Senator proposes taking money from Jekyll Island development and giving it to veterans
11:00 am April 1, 2009, by Mary Lou Pickel

Sen. Robert Brown (D-Macon) tried to make a point on how the state spends money during final passage of the state 2010 budget Wednesday. He pitted money for Jekyll Island development against money for sick veterans.

Brown offered an amendment that would take out $2.14 million meant for Jekyll Island and give it to the Milledgeville domiciliary unit of the Georgia War Veterans Home.

Eighty-one veterans, all with health problems, lived at the domiciliary unit, which the Georgia Department of Veterans Affairs closed because of budget cuts.

The state did find money in the budget to help a politically-connected development company with plans to redevelop Jekyll Island. Legislators have put money in the budget to pay to upgrade the island convention center and build an ocean-side park as part of the project. The developers plan to replace older buildings along the beachfront with new hotels and condos.
Brown’s amendment failed and the budget passed.


Chichota Lion
April 1st, 2009
2:35 pm
Once again, the AJC does a fine job reporting no facts whatsoever. The funding for Jekyll will all be spent on public facilities and upgrades to public infrastructure that will be used by all visitors to the island and will not not just those visiting adjacent hotels and facilities managed by the private partner - or any of Jekyll’s many private partners (hoteliers, business owners, and residents).
Since the state purchased the island, whenever money has been spent on Jekyll Island for public facilities or infrastructure it has benefited the private sector - just like money spent by the Georgia Ports Authority, the DOT, and billions more in state funding does. That’s part of the point - using state resources to provide infrastructure, which grows business, which grows tax revenue, which grows more investment by the state. It’s called ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

April 1st, 2009
3:36 pm
Money approved for Jekyll from the state funds improvements required by Linger Longer, a company owned by the politically connected Reynolds family. $25 million in bonds were recently sold that will fund public improvements adjacent to the LL project. $25 million that the state has to pay back, plus interest. And Perdue has requested another $25 million bond for Jekyll. All this while the current contract with Linger Longer gives the state less of a cut than any contractual agreement with other developers on the island. That isn’t economic development, it’s highway robbery.

April 1st, 2009
3:54 pm
Chicota Lion sounds VERY defensive! This is usually the case when one has a very weak position. The Jekyll Island Authority has already received $25 million in bond money, the amount they said they needed, for the public facilities. The additional $25 million in this year’s budget was not requested by the JIA but put in by the governor. Surely the development on Jekyll could go forward with $2.14 million less which would go to the vets domiciliary. Economic development is important but it is nothing without fostering a strong society based on morals and principles that value HUMAN development. The senators of Georgia who voted against this amendment should be ashamed of themselves. They have put their own self interst and need to follow the party line BEFORE caring for the men and women who served our country. I wonder how they will answer their children and grandchildren when asked what they were most proud of in their time as a senator…the answer will not be voting against this amendment, that is, if they are men and women of any moral character. It saddens me that these are the same people who espouse christian values and sit in the front pews on Sunday morning. Shame, shame!

April 1st, 2009
4:15 pm
Chicota, what other facts do you want?
This is a perfect example of our state’s budget being used for corporate profiteering instead of being used to benefit the brave men and women who offered their lives so that you and I could continue to enjoy our civil liberties. I wonder where these war veterans are living now that this facility has been closed…. Do you know? Do you care?
Vacationers or Veterans? Seriously ? You really want to argue about who we should be assisting?
Senator Robert Brown made an excellent point, and you missed it. Continue lobbying - - Linger Longer and the Reynolds Brothers have very deep pockets. No doubt, you are on there payroll.

Irrate Veteran
April 1st, 2009
4:41 pm
Contrary to the opinion of the commentator “Chichota Lion,” I feel that the $25 million in State-backed bond funds heading for the Jekyll town center project will definitely benefit Linger Longer far more than any other private developer operating on the island. Why? Because the convention center to be rebuilt with bond proceeds will provide a built-in customer base for Linger Longer’s two hotels, which will be adjacent to the center. Sure, some overflow of conventioneers to other Jekyll hotels will take place, but Linger Longer will definitely gain the most. The same holds true for Linger Longer with regard to the other parts of the public project funded with the bond money – the beach promenade, the public square, and the beachfront park.
A sure sign that Linger Longer knows that the public parts of the town center project are vital to its own profits is the clause in the long-term partnering agreement between the Jekyll Island Authority and Linger Longer which says that the latter may back out of the deal if the JIA fails to secure the $25 million in bond funds for the project. I don’t see any other developers involved with Jekyll’s redevelopment who are threatening to walk if the bond funds are not secured.
One more point - initially, according to two former JIA board members, the private partner was supposed to fund the infrastructure for the town center project in return for being allowed to build condos or time-shares on oceanfront state-owned land without having to directly pay a land lease. Such an arrangement would give the private partner free use of acres of beachfront land. In the case of the 160-unit Jekyll time-share project, this arrangement will result in an immense $100 million, 200 percent, profit for Liner Longer, which is owned by the politically-connected Reynolds family. If all or most of the $25 million in infrastructure costs for the project were to be covered by Linger Longer, the developer would still make an unusually large profit from the town center project. This tit-for-tat arrangement was understood by the Jekyll Island Company, which was Linger Longer’s rival in the competition to become the JIA’s private partner, yet, oddly, Linger Longer, which refused to take on any of the expenses associated with the public components of the town center project, won the contract anyway.
Returning to Senator Brown’s amendment, it seems to me that his proposal to reduce the $25 million Jekyll bond by $2.1 million in order to prevent the Milledgeville Domiciliary for veterans from falling victim to the General Assembly’s budget cuts is both ethical and fiscally sound. The Senators who voted against Brown’s amendment, in effect, placed Linger Longer’s obscenely large profits over the welfare of our state’s veterans. Shame on them, and shame on Governor Perdue’s appointees to the Jekyll Island Authority’s board of directors for not asking Linger Longer to cough up $2.1 million of its $100 million profits from its time-share project to allow 81 veterans to continue to have a home.
Thanks AJC for reporting on Senator Brown’s proposed amendment, ill-fated as it was.

April 1st, 2009
5:49 pm
Not to jump on Chichota Lion again, but using his comments as a typical example of the philosophy espoused by the local Chamber of Commerce, let’s remember once again that Jekyll Island is a STATE PARK, not an economic engine. A state park is not set aside for the purpose of economic development, but as a place for the citizens of the state and out of state visitors to come to recreate, experience the great outdoors, and learn about our rapidly disappearing natural environment… in this case our coastal environment, which is perhaps tops on the endangered list when it comes to preservation of natural resources. It should follow that investment by the state in a state park should provide facilities for active outdoor recreation, opportunities for learning, and opportunities for experiencing a pristine coastline and maritime forests. It should not provide infrastructure for influential, wealthy developers in search of their latest acquisition, and especially those for whom the prime oceanfront land they are building on belongs to the citizens of Georgia. Linger Longer is taking home 99% of the profits on this deal because those charged with stewardship of the park are selling Jekyll down the river. Why shouldn’t Linger Longer foot the bill for some of that infrastructure? Given that the purchase of land constitutes the major portion of the investment put forth by most developers, I think Linger Longer can afford to chip in a little on the infrastructure they need for their luxury accommodations, which most of the citizens whom the park was intended to serve (and who own the land in the first place) probably won’t be able to afford those accommodations. By the way, I understand that while this amendment was defeated, a sizeable number of senators from both parties voted in favor of it. Thanks to the AJC, to Senator Brown, and to those senators who still understand what service to their constituents really means.

