Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fear, Negativity Drive Today's Republican Party

It's very clear that a new reactionary ideology has taken root in the Republican Party. The Republican Party is pushing for economic and social policies based on fear. Fears of massive transformation, turmoil and chaos underway in our society. And, fears about how those transformations will impact lives largely defined by self-interest, power and money. Some fear-generated policies are consciously created; others, not so. That is, some reflect a yearning for restoration of a way of life that no longer works in today's changing society and globalized world. Other policy positions reflect conscious manipulation of those fears; But all driving the positions the Republican Party with assistance from the unrelenting Tea Party demands and is determined to enact.

The way I look at it, their ideology and policies reactionary because they are a retreat away from creating positive, responses to large-scale upheaval and change; and towards objectives that fail to address the sources of problems they aim to fix. (Just sit and watch the wave of negative, doom and gloom, lookout the sky is falling political ads that will fill your airwaves this election season against Democratic Candidates for Federal, State & Local Office). Worse, their view of the impact their policies would have upon society doesn't correspond to factual reality.  Government for example is viewed as the embodiment of fear of being taken over by forces that are dangerous, and therefore must be opposed or defended against. Driving this ideology is the fear of losing control over one's life when confronting the reality of the interdependence and interconnection characterizes today's world. For some, those fears lead to the belief that you can live without help from anyone or anything.

When people are emotionally overwhelmed with feelings that their world, their values and identity are turned upside down or destroyed, they may embrace beliefs that are extreme, rigid or elect candidates who represent those beliefs. Such people become increasingly vulnerable to dysfunction because the everything around them continues to change and evolve in ways that frightened them into embracing false beliefs to begin with. They want to feel safe and protected against a changing world, but their solutions don't work.

Open Elections.....NOT!

The GOP’s need to game voting has spread like political cancer. Republican-controlled legislatures have gone to great lengths to complicate many aspects of the voting process, from registration to ballot-access rules. The goal is to suppress perceived Democratic voting blocks, particularly people of color, the poor and students. What’s especially pernicious about the best known of these tactics, stricter voter ID laws, is that it adds a nasty twist to the otherwise simple requirements to be a legal voter. Instead of satisfying age, residency and citizenship status and showing that one is mentally fit and has no felony record (as in most states) these new laws say you cannot get a ballot unless you also have a specific kind of state government photo ID. Not everybody has that ID, or the documents needed to obtain it. The right to vote has never been based on plastic.

This anti-democratic trend is larger than just photo ID laws. Florida passed laws imposing fines and filing deadlines on voter registration groups, which, despite being blocked by a court recently.

Today’s majority Caucasian dominated GOP knows it cannot hold onto power in an increasingly multicultural America unless it keeps communities of color, young people and women from voting.
You would think today’s Republicans would be more confident in their ideas, stand by them and trust the voters to decide. But that is not the case.

First Nunn Campaign Ad of 2014: Optimist.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Jefferson Jackson Dinner Last Night in Fort Valley

Jason Carter addressing the audience during Peach Co JJ Dinner
Last Night, the Peach County Democratic held its first ever Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Fort Valley located in Rural Central Georgia at the Agriculture Technology Center. An estimated 200 were in attendance as they got to hear from Gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter, as well as other statewide hopefuls, Connie Stokes (Lt Governor), Alisha Morgan (State Superintendent), Chris Irvin (Agriculture Commissioner), Tarnisha Dent (State Superintendent), Gerald Beckum (Secretary of State) & Robin Shipp (Labor Commissioner)
Candidate for Agriculture Commissioner Chris Irvin speaking

Senator Carter was introduced by Macon Circuit D.A. David Cooke in which afterwards Carter gave a rousing, charismatic speech critical of Gov. Nathan Deal on Public Education, Jobs, etc.

Also on hand was Congressman Sanford Bishop & wife Vivian Creighton-Bishop, sheriffs David Davis (Bibb County) & Lewis Walker (Crawford County) and host of local elected officials from surrounding counties as well.

Rep. Sanford Bishop presents Carter with a Plaque

Candidates Gerald Beckum Secretary of State with Keith Heard Insurance Commissioner

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Critical Issues Facing The Black Community

1. Lack of opportunity and safety. There has been a loss of  jobs and a failure to control crime in areas with a high density of black residents.

2. Breakdown of the family, Illegitimacy & welfare. Some still don’t see how welfare reduces the value of black men.

3. Black anti-intellectualism. Accusations of “acting white” while trying to get a decent education and advance to college undermine education as a vehicle for advancement. Instead, black leaders expend enormous resources to advance affirmative action (which has run its course in my opinion) at a small number of elite universities, unmindful of the effects it has had on talented young blacks.

4. Failure of K-12 schools in disadvantage urban and rural areas of the state. Teachers unions and the education establishment have been more interested in pay-raises and grants than student achievement, testing, and competition.

5. High incarceration rate of black men.

6. Reduced respect for human life (abortions). Beyond the tragic loss of life itself, this much death reduces the civility with which people treat each other.

7. Victimology. The speeches and ideologies of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and so called leaders in the black community undermine the initiative of many African Americans. Moreover, there is a lack of honest debate among black leaders because of the fear of being called an “Uncle Tom” for not supporting the grievance agenda.

8. Excessive race-consciousness. The Left is insincere in acknowledging the advancement in race relations since the early 1960’s, but there's still ways to go. Many black families have joined the middle class. If they lived in an independent country, they would be citizens of the 10th richest nation in the world. Race matters but not very much. Race-consciousness diminishes the importance of addressing the more important issues listed above.


I often hear about voters deciding who to vote for based on emotion rather than rational responses to the issues. However, this is not an all-or-nothing situation with some voters making decisions purely for rational reasons while others decide only for emotional reasons. The simple truth is that just about all voters, including the most well-informed amongst us, have emotional responses to issues. If we didn’t, we probably wouldn’t bother to vote. When State Senator Jason Carter, who's a candidate for governor voted for the sweeping gun bill that allows individuals to carry a weapon anywhere, anytime, he caught some grief from many gun control advocates in the state. That was a emotional issue that will drive those who opposed to the bill to get active in this 2014 election season. (Note: NRA gives Carter a A rating)

When you think about the issues that matter, you are likely to have intense emotional reactions to different stances on these topics. If you support gay marriage and care about gay marriage, you will be happy imagining a time where any gay couple has the same legal rights as any straight couple. If you are against gay marriage, you probably smile at the thought of a world where no gay couple can get married. However, emotions may be even stronger on the negative side. For example, if you are pro-life, the idea of legalized abortions being available to anyone with an unwanted pregnancy probably makes your blood boil. In contrast, if you are pro-choice, hearing politicians talking about abolishing Roe v. Wade is likely to make you very upset. You can take just about any issue you are care deeply about, and thinking about an outcome that goes against what you hope for will likely get you very upset. That is not so bad as emotions, and particularly negative emotions like fear and anger are what drive many people to volunteer, make donations and, of course, vote!

