Monday, August 20, 2018

Dowmballot Races Are Also Important

We hear plenty about the gubernatorial election, but the candidates who win these less publicized races for things like Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State and the State Legislature for example could have a more direct, tangible effect on our lives and communities.
But not everyone who goes to the polls actually votes in every race.
Even though the gubernatorial election is the race that is getting the most attention, at the end of the day the politicians that are going to have the greatest impact on your life are the people that represent you at the local level as well as lesser known races down ballot
But why are voters less likely to vote on those down-ballot candidates?
It's because news and information on down-ballot contests are few and far between. This is especially true when compared with the flood of news coverage of the gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp.
If there's no campaigning on the part of a downballot candidate, no communication to the voters, then the voter has no way to even evaluate whether that person would deserve their vote again in the future.
I think it's really important that politicians, when they run for office, make a public statement to the voters saying what they will do if they are elected. It's a really important accountability tool, just as elections themselves are an important accountability tool.
But here's the thing: If fewer people are voting in a race, the votes of those who do cast ballots carry more weight. So if you do make it all the way through the ballot, your vote may give you a bigger voice.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Georgia Dems Can Win Some of the Rural Vote...

If they did one simple thing: Show up. Right now, they don’t. But that maybe changing. Sarah Griggs Amico have made several trips to South Georgia since the end of the primary, so have candidate for Attorney General Charlie Bailey, Agriculture Commissioner candidate Fred Swann among others. Stacey Abrams have made a few ventures outside Georgia, but one have to wonder can she...or will she commit to courting rural Georgia voters.
Rural voters notice the exclusion. Republicans by contrast structure their messaging around popular rural themes like Guns, The Flag, Religion, etc. They show up at county fairs and festivals, and voters respond . . . The reason they dominate elections is that they’re highly visible and constantly communicate that ‘we’re on your side and the Democrats are not.’ They win the argument by default because Democrats aren’t around to offer a rebuttal.
Word to Democratic candidates....You don’t have to become a Republican in order to have rural appeal. It’s only important that you show, that you care about local concerns, and that you are working for solutions. There’s nothing very complicated about connecting with rural voters. Success starts with simply showing up and demonstrating a genuine desire to learn. But the twice-in-an-election-cycle, 90-minute parachute drop to tour a factory, visit a farm, or hold a press conference will be seen as the political ploy that it is.
When the Democratic ticket bails out on, say the Plains Peanut Festival in Plains, Ga the candidates will have a little time in the air on their way to Tifton. 
Yes, rural areas are culturally conservative. The voters who are most concerned with those cultural issues ought to be voting for Republicans. Those aren’t votes Democrats will ever win. However, Democrats do a lot of things to hurt themselves in rural Georgia and don’t even realize it.
For instance: How about actually paying attention to rural Georgia? The impression that many rural voters have is that Democrats have morphed into an urban-suburban party that simply doesn’t care about them anymore. You don’t seem to talk about the things that matter most here. 
But....candidates like Lt. Governor candidate Sarah Griggs Amico, Attorney General candidate Charlie Bailey, Candidate for Secretary of State John Barrow, as well as Janice Laws who is running for State Insurance Commissioner have made numerous visits to rural Georgia since the end of the primary.
There is little risk in Democrats reaching for rural votes, especially in a gubernatorial year. Even if you get three out of 10 voters, ... that can make for a huge shift if the margins are so small on a state level
But at the end of the day it’s still God, guns and gays. Those issues are the old standby for Republicans to divide voters, to cut them out from where their interests might be better served. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Hooks to run for HD 138.....McGowan to retire.

Down in HD 138, G. Bardin Hooks, son of former State Senator George Hooks will run for the seat currently held by Bill McGowan of Americus in the Democratic Primary. McGowan is expected to retire after the current legislative session.

Hooks was born and raised in Americas, Ga and co-founded Arnold & Hooks located in Americus. Hooks is married with one child and is a member of Calvary Episcopal Church in Americus.

Letter to Peanut Politics: I Supported Trump, Now I Regret It.

I live in one of the poorest parts of Georgia and I'm one of the few members of my family and community who no longer support the president. The fact that my own rust-tinged trailer is distinguished by a lack of signs in favor of Trump is a personal point of pride. I begin each day by mentally preparing myself for whatever Donald Trump latest assault on working people is.

His decision making is hurting poor people, working class voters everywhere, including the rural, white, black and working class like me and my neighbors. It will hurt many of those whose support for Trump has been among the stringent and vocal.

Here in rural Southeast Georgia, the wiregrass region I love, the scenery is offset by stark markers of rural poverty. Dilapidated barns, abandoned farm and outhouses, and mobile homes. Areas in nearby small towns and communities reveal more than a few empty bank owned homes. This isn't all that surprising, considering that the area I live is one of the poorest n the state of Georgia. Yet despite their relative ubiquity, I'm go smacked by the juxtaposition of the name Trump, synonymous with exorbitant wealth, in front of a rusting mobile every time I see one.

According to the many Trump supporters I know, Trump won their loyalty because of his so called outsider status and promise to not only take on, but dismantle, a corrupt, ineffectual political establishment. And now some of them are having regrets about supporting this fraud of a president. Many of these people, myself included, have struggled financially due to job loss and foreclosure. We often have had to rely on things like public assistance to get by. Is our collective financial instability the fault of a crooked political establishment? Many people here sure think so.

One of Trump's most apparent and effective wants of playing up anti-establishment credentials was calling out and criticizing Hillary Clinton's ties with Wall Street bigwigs like Goldman Sachs. Despite being a billionaire himself, Trump lack of political experience helped enable his populist appeal. He claimed to want to save the middle class which is a bald lie in part by changing current tax laws that allow billionaires to pay lower taxes on their enormous paychecks.

Trump, let's face it is a fake and a fraud to many who supported him. He lies on a daily basis, he's untrustworthy and I will not vote for him ever again. Poor people who have been victims of foreclosure, including the white and black working class ones in my community are having buyers remorse with their vote for Trump in 2016. Many people here lament the face that the size of their families and networks have dwindled because people have been forced to relocate out of economic necessity. I can't help but worry and wonder how many are empty homes (mobile or otherwise), will be soon dot the landscape I love so well. I am a red state South Georgia Democrat who voted for Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama....even George Wallace in 1968. I vote don't for Trump, but believe me I wouldn't vote for him again in a 100 years.

Wayne
Millwood, Ga
Retired

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

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