Black Lawmakers Wonder Who Will Share in $1 Billion-a-Year Road Package

Jim Galloway, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 25, 2015

When–or at this point, if–our Legislature passes a bill that would put an extra $1 billion or so each year into the maintenance of Georgia roads and bridges, certain paving companies would profit accordingly.

If the current pattern holds, 96 percent of those firms will be white-owned. Less than 3 percent of taxpayer dollars spent will make it into the hands of companies owned by African-Americans.


And yet the disparate numbers were front and center in a hearing this week on House Bill 170, the transportation funding bill, hosted by the Georgia Black Legislative Caucus. “They’re an embarrassment. They’re a bad statement to our children,” said Bill Cannon, executive director of the Georgia Black Constructors Association. He noted that African-Americans make up a third of the state’s population and generate 25 percent of the tax base. “My understanding is that Mississippi is doing it better than us.”

A lack of capital and bonding requirements contribute to the problem. But culture plays a role in subcontracting, too, Cannon said.

“There’s a big difference between those folks that are building buildings, and those folks that are building roads. [Road builders] have their own ways of doing business. And their way of doing business does not include a serious commitment toward including minorities, the disadvantaged and women,” he said.


H.B. 170 remains mired in the House Transportation Committee, as Republican lawmakers try to craft a bill that can gain majority support within the House Republican caucus. But ultimately, it is likely that Democratic votes in both the House and Senate will be required for final passage.


Only in the last two weeks has the issue of minority participation in the $1 billion annual spending package bubbled to the surface, surprising Democrats and Republicans alike. “It would be political malpractice not to bring up these numbers,” said state Rep. Winfred Dukes, D-Albany, who put the black caucus hearing together.

When dealing with federal dollars, Washington requires states to create programs designed to boost participation by firms owned by minorities and women. It is why the above figures exist. Dukes and other members of the caucus want language inserted into H.B. 170 that would mandate the same when state dollars are involved.


The worry for supporters of H.B. 170 could be found in the abbreviated Tweet by state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, who left the hearing early: “Why would any GLBC member vote for plan when Afr-Am bus is excluded?”

One of the final speakers at Tuesday’s hearing was Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber. Clark quickly agreed to work with black caucus members to strengthen minority participation in state contracting.

“Please help this be a Democrat and Republican solution, an urban and a rural solution,” he pleaded.

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  • BloodofAlbion75

    Typical nonsense from black politicians : always looking for more gibs.

  • “Who will share in the $1 billion a year road package?

    I hope the answer is competent viable contractors and workers.

    • You are forgetting that the object is not to produce good roads. The object is “gibsmedat” for the proper people.

    • TruthBeTold

      We had a local black radio host who would rant on and on about blacks not getting their share of construction jobs. ‘Drive around the construction sites and you won’t see a single black face’.

      Once he brought in a man who taught construction trades to minorities in the hopes of finding out why blacks weren’t aware of these programs. The man reported that every session they get 15 to 20 blacks. By the end of the program they end up with 2 or 3 sticking it out to the end. The radio host tried to play it cool and ignored the simple fact; blacks don’t stick with the program and that’s why there are few blacks in the trades. To this day he still rants about the city not hiring black construction workers even though there aren’t very many.

      Another time he talked about contractors in his house; and he only deals with blacks mind you. He would get angry talking about how he had to watch them every minute they were on the job; ‘always slackin’ off!’

      • Speedy Steve

        Mrs Washington, I’m afraid your boy is unteachable. I recommend you buy him a spade for Christmas, because that’s his future. True story from the days of segregated schools.

  • dd121

    Blacks don’t already get enough of the taxpayers money? They want the shovel-ready, shovel-leaning jobs too.

  • Make Marie Harf happy.

    Give some of these contracts to ISIS.

    A lot of the Bin Laden family were construction contractors, incidentally.

    • Oil Can Harry

      That Harf hag has me reaching for a barf bag.

      Then again, liberals have been excusing black and Hispanic crime for years by claiming these thugs would be law-abiding citizens IF THEY ONLY HAD JOBS.

      So Marie Barf simply extended that to include Muslim terrorists.

    • Blackfish

      Bin Laden’s father founded the largest construction company in Saudi Arabia. When I was there in the early 90s, nearly every site had a big Bin Laden Construction trailer on it. They had a close relationship with the House of Saudi and built most of the major projects in the kingdom. Suffice it to say, they were one of the wealthiest families in the region.

      • Speedy Steve

        But daddy Bin Laden couldn’t find any competent Arabs to do the grunt work, and he hired Pakis and Pilipinos to do the heavy lifting.

  • LHathaway

    Let ME guess. If 90% of the contractors were African American, as say, are the metro bus drivers in Atlanta, the paper would never report this, and certainly not as something to correct. Quite the opposite.

