Sunday, September 14, 2014

"Kannapolis" - Michelle Nunn for U.S. Senate

Candidate Spotlight: Sadie J. Jenkins (D-Glennville) HD 157

The Democratic Nominee for GA House District 157 is Sadie J. Jenkins.  Sadie moved to Tattnall County in 1994 to serve as prison librarian at Smith State Prison (Glennville, GA).  She transferred to Coastal State Prison ( near the Savannah Airport ) the same year. Jenkins retired in 2011.   

Sadie was born in Miller County, GA and graduated from Worth County High School, Sylvester, GA.  After graduating from Berry College and teaching three years, she earned a Masters of Librarianship ( M Ln) from Emory University.  Jenkins worked as a public librarian in Albany, started the Talking Book Center there and left for Gainesville, GA to begin their center.  In 1975, Sadie was presented with a choice between becoming head of the Mississippi State Library f/t Blind and Physically Handicapped, or Talking Book Center Librarian in Rome GA.  Jenkins chose her home state and went to Rome. Sadie left the library in 1986 after founding and becoming Director of the Community Info Line.  The agency, primarily funded through United Way, connected people with resources in the area.
Sadie has been an advocate for people in her career and community service.  Her work with Laubach Literacy, as mental health advocate, as board member of Mental Health Associations and the civic groups she joined ( i.e.,Civitan, Lions ) - all reflect that commitment.  

Having worked in agencies with huge missions and small budgets, Jenkins is understandably conservative on budget matters.  She knows the funding crunch with our schools is not a battle between our state and its educators, but a challenge to create a stronger tax base in our state and counties.   With new emphasis on the Savannah Port, Jenkins predicts Atlanta will become envious of the Southeast Georgia business expansion opportunities.  Good times are just ahead if our area leaders work together.

Jenkins has sought public office previously in Floyd County GA.  She was in a run-off with the sole Republican in a non-partisan election for an unexpired seat in the GA House in 1980.  She ran against Congressman Larry McDonald in 1980 and for County Commission in 1992.   

Sadie believes Democrats need to stand up, declare themselves as a Democrat, and speak up for the people in our state.  Being a woman, she is not limiting herself to women's rights, but to the rights of all people.  Jenkins feels we must change the rhetoric surrounding all issues.  Gun ownership is no longer an issue in Georgia.  No Georgia voters are against gun ownership.  We do need to address the small minority of citizens who abuse guns.  Issues challenging Georgia are not Democrat or Republican.  They require level-headed, sensible people working together to solve them.  

Sadie J Jenkins is an experienced, committed, public servant.  She is retired and work ready.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

More On the Miller Endorsement of Michelle Nunn

Political endorsements for a candidate are like getting a letter of recommendation for a job interview. 

I wrote a blog post a while back stating Michelle Nunn should pay a visit to the North Georgia Mountains and I wasn't talking about for a vacation. I was talking about securing an endorsement from probably the most popular politician in the history of the state Zell Miller. And not to my surprise he came out and endorse her candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
(D) Michelle Nunn with former Governor (D) Zell Miller

It’s a familiar refrain among politicos: Endorsements often don’t matter. On a national level, the endorsements that garner the biggest headlines are often the awkward ones—nods from celebrities or endorsements from former opponents. It’s not that they’re completely meaningless, but it just  endorsements are often much harder for campaigns to parlay into real help on the campaign trail. But on the state and local level, endorsements can pay big dividends.

On Thursday, Former Georgia Governor and Senator Zell Miller came out and threw his support behind  Michelle Nunn (D) a non-profit executive who headed the Points of Light Organization, founded by former President George H.W. Bush and who is a underdog against David Perdue, a former corporate CEO.

Much was made about how little Miller's endorsement of Nunn will matter from both Republicans and liberal Democrats who are still upset by Miller's appearance at the 2004 RNC and his unabashed conservative views that are out of line with today's Democrats. Had Miller come out and endorsed David Perdue, you better believe republicans would be jumping for joy and be singing the praises of the former marine.

Now endorsements in fact really doesn't matter... however some endorsements can end up having a larger impact than others. The trouble is, like other factors, it’s hard to know ahead of time which ones will have the biggest impact. It just depends on who’s doing the endorsing and how much credibility the person has and how vigorous the endorsement is on the other hand it can be weakened when the endorser is not universally popular in the party or when a voter’s opinion is split, but this endorsement from Miller will have a positive impact for Nunn going forward towards November. How will it help Nunn? Well it help her in courting rural swing voters, disaffected Conservative Democrats, Seniors, groups that still hold the former governor in high regard and even with moderate Republicans. However, it may not have that much of a impact in and around Metro Atlanta, but believe me, in small towns across Georgia and among misinformed voters and voters who don't follow politics, it will carry some weight. The question I have is will the former governor, who's been battling health-related issues make a few campaign appearances on behalf of Michelle Nunn? That remains to be seen.

