Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Updating the Blogroll

Hi kids,

More substantive posting coming later today, but please also note the wrap piece on the PPA meeting below.

Meanwhile, we've got to update our list of candidate websites, so if you are a candidate, or you know a candidate running for anything in or around Athens, drop us an email with the URL. Yeah, we could do all the research on our own, but many hands make light work.




Chuck said...

Hi everyone, my name is Chuck Jones and I am a candidate for Athens-Clarke County Commission District 9. My website is at Vote Chuck Jones, the Candidate for Change!

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

Well, as you can see straight from the horse's mouth, Mr. Jones is no longer running in House 115, but rather in Commish SuperDistrict 9. Thanks for letting us know, Chuck. I like how the website is virtually identical to when I wrote last Thursday, with minor adjustments to reflect the change in office sought.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Yes, please, everyone go see what Mr. Jones has to say in the "issues" section of his site. He certainly provides some insights as to his positions. See for yourselves.

Jmac said...

Let's not poormouth the guy too much since he was considerate enough to at least post to the blog, so kudos for that.

I don't think I'll vote for him since, well, I don't particularly agree with many of his views from what I've heard. Of course, the real reason I won't vote for him is that I don't live in his district.

Chuck said...

That's certainly a good enough reason, jmac!

If anyone has any questions about my positions, the "e-mail" link is now active so please feel free to ask away, or post a question here on the blog. I'm very eager to hear your thoughts and to share my own ideas with you.

I know by posting here I am kind of walking into a wolves' den - I don't really expect to earn the votes of Heidi Davison or David Lynn or any of their machine. But I am asking everyone else to keep an open mind about me and to evaluate my issues fairly. I think you will find I am a non-stereotypical candidate who will stand up for the "little guy".

Doubledawg- as "anonymous" pointed out, the Issues section has changed. The site is coming up little by little at this point; it should be fully operational (with that horrible orange graphic gone) when I announce formally.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

Fair enough Chuck. I'll check it out. But you won't be getting my vote, since I'm not in your district either.

By the way, check out our archives; we've had plenty of criticism for Heidi and Lynn as well.

Chuck said...

I appreciate it!

I think that the majority of Athens citizens do not want important decisions to be made behind closed doors.

I think that the majority of Athens citizens understand the need for the government to respect citizens' property rights.

I think that the majority of Athens citizens want to cooperate with the UGA student population, and not treat them as enemies.

These are all issues that I think are important. I don't expect to earn Heidi's vote - but I sure hope everyone else will keep an open mind about my campaign.

Anonymous said...

you definitely will not be getting Heidi's vote or her husbands - I can guarantee that because they don't live in this district either!

Chuck said...

Also the fact that I am coming out strongly against the corruption of Mayor Davison and Commissioner Lynn may have something to do with it! ;)

Anonymous said...

oops! just lost my vote too. start tossing around terms like "corruption" with no facts, no're off to a very poor start.

Maybe time to change races, again?

Chuck said...

Why did you assume I had no evidence? Instead of jumping to the conclusion that I had no evidence or facts, wouldn't the more reasonable action have been to ask me if I had any evidence or facts?

Jumping to conclusions, stereotyping, and judging people unfairly have gone on too long in this community. Anonymous' post was an example of that. I am running because I want to change all of that.

Jmac said...

Again, while I don't necessarily subscribe to Chuck's ideological thinking, let's at least give him credit for posting her and the benefit-of-the-doubt when it comes to fleshing out his issues. He's got a good while to express his views more clearly, and hopefully he'll continue to do that here.

Snarky comments - while always entertaining, sure - don't exactly move the dialogue forward.

Since I made a bold claim to do that, I'll levy a legitimate question to Chuck. Under the issues section of your web site, you say (or at least imply) that Mayor Davison and David Lynn will use eminent domain because they're unprincipled. While I personally think that's just political bluster on your end and think both individuals (despite some disagreements) are folks of good principles and sound character, I was wondering if you could expand on that.

Do you mean that either Davison or Lynn or any other commissioner would seek to use eminent domain in the sense the Supreme Court recently approved (taking private property to be given to other private entities for their use)? Or are you suggesting their use of the traditional use of eminent domain - taking private property for the 'good of the community' (i.e. a road or sidewalk) - is faulty?

It would seem to me you're using a broad blade to address this issue. Surely you can't believe all eminent domain seizures are bad, can you?

Anonymous said...

generally speaking, one does not make such a sweeping accusation of criminal conduct against elected officials without presenting their evidence before or in conjunction with the accusation.

I thought you were in law school.

I believe it is you, sir, that have done all the conclusion jumping and stereotyping and it is incumbent on you to present your case.

You can disagree with Heidi and David all you want - I don't agree with them on everything. You can say that they've got it wrong. You can present your alternatives. All fair.

You started off by leveling criminal charges - that requires a higher level of proof and, knowing both of them quite well for more years than you've been in Athens, I'll bet you've got nothing!

