Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We're Moving

Georgia Women Vote is in the process of becoming a full partner with Tondee's Tavern, so in the coming days, the content from this site will begin to shift to a new blog site on Tondee's. We're working out the details, but for now, this site will remain up, and you can check out the new site, and new features at:

You'll like the new site. Jon Flack, whose Jayhawks will be defeated by my Tar Heels this year, has done one heck of a job putting it together and has added some cool social networking and calendar features that I am currently learning to use!

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Resolutions for Georgia Democrats

Here are a few proposed New Year's resolutions for Georgia Democrats:

1) Having perfected the art of the circular firing squad, in 2009, we resolve to point the guns outward, but not in a park, on a playground, in a restaurant or on public transportation.

2) Since this is Georgia, there will be a bloody primary in the Governor's race. This time, we resolve to let it be in the republican primary.

3) While various republican candidates for Governor spar during the upcoming legislative session, we resolve to get out of the way.

4) We resolve to become clairvoyant and therefore anticipate the mistakes the press will make so we can issue corrections before the articles appear.

5) We resolve to work very hard to recruit the three people, God bless them, in South Georgia who want to run for a part time job that will require their full time residency in Atlanta from January until about April each year. They will need to either be independently wealthy or have a very understanding boss - not to mention a very, very understanding spouse.

6) That said, when we choose our nominee for Governor, Lt. Governor and the other constitutional offices, we resolve to remember that there is a Georgia south of I-20, and if we hope to actually elect any of those nominees, we know that we must choose folks who can actually pull some votes from "the other Georgia."

7) We resolve not to dump on local governments. The republicans can have that gig all to themselves, and we'll see how that flies at the ballot box in two years.

8) We resolve to condemn corruption where ever it occurs, even, no, especially if a member of our own party is the perpetrator.

9) In these lean economic times, we resolve to insist that the burden be fairly shared.

10) Finally, we resolve to oppose Rep. Bearden's probable legislation to allow, perhaps even require, judges to carry a concealed weapon into the courtroom and use it to kill the defendant on the spot, regardless of the jury's verdict.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Some Folks Who Deserve a Pat on the Back

There are some folks who make things tick but are rarely recognized for their efforts. Below are some of my picks for 2008. These are among the unsung heroes who make the trains run on time, but they are not the only ones. I invited you to add your nominations in the comments.

1) Matt Caseman: Thanks to Matt's morning clips, I can pick up my blackberry and know what's going on in Georgia politics before the shower is warm.

2) Randy Lewis: Same props as Matt Caseman. If you have not checked out Randy's site, FitzLew's Georgia Political and Policy Digest, you should. There you will find a daily summary of Georgia's most important political, business, and general news headlines, plus so much more.

3) Jim and Joan Martin: Jim ran and ran honorably, especially for someone who had not planned to run and who had many, many other things he could've spent the last year doing.

4) Steve Leeds: Many of you know Steve; some of you don't. Steve is one of those folks who works quietly behind the scenes to raise the money, support the causes and in general, make things happen. He's on a short list of people who have always done exactly what they have told me they would.

5) Martin Matheny: Communications director for the DPG who always takes my calls, listens to me rant and effectively talks me down.

6) Lynn Farmer: My friend and current president of the Bibb County School Board and director of the Leadership Macon program. Lynn does an outstanding job with the very difficult task of trying to improve our schools despite having fewer and fewer dollars to spend.

7) Duke Groover: That would be Denmark's son, for those of you not from Macon. Duke's one of those folks, again, who is always there ready to work, whether in politics or community service, when the cause or the person is right.

8) Caroline Moise: Longtime board member of Georgia's WIN List who always follows through elegantly with whatever task she takes.

9) Melanie Goux: You may know Melanie from Blog for Democracy, but what you may not know if how many Georgia candidates she bailed out with last minute help. You know who you are.

There are so many more people who deserve be on this list - folks who seldom get the public pat on the back they deserve. These nine are now, officially, patted, and I invite you to add to the list in the comments.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays

Light posting here for a few days, folks. We've been with family celebrating Christmas the last two days and are headed to SC tomorrow to see my side of the family. Best to all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Imago Dei

One of the things I like best about this time of the year is the chance to glimpse of the image of God in people. It is there in the careful planning and sheer joy of the parent who calculates how to get the basketball goal up, cemented in the ground before morning without the hopeful child waking. It is there, too, in the ornaments on the tree, some reflecting the joys and sometimes sadness of Christmases past, some telling the story of a creator who chose to reveal himself to his creation through one who began life in a manger and then worked with his hands, embraced the outcasts of society and died on a cross. It is there in gatherings of family and friends, and it will be there in the faces of people at church tonight-some joyful because a son or daughter serving in the military are safe, or better yet, home, some grieving the loss of a loved one since last Christmas, some fearful that their job will not last the new year, some newly in love, some sad for love lost-but all there, together in a caring community of faith. And, it will be there in the people I pass on the way to the church, some of whom will, like the baby Jesus, have no where to lay their heads tonight but may find refuge because faith framed with both hope and humility compels us to do unto the least, the last and the lost as we would to God. In the coming year, may we all become innkeepers.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Health requirements for flying reindeer waived by State Agriculture Department

Normally The Telegraph's Political Notebook on Saturday is filled with all sorts of political fighting and event announcements. However, I was happy to read about a recent action taken by our beloved Commissioner of Agriculture, Tommy Irvin, last week. His office issued the following press release to share the good news:

Georgia Commission of Agriculture, Tommy Irvin, has granted a special 24-hour permit waiving the routine identification and other health requirements for nine flying reindeer slated to visit Georgia on the evening of December 24 and in the early morning hours of December 25.

The permit application was filed this week by a North Pole toymaker who signed the paperwork "Kris Kringle." The reindeer named on the permit are: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Doner, Blitzen and Rudolph. Identification, laboratory testing, and certificates of veterinary inspection are part of Georgia’s health requirements which assist officials in protecting the health of animals in the state and help prevent the introduction of exotic diseases.

“After consulting with our state veterinarian, Dr. Carter Black, I concluded these reindeer did not pose any threat to Georgia agriculture or violate any of our biosecurity measures to keep out animal diseases,” said Commissioner Irvin. “As it was explained to me, these reindeer will be moving quickly, will only prance and paw on rooftops and will not intermingle with any livestock in Georgia.”

“Usually, few creatures are stirring that night,” Dr. Black added. “Not even a mouse.”

"We are pleased to grant the temporary waiver to Mr. Kringle,” said Commissioner Irvin. “I and the employees of the Georgia Department of Agriculture wish him safe travels as he and his reindeer make deliveries to the good children of Georgia."

Now I don't know about everyone else, but I'm glad to see one of our public officials in the holiday spirit and doing something we're proud to share with our children!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Yet Another Reason Not to Listen to Morning Talk Radio

I don't listen to morning talk radio in Macon. From what I've read about Captain Shock Krok, I've made a good decision. I had more respect for Charles Richardson and Kenny B, until Friday. I've heard from several people that they slammed Lynn Farmer, who is President of the Bibb County School Board, for not showing up for Thursday's board meeting and vote on the superintendent's contract. Apparently they accused her of ducking an important and potentially controversial vote. The reality was that she missed the meeting because her mother had died that same week, a fact they could have discovered had they bothered to ask. I don't know about you, but I think that it's reasonable to expect that someone will take more than a couple of days off when they lose a parent.

Lynn has never been one to duck tough decisions. During her two terms on the board, she has helped guide the system through redistricting, two E-SPLOSTS, school closures and many other controversial issues. She is forthright with the press and the public, and I have rarely known an elected official who more clearly puts the good of those she serves at the heart of her decisions. I bet you can count on one hand the number of board meetings she has missed during her two terms.

Macon is not a huge city. The circle of those who serve on boards and who are otherwise actively engaged in trying to make this community a better place to live is not all that large. We know each other. Charles and Kenny know Lynn. They know here character. They know that she is not one to shirk responsibility, and, yet, they painted her with that brush without bothering to call her to find out why she was absent. That's inexcusable, and they owe her an apology.

No, Sen. Johnson, I Don't Want to Be in Your Facebook Group

Sen. Eric Johnson doesn't read my blog. How do I know? Because if he had read this, this, this or this, he would never have sent me this:

Eric invited you to join the Facebook group "Eric Johnson for Lt. Governor of Georgia".To see more details and confirm this group invitation, follow the link below: (link here)

Eric Johnson for Lt. Governor of Georgia

Democrat or Republican, Eric Johnson is the last person in Georgia I would consider supporting for Lt. Governor. From his lies on the senate floor regarding Genarlow Wilson and his use of that situation to build his own name id without regard for the impact on all those involved, to his pathetic use of special needs children to further his agenda to divert funds from public education and his failure to stand up for working families who are struggling to find affordable health insurance for their children, Johnson has repeatedly demonstrated that he cares most about taking care of (1) His own political ambition and (2) A narrow group of constituents who agree with his radical agenda.