But the dirty work and the negative ad campaign from outside GOP groups will continue against Nunn, and likely gain ferocity as we near the fall season and the best thing Nunn can do at this point to improve her chances is to work on her statewide grassroots ground game.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Small Talk With Small Town Georgia Voters

Courting country folk has been no easy task for Democratic candidates going back to 2006, let alone those from the Democratic enclaves of Metro Atlanta. Most of these rural areas were once democratic  are now Republican or very republican because democrats have failed to compete in these areas, and what Democrats need to do is try to minimize the damage or score a few upsets in some of these places.

As I traveled to the Democratic Party State Convention over in Dublin yesterday, I made stops in Jeffersonville, Vidalia and Montrose just to ask rural resident their thoughts on the upcoming elections.

I asked Sam Garrett, a 59-year-old self-employed lumber dealer about who he may support in the upcoming governor's race between Nathan Deal and Jason Carter, he says "issues such as the lack of adequate jobs, access to rural health care and refusal to expand medicaid will not win Deal many friends in my neck of the woods, so Jason Carter is getting a serious look from folks around here because of his support of medicaid expansion.

Next I approached Deb Jackson a 49-year-old woman from Montrose about the Carter-Deal race as she was pumping gas at a station in Twiggs County, she stated "Carter (Jason) speaks to people around here as she recited her list of important issues, including gun ownership which she says she is a proud gun owner and brought up Carter's A rating from the NRA she saw on the Internet. Carter needs to increase his presence in middle Georgia as the General Elections nears in November she goes on to say and as for the Nunn-Perdue Senate race, she says she haven't made up her mind as of yet on that race, but she likes the prospect of having a woman in the Senate.

But it wasn't totally about the top two races on the ballot this year, there was interest in who was running for School Superintendent and Agriculture Commissioner as well, so that tells me that voters are starting to become more engage in this years elections as the campaign season starts to heat up.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Campaigning is Different in Rural Georgia

He didn’t shake my hand, she didn't ask for my vote, so I’m not going to vote for him or I'm not going to vote for her. For a long time, I've often-heard this remark by voters in various rural areas of Georgia. That's what I hear now when the name of Michelle Nunn or any other candidate comes up. Political campaigns and races in rural counties have often been decided by just such seemingly whimsical reasoning.

Roy Barnes appearance in rural Berrien County in 2010 during his run for governor
However, if you’ve spent any time in rural areas, then you have some grasp of how small town people and farm folks look at elections and politicians. On the surface, that remark may seem foolish but rural residents reasoning runs much deeper and more serious than that statement may seem. Longtime residents of metropolitan cities here in the state probably think that’s a silly reason for voting or not voting for a candidate. But, having spent the majority of my life in a small town I understand the reasoning. It goes to character.

Yes, it says something about the candidate’s character but it also raises the question of the depth of the candidate’s character. While, metro residents may seem to be more attuned to issues, small town and rural folks put a lot of stock in a candidate who has the gumption and, yes, strength of character, to look a man in the eye, shake his hand and ask for his vote. I know how important this is, I seen it first hand two years ago while working on a campaign for State House. Numbers, of course, play a major role in how a candidate and his campaign people approach the race. If the area to be represented is sizable in both population and/or geographic area, much of the candidate’s appeal will be directed through appearances at events catering to candidates and through advertising and mass media messages to the electorate.

But, a candidate who dismisses the press-the-flesh/knock on- doors approach as too time-consuming, colloquial and lacking depth is usually making a major mistake. And, to think that a voter who wants to look you in the eye probably doesn’t know what the issues are, is usually a misjudgement by a candidate and his campaign workers. A voter who wants a candidate to shake his hand and look him in the eye, can probably tell from the candidate’s reaction if the politician is committed plus confident in his depth of knowledge of the job and the issues. (Again I go back to 2012 when I worked for Thomas Coogle campaign for State House 139...that kind of outreach works!)

Rural and small town folks have always done a lot of handshake business so they generally have a good feel for a person’s sincerity and honesty. Of course, there is a difference between a politician and someone you see and do business with regularly. Naturally, if the pol is local, he/ she understands that they have to face most voters frequently. Maybe they see them shopping every week or go to the same church or hold civic club membership in common.