You want a stereotype - try this one:
another bible-thumping, born-again, liar in the mold of Ralph Reed and Ralph Hudgens.

My evidence is on your own web site!

Chuck said...

Thanks jmac for asking a serious question about this issue. I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to discuss my position.

The eminent domain issue is quite important to me and I think it is quite important to Athens citizens as well. While I understand that a six month moratorium is not exactly the same as an exercise of eminent doamin, I still view that issue as one of property rights. You have a group of citizens who have purchased a property and are now, thanks to Mr. Lynn, unable to use it. And if Mr. Lynn has his way (which he claims to have the votes for), they will never be able to use it. Even if that does not fit the strict definition of condemnation, the effect is substantially the same.

In commenting on his effort to make the seizure of these people's property permanent, Mr. Lynn stated that "ownership of property itself does not 'vest' you in the development process." When people talk of "vesting", they are making reference to rights. This cavalier attitude toward citizens' property rights is unacceptable in my view.

If the Commission can do this to these citizens, what's stopping them from doing it to you or to me or to anyone else?

I think that property rights are one of the most paramount rights that a government exists to protect. I view this moratorium as not only an unwarranted attack against a group of citizens based on an unfair stereotype, and not only as an example of back room decision making. I view it as an attack on property rights. I cannot stand for any of these things.

What's your opinion?

Chuck said...

Let me just expand on one comment I made above. I asked, if the Commission can enact a moratorium on these citizens' property, what's stopping them from doing it to you or to me?

We all know what's stopping them. Political power. They can treat students poorly because they know that students generally do not vote. This is exactly what Justice O'Connor was concerned about in her dissent in the Kelo case.

O'Connor stated that under the Kelo decision, those with more political power (e.g., those who have the ear of David Lynn) are able to intrude onto the property rights of those with less political power (e.g., students who do not vote). That is exactly what we've seen here in Athens.

In this election, I am going to call for the largest student vote turnout in the history of Athens. I have been told this will be difficult, and nearly impossible. I know it will be difficult, but I don't think it's impossible. It's time for the student population to stand up for their rights.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

But isn't the referenced comment of Lynn's true, legally speaking? Just because you own property doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with it; that's what zoning laws are about, for example. Now, you may not care for that, but that's the way it is. So I'm not sure an accurate statement of the law is a reason to condemn Lynn.

Which is not to say I completely disagree with you on this one example (reference discussion on here back when that was going on...sorry, you'll have to look it up, I'm too tired and lazy to right now). But I believe JMac asked you to support your idea that Heidi and Lynn were "unprincipled", and I'm not sure you've done that; he also asked whether all eminent domain takings were bad, and you either implicitly said no (only ones involving "back room decision making" based on "stereotypes" are bad) or didn't address the question.

Anonymous said...

good discussion of eminent domain though it is quite a stretch to expand it into the issue of the moratorium on the Greek properties.

Still, I see no evidence to support the criminal charge of corruption and, until such time as you can present credible evidence, you are walking dangerous close to liable and slander. Pretty unChristian behavior. Pretty unimpressive for someone who has yet to build any credibility.

fivepts said...

I'm just going to have to say counting on students to win isn't the best strategy there buddy.

I'm a moderate democrat, so I'm open to your candidacy, but you better not count on the kids. Look at the history, a true student, Tillery, tried that 2 years ago, and in my opinion was the best student candidate I've seen here yet. I can recall at least 3 others. He was good with the adults too, appeared well versed in the community, and raised money better than a lot of adults. I didn't vote for him, but he impressed me enough that I didn't vote for his opponent, I'll give him that. But in the end he didn't make it either. Good kid, probably a bright future, but he couldn't beat the Republican label. Good luck kid if you think you can.

Chuck said...

Very good points you raise doubledawg; I'll explain my thoughts a bit further.

Just because you can do a thing, that does not necessarily mean that you SHOULD do that thing. And, just because something is technically correct according to the letter of the law, it does not mean that it is the right thing to do.

Even if you can get away with it in court, that still doesn't make it right. Even if we assume that the moratorium is legally kosher (which will likely have to be decided by a court), it still was not and is not the right thing to do.

I don't think a Commissioner should approach problems by asking "What can we get away with in court?" Rather, I think a Commissioner should be asking "What is the right thing to do here?" This is the approach I will take on the Commission.

I certainly believe that the Supreme Court's interpretation of eminent domain in the Kelo case is bad. I further believe that this particular action by the Commission, even though it does not fall within the strict definition of condemnation, is an unprincipled intrusion onto property rights.

I think that it is unprincipled for a government to categorically attack all members of a group based upon a stereotype. That's what I believe is happening, with respect to the moratorium and the efforts to make it permanent. I further think it is unprincipled to make decisions behind closed doors before the public even knows what's going on, and have a public meeting as a mere formality. That's why I used the term unprincipled, for which I am using corrupt, crooked, etc., as synonyms.

