Thursday, November 30, 2006

Help with an advocacy appeal to the Georgia General Assembly

Last year our General Assembly passed legislation to make red clay the "official Georgia dirt."
While I appreciate the whimsy involved in this effort, I would surely prefer that they devote themselves to more serious issues, such as repairing and adequately funding our broken public mental health system. I know for a fact that the ground-level people who work in the MHDDAD system are dedicated and honest human beings, but they are hampered in doing their job by underfunding, a truly byzantine system of financing and administration, and general lack of compassion on the part of the Georgia house and senate. I can't think of much they did in 2005-2006 that benefited the average Georgian despite political ads designed to give everyone a terminal case of the warm fuzzies. Please see my website to learn more about what you can to to stop the underfunding of mental health services in Georgia, the revolving doors of our state psychiatric hospitals, and the increasing criminalization of the mentally ill.

Just Say "No"

Putting Dr. Keroack, a man who does not believe in contraception in charge of family planning for the federal government is the equivalent of putting Dick Cheney in charge of the development of alternative fuels. Read about this brilliant plan, and see what you can do to force an early withdrawal of this inane nomination. This is an insult to women. Believe me, this is more than just an ideological difference. If appointed, Dr. Keroack will have charge of critical Title X funds currently used to provide access to birth control to women who cannot otherwise afford it. Click the link. Do your bit. This is important.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Attack on Justice

It was about this time last year that Fox and Crew started to ramp up the rhetoric about the alleged "War on Christmas." I'm not hearing so much about that this year, but based on reporting in the Marietta Journal, what we have instead is an attack on justice. Republican lawmakers, unhappy with voter's choices for Georgia Supreme Court Justice during the last two cycles, have hired The Southeastern Legal Foundation to help them figure out how to "transform" the court. (This is the same group famous for successfully fighting weighting of race in UGA's admission policies and for opposing the continuation of federal deseg orders in various school systems.) For the court, options under consideration include expanding the number of justices (pack the court), making races partisan (politicize the court), and requiring justices to run by districts (gerrymander the court). This tampering with the delicate balance of powers is dangerous business.

They are mostly likely to go with the "add justices" solution because they say that they can justify this by the increased court caseload due to population growth. If the problem they were trying to solve were the increased workload of the court, I might buy that, but that is not the case. The problem they are trying to solve, quite simply, is that they want a court that is more "Republican." Any other claim is nothing more than a smokescreen.

"Justice", with her blindfold in place, gets little respect in the world of Republican lawmakers determined to move their legislative agenda forward, regardless. The court stands as an impediment to mob rule and as an assurance of "justice for all", even those I don't like, even those who are not powerful, those who cannot contribute to campaigns and even those most marginalized by society. The Republican plan to create a court in their own image is a insult, not only to justice but to every Georgia voter. Their message? "Georgia voters were too stupid to elect the right judges."

These lawmakers, whose solution to unconstitutional legislation is to change the constitution and to unfriendly court rulings is to change the court, are beyond arrogant. They wish to be kings.

Here's the entire article:

GOP mulls new judges (Marietta Daily Journal)

By Brandon Larrabee
Morris News Service

ATLANTA - Sweeping changes to the Georgia Supreme Court could be made in the coming legislative session after stinging defeats of conservative candidates in the past two judicial elections, according to those involved in the discussions.

At the behest of Republican leaders, the Southeastern Legal Foundation has begun examining ways to transform the court, including adding as many as two justices to the seven-judge bench and returning the elections to partisan contests, according to the group.

It isn't clear how much support either approach has, though the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said he doesn't see partisan elections returning.

Shannon Goessling, executive director of the foundation, confirmed that the conservative group had been asked by "legislative leadership" and some national organizations to look into ways of revamping the court. But she wouldn't offer specifics about who had requested the look.

"We're pursuing it with vigor and appreciate being asked," Goessling said.

Expanding the court and making the elections partisan again are just two of several ideas under consideration, Goessling said. Other options include electing the court from geographic districts, placing term limits on judges and tightening conflict-of-interest rules.

The review could be completed by the end of the year, Goessling said.

One argument for expanding the court is to account for a greater caseload brought on by the state's booming population.

"That would ... probably justify the addition of a couple more justices to the Supreme Court of Georgia," said House Majority Whip Barry Fleming, a Harlem Republican and member of the House Judiciary Committee.

An increased workload would be the only reason for expanding the court, say some groups who are wary of the change.

"I'm suspicious of the motives of expanding the court," said Bill Bozarth, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, a good government group.

Among those supporting possible changes to the court is the Safety and Prosperity Coalition, a group that supports laws restricting medical malpractice lawsuits and was a major player in the effort to defeat current Justice Carol Hunstein's bid for re-election against Mike Wiggins.

"The clear advantage of that is to get a more fair and balanced judiciary," Eric Dial, chairman of the coalition, said of the possible expansion. "Right now, we don't have that."

Gov. Sonny Perdue's press secretary said the governor was aware of the proposals dealing with the Supreme Court, but Heather Hedrick wouldn't say whether Perdue would include any of the changes as part of his legislative package for the session beginning in January.

Returning to partisan elections is probably a nonstarter, said House Judiciary Chairman Wendell Willard, R-Atlanta, at least in part because it would require a two-thirds vote of both chambers of the General Assembly and would require approval by referendum.

"As a lawyer, being a Republican, I don't want to have my client being uncomfortable going before a judge that was elected as a Democrat," he said.

Willard also said he would prefer looking at expanding the state Court of Appeals, as was done in recent years, before considering a boost in the size of the Supreme Court.

Others, including Common Case and the League of Women Voters of Georgia, are crafting a proposal that would create a public financing system for judicial campaigns, removing both money from lawyers who might later come before the court and parties that have increasingly participated in judicial elections through tactics like "multi-candidate ads."

"You've got two different parties funneling money through loopholes in the law," said Jennifer Owens, executive director of the league.

Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, is expected to introduce that proposal.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Tripp Self and The 159 Group

I like Tripp Self, and he is probably going to win the runoff election and become a Superior Court Judge here in Bibb County. He's young, bright and great socially, and I predict that he will end up on an appellate bench.

