Below is radio show host Wilson Smith’s introduction to his January 5th interview with State Senator Tommie Williams (R – Lyons) which was arranged following the Senator’s criticism of statements made by Senator Jeff Chapman during a late December interview with Mr. Smith regarding the Jekyll Island Authority’s long-term contract with developer Linger Longer Communities. To listen to the interview, click on the following link and go the bottom of Mr. Smith’s introduction to his talk with Senator Williams:

Remember these words:
I don’t care what they make!

By Wilson Smith
Host of the radio show “What’s Going on”

A few minutes after the broadcast of my interview with Sen. Jeff Chapman regarding the recent action of the Jekyll Island Authority, I got a phone call. It was Senator Tommie Williams, the new President Pro Tempore of the Senate. He wanted to let me know that some of the things Sen. Chapman and I had discussed were not accurate. He wanted to set the record straight. I was happy to oblige.

A few days later Senator Williams and I had this rather intense debate about whether or not the deal the JIA had cut with Linger Longer was good or bad. Senator Williams had his figures on what the JIA would be paid over the next 15 years.

My bottom line response throughout the interview was simply this: What is Linger Longer going to get out of the deal? Now, I submit that this question was imminently reasonable, that any businessman of any worth or intelligence would want to know the answer to that question before signing on the dotted line.

Senator Williams did not have the figures on Linger Longer’s take. His response throughout the interview was: I don’t care what they make since the JIA (the State of Georgia) is getting such a good deal.

I tried to explain to the Senator that there was no way in hell that a person could decide that the state was getting a good deal if you didn’t know how much money Linger Longer was getting. I thought that made perfect sense. I thought the logic irrefutable.

Senator Williams was unconvinced.

With all due respect Senator, I do not believe for one moment that you do not understand the logic of my observation. The figures of who gets how much should be the first piece of information that the JIA should have at its fingertips in negotiating a contract with Linger Longer. I do not believe for a moment that Senator Williams negotiates contracts in his business without knowing exactly what benefits the other party will be getting and the monetary value of those benefits.

Senator Williams and Rep. Jerry Keen are members of the Legislative Oversight Committee that has authority over Jekyll Island. They, together with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and lame duck Gov. Perdue can fix this. All they have to do is decide they want to. No excuses. If they allow this rape of state assets to go through, they should pay the price in 2010.