Sonny Perdue clearly has earned the title of Georgia's fishing governor

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue will be remembered as our state's fishing governor. You may recall in 2007 the focus of our state chief executive's legislative agenda was a "Go Fish" program for Georgia. Amid snickering from opponents and the media, Perdue pushed through "Go Fish" and hailed it as a magnificent economic development and tourism tool for Georgia. Millions of state money was approved for the fishing initiative, including $22 million to build a warm-water hatchery and visitor center near the governor's home turf in middle Georgia. Indeed, since 2007 the media and many of Perdue's foes -- even some friends -- have continued to laugh at the governor's enthusiasm for "Go Fish" when our state has so many other more important needs that Perdue has shown very little leadership in addressing.
But stop the presses ... Perdue's fish story got bigger and better this week. He landed a big catch and was eager to beat his chest and say, "I told you so." On Tuesday Perdue called a news conference to announce "Go Fish" had hooked its first big catch -- a $2.5 million bass-fishing tournament that will help drought-plagued Lake Lanier in 2010. The Forrest Wood Cup, an annual tournament put on by FLW Outdoors, will take place at the north Georgia lake. Organizers say the event could attract tens of thousand of spectators. The governor says it will have a $30 million economic impact. "The exposure is incalculable," said Perdue. "Some people have laughed at 'Go Fish,' some even in the media have laughed at the program," said Perdue. "This is the first example of Georgia having the last laugh. Frankly, that's because this is what we envisioned." That's great, governor. Now that you successfully have addressed fishing in our state and you have shown us that you were right, we have another request. Please address education, transportation, trauma care, taxation, growth, the economy and other big fish issues facing Georgia with the same zeal and leadership you exhibited in "Go Fish." After all, "Go Fish" would not have become a reality without your leadership. Lure the legislature into reeling in some solutions on these other issues. You've got two more years in your administration. It would be nice for your legacy to be known for more than just being Georgia's fishing governor. You can "Go Fish" when you leave office. For now, go to work.


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