Monday, November 29, 2010

The Georgia Democratic Party after the 2010 elections: Start looking towards the Suburban and Rural Areas: Part 2

It’s something that I’ve felt for quite some time, with reasons.

The areas that Republicans are strong in, the areas where they defeated Democrats in this election, are almost all rural or suburban areas. Democratic “strongholds” tend to be urban areas, and with that, the place where most progressives seem to be. Which is fine, except that it has unwittingly led to a set of blinders when it comes politics. Many progressives base their policy and program ideas from their experience – which is mostly urban.

In a Urban area, I probably could go to see a major league game in any one of several sports. Culturally, there are major libraries, museums, zoos, theaters, and concert halls. Thousands of restaurants with a wide range of cuisines, and a dizzying variety of shops and stores.

Further my education?

There could be several major universities and a number of colleges to choose from. If I needed medical care, there would thousands of doctors and dentists to choose from, and a number of major medical centers and hospitals. If I wanted to go to any of these, a short walk, a quick ride on the subway, or a bus ride would do the trick.

Contrast that with where I live now, no major league sports teams, 2 small libraries, 1 museum, no zoos, 1 small primary care clinics with limited hours and mostly staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants, 1 dental office, no colleges, and 3-4 restaurants depending on the season. There is no mass transit, but do have cell phone coverage, and “walking distance” depends on how far you want to walk or if you happen to live near any of those. I do know the people who live near me, and I have "few" friends here who don’t share most of my interests. Majority of my friends have left the country & now are residing in cities like Atlanta, Warner Robins, Miami, Portland, Oregon & Cleveland, Denver.

One of the frequent complaints I’ve heard from progressives is wondering why various areas “vote against their own interests.” There are two reasons why this happens. First, they may be voting for their own interests, and second, they may be voting against you – the urban areas. I live in West Central Georgia, and in many ways, it’s a microcosm of what’s happening. Atlanta, Macon, Savannah, etc may be considered as “a lot of people crammed into a very small area” (Metro Atlanta) attached to a big, sparsely populated rural area – the rest of the state.

It’s referred to as Upstate and Downstate, and it’s been a source of tension FOR YEARS, IF NOT DECADES. Atlanta has half the population of the State, and because of that wields an enormous influence on state politics. It’s also overwhelmingly Democratic. The result is that the Democratic Party is often seen as consisting of “Atlanta liberals,” and in a reflexive countering, Upstate & downstate has tended to go Republican. They’ve also had experiences with “bright ideas” that either don’t fit or go awry. In other words, just because urban progressives think it’s a good idea, it may not be from the rural standpoint. That’s the problem, so how can it be changed? There are several things that can be done.

First and foremost, listen to the locals.

No matter how “Red” an area appears, there are progressives there, and there is a Democratic Party. Policies that may be terrific ideas for urban areas can be irrelevant to the rural areas. Policies developed for rural areas in urban areas may not be practical – or have the opposite effect from what was intended. What policies will work should either lead to additions or changes. A “one size fits all” prescription may not fit at all. The people who are telling you this are not necessarily “obstructionist” or “insufficiently progressive.” They’re trying to help.

Second, support the local parties.

You may live in an area with a large, powerful Democratic Party, where there are lots of progressive interest groups, and you can get together on a regular basis. Fund-raising is generally not too much of a problem. Rural parties tend to be small, widely dispersed, and lacking in resources. They’re the ones who are on the ground, recruiting candidates, running campaigns, and trying to get the message out. Giving them access to resources to help them do that is often not that expensive, but does build the Party in those areas.

Third, watch the rhetoric.

Many of the catch-phrases used by urban progressives grate on the nerves of the rural population. It’s not seen by them as someone trying to help them, it’s seen as someone attacking them. When progressives rant about “corporate agriculture,” “agribusiness,” and “factory farms,” the progressives may think they mean large corporations like Tyson, Monsanto, and Cargill, while being for “family farms.” The peanut farmers in SW Georgia or the dairy farmers in Eastern Georgia read the rants, descriptions, know they’re the “family farm” and feel you’re describing them. Blanket descriptions of people in various areas in derogatory terms isn’t calculated to make them want to listen to you.

Finally, be in it for the long haul.

The political “complexion” of an area doesn’t change overnight. It’s great to have a message that fits the area, support the local party, and addresses concerns. But there’s an inertia , a tradition that takes time to overcome. Many of the young people starting out today are voting Democratic, but their parents grew up voting Republican – or were driven to the Republican Party. That took time to happen and it’s not going to change in one or two elections. I said this to some progressives before the election: “You weren’t here before, and you won’t be here after this. What makes you think we’re going to listen to you?” While you need to listen to us, you have to be there for them to listen to you.

Dems want to take back the legislature & governor's office & to re-build the Democratic Party? You need to get out of the city and move to the country.

The Democratic Party after the 2010 elections: Part 1

Okay, here’s the deal. Election day was brutal, crushing, utterly demoralizing. There’s been much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth and general despair about what this means for Democrats in the future; what it says about the mood, needs, and intelligence of the electorate; and what will become of the state under Republican control of the house.

Got that out of your system yet? If so, good! We have work to do. If not, then hurry it up. We have work to do.

I’m not irrational. I’m simply seeing things very clearly. I think I understand exactly what caused voters to choose as they did, and it’s far from simple. But the answer to what we, as Democrats, need to do to reverse those voter choices is quite simple, although it’s far from easy. It’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of time, and most importantly, a relentlessly positive attitude. It’s going to require us to believe in our own power to succeed even when the odds seem stacked against us.

There was no one magical thing that Republicans did to win so many of the elections a few weeks ago. They did it with empty promises, backed by no specifics or utter nonsense (“We’ll reduce the deficit by lowering taxes.”) and an epic tsunami of corporate money that was funneled through groups that, I suspect, will someday once again be legally barred from funding political campaign ads as they did this year.

Let's face it people, republicans won by utilizing a massive media machine that masquerades as a “news network,” but which most of us recognize as the unofficial propaganda apparatus of the Republican party. Some have said they won by igniting, fueling, and ultimately harnessing the inarticulate rage of a class of people who are fundamentally ignorant about politics, economics, social justice, and our political process and governmental procedures.

Then they used the misery and suffering of the general population – which they themselves caused and prolonged – to amplify their campaign message, which boiled down to “Democrats did it! Don’t vote for them!”

None of these tactics is appropriate for Democrats to adopt and modify as their own. They are not going to defeat the destructive, negative influence of the Republican party by becoming a mirror image of it. And more importantly, they don’t have to do that to win. No way the party need a liberal Fox News and they don’t need to pump the American people full of lies that cast Republicans as villains and Democrats as knights on white chargers.

All we need to do is tell the truth.

Now, I can hear some of you already shouting in response that “We already did that! We told the truth, but the people couldn’t hear us over the sound of Fox News and Glenn Beck and the tea party rallies! The people believed the lies because that’s all they were hearing!” And you’re right about that. Therein lies the real problem – that the American people aren’t hearing us.

But the answer is not to get a bigger megaphone. I think this election made it pretty clear that corporate America is almost entirely in the Republican corner. Any megaphone Dems build is going to be dwarfed by the one they can buy. Theirs will always be bigger, fancier, and louder. But they won’t need a megaphone anyway, because we’re going to reach the people by talking to them. One at a time.

People don’t want Republicans or Democrats. They want people with real answers to real problems. They want someone to hear their pleas for help and respond with actions that make their lives better. They will elect anyone who seems to get what they are going through and has ideas that make sense to them. This year, they went mostly with Republicans because of that messaging infrastructure they have. But Dems messaging structure will be even more powerful.

What Dems must do is to meet people where they are. They can’t judge them for their views, whether they are tea party or lifelong Republicans or libertarians or whatever. They need to get out among them and help them. If they are down, they should help them up. If they have a problem, they should work alongside them to help solve it. They will teach them by example what it means to be a Democrat; that “liberal” is not a dirty word; that “progressive” is not an epithet & that "conservative", yes, "conservative democrats" have a place in the party as well. (Or I hope they still do)

This is going to take patience, it’s going to take time, and it’s going to take hard work. The temptation to lecture people will be overwhelming, but that’s not what will win them over. They can’t win elections by arguing with the people, because most of the population has forgotten or never learned the art of debate. They think what they think because they have been appealed to emotionally; logic and reason were contorted to serve the emotional purpose. Dems can’t tell them what to think, but we can show them who and what we really are. And in the end, that will be the key.