April 1st, 2009
6:43 pm
Thank you Craig and Irate Veteran for articulating what is at the core of the problem with the Republican leadership, the Jekyll Island Authority and Linger Longer Communities. By the way, I recall from the article by Carrie Teegarden last month that Linger Longer said they “just want to make Jekyll Island their legacy, as they did with Reynolds Plantation. Seems that the 31 senators that voted against the amendment agree with them. Wouldn’t it have been something if Joe Tanner, lobbyist for Linger Longer and former head of DNR had come forward and said Linger Longer wanted to do the right thing and THEY were willing to give up that $2.14 million, gee, the JIA could have done the same thing and done right by our veterans.
Once again we see a huge gap between words and actions! Keep saying how much we thank the vets but DO something for them…I guess not!

Ashamed Voter
April 1st, 2009
7:28 pm
After reading the article about Sen. Brown’s amendment, I am truly ashamed to admit that I voted Republican in the last three elections. The Republican Party I am now, as of today, an ex-member of once stood behind our nation’s veterans, helping them when they returned home, if they needed our help. Now, however, I see that virtually all of Georgia’s Republican senators voted today against Sen. Brown’s admirable amendmen which called for saving the Milledgeville Domiciliary for veterans by taking just one-tenth of the bond proceeds headed to Jekyll Isaland to fatten the profits of a billionaire developer, Mercer Reynolds, who just happens to have contributed over $100,000 to the Republican Party’s leaders this past year.
I join several of the people who’ve posted comments here to say that the Jekyll Island Authority and/or Linger Longer should have done the right thing and told the Republican-dominated senate that they could do without $2.14 million of the $25 million in bond funds provided in the next State budget in order to avoid evicting the vets. This isn’t about redeveloping Jekyll Island State Park; it’s about honoring our vets for their service to our country.

April 1st, 2009
7:47 pm
Most of our state leadership should be furloughed. They are short-signted, wrong-headed, and they work only for themselves, their major campaign contributors (Linger Longer and the Reynolds Family, etc.) and the Chamber of Commerce. All they seem to care about is business boosterism while they systematically destroy state government and state institutions. There are some values greater than ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, Chicota Lion. Preserving a beautiful, fragile barrier island is one that comes to mind. Taking care of veterans who faithfully served their country and are now sick, elderly and dependent on us for their few comforts is another obvious one.

Celia Gruss
April 1st, 2009
8:20 pm
Re:Senator Brown’s amendment, his proposal to reduce the $25 million Jekyll bond by $2.1 million to prevent the Milledgeville Domiciliary for veterans from falling victim to the General Assembly’s budget cuts is both ethical and fiscally sound.
The Senators who voted against Brown’s amendment placed Linger Longer’s obscene profits over the welfare of our state’s veterans. What an embarrassment. Shame on those Senators and shame on Governor Perdue’s appointees to the Jekyll Island Authority’s board of directors for not asking Linger Longer to cough up $2.1 million of its $100 million profits from its time-share project to allow 81 veterans to continue to have a home.
We all thank the AJC for reporting on Senator Brown’s proposed amendment. The Senators who voted no don’t hold a candle to the men who have fought for us all on the battlefield.

Karen Brown
April 1st, 2009
9:14 pm
As a supporter of the State Park of Jekyll Island for all the citizens of Georgia, I applaud the idea that money can be spared which will basically be used for a few, despite Linger Longer’s assertions.
Butm more importantly, as a mother-in-law of a Marine who has sacrified both physical health and often emotional peace, during duty in Somalia and three tours in Iraq, I simly cannot imagine how Republicans cannot use this money to fund a veteran’s facility. What in the world has happened to the GOP?

Charlie B
April 1st, 2009
9:16 pm
Deepest thanks to the AJC for reporting on something which, to me, is a glaring example of the shameful state of our state democracy, such as it is. We elect our representatives hoping they will serve honorably in our best interests, but I feel that too often the people’s best interests seem to be for sale. At least we still have freedom of the press. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Ashley C.
April 1st, 2009
9:57 pm
I’m appalled. To put sick veterans out on the street in order to develop an island that doesn’t need to become another concrete jungle is asinine.

April 1st, 2009
11:06 pm
The Georgia Assembly, the Governor and most particularly the Jekyll Island Authority ought to be ashamed! Voting down Senator Grown’s amendment to divert $2.1 M from the $25M Jekyll bond to keep the Millidgeville Domicilliary open shows a contemptible disdain for our veterans. When those honorable veterans, who sacrificed everything for their country, wind up on the street, maybe Mercer Reynolds could toss them a bone, or maybe a tent on Jekyll’s beach.

April 1st, 2009
11:56 pm
What IS this? Perdue was strutting around about how he wasn’t going to take $$ from the Economic Stimulus Package, and, now, what does HE do?
Directs his Republican leaders to offer more “bonuses” (in the form of tax breaks and high profit margins) to the biggest corporate Republican in the State of Georgia!!
And, then, he does it on the backs of our disabled veterans!
Look, I’ll confess. I’m NOT a Republican, but, if I were, I would be screaming to the top of my lungs about how Sonny is LOSING the statehouse to the Democrats. Poor Casey Cagle will have NO chance of ascending to the Governor’s seat unless Perdue stops angering the public.
He has done it with Jekyll Island (what a scam!), he’s done it with Teachers Retirement System recipients, he allowed a six-day furlough to be proposed as a way to balance the state budget, he has fiddled with the Department of Natural Resources Board (He APPOINTS state boards, and they belong to him. If they don’t agree with him, he boots them off.
That’s the way it works, yall.) And…in his last two years as Governor, he has stirred up the hornet’s nest of GDOT.
You all out there who are Republicans had better stop him. He has gotten arrogant and power-hungry, and this is a lesson in how to lose the statehouse. Guaranteed.
Tell him to back off things like Jekyll. He can’t win that one, and he’ll have to back off later. BACK OFF NOW!!
You can bet that the Democratic candidates are rejoicing over Perdue’s bull-headedness about things. He needs to be making friends for the Republican Party rather than running voters off. Well, my Repub friends, if yall don’t want the statehouse, we’ll just walk right in and set right down. Watch us, and thank you, Sonny Perdue!
He’s willing to give money to Linger Longer and he won’t help our disabled veterans with 10% of it??!!
That won’t fly in ANY of Georgia, Sonny. But we Demos thank you very much, sir.
He’s losing it for Republicans, and we haven’t even gotten around to the hoo-rah sessions about the state flag yet!
It’s a traditional issue and is a part of the state culture or something.
Stop him or lose.

Roy Lynch
April 2nd, 2009
12:34 am
2010, may God hasten the year’s arrival. Decent Georgian’s are eagerly anticipating delousing our capital in Atlanta. Let’s bid good riddance to Casey Cagle ,Eric Johnson and their Greed Over Principle parasites! Our Georgia……. deserves BETTER!

April 2nd, 2009
2:34 am
this proves how crooked and greedy the Linger Longer proposal is. and how incredably short sighted busness men and politicians are.

Sandra Hamel
April 2nd, 2009
8:43 am
I’ve always tried to find something worth-while in a bad situation. The failure of Senator Brown’s amendment to take $2.14 million meant for Jekyll Island and give it to the Milledgeville domiciliary unit of the Georgia War Veterans Home, which closed because of budget cuts, is certainly a bad situation. It should never have happened.
So where do I find something good that might come of this?
As long as the Reynolds family has the backing of very prominent Republicans, over development in Jekyll Island State Park won’t stop. The JIA has already given them a 25 year contract, and, with endorsing the Bleakly Group density study they are working on inflating the acreage used for the 35% of Jekyll that can be developed.
Republican Senator Jeff Chapman, and, Ed Boshears, a former JIA board member have both requested investigations into Governor Perdue’s appointed JIA board. Nothing was ever looked into.
Senator Chapman pointed out that, if Linger Longer wasn’t given special treatment by the JI Authority board, the $50 million appropriated by the state for Jekyll Island would not be necessary. No one wanted to listen to him.
Now Attorney General, Thurbert Baker, has apparently entered the race for Governor. No wonder this “lawyer for the people” wouldn’t get involved in the Jekyll Island issue. He most assuredly wants the backing of the Republican Party and the Reynolds’ family.
However, there are now two candidates for governor, David Poythress (D) and John Oxendine (R), agreeing with Senator Chapman. Both candidates are criticizing the Linger Longer-JIA “sweetheart deal”.
My hope would be, that, this lack of caring for Senator Brown’s amendment will cause the media and all Georgians to continue taking a very close look at the relationship between the Reynolds’ Linger Longer developers, the Jekyll Island Authority board and highly placed Republicans.
We should trust that those we vote for at the poles will be working on behalf of all Georgians. In regards to Jekyll Island State Park, they should be working for future generations to ensure that the open beaches of Jekyll Island will be protected, forever, from those who would profit from developing them.

janie Hopwood
April 2nd, 2009
9:22 am
There are good arguments here but it won’t matter because the only paper in the sate with the guts to print the story is in Atlanta and the Atlanta paper is no longer sold any where south of Macon. But we still have state senators that are from south of Macon, and they know that few if any of the voters in their area will ever see or know about this vote.