    That is, if you believe they have not cooked these figures up in the first place. In diversity obsessed Amerika, I don’t believe it. If they had their way, they’d have us disbelieving the hand in front of our face.

    • Blackfish

      True of any low skill government job. You see it first hand when you have to endure a visit to the DMV or go through a TSA checkpoint at the airport. I’m inferring most government agencies are the same way but hidden within a large building in the state capitol or DC

      • LHathaway

        Yes, there was a survey put out by a conservative think tank a few years ago that revealed that blacks specifically were over-represented at 15 of 16 departments of the federal government (in some cases by over 600%). They also ignored demographics in this report, only looking at raw numbers (the average age of whites is closer to 40 years, while the average age of people of color is closer to 20).

        • Rhialto

          Fortunately, there are computer systems to do most of the thinking for bureaucrats who no longer have file, type, or plan.

  • JackKrak

    Same mentality as in so many other things – “I should get some of that because I’m black”

  • superlloyd

    Like pigs that have been sunning themselves in their waste, blacks suddenly rouse themselves to put their snouts in the trough when the gibs are dished out. They deserve nothing for the fact of being black. They have more than enough black skin privileges as it is.

  • Luca

    In my experience, no one took the time to explain why there just weren’t that many legitimate black-owned companies in existence. You can’t even get that many to bid on a contract because they don’t exist or the ones that do, can’t meet minimum standards.

    But hey, let’s just call it racism and look for another tax-payer handout.

    • John Smith

      A lot are created for the sole purpose of getting the contracts, where they end up folding after they take taxpayer money and no one seems to know where it went, despite those involved living in fancy houses, taking nice vacations and driving luxury vehicles.

    • Light from the East

      The situation is the same even in South Africa, which is a black majority country.

      Search for List of companies traded on the JSE and you will find amazingly how many of them have white executives.

  • Samuel Hathaway

    Yes, regrettably blacks comprise 33% of the Georgia population. And yes, regrettably, they account for only 25% of the tax base. Which of course, means, that blacks don’t pay their fair share.

    • IstvanIN

      I caught that as well and find it hard to believe they contribute a net 25%.

      • Samuel Hathaway

        Actually, I was shocked to read that it was that high. I thought it was only about 15%.

        • Oil Can Harry

          Whether the numbers are 15% or 25%, either way it shows they’re an economic drain.

    • MBlanc46

      And then you have to factor in the disproportionate amount they take out in benefits.

      • John Smith

        And criminal justice expenditures….

        • MBlanc46

          Absolutely. And the losses to the victims of their crimes.

      • Laura Dilworth

        Is that you in your profile pic?

        • HE2

          I think it is Mel Blanc, Laura.

          • Laura Dilworth


        • MBlanc46

          Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny et al.

          • Laura Dilworth


  • RacialRay

    Yes, indeed, let’s get more blacks and women on those hot, dirty road crews. They can take turns holding the “slow” sign.

    If there is one pairing that I have found to be particularly counter-productive in a workforce, its blacks males around white or hispanic women. Black men among non-black males on a job site cluster together in surly, uncooperative groups. But black men among non-black women in any setting I’ve ever witnessed has resulted in constant trouble – harassment, unwelcome attention, intimidation following rejection.

    Forcing blacks into otherwise civilized settings always seems to result in some measure of hostility and dissatisfaction for all involved. Avoid it.

    • LHathaway

      “black men among non-black women in any setting I’ve ever witnessed has resulted in constant trouble – harassment, unwelcome attention, intimidation following rejection”.

      And even worse, the frequent occurrence with which rejection does not result. I do agree with one thing you’ve said. Black men working in proximity to women of other races leads to unhappiness. It leads to lots of unhappy white men and black women. I’m not entirely ‘unsympathetic to the “plight” of black men’. On a bad day, I’m agreeable to the idea black men working closely with Hispanic and Asian women.

    • John Smith

      It won’t work – drivers will think “SLOW” is a descriptive adjective for the negro holding the sign.

  • phillyguy

    do they still have chain gangs?, well there you go put them on a Road Crew chain gang.

  • Lee_CPA

    Luckily, this is a STATE transportation project rather than a CITY of ATLANTA project. Even so, a lot of the subcontract work is parsed out to Minority Business Enterprises and Women Business Enterprises – usually at a 15-25% premium over the lowest qualified bidder.
    These minority and female set-asides have cost taxpayers billions upon billions. But hey, it’s only tax money, right?

    • Yet another reason why I refuse to get a steady job. Someone else needs to pay for those gibsmedat nonsense.

    • Blackfish

      It’s really improved the lives of downtrodden minorities!