Dems spent the past two years fretting over what the Republicans have done, laughing at the ignorance of the tea party people (some are ignorant, but not all), and browbeating our elected Democrats for their perceived failures. But what dems need to understand is that this administration and this Democratic Congress have faced a combination of obstacles unprecedented in our history.

They were up against a corporate media machinery that served Republicans interests far more often than it served up the truth, plus the exhorbitantly partisan voice of Fox News. They were up against a Republican party that publicly decided not to help govern, but instead fought every every single bill that would have aided the economy or made life easier for suffering constituents. They were up against a corporate conspiracy that not only laid off far more workers than necessary when the recession hit, but deliberately failed to start rehiring when it ended, thus keeping the economy weakened and prolonging the misery of voters in my opinion.

And Democrats were up against a conservative “grassroots” movement that has been carefully nurtured and extravagantly bankrolled by billionaires intent on keeping America the promised land for corporations and the ultraric. I think dems fell into polarization mode – which is perfectly understandable and expected – but that in doing so, we played right into the hands of the Republican puppetmasters.

But this isn’t all a bunch of hippy-dippy, kumbaya crap. There are very pragmatic, concrete things to be gained by keeping the message positive. For one thing, it’s a lot more efficient – maintaining a negative attitude and constantly attacking uses far more energy. It also takes a spiritual toll and tends to make one petty, mean, and embittered. I think they can all agree that petty, mean, embittered people are far less attractive to others, less fun to be around. And that brings me to another practical concern: young people

Young people are much more likely to be motivated to take part in politics – as activists, and even as voters – when there is positive energy. One look at a tea party rally should tell you that; how many young adults do you typically see there? And young people turned out in droves to organize, politic, and vote in 2008. Why? Because Barack Obama’s positive message and energy inspired them. I’m not a young person, but that’s what drew me in.

It worked in 2008, and it will work now. Notice that I didn’t say “it will work in 2012.” Dems can’t wait for official campaigning to begin our new ground game. If we want to educate voters about the realities of Democratic policies, we have to start now. Where do we start? Well, there’s a meeting of my county Democratic party next week. I’m going to attend. That will be the first time I’ve ever done that.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Troup County Democratic Chairman to run for DPG Vice-Chair of Congressional Districts

Chris Sloan, chairman of the Troup County Democratic Party announced that he will seek the seat of DPG Vice chairman of Congressional districts and county liason. Exactly what the party needs is new blood

Sloan is a graduate of LaGrange High School & attends Ashford University majoring in Politicasl Science & History.

Sally Rosser, who is currently the Vice-Chairman of Congressional Districts & County Liason has not said whether or not she will seek the post again.

One position to keep a watch on is the Vice-Chair for Candidate Recruitment held by State Rep Winfred Dukes (D-Albany). If there is anyone who doesn't need to hold a position such as this that is Dukes himself.

Will the Georgia GOP mis-read this election & overreach?

The risks for Republicans is in reading too much into this election."

With the GOP now controlling every constitutional office in the state, increased majorities in the house & senate they now have total control of state government for the first time since 1868.

With 112 members in the house, the republicans are only 8 members shy of a "super majority" with several democrats switching parties last week.

Jubilant over their landslide victory in every statewide office of one State Senate seat & five State House Seats, republican leaders up in Atlanta face a dilemma as they debate how to exert their new authority over the state.

Their energetic conservative base is eager to implement right-wing policies and if Republicans fail at doing so, they risk disappointing the supporters who turned out in vast numbers for Tuesday’s midterm elections.

But if Republicans overreach and ultimately deliver little, independents could return to the Democratic fold in time for the 2041 elections. Even though Republicans will command a significant majority in the House, many of the GOP initiatives that have or will be rolled out will represent incremental steps rather than bold reforms.

State Republicans may think that the elections were a mandate for policies such as the implementation of School Vouchers for example. No one knows what the Georgia GOP has in store for the people of this great state, but by judging by their past legislative accomplishments, it will not be in the best interest of Georgians.

Over the next 2-4 years, democrats here need to be getting their house in order to make one more & possibly last strong run at the Georgia GOP. How will the new liberal leadership of Abrams, Hughley & McKillip in the house go about things, that remains to be seen.

But if the Georgia GOP overreach & its likely they will & democrats do not capitalize on it, by educating the voters & why this or that piece of legislation is not in their best interest, then all hope is lost & the party might as well cease to exist.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Who should be the next chairman of the DPG?

It's a job that no one in their right mind would want. says Andre Walker at Georgia Politics Unfiltered in a post he wrote yesterday...........AND HE'S RIGHT!

This is a job that pays nothing, let me repeat, nothing! You're basically working for free.

Yesterday Current Chairwoman Jane Kidd sent word that elections for new Chairman, First Vice Chair & a whole host of other seats will take place on Jan 29.

It is a difficult job especially when your party is in the minority & none from your party are holding any statewide offices.

Having said that, this party needs someone who's financially stable (remember the job pays zero), someone who has the necessary leadership skills, who has ran, or lead a organization, business, etc. Someone who has a no-nonsense personality & who can stand up to different factions in the party, Someone who has a winning attitude.

I thought this & three people comes to mind:

(1) Former Secretary of State, Adjuntant General of the Ga National Guard David Poythress
(2) Former Congressman, Mayor Jim Marshall
(3) My wild card pick, Former Mayor, USAF Veteran Carl Camon

All three men have track records of success. Each bring something different to the table, neither are tied to the current democratic establishment & all have strong personalities that would benefit the party going down the road towards 2012 & beyond.

Each person may well run for public office again in the future, Marshall may run for governor or the US Senate in 2014, Camon may run for a State Senate or statewide seat (he's only 41) & Poythress may make another crack for governor, who knows.

But in the meantime, from 2011 til 2014 one of these individuals can begin to lay the foundation for future success of the party going forward.

Not to say that other potential candidates for the job won't measure up, it just these men have what it takes to get the ball rolling. Now its just a question of persuading each of them to consider running for the job, which isn't easy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why the Democrats Lose Elections & lose them Big?

So, okay. Let's be honest about just what went on here. The Democrats didn't lose a few key races last Tuesday. There wasn't a surprise upset here and there. What happened was a complete, utter, and virtually unrelieved disaster.

In fact, what happened was worse than the 1994 GOP takeover of the House of Representatives, because it was so unexpected. In 1994, the Democrats had a President in the White House, the President had some baggage, and the President's party always loses seats in the off-year elections. This time, not only did the President's party lose seats in the off-year elections, it managed to lose over 60+ seats.

In other words, every single sign on the horizon indicated that the democrats would lose seats in this election, and the Democrats would retain control of the Senate. Instead, the Republicans ended up with increased control of the House, and control of more than half the state governments besides

Okay. Democrats don't think everybody who votes Republican does so by mistake. There are some people, rich people, who know what they're doing, because the Republican Party truly represents their interests. It makes sense for rich people to vote Republican, because the Republicans are the party of the rich. That is the god-given truth. They're in favor of cutting taxes on billionaires and in some cases gutting the public school system to pay for it.

That's okay with the billionaires, because billionaires don't send their children to public schools. Billionaires like Republican policy on the environment, too, and on free trade, and on health care. They wouldn't use government health insurance even if it existed, free trade fattens their bank accounts, and they can afford to move away from the environmental messes they make to pricey pristine enclaves like Maui.

No, the trouble, the confusion, the angst, is over those other people who vote Republican, the ones who make it possible for Republicans to win elections. Those people were once, and sometimes still are, called "Reagan Democrats," because back in 1980 they left the Democratic Party to vote in droves for Ronald Reagan--white, working class men and women, "angry white males" and traditionalist housewives, whose underlying motivations were racism, antifeminism, and fear of change.

We knew those were their motives because, well, why else would they have elected a man who couldn't think his way out of a paper bag and didn't try to hide his ties to union busting moguls.

The Reagan Democrats have been joined by millions of middle class men and women who say all the right things when they're taking part in focus groups: "more money for public education! do something about health care insurance! we want a cleaner environment! what gay people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms is their own business!" and then go out and vote Republican anyway.

