Saturday, December 31, 2005

AthPo Presents: The de Rigeur New Year's Predictions

With the New Year just around the corner, we thought it would be a nice touch for your peerless political prognosticators to produce a few pointed pieces of partisan predictions and punditry. Without further ado, here goes:

Mayoral Stuff
  • Incumbent Mayor Heidi Davison will not run for a second term. Why? Well, we only know what we hear around town, and word on the street is that Heidi’s not going to throw her hat in the ring this time around. Every day that passes without a yea or nay from Her Honor indicates to us that she’s really sweating this decision, and in our experience, the more people think about these things, the less likely they are to decide to submit themselves to a grueling campaign, not to mention the ensuing four years of service if they win.

  • Mayoral candidate Keith Johnson will also drop out of the race early in 2006.

  • With Heidi out of the race, Tom Chasteen will emerge as the heir apparent, due mostly to the massive (for Athens) sums of money he will raise.

  • Also, with Heidi out of the race, her supporters will search long and hard for someone to carry the progressive banner. They will try to gang up on David Lynn and convince him to run. They probably won’t succeed, and Chasteen will win the election in a runoff against Charlie Maddox. Andy Rusk will poll a not-so-distant third.
ACC Commission

  • States McCarter stays on the Commission (see the post below), and continues to peddle his crazy all over City Hall. He never again says the words "vivacious honky," and the Athens blog community is deeply saddened.
  • In Commission election action, James Garland will surprise folks in District 1, George Maxwell, Kathy Hoard, and David Lynn will easily win re-election, and Jim Ponsoldt will win Tom Chasteen’s District 9 seat.

  • In Commission agenda action, the smoking ban stays, rental registration will continue to be chipped away in the courts, and, after being the butt of many jokes, potty parity will be wiped off the agenda.

  • Many people will continue to make fun of Carl Jordan’s light ordinance, while secretly thinking it’s kind of a good idea. Your crack editorial staff will be the poster children for that position.

  • La Puerta del Sol will come back in the opening months of 2006, but the variance will be voted down. Commissioners voting against will be: Sims, Maxwell, Kinman, McCarter, Chasteen, and Dodson. Kathy Hoard will continue to ask many questions. Charles Carter will continue to sound like Foghorn Leghorn. George Maxwell will continue to complain, and David Lynn will continue to look on, an impenetrable mass of silent disapproval.

  • The ACC Commission’s war on ACC will continue, with other sketchy “quality of life” ordinances being bandied about.

  • Mass transit will be better funded, but not completely funded.

  • Prince Avenue will continue to have four lanes. Bike Athens will continue to be very angry.

  • The Commission will consider at least one or two more community art projects along the lines of the downtown bulldogs or the artsy-fartsy bus shelters. Meanwhile, community centers and parks in inner-city areas will continue to fight for the budgetary leftovers.

  • A business/community/government initiative will raise money and re-open the homeless shelter. Major players will be: members of the ACC Commission, the Chamber of Commerce, numerous private citizens, and the Interfaith Hospitality Network will lead the effort. (Hey, we can dream, can’t we?)
Gold Dome
  • The Voter ID Law will be struck down in the courts. Republicans will be forced to find less overt forms of legislative racism. Sue Burmiester will never be allowed to sponsor a bill, or even speak publicly, again.
  • Numerous bills will be passed to make life harder for gays, blacks, Latinos, and the poor. Democrats in the State Legislature will hunt for political cover, will find none, and many will unltimately join the GOP in passing these bills.

  • State Senators Vincent Fort and Sam Zamarripa will emerge as the new leaders of the Democratic Party in Atlanta and will work as hard as they can to marshal support against Eric Johnson and the GOP agenda. The Legislative Black Caucus will continue to
State Politics
  • Cathy Cox will win the Democratic Primary for Governor, but will lose in a tight race to the Gubner.

  • Ralph Reed will lose the Republican Primary for Lieutenant Governor. Republican Casey Cagle will beat Democrat Greg Hecht in a closer-than-expected general election.

  • Republicans will win elections for Superintendant of Schools and Secretary of State, Democrats will hold on to the Attorney General’s office and Commissioner of Labor. Brian Kemp will win the Republican primary for Agriculture Commissioner but will be beaten like a borrowed mule in the general by Tommy Irvin. The Democratic primary for Secretary of State will be a free-for-all and a lot of fun to watch, but not many people will watch, because no one really cares.

  • Locally, Democrats will hold on to Jane Kidd’s State House seat, and Doug McKillip will prove to be a typical apologetic Democrat once he takes office. Keith Heard will not run in 2006, but Democrats will hold on to the seat. Jane Kidd will lose to Bill Cowsert in the race for State Senate.

  • The Republican/Democrat ratio in the State House and State Senate will not change much.

  • Pressure will mount for Bobby Kahn to step down as head of the Democratic Party of Georgia. He won’t. Democrats will continue to lose.
National Politics
  • Charlie Norwood will win in a walk over whichever sacrificial lamb the Democrats put up against him.