So, no, Sen. Johnson, I do not want to be in your "Facebook group."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Inclusion Can Be Uncomfortable

I'm home nursing a cold and have concluded that daytime television is the chief contributor to both our educational woes and our obesity.

It's inane, and you have to eat to stay awake.

There's been a lot of talk today about Obama's choice of Rev. Rick Warren to do the invocation at the inaugural. Rev. Warren is not my favorite, to put it mildly. He and I disagree on many social issues, and when it comes to abortion and homosexuality, I consider his views downright dangerous because his opinions can be easily skewed to bolster those who would perpetrate hate crimes. While Obama has made it clear that he does not share those views, some on the left have loudly expressed their displeasure with his choice of Warren. And, some on the right are none to happy with Warren for accepting the invitation. I find it interesting that of all of Obama's cabinet picks, including the hawks who populate his national security team, it is this choice that seems to be generating the most heat, from the left. Warren will not be be setting policy in the Obama White House. He will be offering a prayer. Sure, symbolically this is significant, but more significant than the Gates appointment? I don't think so.

Obama has made it clear that he does not agree with Warren on gay rights, abortion, and a host of other issues, but he has also made it abundantly clear that those who disagree with him will have a place in the administration, and, apparently at the inaugural. I think that the inclusion of Warren sends a powerful message that the ideals of the movement that propelled Obama into office are strong enough to stand in the face of disagreement, however vigorous. Next to asking John McCain-or Sarah Palin-to do the invocation, having Warren on the stage at the inception of this administration is as powerful a symbol of coming together as Obama could have provided. It was at the forum at Warren's church that McCain, frankly, cleaned Obama's clock and subsequently took the lead in the polls. It was also in that lion's den that Obama stuck to his guns on gay rights and abortion, despite the displeasure of the crowd, and he proved that a politician an can do that and still win. Handily.

From his choice of Clinton at State to his inclusion of republicans in the cabinet, to this choice to invite Warren's participation at the inaugural, Obama is unafraid and, at his core a brilliant politician. Talk about not blinking. Obama brilliantly neutralizes his political opponents by adding them, in manageable ways, to his team. So, while I sympathize with those who are outraged, I believe that ultimately this kind of political courage will serve Obama well during his presidency.

Besides, it could be worse. It could be James Dobson. And, can you imagine Bush inviting say, Jim Wallis to pray? That's the difference in Bush and Obama.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Too Connected

Confession is good for the soul, they say. I am clearly in need of a twelve step program to free myself from my Blackberry addiction. I know this because the damn thing stopped working, and I spent several hours yesterday and today getting it replaced, getting the data restored and getting the new one connected to the appropriate bluetooth devices, especially to my car-that one was a bit of a hassle-only to find that the replacement works only if I never care to type a word with the letter "O." Let's see. That leaves out the topics of: politics, women, progressive, abortion, pro-choice, religion, Macon, Georgia, Victor, Mayor, Governor, Senator, Obama, Porter, Poythress, money, schools and democrats, just to name a few. On the other hand, I can freely use the words republican, Palin, McCain, Perdue, taxes, Richardson, Cagle, men, guns, liberal, private, and Erick. See my problem?

The new device will be delivered tomorrow.

Council to Consider Reallocation of Hotel-Motel Tax

Whether we're talking about billions of dollars to Wall Street firms or thousands of dollars to local nonprofits, elected officials should do all they can to make sure that private entities getting tax dollars are either financially sound or have a reasonable plan to become financially sound before the tax dollars sent their way.

Today, Macon City Council will take up a resolution to divide the hotel/motel tax by adding the Georgia Children's Museum and The Tubman Museum as recipients. It's my understanding that support of the Halls of Fame has already been discussed. Currently, the Cherry Blossom Festival is the beneficiary of this tax, and that decision was predicated on the notion that the Festival puts "heads in beds." Those who support spreading the money between various museums believe that it is important that we have a viable museum district, sort of an all boats rise together approach. I agree with that and certainly support the work of all of these groups,but before public money is provided to any of these organizations, it is my hope that Council will examine the relevant financial documents, just as they would if the an organization were coming to council to ask for direct financial support from the City. The item that will come to the floor today is simply a resolution. It is our legislative delegation that would ultimately have to drop a piece of local legislation to allow the change. Given that, there is certainly time to dot the "i's" and cross the "t's" so that tax money, however generated, is spent wisely.

The 2nd Annual Macon Holiday Jam

The 2nd Annual Macon Holiday Jam
to Benefit The Mentors Project of Bibb County
( Plus Give a Peach Canned Food Drive )

December 19, doors open 6:30 pm, concert 7 pm
Cox Capitol Theatre, 382 Second St., downtown Macon

Get Hungry for Rock ‘N’ Roll With
A Macon All Star Lineup
Scott Baston & Will Robinson of Moonshine Still fame
Chris Hicks with the legendary Marshall Tucker Band
Former James Brown Lead Guitarist Robert Lee Coleman
Gospel performer Larry Howard, featured at Georgia Music Hall of Fame
Soulful, acoustic singer Megan North
Reggie Solomon Spirit Drums
Violin maestro David Blackman &
Renowned steel guitarist Mark Van Allen

Guest Artists Caroline Aiken and
world renowned European harmonica wizard Ben
Bouman on North American Tour

Plus Ray Nelson's Guitars Not Guns Car

Tickets go on sale first week in December
$10 in advance, $15 at the door
VIP sponsor tables for four $250
Call Cox Capitol Theatre at 478-257-6391 or visit

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Fundamentally American Freedom

As a person of faith, I have a hard time understanding the zeal of some to have government embrace a particular faith, because when that happens, our precious freedom of religion is lost.

Today's Telegraph included an article by Amanda Creel, once a staff writer with the Robins Rev- Up, the base newspaper for Robins Air Force Base here in Central Georgia. Creel's husband is active duty, and they are deployed to England where she writes that her four year old was recently able to participate in Christmas play about the birth of Jesus at his publicly funded school. He even got to be Joseph. Unlike the United States, Creel writes, in England, "a play depicting the Nativity scene is an annual event for the reception program." They don't get hung up on that pesky separation of church and state thing. No joke.

Creel writes:

I can just imagine the negative publicity and numerous complaints a public school in the States would get if they attempted such a thing. It made me realize just how consumed some Americans are with the separation of church and state and how the political correctness surrounding it isn’t necessary.

How ironic that it is from England that Creel pens her column. There's a good, sound historic reason Americans are "consumed" with the separation of church and state. Many of our founding fathers, and mothers, were persecuted because they dared to freely practice religion. It is arguable that were it not for the fact of the state's establishment of a religion in England and the persecution of those who did not wish to support the state sponsored church, the American colonies might still be colonies. Indeed, separation of church and state is viewed quite differently there than it is here in the states. The have a state church, the Church of England. And their monarch is also considered the head of the church, a structure that has literally caused a few heads to roll. This country was founded by pilgrims who came to this new land seeking religious freedom. I am Baptist, and the founders of my faith were among those persecuted in England and here in the colonies because of their beliefs and their refusal to pay taxes to support the Crown's choice of minister. While things have changed in England, that country does not enjoy separation of church and state in the same way we do, and those who suggest that the government adopt a policy of disestablishmentarianism still face criticism.

While I am most appreciative of the Creel's sacrifice to protect our freedom, including our freedom of religion, I disagree that separation of church and state isn't necessary. When a government embraces a particular religion by using tax dollars to support the views of any particular faith whether it be Christian, Muslim, Jewish or something else, then that fundamentally American freedom is lost.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Scapegoating the UAW

Like any organization run by humans, unions have had their share of problems, their share of corruption. But, to blame the UAW for the failure of U.S. Car manufacturers is to scapegoat American workers and to unfairly blame them for the industry ills. I have my doubts that any government bail out can save Detroit, but if the Big Three crash, it's the tightening credit markets, the outsourcing or insourcing of American jobs and goods, the failure of industry executives to make cars that, say, I want to drive and the desire of some republicans to "break" the unions so that workers will have no meaningful voice in how a company runs that deserve the lion's share of the blame. Detroit made their deal with the devil when giant SUV's became the flagship product, reflecting the now-now-now, me-me-me mentality of the republican establishment. Well, the future came sooner than they hoped and now, for the Big Three to survive, they need a bridge to an entirely different attitude. Blaming workers who dare to protect themselves through collective bargaining is hardly the way to begin that journey. After all, haven't the industry executives been doing a little collective bargaining of their own-with the taxpayers?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Clearing the way for Palin

I mean, seriously, can we at least wait until after the inaugural to start asking folks if they want to run for President next time? How about just waiting until after Christmas? But, no, CNN has the scoop on one big republican who has already taken his hat out of the ring. Oh, God, please help me. There's already a ring.

Party Like a Rock Star

In 2008, Bibb County voters helped put Democrats in office from the White House to the school board, so the annual holiday party takes on special significance this year. The Bibb County Democratic Party invites you and Democrats from all over Middle Georgia to join in a celebration of our accomplishments on Thursday, December 18, from 7:00 pm at the Ambiance Banquet Facility, 3670 Eisenhower Parkway (across from Macon Mall, next to Circuit City).