Leon Galis
April 2nd, 2009
9:43 am
Is nothing sacred in Georgia anymore? Are we now taking better care of the rich and infamous than we are of our veterans? Our veterans?! Do we stand and applaud our men and women in uniform when they pass through Hartsfield-Jackson on their way to and from war zones, but when there’s a buck to be made, turn them out and tell them to suck it up? Maybe the senators who voted against this amendment were afraid that the Reynolds vandals would pull the plug on their Jekyll Island project if they didn’t get every penny of the bond issue that the General Assembly included in the budget. I understand that Linger Longer is entitled to do that under the giveaway contract that they rolled their Jekyll Island Authority enablers for. But 2.14 million dollars is chump change for the Reynolds considering how much they stand to rake in on this deal. If they didn’t have empty spaces where other people have hearts, they’d just write a 2.14 million-dollar check for the veterans out of the proceeds of the bond issue that we taxpayers have floated for them. That would be a more fitting “legacy” for the Reynolds gang than the pillaging of Jekyll Island that they’re gearing up for. Meanwhile, I’m checking out Ft. Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach, FL. Even tourist-saturated Florida understands better than Georgia does what coastal state parks are for.

Ken Cordell
April 2nd, 2009
10:20 am
I have carefully reviewed and commented previously on the way the Jekyll Island Authority and its Director Jones Hooks (a developer by profession) has gone about “revitalization” of Jekyll Island State Park. They inflated their wish list of “needed” projects from $50 million in 2007, to $72 million in early 2008, to $103 million later in 2008. Then their private consultant did a series of studies to see what amount of development would be needed to get the JIA enough revenue to cover that final “need”, $103 million. What a surprise, the Bleakly Advisory Group study found that large-scale commercial development with private condos, beach cottages, and high-end boutiques was the only way to raise enough revenue to mostly cover the cost of the wish list. Before this most recent wish list with its high price tag, the Jekyll Island Authority was always in the black. But the JIA claimed visitation was falling and they were not able to cover their costs. When hotels on the island fell into disrepair and then were torn down, sure enough, visitation fell.
It seems the JIA bumped up the cost of the “needs” list in order to justify needing high-end commercial development. Let the hotels deteriorate, then let visitation drop, and then claim revitalization is needed. State parks should be guided by what visitors want and by careful stewartship of park cultural and natural resources. Everyone agrees that rebuilding the old hotels is necessary. But revitalization should not mean putting high-end commercial development on the beach front. The people charged with the stewartship of Jekyll Island State Park have lost sight of what a state park is all about and what Georgians want their state park to be now and in the future.

John Capozzi
April 2nd, 2009
10:53 am
I think the Lion missed the most important fact that, in a year of difficult budget choices, the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) was able to beat back the veterans and keep all of the 25 million dollars for their private developer, Linger Longer. FYI Lion, the Milledgeville domiciliary unit of the Georgia War Veterans Home is a public facility also.
All 81 veterans should visit Jekyll soon, to ask the JIA in person why they think that their service to our country has less value than the 99% profit that has been guaranteed to Linger Longer.

Karen Grainey
April 2nd, 2009
10:53 am
This story removes any lingering doubts anyone might still have as to the obscene extent to which cronyism has warped the priorities of the Republicans in the General Assembly.

April 2nd, 2009
11:09 am
It is clear to all of us citizens and voters that the Republicans in control in Atlanta are feathering the nest of their contributors and disregarding the concerns of other like the veterans, children, and educators. Let’s all show them at the next election that we want them out and more progressive leadership in charge.

April 2nd, 2009
2:48 pm
How disgusting! Toss the Vets aside in favor of the Reynolds family proposed blight of Jekyll Island. This is a clear example of greed and “Pay for Play” that has already destroyed the career of one state governor. Time for an investigation of the JIA and other state officials. Where is the Attorney General?

Roberta Sedam
April 2nd, 2009
4:00 pm
The worst part of this tragedy is that Linger Longer will kill the goose that laid the golden egg. Thier contract enables them (in spite of thir protests to the contrary) to overdevelop Jekyll Island. The wonderful wildlife that so many people go to Jekyll to see and enjoy will fall prey to lack of habitat, land and water pollution. The people who go there now; families, bikers, birders, nature lovers, conservationists, schools, 4H people, conventioners will have to look for another place to meet thier needs, and can afford.
What other place?!!! In this era when conservation and climate change are on our front pages how can Governor Perdue sell us out like this?

April 2nd, 2009
4:27 pm
The Republican majority in the Georgia Legislature had an opportunity to do the right thing by the public that elected them: restore funding for an important public service to veterans of US military service. Instead, they chose to give away public funds to assist a very wealthy real-estate developer in his privatization of a Georgia State Park. They would each rather curry favor with the Governor’s gang of real-estate thugs than provide for men and women who have given of themselves for the citizens of our country. This is shocking and reprehensible.

Susan DeHoff
April 2nd, 2009
6:00 pm
Is there anyone in the state of Georgia who is at least equally important to Mercer Reynolds? Or does King Mercer now rule supreme and have power to make everyone, even veterans who once risked their lives for all of us, serve his one and only purpose of using Jekyll Island to get richer? It appears to me that King Mercer now controls the state of Georgia and its citizens, and he can turn anyone out into the streets anytime if it puts more gold in his trouser pockets. Where are the folks who should be acting on some appropriate righteous indignation?

Will Jones
April 3rd, 2009
1:39 pm
Draft-dodger, 9/11 traitor, and closet-queen Bush’s pal, draft-dodger Mercer Reynolds, being shoveled all Georgians’ money on the Jekyll Island/Linger Longer sell-out by GOP in the Legislature, sure doesn’t care about Georgia Veterans…so why should the corrupt politicians who’ve been bought and paid for by him? If any of them or draft-dodger Sonny Perdue cared, they would have joined up like the Veterans, who placed their lives at sacrifice for the Constitution and the People and swore the Oath, they’ll soon be kicking to the curb or denying future care.

April 3rd, 2009
3:21 pm
Umm Will,

In all your name calling it was almost impossible to read your comment.

I respect the Veterans, but I don’t think it is up to the state (or feds) to give them housing once they are out. Assistance sure but a group home? No.

I also don’t think there should be any state funds going to help develop Jekyll Island. If it is good development then let the developer pay for it, or get funding via traditional avenues outside of government.

April 3rd, 2009
3:22 pm
Good to know where the “country first” crowd’s priorities lie.

April 3rd, 2009
4:20 pm
What’s the promise? IOW, what did the state promise these 81 vets. Was it a home in perpetuity (i.e. until they die)? If so, the state should honor that promise. If it was something else which provides the state with grounds to close the home without breaking such a promise, then the state is within its rights to site budget constraints and close it. Does anyone here know?

