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Mornings unPHILtered - Down to the election wire
Republicans Johnson, Putnam, Dem Poythress state cases
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    Leading up to Tuesday’s primary election, Thursday’s guests on the “Mornings unPHILtered” show were Republican gubernatorial candidates Eric Johnson and Otis Putnam, as well as Democratic candidate David Poythress.
    Johnson called in to the show, and told host Phil Boyum he was the only candidate with a 912 area code, and that while serving in the Georgia Legislature he has run his own business for 25 years.
    Asked how to make Georgia more attractive to business, Johnson said the state first must get government off the backs of its businesses. Businesses need tax cuts.
    Reducing or doing away with many taxes, such as the energy tax, he said, will put the state on an even level with other states. Next, he said, is for the new governor to stand up to the federal government on issues like health care.
    Finally, Johnson said, he wants to reform the public education system so that it will work.
    Johnson said the biggest issue facing the next governor on the short run is solving the water crisis in the north.
    Acknowledging that water is the lifeblood of Georgia's agricultural interests, he promised to make sure farmers have the water they need to grow their crops, and said he would make sure southern Georgians won't pay for the fixes the Atlanta area has to put in place.
    Asked if there is a divide between north and south Georgia, and if so how he might solve this, Johnson said making each region aware that they have many common concerns in the 159 counties across the state is the key.
    When asked how he could convince people he would live up to his campaign promises, Johnson said if people look at his record in all of the various jobs he has held, they will see he has never changed his tune and has always stood up for what he believes.
    The next candidate to come on the show was Democrat David Poythress, a retired lieutenant general. Asked why people should vote for him, and what makes him the right candidate for the job, he pointed to his wide-ranging experience in both the military and state government.
    Poythress served for years as the state adjutant general and commanding general of the Georgia National Guard. He also has served as deputy state revenue commissioner, secretary of state and commissioner of labor of Georgia.
    Poythress said he proposes establishing tax incentives for high-technology businesses that start up in Georgia. Hesaid he is a big proponent for Bio-Fuels and renewable energy sources.
    Asked by show host Boyum about the water crisis, especially how agricultural interests depend on that water for their crops, Poythress said he would not forget about the needs of the rest of the state, and see to it that they didn't end up paying for Atlanta's mistakes.
    He said the state is wasting as much as 25-percent of the existing water supplies, and that we need to find ways to halt that loss.
    Poythress said his first two priorities are education and public safety. He said he would fully fund education when he prepares the next budget, so that school children don't get shortchanged.
    Considering that Georgia pays more, and according to tests gets less for what it spends, Poythress said money is not the only issue.
    He said people must stop blaming teachers for all of the ills of the system, because much of what has happened is not their fault.
    Secondly, we must create a high-tech education based system, where classrooms look like CNN Newsrooms, rather than the small town schools of the 1950s, the children will be able to study a tailored curriculum in teams, on computers and at their own speed.
    Poythress stated that he has made a pledge that if elected, he would work for the people and will not draw a paycheck as governor until he has lowered the unemployment rate to below seven percent. Right now, he said, it is above 10 percent.
    The final candidate on the show was Republican Otis Putnam. Putnam, a cashier at Walmart in Brunswick, is probably the least known of the Republican hopefuls.
    Putnam said that his faith in God drove him to run for governor, in order to help all the people, especially the teachers, who are out of work. The best way to create more jobs he said is by getting people to start more small businesses.
    Asked about the water crisis in Atlanta, Putnam said that the Lord Almighty put Lake Lanier and the rivers in the state of Georgia for us to use, not Alabama. Building more reservoirs or focusing on inter-basin water transfers is not the issue.
    The Lord promised us plenty of water, and it is there for us to use. Asked by show host Boyum why the people should pick him on Tuesday, he said it is impossible to govern the state without the Lord's help.
    If elected, Putnam said he would surround himself with knowledgeable and honest people to help run the state. He said he would immediately put prayer back into the schools, get more jobs created, and establish a better health care system.
    Asked how the people would know that he would live up to his campaign promises, Putnam said he would pray to the Lord everyday to keep him on the right path. His faith and his core values are what he wants to share with the people in the state. Concerning education, how could we improve the schools without just throwing money at them?
    Putnam said we need to get rid of focusing on preparing the pupils to take standardized tests, because that means less time for the teachers to teach the subjects students need to learn.
    Putnam said we will need to sacrifice where we have to in order to make sure our schools have the money they need in order to get the kids the education they deserve.
    “Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at on

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