Monday, January 31, 2011

New DPG Leadership

I know from emails that flooded my inbox over the weekend that the top spots, as well as district chairs are held by Metro Democrats & I know some of y'all are disappointed that Darryl Hicks (Candidfate for Chair) didn't win, nor Chris Sloan (Candidate for County Parties), R. Lee Webster (12th District Chair), as well as myself (2nd District Chair), but these new candidates will do alot of good for the party. Everyone who stepped to the podium said all the right things that was music to my ears, but it will be action more than words that will determine how effective each will be, so just give them a chance

Results from Warner Robins:

Mike Berlon-Chairman-Gwinnett County

Nikema Williams-Vice-Chairman-Fulton County

RJ Hadley-Vice-Chair of County Parties & Congressional Districts-Rockdale County

Miguel Camacho-Vice-Chair of Candidate Recruitment-Chatham County

Russell Edwards-Tresurer-Clarke County

Lavern Gaskins-Secretary-Lowndes County

Pedro Marin-Vice-Chair of Constituency Groups-Gwinnett County


District Chairs:


District 1: Jeana Brown -Wayne County

District 2: Jeanne Dugas-Muscogee County

District 3: Ken Spitze-Carroll County

District 4: Linda Edmonds-Fulton County

District 5: Will Curry-Fulton County

District 6: Ben Myers-North Fulton County

District 7: Steve Reilly-Gwinnett County

District 8: Stephanie Woods Miller-Jones County

District 9: David Robinson-Pickens County

District 10: Patsy Harris-Morgan County

District 11: Mary Caldwell-Floyd County

District 12: Liz Johnson-Bullock County

District 13: Mellissa Prescott-Cobb County

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Big Party Switch Event - Are You A Democrat or Republican?

Each week brings with it news of elected officials who have switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. Officials have the right to switch to whatever party they want, but when they are elected as Democrats; I believe that they should remain Democrats, at least until the end of their terms. When an official switches from one party to the other, after having been elected by the supporters of the party they switched from, it's clearly a slap in the face to their constituents. You don't have to go very far to find someone to slap you in the face these days, because if you voted for one of those individuals, you have already been slapped about as hard as one can slap you.

Some of those who have switched may not see it that way at all. Let's speculate a little. I would venture to say that the reasoning behind the switch was purely political. They knew that if they were going to be effective in their districts, and under the "Gold Dome", they had to be a part of the party of power, and that party just happens to be the Republican Party. Also many made the decision to switch parties because a great number of their constituents may have changed their party affiliation. When it is all said and done, it is all about respect and honor. I can only hope that those who switched took the time to talk with their constituents before they made their decision. If you are a citizen, and you voted for a candidate because you felt that the "person" would be a great representative, then you're in great shape because you'll still have that same person representing you. If you voted strictly because that person was a Democrat, then you might be a little disappointed.

My belief is that elections should be about the person and not the party, but that belief seems to be rapidly fading away. The evidence of this was clearly seen in Georgia's last General Election. There were some great people running for office, from both the Democratic and Republican Parties. However, this time around the majority of voters were not focused on how great those people were, but they were keenly focused on the political parties. I am by no means implying that there weren't any good Republicans, because I am friends with many of them who are as good as gold. I am saying that those Democratic friends of mine who are as good as gold too, just happened to be a part of the wrong political party (in the eyes of some of the voters). One may assume that voters who were sick and tired of being sick and tired did not vote for Republican candidates, but voted against the Democrats, if that makes sense.

I am Democrat, and it's no secret that I have also been very vocal regarding the deterioration of the Democratic Party's moral fabric and values system. The reason that I continue to be so critical is because it appears that our state and national party is refusing to face reality. Someone has to have the courage to call it like it is. One important reason that I chose to be one of those persons, is because I believe that the Democratic Party is worth salvaging. As I have stated in earlier writings, the Party should embrace the ideals of morality and distance themselves from supporting abortion, extreme Secularism, and the seemingly prevailing belief system of alternative lifestyles and same sex marriages. . If people desire to partake in those types of activities, it's their business, but it shouldn't be the business of the Democratic Party. Our country is already experiencing its share of murders, crimes, divorces, and other forms of turmoil in the traditional family.

