(George Chidi) — “I’ve been writing about politics in Georgia for more than a decade. Nicole Horn’s energy is impressive, more so because she’s new at this. Veteran politicians learn hard lessons about having to be everywhere all at once. Nicole seems to have intuited it. She is made of neutronium hustle and connects with people fiercely. That’s going to matter in November.
Georgia tends to believe its own myth-making about being a “business-friendly state” that also, somehow, still has serious problems of poverty and inequality. Georgia’s economy should be larger. It’s not, because we invest in corporate giveaways instead of workforce development. Nicole’s platform shows me that she gets this fundamental weakness and attacks it aggressively: proposing more robust apprenticeship programs and self-employment entrepreneurship programs to help regular people build meaningful prosperous lives.
She also clearly recognized how badly the Labor department failed Georgians when unemployment payments were delayed or denied. There’s a mismatch between the volatility of the labor market and the state government’s ability to adapt. Her experience in private industry, helping businesses train and recruit, is vital to modernizing Georgia’s Department of Labor.
I note that the Republican nominee, State Sen. Bruce Thompson, has no meaningful, relevant experience with labor issues, at least not from the perspective of someone who is actually laboring. He’s a corporate shill who won his primary as a champion for pro-life policies. He is being positioned by the religious right for higher office, and that is the principal reason he is the nominee. In the context of the work of the Labor department, his election would mean a state government even less willing to stand up to business owners making religiously conservative demands of its workforce, First Amendment be damned.
In a state that will be left reeling by anticipated changes to abortion law, we need to protect the rights of workers from abuses, not open them up to those abuses. The way to do that is to elect Nicole Horn as the next Labor Commissioner. ”