Will Jones - Atlanta
April 3rd, 2009
4:59 pm
Ummm Stan,
From the Georgia War Veterans’ Home website: “Veterans at the home received 34,094 days of, domiciliary care and 120,099 days of skilled nursing care in 2001. There were 151 admissions and 166 discharges during the year. The average length of stay for these veterans was 1,319 days. The average age of veterans in the facility was 74 years. Federal assistance in financing the cost of providing care to veterans in the home amounted to $6,913,856.”

I wonder how many of those “discharged” left in a pine box.

How nice for you to “respect” those who placed their lives at sacrifice for you.

Part of the appeal of Enlistment in 1968, for me, was to know America, in exchange for my agreement to offer my life in uniform, under arms “to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, and after Honorable Conduct, I would be assured benefits for schooling, medical care, and the distinctive honor of burial under the Flag of the United States of America in a National Cemetery.

Now the ranks are full of “greencards,” foreign nationals “buying” their citizenship as Americans, acting as hired guns, mercenaries on call for false war, following the orders of the draft-dodging closet-queen hypocrite now in Crawford or Paraquay unencumbered by the White House’s protocols for future assignations with his lover James Guckert(”Jeff Gannon”) or any other homosexual prostitute whose services he wishes.

Draft-dodger Bush’s “good buddy” and fellow draft-dodger Mercer Reynolds will be getting the money, for private, personal profit, which will be cut from the budget of the Georgia War Veterans Home.

You can’t see something wrong with, on margin, denying dignity and care to an aged Veteran, who may otherwise be “put on the street” like so much waste?

Societies, like individuals, are tested. It is no coincidence that many of the lawmakers willing to commit this abomination and the governor who may sign it are draft-dodgers, too.

America has turned the corner away from the fascist plutocracy so patently obvious under the Gay Old Perverts in Washington. We, in Georgia, must follow suit and expel from public office the faithless shirkers who endorse such treason as Bush’s to send our best to die shedding innocent blood, while themselves “hid under the bed” when the opportunity to serve in the military arose.

You have no problem allowing those who literally “gave their lives” for you to go homeless and neglected.

BTW: We Georgians own the imminently accessible Jekyll Island. Reynolds’ plan, approved by his lackeys and fellow draft-dodgers, is to render much of the Public’s beach a cash cow for him, at prices which would exclude most working Georgians. When is a campaign contribution not a bribe?

Apologists for injustice and fascism, lapdogs of the false-elite, are Tories. The Day shall come…again.

April 4th, 2009
11:21 am
Mercer and Jamie Reynolds now run the state of Georgia. Get used to it.

April 4th, 2009
12:47 pm
Republican politicians in Georgia have reached a new low with this rejection of veterans in favor of more money to the Reynolds Developers so they can despoil and control Jekyll Island State Park. I should also point out that Jekyll WAS a state park before the Republicans came into power in Atlanta and decided that Jekyll was their own private beach front to hand over to their favorite financial supporter in Georgia–Linger Longer developers owned by the Mercer Gang. If the citizens of Georgia do not rise up in anger and great numbers to oppose this give-away of Jekyll and this obvious rejection of veterans by Republicans, then Georgia deserves the government it gets. Remember this act the next time Republicans beat their chests about how patriotic they are and how much they love and respect our Armed Forces. They love our Armed Forces as long as they are fighting to preserve ad promote their wealth but hate them when they return home and need medical, educational, or any other social benefits. Our only hope is to vote these scoundrels out at our next election.

Terry Miller
April 4th, 2009
12:47 pm
Republicans, you have lost any respect or trust that some of us faithful party members once had for you. This is why there is going to be a backlash in 2010. You can’t save Jekyll Island for the average Georgian, and you don’t care at all about old veterans. Or, to put it even more accurately, you want to enrich the Reynolds family coffers in return for their contributions, and you want to have more “upscale” condos on the coast for your friends. I have had it. After 40 years of voting Republican in this state, I and my several family members are through. If Jeff Chapman could run for governor, it would redeem the party. Fat chance — the hierarchy would squash him.

Republican Bloat
April 4th, 2009
1:10 pm
The price of the Jekyll Island development project doubled in just two months. Doubled in two months! A number of Republican senators would have voted for Brown’s amendment had not the Republican leadership cracked the whip, threatening to cut budget funds earmarked for projects in their districts if they supported Brown.

So here’s the deal: The Reynolds family project, for which public money is being used for their profit, has doubled its price in two months, and Georgia Republicans have no concerns.

Yet Glenn Richardson and other Georgia Republicans are blocking money for our military veterans in need.

Georgia Republicans fully support wasteful spending, and long as its for their campaign contributors, while they slap down military veterans in need.

April 4th, 2009
1:32 pm
Shaking head in amazement and wiping away tears of pure frustration…Repugs have NO shame!

April 4th, 2009
1:53 pm
No surprises here, just business as usual at the dome

Link Report this comment Peetzie
April 4th, 2009
2:00 pm
I think indicted ex Gov Blago may have been spending some time with Gov Sonny and his cronies giving him a road map on how to bilk the taxpayers and play ball with the money hawkers. Mercer Reynolds bought W’s failing Arbusto Oil to curry favor and get public bonds issued for the Ballpark in Arlington fiasco while Governor… There’s a long history of influence peddling.. just Google or read FREE LUNCH. They are masters at it. ….

April 4th, 2009
2:16 pm
This entire episode to upgrade the facilities at Jekyll Island has been a crooked poker game from the beginning with members of the Jekyll Island Authority as the door watchers. If you don’t belong to the Insider Republican Club you don’t play.

And let Sonny explain to the Georgia taxpayer just why? the original price of the Jekyll project has doubled?

What is the Jekyll Island Authority, another AIG group here?

Sonny? Sonny is nothing more than a lapdog for Reynolds. “Here, boy, here, here, here….”

Jeffrey Brown
April 4th, 2009
2:36 pm
To shift funds from the War Veterans’ Home to such a relatively insignificant project is disgraceful and will not soon be forgotten. Studies suggest that Jekyll may already be more developed than state law permits.

April 4th, 2009
2:55 pm
I am the daughter of a WW II vet. When my dad had to go to rehab after a stroke he CHOSE to go to a vet’s facility rather than rehab close to his home because he wanted be with other vets! When I told him that the Republican leadership in Georgia cares more about lining their campaign war chests with money from the wealthy Reynolds family he tore up his Republican voter registration card.

The Jekyll Island Authority said they needed $25 million to redo the convention center and public area north of it. Gov. Perdue, the recipient of much campaign money from the Reynolds family and their friends, decided to put another $25 million in the budget for the project, guess 25 million wasn’t going to make the facilities fancy enough for the Reynolds Plantation/Ritz Carlton crowd!

Speaking of campaign war chests….why didn’t Eric Johnson excuse himself from the vote?
Am I the only one who thinks having Jamie Reynolds, yes of Linger Longer fame, for Johnson’s campaign finance chair – he is running for Lieutenant Governor - is a COFLICT OF INTEREST? Here is another CONFLICT…Casey Cagle’s campaign finance chair for his bid for governor is Steve Croy, Richmond Hill developer, close friend of Sonny Perdue, Chip Pearson and the ilk, AND vice-president of the Jekyll Island Authority Board!

This has really passed the bounds for even Georgia politics! To let Senator Jack Hill know how you feel about his strong arm tactics call him at 912-557-3811, in Atlanta 404-656-5038. To locate your senator go to and then go to to see how your senator voted. Let your senator know how you feel about a vote against the vets and for a wealthy developer. Ask them if they will be able to make a speech on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day in their district about how much they honor the men and women of our country for their service to protect us after voting the way they did.

My question to each of the senators who voted against the vets is: How will you look into the eyes of your children or grand children, as they contemplate going into the military, when they ask you, what their sacrifice will mean to others and how you supported our brave soldiers when you made decisions as a servant of the state of Georgia on their behalf.

Celia Gruss
April 4th, 2009
3:02 pm
Blagojevich has been resurrected and now lives in the bodies of Sonny Perdue and Mercer and Jamie Reynolds…as well as the Jerry Keens of GA. What a sad day when money making takes precedence over taking care of our veterans.
A slimy story gets slimier every day.