If we want to dibble and dabble in something, let's try to strengthen the traditional family. I believe that like anything else that's broken, the Democratic Party can be fixed. I believe that a massive and carefully calculated plan of reformation for our party will result in a renewed since of democracy, which will be in the best interest of the people. I'm not ready to throw in the towel and switch to the other side just yet. However, if the powers that be, refuse to make the necessary changes to the Democratic Party, I predict that there will be several familiar names listed in other sections of the election ballot the next time around. Having said that, I am confident that there is enough historically significant data that indicates that our party has been the party that has represented working people and the middle class for decades and I believe that we can do it again. In order for this to happen, we must rethink our priorities and listen to the voices of the people.

By: Carl Camon, Ed.S - Former Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate - 2010

Thoughts from a Conservative Democrat one week from the DPG Leadership Elections

As we attempt to rebuild the Georgia Democratic Party, it is essential that we establish a moderate tone for the state party & bring back those disaffected by the 2010 campaign. The first step in doing that is to replace Jane Kidd with Darryl Hicks who's mix of rural/urban appeal would be a huge asset in getting the party back on its game in competing with the Georgia GOP.

Or select Mike Berlon of Gwinnett County. Berlon has run for office, worked with many candidates over the years in both grass roots and statewide campaigns, most recently as Carol Porter’s campaign manager for Lt. Governor, has spent several years as a county party chair and is the only candidate with a short and long term written plan for success.

Hicks centrist themes, plus his roots being born & raised in Taylor County will show voters, especially those who have drifted away from the party over the past decade that the party is paying attention to their concerns & is not a clone of the much more liberal National Democratic Party.

In addition, the party then needs to:

1) Nominate Wendy Davis of Floyd County as Vice-Chair of DPG. Davis, Davis, twenty-year political veteran, has returned to Georgia to serve as my campaign manager. In the last 17 months, Wendy has worked in 22 states as National Field and Training Director for 21st Century Democrats and as a senior political staff member for Governor Bill Richardson’s Presidential campaign. A Georgia native, she is a DPG state committee member, former president of the Young Democrats of Georgia, and active with the Floyd County Dems. Wendy has worked around the state for many notable Democrats such as Secretaries of State Max Cleland, Lewis Massey and Cathy Cox; Congressman Sanford Bishop; State Senator Steve Henson; former Atlanta City Council Member Doug Alexander.

2) Nominate Chris Sloan of Troup County as Vice-Chair of County Parties. Sloan is a 28 year old rural democrat who chairs the Troup County Democratic Party. Sloan, a workaholic & devoted democrat is from a demographic that the party needs to bring back into the party: Rural, White Male voters. His passion & drive, is a asset to the party & not taking anything away from RJ Hadley & Will Fowlkes, but Sloan is the critical piece of this puzzle if the party wants to regain a foothold in our rural communities.

3) Nominate Miguel Camacho of Chatham County as Vice-Chair of Candidate Recruitment. Camacho is the Chairman of Candidate Recruitment for Chatham County one of only two County's in Georgia than ran a Democratic challenger against every Republican incumbent in the Georgia State Assembly who's district includes Chatham County. Chatham County received the 2010 Georgia Association of Democratic County Chair's President Award for outstanding and meritorious service for our recruiting efforts. Chatham is one of the few counties where democrats have prospered during the last 10 years.

Most of the Congressional Chairs races are nor-competitive, but for the 2nd, 1st, 11th, 5th & 12th, these districts need chairs who have a vision for "outside the box thinking" & not the same 'ol tactics that have been used for years by democrats.

In the 1st, you can't go wrong with Jeana Brown, a rural activist who has track record of success of electing dems on the local level or Will Claiborne, a former staffer for then-senator Zell Miller (D-Young Harris) who may bring some of the former governor's views & ideas to the crimson-red district.

