican Party and its core principles are anything less than strong and competitive.

The ground game that reelected Sen. Chambliss focused on the nuts-and-bolts of campaigning, enhanced by investments in technology that the RNC has made over the past two years. The Chambliss team, the Georgia Republican Party, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the RNC were full partners in a Victory plan that executed the basics flawlessly. With dozens of RNC staff and hundreds of volunteers in 11 regional Victory offices across the state, our team contacted nearly a half-million Georgians in the last five days alone.

The RNC's investment in technology over the past two years allowed our Republican team to maximize every volunteer's time and every contributor's donation on behalf of Chambliss, creating a get-out-the-vote effort that overwhelmed Democrats in the state. Through sophisticated online advertising techniques we reached hundreds of thousands of Republicans who requested absentee ballots, voted early, and found their polling station. Our investment in technology enabled our Victory program to significantly increase the Republican share of advance voters in the runoff election. We also provided volunteers the tools to make phone calls from home to likely supporters and/or send numerous e-mails to their neighbors engaging them in the reelection effort.

And while we overcame challenges in reelecting Chambliss in Georgia, we have another Republican leader seeking a conclusion to his race in Minnesota. We must not lose sight of the significance and absolute importance in ensuring Norm Coleman returns to Washington in the 111th Congress as Minnesota's senior senator.

As I write, Coleman leads his opponent. Coleman won the election on Nov. 4, he won after the canvassing of votes had occurred, and he will be the winner at the end of the recount. These results only lead to one conclusion: Coleman will be reelected as a U.S. senator from Minnesota.

At the RNC, we have spent the past two years investing in programs, technology, and training staff and volunteers on the basic fundamentals of winning elections. Chambliss' victory yesterday demonstrates the value of those investments and proves that Republicans still know to win elections.

As Republicans, we must continue to take stock of the 2008 elections -- first and foremost, strengthening ourselves by listening to the American people. But that also means learning from our mistakes and acknowledging our successes. Our success in Georgia is a strong sign that reports of the GOP's demise have been greatly exaggerated, and I look forward to future Republican successes in 2009 and 2010.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Statement from Sen. Mitch Seabaugh (R-GA) on Board of Regents’ Tuition Fee

“I am disappointed that the Board of Regents has decided to impose additional cost burdens on students as a way to balance their budget. They should take responsibility and instead look diligently at their own non-essential spending.

Georgia families are struggling to make ends meet and the Board of Regents should not protect their status quo by balancing their budgets on struggling students' and parents' pocket books.

As the state, its agencies, and Georgia families are looking at ways to operate on a tighter budget, the Board of Regents should do the same and look at their own budgets to cut out any non-essential and wasteful spending rather than asking Georgia families to foot the bill during tough economic times."

Sen. Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg)
Chairman, Senate Best Value in Government Task Force
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