April 4th, 2009
3:14 pm
I watched with a sickening sense of amazement the April 1st Senate discussion of Robert Brown’s amendment that would have taken $2.1 million heading to the Linger Longer project on Jekyll Island and given it to the Milledegville Veterans’ Home to prevent the place from being closed as part of the 10 percent cut to the budget of the Georgia Veterans Administration. In a state that has so many veterans and so many soldiers in harm’s way overseas, I just can’t understand how all but two Republican senators could vote against Brown’s amendment and for an extra $25 million dollars for a project that has already received $25 million in State bond funds this year, especially since the project was, as of February of this year, supposed to cost $25 million not $50 million. Cut the vets’ program to bare bones and pile some gravy on the Mercer Reynolds Jekyll project – is that what Georgia Republican politics has come to?

Now, thanks to the Political Insider, I see that the Republican leadership – Casey Cagle, Eric Johnson, Tommie Williams, Jack Hill and others – were twisting Republican arms to get the pro-Reynolds vote they wanted and threatening Democrats with the elimination of funding for projects in their home districts. Why is this the case? Well, 1) Republicans Casey Cagle and Eric Johnson are running for Governor and Lt. Governor, respectively, in 2010; 2) Mercer and Jamie Reynolds (of Jekyll fame) have been HUGE financial contributors to the Republican cause in recent years; 3) Jamie Reynolds is chairing Johnson’s campaign finance committee; and 4) JIA board member and developer Steve Croy is chairing Cagle’s campaign finance committee. Add up points 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the sum equals a political payoff of disgusting proportions.

The saddest part of the sorry show on the Senate floor is that our state’s veterans got caught up in this Jekyll mess. These heroic men and women have sacrificed much for their country, for all of us, and yet, in the midst of the debate about Brown’s amendment, I heard one Senator say that the vets have to sacrifice like everybody else during these tough budget times. Really? I thought everyone with an ounce of understanding and compassion understood that the vets in the Milledgeville facility have already made their sacrifice. Now, they should sacrifice once more so that the Reynolds project can move forward in a bigger, faster and more luxurious form?

I can see from other postings on this blog that plenty of people are angry over what took place in the Georgia Senate on April Fool’s Day. The question is, though, will any of our bitching make an ounce of difference in the way politics works at the Gold Dome? How can we, the citizens of Georgia, affect the political machine run by the majority party and its billionaire friends?

The answer, for me, is simple – vote their butts out of office! I will vote for virtually anybody other Casey Cagle/Mercer Reynolds for Governor. There may not be a true super star in the field of candidates for Governor, but each probably offers more than Cagle brings to the table, assuming that his role in the April Fool’s Day fiasco on the Senate floor is a good indication of his character and priorities as an elected leader.

April 4th, 2009
3:14 pm
To Senator Robert Brown, his Democratic colleagues, and those few Republicans who were ethical and courageous enough to support Senator Robert Brown’s proposed amendment:
I appreciate your efforts to amend the 2010 budget in order to provide funding for the Milledgeville domiciliary unit of the Georgia War Veterans Home by reallocating $2.14 million of the $50 million set aside for Jekyll Island redevelopment. As one who has been deeply involved for the last three years in the efforts to protect Jekyll Island State Park from exploitation and private profiteering, I applaud your recognition of the injustices involved in excessive state funding for infrastructure to benefit a politically connected private developer who will reap disproportionate profits from developing a state park. And as the wife of a Vietnam veteran and the daughter of a WWII veteran, I also applaud your recognition of the sacrifices made by these heroic Americans who have protected our rights at the risk of their own lives and well-being. Thank you very much for your service to our state and to its citizens. Although the amendment was defeated, your support of it speaks volumes concerning your commitment to your constituency and to all the people of Georgia.

Dan Corrie
April 4th, 2009
4:07 pm
Developing Jekyll Island is a bad idea. The world is in recession, so such a development project makes even less sense. Ignoring veterans is wrong. Having such obvious corruption in Georgia calls for a serious investigation and penalties.

AG has other priorities
April 4th, 2009
4:25 pm
Where is the Attorney General who should be scrutinizing and probably prosecuting ethical and legal misconduct involving legislators being in bed with the Jekyll Island developers? Oh, I forgot, he’s too busy running for Governor. We the citizens of Georgia are unprotected from these pirates running the state, and they know it. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an Attorney General who actually felt some urge to uphold the laws re: pay for play and outrageous conflicts of interest in state gov’t. Hello…anybody out there?? Hello….hello…..

April 4th, 2009
4:51 pm
Shouldn’t we be concerned that these politicians are not afraid to continue to subsidize the profits of a private developer at the expense of Georgia’s citizens? In this case it’s disabled veterans but they have for some time shown they are more concerned with Linger Longer’s profits than what’s good for Jekyll or the voters. With the state of our economy shouldn’t someone be questioning the continued support for this private project, the price of which has doubled in just two months? From the beginning it’s seemed the decision was made to not only allow but subsidize this development regardless of whether studies, facts, or figures showed it was necessary or the right development for Jekyll. Why is this happening if not because of some sort of kickbacks/favors?

April 4th, 2009
5:57 pm
What a ghastly embarrassment to the State of Georgia the Republican thugs like Senator Hill are, working at the behest of a very wealthy developer who wants the State’s taxpayers to subsidize his profiteering in a State Park! It isn’t the State’s Attorney General whom we need to be calling out for action — he has been ignoring the “pay to play” activities for a long time. It is the U S Attorneys of the State of Georgia (there are two, one for the northern sector and one for the southern sector). It was the U S Attorney in Illinois who captured the “pay to play” governor there — let’s ask our U S Attorneys to seriously investigate the “pay to play” activities in Georgia. Or, let’s ask the Obama administration to remove our Republican U S Attorneys for cause, and appoint two responsible and honorable ones.

Appalled and ashamed
April 4th, 2009
6:23 pm
How can our representatives look ANY Serviceperson or Veteran after this? I am ashamed of the Georgia legislature.

Greg Gilbert
April 4th, 2009
6:45 pm
Shame, shame, shame on the “new” Republicans. We used to stand for conservatism and decency, but now it seems the new Republican Party, Georgia style, sees the purpose of government is to funnel public money (that’s our money!) into their buddies pockets. At the expense of wounded veterans.

April 4th, 2009
7:27 pm
I have been watching for over 2 years at the fiasco with Linger Longer and the redevelopment of Jekyll Island. From the beginning, it has been nothing but political favors and payoffs. Sonny Perdue and the Jekyll Island Authority have spit in the face of all Georgians. They don’t care about what the majority of Georgians want for their State park. And now, adding another 25 million to go to Reynolds and Linger Longer is beyond belief. By not taking the 2.14 million out of the bond fund and appropriating it for the Georgia War Veterans domiciliary unit is outrageous. I consider myself a conservative and have voted Republican since I have been voting, but in 2010, I refuse to vote for any Republican who voted against the amendment for the veterans. They should be ashamed of what they have done to our veterans. For the record, I was the administrator of one of the skilled facilities at the Georgia War Veterans Home for 5 years, and have seen first hand the excellent care and help given those who have served their country. The only way I could vote Republican in 2010 would be if Senator Jeff Chapman were running for governor. The people of Georgia must speak out and show with their votes how they feel about this - the Jekyll Island fiasco and now the closing of the veterans unit.

April 4th, 2009
7:36 pm
This should be an insult to all veterans. I take as a double insult, being a veteran and a frequent visitor to Jekyll. I agree with Bob. I used to vote Republican but I have become an independent voter. I think Jeff Chapman should run for Governor. It seems he actually listens to people in this state.

Jerry & Sylvia
April 4th, 2009
7:42 pm
We have already expressed our outrage at Linger-Longer’s plan for Jekyll Island State Park and at the project’s escalating price tag. Now, we are even more livid. Sen. Chapman and Rep. Brown have our support. We won’t forget this situation when we vote in the future.

