Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rob Teilhet Breaks a "Rule"

"Stay in your own lane." That's one of the cardinal rules of a successful political campaign. Rep. Rob Teilhet, who is running for Attorney General, broke that rule last week when he endorsed Stacey Godfrey Evans, a phenomenal young women who is running for his soon-to-be vacated House seat. That Rob endorsed Stacey means that, for him, there's one rule that trumps all the others: "Do the right thing." Rob's passion for doing what's right has been the hallmark of his service in the state legislature, and it is one of the many reasons he has my full support in his campaign to become Georgia's next Attorney General. (More on that in another post.)

Why was endorsing Stacey Evans the right thing for Teilhet to do? Because there is no doubt that Stacey will be an outstanding representative for the people of Georgia's 40th House District. Stacey is bright, accomplished and, at the same time, down to earth. She has also followed one of the "other" rules of a successful campaign: she raised a significant amount of money right away. She reported raising over $38K as of June 30th, and still had almost all of it in the bank, just over 36K. (If only the Governor had managed the state budget that well!) Stacey was able to raise that money because, for years, she has been involved in professional, political and philanthropic organizations, and the people she has worked with learned quickly that they could count on Stacey. As this article from EMILY's List affirms, Stacey is an leader to watch.

So, Rob, you might have broken a rule, but you did the right thing, and I'm proud to support both you and Stacey!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For the Woman Who Has it All...

Text from my birthday card from Daryl (accompanying the DSM-IV-TR AND Desk Guide birthday present):

Buy me, Lady, said the dress, and I will make you into a BEAUTIFUL and WHOLE and COMPLETE Human Being. Do not be silly, said the Man, for a dress alone cannot do that. TRUE, said the lady. I will have the Shoes and the Bag as well.

P.S.: Lauren says that giving the DSM to a marriage and family therapist is the
equivalent to giving a blender to a housewife.

P.S.S: I should tell the
whole truth and admit that the DSM came with jewelry and a Coach bag...

Happy Birthday Amy!

Everybody should make sure and wish Amy a happy 50th today!  (Amy - don't beat me!)

Lauren Logan Benedict

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Beautiful Arteries

Is it just me, or does this strike you as sheer irony? Last Wednesday, when we arrived at the MCCG Heart Tower for the cath the doctor ordered, the person at the registration desk handed Daryl a pager-just like the ones you get at the restaurants where the problem likely started in the first place. Sort of drives home the prevention point, doesn't it? They need the pagers because the staff told me they do about 40-60 of these caths every day. That's a lot of folks to keep up with. The menu prices at the hospital are just a touch higher than your favorite chain restaurant, though.

I haven't actually seen the bill yet, but I do have the smelling salts ready. The MCCG billing folks called me a couple of days before the procedure to tell me that their facility fee for a basic heart cath was over 19K figuring their BCBS discounted rate. That did not include the doctor's fee, labs or anything else. In plain English, that meant that the 19K+ was a negotiated rate with BCBS. I suppose that means their 'list price', the amount someone with no insurance would be charged, is even higher. For me, I would be expected to pay my deductible plus 20% of that amount. You can do the math. We could either pay it all on the day of the procedure, or pay a portion and set up a 90 day-same-as-cash contract with the hospital. If we paid it all that day, then they would discount our co-pay (not the deductible) by 20%. Fine. I wasn't thrilled, but I wouldn't have to sell the house to pay the bill. But, I can think of plenty of points in my life where there just would not have been enough money to take care of this bill, in the long term or the short term. I would have had to cancel the procedure and live with uncertainty. As it is, I benefited from a state-of-the-art facility, a competent and caring staff and an excellent doctor. Most of all, I got to hear the doctor say that I have beautiful arteries and needed to look for other causes for the chest pain I was experiencing. That was great news for me, but the question remains: should ability to pay determine whether or not someone can get the medical care they need?

I've been trying to figure out how everyday, 9-5, working people, even those who HAVE insurance (like my kids) could afford the kind of excellent care I got last week. The short answer is, with even a 20% co-pay, they can't. And what happens?If the procedure is non-emergent, like mine, they don't get it done, and then, maybe walk around with a time bomb in their chest. Or, if they have a heart attack, maybe they become one of the many people who are forced to file bankruptcy because of medical bills that would no doubt make a 19K cath look like a Blue Light Special at K Mart. Those unpaid medical bills then get plowed right back into the cost of doing business and contribute to the overall cost to patients. Who pays for it? We all do.

That's why it was ridiculous to me yesterday as I listened to Republicans argue that people should be "free" to choose whether or not they have health insurance. Just like uninsured motorists, people without health insurance impact the rates we all pay. I favor making sure everyone can get coverage and then mandating that we all get covered. I have no problem at all with charging a fine to those who do not comply with that law. Why? Because there's nothing "free" about being uninsured.

And, by the way, the cholesterol medicine the doctor prescribed to help keep the pipes clean cost over $100 a month with insurance. That medicine may help me avoid health problems and more extensive, expensive procedures, but I know plenty of families for whom that monthly cost alone would be a non-starter. So, I am glad that Congress acted last night and took a clear step toward health insurance reform. It is past time.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Where DOES the NRSC Get Their Lists?

I am sure that you all remember this gem from a couple of weeks ago. The RNC made a piece of mail look like a census form and invited my Democratic husband to be in charge of Republican voters in the 8th congressional district. Quite an offer that has created quite a stir.

Seems they have yet to purge their lists. Today, they called wanting $60 from us. Read below to see why I think we all ought to give the $60 to Georgia's WIN List in honor of Sen. Cornyn.

Today, as I sit home in bed recuperating, the home phone rang-always a bad sign. NOBOBY calls the home phone. A male voice on the other end of the line said, 'Hi, may I speak to Mr. or Mrs. Morton? Against my better judgement, I said, "This is Amy." He said, "Hi, I'm calling today on behalf of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. As you know, thanks to your support, (What?) we had great victories this week in New Jersey and Virginia. Especially great in that really "democrat" state of New Jersey." (I'm not kidding, he said it just like that. He seemed afraid, like he might go to hell just for uttering the name of the state.) "Sen. Cornyn was wondering if you could contribute $60 today to help us make sure our conservative voices are heard in D.C."