Chuck said...

Hello Fivepts; thanks for your comments.

I do not subscribe to party labels. Of course, this race will be a non-partisan race. But further, I have been on both major sides of the political aisle, so to speak, and I see the good and bad sides to each party. I worked on Mr. Tillery's Republican campaign that you referenced in your comment. I have also been a member of my hometown (Winchester, Virginia) Democratic Party committee.

I've seen the good and bad sides of each party. Each party embraces ideals I believe in, and each party has points with which I disagree. And it is the same with the Libertarian party. So I'm glad not to have to attach myself to any label - as I said earlier, I am opposed to stereotypes.

You're absolutely right that it will be difficult, as it always is, to turn out student voters. I am working on several ways to combat student apathy. To that extent, I have to give David and Heidi and the rest of the gang a huge "thank you". I think that energizing the fraternity and sorority vote will be critical in this election.

hillary said...

Unfortunately, they can't vote en masse the way they do in student government elections.

Jmac said...

Thanks for getting back to me Chuck.

I, for one, didn't agree with the moratorium either for many of the reasons you cited - primarily because I think it unfairly singled out one group for no good reason, I even said so here - and I was very frustrated and disappointed in Commissioner Lynn's language. Typically, I've liked him and his views, but this was a definite departure.

So, yes, I think it's important we as a community do something to protect the ability of individuals to effectively use the property they own. This, however, does not mean we as a community don't have the right to pursue ordinances and legislation designed to protect the rights of others. While I'm not a fan of many of the 'quality of life' ordinances, I do understand the principle and intent of them, despite their faults.

It's a bit misleading to suggest that private property owners can do whatever they want with the land they own. DiDDY alluded to this by pointing out that we have things like zoning laws and limits on how tall buildings can be and clear-cutting ordinances, so it's not an unusual thing to tell people what they can and can't do to their land.

The difference between you and me regarding the fraternity moratorium, the way I see it, is that I view it as a definite breach of etiquette on the part of local government which had approved the deal, and then was furiously backpedaling because of some opposition from a handful of owners around there. You view, from what I can gather, as that private property owners should be permitted to do with their land how they please and it's wrong to restrict that.

Chuck said...

Hillary - this is true, there are students spread around the entire county, and many of them are not in my district. Even those who are in my disrict are often not registered at all, or at least not registered in Athens. Registering students to vote is critical. Even more critical is getting students to the polls. 18 to 24 year olds are, I would wager, the largest voluntarily disenfranchised group in the nation. I am the "Candidate for Chage" - and that is one of the things I will be working to change.

JMac: I think you and I are on the same page with respect to this. I am certainly not saying there should never be any restrictions - you cannot run a brothel or a drug cartel on your property for example. I don't think anyone would dispute such laws. However I viewed this particular action as an unreasonable intrusion on property rights. And it got me to thinking, as I described above, what's stopping them from doing it to you or to me?

I completely agree with you that the primary reason to be opposed to the moratorium is that it unfairly singles out a group of citizens based on a stereotype. In fact, at the next meeting of the Mayor and Commission, I will be elaborating more on that. This is the reason I am wanting to use this campaign to energize students to change their voter registrations here to Athens and vote here. If the students, particularly Greek-letter organizations, do not stand up for their rights now, then they are never going to be taken seriously by the government.

Anonymous said...

not going either way on whether some group was stereotyped but, it is just silly and illogical to say that the commission should not have implemented the moratorium without letting all the groups have their say - one more day and the Greek organization would have legally acquired their building permit (as did the KA that same afternoon) and then there would be nothing to discuss - game over. Once you've been issued a building permit, the government cannot rescind it (as some poster seems to have implied).

So, the ONLY way to bring the stakeholders to the table for a conversation about this issue was to enact the moratorium which NONE of the commissioners wanted to do but, can any of you experts in government provide an alternative? I mean one that would actually work.

Keep in mind that every single local candidate that has won elected office has had to faithfully promise to protect our neighborhoods - if you fail in that, you are in the "single digits" on election day. Nobody is disrespecting the rights of students but all are siding with the permenant residents of Athens when there is a dispute. I kinda like it that way. About 2/3 of the voters in ACC like it that way, too.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

Well, a brothel or a drug cartel would be illegal on their own, no matter which property they were on. I think legitimate regulation goes a little further than that. Zoning laws often prohibit perfectly legal enterprises being in certain places, all with the overall good in mind (at least in theory). Is this ok with you, or would you have the market dictate it all?

Oconee Democrat said...

One developer's corruption is a another Democrat's delight

Sidewinder said...

Chuck, good website and good luck. You appear to have the right motivations and a plenty of causes that others will vote for. Non-parisian elections will work in your favor - may the best candidate win. Be careful on the corruption allegations - you don't want to be saddled with strong language that allows Heidi and Lynn to spew vitriol. Have faith though that heavy handed politicians, especially in an election year, are exposed for their actions.