Thursday, August 24, 2006

The AthPo Reader's Poll

Nah, we don't have any of those fancy-schmancy polling widgets, so just use the comments thread.

Which local race are you thinking about the most, or put another way, which local race has got you excited? On a similar tip, who are you lukewarm about?

Comments below.


Anonymous said...

Something that just generally pisses me off about Republicans that really applies to two races (State Senate 46 & House District 115) is that they can just maniputlate the system as much as they want. The first example is Jane Kidd and how Bill Cowsert got his brother-in-law to draw him a district. The second is E.H. Culpepper running as in independent because he knows he can't win as a Republican. If you are President of the Athen Area Chamber of Commerce, President of the Country Club, give money to Republican Brian Kemp, give money to Republican Barbara Dooley, give money to Republican Johnny Isakson, give money to a Republican Congressman in New York, run a campaign for mayor against a Democrat on a "family values" campaign that says we should discriminate against homosexuals. How are you not a Republican? You think that because you advocate for a train that coincidentally will help business at the same time it helps the environment, that makes you an independent. Athens isn't that dumb! Then you cap it off with having your chief spokesman be Doc Elderidge a former Democrat that switched to the Republican Party.

Patrick Armstrong said...

I'm wondering what is going on in y'all's Congressional race. I know something goofy happened with D12 and D9 and I was wondering what demographic switcheroo the Congressional district changes brought about.

Anonymous said...

E.H. Culpepper also gave money to Roy Barnes. Probably other democrats if you care to list all his contributions. He has voted Democrat and Republican in the past. He ran for mayor against a candidate that turned out to be less than effective in office and who knew nothing about running a government in Athens. There isn't a discriminatory bone in the man's body.

He has consistently supported those who agree with him on what he sees as important issues -- alternate transportation, support for UGA, etc. He supports the performing arts and the Classic Center. Practically got the thing built. Was that a republican issue? He supported and helped work for the greenway. Is that a Republican issue? E.H. doesn't care about politics, he cares about doing things that are good for the community. Ask Louise McBee.

Also, the Chamber was a very different place in the late 1980s when E.H. chaired it. I'm sure you'll find the names of lots of Democrats if you look at the past chairmen and others who have served on its board.

There is nothing manipulative in E.H. running -- its just a shame McKillip's supporters have nothing more concrete to say other than "he might be a Republican" or he's "manipulating the system."

Anonymous said...

lol, patrick, great way to get a thread started, lol
what happened goofy is that the liberal lawyer we elected to congress in the old 12th district has been re-drawn out of our district, and we are now represented by Charlie Norwood. That's what we got for beating Max Burns w/John. Of course now John seems to have forgotten both his liberal friends and 14 year long record of populist and progressive service to Athens. He is now running slightly to the left of neo-con, and has the nerve to be calling us up for money so that he can NOT represent us for another 2 years. I'm disgusted w/the whole thing, and will probably never work a race that big again. That said, there is a chance that this Terry Holley might actually win, because Norwood could always die.
And since he's not pretending to represent the liberal left, he won't be betraying us when he runs to the right of most Dems. I think we ought to give him a chance, anyway. But John, well, John sucks eggs. Everything everyone said about his opportunism, arrogance and elitist background turns out to be right after all. Doug Haines and Tony Center are suddenly seeming like they would have been the better choice. We were lied to by John.
that's what's on my mind, every time I hear his smug ass on the radio pretending to give a damn about us.

Fishplate said...

Republicans manipulating the system? By redrawing districts? I wonder where they learned that?

I've said it here before: Until we have a non-partisan system for drawing districts, they will be redrawn every time the balance shifts in Atlanta...noting new under the Dome...

As for local races, I don't think any State office is worthy of my attention, as I don't have enough money to contribute, thus I have no voice. Look what happens to the people who only contribute time and effort.

Maybe the Mayoral election is worthy of my attention, but I haven't really seen much out there other than a few web sites. Where are the candidates? Where is the endless onslaught of junk mail?

Anonymous said...

When EH ran against Gwen he said that we shouldn't elect her because her husband was a member of the ACLU and, "In the South, we don't know much about this organization, but what we do know doesn't sound like the kind of values we want in our community."
...The ACLU stands for things like not discriminating against homosexuals."
If there isn't a discriminatory bone in EH's body, I would hate to hear what you think is discriminatory.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

I'm not sure how "liberal" a lawyer John was to begin with, but you're certainly right about him now...

Also, not sure if Holley would win even if Norwood keeled over...

