Flagpole: McCommons Declares War on Chasteen, Other Commissioners
This week's Pub Notes yields plentiful bounty for those who like to see the press take on the local electeds, as Pete McCommons does everything short of calling Tom Chasteen a raging douchebag for opposing the three-laning on Price Avenue. Pete makes short work of dismantling Tom's point about traffic diverting to Boulevard, and, in our humble opinion, does so in a pretty convincing fashion. (We had the same concern, still do actually, but to a lesser extent.) What's interesting about this piece to us is that for the first time in a long time on this issue, Pete has abandoned his more pedantic style and returned to the hell-raising, fire in the belly, full of piss and vinegar Pete that got us hooked on Flagpole lo those many years ago. Get 'em Pete!
The best stuff in here is where Pete calls out the "anti-progressive" Commissioners (McCarter, Sims, Carter) and gives the Chamber of Commerce a little what fer as well. This is the Pete McC we know and love, and we're glad to have him back. Somewhere, the ghost of the Athens Observer is smiling just a little brighter today.
First off, Flagpole's own Ben Emmanuel writes up the situation and in so doing, kind of puts the ABH to shame. Read it here.
Despite the recent withdrawal of the zoning request from next Tuesday's meeting, the flood of letters to the ABH about LPDS doesn't seem to be slacking off at all. The most recent controversy? Bashing Executive Editor Jason Winders for playing the race card in his Sunday column. Needless to say, Cedar Creek rushes to its own defense, and bends over backwards to prove that, as the cliche goes, some of their best friends are Latino. You can read for yourself here, and also here, courtesy of the gummint relations committee chair of the Cedar Creek Civic Association. In a related letter, stop picking on States. We would mention in passing that the ABH points out, correctly enough, that Winders didn't accuse Cedar Creek residents specifically, as they make clear in the editorial note at the end of today's letter from the aforementioned gummint relations committee guy.
Also in LPDS-world, people are beginning to isolate noise as the only realistic concern with respect to LPDS. Folks talk about that here and here. For what it's worth, noise isn't the only legitimate concern, in our opinion. One of the more rational LPDS opponents, who also happens to be a regular visitor to AP, is more than a touch concerned about the slippery-slopeitude of the zoning issues involved. We respect that, and certainly don't think that he or she is being alarmist, but we would submit by way of rebuttal that, if we've learned nothing else from this little imbroglio, the CCCA can certainly mount a serious challenge to anything they don't want in their backyards.
Finally in LPDS-world, we've gotten a few emails about the whole Winders/racism thingamabob, and if you really want our opinion, here it is. Yeah, we think Winders was a little over the top in implying that race is the issue in LPDS. It isn't. Are there racists involved in the opposition, as Winders alleges? Probably so. The CCCA represents over 650 homeowners, by their math. Statistically, there's probably one or two that flat just don't like Hispanics. But that's not the issue here. So, while it appears Winders is on the same side as us, we are not on the same page on racism.
Pundit Extrordinaire Bill Shipp takes the easy road out in today's column, by writing two pretty self-referential grafs, and quoting one email for the other 11. Nonetheless, it's worth a read. Basically, Shipp gets accused of driving, or at least taking a ride, on the "Mark Taylor should drop out and run again for Lieutenant Governor" bandwagon. Old friend of Taylor's, responds, rehashes Taylor's talking points, Shipp is contrite.
This isn't anything new. Seems like any time you've got two Democrats in a primary, who are both pretty strong, one of the two starts the same old refrain. (The GOP, by the by, mostly handles this stuff out of the public eye and before candidates announce their intentions, making sure that the voters are usually only left with the party-approved example of steely-eyed faux conservative zealotry.) It might not surprise anyone that this has happened numerous times, even right here in the Classic City.
Nonetheless, it makes us respect Mark Taylor just a little bit more. Is he the most electable against Perdue? We don't know. But the thing is, neither do you, and neither does Cathy Cox (or her pollster). Early polls that test the strength of different primary candidates against an incumbent are not necessarily unreliable, but they are early polls, and any support is very soft.
Here's what we're gonna do. As we've mentioned before, we don't really have a dog in this fight yet. So we're going to take a close look at both candidates for the Democratic nomination and make up our own minds. We hope you'll take a good look at Taylor, and dismiss this "weaker candidate" crap as just that. The result of very soft early polling that the other candidate is using to their own advantage.
Speaking of the governor's race, we do have one thing to mention about the Cox campaign. As our regular readers might know, one of our frequent commenters, one Random Thoughts, took umbrage recently at two comments Cathy made (wearing the Secretary of State hat, not the candidate hat) that implied that Georgia poll workers were elderly and easily confused. (These comments were made in reference to the Voter ID Law). On our encouragement, RT posted a question about that on Cox's blog. Oddly enough, the comment never made it to the actual blog, implying (at least to those of us who have experience managing campaign blogs) that someone on the staff decided not to publish it. Here's what makes that little fiasco even better.
Your crack editorial staff (who has what we humbly think of as a divine mission to keep you informed on the goings-on of various campaigns) received a mass email recently from the Cox campaign. Sez Morton Brilliant, campaign manager, ""Grassroots" is a term you hear a lot of campaigns toss around. To Cathy Cox, it means building an open, accessible campaign..."
Yeah, not so much.
Here's how the Cox campaign should have handled it, in our humble opinion. There are a couple of options. The best and easiest, would have been to post and reply to the comment, and explain Cathy's position. You know, we're big fans of "open and accessible" campaigns that are actually open and accessible.
But failing that, a nice email explaining that this was from Cathy as SOS and not Cathy as candidate and giving an appropriate contact for the question, would have also probably worked.
But, censoring it? Just our guess here, but Cathy might have just lost a vote in the Democratic Primary.
The fine folks in charge of Athens Regional Medical Center aren't fans of three-laning Prince, sez the ABH. They cite the 35 or so emergency calls per week from ARMC to the downtown area. We wonder how three laning Baxter affected the same situation with St. Mary's. Anyone know?
On a final note, we apologize from the heart of our bottom for taking a day off yesterday. We were busy, yo.
Tips go here, beeyotch.