In the 2nd, you can't go wrong with myself, who knows how important rural Georgia will be to the party regardless if the region cede power to North Georgia & addition being vice-chair of Macon Co Dems or Jeanne Dugas who ran the successful Muscogee Co. Democratic Party, now serves as vice-chair

The 11th would be greatly represented by either Mary Caldwell or Wendy Davis. Both are hard working pols who will get the job done up in NW Georgia

The 12th, its R. Lee Wester of Burke Co. A farmer & contributor to Congressman John Barrow, Webster will bring a different element to the 12th.

In the 5th, it really doesn't matter. Its a democratic district & either Will Curry or Kip Carr would do a fine job.



Now there are two measures that can repair the damage done by the National Democratic Liberal Agenda on Georgia Democrats & for Georgia Democrats to reclaim its standing as the party in the mainstream of Georgia Values:

1) As I mentioned before installing Darryl Hicks as chair & 2) the eventual recruitment of Carol Porter, Dubose Porter, JimMarshall, Rob Teilhet to campaign around the state for local & congressional candidates in 2011 & '12, leading up to 2014 statewide elections. All of these candidates have either centrist/conservative tones that will help remake the party image in the mold of Georgia's conservative electorate. By fomer candidate campaigning for candidates for races like Commissioner, City Council, Mayor, etc that will pay off as a I.O.U. for whoever decides to run for statewide office in 2014 or maybe congressional office in 2012. Getting out on the chicken & peas circuit & appearing with numerous candidates will invaluable for democrats * will payoff down the road in 2-,3 or 4 years.

I believe that we should attempt to develop a image of the party of the working man who are not out to raise taxes, restrict gun rights, legalize Gay Marriage, spend tax dollars on useless programs & instead who supports Family Farms, keeping taxes low for the average working, blue collar family, protect communities from crime, a strong & vibrant public school system for example.

I don't want to see the party of Russell, Nunn & Miller be destroyed, which at this moment is on "Life Support" . Dems have to talk about ways of separating the National Democratic Campaign from the state & local races.

Rural Democrat Jeana Brown Campaign picking up Steam


Down the road in SE Georgia, Jeana Brown (D-McKinnon) is looking to become the first democrat to represent HD 178 in 6 years as she goes up against four other republicans for the seat.


During the process Brown has picked up some crucial endorsements as she looks to win the special election without a runoff, but most likely there maybe a runoff to determine who the final two candidates will be. People endorsing Brown are:


Wayne County


County Commissioner James "Boot" Thomas
City Councilwoman Tiffany Frasier
City Councilman Don Darden
Former Mayor Tommie Fuller




Brantley County

Mayor Pro-tem Rev Robert Thomas
City Commissioner Richard Johns
School Board Member Dot Hickox
County Commissioner Chris "Skipper" Harris

Pierce County

School Board Member Melvin Johnson
Blackshear Chief of Police Larry Ethridge
Clarence Washington

State Rep Al Wiliams (D-Midway), Ware County Commissioner Carlos Nelson, former gubernatorial candidate Carl Camon & 1st Congressional District candidate Bill Gillespie


Brown is the only democrat in the race & have waged a strong grassroot campaign thus far in the race. Newly elected minority leader Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta) will headline a fundraiser for Brown on Jan 22 down in Wayne County.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Don't look now, but here comes Chris Sloan & he wants to rebuild Democratic Party on the County Level


If you don't know the name of Christopher (Chris) Sloan, well you will soon. Sloan is a candidate for the Georgia Democratic Party's post of Chairman of County Parties.

Currently he is chairman of the Troup County Democratic Party located in LaGrange, where he has built the fledgling party into one that has helped elect democrats to city council & other races inside Troup County.

Since he announced intentitons to run for Chair of County Parties, sloan has criss-crossed the state, traveling to SE Georgia, even traveling to Savannah to meet with Chatham County Dems during the winter storm that crippled Georgia's Roads. Now if that's not showing committment & drive, I don't know what is............

Sloan is a 28 Year Old Rural Democrat, who depending on who you talk to is a moderate, some say progressive. I say he is more of a centrist, always seeking to build a consensus on the issues that divide the democratic party between Liberal & Conservative Democrats.

He is going up against two other well known democrats in RJ Hadley, ex-candidate for the U.S. Senate last year & Will Fowlkes, who was past chair of the Cobb County Democrats.