When we think about the issues that matter most to us, we are likely to have intense emotional reactions to different stances on these topics. It is important to note that many people get emotional about issues, even if they are not personally affected by them. There are also many heterosexual voters who are passionate about promoting equal rights for gays and white males who are committed to affirmative action. There are even very wealthy Americans making donations to political candidates who will increase their own taxes. This includes the two wealthiest people in the country, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Similarly, many voters have secure jobs with excellent health insurance benefits, but are still very emotionally committed to public options for healthcare

Emotion often gets a bad rap. The fact that emotion drives much of voting is not a bad thing. Emotion drives the passion that leads people to volunteer, make personal donations to causes they care about, and deal with the hassle of voting. So don’t feel bad about not being purely rational. Get emotional, get involved, and vote.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

To Rigid Opponents of the ACA, or 'Obamacare....It's not Socialism!

How did it happen that supporters of Obamacare are allowing the conservatives to label The Affordable Care Act (ACA) socialized medicine and/ or socialism? Are they trying to hide just how capitalistic the ACA really is? Now I haven't been the biggest supporter of the ACA and it has its flaws, but it has some good things in it and it is not Socialism.....PLAIN & SIMPLE!
The ACA is a gift to capitalists. It develops competition in each state between private insurance companies, a sort of textbook definition of capitalism. Granted, this isn’t free market capitalism based on the regulations, but any American knows the US is not run on free market capitalism, as it would never work in the real world.
The ACA is not socialized medicine since the customer is still buying insurance. Socialized medicine is not an insurance plan; it is a health plan. Under socialized medicine, you do not worry about bills and deductibles, you go to the doctors or hospital and get your care and walk away. Socialized medicine is also single payer; you simply have health coverage by virtue of being a citizen, and taxpayer money is used to cover everyone. The ACA, however,does not cover those who opt-out, or who do not qualify for coverage.
Calling the ACA socialism is harmful to anyone who wishes to properly criticize the faults of the ACA, regardless of whether you are for or against it, any critique must be made with an educated argument. The second someone makes the claim that it is nothing more than Obama’s attempt to push his “socialist agenda” on the American people, all credibility is lost because they have demonstrated they do not have a basic understanding of what socialism is.
The ACA is capitalism, and it is going to make a lot of people very rich. The ACA is an idea developed in the minds of The Heritage Foundation and the simple reason it is so opposed is not because it’s healthcare, it is because it has Obama’s name stuck to it. A guy told me yesterday if any GOP president had put this same plan forward, it would have been heralded as the greatest idea that will save the American taxpayer billions of dollars in health costs. It was not, and the democratic president of this country put a great plan into action, and at no matter what cost to the American citizen or the economy, the GOP will fight to destroy the very idea they created.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Georgia Democratic Candidates Strengths & Weaknesses Pt 1.

Governor: Jason Carter (D-Decatur)

Strengths: Youth, Name Recognition, ability to raise money, has credibility with the Democratic Establishment,  has a solid reputation on economic and educational issues, Pro-Gun (A Rating by NRA), a pro-business, fiscally discipline, has a populist streak and related to ex-governor & President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter.

Weakness: Having served as State Senator for only 4 years, some wonder whether or not he's ready for prime time, although he have contacts and name I.D. in some sections of Rural Georgia, he's not well-known below the gnat line and being related to President Carter, that may cause some not to vote for him (these are likely highly partisan republican voters)

U.S. Senate: Michelle Nunn (D-Atlanta)

Strengths: Name Recognition, daughter of popular former senator Sam Nunn, have the ability to attract crossover voters, pro-business, fiscally responsible democrat, fundraising, ran one of the largest volunteer organizations in the world, pragmatist, and can attract many of her father's supporters (who are disaffected Conservative Democrats, moderate Republicans) when he held served as Ga Senator for 24 years.

Weakness: Never held public office, mostly unknown by Georgia Voters, her positions on some issues does not sit well with the liberal wing of the Georgia Democratic Party as well as being viewed as too conservative by some diehard liberals across Georgia.

U.S. Senate Branko Radulovacki (D-Atlanta)

Strengths: A unabashed progressive with a centrist streak & physician who 100% supports Obamacare, appeals to the left wing of the Georgia Democratic Party, his followers are loyal and enthusiastic.

Weakness: His positioning to appeal to the liberal elements may help in the primary, but will hurt him in the General Election if he pulls off the upset in May, lacks crucial support from the democratic establishment. Never ran for office and a unknown to many Georgia Voters.

Lt. Governor: Connie Stokes (D-Dekalb)

Strengths: Served as State Senator for Dekalb County, well known inside the metro Atlanta Area

Weakness: She's largely unknown outside the democratic enclaves of metro Atlanta, she has little or no grassroots network outside of Atlanta, fundraising not up to par to take on sitting incumbent

Attorney General: Greg Hecht (D-Stockbridge)

Strengths: Ran for Lt. Governor (lost in Democratic Primary) so he may still have some remnants of his statewide run still in place, served as State Senator, has 2010 Attorney Gen. Ken Hodges as his Campaign Manager

Weakness: It's been 8 yrs since he ran for office, his name ID has suffered since then. Not that well known either inside or outside of the Atlanta Area.

Secretary of State: Gerald Beckum (D-Oglethorpe)

Strengths: Served as Mayor for 32 years, profile fits for a General Election Race, one of the last remaining old-school Rural Democrats, Businessman, can relate to the working class voters dems have had a difficult time trying to peel away from the GOP, appeals to seniors, has a workman like attitude

Weakness: Name ID inside Metro Atlanta, lack of connections inside the democratic enclaves such as Dekalb County, profile may hinder him among primary voters who are more liberal than those in a General Election

Secretary of State: Doreen Carter (D-Lithonia)

Strengths: Former Lithonia City Councilwoman, hails from the most democratic county in the state which serves to her advantage against Beckum

Weakness: Outside of Dekalb County, she's virtually unknown, her appeal maybe limited to only base democratic voters, electoral strength in a general election doesn't bode well for the party

Agriculture, Insurance, State School Superintendent, Labor Commissioner candidates next Sunday.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

With More Poverty and Less HealthCare, Rural Georgia Would Benefit Most From Medicaid Expansion

Jennings Medical Clinic, Calhoun County
Unfortunately republicans don't see it that way!

Despite a majority of the state population residing in or around Metro Atlanta, Georgia is still a largely rural state. Georgia is a beautiful state and its many rural and isolated communities offer a vital and meaningful lifestyle. But Georgia's rustic landscape also makes assuring quality, affordable healthcare for rural residents a formidable challenge. Rural Georgians are less healthy and face greater obstacles to healthcare compared with its urban and suburban counterparts.

