Thursday, October 29, 2009

RJ Hadley, GA Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate, speaking to Houston County Democratic Committee and Middle Georgia Democratic Women on Oct. 24, 2009 I was there for the event.

State Dems get involved in the Atlanta Mayor's Race

Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that the Democratic Party of Georgia has jumped into the Atlanta Mayoral Race. They allege that Mary Norwood, the frontrunner in the race is a republican & have been Dodgeing the issue, says Chairwoman Jane Kidd. Now it's noted that several key people of Norwood's campaign are democrats, one of them Roman Levit has directed campaigns for Congressman John Barrow (D).
Here's my take on this & the race: I'm surprised Kasim Reed, Lisa Borders &others have not made her republican past an issue in the campaign. I think its too late in the game to attacking her for her votes for republicans in the past & attending the State GOP Convention in 1999 as a delegate. I don't see anything wrong with Norwood becoming mayor of Atlanta. Yes, she is from Buckhead & yes she has voted for republicans in the past as well as democrats. But what's wrong with her becming the mayor of Atlanta. The only question I have is this the real Mary Norwood? Is she really a progressive they say she is. How many progressives vote republican? Is this the real Mary Norwood, or is she a closet republican? No one knows, but had the other candidates made that an issue earlier in the campaign season, she would not be leading by such a wide margin.
For Norwood to become mayor, she has to win on Tuesday night. If she is forced into a runoff, she can forget about becoming the next mayor of Atlanta. The support she has right now from african-americans will evaporate & they will go with either Reed or Borders, or Jesse Spikes in the runoff. Norwood has the momentum right now, but can she pull it out? I think so.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Republicans Popularity hits another low.

From MSNBC's First Read: "While impressions of Obama's professional performance are mixed, the same can't be said of the Republican Party at large. Put simply, the GOP's brand is still a mess. According to the poll, just 25% have a positive opinion of the party (compared with 42% for the Dem Party), which ties the GOP's low-water mark in the survey and which is a worse score than it ever had during the Bush presidency. (Honest question: Can the party still blame Bush for their problems if their numbers have gotten lower since he left the scene?) In addition, only 23% approve of the way in which congressional Republicans have handled health care (compared with 43% for Obama). And looking ahead to the 2010 midterms, 46% prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, versus 38% who want a GOP-controlled Congress. Last month, Dems held a 43% to 40% advantage."

"Also, don't miss this: Despite being out of office and (relatively) out of the news, Sarah Palin's fav/unfav in our poll has dropped from 32%-43% in July to 27%-46% now. In fact, her numbers now are nearly identical to Nancy Pelosi's (26%-42%). By the way, both Palin and Pelosi are more popular than the Republican Party."

Agriculture: Georgia's No 1 Economic Industry & who will lead the Department after Tommy Irvin retires in 2010?

Agriculture remains Georgia's largest industry, generating more than $5.1 billion per year in cash receipts to the state's economy. Despite all the changes in society, farming remains the foundation of the state's economic well-being.

One of out of seven Georgians works in agriculture. forestry or related sector.
Agriculture contributes more than $57 billion, or about 16% annually to Georgia's $350 billion economic output.
More than 65% of Georgia is in forestland, it is a $19.7 billion per year industry.
Georgia top ten commodities in order of rank are broilers, cotton, forestry, peanuts, beef, dairy, hatching layers, horses, greenhouse & container nurseries.
Georgia ranks first in U.S. in production of peanuts, pecans, rye, eggs & broilers.
Georgia produecs almost half of the peanuts produces in the U.S each year.
Georgia is the leading Kaolin Clay producing state in the U.S. & leader of marble, barite, bauxite products * leads the nation in broilers and value of egg production.
So with that being said, our long-time Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin will be Stepping down in 2010. He was first elected in 1969 to the post. Who will replace Irvin? There are two announced republicans who will try, Gary Black, who ran against Irvin in 2006 & the president of Ga. Agribusiness Council & Darwin Black, who is a former USDA Official. That is the republican side.
But what about the democratic side? The name of Terry Coleman, who is the Deputy Agriculture Commissioner to Irvin. He served 34 yrs in the Legislature & two yrs as House Speaker. He would be the obvious choice to run for AG Commissioner. But some Democrats & myself are wondering will he do it. Ther were early rumors that he won't run because he thinks he can't beat Gary Black in the General Election. I find that hard to believe that Colemen would say something like that, & that he may run for State Insurance, but with Mary Squires locking up the majority of the endorsements from democrats in the house & senate, that's highly unlikely, but you never know. Then I've heard the name of Rand Knight, you know the 2008 candidate who ran for the Senate back in 2008. He would be an interesting candidate. One of the problems facing Georgia Farmers & the Ag Industry is thedevelopment of young farners to take the place of retiring farmers. There are alot of famrs that have gone down because of the lack of Younf farmers coming thru the pipe line to keep Georgia Agriculture at it peak. At 37 yrs old, he would appeal to the young up & coming farmers & offer a vision for the next generation of young farmers.
If Coleman doesn't run or if Knight doesn't run, then where does that leave democrats? Here are some people to think about: Oscar Garrison, Assistant Commissioner-Consumer Protection Division, Dr. James Sutton, Assistant Commisisoner-Plant Industry Commisisoner, or if you want to talk about legislators, State Reps. Elis Black (D-Valdosta), Mike Cheokas (D-Americus), Lynmore James (D-Montezuma)& former State Senator Michael Mayer von Bremen (D-Albany), who served on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Who is Carl Camon & why he should be taken seriously by Georgia Democrats?



Ray City Georgia is a small, sleepy town just north of Valdosta in Berrien County. Population. is less than 900 people and you would think why am I talking about Ray City Ga? Well there is a democratic candidate who is vying to become the next CEO of this great state. His name is Carl Camon, a 40 year old young democrat who hails from South Georgia. Carl has done numerous things i his life & achieved great success wherever he's been. He served 10 Yrs in the United States Airforce & Airforce Reserves. He was selected to a supervisory position at the age of 20 yrs old. His service in the military taught him to approach things from a different angle.
He has served for two terms as a city councilman and is currently serving his fifth term as the first African-American Mayor of Ray City. As mayor, he helped start the first Pre-K program in the State of Georgia operated by a municipality. He founded the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Institute of Ray City, and the Mayor and Council’s Education Initiative Scholarship. He was appointed by Governor Roy Barnes in 2002 to serve a four-year term on the County & Municipal Probation Advisory Council, where he also served as chairman. He has served as Chairman of the Mayor’s Motorcade for the Southern Region of Georgia, Chairman of the Environment & Natural Resources Policy Committee and as a member of the Budget Committee, and Executive Committee for Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), located in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also selected to serve as a member of GMA’s Training Board.

He was instrumental in acquiring a total of nearly three million dollars in grant funds for the Ray City Pre-K, the Ray City Fire Department, the Ray City Water & Sewer Department, and for downtown development during his tenure as mayor. He declared war against drugs in his community and was awarded a grant for $30,000.00 for surveillance equipment, to help in the fight against drug dealers and drug activity. He was selected as one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s “40 Under 40” Rising Stars in Georgia.

Carl not only has served his local community in Ray City, he also has worked at various levels at the state and national levels.
At the State Level, he has served on numerous committees:
Served as Chairman of The State of Georgia’s County & Municipal Probation Advisory Council

Served As Statewide Chairman of Georgia Municipal Association’s Environment & Natural Resources Committee, and Served on Board of Directors, Budget Committee, and Executive Committee

Served on Board of Directors for the Southeast Georgia Regional Development Center

Served as a Statewide Judge for the Georgia Municipal Association’s “If I were Mayor… Contest”

Drafted Initial Legislation To Help Protect Teachers From False Accusations And Associated Consequences
On the National Level:
Honorary Chairman of the Business Advisory Council – Washington, D.C.

Traveled to the Pentagon in Support of Moody Air Force Base

Selected as Civic Leader Tour Member and Traveled on Military Aircraft to the Air Force Academy in Colorado & Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in support of Moody Air Force Base

Honorary 347th Group Commander for Moody Air Force Base
He's Carl in his own words:

My vision of hope for Georgia encompasses common sense ideals, centered on traditional values enveloped within a strong moral foundation. I envision the future of Georgia as a spectrum of light divided into many wonderful colors of hope; colors that are representative of every man, woman, boy, and girl, who resides within our state. The very core of who we are as Georgians rests upon these principles. Our dedication to maintaining a strong democracy demands that we safeguard these ideals for the present and future generations.
His platform includes:
Improve & Strengthen Education
Restore Economic Stability
Support Law Enforcement Efforts
Fulfillment Of Statewide Transportation
The creation of Georgia Families Initiative
I have met Carl on numerous occasions, last week at the Houton County Democratic Rally & he has a vision that a diversified Georgia with a bold, new approach to building a sound economy, an approach that promotes fisacl responsibility, accountability & transparency at every branch of state government. This is a man, if given a chance can really make a serious case why he should not only be the democratic nominee, but become the next governor of Georgia. He's just as qualified to become the next governor of Georgia than any other candidate in the race, republican or democrat. Go to his website www.camonforgovernor,com to learn more about Carl Camon.