Not only did we help the historic election of Barack Obama, but we now have Democrats serving locally in positions formerly held by Republicans, including Chair of the Bibb County Commission, the State House, and the School Board. And all incumbent Democrats were reelected!

Tickets to the event are $20 each, which includes food and drinks. What a deal! For more information, call 747-1000 or visit us here.

That's the Right Answer

Obama calls on Illinois Governor to resign.

If Andre' or the AJC had bothered to ask

This is what they would've learned about DPG finances:

Dear Leaders, 

Most of you probably saw an article last week in the Political Insider that referred to a $40,000 payment the DPG made to the Smithsonian for inauguration activities.  This same article reported that the DPG is $140,000 in debt.  Our staff is currently working on a comprehensive 2008 Annual Report that should be complete and ready for your review prior to the beginning of the session, however I wanted to take this opportunity to correct this misinformation in the Political Insider. 

The financial disclosure report referenced in the article is a State report and included only state monies. It did not included Federal funds. The State report is being amended.  The report was filed the day of the runoff election and inaccurately stated the party's debt as $140,000.  In fact the only debt that the party is carrying is a House Caucus loan of around $119,000.  As you know, the party is legally responsible for both caucuses finances, therefore we report any debt owed by either caucus on our disclosure reports.  The additional $20,000 debt reported was paid several months ago and was inaccurately left on the report.  The report is currently being amended to accurately reflect that the only debt carried by the party is the House Caucus loan.  In contrast, the state party had tens of thousands of dollars of debt when I became Chair in early 2007. 

The $40,000 payment made by the DPG to the Smithsonian is a deposit on a location for the Georgia Inaugural Ball.  The Georgia State Society, based in DC and chaired by Rep. Sanford Bishop and made up of many other Georgians, is hosting the Georgia Inaugural Ball.  The Georgia State Society is just beginning to raise money for the Ball and had not yet raised the money to pay the deposit on the location at the Smithsonian.  The Society asked the DPG to make the deposit to reserve the space by the deadline with the agreement that the entire amount would be restored to the party before the end of the year.  We agreed in order to assure that Georgia would be positioned appropriately during this historic inauguration. 

I hope that this clears up any concerns you may have had related to the Political Insider article.  More than $7.5 million moved through the DPG in 2008 to help our federal and state candidates.  We built and managed the largest field program in state history, employing hundreds of field organizers.  We registered over 200,000 new voters and the party is ending the year without debt.  We will be presenting the full DPG 2008 Annual Report to you in early January. 

I look forward to continuing to build the relationship between the state party and our caucuses during the 2009 session.  Please let me know if there is anything else we can do to be helpful and please feel free to forward to Caucus members.

Best regards, 

This is like the funniest thing I have ever seen

Worth the click.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Don't Forget the Social Infrastructure

President Obama has an ambitious and necessary plan to create jobs and stimulate the economy by investing in infrastructure repair and development. That's all well and good, but shoring up the social infrastructure-access to basic health care, good school etc.-is just as important as roads and bridges. Without that, we will not have the skilled, healthy workforce needed to do those jobs, now or in the future.

Take for example the much-discussed lab that went to Kansas rather than Georgia. While folks are focused on the group protesting the plan in Georgia, we have just sort of skipped over one of the other key reasons the Georgia site lost out: a less skilled workforce. And why is that? Years of neglect and a current Governor who brags when our schools move from 49th to 48th. Woo-hoo! Let's have a party! Maybe even a prom at the Governor's mansion. Maybe we can play "Go Fish." Embarrassing, isn't it?

Seriously, protests or not, do you really think a company would locate a lab here if they found the workforce lacking? That's not a problem you can solve in 9 months, but it is an indication of the long term neglect of public education in Georgia and misdirection of our schools. I guarantee you one thing: if Georgia schools were a bridge, you'd take one look and refuse to drive across. Yet, we depend on our schools to be the bridge for our children to their future and the engine that drives economic development. But, with more cuts looming, we sure don't act like it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Far Be it From Me to Be Giving Barnes Advice...

But, please, Governor, if you're going to run, tell us sooner rather than later. You really the only democrat who could start late and still finish, so if you're not in, tell us so that those who are in will have the time they need to raise the money and build the name id. In analyzing Martin's race, folks sort of brush over the fact that he did not start until about March. Let's not do that again. And, please, God, let the bloody primary happen on the republican side this go round. Been there, done that, don't want to do it again.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Women "Genetically" Wired for Housework?

Alan Franks must've lost a bet. Why else would the junior economics and business major at Mercer University's Stetson School of Business and Economics send the op ed, Housewife economics keep women at home for publication in today's Telegraph? (Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.) This is the editorial equivalent of having to wear your underwear on the outside of your pants at the formal. I suspect that women are going to be giving him hell about this for the foreseeable future.

Franks makes the argument that simple "laws" of economic make it more sensible for women to do the housework while men bring home the bacon. Read the whole piece, but be prepared to pick your jaw up off the floor, several times. As I read it, I initially thought that it was a witty, tongue-in-cheek piece, but no, I think the poor guy really means it. Here are a couple of money quotes:

Genetically, women are more apt to perform longer, less intense tasks, whereas men are genetically programmed to perform shorter, more intense tasks. But beyond genetical and sociological reasons, there is an underlying economic theme that supports the notion that a woman contributes more to society by performing duties that we stereotypically view as "housewife" activities.


In the arena of home chores, the typical wife gives up less effort than the husband would in performing basic home activities. Whereas it takes an equal effort from both the husband and wife to bring in a supportive income, the man would have to put forth much more energy than the wife to accomplish the same home chores with the same quality. Simply put, a woman's place may well be in the home, but not because the male is better at bringing in a supportive income. Rather, wives often find themselves at home because of the economic laws of competitive and comparative advantage. Housewives around the world, smile, because you are queen for a good reason.

If you ask me, poor Alan is going to an awful lot of trouble to avoid washing the dishes. There's some good news for him though, I sure that Albert Mohler will have a job for him once he graduates.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A GREAT Secretary of Agriculture

I think Congressman Bishop would make a GREAT ag secretary. That would mean we'd have to have a special election in that district. On second thought, I think that Salazar would make a GREAT ag secretary. Don't you?

Friday, December 5, 2008

I've Had Just About Enough of This Nonsense

Like a toddler who isn't getting enough attention, Andre's is flipping over the furniture again-posting his frustrations with the DPG on Peach Pundit, a republican blog. This is like complaining about your husband to his ex-lover. Except I'm not sure that Andre' and Erick were ever officially dating, given that Erick's been busy condemning an entire denomination.

There certainly are things that need to improve with the DPG, candidate recruitment being at the top of the list, so complain about the party. Fine. I don't mind criticism, especially constructive criticism, but it does sort of send me to the edge when someone who once worked for the party consistently behaves in a distracting and destructive manner rather than constructively attempting to become a part of the solution(s). It also send me over the edge when folks go over to republican-land to vent their spleen-especially when that criticism is devoid of a single constructive suggestion.

Amazing, really, that Andre' doesn't want anyone to brag about the seats we picked up in the House. I happily spent hours-for free-helping Bubber Epps who finally defeated Allen Freeman after two previous close calls. I have friends in the blogosphere who freely gave their time and talent to get commercials cut for him, as well. And, he won in a tough district, by less than 100 votes. That may not matter to Andre', but to us in Middle Georgia who genuinely believe we will be better represented, it does matter. And, I happily turned over every rock I could find to help Pat Dooley get the resources she needed to win her race, as did many other democrats and democratic groups. I'm curious about what Andre', who is a member of the state committee, did to help recruit candidates or get the ones we had in the field elected? Maybe he should write about his own efforts and in those we might find some solutions. One point of interest-he praises Rep. Winfred Dukes for calling for an investigation into the party's dealings in a school board race, but fails to mention that Dukes is Vice Chair of Candidate Recruitment for the DPG, presumably responsible for, oh, I don't know? Candidate recruitment? But, there is not a word of criticism for Dukes, just Jane Kidd. Maybe Jane spirited Dukes away to some undisclosed location. Clearly, it is ALL her fault.

Now, Andre is attempting to use the results of the Martin and Powell campaigns as support for his ongoing campaign to attack Jane Kidd. Perhaps Andre's thinks we'll elect him. Or maybe Vernon Jones. There clearly is a long line of people who want to work for free at a job guaranteed to award a permanent spot on the dunking booth perch so Andre' and others can gleefully hurl their softballs.

