Friday, February 03, 2006

Heidi After Dark

If our email is any indication, Mayor Heidi Davison was burning the midnight oil last night, asking everyone she knows to contact Sonny Perdue about vetoing the redistricting bill.  Of course, as far as AthPo is concerned, Heidi is preaching to the choir on this one.  Still, we’re going to join the chorus and entreat you to give the Gubner a piece of your mind.  (Link below)

We would also point out that Heidi has been a pit bull on this issue, as we’ve mentioned before.  Like her or not, you have to applaud the mayor for fighting as hard as she has on what has pretty much become a legislative fait accompli.  That’s what you want in a mayor, in our opinion.  It’s been a tough fight, and we’re going to be very surprised if Sonny Perdue vetoes the new maps.

Heidi’s work on this issue (coupled with her recent high-profile poverty stuff) has engendered a lot of goodwill towards her in the community.  You know, we predicted a few months ago (too lazy to find the post, sorry) that Heidi’s base has eroded somewhat since 2002.  Obviously, the mayor has kept mum on her plans to run for re-election, but if she’s leaning in that direction, we think that standing up on this issue has probably re-energized some of her supporters who might have strayed from the fold.  Best of all, Heidi stood up on this issue and she didn’t piss anyone off who wasn’t already pissed off at her to begin with – namely Ralph Hudgens, Larry McKinney, and the COC-squad.

Compare that to Tom Chasteen, who is the big loser in this whole mess.  You see, Chasteen is the only person who didn’t win – hence the definition of Chasteen as loser.  McKinney and the COC-squad get their second senator, Ralph Hudgens gets a chunk of Athens to represent (and some more fat corporate donations), and as mentioned above, Heidi gets some recognition for the hard work she’s done and maybe pulls some supporters back over to her side.

Tom Chasteen, however, has gained nothing, and lost a good bit.  His “heroic” stance in voting against the resolution condemning the redistricting was anything but heroic.  It might have been a brave stand to take, if it accurately reflected his views – but his comments prior to the meeting show that he appears to be as opposed to carving up Athens as his colleagues are.  So, it was pure politics – amoeba politics – for Chasteen.  

But whither now, Tom Chasteen?  In his mayoral run, Chasteen is banking on votes from two groups: local Republicans (who mostly consider him the lesser of four evils), and his traditional Democratic base.  Problem is, the Republicans were probably going to vote for him anyway (they sure weren’t voting for Heidi!), and many of his District 9 base were against redistricting from the get-go, and angry about Chasteen’s no-so-heroic stand.  Add to that the undecided voters, who may not be happy with Heidi, but aren’t big fans of Chasteen.  The undecideds would have probably fallen fairly evenly had Tom followed his conscience.  Now, however, we’ll have to see how they react to a politician who always sticks his finger in the wind before he opens his mouth.  Any way you slice it, the result is a net loss for Tom Chasteen.

Realistically, Tom’s not beaten yet.  Indeed, if Heidi decides not to run, he becomes the frontrunner, barring another high-profile local candidate jumping in.  Even with Heidi in the race, Chasteen probably still makes a runoff with the mayor.  He’s going to be well-funded, and we’re sure his direct mail will be damn purty.  

Nonetheless, we’ll bet he wasn’t up at 1:30 this morning rallying up support for anything.

Related: Contact Governor Sonny Perdue.  


Anonymous said...

The link is not working, at least for me.

Publius said...

Hmm...I pulled it up just fine, but nonetheless try it again. The first link was to a FAQ page, and I've updated it to take you directly to the form to submit a comment to the Gubner.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. The new one is what I found with some fishing around.

Dawg Corleone said...

Oh, Gawd. Not another web petition...

Does anyone think anyone takes those things seriously? I looked at the other one the other day--6th graders are signing it. As well as people with names like "Anita Newmapp" and "I. Kant Reed."

I don't know what's funnier: seeing "Dewey Givadam's" name on a petition, or the thought that people who put these things together actually believe their accomplishing something.

"Hey, guys, if we all think REALLY HARD, maybe we can STOP THIS RAIN!"

Publius said...

Nah, this is no web petition. This is contacting low-level flunkies on the Gubner's staff.

About as useful, probably, as the web petition, but it can't hurt.

ned said...

When I was looking through the web petition it was interesting for me to see groups of names that were associated with each other. I saw a lot of teacher from my high school, professors in my Dad's department, people from the local music industry. The names I did know stood out to me because they were names of people who make this town what it is. You can laugh all you want at the fake names that may have existed on the list, but the real names on there were real people doing real things in this town and they shouldn't be dismissed so easily.

You may not take a web petition seriously, but the people who signed it are a part of this community - not haters from the white flight county to the south.

Dawg Corleone said...

I thought the guy who started the petition was from the white flight county to the south.

Anonymous said...

Can you provide a link to the petition??

Ned said...

I like how you ignored the context of my post and the word hater in order to make a smug comment. For every fake/joke name on there I can show you 5 names of people I know that are active in the community and I don't even live in Athens anymore.

the petition is here, anonymous:

Anonymous said...

most of the fake names were the direct product of Republicans and a local Republican radio talking head trying to sabotage it. OK, if it's worth taking the time to sabotage it then, somebody must think that it just might have an impact.

Do I think it will have an impact? Yes, I do. Not on the decision on SB 386 but on energizing the base. It's a no lose thing, anyway. It might be a no win on the actual target but what else can anybody do?

The Republican leadership was successful in blocking any substitute bills or meangingful debate so, what else can anybody do? It's pretty damned unpatriotic for a party that thinks they always win on the "God and country" thing.

Good on Heidi!