Monday, February 28, 2011

Hmmmm...........Could a Christian vote Democrat???

If you hear you can’t be a Christian and vote for a Democrat, it isn’t true. I think it is possible. I don’t know many evangelical Christians today who vote for Democrats. The same is true for most evangelical churches, they are almost exclusively Republican, the so-called “Christian party.”

But recently I did answer an email and state my “apology” for being a Democrat. I am not trying to convince anybody, just setting out my personal views which most every other evangelical thinks are wrong. But I am not “wrong” because I am ignorant and have not thought about it. I have tried to develop a careful position rooted in my faith. You may disagree on where I come out, that’s fine. Do your own homework, make a list of issues as I have done, then decide where the Bible and your faith lead you. If you do that you’ve satisfied me, for I think our faith should inform our politics, not the other way around.

So, to my Republican friends who can’t imagine how a person might be a Christian and vote for a Democrat, (and to my three Democrat friends who are hiding under the pews in our churches) I offer the following as my own stance of personal political apologetics:

Now I don’t believe there is a “Christian party” here in the US. Neither of them satisfies me as far as “Biblical Christian Values” go. On one issue one party is closer, on another the other party is closer to Christ-like values as I see them and on many issues neither party is Christian. And I admit that on some issues there is no “Christian” stance at all, it is a matter of personal opinion and God has nothing more to say on it than eating Jello or pudding. I often vote democratic because my Christian conscience demands it. Like my Republican friends claim their “Christian worldview” demands they vote Republican, my own reading of the Scripture and history often takes me the opposite way.

I admit that I find affinity with Republicans on a few issues like Free Trade for example. On this issue I often fall in with the Republicans, and disagree with the protectionist inclinations of many Democrats.

I also find myself often a fiscal conservative and thus I am usually closer to republican rhetoric. I admit feely there have been periods where Democrats have squandered money ( I think they pick more noble causes on which to squander it than Republicans). I believe it is unwise to go into debt to live high now then make future generations pay the bill—whether to pay for welfare, for a war in Iraq, or for a tax cut giveaway to the wealthy.

I have serious and deep moral reservations about abortion. On that issue I fit better with Republicans and find myself often estranged from fellow Democrats who claim to be the protectors of the weak against the strong. I can find few things weaker to protect than a fetus. I think abortion is like the environment—both the parties took the wrong side given their stated values. Democrats should be the protectors of the weak—the fetus, and Republicans should be the protectors of individual rights and the strong rich interests.

If I was a one-issue voter and abortion was the only issue I’d vote Republican. But I have other issues to consider, and I honestly don’t think the Republicans actually deliver much on this issue…what they deliver most is rhetoric. I suspect most evangelicals tilt Republican on abortion alone. However even if the Republicans win on abortion, where will it get us? Republicans have no hope of outlawing abortion in this nation or the world. If Republicans get what they want (overturning Roe v. Wade) it would merely turn abortion back for the states to decide. Where would that get us? The best bet is that 95% of the people in the USA would have abortion readily available and 5% would be restricted.

So, while I believe the matter is of serious moral consequences, on the practical side I see little difference in the outcome no matter which party is in power. Christians do not kill our unborn. I like the way Rick Warren puts the question: “How soon can we extend human rights to unborn children?” He gets it. We are in a major effort to persuade the rest of the nation that human rights need to be extended to life that is not recognized as life.

But on many other issues I find affinity with Democrats like concerning the poor in this country. Caring for the poor is not an option for anyone who takes a serious reading of the Bible, it is a demand and even a test of whether I am really a Christian. I think Democrats have done a better job trying to do this than Republicans. Sure, they have not produced perfect programs, almost all of them are flawed as badly as my local church’s pitiful attempts to run Sunday school or evangelism programs. But an imperfect work is better than no work at all.

I know most evangelicals say, “This is what the church should be doing.” I say please! Show me where! What church does this in a serious way? There are a few, but it is a cup when an ocean is needed. Most churches gather money to spend it on themselves, not the poor. But even if we were willing to forgo our new building to care for the poor and pay the bills for all those aged parents in nursing homes (Oh, you didn’t know that Medicaid pays most of those?) Democrats help me fulfill this command of Christ far better than most Republicans do, even if there is waste in the system.

I’m with the Democrats on minimum wage too. Generally the impulses to raise the minimum wage come from Democrats not Republicans.

I’m with the Democrats on feminism too—though most Republicans now pretend they’ve been there all the time. I think women should not be denied their rights because they are women. They should get equal pay for equal work and should have access to the same jobs men can do. For 30 + years Republicans have put up resistance on progress for women, and their recent conversion doesn’t impress me much. Sorry, Republicans, can't give y'all credit there.

So, when I seriously look at the Bible’s whole value system then apply it to the political parties today, I find that in my view the Democrats are a bit more Biblical than the Republicans. Sure, I dislike the secularists and anti-religion folk in my party and I’ll do what I can to beat them back into the bushes. Now I have voted for republicans in the past like Brian Kemp, republican for Secretary of State or Kira Willis, a libertarian for State School Superintendent, both in 2010 election, but when I go into the voting booth and vote for a Democrat it is not in spite of my faith but because of it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

African American Conservatives & why Georgia Democratic Party needs more of them

Newsflash: All Black Democrats do not think alike. All are not liberal, all do not rely & live off the government & all do not play the victim card & do not march to the drumbeat of the likes of Al Sharpton & Jesse Jackson & other "so called" leaders of the Black Community.

I just wanted to make that known!

Now what I want to talk about is the outlook of the Ga Democratic Party. African Americans now dominate the party & it would be wise for the party to begin to court conservative or moderately conservative democrats into the party. I know the party, just like everywhere in the US need to court conservative whites who have deserted the party over a span of 30+ years in order to have a chance of winning elections, but in the meantime began courting black conservatives into the party.

One thing democrats have to realize & that is the black community is fairly conservative. Black conservatism emphasizes traditionalism, strong patriotism, capitalism, free markets, and opposition to abortion and gay marriage in the context of the black Church. Its hard for some to believe that since the black community has generally fallen to the left of the right-wing conservative movement, and has predominantly favored itself on the side of liberalism and civil rights progressives.

Right now, all of the black conservatives are in the Georgia GOP.

I have often wondered why the black conservative view has such poor resonance in the Black communities? But I believe that a black conservative democrat can win in Georgia & win in districts that are not gerrymandered, such as the case when Floyd Griffin, then a centrist be came the first African-American to win a majority white senate district since reconstruction back in 1992 or Michael Thurmond won his Athens based house district back in 1986 which was majority white.

Now say for example, Ross Tolleson runs for congress in 2012, you have a choice between a white progressive & a black conservative running in the democratic primary. Who would you support in that race, given the conservative nature of Tolleson's district which is conservative? You can make the same case for a white conservative democrat against a white progressive or a black progressive & a white conservative. It either case, Im siding with the conservative candidate. Why? Its all about who can appeal to the masses, & how their message & background best fits that district.

In the state, Black GOPers all have fared poorly when it time to cast ballots at the polls during the primary, for example, Melvin Everson who was by far the better candidate to Mark Butler, but only got 30% during the primary.