That kind of exposure will go a long way toward ensuring a candidate’s honesty. He or she knows they have to look the same people in the eye daily or weekly and there are less places to run and hide.

For statewide candidates, especially democratic candidates, this is a MUST! They may not go door to door, but attending those summer festivals across Georgia and during the fall, attending friday night football games offer a valuable opportunity for them to connect with voters. Already I've seen candidates such as Liz Johnson (Insurance Commissioner) visit Coffee County, Chris Irvin (Agriculture Commissioner) visit several rural counties such as Early, Peach, and Crisp Co for example and Robin Shipp (Labor Commissioner) trek to Sumter and several other rural counties since announcing her candidacy.

The Top Two Candidates, Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn need to do more of this as we now are into August, especially Michelle Nunn who really needs to raise her profile in rural Georgia ASAP!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I Get Mail

Much ado is made today about the right wing Republican Party here in Georgia. However, little is said about why the Democratic Party cannot win in areas of the state that have Black Populations less than 40%.

It`s because they are universally viewed by many voters in these areas as being all left-wing with no middle of the road or conservative dissent from anyone inside the party. Furthermore, if anyone with the slightest of right-wing leanings speaks out, they are looked upon with disgust, silenced and never heard from again by the public.

Like many in Georgia, I had always voted Democrat up until I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984. But I still voted democratic here in Georgia from Sam Nunn until he retired in 1996 to Max Cleland until he lost in 2002 to Jim Marshall who lost his re-election bid in 2010. Since 2002, I have voted for republican candidates (with the exception of Jim Marshall) ever since. This was due to the Republican Party’s openness for conservative leaning types in their party.

All this while the Democratic Party was excluding conservatives from its party, which it still does. If the Democratic Party wants to win in Georgia anytime in the near future like starting this year, they need to become more tolerant, inclusive and create more diversity within their party by making room for rural, small town and white conservatives such as myself.

I would love to vote in the great Georgia Democratic Party once again, but not at the cost of anything and everything goes.

C. Dunaway

Irwinville, Georgia

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Forget About Being Nice: Democrats Need To Tap The Anger Vein In Voters

Midterms are all about anger....and in some instances rage.  Polls never really show the exact extent of this.  There’s no identifiable or authoritative Anger Poll – a "how angry are you" poll. Personally, I’d like to see an anger poll.  Not another level of dissatisfaction with Congress poll or how much voters disapproves of President Obama poll.  And even though it’s something like news for the horse race gamblers, some of us get unbelievable headaches from survey after survey measuring how much half the public still detests the Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare" a it called.

But, an anger poll could go beyond the political divisions and reveal the root cause of electoral anxieties we see in polls and hear on the street.  The deciding factor in this upcoming midterm elections isn’t really about which party base is the most mobilized, but it’s more about how angry or anxious certain blocks of voters are.

This is problematic for both Democratic and Republican parties.  However, at this stage, it’s much more problematic for Democrats as the left has proven itself incapable of using voter anger as a valuable resource simply because they are too nice.  While progressives are writing diatribes and pity party scripts, conservatives are coming up with creative twists on anger and that strategy works everytime. Defensively, Democrats are earnestly rolling out a wave of populist themes designed to win the hearts and minds of lost base voters. From the minimum wage to equal pay, the issues seem solid on paper and in polling headlines bearing upbeat assessments of a Democratic Party comeback in this year’s highly critical midterm election.

Issues such as the minimum wage increase appeal to non-white voters at a much higher rate. But for any democrat to do well this november and win, he or she will have to go after the white vote. For all the talk about democrats needing to turnout their base, which will not be on the level of that of 2008 or 2012, white voters..those who are middle of the road, bluecollar will be the deciding bloc for democrats this year. If the Democratic party, is to thrive for instance like here in Georgia, it cannot simply accommodate itself to Republicans. The party needs to seize control of the battle for new ideas, reinvigorate its grassroots base, and develop new mechanisms for communicating its ideas to the public.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Jason Carter heads to Plains for Fundraiser this weekend

Jason Carter who is running for governor will be in Plains, Ga this weekend for a fundraiser hosted by his grandfather, former Georgia Governor & President James E. "Jimmy" Carter.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Negative Ads, Lies Key For GOP against Jason Carter

Candidate for Gov. Jason Carter
Negative campaigning is hardly new, and already the Republican Governors Association in association with Nathan Deal are already running a misleading ad against challenger Jason Carter as Deal'a approval rating has dipped way below 50% and polling shows Carter either neck & neck or with a slight lead over the incumbent. Mudslinging is crucial to the Republican plan for this year's midterm elections, because the party's hold on the governor's mansion power will hinge on shifting attention from the state's educational system, cuts to the Hope Scholarship, Jobs and Medicaid and other state issues that cut against him. And let's not forget about the Ethics problem that continue to haunt Deal since he left congress 4 years ago.