Michael Jaski
April 4th, 2009
7:59 pm
When are Georgians going to wake up to the Republican rape of their state???? The Reynolds have plenty of money yet Sonny keeps using state funds to make them more. Guess he has to plan for retirement… I’m sure he can get a deal on a Linger Longer condo on Jekyll.

rita quinn
April 4th, 2009
8:49 pm
How can we stop Linger Longer making Jekyll Island a retreat for only the rich? Too many fat-cat Republicans in the State of Georgia!

Sandra Hamel
April 4th, 2009
9:32 pm
Arrogance and stupidity, what a combination. Lucky for us this Republican leadership is blessed with both. We’ve known they are arrogant, but, until now they have been “smart” in getting what they’ve wanted.
It was already rumored that more Republicans would have voted for Senator Brown’s amendment to take $2.14 million meant for Jekyll Island and give it to the Milledgeville domiciliary unit of the Georgia War Veterans Home. What changed their minds? Apparently they were threatened with losing funds for their districts. Sadly, instead of doing the right thing and exposing the threats, they changed their minds. I guess this is the way “politics” works.
Why is this Republican leadership so very willing, especially in this economy, to earmark a total of $50 million for Jekyll Island, even though Senator Chapman has pointed out that, if the Reynolds family’s Linger Longer developers weren’t being given special treatment by the JI Authority board, the $50 million appropriated by the state for Jekyll Island would not be necessary. Where are their threats coming from?.
Funding Senator Brown’s amendment for Georgia war veterans by taking $2.14 million from this “unnecessary” $50 million appropriation for Jekyll Island was the right thing to do.
Now the AJC is reporting that Appropriations Committee Chairman Senator Jack Hill is retaliating against Democrats who voted for Senator Brown’s amendment. They are being informed that project funds headed for their districts are being cut. Just who will be “punished” by this loss of funds?
I hope these threats surrounding Senator Brown’s amendment will cause the media and all Georgians to continue taking a very close look at the relationship between the Reynolds’ Linger Longer developers, the Jekyll Island Authority board and highly placed Republicans.
Governor Perdue’s appointed JIA board will now have their full $50 million dollars earmarked to help Linger Longer Communities’ with their proposed developments within Jekyll Island State Park. But, their greed, shown here in the amount of $2.14 million, won’t stop there. We must never forget that as long as the Reynolds’ family remains involved with Jekyll Island development, they will never give up on developing all of Jekyll Island’s public beach areas.
Someone needs to investigate this Republican leadership.

Joy Bragg
April 4th, 2009
9:40 pm
Do Not turn Jekyll island into an island for only the rich….it should be made
affordable for all!! Update it and get those developers out of there!!!!!

Tony Ellerbee
April 4th, 2009
9:45 pm
If you voted for these republican crooks, you are getting what you deserve. How could you expect anything less from this bunch of slime? You have had years to vote these losers out of office and have not.

Most of the voters in our state walk into the ballot booth and vote republican regardless of who the candidate is. They did not sneak up on us. We voted them in knowing how sleazy they are. These clowns are brazen about their politically motivated actions. They don’t need to try and hide any of this. Why should they? They know reelection is a given as long as they stay a republican. These guys make Illinois politics look like an ethics seminar. Hell, they even tried to defeat Senator Chapman for offering an alternative plan which actually made sense; and, he is one of their own.

Reynolds 1 and 2 should go back to Oconee and stay there. All the people of Georgia need is another place with room rates of $300.00 to $400.00 a night and $300.00 green fees.

Thanks a lot republicans. Thanks for nothing!

Mike C
April 4th, 2009
10:01 pm
I read the following on another site describing the GOP and their actions at the state level here in Georgia are no less disgraceful. They are all too willing to gin up a war and wave the flag and pretend to love their country but when the warriors return they give them the boot. All they really love is money.


Republicans ARE practicing seditious DEMAGOGUERY and insurrectionary OBSTRUCTIONISM intended to destabilize our economy for purposes of political exploitation.

Republicans AREN’T making a sincere effort to STOP the bleeding THEIR incompetent leadership and failed policies created. Instead, they’re using conflicting economic theories as a smokescreen to conceal their subversive agenda, which is to cause President Obama and America to fail so they can blame Democrats for the consequences of THEIR calamitous mismanagement.

Republicans ARE preposterously professing that THEIR disgraceful political WHORING had nothing to do with the banking, real estate, stock market and employment catastrophes that resulted.

Republicans ARE trying to hamstring Democrats to prevent them from exposing the damage caused during a Republican presidency.

Republicans ARE offering controversial arguments they know no one can agree on to disrupt and prevent progressive change. They’d rather divide America and create political gridlock than endure the political consequences of effective Democratic governance. That’s how they gained power and that’s how they’re trying to retain it.

Republicans AREN’T the LOYAL OPPOSITION. They ARE the ENEMY WITHIN whose personal priorities have eroded their moral and ethical standards to the point that treachery and betrayal are their preferred modus operandi.

It’s one thing to advocate their conservative beliefs; it’s another thing entirely to willfully sabotage America’s government because a successful Democratic presidency would not be vulnerable to the greed, fears and hatreds that have produced and sustained the radical Republican corporatism and extremism that have poisoned and crippled America.

Donovan Schoonover
April 4th, 2009
10:23 pm
It is too bad that we have to make it harder on our veterans to get the best health care that they deserve. Most of those politicians in Atlanta are Sonny’s pawns and will stand by him so he can pay off his political debts to Linger and Reynolds. It’s too bad we can’t send them all to Iraq for a year and than see how they feel.
Giving ocean front property for Linger to make a pot full of money on their timeshares and condos which will do nothing to increase tourism on Jekyll Island. I agree that Jekyll needs to be renovated but not this way. The poor average Georgians should get together and vote all these pawns out of office. It’s too bad that this country has to run on money and GREED.

Mary Sue
April 4th, 2009
10:59 pm
Please wake up, Georgians! Jekyll Island is a STATE PARK OWNED BY AND FOR THE CITIZENS. LINGER LONGER NEEDS TO LINGER NO LONGER in this state. We will increase tourism in Jekyll especially in these trying economical times when folks rediscover Jekyll as a family destination. There are plenty of places to stay already. (We have just returned home with 12 family members who take bi-annual trips to Jekyll economically.) We do not need Linger Longer to create another Hilton Head with time shares and only 1% going to the state. Thank heavens there were still folks with common sense who saw the money needed to go to the vets. Keep on eye on Linger Longer…this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Karen Grainey
April 5th, 2009
8:58 am
The Republicans want to punish the Democrats for trying to help aging war veterans. It’s time for voters to wise up and punish the Republicans at the ballot box.

April 5th, 2009
9:48 am
It does seem that our only recourse in saving the state of Georgia from these relentless pay for play Repubs is to submit our cause to the U.S. Attorney General since it’s obvious that our State AG will do nothing. He has been contacted about this mess in Jekyll but refuses to respond. I will now contact the US AG in Georgia but since they are also Repubs we may expect little satisfaction. Let’s ALL contact the U.S. Attorneys General in Ga and see if they respond.

Link Report this comment jekyllover

April 5th, 2009
10:05 am
I should have mentioned that Edmund A. Booth,Jr. is listed as the presidentially-appointed U.S. Attorney for the southern district of Georgia which includes Jekyll. You may want to check out his website at He should be willing to look into the relationships between political financial contributions and politicians votes; at inconsistencies and inaccuracies in reports emanating from or commissioned by the JIA ; and especially why the JIA membership does in no way represent the diversity of Georgia citizens. I am sure many of us can come up with other issues the US AG could investigate.

