Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dems Porter And Baker Swap Jibes Over Water Wars Strategy

From The Insider Advantage Georgia:

Rep. DuBose Porter, a Democratic candidate for governor, is putting some of the blame for the state’s reverses on fellow Democrat and rival for the party’s gubernatorial nomination, Thurbert Baker. A Baker spokesman fired back that Porter was part of the crowd that let the issue languish for years.

Porter said in a statement issued through his campaign to do that the only result of Georgia’s litigation over the water wars so far has been to fatten Baker’s campaign treasury through contributions from the outside lawyers he’s hired to handle the case.

"Attorney General Thurbert Baker, at (Gov. Sonny) Purdue's direction has been signing checks to outside counsel for this litigation for long enough. We have already spent over $6 million in this losing cause, a cause that will continue to lose as long as our water lines are drawn based on politics and not water. Baker receives continuing campaign contributions from these lawyers, whom he pays to litigate this case. The whole situation, the water lines nor the litigation, is not designed to put the citizens interest first."

Baker's campaign manager, Jeff DiSantis, responded with this statement:

“Governor after governor, legislature after legislature, year after year, politicians have done nothing about this water crisis. That's why the matter is now in the hands of the courts. The attorney general will defend the water rights of the people of Georgia, and he won't be lectured about it by the same politicians who did nothing about the water problem for years.”

Porter, in the original statement, argued: "Georgia has been in court over the fair allocation of water in our rivers for 20 years, and a federal judge appointed by a Court of Appeals has finally said we have a deadline to work something out with Alabama and Florida downstream. To run the time out on needless appeals does not move Georgia forward. Georgia simply has no time, nor tax money, to waste on continued appeals of Judge Paul Magnuson's decision when we know the plan is set up to fail and keep the power in the hands of the power players at the top.”

Porter said Georgia should go to the downstream states and to residents of south Georgia and begin new discussions. “Everyone has a right and an interest in a reasonable use of water-that is ancient common law, and it provides a solid basis for working out the problems of rights to our rivers.”

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