Time after time. Election after election. They do this in spite of the fact that, on many issues, they seem to be getting more liberal with every election cycle. Back in the supposedly much more liberal 1960s, you could never have gotten a majority of Americans to say that gay men and women shouldn't be discriminated against in housing or employment. Now they say it all the time, and conservative religious groups trying to repeal or defeat anti-discrimination ordinances find themselves routed more often than not. The same is true on a host of other "social" issues: working mothers, divorce, sex outside marriage, abortion. The same is true on economic issues.

They support public schools and would like to see public schools get more money. They're suspicious of school vouchers and downright phobic on the subject of privatizing Social Security.

They think the government should do something to make sure all Americans have access to health care.

Then what?

Then they must have been duped by the media. They must not be able to understand their own interests. They must be uneducated, or irrational, or so brainwashed by religious fundamentalism that they do just what their preachers tell them, like robots or sheep being led to slaughter.

They must be something, because they cannot possibly be voting Republican on purpose and with their eyes wide open. It all has to be a mistake.

This is the place where you expect me to announce that the theme of this essay is how the Democrats have to learn to accept that people are voting Republican because they want to, not because they've been duped--and I do want to say that, but I want to throw a little caution in here first.

The problem is that when Democrats have tried to accept the fact that people vote Republican because the Republicans are giving them something the Democrats are not, they've done so by descending into a frenzy of irrationality, ignoring the polls, ignoring the focus groups, ignoring reality itself in order to decide--on the basis of God only knows what--that no matter what people say, what they want is market-based health care insurance, education vouchers that take tax money away from public schools.

What nobody has yet been able to force himself to face is this: since 1968, there has been only one issue in any race for national office, and it hasn't been social security, or the welfare state, or race relations, or union busting, or gays in the military, or corporate greed

It's been elitism!

If elections have been about elitism, you say, then the Democrats should have a solid lock not only on the White House, but on both houses of Congress. It's the Republicans who are the party of elitism. They're the party that serves the interests of the sort of people who live in mansions on the North Shore and vacation by renting entire villas in Crete. They're the party that cuts the taxes of fat cats and puts the burden of public funding on the middle class


They're winning!

And they're winning, by and large, by presenting themselves to the American public as the voice of ordinary middle class people, fighting the good fight against a Democratic party entirely under the sway of Ivy League college professors, upper middle class professionals, cultural snobs and stridently hysterical movie stars.

What's more, the American public has bought it. Go take a look at the archives of message boards and Usenet newsgroups where people discussed the election when it was over. The theme is echoed again and again and again. Go take a look at any collection of right-wing magazines, from The Weekly Standard to The National Review. The theme is always the same. The Democrats are the party of the elites, and the elites despise you

Republicans are good at trashing people, but at least they're careful not to trash the people whose votes they need to get into office. If they send a few zingers at Harry Reid, they know in advance that the people who identify with her were never going to vote Republican anyway. We turn around and fire on our own troops.

Democrats don't need to abandon their convictions about public schools, or health care, or gay rights, or even the separation of church and state. We do need to learn to respect that born-again construction worker for his religious commitment, instead of treating it as a disease we'll cure him of if we ever get him tied down long enough, or as a distraction that can be finessed by pledging allegiance "under God" on national television. We need to rework our image as the party of the kind of people who are just the spectacle of people eating at McDonald's after coming out of the latest Michael Douglas movie.

We need to accept the fact that people can oppose the things we favor without being stupid, venal, duped or brainwashed. We need to address the concerns behind the positions, and we can't do that if we define those concerns as being irrational and illegitimate on their face.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What happened to the old Democratic Party? Bring back the party of Truman, Roosevelt before its too late.

What happened to the party to the former democratic party?

I'm not old enough to remember, but I always hear about the Democratic Party's "Glory Days", those days which have slipped away, days when the Democrats led the country out of "The Great Depression" with a bank holiday, the W.P.A., the C.C.C.,the P.W.A., the N.R.A., and I don't know how many other alphabet combinations.

It was Democrats who created the minimum wage. They were always in the forefront where labor gains were concerned. But nowadays days are not "glory days." It was Democrats who fought for Social Security, civil rights, and Medicare. Social equality is still a claimed Democrat priority, but these aren't the "glory days."

Environment is a contentious issue, and when there is a conflict between environment and profit, Democrats defend environment. The other guys defend profit. Preservation is a higher purpose than making money, but that doesn't make these the "glory days."

Democrats improved the economy and and achieved a deficit reduction during the Clinton years.

They enacted a crime bill in spite of heavy opposition, but those were not the "glory days."
Why not? And why so many defections from the working middle class which has benefitted so much from past Democrat effort? What's missing?

Nothing is missing. Something has been added: a form of immorality. In its zeal to be all things to all people,the Party has tried to become all-inclusive and the voters' perception of the Party has changed. Many of the faithful have deserted their Party because they can't stomach their fellow travelers. Some have a deep-rooted moral aversion to abortion. Some believe the rights of law-abiding citizens have been subordinated in favor of predatory felons. Most abhor and are disgusted by social acceptance of sodomy and other deviant sexual practices. Their consciences force them to reevaluate ptriorities.

Rightly or wrongly, a very large number of defectors believe that permissive liberalism is responsible for moral decay, bastard babies, proliferation of drugs, crime and pornography, unwarranted welfare, suppression of public prayer, and practically evry other social evil. In their minds, lurks a simple equation. Democrat equals liberal, atheist, permissive, criminal-coddling, homosexual, and abortion.

I recognize the problem, but I don't think desertion is a viable solution. The country needs two strong opposing parties. It needs a healthy, moral Democratic Party. The Party must be retaken by Moderate and Conservative Democrats and former Democrats.

Sometimes when I listen to members of the GOP country club elite, I come to believe that the true meaning of G.O.P. is Greed, Oppression, and Profit. Those who deep down believe that must not be silent, passive observers. We owe it to ourselves to reclaim our party.

Letters to the editors, call-in radio shows, probing questions put to candidates in the primaries, direct correspondence with elected representatives, and most important,the vote, are all tools capable of reshaping the Party.

Our Democratic Party has a shining past. We must not abandon it to the special interest fringes with immoral agendas. Let's take it back!

Carl Camon: Succeeding To Preserve Morality

Another great piece from the former gubernatorial candidate

The thought of the State of Georgia seceding from the Union undermines the strength of the Union itself. However, the thought of the State of Georgia's Democratic Party seceding from the National Democratic Party might strengthen our party and our state. Instead of the National Democratic Party defining what its mission is, it has been defined by its association with characters and ideals of immorality, that has subsequently led to its ineffectiveness and decline.

The Democratic Party has seeming become the "poster child" for do what you want to do, it's alright, rather than standing up for moral principles; the very ones that this country was founded upon. President George Washington said, "Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." That great patriotic and noble General knew what would happen if our country strayed away from morality.

I am not insinuating that the Democratic Party is the only party that has all but denounced morality, but I am making it very clear that it has not held up the torch for it. As a result of this direction, the party has lost and continues to lose its base of support. As an Educator, I have learned that any time you get rid of an undesirable behavior, you are to replace it with a desirable one. Our party's undesirable behavior has led some to sever their affiliation with the Democratic Party all together, therefore leading them to defect to other parties; those that are more aligned with their values and beliefs.

The key words here are "more aligned", because no one party has a monopoly on religion, morality or values, however, some take pride in being more aligned and have the commonsense and respect to at least acknowledge that those tried and true elements are crucial to our state and our nation's successful existence.

There are grassroots movements such as the Tea Party, which in the past few years have taken a stand against big government and the degradation of the moral principles by those elected officials who are sworn to uphold them. Their solution seems to be packaged in the form of preserving "States Rights". I support the idea of States Rights, when viewed in the scope of morality and applied without prejudice to all Americans. It's hard to do, but I am even willing to partially dismiss the notion that the sudden rise in the Tea Party's popularity is due to the election of President Barack Obama, but is rather attributed to the culmination of many years of political corruption and failure to adhere to the wishes of the people. I hope and pray that this is their true motive.

The Republican Party is not comprised of all ballerinas and altar boys either, but even in the midst of the infighting they have somehow managed to sway voters because of their stand on religious principles. This doesn't necessarily mean that they are all religious, but I commend the party for taking a stand. Until the Democratic Party concedes and admits the errors of its ways, we will continue to experience this great falling away of once diehard supporters. Many democrats may disagree with me and that's perfectly okay, but they can't deny the fact that I am a democrat talking about the Democratic Party, not a Republican talking about the Democratic Party.