But, let's take a breath and look realistically at what the results of the runoff do, and do not mean. Of the 35 U.S. Senate seats up for re-election this cycle, exactly four incumbents, all republicans, were defeated. Three of those seats are in states with democratic governors-North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Oregon, and all three of those states went for Obama in the presidential election. Only Alaska, where Mark Begich barely defeated convicted felon Ted Stevens, had a republican governor (you might've heard of her) and voted for McCain in the presidential election. Oh, and, by the way, in these four races, only the two women, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, got more than 50% of the vote in the general election. Shaheen had the advantage of high statewide name recognition because she was a former governor. Think Barnes v. Chambliss. And, then in one of the stupidest political moves in my memory, Liddy Dole called Kay Hagan "godless" and that race was all over-probably the presidential, too in N.C. So, except for the narrow defeat of Ted Stevens (did I mention that he was a convicted felon?), there was no state in the whole county that McCain carried in the presidential that ousted an incumbent republican senator. But, obviously, Georgia should be cutting edge.

So what do the Georgia results mean? We do need a more coordinated, pro-active approach to candidate recruitment. We do have enough democrats in Georgia to win statewide elections, if we can figure out how to get them to the polls. And, we do need to raise money-not easy to do as the opposition party, but it will be easier with a democratic president, U.S. House and U.S. Senate. And, by the way, would you rather the party have money in the bank after an election or rather that they spent all they had, and more to help candidates? And, fyi, the 40K for the space for the inaugural party will be reimbursed in full to the party by another organization.

The bottom line? Saxby was bad, really bad. But he was not a convicted felon. The time to win that senate race was in the general, and if the DSCC had spent in the general like they did in the runoff, there might've been a chance. Everyone with two neurons to make a synapse knew that Martin and Powell winning the runoff was a Hail Mary. We hoped for the miracle. We gave, we phoned, volunteers came in droves, but it just wasn't happening. And, that's not Jane Kidd's fault.

Results of Poll in Governor's Race

Here are the results of the (non-scientific) poll on potential democratic candidates in the governor's race. While Poythress is on top, there are a couple of caveats. First, I had a note from Maddy this morning who wanted me to know that the poll was "stuck" not allowing her to put in a name for "other." So, in addition to the general nonscientific nature of the poll and the tiny number of responses, there may have been an actual glitch. Second, from my stats, it looks like one campaign made an effort to email the poll link to their supporters. It's totally fair game to do that, by the way, but it may have impacted the results. Of course, it may also indicate that one candidate is a bit better organized than others...

Thurbert Baker 3% (2 votes)
Roy Barnes 25% (15 votes)
David Poythress 36% (21 votes)
Dubose Porter 19% (11 votes)
Michael Thurmond 2% (1 votes

Actually, Working

No, I have not been hiding under a rock since the election. I've been working. You know, that old fashioned thing most of us in the chattering class used to do to make a living. Turns out to be a good idea.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Poll Question: Who Should Be the Next Governor?

Why am I doing this today? Because there's always the next race.

Rumors abound about who will throw their hat in the ring for the democratic nomination for Governor of Georgia. As of now, the only candidate I know is "officially" in the race is David Poythress, but once the run off is done, expect the announcements to come fast and furious. In 2004, this was just about the time of year when Cathy Cox called to say she was getting ready to run. And, I've already had a couple of those calls this year, and no, I'm not saying who. But this list represents some who are rumored to be thinking of running. Who's your primary pick? If he or she is not on the list, go ahead and add their name. Play nice.

Update on Turnout in Bibb County

For what it's worth, Daryl cruised by Howard 3 (Mable White) and Howard 9 (North Macon Presbyterian) at lunch, and their were few cars, no lines. Both are strong republican precincts. Looks like a light turnout across the board.

By the way, the Bibb County Board of Elections will not allow poll workers to give poll watchers information about the number of people who have voted. I assume that they will not give it to the press either. Our numbers are from hard counts that the poll watchers themselves have compiled as they counted the people coming in to vote. I can understand not wanting poll workers to be distracted by poll watchers, but I do question how this information could in any way be protected or unavailable to the press or public. The number of voters in a given precinct is a matter of public record, right? We're not talking about exit polling, just counts.

Poll Tour: Voting Light in Macon

I'm playing driver for Lauren Benedict, who you may have heard was attacked by a rogue manatee last week in Florida. She's Martin's local legal and a statewide poll watcher. Very fancy. Anyway, voting looks light to me. Reports indicate that at 10 a.m. this morning about 170 people had voted in EM-6. Over 700 voted there on Nov. 4th. The lunchtime crowds in the Godfrey's look light but steady. These are heavily democratic precincts.

Also, at Howard 8, when my son's friend voted this morning, only three people were there. That's a heavily republican precinct. So, voting may be light across the board.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm Not Landslide Jim"

We're hearing from Jim Powell, and Jim Martin is standing with Hank Johnson and Tammy Duckworth. Maj. Duckworth introduced Jim Martin and implored the crowd to support Martin because veterans need Jim in the senate. Duckworth, who is head of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Illinois, said that Chambliss had opposed the New GI Bill and failed to do what was needed to protect soldiers in the field.

Martin says we are great because of our diversity. The question tomorrow, is simple: do we want to elect someone who wants to work with Obama, or someone who wants to be a firewall to progress."

Predicting a close election, Martin quipped, "This is not "landslide Jim" you're looking at here. This is going to be razor-close. Every vote is vital." Martin asked the crowd to remember what they say when you're on an airplane-put your own mask on before helping other. "Make sure all of you have voted or do it tomorrow."

Crowd Growing, Awaiting Martin, et al

Probably 75 here now. I see Nancy Terrill, Betty Phillips, Sam Hart (newly elected county commission chair), Councilwomen Elaine Lucas and Lauren Benedict, Party Chair Steve Allen, grassroors stalwart Terrill Hill, and more.

And, all networks.

Live Blogging Lewis, Duckworth, Martin

I am at Martin hq in Macon waiting for Jim Martin. I just met Tammy Duckworth who is very impressive. Bright future, no doubt. There are about 50 people crowded in the hq. Better-most were already here working! Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

You Do Remember Iowa, Don't You?

For those who think that Martin can't win on Tuesday, I have one question: you do remember Iowa, don't you? Because if you do, then you know that an effective field plan can make a contender a winner on election day. In Iowa, the Obama volunteers focused on an area and used a three door knock then get 'em to the caucus approach. And it worked. Right now, there is literally an ARMY in the field here in Georgia, and the plan is intense, penetrating, organized, high-tech-grassroots. It's the Obama machine. And it's working.

Indeed, everyone is calling for Martin today. Metro women are getting a robo call from Michelle Obama, and I had calls from both Max Cleland and Bill Clinton on my home answering machine. Bill rang me on my cell as well, as I reported earlier. But the most important call?

Sebastian. Sebastian is a graduate of film school who worked a congressional race in Ohio and is now in Georgia for the post election Martin Miracle Party. Sebastian is one of at least four people who have called me in the last week who (1) do not live in Georgia; (2) are volunteers and (3) have through their Obama experience come to believe in that with enough field work, the unlikely really can happen. One of the guys who called me last week worked Wisconsin for Obama. I imagine that he believes that if Obama won Wisconsin, Jim Martin can win Georgia. He just might be right.

Civil Rights Icon to Campaign for Martin

Congressmen John Lewis and Hank Johnson will headline a rally for Jim Martin tomorrow in Macon. The rally will be at 486 Poplar (between 3rd and MLK) tomorrow - Monday - at 3:00 p.m. The event is open to the public and to press. See you there.

Bill Clinton Calling

Just got a pro-Martin GOTV robocall on my cell phone from Bill Clinton. Get out and vote, we need someone who can work with Barack Obama to get our economy back on track etc. The most remarkable aspect of this expected weekend before strategy is that the call hit my cell and my husband's. As Jim Galloway pointed out earlier, the Obama campaign and the DNC have made ritual of gathering and using those numbers to reach "cell phone only" voters.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Palin Gamble

If things don't go as Saxby hopes on Tuesday, look for a post game analysis that weighs the impact of Sarah Palin's visit to Georgia. Saxby's counting on Palin to be his "closer," as she swoops in from Alaska on the day before the election to save his struggling campaign, but there's a real risk for Chambliss that Palin will do for him in Georgia exactly what she did for John McCain nationally: further motivate the democratic base in Georgia-specifically democratic women-in a way that even Barack Obama might not have been able to do.

Democratic women are a key voting block that is currently under-represented in early voting. Trust me when I tell you that to a person, the democratic women I know have a viscerally negative reaction to Sarah Palin - and that's before she opens her mouth to criticize Jim Martin, who has a reputation as a reliable advocate for women. It was Georgia women who rallied and pushed Jim to victory in the primary run-off. If you think that Vernon Jones can motivate Georgia women to go vote by slapping Obama's picture on a mailer, wait until you see what Sarah Palin does when she opens her mouth and calls Jim Martin a socialist. There's the real risk for Chambliss that Palin's visit and her rhetoric will send democratic women to the polls-in droves.

Yes, far from a no-brainer, the Palin visit is risky, both for Chambliss and the GOP. First of all, if there's anyone who thinks that Palin's in Georgia to help Saxby, think again. Palin is gracing Georgia for one reason: to help herself by keeping her national name ID alive. This women still thinks she can be president, and if she is viewed as The One who rescued Chambliss, then her claim to control of the national GOP will be strengthened. Now, I admit that as a democrat, I would like nothing better than for the Palin wing of the party to win the struggle for control of that sinking ship, but it may not be a winning strategy for the GOP. But that works for me.

