Former Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), who is running for governor of Georgia, denounced state lawmakers for tabling the popular Buckhead City proposal, providing his remarks during an interview on Breitbart News Saturday.
Perdue said the stalled bill, which Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) moved to a Democrat-controlled Senate committee last month — effectively shelving it indefinitely — was a result of political corruption.
“This is the height of corruption that you see under the Gold Dome in Atlanta, Georgia,” Perdue said. “They’re so afraid of the connection between big business and the politics of that city that they don’t want to take a chance on that.”
Perdue has consistently backed the bill, which would allow for a ballot referendum that asks Buckhead residents if they want their wealthy suburb to deannex from Atlanta and become its own city with its own police department.
“I said right up front, back in December, that the people should have a right to the vote. I trust the people of Buckhead. I’ve said it repeatedly. They should have that vote,” Perdue said.
Perdue, who is facing incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in a contentious primary battle happening May 24, lambasted his Republican opponent on the issue, saying Kemp has been complacent about the bill, which a Trafalgar Group poll recently found a vast majority, or 75 percent, of Georgians support.
— Bill White Buckhead City GA (@BWBuckheadCity) September 23, 2021
“The fact that these elected officials in the Statehouse are denying those people the right to vote for their own destiny is un-American,” Perdue said. “I mean we do live in a democratic republic. Where’s our governor been on this thing? This is what gets people elevated. That’s what gets me elevated. This is nothing but corrupt politicians trying to protect their careers. I’m running against a governor who most people don’t realize has been in office for 20 years, and this is what you get, when people try to protect their own destiny.”
Duncan, the Senate president, has openly opposed the Buckhead cityhood effort, telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this month that too many planning questions remain unanswered, including how bond ratings would affect city development and state taxpayers once the affluent neighborhood is carved out of Atlanta.
House Speaker David Ralston (R) has been more passive on the matter, saying he “respect[s]” the Senate’s decision to table the bill.
Kemp, who ultimately oversees both chambers of government, detailed his opinion on the bill during his own interview with Breitbart News Saturday, saying he wants to see a healthy debate in the state legislature play out and that it will allow the new Atlanta mayor, Andre Dickens (D), to “feel pressure” to stem Atlanta crime, which is the driving reason for the Buckhead separation movement.
Perdue expressed pessimism over Dickens because of his history of voting to withhold $73 million from the Atlanta Police Department when he was a councilman in 2020, and also said Kemp should not be free from blame for surging crime.
“We have a mayor that has literally voted to defund the police,” Perdue said. “We’re short some several hundred police officers [in] the city of Atlanta. The city of Atlanta has tied with Chicago as the murder capital of America. This is all on Brian Kemp’s watch. There are things the governor can do. They have the GBI [Georgia Bureau of Investigations], they have state patrol, they have the National Guard. There are things that this governor can do to shine light on this absolutely ridiculous situation in Atlanta, Georgia. And I’ll tell you this. People around the rest of the state are fed up with this, and this is being protected by the political elite, the politically connected in the Statehouse, and those powerful people that are connected to the governor.”