April 5th, 2009
10:28 am
Abe Lincoln said, “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.”
Our republican government leadership in Georgia has lost its founding principles and come of the rails. 50 MILLION DOLLARS for private developers of Jekyll Island and not even 5% of that for the Georgia Vets at Milledgeville! WHY!!!! How cold and unfeeling can you be.
Let’s see- for 50 million (dollars that came from ALL Georgia Taxpayers, not just from the Republican elite) Georgia citizens get ritzy condos, hotels, and shops on a small island. Now could we just use a small part (2.17 million) of that to keep some Ga. vets from loosing their homes? Not according to the greedy foxes watching over our taxpayer’s money. After all, there is no financial profit in it. Saving the vets home would only make Georgians proud of their Government for doing the right and honorable thing.
The odd thing is, there is no profit and little benefit for the average Georgian from the $50 million that will go to Jekyll’s Developer either. The $50 million is just a little payback for well connected Republicans: wealthy supporters and elected officials of our state who threaten and bully their colleagues to get votes. The Republican Party used to stand for sound economic policy and fiscal conservatism. Here, in dangerous economic times when we need serious, responsible leadership they turn their back on those who laid their lives on the line to protect us all. And for what?? How can these folks sleep at night?
Well, some Republicans like Abe Lincoln and Jeff Chapman have demonstrated the moral character to lead in tough times. But this bunch of home grown carpetbaggers now running Georgia have fooled us long enough.

Link Report this comment Brent

April 5th, 2009
11:44 am
I can’t believe that the men and women who risk their lives would be traded off for more RICH development on Jekyll. Remember this is the elite group of REPUBS that are taking over the highway department. I thought nothing could be worse than the thugs in Washington, but our own Georgia is running nip and tuck.

Michigan Jekyll watcher
April 5th, 2009
12:58 pm
It seems that the politicians in Georgia think they are “bullet-proof”. Being only a loyal visitor and lover of Jekyll Island, I cannot participate in the most obvious solution to this problem - VOTE THEM OUT!! It worked on a national level, but your Governor and all his cronies evidently don’t think that Georgians have the guts to do it locally.
As far as Linger Longer is concerned - maybe we should let them build their expensive, fancy beachfront luxury resort. If things go as predicted on the global-warming front, it will all be under water in another 40-50 years anyway. Of course, then they would probably come looking for someone in Georgia government to buy it back (for twice the price).

April 5th, 2009
3:08 pm
Truly disgusting. Greed itself may not be illegal, but there are a lot of things typically associated with it which are, and I would not be at all surprised to find them here. I agree with Jekyllover: time to call for a Federal investigation, because GA will do nothing. Georgians deserve some answers.

US Dept. of Justice -

April 5th, 2009
4:06 pm
Why do Georgia Republicans hate our military veterans?

April 5th, 2009
4:17 pm
The corruptness of our state’s Republican leadership just keeps spreading and it’s particularly sickening if the Republican voters in Georgia keep condoning what they do. The latest game of threatening Republican legislators so that the cowards would not save the veterans home and were willing to double the taxpayer ripoff to Mercer Reynolds just takes the corruption one step further. Georgia is the laughing stock of the nation — such a lack of ethics, checks & balances — we’re back in the dark ages. Perdue, Richardson, Cagle — we sure need a way to throw them all out. And we need a way to save our Jekyll Island.

John C. Nord
April 5th, 2009
4:37 pm
Now that the Reynolds Bros. have screwed up Lake Oconee and environs by developing every square inch of their 23 miles of shoreline and all land there attached, they are going to mess up our State Park on Jekyll Island. and get paid for doing it. It would be interesting for the AJC to determine how many millions the Reynolds have given the Republicans above board to their election campaigns and perhaps see which ones might just happen to have the keys to condos at Reynolds and on Jekyll when their trashy development despoils the island and the salt marshes of Jekyll. You can bet that there will development of the salt marshes before they are through. I wouldn’t be surprised at seeing one of their umpteen golf courses decked over the salt marshes and well as every open piece of ground on the island.

Former Republican
April 5th, 2009
5:05 pm
Senator Jack Hill is outdoing Illinois in political crookedness. I notice that he has spent 37 years playing war in the Air Guard and reserves. That should have given him some respect for veterans who were on active duty.
But apparently he has sunken so low that he doesn’t know the difference. I can only hope that his constituents know the difference.

April 5th, 2009
8:35 pm
Enough is enough. It is definitely time to contact the AG and in particular the one mentioned in Jekyllover’s post. An investigation into the JIA’s and Linger Longer’s contracts are worth asking for before Jekyll is under the control of a private developer and making profits to boot within what is a State Park!

Leila Lazenby
April 6th, 2009
8:04 am
The sad truth is that the Republican party no longer represents anyone other than fat-cat special interests. While health care for all Georgia citizens and, notably in this case, especially our veterans, is suffering from budget cuts at a time when it is most needed, our elected officials are giving away our tax dollars to their rich buddies. Too many of my fellow Georgians have succumbed to the palaver dished out by the conservative pundits and look the other way while the Republican pols rob us blind and steal our beloved Jekyll in the bargain. It’s time to march on Atlanta!!

April 6th, 2009
8:41 am
Jekyll Island is a state park accessible to ALL Georgians…At least that is what is was supposed to be. With Reynolds’s plans to privatize it and expel all “working Georgians”, they have accurately secured another playground for the rich and privileged. Why aren’t more of us worried about the debauchery occurring in our local government? It’s shameful to squash Senator Brown’s plan to save the veteran’s home to fatten up Mercer’s pockets. Why do we continue to allow ourselves to be trampled by the traitors? Patriotism in the Republican Party? Sure, there is some among individual members who are vastly out-numbered by the greedy lackeys who continue to dance to their puppeteers tune. It’s time for us to stand up and stop the Party’s continuing efforts to destroy all that we hold dear. Veteran’s should not be thrust aside like yesterdays refuse and our land should be cherish and protected under the veil it was created. Protect Jekyll Island from greedy developers and take that money to improve the state’s economy rather than making Mercer money.

April 6th, 2009
10:14 am
Giving taxpayer dollars to a private developer is bad enough but to double it in this economy is appalling. To cut services to vets is criminal but even worse is the fact that the citizens of Georgia continue to elect these sorry republicans. Jack Hill is past it and needs to go.

Austin Idol
April 6th, 2009
10:57 am
Dirty deeds done dirt cheap? Mule head and all of his buds will be reaping the benefit of the Linger Longer deal for years to come and the Georgia taxpaper screwed yet again. We thought Nixon was a crook. Perdue, et al, have him beat by miles.

Russ Hill
April 6th, 2009
11:04 am
Mr. Galloway!
I have just read David Egan’s page on the disgraceful doubling of bond support for the Jekyll “Linger Longer”, garbage.
Why are we, the tax payer, supporting this project?
What happened to “free enterprise”?
If Sonney wanted to cut education and all that, it is sad. What is worse is that I understand that “Amendment 3″, from last fall was a giveaway to large land owners and hunting clubs. It was called the “Green Space Initiative”. That is called a lie.
Was not “Amendment 1″ from last fall also passed by voters and was also a giveaway to the rich? Sonney sure likes special tax breaks for him and his cronies and uncollaterlized loans of 225 million just for himself. What a heel! End welfare for the rich!
With thanks for your due diligence,
Russ Hill

Ted King
April 6th, 2009
11:24 am
My best, life-long friend lived in the War Veterans Home for two years before he died in 2007. The Home was his last and only refuge. I was always thankful, as was he, that there was a refuge for those who had sacrificed so heavily for their country. Now I see money being allocated for some ‘fat cat’ development at Jekyll rather than supporting our veterans. What shame! And all because our legislators in Atlanta did not vote for their constituancy, but as their Republican leaders demanded. Being a Republican does not mean standing for your country, it means taking all you can get at the expense of others who are not fortunate enough to have ‘connections’.

April 6th, 2009
11:46 am
Don’t blame all republican’s Senator Jeff Chapman(district 3)which includes Jekyll has been fighting for Jekyll Island for two years.