When people are looking at issues that are affecting Georgia and that are not breaking the way favorably for Deal & Co, what you want to do is focus on your opponent and that's what the latest RGA ad does against Carter, accusing him of supporting to expand Obamacare, where in fact he supports expanding medicaid. They took his support of expanding medicaid and twist it in a attempt to say he support expanding Obamacare. It's a tough tactic, one they hope will drive up Carter's negatives among Georgia voters especially among white swing voters.

Their strategy from now up to November is to define Carter immediately and unrelentingly. The strategy rests on the widely held belief that negative political ads make more of an impression on voters than positive one. Voters are in some ways more ready to accept the negative about politicians than the positive and they often say they would like to see a more reasoned debate in campaigns and more talk about the ideas, but in fact they often respond to negative ads because they tend to find them more credible.

So the question now for the Carter campaign is how to respond to a attack ad that takes his support of medicaid as a interpretation that he supports Obamacare, which are entirely two different things.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Why Michelle Nunn should take a trip to the North Georgia Mountians & Soon.

Michelle Nunn is officially the Democratic nominee. Now the real work begins.....but she should take this time before the GOP runoff is held in July to take a....oh well, a quick trip to the North Georgia Mountians.

Nunn campaigns with supports in Randolph County
He rarely make appearances nowadays due to health reasons, but former Democratic Governor & Senator Zell Miller of Towns County, like former Senator Sam Nunn is still highly thought of throughout much of Georgia, especially in the rural areas from his time as Governor in which he created the Hope Scholarship among other things.

Now in his 80s, the fiery ex-governor name is still a valuable get for any politician looking to run for office here in Georgia. He has supported republicans like Doug Collins, now congressman for the 9th CD, he chaired the failed presidential campaign of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and he even endorsed Geore W. Bush in the 2004 presidential race. The last democrat he endorsed was Jack Lance in 2010 when Lance ran for HD 8 against Stephen Allison in which Lance fell short of victory.

Former Gov & Senator Zell Miller

Having said that, Michelle Nunn should take a trip to the North Georgia Mountains and pay Zell Miller a house call in hopes of securing a endorsement from the 82 year old former marine and Lt. Governor. Now you always hear that endorsements are not that effective, which is true, but certain endorsements carry weight. Go back to 2008 when the late Ted Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama for president of the United States, which was seen as key in Obama locking up the Democratic Nomination. An endorsement from Miller, even in today's political world still carries weight statewide and would be major for Michelle Nunn or any other democratic candidate running this year.

What would a potential endorsement from Miller mean to Nunn? It would help her tremendously with independents, moderates, seniors and disaffected democrats and it would signal to those voters that they can trust Nunn to represent Georgia and its interest in the U.S. Senate and that she's not cut from the same cloth as National Democrats.

But will Nunn even seek Miller's support given how the left wing of the Democratic Party feel about him? If I was her in her shoes I would because the Democratic Base will not come at the levels it did in 2012 or 2008, thus she'll need to make up ground in other areas and as I mentioned before, the base of the democratic party, which are made up of Obamacrats aren't the most reliable voters out there, so appealing to the Old Georgia will her key to victory.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A look at a few primary races from last night

As expected, Michelle Nunn, Jason Carter, Nathan Deal won their races with ease.

But here's a few tidbits:

For State School Superintendent, Democrats Alisha Morgan & Valarie Wilson will meet in the runoff. Wilson has the backing of the democratic establishment, while Morgan has support from both charter and public school supporters. The person to watch here is Denise Freeman who performed much better than expected & Tarnisha Dent. Whoever they support could go a long way in deciding who will win the nomination. I still expect Morgan to advance to November. In addition her stance in support of charter schools will win her crossover support and that is crucial for a democrat in a midterm election. One thing Morgan MUST do is reinterate her support for Public Schools, especially in areas where public schools are not suffering.