Rural Festival to be held on Nov. 7 in Buena Vista

The Beautiful View Garden Club and the Buena Vista Lions Club are making plans for the annual Rural America Festival which is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7. This annual festival has been sponsored by these local organizations for over 35 years.

All festival activities will be located on the Marion County Courthouse square. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and festival activities will continue throughout the day. The hours for the festival are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Proceeds from the booth rentals are used in the in the community for beautification projects and to help maintain the Community Center building. Proceeds from the barbecue lunch are used to support the Lion’s Club projects for glasses for needy children in Marion County. This barbecue pork lunch is always popular and the men of the Lion’s Club enjoy preparing this delicious lunch. The members of the Beautiful View Garden Club will be selling soft drinks and they will also have a booth selling decorative glass block lights.

Judy Williams is chairman for festival entries. Contact her at Buena Vista Floral Shop or 649-7800. Donna Scott has planned the parade for several years and she can be contacted at 649-7349. This year cash prizes will be awarded to the three best decorated floats/decorated vehicles.

All residents of Marion County and friends from neighboring counties are invited to attend this family fun day. The larger the number of participants in the parade and the greater the variety of vendors and activities equals more fun for everyone.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn contributes & offer his support to Ken Hodges Campaign for Attorney General. Is that the same as I say...... Endorsement?

The campaign of former Albany-Dougherty County District Attorney Ken Hodges has received the support of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga)

In an email sent out to supporters from the Hodges for Georgia campaign states just that. In a letter to Ken Hodges from Senator Nunn, he writes:

"I am particularly impressed by your extensive background as District Attorney in Albany and by your remarkable record of dedicated and effective public service and civic engagement. It is also significant that the people who know you best from your leadership in the Albany area are vigorous and enthusiastic supporters."
"I am enclosing a campaign contribution as an indication of my support and my confidence that you will serve Georgia with honor and integrity if elected Attorney General."
Now with the support of Sam Nunn, how will this affect the democratic primary with State Rep. Rob Teilhet? Hodges already has the support of Leah-Ward Sears, former Chief Justice of the Ga Supreme Court and former U.N. Ambassador, Atlanta Mayor, Civil Rights Icon Andrew Young.
And with controversy surounding Hodges over the Phoebe Puntey Case down in Albany, grabbing the support of one of, or if not the greatest Senator Georgia has ever produced tells me that case must not be a big deal. Nunn had to know about the accusations leveled at Hodges, because if he did, no way Nunn would have given his support to Ken Hodges.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES $71.7 MILLION IN LOAN ASSISTANCE TO HELP RURAL BUSINESSES

Guaranteed Loans Provided Through Recovery Act Funds Will Help Strengthen Rural Communities Throughout America
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $71.7 million in loan guarantees to assist 20 rural businesses in funding made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funding announced today is being made available through USDA Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. Altogether, $1.7 billion is available to businesses across the country through Recovery Act Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program funding.

"The Recovery Act funds announced today will help businesses get access to the capital they need to launch and expand their businesses and help bring additional jobs to America's small cities and towns," Vilsack said. "President Obama and I are committed to building strong rural communities by helping businesses grow so we can put people back to work."

Eligible Business and Industry Loan Program applicants include private businesses, cooperative organizations, corporations, partnerships, non-profit groups, federally recognized Indian tribes, public bodies and individuals. The funds will be targeted to creating and retaining quality jobs and serving difficult-to-reach populations and areas hardest hit by the current economic downturn. Learn more about the program by visiting www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/b&i_gar.htm.

Many businesses and rural residents have benefited from loans guaranteed by USDA Rural Development. For example, in 2004 a $7.3 million USDA loan guarantee to expand Poplar Bluff Industries' Nordyne plant in Poplar Bluff, Mo., created 400 jobs and saved another 400. The plant makes HVAC equipment.

More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery. More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ray City Mayor Carl Camon, U.S. Senate Candidate R.J. Hadley, State Representative DuBose Porter & Secretary of State Candidate Michael Mills all attended the Democratic Rally sponsered by the Houston County Democratic Party & Middle Georgia Democratic Women Commitee led by Kristina Sims, who is President of the Organization.

Carl Camon, Dubose Porter, R.J. Hadley & Michael Mills all attended the Forum at Creekwood Park in Perry on Saturday. All the candidates were great. Let me break it down in my own words:
Carl Camon along with his campaign manager Jameson Brewer arrived first at the event. Carl gave a rousing speech to the faithful. He is a candidate democrats need to take seriously. This man, who I've met earlier over at a Meet & Greet at Ft. Valley State University is the real deal! He has a great knack of the issues, especially education, (which is going to be the big issue in 2010). Camon will be campaigning full time now, he told me at the Forum. Camon is your classic outsider & who is someone I consider the darkhorse in the race for Governor. He had to leave early to attend another event in South Georgia, but if you have not heard this man speak in person, you better soon. He is legit.
DuBose Porter was next & he gave a rousing, passionate speech as well. Porter stressed his 27 yr Legislative record in the General Assembly, as well as some of his accomplishments. He also stressed to the crowd that it was important for democrats to take back control of the house from the republicans so the state can move forward again. (I agree with him 100% on that one) We talked for a while & we talked about a whole range of issues from Agriculture, Jobs, & Congressional Races. I'll say this, DuBose has paid his dues & he wants best for the state more than anybody. Again the estabilshment democrats need to get their heads out of the clouds over the prospect of Roy Barnes coming to save the day for the party, while you have DuBose Porter as well as Carl Camon & let's not forget David Poythress as strong, viable options who maybe better positioned to win in 2010 due to geography, baggage, & polarization.
Next Michael Mills, candidate for Secretary of State spoke & he was vey impressive. A close friend of former Lt. Governor Mark Taylor, Mills is a small Business owner who was selected to Georgia's Trend 40 under 40. Michael stresses the need to grow jobs, giving citizens a right to vote, & to limit unnecessary barriers for citizens who want to vote. He is a young democrat, who I'm behind 100% in his bid to become Georgia's next Secretary of State. Very engaging & brings alot of substance to the table, not just general talking points.
And last R.J. Hadley, who is running aginst Johnny Isakson for the U.S. Senate in 2010. I was very impressed by this young, Ivy League canddiate. He has great speaking ability, he really had the crowd's attention. He spoke about how Georgia can do better that what we have no up in washington & that is Johnny Isakson. He is not someone who will just sit on his tail & accept the Status Quo. I am sold on his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. He, in my opinion is a future star for Georgia Democrats. He is not a big-ticket recruit by the DSCC, nor the State democratic party. He just answered the call when others are just too doggone afraid to run against a man who is a spitting image of Saxby Chambliss as far as voting goes. In other words, he just "MANNED UP"! He had courage, he had guts to run when no one came forward. I respect someone like that. Hadley is a guy who will surprise alot of folks in this state once 2010 rolls around. He has a good shot of upsetting Isakson. I was glad to finally meet Mr. Hadley. After seeing & hearing him, he's got my vote. Dems better get behind his candidacy because I predict there will be no one else stepping forward to run in the democratic primary in 2010.
Kudos to Kristina Sims (who was great) & the Houston Co. Democrats & Middle Georgia Democratic Women for hosting this event. The food was great & the music was awesome.

Walter Jones of the Georgia Times Union: Atlanta mayor's race has statewide implications

Changes could mean blacks will no longer dominate city ballots.
ATLANTA - Next month's election could spell the end to a generation of black mayors in the state's capital city and usher improved relations between the city and the state, with the result that Georgia taxpayers provide more benefits to Atlanta.

Though no votes will be counted from Augusta, Savannah, Athens or Brunswick, the winner will become a leader for the state in ways beyond those of governors and other officials who are elected statewide.

Do a simple Google search of the current mayor, Shirley Franklin, and Gov. Sonny Perdue, both nearing the end of their second terms. Perdue brings up 144,000 items and 18,700 images while Franklin's dwarfs his with 222,000 mentions on the Web and 58,400 images.
Atlanta is the capital and gives its name to the country's eighth-largest metropolitan area, which is home to two-thirds of Georgia's population and 61 percent of the state tax collections. And most economists consider the area to be the economic engine of not only the state but also the region.

Six candidates are vying to replace Franklin, who cannot have a third consecutive term. Polls show Atlanta Councilwoman Mary Norwood out front and close to winning without a runoff. If she fails to snag a majority, she'll enter a runoff after Thanksgiving with either Council President Lisa Borders or Sen. Kasim Reed.

Political commentator Jeff Dickerson said Atlanta's changing demographics led most observers to recognize that blacks soon will no longer dominate the city's elections. Frustrations about rising taxes and reduced services under the current administration has prompted many blacks to lean toward Norwood, he said at a discussion hosted by the large Atlanta law firm McKenna, Long & Aldridge.

Dickerson quotes an unnamed, black councilman as recounting comments from his own, African-American constituents. "They say, 'it's time to give the white folks a chance because you have blown it.'"

Besides, there is less of a sense of cohesion, he said. "Having had a black president, having an African-American mayor just isn't the same priority," he said.

Norwood not only leads in the polls but also in fund raising. Many of those contributions are small, coming from individuals rather than the fat cats.

Borders is connected to real estate developers in the area, and Reed draws on ties he made to the black leadership when he was Franklin's campaign manager. But Norwood proclaims her independence from both groups in her ads.