If I were in a positon of power with the State Dems, Id be going to some of these black republicans & persuade them to run as conservative democrats. Michael Murphy, moderate republican operative ran against David Scott as a conservative democrat for the 13th Congressional District back in 2008, you had another in Cory Ruth, who ran in the GOP primary in the 4th Congressional District also back in 2008.

There are also black democrats serving on the local level whether its County Manager, Commissioner, City Council, Law Enforcement, etc. With its base of support now consisting close to 60% African American, now is the time to change course & begin to scope out these individuals. That job will be left up to Miguel Camacho, Mike Berlon & RJ Hadley

How to solve problems in Black America: Get back to core Values

The answer for Black America is getting back to our values. Not the values of the amoral, nihilistic liberals. We need to go back to a place where we reject moral relativity. We need to encourage Black men to marry Black women before they bring children into the world. We need to stop "dogging" Black people who are educating themselves and speaking proper english. We need to stop calling them "sell-outs" and "uncle toms". We need to stop saying "You talk like a White person" when one of "us" speaks proper english. Intelligence is not strictly "white domain"-no matter what liberals tell you.

Liberals continually want to absolve Blacks of personally responsibility. Liberals say we kill each other, we rob from each other because we "don't know any better" or because " we can't help ourselves".

That's bull!

We do know better! We can do better! We will do better when we get back to our "roots". What are those "roots"?--God, Family and Education. More Government is definitely not part of the prescription for a better tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Carl Camon should be considered a "Top-Tier Recruit for Georgia Dems

As y'all know I have been a big advocate of former Ray City Mayor Carl Camon, a Christian Conservative African-American Democrat out of of Berrien County

But with 2012 on the horizon, there are so many different avenues for Camon to pursue.

1) He should be a top recruit for either ex-democrat Tim Golden's State Senate seat which may take in Berrien Co after redistricting, or he could run for a house seat whether its Jason Carter (R-Lakeland) or Penny Houston (R-Nashville)

2) Then there's congress. Currently he is located in Jack Kingston's district but its possible that the current 8th district may extend all the way down around his neck of the woods like it was when Saxby Chambliss was representative before he became senator. Or he could be a prime replacement when the time comes for Sanford Bishop decides to retire from congress. Yes I said retire from congress, not defeated from congress because the GOP had its best chance last year to defeat Bishop & blew it!

And there's 2014 when all statewide races will be up for grabs once again.

So there are plenty of options for Camon to look into & he should be atop of the list when candidate reruitment begins after the lines are redrawn. I know the base wants to see progressives run in every race whether its local, state or federal, but the reality is & I have repeated this over & over again & that is progressives don't stand a chance in certain areas of the state. You must run centrist or conservative democrats in some of these races. Someone who has the ability to communicate effectively to the general public. That what it's going to take!

Mike Berlon on Democrats here in Georgia

I'm late putting this up so here it is:

As the newly elected Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, I am keenly aware of the challenges we face over the next several years. All Democrats realize that the election losses in November were devastating. In addition, the impact of nine party-switchers made the situation even worse. The question then becomes: What do we do now as a party and how do we regain prominence?

First, the Democratic Party of Georgia must find its voice. For many years, we have been reactive instead of proactive and have simply lost our message. We have let Republicans frame the debate. We cannot do this and win. We must develop a strong message about jobs, education and the economy. These are winning issues for us, and we must define ourselves in a way that makes sense to Georgia citizens from all walks of life.

We also need to put to rest the perception that we are solely a metro Atlanta party and reconnect with all of Georgia's citizens. A crucial step in this process will be to establish satellite offices throughout the state. We need to rebuild our base at the county level, neighbor-by-neighbor, Democrat-by-Democrat, precinct-by-precinct.

We must aggressively recruit future candidates and give them the tools to succeed, including year-round training for these aspiring leaders. We need to establish a team of candidates that is experienced and well-trained at all levels of government, from city hall to the Capitol. We will honor the promises that we make to them in order to foster their success. We will also compete vigorously in those districts that were formerly represented by party-switchers to show them that political deception has a steep price.

As a party, our main goal is to elect Democrats. Therefore, we will establish long- and short-term measurable goals, as well as strategic planning and accountability, from both our staff as well as our state party officers; now and well past my tenure. We no longer have the luxury of using the party as a campaign extension of our highest-ranking officials while developing a new strategy for the DPG every four years.

We are invested heavily in the redistricting process. I fully expect that Republicans will attempt to increase their majority by gerrymandering districts throughout the state. These tactics will be met with strong resistance from the Democratic Party of Georgia as well as the courts, where I believe the matter will ultimately be decided.

Finally, we must develop a sound organization and multi-level fund raising plan that can serve us well now, and into the future. This does not mean simply covering our expenses. It means developing a long-term strategy and fiscal policy that will give us the reserves we need to run the party without worrying about operational expenses. I have been involved at every level of politics for over 35 years. I know how these cycles work. With hard work and discipline, we will turn the party around. It won’t be easy and it’ll take some time, but we are a resilient group. Working toward a brighter future might be tough, but with a strong executive committee, an invigorated staff, the right funding and planning, and a strong message, a return to Election Day success is just a matter of time.

For democrats, its all about 1) Educating & 2) Communication. Berlon & Co are off to a good start at the Georgia Democratic Party. There will be some seats, depending how redistricting goes that dems will be able to pick up, but it will depend how Miguel Camacho, newly elected Candidate Recruiter for the party does in finding candidates to fit his'her district & Don Weigel providing support for that candidate.

Then you have congressional races coming up in which there maybe the possibility that the 8th becomes a open seat in which Austin Scott gets drawn into Sanford Bishop's 2nd Congrssional District, leaving State Senator Ross Tolleson who has said in the past that he is interested in a run for congress. If that happens, then finding a candidate there will be critical.

Griffin Lotson elected as National Commissioner of the Federal Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission

On Friday, Feb. 11, former candidate for Lt Governor & 2010 candidate for State SenateGriffin Lotson of Darien, Georgia was On Friday, Feb. 11, Griffin Lotson of Darien, Georgia was elected as National Commissioner of the Federal Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission. Lotson received an unanimous vote from the state of Georgia's threeelected experts on the commission: Jeanne Cyriaque, Althea Sumpter and CharlesHall. Final approval and appointment will come from the White House office ofthe U. S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service.

"I am humbled, knowing that others consider me worthy to serve as the nextState and National Commissioner of the Gullah Geechee Cultural HeritageCorridor," said Lotson, who currently manages the nationally-acclaimed Geechee/Gullah Shouters, soon to be performing in Washington, D.C. Lotson looks forward to making a big a difference in his new position with the Commission.

"Now the hard work begins, as we review what has already been accomplished andwhat areas we need to improve upon in the future," he said. "We must continue tobuild a strong infrastructure of citizens, elected officials, community leadersand volunteers who live and work within the Gullah Geechee Cultural HeritageCorridor."

Gullah-Geechee is the traditional African culture brought to America by Africanslaves who worked the fields and plantations along the coasts of Georgia,Florida and the Carolinas. Lotson credits U. S. Congressman Jack Kingston, theSapelo Foundation’s Phyllis Bowen and Sams Memorial's Dr. Raquel McClendon forrecommending him to perform an important role that will ultimately helpprotect this fragile coastal culture from extinction.