Richard Woods and Mike Buck will meet in the runoff on the GOP side for State School Superintendent. This race is hard to predict, given Buck ties to John Barge, that alone may cost in the runoff. Woods who is from south Georgia is the better choice for the GOP, he has the ability to appeal to rural school teachers and with Kingston in the runoff, expect Kingston folks to also vote for Woods, but it will come down to the Metro Atlanta area and how well Woods do in those neck of the woods.

Secretary of State: Democratic primary voters elected perhaps the weakest candidate to ever represent the Democratic Party in a General Election in years. Doreen Carter bested Gerald Beckum in a bid to face Brian Kemp (R) current Secretary of State. This is a case, I believe of democratic voters not knowing anything about the two candidates and voting for the first name on the ballot. Beckum who left the U.S. Senate race to run for Secretary of State, to his credit travel much of this state, making his case to voters. He also was endorsed by some of democratic legislators. He was clearly the stronger of the two candidates, but in a low turnout primary, all bets were off and Carter who qualified minutes before qualifying closed has no support outside of her home county and is this year's version of Alvin Greene (the guy who ran for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina a few years ago). This win by Carter frees up Brian Kemp to stump for other republican candidates for office.

Insurance Commissioner: Liz Johnson (D) defeated Keith Heard (D) to take on Ralph Hudgens for State Insurance Commissioner. Heard had the backing of the democratic establishment, but it wasn't enough to overcome Johnson who campaigned as a outsider and made numerous visits to middle and South Georgia in the process.

Note: State Rep. Greg Morris (R-Vidalia) narrowly defeated Lee Burton 50% to 49. Burton had the support of Republican Grassroots activist Pat Tippett. Expect Burton to seek this seat again in 2016.

Teresa Tomlinson (D) defeated Colin Martin (R) for another term as Mayor of Columbus. Tomlinson who will enter her final term as mayor will be mentioned as a possible statewide candidate in 2018 or a viable candidate for the 2nd Congressional District when Sanford Bishop decides to call it quits.

Longtime State Sen. Steve Thompson (D) loses his re-election bid to Michael Rhett (D) a Airforce Veteran.

Renita Hamilton (D) beat back a challenge from novice liberal candidate Tim Hur (D) to face Joyce Chandler (R) for HD 105. Hur by some accounts was the preferred favorite of democrats. Hamilton, a Evangelical Christian Democrat is consider a strong candidate from those on the other side of the political spectrum.

Down in Ga 1st CD, Amy Tavio and Brian Reese will meet in the democratic runoff. Whoever wins Chatham & Glynn County & pickup Clinch and Bacon County will likely be the nominee

Monday, May 5, 2014

Weak Candidates, Strong Positions

One source of frustration for many voters is that their favorite candidate just cannot get the votes to advance in a race fr certain offices. The fact is that just being the candidate with the best ideas does not make you the best candidate for the office.

To be an effective politician, a person must 

1. have the proper positions on important issues

2. convince people to vote for them 

3. be able to accomplish something when elected. 

For the first point, many times the positions a candidate support are not the positions the majority of voters support. Politicians often get around this problem by misinforming voters as to their real positions or agendas.

For the second point, a person has to be likable, or at least more likable that their opponent(s). They have to be a better salesman or saleswoman of themselves and their positions. They must be able to take advantage of their strengths and the weaknesses of their opponents and the voters.

For the third point, many good people are able to get elected,, but unable to finish the job. Look at Ron Paul, he has good ideas, but cannot get anything passed because he is ineffective in the system. Others get in there and work across the aisle, thus end up compromising to get something passed. Unfortunately, both of these strategies have given us both bad and good legislation. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Darrel Rye Looking to Become District 5 Commissioner for Macon County.

There are only two contested races in Macon County this year, one in District 5 where Challenger Darrel Rye (D-Five Points) is looking to unseat Incumbent Bob Melvin (D-Montezuma) to represent District 5 on the Macon County Board of Commissioners.

Rye is a businessowner (Badcock Home Furniture) and has lived in Macon County for close to 30 years and have been a resident of District 5 since 1995. Rye is a native of Westfield, Oklahoma, graduating from Westfield high School & later attended NE Oklahoma University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He later moved to Georgia in 1980

Rye platform if elected is (1) Hire Macon County Residents whenever possible for County or City Positions. (2) Lower Gas Prices for Macon County Residents and (3) Help attract industry to Macon County and run Macon County like a business and (4) Cut Wasteful Spending by the County.