According to the County Health Rankings, Over in Emanuel County, 27% of residents under the age of 65 are uninsured. Other rural counties also have the same problem:

Tattnall County: 28%
Irwin County: 26%
Colquitt County: 27%
Tift County: 25%
Even Hall County, home of governor Nathan Deal & Lt. Governor Casey Cagle has 26% that are uninsured.

Because a good percentage of working Rural Georgians earns too little to afford private coverage, the ACA provide federal dollars for states like Georgia to expand medicaid programs to cover low-income working people. Expanding medicaid offers a way to cover low-income Georgians.

Regrettably, Gov. Nathan Deal (R) has been against  Medicaid expansion and now the republican state legislature have removed the powers of the governor to expand, who would have to get approval of the legislature. Given the high uninsurance rate in rural areas, is the governor's refusal to expand medicaid in the best interest of his constituents? NO!!

ACA politics are worsening the health care inequality between urban and rural Georgians. Hundreds of thousands of rural Georgians will fall into the coverage gap due to the denial of expanding medicaid. The media here in Georgia has given scant attention to the rural Georgians who have been denied healthcare coverage by their state leader(s).

Population has declined steadily in rural Georgia for decades. Rural counties have higher rates of poverty and fewer people in their prime working years to fuel the economy. The politicization of Medicaid expansion further denies rural residents and ensure the well-known disparities in health and life expectancy will continue. Beyond this, refusing to expand medicaid also penalizes already-threatened rural hospitals in which a number have already closed, thus forcing residents to drive, 30,40 miles to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Some of these hospitals have fewer than 25 beds and are at least 30, 40 miles from the next hospital. Critical access hospitals serve a poorer population that is more likely to be uninsured or older and eligible for medicare. They also usually are not able to offer the more lucrative services that drive revenue at a larger city hospital. Critical access hospitals can't turn away the uninsured, but treating these folks strain already unstable budgets. Faced with cuts in medicare reimbursements and no expansion of medicaid to cover its uninsured population, these critical access hospitals are either laying off, or facing closure, or they have already closed.

Rural areas of Georgia stand to benefit the most from medicaid expansion and will be penalized if the state's leaders continue to refuse federal funds. Georgia's rural counties already have the lowest incomes and highest rates of the insured. In an ideological battle over funding, who is representing rural Georgia's interest? It's certainly not the ruling GOP, nor the rural republican legislators who just sit there and say or do nothing to advocate for the rural cashiers at the local dollar general store, workers from the kaolin factory all because of trying to be "Politically Correct:!

Georgia Democratic Candidates & The Elusive 8-10%

If you're a democratic candidate here in Georgia, you'll automatically start out with 42-43% of the vote statewide. That's the floor for the democrats here in Georgia. That's a given! But what's more of a concern for democratic candidates is the other 8-10% of the vote that's proving to be elusive.

If look at recent polls, it shows both Michelle Nunn, candidate for the U.S. Senate & Jason Carter, candidate for governor hovering between 40-43%........but neither have advance above the 43% threshold and that's the root of the problem for democratic candidates nowadays in Georgia.

Many of those voters tend to be independent who lean conservative or are just straight independent voters. In my opinion, Zell Miller's 2004 Speech at the Republican National Convention contributed to independents and moderates voters switching from voting for democrats to republican (that's another story for another time)

So how can they capture the other 8-10 percent needed to win statewide contest.

Those voters, but not all of them, I think are conflicted about the role of government, that we know. But they don't like the partisanship coming from both sides. And they're afraid that the product ti come out of such a process will be too partisan, too driven by special interest.

Michelle Nunn, Jason Carter and other ballot democrats can appeal to the moderate republicans, conservative democrats if all can project a positive message in contrast of the doom and gloom, scare the hell out of you message being employed by the republicans because you better believe than Deal and whoever emerges in the republican primary for the U.S. Senate will be waging a negative  campaign filled with scare tactics & conspiracies. Now at some point they (dems) will have to go on the attack if some baseless accusation is hurled at them.

If they can come out talking positively, talking about the future of Georgia, etc, then they can begin to pickoff those voters that are critical for electoral success in November.

The narrative now is that Carter, Nunn has given Georgia Democrats a chance to come out of the wilderness and compete in statewide elections for the first time in over a decade & their star power gives them the opportunity to raise money, mobilize future voters and energize veteran democratic stalwarts who have been beaten down by years of losing at the ballot box.  The key for each of them, along with others like Chris Irvin (Agriculture Commissioner) Greg Hecht (Attorney General) & others is can they appeal to the state's centrist voters who either vote reoublican or simply sit out elections because they don;t like the choices on the ballot and can they build on momentum the party have to build a formidable statewide network?

But in order for democrats to be competitive, they need more than Nunn and Carter at the top of the ticket. Outside of those two, who else on the ballot can help strengthened and appeal to centrist/independent voters tired of the partisan games. It's a tossup, with the exception of Greg Hecht (who ran for Lt. Governor in 2006) the other candidates are first time candidates for statewide office. That's why its essential that Secretary of State candidate Gerald Beckum, a rural white conservative democrat emerge from the democratic primary who knows how to connect to the very voters democrats have had a hard time winning over & Robin Shipp, candidate for Labor Commissioner who have made several trips to middle and south Georgia since announcing her entry for Labor Commissioner) to continue engaging small town voters over the next 7 months.

The hope I think for the party is that these candidates have the ability to reach out to moderate republicans who are disgruntled with the right wing of the republican party, which is the Tea Party, as well as conservative democrats and Independents. Many of these voters long for a common-sense alternative, but need to feel comfortable electing a moderate who's not liberal and who is likely to differ from the National Democratic Party Platform on social issues which will reassure voters who consider those issues important. Then, with voters comfortable, these candidates can share their values and then talk about issues such as education, economic growth and the need for cooperation, which Michelle Nunn is stressing to voters as she travels the state.

They can tell voters they deserve a education system that doesn't cram as many children as possible into a classroom and they shouldn't have a senator, governor or a state legislature that do not view those at the bottom of the barrel of the economic ladder as prone to become dependent on government help if they expand social programs to assist them temporarily through economic hard times. They should have someone in D.C. or Atlanta that don't consider "Bi-partisanship" a dirty word.

To sum it all up: There is no winning here without appealing to independent voters, moderate republicans and conservative democrats. And there;s no winning without the base, which means capitulation doesn't work  Democrats like Jason Carter have to persuade voters in the middle that they can do a better job that the other occupants. Democrats need to make the case for common-sense solutions to problems facing voters here in the state. All too often some dismiss the arguments of the other side as worthless, crazy, stupid, and walk away leaving folks to believe what they hear on talk radio or Fox News which is a right-wing network. Democrats have to engage, they have to persuade, they have to listen to the crazy, out of the mainstream arguments and calmly refute them. That's how you reach voters in the middle.