One connection Norwood doesn't shirk may be important after the election of the ritzy Buckhead neighborhood, according to commentator Tom Houck. He told the lawyers and their guests that "Buckhead Betty" has voted in more Republican primaries than Democratic ones.

If she wins, her links to the posh, northside neighborhood that includes the governor's mansion could shape how state officials react to her and the city over the next four years. Running against Atlanta has been a successful tactic for politicians across the state for generations, not just during the past 35 years of black mayors. As Republicans took over the state government, they kept it up, including threatening to take over MARTA and the airport.

Years ago when legendary former House Speaker Tom Murphy was at the height of his power, he used to quietly see that Atlanta got state support, such as the funds to construct the World Congress Center to spur the lucrative convention business. That's how the city could benefit again should Norwood's election bring a truce with the GOP that's now in power.
Now Norwood has voted in more republican primaries than Democratic. If she goes on to win, whill she back a republican candidate for governor. That's my question. She may have a much better relationship with the crowd (GOP) at the State Capitol because she is from the northside of Atlanta. I don't know what to amke of the mayoral race because I haven't paid much attention to it, but in the beginning Lisa Borders I thought had the advantage because she was the first to announce & the amount of republican support she had behind her, but when she dropped out for that brief period of time, it left a vacuum & no one filled it. The only way I see Norwood winning is without a runoff. If she goes to a runoff against either Reed or Borders, she will not win in my opinion. She has to get it on Nov. 3 if wants to ebcome the next mayor of Atlanta. If she doesn't, she's a dead duck in the runoff.

Economics of Education conference on Nov. 18

Marcia McRae of the Bainbridge Post-Searchlight:
Blakely, Ga.—Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE) and Bainbridge College Early County (BCEC) are sponsoring a Nov. 18 conference in Blakely for Southwest Georgia area educators, school systems’ leaders, and business and industry leaders, including Chamber of Commerce members.

The Economics of Education Conference will emphasize the role quality education plays in building a strong economic climate and in supporting Georgia’s capacity to compete globally, said BCEC faculty member John McRae, who is helping coordinate the conference.

The regional event will feature Susan Walker of GPEE. It will include a brief presentation on the Georgia Work Ready program that BCEC offers.

Kathaleena Monds of Albany State University, who is with the Georgia Council of Economic Education, will also attend.

Monds will share information on classes and materials the GCEE offers to teachers and school systems. The meeting will address the impact of education, economic development and work readiness.

Director of policy and research for the Georgia Partnership, Walker leads its efforts to produce high-quality educational research and publications that fulfill the mission of informing and influencing Georgia leaders.

She will present new, compelling data to point where participants’ communities stand in their ability to compete in economic development based on a community’s educational rankings. A guide for action that can be tailored to each locale will provide the essential next steps for making measurable improvements in school achievement.

GPEE’s first Economics of Education presentation was in 2004 as a joint venture with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Its continuing popularity resulted in a second edition in 2007. In 2008 Economics of Education II continued to be a popular draw with a wide range of audiences across Georgia.

With Chamber support, GPEE aims to raise awareness across the state that quality education is essential for economic development. Focusing on three key issues, early life experiences, academic achievement in every grade, and teacher quality, the briefing paints a clear picture that a vibrant, successful school system translates into a prosperous community and state. The partnership offers assistance by guiding communities through an initial planning phase in building an education action program.

Thurbert Baker Spoke at NAACP Awards in Albany on Saturday

Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker spoke at the Albany-Dougherty 32nd annual Naacp Banquet on Saturday Night. Baker, who was a former State Representative is in his 3rd Term as State Attorney General is running for governor in 2010.
Pete Skiba of The Albany Herald:
Celebrating the NAACP's 100-year legacy of fighting for people's rights, Georgia Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker spoke with the future in mind Saturday night.

"We have achieved great success, but I want to remind people that we still have work to do," Baker said. "I want people to look forward to a better future that is why I am here tonight."

Baker spoke at the Albany-Dougherty NAACP 32nd annual Freedom Awards Celebration dinner at Monroe Comprehensive High School, on Lippitt Drive.

Baker's talk came after dinner while other officials including Albany Mayor Willie Adams, Dougherty County Commissioner Gloria Gaines and others spoke before dinner.

Baker has been attorney general since 1997 and has embarked on the race for Governor. He has made a name for himself by fighting crime, fraud and corruption, said William Wright, NAACP president.

"We wanted to give the people in Southwest Georgia an opportunity to come and hear what this person has done," Wright said. "We know he has tackled issues of domestic violence. We also want him to look at things that will be of particular interest to Americans of color. There seems to be a resurgence of hate crimes for example."

The awards dinner started in 1953 with the mission to end legal sanctions of segregation, Wright said. Friday's dinner acknowledged recognized and celebrated "freedom soldiers who have demonstrated with great passion efforts to manifest freedom and equality in the United States of America," he added.

The award winners were:

Freedom Award: Bishop John Burr.

Branch Service Award: Yvonne Reese,

Community Service Award: Tammy Green.

The night was special to many as the NAACP Centennial, but it may have been most special to Tabatha Holley, 15, at the dinner from Terrell County.

"I've been in the NAACP since the day I was born," Holley said. "I live and breathe the NAACP. I am going to continue the work of the NAACP for a long time."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

No Way! Says Doraville to a possible new Football Stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.

The Doraville City Council has voted unanimously to oppose building a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons on the site of the former General Motors plant.

DeKalb County commissioners last week green-lighted CEO Burrell Ellis to pursue negotiations for a public-private partnership to redevelop the 160-acre site, where GM closed an auto-assembly plant last year. Later, Ellis announced the county had discussed a variety of uses there including retail, residential, commercial and recreational facilities. County officials would not confirm whether a new football stadium was in the mix.

Doraville council members were not so coy. The resolution approved Monday night “reject[ed] conceptual plans for a new Falcons stadium,” according to a news release issued today. ”The move follows a plan put forward by DeKalb County officials that would put a new stadium in the heart of Doraville at the former General Motors plant site.”

According to the council’s resolution:

After much consideration and input from the citizens and business people of the City of Doraville, the Mayor and Council unanimously agree that a multi-use stadium facility is not in the best interest of the City and surrounding communities.

A joint statement by the city’s leadership added:

Since CEO Ellis has taken office our relationship and communication with the County has never been better. We just have a different vision in this particular instance of what the best vision is for Doraville. We have no doubts that both governments in partnership with the private sector will work together for a development that everyone can get excited about. …

We have lost a massive amount of jobs, businesses and revenue. All these factors have created a perfect economic storm that has left the City reeling, but we remain resilient and more importantly focused. Make no mistakes: We need to spur this redevelopment, but we must do it in a way that is sustainable and consistent with our goals and planning. If we do it right this site will not only be an economic blessing for Doraville and the metro region but a catalyst for the City’s revitalization efforts. We are certain that our vision, rather than a stadium, will accomplish that.

Three weeks ago, Doraville citizens lined up at a town hall meeting to voice opposition to a stadium. Several said NFL games would attract crime and traffic, and public ownership of the property would take it off the city’s tax rolls.

Ethics deals signed for ex-Speaker, 10 current & former lawmakers

Former House Speaker Terry Coleman and 10 current and former lawmakers closed ethics complaints with the payment of a fine and a promise not to do it again.

According to Atlanta Unfiltered, The State Ethics Commission, meeting in person for the second time this year, signed off on more than two dozen consent orders, including:

Coleman, now Georgia’s deputy agriculture commissioner & potential candidate for Agriculture Commissioner in 2010, who made more than $38,120 in mortgage payments on an Atlanta condominium from his campaign account beginning in 1997. Coleman’s business, Nameloc Corp., paid the money back in 2002 shortly before the vote in which the Dodge County lawmaker became speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives. Coleman paid a $2,900 fine as part of today’s consent order.
U.S. Rep. David Scott, who failed to file reports after his 2002 election to Congress on the status of $83,053 left in his state Senate campaign account. As of his last report in January 2008, the money was still sitting there. Scott was fined $7,500.
Former Secretary of State Cathy Cox, who was fined $500 for failing to specify the purpose of reimbursements to staff members from campaign funds.
For more go to Atlanta Unfiltered.

Peanut Politics will be undergoing significant changes for the 2009-2010 Legislative Session & for the 2010 Midterm Elections & beyond

I will be revamping Peanut Politics on the month of December 1 2009. I will be leaving Blogger & converting it to a Website. The formats offered by Blogger isn't enough & looks too chessy. It's time to upgrade in order to help elect Democrats on the Local & State Level to office in 2010 & beyond.

Cordele City Commissioner candidates in favor of consolidation

BECKY CRISSMAN of The Cordele Dispatch has the story
Crisp County: Candidates for the upcoming election for the city commission here addressed some heavy issues during a forum held at the Crisp County High School Cafetorium Monday night.

Sponsored by the Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce, the event gave citizens an opportunity to hear first-hand the visions the candidates have for the future of Cordele and Crisp County.

Candidates participating include current chairman of the Cordele City Commission Zack Wade, who is seeking re-election for the at-large post, and two of his opponents, Antwon Yowe, and Jamie Fernandez.