What's going on is it's Norwood country, and Holley is a chump candidate. As far as demographics changes, all I have is a rough partisan breakdown I did on my own a while back. I don't remember exact numbers, but using Bush/Kerry voting in 04 as a rough metric for Republican/Democrat, Norwood's old 9 was somewhere on the scale of 90/10 Republican. The new 10 is more like 70/30 or 75/25, the difference of course being the inclusion of Clarke County in the district. Still a pretty tough road to hoe for a Democrat, especially one like Holley who is raising zero money and whose only electoral experience is losing to Norwood as a chump candidate once before. Holley can only hope that Norwood keels over to late to be replaced, and that the people of Northeast Georgia would actually prefer him to a keeled over Norwood (not a given).

Publius said...

Minor correction. Holley has not run against Charlie Norwood before this year. He has run for elective office in the past, but it was for a State House seat, twice.

Anonymous said...

DoubleDawgDareYa writes: "What's going on is it's Norwood country, and Holley is a chump candidate...especially one like Holley who is raising zero money and whose only electoral experience is losing to Norwood as a chump candidate once before. Holley can only hope that Norwood keels over..."

Blah blah. So what exactly did Holley do to you guys to make you turn on him thusly? He's been called everything from a "chump" to a "loser" to a "save your money" candidate here lately. I've met the dude before...he hardly seems to be deserving of this kind of ass-whipping.

whatsideareyouon said...

If Holley is running a smart campaign, he will work on a number of fronts including health care costs, anger in North Georgia over Norwood's I-3 interstate proposal from Knoxville to Savannah and anti-war/anti-Bush sentiment in Clarke County and beyond. Some have suggested to me that running a middle-of-the-road Dem will be the best option in this new district, but I think a populist/progressive with a strong personality and who can connect with voters would do even better. Mountain residents have always had independent-minded tendencies and could be loosened from the Republican death grip.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

I stand corrected by my co-editor on Holley's former races; mea culpa.

But as far as my assessment of his chances in this race, just calling it like I see it. I've met him too, and I have no problem with him personally. The above comments are simply an honest assessment of the political reality.

bulletdawg said...

DoubleDawg and Publius are right on in their assessments of Holley's chances.

Face facts folks, Norwood's districts is very, very Republican. This remains true, despite the addition of Athens-Clarke County.

The real question in this district is who will replace Norwood? If Democrats retake the House, (please God allow it to happen), Norwood will not like minority status and will retire in 2008.

Who runs then? Kemp got his tail-end handed to him, can he come back in a run for Congress?

Anonymous said...

I don't know why Democrats give EH such a hard time about being a Republican. Liberal Democrats like John Barrow pretend to be moderate all the time. It's hypocritical. If we had more Republicans like Culpepper, Athens would be better off.

Anonymous said...

In the last few days I have been following the rancorous online debate of several issues concerning the candidacy of E.H. Culpepper, the first independent to seek the District 115 seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. I feel it imperative to address several points raised in these commentaries. Several issues are of factual note and several are more abstract.

I'd like to start with the factual, personal arguments brought to bear on E.H. The most prevalent issue is over a tax lien levied against E.H. in the early '90s. My, and our, response is this: it is true that due to a lack of attention to the proper amount E.H. owed in the early 90's the IRS did issue a tax lien to E.H. in May of 1996 for the years of 1988 - 1991. Just like many other taxpayers that do not have their taxes prepared for them, E.H. simply did not pay enough. In fact, in the last 11 years more than 6 million Federal tax liens were issued in the United States (IRS website, in the taxstats section). That number may seem surprisingly high, but is in fact a low estimate of how common a mistake this is (especially considering the low rate of auditing by the IRS). That analysis is not an excuse; it admittedly was a mistake. A mistake E.H. corrected long ago (as opposed to a anonymous poster's claim that these still exist). It is ancient history, and as such this will be our only comment on it because this election is about the future of our community and the candidate whose professional experience best suits the needs of Athens-Clarke County and The University of Georgia.

Another seemingly factual argument is the E.H. is really a Republican. Well, I've known E.H. personally, as have many of you, and I know his ideas for our citizens future genuinely do not fit in with either of the two parties' ideology. Of his voting record (available at the ACC Board of Elections), he has frequently voted in both parties' primary elections. Of his public contributions (available at, he has given to Jack Quinn (R), Barbara Dooley (R), Roy Barnes (D), Johnny Isakson (R), and Max Cleland (D). He's worked tirelessly for the Athens Greenway, the Georgia Rail Passenger Authority, the Classic Center initiative, 441 Heritage Corridor, the Northeast Georgia Roundtable, the BrainTrain initiative and a slew of other projects (check out the full list available on our website). There isn’t a partisan pattern – that’s why E.H. is a fit for Athens. He can’t be stereotyped, no matter how hard you try. The only logical explanation is that E.H. supports the candidates and initiatives he feels are best for this community, and has for close to a half century.

The accusation that E.H. is in any way discriminatory is definitively laughable to literally anyone who knows him. That being the case, I will not respond to such unfounded attacks that try to make this race a character battle that no one would win. In actuality, this community will lose with a lack of actual exchange of real ideas on the progress of our community (if you want to know about E.H., ask any one of his friends rather than throwing around the names of national political groups with no impact or role in Athens).

