Sunday, November 30, 2008
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.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
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.
"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 :)"
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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
Monday, November 24, 2008
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
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
We kid Jim because we love Jim.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
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.
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.
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
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
Sunday, November 16, 2008
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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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!
Here's the notice:
NOTICE OF RECOUNT
THIS IS TO OFFICIALLY NOTIFY YOU THAT ALLEN FREEMAN,
CANDIDATE FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE IN HOUSE DISTRICT 140 IN THE GENERAL ELECTION HELD ON NOVEMBER 4, 2008, HAS REQUESTED A RECOUNT OF THE VOTES CAST IN THAT RACE, PURSUANT TO O.C.G.A. 21-2-495.
THE RECOUNT WILL BE HELD IN THE COUNTIES OF BIBB, JONES, TWIGGS, AND WILKINSON ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2008, BEGINNING AT 10:00 AM AND WILL CONTINUE UNTIL COMPLETION.
EACH CANDIDATE IN THIS RACE MAY BE PRESENT IN PERSON OR BY REPRESENTATIVE.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS NOTICE, PLEASE
CALL ME AT 404-656-2871.
Wesley B. Tailor
Director, Elections Division
Office of Georgia Secretary of State
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
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.
WWW.DraftNewtRNC.com 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."
Oxendine Working for Georgia
Monday, November 10, 2008
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.
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
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
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
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
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
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
I taking it as a good omen and hoping Obama does better than Humphrey!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
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.