Also on hand were Ward 2 hopefuls — the incumbent Willie Colson Jr. and his opponent Curtis Lucas Jr. — and Ward 3 contestants — incumbent Jeanie Bartee and her foe, John Bagwell.

Billy Cannon, chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors, served as moderator for the forum, giving each candidate equal time to respond to issues, one of the most pressing being the issue of consolidating city and county government.

The candidates’ response to the issue was along the same lines, all commenting that ultimately it was a decision to be left up to the people.

“This is an issue that must be looked at,” said Wade. “There is really no need to build a new fire department when the areas could be covered. Privatization should also be looked at.”

Fernandez agreed, pointing out that duplicate services are an injustice. He also observed that people feared consolidation would bring about a loss of jobs. “I believe the citizens should vote on this issue,” he said.

Yowe likewise agreed that consolidation should be looked at, but also noted that out of the 159 counties throughout the State of Georgia only three have undergone that type change.

“We need to step back and examine what these other counties have done,” he said. “We need to check the pros and cons of the situation. The situation has been looked at here before, but came to a standstill because the city and county governments could not reach an agreement. Whatever decision is made, it should be the one most beneficial to the people.”

What took so Long?

Aaron Gould Sheinin of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The Georgia Democratic Party has launched a new Web site that it says details “cases of corruption, graft and backroom dealings from influential Georgia Republicans.”

The site, www.WhoTheyRepresent.com, targets U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.), state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, former state Sen. Eric Johnson (R-Savannah) and U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss (both R-Ga.) Deal, Oxendine and Johnson are running for the GOP’s 2010 nomination for governor. Isakson is up for re-election next year.

“We felt like there was so much corruption out there, the people of Georgia might need a guide to keep things straight,” Democratic Party director Matt Weyandt said in a statement. “It’s important Georgia voters know who their Republican politicians are taking their marching orders from.”

Efforts to reach state Republican officials for a response were not immediately successful.

The site details allegations or news stories about the five Republicans. The information is culled from articles in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other publications, as well as public records.

Thurbert Baker to Speak at NAACP 32nd Annual Freedom Awards in Albany on Saturday.

Pete Skiba
Staff writer for the Albany Herald reports:
The state's top attorney plans to speak in Albany at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's 32nd annual Freedom Awards Celebration at 6 p.m. Saturday.

This year's theme for the event is "NAACP Centennial: Celebrating a Legacy of 100 Years."

Thurbert Baker, Georgia's attorney general since 1997, will be in the city to attend the awards ceremony in the Monroe Comprehensive High School cafeteria at 900 Lippitt Drive.

Before taking office as attorney general, Baker served five terms as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives.

As befits the month of October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Baker has a history of fighting domestic violence and assisting victims, a news release from the Albany-Dougherty Branch of the NAACP said.

"Baker fought to make it a crime to commit an act of domestic violence in the presence of a child," the release stated. "He has worked with local law enforcement and communities to assist victims of domestic violence all over Georgia."

As a legislator and attorney general, Baker has fought crime and corruption. Prosecuting corruption is listed as part of his official duties on the state attorney general Web site, law.ga.gov/02/ago/home.

"As the public's lawyer, I have a tremendous responsibility to protect the public as well as to uphold the laws and the Constitution of Georgia," Baker said on the Web site. "Together with the more than 200 employees in my office, we work every day to serve the needs of Georgia's citizens."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This person clearly does not want Roy Barnes to run for governor again!

Keynote address by Rep. Dubose Porter addressing threats to southeast Georgia by the proposed coal-fired power plant near Sandersville, Plant Washington.

Darrell Black (D) Milledgeville has a website up

House District 141 candidate Darrell Black has a website up. It's www.DarrellBlack.com.

Marshall to resist health reform proposals

Thomas L. Day of the Macon Telegraph wrote this piece:
Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga., said he would oppose proposals from his own party on health-care reform during a phone interview Tuesday from his Washington office. Last week, the Senate Finance Committee passed its health-care reform package with one senator, Olympia Snowe of Maine, crossing party lines to support the bill.

The bill, written largely by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is generally considered to be the version of health-care reform legislation most likely to garner support from moderate Republicans.

Marshall appears to be the first member of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition to firmly say that he will oppose the Baucus bill. He won’t support any other bill currently being debated by the House and Senate, Marshall said.

“I think these bills missed a critical opportunity for the country,” he said. “Whatever we do has to address the rising costs. None of these plans do that very effectively.”

He also ratcheted up criticism of President Obama.

“It would be great if the president would take some leadership. I don’t think he’s done that,” Marshall said.

Far from defending the existing health-care system, in recent weeks Marshall has compared America’s health insurance companies and government health-care programs — Medicare and Medicaid included — to the Soviet UnionAppearing on Fox News on Monday afternoon, Marshall said that he blamed “centralized” decision-makers for wasteful spending on health care.

“We’ve got this sort of centralized payment system, which is the fundamental problem,” Marshall said. “Consumers and doctors (are) pretty divorced from the decisions that are being made. As a result, we’ve had an explosion in costs.”

In a letter to a constituent dated Oct. 9, Marshall warned that health-care expenditures will “soon bankrupt the federal government” without reforms.

And you wonder why republicans are wasting their time challenging Jim Marshall. The man is a "TRUE" Conservative Democrat.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is it time for a Third Party to give the American People another option besides the Democratic & Republican Parties?


Year after Year. after Year, it's the same ol' thing up in Washington. You have Democrats (Liberals) who want to spend the U.S. into a bankruptcy, Grow the Federal Government Bigger tham it ever has, & to dictate the lives of the American People. Then you have Republicans (Right-wingers) who claims to fight for Family Values, to decrease the size of government, fight for fiscal responsibility (but at the same time, contributed to the record deficit & debt our country faces), etc. Sre you tired of the same ol' thing every year. We elected a President who talked like a moderate, but is being dictated by the likes of Super Liberal Nancy Pelosi & her merry band of liberals in congress.
Then you have republicans who were crying wolf that the stimukus package was not going to work & it was going to leave an enormous debt on our children & grandchildren, but at the same time are the first ones in line to hold their hand out to get a piece of the stimulus money like Phil Gingrey & Tom Price of the 6th District. I called them all phonies & fakes. Now the only true democrats & republicans I see out there are Ron Paul (R-Texas), Jim Marshall (D-Georgia), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Gene Taylor (D-Mississippi), Heath Shuler (D-North Carolina), Mike Pence (R-Indiana), John Barrow (D-Georgia). I mean democrats & republicans who are truly fiscal conservatives, who wants to reduce the size of government, gives more local control to communities, & who doesn't cater to the extremes of the party, the special interest at every turn & who speaks true to their heart.
I think there needs to be a Legitimate Third Party to challenge the status quo in Washington D.C. But what to call it? What should the platform consist of? One party that caught my interest is the American Patriot Party. www.americanpatriotparty.cc Go check it out. It has a very attractive platform & needs to be considered if anyone out there is unhappy with both parties up in D.C.
Will have more to say about this tomorrow. Gotta go to work!

Gun Classes Offered by the Crisp County Sherriff Office.


Down in Cordele, The Crisp County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting another handgun familiarization class. The class will be offered to the public at no cost and will be open to male and female citizens 18 years of age and older.


The classroom portion will be held at the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office Training Building on Nov. 5 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The range portion will be held at the city range on Nov. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Some mental conditioning and awareness of one’s surroundings will also be covered during the class.

The District Attorney’s Office and Judge Belinda Griffin of the probate court will be part of the classroom portion. They will discuss Georgia law as it relates to use of force and weapons permits as well as answer any questions.

The class will be limited to the first 30 people who sign up.

Students should bring between 50 and 100 rounds of ammunition for their particular gun.

To register, they should contact Michael Sangster at the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office (229) 276-2600 or e-mail at msangster@crispcounty.com.

Boston Globe: Secret Service strained as leaders face more threats

The unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama, a rise in racist hate groups, and a new wave of antigovernment fervor threaten to overwhelm the US Secret Service, according to government officials and reports, raising new questions about the 144-year-old agency’s overall mission.

The Secret Service is tracking a far broader range of possible threats to the nation’s leaders, the officials said, even as it also investigates financial crimes such as counterfeiting as part of its original mandate.

The new demands are leading some officials, both inside and outside the agency, to raise the possibility of the service curtailing or dropping its role in fighting financial crime to focus more on protecting leaders and their families from assassination attempts and thwarting terrorist plots aimed at high-profile events.

The report, which was provided to the Globe, said such a review should look at how money and staff are allocated, and whether some of the agency’s functions and workers should be transferred to the Treasury Department.

Already, there are signs of strain on the agency, officials said. Budget documents submitted to Congress this year said the agency lacks the necessary technology to keep up with threats.

Asked about the concerns, Special Agent Edwin Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, said that though “there is no doubt the protection mission has grown,’’ the agency can still fulfill both its missions.

Its mission soon expanded to investigating the Ku Klux Klan and conducting counterespionage operations during the Spanish-American War and World War I.

The domestic threat is also growing, fueled in part by Obama’s election as the nation’s first black president, according to specialists who study homegrown radical movements.