I took a breath. Hang up, or play? I thought, since I'm home sitting in bed, and he called me, I might as well slay the evildoers. "Sen. Cornyn wants me to give him $60? Why?" He replied, "So we can fight the liberal agenda and keep "Obama" and "Ms. Pelosi" from nationalizing health care." "So, what are you going to do with this money?" He didn't seem to expect questions. "We're going to make sure your conservative voice is heard. (What?) And, you may be interested, we also will fight for the right to life." (That's the pitch to ME?) It was a throw away, an add on, and I'm sure he tossed it in because the whole health care scare thing didn't have me spouting credit card digits and, mostly, because I am a woman. "So, you want me to give you money so you can fight against health care reform and try to push a pro-life agenda?" "Yes, and so our conservative voice can be heard." This call is now officially funny, and I am now done playing.

"Where do you get your lists?", I asked. "Because you, well, actually your husband has supported us in the past." "No, actually, let me tell you who you are talking to and why this call is a colossal waste of your time. My my husband is the 8th congressional district chair for the Democratic, or in your vernacular, "Democrat", Party of Georgia. And, I chair the the state level equivalent of EMILY's List in Georgia, so no, we won't give you money to fight health care reform or push an anti-woman agenda." "Oh," he said, realizing that he had stepped into pile of poo and wasted precious call time. "And, by the way, her name is Speaker Pelosi. But, here's what I want to know. I want to know who sold you a list with my husband's name on it because ten seconds in the voter file or in a contribution database would tell you that neither of us have ever voted in a Republican primary or given to a Republican candidate or committee. So, tell me, from what list did you get his name?" Stunned silence. "It's the list they give us of contributors. You know, you can go to the website and get contact information." "That's not going to tell me who sold you a list, is it? And, here's the deal. We both own businesses, and we are suspicious that perhaps an organization (fill in your guess here) that is supposed to be nonpartisan has provided you with our names. We can't figure out any other way you would have this information."

He didn't know, of course. The poor guy was just some paid phone banker, but I still want to know: is my husband having a secret relationship with the Republican Party, (that would officially be considered an affair according to our marriage contract) or did an organization like say, the Georgia Chamber hand over their list to the RNC? I'd think surely not except for the nasty very-Republican-like fear-evoking anti-health reform mailer produced by a self-described Republican firm that he also got directly from the Georgia Chamber a few weeks ago. I'm sure they wouldn't turn over their list to a partisan organization, but the timing of all this is certainly interesting.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

By a Nose?

Looks like Darrell Black has found his way into a run-off with Rusty Kidd, assuming that his margin of 16 votes over Angela Gheesling-McCommon survives what I believe will be an automatic recount. Black put his campaign together in a short six weeks, and regardless of the outcome of the run-off, given the weight of the Kidd name in Baldwin County, keeping him under 50% in this race is a remarkable accomplishment. Yes, this is a bright blue district, one that Obama carried, as I recall, at about 58%, but I know first hand that many big D dems in Bladwin presumed that Kidd was a Democrat. Not so much.

Seriously, assuming that Black is in the run-off, in addition to the House Caucus, I hope that the DPG weighs into the run-off with resources. This is a Democratic district, and the only way we lose it is in a special where people get to play hide the ball with their party affiliation. Losing this district would be the political equivalent of me getting elected in SD 18. Come on. Get out the checkbook.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Since I've Now Earned the Right

Since the MCCG was kind enough to phone this afternoon to let me know that the estimated after-insurance-discount price of the heart cath I have scheduled for Wednesday is just over 19K, this seems especially ridiculous.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Heart of the Matter

I never expected to spend election week with my cardiologist. Heck, a week ago, I didn't have a cardiologist, but, now I have one, and I'm going to let him thread a catheter into my heart and look around. I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to write about this, but, since six times more women die from heart disease than breast cancer, I thought, perhaps, I would, and maybe that I should. So, here goes.

Let's go back to last Wednesday morning. Like so many other women I know, before I ever hit the shower, I had checked my email, responded to a few, and read the morning headlines. I was tired after getting in late from an Atlanta meeting the night before. My phone buzzed away on the table while I dried my hair and put on my make up. Before I left the house, I spent ten minutes with a friend who was feeling betrayed by her mother. I finally jumped in the car only to find I'd left my phone in the house. I ran back in the house to get the phone, and remembered that maybe I should wake up my son who had class that morning, so I did. On the way to the office, I called another friend who I was worried about, and when I got to the office began to work my way through the phone messages waiting for me there. By the way, I'm not complaining about all this activity. I like it. Us Type-A's, we plan it.

Then, it happened again. It wasn't bad, but it was there. I wanted to ignore it, to find something else to call it, but truth be told, for several weeks, I had occasionally been experiencing this ache right in the middle of my chest. Chest pain. There, I said it. I had mentioned it to my husband a couple of times over the last month, and then, that morning, as I was returning phone calls, it started again. I told Daryl that I was tired of worrying about what this might be and was going to the MedCenter to let them check it out. No, no, no. No need for him to come. I was sure that I was just being overly cautious. It was probably my stomach, not my heart, not to worry. And, so, I drove myself there. I thought I was going to walk in, get an EKG, have the doctor tell me all was well and to follow up with my primary care doctor. So much for thinking.

In case you've never done it, when you sign in at the urgent care center and write the words, "chest pain" on the problem list, people move very quickly. They had me in the back doing vitals before they could get my insurance card and driver's license back to me. I knew the doctor who was on call, and was glad it was him, someone I had seen before. "How bad is the pain, on a scale of one to ten," the nurse said. "A two," I replied, meaning it. "It's very occasional, non-radiating chest pain when I'm at rest. And I really think it could be my stomach." They were already hooking up the leads for the EKG. By this time, the doctor was in the room. "Know anyone who had a heart attack at your age?" "Yes," I said, "my father had a heart attack when he was 52." "Ah," said the doctor. What do you mean, "Ah?" Sensing that this bit of information might take my visit down a path I had not planned on, I countered, "but he was a smoker, and I am not. But, then there's my sister. She had a heart attack earlier this year, but she's eleven years older, and has had other health issues. Did I mention that I really think this could be my stomach?" By this time, he was listening to my chest, and telling me that they would do some blood work and get a chest X-Ray. The nurse wheeled oxygen into the room. I didn't know who it was for, certainly not for me. "Just a precaution," she said, as she started an IV. "Did I mention that I think that this might be my stomach?"

