Sunday, May 25, 2014

Why Michelle Nunn should take a trip to the North Georgia Mountians & Soon.

Michelle Nunn is officially the Democratic nominee. Now the real work begins.....but she should take this time before the GOP runoff is held in July to take a....oh well, a quick trip to the North Georgia Mountians.

Nunn campaigns with supports in Randolph County
He rarely make appearances nowadays due to health reasons, but former Democratic Governor & Senator Zell Miller of Towns County, like former Senator Sam Nunn is still highly thought of throughout much of Georgia, especially in the rural areas from his time as Governor in which he created the Hope Scholarship among other things.

Now in his 80s, the fiery ex-governor name is still a valuable get for any politician looking to run for office here in Georgia. He has supported republicans like Doug Collins, now congressman for the 9th CD, he chaired the failed presidential campaign of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and he even endorsed Geore W. Bush in the 2004 presidential race. The last democrat he endorsed was Jack Lance in 2010 when Lance ran for HD 8 against Stephen Allison in which Lance fell short of victory.

Former Gov & Senator Zell Miller

Having said that, Michelle Nunn should take a trip to the North Georgia Mountains and pay Zell Miller a house call in hopes of securing a endorsement from the 82 year old former marine and Lt. Governor. Now you always hear that endorsements are not that effective, which is true, but certain endorsements carry weight. Go back to 2008 when the late Ted Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama for president of the United States, which was seen as key in Obama locking up the Democratic Nomination. An endorsement from Miller, even in today's political world still carries weight statewide and would be major for Michelle Nunn or any other democratic candidate running this year.

What would a potential endorsement from Miller mean to Nunn? It would help her tremendously with independents, moderates, seniors and disaffected democrats and it would signal to those voters that they can trust Nunn to represent Georgia and its interest in the U.S. Senate and that she's not cut from the same cloth as National Democrats.

But will Nunn even seek Miller's support given how the left wing of the Democratic Party feel about him? If I was her in her shoes I would because the Democratic Base will not come at the levels it did in 2012 or 2008, thus she'll need to make up ground in other areas and as I mentioned before, the base of the democratic party, which are made up of Obamacrats aren't the most reliable voters out there, so appealing to the Old Georgia will her key to victory.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A look at a few primary races from last night

As expected, Michelle Nunn, Jason Carter, Nathan Deal won their races with ease.

But here's a few tidbits:

For State School Superintendent, Democrats Alisha Morgan & Valarie Wilson will meet in the runoff. Wilson has the backing of the democratic establishment, while Morgan has support from both charter and public school supporters. The person to watch here is Denise Freeman who performed much better than expected & Tarnisha Dent. Whoever they support could go a long way in deciding who will win the nomination. I still expect Morgan to advance to November. In addition her stance in support of charter schools will win her crossover support and that is crucial for a democrat in a midterm election. One thing Morgan MUST do is reinterate her support for Public Schools, especially in areas where public schools are not suffering.

Richard Woods and Mike Buck will meet in the runoff on the GOP side for State School Superintendent. This race is hard to predict, given Buck ties to John Barge, that alone may cost in the runoff. Woods who is from south Georgia is the better choice for the GOP, he has the ability to appeal to rural school teachers and with Kingston in the runoff, expect Kingston folks to also vote for Woods, but it will come down to the Metro Atlanta area and how well Woods do in those neck of the woods.

Secretary of State: Democratic primary voters elected perhaps the weakest candidate to ever represent the Democratic Party in a General Election in years. Doreen Carter bested Gerald Beckum in a bid to face Brian Kemp (R) current Secretary of State. This is a case, I believe of democratic voters not knowing anything about the two candidates and voting for the first name on the ballot. Beckum who left the U.S. Senate race to run for Secretary of State, to his credit travel much of this state, making his case to voters. He also was endorsed by some of democratic legislators. He was clearly the stronger of the two candidates, but in a low turnout primary, all bets were off and Carter who qualified minutes before qualifying closed has no support outside of her home county and is this year's version of Alvin Greene (the guy who ran for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina a few years ago). This win by Carter frees up Brian Kemp to stump for other republican candidates for office.

