Friday, September 28, 2012

HD 138: The Buena Vista Bluedog, Kevin T. Brown Wants To Bring Focus Back To Rural Georgia

Come November, Marion County could have its first ever State Representative to come out of that area

Brown is challenging Incumbent Republican Mike Cheokas of Americus who switched parties after the 2010 elections. HD 138 consist of Sumter, Schley, Marion, & Chattahoochee County. In the 2012 primary, Cheokas received  1,665 during the republican primary votes to Brown's 3,339 votes in the democratic primary.

Candidate Kevin Brown with supporters at the Peanut Festival in Plains, Ga
Brown, a 44 year old centrist Bluedog Democrat out of Buena Vista is currently Executive Director for Marion County Family Connection. Previously he served 11 Years in the United States Army as a Legal Specialist (Staff Sergeant) & Veterans Representative/Job Specialist with Georgia Department of Labor.

He also served on the Buena Vista City Council & member of the River Valley Regional Commission Executive Board and Finance Committee and Founded of DIAMONDS , a organization that is a youth leadership group for young men.

His other memberships include:
Member of West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition Board of Directors
Member of Marion County Basketball Booster Club
Member of River Valley Regional Commission Executive Board and Finance Committee
Member of Marion County Board of Health
Member of Marion County Truancy Protocol Committee
Member of Marion County Child Abuse Protocol Board
Member of Marion County Child Fatality Review Panel

He is a graduate of  now defunct Tri-County High School (1985) & a graduate of Troy State University.

Brown wants to expand job opportunities and foster economic growth in rural Georgia; restore value to the Hope Scholarship and to provide a sense of trust in those that have been elected to serve unconditionally and selflessly. Brown has all the qualities to be a great State Representative for the newly drawn HD 138. He has appeal across racial, class & party lines & he has a strong work ethic. With the party now overrun by liberals, it needs a dose of centralism in its ranks to bring some much needed balance to the party.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Webb drops the hammer on Romney

Centrist U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia) remarks at a rally in Virginia......Click here to read: Webb drops the hammer on Romney

2012 & Beyond: Georgia Democrats Need To Roll Up Their Sleeves & Get Down To Business!

After this election, Peach State Democrats need to "shift attention away from National happenings and get down to business toward a bold effort to provide a bold alternative to the Georgia GOP to create jobs, improve the economy and address issues facing rural Georgians a.k.a. the Forgotten Ones in time for the 2014 Statewide Elections
Step one: Finding & supporting strong candidates that you envision running statewide one day.

This is perhaps one of the democrats biggest problems. Too often, the party are left with one-issue themed, one-dimensional candidates who cannot articulate the message & who lack appeal across racial & party lines. In many areas across Georgia, the one-size fits all method doesn't apply. Now let's be real here, there are different strokes for different folks, so just like a conservative democrat can never win a seat in midtown Atlanta, a liberal cannot win a seat in Southeast Georgia..so finding candidates that best fits the district is crucial. Rural Progressives will never..ever win a rural seat, unless its gerrymandered, packing as many Black voters possible in a district.

Step two: Find a solution to give our parents other options in terms of school choice for their children.

Many Democrats are down right opposed to the Charter School Amendment that will be decided by Georgia Voters in November. OK, if that's the case, then come up with another alternative because just throwing money at public schools will not solve its problems. Magnet Schools is one way to start. Magnet schools are specialized schools within the public school system that attract certain types of students. Many magnet schools have good reputations for teaching students, especially in their specialty areas

Step three: Come up with a plan to address growing issues facing rural Georgia.

Rural Georgia remains a region that democrats can make a run at...if they have it in them. Many rural counties are without a hospital while those who have them are at risk of losing them....underperforming public school systems, lack of industry, high poverty, unemployment & the lack of representation of our agricultural interest. This will be a hard issue to address because of the lack of rural democrats in Georgia, except for those representing urban enclaves in cities such as Macon, Columbus, etc..