The goal to preserve a dying way of life prompted former President George W.Bush to sign the Gullah/Geechee Act into law on Oct. 12, 2006. The Bill Sponsor was U.S. Congressman Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, thereby creating a federal commission to manage the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. Commissioners work in partnership with the National Park Service and the State Historic Preservation offices in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and SouthCarolina.

The United States Department of the Interior, which is the executive branch ofthe U.S. Government responsible for the management and conservation of mostfederal land and natural resources, is currently being administered by Secretaryof the Interior Ken Salazar of Colorado. The National Park Service is a bureauof the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Griffin Lotson is presently the manager of the nationally acclaimed Geechee/Gullah Shouters. Who will add to their list of accomplishments, performances at Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C.. Lotson received an unanimous vote from the state of Georgia's threeelected experts on the commission: Jeanne Cyriaque, Althea Sumpter and CharlesHall. Final approval and appointment will come from the White House office ofthe U. S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service.

"I am humbled, knowing that others consider me worthy to serve as the nextState and National Commissioner of the Gullah Geechee Cultural HeritageCorridor," said Lotson, who currently manages the nationally-acclaimed Geechee/Gullah Shouters, soon to be performing in Washington, D.C. Lotson looks forward to making a big a difference in his new position with the Commission.

"Now the hard work begins, as we review what has already been accomplished andwhat areas we need to improve upon in the future," he said. "We must continue tobuild a strong infrastructure of citizens, elected officials, community leadersand volunteers who live and work within the Gullah Geechee Cultural HeritageCorridor."

Gullah-Geechee is the traditional African culture brought to America by Africanslaves who worked the fields and plantations along the coasts of Georgia,Florida and the Carolinas. Lotson credits U. S. Congressman Jack Kingston, theSapelo Foundation’s Phyllis Bowen and Sams Memorial's Dr. Raquel McClendon forrecommending him to perform an important role that will ultimately helpprotect this fragile coastal culture from extinction.

The goal to preserve a dying way of life prompted former President George W.Bush to sign the Gullah/Geechee Act into law on Oct. 12, 2006. The Bill Sponsor was U.S. Congressman Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, thereby creating a federal commission to manage the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. Commissioners work in partnership with the National Park Service and the State Historic Preservation offices in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and SouthCarolina.

The United States Department of the Interior, which is the executive branch ofthe U.S. Government responsible for the management and conservation of mostfederal land and natural resources, is currently being administered by Secretaryof the Interior Ken Salazar of Colorado. The National Park Service is a bureauof the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Griffin Lotson is presently the manager of the nationally acclaimed Geechee/Gullah Shouters. Who will add to their list of accomplishments, performances at Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In the Passionate & Sometimes Heated Debate about Immigration, Let's not forget about Our Farmers

We all agree that immigration of illegals into this country is a problem, but do do anything that will affect our farmers who heavily rely on immigrants whether they are illegal or not.

The key here is Farmers. Farmers need migrant workers

The proposal from state Sen. Jack Murphy along with other Republican senators would require all private employers to use a federal database to check that new hires are in the country illegally. In addition it includes exemptions for employers who use certain work visa programs.

Murphy's legislation would require law enforcement officers, during any stop of a criminal suspect, to verify the immigration status of the suspect if they believe the person is in the country illegally. If the person is determined to be here illegally, the bill would allow officers to arrest them and take them to a federal detention facility.

Now all of this tough talk may sound good to the likes who want to deport every single immigrant suspected of being here illegally, but the likes of Murphy & others are missing something here: THE IMPACT THIS WILL HAVE ON GEORGIA FARMERS.

Georgia Agriculture is the number 1 economic industry in the state. Lets not forget, this is still a largely rural state.

Its tough being a farmer & now legislators want to make it even tougher for them. Now there are numerous Red Tape Hurdles, timelines & response deadlines for Farmers to track. If, and only if, a qualified American doesn’t apply for the job, can the farmer hire a foreign worker. But there’s an expensive caveat. Let’s say that a farmer goes through all the regulations and ultimately does hire an immigrant worker. If an American shows up halfway through the work season and says he or she wants the immigrant’s job, the farmer must hire the American and fire the immigrant worker and then pay the airfare back to the immigrant’s home country. This is on top of paying for the flight into this country and 100% of housing costs.

Larger corporations, such as those that run confined animal feeding operations can afford to abide by the regulations, but smaller farmers find it extremely difficult and expensive. A small Georgia Farmer trying to abide by the program is like “pouring money into a rat hole.”

Donald Chase, a Macon Co Farmer & President of the Georgia Peanut Commission stated in the Macon Telegraph over the weekend that "As a farmer, I don't want to be a police for the immigration service". I agree!

Farmers who use the H-2A program are excluded from Murphy's far reaching legislation.

The H-2A program isn’t great for the workers either, they can only work for the specific employer once inside the country and aren’t allowed to follow the picking season from farm to farm. This group that we are so fond of denigrating and seeing as some kind of threat, this group has been very good at moving from spot to spot to spot according to where the work is, that’s why we call them "migrant" workers. They show up when they’re needed, and vanish to the next gig when the need has ended, a unique and undervalued dimension of that skill set.

The country’s insistence on booting out 8 million undocumented workers ignores the fact that 300 plus million people (it maybe more than that) still need to nourish themselves with close to a billion meals a day while maintaining a high standard of living and low prices.

There are no easy to this out of control problem. The immigration issue is huge and complex, which is perhaps why Congress has been paralyzed except for voting down The Dream Act, which would have given legal residency to immigrants who arrived in this country before the age of 16, have lived here for at least five years, graduated from high school, and completed two years of college or honorable military service. Notably, these candidates would still be barred from citizenship if they have a criminal record and wouldn’t be eligible for federal grant scholarships.

Americans living in border states have suffered from organized crime and mayhem as a result of networks of “coyotes” transporting undocumented workers. The influx of huge numbers of migrant workers has bankrupted hospitals and schools, and has changed the entire culture and sense of security in border towns.

So to our lawmakers up in Atlanta & Washington, let's not forget about our farmers here & what kind of impact any legislation will have on them in the long run.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Senator Richard B Russell: (D-Winder) 1952

Gov. Herman Talmadge :1953

Back by popular demand, Peanut Politics blast from the past first up the late Herman Talmadge, then governor of Georgia on Longines

Sunday Sales: The GOP, Christian Conservatives, the Bible

Today, the religious right enjoys its greatest access to the corridors of power, particularly because of its relationship with conservative members of the Republican Party. Access is the result of electoral success, especially the stunning 1994 election that brought Republican control to the House of Representatives. But access also comes in other forms. Unlike previous religious right organizations, the modern Christian right walks a narrow uncharted path between the heart-felt convictions of its membership and the practicalities of day-to-day politics. Ironically, it is not as easy as it once was for the religious right to crusade against all that is considers evil because the current leaders of the religious right have become players within Republican Party politics. It is much easier to rant and rave from outside the halls of power and raise money by doing so than to influence policy from within.