Insurance Commissioner: Liz Johnson (D) defeated Keith Heard (D) to take on Ralph Hudgens for State Insurance Commissioner. Heard had the backing of the democratic establishment, but it wasn't enough to overcome Johnson who campaigned as a outsider and made numerous visits to middle and South Georgia in the process.

Note: State Rep. Greg Morris (R-Vidalia) narrowly defeated Lee Burton 50% to 49. Burton had the support of Republican Grassroots activist Pat Tippett. Expect Burton to seek this seat again in 2016.

Teresa Tomlinson (D) defeated Colin Martin (R) for another term as Mayor of Columbus. Tomlinson who will enter her final term as mayor will be mentioned as a possible statewide candidate in 2018 or a viable candidate for the 2nd Congressional District when Sanford Bishop decides to call it quits.

Longtime State Sen. Steve Thompson (D) loses his re-election bid to Michael Rhett (D) a Airforce Veteran.

Renita Hamilton (D) beat back a challenge from novice liberal candidate Tim Hur (D) to face Joyce Chandler (R) for HD 105. Hur by some accounts was the preferred favorite of democrats. Hamilton, a Evangelical Christian Democrat is consider a strong candidate from those on the other side of the political spectrum.

Down in Ga 1st CD, Amy Tavio and Brian Reese will meet in the democratic runoff. Whoever wins Chatham & Glynn County & pickup Clinch and Bacon County will likely be the nominee

Monday, May 5, 2014

Weak Candidates, Strong Positions

One source of frustration for many voters is that their favorite candidate just cannot get the votes to advance in a race fr certain offices. The fact is that just being the candidate with the best ideas does not make you the best candidate for the office.

To be an effective politician, a person must 

1. have the proper positions on important issues

2. convince people to vote for them 

3. be able to accomplish something when elected. 

For the first point, many times the positions a candidate support are not the positions the majority of voters support. Politicians often get around this problem by misinforming voters as to their real positions or agendas.

For the second point, a person has to be likable, or at least more likable that their opponent(s). They have to be a better salesman or saleswoman of themselves and their positions. They must be able to take advantage of their strengths and the weaknesses of their opponents and the voters.

For the third point, many good people are able to get elected,, but unable to finish the job. Look at Ron Paul, he has good ideas, but cannot get anything passed because he is ineffective in the system. Others get in there and work across the aisle, thus end up compromising to get something passed. Unfortunately, both of these strategies have given us both bad and good legislation. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Darrel Rye Looking to Become District 5 Commissioner for Macon County.

There are only two contested races in Macon County this year, one in District 5 where Challenger Darrel Rye (D-Five Points) is looking to unseat Incumbent Bob Melvin (D-Montezuma) to represent District 5 on the Macon County Board of Commissioners.

Rye is a businessowner (Badcock Home Furniture) and has lived in Macon County for close to 30 years and have been a resident of District 5 since 1995. Rye is a native of Westfield, Oklahoma, graduating from Westfield high School & later attended NE Oklahoma University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He later moved to Georgia in 1980

Rye platform if elected is (1) Hire Macon County Residents whenever possible for County or City Positions. (2) Lower Gas Prices for Macon County Residents and (3) Help attract industry to Macon County and run Macon County like a business and (4) Cut Wasteful Spending by the County.

Recently there have been a uproar  from Macon County residents over the hiring of the new Recreational Director for Macon County Stevie Young of Jones County who was fired from a previous Recreational position in Putnam County rather than hiring a local resident Johnny Edwards, someone with deep ties to the county who is heavily involved in County affairs. The hiring was made by County Manager Regina McDuffie, a resident of Bibb County, not by the County Commission, which is unusual according to some other county commissioners I've talked to in other South Georgia Counties. "I feel like Macon Co need to hire local people", said Rye in a interview with a local newspaper. "How can you be involved in a community of you live in Byron"? Rye also goes on to say in regards to the county, fiscal management, "The Commission needs to run a tighter ship. They spend the little money they make. It's like a business, you can't spend more than you make".

Rye is active in his church, Cedar Valley in which he's held a number of positions, Chairman of the Deacons Ministry, Sunday School Director. Also he's been a Relay for Life Team member, member of the Gideons Choir of Americus. 