Recently there have been a uproar  from Macon County residents over the hiring of the new Recreational Director for Macon County Stevie Young of Jones County who was fired from a previous Recreational position in Putnam County rather than hiring a local resident Johnny Edwards, someone with deep ties to the county who is heavily involved in County affairs. The hiring was made by County Manager Regina McDuffie, a resident of Bibb County, not by the County Commission, which is unusual according to some other county commissioners I've talked to in other South Georgia Counties. "I feel like Macon Co need to hire local people", said Rye in a interview with a local newspaper. "How can you be involved in a community of you live in Byron"? Rye also goes on to say in regards to the county, fiscal management, "The Commission needs to run a tighter ship. They spend the little money they make. It's like a business, you can't spend more than you make".

Rye is active in his church, Cedar Valley in which he's held a number of positions, Chairman of the Deacons Ministry, Sunday School Director. Also he's been a Relay for Life Team member, member of the Gideons Choir of Americus. 

There will be a candidate forum on May 8 at the Preston Williams Center in Montezuma and voters of District 5 will have a chance to hear both Melvin and Rye make their pitches.

Candidate Spotlight: U.S. Senate Candidate Todd Robinson (D-Columbus)

Todd Robinson (D-Columbus) hopes to be your next U.S. Senator from Georgia in a race that include Michelle Nunn, Branko Radulovacki and Steen Miles. Here are a few tidbits about Mr. Robinson:

He Entered the U.S. Army, June 1979 at Fort Benning GA. Also was a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School. U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School, graduate of the U.S. Army First Sergeant's course. Fort Bliss Texas, pathfinder course, air assault school, a master parachutist, expert infantryman's badge.  Retired the rank of First Sergeant in 1999 with an honorable discharge.

Currently he is Employed with the Fire & EMS Department over in Columbus, Georgia. 

He is married to WTVM News 9 News Anchor Cheryl Renee. 

Robinson is a Conservative Democrat who's points of interest are;

Welfare Reform , in which to Empowering welfare recipients to become independent of welfare benefits.Conducting cognitive and physical assessments for employment and educational opportunities and providing child daycare assistance for technical school attendees

Reducing Unemployment to training and educating welfare recipients for job placement will reduce Georgia's unemployment rate and increase the state's revenue.  Continue to invite industries to the state.  Advocate for people to get training in the career fields that are plentiful, which will help our state grow.

And fighting for Veteran's Benefits. Being a retired U.S. Army Veteran, Robinson wants to   implementing a state tax exemption for military families for property taxes in order to keep them from purchasing property in bordering Alabama counties, plus help to keep veterans and family members in the state of Georgia.  Continuing to provide for Wounded Warrior transition centers in Georgia and making veterans' health care facilities available throughout the state

As a man of  faith in God and family and the hope of eternal life and Honesty, integrity and loyalty, those things make up the foundation of his character.

If any of those issues are a great concern for any voter, then you might want to consider voting for Todd Robinson candidate for U.S. Senate

2014: Carter, Beckum, Irvin and the Pursuit for Rural Georgia Vote

Jason Carter with supporters
Voters in rural areas of Georgia tend to be older than the electorate as a whole and they tend to be of more moderate means. Additionally, older voters tend to vote in higher numbers in midterm elections.

Democrats running this year in Georgia have to be very comfortable in talking about the values they share with other small town Georgia

residents. They have to be very comfortable in believing in God and that they go to church like everybody else does. Issues ranging from Social Security to medicaid to agriculture to economic fairness (which resonates in rural communities and put republicans on defense) are issues that are  well received in rural parts of the state.

 Chris Irvin at Vidalia Onion Festival, Toombs Co
Dems such as Ag Commissioner candidate Christopher Irvin (D-Toccoa), Secretary of State candidate Gerald Beckum (D-Oglethorpe) & Jason Carter, gubernatorial candidate for governor are such candidates that can appeal to these voters who tend to be independent-minded & conservative leaning. These three in particular can appeal to the what I called Zell Miller-Sam Nunn Democrats who have strayed away from the party in recent years.

These candidates in addition to Michelle Nunn who's running for the Senate have been criticized for reaching out to people who haven`t been voting for the Democrats in years, some people have criticized them for trying to broaden the base of the party. To liberals here in this state, broadening the base is how you win elections. Just ask Congressman John Barrow (D-Augusta) who have managed to win his last two re-election bids by broadening his base outside of his former home of Savannah and now Augusta.

