Monday, December 7, 2009

Gen. David Poythress makes stop in Thomas & Decatur Counties on Friday

Democratic candidate David Poythress addressed the Thomasville Rotary Club on Friday.
Georgia has many great features, Poythress told civic club members, but there is work to be done if the state is to continue to be economically competitive.

“Public education obviously must do something different than what is being done today,” he said. “Every year we bump along the bottom. ... We must fundamentally change how we educate children.”

Poythress described recently watching a cable news program on which his television screen showed four pictures and five messages.

And the general also said that he would fire the current revenue commissioner Bart Graham at the event friday night.“The one we’ve got is a nice fella, but we need a new one,”.
As governor, Poythress would identify money being “given away” in Georgia tax exemptions. Some exemptions “crept in” decades ago, he told Kiwanians.

Some 18 special-interest exemptions were approved during the 2009 legislative session at a cost of $99 million, he explained.

“There is a tremendous amount of money out there that’s not being collected. It’s money that belongs to the state,” the Macon native said.

And after the stop in Thomasville, the former Adjuntant General of the Ga. National Guard made another stop, this time in Bainbridge later in the day where he talked to citizens at the Book Nook. Education is one of the main issues of Poythress' campaign platform. He said he has a four-step plan to improve Georgia's educational system so its students can compete with their peers in the United States and the world.

He said he would stop cutting education funding for public schools. He would restore recent cuts to K-12 education budgets, invest in classroom technology that could aid in learning and support initiatives to attract and retain more teachers in order to lower class sizes.

Poythress said he believes No Child Left Behind, the education initiative Congress passed during the leadership of former U.S. President George W. Bush, has been a failure because, in his view, it places too much pressure on teachers and penalizes schools by taking away money or closing them if they don't perform up to par.

If elected, Poythress would order a review of state tax law. He said his idea would be to make state legislators think seriously about whether existing sales tax exemptions for special interests should be kept or ended, with the hope that more revenue could be generated.

Poythress said he believes Georgia can create more jobs by investing in areas where it is already strong, such as biotechnology and production of alternative energy sources.

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