I pulled out my phone and sent a text to my husband and told him I was fine and he didn't need to come. Lie. I sent a text to a girlfriend who knew I was lying when I said I was fine. Twenty minutes later my "sister" was there to see me. Thank God.

Tests done, the doctor came back with good news. I had not had a heart attack in the last few hours, and he thought the EKG looked pretty good. But, with the family history, he wanted me to see a cardiologist. He'd make the appointment, then we could leave. Good idea, leaving. I agreed. He gave me prescriptions for pain meds that I did not fill and told me to go home and rest which I did not do. Stubborn.

What I did do was keep the appointment with the cardiologist. At the first appointment, he said he could see that I was stressed. Tears. He told me to depend on the man upstairs, pointing. Panic. Well, the imaging lab was, technically, upstairs. He walked me out to the desk and began shifting appointments around to try to get tests scheduled ASAP. Panic! Then, he wrote a prescription for nitroglycerin. I couldn't understand why he was handing me someone else's prescription. Denial.

I spent lots of time with the cardiologist last week doing a repeat EKG, blood work, stress test, echo. I was certain when I left his office after those tests I was in the clear. Not so much. With the family history, some numbers in the blood work he did not like and not entirely normal test results, he wanted to schedule a cath for Wednesday. I tried to bargain. "I just need to make life style changes, diet and exercise, maybe take one of those cool cholesterol medicines I see on TV, right? I have a gym membership." He wasn't buying it. So, this time next week, I will either be reporting that they looked around and all was fine, or I will have some new jewelry, the kind you wear inside your blood vessels. Not exactly the gift I want for my almost-here 50th birthday. Did I mention that I'm too young to be having any of these issues?

They say that women experience heart disease differently than men. I think that we learn early on to push through pain and discomfort to do what we have to do, to take care of who and what we have to take care of. From the first day we deal with menstrual cramps while we take that big history test until we deliver our babies, women push through it all and get it done - all of it. We take care of other people while ignoring our own needs - and our own bodies, and it's not a virtue. I believe I have officially learned my lesson. Bargaining. No matter the outcome of the test next week, I don't think I will ever again think of my heartbeat as a given.

Did I mention that I really, really think it's my stomach?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wonkette's Take on Ox's "YouPorn" Ad

Yesterday, I found Wonkette's filleting of Oxendine's "YouPorn" "ad" that was supposed to strike fear in the heart of Gov. Barnes. Go, there because it is so worth the read.

Among other things, she opines,
"Well we could dissect this, or we could use the time to back up this video,
because at some point today, someone in John Oxendine’s campaign will realize,
“Oh wait… Wait. Shit. We actually made this thing and invited people to watch
it. That was a thing that we did. Wow. We really just should have done the
opposite of that.”

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gee, I wonder what Georgia will do?

Sen. Reid has indicated that he will support a health care reform bill that includes a public option, but that allows states to opt out. Unfortunately, since our congressional delegation has already opted out, there's little question that Georgians, whose health and access to health care can be correctly categorized as the least, the lost and the last, will find ourselves watching as the public option parade passes by.

Here's a question for you. Talk to a Republican about health care reform, and to a person, they will say that people and businesses should be able to purchase plans across state lines. That's code for "purchase plans from states that have the least regulation and the fewest mandates for coverage." Your health insurance policy could end up being worth approximately as much as old Confederate dollars. But, what they don't want is for people in their state to be able to purchase insurance from the federal government. If you can make that make sense, please, have at it.

More Mail from the RNC

Not having had time to purge their database after creating a mini-firestorm with their mailing masquerading as an official census form , my husband got yet another RNC mailer, this one in an envelope marked "Official Business," "To Be Opened By Addressee Only, Under Penalty of Law," and "2009 Future of America Health Care Survey." I did laugh because on postage paid return envelope, they wrote "By using your own first class stamp to return this envelope, you will be helping us save much needed funds."

From the inside, here's my favorite "survey" (read: push poll) question:

8. Rationing of health care in countries with socialized medicine has led to patients dying because they were forced to wait too long to receive treatment. Are you concerned that this would be inevitable in the U.S. under the Democrats' plan?

Fear and deception seem to be the only weapons left in the Republican arsenal. Where were all these RNC surveys about health care when Bush was in office? Why now, do they suddenly give a damn?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Georgia Congressman: Privatize Medicare

He's gone and done it. Or maybe he's just gone. Broun has finally sat on the third rail and put out a picnic.

Georgia Rep. Paul Broun is seriously proposing privatizing Medicare. He thinks seniors should just get a voucher and go buy their own health insurance. Great idea because everyone knows insurance companies are standing in line to issue affordable individual coverage to people who have a stack of pill bottles in the pantry. Maybe nursing homes will take the vouchers, too.
Might as well give out Arby's coupons.

I now want all my Democratic friends to recall how we tinkered in that race to help this idiot win. Now, how about one of you running against this caricature.

Friday, October 23, 2009

How Can the RNC Get By With This?

I laughed earlier this week at the prospect of the RNC putting my husband in charge of Republican voters in Georgia's 8th Congressional District, but this post on Think Progress points out the problems with that mailer appearing to be a census form. It is very, very deceptive in that way, and here, I am also posting the envelope which looks remarkably like ones the IRS sends out, even in the subtle markings. This does look like a deliberate effort to confuse voters, so now I wonder whether he was targeted because he is a Democrat rather than in spite of that fact.

Here it is again, envelope and contents:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Marshall Disappoints Again"

I am sure that Jim Marshall could not care less what I think about his recent interviews on Fixed News or this piece in the Telegraph where he not only bashes all of the health reform plans before Congress, but at the same time manages to slam President Obama and draw a comparison to the Soviet system. How great of him to attack the President's leadership and evoke images of socialism in the same statement. It was a trifecta, only this time, the losers are his Georgia constituents whose health and ability to access care remains among the poorest in the nation. Let me be clear, I was never under any illusion that Marshall would support health care reform. We couldn't even get him to vote for the expansion of children's health care. But, does he have to toss the whole damn party and the President under the bus while doing the bidding of Houston County Republicans? I'm just asking. Folks who read the piece emailed me suggesting that perhaps he is posturing for a move to the minority party. Not a chance of that, I think. Someone else summed it up well in the subject line of her email, "Marshall Disappoints Again." When it comes to health care, that about says it all.

