Thursday, May 31, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards: You're Invited

Please Join Us for a Reception With

Elizabeth Edwards
Macon, Georgia 31210
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
5:30 PM

$200 Friend ~ $500 Sponsor
$1,000* Host Committee

*Maximum contribution per individual is $4,600, $2,300 for the primary and $2,300 for the general.

Host Committee

Brian Adams * Marie & Roy Barnes * Lauren Benedict

Catherine Bomberger & Duke Groover * Emmet Bondurant * Jean & Manley Brown

Robert Brown * Jan Bryson * Jim Butler * William Buzzell * Melanie & Chuck Byrd

Marsha & John Christy * Lizzie & Chris Clark * Mitzi & Jarome Gautreaux

Kyle George * Melanie Goux * Karen & Jon Hawk

Laura & Frank Hogue *Lisa & Wendell Horne * Steve Leeds * Preyesh Maniklal

Kathy McArthur & Waldo Floyd, III * Debbie & Michael Moore

Amy & Daryl Morton * Julie & Cameron Pennybacker

Carol & DuBose Porter *Kim & Carl Reynolds * Valencia Seay

Kiran & Shi Shailendra * Sachin Shailendra * Sacha & Mark Taylor

Scott Taylor * Teresa & Trip Tomlinson * Wimberly & Marc Treadwell

Laurie Anne White & Charles Engelke

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Liz Pavle at 919-360-3122 or Lpavle@johnedwards.comor

Paid for by John Edwards for President.
Contributions to John Edwards for President are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.

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Perdue Vetoes Mental Health Commission

Just days after a patient at West Central Georgia Regional Hospital died from a severe beating, and even as the federal regulators pronounced that patients in that facility were in "immediate jeopardy," Gov. Sonny Perdue vetoed Senate Resolution 363, a measure that would have established a commission to probe and make recommendations about how to improve Georgia's cash-strapped mental health service system. I can't imagine what his rationale was, except that such a commission might end up pointing a finger at a Governor who thinks fish are more important than funding critical mental health services. What a shame.

When the State fails to fund community mental health and addiction treatment, patients do not magically get well. Many end up untreated, unmedicated, jailed or homeless. Too often, when we do provide treatment, it is at the most expensive and least effective point in the process. This is a policy that makes our communities less safe and ultimately costs more money. If you don't believe me, spend a morning down at the courthouse listening to criminal calendar call. Count the number of cases where drugs are involved. Currently, in Bibb County, the largest provider of mental health services our Sheriff's Department. What sort of sense does that make?

I have worked as a mental health professional for many years, and what angers and frustrates me the most about the constant bleed on mental health resources is that more than ever, we have the ability to effectively treat mental illness. The medicines, though prohibitively expensive in many cases, are more effective and less dangerous. Even for addiction, new treatment methods and medicines offer hope. We can treat mental illness and addiction, but we choose not to. As of yesterday, we choose not to even take a good hard look at a system that is failing.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Reports of Our Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated

From the Georgia Children's Museum. This is great news!

Date: May 29, 2007

Georgia Children's Museum Launches Summer Program

Announces Grant from Peyton Anderson Foundation

(Macon) Marty Koplin, President of the Board of the Georgia Children's Museum, announced today that through the generous support of The Peyton Anderson Foundation, children from all across Georgia will have the opportunity to benefit from the Museums summer programs. Registration for summer camp is now open, and slots are filling rapidly.

“We are grateful to the Peyton Anderson Foundation for their continuing support of the Georgia Children's Museum,” said Koplin. “This is not only an investment in the Museum, it is an investment in families, education and the vitality of downtown Macon. We are confident that others will follow the lead of Peyton Anderson and partner with the Museum as we make the world of theatre, dance, music, and video production come alive for our children.”

From June 4th-August 3rd, the Museum will offer summer camp programs for children ages 6-12 (must have completed Kindergarten). Camp is from 9:00-4:00, Monday-Friday. The cost is a one-time-only registration fee of $25.00 and $80.00 per week for the first child and $60.00 for each additional child. For more information or to register, please call (478) 755-9539 .

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Another Embarrassment for Georgia GOP

Though it was hardly needed, our Georgia Republican legislators have offered up yet another fine example of their arrogance and sheer lack of professionalism. What did they do this time? When Chambliss and Isakson scheduled a private conference call with GOP legislators to discuss the immigration bill, one of them, or perhaps more than one of them served up the call-in number and pass code to none other than certified extremist, D.A. King. According to the guys at Political Insider, Saxby and Johnny were furious. I guess so. It's not clear from the article exactly when the two U.S. Senators learned that Mr. King was on the call. What a bunch of children.

No one should be surprised by this. As I pointed out in this piece in December of 2006, King is mighty chummy with some Georgia Republican lawmakers. I suggested then that he would certainly be in the room when immigration issues were discussed in Georgia. Who knew he would also be on the phone during what was supposed to be a private call?