They can, as we say in South Georgia, "pitch a fit", if they want to, but they were not the only ones who stood in frigid cold weather for hours, in Washington D.C., as President Obama was sworn in. I was there, just a few hundred feet away. I have served on the local, state, and national levels in various capacities, and have worn the democratic badge proudly, so I think I should be able to voice my opinions, even if they seem to be critical. I have served my country in the United States Military to preserve these very freedoms and I will not rest until the beliefs that our country was founded upon are restored.

I can only hope and pray that President Barack Obama has the audacity to refocus his efforts on shoring up our country's moral principles, and not allow Gay Rights Groups, Pro-Abortion Groups, and acts Greed manifested in the form of Corporate Interests, to define his Presidency. If the head of our country is distracted by these issues, what kind of message are we sending to the rest of the world? These restoration efforts need to come quickly, especially if I am expected to cast my vote for him in 2012. We can no longer be bound by party descriptions, but we have to be led by our own moral convictions.

We can't rely on ourselves to make it happen, because we are too busy fighting each other. We have to become that nation that was once known as the "In God We Trust" nation. We even have that phrase printed on our money, but it's sad that many no longer have that trust. If we don't hurry up and find it, we'll end up fulfilling just what President George Washington said, "Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government." My message is first to the Democratic Party of Georgia, and that is, if our party has to secede from the National Democratic Party to preserve our morality and restore our rightful place in our state, then so be it. Secondly, my message to all parties is, it's time that we ensure that the voices of all the people are heard at the highest level of government, and that government be brought back home to the people, where it belongs

By Carl Camon, Ed.S.

Former Democratic Primary Candidate for Governor of Georgia - 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Old Guard"Georgia Democratic Party (1872-2010)

Wow is all I say say!

The party, the Georgia Democratic Party, once was one of the strongest democratic parties in the entire South since the days of reconstruction has now fallen on extremely hard times as it continues to lose the few remaining rural democrats to the Georgia GOP.

First Alan Powell, then Bob Hanner & Gerald Greene. Now Amy Carter & Ellis Black has jumped ship over to the ever strengthening Georgia GOP, making it 113 to 66. That's a 47 seat margin for the Georgia GOP.

Only 4 rural democrats remain in the democratic caucus.

For decades the democrats held on to power despite other southern states going republican due to the strong hand, or iron fisted rule of the late Tom Murphy, who managed to keep together the fragile coalition of Black Urban & White Rural Democrats toegther.

138 years ago (1872,) James M. Smith (D-Columbus) became governor, which symbolized the end of Reconstruction and the "redemption" of the Democratic Party in Georgia. And every since then the state elected democrats for governor ranging from the former Confederate States of America president Alexander H Hamilton (1882-1883) to a former school dropout in Lester Maddox (1967-1971)

With this past tueday night's election drubbing, the "Old-Guard" conservative Georgia Democratic Party is now officially dead & now a new more centrist democratic party has to be built from the ground up

Can the party rebuild the coalition it once had which spanned over a 40 year period? Yes, but it remains to be seen

Yesterday the caucus elected new leadership in the form of Stacey Abrams, Carolyn Hughley, Doug McKillip, Rashad Taylor, Debbie Buckner, Stephanie Stuckey-Benfield. (Buckner is the only center-right leader in the group). Will Abrams be up for the job? Will the new;y elected caucus leadership call out the GOP when they stray too far to the right on certain issues? We'll see.

One reason that may have led to the quick demise of the party was the hard fought battle of Terry Coleman (D-Eastman) & Larry Walker (D-Perry) for Speaker in 2002 after Murphy was defeated by re-districting.

You have to wonder had Walker become Speaker & not Coleman, then its possible that democrats would have never lost control of the house. Well we'll never know & that's water under the bridge.

The party is represented by most black members from majority-minority districts & these members now have to step up their game. No longer they can just sit back & let the likes of DuBose Porter, Cal Smyre carry the water.


I doubt that they will. Seriously!

One, the GOP doesn't respect the black members of that legislative body. & two, none of them have gravitas to go up against any member of the GOP.

But keep an eye on newly elected State Rep. Dar'Shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia) as a potential early leader for the democratic party, as well as J. Craig Gordon (D-Savannah).

DuBose Porter, Carol Porter in 2014?

With 2010 in the books, its time to wonder what lies ahead for democrats as they took a thumpin' last week.

What does the future holds for the Porters of Laurens County?

Porter (DuBose) gave his seat to run a unsuccessful campaign for governor. He is, in my opinion the next democrat in line to take a stab at another run for governor in 2014 against Nathan Deal, or whoever.

Let's not forget he's only 57 years old, so he still has some political life left in him since this was his first run for statewide office.

He ran a impressive grassroots campaign, but he couldn't beat the deep pocket donors of Roy Barnes in his bid to become the democratic nominee. Plus being minority leader at the time in the legislature, he didn't have the time to get his message out there to the people.

He's a graduate of Davidson College, interned for then US Senator Sam Nunn, he served as Administration Floor Leader in the House of Representatives to Governor Zell Miller. In January 2003, Porter was elected Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives.

I asked a question yesterday would the result been different had Porter was the nominee against Nathan Deal? Probably, but who knows?

Porter is in prime positon to make another run for governor in 2014, but its a question whether or not he will.

Then there's his dynamic wife & former Lt. Governor Carol Porter who came out of nowhere to make a strong run at Casey Cagle, garnering around 42% of the vote for a so-called novice candidate.

She wowed crowds with her fiery speeches, got high praise from unlikely republican supporters such as Macon CityCouncilman Erick Erickson of Redstate.Com. She stepped up when no other democrat was willing to challenge Casey Cagle because let's face it, it was "FEAR" that kept some other dems from challenging Cagle. Despite being unsuccessful, she has left a built in infrastructure for another run for office in 2014 as well, possibly for governor, Lt. Governor or another office down the line.

2010 elections was one of those rare instances that only happen every so-often, so 2014 could be the year that these two strong, viable candidates can resuscitate the party once & for all.

Looking at the Democratic Bench, there isn't much to work with:
Rob Teilhet
Michael Thurmond
Thurbert Baker
Jim Marshall.

Other Possibilities are:

David Adelman, ex-State Senator & current US Ambassador of Singapore
Ed Tarver, ex-State Senator & U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Georgia Public Schools & School Vouchers

We all know the republicans love School Vouchers to death, which will divert public money to the private sector, therefore putting Georgia Public Schools on a sure path towards a sure, but slow death.

Let's face it, the School Voucher issue is about politics. Nothing else!

12 years ago, Grover Norquist, one of the most influential Republican strategists said in a 1998 interview with Insight , the magazine of the conservative Washington Times, has long recognized the partisan value of vouchers, sometimes euphemistically referred to as "choice." "School choice reaches right into the heart of the Democratic coalition and takes people out of it.

The teacher unions back up their support for the Democratic Party with money and grassroots organization. After all, public schools exist in every municipality and county in the state. Unlike manufacturing, teaching cannot be outsourced to Mexico, China, or Bangladesh.

School vouchers are a way to diminish that power. "School choice allows children and money to leave the system, and that means there will be fewer public teacher jobs, lower union membership, and lower dues. It's long been obvious that vouchers are an attack on teacher unions. The main motivation of some of the choice supporters was to weaken public education unions. Another thing, eliminating public education may seem un-American. but a growing number of movement conservatives have signed a so-called proclamation from the Alliance for the Separation of School and State that favors ending government involvement in education.

While universal vouchers remain the goal, for tactical reasons conservatives have wrapped vouchers in the mantle of concern for poor African Americans and Latinos. Indeed,some voucher supporters are fond of calling school choice the new civil rights movement. This plays well not only with voters of color but also with liberal suburban whites who, while they may be leery of allowing significant numbers of minorities into their schools, nonetheless support the concept of equal rights for all.

Even if Republicans fail to woo African Americans and Latinos to the Republican Party, they may dampen African American and Latino voter turnout--a neutralization strategy, as it were. The Republican emphasis on vouchers runs the risk of alienating moderate Republicans who support public education. Such support is strong not only in rural areas where public schools are a vital part of the community and private schools are few, but also in suburban communities with strong, well-funded public schools.