Tonight, something Lyman Hall said, reminded me that Tripp is a contributor to a PAC called the 159 Group. A review of disclosures filed with the State Ethics commission reveals that he has both given money to this PAC and received money from the it, a PAC that as far as I can tell only supports Republican candidates. Well, they gave Mike Wiggins a bunch of money, but he ran as a Republican candidate. Both of the remaining candidates in the race to fill Tommy Day Wilcox's seat are Republicans, and neither was my first choice. The interesting thing about Tripp is that he has drawn support from some pretty substantial local Democrats. I have to wonder how they would feel about him being part of a group that gave money to Mike Wiggins, Glenn Richardson and Sonny Perdue? Sometimes you just trip over things. No pun intended.

The 159 Club

According to Creative Loafing some pundits claim that the Democratic Party of Georgia is either gasping its last or already dead. Checking over at Peach Pundit, Republicans are positively gleeful that Georgians seem perfectly content with mediocrity and are hoping that we will be the first to arrive at our own funeral. I suggest that we send our regrets and instead embrace strategies for re-invigorating the DPG.

During the last couple of years, the Party formed the 191 Club, a fundraising mechanism named for the address of the Governor's mansion. Not a bad idea, but over on Blog for Democracy, a new concept has begun to emerge. What we need going forward is a 159 Club whose members are committed to cultivating the strength of the Party at the local level. As Sam Zamarripa said to Creative Loafing, "No doubt that our first priority is attracting the best and brightest to run for office," Zamarripa says. "The overwhelming need is to recruit more women. They're more prepared to talk about the issues that people relate to."

Here's the catch, the Party has not to this point routinely partnered with locally elected Democrats and local Democratic organizations to create and maintain a central database of all Democratic elected officials, at every level of government. We need to do this because it is a critical starting point for candidate recruitment, field planning and GOTV efforts. It is not enough to focus on state-level races alone. We must commit to helping qualified candidates seek office at every level. There is nothing that more reflects "Democratic" and "Republican" values than school funding, zoning decisions, and where sewer lines are run.

When I served a Coordinator for Georgia Women for Kerry/Edwards, I learned that most Democrats in Georgia are not formally affiliated with local or state party organizations. Most don't give to the Party or volunteer through the Party structures. They are Democrats because of how they think and how they vote. We need to reach out to these people, in all 159 counties. We need their energy, their perspective, and their ideas. In addition, we need to be willing to reach out to critical swing voters and ask for their support and their vote.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Macon Mayor's Race

My Christmas tree is not even up and already the rumors are flying about who will run for Mayor of Macon. After eight years as C. Jack City, Macon will choose a new Mayor in 2007, and I imagine that before the garland is hung a number hats will be tossed into the the ring. Frankly, I wouldn't wish the job on my worst enemy, but apparently there are a number of brave souls ready to offer themselves for the office. On the Democratic side of the ledger, I am hearing rumors of Thelma Dillard, Lance Randall, Anita Ponder and others. Gibson has said he will run as a Republican. If Mike Cranford runs, I'm not sure which party's label he will wear considering that he has expressed public disenchantment with both Democrats and Republicans. Former state representative Robert Reichert's name continues to surface, and I can only hope that he will run as a Democrat. Please, Robert, run as a Democrat.

We need a strong leader with a vision for a unified city/county government and the ability to work cooperatively with some very strong personalities-not an easy task. Is Clinton available? Bill, I mean.

A great site for staying politically informed.....

This is a great site for knowing which direction the Dems are headed in Washington & their stand on various important issues---also If you sign up, Nancy Pelosi will send you updates on what's going on in congress and on special interest areas or your choice.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Can We Defeat Saxby?

Not, according to Bill Shipp, if Vernon Jones tosses his hat into the ring for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Saxby Chambliss. Shipp makes a rather convincing argument that Jones, like Majette, would have a good chance of winning the primary, only to be defeated in the November general election.

Shipp's argument raises an important question: can Georgia Democrats get a non-incumbent through the primary who can then go on to win the general election? I think that we can, and disagree with Shipp about the race and region being the determining factors. I do think that we need a moderate candidate in this race, one who has a proven positive track record, positive name id and the ability to raise plenty of money.

Who do you think that candidate should be? Below are some possible choices, none of whom has said they will run, by the way. (That may be our biggest problem-convincing a viable candidate to run.) Feel free to suggest others in the comments section.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

8 and 0

That's right, as So Far, So Left pointed out, in the general election of 2006 there were a total of 8 (eight) complaints of voter fraud, all concerning absentee and 0 (zero) having to do with identification fraud at the polls. Yet, we need a constitutional amendment, just in case. By injecting language about identity theft into the rhetoric, Georgia Republicans like Sen. Staton are trying to scare voters into supporting a wedge issue. He is counting on Georgians ignoring the facts, acting on emotion and supporting his legislation. He is banking on the strength of "brain stem voting." Here's hoping we prove him wrong.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Enshrining Bigotry- Again

I am very thankful for my right to vote, as I am sure you are, but once again, Georgia Republicans are attempting to create barriers for voters, and I suggest that we all contact Sen. Cecil Staton ( ) and tell him what we think about it.

As predicted, Sen. Cecil Staton says that he has pre-filed a bill to allow a vote on a constitutional amendment on Voter ID because he wants to "enshrine" the photo ID requirement for voters in the State Constitution. Actually, the bill gives the Georgia General Assembly broad and sweeping power to require identification for voters in Georgia. I don't know about you, but I would prefer that we enshrine the rights of citizens, not the rights of the Georgia Legislature.

Staton says that he wants to do this so that dead people won't vote. He says that he doesn't want any Georgian to miss their right to vote because of voter fraud. Huh? You gotta wonder whether Sen. Staton participated in the same election the rest of us did last month. It was hard enough to get the living people to the polls, let alone the dead. And, I must've missed the breaking news about voters calling the Secretary of State because someone had already voted, claiming to be them. Remember this is the same guy who was said that people without driver's licenses could just use their passport.

Here you can read the AJC editorial board opinion and Staton's response.

Georgia ranks in the bottom ten states in voter turnout. (I submit that there is a relationship between that statistic and the fact that we rank in the bottom ten states in child and family wellbeing.) So, I am eager for the day when Georgians are so intent on voting that they will commit fraud in order to cast a ballot. I'm not holding my breath.