Which leads me to the GOP decision not to pursue the legalization of Sunday Alcohol Sales here in Georgia. Only Indiana is the other state that does not allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays. At the beginning of the session, it was thought that this would be the year that the GOP finally pass legislation allowing the sale of alcohol here in Georgia, but staunch resistance to the Christian Conservative wing of the Georgia GOP are having none of that

Now this is obviously a concern to many Christians conservatives—and for good reason! With the rampant abuse of alcohol in this country, resulting in shattered lives and tens of thousands of deaths each year, any person with a conscience should be deeply concerned about this issue. However, caution is also needed in a different direction: too often Christians have moral outrage because of abuses of one of God’s gifts—outrage that leads to a condemnation of those who are not abusers. Things that once were issues are often now regarded as normal activities. Some Christians have condemned others for wearing make-up, going to the opera, or even sending Christmas cards. Christians, it seems, have an incredible ability to invent rules and regulations. It’s endemic to human nature—but it’s also a modern, unvarnished form of Pharisaism.

But despite all of that, we should ( & I don't drink alcohol) allow the sale of alcohol here in Georgia on sundays. What's the big deal anyway? All of this backward thinking needs to be put aside by those who are opposed to this. Folks living along the border of Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina & Florida can easily drive across the state line on Sundays & buy a beer, even a shot of whiskey. That's money that should be kept here in Georgia instead of going to these states, filling up their coffers.


Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Cherokee County decided against bringing it up for a vote due to what he describes as not having the votes to pass the legislation.

The REAL reason why he didn't push this bill is because of fear by he, along with others of the Christian Conservative wing of the party who still can influence the GOP in such a way. Now being a deacon at my church & being a christian & conservative, I find nothing wrong with allowing alcohol sales on sundays. If Christian Conservatives in the GOP are so against this, then I wonder why aren't they against allowing guns inside of our churches? Now that's a NO-NO!

This doesn't make any sense!

All I got to say is yet once again leadership is missing up there at the State Capitol & once again a special interest group is pulling the strings of the Georgia GOP.

So much for moving forward as a state

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Donkeys & the Elephants need to work together and balance the budget

Our generation is going to be faced with some of the most difficult choices in the history of our nation. The national debt is roughly what $13-14 trillion dollars. If folks don't understand that figure, here's an illustration that I've heard: if you earned a million dollars every day from Jesus Christ's death until the present, it would only pay off roughly 7.9 percent of it. DAMN!!!!

Republicans and Democrats have contributed to this debt, but Americans disagree over whether their contributions were equal. We'll get to that, but first there's something else far more troubling. The baby boomers are retiring, they're living longer and had far fewer children then their parents. None of these are bad if they hadn't consistently voted for congressmen who wouldn't change the social security pay-as-you-go system. With more retirees than workers, our generation will pay more taxes than ever and receive fewer benefits. The social security actuaries report that this unfunded liability may reach $11.1 trillion by 2042, doubling the national debt over 30 years from what I've heard

The reason the debt is so important, aside from the fact that inflation damages our economy, is that it is an indirect tax on the American people of all classes, secretly extracting more of their hard-earned money. Asking for an alternative is not a partisan diatribe, it's an honest question.

If social security balloons to more than the entire national debt and Medicare balloons to more than six times it, cutting "essential" services is going to be the challenge of our generation.

Remember President Clinton's 1993 tax hike did not balance the budget; it was the dot-com bubble, sending revenue to the federal treasury above and beyond the tax hike. Balancing the budget is easy during economic booms; the real test of leadership occurs in a recession. Democrats are willing to raise taxes, but they are not willing to cut spending. Higher taxes are sometimes necessary, but with increasing global competition they will hurt America's robust economy. And higher taxes, even on the wealthy, will not fix the social security and Medicare unfunded liabilities. Republicans are willing to cut spending, but not raise taxes, which is good, but how will that notion help fix SS or Medicare?

The sooner both sides address this probem, the better it will be for all of us.

FEAR: Why the GOP needs it & Why they can't function without it!

Fear is a tool that is used far too often in politics. Both major parties use fear from time to time, but it seems that Republicans use fear way too often as a tool to manipulate us, and more importantly, they lie about what to fear.

They want you to fear the foreign government that is going to come here and kill us. Now this is something that we should always be mindful of as a nation, but we shouldn’t be making widespread lies to strike fear into the hearts of Americans so that we can invade and occupy a nation for a decade that hasn’t done anything to us. They go on TV and tell you that this guy has biological weapons and this guy has nukes and if you don’t elect us, these evil doers will come to your home town and erase it from the map. They used this fear tool so effectively in 2004 & again in 2010.

They want you to fear the Muslims even though they say Islam is not a religion of hate. They talk about Islamic Extremists every chance they get. Do they ever call any other extremist group or terrorist organization by their religion the way they do with Muslims? No. They want to keep making sure that you hear “Muslim” or “Islamic” every time something bad happens to justify their actions in the middle east. They never once referred to Tim McVeigh as a “Christian Terrorist” even though he said after the bombings that he was doing “Gods work”. They never once referred to Dr Tillers murderer as a “Christian Extremist” even though the only reason he murdered Dr Tiller was because of a difference in religious beliefs & plus he was doing abortions. The other reason the want you afraid of Islam and Muslims directly leads to the next thing they want you to fear…..President Obama. Now Im not defending all the president has done, some things I agree with him on, some things I do not agree with, but this whole thing about fearing the president is getiing old & its getting old fast.

They constantly try to tie Obama with Islam because if they already have you afraid of Muslims, and they get you to believe Obama is a Muslim, (even with all of the evidence that he is no muslim, he a christian) then you will naturally fear him. What amazes me about the fear tools they use when it comes to the President is that they equate him to a Muslim because they know they have you all ginned up on Islam, but then they say he’s a Communist or a Marxist.

How many Muslim KGB agents do you ever recall hearing about? They, when it comes to Obama, want you to fear any number of things that aren’t true.

Fear that he’s a Muslim. Not true!

Fear that he’s a Communist. Not true!

Fear that he will take your guns away. (Well, I'm still skeptical about that when it comes to the president).

Fear that he will tax you into the poor house. Not true! (Although there's no doubt that he wants to raise taxes in order to help pay for the controversial Healthcare Legislation & pay down this debt & deficit).

Fear that he will crush small businesses with his policies. Not true!

But in the Republican world, it doesn’t matter if its true or not. All that matters is if they can get you to fear it, because if they can get you afraid of it, you will vote against it. And if you vote against it, they will have the power.

They want you to fear the economy. How many times does Glenn Beck push gold right after telling you that the Democratic government is destroying the dollar and your bank accounts will be worth nothing in the very near future? They tell you the economy is going to completely collapse and that you need gold as a purchasing tool, and an emergency seed stash to plant a garden for when the supermarket shelves will be bare. The fear is based on the one thing everyone wants and needs…money. The ironic part is that while Glenn Beck is telling you the economy is collapsing, he is getting richer… off of fear. And I used to like & watch Glenn Beck, when he was on CNN Headline News before going to Fox where he has gone off the deep end, I guess to get ratings & to cater to the fringe of the GOP.

They want you to fear that which isn’t like them… homosexuals, women who have thoughts of their own and anyone who doesn’t long for the good old days of the 1950s. They want you to fear that if a homosexual couple gets married, then your marriage won’t mean anything. They want you to fear that if homosexuals adopt kids, then those kids will be homosexual too. Now I don't support those of the same sex getting married, nor civil unions, but there are better things they need to be doing then to ostracize the Gay & Lesbian Community. They want you to fear a woman’s right to choose, and to be honest with you, I can’t figure out why. Regardless what people like myself who are pro-life think, its a woman's right! Its her body & only she knows what's right her, not us. They want you to fear anyone who doesn’t think like you because apparently the last 400 years hasn’t shown them that different groups of people that do not have anything in common other than a desire to be free can come together to live in peace and prosperity.

