Political Talk — With Todd & Todd

Rep. Buzz Brockway – 2012 Session Recap

A pleasure to welcome back Rep. Buzz Brockway to the show today. Buzz was kind enough to join us to provide a recap on the 2012 legislative session. A video teaser below:

Rep. Buzz Brockway


1. Rep. Brockway gave us a recap on the 2012 Georgia legislative session. What went well, what did not.

2. Accomplishments included some tax reform including removing the tax on energy, to help lure manufacturing back to Georgia, criminal justice reform to name a few.

3. Rep. Brockway shared some wins that will help and assist the Georgia businessperson.

4. Lessons learned and other observations from Buzz’s first term.

5. Rep. Brockway had two pieces of legislation pass, and he discussed those two bills, which deal with election law reform and human trafficking.

6. We roundtabled on the impact of the tax credit for the film and entertainment industry, and what other ways policy like that can impact business.

7. We discussed some recent developments with health care policy, as well as continued efforts to ramp up Metro Atlanta as a technology hub in the US.

8. Rep. Brockway shares his view of the presidential race both here in Georgia, and nationally.

9. We discussed how much different our politics would be if all people had a basic understanding of economics, and how the free market is supposed to work.

10. Finally, Buzz gives us a rundown of some legislative races of note here in Georgia.

11. You can learn more about Rep. Brockway at www.vote4buzz.com.


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Benita Dodd: Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Benita Dodd

Joined in the studio by the Vice President of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Benita Dodd. Benita, formerly of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, hails from South Africa.

On today’s show, we discussed the following topics:

1. The day-to-day mission and purpose of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, and its focus on the development of market-based policy.

2. The Foundation’s massive focus on education policy, with a centerpiece on school choice.

3. Small-business tax friendly policy initiatives.

4. The importance of transparency, and fighting the crony capitalist label.

5. The GPPF’s legislative agenda for the 2012 legislative session, and how are things turning out with that agenda.

6. The continued battle fighting the educrats, who are so resistant to change in education policy.

7. The importance of both adult and juvenile criminal justice reform – and the raging debate about jailing someone, verses putting them into treatment and making them a productive, taxpaying citizen continues…

8. “We can be tough on crime, or right on crime…”

To sign-up for the GPPF’s Friday Facts, click here (right sidebar). To donate to the GPPF, click here. And to find Benita on Facebook, click here!


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Rep. Ed Setzler on Political Talk

Rep. Ed Setzler in the studio...

A real pleasure to welcome Cobb County’s Ed Setzler, Representative of Georgia’s 35th district, on Political Talk with Todd and Todd.

We spoke today about ONE issue, how to finally improve education in the State of Georgia. A few highlights include:

1. School choice is the answer to dramatically improving education. We discuss all the hurdles the movement faces, and how to combat those roadblocks.

2. Technology can nicely supplement education, and expose our children to some of greatest thinkers on the planet.

3. More money is NOT the answer to improving education… Listen to Rep. Setzler explain why.

4. A different way to look at testing. Do not set an arbitrary bar…truly measure achievement. Rep. Setzler discusses a fascinating example…

5. Improving education is the number one thing we can do to improve Georgia’s economic future. Listen to understand why.

You can learn more about Ed Setzler here, and find him on Facebook.


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Kelly McCutchen on Political Talk: Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Kelly McCutchen

Joined today by the President of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Mr. Kelly McCutchen.

The Georgia Public Policy Foundations exists to both educate the grassroots, as well as communicate important policy ideas and initiatives to Georgia’s lawmakers.

From their website: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is an independent think tank that proposes practical, market-oriented approaches to public policy to improve the lives of Georgians.

Highlights from today’s show include:

1. Kelly discusses the mission of the GPPF, as well as how to become a sustaining member of the organization. The GPPF is fully funded from private contributions.

2. The GPPF had long advocated the implementation of the Hot Lanes that caused so much initial frustration. But as Kelly points out, they were rolled out poorly, and they are beginning to work. He says “congestion pricing” works…

3. We talked about the critical importance of education reform, especially the implementation of technology in learning, or “digital learning.” Can gaming technology and apps be the future of how we teach our children? Kelly believes so, especially with a blended model of online learning and teacher interaction.

4. We also discussed the disappointing Supreme Court ruling negatively impacting charter schools.

5. Kelly shares his thoughts on whether education will improve if we pay out teachers more…

6. Finally, Kelly also shares his thoughts on criminal justice reform, health care reform, and his belief that the sales tax on energy and manufacturing will finally be removed.

[Tip from the producer: You owe it to yourself to join the mailing list of the Foundation just to receive the weekly Friday Facts email. Great learning and education...sign-up on the main page here.]


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Commissioner Tim Echols on Political Talk!

Tim Echols

Joined today by Commissioner Tim Echols, of the Georgia Public Service Commission. You can learn more about Tim Echols here.

For those unfamiliar, the mission of the Georgia Public Service Commission is to exercise its authority and influence to ensure that consumers receive safe, reliable and reasonably priced telecommunications, transportation, electric and natural gas services from financially viable and technically competent companies. You can learn more about the Georgia Public Service Commission here.