It's how you change the wind and it's what they will have to do, because I can picture what every GOP candidate running will be talking about: Obamacare (which they are banking on as their meal ticket).....Taxes......Obamacare.......Liberal this.......Obamacare........Harry Reid........Liberal that.........Obamacare, you know the drill.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

What's Needed To Defeat A Entrenched Incumbent?

Courage, Committment, Determination, and Ego make first-time candidates or challengers to incumbents run. But what does it take to make them win? Candidates ranging from Jason Carter (Governor), Christopher Irvin (Agriculture Commissioner), Gerald Beckum (Secretary of State) to Brian Roslund, Harris County Democrat & Railroad executive taking on Incumbent (R) State Senator Josh McKoon to Joyce Denson of Toomsboro challenging Bubber Epps for HD 144 have stepped up to the plate to defeat entrenched incumbents. 


The challenges they faces are legion: Will major demographic changes in the state bode well for Carter, a Bluedog Georgia Democrat running in a Republican leaning state? Will Gerald Beckum's well-connected personal contacts across the state from his time of mayor of Oglethorpe bring the dollars so critical to his campaign? Will candidates such as Brian Roslund attract enough media attention? To whom can they turn for sound strategic advice and support? Balancing key issues in electoral politics with a fascinating David-and-Goliath storyline

How does anyone ever defeat a sitting incumbent? It's simple: Have a message that rings and resonates among open-like-minded voters. Because the rigid partisans, those types are unreachable.

The most likely conditions under which a incumbent is defeated would be where there is something extraordinary going on politically, such as the economy in dire condition, or voters who makeup the regular, working class, everyday Joes feel that their situation isn't getting any better.

In order for incumbents to lose elections, they must not only be perceived as having failed, but conditions ranging from economic to overall conditions throughout the state have to be going in a downward spiral or trending that way. Those discouraging conditions make a challenger's message resonate. If some of those conditions don't exist, the challenger might have a very bold, convincing message that ought to be appealing, but it will not be enough to persuade most voters to support the challenger. The main decision  that voters are making is not whether they want to endorse the challenger's vision and message, but whether they want to throw out the incumbent.

Eye On Georgia 1st Congressional District

Brian Reese
Amy Tavio
While everyone is focused on the Governor & Senate Races here in Georgia, down in the 1st Congressional District, there is a spirited race going on to see who will become the Democratic nominee to face the Republican Nominee in November.

Moderate Amy Tavio, a realtor from Richmond Hill & Progressive Brian Reese, Managing Partner, UPS our of Savannah are both running strong races in a bid to replace Jack Kingston who is running for the U.S. Senate.

The last democrat who held that seat was Robert Lindsay Thomas in 1990. Definitely a race worth keeping a eye on. Democrats in Atlanta & Washington haven't put this race on their radar, but with a very uninspiring & lackluster field of Republican candidates running in the 1st, which has a R+9 advantage (the same as GA-12), you never know.

More on this race later.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It Must Be A Election Year!

It's 2014, it's a election year and to no one's surprise, the wedge and cultural issues are back just in time for the Georgia GOP & the midterm elections.

Legislation from allowing guns in churches, stripping the governor from implementing medicaid, a Arizona-Style anti-gay bill, restrictions on early voting, etc, etc are bills designed to cater to their base and to drive voter participation in this year's elections. Clearly instead of trying to make the lives better for Georgians, the republican-led majority are making things worse and creating problems for the sake for gathering votes at the ballot box.

Wedge Issues are issues that appeal to people's emotions. Georgia Republicans are skilled at employing these tactics to get most Georgians to avoid reasoned discussion of public policy on issues like economic fairness, education for example. They do this by appealing to voters emotional instinct.  While they have the general public, political experts and the media distracted with these emotional issues, they go off and the make the already wealthy even more wealthier at the expense of the working class worker. Issues like the Arizona-Style Anti-Gay bill and the Gun Bill that would allow guns to be carried in churches and on college campuses are a powerful distraction and allow Georgia Republicans to accomplish their goals while the public is pre-occupied with some trumped up emotional issue in a election year that they could care less about.

These things are a great way for them to raise $$$ from diehard supporters for their members while liberals and democrats have fewer pre-sold appeals and that maybe because, well they tend to use their heads before acting.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Jason Carter to Speak at Jefferson-Jackson Dinner April 5 in Peach County.

State Senator Jason Carter (D), gubernatorial candidate for governor will be the featured speaker at the Peach County Democratic Party's First Annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on April 5 at 6:00 p.m. at Fort Valley State University.

Expect other Statewide Candidates to appear at this function as well.

Tickets are $50.00. For more Info, contact Kattie Kendrick, Chairwoman of the Peach Co. Democratic Party or Vice-Chairwoman Mary Ann-van Hartesveldt  478-825-7624 or 478-825-2985

Monday, February 24, 2014

HD 139: Thomas Coogle Will Not Seek Election To State House

Macon County Native & 2012 Candidate Thomas Coogle announces he will not run for HD 139 in 2014. Coogle, along with his family have relocated to Tifton to devote more time to the family business, Reynolds Foodliner which has a business located in Adel, Ga

Coogle with State Sen. Jason Carter During Qualifying
In a statement Coogle says "I want to thank all the residents of HD 139 (Dooly, Macon, Taylor & southern Peach County) who supported my efforts to become the next State Representative for HD 139. Although I was unsuccessful in my bid in which I fell short of 43 votes, I believe I ran a race focused on issues, not personalities. I'm so very proud of the hard work that so many people provided during my underdog campaign, in which no one gave a chance. I'm proud of the issues we brought to the light and the needed recognition that transparency, job creation, education, economic fairness, the extremely high unemployment rate of the district, agriculture  and public involvement received during the last election cycle. I gave it my all and ran a serious, methodical, civil campaign. I knocked on many doors, received supported from some of the most unexpected places and encouraged residents who have never voted before to practice their civic duty. I am forever grateful to my supporters. It is now in the hands of the people of 139. Don't stop asking questions, stay involved in the political process and to make HD 139 a wonderful place to live, raise a child, and live a happy, healthy life".

Coogle advanced to the Democratic Runoff against Patty Bentley and fell short 49.6% to 50.3%. Coogle hasn't ruled out another run for office in the future

With qualifying looming, no one has emerged as a challenger to Bentley who's serving her first term who hails from Taylor County.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Should One of the Democratic Candidates for the Senate Follow Eugene Yu Lead & Switch Races?