What? Dem Invited to "Lead Republicans in Georgia"

My husband, who is the 8th Congressional District Chair for the Democratic Party of Georgia, has been getting some interesting mail. This mailer from the RNC came just yesterday and is made to look like an official census document. Pretty deceptive, if you ask me. But, the funny part of this is the pitch-the Republican Party would like Daryl to "lead Republicans in the 8th Congressional District." What a hoot! I wonder where the RNC is getting their lists these days, but do appreciate them wasting their donor's money this way. Here's the mailer:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This Makes Me Sadder than Sad: Updated

Tom Crawford reports that the State Ethics Commission is widening the probe into Oxendine's donations. By the end of the day, will Ox or will Ox not send out an email blast alleging that he is the victim of a vast right wing conspiracy? Oh, wait...

I think Ox is the Ralph Reed of 2010, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Update: Read Galloway. They went for the right wing conspiracy before close of business.

A Million Reasons to Vote for AC Pup!

AC Pup, local celebrity and mascot for Macon Animal Control, has entered himself in a beauty pageant with a grand prize of a million dollars! That's right, if AC gets the most votes, Macon Animal Control could get a cool million. This is one time your clicks really do matter. Click here to vote for AC today and everyday between now and October 24th.

Here's his video. Just watching it brightened my day. You'll love it. Also, you can become AC's friend on Facebook to see more pics and get regular updates. So, watch, connect, and vote. AC just needs a little help from his friends!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Forced Unionization in Georgia???

When I saw this on my husband's desk today, my first thought was, "Why is the Georgia GOP sending expensive direct mail to a DPG state committee member?"But, I was wrong. The mailer was from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, but the message was indistinguishable from the Republican party line. Heck, they could write Sue's next email:

Thanks the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, we now know that my husband's law office is about to be forced to unionize. That's right. Forced. We already knew the part about our health cost skyrocketing. We pay that bill every month, more than I can say for how our insurance company pays the bills we send them. Apparently, in this economy, groups like the Chamber have to resort to fear mongering to inspire new recruits. But, can I just ask, why wasn't the Georgia Chamber looking out for us when the economy was being driven over the edge? Why didn't we get a flier that said "Forced Into Bankruptcy" "Increased Foreclosures" "Hikes in CEO Bonuses?"
By the way, from the postage permit, it looks likethe flier was designed by The Stoneridge Group, a firm that advertises itself on Facebook as working on behalf of "Republican candidates and conservative organizations." The group's current "tweet" is: "President Obama to Enter Diplomatic Talks with Raging Wildfire. Brilliant" . You get the picture. Unfair, unbalanced, and why, though I am a business owner, I will never be a member of the Georgia Chamber.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Culture of violence and disrespect....

I had fun decorating a booth at the Georgia National Fair for the Democratic Party. I brought tables and chairs and flags and posters from home. Then I stopped by Kroger and bought blue and white balloons. My friend Fenika Miller brought a life size stand-up of President Barack Obama as a finishing touch for the booth.
And that’s when the vitriol began.
Grown men raised in the South whose mamas must have taught them better stopped by the booth on a regular basis and made rude, aggressive, and sometimes violent comments.
One sneering man approached the booth and said, “You better take that down.” He pointed at the Obama stand-up.
“Are you threatening me?” I asked. Twenty-three years in the public schools did not make me a shy person. I am a retired educator, age 73, with a head full of white hair but I will still stand up to bullies.
“I’m threatening him,” said the visitor. I’m coming back and I’ll pour gasoline on him and burn him up.” This sounded a bit like Mississippi in the 1960s to me.
After that, I had a chat with the manager in the McGill building and with fair security. Some nice guys at a nearby booth offered to help me if I had more trouble.
And there was more trouble, most of it occurring when women were volunteering at the booth. I guess the bullies weren’t up to trying to intimidate the men volunteers.
At one point a guy who apparently had gone obsessive on the subject of communism stood in front of our booth hollering, pointing, and doing everything but making good sense for what seemed like ten minutes, but had to be shorter. Two real Southern gentlemen helped me out by approaching the booth and standing next to him, one on either side. The ranter became quieter and quieter and finally slunk off. The presence of two men, both bigger than he was, seemed to have a calming effect.
Let me insert here that the Republicans that I know personally have manners and class and would be ashamed to act like those ruffians who taunted the Democratic women at the fair. If they are disappointed over the outcome of the 2008 election they are not showing it by snarling “You don’t believe all that crap, do you” when a Democratic woman asks, “Are you enjoying the fair?”
Another older man said he wanted to borrow our Obama image so he could hold its head under water at a nearby hot tub demonstration. Said this grandpa, “I would hold him under the water for ten minutes and smile the whole time.”
I would like to say that this rude behavior surprised me. I would like to say that it surprised me when a young man stood in front of our booth and went through the motions of firing an imaginary rifle in the direction of an image of the President of the United States. It doesn’t surprise me because I was at the same booth last year and encountered the same type of verbal abuse.
What does surprise and shock me is the culture of violence and disrespect for the Presidency that is taking root in my beloved United States of America.

Kristina Simms is a retired educator and state president of the Georgia Federation of Democratic Women. She is the author of a history of Macon, GA and several other books, and also an advocate for the mentally disabled.

Cashing in on Bad Behavior

In politics, "sorry" no longer implies regret; it is simply the preamble to a coming fundraising appeal. With any luck, out-right celebrity will follow. It's the Joe "You Lie" Wilson road map to success and an indication that the line between shock-jock and politician gets thinner every day.

Last week Georgia Congressman and Republican candidate for Governor, Nathan Deal got caught on video using the term "ghetto grandmothers." Doesn't that make you just tingle with pride? Galloway reports that first Deal was sorry, then he was just misunderstood and mostly needed you to send him money to ward off the evil leftest media. Really, he was just trying to have a meaningful discussion about the importance of extended family support among the growing number of Georgians living in poverty.

No worries, Deal has plenty of company. Earlier this year, John Oxendine twisted himself into a figure eight to make himself a "victim" of the AJC "hit piece" (a.k.a. reporting) about his own questionable campaign contributions. Tuesday, Robert Lowery, a Floridian who hopes to unseat Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Shultz, joined fellow GOPers for an afternoon of fun with assault rifles. Lowery chose to shoot at a full-sized silhouette labeled "DWS." Nice. First he called it a joke, then, he called it a mistake. I'm betting that by Monday, he's calling himself a badly misunderstood supporter of the second amendment who needs your money to fight off the evil media. His buds, who were shooting a cut-outs depicting Muslims, were not about to apologize for exercising all of their constitutional rights, presumably including their right to stupidity.