Do not call Sloan the "Underdog" anymore because he is well-positioned to win this important position next saturday in Warner Robins at Middle Ga Technical College.

Chris has formulated a plan called the “four r’s” to lead the party back to prominence.
1. Rebuild
2. Reinvest
3. Reinvigorate
4. Recapture

White Hadley & Fowlkes are well known politicos, Sloan has come on strong as of late & rapidly picking up support from people all over the state.

While the other two gentlemen in the race have well thought out platforms for this position, having Chris Sloan as Chair of County Parties would be a boon for the party as it attempt to get back on its feet after the loss of last year's elections.

Friday, January 14, 2011

One last look at the DPG Elections

In two weeks, the Georgia Democratic Party will hold its elections that will usher in brand new leadership from the top down.



Asterik indicates the favorite to win:



Chairperson:


Mike Berlon (Gwinnett County)*
Darryl Hicks (Fayette County) Fayetteville




Berlon is the odds-on favorite to become the next leader of the DPG. He has all of the necessary bog-wigs behind him in his effort to win the post on Jan 29, but don't count out D. Hicks just yet


First Vice Chair:


Wendy Davis (Floyd County) Rome*
Amy Morton (Bibb County) Macon
Nikema Williams (Fulton County) Fairburn



This race is hard to gauge with three strong top-tier candidates vying for the No 2 spot at the DPG. All are seasoned veterans of the Ga Political Landscape. Morton is chair of Georgia's WIN List, State Committee Member, & one of the most influential democratic activist in the state.



Williams is Director of Public Policy at Planned Parenthood Southeast Volunteer at Democrats Work, former Political Director Young Democrats Of Georgia



Davis is Strategist at VocalFi Associate at electyou.com , Campaign Manager at David Poythress for Governor of Georgia 2010 ,National Field and Training Director at 21st Century Democrats ,Southern States Political Director at Bill Richardson for President.


Vice Chair of County Parties:


Will Fowlkes (Cobb County) Kennesaw*
RJ Hadley (Rockdale County) Conyers
Chris Sloan (Troup County) LaGrange




Another race that is hard to figure out as Hadley, Fowlkes & Sloan all battle it out for the position of Chair of County Parties. This position is critical for the party if it wants to compete with the Ga GOP in terms of grassroots organization on the local level, etc.



Fowlkes is Cobb County Democratic Party - Chair (2008 - 2010); Treasurer (2008); House District Captain for HD35 (2006-2008); Cobb Democrat of the Year (2008, Georgia Association of Democratic County Chairs - Congressional Director (2008 - 2010); 2010 President's Award recipientDemocratic Party of Georgia - Candidate, Vice-Chair of Congressional District Chairs and County Liaison (present); State Convention County Delegation Chair (2010); State Convention Delegate (2010); "Voice of God", State Convention (2010); State Committee (2008 - present); "Voice of God", annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010);Technology Committee member; Delegate Selection Committee memberDemocratic National Committee - Elected Pledged Delegate, Democratic National Convention (2008)



Sloan is Chair of the Troup County Democratic Party



Hadley is is a Democratic Party activist and former candidate for United States Senate. He was a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention He has been a member of the Rockdale County Democratic Party since 2006 and was elected to its executive board in 2010.


Vice Chair of Candidate Recruitment:


Lauren Benedict (Bibb County) Macon*
Miguel Camacho (Chatham County) Savannah
Rep. Winfred Dukes (I) (Dougherty County) Albany



Two newbies are challenging Dukes for the spot of candidate recruitment. Benedict is member of the Macon City Council & former candidate of HD 140, Camacho is the Chairman of Candidate Recruitment for Chatham County, one of only two County's in Georgia than ran a Democratic challenger against every Republican incumbent in the Georgia State Assembly who's district includes Chatham County. Chatham County received the 2010 Georgia Association of Democratic County Chair's President Award for outstanding and meritorious service for our recruiting efforts.