This incident is more significant than just the fact that King was on the call and was not supposed to be. This breech, this disrespect of two sitting U.S. Senators, is symptomatic of the void of leadership with in the GOP and the utter arrogance of Republicans in the Georgia General Assembly. They are increasingly controlled by the extremists within their own Party, and they are more and more out of touch with the Georgians they are supposed to represent. This incident is emblematic of the fact that the GOP continues to fracture at its base.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

It's the Hotel, Stupid....

If Friday's "Politics and Lunch" is any measure, then in Macon, the hot political topic for Council candidates will be the hotel, or, as I learned on Friday, the "convention hotel." For months, council and the mayor have been trying to agree and move forward on a plan to build a new hotel beside or near the Macon Centreplex. To the general public, "beside or near" is the crux of the issue, with strong public sentiment on the side of "near," as in, across the street. While the issue is far from that simple, most people's eyes start to glaze over about two sentences in to an explanation of the bonds and the cost vs. benefits of one plan over the other. All the average voters knows is (1) the hotel is not built; (2) they don't know where everyone's going to park if it is built on the property with the Centreplex; and 3) the hotel is not built.
The hotel issue resonates with voters because it exemplifies the problems with city government. This was a project that had the potential to benefit the city, and it got mired down in the sort of politics that keeps the city from moving forward. People seem to feel that the hotel is not built because of the disagreements between Mayor and Council, and voters feel that Council has not been responsive to their wishes on the matter. We'll see if voters really care enough about this to get up and vote in July.

On Friday four City Council candidates, Moffett, Benedict, Ellington and Hutto, showed up with almost zero notice and then fielded questions from the smaller-than-usual-because-everyone-was -headed-to-the-beach group. Nearly every question was about the proposed hotel. Here's the summary from Matt Barnwell with the Telegraph.

Thanks to the candidates who came. Do not fault those who were not there. We had a late change in speaker, thus quick change in program, so not all candidates got notice. Some who did get notice had other obligations.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

We Don't Need This Fascist Groove Thing

On May 9th, with the stoke of a pen, President Bush granted the office of the President nearly dictatorial powers, apparently with out the check of Congress, in the event of an national emergency. And who decides that such an emergency exists? The President, of course. This directive was signed without fanfare or battleship backdrops. This unprecedented power grab by the President did not even merit a press release. And, the Language Czar who coined phrases like "The Patriot Act" and "Islamofascist" must be on talk show circuit, because the directive is simply known as NSPD-51/HSPD-20.

Under the existing National Emergency Act, the President may declare such an emergency, but he or she is required to transmit that declaration immediately to Congress and publish the same in the Federal Register. Congress is empowered to "modify, rescind or render dormant such delegated emergency authority." This new directive appears to supersede the National Emergency Act, and creates a new "National Continuity Coordinator" under the office of president. Read more at WorldNetDaily.

This makes George Orwell look like an optimist.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Jason Carter to Speak in Macon/Correction

Update: Jason regrets that he cannot be with us tomorrow for Politics and Lunch. He has rescheduled for September. We will, instead, invite candidates for Macon City Council to speak and answer questions. All other details are the same.

Jason Carter, attorney with the Atlanta firm of Bondurant, Mixon and Elmore, will be our guest speaker this Friday, May 25th at noon. Jason has joined with others to launch "Democrats Work", an organization that will undoubtedly change the way we think about political action by challenging us to put our values into action. Jason will speak about this program and tell us how we can participate. This is one speaker you will not want to miss!

We will meet at noon at The Power Station at 1015 Riverside Drive in Macon, Georgia. The luncheon is open to the public, and the cost, $10.00, includes your lunch. Please RSVP to Amy Morton at (478) 741-1138 or Below is a brief and impressive bio for Jason:

Duke University (B.A. 1997); University of Georgia (J.D. Summa Cum Laude 2004); Articles Editor, Georgia Law Review; Order of the Coif; West Award for Academic Excellence.
Law Clerk to Honorable Frank Mays Hull, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 2004-2005.
Author, Power Lines: Two Years on South Africa's Borders, National Geographic Books (2002). United States Peace Corps Volunteer, Lochiel, South Africa, 1998-2000

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**Please save the date**

For a reception with

Elizabeth Edwards

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007
5:30 PM
At the home of David and Tiffany Cusson
198 Jennings Lane
Macon, Georgia 31210

$200 Friend ~ $500 Sponsor

$1,000 Host Committee
Maximum contribution per individual is $4,600, $2,300 for the primary and $2,300 for the general.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact
Amy Morton (478) 741-1138 or

This is cross-posted at Georgia Votes Edwards

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Peach Freeze

See what Hannah thinks about politicians and bureaucrats who want to take away her health insurance? Even she knows Georgia's PeachCare program is in trouble. The freeze on new enrollments that began on March 1, 2007 is still in effect. What can change that? Literally, an Act of Congress, reauthorizing SCHIP.

Last session, the General Assembly passed a appropriations act that would allow the Department of Community Health to borrow money from Medicaid to bridge the 70 million dollar gap PeachCare is facing. The problem is that attorneys who are looking at that legislation have concerns about whether the language of the act is sufficient/appropriate, so DCH has not moved forward, hence the freeze. Why am I not shocked that such a critical act would contain legal flaws that may make it worth less than the paper it was printed on?