The truth is that Sen. Staton is driving a wedge issue bigger than his Mercedes. He is already on record saying that he does not expect to win this fight but instead wants to put every member of the General Assembly on record on the issue. As if most are not already on record on the issue. His claims of concern for the integrity of the voting process ring hollow when he makes statements like that to the press, and when he doesn't even bother to address the real potential for fraud with absentee ballots, well, that's just hypocrisy. I'm not in the General Assembly, so Staton probably has little interest in my opinion, but I will never be in favor in enshrining bigotry in our Constitution.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bringing Up the Bottom

While our legislators busy themselves with pre-filing bills to make abortion illegal, there is mounting evidence that far too little has been done to help make sure that when babies are born, they have a good chance of being healthy. On ten key indicators, Georgia ranks 44th in child and family well being. Georgia is in the bottom ten states on six of the indicators: High School Dropouts, Infant Mortality, Teens Not Attending School and Not Working, Low Birthweight, Teen Birth Rate and Children in Single-Parent Families. On the low birth weight indicator, Georgia ranks 41st in the nation and Bibb County ranks 130th among Georgia counties. So, where's the legislation to address this crisis?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Turning Georgia Blue

As Georgia Democrats think about how to improve our performance in future elections, there is no need to re-invent the wheel. In recent years the Democratic Party of North Carolina underwent a transformation similar to what I think needs to happen here in Georgia. Interestingly, the change began with a truly competitive race for chair, something that they had not had in years.

I have had a chance to talk with the NC Chair, Jerry Meek, who said that the decision to focus strategic planning at the level of county parties was key, as was their decision to de-centralize operations and hire regional field coordinators. has a posted information about this here "A 50 State Strategy Success Story: North Carolina" and it's worth checking out...

We are hiring three regional organizers -- an Eastern, Central, and Western Political Director. The Western Political Director is on staff, and the others will come on board in the next few weeks. All three of them are on the DNC payroll.

That's a good idea. To take back key legislative and constitutional offices, the DPG must work closely with local parties to recruit and support candidates at the "grassroots." We need to build a bench. Heck, we just need to know who all the elected Democrats are in the state. Where's the spreadsheet with all the currently elected Democrats, at every level? Is there a place where we, as a state party, track all of the open seats and all upcoming elections at every level of government? Where's the demographic data that defines population trends so that we can better assess what cities and counties might be more inclined to elect a Democrat? What about helping potential candidates with easy access to "what I need to do if I plan to run?"

Despite a move to make many of these local offices non-partisan, there is noting more "Democratic" or "Republican" than decisions about zoning, water and sewer, public schools and public safety. Whether or not the candidates wear a label, we must recruit Democrats to run for everything from school board to Governor, and to do that we must partner with local efforts to organize and recruit candidates.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Edwards in Atlanta

On Friday night, I went to Sen. Edwards' book signing at the Carter Center. It was a full house and some were turned away. I understand that the afternoon event was also well attended. There were many familiar faces in the crowd at the Carter Center, including both Chip Carter and Sen. Max Cleland. For me, it was interesting to hear Edwards in that setting as opposed to the "stump speech" situations where I have hear him before. He has a wealth of information and answered questions at length (maybe too much length) and in depth. He has clearly worked hard to address the perception that he lacks foreign policy credentials, emphasizing his work in Uganda, Darfur and Russia. With regard to Iraq, he said that the best way to convince people we were serious about leaving was to...begin leaving.

I'm betting he announces before New Years. We'll see....I will say this: his team has fully embraced technology. For example, at the book signing, there was a photographer taking a picture as he signed my book, and then I was given a card with information about how to find the picture online. The card encouraged me to text the word "HOPE" to 56658, a mechanism he is using to capture email address, I'm sure for later communication, and the url provided connected me to a page on the One America Committee site. On that site, they are seriously embracing blogging, podcasts, YouTube groups, My Space Groups etc. He is reaching for the young and the plugged in.

This is not going to be your grandmother's campaign...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Women Key to Democrat's Victory

We must, as a part of long term strategy to rebuild the DPG, develop a coordinated, well-funded approach for reaching out to female voters. If we did not already know this, then the information shared today through the DNC's Women's Vote Center makes it painfully obvious. Compare this to how women voted in Georgia. Ouch!


This year women once again made the difference by getting involved in campaigns, volunteering their time, working on the ground with state parties as part of the DNC's 50 state program, and showing up and turning out at the polls.
According to
exit polls, Democrats captured the majority of women's votes in key Senate races, handing control of the US Senate back to Democrats. In key takeover Senate races such as Missouri, Montana and Virginia, a clear gender gap delivered those seats for Democrats. And in every Senate race held or won by Democrats, women voters voted in larger numbers than male voters AND gave a larger percentage of their vote to Democratic candidates. Learn more about the gender gap in the Senate races at the Center for American Women in Politics.
Democrats did well among many important subgroups of women, including unmarried women, which the Women's Vote Center targeted through our
TAKE SIX in '06 outreach program. Sixty-five percent of all unmarried women voted for Democratic candidates and were 18 percent of the total electorate this cycle. According to Women's Voices Women's Vote, unmarried women turnout in states like Missouri and Ohio was even higher (19 and 21 percent respectively) providing even more votes for our winning Democratic teams.
Other subgroups of the women voters turned out for Democrats at higher levels than in 2004. Hispanic women increased their support of Democrats by 18 percent, young women (18-29) increased their support of Democrats by 14 percent, white women increased their support 8 percent and Independent women's support increased by 12 percent. Reversing a trend from the 2004 election cycle, married women were almost as likely to vote for Democratic candidates as GOP candidates this cycle. [Emily's List, NYTimes

Study shows 1/2 of prison inmates are mentally ill

"Compassionate conservatism" across the US, including Georgia, has reduced human services budgets, especially services for the mentally ill. So where do the untreated mentally ill go?
Answer--to the streets and to jail. Check out the latest study at
(Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law). Here in Georgia, DHR insists it has not cut funds, just sort of rearranged them. Nevertheless the mental hospitals continue to have revolving doors and adult programs in particular are suffering cut-backs.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Childish Games and Partisanship Reigns

"It was a secret meeting and no blacks were in the meeting. They met behind closed doors and a black chairman was ousted by Republicans."

That's what David Lucas had to say about the Bibb delegation meeting yesterday. Well, it wasn't totally secret because they managed to be sure to get the press there. Priorities, priorities.

But leaving out the Democrats was all unintentional and not about race. Just ask the new chair, Cecil "Voter ID" Staton, for whom, apparently, race is never an issue. He has just tons and tons of credibility on that, don't you think?

According to WMAZ, Lucas and Randall say that they did not receive timely notice of the meeting and that it was scheduled at at time that conflicted with their regular caucus meeting where officers were being elected. Randall says that she got a phone call about the meeting when it was in progress. Lucas said:

"I got a call from Allen Peake on my cell phone this morning."

