Monday, July 10, 2006

The AthPo Straw Poll

I thought it might be kind of interesting to take the temperature of your local bloggers on where they stand on certain races coming up, so I sent around a quick email to AK from AthensWorld, JMac from Safe as Houses, Hillary from Antidisingenousmentarianism, and GAP from the now-defunct Daily Douchebag. Not everyone had a choice on every race – for instance, A.K. only weighed in on the governor’s race. By the way, thanks to everyone for jumping in on this one.

By the way, these aren’t endorsements. None of us are opinion leaders, nor do we pretend to be. This is just who we’re voting for, and it’s meant to spark some conversation. And since none of us are really what you’d call Republicans, we were less inclined to think on those races. If you’re interested, I’ve put a special Republican section at the end of the post.

Here’s who we’re voting for (by the way, we’re only talking contested races here, so you Mac Rawson, Jane Kidd, and Chuck Jones fans can simmer down. Your time will come.) Finally, don’t take our word for it. We’ve linked to a few websites – make up your own damn minds.

The Straw Poll Results:
Mark Taylor beats Cathy Cox, 4 to 1.
Jim Martin beats Greg Hecht, 4 to 0.
Shyam Reddy beats a passel of other Democrats (including Gail Buckner), 3.5 to 1 to 0 to 0 to 0 to ad nauseam.
Carlotta Harrell and Denise Majette tie, 2 to 2.
Bill Overend beats CR Chisholm and Brian Patterson 3 to 0.

Governor (Democrats):
Hillary: Cathy Cox
JMac: Mark Taylor
GAP: Mark Taylor
A.K.: Mark Taylor
Publius: Mark Taylor

Comments: A.K. sez, “Cathy Cox has affected my life in a bad way. She has apparently neglected her duty as Secretary of State while focusing on her gubernatorial campaign. Her office has gone from fast and efficient to five weeks behind…I have checked out Mark Taylor's website, and I'm not comfortable with him wearing religion on his sleeve, but if he isn't going to stand in the way of productivity and progress, then I'd rather vote for the guy who just does his job.

Lieutenant Governor (Democrats):
Hillary: Jim Martin
JMac: Jim Martin
GAP: Jim Martin
Publius: Jim Martin

Comments: Hillary sez, “[H]is health care plan for small businesses seems like a smart move, and he doesn't try to cover all the bases.

Secretary of State (Democrats):
Hillary: Leaning towards Gail Buckner
JMac: Leaning towards Shyam Reddy
GAP: Shyam Reddy
Publius: Shyam Reddy

Comments: Publius sez, “Shyam is almost too slick, but he’s a fundraising machine, which makes him a better shot to beat Bill Stephens or Karen Handel.

State Superintendent of Schools (Democrats):
Hillary: Carlotta Harrell
JMac: Carlotta Harrell
GAP: Denise Majette
Publius: Denise Majette

Comments: No direct quotes this time, but no one was super excited about this race.

ACC Solicitor-General:
Hillary: Bill Overend
JMac: Bill Overend
GAP: Bill Overend

Special Bonus Section for our Steely-Eyed Republican Zealot Friends:
Voting in this section was light, but here’s the consensus. JMac prefers Ralph Reed to Casey Cagle in the Lieutenant Governor’s race. I like Reed, simply because he’s easier for Jim Martin to beat in November, and because Reed drags the statewide GOP ticket down. It’s strategery, bitches.
In the Ag Commissioner race, JMac loves him some Gary Black, while I, if I were a Republican, would cast a vote for local-boy-done-good Brian Kemp. Doesn’t matter. Tommy Irvin has been Ag Commissioner since dirt was a baby, and no one beats Tommy in November.


Anonymous said...

brave of you all to come out publicly but what have you got to lose? just kidding, I appreciate your candor.

I think you'll get a big surprise in the SG race because I think Chisholm has outworked the other two in ways that they don't have time to overcome. I also have been very disappointed at the nasty whisper campaign about Chisholm being a Republican and too God-squad. I don't believe that but I've heard it repeated by folks who should know better.

for my money, I hope Lyin' Brian wins the Republican nomination so that he'll be too busy to help his brother-in-law in the state senate race.

hillary said...