At the same time, Republicans in Congress, cheered on by Speaker Richardson, are looking to a Congressional Budget Office Report for ammunition in their fight to reduce the number of children who are eligible for PeachCare. I take back what I said about Republicans being slaves to polling data- 80% of Georgians favor maintaining or expanding PeachCare-but still the Republican leadership remains unmoved. Can you imagine fighting to remove children from health insurance?

I agree with Jon Flack. It is time for Democrats in Congress to step up to the plate and reauthorize this critical program. On a not-at-all-unrelated topic, there is breaking news that Rep. Jim Marshall has drawn opposition in the 8th Congressional District: Maj. Gen. Richard Goddard . Jim has served the district well, and he can certainly handle Goddard; however, this does make the race against Saxby look more appealing-at least to me. I'm not sure Jim will see it that way. Congressman Marshall's advocacy on the issue of children's healthcare will have me in his corner no matter which race he enters.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

More on Ellis Endorsing Obama

I have just one question about this. How does someone with the political experience of Ellis not know that a call with a candidate like Obama is closed to the press?

From the Telegraph:

Mayor Jack Ellis invited the media to listen to his telephone call with Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, only to find out from Obama's people that the call was supposed to be closed to the media.
So the media waited patiently as Ellis said little on his end of the conversation with the Democratic presidential candidate, which lasted about 15 minutes.
Once the call was completed, Ellis was glowing in his endorsement of Obama.
"He wants to compete in Georgia, and he wants to compete throughout the country," Ellis said. "He wants to compete for every vote. He's trying to get as many as he can."
Ellis worked on the Rev. Jesse Jackson's campaign in 1988 and said he would volunteer to help Obama's when he had time. Once his term is over, Ellis said he would join the Obama campaign officially "if they asked me to join."
He added that he had other options he was considering once his term is over in December.
Ellis bristled at the notion of calling Obama an "African-American candidate," pointing out that Obama's mother is white.
"He's no more African-American than he is Caucasian," Ellis said. "He understands both worlds. ... I don't think (race) is a factor at all."
Ellis said he is endorsing Obama because he believes him to be the most qualified candidate.
"(I support) his position on the war," Ellis said. "He speaks to what many mayors worry about. He brings experience working at the grassroots level. ... What he stands for on urban issues, foreign policy, urban agenda - we haven't had that since Bill Clinton was in office."

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Stonewall Democrats Host Fundraiser for Ponder

Atlanta Stonewall Democrats are hosting a fundraiser for Anita Ponder, candidate for Macon Mayor. Here are the details:

Invitation: Support Anita Ponder, Candidate for Mayor of City of Macon, Georgia

Our friend, the Honorable Anita Ponder, Macon City Council President, is running for Mayor, City of Macon. For almost eight years Anita has had the privilege of serving the citizens of Macon and Middle Georgia in her capacity as President of Macon City Council. She is also the Director of Education at the Tubman African-American Museum and holds numerous positions in various community organizations. You can learn a lot more about this impressive candidate at has the experience it takes to be the most effective Mayor for the City of Macon and she needs our support!

What: Fundraiser for Anita Ponder for Mayor of Macon

When: Sunday, May 20, 4pm

Where: Vino Libro in East Atlanta, 933 Garrett Street
Please RSVP to
$35 suggested contribution

Host Committee:Atlanta Stonewall Democrats; Honorable Lisa M. Borders; Ken Britt; Tony Conway & Steve Welsh; Sherman Golden; Michael Grover; Maxine Hicks & Medra Ashmore; Walter Huntley; LeeAnn Jones & Becca Sherrill; Sandra Jones; Ronald Moore; Doug & Pam Selby; Allen Thornell; Cathy Woolard & Karen Geney

* GENERAL: * Minimum ($35.00) Requested
DIRECTIONS:From I-20 Heading East: Take Exit 59B (2nd exit past Downtown Connector). Go right at top of ramp. Glenwood Park is on your left.From I-20 Heading West: Take Exit 59A (Boulevard Ave.). Follow exit and u-turn over 1-20 to head east. Exit at 59B to Glenwood Ave. Go right at top of ramp. Glenwood Park is on your left.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Georgia Dems: Stong and United

First of all, thanks to those who live-blogged the JJ Dinner last night. From the drumline welcoming Edwards to Mike Thurmond's dancing, the event was a success. In that room last night there was a shift in attitude and an energy that's hard to quantify but essential for success. Who could've been in that ballroom last night and not wanted to be a Democrat? Meanwhile, Georgia Republicans are having trouble getting delegates to their convention and planning to walkout on Perdue's speech. They are fractured and we are united. There's change in the air.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Edwards to Welcome Georgia Supporters

Most of you know that John Edwards will be in Atlanta on Thursday to help raise money for the DPG. To my delight, today, his campaign announced that prior to the JJ Dinner, they are creating a zero-cost opportunity for his grassroots supporters to meet and hear from the Sen. Edwards.