Staton said that he did not know that the Democratic caucus met at that time. Oh, come on Cecil, even I know that the Democratic House Caucus meets on Wednesday morning. He also claims to have had invitations to the meeting hand delivered to Lucas, Brown and Randall. Lucas begs to differ:

"Lucas said invitations were not delivered to him or Randall, either in Macon or Atlanta. He pointed that he was at the state Capitol Wednesday attending the Democratic caucus. Lucas said he stopped by his Capitol office, and there was no invitation to the morning delegation meeting. There was no invitation in Randall's office, either, Lucas said. "

I was at a local restaurant with Rep. Randall on Monday night, and Sen. Staton was there, as well. He never spoke to her and never took the opportunity to mention the meeting to her. Clearly, it was very important to him that she attend.

Unfortunately, local Republicans are so full of themselves that they can't even manage to be courteous. As a result of the elections, power in the local delegation shifted to Republicans. Until Wednesday, delegation leadership had been based on seniority. Republicans wanted to change that and had the votes necessary to do it. But instead of asking the current chair, David Lucas, to call the meeting the results of which were inevitable, they acted like snot-nosed brats, flexing their power behind closed doors, afraid to look their colleagues in the eye. How juvenile. Having the Democrats present would not have changed the results, but it would've interfered with the Republican media hit. For anyone who has watched these guys operate in Atlanta, none of this should not be news. It's S.O.P. And there are more school yard games where this came from. According to Staton:

"Republicans are in charge now and that's the way it's going to be."

Okay. Now, tell me something I didn't already know.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Leadership Elections

Today, the Democratic House Caucus elected Rep. DuBose Porter minority leader, Rep. Carolyn Hugley minority whip, Rep. Calvin Smyre caucus chair, and Rep. Nikki Randall caucus vice chair. They also elected a treasurer and secretary, but I do not have those names at this time.

In Bibb, the local delegation met this morning at Cheddars and elected Sen. Cecil Staton chair and Rep. Allen Freeman vice chair. Rep. David Lucas was past chair, and this shift reflects two things. First, following the losses of Benedict and Perera, Republicans now control the local delegation. Second, until today, leadership in the local delegation has been decided by seniority. No more. Senator Staton has sponsored some of the most egregious legislation to ever hit the floor (or fail to hit the floor) of the Assembly. His greatest hits include Voter ID and a bill that would have given developers taxing authority. I think it would be fun to total the cost to taxpayers for defending the various pieces of unconstitutional legislation he has sponsored.

It's going to be quite a session. While some Republicans say this will be a 'gentle' session, I don't think these guys can help themselves. Look for legislation restricting or banning abortion, restricting gay adoption, putting a constitutional amendment on voter id on the ballot, increasing the rights of developers and restructuring of the tax code to benefit their big business buddies. Maybe Democrats should just get out of the way, vote their conscience and let these guys show Georgians their true colors. Do you really think that if they had passed SB 5 and HB 318 (the secrecy legislation) that Georgians would've sent them back to the capitol?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

John Edwards

Senator Edwards will be in Atlanta this Friday, on tour promoting his new book, Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives. All of the proceeds from the book will be donated to charity. One of the groups that has already benefited is Habitat for Humanity. If you come to one of the two events below, you will have a chance to meet Senator Edwards and get him to autograph a copy of his new book. Read an excerpt by clicking here. (You will have to enter your email and zip to get access.) Here are the details about his Atlanta visit:

2:00 p.m. on November 17th at Georgia Tech Bookstore, 48 Fifth Street, Atlanta, GA

7:30 p.m. on November 17th at Carter Library- Carter Center's Cecil B. Day Chapel, 441 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA

Also, Edwards will be on The Late Show With David Letterman this Friday night.

So, how many of you think Edwards will run for President? Should he? Would you support him? I would, in a heartbeat.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Or, if at convention we endorsed a candidate?

In Massachusetts, at the Convention, the delegates vote and any candidate getting more than 50% of those votes is "endorsed" by the party, and if no candidate gets 50%, then the lowest vote-getter is eliminated from the ballot and the vote is taken again. Here's a link for more information.

What if There Were No Democratic Primary?

And no "county" parties? On a short list of what we Georgia Dems have to do to win, I would put forming functional, strong local organizations. I think that we need to consider moving away from the idea of County Parties. In some larger metro areas, one county party is not enough, and in some smaller areas, two or three counties might have to combine to form a group. I would also like feedback on how well it works to have a State Party and then have the County Parties as a separate organization. I know that there is a relationship, but is it effective?

Now here's something radical think about. What if we moved away from electing our nominees for constitutional office on a primary ballot and instead considered electing them at a convention as happens in a few other states? The advantage would be that we would be forever spared the expensive bloodbath that was the 2006 Democratic Primary for Governor, and that whole Street Money thing would be diffused, at least in the primary.

Okay, we said that we need to think out of the box.....

Sunday, November 12, 2006

CPR for the DPG

As I watched the soon-to-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi on CNN this morning, I was impressed with her poise and aware that I was watching history in the making-a history that few predicted after the 2004 general election. Yet, some forward thinking Democrats-Pelosi, Schumer, Dean, and others-made it happen. The Republican Party hit their own iceberg, made of Iraq, corruption and partisanship bound together with a healthy doses of arrogance and greed. That alone, though, would not have been enough had the Democrats not worked hard for two years to make sure that they could field and fund credible candidates who could bring those issues to the forefront and, in a word, WIN.

Many people have said that the DPG is dead in the water. Probably so. Just remember, even when serious house cleaning is indicated, that doesn't mean you throw out the silver. Mel asked that I post links to a couple of past-posts that address some of the problems. To that end, I would suggest "Paging Taylor, Cox and Kahn,We are Losing the Battle," and "Street Money and Georgia Politics." These are both posts from June of this year and not-so-co-incidentally focus on the problems with the DPG's ground game. Here is a quote from one of those posts:

"This year, the republicans will have both the money to run the media and the volunteers to get out the votes. And there-in lies our problem. No matter how wonderful our candidates are. No matter how poor a job Sonny's done. No matter what ethical questions plague Reed. This time around, the Georgia Republican's potent punch of money and local, grassroots networking will be the demise of Georgia Democrats this November, and we will wind up with Governor Perdue and Lt. Governor Reed, unless we act right now to put in place local, well oiled teams of volunteers." (Paging Taylor, Cox and Kahn)

Georgia Democrats need to learn from our mistakes and from the success of the national party. Here are some of my thoughts about we need to do, and I do mean we. Assessment is necessary but as some have said, a circular firing squad is a very bad idea. I hope that State Committee Members and other Democrats will chime in with comments. As consensus develops on key points, I move that to the front page to stimulate further discussion.