They want to use fear to keep you from voting against them. They want you to believe that they have all of the answers and the Democrats do not so you should fear the Democrats. Democrats use fear as well. The difference between what Democrats tell you to fear and what Republicans tell you to fear is that the fear the Democrats speak of is real. Democrats want you to fear putting a party back in power that took a record surplus and turned it into a record deficit, led us into the worst recession in 80 years and was the cause of millions of jobs being lost in this country.

That is real fear when it comes to the economy.

Democrats want you to fear putting a party back in control that wages war for its friends to be able to profit, costing thousands of American lives and billions of American dollars. Think if the GOP where to win back the senate in 2012, along with the White House, LORD HAVE MERCY! That’s is real fear when it comes to foreign policy. Democrats want you to fear putting a party back in power that oppresses homosexuals, women and minorities. That’s real fear on the domestic front, not that the President is this Muslim Communist born in Kenya, which the birthers want you to believe, which is untrue, with radical Christian views on social justice. Which, by the way, doesn’t make sense at all.

Don’t buy the fear the Republicans are peddling. Now let me say, all republicans do not use this tactic. I have friends who are republicans who are more centrist-oriented & they don't say or do the things some republicans love to do. But back to what I was saying, they want you to be afraid so you will vote them back into power. The real fear that Americans should be feeling is about returning to the ineffective, destructive policies and actions of the last 8 years… or even worse… if the next wave of Republicans are even more right wing than the last bunch that just got elected last year. Those would be known as the Teapartiers… and that is what I really fear.

There was a fear that the country was going to veer to the hard left after the 2008 elections, now there is a fear that a select group of republicans are trying to veer the country off to the far -right & that's something that doesn't need to happen. The U.S have always been a center/center-right country. No need to cater to the extremes of both parties.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ross Tolleson, Sanford Bishop, Austin Scott & the outlook in 2012

Don't rule it out. With a special session on the horizon to re-draw the congressional districts its not out of the realm of possibility that republicans could put Austin Scott into the 2nd Congressional District to go up against Sanford Bishop i 2012.

Here's why I think it may happen

I remember back in 2009 when republicans were trying to find a challenger to Jim Marshall for 2010. Early on it was thought that State Senator Ross Tolleson would make a run at Marshall, but he decided against it at the time, because he wanted to wait until his twin daughters finish high school. This was back in 2009 when he said this. He has made no secret that he wants to run for congress & 2012 seems like the best time since the GOP now have control of the House.


The one obstacle standing in his way is Austin Scott & he just defeated Bluedog Democrat Jim Marshall in the wave election that helped him in that quest.

So what a man to do?

Well this where redistricting comes in play

Scott by some accounts is not well liked by some in the GOP up there in the state house. If Tolleson still has aspirations for a run for higher office, then they'll do what it takes to make the path for Tolleson as easy as they can & that means lumping Scott into the second against Sanford Bishop who narrowly escaped defeat by Mike Keown.

The Georgia GOP can say 'hey if can knock off one democratic incumbent, why not another" Its something to think about here. No way Tolleson runs if Scott is still in the 8th. No way, No how!

A open 8th Congressional District would be much more appealing to Tolleson that one occupied by another GOPer in Scott. Making that move will have consequences for the Georgia GOP. Despite Scott defeating Marshall, he won't defeat Bishop in '12. With those divorce records now unsealed with all sorts of unsavory accusations hurled by his wife against him & vice-versa, the luster, the shine of Austin Scott will be long gone. Plus you can expect the district to become more democratic with the state still being under the VRA of 1965 & in a presidential year, democratic voters will turn out at a higher level that in 2010

If this happens, not only you will have not only a open 8th District seat, but a open State Senate seat in Central Georgia, which will be a prime opportunity. Nelson Carswell who ran for HD 143 last year would be the ideal candidate democrats could recruit to run for that Senate Seat in the 20th district. DuBose Porter, if he have the urges to go back to Atlanta could be another potential candidate, but I doubt it. Governor is in his future if he decides to make another in 3 years. He's only in his mid 50s.

An Austin Scott-Sanford Bishop matchup may well happen next year. But all hinges on Ross Tolleson & his apirations for higher office

Angry GOPers

This can be applied to democrats as well, but I wanted to focus on the GOP for a minute.

Anger! Everyday whether its on the television, radio internet, blogs, newspaper editorials, that's all I see/hear at the moment.

So why are republicans so angry? Why do they sound so angry, despite regaining control of Congress?

They just don’t argue with Democrats; they vilify them. Instead of disagreeing with President Obama’s policies, they call him a Hitler, a Stalin, a terrorist, a socialist, a communist, the anti-Christ, someone who hates whites - the list is endless. Republicans spew the same kind of ravenous rage towards Nancy Pelosi (who Im no fan of) and other prominent Democrats.


People say politics is a contact sport. Maybe it is. But the way Republicans approach it it is not a sport. In athletic sports we insist you follow the rules and that you respect the winner. Well, the winner is Barack Obama. At the very beginning of this administration, Rush Limbaugh, the titular hear of the Republican Party, said he wanted Obama to fail. Even the luminaries on Fox News immediately followed his lead, spitting daily invective against Obama, Democrats and anything even remotely related to Democrats. Republican legislators in Congress followed suit.

Pundits say it has always been this way. No, it has not always been this way. Sure, during election season the parties would throw dirt at each other. But after winners were chosen, the mud-slinging would diminish. There was a certain amount of respect each side had for the other side.

But in the last decade or so, Republicans have become emotional and irrational. Since Obama's election, Republicans have become hysterical. Just listen to the ridiculous stuff spouted by Limbaugh's lieutenants: Palin, Beck and Bachmann.

Why are Republicans hysterically angry? Why do people, in general, get angry? Because things do not work out the way they expected. Or because they don't know what to do in a crisis. Or because they realize that what they believed all their life is not true; this is sometimes called congnitive dissonance.

It seems to me that Republicans are faced with cognitive dissonance. Ever since Reagan, they believed in 2 immutable "laws":

1. Deregulation will produce a booming economy.

2. Tax cuts will increase government revenue

That's it!

Do deregulation produce a booming economy? In some cases yes & no.

So I did a little research & I found that the telecommunications and airlines industries were more successfully deregulated. This allowed more competition, and eventually lower prices for these services. However, many companies that could no longer compete went out of business, which had a negative effect on the economy.

On the other hand however, fraud occurred with a company called Enron, which essentially ended any further efforts to deregulate. Enron's fraud also hurt investors' confidence in the stock market, and led to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

But back to the topic:

Although they may not admit it, some Republicans who have a brain can see that neither of these two "laws" is true. It should be obvious to them by now that sticking to these two "laws" was a big cause, perhaps the most important cause, of the current terrible economic depression, the worst since the 1930s. When Democrats denounce deregulation and tax cuts for the rich, Republicans have no rational retort. Their emotions run wild and crazy. They go ballistic criticizing Democrats.