This is a a great opportunity for anyone who would like to meet and hear directly from Sen. Edwards. The campaign does request that you RSVP. They will be serving snacks and cold drinks, so they need to know how many people to plan for.

Here are the facts:

What : Meet and Hear from Sen. John Edwards

When: Thursday, May 17th at 5:15 pm

Where: The Georgia World Congress Center, Room 302C
285 Andrew Young International Blvd NW
Atlanta, Georgia
(there's a MARTA stop right near the entrance on Northside Drive).
Park in the Gold lot, enter through the Northside Drive entrance and go up the escalator,
Room 302C is on the right.

Who: YOU! And Everyone you know who would like an opportunity to meet and hear
from Sen. Edwards.
This is cross-posted at Georgia Votes Edwards.

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Mayor C.Jack Ellis Endorses Obama

13 WMAZ is reporting that Mayor C. Jack Ellis has endorsed Barack Obama for President.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

AJC: Brown to Run for Mayor

Political Insider is reporting that Sen. Robert Brown will indeed leave the senate to run for Mayor of Macon. Here's the story.

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Could Vernon Jones have possibly thought of a worse name for his new blog?

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Republicans Declare War - On Themselves

And who can blame them? Facing a mountain of corruption and almost certain electoral losses in 2008, the rank and file - the foot soldiers and the funders - have declared war on their own Party. They are so disgusted that a political blogger and current Republican candidate for Macon City Council, Erick Erickson, has picked up the sword himself.

In At War With the GOP, Erick Erickson of Peach Pundit and Red State, writes:

We got slaughtered last November at the polls. One of the reasons is corruption. And yet the GOP put another California Republican on the House Appropriations Committee this week — the fourth one to have records seized by the FBI in an ongoing corruption investigation.
Whether its the Democrats or Republicans, it is wrong. And it must stop. So I’ve declared war on the House GOP Steering Committee. We’re going to go after them and their donors. First, we’re going to call them all. You can help. The first target is John Linder.

And, over at RedState, he writes:

If the House Republican leadership is so out of touch and willing to blatantly ignore their base — a group of men and women across this nation who are tired of defending a party that continually puts into positions of power *known* perverts, louts, and corrupt common criminals — we must be willing to wage war upon them until they bend to common sense and decency.

This civil war within the GOP should come as a surprise to no one. The fundamental economic principle that drives them, keeping more money in the pockets of the rich and corporate America, is a platform that appeals only to a minority of Americans. So, in order to win, for thirty years or more, the GOP has worked to cobble together an unlikely coalition of the Religious Right, ex-Southern Democrats and the traditional Republicans driven by economic principles (read: greed).

But, at the core, this is a party that is about making the rich richer. (If you don't believe that, take a peek at the "tax reform" they want to push forward next year.) They have put on the trappings of morality and dressed up the language, and in doing so brilliantly crafted a coalition of people who often vote against their own economic self-interest in order to "do what's right." Now the foot soldiers who put these guardians of wealth in power are seeing that they have been used, and that their leaders have little interest in what is "right."

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Support the Troops - End the War

Leading, once again, Sen. Edwards has a new website, "Support the Troops, End the War" where he calls for a day of action on Memorial Day to do both. Sid, over at Cracker Squire, points out that there is a Washington Post piece about this effort, and he notes that this may be a risky strategy. Cracker Squire: Edwards campaigns to make Memorial Day an antiwar statement -- This is risky and could backfire.

Maybe Sid's right, but Edwards has made it clear from the beginning of this race that he will not be doing what's safe- he'll be doing what he thinks is right. I appreciate his courage and his leadership. There is no issue facing the American people that is more important than Iraq. Besides, this is a two-prong strategy- Support the Troops and End the War. There not a lot controversial here.

Here are some of the things he suggests we do to Reclaim Patriotism:

1. Get local, get active, and get outdoors. Walk the streets of your neighborhood. Get everyone you know to sign a petition to your local government body—for instance, your town or city council or neighborhood association—to pass a resolution requesting that Congress use its funding authority to support our troops and end the war. Bring the petition to the next meeting. Share your plans here.

2. Send our troops a taste of home. Go shopping with your kids, your friends, your neighbors, and buy a whole bunch of stuff that would make a soldier happy to receive (check for restrictions). Then go through a site like,, or to send your package to a soldier in Iraq. Take photos and tell us about it.

3. Gather in public. On Memorial Day, get your friends, kids, co-workers, neighbors, aunts, uncles, grandfathers, grandmothers, and anyone and everyone you know together to publicly support the troops and end the war. Be sure to check with your local authority for any permits you need for public gatherings. Contact local media to publicize your event. Make sure you conduct yourself respectfully—both for those serving in Iraq and the memory of the brave servicemen and women that Memorial Day honors. Share your plans here.

4. Pray. Organize a prayer vigil for our troops at your house of worship. Tell us about it.
Make your voice heard in Washington. Call President Bush at (202) 456-1111 or email him at Call your Representative and U.S. Senator and ask them to use their funding power to support our troops and end the war. Tell us about it.