One thing is certain, no one should confuse running for office, or even winning (see Mark Sanford, John Edwards, Charlie Rangel et. al) with public service, and certainly not with leadership. These guys seriously need to decide whether they want to govern or have their own radio shows (see Fred Thompson) because the choices are mutually exclusive.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What Do Georgia Democrats Believe?

On Saturday, the Democratic Party of Georgia adopted a values-based platform that reflects what Georgia Democrats told us they believe. Here's just the summary statement:

• Georgia Democrats believe every child in every classroom in every school in every county in Georgia should have access to a high quality public education.

• Georgia Democrats believe access to quality, affordable healthcare is a basic, human right.

• Georgia Democrats believe we have a moral obligation to leave our children and grandchildren with an earth as safe, beautiful, and majestic as the one bequeathed to us by our parents and grandparents.

• Georgia Democrats believe in and uphold every citizen’s right to equal and impartial justice under the law. We are firmly committed to upholding and protecting the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Georgia. We believe that all Georgians are equal in the eyes of God and should all be equal in the eyes of the law.

• Georgia Democrats believe that the American Dream of opportunity for all should guide government policies at all levels.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Some Bible Verses for Political Candidates

Last week, there was much to-do about whether or not cheerleaders in Catoosa County could burst onto the field through paper banners emblazened with Bible verses. According to Jim Galloway over at the AJC, some Democratic activist...I mean a mom who'd just finished an education law class at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University...had the nerve to call up the county school superintendent and question the legality of the signs.   But, never fear, John Oxendine is here. Oxendine called upon his super powers to issue a proclaimation, attend their next game and send an email blast to his list vowing to defend the cheerleaders from anyone who might try to strip them of their constitutional rights. Not yours and mine, so much.

In any case, I do find scripture instructive and think that perhaps as the candidates for Governor of Georgia qualify next Spring, perhaps they should also enter the room, bursting through scripture verse painted paper. Here, I'll even put my theological education to work and suggest a few appropriate verses:

1) "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." (Exodus 20:16)

2) "You shall not commit adultry." (Exodus  20:14)

3) "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." (Matthew 22:21)

4) "But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first." (Matthew 19:30)

That'll do for starters.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

This is Absolutely Outrageous

Facing a deficit of historic proportions, Republican lawmakers in Georgia want to spend tens of millions on a tax cut for big corporations. What do they want to tax instead? Your groceries.

Family friendly bunch, don't you think?

Oh, they'll tell you that Georgians will still be able to take a deduction on their state income tax returns, but we'll pay the money now, and maybe get part of it back later. Maybe. If you file a return; if you know to take the deduction; if you keep your receipts. If, if, if...Of course, families have to eat NOW, not later. At at time when many Georgians are facing skyrocketing unemployment and one in eight homeowners are behind on their mortgages, this is simply outrageous.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Georgia GOP: Cut Critical Services, Fund Huge Corporate Tax Cuts

Georgia Republicans would rather spend millions giving big tax breaks to corporations than pay for immunizations for babies. And, they're willing to spend that money without presenting a scrap of research supporting their "feeling" that such tax breaks will spur economic development and therefore increase other revenue streams. Who knew the GOP would end up being the touchy-feelly party? Well, except for that.

Yes, the GOP, with a few Democrats in tow, have led a remarkable legislative session. Remarkably ironic. In the face of an historic 3.1 billion dollar deficit, they hope to create new tax breaks for big corporations-tax breaks that stand to cost Georgia tens of millions, if not billions of dollars, and necessitating cuts to many critical services and jeopardizing future revenue. According to a must-read commentary by Sarah Beth Gehl with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute,

In the coming days, the Georgia House of Representatives will debate and vote on whether to phase-out the state corporate income tax and create several temporary tax breaks for businesses. They will simultaneously work on passing a budget that provides fewer immunizations for infants and makes cuts to QuickStart, Georgia’s customized training program for economic development. These are just a few of the many cuts to vital services prompted by the precariously steep decline in state tax dollars.

The short story? Georgia Republicans favor cuts to children's health care, public schools and grassroots economic development programs (QuickStart) in order to fund tens of millions in tax breaks for big corporations.

Georgians who can't find jobs or afford to pay their mortgages, together with locally elected officials who can't keep police on the streets and teachers in the classrooms recognize this proposal for what it is: an irresponsible dereliction of duty.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Richardson Schools Perdue on Education

In a hard-hitting tell it like it is editorial in today's Telegraph, Charles Richardson is on point as he attacks the myth that Governor Perdue is somehow a friend of public education. You really must read the entire piece, here, but here's a tease:

In 2002 Sonny Perdue was elected governor with the help of teachers who chafed at Barnes’ efforts to improve public education. How do teachers like Sonny now? Instead of raises, teachers receive a $100 gift card. When they do receive raises, they also get hit with increases in health-care costs. Instead of funding increases — to handle the additional students in one of the nation’s fastest growing states — more than $2.5 billion has been sucked out of the K-12 education pipeline. Higher Ed, on its way to national prominence, isn’t feeling good either. Frankly, the state of education in Georgia looks grim. Most school systems have had to face two realities: Raise local taxes or cut programs, many of which can’t be touched because of state mandates.

That's exactly right and exactly why we need a new Superintendent of Schools in Georgia and a Governor who gives more than lip service to public education.

Macon Mayor Reichert Headed to Obama-Biden Meeting

Macon's Mayor, Robert Reichert, will be a little busy tomorrow. He is one of 70 mayors nationwide who have been invited to D.C. to meet with President Obama and Vice President Biden. Nice.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Georgia Power Gift Cart

Gov. Barnes hit the nail on the head when he wrote that the citizens of Georgia need our own lobbyist in Atlanta. If you ever wondered whether "pay to play" is alive and well here in the Peach State, just keep reading.

Exhibit "A"? SB31, the bill that allows Georgia Power to bill consumers in advance for the construction of a nuclear plant they hope to build in the future. This bill is a sweet deal for Georgia Power, a company that might as well be rolling a gift cart around the Capitol. If a legislator needs basketball tickets, they can hook you up. Race tickets? Got you covered. Football tickets? Sure thing. Dinner for the entire regulated industries committee, or your entire caucus? Not a problem. And all perfectly legal, and apparently, very effective.

