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Let GOP pay for power rate hike

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POSTED: October 11, 2010 10:45 a.m.
The legislation (SB-31) that allows Georgia Power to charge small businesses and residential customers for electricity in advance provides exhibits A to Z of Republican core economic and political values; family values are exhibited in the speaker suite on the right wing at Motel 6.
Georgia Power is a two-faced, government-sanctioned monopoly that robs people to bribe the public. The greedy corporate face employs Republicans to force small businesses and residential customers to pay for electricity before they can use it. The friendly community face uses some of the pilfered money to hire pleasant employees and public relations firms to persuade the public that it is a benevolent corporate citizen.
The rate/tax increase legislation was written by Georgia Power and carried by Republican leaders. The company hired every available bleached blonde – other colors were noticeably absent from every other lobbying firm – under the gold dome. Every known and unknown legislative maneuver was employed to pass the rate/tax increase.
Exempting large rate payers and leaving the burden entirely on small businesses and residential payers was the major key to passing this onerous bill. This bought off the large companies with their highly paid lobbyists, leaving small businesses and residential customers virtually unarmed against a powerful corporation.
During the legislative debate, Republicans and lobbyists insisted the advance payments for electricity would start at $1.30 and go to $9 after 6 years. The law is codified and Georgia Power now confesses to the truth, the payments will start at nearly $4 and go to $9 in 4 years.
In retrospect, it is crystal clear why Republicans would not pass former Sen. Ed Tarver’s Truth in Testimony Act (SB-7), a proposed law to make it a felony for lobbyists and others to knowingly lie to a legislative committee.
Hidden deep in the rate/tax increase law is a provision that will allow Georgia Power to make future rate increases that will require small businesses and residential customers to pay for electricity before they use it. Georgia Power will make these increases without having to defend them at the Public Service Commission or any entity responsible for protecting public interests.
This is especially unfair to elderly rate/tax payers. Many senior citizens will have to pay for electricity that will not be available until several years after they are dead.
It is not surprising that Georgia Republicans would place this unnecessary burden on small businesses and residential customers. After all, this gang of ruffians imposed a “sick-tax” on people in hospitals.
A jury of voters, including the five Blind Boys of Alabama with Ray Charles serving as foreman from his grave, can see well enough to find Georgia Republicans and Georgia Power guilty of increasing rates by deception. Georgia voters should sentence Georgia Republican politicians to their homes for 130 years and require them to learn the true meaning of family values.

Brown has served in the Senate since 1991 and represents Twiggs and parts of Bibb (Macon), Wilkinson and Houston counties. He can be reached at (478) 750-0220 or robert.brown@senate.ga.gov.
 

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