My own priorities would include doing everything we can to curb the profit motive in terms of leadership at the state and local level. For example, being paid to do anything by a campaign ought to disqualify a person from serving in state or local party office. Being on a local or state committee is one thing, but when the chair of a county committee is being paid by one of the candidates in a primary, that's a serious problem. Where there is corruption, we have to clean house.

At the state level, we need to hire an executive director who will make creating a fully functional volunteer organization his or her top priority, and we need a chair who can raise money. In this election, we failed when it came to resources, both finances and field. We will lose elections as long as this is the case.

We do not currently pay the chair, but if this is to be a full-time commitment, then we ought to consider doing that. The chair needs to be someone who can lead, inspire and raise money. This person ought to be someone who can stand behind a podium and make you want to be a Democrat. We need to seriously look at the issue of losing support among women and be sure to elect either a female chair or a man who clearly "gets it."

We need to invest heavily in technology and make sure those resources are available on the local level. The online Voter File was, in my opinion, the best resource the Party offered to campaigns. We need to expand the use of that type of technology. Like the Republicans, we need to anticipate who our voters might be, not just by voting history but also by lifestyle and purchasing patterns. I note that though I have never voted in a Republican primary, I got all their mail because they hoped that based on certain demographic data, I might be persuaded to vote for their guy. Didn't work with me, but it did work with others. We need to understand that partisanship is now officially a turn-off and reach for voters who did not support us this cycle.

To move forward, we have to know where we are moving from. I am not talking about long boring non-productive meetings where we all share our ideas about message. I am talking about financial, organizational and personal audits at the state and local level. How much money do we have? What did we spend, and on what? How many county parties exist and what is their level of functionality? How many people are formally affiliated with the DPG or County Parties either as members or donors? The state party needs to help local parties accomplish this task rather than just demanding that it be done.

That's way too much from me. I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Friday, November 10, 2006

It's the Women

Women, a problem for Georgia Democrats, were a huge part of the solution on a national level. It goes without saying that to succeed in the future, Georgia Democrats have to figure out how to reach out to this key constituency. While estimates are that 70% of white women in Georgia voted for Perdue, on a national level, women were central to the Democratic takeover of Congress. We have our first female Speaker of the House, and at least one women, Hillary Clinton, poised for a run at the White House.

I was one of the 30% of white women who voted for Taylor, but for me, it was more of a vote against Sonny than a vote for Taylor. I suspect that was true for a lot of women who voted for Taylor by default but were not inspired to give their time and money to him. The only two candidates for statewide office who got fewer votes than Taylor were Denise Majette and Guy Drexinger. Martin, Buckner, Randolph, Wise, Irvin, Baker and Thurmond all out-polled The Big Guy. To blame women because they found Taylor uninspiring is futile. Women are a key constituency for Democrats, and if the party does not take seriously their displeasure with the nominee, we will be in the minority for a very, very long time.

Here's the good news that EMILY's List reports:

EMILY's List Celebrates Election of the Largest Number of Women to Congress in History
From the first woman Speaker of the House to historic highs for Democratic women in Congress and state offices to surges in women voting that put Democrats on top in races across the country – EMILY's List members helped make this midterm election into the Year of Democratic Women.

In the U.S. House, victories by 50 Democratic women helped put Democrats in control and elevated Rep. Nancy Pelosi to her historic role as the first woman Speaker of the House. The eight new Democratic women elected to the U.S. House this week puts the number of Democratic women in the House at 50, the highest level ever ... and we're still counting.
Five races are yet to be decided that could increase the ranks of Democratic women in the House: FL-13, OH-02, OH-15, NM-01 and WA-08. EMILY's List members are also anticipating an additional victory in Louisiana, where State Representative Karen Carter advanced to the December 9th run-off against Rep. Jefferson in LA-02.

In the Senate, Democratic control was put solidly in the Democrat's grasp with the hard fought win of Claire McCaskill in Missouri. Her strong message for change and her common sense approach to problem-solving appealed to voters of all stripes. When the campaign committees were still waiting on the sidelines, EMILY's List was the first organization to get into to the senate primary and endorse Amy Klobuchar, who claimed a commanding victory in Minnesota. EMILY's List also worked hard to protect our incumbents and ensure victories by Senators Maria Cantwell and Debbie Stabenow. The re-election of all our incumbents and the addition of McCaskill and Klobuchar brings the number of women in the Senate to a new high of 16, the first gains for Democratic women in that body since 2000.

As you know, EMILY's List is the only organization outside of the campaign committees that makes a major investment in recruiting, training and funding candidates in order to change control of Congress. This cycle, EMILY's List invested nearly $19 million in recruiting, building and supporting strong Democratic campaigns to regain control of Congress and make Rep. Nancy Pelosi the first woman Speaker of the House. More than two-thirds of that investment was dedicated to winning back the House. EMILY's List members contributed more than $11 million to EMILY's List endorsed candidates and another $34 million to support EMILY's List political programs.

A Perfect Storm

On Election Day, as I made my way from the polls, I called a good friend at the DPG and told him that everyone, even Marshall, was in trouble. Georgia Democrats were caught in a Perfect Storm: it was raining, Republican turnout was strong, the National GOP had invested heavily in Georgia because of Burns and Collins, Democrats failed to invest in meaningful, coordinated GOTV, and our candidate for Governor was a twenty point drag on the ticket. Had any one of these factors been different, it might not have been such a blood bath.

While Democrats have had a great week nationally, a tornado we both seeded and ignored the warnings for ripped through the DPG. We seeded the storm by failing to prevent our two strongest candidates from destroying one another in the primary. We failed to respond to the warnings provided in polling, and despite knowing that we would be unable to match the Republican Money Tree, we failed to invest in field. Seems like all the Street Money went up in smoke during the primary.

Now, many of us have emerged from our storm shelters, ready to clean up the mess. Fair warning: we do need to analyze and clean house, but the energy that follows a disaster of this proportion is often short-lived. As people realize that the task at hand is long, hard and expensive, people become depressed, and blame and anger often replace resolve. We already know about blame. What remains to be seen is whether we've learned anything.

There is no overnight fix, but business as usual is not an option. There has been a lot of discussion about who should become Party Chair. We definitely need a change in direction, but, seriously, isn't that sort of like trying to decide who should be the new captain of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg? We need to salvage what we can and get a new boat.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

From Glennie Cox Bench

This is a front page promotion from "Demblogs." The editorial that follows the comment appeared yesterday in the Albany Herald. My own two cents will follow later today.