To my angry Republican friends I say, Calm down and start using your head. It may help you build a more rational Republican program. If they took some of the anger out of their rhetoric maybe it'll increase their chances of picking up more African-Americans & regain the trust of the Hispanic Vote because they don't realize it, but that kind of spewing rhetoric makes some folks uneasy about becoming a republican, let alone voting for a republican

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Its never too early: A look ahead to 2014 for Georgia Democrats

Ok! With the 2010 elections now long gone, its time to ponder on 2014 & who may run on the democratic side.

On the senate side, Saxby Chambliss will be up for re-election, as well as every single republican statewide officeholder who won last year in the GOP Tsunami.

So who could step up to the plate for the democrats here in Georgia?

There are alot of different scenarios that could arise when 2014 rolls around, but let's take a stab at it.

On the senate side, two names comes to mind when talking about a possible challenge to Chambliss. (1) Former Congressman Jim Marshall & (2) Michael Thurmond.

Marshall was done in more by the Tsunami that swept Georgia just like it did all over the country than the campaign strategy of Austin Scott in my opinion. Marshall, a moderately conservative democrat haven't ruled out another & final run for office & since he has served in the House of Representatives, only the senate remain in his sights. It won't be the first time Marshall & Chambliss squared off against each other. In 2000, Marshall, then mayor of Macon lost to then-congressman Chambliss by 59-41%. Both men had a good working relationship while Marshall was in Washington because of common interest like RAFB, Agriculture, etc.

Thurmond left a "safe" seat in Labor Commissioner to take on popular Johnny Isakson for the senate. Looking back at the election in november, Thurmond would have gotten swept out of office just like all of the other democrats in the south despite his stellar record as Labor Commish. Thurmond ran a lackluster campaign with weak fundraising to boot. I seriously doubt that's the way Thurmond wants to be remembered. I made the suggestion last year that Thurmond remain at Labor to then run for the senate against Chambliss in 2014.

Governor: Nathan Deal perhaps became the weakest candidate to become governor of Georgia in decades with one allegation after another hanging over his head. Any other year, he might not have won the election for governor with all those things swirling around him. There are three potential candidates for the democrats.

(1) Former Lt Governor candidate & Businesswoman Carol Porter (2) Former State Rep DuBose Porter (3) Jim Marshall (4) Michael Thurmond

Porter (Carol) bust onto the scene with her passionate speech to the NFIB last summer in place of her husband & candidate DuBose Porter. After that, on her own terms she decided to run for Lt Governor due to no other democrat stepping up to the plate. She got just as many votes as did Roy Barnes on a budget that was barely $1 million dollars. She has left a built in base of grassroots support in Georgia. If she decides to run, she will need to shore up Central & South Georgia, where she didn't spend quite as much time at in comparison to Metro Atlanta & North Georgia.

Porter (DuBose) was unsuccessful in his first bid at statewide office. Porter had been a state legislator out of Central Ga since 1982 before giving up his seat to run for governor. Porter is one of the few remaining white, rural democrats still left in the party after 9 others bolted to the GOP. With Roy Barnes political career now a done deal, 2014 maybe the year Porter decides to give it one more try. Plus he's only 57 years old, so he still has alot of political fight left in him. Especially with Education being targeted yet again by the GOP he will have a issue to run with.

Marshall could run for governor & be successful at it. He shares the same central Georgia base along with Carol & Dubose Porter . Having represented a district that ran from the Atl suburbs to the Ga-Fla State line, his connections will be a plus if he guns for the governorship.

Thurmond had eyes on running for governor last year. That was before Thurbert Baker got in the race, which threw a wrench in those plans. Thurmond's communication skills & ability to connect on a personal level with hard working families makes him a threat. He will have to do a better job at fundraising & building a better grassroots organization on the ground

Lt Governor: Casey Cagle at first was thought to run for governor, but had a change of heart & decided to stay at Lt Gov due to "health" issues. He could be a candidate for governor if Deal who is 68 decides not to run for re-election in 2014. Cagle was stripped of most of his power by the GOP majority in the senate, making him ineffective.

Potential candidates here include: (1) Cattle Farmer & State Senator J.B. Powell (2) Former State Rep Rob Teilhet (3) Former Gubernatorial candidate Carl Camon (4) Augusta mayor Deke Copenhaver (5) Thurbert Baker

Powell ran for agriculture commissioner last year losing to Gary Black. Powell, a conservative democrat, a country boy was State Senator of the 23rd District. He could mount another run for his old seat next year. He could have another democratic challenger for that seat in Chuck Pardue of Rural Richmond County. Powell's aw-shucks persona & bluecollar background will appeal to bluecollar types who reside in rural Georgia. A+ rating from NRA

Teilhet, a young energetic democrat lost to South Georgia Democrat Ken Hodges for the nomination for Attorney General. Teilhet future in politics is still bright. He hails from Cobb County where he was succeeded by Stacey Godfrey-Evans in the Statehouse. At age 36, Teilhet is someone to keep an eye on. He could run for Attorney General again, but who knows.

Camon is the former mayor of Ray City, Ga located in Berrien County. Camon, a conservative democrat had a message that resonated with alot of voters, but when you don't have $ behind you, it makes it hard for the rest of the state to hear your message. Camon is the new blood that the party needs to re-invigorate itself after a demoralizing defeat at the polls in 2010. The former USAF Veteran & Gulf War Veteran is a man of deep faith, which scares the hell out of many democrats who aren't so much into religion. I was sold on Camon when I first met him at a outing over in Houston Co back in 2009. At age 41, he's has a future in Georgia Politics. He was recognized as Georgia Trend's top 40 under 40 a few years ago

Coperhaver is the mayor of Georgia's second largest city, Augusta. He was first elected in 2005 to carry out a unexpired term & later elected in 2006 & 2010 as a independent. In 2003, he was recognized by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of Georgia’s “Top Forty Under Forty”. In 2006 and 2008, he was named a Notable Georgian by Georgia Trend Magazine and in 2007, 2009,2010 and 2011 was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians. Although a independent, Coperhaver could be persuaded to run as a democratic moderate if he so chooses to run for higher office in the future. At age 43, he is a very attractive candidate to run statewide.

Baker ran & lost the nomination for governor last year. He was the Attorney General, appointed by then governor Zell Miller in 1997. Baker a centrist with a conservative streak may want to give it another try three years from now. Baker co-sponsered the two strikes law & has gotted a A+ rating from NRA

Its never soon to speculate, but as of right now these are the names that comes to mind in talking about 2014 for Georgia Democrats.

$12 Million Dollar Plan by Star Racing to bring Motorsports to Sumter County

Motorsports Facility coming to Americus

In yesterday's edition of the Americus Tines Recorder, George and Jackie Bryce of Star Racing Inc. announced plans to bring a world-class motorsports racing facility to Americus. The $12 million facility is expected to attract as much as $75 million annually for the community and to create more than 200 full-time and part-time job positions over a five-year span.The facility, to be located across from South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) my alma mater, is expected to include “a quarter-mile concrete drag strip, 2.5-mile road racing circuit (similar to Road Atlanta), a motorsports related technology park, a training facility for drivers education and law enforcement training, and a national motorcycle drag racing museum,” according to the press release from the Bryces.

