Friday, July 27, 2012

McClendon Vying To Be First Black Superior Court Judge of Dublin Judicial Circuit

History could be made over in Laurens County next Tuesday where Harold McLendon, a African-American is challenging Jon Helton, a Nathan Deal appointee for Superior Court Judge in the Dublin Judicial Circuit of the 8th District. The circuit includes Johnson, Laurens, Treutlen and Twiggs County. Helton was appointed by Nathan Deal to the seat after Judge J. Stanley Smith resigned. No African-American has ever held a seat on the Dublin Judicial Circuit.

McLendon has significant support in both the Black & White Community and he has a really great shot at becoming the next Superior Court Judge for the Dublin Circuit

McLendon was born & raised in Dublin, married for 32 years & has 5 children. McLendon is a graduate of Columbus College, '77 where he obtained a B.S. Degree & then attended the Woodrow Wilson School of Law, '81. He has been a Associate Juvenile Judge, Assistant D.A. Public Defender, Dublin Bar President, Trial Attorney for 28 years.

His motto is Elect Experience, Elect Integrity, Elect Harold McLendon Superior Court Judge.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat Days: Newsreel

Marvin Griffin stump speech, Gainesville, GA, September 8, 1962

Forum State Senate District 25 Georgia 2012

Converting U.S. Hwy 82 in South Georgia to Interstate Will Help Solve Atlanta's Traffic Woes

Here's a Thought: Convert U.S. Hwy 82 in South Georgia into Interstate

Makes sense to me. With the talk about the T-SPLOST dominating the conversation as voters head to the polls next tuesday to vote for races for the legislature & local seats as well, there's more questions about whether or not the T-SPLOST will be the answers to Atlanta's Traffic woes. Let's face it, this is a bill designed to deal with the nightmarish Metro Atlanta traffic, with a olive branch extended to Rural Georgia to receive a piece of the pie....well crumbs in terms of T-SPLOST $$$$$ to repave roads, build new bridges, etc.

We should not be having this problem had then Gov. Roy Barnes plan to build a Northern Arc not been shot & beaten down by the GOP who at that time was in the minority. But it did & as a result, Metro Atlanta's Traffic Woes grew worse & worse to the point that its becoming a major thorn in the side for the business community who's trying to attract more companies to relocate to the city that was coined at one time: "The City Too Busy To Hate"

Well here's a solution that could have a major impact in unclogging the traffic that flows through Metro Atlanta. Throughout much of southern Georgia, U.S. 82 is paired with State Route 520 and designated as "Corridor Z" and "South Georgia Parkway. From Brunswick to Tifton to Albany to Dawson, & then merging with Hwy 280 which extends to Columbus, converting U.S. Hwy 82 to a Interstate System would give travelers & especially truckers another way to avoid the Metro Traffic, thus easing some of the traffic flow through Atlanta. Many travelers take I-20 West if they are traveling up from I-75 from Florida to Birmingham or Memphis because they want to avoid the country roads & sparsely populated towns. In my opinion this would be the shot in the arm Atlanta needs to fix its transportation woes. Because I don't think the T-SPLOST will solve the transportation problem that's handcuffed Metro Atlanta for the last decade. I maybe wrong, but I don't believe it will! And like it or not you will pay more in sales tax if this thing pass. Is it wise to make Georgians pay more in taxes when our economy is still in critical condition & Georgia's Unemployment rate has risen back up to 9%? You be the judge

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

HD 139: Conservative Democrat Thomas Coogle Goes On TV with Jobs AD

Ad started airing yesterday on WMAZ-13 Macon and will run all the way up to Next Tuesday's Primary

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Turn the lights off on you way out!

When any small rural county, less than 10,000 population, and more especially less than 5,000 population, start seeing a drop in its city and county population, it also tends to loose a very large majority of total county tax base dollars. Normally those tax base dollars are tied to the industry within any county. Population and Tax base seem to always be tied together. These tax dollars are what keeps vital services operational inside any city or county. Critical vital services at the top of that list for rural counties which are directly tied to the county tax base, are the county healthcare, the local hospital and often including the local rest home, and the public school system. This tax base for any county is very important for a rural county’s survival.

Why? More often than not, when you see people moving out of a small community, its not because they want to, they are more or less forced to because of the lack of jobs. A County has to sustain a good job base to keep residents. It must maintain and sustain Industry. More often than not, Industry is the largest job base and tax base within the county. And its very important for any county to remember the rules of economics applied. You have to have industry come first, not retail. If you create industry first, retail stores will always follow. Industry will not follow retail. 

