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.