Four discussion topics from today’s show, and why you should listen:

1. The amazing potential of green energy in Georgia, and elsewhere. And what that means to business and economic growth.

2. What government can do to facilitate an environment that fosters both innovation and research and development.

3. The opportunities, and roadblocks, with solar power, wind, natural gas and nuclear. And why those are important in providing alternatives to foreign oil.

4. An insider’s look at the Public Service Commission: how it impacts your daily life, and how NOBODY knows a thing about it…


Rep. Buzz Brockway on Political Talk!

Rep. Buzz Brockway

A pleasure to welcome Rep. Buzz Brockway, of Georgia’s 101st House district, to Political Talk with Todd and Todd!

Discussion topics on today’s show included:

1. Freedom.

2. How to foster an economic environment that creates growth and jobs.

3. The need for tax reform in 2012.

4. A quick review on Election Day 2011.

5. Reducing waste in education, and utilizing technology to improve education for our children.

6. Occupy Wall Street.

7. Transportation and Hot Lanes.

8. Dealing with the burdensome federal government.

9. 2012 Georgia legislative session preview.

10. 2012 Presidential Race.

You can find Rep. Brockway on Facebook and on the web.

Veteran and Rep. Scott Holcomb on Political Talk!

Rep. Scott Holcomb

A real pleasure to welcome Rep. Scott Holcomb to Political Talk. Rep. Holcomb represents the 82nd district in the Georgia House of Representatives.

On today’s show, we discussed the following subjects with Rep. Scott Holcomb:

1. His service in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and his thoughts on President Obama’s announcement of bringing home U.S. forces from the Iraqi theater.

2. The importance of e-recycling.

3. The entrepreneurial opportunities with renewable energy in Georgia.

4. His goal to increase teacher salaries to $75,000 – and whether or not that is feasible.

5. And of course, we get his take on tax reform, unemployment, job growth, education, transportation and infrastructure improvements.

6. Finally, his views on how the 2012 presidential race will turn out…

You can learn more about Rep. Holcomb here.

Health and Human Services Chair Sharon Cooper On Political Talk!

Rep. Sharon Cooper

A pleasure to welcome Health and Human Services Chair and State Rep. Sharon Cooper to Political Talk with Todd and Todd…

On today’s show, conversation with Rep. Cooper included the following:

1. Dealing with the uncertainly over the impacts of Obamacare. How is the state going to afford adding between 600,000 to 800,000 new people to the medicaid rolls?

2. As a result of last session, there are now Free Health Clinics opening up around the state. What impact will these have on health care?

3. How to make health care affordable for the small business person? We discussed the need for tort reform, the burden of state mandates and what’s being done about them, health exchanges, and the need for healthcare savings accounts.

4. Broad preview of the 2012 legislative session.

In the lightening round, Rep. Cooper gave a quick recap on what she predicts will happen in 2012 with the following issues: transportation, education, tax reform, and the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

You can learn more about Sharon Cooper here. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers on Political Talk!

Very fortunate to welcome Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers to Political Talk with Todd and Todd!

Leader Chip Rogers

Discussion topics included:

1. How to improve education, including an interesting conversation about the Khan Academy, which may be the future of education.

2. Job growth, tax reform, and how the growing debt is our greatest problem, besides education.

3. Immigration reform, and how you are not getting the full story.

4. Transporation issues, including a discussion on HOT lanes and TSPLOST.

5. How the Republican nomination is shaping up, and the fortunes of Georgia’s two candidates.

6. An early preview of the 2012 legislative session.

You won’t want to miss this interesting conversation with one of Georgia’s most respected political leaders. Leader Rogers has promised to return to the show to give us a more in depth preview of the coming legislative session.

You can find Senator Rogers on Facebook and well as on his website.

Candidate Josh Belinfante on Political Talk!

Josh Belinfante

Joined on Political Talk with Todd and Todd by exciting new candidate, Josh Belinfante, running for the 6th district in the Georgia Senate.

Josh Belinfante was born in Northside Hospital and grew up in Smyrna and Sandy Springs. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, he taught high school at Pace Academy, his alma mater. He attended the University of Georgia School of Law and lived in Buckhead, with his wife, Dr. Karina Belinfante, an internist practicing in Smyrna. Josh and Karina now reside in Sandy Springs with their two boys, Cole (age 5) and Ian (age 2). Josh is an attorney with the Atlanta law firm of RobbinsFreed, and he previously served as Executive Counsel to Governor Sonny Perdue and Legal Counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the Georgia House of Representatives. He is also the former Vice Chairman of the State Ethics Commission.

Show topics included:

1. Jobs and growth, including a new program to provide venture capital.

2. Reforming the tax code.

3. Education and school choice.

4. Healthcare, the threat of Obamacare, and preserving the Doctor/Patient relationship.

5. Transportation.

6. Reforming Fulton County, and the potential future of Milton County.

7. The GOP race for the 2012 Presidential nomination, and his support for Speaker Newt Gingrich.

You can find Josh on both Twitter and Facebook!