  • John Smith

    Around here, whenever they give anything to a black-owned business, they usually fly the coop with the money outright or end up bankrupt (having stolen the money somewhere while pretending to do the job). A few end up doing what they were paid for, at first glance, until someone notices it was substandard.

    • In the midwest – I think Chicongo – a highway overpass once collapsed, after which it was discovered that a crooked contractor had bothered to include only 1/4 of the rebar in the concrete that the plans said the bridge was supposed to have. Public works projects are an invitation to that sort of abuse anyway, even when the focus is not making sure that the pigs with their snouts in the trough are of the desired color(s).

      • Blackfish

        Like the new Bay Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area. The budget was blown to smithereens early on and reports of defects are a regular feature in the local papers.

        • A defective highway bridge in an area prone to earthquakes? Oh, goody!

          • HE2

            Yes, MCS, the repair was just for one section of the bridge, but a critical segment.
            The metal work parts manufacturing was outsourced to China, shipped back to S.F. for assembly.
            The metal used for the parts was found to be substandard iron/steel. Also, the Chinese workers were pouring cement in the rain, though supervising Cal Trans engineers told them not to.
            It all had to be redone at enormous cost.

          • Substandard steel can be a real killer. I once wrote an article about the pre-WW2 “Sovietsky Soyuz”-class battleships. They seemed impressive on paper, with 16″ armor belts, except that the Soviet metallurgical industry could not produce Krupp cemented armor plate in thicknesses greater than 8″, so they had to accept material only 85% as good. This reduced effective belt thickness to only 13.6″ KC equivalent (345mm). It rapidly became much worse, however. Even the lower-grade armor plate that was actually being delivered usually failed the quality tests. This created a hideous drain on time, manpower and materials. Finally Stalin gave up and ordered construction suspended. Postwar, the three ships that had been laid down were broken up for scrap. The one at Mikolayev had been damaged by the retreating Germans, but even the other two – one at Leningrad and one at Molotovsk (now Sveredodvinsk) were effectively impossible to complete.

          • HE2

            Amazing anecdote, MCS.
            According to a Korean friend of mine who fought in the Korean War, the Russians did make the best tanks at their disposal.
            Their automobiles, however, I recall were the butt of many a joke.
            My comment about the S.F. bridge metalwork was pointedly anti-Chinese industry standards.
            Depend on the Chinese to manufacture cheap, but defective or tainted goods [infant formula, medications, milk, dog food, for example.]
            Guess that is why the USA outsources so much to them. sarc/

          • The T-34 had many problems. The armor was RHA without Krupp hardened surfaces. In the early 76.2mm versions, the turret had a two man crew, which meant that the commander had to load the gun, or else leave the gunner to load his weapon. A track commander has better things to do, like telling the driver where to go and the gunner what to shoot at.

            There was no cupola for the track commander, so he had to stick his head outside to see anything. Not a good idea.

            There was no turret floor that revolved inside the fighting compartment, so the poor gunner had to bend down to the tank floor to pick up shells, where he risked being crushed by the gun breech if the commander traversed the turret. The transmissions were unreliable, and the angular movement of the large track links wore them out very quickly.

            Most of them didn’t have radios, which made coordinated attacks very difficult.

            The T-34/85, introduced in late 1943 had a better gun, a proper rotating turret floor, a cupola for the T.C. and a three-man turret crew, with a dedicated loader. It had nasty shot traps in the turret overhang, and German infantry could sometimes jam “Teller” mines under the rear. The very well-sloped armor also wasn’t that good. In Korea, a 90mm HVAP shot from a M-46 would go completely through an NK T-34 from the front and all the way out the rear.

            You might not think that solid shot running through a tank will kill the crew, but hot splinters of the armor and bits of the projectile bounce around inside the vehicle, so the poor guys are predictably shredded before the ammo and fuel catches fire.

          • HE2

            My Korean friend was a forward ops planning officer on the side of our enemy in that war. He sent me an uploaded photo of himself standing in front of the famous T34.
            S. swore by the gunnery take out power of that machine, problems notwithstanding.

  • Bill

    “There’s a big difference between those folks that are building buildings, and those folks that are building roads. [Road builders] have their own ways of doing business. And their way of doing business does not include a serious commitment toward including minorities, the disadvantaged and women,” he said.

    In California, every last one of the road builders are minorities.

  • Speedy Steve

    Black lawmakers? Sorry, I thought it said black lawbreakers.

  • bv

    Just looking for their payout no different then Nigeria. Get rid of non whites and you’ll have government like Sweden.

  • Earl P. Holt III

    Somehow, whenever the nigros have to post a Bid Bond, make a competent bid, and live by the Contract they sign, it rarely works out well for them, nor are the purchasers of their services usually satisfied…