The one single source regarding loss of population for rural cities and counties is "jobs", or lack of jobs and industry. When a county starts loosing jobs, that normally means that the jobs, businesses that were once there, have abandoned the community, leaving a void of both jobs and the tax base which they once where supporting or paying to the local authorities to keep vital services in place. First you see small stores board up the storefronts. Usually mom & pop, local owner stores and services. Next you see the local healthcare system(s) suffer and needing new additional county tax dollars to stay open, or loose their local hospital, or doctor. And last be not least is your public school system. 

When most local citizens finally start to notice and pay attention to the problem at hand, just now realizing what is happening, "what I call connect the dots", is when their local school goes from 11-man football down to a 6-man football team. Then most local citizens finally notice all to well, the slow and steady decline that has been going on for years but has just now registered on them. Where did all our students go? What happened to all our local owned stores? Why is our local tax rate rising higher and higher each year? Why is our town, community, and public schools loosing all our young people?

For most Georgia counties such as Macon, Hancock, Telfair, Randolph, Dooly, Taylor, Clay, Calhoun County, the loss of population is the greatest in the age range from 24 to 42 years of age. That's why most rural community public schools all across Georgia are getting smaller and smaller each year in student population. Because these are the age ranges of the younger population, couples with children, needing full-time jobs and a good paycheck. Without the industry your county will lose jobs. As each job goes, normally that means the industry left first, then the job followed.

So not only did the county loose it's younger population it also just lost the industry or tax base that helped support most vital services inside the county. Which also lead to the family moving, which in turn had a house, paid taxes on it, a family that bought local goods and supplies, the county now is having a domino effect with the repeat of loss in jobs, tax base, loss of tax on the business, loss on the family home when the couple moved, loss of health care, loss of students, and loss of many other community wide issues. Now that same tax base loss has to be made up from the fewer local citizens remaining within the community or county, either through higher taxes, higher property valuations, or both.

Typically what a declining county does gain, is now most of its citizens left behind are over 62 years of age. Communities of retired individuals and couples. Many rural counties show a higher countywide age range than that. With a county population only taking a rise in older citizens, one could only ask yourself this? If the average citizen is over 60 years of age, and there are no new jobs to support our city/county which will retain or bring in younger residents, where will our county be in 10 years, or 15 years from now? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out, if you as a county citizen, or county leader, set there and do nothing to help find new jobs and bring industry into your community now, in 10-20 more years, your town and community will be a ghost town. With no changes in regard to gaining new industry, you may end up being the last one left. As the old saying goes, "Turn the lights off on you way out!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Time for changing of the guard?

Unlike the overhyped presidential election, where little actual disparity can be found between the likely candidates, a number of state and local races are putting a real choice before Georgia voters.

The upcoming primary election could be described as a contest between members of the old guard & their handpick successors and an emerging new guard. The old guard represents the familiar names, faces and policies of the incumbency. These are individuals who are experienced and well connected politically. They know how to close ranks when they perceive a threat to their influence, and are perfectly willing to call in mutually supporting favors from their fellow politicians.

When faced with a choice between power and principle, these leaders will generally choose what preserves their power. None of this should be construed as proof of evil intent on the part of the old guard; instead, it illustrates a common trait of human nature that power, once obtained, is a very difficult thing to let go.

The new guard can best be described as individuals who have recognized a need for leadership that is grounded in the principles of limited government and greater accountability to the people. To them, raw political power is less desirable than keeping government power within its correct boundaries.

Most of the new guard are newcomers to politics and are running for office out of a sense of public virtue rather than personal gain. Public virtue, in this sense, is synonymous with the concepts of service, self-sacrifice, and disinterestedness. It denotes a choice in which a person’s self interests are voluntarily put aside and sacrifices made for the benefit of society in general. In the case of the new guard, many of the candidates are stepping forward at considerable personal cost to serve where they recognize a need for more principled leadership.

Because many of the emerging new guard do not aspire to be career politicians, the old guard often dismisses them as idealistic and inexperienced. This is a mistake. The new guard candidates, in most cases, have devoted a great deal of time and effort to understanding the challenges and opportunities before us, as well as the foundational principles by which good government operates. This is something the old guard has, in many cases, forgotten.

Name recognition alone used to be sufficient to carry the day for the old guard, but the proliferation of readily available information combined with a growing sense of government overreach has prompted many voters to do their homework.

The old guard senses that a shift is taking place and is doing its best to protect its power from what it foolishly labels “radicals.” But a closer examination of what motivates these new guard candidates to run for office will reveal that, in many cases, we finally will have an actual choice in the coming election.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

HD 139 Candidate Tom Coogle Only Democrat to receive the endorsement of the NRA

Yesterday the National Rifle Association released its endorsement list & on it, only one democrat Tom Coogle managed to receive a endorsement from the Pro-Gun Organization.