For a few weeks now Taylor and his campaign have been very vocal and have said that Cathy Cox kicked them to the curb when it came to endorsing and beating the pavement for Taylor. eeks ago they began to frame her as their scapegoat if he lost to Perdue. For those of you that have had that same belief and are blaming Cathy today for Taylor's poor showing check out this article published today in Mark Taylor's hometown newspaper.
Here it is.

Cathy Cox Behavior Befitting her Position

Your editorial regarding "the absence of Secretary of State Cathy Cox from Democratic campaigning" overlooked that as our Secretary of State Cathy Cox is the chief state elections official. Consequently, it would be improper for her to endorse any candidate. She pointed this out to Mark Taylor during one of their Primary Election debates.

As far as your assertion that it is "tradition for opponents to shake hands following the election," she did just this on election night. Rarely, if ever, has the losing candidate done anything more than that. In 1990, neither Roy Barnes nor Andy Young campaigned for Zell Miller after they lost the primary to him. In 1998, Lewis Massey did not campaign for Roy Barnes after losing the gubernatorial primary. Instead, the defeated candidate has quietly moved on with life. Cathy has done just that and has not said a negative word, though she has had many opportunities.

On occasions when candidates did shake hands and campaign together following an election, the winner was not pursuing lawsuits against the defeated candidate or her campaign staff for weeks after their defeat, which was the case for more than a month after Taylor's July victory.

Cathy is a lifelong Democrat and is deeply loyal to the Democratic party. She has brought more to the Democratic Party of Georgia than she has ever taken from it. If people were convinced Cathy's endorsement was so critical to the success of any candidate on Nov. 7, they would have elected her to represent the party in the governor's race. To the extent that it is appropriate for her to be involved in another candidate's race, she has done so. To the extent that it crosses an ethical line or conflicted with other obligations and previous commitments, she has declined.

I am a deeply biased supporter of Cathy's, as my signature indicates, but our closeness also puts me in a position to know the facts. Cathy does not deserve to be Mark Taylor's scapegoat. When we are so caught up in what's good for the party instead of what's right for Georgia, we get what we deserve — partisan politicians who cannot build bridges or tackle important issues we need our leaders to address.


Wednesday, November 8, 2006

"Sigh!" and "Yay!"

Well, I am surely sorry that some of my favorite regional and state candidates did not make it to victory in last night's count. (Sigh!) They will always be winners to me. "Say not the struggle naught availeth!" Each one of them fought the good fight. Since the Democratic juggernaut took over the US Congress and stands poised to take over the US Senate, Georgia seems to be an aberration compared with the national trend.
But, hey--2008 is on its way, our party is in charge, and Democrats are on their way to recapture the White House. For that, a great big YAY !!

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Soaking Wet

Let me tell you about what Lauren Benedict has been doing today. She started her day at 7 AM, standing on the side of the road in South Bibb and then moved from precinct to precinct in every county in the district, in the rain, asking for votes.

This is nothing new. The level of commitment and enthusiasm Lauren has displayed through the course of this campaign is amazing. She has worked hard, with a good team. While we don't know the outcome, one thing we do know, she really has run a remarkable campaign, especially for a first-time candidate. I have never seen anyone work harder or smarter.

(Someone in the room said, "Gov. in '10, and she even has a college degree!)

Drag 'um, Beg 'um, Drive 'um

Whatever you have to do, get those dems to the polls. It is abundantly clear that the Republicans have turned out their base. At 10:30, I stood in line for an hour at Howard 9 in Bibb County. This is one of the most "Republican" precincts in Bibb and is part of the area Marshall did not have prior to this year. They had already had 358 people vote and could already predict that they would have to stay open late to deal with the crowd. They said that the same was true in heavily Republican precincts in sub-south. (These precincts in Sub-south were carried by Allen Freeman with nearly 80% of the vote in 2004.) They are already predicting having to hold those polls open as well. As the poll manager at Howard 9 told me, it takes a certain amount of time to vote, and because you have a finite # of machines, it is possible to calculate that there is simply not enough time in the day to accommodate the typical turnout. Bottom line? I'm not hearing reports of predictions of having to hold open any heavily Democratic precincts, and that's a problem for us. Drag those dems to the polls or Marshall, along with other Democrats, are in serious danger.

In other election day news, I had a report from one precinct in Wilkinson County where the computer that was to be used to check voters in was briefly off-line causing a slight delay. The precinct was Ramah. I also had a report that a voting machine in East Macon 5 was showing Republican votes in the summary despite the voter having voted for dems. I understand that they took that machine off-line but did not know how many people had voted prior to that discovery. I am not much of a conspiracy theorist when it comes to the machines, so I'll take a "show me" attitude with that one. More news as I hear it...

Not Worth Two Cents

That's about what some of these robo-calls cost and it's more than some are worth. Dick Cheney would be hard pressed to convince me to walk across the street, let alone vote for Mac, yet, it was his voice that graced my voice mail last night when I got home. Republicans reach beyond the typical "voter file" data and try to figure out who might vote for their candidates by looking at your buying habits and other data. So, because of what I drive or where I live, despite the fact the no one in my household has ever voted in a Republican primary, I get the Cheney call. That didn't work, but Democrats should take notes: if we never go after what we think is their base, we will won't win.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Some Teachers Are Going to Be Mad...

That they voted early. I don't know why this is just now finding the light of day, but here's more on the rumor that Sonny plans to take the ax to teacher retirement. This came in this morning from Ann Rose.

If you are:

Retired or Active Teacher,
Retired or Active University System Employee,
Retired on Active State Employee,
Retired or Active Judicial System Employee . . .

Then You Need to Know:

The state has a contract and obligation with you that if you retire from one of the teacher or employee retirement systems (instead of withdrawing) as an eligible member of the health insurance system, then you and your eligible dependants remain a member of the state health insurance system.

Your retirement system benefits, including health insurance are the reason many people have a career as an public educator or state worker, despite the below average wages that both groups are paid. The Perdue Administration is putting your retirement health care benefits in jeopardy, and they aren’t telling you about it.


GASB 45: A new position by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), called GASB 45, says states with health insurance plans for retirees (educators or employees) should show the potential unfunded 30 years liability for these plans in their states’ annual financial reports. Over 30 years, this is a large number, but only because Georgia pays its share of retiree health premiums through the employer rate for active employees on an annual basis (called PAYGO for pay as you go). This is paying when you incur the expense. GASB 45 wants the anticipated obligation shown. The current employer health insurance rate is related to the employer share for everyone, active and retired, in the health benefit plan. It does not relate solely to active employees.