With the switch of longshot U.S. Senate Candidate Eugene Yu (R-Augusta) from the U.S. Senate race to the 12th Congressional District, the question need to be raised should one or more of the Democratic Candidates consider doing the same thing?
Oglethorpe Mayor Gerald Beckum

The race on the Democratic Side has turned into a two person affair between Centrist Democrat Michelle Nunn (D-Atlanta) & Progressive Democrat Dr. Branko Radulovacki (D-Atlanta). 

Thus that leaves Gerald Beck, Steen Miles & Todd Robinson as the other democrats on the outside looking in because Michelle Nunn is sucking all if not most of the media attention & money away from the other candidates as well as Branko Radulovacki. You can say its unfair, but it is what it is.

Out of the three, Gerald Beckum, 68, mayor of Oglethorpe & Conservative Democrat should seriously consider doing what Eugene Yu have done....Switch Races. His long extensive background as a mayor & Agribusinessman would serve him well for Agriculture Commissioner, or (since he's already running for the U.S. Senate), a run for Lt. Governor. Connie Stokes isn't exactly tearing it up in terms of fundraising & building a statewide network. If he wants to stay local, then a run for the State Legislature would suit him well.

Beckum has been mayor since 1983 and is one of the very few remaining old line populist Georgia Democrats from the George Busbee, Joe Frank Harris, Zell Miller era. 

With qualifying set to begin on March 3, time is crucial for State Democrats to field candidates for down ballot races. Dems need a strong, credible slate of candidates who have the ability to appeal in a general election. At last check, general elections aren't won in the primary.

69 Yr Old Treutlen County Resident & Self Described Reagan Democrat: "Democrats Don't Even Campaign Around Here"!

2012 HD 138 Candidate Kevin Brown (D-Buena Vista)
"With the exception of Congressman John Barrow, Democrats don't even campaign around this area, all you see is Republican signs. If they ran candidates here and statewide candidates expose themselves to the folks in these neck of the woods, they'd get more support" said 69 year old Treutlen County Resident & self described Reagan Democrat (who shall remain nameless) in email I received a month ago.

And I agree 1000% with that sentiment

Most Democrats here in Georgia often think too much about big problems that might or could happen. These potential problems always seem to be more important at the very moment that party leaders should be developing a truly statewide Democratic campaign infrastructure. That infrastructure is exactly what is need to regain more Georgia House & Senate seats. As a resident of the boondocks this is a issue for central & southern Georgia.

2012 HD 139 Candidate Thomas Coogle (D-Oglethorpe) 
However, these areas have be short changed by the leadership in Atlanta.

Oftentimes, campaign decision makers and money men in Atlanta invest in metropolitan areas instead of small communities such as Cordele, Camilla, Homerville, Georgetown, Claxton, Buchanan. Obviously, this hurts democrats chances to even make a dent in the Republican super-majority or near super majority in Atlanta. There are competitive districts in Southwest, Middle & Northeast Georgia, they just need a little nourishment.

Businessmen and laymen alike know that you must invest to get a return. Not investing in these rural areas to help mobilize Democrats crushes their chances at progress, and in the process it hits the youth the hardest. Much of the base of the statewide Democratic party is probably between the 18-45 age range, but in the rural areas where the population is much older, democrats have lost ground or just lost these voters for over a decade now.. Right now these people are the “bread and butter” of elections. However, this is not a solution for the long term. The party must invest in rural youth to be successful. Bringing on the power of younger voters will make Georgia out front and allow then to stay relevant and competitive.

2010 HD 143 Candidate Dan King (D-Dublin) 
Ignoring the rural youth and pulling/denying campaign support and funds from rural Democratic candidates who are not progressive or die-in-the-wool Obamacrats is not the way to develop a statewide, long term majority.

On the bright side, if campaign leaders invested in rural youths and supported rural candidates, there would be no one left to tell them (Ahem!!)

2010, '12 HD 153 Candidate John Tibbetts (D-Tifton)
they were doing it wrong. Now you probably ask what is the democrats major challenge for rural Georgia in the next election cycle & beyond? I think their biggest challenge is also their biggest opportunity. They need to get the message out to rural citizens about how the anti-working class agenda of the current majority in the Georgia State Legislature doesn’t represent the interests of any part of the state, and particularly rural Georgia. Getting that message to rural voters will be their biggest challenge and doing so will their our greatest asset.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Candidate Recruitment

Recruitment is an activity that parties whether its the Democratic or Republican Party can engage in even if the party is weak on other dimensions of organizational strength. In the case of the Georgia Democratic Party, it must contest races in order to stand any chance of winning office, candidate recruitment is one of the first task for the Georgia Democratic Party. It must be able to recruit candidates, even if the party lacks a grassroots base or significant caucus resources. 

Having said that, here we are in a state that's trending from red to pink and eventually purple, Democrats are still having difficulty locating, recruiting, targeting candidates for legislative.....and even so far statewide contests. I'll talk about statewide contest later.

With qualifying looming early next month, the success of candidate recruitment in the legislature will depend on the House Democratic & Senate Democratic caucus willingness to accept democrats who are in the mold of a, say John Barrow, a conservative, but independent-minded democrat who doesn't toe the party line on every substantive issue that comes before them. Especially in the House where minority leader Stacey Abrams, a unabashed liberal who I say is wary of any Democrat hailing below I-20 or below Macon running as Bluedog Moderate or Conservative Democrat. And that maybe because of rash party switchers that has occurred over the past 4,6,8 yrs (Dems from largely rural areas switching to GOP). But those days (Party Switching) are over, I believe.

Now let me offer Dem's some advice:

Make a list of likely prospects, and analyze for strengths and weaknesses & then select a final few to approach. If possible, get to know prospective candidates personally before ever mentioning their running for office. Try to determine their level of integrity, energy, etc.  

Meet face to face with the potential candidate to discuss the potential of running for office. If possible, get an elected democrat to help with the approach. The face to face meeting is an important step, and help you find out what they are interested in, what time commitments they can make, and what issues they are addressing in their lives that might impact their ability to run. Help find solutions to potential barriers they may put up against running: (if parents, they may need day care; if low income, they will need financial support; if working, they may be very busy and not able to commit a lot of time to run). 

Talk about issues; make sure there is a philosophical agreement between the party and candidate. It doesn't have to be 100%. If the candidate agrees with 65-70% with the philosophy of the Party of Jefferson (Thomas) & Jackson (Andrew), then that should be the green light. An ideal candidate should have their own network of support outside the Democratic Party. Certainly y'all can offer solid support, but the candidate must bring SOME resources to the table. Be clear with expectations of time and money being  spent, among other things.

And one more thing and I've said this before, the best candidate are the ones who's background and life story fit into the district he or she is running in! REMEMBER THAT!!