5. Get vocal. Buy a bunch of poster-board and markers. At a picnic or with family and friends, make signs that say “SUPPORT THE TROOPS - END THE WAR.” Bring them to your local Memorial Day parade. Then take a digital photo of yourself and your family or friends holding up the poster and tell us about it. We’ll include it in a “Democracy Photo Album” on our site.
Greet a vet. Before Memorial Day Weekend gets started, get in touch with the Yellow Ribbon Fund and volunteer to provide welcome-back services and mentorships to injured soldiers returning home. Tell us about it.

6. Say thank you. Send a thank-you note to our troops through organizations like Let's Say Thanks, A Million Thanks, or Operation Care Packages. Better yet - gather folks together to write thank-you notes at a picnic. Tell us about it.

7. Help an injured vet. Before Memorial Day Weekend gets underway, contact your local VA Hospital and learn how you can volunteer. Tell us about it.

8. Light up the night. Get your friends and family together and organize a Memorial Day candlelight vigil to support our troops and end the war. Share your plans here.

This is cross-posted at Georgia Votes Edwards

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New Addition

Republicans, especially in Georgia, are doing such a fine job of critiquing one another, that I decided to add "The GOP Gaffe of the Day" to this blog's sidebar. Check today to see what Perdue has to say about how fellow Republicans respond to their constitutional duties.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

"We Failed Our Constituents"

"We failed our constituents," said Governor Perdue. Yes, you did, Governor, and Richardson has apologized to you for referencing your rear, but who's going to apologize to the everyday Georgians who paid the price for this year's study in how not to govern?

Georgia Republicans, in word and deed, have made a good and public case for why voters ought to bounce them all out of office. Don't take my word for it. For a blistering critique of the Georgia GOP, just glance to your right:

First, Perdue called the proposed property tax rebate,"the wrong choice, reached in panic, in the dark of night, in a secret room."


Then, on April 21, Speaker Richardson accused Perdue of showing lawmakers his “backside” and “acting like a child.”

Could've done without the visual.

Not to be outdone, Perdue, acknowledging the futility of trying to work with Glenn Richardson's House, rescinded the veto of the supplemental budget and said, "There is obviously no spirit of compromise with the House leadership. Leaders in my opinion don't act in such a way," Perdue said.


Other GOP lawmakers got into the spirit of ripping their own. Rep. Mills responded with a "bounces off me sticks to you" approach noting,"Someone could say the same thing about his response to what the House and Senate agreed upon," said Mills. "That knife cuts both ways."

Okay, so the Governor is a poor leader as well.

Yet another Republican lawmaker, Sen. Lee Hawkins worried aloud that taxpayers might pay the price for the GOP infighting. He said, "I would hope that retaliation is not taken out on the taxpayers of the state."

Too late.

I've got news for the Senator, we are already paying the price. Even Perdue acknowledged that the midyear budget is still flawed. Among the causalities? Prosecutors who may have to be furloughed before the June 30 end of the fiscal year. I guess Georgia Republicans just ceded the "law and order" issue.

To sum up the damage from the session, look to that entirely objective voice from the AJC, Jim Wooten who today wrote," This is a party adrift, a big tent where an assortment of moderates and conservatives mill about, without unifying principle, aim or agenda."

Nope, he's not talking about Democrats.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Smart, Smart, Smart

The State Bar of Georgia is running excellent television ads, and I saw one tonight. This is a public relations campaign that rivals what physicians did in the run up to passing "tort reform." Here's what the Bar says about the media campaign, in their minutes, minutes that in refreshing openness are posted on line:

Media Information Plan: Cliff Brashier provided a report on the Media Information Plan approved by the Executive Committee on February 15, which is designed to effect a response by the State Bar to criticism that is serious as well as inaccurate or unjustified about the legal system, the role of judges, lawyers, juries or the role of the State Bars.

I'm married to a lawyer and some of my closest friends are lawyers, so I say this with love- never has there been a group that had a greater need for a public relations campaign. It's sad, and maybe not fair, but when a candidate's top negative is the simple fact that they are an attorney, the profession has a problem. This, of course, is not an accident.

The profession isn't perfect. Neither is mine. Neither is yours, but lawyers and the courts have been the target of a two or three decade-long attack by radical right wingers who wish to take over (politicize) the courts and vest power in the executive and legislative branches of government. In Georgia, other than the campaigns of Sears and Hunstein, this is the first coordinated effort I have seen to punch back. Good for the State Bar. Good job.

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Showing Some Love for Lauren

Wow, this is pretty cool. Announce you're running one day, get a letter of support in the paper the next. Here's the letter from the Telegraph:

Benedict for Council

I would like to take this opportunity to endorse the candidacy of Lauren Benedict for City Council. I have known Lauren for many years and have found her to be an open and honest person. When our church was in a time of transition, Lauren took a strong role in the leadership of the church and helped it through a difficult time. I am sure she will bring this same strong decisive leadership to the City Council.