And, under funding of the health care prog. for the past 4 years to build Perdue’s reserves would be exposed (employee and retiree rates went up over 40%, the employer rate less than 20%/).

So why would your current retiree health benefits be at risk?
The Perdue Administration is using GASB 45 as an excuse for shifting the employer (state) share of retiree healthcare to the retirement system and to retirees.

Why? Several reasons:
1. The Governor isn’t fond of contractual benefits and has had the Department of Community Health (DCH), whose board he appoints and which sets rate and benefit structure for the healthcare plans, ask the Attorney General’s office (AG) for an opinion on retiree contractual rights. This request was withdrawn when it seemed apparent that retiree’s contractual rights would be upheld by the AG.
2. The Governor doesn’t want state funds spent on his retiree obligations; he gets no public credit for fulfilling that obligation. It has been more important to put over $700 million in the reserve.
3. The Governor’s three top advisors, (Chief of Staff John Watson, Chief Financial Officer Tommy Hills, and Chief Operating Officer Jim Lentz), are all from the private sector, are not career public employees and, therefore, didn’t plan for their retirement based on public sector salaries. Ergo, do you think they’ve support your retiree benefits? Nope !
4. But primarily he is more worried about a triple A bond rating than retired teachers.

How Can He Do it?
If the AG would have ruled that you have a contractual right, then how could the Governor’s administration cut his costs and your benefits?
1. Remember, he controls the DCH board and that board sets your premium rate ( monthly premium could go as high as $700 per month on some proposals his staff has seen).
2. And, he could also alter:
- Your co-pay amount per healthcare visit
- Your prescription co-pay
- The amount paid per procedure, to the point even fewer physicians would participate,
- Or, give each person a nominal healthcare allowance per year. Go over it…any major care or emergency…and you pay more on all of the cost!

As Important!
The Perdue Administration haws been working on this for over a year. He has had DCH, The Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, the AG’s Office and the retirement systems all involved in this and looking at ways to shift health care costs to retirees. And, he hasn’t involved any retired teachers, professors or other state employees in these discussions nor advised them of the effects of any of these proposals. None of the professional or retiree associations have been involved, not even to alert them as to the consequences of these proposals on individual retirees. This whole issue has been kept secret by the Administration! They will spring in on you after the election!!!

If you are a teacher remember:
The Perdue Administration’s Oxymoron: Cut out state education funding for over 5,000 teachers and claim that you reduced class size. (WOW - the dropout rate must have really gone up)!
But, by golly we have that $700 million plus surplus.
And! When the General Assembly found revenues the Governor’s Staff missed, the Governor reduced his revenue estimates by over $200 million crying no money, and then had over $300 million in surplus revenues. (oh yes, when he cut the revenue estimate, the funds were cut from the Department of Education)!
But remember, he’s an education (?) Governor

To Check this out, send an “Open Records Request” to:

OPB Director (Phone: 404-656-3820; email:; fax: 404-656-3828
Governor’s Office (Phone: 404-656-1776 or
DCH (Phone: 404-656-4507; email: none listed on web page, call the tel. number)

And ask for correspondence, memos and letters between the above entities related to retiree health insurance and/or GASB 45


This is also chronicled at Blog for Democracy:

Teacher's retirement benefits to be cut?

Two different sources tell me that Perdue’s latest budget contains significant cuts in Georgia teacher’s retirement benefits. The Governor's budget has been a heavily guarded secret so, until this hits the press, this is only a rumor.

If true, this could be the bombshell needed to force Perdue back below 50%. However, if most of the electorate has (as I suspect), already tuned out the election noise, this might be too little, too late for the Taylor campaign. The only hope is for the Big Guy to hit Perdue with this in tomorrow's debate.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Republicans are in Deep Trouble

Here's how I know. In the last two presidential elections, Democrats spent an awful lot of time and money trying to get Americans to focus on the fact that, for most of us, Republican policies are painful for our pocketbooks. That was effective, wasn't it? Not so much. In fact, Democrats are still puzzled about why a person would vote against their own economic self interest. It's pretty simple, really. Most Americans think that you ought to do the "right" thing, even if it does not directly and immediately benefit you. Republican were successful in convincing many Americans, especially the Religious Right, that the Republican Party would do the "right" or "moral" thing. In other words, Democrats are going to hell. Why would you want to go with them?

Now, as I listen to CNN tonight, I hear Republican after Republican recite the same talking points: "people are beginning to focus on the economy"; "we're surging"; "electing Democrats will create gridlock"; "taxes will increase" (I am not sure how you have tax increases and gridlock at the same time); "the strategy in Iraq will change regardless-we got your message on that one"(Cheney forgot to dial into the conference call). They have to do this. So many Republican leaders have fallen from grace that the GOP can no longer with a straight face tell voters that they are holy.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, even if they get people to think about the economy, the issue will not move voters in the same way the war, the ethical and criminal troubles of top GOP leadership and the mishandling of Foley situation. It's that whole brain stem voting thing I talked about the other day. When we vote, it is often about identification and attachment, our most basic instincts. For many people, the cerebrum rarely gets involved. Right now, the issues that most pointedly appeal to the emotions favor the Democrats. (It just so happens that we're right about economic policy, too, but that's not the reason we're going to take the House and probably the Senate.)

The bottom line? Republicans are going to have a very long night on Tuesday.

My Crystal Ball

Please consider this an open thread for your election prognostications. Here are a few of mine:

State School Superintendent: Because of a nearly non-existent campaign by Denise Majette, the other Cox will win this race easily, and Georgia will be stuck with Ms. "Evolution is just one of many theories" Cox for four more years. And I will spend the next two years convincing Bibb Superintendent Sharon Patterson (the current Georgia Superintendent of the Year and one of four finalists for National Superintendent of the Year) to run. Ya'll go ahead and call her. Tell her to run and that you will give her money. Denise will go on to star in an episode of "Without a Trace."

State Insurance Commissioner: Oxendine will win this one in a walk despite the fact that he has plenty of baggage that should've brought him down. Unfortunately, incumbents carry baggage more easily than challengers. And, right now in Georgia, an "R" beside your name seems to be a slime antidote.

State Agriculture Commissioner: Brent who? Okay as someone pointed out, the right question here is "Gary who?" Sorry about that, but it does sort of make my point...