Gerald Beckum with ex-State Rep.Robert Ray, Crawford Co
Bottom line: Georgia Liberal Democrats need to get past their interest-group politics and SUPPORT CANDIDATES who appeal to rural Georgians and their values...... well in another word, Georgians who values doesn't line up with the National Democrats and Obamacrats.  They don't understand that the real fault line is culture values. Left wingers often wonder why do working-class voters so often vote for the party (GOP) that pushes tax cuts for the wealthy? The short answer: Money isn't everything. Nothing connects quite like shared culture to persuade voters that, despite other appearances, you're really on their side.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Endorsement: Amy Tavio for GA-1 CD

Candidate for GA-1st CD Amy Tavio
Over in East Georgia for their first time since 1992 there will be a new congressman to represent the Coastal Georgia District. Jack Kingston is running for the U.S. Senate. On the democratic sie, three candidates are vying for the democratic nomination, Amy Tavio (D-Richmond Hill), Brian Reese (D-Savannah) & Marc Smith (D-Savannah)

There are only two really strong candidates in this race (Tavio, Reese). This race may end up in a runoff and it's likely both Tavio and Reese will meet one more time after the May 20 primary. Tavio is a realtor who started the Bryan County Democratic Party. Tavio has the support of former State Rep. Tom Bordeaux, former DPG Chair Bobby Kahn, ex-State Senator Doug Stoner & Alderwoman Mary Osbourne among others. Reese has State Reps. J. Craig Gordon, Mickey Stephens, 2012 candidate Lesli Messinger supporting his bid for congress.

Races aren't won during the primary, they are won in November and who is best to represent the party against the eventual republican nominee. In this conservative-leaning district, where attracting middle of the road voters is a must, we feel that Amy Tavio best demonstrates the ability to attract crossover voters in hopes of winning this seat. Attracting democrats only is NOT a recipe for success for a democratic candidate to succeed in this district. Brian Reese is a good candidate and a hard worker, but we feel that given that this is a midterm election and core democratic voters tend to drip off, a bid for crossover votes will be key as well as a willingness to take on the National Democrats. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES AMY TAVIO FOR GA 1ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Endorsement: Gerald Beckum for Secretary of State

Sec of State Candidate & Oglethorpe Mayor Gerald Beckum
In the Democratic Primary contest between Rural Democrat Gerald Beckum & Doreen Carter, Gerald Beckum is br far the better choice to advance to the general election to face current Sec. of State Brian Kemp (R). The 68 yr old mayor of Oglethorpe & conservative democrat has demonstrated his willingness to go where the voters are whether its Dekalb County or down in the Low Country areas of south Georgia, such as Bainbridge. His 32 yrs of experience serving as mayor & 40 plus yrs as a small business-owner gives him a unique understanding of the complexities of starting a business from scratch. Beckum is one of two democratic statewide candidates who reside outside of North Georgia/Metro Atlanta. Doreen Carter's resume is impressive, but this is about the general election and ELECTORAL STRENGTH & that's where she comes up short. Carter has zero presence outside of her safe enclave of Lithonia and a few Metro Atlanta Communities. Democrats must get behind Beckum in his bid to become Georgia's Next Secretary of State.  PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES GERALD BECKUM FOR SECRETARY OF STATE

8 Endorsements for Key State House Seats

1. HD 39: There are three candidates to replace Alisha Morgan who is running for State School Superintendent. It's possible that this race will go to a runoff, but out of the three only stands out from the pack and that's Erica Thomas (D-Austell). Thomas is the vice president of the Young Democrats of Cobb County and also having worked for Rep. Morgan, she knows the concerns and issues that are facing HD 39. Her energy, enthusiasm and professionalism will be a welcomed asset to the Democratic Caucus and the State Legislature. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES ERICA THOMAS FOR HD 39

2. HD 58: This is a interesting race between Incumbent Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) and challenger Erica Morris Long (D-Atlanta). Bell serves as Democratic Jr Whip for the House Democratic Caucus and is strong advocate of the LBGT Community, Women's issues and Housing. Long.who is the wife of former State Rep. Ralph Long is a Democratic strategist and Attorney who first cut her political teeth on Capitol Hill and also worked as a Legislative Assistant in the Clinton Administration. The Harvard educated attorney is making her first run for political office. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES ERICA MORRIS LONG FOR HD 58