The idea is to get 40 (motorsports-related) companies to move to Americus to put their shops on the race track ... where they can test, race ... their own products right in their own backyard,” George said. “There’s not one of these in the world where there’s an airport and a technical school (right next door) and 450 acres of available farmland,” George said. He adds that the low altitude of the area is also a “big draw” for racers. The mild weather conditions also offer opportunities for testing, training and competition year-round.The planned technology park will be “the destination for participants, fabricators, suppliers in the motorsports market and other major players within the industry,” according to the release. George is hoping to receive similar responses like a letter he received from a road race car builder on the West Coast. The letter, from a company that produces 170 replica Porsche road race cars each year and ships them worldwide, stated that if the facility is completed in Americus the company will move it’s operation here to take advantage of the close proximity of the track to the business’ building facility. It is exactly this type of interest the Bryces are expecting once all the details are in place.

Continue reading: Star Racing announces plans for a 12 million motorsports facility in Americus

Monday, February 7, 2011

Do these three Democrats hold the Key in unlocking the GOP grip on Georgia?

We've heard the names of Chris Carpenter,Bobby Kahn, Jeff DiSantis, as well as others who are well-known, highly regarded poilitical pols for democrats here in Georgia from strategizing to running a campaign. But the success rate for these gentlemen have been zero & its time for potential candidates for office in the near future like Rob Teilhet, Carol Porter, DuBose Porter, Michael Thurmond, etc to take a look at some new blood to help bring a "V" to the democratic column. There are a few that could do just that beginning next year when congressional & legislative races begin & in 2014 when statewide elections begin.

Im talking about Gunner Hall of Chatham County, Jay Stalnaker of Taylor County ,Christopher Sloan of Troup County.

Before any of you say "WHO?", let me tell you something about each of these gentlemen & why they ought to be considered by any democrat who will run for statewide office in 2014.

Gunner Hall has been involved in shaping the political landscape of Georgia. After helping found the Augusta/Richmond County Young Democrats,he was voted President of the organization. Quickly moving up the ranks in the Young Democrats, he has served as 12th District Field Director, Membership Chair and also Vice-President of Fundraising for the Young Democrats of Georgia.

In 2008 he helped James Vaughn, a first time candidate for Monroe County Commission Chairman, shock local politicos by out raising the Republican incumbent 2 to 1. This huge financial advantage not only aided Mr. Vaughn in winning his campaign, but also in becoming the top Democratic vote getter in the county in the general election.

he guided 10 of his 12 clients to victory, showing that Democrats can and do get elected in South Georgia. During the 2008 primary, he was a part of last minute efforts to aid Mickey Stephens in reclaiming his State House seat. In just a few short weeks, Mr. Stephens had raised the money necessary to push through the last few pieces of mail needed to reach thousands of voters that otherwise would not have been contacted, ultimately winning the seat. Also in 2008, Gunner aided Bill Gillespie on his run for Congress in Georgia’s First Congressional District. Although the campaign ultimately ended in a loss, Gillespie’s campaign was the first ever to organize every major population center and also was the first Democrat to run T.V. ads in that district, against longtime congressman Jack Kingston. A outdoorsman, Hall wasvoted “Top 40 under 40” by the Savannah Business Report and Journal. Using his contacts throughout South Georgia, Gunner was recently involved in a candidate recruitment program in South Georgia for the 2010 election cycle. A excellent commnuicator & strategist, the time has arrived for Hall to operate a major statewide contest.

Jay Stalnaker is a young conservative democrat hailing from Taylor County which is the home of former Lt Governor Garland Byrd. Stalnaker started the Taylor County Young Democrats a couple of years ago, & at age 23 ran for Butler City Council which he fells hort by a dozen votes back in 2008. Stalnaker who is a Freemason, Methodist, Kappa Sigma, Consultant could be the democrats version of Nick Ayers if given the opportunity. Stalnaker sharp political mind & quick thinking makes him a valuable asset to any democratic candidate whether its for the State Legislature, Congress, of Statewide office next year or in 2014. I happen to know Jay & believe me he is the REAL deal! Stalnaker once worked at the Taylor County Board of Registars as deputy registar & is a graduate of Columbus State University.

Christopher Sloan is another young, rural democrat hailing from Troup County. Sloan is the current chair of the Troup County Democratic Party. A progressive moderate, Sloan ran for Chair of County Parties at the DPG, falling short due to what I call the lack of familiarity by the committee. Sloan's great communication skills, passion & determination as a rural progressive is something that is unrivaled by any other rural progressive I've seen here in Rural Georgia. He is the poor man's & Georgia's version of Paul Begala. Sloan experience in Georgia politics maybe limited, but from what I've seen, he has the tools to be a consultant of advisor for any democratic contender down the line. Sloan is a graduate of Gordon College at Barnesville & currently attending Ashford University

While Gunner Hall have been at this for a while, he, along with Stalnaker & Sloan would make a terrific strategist or campaign manager for any perspective democratic candidate. Each of these gentlemen have the magic key in unlocking the GOP stranglehold on this state since the election of Sonny Perdue in 2002. Are you listening Mr. Teilhet? Mrs Porter? Mr Porter? Mr Thurmond? Any democrat who have eyes on higher office?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Democrats to Lookout for in the Near Future

1. Brandon Braddy (D-Mt. Vernon) Montgomery County.

Braddy is a life long resident of Montgomery County. After graduating from Montgomery County High School in 1991, he attended Brewton Parker College for two years then transferred to Georgia Southern University where he majored in Accounting. He received his Bachelors of Business Administration from GSU in 1995. Currently, Mr. Braddy is employed as a community banker with Montgomery Bank & Trust in Ailey, Georgia.

Mr. Braddy was elected to the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners in 1996, and is currently serving his fourth term. Mr. Braddy has served as Vice-Chairman for the past six years and now currently serves as Chairman. Mr. Braddy chairs the Commission’s Public Safety, Jail and Finance/Budget Committees. As an extension of his service as a county commissioner, he has represented Montgomery County on the Heart of Georgia – Altamaha Regional Development Center’s Board of Directors. Mr. Braddy also served on the Audit Committee for the RDC. In addition to serving on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, Mr. Braddy serves as a director for the Altamaha Electric Membership Corporation.

Mr. Braddy has participated in various leadership development programs including Leadership Georgia’s Class of 2000, Leadership Toombs-Montgomery’s Class of 2000, and Georgia Academy for Economic Development’s Class of 2003.

2. Patty James- Bentley (D-Reynolds) Taylor County

Patty James-Bentley was elected to the board in 2004 at the age of 34. She enjoys her position as a public servant. Patty is currently serving as Vice Chairman of the Board for 2011. She has also served as Chairman for the Economic Development Committee for the Association of County Commissioners (ACCG). She received her advanced certification as a County Commissioner immediately after becoming a Certified Commissioner.

Mrs. James-Bentley is a proud member of the 2007 class of Leadership Georgia and 2006 class of Leadership Taylor. She completed the Georgia Academy for Economic Development in 2006 and completed the Basic Course for Economic Development at Georgia Tech in March 2008. She is also one of the founding members of the Taylor County Chamber of Commerce

Commissioner Bentley was featured in Georgia Trend magazine in October 2006 for the "40 Under 40" Rising Stars in Georgia. She is also a member of the Young Elected Officials Network (YEO). Commissioner James-Bentley is married to Darryl Bentley and they are the owners of Bentley-Montford Mortuary in Butler. She and Mr. Bentley are the host of two talk shows, "Straight Talk With the Bentleys" Flint Cable Channel 14 and "Let's Talk With Patty and Darryl" 94.3 FM Radio Station. They are the proud parents to five children.