Admittedly, Saxby didn't have a lot of choice. If he had run a halfway decent campaign, he wouldn't be in this runoff at all. He is a weak candidate who entered the race with low name ID statewide despite having served for six years. John McCain was able to get more than 50% of the vote in Georgia, but Saxby Chambliss was not. Both supported the bailout, McCain in dramatic fashion. Both had Georgians on the ballot as third party candidates. Neither is a favorite of the Georgia republican establishment. Yet, John McCain turned in a 52.2% performance, while Saxby Chambliss drew only 49.8% of the vote-and more than 181K votes fewer than the presidential candidate. Those numbers have to give Chambliss' team serious heartburn. By comparison, Obama drew 47% of the vote in Georgia, while Martin garnered 46.8% and about 87K fewer votes than Obama. There was less drop-off in the democrat's race, and his numbers more closely tracked the preformance of the party's presidential candidate.

A reasonable analysis in that the democratic base in Georgia likes Jim Martin more than the republican base likes Saxby Chambliss, and that could spell trouble for the incumbent on Tuesday, especially since a seriously out-spent Jim Martin has managed to keep most polls in the three point range, within the margin of error, with Chambliss below 50%. Add to that Georgia' reputation for not returning incumbents to the senate, and the unpredictable Palin, and the Tums are definitely on the table at Chambliss central.

Promoted: Palin Paranoia

Me, I just pal around with a terrier, a Jack Russell to be exact. Regardless, this is promoted from Alan G's comments, re the Palin Paranoia Machine's Georgia visit:

"This is a bit off-topic but I didn't see any other way to contact Georgia Women Vote.With Sarah Palin's campaign visit to your state on Monday, Georgians will once again be exposed to her mindless blathering and off-putting arrogance. Many on the left believe she is the Republican gift that keeps on giving while others hope she would just go away. Several weeks ago, I posted a petition online entitled "Dear Sarah Palin, Please Shut Up Already," partly as an attempt to save our country from further embarrassment and ridicule, and partly as a therapeutic outlet for those in the latter camp who weren't sure if they should scream or cry. Since then I imagine the petition might also have the unintended consequence of encouraging Governor You Betcha to just keep yapping away — which might make it more appealing to those in the first group whose long-term goal ameliorates any suffering. I invite you to check out the petition at:

If you think it might be a good way for all Georgia progressives to either welcome the Governor or say "adios" to her, please spread the word on this blog and to other terrorists you pal around with :)"

Many thanks.

Alan G.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Robocall from US Chamber of Commerce

I just got a robocall on behalf of Republican Saxby Chambliss from the United States Chamber of Commerce. I guess this organization has given up all pretense of being nonpartisan. Perhaps Democrats should stop joining.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Insignificant. That's what Saxby Chambliss's chief strategist, Tom Perdue, had to say about Jim Martin. According to an article published yesterday on Politico, Perdue asserts that Martin, as person and as a candidate, is the most insignificant opponent in all his 30 years in politics. That was after Perdue compared Jim Martin to his dog.

If that won't make you get out an vote, either today or on Tuesday, I don't know what will.

True, Jim Martin didn't think he was a special case deserving deferment from serving his country in Vietnam, like Saxby did. And, true, Jim Martin has never sought to make a name for himself, instead preferring to stand up for the little guy, unlike Saxby who has spent his time using hundreds of thousands of dollars of special interest money to finance luxury golf vacations for himself and his lobbyist friends. Jim Martin's never been a high roller like Saxby, and he never will be. I know him. He just doesn't have it in him. Thank God.

But insignificant? I guess that all depends on what you think is important. Saxby thinks that it's insignificant when families can't afford to take a sick child to the doctor, but Jim Martin doesn't. That's why Martin helped create PeachCare. And, that's why Saxby voted against expanding the program just last year. And, I suspect that the women who was able to find safety after becoming a victim of domestic violence, or the sexually abused child who was able to find help from the kind professionals at a child advocacy center, or the family that is now able to get mental health services for their child all think Jim Martin's leadership on those issues is significant, no matter what Saxby says.

Truth be told, it's not just Jim Martin who Saxby views as little more than a gnat threatening to disrupt his precious golf swing: it's all of us who work for a living, struggle to make ends meet, hope to be able to take our child to the doctor when he or she is sick and occasionally need a little help to make it through. Saxby and his machine think that we're all insignificant. That's why in Saxby's world, banks get bailouts, but hard working American workers? They just get blamed. And workers who dare to blow the whistle-they get grilled by the champion of Big Sugar when they dare to testify before Congress.

We have come to expect the nastiest, most mean-spirited attacks from the Saxby and his operatives, and there is little doubt that with the Palin Paranoia machine headed to Georgia, we're about to hear a whole lot more about who Martin pals around with and how dangerous he is. Never mind that it would be tough for someone so insignificant to be very dangerous. Such non sequiturs have never been a problem for Chambliss, who has made one thing clear: he will do and say anything to win. And if that's what you want, all you have to do not show up to vote. That's what republicans are banking on-that you will stay at home, so stuffed with turkey that you will still not be able to move by Tuesday.

In fact, in the same Politico article, Chambliss supporter and Cobb County Republican Party Chair Scott Johnson was surprisingly candid in his admission that the current weapon of choice for Saxby is, in a word, fear. Johnson said:

“The fact that we’d be giving Democrats a blank check is the biggest motivator for us to get Republicans to the polls,” said Cobb County Republican Party Chairman Scott Johnson. “If we have to motivate with fear, that’s what you have to do to win.”

We appreciate your honesty, Scott.

Now, all ya'll - GET OUT AND VOTE.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You're In Alysis

So, up on the space station, our astronauts are installing some very expensive equipment designed to turn urine into drinkable water.

They expect success, of course, because they've already turned crap into tv ads for Saxby Chambliss.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Heating Up for Martin

There 's no question: Jim Martin can become Georgia's next senator. Polling data to date reflects a tight, unpredictable race, and the outcome entirely depends on turnout. Internal polling to be released tomorrow will show an even tighter, two point, race-a statistical dead heat with neither candidate breaking 50%.

On the ground, there is significant enthusiasm about the race among democrats. For example, last week, Lauren Benedict called me as she left her office to say that there were eight people there to phone bank for Martin. And, Martin and Powell were both here in Macon for a rally on Saturday afternoon-at a time when I thought it would be really difficult to build a crowd given Mercer's homecoming-and, yet, City Hall was packed with a diverse, local, enthusiastic crowd.

The impact of the Obama field organization will also important. At the rally on Saturday, staff were there from the beginning making sure that all who came to the rally signed up for shifts for canvassing and phone banks. It is my sense that the Martin organization is far better than Chambliss', and that alone may make the difference on Dec. 2nd.

Having backed a number of outstanding candidates who went on to lose their races, I am now, officially, a political realist. But, the reality here is that Martin really can win this thing if we go vote and make sure that everyone we know who voted for Martin in the general gets back to the polls by Tuesday. That's the bottom line.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mike Sheffield is Cozy With Republicans

Word on the street has long been that a candidate for Court of Appeals Justice, Mike Sheffield, is bff with the republican party. Some say he's the handpicked candidate of Sadie Fields' Christian Coalition. After all, he was the only one of the candidates who thought it was proper to fill our her form. Now, there's some more objective evidence that his partisan leanings are more than a rumor. On June 21, 2008, Sheffield, a candidate in a nonpartisan race, paid the Fulton County Republican Party $250 to place an ad in a program, and on September 24, 2008, wrote a $125.00 check to the same group for "dinner." Both payments were made from his nonpartisan campaign account for judicial office. Nothing particularly wrong with that mind you, but I didn't see him paying for any ads or dinners with democrats. Plus, I don't know if he attended, but the only event on the Party's calendar on September 24th was for the Young Republicans, and the guest speaker was GWV favorite Karen Handel.

My point? Go vote for Sara Doyle for Court of Appeals. She's the better qualified candidate, and we can't afford to elect Mike Sheffield.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Martin Headed to Macon

Attention: The forces of evil holding Jim Martin hostage in Atlanta have been defeated. The democratic senate candidate is headed out on a bus tour with other prominent veterans. He'll be at a rally at Macon City Hall at 3:30 on Saturday, and you are invited to come out and hear from Georgia's next senator.

We kid Jim because we love Jim.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Might the Church Lead on Same-Sex Unions?

Something remarkable happened in Atlanta last week. Without fanfare, The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta (that would be basically all the churches from Macon north), adopted a resolution supportive of the Development of Liturgical Rights for Same-Gender Unions. Someone who was present sent me a text message as the measure passed-overwhelmingly and without any discussion or amendment. Remarkable, really. Now, this does not mean that this is a done deal for Episcopalians. As you will see in the full text of the resolution below, this is simply a resolution to request that the General Convention of the Episcopal Church develop such rites:


Development of Liturgical Rites for Same-Gender Unions

Resolved: This 102nd Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta approves the following resolution to the 76th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, meeting in Anaheim, California, in 2009; and be it further

This council directs the Secretary of Council to transmit the following resolution to the Secretary of the General Convention:

The House of __________ concurring, the 76th General Convention of The Episcopal Church authorizes the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to develop appropriate rites for the celebration and blessing of the sacred unions of gay and lesbian persons, taking into account the variety of civil arrangements for such unions available in the regions served by the church; and be it further

Resolved: that such rite or rites shall be presented at the 77th
General Convention of the Episcopal Church.