Charlie B
April 6th, 2009
11:58 am
I am a staunch political independent and, except for Sen. Jeff Chapman and very few others, it sure looks to me like the Republican party in this state has become ethically and morally confused. I think true democracy in this state is in a coma and will stay that way unless taxpaying voters realize how things are and start to make serious noise about it. To close a veteran’s home in order to lavishly subsidize a profoundly questionable and quite possibly deplorable development plan for Jekyll Island certainly strikes me as a low point. Meanwhile, be thankful to the AJC and for freedom of the press. Support the AJC, and I’d likewise suggest checking out the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island website. God help the vets. God help us all.

April 6th, 2009
12:14 pm
Let me get this striaght……People who fought for this country are less important than those trying to steal from the state……
What is wrong with us as a society when we continue to allow “clown” politicians run us instead of us running them? Vote these crooks out of office once and for all. I am sure when they are unemployed Linger(loiter) Longer will still support them.

April 6th, 2009
2:42 pm
I have a suggestion for all the people who have been ranting and raving on this blog and crying for “justice.” Stop wasting your breath. The budget has been passed and the Jekyll deal is done, over and finished. Only Gov. Perdue can change the outcome of either of these two deals, and he’s very, very unlikely to do anything other than what he thinks is right, which, in the case at hand, is to provide the bond funds to fix the dump that Jekyll Island has become. As for the veterans at the Milledgeville facility, well, they aren’t going to be thrown out on the street as Sen. Brown implies; they’ll just be relocated to some other vet home and continue to live at the public’s expense.
So, let’s get real. Jekyll is going to get fixed despite the efforts of the naysayers, and the Milledgeville vets will be just fine living elsewhere, despite what the bleeding-heart liberals might claim.

Ron the Vet Hater
April 6th, 2009
5:19 pm
“they’ll just be relocated to some other vet home and continue to live at the public’s expense”

“At the Public’s Expense”? What the…???

Clearly, Ron doesn’t know any veterans with injuries and disabilities. If he did, he wouldn’t be so callow. Hey Ron, there’s aren’t many places in Georgia for our injured and disabled vet’s to begin with. The few facilities the state does offer are older, crumbling, and in need of renovation.
Families and friends would like to be able to visit without driving for hours and hours.

Just like the Republicans in the State House and Senate, Ron doesn’t give a darn about our military veterans.

April 6th, 2009
5:22 pm
Hey Ron, I’m no “bleeding-heart liberal”, and I’m not a fan of Democrats. But I am the son of a Navy vet with Parkinson’s Disease. You have a lot of nerve to make this a petty conservative/liberal issue. Our veterans made a ton of sacrifices to serve, and it’s not too much to provide those veterans with needs decent facilities. You owe it to yourself to get to know some families of veterans with a family member in a veteran’s home, and see firsthand the struggles they go through.

April 6th, 2009
10:17 pm
Hye Ron, Jekyll is NOT a dumping ground. Maybe you do not understand the concept of a state park and the mandates that were put forth to keep the island’s accommodations affordable. Further, there is current revitalization already underway as three hotels have been deomoished to allow for new ones. That is just the beginning. Revitalization can occur without Linger Longer having the benefit of private profits from the state park. What is going on is a slippery slope of power in the wrong hands.

ron's buddy
April 7th, 2009
9:49 am
ron- Why don’t you go to St. Simons or Hilton Head if Jekyll is such a dump? You certainly do not have to give the island to your conservative fat cat brothers to clean it up! Do what Sen. Chapman suggests and destroy the delapidated structures and replace them with new ones.

You don’t have to be a liberal to recognize a crooked deal when you see one. You only need an open mind which you are in dire need of.

Daughter of a vet
April 7th, 2009
11:13 am
There is only one response for a person like Ron who has blinders on and no heart…..the sound of silence. He doesn’t deserve the time and effort of people who can look at the big picture of life and not just a black and white image of their pathetic, narrow world.

April 7th, 2009
12:17 pm
Look, for all you angry bloggers who’ve missed my point, listen up. The Milledgeville vets did not get dumped on the street; they’ve been relocated to other vet homes, and, according to the Georgia Dept. of Veteran Services, they’re doing just fine. So, obviously, there was some fat in the budget for veteran services since public-provided space was found to house these vets eleswhere. As for the $25 million in bond proceeds being sent to Jekyll Island, that money will be spent to upgrade a public park and will provide construction jobs for productive Georgians. In these economic tough times, trimming fat from the State budget and providing jobs at the same time is a win-win situation. I just don’t see how any fair-minded person can object to that.

April 7th, 2009
1:54 pm
I highly recommend this action: Print the comments in this blog for our fellow citizens who may not have access to computers or read blogs. Be sure to take copies to all the VFWs. Also, those of you who have access to folks on our military posts in Georgia, make sure they have copies, so they can understand how our Republican leadership regards their service. Don’t just read these posts - circulate them far and wide. Daughter of a loyal veteran. I wonder if some of these Republicans have those ribbons on their cars and trucks that read “Support Our Troops.” If they do, they are hypocrites.

April 7th, 2009
3:35 pm
NONE of this surprises me AT ALL!!! The Deceptican goons under the Gold Dome are only out for themselves and their buddies - the people of GA simply don’t enter into the equation! They will squeeze anyone to get what they want. I’d rather have my taxes go to help veterans, but that ain’t gonna happen as long as there are Decepticans in charge with friends who want something - my money will go to them.
What most of you don’t know about is that the goons actually approved a new interstate interchange and highway for the Reynold’s Plantation monstrosity on Lake Ocoee; that’s MILLIONS of our taxes going to enrich the Reynolds family MORE!!!
When are you people going to wake up and realize that the Decepticans are just that…DECEPTIVE! They will say or do ANYTHING do get power and then will do ANYTHING they want once you foolishly give them that power.
Democrats are no picnic either, but at least the arm-twisting is more difficult in a diverse party. We the people need to hold them all accountable.
Note to Will Jones: You seem to find “closet queens” everywhere! I wonder…why the obsession with homosexuals (speaking as one myself!)? PLEASE don’t insult homosexuals everywhere by calling DUBYA a closet queen! Y’all can keep him!

April 8th, 2009
9:59 am
As to the GA Attorney General looking into JI and the Reynolds’ connections - the deputy AG and his underlings are appointed by the GOVERNOR, not the AG. They are the gate-keepers for the Republican Party in GA. Those officials don’t let Thurbert Baker see ANYTHING or do anything that might upset or implicate Guvna Stumpy. Baker is just a figurehead and can’t really investigate anything in this state unless Stumpy approves. Don’t believe me? Just try to get in touch w/ Baker; see if your letter ever reaches his hands or a phone call is ever forwarded to him. Been there, done that, it won’t happen with Stumpy’s guard dogs controlling the AG dept.

Gold Dome Live
The Jekyll Island Authority received $25 million dollars in general obligation bonds from the state to rebuild the convention center and public park in the new "town center." Governor Perdue, without a request being made by the JIA, added a second $25 million dollars in general obligation bonds for the same project even though the JIA said that they only needed $25 not $50 million for the project.

The bond money will provide for the infrastructure in and around the town center, the convention center and the "public park" from the convention center to Blackbeard's Restaurant." The Jekyll Island Authority has maintained that all of Jekyll's private partners will benefit from the contributions to the Park by the bond money. Realistically, it will be Linger Longer's 2 hotels and vacation rental units in the town center that will benefit most because of their close proximity to the convention center and public park.

Senator Robert Brown (D) introduced an amendment on April 1, 2009 which proposed taking $2.14 million from the second $25 million in bonds to keep the Vets home in Millidgeville, which houses 81 sick and injured veterans, from closing.

Gold Dome Live Blog article and comments to the blog appear below.

To see how your senator voted and for contact information for your senator should you wish to ask him/her why they voted as they did, click here.

To read The Brunswick News version of the amendment, click here.