With qualifying weeks away, there maybe too little time to go through each of these, but if I were in charge of recruiting, this is the process I would use when seeking potential candidates for House or Senate Districts.

Rural Democrat Seeks Post On YDG Executive Board

Looking to break the Metro Atlanta hold on the Young Democrats of Georgia, Fort Valley Resident & former Marine Randy A. Goss (D-Fort Valley) will run for VP of Membership for the Young Democrats of Georgia at this year's convention to be held in Columbus.
Goss who is currently a member of the Peach County Democratic Party and Middle Georgia Regional Director for the YDG. His political career begin in 2011 in the Fort Valley State University (FVSU) SGA as a student senator and while also being the public relations officer for the political science student association a group which was then second only behind the SGA in active group he was pursuing his Bachelors degree while working part-time.
During his time in those positions he registered over 500+ Peach County voters alone. Democrats of the 2nd Congressional District held a conference at FVSU class in which he began becoming active in the Democratic Party.
At that same time he and a group of friends began to slowly Charter a Chapter for Peach County Young Dems in 2012, but election year slowed progress to help the Democratic Party.
During the election time he managed the 2nd Congressional District/ Peach Democrats election headquarters. 
During the Peach County Democratic Party caucus in December he announced my candidacy to be on the party executive board for Peach Co post 4 which included the northern half of Fort Valley, Powersville, west Byron, & its 1st Vice chair position. He was unopposed for both positions
In 2013 he refocused his efforts on rebuilding the YD Chapter for Peach County, and attended the YDG convention in Atlanta, and the YDA National convention in San Antonio, during local elections he announced his endorsement for Barbara Williams (which she became victorious) to be mayor of Fort Valley.
During that year the 2nd Congressional District appointed Goss to be Quadrant Chair covering the Northeast/North Central portion of the Second Congressional District which includes Bibb, Crawford, Peach, Taylor, Macon, Dooly, Crisp, & Sumter Counties
Goss is a a former Marine and graduate of Ft. Valley State University with a degree in Political Science & Criminal Justice.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Nunn, Carter & The Coattail Effect

 There's this thing in Politics called Coattails or "The Coattail Effect" & in this year's midterm elections here in Georgia, one wonders what kind of coattails will Gubernatorial candidate for Governor Jason Carter (D-Decatur), son of former Governor and President James E. ""Jimmy" Carter & U.S. Senate & eventual candidate Michelle Nunn (D-Atlanta), daughter of former State Rep & U.S. Senator Sam Nunn will have in this year's elections.

If you don't know what coattails are, its the power of a popular candidate to gather support for other candidates running on the same party ticket. Strong or winning candidates are said to have coattails when they drag candidates for lower office along with them to victory.

The reality is, when you run for office, the only person you better count on to get the job done is yourself. But of course a candidate cannot win any election without help from many others. All politics are local and local is where any election needs to start.

The Democratic Party can have the best candidates, be on the right side of the issues and put out poll changing marketing, however, without a wide-ranging and extensive ground game, they will come up short time and time again. The proof is in the pudding, look at the 2008 Senate race between Jim Martin and Saxby Chambliss. Martin clearly rode the coattails of Barack Obama and as a result he forced Chambliss into a runoff, but when the General Election was over and with no Barack Obama on tip of the ballot, Martin was exposed with a very weak or non-existant ground game needed thus lost in the runoff.

There doesn't need to be some sort of dramatic Soul Searching for Democrats, they just need to be clear, acknowledge the facts and look in the mirror. Elections are different each year, but the fundamentals of a very successful election never ever change. Democrats here in Georgia CANNOT RELY ON HOPE OR SCANDAL OR SOMEONE RESIGNING from the GOP side to win. Although it never hurts.

In Jason Carter & Michelle Nunn, the Democratic Party have two candidates who, depending how their perspective campaigns go could have those valuable coattails needed to pull weaker candidates across the 50% threshold. Both are moderate-minded democrats who can appeal & can pull votes from Independents, suburbanites, rural moderates & disaffected Conservative Democrats. In the case of Michelle Nunn who's making her first run for office, if voters, especially those in Rural Georgia see her in the same mold of her very popular father and former Senator, her coattails could reach as far down to the local level (Commissioner, State Legislative Seats). Jason Carter youth, enthusiasm, passion and his ability to talk and appeal to the Bluecollar working man and woman and his ability to persuade could also have the same effect. His relationship to former President Carter will hinder him with some voters who'll never vote for him because he's a democrat and he's related to President Carter, who is a favorite whipping boy for hardline republicans.

What I know is that coattails aren't just the result of a popular candidate convincing voters to support his or her platform, the most powerful coattail effects are caused by actually changing the composition of the electorate. When the candidate at the top of the ticket catches fire, members of that candidate's party are energized, invigorated. They work harder for the whole ticket and come out to vote for it in higher numbers.

If you're a candidate for congress here in Georgia, it would help if you attach yourself to either one of these candidates or both.

Party labels in my view serve poorly as shortcuts and both National Parties are not popular at the moment. Attaching your campaign to a presidential candidate would do more harm than good. But since gubernatorial candidates are well known inside the state and have a strong network, congressional candidates such as Amy Tavio can win votes by allying with a Carter or Nunn.

But in the end, coattails alone will not be enough for any democrat running for office here in Georgia this year and beyond. He or she must have a decent ground game as well. Just the coattails alone may get them 3-4% more of the vote, but if they want 50%, a ground game is essential.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dutton to Run for GA-12 CD

State Rep. Delvis Dutton (R-Glennville) will throw his hat into the ring for a shot at Incumbent Conservative Democrat John Barrow (D-Augusta) as he announced his entry into the 12th CD race, joining republicans Rick Allen & John Stone, both of Augusta. 

Dutton was elected (and unopposed in 2010) after longtime Rep. Terry Barnard retired from the Georgia Legislature. 

Dutton is a small business owner, attended Georgia Southern University and married with two children. 

Right now, Barrow is favored to win re-election, but November is a long time, so things could change before then.

No word on who'll seek HD 157 as of yet.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

We Need To Be More Open To School Choice Here In Georgia, Especially In The Democratic Party

A better-educated Georgia, and a better-educated family, is a major void in current school reform efforts here in the state. The issues of competition and accountability are all too often ignored in efforts to improve public education. 

Now I'm a strong supporter of public schools, in fact I am a product of the public school system.  But I'm also in favor of school choice, which is a change from a few years ago. Quite simply, I believe in giving parents more choice about where to educate their children. My support of school choice is founded in the common sense premise that no parent should be forced to send a child to a poorly performing school.'