Few would argue with the concept that the church, in particular the black church, was integral to the ultimate progress of the Civil Rights Movement. Now, as gay and lesbian individuals struggle for their civil rights, is it possible that again the church might lead? While some churches are adamantly opposed to such rights and poured money into ballot measures like Prop. 8, and others consider sexual orientation to be a "life style choice" or a condition to be "cured," there are signs that at least some churches will again lead on a civil rights issue. And, if the Episcopal Church does adopt such a liturgy, it raises a very interesting point. Marriage, in the religious sense, is a sacrament. What business does government have telling a church to deny-or to administer for that matter-a sacrament to certain parishioners? This seems to me to be the other side of the civil union/religious union debate.

The Gains Women Made

Want to feel good about the gains women made this cycle? Watch this video. Really. It will be the best four minutes you've spent today.

While we have been understandably focused on the historic election of Barack Obama, democratic women also had a very good night on Nov. 4th, electing two brand new democratic women to the U.S. Senate and electing the first female governor of North Carolina. Across the board, the work of Emily's List is a key reason for their success, and I hope that you will contribute to this important work.

When we see women like Kay Hagan elected to the U.S. Senate, and Bev Perdue become North Carolina's first female governor, it is important to remember that their success was not an overnight phenomenon. That sort of accomplishment began years ago in their education and in their preparation for running for office, and Emily's List has taken that into account in setting their programmatic priorities. For example, through the POP program (Political Opportunity Program), Emily's List helps identify and train future Kay Hagan's to run for office. Those programs touch women right here in Georgia, helping to identify and train great candidates and future leaders. So, toss them some change.

Bookman: Martin's a Workhorse, Not Showhorse

Why am I supporting Martin? What he said.

Here's a tease:

Martin, the Democrat, has been a fighter for the little guy throughout his life, and he’s proved effective in that role. He served his country in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and as a state legislator, lawyer and head of the state Department of Human Resources. Throughout his public life he has been known as a workhorse not a showhorse, someone whose first concern was getting the job done well rather than trying to get the credit.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On the Phone With Gov. Howard Dean

Right now, on his birthday and mine, DNC Chair, Gov. Howard Dean is doing a conference call for bloggers, and he's spending the majority of the time taking questions. I asked him about the DNC efforts with regard to Jim Martin's race in Georgia. He said that all of the Obama campaign offices are re-opening or remaining open, and that the DNC is investing significant money in the race, along with the DSCC. Gov. Dean praised Jim Martin, saying that he is a great person and a great candidate who anyone supportive of Barack Obama should be pleased to vote for. Dean correctly noted that this runoff election is all about turn out and stressed the importance of grassroots efforts, especially knocking on doors, to get those all important voters to the polls.

There were also questions from bloggers in West Virginia and Louisiana about how those of us in 'red' states could work to improve chances for Democrats. Again, Dean pointed to both the national trends, the gains made in those states this cycle and said that his eye was on Texas as a prime target for Democrats over the next two election cycles. (Just so we're clear, I'm making it my personal mission to make Georgia a prime DNC target, and we'll talk more about that later.)
In response to a direct question, Dean essentially said that he could not explain why President-elect Obama's overall performance was better than Gore and Kerry, yet in some areas of Appalachia and the "inland South" Obama did not preform as well as they did. Of course, the question essentially raised the issue of to what degree race was a factor in some areas of the country.

I really appreciated the fact that Gov. Dean did this call today, drawing in the bloggers in a substantive way. Thanks, and Happy Birthday, Gov. Dean!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Recount is Complete in HD140

And, the winner is unchanged. When the General Assembly convenes in January, Bubber Epps will replace Allen Freeman as the representative from HD140. In Bibb, Freeman gained four votes, and Epps gained one. In Twiggs and Wilkinson, there was no change. In Jones, Freeman gained one vote. Freeman's net gain of four votes is not sufficient to overcome Epps' lead. Congratulations, Bubber, you'll serve us well in Atlanta!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The City of North Macon??

Listening around the eaves, I'm hearing some rumblings about a desire on the part of some to create a new city in North Bibb County. Some see merit in the idea of incorporating the area as a hedge against annexation by the City of Macon and imagine a new "city" school system focused on charter schools.

I live in the area of town we're talking about here, and I think that such an effort would be counterproductive for our community. We do not need yet another layer of government in Bibb County. We do not need another school system. We do not need to further duplicate services. I hope that this is just a rumor that will die on the vine, and quickly.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Macon for Martin: Volunteer Opportunities

It's ironic that John McCain begged Georgia republicans to "go to battle one more time" for Saxby Chambliss. Saxby doesn't know much about battles. When his faternity brother, Jim Martin, headed to Vietnam to serve his country, Saxby got himself got five deferments and avoided going to battle at all. Well, Saxby better hope Georgia republicans follow Martin's example instead of his. Why?

Jim Martin is now waging a full-scale ground war to get voters to the polls in advance of the December 2nd runoff. In Macon, the Bibb County Democratic Party Headquaters on 2nd Street has become Martin Central, and there are some immediate opportunities:

1) HOUSING: Volunteers are flooding the state to help with GOTV efforts, and many need housing. Currently, in Middle Georgia, we have a need for housing for four great young men who have traveled here to help Jim. If you have an extra room to share, please let me know ( By the way, no matter how great these young men are, if you house them, you won't see them very often. They're all going to be very busy. Really, we just looking for a place for them to sleep and shower.

2) CANVASSING: Meet at the 2nd Street office tomorrow at 2 pm, and join others to canvass. We expect in person absentee voting to start on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

3) PHONE BANKING: The 2nd Street Office will be open from 9-9 and there are plenty of opportunities to phone bank for Jim. If you have free nights and weekends on your cellphone, please bring your cell to use for phone banking. It's a great way to help Jim at no cost to you!

Recount Monday In Georgia HD140

Though Allen Freeman has conceded, according to this notice from the Georgia Secretary of State's office, there will be a recount on Monday. I'm not clear whether this recount was requested by Freeman, as the notice says, or by the Georgia Republican Party or is automatic because of the close results. No matter. I would be very surprised if a recount made a difference in the outcome of the race.

Here's the notice:





CALL ME AT 404-656-2871.

Wesley B. Tailor
Director, Elections Division
Office of Georgia Secretary of State

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

If You Ever Wondered Whether John Edwards Could Make a Comeback...Phff!

If Newt Gingrich rises from his considerable baggage to become Chair of the RNC, then don't worry about John Edward's future - he could be Pope.

John Oxendine, who desperately wants to become Gov. John Oxendine, is touting Newt Gingrich as the obvious choice to lead the RNC out of the wilderness. He even has a website devoted to the effort to "Draft Newt." I guess that makes Oxendine one of those pragmatic republicans who adopts a "take it or leave it-leave it particularly if it doesn't work" attitude toward "family values" or any values, for that matter. Now, I realize that there's a whole generation of voters who were just starting school when a shamed and largely reviled Gingrich resigned from Congress in 1998, so let me remind you to whom it is, exactly, that Oxendine is hitching his wagon.

First, I wouldn't offer Gingrich up as the poster child for family values, what with his history of three marriages, one of which ended as his then-wife was struggling with cancer. He remarried less than six months after that divorce was final. Perhaps not relevant to the job of GOP Chair, except that the GOP claims trademark rights to "family values." If he is the head, the public face of the GOP, then his own family values do become relevant.

Now, Gingrich is a smart guy (see: Contract With America) but he is seriously ethically challenged and does not have a history of working and playing well with others. While he was Speaker of the House, 84 ethics charges were filed against him, and a whopper of a fine,$300,000. was assessed. He became such a pariah that, in 1998, when it became clear that his caucus was rebelling, he was not only forced to abandon his run for Speaker; he resigned from congress all together. He couldn't even hold his own caucus together.

Wait, what am I thinking? With a track record like that, I think I might jump on this bandwagon with Ox.

Here's Oxendines' whole email:

Atlanta, Georgia - Georgia Commissioner of Insurance and Republican candidate for Georgia Governor in 2010 John Oxendine has launched a nationwide draft movement to support the election of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich as the next chairman of the Republican National Committee. will direct Republicans who wish to send a message of support for Newt as our next national
chairman to a petition they can sign. The petition will be public and shared with Newt and the voting members of the Republican National Committee.

"This is a critical time in the history of the Republican Party," declared John Oxendine.

"We need a leader at the RNC who has the experience to manage a national movement, communicate an articulate, practical,
and effective conservative philosophy of government, and who is battle tested and able to stand as the loyal opposition to the party opposite. Newt Gingrich is the best qualified Republican to lead our Party at this time."