But that won't stop conservatives , who view vouchers as a key ingredient in their effort to "downsize" government services. "The problem is that the federal government hands out billions of dollars, and people will lie, cheat, steal, or bribe to get it.

If you have a big cake, and you put it under the sink and then you wonder why the cockroaches are in your kitchen, I don't think any sprays or blocking the holes in the walls are going to get rid of the cockroaches. You've got to throw the cake in the trash so that the cockroaches don't have something to come for."

The people of Georgia do not view public schoolteachers and students as cockroaches. The overwhelming majority strongly support public schools. They don't want them dismantled; they just want them to work better.

But you can expect that with a increased majority in both Chambers & with Nathan Deal in control of the mansion, the thought of school vouchers maybe one step close to reality.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dems becoming more "Blacker & Liberal", GOP bcoming more "Whiter & Conservative"

Two more Rural Democrats switching parties


Gerald Greene (R-Cuthbert) & Bob Hanner (R-Parrot) both joined Alan Powell (R-Hartwell) as the latest democrats to switched parties making it 111 republicans & 69 Democrats.

Greene & Hanner are my favorite dems & I wish them well. Politically it makes sense for them to do so. Only Mike Cheokas, Rick Crawford, Ellis Black, Amy Carter, Barbara Massey Reese & Sistie Hudson, Debbie Buckner are the only remaining White Rural Democrats remaining. (Hudson turned down overtures to switch parties, so my hats off to her)

Like I said before, the democratic party is becoming more blacker, & more liberal, while the republican party is becoming more conservative & whiter.

Democrats can't afford to lose its remaining 7 White Rural Democrats. Boy this is bad!

The race for the DPG Chairmanship

Soon there will be a election to determine who will be the next chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party.

There has been some indications that Jane Kidd, current chairwoman of the party might run again.

Then there was State Senator Robert Brown who openly suggested that he'll support former Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond for the job.

Then there GADCC president Mike Berlon who has been endorsed by Carol Porter, who Berlon worked as campaign manager.

There likely will be more names to come to the surface as Januray approaches.

Over the last couple of days I have brought up the names of Former Macon Mayor, Congressman & Vietnam Veteran Jim Marshall & former Ray City Mayor, USAF & Gulf War Veteran Carl Camon as possible contenders for the job.

Its time for the party to go outside the box & select someone who's not tied to the establishment, nor the current regime up on Spring Street.

The person has to be able t0 (1) Raise Cash (2) Build & Organize a Democratic Grassroots Organization Statewide (3) Usher in new people with fresh ideas & a vision for the future of the party & so on...........

One person who would fit that bill is Ted Terry of Savannah, who is the Finance Director for Congressman John Barrow & a former DNC Member who helped Organize Democrats on the ground in Georgia. He has worked on four consecutive winning campaigns for Barrow over in the conservative-leaning 12th District

Gen. David Poythress is also someone who would be a great fit at the job. He has a track record of turning around troubled organizations such as the Georgia National Guard, the Labor Commissioner's Office, etc. He ran a strong grassroots campaign, receiving donations from all of Georgia's 159 counties. He is a strong leader & would immediatelt command the respect of those inside the party & most definitely rock the boat at Spring Street.

But we won't know until its time to elect new party officers for the party, so stay tuned!

Here are the contenders for the following seats in the House Democratic Caucus

Asterik indicates the ones I'm supporting:

Minority Leader
Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta)
*Virgil Fludd (D-Tyrone)

Carolyn Hugley (D-Columbus)

*Doug McKillip (D-Athens)
Brian Thomas (D-Lilburn)

Sharon Beasley-Teague (D-Atlanta)
*Carol Fullerton (D-Albany)
Ralph Long (D-Atlanta)
Nikki Randall (D-Macon)
Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta)

Chief Deputy Whip Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain)

*Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City)
Sheila Jones (D-Smyrna)

Stephanie Stuckey Benfield (D-Atlanta)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Georgia Democrats need a "Rural Strategy" aimed at the "Sticks", the "Boonies" to ensure its Survival in 2012

The State of Georgia is largely a rural state (75-80%) with a huge metropolitan area of Atlanta & a few pockets of democratic strength.

Rural Georgia's priorities have been overlooked in Atlanta. In the state legislature and governor’s mansion with significant rural components, the focus typically remains on urban, suburban and (now) ex-urban counties “where the votes are.”

Particularly in the post-Georgia nomination period, the political attention typically moves away from the concerns of rural caucus-goers to focus on the concerns of suburban primary voters.

There are elements in place that suggest more opportunity than in recent years to change the debate on rural issues and refocus the state on the rural agenda. But I highly doubt that Nathan Deal & his cohorts will have rural Georgia high on top of their list.

Many Democratic pundits seem inclined to write-off the rural Portions of the state to eternal Republican control. This is a serious misreading of the current political situation and likely future trends in the South. The inspired 159 County Strategy, which never really came to fruition is a much better approach. It will take more time and resources to show impressive results. It should be given more time and a much higher political priority.

But will the 159 County Strategy work? There are some counties that are so republican, that it will have to take hell freezing over for a democrat to win in that area.

So something like a 140 County Strategy maybe a better option.

In many Georgia rural counties, the Democratic Party lacks the infrastructure needed to win campaigns. Strong Democratic area around the state should partner with a struggling southern rural county Democratic Party to help them raise money, develop public relations operations, candidate recruitment programs and GOTV machinery. Small contribution of resources in those areas should show dramatic results in future elections.

Democrats need to help local Democratic Parties take on Republican incumbents like State Senator Ross Tollson of Perry, State Rep. Penny Houston of Nashville and Buddy Harden of Cordele. A Democratic political message that highlights economic bread and butter issues in a populist form can help Democrats win in Georgia. Democrats need to aggressively publicize Republican hypocrisy on moral issues. Democrats need to crusade against legal and illegal corruption in government. It is important for Democrats to respond to Republican lies on issues like guns, religious freedom and taxes. Georgia Democrats need to define themselves instead of letting Republicans define them.

Republican rural votes in the past have offset Democratic votes in urban areas. If Democrats want to win statewide elections they need to be competitive in rural areas.

Even though rural voters may still consider themselves as very conservative, this is an appropriate time for Georgia Democrats (despite what happened on Tuesday Night) to up the ante and attract more rural votes for the upcoming elections.

Believe it or not, I have always disagreed with those who propose that, for Democrats to win in Georgia, we must offer only conservative candidates. (Centrist candidates have won in this state & still can win here this state). I believe that Georgia's voters are ready, willing, and able to support candidates that will take a firm stand on traditional Democratic values and ideals.

There is nothing at all wrong with what we believe in, it is just that we’ve sat on our duffs and allowed the Republicans to frame us as something we are not. It is time for us to stand up and fight for what we believe in. The voters of Georgia will respect us only if we respect ourselves.

We need more state senators, more state house members, more county commissioners and more mayors. For example, here in Georgia, we cannot just focus on those areas where we have historically won, we need to expand our sphere of influence into typically Republican areas. Democratic donors and PAC's must resist the urge to focus all of their resources on the "sexiest" of the races in the State. Democrats must realize that the end goal of gaining a Democratic majority in the State House is our number one priority.

Introducing the "Rural Strategy"

In order to promote Democratic policies in our state legislatures we need to realize that even the rural seats have a vote in the legislature and each seat we win takes us one seat closer to a majority. In an effort to embrace full disclosure I may be biased as I am running in a predominately rural district but I truly believe Democratic donors and PAC's should consider embracing a new "rural strategy".

The theory behind the rural strategy is based in the idea that we have a limited amount of resources to put into winning seats around the state and need to maximize our yield in number of seats we can win. Which sounds simple enough but in practice we as Democrats have not been good at embracing this idea.

So you may ask "what does this basic idea about party politics have to do with a rural strategy?"Republicans have been particularly skilled at realizing the high yield that comes from throwing their money into rural house seats. (For example, they threw $80,000 behind Tony McBrayer in his run for HD 153 to beat back favorite John Tibbetts, a democrat). The Republicans have a majority in the Georgia House by heavily funding candidates in rural seats often saturating the small burghs of Central Georgia with scores of paid "volunteers." Though some may not agree with this tactic the fact is that it works.

