Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why Jane Vandiver-Kidd Needs to Give the U.S. Senate Race a Second Look.


As you know we have a U.S. Senate race upon us this year as Incumbent Johnny Isakson is seeking a second term as Georgia's Junior Senator. As of now there is one candidate who announced a challenge to Isakson, RJ Hadley (D-Conyers). But what about Jane Kidd, the Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia?
Now taking on a sitting senator is a daunting task within itself. Not to say that RJ Hadley is not a strong candidate, in fact he is (I've met him once & came away impressed). But having the strongest candidate at top of the ticket is a very, very critical element in having a strong chance of winning the governorship & other downballot races.
Democrats just cannot just put all of their eggs in one basket on the governor's race & forget about the others. Democrats need as many strong candidates on the ballot this year if they have any hope of winning again & it starts this year. It's important that democrats have a unified party this year. (Its a must) In 2006, the primary between Cathy Cox, then Secretary of State & Mark Taylor, then Lt. Governor left both candidates bloodied, battered & bruised. As a result, Cathy Cox supporters went out & supported Sonny Perdue for re-election instead of throwing their energy behind Mark Taylor. With Jane Kidd at the top of the ticket, she would fill that leadership gap that is sorely lacking. Folks throw out names such as Jim Marshall & Tim Golden as possible candidates for the senate, but how about a woman running at the top of the ticket.
As the daughter of a former governor (Ernest Vandiver) & the grand-niece of one of the most famous & beloved person ever to come out of Georgia (Richard B. "Dick" Russell), the attention she would gain from a U.S. Senate run would be remarkable. To kickoff her senate run, she should start off with a rural tour, going to towns that have been decimated by the loss of manufacturing industries & businesses that have closed due to the lack of economic opportunities that are not being produced & in the process build a strong grassroots organization that would be able to assist her in her bid to unseat Isakson. Money is good to have, but its not everything. A strong grassroots is much more effective that the swollen pockets of Johnny Isakson. There are a couple of issues that Kidd can capitalize on against Isakson, (1) The State Children Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), which he voted against THREE times while in the senate, (2) Healthcare. Although I'm neutral on the healthcare reform bill that is going through congress, she can hit him hard on this issue, where here in rural Georgia, the lack of healthcare is hurting people the most.
For example, Rural Georgia presents a unique set of challenges for health care reform. Rural Georgians have less access to health networks and health care providers, greater rates of disability and chronic diseases and higher use rates of all public health care programs. And largely as a result of higher rates of self-employment and small business employment, rural Georgians have lower rates of employer-provided benefits and are more likely to be underinsured or uninsured for longer periods of time. The people here in rural Georgia are most in need of health care system reform.

Health care is also a major barrier to rural economic development that creates real opportunities and reduces poverty. Small business development is the most effective path in many communities for low and moderate income rural Georgians to pull themselves out of poverty. But if small business entrepreneurs cannot gain affordable access to health care for themselves or their employees, that path out of poverty is blocked. Any hope of building real economic opportunity for struggling rural Georgians through entrepreneurship must be accompanied by reforming the health care system in a way that benefits both small business owners and their employees & there is where Jane can hit Isakson the hardest & as a result, she would have rural Georgians eating out of the palm of her hands. But those reasons I just stated are why some type of healthcare reform is needed, so to help rural Georgians that are battling everyday just to pay the bills.

As a candidate for the Senate, Jane can appeal to women. Isakson's record on women is mixed. He voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Act & the Equal Pay Act. Republicans have made significant gains among Amen over the years & her candidacy would be a game changer to a possible historic election of Karen Handel as Georgia's first Woman governor.
She can hit Isakson & his party's lack of vision & solutions on our nations economy. Think about it, on the campaign trail or in a debate, she could & should press Isakson on his vision for our nations economy & future. Jane can become the candidate for standing up & fighting for the folks of this state & help solidify Georgia as the empire state of the south, the leading state of the south. Her candidacy would appeal to republican leaning women voters as well as uniting the democratic base.
She can win! No doubt about it. She can definitely win over moderate democratic & republican women, she can remind Georgia of the great legacy of her family with Black Voters & those democrats of the past that have strayed to the republican party. The one issue for democrats is how to turn out Black voters in a non-presidential year? In 2006, her campaign for the State Senate led to the highest Black voter turnout in Athens ever. Translate that to a statewide race, democrats will have no problem. Plus there are still areas of the state that the Vandiver name still resonates, especially among rural Georgians who are old enough to remember Ernest Vandiver. From a Rural Georgia perspective, Jane can make significant inroads in a region that was until 2002 was a bastion of conservative democrats. Those democrats have defected to the GOP since then, but can be brought back to the party with a message that appeals to them. Remember this state likes progressive leaning government, but loves conservative politics. And another thing, as a senate candidate. she would be difficult for the GOP to attack. Think about it, malicious, vicious attacks on Kidd that goes way over the line will win her unexpected support & in effect turn off more centrist leaning republicans, especially women. They would have to walk a very, very fine line with Jane in the race, than say a male candidate.
The 2010 Elections are going to center on (1) Jobs (1a) Healthcare (2a) Fiscal Matters (2) Economy. Jane Kidd at the top of the democratic ticket would solidify a strong democratic ticket that is sure to be one of the strongest tickets democrats have produced in a very long time. Democrats need a Jane Kidd at the top of the Ballot come Nov. 2010. Isakson can no, no, & no until his face turns blue, but what does that accomplish if there are no alternatives? No solutions? No Answers? Georgia needs a common-sense, independent, middle-of-the-road candidate, an outsider that can go to washington & work in a real-bi-partisan manner & who is not consumed with the TV Camera & party loyalty. Washington has lost it way. Rural Georgia needs someone who will not be bought by special interest groups, lobbyist, someone who's principles are genuine & someone who will go to "Work" for the farmer, the truck driver, the cashier, the at home moms, the factory worker, the poor, the elderly, the disadvantage, the black, the white, the hispanic, the educator, the veteran, the law enforcement official, rural, urban, surburban, exurban, etc. Not a show pony, who only goes where the wind is blowing. Georgia, especially rural Georgia is suffering & its time Georgia sends someone who has the courage to fight for working class men & women. Jane Kidd is what the state of Georgia needs at this critical juncture in our state & our country's history. This is your opportunity to bring mainstream, responsible change to our beloved state. Run, Jane, Run!!!!!!!!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

She would be the right fit to help the ticket downballot. If democrats don't mount a serious challenge to Isakson, he'll be able to send his millions to help other GOP candidates & demos can't have that. Kidd, althought has made some questionable moves need to jump at this opportunity to show how's it done. I don't know what her views are, but she has to be support traditional marriage & support the right to life. If she is neither of those things, she can forget about it. Voters would vote for or against her just by issues like that.

mcantone said...

Thank you for the support of the Draft Jane movement!! Please, if you believe in Jane as I do, spread the word and be sure to sign the draft petition and join hundreds of Georgians who have already done so!!

www.draftjanekidd.com

ProgressiveKel said...

I think R.J. has what it takes to win, both his race and helping down ballot races. However, this will only be possible if the democratic party at the state and national level give enough support for Hadley after the primaries.

Whoever the candidate, it will be important to focus on rallying the conservative, old south democrats. The progressives, like myself, will be an easy sell regardless of who they put on the ballot. Though I hate to admit it, this is the year we quit whining about progressive social issues and focus on fiscal responsibility and dragging us out of the whole the GOP has put us in the past eight years.

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