There will be a candidate forum on May 8 at the Preston Williams Center in Montezuma and voters of District 5 will have a chance to hear both Melvin and Rye make their pitches.

Candidate Spotlight: U.S. Senate Candidate Todd Robinson (D-Columbus)

Todd Robinson (D-Columbus) hopes to be your next U.S. Senator from Georgia in a race that include Michelle Nunn, Branko Radulovacki and Steen Miles. Here are a few tidbits about Mr. Robinson:

He Entered the U.S. Army, June 1979 at Fort Benning GA. Also was a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School. U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School, graduate of the U.S. Army First Sergeant's course. Fort Bliss Texas, pathfinder course, air assault school, a master parachutist, expert infantryman's badge.  Retired the rank of First Sergeant in 1999 with an honorable discharge.

Currently he is Employed with the Fire & EMS Department over in Columbus, Georgia. 

He is married to WTVM News 9 News Anchor Cheryl Renee. 

Robinson is a Conservative Democrat who's points of interest are;

Welfare Reform , in which to Empowering welfare recipients to become independent of welfare benefits.Conducting cognitive and physical assessments for employment and educational opportunities and providing child daycare assistance for technical school attendees

Reducing Unemployment to training and educating welfare recipients for job placement will reduce Georgia's unemployment rate and increase the state's revenue.  Continue to invite industries to the state.  Advocate for people to get training in the career fields that are plentiful, which will help our state grow.

And fighting for Veteran's Benefits. Being a retired U.S. Army Veteran, Robinson wants to   implementing a state tax exemption for military families for property taxes in order to keep them from purchasing property in bordering Alabama counties, plus help to keep veterans and family members in the state of Georgia.  Continuing to provide for Wounded Warrior transition centers in Georgia and making veterans' health care facilities available throughout the state

As a man of  faith in God and family and the hope of eternal life and Honesty, integrity and loyalty, those things make up the foundation of his character.

If any of those issues are a great concern for any voter, then you might want to consider voting for Todd Robinson candidate for U.S. Senate

2014: Carter, Beckum, Irvin and the Pursuit for Rural Georgia Vote

Jason Carter with supporters
Voters in rural areas of Georgia tend to be older than the electorate as a whole and they tend to be of more moderate means. Additionally, older voters tend to vote in higher numbers in midterm elections.

Democrats running this year in Georgia have to be very comfortable in talking about the values they share with other small town Georgia

residents. They have to be very comfortable in believing in God and that they go to church like everybody else does. Issues ranging from Social Security to medicaid to agriculture to economic fairness (which resonates in rural communities and put republicans on defense) are issues that are  well received in rural parts of the state.

 Chris Irvin at Vidalia Onion Festival, Toombs Co
Dems such as Ag Commissioner candidate Christopher Irvin (D-Toccoa), Secretary of State candidate Gerald Beckum (D-Oglethorpe) & Jason Carter, gubernatorial candidate for governor are such candidates that can appeal to these voters who tend to be independent-minded & conservative leaning. These three in particular can appeal to the what I called Zell Miller-Sam Nunn Democrats who have strayed away from the party in recent years.

These candidates in addition to Michelle Nunn who's running for the Senate have been criticized for reaching out to people who haven`t been voting for the Democrats in years, some people have criticized them for trying to broaden the base of the party. To liberals here in this state, broadening the base is how you win elections. Just ask Congressman John Barrow (D-Augusta) who have managed to win his last two re-election bids by broadening his base outside of his former home of Savannah and now Augusta.

Gerald Beckum with ex-State Rep.Robert Ray, Crawford Co
Bottom line: Georgia Liberal Democrats need to get past their interest-group politics and SUPPORT CANDIDATES who appeal to rural Georgians and their values...... well in another word, Georgians who values doesn't line up with the National Democrats and Obamacrats.  They don't understand that the real fault line is culture values. Left wingers often wonder why do working-class voters so often vote for the party (GOP) that pushes tax cuts for the wealthy? The short answer: Money isn't everything. Nothing connects quite like shared culture to persuade voters that, despite other appearances, you're really on their side.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Endorsement: Amy Tavio for GA-1 CD

