Sunday, June 30, 2013

DPG Chairman's Job Now Open to All, Regardless of Race or Gender

In a letter sent out to Georgia Democrats, Interim Chairwoman Nikema Williams have decided to open the DPG election to any democrat, not just for white males only.

Says Williams in the letter,
As you are aware, I have been in regular contact with our local party leadership as well as national party leaders to help navigate our upcoming special election for party chair. After extensive consultation, I have decided to open this election to any Democrat who chooses to run for the position.
I believe that an open election is more consistent with our fundamental belief of full participation in the political process.

Our state charter and bylaws were created to implement this very process, at a time when women and people of color had been systematically excluded from full participation.  It is that open process that I want to honor.

Our Counsel agrees and has advised me that the provisions of our charter and bylaws that address racial and gender composition of party officers can be interpreted as a goal that is intelligible when all offices are open for election, but do not explicitly apply in a special election for a single position.

I will be directing our Charter and By-Laws Committee to draft appropriate amendments that will clarify the goals of inclusion and establish uniform procedures for filling vacancies in any office at state, county, congressional district, or other level.

Therefore, the Special Election for Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia will be held on Saturday, August 31, 2013. The deadline for declarations of candidacy as outlined in the June 20th election notice will be extended until Wednesday, July 31, 2013. This will provide an opportunity for any Democrat to participate fully in our process.

GOP War on Poor People

When we talk about the poor, the word 'Poor' is always associated with minorities and this is a group the GOP is having trouble appealing to and it's latest actions will only make it harder for them to appeal to them in future elections.

 In a country where more and more people are living in poverty, why is the GOP branding itself as the party that hates the poor? Increasingly threatened by demographic changes, since November the GOP has sought to make inroads among Latinos while not losing more ground with America’s women. But their latest move will merely reinforce that they stand for punitive policies that target exactly these demographic groups, as they represent a significant segment of the growing population that is poor.

The Republicans are fighting a deliberate battle against the poor. It is audacious, insensitive and ugly. Republicans have clearly decided that the War on the Poor is good politics such as the case when it comes to food stamps.  Republicans seem to think people on food stamps must just be lazy -- or worse. Republicans are ideologically incapable of imagining a world where people can't find a job because there aren't enough of them. In other words, they won't let themselves understand the world we live in. They think food stamp use is at record-highs, because people are drug addicts or just shiftless, not because the recovery has been so weak. This insistence that our problems are all supply, and no demand, is why Republicans have opposed any and all attempts to stimulate the economy.

FYI: Food Stamp Use is Highest in Red States such as Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, the Carolinas, Texas, etc.

 The number of Americans relying on federal help to get food has been climbing for years now. It’s not just the unemployed relying on the vouchers....seniors, veterans, school children and the disabled are among the groups hit hardest in this Great Recession. And the Republicans in Congress have a great idea that will save money and take care of the hunger problem: Cut America’s “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” completely…



(GA-1) Democrats chances in the 1st Congressional District

Georgia's 1st Congressional District has a R+9 Republican Advantage, the same as Georgia CD-12 where Conservative Democrat John Barrow (D-Augusta) current represents. So the question is, can a democrat win down in the newly drawn district which now includes all of democratic-controlled Chatham County? Can democrats find a John Barrow-type democrat in that area to run in that area?

On the GOP side, former USDA Official & 2010 Agriculture Commissioner candidate Darwin Carter, State Senator Buddy Carter, State Rep. Jeff Chapman, Congressional Aide David Schwarz, Veteran Bob Johnson, and former Savannah Mayoral Candidate Stefan Jarvis.

So it's likely there will be a runoff on the GOP side, but back to the democratic side.

The democrats best bet will be on the local level, a county commissioner, mayor to find a candidate.... or military veteran such as the case when Retired Lt. Col. Bill Gillespie ran back in 2010

I don't know what's happening in terms of recruiting for the 1st, but dems should seriously look at fielding a Strong, Credible candidate for that seat.



It's Time To Do Away With Gerrymandering


Are you frustrated with the political environment we see not only in Georgia but in Washington, D.C?

Looking at the entrenched partisanship and gridlock in our political system, it's easy to become cynical. Year after year, it seems nothing changes. That's because your votes don't really count. One of the reasons is simple: GERRYMANDERING
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Gerrymandering has effectively disenfranchised the majority of voters - and they don't even know it.

Districts are noncompetitive, so the winners are determined in primary elections, where the turnout is always low (typically about a third of registered voters) and the electorate is dominated by the most extreme and partisan voters. Legislators can only be defeated in the primary and so must become rigidly ideological, since any compromise can (and has) cost members their careers. That has led to legislatures as well as Congress incapable of solving problems.

With the SCOTUS decision to drop section 4 of the VRA, which was a huge mistake, what really needs to be looked at now is the total elimination of Gerrymandering.

In this redistricting process, gerrymandering – the manipulation of district lines for political advantage – has become the political weapon of choice. The two main purposes of gerrymandering are to protect the seats of incumbents and to allow the dominant party in a state to win more seats that it deserves.

A typical example of gerrymandering would be to draw district lines to keep a city with a large African American population out of a white Republican’s congressional district. The politicos would do this because African Americans are more likely to vote Democrat. In exchange for this the Republicans let the Democrats exclude white rural areas likely to vote Republican from their districts.

The result of this gerrymandering is that our politics get artificially polarized along ideological, cultural and racial lines. Republicans can safely ignore the concerns of African American voters because they know they won’t be a factor in their reelection. Democrats can safely ignore the concerns of rural and suburban whites because they know those people don’t vote in their districts. Instead of a healthy two party contest, elections become nasty little battles between different factions of one party. In many cases narrow ideologically focused bands of extremists can dominate the electoral process. Candidates have to pander to these groups rather than address issues of real concern to voters.

Eliminating gerrymandering for Congressional & Legislative districts could make our politics more moderate. When elections are held in predetermined geographic regions not drawn up by politicians, American voters tend to elect moderate middle of the road candidates dedicated to compromise. When politicians have to face election outside predetermined regions they tend to move the center. History also proves that candidates will abandon polarizing racial, cultural and ideological politics when their re-election depends on those of another race or culture. Getting rid of gerrymandering wouldn’t be a cure all but it could go a long way to improving our political system. In particular it could give us a House of Representatives that actually looks something like the America it represents.
This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat

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