Obama, who was given Secret Service protection 18 months before the election - the earliest ever for a presidential candidate - has been the target of more threats since his inauguration than his predecessors.

Two days before Obama’s appearance at San Francisco fund-raisers on Thursday, a 59-year-old Northern California man was indicted on charges of sending a racist, profanity-filled e-mail threatening to kill Obama and his family. The rambling e-mail included specific references to Michelle Obama and the phrase, “do it to his children and family first in front of him,’’ according to the indictment.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says that antigovernment militias and white supremacist groups have strengthened in recent years, responding to an increasingly diverse population and what they see as an expanding government.

“A key difference this time is that the federal government - the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy - is headed by a black man,’’ the report said. “One result has been a remarkable rash of domestic terror incidents since the presidential campaign, most of them related to anger over the election of Barack Obama.’’

Threatening language has also found its way into talk radio broadcasts and social networking websites, raising fears that individuals not normally considered threats to the president could be incited to violence.

“The racist extremist fringe is exploiting themes that strike a chord in the mainstream more than we have seen in the recent past,’’ said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino, citing several elected leaders who have questioned whether Obama is a US citizen eligible to be president.

Washington Post: Morning Fix: A premature celebration for the GOP

Republicans in Washington can barely contain their glee at the turn of President Obama's political fortunes in the first nine months of the year but a new Washington Post/ABC News poll suggests the GOP still faces serious perception problems in the eyes of the American public.

Less than one in five voters (19 percent) expressed confidence in Republicans' ability to make the right decisions for America's future while a whopping 79 percent lacked that confidence.

Among independent voters, who went heavily for Obama in 2008 and congressional Democrats in 2006, the numbers for Republicans on the confidence questions were even more worse. Just 17 percent of independents expressed confidence in Republicans' ability to make the right decision while 83 percent said they did not have that confidence.

(While Obama's numbers on the confidence question weren't amazing -- 49 percent confident/50 percent not confident -- they were far stronger than those for Republicans.)

On the generic ballot question, 51 percent of the sample said they would cast a vote for a Democratic candidate in their congressional district next fall while just 39 percent said they would opt for a GOP candidate. (As late as this summer, Republicans had seemingly narrowed the wide generic ballot lead Democrats enjoyed for much of the last two election cycles.)

These numbers, coming roughly one year before the 2010 midterm elections, show that any celebration on the GOP's behalf is premature as the party has yet to convince most voters that it can be a viable alternative to Democratic control in Washington today.

As former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) told the Post's Dan Balz recently, voters are "more skeptical of Republicans than they were in '93 and '94" when the GOP took back the House majority for the first time in four decades.

The party that was left for dead in January slowly but surely -- thanks to a growing sense of frustration and fear about the growth of government under the Obama administration -- has crawled its way back to relevance.

But, relevance is not all it takes to reclaim the majority mantle in Congress. While Republicans are outgunned by the bully pulpit of President Obama, they need to find ways over the next year (or so) to make sure the American people know what they would do if they were placed in charge after the 2010 election.

In short: Republicans are still a long way from the sort of standing they held with the American people earlier this decade when they controlled the White House, the Senate and the House. That doesn't mean they won't find their way there between now and 2010 -- or, more realistically, 2012 -- but they aren't there yet.

Chris Cillizza of The Fix wrote this article.

Monday, October 19, 2009

DuBose Porter Makes Stop in Sumter County> (From the Americus Times Recorder)

DuBose Porter pulls up in his white truck, suit jacket off and a big smile on his face as he greets the day and the reporter waiting for him. Apologizing for being late, explaining it’s due to his involvement in a panel that ran over in Callaway and “I think I turned around too quick,” Porter sat down and got to business right away.

DuBose Porter is running for governor of the state of Georgia, and he bases his thoughts on faith, family and the economy.

Born in Dublin, Ga., Porter graduated from Dublin High School and received his undergraduate degree from Davidson College. He interned with U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn in Washington, D.C. Seeing Nunn’s ability to help others convinced Porter to devote his life to public service.

In a conversation prior to a speaking engagement at the Americus Kiwanis Club, Porter spoke of his over 27-year legislative career which has centered on two beliefs: speak for the people and create economic opportunity.

Porter said, “The days of attracting high quality industry to our state, with massive incentives alone, have passed. What we must do is demonstrate that we have a healthy, well-educated workforce. Accepting progressive technology methods, empowering our teachers, partnering with parents in K-12 and strengthening our technical colleges, community colleges and universities will secure a healthy economy for our future. Education means more people working and sharing the tax burden with us all.”

He also added that “For Georgia to move forward we must have a functioning transportation system. Georgia needs a mass transit/multi-modal transportation system to end gridlock. It also needs working roads, turning lanes and curb cuts to attract industry. With team building leadership in the Governor’s Office we can unite urban and rural areas of our state with a transportation system that drives Georgia’s economy forward.”

DuBose and his family are avid outdoorsmen. They are active members of the First United Methodist Church in Dublin, where Dubose served on the Administrative Board and Carol teaches Sunday School.

Porter was elected Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives in 2003, and leader of the House Democratic Caucus in 2005. He has served as chair of both Education and Higher Education committees and now serves on Appropriations, Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, and Rules and Ethics committees.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Sylvania Telephone: 150 to lose jobs as Sylvania Yarn Systems closes

Sylvania Yarn Systems Inc. announced Wednesday afternoon that it will close its carpet yarn manufacturing plant by the end of the year, putting 150 full-time employees out of work and ending a 40-year history in the county.
The company cited “the severe recession that the carpet industry has experienced for over a year, and the subsequent reduction in customer order volume at its plant.” The company “plans an orderly wind-down of operations by year-end,” it said in a news release.
SYS avoided a similar fate in 1995, when employees organized to buy the plant from BASF and keep it open. “We just weren’t able to pull the rabbit out of the hat again,” said Don Aaron, president of the company. He has worked there 31 years.
The company notified city and county officials to tell them about the planned closing. They also contacted the Georgia Department of Labor and its State Rapid Response Team to coordinate on-site services for employees and help with job search efforts. “We will also be coordinating with other employers throughout the region in an attempt to match the very capable people who will be displaced from our workforce with all available openings,” Aaron said.
“We regret the impact of this plant closing on our loyal and hard-working employees,” said Harry Batty, chief executive officer of SYS. “Our yarn products largely support manufacturers of commercial and residential carpeting. The customers of those firms have been severely impacted by the ongoing housing crisis, the downturn in the commercial real estate markets as well as the ongoing credit crisis. These factors have significantly reduced demand for our products.”
Sylvania Mayor Margaret Evans said the news is bad for the entire community, not just for those who lost jobs. “It saddens me because it has been a pillar of our community for so many years and provided wonderful jobs,” she said. “It has meant so much for our community in so many ways.”

BISHOP ANNOUCES GRANT FUNDING FOR RURAL HOUSEHOLD WATER WELLS

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a $100,000 grant for the Golden Triangle Resource Conservation and Development Area to establish lending programs for household water wells in rural Southwest Georgia. The grant will be funded through the USDA’s Household Water Well System Grant Program.

“This program provides financial assistance to rural residents who need to drill water wells,” Bishop said. “Because many rural residents do not live in areas where a centralized water system is feasible, this program helps meet a basic human need – access to clean, safe drinking water.”

Golden Triangle Resource Conservation and Development Area will use the grant to make loans for 13 - 22 individual households in 12 Southwest Georgia counties: Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Terrell and Randolph. The loans will be used to construct or upgrade a household water well system for an existing home.

If I were compiling a list of possible candidates for Georgia's Lt. Governor, this how it would look







(1) Former State Senator Michael Meyer von Bremen (D-Albany)
Senator Michael S. Meyer von Bremen, a Democrat from Albany, was elected to the State Senate in 1998 to represent the 12th Senatorial District.

Born August 19, 1957, Senator Meyer von Bremen attended public schools in Albany and graduated from Mercer University in Macon in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He earned his law degree from Mercer in 1983.

He served as the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee. He served as a member of the Senate Appropriations, Judiciary, Natural Resources, Public Safety, and Reapportionment Committees.

Sponsored and passed ethics laws, tax cuts, and anti-crime legislation
(2) Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver (I)
Deke Copenhaver currently serves as Mayor of Augusta, Georgia. Mr. Copenhaver was born in Montreal, Canada and raised in Columbia County, Georgia. After attending the University of Georgia and earning a B.A. in Political Science from Augusta College, Deke worked for Nations Bank Securities in Atlanta for several years. After relocating to Beaufort, South Carolina in the mid-nineties, he went on to a career in real estate, serving as a principal in the firm of Huffines, Dukes, and Copenhaver LLC. After moving home to Augusta in 1998, Deke worked as a sales representative for Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate. He accepted the position of Executive Director of the Central Savannah River Land Trust in July of 2001. During his tenure, Mr. Copenhaver directed the expenditure of over $1.1 million in greenspace purchases throughout Augusta-Richmond County while at the same time developing a program that is widely considered the finest of its kind in the State.