Man, don't y'all pull this "voting for the candidate most likely to beat the candidate from the other party" thing if you don't actually like the candidate. It seems to me that's most of what Reddy has going for him.

Jmac said...

Because voting on principle has gotten us Democrats so far in recent years. :)

hillary said...

Boy is that ever not the point.

You don't vote on principle because it's effective or not. If you're considering that, then you're _not_ voting on principle.

I'm not saying I never consider efficacy, but how about someone gives me a reason to vote for Reddy other than "he'll win because his direct mail is snazzy and he has loads of cash"?

Dawg Corleone said...

Here's what one Republican says about Reddy: I'm voting for him because he's the smartest candidate in either party.

Jmac said...

Well, yeah, of course ...

If you're looking for a reason to vote for Reddy, I like his ideas to combat investment fraud (for example, the database of individuals and businesses which have engaged in it in the past is a good idea) as well as his E-Government Business Initiative, which is something this state needs but, oddly enough, doens't really have.

hillary said...

Aren't they all pushing databases and web stuff?

Anonymous said...

Back to the SG race, and the comments at the beginning of this thread ...

We are lucky to have a choice among the three candidates running. Fair is fair, though, and I am not sure that those comments were. I am not sure what empirical evidence exists of what candidate is "working harder," which is working smarter, or how the efforts being expended will translate into votes that will surprise us.

I am not sure there is a "nasty whisper campaign" going on, but I think that people are reasonably concerned from their experience with CR as an Assistant, and since. I am not sure what "too God-squad" means, but the candidate does not hesitate to inject his religious affliliation and beliefs into his appearances and speeches, and as such, that is fair game.

As far as the candidates' political leanings, perhaps some have interpreted CR's decision to have Upshaw Bentley, about whom the ABH reported "Bentley, who served two terms as Athens mayor between 1976 and 1980, said he votes Republican..." do his radio spots in a way that contributes to this perception?

It would seem that the Democratic primary field is occupied, as has oft been the case in Athens politics, with some who might not otherwise run as Democratic candidates. I don't think it takes a "whisper campaign" to see that.

Anonymous said...

Aside and apart from who will or should win the SG's race, I think the most recent comment, to the extent that it gives some significance to the fact that he or she believes that Chisholm perhaps is not a democrat, brings up the question of whether SG and DA races should be partisan.

I think that elected prosecutors are, or shoud be, apart from most of the normal fault lines between political parties. A good prosecutor, although in this state by definition a politician because he must be elected, should not have any partisan agenda, and his politics should not affect how he enforces the law. Similarly, I think that parisan elections skew what should be the real issues in elections for prosecutors, because the vast majority of the public that doesn't know much about the particula race (which is usually well down the ballot) or what they should be looking for in a good prosecutor end up voting their party.

It's odd and backward to me that we have nonpartisan legislative elections in this county (Commission), but have partisan elections for SG and DA.


Publius said...

Darren's got a good point. I would point out that the same applies for not just DA and Solicitor, but Sheriff and Coroner as well.

Unfortunately, those positions are mandated by the state constitution, and the constitution says that they are partisan races. So, it would take a constitutional amendment to change it, and it does apply statewide.

Is it time to change that? Probably. Certainly, partisan agendas have no real place in the judicial branch, and most electeds in the judicial branch don't have a partisan agenda. A good example is David Sweat, who is being challenged this year by Stan Durden. Sweat is a good guy - the only complaint I've ever heard about him is that he tends to run his hearings a bit long, and the only folks bitching about that are lawyers who are late to their tee times. Sweat is also pretty progressive.

But Sweat doesn't take his politics onto the bench, and that's how it should be. I think that's how it is for most of the judicial officers, at least in ACC. Say what you will about Ken Mauldin - and many folks have said a lot - none of his alleged screwups have been partisan in nature.

And, in the SG's race, none of the candidates are really campaigning on a partisan platform. Overend appears to have a lot of core Democratic support (see Flagpole's endorsement this week), especially in the black community, which makes up a huge chunk of the primary vote. Chisholm has his share of mainstream Democratic support, and a lot of traction with the old-line democrats. Maybe he can bring them back into the fold, I don't know. I haven't heard much from or about Brian Patterson, although I got a kind of weird mail piece the other day, but I'm sure he's out there working hard too.