Step four: Reach out to ex-Democrats (Reagan Democrats)

These Democrats are blue-collar, non–college educated white voters who abandoned the Democratic Party during the 1970s and 80s, out of anger at Democratic support for policies like welfare and affirmative action, and leap into the outstretched arms of Ronald Reagan. They are fairly libertarian and anti-government intrusiveness and are much more concerned with guns than the pill. These voters can be won back..depending on the candidate. Right now there are only 2 rural white democrats left, Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City) & Barbara Massey-Reese (D-Menlo). Like it or not liberals, you need rural democrats in your ranks if you even want to sniff a majority in the future. Open your arms & accept democrats who are different in ideology & positions. It'll be healthy for the party in the long term.

So a Georgia Democratic Party refocused on revitalizing our economy, reaching out to disaffected democrats, putting more emphasis on rural Georgia & a suitable plan for education the party can re-establishing itself as the party for the working class. If they do this, victory at the polling booths will take care of itself.

 

Pro-Life Democrats On The Outside Looking In...

They are battered, chipped, stained and cracked in a few places. But extinct? Nope. They are pro-life Democrats, and they are a living ghost of times past.

There are a few...VERY FEW pro-life Democrats rattling around the legislature these days, but they are plentiful on the local level they are so compromised that they have no significance. But they keeps hanging on in the despised fringes of the larger Democratic party, doing their best to be the voice of life in the party of abortion.

But the person who eventually decides to run as a pro-life democrat this has to be tougher than the pro-life Democrats we’ve had before. It is not possible to be a pro-life Democrat and be well-liked or supported by your party. The pressures other Democrats put on pro life Democrats to compromise their beliefs are enough to squeeze a lump of coal into a diamond. Unfortunately what happens in practice is that they far too often manage to squeeze the diamond of a pro life Democrat into a lump of compromising coal.
 
Look at State Representative Rick Crawford, Polk County Conservative Democrat who stated if re-elected he will switch to the GOP, because of the democrats new stance in support of same sex marriage. Remember he is also pro-life so these may have been part of the reason he came to such a conclusion, (as well as trying to have his own hide from defeat in a conservative district)
 
You can be a pro life Democrat and do it right. But you’ve got to be willing to be a little bit politically stupid in the clinches. You can’t let yourself be fooled by the tomfoolery that will come at you. And you have to look ‘em in the eye when they threaten you and not blink.
 
And to the liberals in the state, like it or not the party needs pro-lifers in its ranks. It matters because we can not ever build a culture of life with half the people. It matters because to a large extent the official Republican Party (as opposed to the rank and file) is flimflamming us with their vows of pro life. It matters because our country cannot survive if it continues with this polarized win-at-all-costs-even-if-it-harms-the-country hyper partisan governance.
 
If pro-life Democrats want to have a voice in the party, they’ve got to stop compromising their pro-life principles for the party. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but I believe it’s a fact. However the real reason for not compromising is not to affect the party. It’s that you don’t and shouldn’t compromise about core values. Not killing people (to put it in my simplistic terms) is the core value. If human beings don’t respect human life, we descend rather quickly to a world where the biggest and meanest get to make all the rules.
The right to life is the basic human right. Nothing anyone can say has the power to change that. If we compromise there, then we’re not on a slippery slope, we’re in a chute, going straight down.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Myths, Misconceptions about Charter Schools







The Charter School Amendment here in the Peach State is gearing up to be one of the hottest items on the fall ballot.

Gov. Deal approved HB 797, but that law hinges heavily on whether or not the state has the power to approve charter schools over local board objections. And that power can only come from a constitutional amendment, at least according to Georgia’s Supreme Court which argued that the state did not have the constitutional authority to over ride local school boards on this issue.



There exist many common myths and misconceptions about Charter Schools. Here are a few that I have heard repeatedly, which I hope to clarify and bust with this column.

The first myth is that “charter schools are not public schools” This of course is completely false. Teacher qualifications, standards, professional advancement and retirement, as well as all student expectations and requirements for advancement and graduation are identical. The only real differences between traditional public and charter schools are the methods and strategies employed to educate students; charters control their own budgeting and spending.

Myth number two is “charter schools are for the wealthier families.” I would agree that many wealthier families have been the first in support of the educational options that charter schools provide and were the first to enroll their children, but I now see that more and more students from across the socioeconomic spectrum are currently enrolling in charter schools and the trend is that charter schools populations are now recently becoming more representative of the demographics of their communities.