In 2007, Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Deke to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Board. Deke also currently serves on the boards of the Georgia Municipal Association, Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area, the Augusta State University Foundation, the CSRA Regional Development Center, the Richmond-Burke County Job Training Authority and serves as vice-chair of the Augusta Regional Transit Study Committee. He is a past board member of the Augusta Symphony, Historic Augusta, Young at Art, Mainstreet Augusta, the Family Y of Metro Augusta, the Georgia Alliance of Land Trusts, the Georgia Conservancy, the Augusta Museum of History and the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation. Mr. Copenhaver served as chair of the Environmental Issues Committee, along with serving on the Editorial Committee, for Leadership Augusta’s Destination 2020 Initiative and is a 2004 graduate of Leadership Georgia. Deke currently serves on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s International Development Committee. Mr. Copenhaver is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Augusta and Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, where he serves as a deacon.

In 2003, Deke was recognized by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of Georgia’s “Top Forty Under Forty”. He is the 2003 recipient of the Family Y of Metro Augusta’s “Linda H. Walter Leadership Award”. In 2004, Mr. Copenhaver was appointed to the Georgia Land Conservation Partnership Advisory Council by Governor Sonny Perdue, serving on the Partnering and Leveraging Committee. In 2005, the Council's work resulted in the setting aside of $100 million in state funding for statewide land conservation through the passage of the Georgia Land Conservation Act. In 2005, Deke served as Augusta’s co-chair for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s “Red Carpet Tour”, which promotes statewide economic development. In 2006 and 2008, he was named a Notable Georgian by Georgia Trend Magazine and in 2007 and 2009 was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by the same publication. Mr. Copenhaver was named Alumni of the Year by Augusta State University in 2008 and is the 2007 recipient of the “Brother Commissioner Lee Norris Beard Award” given by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (Alpha Chi Lambda Chapter) at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast. His hobbies include golf, hunting, running, writing and reading. He and his wife Malisa live in Augusta with their two dogs, Finn and Gracie Lynn.

(3) State Rep. Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City)
Debbie G. Buckner (D- Columbus) represents House District 130. A native Georgian, she has lived in the Columbus area since 1957. She was first elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 2002. House District 130 consists of parts of Talbot, Harris, and the eastern part of Muscogee County.

Rep. Buckner is currently serving as a member of the Natural Resources & Environment, Retirement, and State Institutions & Property committees. As a freshman legislator, she served as secretary of the State Institutions & Properties Committee, a member of the Health & Human Services Committee, a member of the Natural Resources Committee and was the only freshman to serve on the Water Subcommittee. She is a former assistant to the Majority Whip.

Rep. Buckner is the Director of Community Benefit at Columbus Regional Healthcare System, having previously worked for Doctors Hospital and the Columbus Health Department as Senior Public Health Educator. She earned her BS in Health Science from Columbus State University and attended Georgia Southwestern College to do postgraduate work and earn a teaching certificate.

Rep. Buckner is a Board Member of Twin Cedars. Her community service includes volunteering for the American Lung Association of Georgia, Columbus-Ft. Benning chapter of the American Cancer Society, Concharty Council of Girl Scouts, West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition, Columbus Hospice, Three Rivers AHEC, The Jekyll Island Foundation, The Valley Collaborative for Suicide Prevention and Historic Talbotton Foundation.

In 2004, she was inducted into the gracious ladies of Georgia, was named Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Rural Health Association, was presented the American Heart Association’s Outstanding Advocate Award, and received the American Cancer Society’s Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award for 2003 and 2004. In 2005 and 2006, she was recognized by the Georgia Alliance for Tobacco Prevention. In 2006, the Georgia Environmental Council honored her as the Legislator of the Year.

In 2008, The Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island State Park named her Georgia State Representative of the Year, and the Georgia Conservation Voters honored her with an Environmental Leadership Award.

Representative Buckner and her husband, Mike, live at Fielder's Mill in Talbot County, one of the few operational grist mills left in Georgia. They have three children, Josh, John and Olivia.

(4) Former State Senator & Mayor of Milledgeville Floyd L. Griffin Jr (D)
Floyd Griffin, retired U.S. Army colonel, former Georgia state senator and former mayor of Milledgeville, Georgia, was born May 24, 1944, in Milledgeville. Griffin holds an A.S. in funeral service from Grupton Jones College, a B.S. in building construction from Tuskegee Institute and a master's degree in contract procurement and management from the Florida Institute of Technology. He is also a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the National War College.

Griffin's twenty-three-year career in the military began in 1967 when he served as a helicopter pilot and flight instructor in Vietnam. He also served a tour of duty in Germany, where he was a logistics officer, battalion chief, and director of engineering and housing. From 1984 to 1986, Griffin commanded an engineering battalion at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and from 1986 to 1990 he was assigned to the Pentagon. Retiring from the military as a colonel in 1990, Griffin taught military science at Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University, where he also was the offensive backfield coach for a football team that enjoyed two undefeated seasons and won back-to-back championships.

In 1994, running as a Democrat, Griffin was elected state senator from the 25th District of Georgia and was reelected in 1996. He sacrificed his Senate seat in 1998 to run for lieutenant governor but lost. Griffin tried again for his old Senate seat in 2000, and was narrowly defeated by the incumbent in the primary election. Not discouraged, Griffin ran for mayor of Milledgeville, his hometown, and won in 2001. An accomplished businessman, Griffin is vice president of Slater Funeral Home in Milledgeville, a Griffin family-owned business.

He was elected in 2006 to Board of Directors for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children


(5) State Senator Tim Golden (D-Valdosta)
Golden serves as Secretary of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for the annual state budget, and as a senior member of the influential Senate Finance Committee, which is charged with writing the state’s tax laws. Golden also serves on the Insurance & Labor, Higher Education and Government Oversight Committees. He is co-chairman of the special Study Committee on the Future of Manufacturing and is chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

During the past three years, for his work promoting health care issues, he received both the Georgia Hospital Association Legislative Leadership Award, and the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians “Champion of Family Medicine” Award. In recognition of his work on children health care issues, the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians named him their “Legislator of the Year” in 2007.

Known as a strong advocate for Georgia business, Golden was honored with a 2008 Legislative Achievement Award by the Georgia Retail Association. He was recognized by the Georgia State Chamber of Commerce as “Legislator of the Year” for 2007, and the group called it a “Lifetime Achievement” award for his long time advocacy of business interests in the General Assembly. That same year, the Georgia Industry Association made Golden their “Champion of Industry” for his efforts to promote manufacturing issues in Georgia.

Key supporter of the Hope Scholarship Program since its inception. HOPE has helped over 25,000 deserving students in the 8th Senatorial District attend tech schools or universities since 1993 totaling over $63 million in assistance.

Authored and passed "Rural Georgia Physicians Shortage Act" - 1995

Passed Self-Employed Health Care Tax Cut legislation in 1998 saving self-employed individuals $8 million in state taxes.

(6) My Wildcard Candidate & favorite Ray City Mayor Carl Camon (D)
He has served for two terms as a city councilman and is currently serving his fifth term as the first African-American Mayor of Ray City. As mayor, he helped start the first Pre-K program in the State of Georgia operated by a municipality. He founded the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Institute of Ray City, and the Mayor and Council’s Education Initiative Scholarship. He was appointed by Governor Roy Barnes in 2002 to serve a four-year term on the County & Municipal Probation Advisory Council, where he also served as chairman. He has served as Chairman of the Mayor’s Motorcade for the Southern Region of Georgia, Chairman of the Environment & Natural Resources Policy Committee and as a member of the Budget Committee, and Executive Committee for Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), located in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also selected to serve as a member of GMA’s Training Board.

He was instrumental in acquiring a total of nearly three million dollars in grant funds for the Ray City Pre-K, the Ray City Fire Department, the Ray City Water & Sewer Department, and for downtown development during his tenure as mayor. He declared war against drugs in his community and was awarded a grant for $30,000.00 for surveillance equipment, to help in the fight against drug dealers and drug activity. He was selected as one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s “40 Under 40” Rising Stars in Georgia.

He has an earned Master’s Degree in Special Education, and an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership, both from Valdosta State University. He is employed, as a collaborative educator. He has been listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers four times, and was selected as “Teacher of the Month”, and was nominated as “Teacher of the Year”. He has also championed state legislation that protects teachers in the performance of their duties.

Served as Chairman of The State of Georgia’s County & Municipal Probation Advisory Council

Served As Statewide Chairman of Georgia Municipal Association’s Environment & Natural Resources Committee, and Served on Board of Directors, Budget Committee, and Executive Committee

Served Two Terms As the Regional Chairman of the Mayor’s Christmas Motorcade Which Benefits Patients at State Mental Hospitals

Served on Board of Directors for the Southeast Georgia Regional Development Center

Honorary 347th Group Commander for Moody Air Force Base

Traveled to the Pentagon in Support of Moody Air Force Base

Selected as Civic Leader Tour Member and Traveled on Military Aircraft to the Air Force Academy in Colorado & Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in support of Moody Air Force Base

And was named to Georgia Trend's 40 under 40 in 2002 when he became the first black mayor of Ray City in 1998.

Will Democrats mount a challenge to Right-Wing Extremist Paul Broun (R-GA) in 2010 or will they keep their tail between their legs & go away quietly?