Dukes is a State Rep representing Albany


Vice Chair of Constituency Groups:


Rep. Pedro "Pete" Marin (I)


Secretary:


Laverne Gaskins (I)


Treasurer:


Russell Edwards (Clarke County) Athens
Sen. Lester Jackson (Chatham County) Savannah



Edwards is a demcoratic activist who ran a spirited campaign against arch-conservative Paul Broun. Jackson is a rising star in Georgia Politics, serving as State Senator of Savannah


1st Congressional District Chair:


Jeana Brown (Wayne County) McKinnon
Will Claiborne (Chathan County) Savannah



Brown is the founder of Rural Activist Group Team Rural, Regional Field Director · Aug 2010 to Nov 2010 · Winter Haven, Florida, SEIU Change that Works, Field Organizer · Jun 2009 to Sep 2009 · Helena, Arkansas, Issue-based campaign lobbying for Employee Free Choice and Health & Campaign for Change GA/ Obama for America, Field Organizer · Jun 2008 to Nov 2008 · Jesup, Georgia. Organized the Jesup Georgia Presidential Campaign Office for 10 SE GA counties during the General Election 2008.



Claiborne is past Associate Attorney at McCorkle & Johnson, LLP, Staff Assistant, Legislative Correspondent, and Deputy Press Secretary at U.S. Senator Zell Miller. Now is the council at Counsel Attorney at Claiborne, Outman, Surmay P.C.


2nd Congressional District Chair:


Jeanne Dugas (Muscogee County) Columbus
Keith McCants (Macon County) Oglethorpe




Dugas is former chair of the Muscogee County Democratic Party, current Vice-Chair of Muscogee County Dems, retired Professor of Psychology at Columbus State University & currently Vice-President and Co-Owner e_Valuation, Inc.



McCants is founder & operator of Peanut Politics & past Vice-Chairman of Macon County Democratic Party, rural strategist Currently works a a welder. Dugas maybe the favorite in this race sue to her work as past chair of Muscogee County Dems, but watch out for the conservative outsider McCants in this race.


3rd Congressional District Chair:
Ken Spitze (Carroll County)


4th Congressional District Chair:
Linda Edmonds (I) (Dekalb County)


5th Congressional District Chair:


Kip Carr* (Fulton Co)
William Curry (I) (Fulton Co)


6th Congressional District Chair:


Ben Myers (I) (North Fulton County)


7th Congressional District Chair:


Steve Reilly (Gwinnett County)


8th Congressional District Chair:


Stephanie Woods Miller (Jones County) Gray


9th Congressional District Chair:


David Robinson (Pickens County)


10th Congressional District Chair:


Patsy Harris (Morgan County)


11th Congressional District Chair:




Mary Caldwell (Floyd County)*
Wendy Davis (Floyd County)
JM Prince (Bartow County)
Don Wilson (Cobb County)



If Davis becomes the Vice-Chair of the DPG, its Mary Caldwell's race to lose. Caldwell is chair of the Floyd County Democratic Party.






12th Congressional District Chair:


R. Lee Webster (Burke County) Waynesboro*
Liz Johnson (Bullock County) Statesboro








13th Congressional District:

???????????

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nightmare Scenario for the Democratic Party: After a 45 Year Sleep, Blacks are beginning to look for alternatives to the Democratic Party

Anyone who follows politics knows that African-Americans are perhaps the most loyal voting bloc in the nation. Black voters here in Georgia and nationally give better than 90 percent of their vote to the Democrats. Maybe it is time for blacks to re-evaluate their loyalty to a party that has not been particularly loyal to them. Blacks were not always so loyal to the Democrats. After the Civil War and the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, newly enfranchised blacks were almost exclusively Republican voters. Hundreds of blacks were elected to political office after the Civil War, and almost all of them were Republicans. Blacks were Republicans because the Republican Party was the party that ended slavery and treated blacks as political equals.