Michael Webb Macon

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Saxby Needs to Check His Vision

You know that "amazing progress" Sen. Chambliss "saw" in Iraq? Well, apparently his fellow Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe, did not see the same " amazing progress." Though she was on the same trip, she found "little to be cheerful about." Check the story on the Kos.

Apparently, Snowe actually observed the situation in Iraq while Chambliss just read his talking points. I agree with Kos- Georgia deserves so much more than this fool in the Senate. We need a good, viable candidate in this race-yesterday. And, no, we do not have one yet.

Any takers? I will personally raise your qualifying fee.

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John Edwards in Atlanta

In addition to his appearance at the JJ Dinner to help raise money for the DPG, Sen. John Edwards will be in Atlanta on May 18th for two events. Check back later for details.

This is cross-posted at Georgia Votes Edwards.

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Lauren Benedict is a Democrat

Shocking though it may be, despite what 13 WMAZ reported on their newscast this morning, Lauren Benedict, who is running for a citywide post on Macon City Council, is a Democrat, not a Republican.

What a way to start the day.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

James Marlow's Website

If you are interested in reading about James Marlow, who is running for Congress in the 10th District (seat vacated by death of Charlie Norwood), check out his website. We surely need that seat!

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Benedict to Run for Macon City Council

This just in...


May 8, 2007

Contact: David Cusson

Phone: (478) 803-0113 Fax: (478) 803-0162


Lauren Benedict Announces Candidacy for Macon City Council

Macon – Lauren Benedict announced her candidacy for Macon City Council, Ward V, Post 1 today. "The people of Macon deserve a representative on Council who will be their voice and who will insist that government is both fiscally responsible and accountable to the people," said Benedict. "That's the kind of council member I will be.”

Benedict, a 2005 graduate of Leadership Macon, is already actively engaged in the community as member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, past member of the Junior League of Macon and pro bono legal council to the Executive Director and Board of Directors for Loaves and Fishes, a homeless and transitional housing ministry.

“My desire to serve the people of Macon on City Council is a natural extension of the work I am already doing in the community,” Benedict said.

As a partner in the Boston Law Firm, practicing in the areas of Workers’ Compensation and Social Security, Benedict is a daily advocate for everyday working people. As a business owner, she understands the importance of the City's interface with the business community and the importance of economic development.

“In every challenge Macon faces, I see an opportunity," said Benedict. “ I know that with the right leadership, we can work together to make Macon a stronger and more vibrant city.”

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Looking Good

The Democratic Party of Georgia has a new website, and the content is current. Good job!

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Speaking of Seeking Justice: Promoted from Comments

From Dan Hillman, this is a promotion from the comments.

When a Governor decides to replace a critical advocate, a principled person like DeAlvah Simms, it becomes obvious that politics, political survival, careers of commissioners and division chiefs, and maintaining the status quo, are all more important than the needs of the constituents, in this case: the protection of children.This letter may be too little to late, and it may not carry the weight necessary to sway the powers that be to reconsider their decision to remove Georgia’s Child Advocate, DeAlvah Simms, from her position, but it may be enough to encourage the movement to restructure the position. The Georgia Child Advocate position should not be controlled by the Governor. How can the Child Advocate do the work of ensuring that State systems are protecting children, when the position is directly overseen by the Governor? How can the State’s Child Advocate bring evidence to light that State systems have serious flaws, when it is ultimately the Governor who is responsible for those systems? How can we expect the State’s Child Advocate to pursue investigations, like the one which recently lead to the reassignment of a County and Regional DFCS Director, when reprisals and retaliation are real, and impending risks to her? It is a difficult job to protect children. Keeping people in place who are true child advocates, who put their own careers on the line to protect children, is what is necessary. Seek the truth, do the right thing, and always help the victims and the vulnerable among us... DeAlvah Simms did.

Dan Hillman

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God's Only Party?

Please let me introduce you to Dr. Robert Parham, someone I met over the phone last week. Dr. Parham is the executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics, and they are doing some amazing work. Their website is Ethics Daily and well worth your attention. Here's a brief introduction:

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Mullis Will Not Seek Re-election

The Telegraph is reporting that City Councilwomen Filomena Mullis will not seek re-election. I have a hunch who will be seeking that seat and will let you know in just a few minutes...

Phone's busy, but stay tuned...

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Say Something Already!

During this legislative session, the DPG was strangely silent as Republicans committed hara-kiri. It's arguable that the GOP was doing such a fine job of filleting themselves in the press, that they did not need our help; however, our silence has Doug Monroe pining away for Bobby Kahn and Bill Shipp predicting that Georgia Democrats will not be able to take advantage of the Republican train wreck.