E.H.'s candidacy is based on the fact that he is the best candidate for the district. The reason’s are outlined in the five “E’s” on our website: Experience, Education, Economic Development, Effectiveness and Environmental Health. E.H. has proven he has the unique leadership skills and long-term relationships to get more results in these areas than any of the other candidates. As the campaign moves along, more and more detail will be provided on the specifics of E.H.'s vision and how he will work with the community to get tangible results back from our state government.

As I have insinuated throughout this post, E.H.'s campaign will not engage in the type of partisan rhetoric that we and the citizens of Athens-Clarke county abhor. That is part of the reason E.H. believes his independent candidacy is in the best interests of Athens-Clarke County: we can honestly evaluate the candidate that the community feels is best on the issues that genuinely affect our citizens.

To Mr. McKillip's supporters I ask this: To you, does progress mean continued slick campaigning on frivolous and personal issues? Or does it mean, as Mr. McKillip has eloquently stated himself, “debat[ing] real issues, such as education, health issues and the environment (ABH, 10/24/00)?” I think all the candidates and voters deserve a constructive airing of the concerns at stake in this race. I thank all of E.H.'s supporters and would encourage them to continue to be active in debate of these important issues.

Our Campaign invites intelligent discussion on the variety of issues in the race for House District 115. It is our contention that E.H. represents a real chance in Athens for substantive representation, as opposed to the symbolic or formalistic representation offered by our two opponents’ candidacies. As a start and on a personal note, I would like to thank Publius for posting the article on the BrainTrain. As one of E.H.'s strongest initiatives, we welcome a debate on this issue who's fate can greatly enhance the economic development, employment level, education and overall quality of life (among other affairs) of Athens-Clarke County.

We look forward to hearing from anyone who reads this who might have any information or questions relating to the issues in our campaign. Please feel free to frequently check our website for updates and continuously forthcoming information about E.H.'s Legislative plans and contact us via email or the “Ask E.H.” section of our website ( We'll talk to you soon!


Ryan Hicks

Campaign Manager


Anonymous said...

Now can we get a confirmation or denial about EH's more recent state tax lien in 1999 which was unsatisfied until 2004?

Oconee Democrat said...

Dear Friends,

We are out of the gate and working hard to offer a real choice in District 113 and make a change to representation that matches the values of this great community! To those of you who have already offered support--both financial and emotional, I am honored to have your confidence. For those of you I haven't heard from or spoken with, it's never too late....

Mark your calendar and come by to help us celebrate a Vaughn Voice for District 113.
Sunday, August 27 from 6:00-8:00 pm
1030 Meriweather Drive--Jennings Mill, turn in off Jimmy Daniel Rd. between Atlanta Highway (Sam's)
and Hwy 316. We are the second house on the right.

Think of it as a "Campaign Fair". Socialize and network with others who want to see a positive change in our representation. Look over the opportunities to be involved and find the perfect fit for you and your time.

Sign up to
* be listed on the Committee to Elect Becky Vaughn
* host or find hosts for a neighborhood party (lemonade and cookies)
* take a yard sign and/or help put them up
* send postcards to your friends
* make "quickie" 3-question survey phone calls
* help with database entry
...just to name a few!

The real reason to come is for the launch of our new logo!
But, the socializing and food are free whether you sign up or not!

Seriously, the biggest reasons to come are because
* our schools are getting shortchanged by the State (over $1 billion in cuts to Education over the last 4 years);
* our School Board (elected by us) is being told by the State how to run their schools and how to spend their money
(the "65% solution" which determines the definition of classroom spending and how much of the budget to use);
* our School Board has been forced to raise taxes because of the previous two reasons;
* we've lost more jobs in Georgia in the last 4 years second only to Louisiana
* the Hope Scholarship (with a history of over 1,000,000 participants) continues to be cut when reserves are MORE
than adequate;
* 45,000 children with no health insurance were thrown off PeachCare because their parents were as little as one day late with
their premiums;
* the current management of state health insurance and Medicaid has caused chaos for recipients and no payments for the
health professionals;
* the current administration (including our current Representative) has raised taxes and borrowed over $1 billion every year;
* the current administration has threatened our streams and rivers with bills designed to allow more and more development
encroachment; want representation that reflects the values of this community: freedom, responsibility, opportunity, prosperity, fairness, and honesty--a willingness to work with all people--not just one party.

You want a future that embraces hope, respect, trust, and cooperation with open two-way communication.

We can have that. Come and help us make it a reality!

Becky Vaughn
State House District 113
1030 Meriweather Dr.
Bogart, GA 30622
706.540.9724 (Cell)

Publius said...

Ok. Well, I was going to put Ryan's response up as a separate post (he emailed it to me earlier), but I guess I don't have to do that now.