Supreme Court Justice: Let's all pray Hunstein wins this race. I still maintain that it is the most important race on the ballot. We need the judiciary to remain independent of political parties, and this is referendum on that principle. Wiggins (who no longer uses email) and his sister will appear on "The Dr. Phil Show."

State Commissioner of Labor: I like Mike. He will win easily and go on to run for higher office. You know how desperate his opponent's campaign is when Mike's being blamed for high dropout rates. Huh?

Attorney General: Baker will win easily. Plenty of dems have trouble with Baker-the same kind of trouble they have with Marshall. Apparently, we could use a few more Democratic candidates Democrats have problems with.

Secretary of State: Buckner must win this race because the thought of Karen Handel becoming Governor makes me sick to my stomach.

Lt. Governor.: Despite what the pundits say, Jim Martin's going to win this race. He has been the surprise of the election season and will continue to amaze. Jim is a true public servant. The polls and the pundits are failing to take into account Martin's very sophisticated GOTV targeting that has served him so well, so far. Martin in a squeaker. Besides, Casey has scary eyes and should've hired someone to play him in his commercials.

Governor: I's afraid we're stuck with the idiot from Bonaire. By the way, how does the Macon Telegraph write an editorial that walks right up to the line of calling Perdue a criminal and then give him a "tepid" endorsement? Is someone over there putting Depo-Provera in the water?

Congress: In the most hotly contested races, Marshall and Barrow will survive the Max-Mac attack.

Georgia Legislature: Dems will maintain their current margins, at least until the next group of cowards jump ship. Benedict and Sartain look good. Jane Kidd wins in a close one. Then, with a Governor who does not have to stand for re-election and a Speaker who wants his job, hold on to your hats. I don't even want to think about the legislation this crew is going to put forward.

That's about it for me. What about you guys?

The Rumor Persists

The rumor about the Governor intending to cut teacher retirement benefits persists. Leaders among educators also say they have heard that this is the Governor's plan, but that the details have been very sketchy. Imagine that.

Robo-call from the President/ Rain on Election Day

No kidding. Today my sister got a robo-call from George W. Bush asking our household to go to the polls and vote Republican because they represent our values. She couldn't tell me all he said because she's so tired of robo-calls (as I am) that she hung up before the recording was finished. Seems to me reather tasteless to have the President of the US making robo-calls, but that's in line with the general tone of this mid-term election.

Now Democrats need a special robo-call urging voters to go to the polls on Tuesday, rain or shine, and vote Democratic so we can do some major values-adjustment in Washington.
This afternoon my bones started feeling achey, which is usually indicative of rain on the way.
I looked up "weather 31069" and learned that rain is predicted -- at least in my zip code-- for Tuesday. That does not bode well for turnout. Glad I voted early.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Teachers Beware

The support of teachers is a feather in the cap of any politician, especially one who is running for Governor. In 2002, many give teachers credit for Perdue's come from nowhere victory over a much better funded incumbent, Roy Barnes. As this key constituency learned the hard way, you better be careful what you ask for because you just might get it. Well, based on information I have now heard from two very good sources, and see posted by Melanie over at Blog for Democracy, teachers are about to take it in the teeth again. In a budget that is being carefully kept under wraps, Gov. Perdue and his "team" are apparently planning to whittle at teacher retirement benefits. Maybe they just plan to give them a gift card instead.

This, if true, should come as no surprise to anyone. This crew gave big business a billion dollars in tax relief while cutting funding to our schools. Their priorities are clear, and anyone who buys their fancy charts and election year b.s. deserves exactly what they get.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Lies, Lies and Damn Lies

The Macon Telegraph has interesting standards for endorsements. In the race for Magistrate Court Judge, the editorial board said that one candidate, Rebecca Grist, was not qualified to hold any elected office because she and her husband filed for bankruptcy in December. Now, I'm supporting Judge Billy Randall in that race, but it's interesting that doing something that is perfectly legal disqualifies someone while a "lap dog" lying to the editorial board and refusing to come clean with voters does not. What am I talking about?

During his interview with the Macon Telegraph editorial board, Allen Freeman claimed to have the endorsement of all the mayors and all the county commission chairs in District 140. (You can listen to the interviews here.)

Freeman's claims are just not true, and the Telegraph board knew it before they endorsed Freeman today.

Both Mayor Sonja Mallory, of Jeffersonville, and Mayor Jack Ellis, of Macon, say that Allen lied when he claimed to have their endorsement. Mayor Mallory did an on-camera interview with Channel 41 confirming this.

Of course, this isn't the first time Allen had this same problem. He previously claimed to have the endorsement of Judge Vivian Cummings in Wilkinson County, and the Wilkinson News was forced to print a retraction at the request of the Judge. Bibb Commissioners Sam Hart and Bert Bivins and Jones Commissioner Bert Liston were listed in a press release from the campaign as 'endorsing' Freeman. All say that's not true, and Sam Hart has signed an affidavit to that effect.

Freeman's lies don't stop there. He is currently running a radio ad claiming that Lauren Benedict wants "treatment" instead of jail for sex offenders. That's a lie. Freeman also has a mailer out claiming to be a Real Estate broker. He's not. And he continues to hide the real story about what why he was asked to leave the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Despite these issues and the Editorial board's displeasure with Freeman acting like a "Lap Dog," they relied on the "R" beside his name as a reason to endorse him. What a shame that the Telegraph ignored issues of honesty and character in favor of rank partisanship, all in hopes that Allen "Lap Dog" Freeman gets thrown a bone by the Republican leadership which would finally accomplish something substantive for his district. They have more faith in him than I do.

If this sounds like sour grapes, it probably is because Lauren Benedict is going to be an excellent legislator. It is so disappointing that the Telegraph believes that a candidate's party matters more than his credentials and character.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Will Women Ride the Blue Wave?

That's the question posed in the post at The Emerging Democratic Majority. The answer is, "maybe," but it's up to you. Read the post, be inspired, and then contribute to your favorite Democratic women running for the Georgia Legislature. Here are some suggestions:

State Senate
SD 32 RuthE Levy*
SD 36 Nan Orrock *
SD 46 Jane Kidd*

State House
HD 2 Sadie Morgan*
HD 46 Melanie Eyre*
HD 48 Jan Hackney*
HD 68 Carol Rozier*
HD 113 Becky Vaughn*
HD 136 Beth Perera*
HD 140 Lauren Benedict*
HD 144 Dee Yearty*
HD 169 Danita Knowles*
HD Jaki Johnson*