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Yarbrough: Beware the Killer B’s of state politics

POSTED: June 21, 2008 5:00 a.m.

When roaming the political jungles of Georgia, beware of the Killer B's: Barr (Bob) is running for president; Bubba (aka, Lauren McDonald) is running for the Georgia Public Service Commission; Barnes (former Democratic Gov. Roy) is being encouraged to run for anything, as is Bowers (former State Attorney General Michael).

Let's start with Barr. The former Georgia congressman is the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate which means: (a), he should get just enough votes to sink John McCain's chances of being elected and (b), if you haven't ordered your tickets for the Barack Obama inaugural party, you might want to get your check in the mail.

Barr's campaign will be like hitting yourself in the head with a frying pan; it won't accomplish much, but you will be glad when it's over.

According to Marietta Daily Journal columnist Don McKee, Barr has announced that one of his first acts as (shudder!) commander-in-chief will be to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a "legal union between one man and one woman."

Evidently Libertarians don't care who marries what. That is because Libertarians also believe you should be able to smoke marijuana whenever you wish. Even a mange-infested yard dog can look pretty attractive after a couple of puffs of weed, and you just might want to marry the poor beast before the haze wears off.

What right-wing kook championed such a noxious piece of legislation in Congress in the first place? What's that you say? Bob Barr? This Bob Barr? That's weird.

And then there is Bubba McDonald, who I have missed like a clear spring morning. Bubba is attempting a political comeback, running for the Public Service Commission seat he lost four years ago. Word is that he will appear on the ballot this time as Lauren McDonald. Call him Lauren if you wish, but he will always be Bubba to me.

Bubba and I have had an interesting relationship. When he was on the commission, I would gig him occasionally in my kind and gentle way for something or other. Bubba would call BellSouth officials and raise hell. Since I had retired from BellSouth, Bubba assumed they had some control over me. Bad assumption.

A company manager would suggest that I not gig Bubba and make things worse with the PSC, the body regulating their local rates. I would suggest he give Bubba my number and let him come straight to the source. Bubba never called. I never quit gigging, and BellSouth disappeared when the company was swallowed up by the "new" AT&T.

In hindsight, BellSouth should have spent more time worrying about running the business and less time worrying about Bubba and me.

Barnes and Bowers? Their names have been floated in the media as potential candidates for governor in 2010. Since it would decimate a Brazilian rain forest to list everyone currently said to be interested in running for the job, why not Barnes and Bowers? The more the merrier.

Bowers, our former attorney general was the odds-on favorite to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1998 until he admitted to playing hanky-panky with his secretary and had to drop out of the race. Now, 10 years later, hanky-panky doesn't seem to be such a big deal. If skirt-chasers can get elected president, why not governor?

Well, the Religious Right frowns on skirt-chasing, and most of them vote Republican. I think Bowers should run as a Libertarian. They wouldn't care one way or the other. Even mange-infested yard dogs look good to them.

As for former Gov. Barnes, I have read over the years he lost his re-election bid in 2002 because of the opposition of teachers' unions and/or flaggers, and/or convenience store owners and/or unrest in Zimbabwe. However, not much has been said about one of the worst-managed political campaigns in the history of mankind.

Maybe a comeback effort would prove it was not arrogance that got Barnes beat but all the goings-on in Zimbabwe. Then again, maybe not.

Whatever happens, you must admit that politics have gotten a lot more interesting in Georgia, thanks to Barr, Bubba, Barnes and Bowers -- our very own Killer B's.

Dick Yarbrough is a North Georgia resident whose column appears Saturdays and on gainesvilletimes.com. First published June 7, 2008, You can reach him at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; click here to visit Dick's Web site.



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