As the 2009 year comes to an end, it's start to talk about the 2010 Mid-Term Elections. All 435 members of congress are up for re-election. Here in Georgia, already you have all of the democratic incmubents facing challenges from republicans, or independents. But there is one person that should be high on the democrats list to target in 2010 & his name is Paul Broun (R) Athens, Oconee County, which ever one.
Every since his upset victort over former State Senator Jim Whitehead of Columbia County, Broun has quickly drew the ire of Democrats & high praise from the hardliners of the republican party. Broun has made it a commom theme to call the president every name he can come up with. From Fascist, Communist, socialist, marxist, etc, you name it. He has goe as far as saying that the president wants to create a civilian national defense force that will lead us down the road to socialism to saying people will die under so called 'Obamacare". Remember in 2008 when he said that Social Security is Unconstitutional. These are some of the idiotic, inflammatory rhetoric Broun has been saying since going to congress in 2007.
Now what will the democrats do? Well there's not much up there for the democrats to turn to. 2008 Candidate Bobby Saxon is a possibility. He was just promoted to Lt. Colonel & is serving a one year tour of duty for the Army at the Pentagon. He is also a possible candidate for State Senate District 47. Athens Mayor Heidi Davidson is another. But she maynot stand a chance because of her perceived liberalism. Alan Powell State Rep. from Hartwell would a dream candidate for Democrats, but he's not going anywhere anytime soon. Besides those three I can't think of anyone else. Paul Broun can be beaten if the right camdidate comes forward. Saxon is the closest thing to that. He took Broun to the woodshed in the few debates they had in 2008, but he just didn't have the necessary resources to mount a serious challenge. If he can garner 40% of the vote on a shoestring budget one wonders what would he have done if he had some finaicial backing from State Democrats or National Dems. We will never know. But the bottom line is Democrats need to take on Broun in 2010 & not just let him slide because of the makeup of the district. Democrats need to "GROW A SET" of You know what & start to take on these republicans here in the state. Like for instance the Lt. Governor's race (which I will talk about later). Come on democrats, MAN UP!!!

David Poythress made stop in Henry County

A 2010 gubernatorial candidate visited Henry County on Wednesday, to discuss three topics on the minds of some members of the local community.

David Poythress was the speaker for the Henry Council for Quality Growth's monthly meeting, held at Eagle's Landing Country Club in Stockbridge.

Poythress, who is running against other prominent Democrats, former Gov. Roy Barnes, Attorney General Thurbert Baker and state Rep. DuBose Porter (D-Dublin), among others, for the party's nomination, discussed the need to address the issues of water use, transportation and education as part of planning for the state's future.

Poythress also gave his views on economic development throughout Georgia, as well as in Henry.

"The key to economic development everywhere is education, and our ability to field a globally competitive workforce year after year," said Poythress.

Rail transportation is another important component in area development, he said.

"Certainly transportation is a key issue in Henry County's continued development," Poythress said. "Strategically, it's important that Henry be linked to the balance of metro Atlanta by light rail."

The state, he added, needs to depend more on light-rail transportation. Poythress advocated a long-term plan to guide light rail and freight rail, as well as high-speed, inter-city rail transportation systems.

In light of the recent news delivered to some members of the Henry County Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee on the financial crisis facing the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority's Xpress commuter bus service in Henry, Poythress voiced support for the idea of bus service as an alternative transportation method.

"I don't know that I've got a silver-bullet solution, but clearly buses are a suitable interim solution to some of our transportation needs," he said.

Efforts should be made, said Poythress, to find other funding methods to continue the GRTA service in Henry County.

Poythress also outlined his strategies, to those in attendance, for dealing with Georgia's dispute with Alabama and Florida over rights to the water in Lake Lanier. He said strong negotiating skills are needed to resolve the conflict.

Poythress also voiced support for expanding the use of computer technology in schools to help lower the high-school dropout rate, help dropouts earn their GEDs, and raise test scores for students still in school.

The reactions to Poythress' remarks were varied.

Marshall Chambers, administrator for Eagle's Landing Christian Academy, wondered if Poythress' plan to incorporate a higher level of educational technology into the classroom is feasible.

"This is an area which, in Georgia, we have a lot of concern about, because we're always faced with that," said Chambers.

Speaking from the point of view of a private educator, he said the efforts to lower the student dropout rate and raise test scores should begin in an arena other than the classroom. He said he agreed with Poythress' assessment of the need for more technology, but said relying solely on that initiative will not improve education.

"The problem lies in the home, and until there is a program to involve parents in the education of their children, we are not going to see [test scores] improve," said Chambers.

He said other candidates for public office are also struggling to find an answer.

"No one has seemed to come up with that, and our candidate here did not either," added Chambers. "That's a real concern."

Based on the issues Poythress discussed, Dan Garrett, executive director of the Henry Medical Center Foundation, was wary of committing to any one candidate this early in the race.

"All of the candidates are really going to be talking about those top-three issues," said Garrett. "This far out, it's hard to hear the specifics. It's more the general [approach], 'we need to fix transportation, we need to fix education.'"

Garrett said, however, that he was glad Poythress addressed the statewide issue of water use. The recent drought, he continued, and the tri-state lawsuits, are forcing the community to deal with the issue.

"That's why countries fight wars - over water," Garrett said. "If we don't deal with that, we're really going to have a crisis."

Valerie Baldowski reported on this story for Henry Daily Herald

Jefferson Jackson dinner to host Porter

Rome News Tribune
The Floyd County Democratic Party will hold its Jefferson Jackson dinner on Oct. 22. The event will be at 6 p.m. at the Rome Civic Center. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the door.

The Jefferson Jackson dinner is named for Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Similar events are held by Democrats throughout the country.

“Anyone in the community is invited,” said organizer Mary Caldwell. “You don’t have to be a Democrat to come.”

The speaker at Rome’s event will be Dubose Porter, who is running for governor. He will be introduced by Joe Cook of Coosa River Basin Initiative.

Porter, the minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, announced his candidacy for the office following the completion of the 2009 General Assembly in April.

Other Democratic candidates include Attorney General Thurbert Baker, former Adjutant General David Poythress, former Governor Roy Barnes and Ray City mayor Carl Camon. Republican contenders include Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, Secretary of State Karen Handel, Rep. Austin Scott, U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, state Sen. Eric Johnson, Ray McBerry and state Sen. Jeff Chapman. The Libertarian candidate is John Monds, president of the Grady County NAACP.

For more information about the Jefferson Jackson dinner or to purchase tickets contact Mary Caldwell at 706-767-5468.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Columbus councilor Wayne Anthony to run for mayor

Columbus City Councilman Wayne Anthony will hold a press conference Thursday to declare his candidacy for Mayor of Columbus.

The press conference will be at 2:30 p.m. on the Plaza Level of the Government Center.

Anthony has been on the council for seven years.

He is a Jordan High graduate and has a M.B.A. from the University of Georgia.

Spalding Democratic Party hosting candidate picnic

State and federal Democratic candidates are expected to turn out Saturday for a barbecue at Math Field.

According to a flier, the Spalding County Democratic Party will inaugurate, in conjunction with the Democratic parties of Lamar, Pike and Fayette counties, the annual Third Congressional District Picnic on Saturday. The event will begin at 4 p.m., with speeches beginning at 5 p.m. The menu will include roasted pig, along with all the fixings, all for free.

The following candidates will attend the cookout: gubernatorial candidates David Poythress, DuBose Porter and Carl Camon; Attorney general candidate Rob Teilhet; Secretary of State candidates Gail Buckner, Gary Horlacher, Michael Mills and Angela Moore; Insurance commissioner candidate Mary Squires; State superintendent of schools candidates Brian Westlake and Beth Farokh; and U.S. Senate candidate R.J. Hadley.

“We just thought that one county by itself couldn’t do that much, so we decided to pool our resources so we could have a bigger gathering,” Spalding County Democratic Party Chairman Jesse Maddox said when asked how the event came about.

He said he hopes Democrats from Spalding County and neighboring counties turn out.

“We’d like to have as much participation as possible,” he said.

Math Field is on Georgia Highway 92 approximately four miles west of the Griffin Wal-Mart Supercenter. THE GRIFFIN DAILY NEWS.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

General David Poythress, Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia, at the NAACP forum in Macon, GA on October 9, 2009.

Gubernatorial Candidate Carl L. Camon (D-Ray City) Northeast Georgia's 2 day, 11 city tour.

Blogtalk Radio: Ken Pettigrew, Host of What Pisses You Off? & at the bottom African American Conservatives

Former Dodge County Sherriff Lawton Douglas & Others plead Not Guilty.

Former Dodge County Sheriff Lawton Douglas pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy and four counts of vote buying in Federal Court in Dublin on Thursday, October 1.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Leon Barfield read the six count indictment to Douglas, Olin Norman Gibson, a.k.a. “Bobo” and Thedy Deneen McLeod, a.k.a. “Deneen Gordon”, charging Douglas and Gibson with two counts of conspiracy and four counts of vote buying each and McLeod with two counts of conspiracy. Gibson and Gordon also pleaded not guilty.