I understand that sometimes our elected Democrats took the heat for Bobby Kahn's press statements. The most recent example was Kahn going on record about Richardson's alleged inappropriate relationship with a female lobbyist. Let's just say that not all Democratic legislators were pleased, but taking that kind of heat is part of the price of being in office. That story needed to be told. It provided a frame for what was arguably the worst, least productive, most contentious legislative session in recent memory. Some would say that the Georgia GOP never recovered. Was Kahn too negative, too aggressive? Probably, yes, but, we must find a middle ground. On some issues, politically, the Party is in a better position to speak than the caucus whose members must stand for election in two years. We simply must tell voters what the problems are and offer them an alternative. It is not enough to be silent.

To be fair, I know Kidd and crew have been busy raising money, traveling the state, meeting with local Democrats, and, they have communicated, just not enough, especially in the wake of this horrid session. But, I think that the DPG is gun-shy because of the feelings of the elected Democrats. We need to get over that. The Republicans have handed us a gift. Less than 20% of those responding to a recent poll approve of the Republican legislative leadership. Their standard bearer in the 10th, Whitehead, can't open his mouth without saying something appallingly stupid. We have a rare opportunity. The question is, what are we going to do with it?

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New Wrinkle in Whitehead Saga

Managers of congressional campaigns really ought to check their candidate's website before making statements to the press denying that the candidate said something ridiculous. Today, Jason Winders, editor of the Athens Banner Herald, reports that Joel McElhannon, Jim Whitehead's campaign manager, says that his candidate's now infamous comment that "'left-wing political activists (are) intentionally registering illegal aliens to vote, including known al-Qaida terrorists" was all a big misunderstanding. McElhannon said:

"That quote does not accurately represent his views on that matter," said Joel McElhannon, Whitehead's campaign manager. "He has no proof. He has seen no proof that al-Qaida has been registered to vote. He just thinks that was a misunderstanding on that quote."
McElhannon, who took the article to Whitehead, translated his response to me. "Jim got the quote and said, 'What? I never said that. Maybe I was sputtering that out. ... No, I don't think al-Qaida members are being registered to vote by anybody."'

That excuse might work, except that the Whitehead put the claim in writing to the AJC and then posted that letter on his website. Jim Whitehead has a "Straight Talk" tab on the front page of his website, but it's clear that voters shouldn't expect any such thing from the candidate.

Face it. Whitehead actually believes this stuff, just like he believes Iraq is "not a big deal" in his district. Did anybody in the Republican party bother to vet this guy?

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Let's Arm Terror Suspects

The NRA is opposing legislation that would allow the Justice Department to block gun sales to suspected terrorists. The second amendment must be protected, even for terror suspects. Now, rights under the 1st, 4th and other less profitable amendments are of no concern to the NRA. We must keep our priorities in order, after all.

You know what this means, don't you? All those "known Al Qaeda terrorists" we're registering to vote in Georgia are going to be armed, thanks to the NRA.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Promoted from Comments: Call 911

From the comments, Tina has a point:

Known by whom? If Whitehead has inside knowledge of the identity and whereabouts of "known terrorists" perhaps he will do the rest of us the favor of taking sensible calling 911 before the bombs start exploding.

What's Whitehead thinking? He needs to call Homeland Security right now and turn in all those "known terrorists."

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Whitehead's Macaca Moment

You do recall George Allen's "macaca moment" during the last cycle don't you? He was the front runner in Virgina and seemed untouchable until he was caught on tape calling one of Webb's supporters "macaca" over and over again. The momentum of the campaign turned at that point, and you know the rest of the story.

Judging from the buzz on the Georgia Blogs, and the email I received today from the DPG, Jim Whitehead be having his very own "macaca moment." Jane Kidd, DPG Chair is demanding that Whitehead explain his (paranoid) accusation that left-wingers are registering "known Al Qaeda terrorists" to vote, and the would-be congressman's speculation that the war in Iraq is "not a big deal" in his district has ruffled feathers in a state where too many soldiers have given their lives in that war.

Turns out that conspiracy theorists who dis the military don't fare to well in Georgia. At least he's moved on from blowing up UGA. Check Blog for Democracy and Peachtree Screed for the latest.

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One Dollar, One Vote?

So, Cole Thomason (R) is not going to run again for Macon City Council, and that's a little bit of a story. Erick Erickson, of Peach Pundit, is considering running for the seat, but just can't decide. That's a little bit more of a story. But here's the real story. In giving his reason for declining to run for another term Thomason listed his family, a baby on the way (congratulations) and the general problems of the City, but then he said this:

"He said it also has been troubling to come to grips with the fact that
Ward V residents supply much of the city's tax revenue, yet with just three
council members, do not receive proportionate representation on the

The council's general voting history has not been in the
interests of Ward V residents, who are looking for more fiscal restraint and
a decreased government presence, he said. "That, unfortunately, is in most cases the
opposite of what council does," he said."

So, are we moving from one person, one vote to one dollar, one vote? Are you saying that because Ward V residents contribute more to the City's coffers, they should have a greater say in how that money is spent?

There is something decidedly 'undemocratic' about that philosophy especially when the truth is that money always talks in politics. People who make contributions and who have resources have access to power while middle class America does not. Plus, assuming that the middle class does not want those who govern to act in a fiscally responsible manner is nearly as absurd as the assumption that Republicans are the party of fiscal conservatism- all evidence to the contrary in Washington and Atlanta.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Now for a Contrast...