Candidate for GA-1st CD Amy Tavio
Over in East Georgia for their first time since 1992 there will be a new congressman to represent the Coastal Georgia District. Jack Kingston is running for the U.S. Senate. On the democratic sie, three candidates are vying for the democratic nomination, Amy Tavio (D-Richmond Hill), Brian Reese (D-Savannah) & Marc Smith (D-Savannah)

There are only two really strong candidates in this race (Tavio, Reese). This race may end up in a runoff and it's likely both Tavio and Reese will meet one more time after the May 20 primary. Tavio is a realtor who started the Bryan County Democratic Party. Tavio has the support of former State Rep. Tom Bordeaux, former DPG Chair Bobby Kahn, ex-State Senator Doug Stoner & Alderwoman Mary Osbourne among others. Reese has State Reps. J. Craig Gordon, Mickey Stephens, 2012 candidate Lesli Messinger supporting his bid for congress.

Races aren't won during the primary, they are won in November and who is best to represent the party against the eventual republican nominee. In this conservative-leaning district, where attracting middle of the road voters is a must, we feel that Amy Tavio best demonstrates the ability to attract crossover voters in hopes of winning this seat. Attracting democrats only is NOT a recipe for success for a democratic candidate to succeed in this district. Brian Reese is a good candidate and a hard worker, but we feel that given that this is a midterm election and core democratic voters tend to drip off, a bid for crossover votes will be key as well as a willingness to take on the National Democrats. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES AMY TAVIO FOR GA 1ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Endorsement: Gerald Beckum for Secretary of State

Sec of State Candidate & Oglethorpe Mayor Gerald Beckum
In the Democratic Primary contest between Rural Democrat Gerald Beckum & Doreen Carter, Gerald Beckum is br far the better choice to advance to the general election to face current Sec. of State Brian Kemp (R). The 68 yr old mayor of Oglethorpe & conservative democrat has demonstrated his willingness to go where the voters are whether its Dekalb County or down in the Low Country areas of south Georgia, such as Bainbridge. His 32 yrs of experience serving as mayor & 40 plus yrs as a small business-owner gives him a unique understanding of the complexities of starting a business from scratch. Beckum is one of two democratic statewide candidates who reside outside of North Georgia/Metro Atlanta. Doreen Carter's resume is impressive, but this is about the general election and ELECTORAL STRENGTH & that's where she comes up short. Carter has zero presence outside of her safe enclave of Lithonia and a few Metro Atlanta Communities. Democrats must get behind Beckum in his bid to become Georgia's Next Secretary of State.  PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES GERALD BECKUM FOR SECRETARY OF STATE

8 Endorsements for Key State House Seats

1. HD 39: There are three candidates to replace Alisha Morgan who is running for State School Superintendent. It's possible that this race will go to a runoff, but out of the three only stands out from the pack and that's Erica Thomas (D-Austell). Thomas is the vice president of the Young Democrats of Cobb County and also having worked for Rep. Morgan, she knows the concerns and issues that are facing HD 39. Her energy, enthusiasm and professionalism will be a welcomed asset to the Democratic Caucus and the State Legislature. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES ERICA THOMAS FOR HD 39

2. HD 58: This is a interesting race between Incumbent Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) and challenger Erica Morris Long (D-Atlanta). Bell serves as Democratic Jr Whip for the House Democratic Caucus and is strong advocate of the LBGT Community, Women's issues and Housing. Long.who is the wife of former State Rep. Ralph Long is a Democratic strategist and Attorney who first cut her political teeth on Capitol Hill and also worked as a Legislative Assistant in the Clinton Administration. The Harvard educated attorney is making her first run for political office. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES ERICA MORRIS LONG FOR HD 58

3. HD 74: Incumbent Valencia Stovall (D-Ellenwood) faces two challengers in her bid to remain as Rep for District 74: Former State Reps. Yasmin Neal (D-Atlanta) and Roberta-Abdul-Salaam (D-Riverdale).  With three candidates in the race, a runoff could be in the works, but voters should send Yasmin Neal back to the State Legislature. Neal who's background is in Law Enforcement is a staunch supporter of the law and her first stint as Representative was a fairly successful one. She brings a strong work ethic, drive and commitment.  PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES YASMIN NEAL FOR HD 74