The third myth is “charter schools are a modern attempt at segregation of schools. I believe that all charters in the past have done their best to attract all students without any regard for ethnicity as is prescribed by law. In addition charters have actually done more than traditional public schools to close the achievement gap that exists between their student ethnic populations.



The fourth myth is “charter schools are the cause of the economic problems that schools are facing today” It is a fact that traditional public schools are losing students to charter schools thereby losing the state funding associated with that child. But they are also losing the cost and responsibility associated with educating that child as well.

The fifth common myth is that “you can not support both traditional public schools and charter schools.” I truly believe that this is also false. Georgia must do whatever it can to take care of its students & give the parents more options. We need to support creativity, innovation, and evolution in education. I don’t believe that it is “us or them” and that we have much more in common than we have differences.
.
The involved parents who care about their children’s education and the ones willing to make certain sacrifices in order to make that happen such as providing transportation and packing a lunch. Parents need to have other options or choices if the current school their child is attending isn't living up to standards.

Choosing a school or how to educate their children is the most responsible and involved thing a parent can do, and yet systems do all they can to block that avenue of responsibility.

Some Parents in Rural Georgia Counties are unhappy with the school their children are currently attending, passing this amendment will give them another avenue to explore in hopes of sending their children to a school that can best bring out their best talents.








Friday, September 21, 2012

A look Ahead To Georgia 2014 Governor's Race

It's not too late to look ahead to 2014 where all of Georgia's Constitutional offices will be up for grabs from Governor to State School Superintendent.

Its very possible that we could have some Statewide offices go unopposed like what happened in Louisiana because of the very thin and weak bench of prospective Democratic Candidates for office.

Let's look at the potential candidates for governor:


Michael Thurmond
Ex-Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. Thurmond was Labor Commissioner from 1998-2010. He made a ill fated attempt for the U.S. Senate in 2010, which still leaves me scratching my head as to why he would want to challenge popular Senator Johnny Isakson.


Jim Marshall
Former Congressman Jim Marshall. Marshall served from 2001 to 2010 as congressman of the old 3rd & current 8th district. Marshall, a Vietnam Veteran & former Mayor of Macon would be the democrat's strongest candidate if he were to make one final run for office.
DuBose Porter
Former State Rep. DuBose Porter. Porter was State Rep from 1982 to 2010 'til he left to run for governor. Porter would be the democrats second strongest candidate for governor. He hails from Conservative leaning Laurens County & his like Marshall, knows what it takes for democrats to win in rural Georgia.

Former State Rep. Rob Teilhet. Teilhet mounted a unsuccessful bid for Attorney General in 2010. Teilhet was of the democrats young rising stars in the party.

Ron Teilhet


Thurbert Baker
Former Attorney General Thurbert Baker. Baker, a moderate to conservative African-American Democrat could make another run for the job. Question about Baker is whether or not he has the belly..which was one of my chief concerns about him.


John Barrow
***DARKHORSE Congressman John Barrow. Barrow faces a tough re-election bid in a district (12th)  that now extends south into Appling, Coffee counties. I don't want to see this happen because Barrow is doing a fine job serving the folks in the 12th & should be re-elected for another term in November. But if doesn't win re-election (which I think he will) he will definitely get a serious push to run for governor. Barrow, a Conservative Democrat has a independent streak, is a fierce campaigner, a great fundraiser, appeal among African-Americans & has deep roots in Rural Georgia three things that are needed in a democratic candidate in this state

And I think its safe to say that Roy Barnes won't be running for a third time around!

Any Democratic Candidate who is eyeing a run for governor in 2014 needs to begin laying the groundwork in early 2013

Ellis Black: Put HD 174 in the "W" Column for 2012

Love him or hate him, State Rep. Ellis Black (R-Valdosta) is right for new HD 174 which now consist of Clinch, Ware, Camden, Charlton & southern Lowndes County.

Black who first was elected as a democrat switched parties after the 2010 elections. Now I always say that if you run under one party for re-election, then you should serve out that term under that one party until next re-election & that's when you switch parties...that's the more noble thing to do.

Now back to Rep.Black. He's was the type of democrat the party has been losing over the last 12 years. Conservative-minded, Rural Based, White Male. Now I don't blame him for switching since the voice of conservative democrats in the state house has been marginalized by the increasingly grip of liberal Georgia Democrats who now control the party from the top down.

