Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Cox Promises Action

Here's the AJC story . We've all been specualting about this. Here's what Cox has to say. With Dent's own Internet diatribe last week, I am surprised that the Taylor Camp picked him as spokesperson for clean campaigns. Just doesn't seem like a good fit...
Cox vows to uncover who altered Taylor's online biography

By JAMES SALZER

Staff writerPublished on: 04/26/06

Secretary of State Cathy Cox on Wednesday vowed to find out whether a member of her gubernatorial campaign staff altered an online biography of her chief Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, to include a reference to drunk driving charges against Taylor's son.
Cox said at a noon news conference that she had told her campaign staff never to bring up Fletcher Taylor's South Carolina car wreck in which a passenger was killed.
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"My staff knows that this is my wish," Cox said. "I am very upset about it. I am very angry that it appears that someone on my staff violated my directive and we are going to deal with it strongly."
Taylor's campaign says the Cox campaign altered his biography at Wikipedia, a popular online encyclopedia, to include the reference to his son's arrest.
The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the editing of Taylor's biography led back to the Cox campaign. He said there were no plans to remove the information because it met the Web site's standard for newsworthiness.
Rick Dent, Taylor's spokesman, said Wednesday that Morton Brilliant, Cox's campaign manager, previously had doctored Wikipedia biographies of opponents in South Carolina and Washington state when he worked in those states.
"What is Cathy Cox going to do about it?" Dent asked.
The information added on the Web site said Taylor's son, Fletcher, was behind the wheel in an August 2005 accident that killed his 22-year-old best friend.
Merle Black, an Emory University political scientist, said, "If it is traced back [to Brilliant], it's potentially a big issue. That's how campaign managers lose jobs."
Michael Binford, a Georgia State University political scientist, said the latest incident is a sign of things to come in the Taylor-Cox battle for the Democratic nomination for governor. The winner will take on Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue.
"Usually there is retaliation after these kind of things," Binford said. "It certainly indicates this isn't going to be a genteel affair."
Last week, Cox's campaign accused Taylor of exaggerating his role in creating the HOPE scholarship. Taylor claims in campaign ads that he sponsored the bill that created the scholarship fund, which uses state lottery proceeds to finance tuition and some books for students who attend college in Georgia and maintain a 3.0 grade point average.
However, while Taylor helped push the measure through the Senate, the bill that passed was filed by then-Gov. Zell Miller's House floor leaders.
Wikipedia has been under fire of late for allowing online contributors to post inaccurate information on its site. The most prominent case involved an entry on John Seigenthaler Sr., a prominent journalist whom a Wikipedia entry linked to the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy. The man who posted the false information later said he was playing a joke.
Virtually any Wikipedia reader may edit any of the site's listings, which has made it an increasingly popular cyberspace attack tool.
The issue hit home in Georgia when U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall, a Macon Democrat, had his profile rewritten by a man who now works for his Republican opponent, former Rep. Mac Collins.
While it may be a sign of the new era of campaigning, Binford isn't sure how much such incidents alter the outcome of races.
"I don't know that there are a lot of voters going to Wikipedia to look this up," he said.
Fletcher Taylor, 21, is awaiting trial on charges stemming from the accident in Charleston, S.C. Since the arrest, he has been in an alcohol treatment center, according to Taylor's campaign.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

12 comments:

SarahFz124 said...

Even if Cathy fires Brilliant, he will still manage her campaign I bet. He may be just a “consultant”. They will hide the fact that he will still be working for them, but I would definately wager that he will not be gone.

SarahFz124 said...

Here is an interesting post on Peach Pundit:

" ugadog
Apr 25th, 2006 at 11:12 pm

I wonder if Cathy had one of her hinchmen to write this on wikepedia about Andy Young?

In February 2005, Young accepted a position as chairman of “Working Families for Wal-Mart”, an organization sponsored by the corporate giant as a public response to widespread criticism that many of the company’s American employees and their children are on public assistance, that the company uses child labor, that the company discriminates against female and African-American employees, and that workers manufacturing Wal-Mart products are subject to abusive conditions and sub-povert wages. "

politically blonde said...

sounds all true, not sure what the problem is.

Amy Morton said...

I think the fact that this whole thing is getting so much play on Peach, a very republican blog that would like nothing more than to dirty-up dems is an indication that all keeping this debate open is doing is helping Sonny. Maybe we should spend more time getting our candidate elected and less time on Peach Pundit.

Amy Morton said...

Jo, I know that you want to pin this on Cathy, but you just can't do that anymore than Mark can be blamed for the staffer setting hte fire. Candidates and managers do not always know every single thing that a staffer or others may do. That's ridiculous.

JennyB said...

This is VERY true. I am very glad that Cathy handled this well.

politically blonde said...

If Mark would get his endorsees to raise this much outrage at the GOP, we'd have a revolution on our hands, but no, they'd rather attack other Dems.

Button Gwinnett said...

Unfortunately, he needed to do this. Because there's just no place in this campaign for it. I'm upset that it happened, and I'm also upset by the way this came out and is being used. But, the Taylor family has suffered enough and, no doubt, still has a way to go. And I wish them success in meeting their challenges.

I hope, no, I pray, this is the last that we'll see of anything like this. I've known Cathy for a long time and this is not what she's about. If it were, Brilliant would not be resigning today. The Cox campaign has to refocus on issues. Because that will be where this primary is won and lost - as any campaign should be. My advice to Mr. Dent and Taylor supporters is to do the same.

Both camps need to remember, now more than ever, that we're facing a Republican incumbent in a state that is bleeding red. This isn't like 1998 where Taylor and Oliver could hurl such blows at each other and still win a general election. Today's Georgia is much, much different. It will be an uphill battle unseating a man that's doing more harm than good for Georgia, all because of the (R) next to his name.

Cox is still my horse in this race. But don't ever underestimate my desire or the desire of the vast majority of Cox supporters to win in Nov. If that means joining the Taylor team after July, so be it. But both campaigns would do well to remember that it will take just that, no matter who the winner is, to have any shot at beating Perdue.

Continue the name-calling and pettiness and we're only hurting ourselves. Disagree strongly, but honorably, and we still have a shot at a unified party.

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ViK[RuM] said...

i have heard that Secretary of State Cathy Cox has vowed to find out the truth about her staffs involvemnt in altering chief Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor's biography which involved a drunk driving episode of her rival. she is doing a great job...the truth should com out

Vikram
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