3. Maurice Draines (D-Thomaston) Upson County.

Currently the Chairman of the Upson County Commission, Draines is one of the rising stars in the Democratic Party. Draines was the Vice-Chairman of the Thomaston-Upson County Industrial Development Authority and serve on the Flint River Technical College Board of Directors.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Robert E. Lee Institute. I attended Columbus State University in both 1995 and 2007, having achieved a PMP Certificate in Budgeting, Personnel, Legal Liability, and Decision Making. I also graduated from the Georgia Police Academy in 1989, the Georgia Correctional Academy in 1991, Officer Orientation School in Quantico, Virginia, in 1992, and Field Officer Training School in 1997

In 2003 he was appointed by Judge Gary Hamby to serve as Interim Chairman of the Upson County Board of Commissioners for eight months until a special election could be held. Earlier that year, he also served as Chairman of the Thomaston-Upson County Recreation Commission, a group he was a board member of for over four years. He have also served on the boards of numerous other groups, including the Red Cross and Habitat for Human.

Prior to being commisisoner, Draines was a Sergeant with the Georgia State Patrol in LaGrange. Some of his experience and accomplishments with the State Patrol include:

-Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., 2005
-G-8 Summit Security Detail at St. Simons Island
-Governor-elect Sonny Perdue’s Transition Team
-Governor Perdue’s Inauguration Ceremony in 2003
-Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle’s Web Page Photo Gallery
-Receiving more than a dozen praise letters, including one from Colonel Sid Miles for assisting the GBI in the arrest of a murder suspect in Pike County.

4. Carlos Nelson (D-Waycross) Ware County.

Carlos Nelson began his first term as District 1 representative on the Ware County Board of Commissioners on January 1, 1999.A lifelong resident of Ware County and a 1983 graduate of Waycross High School, Commissioner Nelson served honorably in the United States Air Force for six years.

Currently, Commissioner Nelson serves Ware County as Executive Director of the Waycross Operation Weed and Seed Initiative. He serves on many local and State Boards. In 2009, he was elected to the Board of Managers for the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG).Commissioner Nelson is owner and operator of Viddie-O's Professional Video and Photography, a local photography and videography business

5. Bill McGowan (D-Americus) Sumter County.

McGowan who was a firefighter before becoming mayor of Americus, is now serving as Tax Commissioner for Sumter County. McGowan challenged Mike Cheokas for HD 134 back in 2006 during the democratic primary.

6. James Davenport (D-Fort Gaines) Clay County.

Davenport serves on the Clay County Board of Commissioners

James Davenport is the son of Sam and Mary Davenport. He attended Clay County High School and graduated in 1973. He later attended Albany Technical School. Commissioner Davenport is a Deacon at the Midway Baptist Church of Morris, GA. He also serves as the Adult Sunday School Teacher. Commissioner Davenport has always lived in Clay County. He married to Linda and has three children, Aundrek, Jermaine and Farrah.

7. Jack Lance (D-Blairsville) Union County

Lance ran for the state legislature in 2010 only to come up short in what would be described as a once-in-a-lifetime election. Once a former aide to then-senator Zell Miller, Lance then attended Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law in Macon, Georgia, where he earned his Juris Doctorate in 2008. He and his wife, Carmen Smith Lance then returned to Jack’s hometown of Blairsville to practice law with his sister Kenya L. Patton.

At 30 years of age, he is the future of the Bluedog Democrats here in Georgia

Honrable mention:

Jowan Johnson (Wilcox County) County Commissioner

Alphonso Andrews (Burke County) County Commisisoner

Shela Holland (Evans County) County Commisisoner

More names will be added to this list down the road, but each of these individuals could be future candidates for another office in the near future.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Louisiana Attorney General to switch Parties

Well the defections aren't over yet as another Southern Democrat will leave the Democratic Party.

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell (D) will announce at a place nto yet determined that he will switch parties & become a republican. Caldwell, a conservative democrat is one of two remaining democrats in the state: Senator Mary Landrieu & Congressman Cedric Richmond. Read more from the Daily Kingfish.

Battle Brewing for Chair of the Republican Party of Georgia

Just as the DPG held its elections to elect new leadership, the RPG (Republican Party of Georgia) will do the same.

Incumbent Sue Everhardt announced that she will run for another term as chair of the RPG.


She will have serious competition in Tricia Pridemore, who was governor Nathan Deal pick to lead the party after the november sweep in which republicans now hold every statewide office in the state.

Another guy Shawn Hanley also announced he will seek the position as well.

Everhardt, a ex-banker, is a long-time Republican activist who served as Chairman of the Sixth District Republican Party and First Vice-Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party. First elected in 2007, she is a big reason that the party increase its majority in both the state house & state senate, as well as increasing its control on state government by the victories of statewide candidates during last november's elections.

Pridemore who is challenging Everhardt has the backing of Gov Deal & former State Senator Eric Johnson. A veteran grassroots campaigner, Pridemore is president of the Cobb/Cherokee 9.12 Project and serves as the state director for the Georgia 9.12 Project. She served as the Nathan Deal for Governor Cobb County Co-Chair and the unpaid State Grassroots Chair for Deal’s campaign in addition to helping other GOP politicos in their bids for office.

Other endorsements include:

Dave Barbee, 10th Congressional District Chairman,

Mike Crane, 2010 Republican nominee for the 13th Congressional District

Michael Huneke, Bartow County Republican Party Chairman

Carolyn Meadows, former GAGOP National Committee Woman from Georgia, board member of the National Rifle Association and the American Conservative Union

Linda Parker, past chairman of the Cherokee County Republican Party

Gerry Purcell, 2010 Republican candidate for Insurance Commissioner

Shawn Hanley of Fulton Co is the other candidate to run for Chair of the Georgia GOP. I don't how much of a threat he is in running for the position, but its good to see a young cat in Hanley throwing his hat in the ring. Hanley is 2010 Tea Party Coalition Director for Veterans & Chair of the Fulton Co GOP.

Now I'm not that in tune with the politics of the Georgia GOP, but from where I sit, I don't see a reason why the GOP State Committee members should get rid of Everhardt & favor of Pridemore. (Hanley maybe a nice guy in all, but let's face facts here, he's not going to win. Let's just be honest here)

Everhardt & Pridemore are two stalwarts in the Republican Party & each bring plenty to the table.

One of Everhardt's big things she wants to do if elected is to increase efforts to switch local elected officials to the Republican Party. And as you know the local level is the last line of defense for the Democratic Party. We've already seen a number of local officials on the local level in Georgia switch from democratic to republican since the November elections. And with so many counties that doesn't have a democratic party chapter active, local officials are ripe for the taking, especially the sheriffs.

Pridemore has plenty support from the grassroots level & will be a force to be reckoned with. When announcing her candidacy, Pridemore stressed that the next Party Chair must be able to articulate a vision that builds upon the successes of the party, moving quickly to strengthen the Party for the battles ahead.

If you ask me, there is no need for the Party to change ships right now. WINNING! That what matters most more than anything. Everhardt maybe the "establishment" candidate, but she has won since becoming chair in 2007 & that should be the only thing that matters. But then again it may not matter what Everhardt has done. We'll see though!
This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat

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