Coogle, a Conservative Democrat & Businessman out of Macon Countyis locked in battle for HD 139 seat against two other opponents, liberals Michael Dinkins & Patty Bentley.

Its surprising that only one democrat managed to receive a endorsement from the powerful gun lobby, who back in 2008 supported thousands of legislative candidates which they achieved a 84% success rate in those elections.

Rumors of Race Baiting in Democratic Contests across the state

Race-baiting is an ugly art. But a struggling candidate is often tempted to practice the dark arts if he or she isn't doing among the voters he or she is trying to persuade. We’re doomed to see a lot of those dark arts between here and November. Of a matter of fact it has already started!

Far too often, race baiting (Smear Campaigns) in political campaigns has been used as a way to appeal to the latent racist sentiments of voters. By playing off of people’s fears, candidates try to grow their popularity and, hopefully, sweep into office. We’ve come too far in society for politics to revert back to these tactics.

A smear campaign is an intentional, premeditated effort to undermine an individual's or group's reputation, credibility, and character. Although they are not very popular or well-liked, they are very common.

Desperate candidates use desperate tactics such as race baiting in order to turn voter's attention away from the real problems facing a community or district. Contrary to what others say, black candidates also use race baiting toward white candidates as well by playing up his/her skin color or spreading rumors that he/she does not like minorities or racist for that, such as the case in a few State House races, as well as a few countywide races as well across the state.

It's sad that candidates would stoop so low just to discredit a candidate, black & white because his/her campaign is going no where & like always they pull out the oldest trick in the book,that's the use of the race card. I despise the use of the race card in any contest. A candidate willingness to spread outrageous rumors about another candidate shows what kind of character he or she has>

Monday, July 9, 2012

Macon County: It's Time To Rise Up!

Its Time To Rise Up Macon County. Enough of the talk about Im tired  of this, Im tired of that, we need change, there aren't any jobs here, our school system are underperforming, our young people are moving away, we're losing population, our healthcare is the worst in the state, our poverty level is the top 3 worst in the state, Enough! Enough! Enough!

We as a county have a prime opportunity to send a strong message that yes our vote counts & it will be heard. We need Hope, We need  fresh blood, we need new blood in the state legislature, we need J.O.B.S.! J.O.B.S.!! J.O.B.S.!!!

This election is all about Jobs & that's it! Education matters, Values Matter, Ag Issues Matter, but JOBS is issue #1.

All I can say is if you're unhappy with the current elected officials, then vote them out! If you're happy with them, vote them back it, but one race Im sure certain of is that now is not the time to screw this election up. We need a experienced Business person who can help attract industry to this down & out area. We need someone who appeal across racial & party lines, we need a coalition builder.

Drive thru downtown Montezuma & what do you see....NOTHING! Drive out to the Industrial Park & what do you see...NOTHING! Drive Throughout the county & what do you see...NOTHING! NOTHING!! NOTHING!!! Our young people are just wondering aimlessly around our citizens with nothing to do during the summer months,al facilities are crumbling, some parents seem not to give a damn what their children are doing. This has to change! Its got to change or it will be too late!

Its Do or Die for Macon County in this election. Its NOW OR NEVER for the 3rd pooerst county in Georgia. If you want change, vote for Tom Coogle, if you want a want a citizen, not a establishment favorite, vote for Tom Coogle, if you want a businessperson, not a politician, vote for Tom Coogle, if you want a workhorse, not a showhorse, vote for Tom Coogle, if you're tired of seeing our county continue to crumble with no hope in sight for our children & grandchildren, join me & elect Tom Coogle, Democrat out of Montezuma.

Let's Go To Work!!!!

Renita Hamilton is the Right Choice for HD 105

Up in Gwinnett County, there's a race for the open HD 105 seat located in southern Gwinnett County.  Two democrats, Renita Hamilton & Rashid MaliK are vying for the chance to represent the newly drawn district which was created during the redistricting process

Im not going to waste my time here, the choice is simple...Renita Hamilton, hands down. Hamilton, a Conservative Democrat is a native of Turner County who moved to the east matro Atlanta County when she was a teenager.

Community involvement is a passion of Hamilton who wants to bring about positive and effective change improve , increase value, enhance the quality of life for residents of HD 105.

Hamilton, a businessowner who operated Polished Affairs, LLC knows what hardships small businesses have faced in this unprecedented economic downturn since the depression & having someone of Hamilton's experience in the business world would be a huge asset for Georgia & HD 105.