Here is the reason this strategy is so effective, rural races are generally less expensive than those in more urban and suburban districts. These races are often cheaper for two important reasons:

First, broadcast advertising is much cheaper in rural districts. For instance local broadcasting on the local NBC affiliate during prime time in a rural district is 10-20% of the cost of advertising in a market like Augusta or Atlanta. Additionally, each ad purchased in a rural district is more likely to hit a prospective voter in that same district as opposed to a more urban district where you are forced to purchase ad time that will target viewers from multiple districts.

Second, rural races are often cheaper as the overall contribution level of the people in rural district's tends to be much lower. These two factors which lead to a lower overall cost of these rural races results in each extra dollar coming from outside the district having a much higher yield than one given to a contentious race in an urban or suburban area.

We have to be present with a compelling message in small towns and rural areas, "If we don't make the message, we can't complain when we're demonized, cartoonized as aliens."

We can’t win if we play on the home field they’ve rigged. It is folly to try, but we can’t seem to resist and they lead us by the nose. To reach Georgians, first we need to think about and be clear about the principles that are fundamental to us and to all Georgians. We need to get creative about how we express them in values-based language they “get”. And we need to be original about how we get our message out to them.

We can’t trot out some Democratic version of the 1994 Contract on America , been there, done that! We can’t get the attention of the media by press conferences or by reading speeches to an empty Senate chamber. This means giving up equivocation and taking some risk and giving up some ways of doing things that are familiar. And it means not trying to out-Republican the Republicans on Tax Cuts and on media control for example. We must not play on their home field, it will always give them the advantage!

So let’s turn to Deep strategy, those things that help level the playing field fairly & new approaches to how we take our message to the people -- this has two components:

Changing the way the system works to level the playing field

Using new and different ways to take our message to the people

Rural voters bristle at the fact that in urban America, their chosen pastimes are considered backward, the punch lines to redneck jokes. And so the concept of respect, in rural Georgia, has become a genuine political issue. African-American voters, long bound to the Democratic Party by issues like affirmative action and affordable housing, don't demand that a candidate embrace
hip-hop. But to rural voters, an appreciation for stock-car racing, hunting and bluegrass is a critical show of faith -- and it has to precede any serious discussion.

Back to the Rural Strategy:

First, they need to get an office in every county in the state. It can be as simple as a dedicated cell phone that a real person can answer or return calls from. Someone who can pass out signs and answer questions and give out information.

Second, start showing up everywhere , this goes for both the candidates and the state party. Don't just show up at the county fairs; show up at the town fairs as well. Get the sports schedules and attend every homecoming game in the district. Show up for football games at Georgia Southern, Albany State, etc and basketball games in Hazelhurst and softball tournaments in Ashburn. Read the weekly papers and follow the fall church events. Be at every Lord's Acre Sale and Harvest Moon Bazaar that takes place between now and Election Day 2012.

Concentrating on the metropolitan centers and ceding the rural areas to the Republican noise machine is not a winning strategy for Democrats, and it is frankly insulting to the people in those areas. No, the population isn't dense down here in the southern tier counties, but the people aren't either. Listen to their concerns and give them a fair hearing. In other words, give them a reason to come back to their natural home in the Democratic Party, and I have confidence that they will.

I think Democrats realize, now, that you can't win if you don't play, and Democrats too often don't even travel to rural counties. And since there weren't enough of the statewide candidates who didn't go out there, there was nobody to promote the Democratic "brand," and the election results showed it. The fact is that many rural counties have a strong Democratic tradition. They just need to be reminded what a good, strong Democrat looks like.

If you read this article from Rural Progressive Patrick Davis who writes for the Macon Examiner you'll geta better picture of the situation: Democrats must find a way to communicate message to voterss

My Biggest Fear is now Coming true

Alan Powell (D-Hartwell), a conservative rural democrat resigned from the House Democratic Caucus this morning says Jim Galloway of the AJC.

He did not mentioned if he was going to become a republican or a Independent.

This reminds me of Johnny Floyd of Cordele, Richard Royal of Camilla, Greg Morris of Vidalia, Butch Parrish of Swainsboro, Mickey Channell of Greensboro when they switched parties betweem 2004 & 2006.

This what he said to me in a message thru facebook: "I've fought the fight for years and after Tuesday, I think the Democratic Party in Georgia is dead for a long time".........

So there it is.

To be frank, I think the party is on life support with 2012 being the year that the party will either Do or Die in this state.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kidd in Atlanta Hospital. Condition is Unknown at this time

Just got this in:

E. Culver "Rusty" Kidd (I), who won a hard fought battle against up & comer Quentin Howell (D) was taken to Piedmont Hospital after he fell from his wheel chair in which he had to undergo emergency surgery. Reports are that he suffered a broken neck & also badly damaged vetebrae as well.

Please keep Rep. Kidd in your Prayers. More details to come soon!

UPDATED: He apparently was in his Milledgeville office and someone fell on him and knocked him out of his wheel chair.The information was that he had a broken neck and has been taken to Piedmont Hospital.

Thurmond for DPG Chairman?

Yesterday Jim Galloway of the AJC reported that State Senate Minority Leader Robert Brown said he would back former U.S. Senate candidate Michael Thurmond as the next chairman of the state Democratic party.

Jane Kidd, the current Chairman of the DPG hasn't ruled out running for the seat again when elections take place in January.

Now back to Thurmond. Michael is a great guy who has a great knack of the state as a whole & as Labor Commissioner has won statewide numerous times in areas not knwn as friendly territory for democrats. But is he the right gut at this time to rebuild the party anew & bring it back to respectability? Can he effectively implement a much needed 159 county strategy of having county party chapters active in each Georgia County? Can he raise the money? Can he help usher in a new wave of Georgia Democrats in rural Georgia? There are so many questions that need to be asked.

Now if the party is serious about moving ahead, Carl Camon would be great at that position. Jim Marshall as well. Those are the two guys I would support openly for the chairman job at DPG.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Senate Democratic Caucus Sits on close to $500,000 in anticipation for 2012 Elections

As y'all know I have been very critical of the house democratic caucus for not stepping up to the plate to assist our democratic challengers. Well just as I thought I've heard everything I needed to hear, here comes the Senate Democratic Caucus

This time, I'm turning my fire towards Minority Leader Robert Brown (D-Macon)

( To all members who ran for the State Senate this year, brace yourselves)

Last night during a conversation I was having with a former candidate who ran for the State Senate recently & this person told informed me that the Senate Democratic Caucus was sitting on close to $500,000. Let me repeat, $500,000 in funds & they didn't give not one cent to any of the candidates who was running for the State Senate

Well this source told me that Minority Leader Robert Brown decided to sit on the cash in preparation for the upcoming 2012 elections instead of this year's elections.

Brown is all but likely to leave the senate next year to run for mayor of Macon, so why did he make such a decision knowing in all likelihood that he won't be around when the 2012 elections rolls around?


Based on tuesday night, he may have made the right decision, because anything with a "R" next to it was going to win regardless. Hell, if a trained seal was running as a republican, he would have won as well. It was just that kind of year for the republicans, so in a way, Brown may have saw the writing on the wall.

But what if Floyd Griffin had a extra $40,000 to work with, or Eric Christ had $35,000 to work with or more? Could that have made the difference in those races? Probably!

So when 2012 rolls around, the senate caucus will be well funded to support candidates whoever decides to run two years from now. Dems tend to do better during presidential elections.


To all dems: Another showing like the one just occured happens again in 2012, you can stick a fork in the Georgia Democratic Party

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Makeover is Almost Complete, with 2012 being either Do or Die for the Georgia Democratic Party

With Roy Barnes only getting 24% of the White Vote last night, it is evident that the Georgia Democratic Party is now only consisted of Liberal Whites, Urban Blacks, Rural Progressives & Hispanics.

The Georgia GOP will almost complete their goal of remaking the Democratic Party as the party of "minorities" while they consume the majority of the centrist/conservative white voters, independents & a few commom-sense Black Republicans.

The likes of Alan Powell (D-Hartwell), Bob Hanner (D-Parrott), Gerald Greene (D-Cuthbert), Rick Crawford (D-Cedertown), Barbara Massey-Reese (D-Menlo), James "Bubber" Epps (D-Dry Branch), Ellis Black (D-Valdosta), Amy Carter (D-Valdosta), Mike Cheokas (D-Americus), Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City) are the only remaining white rural democrats left in the party. After redistricting is done in 2011, two things will happen: (1) Some will either switch parties or (2) Retire.