  • John Barrow will run even farther to the right in an effort to avoid frightening rural conservatives. His liberal base will get even angrier with him than they are now, but it won’t matter because they don’t live in his district. Savannah’s large gay community will protest loudly against Barrow. Inexplicably, Pete McCommons will continue to support Barrow. In the end, Barrow loses narrowly, and spends some time mulling over a run against Saxby Chambliss in 2008 before deciding to go to work for a DC-based law firm.

  • The Democratic Party of Georgia won’t be any closer to finding a reputable candidate to run against Chambliss than they are now.

Your predictions below.


monticello_pres said...

Can't find much fault with your predictions.

And, if you are correct about Heidi, Chasteen certainly becomes the man to beat. Even if she does run, he is likely the best person for the job anyway. As for David Lynn, speaking is a requisite for Mayor so he will likely avoid such a run.

I especially like the Barrow-for-Congress-then-Barrow-in-a-DC-law-firm angle. Sure makes sense. Especially with his dwindling ties to the Classic City.

Dawg Corleone said...

Keith Heard has already said he will run for re-election in '06.

Anonymous said...

"Every day that passes without a yea or nay from Her Honor indicates to us that she’s really sweating this decision,..."

I am literally laughing myself silly over this statement! "Sweating the decision"? OMFG! You really don't know anything at all about Heidi, do you?!

She told me the other day that she thinks all these guys are nuts for getting worked up over this race months and months too soon. There's really no reason to even think about it, yet.

Anybody remember how far in advance Heidi decided to challenge Doc? Try 5 minutes before the close of qualifying! LOL! Relax, untwist your knickers, it will happen when it happens and not one second sooner.

Publius said...

I'm not disputing the quality of your information, you know, since you talk to the mayor and all. (And when you talk to her again, please invite her to stop by AthPo and say a few words.) Here's what I will say. Heidi's too smart not to be thinking about this now.

So, if she's not thinking about it now, my conclusion is either she doesn't want to run or she doesn't want to win. Tom Chasteen is out there doing the work now. One can, I suppose, assume that Keith Johnson and Charlie Maddox are doing the same. Andy Rusk is doing the work his own way.

Another point I'd mention is that right now, I'm personally leaning towards her, if she runs. (This statement is not to be taken as any sort of endorsement from the blog. We'll make fun of everyone in an equal opportunity fashion.) Heidi's got a lot of supporters out there, and they'd probably like to know, so the conscientious ones can start looking around if they have to. It's really kind of a disservice to her choir, if you know what I mean.

Finally, it's a political blog here, and we do a fair imitation of political commentary. It's kind of our raison d'etre to have our knickers in a twist, and yours too, I'd bet. Otherwise, why would you be so worked up about it eleven months before the election?

By the way, your carck editorial staff was talking about the mayoral race amongst some friends just recently, and there is a good, solid way that, if she does decide to run, Heidi can win without a runoff.

Anonymous said...

yea, like Heidi's thinking about it, lol... She is the most ambitious politician I think I have ever known personally, and she is certainly going to run!

She just doesn't want everyone thinking that anything she does for the next year is all about getting elected. Of course, we all think that anyway, knowing her.

Her ambitions know no bounds, folks, she's in the race, mark my words. I'd just like to know how she's going to address her supposed priority of poverty... we haven't heard an initiative from her since she announced before taking her oath that the poverty rate here would be her priority.

Makes you wonder how she can keep insisting that Leisure Services NOT loosen the $50 enrollment fee for basketball programs in low income communities.
What's up with that issue? If you're wondering why the East Athens Black/Elite have gone over to Tom Chasteen, this is just one reason Heidi's in deep doo doo in the Black community.

I hope we get another progressive candidate, I really cannot stand her personally. She is completely lacking in empathy or warmth... and a typical cheap politico, all lip service and no money to back up all the good talk.... Like how on earth does she justify NOT funding transit expansion in LAST years budget?

But having said all of that, I will vote for her if she's the only progressive (really) in the race. She is a tireless worker in her own behalf at least. I think she'll win hands down.


Anonymous said...

Both Barrow comments seem more out of touch than Barrow himself.
Check his money lists, he still seems to have considerable support from ACC and her democratic base. I’ve been looking at his votes on Thomas. He votes over 90% of the time with the Democrat leadership. He also seems to vote right/correct when it counts (for example, against the budget reconciliation). And it’s not like the rest of his clan is moving anywhere or leaving Athens. Last time I heard, his kids still live here.
Anyway, I don’t think he can lose to an easily provoked buffoon like Max Burns, but if he does he will certainly return to Athens.

Publius said...

He is raising money from Athens, that is true, but his democratic base isn't relevant to him anymore except as a source of funding, seeing as how Athens will no longer be voting for him.

I would take exception that he votes the "right way" most of the time, but then I take my civil liberties pretty seriously. I also can't believe he let himself be baited on the Schiavo thing.

He can lose to an easily provoked buffoon like Max Burns, I think, although it will be a close race. As I've said ad nauseum, given a choice between a Republican and a Democrat that attempts to position himself as a Republican, conservative voters will take the real thing every time. Also, I wouldn't rule out the support that Burns has in the southern chunk of the district. However, the race is going to come down to who presents themselves better to the voters (mostly white rural folks) who have just been added into the new 12th.

Does he still have custody of the kids?