From 2008-2009, the first five sponsors of SB31: Balfour, Tarver, Tolleson, Rogers, and Powell have all accepted perks from Georgia Power's lobbyists. Here are a few of my favorites:

I'm not suggesting that these folks voted for this bill because they got a ticket to a game, but I am saying that these gifts and this legislation are emblematic of way of doing business in Atlanta that leaves every day Georgian out in the cold. Make no mistake, directly or indirectly, in SB31, Georgia Power got exactly what they paid for, and, if the bill passes the House, Georgia consumers will get the bill-literally. You and I don't have a gift cart at the Capitol, but there's still time for you to contact your Representative and tell them to VOTE NO on SB31. I hope you'll call today.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Shout Out to the 67!

Props to the 67 Democrats in the Georgia House who stood together today to prevent the passage of HR1. We're not done with this fight, but it's a good start. This legislation would have placed a constitutional amendment on the ballot that sounded great on paper but could have had devastating consequences for local governments, especially in this economy. Keep up the good work, folks!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Georgia Political Power: The "Y" Factor

Sometimes, a picture really is worth a thousand words. This weekend, someone handed me a copy of this AJC article, Lineup of movers and shakers, published just before the session started. Complete with photographs, the article was a sort of Who's Who of Georgia's most powerful politicians.

Save one honorable mention, they were all men, and all but two were white men.

Now, we could get into an argument with the AJC about women who should have been included, but in politics, perception is reality. The 2009, the reality in Georgia politics is that while there may be 18 million cracks in that last glass ceiling, Georgia's gold dome remains unfazed. In fact, according to the Center for American Women and Politics, while more than half of Georgia voters are female, only 19.1% of Georgia legislators are women. Georgia ranks 37th among states for female representation in the General Assembly. None of us should be satisfied with those numbers.

By the way, according the 2007 Kid's Count Data, Georgia ranks 41st in overall child and family well-being and has ranked in the bottom ten states for the last fifteen years, bringing up the rear in categories like high school dropouts, teens not attending school or working, low birth-weight babies, teen births, children in single-parent families and infant mortality. While the causes of these problems are poverty-linked, these are issues that women are often especially interested in and uniquely qualified to address-not because of their chromosomes, but because of their experience.

By comparison, the states with the highest percentage of women in their legislatures, Colorado, New Hampshire and Vermont, in 2006 ranked 22nd, 1st and 10th respectively. While the overall picture is bleak, Democratic women fare far better than Republican women. Of the seven women in the Georgia Senate, six are Democrats, and more than a third of Democrats in the Georgia House are women-not so on the Republican side of the aisle where only 11 women occupy seats in the House. But, somehow being the best of the bad news just isn't enough. We need to act.

What can we do to change the profile of political power in Georgia?

1) Money Talks. In many ways, money is measure of political viability. It takes initial cash to attract donors. That's why organizations like Georgia's WIN List, a political action committee that is committed to electing more qualified Democratic women, are important. (Full disclosure: I chair Georgia's WIN List, and commit time to that organization in large part because I think electing women is vital for Georgia, and is an essential part of an overall strategy if Democrats are to regain majority party status here.) It's not just important to provide funds for women, it is important to help qualified women think of themselves as candidates and teach them to raise the money they need to be successful when they run.

2) Think Three Cycles. We have to move out of the political mindset of "right now" and begin to think ahead, at least three cycles. As we examine demographic trends and identify districts that are leaning Democratic, it is important to actively recruit qualified female candidates. Not only does this help address the balance of power issue, in some districts, being a women can be an electoral advantage. Also thinking ahead, women who currently serve in the legislature, or in local government, need to both think about taking the step to run for higher office themselves and about mentoring women to run for their seat when they do. Changing the numbers will not happened unless we are intentional.

3) Engage Our Male Political Allies. Georgia women do have friends among the male power-brokers. The four Democratic men included in the AJC article: Sen. David Adelman, Sen. Kasim Reed, Rep. DuBose Porter and Rep. Calvin Smyre have a track record of putting their actions where their mouth is when it comes to supporting female candidates. It's no accident that Democratic women are among the leadership in our House Caucus. Rep. Nikki Randall is Vice Chair of the Caucus, Rep. Kathy Ashe is Secretary of the Caucus, and Rep. Carolyn Hugley is the Minority Whip. At least two of the men listed are rumored to be seeking other office, and, just as they have supported women moving into leadership roles, I challenge all of them to think about the women in their districts who they could mentor to run for their seats as they move on to other endeavors. As they seek our support, we should urge them to do just that. And, as the 2010 ticket shapes up, we all need to identify female leaders who would make great candidates for statewide office.

One thing is certain. This is a tough hill to climb, but there is a path. ONLY with a clear plan and intentional leadership will be able to elect more women to office in Georgia. I want to be a part of that change and hope that you will, too. By changing the face of power in Georgia, we can more effectively address the issues that matter the most to women and families. and that's good for all of us.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

McDade: Wrong, Again

David McDade, Douglas County district attorney, infamous for his role in the Genarlow Wilson fiasco, is now registering his opposition to a proposal to alter the juvenile code to allow treating 17-year-olds in Georgia as juveniles rather than adults when they are accused of committing a crime.

Currently, Georgia is one of only fifteen states that treats an accused 17-year-old as an adult for the purpose of prosecution. Just a year after they are eligible for a driver's license, while they still cannot vote, cannot buy alcohol or cigarettes, while they still cannot even sign a consent for their own medical treatment, Georgia teens are prosecuted as adults. Now, a proposal put forward by JustGeorgia, a group working on a long overdue re-write of the juvenile code, proposes that 17-year-olds be treated as the minors they are, but McDade says:

“There’s plenty of evidence that 17- and 18-year-olds are committing some of the most violent crimes we see, and the juvenile system is not capable of protecting society from these violent offenders,” McDade said. McDade said he fears a change in the minimum age for adults in state courts would cause even more crimes among 17-year-olds. In McDade’s opinion, this proposed change, if passed, “would almost belike a recruiting poster for gangs” since 17-year-olds would suddenly face less stringent consequences for crime convictions.