Why did blacks move from the Republican to the Democratic Party? To a great extent, it was because blacks felt that they were being taken for granted and they were not receiving the benefits that their support of the Republicans merited. With the end of Reconstruction in the South in the 1880s and the withdrawal of Union troops from the South, white Democrats were free to eliminate black voters with devices such as the poll tax, white primary and literacy tests. Even apparently benign policies such as residency requirement, proof of age and proof of residency were used to exclude black voters. Blacks were primarily agricultural workers who moved from one area to another to plant and harvest crops. Because of their migration, they were not able to meet the long residency requirements the South imposed. Most blacks did not have birth certificates, and there were usually no street addresses in black neighborhoods, so they could not establish proof of age or residency.

Many blacks retained their Republican Party allegiance even though they had lost the right to vote. This would change when Republicans no longer pursued policies that were beneficial to black interests. FDR and the New Deal Democrats provided jobs through the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration, and also provided economic benefits that were available to both blacks and whites in the midst of the Great Depression. The Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and '60s solidified the bond of blacks to the Democratic Party. In other words, Republican neglect combined with national Democratic Party appeals to blacks resulted in black voters changing their political allegiance.

Republicans, if they have any sense, will continue to reach out even more to blacks instead of waiting and hoping that a political conversion takes place.

If even one-third of blacks voted Republican, it would fundamentally change the political dynamics in Georgia and across the nation, and blacks would be in a better position to win concessions from both parties.

But politics reflect the times, and the times, they are a-changin'. Increasingly, but slowly blacks are beginning to realize there is another truth about the ethnic group's loyalty to Democrats: It hasn't been a resounding success.

Former Rep. J.C. Watts, (R-Ok)., once called the Democrats' chosen black leader Jesse Jackson and his ilk "race-hustling poverty pimps" for their continual support of Democrat-leftist policies that keep blacks on the government's dole, Other have also noted that Democrats who say they are the champions of black civil rights have really only led blacks down a road of poverty.

For example, it was President Lyndon B. Johnson whose "war on poverty" and "Great Society" programs led to today's massive welfare system, which author Perryman and others argue has kept blacks in poverty, in poor neighborhoods with bad schools, and left them with few options to improve themselves

Poor, Inner-city blacks, who have given their vote to the Democrats for the past forty years, are left wondering what that party has done to remedy the still-prevalent problems within their community.

Democrats claim that they care about diversity, but readily demean black professionals who do not toe the Democratic Party's liberal line, slandering blacks as "vile," "Uncle Toms" and "Sellouts," including Dr. Condoleezza Rice, General Colin Powel, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Janice Rogers Brown and Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele. Democratic Party operatives even insulted black independent Juan Williams, calling him a "Happy Negro" for daring to expose the failed policies of the Democrats in his book Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America

SO SHOULD BLACKS DITCH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY?

Well it depends......

Nothing is more important to the to the future advancement of blacks than the quality of their children's education. But any attempt to give black parents real options as to where they can send their children to school runs into a brick wall because the teachers' unions are the 800-pound gorillas of the democratic party. Others include Housing & Crime.

Another great problem for blacks is crime. Liberal Democrats have long resisted efforts to crack down on criminals. Instead, the great liberal dogma is that we seek out the "root causes" of crime and set up government social programs to,salve the problem by "prevention" of crime.

Democrats cater to blacks are largely symbolic issues, such as naming streets for Martin Luther King or throwing money at the pet projects of various community "leaders." So long as Democrats can get the votes of blacks by promoting symbolism, and the support of other groups by substantive policies, they are in good shape on election day. But blacks are not, because symbolism does nothing about education, housing or crime.

If Republicans ever come off some of their hardline positions & begin to address some issues that are the root problem for African-Americans living in poverty stricken, high crime, economically disadvantaged areas, believe me more Blacks will begin to vote republican, which will effectively spell the end of the Democratic Party as we know it. Here in Georgia we've already have a few black democrats switch to the GOP, while we have also seen the election of Tim Scott of South Carolina & Allen West of Florida get elected to congress as republicans. Two of my closest friends WHO ARE CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRATS LIKE MYSELF, both who won local races last year (CityCouncil, County Commissioner) almost ran as republicans because they was "Very Discouraged" with the Democratic Party, but remained with the party because of "LOYALTY" & "the sharp move to the far-right of the GOP". But they are open to running as republicans in 2014 if the Democratic party doesn't get its act toegther & fast
This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat

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