As it is shaping up now ,2012 will the fight for the survival of the Georgia Democratic Party. If the party continue to lose seats in the legislature, then we will become just like the state of Kansas, Utah, or better yet, Oklahoma where those democratic parties are irrelevant. The party is left with a uninspired, weak, base that is very unreliable when they need them the most.

One glimmer of hope for Georgia Dems is that the demographics will favor them once 2014 rolls around, but its not a definite guarantee. The map last night resembles that of 2006 where the rural black belt counties & traditionally urban areas went democratic while large swaths of rural georgia was as red as the devil himself. A bad sign from last night was that traditional rural democratic counties like Marion, Crawford, Schley, Taylor, Miller all went republican. (Taylor, Schley are already trending republican)

As I mentioned in a post earlier, someone like Jim Marshall, Carol Porter, or Carl Camon are the perfect fits to take the reigns of the Party & try to save it before it goes to a point of no return.

On a side note: The re-election of Sanford Bishop looks huge right now. Had he lost that would have had a major, major impact on the already shattered confidence of the democrats. Like it or not, he, along with John Barrow are now the standard bearers for Georgia Democrats, not the liberal members of Scott, Johnson & Lewis, with likelihood of Bishop moving to re-establish his center/right cred among his constituents.

What Now for the Georgia Democratic Party?

I knew it was going to be a tough road for democrats last night, but not at the level I witnessed.

Democrats here bet the entire farm on this election & got swept. Zero Dems hold statewide offices.

Lost two formerly held democratic seats, HD 176 & HD 143. Only gained four seats out of a dozen races that fielded democratic challenges. Zero gains in the State Senate. Zip. Nada. Nil'.

There is no way to go but up, but its going to have to start at the state party, where the entire structure needs to be overhauled, or blown up & then start anew with new fresh faced, energetic leaders who will bring the party back to its roots & separate themselves from the National Democrats for good.

And to use the words of Patrick Davis, the party needs a stronger focus in developing the party in areas SOUTH of Macon. Areas such as Swainsboro, Statesboro, Moultrie, Ocilla, Waycross, Cordele, Dublin, Douglas, and Vienna. In addition, there has to be a better media strategy in these areas which lacks media.. The Dems got to do a better job of educating and SUPPORTING fellow Dems...

That is absolutely true!

Jane Kidd was elected in 2006 pledging to implement a 159 county strategy. Haven't seen it. Under her watch, democrats haven't won any statewide races, didn't made any significant gains in the State Legislature & in the process, lost more seats that they gained.

She's a nice lady & I was a supporter of hers, but as that old saying goes: "What have you done for me lately", well nothing. Its time to go!

Next the leadership in the House & Senate needs to change.

DuBose Porter left his seat to run for governor, so he won't be apart of the leadership once the legislature reconvenes. Carolyn Hughley, Calvin Smyre & others leaders of the house caucus has to go.

Same goes for the senate. Robert Brown is all but likely to run for Mayor of Macon next year, so it maybe time to replace as minority leader. JB Powell is no loner in the mix having waged a unsuccessful bid at Agriculture Commissioner, Tim Golden is Caucus chair & he maybe in line to become minority leader of the senate democrats.

Here's who I would like to see in these positions when the legislative session begins in 2011

Minority Leader: Alan Powell (D-Hartwell)

Minority Whip: Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City)

Caucus Chair: Mike Cheokas (D-Americus)

Caucus Vice Chair: Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta)

Caucus Secretary: Stephanie Stuckey-Benfield (D-Atlanta)

Minority Leader: Tim Golden (D-Valdosta)

Minority Whip: Lester Jackson (D-Savannah)

Asst. Minority Whip: Steve Henson (D-Tucker)

Caucus Chair: Hardie Davis (D-Augusta)

Caucus Vice-Chair: Freddie Powell Sims (D-Dawson)

Caucus Secretary: Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta)

As for who should run for Chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party, here are some names who should or ought to be considered:

Jim Marshall political veteran who have written the playbook on how to win elections in rural Georgia. A conservative democrat, he has familiarity with small town Georgia & would be able to bring centrist/conservative white voters back to the democratic party as well as those Zell Miller Democrats back to the fold. He could move the party back to the days of David Gambrell (70-71) & Bert Lance (82-85), past chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party. He could run the party until possibly 2014 when he may run for office again, (Governor or US Senate)

Carl Camon. Camon is what I call "New Blood" the party needs to help reinvigorate themselves if they are to be competitive in the future. He wrote a great piece called" Is the Democratic Party losing its Democracy". He hails from South Georgia & would bring a new perspective to the party, as well as build up the grassroots base of the party in South Georgia. Don't close the door on Camon for office in the future

Carol Porter. Porter came out of nowhere to run a flawless campaign for Lt Governor. She went from a neophyte to legitimate contender over night with her rousing speech in pace of her husband, State Rep DuBose Porter at a Small Business meeting in the spring. She has brought new life to the party with her passionate speeches & her ability to draw support from republicans as well. She may well run for office again, but who knows.

Darkhorse Candidates

Ted Terry, Finance Director for John Barrow & former Ground Organizer for Democrats in Georgia

Graham Balch, former campaign manager for JB Powell

Quentin Howell, ex-candidate for HD 141 & Small Business Owner

Or there maybe a need for another democratic party that is geared more to the rural areas of the state, more toward voters who are more conservative than the more liberal counterparts. I wouldn't rule it out!

Is The Democratic Party Losing Its Democracy?

It's difficult to digest the truth and often the truth does hurt. When something hurts us, we find out what the problem is and fix it!

By Former Ray City Mayor, Gubernatorial Candidate & USAF Veteran Carl Camon (D-Ray City)

It is very clear to me that the people of Georgia and around the country have spoken loud and clear through the electoral process and have elected the Candidates of their choice. As Georgians, it is now time that we unite and try and bring our state back from the brink of economic disaster. It seems as though our state has maintained its "Red Status", as a majority Republican state. As a Democrat, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand why this continues to happen.

Over the past 15-20 years I have watched our the Democratic Party seemingly lose sight of almost everything that the party was built upon. Many of the Democratic leaders have sold out just to satisfy certain groups of potential voters and to retain their positions. Many have succumb to the pressures from various organized groups, such as the Gay/Homosexual/Transgendered community, even if it went against what they really believed. Others, whose parents would probably roll over in their graves have embraced Abortion, when deep down in their hearts they know that it's wrong. Even more Democrats have distanced themselves from traditional Christian values, and have allowed others to seemingly obtain a monopoly on Christianity and some seem very comfortable in allowing them to do so.

Traditionally, most of my family has voted Democrat, and I chose to become a Democrat because I am a Christian and I believed in the values that our party once possessed. As a 2010 Gubernatorial Candidate, my views were aligned with what most of the "Old Democrats" used to believe, and because of that, many "New Age Democrats", may have felt that my message seemed outdated. However, it wasn't outdated, but it appeared to be that way because the "so called leaders" in our party had strayed so far away from traditional Christian values, that what is right seem to be wrong, and what is wrong seem to be right. During my run for Governor, very few if any of the Democratic leadership embraced my message of "Hope for all of Georgia". Why? I believe that they were set in their ways and felt that they knew what was best and who was best for the people of Georgia, but it is clear to me that most Georgians don't think so. Many of them questioned why I even decided to run. There were even attempts to silence me by ignoring me or not inviting me to various functions, but I refused to allow that to stop me from representing those whose voices had been ignored for far too long (all the people of Georgia). Several times I wondered if I was in the right Party, then I quickly realized that I was, but it was just our message that was wrong.

After the Primary elections, I still felt an uneasiness, with regards to the Democratic Party in Georgia. I felt that we hadn't done enough to get back to our roots and our traditional values. It seemed as though things were going in slow motion, at least for some of our Democratic Candidates. As Democrats, we can no longer rely solely on telephone calls from famous or well known Democrats, to get the job done. We have got to start listening to the needs of the people and stop putting all of our eggs in one basket and hoping that most survive the trip without getting cracked. We have got to rethink who we really are and for what and for whom we should be taking a stand for. As a result of the Georgia Democratic Party's inability to take a stand for what is right and do what is honorable, even if it is unpopular; we continue to see the demise of what was once a strong united force for all of the people of Georgia. As I watched the results come in, I knew that we were in trouble. I didn't think that we were in trouble because we had elected another Republican Governor, and a majority of other Republican state officials, but rather because the Democratic Party had failed once again to listen to the people of Georgia. I applaud and highly respect former Governor Roy Barnes for attempting to revive our party and for acknowledging the fact that we must focus our attention on issues that affect Georgia and Georgians, rather than what can be obtained by holding a political position. Until we can get ourselves and our party together, we'll continue to get the same results. Until we stop looking at how much money a candidate has and start looking at what that candidate has to offer, we'll continue to get the same results

I was taught to never complain unless I offered some solutions. If we are once again become a formidable force in the State of Georgia and around our country, we must at least make a start with the following five steps:

Democrats must clearly define what it is that we propose to accomplish for our state and its people and ensure that the people know what that is.

