Announces First of Four Major Policy Initiatives
When state attorney general candidate Preston Smith ran for the Senate in 2002, he promised his constituents he would never vote for a tax increase. When he ran for re-election in 2004, 2006 and 2008, he made the same promise. Eight years later, Preston Smith proudly tells Georgians he never voted for a tax increase. Not once, not ever.
“In feudal times, the serfs in medieval Europe only paid one-third of their income to the King and no textbook considers them free men,” Smith says. “Yet today, many Americans pay more than fifty percent of their income to the governing authorities through combined federal, state and local taxes. When are we going to blow the whistle and say, ‘Enough!?’
“The founders of our country would never have agreed to our enslavement to a government so big as to give you everything you want and so powerful as to take away everything you have. But, over time, we have sacrificed our freedom at the alter of security,” he continues. “We have become so dependent upon the provision of Government to meet every need that we find ourselves in a cage having voluntarily surrendered our precious liberties for the solace of servitude.”
When Preston was recruited to run for the Senate, he was encouraged to make a taxpayer protection pledge to his constituents that he would not go to Atlanta and vote to raise taxes.
He agreed. Preston Smith wanted to be a different kind of Senator – one who spoke his mind and meant what he said. He made that commitment to his constituents, not to the special interest groups.
“I gave my word – my bond – that I would not sit in the state capitol and vote to raise taxes,” he goes on to say. “I believe that one of the foundational cornerstones of the Republican Party is to reduce the size and scope of government and to cut fraud, waste and abuse rather than raising taxes.”
Preston Smith will keep his word as Georgia’s attorney general too. As attorney general, Preston will not have the responsibility of voting on the state budget, but he will be responsible for the budget of the attorney general’s office. Preston Smith will trim the fat out of that budget before it is sent to the governor and the legislature. He will see to it that your tax dollars allocated to the attorney general’s office are spent judiciously. He will personally determine if every position in the attorney general’s office is necessary and will eliminate those he believes to be excessive and unnecessary.
Preston Smith will do this by voluntarily implementing a zero-base budget for the attorney general’s office within his first term. “I voted for and co-sponsored the zero-based budget this previous legislative session. Though the bill was veto, I will to put his commitment into action as the head of the office of attorney general within my first term,” stated Smith.
As the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, Preston oversaw the budgets of the judicial agencies – including the attorney general’s office. He knows the law and how it should be used to protect and defend the people of Georgia.
“The people of Georgia work hard everyday for the money they earn, and while taxes are necessary to run our state, it is important that we, as elected officials, remember that this is not our money,” he adds. “It is the people’s money. As attorney general, as I did as a state senator and budget writer, I will keep that in mind. You have my word.”
Preston Smith is seventh generation Georgian. He was elected to the State Senate in 2002 and became the youngest serving Senator in recent history. He is a graduate of Baylor University where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration. He later earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia. As an attorney, Smith specialized in civil litigation and has been admitted to practice in Supreme Court of Georgia, the Georgia Court of Appeals, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He also is a member of the State Bar of Georgia.