Thank You Governor Deal!

Film Clapper thanking Governor Deal

On Tuesday morning I drove up to the state capitol for ‘Film Day’, an annual event where members of Georgia’s film industry gather with the Governor and members of the state legislature to review the success of our state’s film tax credit in a public setting. As in previous years the crowd consisted of representatives from various film studios, business owners serving  the motion picture industry, and people from a variety of film unions and guilds (from actors and camera operators, to grips and electricians).

Once again this year I contributed to the event by assembling footage submitted by Georgians expressing their thanks to the Governor and the men and women of the Georgia General Assembly for their continuing support of the film tax credit that transformed our state into a very major player in the film and television industry.

I last edited one of these videos back in 2016, during the last few weeks before we lost my dad, and everything about that year’s event is a blur in my memory – though I do recall arriving halfway through the video and hearing Governor Deal speaking.

This year was different. I wasn’t lost in the exhausted fog that comes with being a caregiver. I arrived before the event began, so I had time to walk around and say hello to people I knew.

Lee Thomas, Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Film Office, kicked things off by letting us know that the Governor wasn’t going to be able to make it, which was quite a surprise because the success of Georgia’s film industry has been one of points of pride over the years. He has been a staunch supporter of the industry.

Instead, Pat Wilson, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, took to the podium and walked us through the facts and figures of the well-documented success of Georgia’s well planned film tax credit. Commissioner Wilson did a great job, all too aware that the audience had really hoped to share this moment with the Governor.

Somewhere in all that activity they played the video that I made, and (besides some audio leveling issues and the obvious fact that the footage was largely provided by people using the camera on their phones) it was well received.

Here’s the video:

Someone announced that Speaker Ralston was trying to get there but was stuck in traffic – an all too real excuse, as it was still rush hour.

Bigger Fish to Fry?

Having been locked in mortal combat with my editing software for the past week I was playing catch-up over a big political bomb that had gone off the previous day when Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle threatened Delta Airlines for ending its relationship with the National Rifle Association.

The Governor probably missed our big party because he had bigger fish to fry.

On Wednesday a teacher friend sent me a news article about the Governor’s response to the situation between Cagle and Delta and it was all too clear that Deal was chastising his Lieutenant Governor.

“Sometimes you get caught up in the heat of the moment and the context of a political campaign and people are urging you to take positions and say things that if you really had thought about them a little longer you might not have said and you might not have done…” – Governor Nathan Deal


And yet the political reality is that with this being his last year in office the Governor’s ability to temper the legislature’s passion is waning – and a bunch of folks in our legislature have constituents who are gun rights advocates. I mean come on, we’re Georgia!

As someone with a lot of friends and family who collect guns and carry guns, I have observed how a few of them see the National Rifle Association as the personification, the physical embodiment, of their right to bear arms.

In their minds, a threat to the NRA is as good as a threat to the Second Amendment.

With that understanding in place, it’s easy to see why the Lieutenant Governor portrayed Delta’s breaking ties with the NRA as a threat to the second amendment: because it played well to a portion of the electorate who will be voting for our next Governor.

You gotta do what you gotta do to stand out in a political race, and this showdown has certainly raised Cagle’s profile – I mean: we finally know the name of our Lieutenant Governor! LOL

He’s a 52 year old from Gainesville – and he’s now old enough to join AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons, which is an organization that lobbies for the interests of senior citizens, from medical issues to retirement issues. Over the years it has wielded great influence over lawmakers, owing much of that to the size of the Baby Boomer generation.

The NRA is an organization that lobbies for the interests of gun manufacturers and subsequently for the people who will purchase and own these firearms. It has done remarkably well in this regard because of its vocal and active membership.

The NRA is basically like the AARP, except for guns instead of old people.

Do you think that Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Georgia’s General Assembly would have so passionately punished Delta if the airline had announced that they were breaking ties with the AARP?

LOL – I’m pretty sure that the answer to that is “no”.

What a private company does is its right, right? Especially to business rights oriented Republicans (like me), right?

As you can see, ideals become more malleable in an election year.

The Lieutenant Governor is simply playing hardball with Delta in order to woo conservative, gun-owning constituents. He’s just making a name for himself by focusing on a particular sacred cow.

It’s just politics as usual.

The thing I’m wondering though is this: as Cagle runs hard to the right during this election year, will he move back to the center if he is elected as our Governor, or will he continue to be an ideologue, concentrating more on populist issues?

I hope that (if elected) he would concentrate on Georgia’s future, and keeping Georgians employed. I love tradition, but the future is usually untraditional.

Governor Nathan Deal has taken some very business-forward actions in Georgia’s best interests during his tenure, occasionally vetoing bills designed to play well to special interest groups that stand a very good chance of chasing away employers – much to the frustration of his fellow Republicans.

I will always think of Nathan Deal as the “jobs” Governor, because he has made job creation his business, and the men and women who go to work making movies and television shows appreciate the efforts that he and the Georgia Legislature have achieved together.

Let’s hope we can continue to focus our efforts on growing all of Georgia’s industries – I can’t wait for this election season to be over, and it’s only just begun.

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