"It is important our Party realize we lost in 2008 not because we are conservative, but because we failed to be true to and successfully communicate a credible conservative message in 2008. Newt has the vision to lead our party. We need to
return to the principles of the Contract with America, straight talk and conservative principles. Newt Gingrich also has the ability to stand toe to toe with President Obama and offer the nation a counter vision for government - that is what this is all about - the ability to communicate sound conservative philosophy to America to stop the Obama liberal express in Washington. Newt is the best person for that job."

"This is not about 2008, it is a positive effort about where our great Party goes from here - how we prepare for 2010 and
2012. I have every confidence Speaker Gingrich can best organize, best communicate, and best manage our Party at the national level and I hope he will run and win."

"It is my hope that the Republican grassroots leadership-the activists-the real leaders of our Party, will stand up to the
inside the beltway Republican Washington DC cocktail crowd and say we want our Party back and we want Newt to manage it. Sign the petition and send a message to our Party and America that the Republican Party is conservative and far from
defeated or demoralized."

John Oxendine

Oxendine Working for Georgia

Loved That

Last night, with about 24 hours notice, we hosted a Happy Hour event for Jim Martin here in Macon. The candidate didn't have to come. It didn't cost anything. And, about 50 people showed up. Many volunteered for Jim, and we raised some money for the campaign. Looks like they will be re-opening the Obama office in Macon. Some who came said that they were there for Max. It was Veteran's Day, after all. This was part of a nationwide effort to support Martin, and while I don't know the overall figure in terms of fundraising, I would guess that it was significant. Loved all that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Macon for Martin

We have an opportunity to elect a new democratic senator from Georgia, Jim Martin. Though the press had written him off on election night, when all the votes were counted, Martin forced Chambliss into a runoff. There's no doubt that the runoff will be expensive and that volunteers will be needed. To that end, tomorrow, on Veteran's Day, Georgia Women Vote is joining with bloggers all across the country to host a Happy Hour for Jim Martin. I hope that you can join us tomorrow night as we help Jim raise the money and the volunteer power Jim needs to win in December. If you can't make the event, you can donate to the campaign here, and your can sign up to volunteer here.

What? Macon for Martin

Where? The Hummingbird Stage and Taproom
430 Cherry Street
Macon, Georgia 31201

When? Tuesday, Nov. 11th at 5:30 p.m.

Cash Bar

Everyone is welcome, and while there is no admission charge, we hope that you will come, give what you can and/or volunteer to help the campaign. See you tomorrow!

By the way, tomorrow is Veteran's Day, so let me just say: Do it for Max!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The X Factor

For those of you who think that this election was all about race, you're ignoring the critical "X" factor.

But for unmarried women, Jim Martin would be planning a vacation instead of runoff, and Barack Obama, at 47% in Georgia, would not have netted the highest percentage of any democratic presidential candidate in the state, save favorite son Carter, since Kennedy. According to Women's Voices, Women Vote, in Georgia, unmarried women favored Martin over Chambliss by 49 points, and Obama over McCain by 42 points. The same group was an anchor for Obama's victory nationally. Why? According the Women's Voices:

Economic concerns greatly influenced women’s vote in Georgia, including rising health care costs (16 percent), the federal budget deficit and national debt (13 percent), job loss (11 percent), the availability of family-supporting jobs (10 percent), higher taxes (10 percent), and daily expenses like food or child care (10 percent).

It makes perfect sense that overwhelming numbers of all women supported Jim Martin. Overall, exit polls indicate that 54% of all women supported Martin, while he garnered just 38% of the male vote. Jim has always had our back; now it's time for us to step up and make sure he has the support he needs to win. You can do that by contributing to his campaign, today. Saxby Chambliss dropped a cool million of his big insurance, big sugar money on television just this weekend, and Jim needs your financial support quickly to open field offices and fund voter communication. You can also help by volunteering in one of the many field offices that are opening around the state and by taking yourself and five other women to vote in this runoff election. It is YOU who can propel Jim Martin to victory, and here's why you should:

During his 17 years in the Georgia legislature, Jim Martin has consistently stood on the side of women and children, and now it's our turn to stand with him. Jim was one of the key architects of Georgia's PeachCare program that helps thousands of working families afford health insurance for their children. He has fought to protect women's privacy in making medical decision, standing against politicians who sought to substitute their judgement for that of women and their doctors. As NARAL says:

Jim stood with us even when his family was threatened...even when it wasn't popular...even when he constantly had to face down anti-choice politicians in the legislature. Jim signed amicus briefs in support of Roe v. Wade and always voted in support of the landmark Supreme Court decision that recognized that women and their doctors -- not politicians -- should decide what's best for women's health. When Jim was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the Georgia legislature, he stood up against an anti-choice abortion ban that came for his committee -- more than once -- because it didn't include an exception for women's health.

It is, indeed, our turn to stand with Jim. If Georgia women will turn out in NUMBERS to support Jim Martin in this runoff, we will elect a brand new democratic senator from Georgia. I urge you to think about what you can personally do to help Jim.

The bottom line? Georgia women will be a critical factor in this runoff election, and it's time for us to step up and help Jim Martin, someone who has always had our back.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Shame on You, Sue

Back up, Sue. Put down the kool aide and just walk away.

I get email from the Georgia Republican Party. I have no idea why. I just do. Today, I got an urgent plea from Sue Everhart asking me for money to help send Saxby Chambliss back to Washington.

When pigs fly, Sue.

Given Saxby's well-known history of attacking the patriotism of Max Cleland, a veteran who lost three limbs serving his country while Saxby sat at home with his "bad knees," this particular line in the email evoked images of pots and kettles and made me wonder what's in the kool aide over at the Georgia Republican Party:

Jim Martin ought to be ashamed of the things he said about Saxby, the way he knowingly lied about his record, the nasty and vicious TV ads he ran.

You mean like this ad, Sue?

Sue must live in an alternative universe-one where Amy Morton gives money to Saxby Chambliss and where it's Martin, not Chambliss, who runs"nasty, vicious" ads on television lying about his opponent. The good news is that with the GOP spending a million on ads this weekend, and this email from Sue today, I guess the debate over whether there's a runoff is officially over.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

On Lieberman

I have some unsolicited advice for senate dems: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

That's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Runoffs, Recounts and Oxendine Running Off at the Mouth

In middle Georgia, Bubber Epps has defeated Allen Freeman in House district 140. The contest was close, just as it was when Freeman initially won the seat by 91 votes in 2004. In Cobb County, Pat Dooley is hanging on to a lead and has defeated Steve Tumlin. In both races, expect the incumbents to ask for recounts and alleged all manner of "voter fraud." Jim Powell, who I am officially pronouncing "the luckiest man in politics" is leading his three-way race but seems destined for a runoff as well. And, Jim Martin, who was given up for dead last night by all but a few, is headed to a runoff in the U.S. Senate race.

And, speaking of running, I got an email from John Oxendine this morning that contains these absolutely uncalled for, out of touch statement about Barack Obama's win:

I congratulate President-elect Obama and hope that he will govern with a humble heart and inclusive manner and respect the Judeo-Christian values which have built America.

You "hope," John? You "hope"? Let me be blunt. John Oxendine has been watching too much Fox News. President-elect Barack Obama, John, does not just respect Judeo-Christian values. He IS a Christian. Nothing to be "concerned" about. Here's the whole enchilada:

From: John Oxendine
Sent: Wed Nov 05 01:05:41 2008
Subject: Statement of John Oxendine on President-elect Obama John Oxendine - Working for Georgia

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathryn Ballou
4 November, 2008

Statement by John Oxendine - Candidate for Governor of Georgia 2010 on the election of President-elect Obama:

Tonight, America spoke. While millions of Americans are disappointed, even concerned, we remain a united America. Our country is blessed to be guided by a Constitution which has ensured a peaceful transition of power longer than any other nation in the history of man. Tonight, our nation is at peace and our nation remains the single best hope for mankind. America is in transition. However, America remains strong, free, and united. I congratulate President-elect Obama and hope that he will govern with a humble heart and inclusive manner and respect the Judeo-Christian values which have built America. Like so many conservatives, I am determined to stand as the loyal opposition, to fight for those conservative values that I consider vital to Georgia families. But, that is for another day. Tonight, I wish my friends Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin Godspeed and say thank you for your campaign and I keep President-elect Obama and Vice-President-elect Biden in my prayers.

### John Oxendine
Oxendine Working for Georgia

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Will Saxby's Margin Hold?

I've been watching the SOS site for the last hour-watching as Saxby dips closer and closer to 50%. He was at 50.7 with 95% of the vote counted at last glance. It looks to me as though significant vote is still being counted in metro Atlanta-in areas where Martin will do well. Is is possible that the AP missed this call? Will we wake up in the morning with a runoff?