"Service Politics" may be a new trend, but the idea that we should be the change we want to see in the world is not new at all. Through efforts like Democrats Work, led in Georgia by Jason Carter, Democrats are coming together and working together to make their communities a better place to live.

Political Insider reports that this weekend in Atlanta, more than fifty Democrats Work volunteers will be serving brunch on Saturday and Sunday at Samaritan House of Atlanta’s Cafe' 458 on Edgewood Avenue. All the proceeds will benefit a local group that works with the homeless.

It is impossible to miss the sharp contrast between efforts like this and the priorities and attitudes that dominated this year's legislative session. If you would like to learn more about Democrats Work, please join Jason Carter for Politics and Lunch on May 27th at noon at 1015 Riverside Drive in Macon.

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The Three Stooges Running Georgia Government

Faced with spending a quarter of a million dollars on a special session that Tom Crawford reports will being either May 7 or May 14, Georgia's Republican senators and representatives need to be concerned about their job security. According to an Insider Advantage poll released yesterday, only 16.9% of Georgians polled have a favorable opinion of the job performance of the leadership of their state legislature. After the last session, no one should be shocked.

While state's the three top Republicans, Perdue, Cagle and Richardson, spent the session auditioning for a remake of The Three Stooges, the Rome News Tribune called the proposed property tax rebate "political fraud."

In November of 2006, nationally, Democrats took over both houses of Congress, in part because Republicans were perceived as corrupt, incompetent spendthrifts who had bungled the war and were out of touch with everyday people. Georgia Republicans have proven that they are no different than their Washington counterparts. In Georgia, where people change their political party more often than their underwear, the GOP has opened the door for Democrats in 2008.

Consider the Three Stooges who run State Government in Georgia.

  • "Moe" Richardson, Speaker of the House who began the session under the cloud of scandal because of his alleged relationship with a lobbyist, continued to entertain with his efforts to bounce children off the PeachCare rolls. Like Moe, Richardson's arrogance leads him to believe that he is a lot smarter than he really is. His tirades, like Moe's, are legendary.

  • "Larry" Cagle, Lt. Governor who seems like a nice guy but is just not all that competent, padded the budget for his office by 58% while failing to replenish the state's savings account and imposing about $100 million in 'austerity cuts' for public schools. I wonder who he thinks his new $150,000 a year job czar is going to recruit if we can't manage to get our kids through high school?

  • "Curly" Perdue, Governor who used 'Sonny Math' to overstate revenue projections and then was 'Gone Fishin' for most of the session, showed up just in time to veto the supplemental budget. By the way, the Governor seems to have plenty of time on his hands. Maybe Cagle can just hire him to be the Jobs Czar. Conflicts of interest have never mattered much to this crowd anyway.

All of these "leaders" have opted for pork and tax breaks for special interests while underfunding healthcare, education and public safety, the very things that impact the lives of everyday Georgians. As the Rome New Tribune says:

"Might one suggest that citizens really can't do without the state troopers, or the doctors in public emergency rooms, or the social workers guarding foster children or the teachers trying to stem the flow of dropouts. What they can do without is politicians of this caliber."


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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Whitehead Uncovers Left-Wing Plot

In Atlanta Magazine, Tom Crawford reports that congressional candidate, Jim Whitehead, has uncovered a super-secret left-wing plot to register "known Al Qaeda terrorists" to vote. Well, Jane Kidd said that Georgia Democrats were going to do things differently, but, seriously, Jane, this is not what we meant when we were talking about reaching out to swing voters.

Whitehead, whose district includes Ft. Gordon, said that he would be focusing on illegal immigration, and that "Iraq has not been a big deal in our district." I completely understand why Republicans don't want to talk about the war in Iraq, but when Georgia soldiers have lost their lives in this war, to suggest that it is "not a big deal" is unconscionable.

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Mitt's Not the Only One With a Commercial

Here's Edwards' new commercial:

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Perdue Approach to Child Welfare

The Perdue Approach to Child Welfare

"Abused children? I don't see any abused children."
When it comes to child well-being, Georgia ranks 44th in the nation, but that won't stop Sonny Perdue from removing one of our children's strongest advocates, Dee Simms, Georgia's Child Advocate. Her crime? Pointing an unwavering finger at the problems that exist at Fulton County DFCS, and in the process, making the Governor look bad.

According to an article in today's Telegraph, Simms knew that she was putting her job on the line when she submitted her scathing report of inadequacies at Fulton DFCS. I'm not sure why the Governor was surprised by the results of her evaluation. Children dying while in the care of Fulton County DFACS or after a report of abuse or neglect is made is hardly a new problem.

Silence on the part of responsible adults allows child abuse and neglect to continue. Who could be a more "responsible" adult than Georgia's Child Advocate? Apparently not Georgia's Governor. Simms is to be commended for doing the right thing for Georgia's children. Sticking our head in the sand will not make our children safer.

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