Black, is more of a independent more so than a republican or democrat. He fits the district perfectly, although much of it now is vastly different.

I remember this quote in which he said: This is where I belong. When I was first elected, we had conservative Democrats in the leadership of the Democratic Party; today, there are none. I have a ten-year record of voting the thinking of my constituents, and I believe I can best serve my constituents as a Republican.

You want to go somewhere where you feel comfortable & your views are accepted, not frowned upon & so the republican party is where he felt more at home....now that doesn't mean that he's a person who will just vote republican every time, (like I said before, he's more of a independent than a party person) like State Rep. Alan Powell of Hart County.

Democrats need more Ellis Blacks in its ranks if it ever want to compete for majority status in the legislature. Keep losing more Ellis Black Types & its going to be a long, hard slog (which it already is) for the once mighty Georgia Democratic Party. Black who is a farmer sits on the Agriculture, Ways & Means & Appropriations Committees & is a member of the Southeast Ag Coalition


Black has a Democratic Challenger in Teresa Lawrence of Lake Park. I have no doubt that she's a nice lady, but voters down in 174 need to send Ellis Black back to the State House on November.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Charter Schools and Rural Georgia: Can it Work?

Charter Schools would work well in some rural Georgia areas, and may offer educational alternatives to rural communities. Depending on state law and local conditions, rural communities may be able to set up charter schools that are community-based, educationally appropriate to local needs, innovative, responsive to accountability measures, and focused on student success. Rural communities with a history of community cooperation and inclusiveness, a vision that allows students to pursue educational alternatives, and the desire for a sustainable small school could provide fertile ground for a charter school.


There are caveats. Nearly all charter schools face obstacles that could be formidable in rural areas, including resource limitations, conflicts with other educational entities, and regulatory issues & also know this: there is a trend toward racial segregation in the rural Black Belt here in Georgia. After the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision, all-White schools were set up in the South using public funds. Charter-granting organizations would need to guard against the possibility of charter schools being used as a contemporary mechanism to advance re segregation.


Many rural areas such as Randolph, Calhoun, Hancock, Taliaferro, Pierce Counties are resource poor, and shortages of start-up or operating capital and inadequate facilities could cause problems for a charter school. It is important to have strong community support that includes backing from educators, financial and in-kind contributions, and a continuing development effort which is lacking severely here in Rural Georgia.

Many rural areas still have relatively close-knit communities, but internal conflicts, battles with local and state educational agencies, and disputes over regulations can damage community well-being and sap the vitality of the charter schools. The charter school experiment appears dual-edged. For rural areas, the focus on school improvement might unify citizens. But poor economic conditions and conflicts might threaten these positive efforts.

A charter school might be successful if a community faces the loss of its school because of consolidation or if there is an atmosphere that supports educational alternatives. Chances for a charter school's success depend on a community's historic context and its citizens' will to persevere in their pursuit of high-quality education for their children.

A Georgia Charter School Amendment will appear on the November Ballot in Georgia. The measure gives the state legislature the right to create special schools.

The measure developed following a ruling by the State Supreme Court. The court ruled that the state's involvement in the establishment of public charter schools was unconstitutional. Specifically, the court ruled that the commission was illegal because it approved and funded charter schools despite objection by local school boards. So if you're a parent who looking for more choices for your kids, then you just might vote yes of the amendment, if not then, vote "NO". I for one think it won't pass, but its difficult to say at this point.

Oppenheimer for PSC Commission

In case many of you didn't know, there is a statewide race on the ballot this november for PSC Commission against Incumbent anti-Solar Power candidate Chuck Eaton.
 
The Public Service Commission is a state agency that  help decide how much Georgians pay to turn on their lights and heat their ovens, among other regulated industries.

Oppenheimer is former small business owner and a long-time community activist interested in energy security and energy independence issues. He also serves as Task Force Coordinator for Clean-Cities Atlanta, and serves on the City of Atlanta’s Electric Vehicle Task Force. Steve also serves on the Metro Atlanta Plug In Electric Vehicle Readiness Task Force and is a Coalition Member of Analysis of Global Security, a Washington, D.C. group focusing on energy security.