Unfortunately, however, countless parents, especially in the urban cities, are now forced to do just that. Parents in middle and upper-class communities have long practiced school choice. They made sure that their children attended schools where they would get the best possible education. There is no reason why this option should be closed to low-income parents. Education used to be the poor child’s ticket out of poverty. Now it’s part of the system that traps people in the underclass.

Why school choice? 

Two reasons: excellence and accountability. Parents want academic excellence for their children. They also want to know that there is someone in their child’s school who is ACCOUNTABLE for achieving those high academic standards.

In most cities/towns in this state, however, if your child is zoned into a school that is not performing well academically, and where teachers and administrators don’t see themselves as being responsible for academic performance, parents have no recourse. Parents can only send their child to that school and hope for the best. Under a school choice plan, a parent would have options. There would be consequences for a school’s poor performance. Parents could pull their children out of poorly performing schools and enroll them someplace else. If exercising this option leads to a mass exodus from certain underachieving schools, schools will learn this painful lesson: schools will either improve, or close due to declining enrollments.

 Nonetheless, believe that the Democratic Party should re-evaluate its position on school choice issues. 

Choice should not be included in partisan tones. School choice should be about giving our state’s children the best possible educational foundation. Some low-income Black parents here in Georgia have shown they care so much that they will even go so far as to look halfway around the world.....well not around the world, but a neighboring county/city in order to find a good school for their children.

And I've also hear people say that school choice is elitist, or even racist. The truth is that black low-income children are among the prime victims of the state’s failing public schools. Black parents know this all too well. This is why they have been so open to the idea of school choice.

With time, and through open dialogue, critics of school choice will come to see this movement for what it is: part of an emerging new battle for the millennium, the battle for education equity. We need to give poor children the same right that children from more upscale households have long enjoyed. The right to an education that will prepare them to make a meaningful contribution to society. It is that simple

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) to Run for U.S. Senate

Rarely does Peanut Politics venture outside of Georgia, but in this case it's different.

Shannon with wife and family
Oklahoma's Republican House Speaker T.W. Shannon will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated early by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn tomorrow at a series of events scheduled out in Oklahoma

The 35-year-old from Lawton joins two-term U.S. Rep. James Lankford in the race for the state's first open U.S. Senate seat since 2004.
A member of the Chickasaw Nation, Shannon was the first African-American and the youngest speaker of the Oklahoma House when elected last year.
Shannon is a 6th generation Oklahoman and 3rd generation Lawtonian. T.W. is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation. He is a former Congressional Staffer having worked for U.S. Representatives JC Watts and Tom Cole.

The Biggest Lie Ever Told: The Republicans are for "Small" Government

The Republican Party touts itself as the advocate for small government and individual liberty. Well, that's the biggest lie ever told in Politics.

For all the talk about how Democrats are the party of Big Government, let's keep it real...The Republican Party also love Big Government. A few marginal party activists, like U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, or even Paul Broun of Georgia have championed limited government, even libertarian policies. But this is not at all the norm for the GOP nationally, state and local.

It has also supported government subsidies for religious institutions, government restrictions on immigration and free passage across international boundaries, government denial of collective bargaining rights for public sector workers and government interference with women’s right to abortion and doctors’ right to perform it. The Republicans has rallied around, (Guess what) government interference with the right of same-sex couples to marry, government provision of extraordinarily lengthy imprisonment for drug possession (for example, in the “war on drugs”) and numerous other nonviolent offenses, government interference with voting rights (such as “voter suppression” laws), and government restrictions on freedom of information.

Wait.....now there is plenty of GOP support for small government when it comes to cutting taxes on the wealthy, limiting regulation of big business, gutting environmental regulations, weakening legal protections for workers and minorities, and slashing government funding for public education, public health, and social welfare services. But there is a common thread to this kind of small government action. It is all designed to serve the interests of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of everyone else. (Look here in Georgia for example) Thus, the Republican Party opposes government alleviation of hunger through the distribution of food stamps, but supports government subsidies to corporations. I don't get it!

You can bet and you're already hearing it with this being the year that all 435 members of congress are up and many Senators face re-election and wanna be congressmen, women and senators are vying to occupy some of these seats, there will be plenty of rhetoric about freedom and limited government. But the party’s actual policies will reflect a very different agenda. For THOSE folks who can see beyond the deluge of SLICK campaign advertisements, it should be clear enough that the Republican Party’s claim to support small government  is a fraud, a scam, a outright lie! That claim is only an attractive mask, designed to disguise a party of privilege.

Jim Marshall (D-Macon) Resigns From U.S. Institute of Peace, Could a Return To Politics Be Next?

Former Georgia Congressman Jim Marshall (D-Macon) Steps down as president of U.S. Institute of Peace.

For Immediate Release
Date: January 11, 2014
Contact: Peter Loge, Vice President External Relations
(Washington) - U.S. Institute of Peace President Jim Marshall stepped down on Friday.
“It has been a privilege and honor for me to lead this mission and work with such a talented and dedicated staff,” said Marshall. “The Institute has a bright future and is well positioned for continued success. It was time for a change and this was the right moment to make it.”
 “In his time at USIP Jim led a major effort to energize and focus the Institute, and to advance its important efforts in conflict zones around the world,” said Board Chairman J. Robinson West.  “The Board especially appreciates his success in recruiting top notch staff and developing an ambitious new vision for USIP.”
“Jim has committed his life to public service, as an Army Ranger, as a mayor, as a congressman, and as the President of USIP.  His contributions to the Institute are only further evidence of his dedication to advancing America’s national security,” said West.
“The board is deeply grateful to Jim for his service to the Institute,” said Vice Chairman George Moose.  “We have full confidence in the strategic direction of the Institute, its leadership, and its remarkable staff.   The vital work of the Institute to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict around the world will continue, and continue to grow in significance.”
Chairman West welcomed the appointment of Kristin Lord, Executive Vice President of the Institute, as acting President, saying, "The Institute is extremely fortunate to have in Kristin a strong and experienced leader.  I speak on behalf of the full USIP Board in expressing our full confidence in her ability to take the organization forward by implementing the strategic vision that she herself has been central to shaping."

Marshal was named president of the organization after his defeat to Austin Scott in the 2010 elections. With his resignation, Marshall may return to Macon, where he once served as Mayor and don't be surprised to hear his name come up as a possible candidate for a statewide office in 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Third Democrat To Enter Race for Georgia State School Superintendent

Rita Robinzane
Twenty-Four year veteran public school teacher Rita Robinzane (D-Lithonia) has decided to do more in her role as an educator and become a candidate for state school superintendent.

Robinzane says “I believe that I have the experience to fulfill the responsibilities required for this position.  I am an educator, not a politician.  As a teacher, I have firsthand experience with the state’s teacher evaluation system, testing and Race to the Top funding.  I know the day-to-day operations of what goes on in a classroom and the challenges that teachers have to overcome in order to meet requirements set by the state.   