·Democrats must return to a sure foundation, which is based on Christian Principles and Moral Standards and clarify our position on issues of importance to the electorate.·

Democrats must rely on the voice of all Democrats and not just on a small group of party leaders to dictate policy for the party.·

Democrats must embrace lesser known candidates who bring with them a fresh face and logical ideas to the political process and the democratic way.·

Democrats must adopt measures to ensure that the voices of all the people of Georgia are heard, regardless of political affiliation.

As Americans, we should continue to respect our democracy and as Georgians, we should all respect and support our next Governor, Governor-Elect Nathan Deal in any way that we can, as long as he puts all of the citizens of Georgia first. Written By: Carl Camon (D) - Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate - 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A look deep in the race for HD 153

My thanks to John Tibbetts for providing me with this info. Check this out:

Rep Party of GA expenditures in House 153 race:

$80K-100K:$18500 network TV Ads
$ 1100 local access TV Ads
$ 875 Newspaper
$56000 Direct mail (estimated @ $7000 per piece at least 7 mailers)Likely other costs I don't know about and can't trace.

Dem Party of GA/Caucus expenditures in House 153 race:

$0.00. (Shaking my head)

Do the math. If we pull the upset - and I think we can - we'll be damned lucky to have dodged the bullett.

This is a seat that Tibbetts got 46% & 47% in his two runs against Austin Scott. If dems don't win this seat, there will be alot of second guessing on Nov. 3

There's no way in the world that democrats can win with a huge disadvantage like that. The only reason we have a chance in this race, as well as others is the candidates themselves.

I mentioned last week that there will be some democrats who will be strong enough to rise above party labels to go on to win their elections.

John Tibbetts is one of those democrats. Others who I predict will go on to win their races are"

Quentin Howell, HD 141
Fenika Miller, HD 145,
Jack Lance, HD 8
Marjean Boyd, HD 172
Chris Irvin, HD 28
Maryline Blackburn, HD 34
David Gault, HD 125
James RC Timmons, HD 171
Rudy Cox, HD 110
Matt Roberts, HD 109
Will Avery, HD 19

We'll see tonight!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Albany Herald Wrong About Rep. Sanford Bishop

Ted Sadler of Project Logic Georgia wrote a must read article about Albany Herald's Endorsement of Mike Keown. Please Read:Herald endorsed Mike Keown/

The Albany Herald endorsed Mike Keown for congress in Georgia’s second district over Sanford Bishop. I think that newspaper is wrong because Bishop is uniquely qualified and appropriate to represent the urban/rural; liberal/conservative and yes Black/White hodgepodge that is the 2nd District.

Keown is a conservative pastor from a very rural area and speaks with a command similar to a stern father chastising a wayward child. That type sternness has been at the center of the far Right’s reaction to the election of President Barrack Obama. In our system of government, most American adults have the right to elect officials and the actions of those public servants should reflect the will of the people.

That concept sounds clear in theory but we know that a more detailed explanation is that elected officials do the work of those Americans that vote, vote, vote. President Obama and the Democrats did well in southwest Georgia in 2008 and those election results gave direction to Rep. Sanford Bishop. For some reason, the Tea Party division of the conservative movement feels their votes count heavier that other Americans’ vote. It must because they are smarter or something.

If Rep. Sanford Bishop did everything the Tea Party Movement wanted during the last two years, he would have been functioning in an unconstitutional manner because he would have ignored the desires of the majority that put him in office. As a moderate, I could accept a Republican taking this swing seat if the guy was a policy wonk like Austin Scott or a conservative with a personal history of talking with various communities like Rep. Jack Kingston, Senator Johnny Iasakson or former Senator Sam Nunn.

Bishop came to congress 18 years ago after serving in a majority White state legislature seat; he prides himself on relating to and having a comfort level with everyone. As a blogger, I watched the Keown campaign from day one and rarely saw them working to build relationships with my community. The tone in Tea Partiers’ voice when then say “Barrack Obama,” “Sanford Bishop” and “Nancy Pelosi” is something different from regular Republicans. You know the tone and if you have forgotten it shame on you. Those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it.

Keown ran a strong race but some other congressional district or statewide position would be better for him and better for us. Bishop won’t win this election if the people who gave him a mandate in 2008 don’t vote on November 2.

An Albany city commissioner, who is also a Darton College professor, told the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call that Rep. Sanford Bishop was a $100 million dollar industry in south Georgia based on this position on the House Appropriations Committee. In one of the poorest areas of the nation, the voters shouldn’t drop a congressman who secures funding for economic development, training and job creation.

This hard campaign has served the purpose of making Rep. Bishop aware that he must be in the middle of helping President Obama shape more-moderate policy if he wants a second term. And that’s it; the reason far right conservatives want Bishop gone from the Democrat Caucus is so the remaining Dems are so liberal that the presidency will go their way in 2012. The Tea Party candidate for president will be Sarah Palin and keeping Palin out of the White House starts with voting for Bishop on Tuesday.

Did the Albany Herald ever ask Mike Keown about his opinion of a possible Palin presidency? Keown keeps bring up my old boss Rep. Charles Hatcher, who Bishop defeated in 1992. As one of the last loyal Hatcherheads, I can say Hatcher always said you don’t get rid of committee chairs and appropriators because they deliver for home. Hatcher knew the Farm Bill like the back of his hand and wouldn’t jeopardize the provisions of interest to south Georgia by bouncing Bishop during tough times.

Nathan Deal - Trick or Treat - air

New Jim Marshall TV ADS

Labor Commissioner Darryl Hicks TV AD

During Televised Debate, Nathan Deal Blatantly Misrepresents Position Of Attorney General Candidate Ken Hodges On Health Care Bill

During this evening’s gubernatorial debate, candidate Nathan Deal blatantly misrepresented Attorney General candidate Ken Hodges’ position on the federal health care bill and the legal challenge to that bill. During the debate, Deal claimed that Hodges supported the health care bill and would not challenge it if elected Attorney General.

Like Republican Attorney General nominee Sam Olens, Deal is attempting to create an issue for political purposes where none exists. Georgia is now part of the multistate lawsuit challenging the health care legislation, and it will continue. Both Congressman Deal and Governor Barnes have said they will also do the same. No matter who is elected Governor and Attorney this year, Georgia will continue to be a part of the lawsuit.

“As I have always said, I have serious concerns about the federal health care bill enacted earlier this year,” Hodges said. “I am particularly concerned about the unfunded mandate on the state of Georgia. The State of Georgia is currently challenging the health care bill along with 19 other states. Both Congressman Deal and Governor Barnes support continuing that challenge. If elected Attorney General, I will allow that challenge on behalf of the state to continue. I will not, however, waste tax payer dollars filing another challenge through the Attorney General’s office just to make a political statement, like Olens would.”

Politico House Tracker

The Democrats' House majority hangs in the balance in November. Here's POLITICO's guide to the massive battlefield of congressional races - including every district the top analysts call competitive - with the latest polls, fundraising numbers and up-to-date handicapping.


COH Rep. Sanford Bishop$353,261

State Rep. Mike Keown$177,141

Cook: Toss-up, Rothenberg: Lean Democrat, Sabato: Leans Democratic

Lester & Associates (D): Bishop 50 - Keown 40



COH Rep. Jim Marshall$601,742

State Rep. Austin Scott$227,165

Cook: Toss-up, Rothenberg: Toss-up/Tilt Democrat, Sabato: Toss-up

Grove Insight (D): Marshall 48-Scott 36


COH Rep. John Barrow$337,671

Ray McKinney, businessman$65,999

Cook: Likely Democratic, Rothenberg; n/a, Sabato: n/a n/a
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