It Was for ALL of Us

Like millions of people, in America and around the world, I will always remember where I was when Barack Obama won the presidency - in my living room with my family. It just seemed like the right thing. What a remarkable moment. I just listened as John McCain gave his concession speech, repeatedly noting what a great accomplishment this was for African Americans. That struck me as a little bit odd. Perhaps that was always a subscript of the Obama campaign, but it was never the top note. This victory, and all it symbolizes, is for ALL of us. It is historic and remarkable accomplishment that we-such a diverse, massive group of Americans-have overcome fear of difference and overwhelmingly elected Barack Obama. Remarkable for him. Remarkable for all of us.

Teaming With Lawyers

When I went to Chicago in February, I met some of Obama's top staff and learned more about the campaign, I realized that their are serious brass knuckles in the velvet glove of Obama's calm demeanor and eloquent oratory. The campaign was 21st century Chicago politics, on steroids, gone national. It was a tough, serious, smart campaign that effectively blended technology and grassroots organizing, fueling the amazing fundraising machine the campaign became. They left no knife in the drawer. If Obama wins tonight, and I believe he will, it will be in large part due to his superior campaign organization.

Take for example, Obama's nationwide legal team - teams of mostly volunteer lawyers who are in place in every single state, even reliably red Georgia. Presidential candidates have always had lawyers in the state, but they have often simply been based in Atlanta. Today, these teams are spread out regionally and are not only well trained, they are armed with technology, reflecting the model of the entire campaign. I'm spending election day in Houston County with one of those teams of lawyers, and the talent here is impressive as it is throughout the state. If any lawsuits get filed or voting issues arise, I will let you know as soon as the information becomes public. Right now, it seems that with a few exceptions, things are running fairly smoothly. This may well be a case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dixville Notch Goes Dem!

For the first time in forty years, Dixville Notch, the tiny town in NH that votes first, at midnight, has gone for the Democrat, Barack Obama. The tally, 15 for Obama, 6 for McCain and 0 for Nader.

I taking it as a good omen and hoping Obama does better than Humphrey!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mercer professor comments on faith and politics

Now addicted to my Kindle e-reader, I have subscribed to AP US news, which is delivered wirelessly to my Kindle. In one of the AP articles I just received, David Gushee, a professor of Christian ethics at Mercer is quoted as saying that, in this years election, religion became "a marker of identity....whether this person was acceptable culturally because of their religious associations or identifications."
Gushee is the author of "The Future of Faith in American Politics: The Public Witness of the Evangelical Center." Sounds like an interesting book to me.

Friday, October 31, 2008

What are They Afraid Of?

I thought this got resolved last week as we sorted through the whole Staton email flap, but no. I'm hearing that the Bibb County Republican Party has made an official request of the City of Macon for extra security for their downtown election night party. If the election goes like I think it might, a DUI task force might make sense, but extra security?

I have three questions.

1) Really?? Is this really true?

2) If so, what, exactly, are they afraid of?

3) Could I get extra security in Rivoli Downs to check out who stole our Obama sign tonight?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Saxby's abortion calls push mamas to Martin

This a comment from joybaby promoted from Tina's post about robo calls for Saxby paid for by the Chamber of Commerce (thought they were supposed to be non-partisan).

I received a call from the CoC today AND from the Saxby campaign. Both were on
abortion. That makes 4 abortion calls and 4 abortion mailers. I can't let my
kids answer the phone anymore or even listen to the incoming message. I can't
even let them go to the mailbox. On the first call I got, I was pounced on by 2
kids with Mama, what's abortion? Why are they calling you about it, Mama? Why is abortion bad, Mama? Yeah, not a conversation I was ready to have. I'm very upset by these calls and have left messages and emails with Sen Saxby's office. . . AND we voted for Jim Martin!

Using abortion as a wedge is not pro-child or pro-family.

Perdue, Obama and Bubber Epps

Allen Freeman has a rather casual relationship with the truth, especially when it comes to his campaign mailers, radio spots and television ads. In one recent mailer, Allen was anxious to alert voters that "Bubber (Epps) gave major contributions to Barack Obama for President." Actually, Epps gave $250.00, as did his wife, to the DNC's Obama Victory Fund - can't imagine that's a major contribution in Freeman's world of $23,000 radio ad buys and $6,500 Atlanta condos paid for with campaign contributions, but whatever. Frankly, this cycle, Freeman is running so fast from the "R" beside his name, I'm shocked that he didn't give to Obama, too.

But Freeman only told half the truth. (Kind of like when he talks about "deploying" for Desert Storm when in fact he never left the country.) Epps Brothers (Bubber's business) gave $500.00 to Perdue for a New Georgia on 10/17/2006. I believe that contribution makes Epps the only candidate in this race to make significant contributions to candidates of both parties. Allen has spent so much time supposedly making himself an expert on Bubber's business, I'm shocked that he missed that tidbit. The bottom line? While Allen likes to talk about being an independent representative for the district and bends himself into a pretzel to avoid mentioning his own party affiliation, he's really just a lapdog for Atlanta Republicans who are literally sucking the lifeblood out of the Middle Georgia economy.

Did I mention that Allen used campaign contributions to pay $6,500 for an Atlanta condo (State Ethics Commission, March 2008 campaign finance disclosure) for the legislative session? I'd love to know exactly what "campaign activity" goes on in that condo and whether he also took per diem from the state for that period.

Thrills, chills and things that go bump in the night

I am all about grass roots campaigning. Anything that can get voters energized and working for a particular candidate is a great thing. However, I received an email today from Republican candidate for Governor, John Oxendine that seemed to get a little silly with his tips on grass roots organizing. On a side note, I get emails from Oxendine on a regular basis and why he continues to send me these emails I do not know!

In addition to encouraging me to make my homemade McCain/Palin sign - sorry John, no can do - he encouraged us to use Halloween as another opportunity to campaign saying, "With Halloween right around the corner...encourage parents who are trick or treating with their kids to vote Republican or drop a note in the candy bags to asking for their parent's support. You can also dress up your candy bars with Republican stickers."

Now I know that this holiday is all about thrills, chills and things that go bump in the night, but that's just too big a fright for the kiddies and parents. I also think it is a bit much to drag small children into what has become an increasingly vitriolic campaign when they are trick or treating. One thing's for sure, I'll be checking my god children's candy for that scary paraphernalia!

Robocalls from US Chamber of Commerce

The US Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring robocalls on behalf of Saxby Chambliss.
I got one this morning (in Perry) and so did my sister-in-law (in Montezuma).
It would seem that the C of C could at least make a pretense of being nonpartisan, particularly since there are plenty of Chamber members in GA who are NOT Republicans.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

DPG Chair Jane Kidd calls on Karen Handel to extend Advance Voting period

Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Jane Kidd sent the below letter to Secretary of State Karen Handel, expressing her concerns about problems with the advance voting process. With the long lines we have seen here in Bibb County and across the State, Karen Handel should do the right thing and work to extend voting hours so that all Georgians have the opportunity to vote.


October 28, 2008

The Honorable Karen C. Handel
Secretary of State
214 State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

Dear Secretary Handel:

I am writing to share my concerns about the early voting process with you. I am sure that you've seen the widespread reports about long lines, six to eight hour wait times, and other major problems at the polls yesterday. As you can imagine, these shortcomings raise serious concerns for the Democratic Party, as I am sure they will for Republicans, Libertarians, and independent voters as well.

We have known for months, since before Georgia's record-setting Presidential primary in February, that turnout would be extremely high. We have known that both the Democratic and Republican parties, their candidates, and even your office itself are encouraging voters to avail themselves of advance and early voting. And, we have known since advance voting began that large numbers of voters are doing just that. I am just mystified that your elections division is seemingly so unprepared for the wave of voters we all knew was coming.

Since the voting process began, our office has received numerous reports indicating that a major source of the problem is that, in many precincts, only two computers are allotted for checking in voters and verifying their identification and eligibility. Beyond the widely-reported problems yesterday with your statewide database, we believe that the number of check-in computers is inadequate. There is simply no reason for voters to wait in line, often outside a polling place with no place for seniors or disabled persons to sit and rest, because the Elections Division failed to provide the necessary resources for a turnout that has been predicted by both the Republican and Democratic Parties, the media, outside groups, and your office itself, to be extremely heavy.

I would also like to commend those county Boards of Elections which showed leadership and initiative by moving to keep early and advance voting locations open later, and opening additional voting locations. But their leadership and initiative is not enough.

No one wants to see Georgia's failed processes become a national news story. But today, it is clear that we are in a crisis, and it is unclear even if there is enough time for the remaining four million-plus Georgia voters to cast their votes in an efficient and timely manner. With that in mind, and on behalf of the Democratic Party of Georgia, I urge you to contact the Department of Justice immediately and request clearance to keep the polls open longer during the week and over the weekend, as well as on Monday, November 3.

In closing, I am certain that you understand that the right to vote is not a partisan issue. Long lines at polling locations affect all voters, regardless of their party. I hope you will act immediately and on behalf of all of Georgia's voters to ease the strain at the polls.

With kindest regards,

Jane V. Kidd
Chair, Democratic Party of Georgia