Send a businesswoman, a christian, a gun owner, a fiscal discipline to face the winner of the GOP primary & then the General Election. The Democratic Party needs Renita Hamilton in its ranks. Elect Renita Hamilton as your next State Representative

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Macon County: Change on the Horizon?

Rarely I dive into local elections in my home county, but I am now....July 31 could shape up to be a  memorable for Macon County. Incumbent Charles Cannon, (Sheriff) Incumbent Mack McCarty (Probate Judge) are facing strong challenges in Matthew Woodard & Coroner Mickey Barfield (Sheriff) & Scotty Layfield & Dennis Johnson (Probate Judge). Also there's a open  seat  for county coroner Gary Hobbs & Brenda Oglesby as well as County Commisison 2 seat Mark Poole & Ben Haugabook & Commission 3 seat Mickey George (Incumbent) & Jerry Harris. In addition there's the open HD 139 seat (which I will get to later this week). All are democrats. No republicans are on the ballot.

Im not going to make any predictions on any of these races, but I will say this..there is a 60% chance one of these incumbents will not be re-elected & one or two will go to a runoff...... that's the farthest I'll go with it. I know each of the canddiates who are running for these countywide seats, except for Coroner. All are good people who will serve the county well.

I hear all the time that change needs to come to Macon County, well let's see if that's the case. Stay tuned!

Its Now or Never for Hancock County: Elect Sistie Hudson as Chairman of Hancock Commission

On July 31 voters will go to the polls in Hancock County to decide who will be their next chairman of the Hancock County Commission.  Sistie Hudson, longtime state representative for HD 124 is running to be chairman of the Hancock County Commission. Also running is Commissioner Ted Reid & incumbent Samuel Duggan.

With a per capita income of under $18,000 and more than a quarter of its population living in poverty, Hancock is the poorest county in Georgia. 78% of the county's population is African American. The lack of jobs, high poverty & uneducated workforce, Hancock County is in critical condition.

In three weeks, Hancock Co can decide its own fate by electing someone who will grab the bull by the horns & get that county back on the right track, or else it will be a county that'll eventually disappear.

Sistie Hudson is what that county needs. She's been in the legislature, served as commissioner before winning a seat to the general assembly in 1996. She has the heart, guts & fortitude to turn the once proud east central Georgia around. Samuel Duggan is the current chairman of the commission & needs to be replaced by Hudson, a conservative democrat who's appeal reaches across class & racial lines.  Hancock County needs Sistie Hudson if it want to see better days for its children & grandchildren. Its now or never for Hancock County!

Voter Fraud is Real, especially with Absentee Ballots

According to some, voter fraud is a rare occurrence, hardly worth our time to try to prevent, but it’s a fact that proving fraud is difficult and time-consuming. If you suspect that “dead” people are voting, the only way to verify it is to comb through the poll books, comparing the names to another reliable list of the deceased, which is expensive and time-consuming. Why not simply eliminate the known dead from the poll books in the first place?
Another way to cheat is to purposely register people you know will not show up to the polls, then bus volunteers in to vote for them. You’d be surprised at how just a few people can make a big difference. Many local elections are won on the basis of a handful of votes, and with tens of thousands of precincts in the United States, even a national election can be shifted.

Perhaps the most egregious form of fraud occurs when absentee ballots are tampered with; either by “helping” the voter to decide, or by outright theft or destruction of ballots.

If we want to protect the integrity of our vote, we have to accept that the opportunity for troublemaking exists, then formulate a plan to safeguard our most precious right to free and fair elections. Volunteering to watch the process and report suspected fraud is one of the most important jobs a citizen can do. The addition of a voter ID requirement, is not only effective, but popular, because Americans want a level playing field. Perception is everything; you can only have confidence in a system that doesn’t seem rigged.

Absentee Ballot fraud is the worst kind of voter fraud. Tactics ranging from:

-Pressuring and coaxed first-time voters or those who were “less informed or lacking in knowledge of the voting process, the infirm, the poor, and those with limited skills in the English language” to vote by absentee ballot

-Paid voters in cash for casting absentee ballots

-Instructed people applying for absentee ballots to phone a campaign when the applicant received his or her ballot so that supporters could go to their home and “though not authorized by law to do so, ‘assist’ the voter in completing the ballot

-Illegally keep a stockpile of unmarked absentee ballots and delivered ballots to voter

-Lying about whether the person applying for an absentee ballot would in fact be absent on the day of the primary.

In addition, Campaign workers will preyed on “the na├»ve, the neophytes, the infirm and the needy” by using “unscrupulous election tactics.

So be on the look out for voter fraud, especially when it comes to absentee ballots. BEWARE!
This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat

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