But, none of them is really campaigning on a party ID as much as their supporters and opposition are trying to assign a partisan agenda to them.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that I think nonpartisan races for judicial positions are a good idea, but unfortunately our legislators are too busy with gay-bashing amendments to write one that makes sense.

GP said...

I think Overand is the best candidate for SG. He's the only one that I've seen thus far who is willing to address the issue of underage drinking by working together with the community and bar owners. Safe Streets also seems to resonate with a few folks.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

Nothing earthshattering to say, really, just wanted to jump back on this scene. I've been in my own little world for a while, and I didn't realize until recently that business had kicked back up other here in my absence. Brilliant! Oh, and by the way, here's how I shake down on the races:

The Big Guy

So it looks like I pretty much went with the blogger consensus. Great bloggers vote alike.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

Well, Chisholm got the ABH endorsement, but that's about as equivocal an endorsement as I've ever seen. "We picked this guy, but I dunno, they're all pretty good, and you should make up your own mind." I can't decide if it's refreshing or a puss move.

crewzin777 said...

The Banner-Herald has had similar disclaimers in their endorsements in the past ("we're not telling you who to vote for", "readers should do their own research", etc.).

hillary said...

Louise McBee says you should vote for her buddy Gail Buckner, yo. According to the direct mailing I got.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

Yeah, but they don't usually do the "they're all good candidates" thing; in fact, they said as much in the piece.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

I've met Gail, and aside from her mildly amusing story about how she had her vote solicited via phone from Michigan or Minnesota or some such place by her opponent in one of her races, and her intentions to thoroughly "study" the electronic voting issue, I'm not sure what makes her the most qualified for the position.

Anonymous said...

I voted today but did not cast a vote in either the Goobernatural race or the School Superunintential race - none of those candidates will get elected with my help!

As for the top of the ticket, both candidates are equally good and equally bad in my opinion and both were far too quick to try to jump in with a loud "ME,TOO!" on the gay marriage thing. I'm not a one-issue voter but it was the speed, enthusiasm, zeal, and palatable paranoia with which they raced to see who could ignore the real issue and make sure the knuckle-draggers didn't think they were for equal rights for everyone. I mean, this is America and Georgia so, you gotta hate somebody, right? Oh, Hell Yea!

The School Super thing was a different story - this was such an easy race for the Dems to win if we had put up any kind of candidate with half a brain! Neither of those women should be elected to anything, ever! One is as dumb as a rock and the other one just shows poor judgement.

I voted for all the right reasons and am proud to have abstained from any nose-holding. When you go vote, think about that, please.

hillary said...

I think what I like about Gail is that the position isn't a steppingstone to sexier things. That implies a bit less trying to make yourself look good and a bit more trying to get things done. But, again, I may be unfairly judging Reddy. Maybe I'm just tired of getting mailers.

bulletdawg said...

I agree with your choice of Jim Martin for Lt. Governor. The direct mail pieces put out by Hecht prove he is a snake.

But I've got to say, the bloggers who picked Carlotta Harrell must be smoking something. Did you see the debate between her and Majette? I was embarassed for Ms. Harrell. She was truly pathetic.

hillary said...

When was the debate? Clearly not.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

I did not see the debate either, but I saw Ms. Harrell speak in person, and she didn't seem terrible. I'm mean she's obviously not a polished politician, and it shows, but the above comments seem overly harsh. That being said, as I stated above, my choice is Majette.

Anonymous said...

The above comments were not harsh, they were accurate. I too have seen Ms. Harrell in person and I agree she is better one on one.

In the debate, which was aired on GPTV last Sunday at 6p, Ms. Harrell read from her notes the entire time.

When asked to queston Majette, Harrell said: "Ms. Majette, you ran for Congress in 2002, you ran for US Senate in you ran for Senate in 2002, no you ran for the Senate in 2004, and now you are running for School Suptd. (moderator interrupts: we need a question) I guess, what do you think of these kids dropping out?"

Trust me, it was sad.

Anonymous said...

OK, I admit this is just mean, but does Hecht remind annybody else of SNL alumnus Chris Kattan?