First, no one is suggesting changing the rules for 18-year-olds. Second, what is it that a 17-year- old can do for a gang that a 16 year-old cannot? Third, Georgia law already provides that for certain crimes, teens even younger than 17 can be tried as adults, so don't think for a moment that what we're talking about here is a teen being told to write an essay when he's committed a violent crime. The juvenile system is far from summer camp. Fourth, following McDade's logic, I must ask, is it not possible to have a juvenile system that both offers the possibility of rehabilitation and protects us from violent criminals? Finally, is there actually any data that supports the idea that the crime rate is reduced when 17-year-olds are prosecuted as adults?

Don't get me wrong; I'm not soft on crime, juvenile or otherwise, nor do I think that every teen can be turned around. My professional experience includes working with some hardened, violent criminals who were even younger than 17. But, I would argue that it is the adult system that is ill equipped to deal with teens. Gernarlow Wilson's case is an excellent case in point. Punish, yes. Consequences for behavior, of course. Throw a life away without even a nod toward rehabilitation? At 17? I say no, and not just for the sake of the teen, but also for all of us. At some point, almost all of these teens will be released. They will live among us. What happens to them in the interim can, and often does, make them even more violent-even more dangerous. Given that, I don't know about you, but I'm willing to leave the door open to rehabilitation at least until the accused can vote for the district attorney who prosecutes him and, the convicted, the judge who sentences him.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Macon Plague

Since Wednesday, I have spent most of my time either in the bed or at the doctor's office. Now, Daryl is recovering from what I have dubbed the "Macon Plague." At first, we thought it was food poisoning and blamed a pack of peanut butter M&M's. Turns out, the candy was falsely accused, since this illness is clearly contagious. I'm better, and Daryl's healing. And, the world kept right on turning without us.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Join us for Breakfast

Next Tuesday, you are invited to come enjoy breakfast, hear from our Democratic legislators and the Rev. Joanna Adams at Georgia WIN List's Annual Legislative Breakfast. This is going to be a very special event. I hope that you will join us!

Please Join Us

2009 Annual Legislative Breakfast

WIN List-supported legislators and other members of the Georgia General Assembly will share their perspectives on what to expect from the 2009 Legislative Session.

Featured Speaker:

Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams

The pastor at Morningside Presbyterian Church and powerful advocate for social justice, Joanna was named by Georgia Trend magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians in 2009.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Coffee and conversation at 7:30 am
Program begins at 8:00 am

Central Presbyterian Church
(across from the Capitol)
201 Washington St., SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

Click here to RSVP and pay online: Guest - $40

Or reserve your place by calling Leslie at 770-489-6689 or by e-mail at
Click here for driving directions.

Support as a Host

Patron: $1000
Benefactor: $500

Host level contributions can be paid in monthly installments.

Help us spread the word!
Please share this invitation with 3 women you think might be interested in attending this event by clicking the FORWARD EMAIL link at the bottom of this page.

Paid for by Georgia's WIN List.
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. Contributions to Georgia's WIN List are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Forward email

Georgia's WIN List P.O. Box 5037 770-489-6689 Douglasville GA 30154

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama Stand Up for Women's Health: Lifts Global Gag Rule

Thanks to President Obama, the Bush legacy of the "Global Gag Rule" is now His-Story.

Democrats Lead Fight to Keep Nurses in Schools

Georgia House Democratic Caucus Pledges fight to keep Nurses in Schools

Children can't learn when they are sick and teachers can't teach when they are running a health clinic

Atlanta -- According to the Governor's FY 2009 amended budget proposal school nurses will soon become a thing of the past. The recommendations submitted by the Governor last week cut $30 million in state funds which would eliminate the school nurse program. The Georgia House Democratic Caucus leaders oppose this cut and have pledged to work to restore the program.

Democrats believe in promoting preventive medicine and supporting nurses in schools so children can focus on learning and avoid complications that arise when health problems go untreated. They also believe every family should have access to a doctor and every school should have a nurse.

"We have a growing number of working families without health insurance and some of those parents rely on school nurses to keep their children safe and healthy while they are in school." said Pat Gardner (D-Atlanta), Chairperson for Health and Human Services Policy Committee for the Georgia House Democratic Caucus.

Georgia House Democratic Caucus Education Policy Chair, Rep. Kathy Ashe (D-Atlanta) said, "We must fight for our children and their right to receive appropriate health care while they are in school. If children don't receive the care they need their medical issues could escalate. It's a short sighted approach that will eventually cost our state additional funds and more importantly, diminish our children's ability to do the job they go to school to accomplish - learning. I am asking our parents and teachers to express your concern about these cuts to your state representative and state senators. Email if you need assistance finding your elected representatives."

Removing school nurses is extremely short-sighted. Georgia House Democratic Leader, Rep. DuBose Porter (D-Dublin) added real life examples. "In Dublin, we have one nurse for four elementary schools. Numerous daily school-age related illnesses aside, our nurse manages diabetic children who must undergo daily blood sugar testing; she takes care of a child on a feeding tube, and has a student going through stage 4 cancer. The management of these health issues takes a trained professional." said Porter. "In one of the four schools alone there are 38 students on asthma inhalers, students who at times have had to be rushed to the hospital with acute asthma attacks. We should not balance the state's budget by cutting health care to sick children or making our teachers become health care providers."

Georgia House Democratic Caucus Chairman Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus) agreed and pointed out legal questions that may arise, regardless of safeguards designed to protect the school. "The governor should be asking, who will administer this care... the teachers? The liability on untrained school employees administering health care could easily become an issue. Teachers in Georgia schools now are not allowed to administer medications. Nurses in our schools give out over 5 million doses per year. There are approximately fifteen million annual visits to the office or school health room for illness, medication and injury in Georgia," said Smyre. "Children can't learn when they are sick and teachers can't teach when they are running a health clinic."

In conclusion Porter noted, "We are willing to fight to stop this cut that will directly damage our schools and our children, but it will take a great effort to get the message to this Governor. Now is the time for Georgians to engage in the political process. Times are changing and Georgians can no longer assume basic services will continue. Georgians must become involved in the process."

The Georgia House Democratic Caucus has an Email to handle issues that relate to the Governor's proposed cuts. To voice your concern email Together we can continue to protect our children's future.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What is There Left to Say?