Counts one and four of the indictment stated that Douglas, Gibson and Gordon together with other conspirators known and unknown to the grand jury did knowingly, willfully and unlawfully pay and offer to pay voters in the primary election on July 20, 2004 and in the runoff election on August 10, 2004 to vote for Douglas.
According to the indictment, Douglas, Gibson and Gordon would pay voters with cash, alcohol and drugs to vote for Douglas in the election. It also stated that Gibson would transport voters to the polls and accompany them into the voting booth in order to ensure that they voted for Douglas. Gordon would purchase and obtain blank absentee ballots from voters and deliver those ballots to Douglas. Then Douglas and Gordon would complete blank absentee ballots with votes for Douglas and submit those ballots to be counted in the elections.
Counts two, three, five and six of the indictment stated that Douglas and Gibson, aided by the others, did pay and offer to pay voters E.C. and C.C. for voting the primary and primary runoff elections in 2004.
U.S. District Attorney Brian Tanner told Judge Barfield that he planned to turn over to defense attorneys 327 pages of evidence consisting mostly of summaries of FBI and GBI interviews and witness testimony before the grand jury. He added that each defense attorney would receive a CD of taped recordings.
Judge Barfield released all three on a $10,000.00 unsecured bond each; they were ordered not to travel outside the court’s southern and middle districts, they were told to surrender all firearms to the probation officer, refrain from excessive use of alcohol, refrain from using narcotics, submit to drug/alcohol test and a 10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. curfew. Because of the current jobs that Douglas and Gordon have, they will have to let their probation officer know if their schedule will not meet with the judge’s restrictions.
Judge Barfield also warned all defendants not to have any contact with witnesses or each other without their attorneys present.
The charges each carry a maximum of five years in prison, $250,000.00 fine and three years supervised release, Judge Barfield told the defendants.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Special Agent in Charge Greg Harvey stated, “The Dodge County voter fraud case continues to be an ongoing investigation by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the GBI. At the request of Oconee Circuit District Attorney (DA) Timothy Vaughn, State Attorney General Thurbert Baker has appointed DA Steven Kelly of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit as special prosecutor to handle state charges arising in this investigation. DA Kelly has assigned assistant DA David Perry of his office to handle the case. DA Vaughn has recused his office from handling this case. Additional charges on the state or federal level are yet to be determined as the investigation has not been completed.”
Harvey added, “This is just the 2004 elections, we are still investigating the 2008 elections.”
Judge Barfield did give attorneys 10 days to file motions, but when attorney Tanner stated he would be giving the three defense attorneys information, Judge Barfield said he would give an extension but not a lengthy one.

Just who is Darrell Black, Democratic candidate for House District 141


Although the special election to replace Bobby Parham (D-Milledgeville) is non-partisan, there is a democrat running in the race & his name is Darrell Black. He is a local Businessman who is the owner of Milledgeville's Florring America. He celebrated the business's 25th anniversary back in May.
Flooring America is a national franchise that Black bought into in 2000.

The company’s Web site also claims that “every Flooring America store is locally owned.” Black lives in Milledgeville and is involved with John Milledge Academy football (his voice may sound familiar to radio listeners over in Baldwin County) and has been in several productions with the local theater group, the Milledgeville Players.

When questioned about how much business Flooring America has done locally, Black remained humbled but still proud of the impact his business has had on the community.
Well Darrell is about to embark on a new journey & that journey is hopefully to the State Legislature to serve out the term of Parham, who resigned to serve on the GDOT. He wil be going up against 3 others, including Rusty Kidd, who father legendary State Senator Democrat Culver Kidd was a State Senator,

Monday, October 12, 2009

Who is this Top-Tier Republican that is rumored to be considering a challenge to Incumbent Jim Marshall?

The Names of State Senator Ross Tolleson (R-Perry), State Senator Cecil Staton (R-Macon) & State Rep. Jim Cole are the ones that comes to my mind. Tolleson makes sense because if you remember back in 2008 , he was mentioned as being a possible challenger to Marshall, but decided against it. He would be a strong challenger to Marshall, but not enough, in my mind to defeat the battle-tested conservative democrat from Macon in my opinion.
Cecil Staton also comes to mind, but he wouldn't stand a chance against Marshall & Jim Cole, well I don't know why his name came to my mind, but he is a weak candidate. The GOP have tried a veteran congressman in Mac Collins in 2006 but he lost despite numerous visits by Georgie W. Bush & Dick Cheney as well as the GOP Majority Leader & House Speaker. Then they tried a Airforce Veteran in Rick Goddard, who was a highly touted recruit by the GOP & he lost as well. In 2004, & 2002 they tried Calder Clay as well. Why would 2010 be any different? Regardless of who Marshall faces barring a major scandal, he will be re-elected. You can take that to the bank.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oglethorpe Annual Deer Day Festival set for October 17 here in Macon County.

Oglethorpe Better HomeTown's Annual Deer Day Festival will be held on Saturday October 17 from 9a.m to 2p.m., at the Old Macon County Junior High School Gym on Sunter Street in Oglethorpe. Join us for Rides, Games, The Best BBQ PLates, Vendors from all around, Live Music & Lots More Food.
There will be $100 prizes each: for the first deer, for the largest deer by weight & the youngest hunter to bring a deer. And there will be a raffle also. They include a Marlin XL7 270 Deer Rifle W/Scope, 12-Ft Deer Stand & Many more.
Vendors may contact Patsy Cannon at 478-472-8520 for Spaces or Cliff Ellis at 478-472-8991

Opinion: Howard Franklin of the Red Clay Democrats: Memo for Ga. Democrats

With all the unrest surrounding Democrats these days — including President Barack Obama’s sliding approval ratings and ambitious health care agenda — it’s easy to forget that Democrats picked up seats in both houses of Congress and control of four state legislatures last year.

Evidence of a GOP meltdown is still visible — even in conservative heartlands of the South and Midwest where Republicans have weakened their brand with sex scandals and abrupt resignations. Yet, Georgians are still wondering if and when the “Democratic Renaissance” that just swept the nation will reach the Peach State. Rest assured, Georgia: If change is coming, the time is still now.

It’s been 11 years since a nonincumbent Georgia Democrat won a statewide election. And even the three remaining statewide Democrats faced competitive challenges in 2006 from virtually unknown Republicans. But former Gov. Roy Barnes hopes to change that in 2010. Now, more than ever, Democrats must seize this opportunity and cultivate fertile ground for statewide victories — for Barnes and for down-ballot Democrats to follow.

To give down-ballot candidates the best chance of riding Barnes’ momentum into statewide victories, Democrats must shift their focus from competing in primaries to winning general elections. That requires getting back to the basics, and Georgia Democrats must do five things to win beyond the 2010 primaries.

1. Present an attractive Democratic brand to voters: That doesn’t mean marching in lockstep with Obama, but presenting solutions that work for Georgia’s special challenges. Start by crafting well-defined, unifying policy positions to win over moderate and independent voters. Fortunately, Republicans have ignored a few key issues and left open the door for Democrats to lead — from solving traffic congestion to improving education and attracting good-paying jobs.

2. Acknowledge the role of race in politics: Georgia, surrogate home of the civil rights movement and birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., doesn’t always judge a politician solely by the content of his (or her) character. Obama cruised to victory in the February primary — rich with African-American voters — but lost Georgia’s 15 electoral votes by a near landslide in November. To end Republican rule, Democrats must put aside identity politics. That means resisting the urge to promote only candidates who look like the majority and putting people on the ticket who will resonate with and meet the needs of an increasingly diverse Georgia.

THIS IS THE BIGGIE3. Avoid costly primary battles: The 2006 gubernatorial fight between former Secretary of State Cathy Cox and Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor serves as a memorable cautionary tale. Although many Democrats chose sides, most wanted the two promising politicians to run on the same ticket in November, rather than against each other in July. Bloody primary battles jeopardize statewide elections. Mediating these disputes is often challenging without a commonly embraced leader, but that’s a luxury Democrats won’t have in the upcoming elections.

4. Run strong everywhere: Recruit good candidates across the state to run early and often. That probably sounds simple (if you live outside Atlanta) or highly impractical (if you live inside I-285), but actually, it’s neither: Even in defeat, well-funded, plain-speaking, local candidacies will help rebuild the foundation for Democratic victories in the future.

5. Lure working-class white men back: They have left the party in droves, taking their moderating sensibilities with them. In the process, Georgia’s “big tent” party has gradually leaned more leftward. Contrary to popular belief, Democrats need conservative voices, for the same reason Republicans need more ethnic and age diversity — to moderate stances and expand outreach.

The challenges before Democrats are daunting, and no single stakeholder can accomplish these things alone — not our elected officials, dedicated activists or even the state party. So my final recommendation is a no-brainer: To chart a unified course for victory, Democrats must start now and work together. Unity matters now more than ever, since Barnes’ candidacy is giving Democrats the best shot they’ve had in years.

Howard Franklin is president of Influence Factory public affairs firm and Red Clay Democrats political action committee.
Franklin has hit the nail right on the head, especially with the last point that democrats need to lure working class white men back to the party. That will be the key if they have any chance of regaining the governor's mansion in 2010. Yes it is difficult to find candidates to run for State Rep. or State Sen., but state dems should focus on the ones they can win & ones that was once occupied by democrats like HD 171, 147, 172, 169 for example. Franklin has provided points that dems must & should follow if they want to regain the mansion & majorities in 2010 & beyond.
This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat

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