As Peanut Politics catches up on happenings in the political world, I'll be doing more posts on Oppenheimer as he battles Eaton for a seat on the PSC Commission leading all the way up to November. With energy rates here in Georgia going through the roof, its essential that voters know about the candidates & what they're plans for Georgia's Consumers

You can check out Oppenheimer's website in the meantime: http://www.steveforgeorgia.com./ 


Mitt Romney: Just a Average Candidate with Glaring Weaknesses


Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney once again strode onto the world stage last week to weigh in on grave geo-political matters, and he promptly fell on his face. It is practically a campaign ritual at this point.
His ill-timed, misinformed attack on President Obama in the wake of anti-American violence on 9/11 at the American embassy in Cairo and consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is further evidence he may not be ready to assume the mantle of “leader of the free world.” The Libyan attack resulted in the deaths of U.S.Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.


Romney’s blundering is bad enough on its own. But this incident also reflects a broader plague infecting this nation’s political culture.

What is painfully obvious is that Romney’s instinctive reaction to the tragedy or at the very least the reaction of people close to him to whom he was more than willing to listen  was to quickly identify how it could be used on his behalf against Obama, and to strike immediately.

Romney may not have known about the deaths when he decided to try to score the obligatory cheap political points by claiming that the violence itself served as evidence of the president’s weakness as a leader, his failed foreign policy and his willingness to “apologize for American principles.

Romney should have known better than to pontificate while the situation was still volatile and facts were still coming in. And to say things that were patently untrue. Clearly, within Romney’s campaign, the embassy attacks most of all represented a chance to stick it to the President, regardless of the facts.

Aside from the fact that his comments further revealed an appallingly weak grasp of foreign policy, Romney was also reflecting the win-at-all-costs ethos poisoning both parties.

Now comes the comments Romney made about the 47% who are with President Obama, are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, etc... This is reminiscent of Obama's 2008 remark about rural voters cling to their guns & religion as nothing more than a psychological symptom or rationalization.

Now I've never been the biggest Obama cheerleader & he deserves some of the blame, along with republicans as to why this country hasn't moved a inch in 4 years, but right now I rather have him over Romney to lead this country for another 4 years. Romney weaknesses are now coming to light & his disdain for working class, low-income voters who are living paycheck to paycheck are clearly evident in that taped audio. At this juncture, Romney is not ready to become the leader of the free world. Its not too late for him to turn things around, but time's a wasting. Less that 50 days are remaining until Nov 7.

Monday, September 17, 2012

(GA-HD 105) Renita Hamilton is the Centrist Who Democrats Need to Rejuvenate the Party's Sagging Fortunes

A true centrist democrat, Renita Hamitlon is the only candidate in the race for HD 105 with the ability to deliver the message of the working class across party lines, appeal to independents & like-minded republican & to grow the democratic base in Gwinnett County.


In the race for the open HD 105 seat, Hamilton stands out as the most electable & most appealing against her opposition Joyce Chandler. She is the best positioned to appeal to the middle, while at the same time bringing new voters into the democratic party in Gwinnett County.



 Renita Hamilton believes strongly in traditional values.

I  believe that the Democratic Party will never again be able to compete statewide in Georgia unless they successfully appeal to independent and rural voters. It’s not that the Georgia Democratic message is too liberal…it’s that they keep choosing messengers who cannot connect with voters outside of the Democratic base & that's why candidates like Renita Hamilton are desperately needed in the ranks of the democratic party who can effectively connect with voters who are not liberals and progressives. Dems need a candidate such as Renita, who can inspire people across demographic and party lines to join ranks and to vote with democrats to restore the American Dream in Georgia.

Hamilton, a native of Turner County where her parents instilled strong values in the church is a small businessowner, Polished Affairs, LLC, graduated from Savannah State University & currently attending Tennessee State where she is trying to obtain her Masters in professional Studies in Strategic Leadership.

Hamilton is a  pro-business, anti-tax democrat who is also a gun owner who previously ran for Lawrenceville City Council back in 2011.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Georgia Democrats: Its Time To Man Up & Make a Play for Rural Georgia!

Residents say their central issues are being ignored...

But there is a sense among residents here, as in many rural communities across the state, that they are the forgotten ones — at least politically

You ask most of rural Georgia, and they will say neither party has a vision or game plan for us. There is no respect for agriculture. No planning for our infrastructure. No understanding of the long distances people have to go to access medical care.