3. HD 74: Incumbent Valencia Stovall (D-Ellenwood) faces two challengers in her bid to remain as Rep for District 74: Former State Reps. Yasmin Neal (D-Atlanta) and Roberta-Abdul-Salaam (D-Riverdale).  With three candidates in the race, a runoff could be in the works, but voters should send Yasmin Neal back to the State Legislature. Neal who's background is in Law Enforcement is a staunch supporter of the law and her first stint as Representative was a fairly successful one. She brings a strong work ethic, drive and commitment.  PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES YASMIN NEAL FOR HD 74

4. HD 105: Renita Hamilton (D-Lawrenceville) narrowly lost her bid to represent HD 105, garnering 48% of the vote against Republican Joyce Chandler. She's back for another run for the seat, this time she faces off against political novice Tim Hur (D-Lawrenceville), a Asian American and ex- volunteer for Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in the Democratic Primary. Hur has the backing of the Young Dems as well as some other key democratic backers. Hur is a realtor and is making his first run for office. The race got interesting recently due to a robo call residents of HD 105 received which has been criticized as offensive and designed to boost the candidacy of Hur and weaken the candidacy of Hamilton who is the front runner in the process. The choice is simple, who is the stronger General Election candidate? Voters should send Renita Hamilton, a pro-family values, pro-gun, small businessowner & Bluedog Democrat to the General Election to face Joyce Chandler in a rematch of their 2012 race. Hamilton is very well known throughout the district, she enjoys high Name I.D. and is heavily involved in the community and have received the backing of some of the prominent black churches in the district, as well as middle of the road soccer moms and rural HD 105 residents. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES RENITA HAMILTON FOR HD 105.

5. HD 148: Incumbent Buddy Harden (R-Cordele) is trying to fend off a challenge from Randy Head (R-Hawkinsville), a small businessowner out of Hawkinsville. There are many challenges facing District 148 and its time for someone to step forward and put the citizens first instead of Special Interest, Atlanta Politicos. Randy Head is the right man for the job and his strong local ties will be beneficial to the people of 148. From Agri-businesses to Economic revitalization, Randy Head will work hard for the citizens of 148. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES RANDY HEAD FOR HD 148.

6. HD 180: Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) is battling challenger Nancy Stasinis (R-St. Marys) to represent HD 180. Spencer is a Tea Party Republican who sponsered HB 707 (HB 943) that would bar any state or local governments, agencies or employees from advocating for Medicaid expansion, except under certain circumstances, or from creating a health insurance exchange. It also would bar the University of Georgia and any other state organizations from running health insurance navigator programs to help Georgia consumers buy insurance on the federally run Health Insurance Marketplace. Over 600,000 Georgians do not have healthcare and Spencer have been most vocal in his opposition to the ACA & expansion of Medicaid. Nancy Stasinis is businessowner, Kings Bay Realty and is making her first run for office and will bring a calm, reasoned voice to the table, professionalism and respect back to Camden County & HD 180. How she feels about medicaid expansion is unknown, but she would be a upgrade over Jason Spencer. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES NANCY STASINIS FOR HD 180
prohibit Georgia employees of any state unit from spending state funds to advocate for the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provision, and would eventually halt the navigator program run by the University of Georgia. Navigators are people trained to assist those seeking insurance through the health care exchange under the ACA.
The legislation also would prevent the state from creating its own health care exchange. Georgians now use a federally run exchange.
- See more at:
prohibit Georgia employees of any state unit from spending state funds to advocate for the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provision, and would eventually halt the navigator program run by the University of Georgia. Navigators are people trained to assist those seeking insurance through the health care exchange under the ACA.
The legislation also would prevent the state from creating its own health care exchange. Georgians now use a federally run exchange.
- See more at:

7. HD 153: Carol Fullerton (D-Albany) is the incumbent in this race, but she faces tow challengers in Darrel Ealum (D-Albany) & Muarlean Edwards (D-Albany). This is a sleepy race for this east Albany House District, but a change is needed and Ealum, a ex-U.S Marine and CFO of Ealum Estates is the right person at the right time for this position. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES DARREL EALUM FOR HD 153.

8. HD 169: There will be a new State Rep for HD 169. Chuck Sims (R-Ambrose) decided not to seek re-election. Two democrats are vying for the right to advance to the General Election. They are Larry NeSmith (D-Douglas) and Dewey Hayes (D-Douglas). Nesmith a U.S. Army Veteran and Civil Right Activist is making his first run for office. Dewey Hayes, a Attorney and former Coffee Co State Court Solicitor is also making his first run for office. We here at Peanut Politics feel either guy would make a good representative.....but it all comes down to electoral strength and who can win in a General Election, so PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES DEWEY HAYES FOR HD 169

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:!
This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat