Car dealer Emanuel Jones of Columbus' Legacy Chevrolet calls it "the most asinine thing I've ever seen" and plans a press conference for 5 p.m. at the Harris County Courthouse today to protest it.
Harris Commissioner Charles Wyatt tells an Atlanta paper he may withdraw it, because a constituent fears her son might lose his job if it passes.
The Ledger-Enquirer's online readers furiously are posting comments both for and against it.
It's Wyatt's proposing that Harris County commissioners proclaim they will not purchase cars from General Motors or Chrysler because those companies took bailouts from the federal government.
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The proclamation the commission is to consider tonight states "the loan of such revenues will result in a heavy burden upon future generations," therefore Harris commissioners "hereby proclaim that as a result of the future undue hardship to be faced by the citizens of the United States, the State of Georgia, and Harris County, it will not purchase any General Motors (GM) or Chrysler products included in in the State Vendor List as compiled by the Georgia Department of Administrative Services, from this day forward...." It urges other Georgia counties "to join us in sending a message to Atlanta, Georgia, and Washington, D.C., of strong voices in unity against this recent action by the Federal Government...."
A report on the proclamation posted to www.ledger-enquirer.com drew 26 comments overnight.
"WAY TO GO HARRIS COUNTY!!! Good for you guys. You are a great example," wrote one poster. "We all need to stand up, and show Obama's 'Regime' we aren't going for this Socialist movement. You want to take over a business. Fine, we won't buy its products. Keep your hands out of private business."
Others were less enthusiastic: "I wonder if one of the commissioners will have his spit cup with him (as usual) during this important proclamation," wrote another.
Jones, a state senator from Decatur who recently bought a dealership in Columbus and a house in Harris County, is outraged.
Of his 150 employees, more than half live in Harris County, he said. And the house he just bought, for which he can't claim a homestead exemption because it's a second home and not his primary residence, likely will cost him almost $5,000 a year in taxes, he said.
"I'm a taxpayer in Harris County, and I'm mad as hell," he said today. "One of the commissioners whose salary I'm paying is boycotting my business." As for his workers who live in Harris County, "they're mad as hell, too," he said, and some will accompany him this evening.
What's his objection to the proposed proclamation?
"At a time when we need to be encouraging the continued development and prosperity and really the rejuvenation of American automobile manufacturers, we have a commissioner who has taken the draconian step of calling for a boycott, which makes absolutely no sense to me in these austere economic times," Jones said.
Wyatt could not immediately be reached for comment today, but according to the Atlanta independent paper Creative Loafing, he told a reporter there: "What bothers me is my future income tax money going to pay the salaries, benefits and retirements of the United Auto Workers Union. That's why I introduced the resolution."
He since has heard from a constituent who's worried about the future prospects for her son, who works for a Harris County dealership. If he decides to withdraw his proposal, "it'll be for that one constituent," he told Creative Loafing.
The commission meets tonight for a 6 p.m. work session and a regular meeting at 7 p.m. The Harris County government is online at www.harriscountyga.gov.