That sentiment has me predicting a bitter battle between the political parties to capture the votes of rural Georgia which is right now control by the GOP due to the democrats reluctance to compete in the area. Although these areas tend to lean Republican, during the primary season I asked if they support a generic Democratic or Republican presidential candidate, rural voters narrowly picked the Democrat.

Rural Georgia remains conservative, with social issues in the forefront, but these voters are also consumed by economic concerns and the lack of job opportunities. Regardless of what party they belong to, many say they vote for the candidate who can help them, not the party. I remember when I was stumping with then candidate Thomas Coogle who ran for a house seat in the Georgia Legislature this year, I asked a lady who was 82 years old if she ever voted for a straight ballot, she replied..."I've never voted a straight ballot. It doesn't take brains to vote across the board, although right now I'm not impressed by either side."

Ignoring these areas can be politically lethal for candidates. While rural voters make up around 30-35% of the state's population, they have affected races for Governor (2002) & U.S. Senate (2002). Remember what happened in those races, Barnes the heavy favorite lost to a obscure State Senator, Sonny Perdue & Max Cleland lost to then congressman Saxby Chambliss.

To win as a republican, you need a lion's share of the rural vote & to win as a democrat, you need to neutralize the rural vote....well democrats should compete for the rural vote instead of trying to neutralize it.

But speaking from a democratic perspective, there are a number of theories on why democrats don't pay much attention to rural voters such as: rural voters don't donate as much as their urban/suburban counterparts.


Another reason Dems avoid competing in rural Georgia is difficulty getting to far-flung areas is time-consuming, and crafting an effective message is difficult because many politicians that campaign down here don't understand the complexities of rural Georgia. For instance: many rural residents resent interference by the federal government, but their towns' existence often depends on grants and funding for infrastructure. It's our lifeblood, but many rural residents who lean conservative don't see it that way. Another is that rural Georgia is not as diverse as the more populated areas in the state. Many Dems point to the demographic changes that are coming to Georgia in terms of the growing Hispanic & African-American populations as their ticket back to competing in this state. The notion among some dems in this state is forget about white rural voters who lean more to the right & just focus on minority voters...BAD RECIPE FOR SUCCESS! You're only reinforcing the perception that the democratic party is the party for minorities & only minorities. If you're the "BIG TENT PARTY" all voters regardless of race, class, gender, ideology should be welcomed with open arms. I hear the talk, but see little or no action!

Neither party is paying attention to rural Georgia. Agriculture is in trouble & the quality of life is deteriorating as we speak. In my humble opinion, rural communities are competitive now....not because they love the Democrats. I get the sense from talking with conservative or conservative leaning voters that they maybe falling out of love with the republicans, but as long as the Democratic Party remains resistant to rural Georgia, then republicans will always have two legs up in appealing to these voters.


For Democrats to capture rural votes, it must find cultural and economic connections & be more open to democrats who doesn't hold the same views & insights of that of a liberal. Hey, they like to call themselves the "Big Tent Party", well its about time to live up to that slogan. Voters aren't looking for grandstanding or cheap symbolic performance, just someone who has a pulse on the happenings of their communities.


Although many towns across rural Georgia are struggling, there are indications that a little bit of industry/economic revitalization can get them back on their feet. Georgia Dems, its time to man up & compete for rural Georgia,,the sooner, the better.













Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Democrats Need to Recognize the Self-Employed

There are over 23 million self-employed Americans. They account for nearly three-quarters of American businesses, with over a trillion dollars in receipts. The labors of the self-employed are as old as agriculture, and as new as computer programming. The self-employed cut across political party, age, sex, education, religion, creed and geography. They are the backbone of rural and many local urban economies. Because of the Self-Employment Tax, they are acutely aware of their identity as “self-employed,” but not of their large numbers and diversity in the United States. The self-employed are also the fastest growing and largest untapped voting block in the country. Their influence can easily swing future Congressional and Presidential elections.

From 1980 to 2000 non-farm sole proprietorships doubled from 8,892,000 to 17,905,000, while union membership declined about 1.5 million to 16,258,000. By 2006, union membership had declined to 15,390,000, while the number of self-employed had increased by 3.5 million to over 23,000,000 (including farmers). This hugely important change in the demographics of the American workplace must be recognized and acted upon by the Democratic Party, if it is to build its majority in Congress and retain the Presidency.