4. HD 105: Renita Hamilton (D-Lawrenceville) narrowly lost her bid to represent HD 105, garnering 48% of the vote against Republican Joyce Chandler. She's back for another run for the seat, this time she faces off against political novice Tim Hur (D-Lawrenceville), a Asian American and ex- volunteer for Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in the Democratic Primary. Hur has the backing of the Young Dems as well as some other key democratic backers. Hur is a realtor and is making his first run for office. The race got interesting recently due to a robo call residents of HD 105 received which has been criticized as offensive and designed to boost the candidacy of Hur and weaken the candidacy of Hamilton who is the front runner in the process. The choice is simple, who is the stronger General Election candidate? Voters should send Renita Hamilton, a pro-family values, pro-gun, small businessowner & Bluedog Democrat to the General Election to face Joyce Chandler in a rematch of their 2012 race. Hamilton is very well known throughout the district, she enjoys high Name I.D. and is heavily involved in the community and have received the backing of some of the prominent black churches in the district, as well as middle of the road soccer moms and rural HD 105 residents. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES RENITA HAMILTON FOR HD 105.

5. HD 148: Incumbent Buddy Harden (R-Cordele) is trying to fend off a challenge from Randy Head (R-Hawkinsville), a small businessowner out of Hawkinsville. There are many challenges facing District 148 and its time for someone to step forward and put the citizens first instead of Special Interest, Atlanta Politicos. Randy Head is the right man for the job and his strong local ties will be beneficial to the people of 148. From Agri-businesses to Economic revitalization, Randy Head will work hard for the citizens of 148. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES RANDY HEAD FOR HD 148.

6. HD 180: Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) is battling challenger Nancy Stasinis (R-St. Marys) to represent HD 180. Spencer is a Tea Party Republican who sponsered HB 707 (HB 943) that would bar any state or local governments, agencies or employees from advocating for Medicaid expansion, except under certain circumstances, or from creating a health insurance exchange. It also would bar the University of Georgia and any other state organizations from running health insurance navigator programs to help Georgia consumers buy insurance on the federally run Health Insurance Marketplace. Over 600,000 Georgians do not have healthcare and Spencer have been most vocal in his opposition to the ACA & expansion of Medicaid. Nancy Stasinis is businessowner, Kings Bay Realty and is making her first run for office and will bring a calm, reasoned voice to the table, professionalism and respect back to Camden County & HD 180. How she feels about medicaid expansion is unknown, but she would be a upgrade over Jason Spencer. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES NANCY STASINIS FOR HD 180
prohibit Georgia employees of any state unit from spending state funds to advocate for the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provision, and would eventually halt the navigator program run by the University of Georgia. Navigators are people trained to assist those seeking insurance through the health care exchange under the ACA.
The legislation also would prevent the state from creating its own health care exchange. Georgians now use a federally run exchange.
- See more at:
prohibit Georgia employees of any state unit from spending state funds to advocate for the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provision, and would eventually halt the navigator program run by the University of Georgia. Navigators are people trained to assist those seeking insurance through the health care exchange under the ACA.
The legislation also would prevent the state from creating its own health care exchange. Georgians now use a federally run exchange.
- See more at:

7. HD 153: Carol Fullerton (D-Albany) is the incumbent in this race, but she faces tow challengers in Darrel Ealum (D-Albany) & Muarlean Edwards (D-Albany). This is a sleepy race for this east Albany House District, but a change is needed and Ealum, a ex-U.S Marine and CFO of Ealum Estates is the right person at the right time for this position. PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES DARREL EALUM FOR HD 153.

8. HD 169: There will be a new State Rep for HD 169. Chuck Sims (R-Ambrose) decided not to seek re-election. Two democrats are vying for the right to advance to the General Election. They are Larry NeSmith (D-Douglas) and Dewey Hayes (D-Douglas). Nesmith a U.S. Army Veteran and Civil Right Activist is making his first run for office. Dewey Hayes, a Attorney and former Coffee Co State Court Solicitor is also making his first run for office. We here at Peanut Politics feel either guy would make a good representative.....but it all comes down to electoral strength and who can win in a General Election, so PEANUT POLITICS ENDORSES DEWEY HAYES FOR HD 169

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