This morning, I learned from my sister that my niece, who is a student at the University of Florida, had made a last minute trip to D.C. I think that there was a lot of that going on. During the last week, it is as if a giant magnet were at the Capitol, drawing us all there. Watching the ceremony today, it was so clearly a national day of celebration. We celebrated the peaceful transition of power, Obama's calm in the face of tremendous crises, the look on Sen. John Lewis' face when Obama greeted him on his way to his seat on the podium, and the sea of diverse humanity that stood in the freezing cold to welcome this new day. President Obama is fond of saying that it is not about him, and he is right. My favorite metaphor of the last several days was in his speech on Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial. It is not the stones of the monuments that gives him hope, it is what lies between- you and me. If we want things to be better, change is all about us and our choices. There is much work to be done, but there is, again, hope. I am so elated to have, for once, and event that glued millions of Americans to a television that was not an attack or a natural disaster. God bless you, President Obama. We are with you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Alternative (Reality) School

I am stunned that Bibb County Public Schools will bow to the complaints of a few parents and offer an "alternative educational activity" for children whose parents do not want them to watch Obama's historic swearing in and inaugural address on Tuesday. Apparently, these parents argue that this is not "an educational activity." Given the singularly historic nature of the occasion, that ridiculous assertion hardly deserves a response, especially given the history at one of the schools where the complaints emerged, Carter Elementary. Earlier, Carter had a "Polar Express Day" that involved children dressing in pj's and watching the film. That activity generated no newspaper articles or complaints from parents about misuse of "valuable educational time" and no demands for an "alternative educational activity."

There is something wrong with allowing a few parents to require that the school system facilitate children missing what arguably marks the greatest cultural shift of our lifetime. To those who would argue that this is a "political event," I would remind them that Obama is our President now- all of us.

I am left with two questions:

1) Were any of the parents who complained black?

2) If the answer to that question is "no", as I suspect it is, then, the reality of what will happen here on Tuesday is that a few white children, whose parents chose for them, will opt out of history by exiting classrooms before the swearing in is broadcast to the rest. Are we really fine with that?

Friday, January 16, 2009

What Do the Heroes Have in Common?

A friend points out...

The professionals rescuing airline passengers yesterday have something in common:

They are all union members.

"Elephant Stampede!"

Last week, Democratic lawmakers in Georgia decided not to put forth a candidate for speaker in an effort to demonstrate their commitment to using the time in session to address the critical economic crisis we face as a state and a nation. Contrast that with the near riot in Tennessee when Democratic lawmakers maneuvered to elect the first Republican Speaker in four decades. He then joined Democrats to elect a Democratic legislator, a women, to the number two spot. Needless to say, his fellow Republicans were not amused. Check this out from Crooks and Liars:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A First: Vitter Says No to a Women

Of the sixteen member of the committee considering whether to recommend Hillary Clinton's confirmation, Sen. Vitter was the only "no" vote.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

King Nut

Because deregulation worked so well for banking, and the FDA is so good at keeping us safe, Gov. Perdue wants prevent Georgians harmed by dangerous products from recovering damages from the Georgia makers provided the FDA has signed off on a product. This is the same agency that has handled the salmonella outbreaks so well, right? Even now, people are dying because of salmonella in King Nut Peanut butter. But, I get it. Protect business at all cost - even the cost of the lives of Georgians.

Who, I ask you, is the real King Nut? I think we know the answer to that. He also wants to go after "meritless" lawsuits. How about we go after meritless governance? Here's the King's statement on the issue:

This session, I will propose two pieces of legislation that will make Georgia more friendly to business. First, we will cement our position as a leader in the biotech industry by enacting laws that respect the role of the federal Food and Drug Administration as the regulator of the safety of drugs and medical devices.

As other states have decided, I believe that FDA approval should mean something … It certainly should imply protection from tort lawsuits. This legislation will say that companies with a significant presence in Georgia will not be subject to product liability claims within this state if the FDA approved the medical device, drug or the labeling along with it. The legislation will make Georgia an even more attractive environment for biotechnology companies.

Secondly, Georgia's courts are crowded with nuisance lawsuits, but unfortunately, they are often cheaper to settle than to litigate. Current law provides almost no deterrent for frivolous lawsuits and that must change.

I'm asking the General Assembly to pass another tort reform bill that will provide relief to individuals and companies wrongly sued. In short, if a claim is dismissed at the earliest possible stage, the litigant bringing the claim will be responsible for the prevailing party's attorneys' fees.

If the attorney fails to notify the client of this provision, that attorney could pay the award. Lastly, the bill will make sure that the costly discovery process will not begin until the legal merits of a complaint have been tested.

This will free up our courts to pursue justice in cases with merit, protect our existing businesses that provide jobs for Georgians and attract new investment. With the help of the General Assembly, we'll make plain that the threat of meritless litigation is not a viable business strategy in Georgia.

Monday, January 12, 2009

"Republicans Have No WIN List"

Sometimes you have to make your case; sometimes your opposition makes your case for you.

Today, in the AJC article about Karen Handel's run for governor, Millie Rogers, the president of the Georgia Federation of Republican Women made the case for Georgia's WIN List:

Millie Rogers, president of the Georgia Federation of Republican Women, thinks money is another reason. Republicans have no Win List, a group that provides seed cash to Democratic female candidates in Georgia. “Without money you don’t have a seat at the table,” Rogers said. Her group is exploring the idea of starting such a fund.

Supporting women running for office is not exactly a new idea to Georgia democrats. More than a decade ago, a group of forward-thinking women realized that it does take money to gain a seat at the table, and they did something about it. As a result of their efforts and generous donors, Georgia's WIN List is entering our 10th year, and during that decade has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to democratic women running for state level office in Georgia.

Full disclosure: as a board member and Vice Chair, I'm partial to Georgia's WIN List. I am proud of the work we do to encourage women to run and support them when they do. This cycle alone, we contributed more than 50K to women running for office in Georgia.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Millions for Macon

Macon (and Bibb County) is about to get nearly 4 million dollars to rehab blighted housing. This money comes courtesy of the first stimulus package and local leaders are excited, if not all together in agreement-what else is new-about the opportunity the money will bring. the City and the County are working together obtain and then spend this money. Most of the property that will be addressed lies within the city limits of Macon, which is also, lest we forget, also in Bibb County.

This is really good news, yet, at City Council this week, most of the time, and as a result most of the press coverage, was spend talking about the division of about 45K a year in hotel/motel taxes, only to have the matter again tabled, while this good news got very little attention. No wonder people question the capacity of their elected officials!

P.S.: I'm going to be mirroring this site with the new Tondee's site for a while until folks get used to the change.