Unfortunately, the Democratic Party, like the Republican Party, has little recent history of supporting legislation that would help the self-employed. Federal, state and local governments have made the self-employed the highest taxed, most regulatory burdened, least protected citizens. Consequently, the majority of the self-employed are voting Republican in the hope that government will leave them alone. The self-employed are the backbone of rural America, and any change in the political direction of rural America will come about only when Democrats recognize and promote the importance of the self-employed to the rural economy and its quality of life.

Politicians indirectly refer to the self-employed as “small business,” but the term “small business” is code to the self-employed for being ignored. The Small Business Administration gives the self-employed less than one-tenth of one percent of SBA loans, and the SBA defines a “small business” in manufacturing as a firm with less than 500 employees.

Republicans use the term “small business” often because they have calculated that using this term will win Republicans votes; their avowed economic policies, however, have not helped the self-employed.

Democrats can turn the Republican Party’s small business mantra to their own advantage by reaching out to the 23 million self-employed Americans by name and recognizing their issues.

If the Democratic Party wants to reach the self-employed, they must first use the name of this producer group: “self-employed.” If proposed economic plans do not refer exclusively to the self-employed, but include other small businesses, then Democrats should use this phrase: “small business and the self-employed.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Racial...No Political Profiling of Moderate & Conservative Democrats by the Liberal Left

If you're a moderate or conservative democrat nowadays, be prepared to be racially, no wait, politically profiled by the left wing democratic leadership. One thing I've noticed over the last few years, especially this year is how paranoid democrats have become when a candidate describe him or herself as a Bluedog or Conservative Democrat

Why?

The party has seen a mass exodus of Conservative leaning Democrats from its ranks who switched to the Republican Party. Many left because of Ideological difference with the party or because of changes within his/her district or political aspirations. There was a time when the democratic party as open to all points of view, now there's not that much diversity of opinion in the party. If you are a moderate or conservative democratic male or female nowadays, get ready to be profiled! If you have two strikes against you from the so-called "Big Tent Party" who supposed to accept other people's opinions and embracing their differences.

Every candidate that runs for office is not cut from the same cloth. In today's democratic party if you a self-described moderate or conservative, it means that you're a republican. A decade ago, that wasn't the case. But with Redistricting & Gerrymandering, the party is now made up of majority African-Americans & Liberal Caucasians who represent either urban areas or a few blocks in a community. Because the Republican Party seek to get rid of GOPers who aren't conservative enough doesn't mean the democrats should seek to get rid or prevent candidates for office who aren't liberal enough.

Why liberals have such disdain for Moderate & Conservative Democrats? Think about it for a minute.

Like it or not, but there are plenty of Black Conservative Democrats coming up through the ranks on the local level who's eyeing a run for the State Legislature in the future. One notion I want to put to rest is that ALL AFRICAN-AMERICANS ARE NOT BIG GOVERNMENT LIBERALS!!!! Many are fiscally conservative, socially conservative who believe in self-help & personal responsibility. Sadly though today's democratic party cannot accept the fact that any African-American would call him or herself a Conservative Democrat. Look at Artur Davis, former Alabama Democrat. The Black Democratic establishment over there was so upset with him for not supporting the president's initiatives that they voted for the challenger Ron Sparks.

In today's democratic party if you're pro-life, pro-gun, anti-abortion...even  religious, you're looked upon as a closet republican.

Look at John Barrow for example...he's not a party loyalist & he votes with republicans most of the time. He voted against the Healthcare Legislation among things. Will democrats here put those things aside & hold their noses & support Barrow? Or will they just vote for President Obama & skip the Barrow-Anderson Congressional Race because Barrow is too conservative for their own taste? We'll see on that one.

If the Democratic Party is truly the Big Tent Party, they need to stop profiling democrats based on Ideology & in certain cases, Race!



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

44 Years Ago: The Night that Re-defined the Democratic Party in the eyes of Middle America

Given that the Democratic Convention is this week, I decided to take a look back at the event that re-shaped the democratic party & ushered in the Neo-Liberals who eventually took control of the party years later

This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat

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