Once elected, I plan to improve education for all children, support teachers with helping students succeed, and work to get the funding needed for better resources.   Once the graduation rate increases, more businesses will relocate to Georgia.  The quality of life in Georgia will improve once education for all students in the state gets better.”

Rita Robinzine is a member of the State Committee of the Democratic Party, the Junior League of Atlanta and the DeKalb Democratic Party. She joins State Rep Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell) and Doeford Shirley (D-Marietta) who also announced their intentions in seeking the State School Superintendent Post

How Rural Georgians View Their Republican-Led State Government

How can it be that in rural areas of Georgia, where many communities are dying and lots of individuals are struggling to make ends meet, there is a strong preference for limited government and thus considerable
Cochran, Ga 
support for right wing politicians and the Republican Party? In rural areas as in cities, many poor individuals vote for Democrats.

In my stop through Henderson, Ga yesterday at a local small business, Hank Murrow, a 60 yr old retired truck driver and self described conservative democrat during our short conversation explained: "Rural places often get extra government help and pay lower taxes per person, compared to suburban and rural areas". Well he's right, some folks suggest that rural Georgians just do not understand their own economic interests. Rural Georgians are distracted by cultural appeals. Guns, abortion, and religion are pegged as hot-button diversions that allow right wing politicians to gain office with appeals against government.

But let me present a different answer..... Many Georgians living in places outside of the cities and nearby suburbs think of themselves first and foremost as “rural people,” as members of communities  that get short shrift from government and politicians. For Georgians with what I call rural consciousness, government is not understood policy by policy. It is viewed more in its entirety, as an outside force that largely ignores rural places and is unlikely ever to understand the true needs of rural people or give them their fair share of public resources.

As I listened to ongoing conversations over the past two weekends in Lee, Bleckley, Houston Counties, I found that many rural residents perceive their communities as the victims of government decisions that routinely ignore or misunderstand rural needs and use rural resources to disproportionately help more privileged urbanites. Georgia has several large metropolitan areas: Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Columbus, Albany just to name a few. To people like Leo Nalls, a 72 yr old retiree from Leesburg and a republican put it, "In the areas of Georgia away from those metropolitan centers, many people around here perceive that Atlanta draws in all of the state’s resources and spends most of those resources on itself or not only on urban centers, but upscale suburban areas of the state like Johns Creek, Dunwoody, Canton, Cumming, for example".

Urban and suburban decision-makers, as non-metropolitan Georgians see them, have little understanding of rural lifestyles and values. Inadequate appreciation of the continuous hard work and  neighborliness that go on in most rural communities, where people have long struggled with difficult economic circumstances. Rural Georgians in these counties say republican lawmakers from the Metro Atlanta area and Northern Georgia hold all of the decisions.

The link between the Republican Party here in Georgia and rural areas is not simply about economic interests. Much of the explanation lies in the social perspectives rural folks use to interpret  politics. For many people in rural communities, as government policies championed by Democrats are the work of urbanites understood as culturally distinct from and dismissive of  rural people like themselves.

Another interesting exchange I had over the weekend was with a woman in Bleckley County who didn't want her name to be mentioned, but she teaches school in the Bleckley County School System who said she voted for Nathan Deal in 2010, but now is looking at Democratic Candidate Jason Carter. She said, None of the politicians ever come to see us until it's time for them to seek re-election. She then goes on to say "I'm happy that Gov. Deal is putting over $500 million dollars toward education, it's a good start, but money alone isn't going to solve the current crisis many schools south of Macon are facing and that alone won't be enough to satisfy teachers who have grown disgruntled by the continued cuts to education by the Republicans over the last decade". "And with the new changes to teachers healthcare plan, Deal, she says have dug himself into a hole". I then asked her if she thought it was because of the ACA, or "Obamacare" that those changes were taking place? She replied: "NO, that's just a easy way for Gov. Deal and the Republicans to deflect attention away from their mistake and put it on the ACA, which is unpopular at the moment".

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Let's Communicate in District 148, says Randy Head

That's the slogan for political newcomer Randy Head as he prepares to take on Buddy Harden for HD 148.

Over in Pulaski County, Emmett "Randy" Head (R-Hawkinsville) is preparing for his first run for public office, which is State Representative against Buddy Harden (R-Cordele) for HD 148, which consist of Crisp, Wilcox, Pulaski and rural Houston County (Clinchfield, Henderson, Elko, Kathleen, Grovania, Haynesville)

The 54 yr old Head was born and raised in Hawkinsville who owns a small business in Perry called Grillmaster, which is near I-75. He's married to Wanda Head who is a educator.

I am a small businessowner with experience in Agriculture and Pecan Production, says Head. As a person who has grown up in this area, it always been  dream of mine to work and serve the citizens who makeup this area of Georgia, the Heart of Georgia.

Head emphasizes progress for the district with economic development, agriculture, small business and communication in HD 148. We have an abundance of resources available in this area and we need to protect and expand upon these resources says Head.

Some of the issues facing HD 148 & the State Head wants to address include:

-Rural Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
-Robins AirForce Base (BRAC)
-Create a atmosphere that will lead to the creation of more small businesses that is the engine that drives the economy and communities
-Equipping Law Enforcement with the necessary tools to keep homes and streets safe
-Sustaining and promoting Georgia Agriculture as well as fighting for Family Farms

Head then goes on to say, we need to maximize the potential of all of our resources in order to grow our economy and create jobs. To ensure our success, we need to be open-mined and lines of communication must be open in order to move this district and this forward to better ensure a bright future for our children and grandchildren. His website is http://www.randyhead.org

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Amy Tavio for Congress Announces Five Stops on Campaign Kickoff Tour


Amy Tavio for Congress Announces Five Stops on Campaign Kickoff Tour

RICHMOND HILL, GA, January 21, 2014 – Amy Tavio, Democratic candidate for Georgia’s First Congressional District, today announced five stops on her Campaign Kickoff Tour January 23 The events are as followed:

Richmond Hill - J.F. Gregory Park - 8:30 A.M.

Savannah - International Trade Center Riverwalk - 11:30 A.M.

Hinesville - Bradwell Park - 2:30 A.M.

Brunswick - Glynn County Public Library, Downtown Location - 5:00 P.M.

Waycross - Cavagnaro’s Restaurant (Coffee and tea provided.)  - 7:30 A..M.

Amy will be available to answer questions from the press and the general public.She looks forward to interacting with the electorate to promote common sense solutions in Washington.

We request that all further inquiries be directed to Campaign Manager Charles Feagain. Charles can be reached by phone at 912-429-0494 or by email at cafeagain@gmail.com.
This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat