Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Cowsert's website is up

He let us know last night. Anyway, it's a pretty nice website; some of the photography is top-notch. He's messaging on two things - common sense (which I like), and conservatism (which I used to like in some respects until some of Mr. Cowsert's colleagues in the GOP hijacked the word and redifined it to mean hating on gays, Mexicans, and anyone else who isn't white, fundamentalist, and Southern. Ahem. For what it's worth, I've met Bill, and I don't think he's got an intolerant bone in his body, but that's not particularly true of some of his fellow Republicans.)

Sorry about that. Sometimes... Anyhoo, Bill's website is up. The issues section is pretty nice, although I think many of us would like a leeeeeeetle more detail about his plan on health care. He wants to allow small business owners to join a pool of insurance buyers, which is a good idea, since 90% of Georgia's workforce works for small businesses. Still, while that might make a dent in the number of uninsured folks who are driving up health care (and thus health insurance) costs, he doesn't say anything about the insurance companies themselves, which - some believe - share a part of the blame.

Cowsert also says that he's "committed to fully funding our educational system." OK, Bill, if you get elected, we're holding you to that. You may have noticed a big honkin' University in our back yard. We take education pretty seriously around here, and given the dropout rate in the Clarke County public schools, I don't know that Athens voters are going to look too favorably on three years of education cuts, followed by an election year education funding orgy, as Sonny did, with the help of the GOP-held state legislature.

One other issues point, and then I'll let you make up your own mind. I liked what Cowsert has to say about transportation and air pollution. But then I read a little deeper, and caught this: "I will work with state and regional transportation officials to promote making Hwy 316 an interstate-style road without excessive fees and tolls." Hmmm...without excessive fees or tolls, meaning that the option is open. I'm not strongly decided on that particular issue, except that I'm opposed to having to pay to drive to Atlanta, and I'm pretty sure that Atlanta will get the lion's share of the revenue. Bill also loves him some Brain Train, which I don't really care for.

Finally, Bill has a blog. It's apparently the happening thing for candidates.


retired_cowboy said...

Common sense, huh? Well, who is against common sense?

Sadly, that phrase is the same tired old thing the Republicans have been trotting out for at least 8 years now and it is nothing more than a euphamism for "whatever my developer buddies want". It seems that in Republican-speak, common sense just means "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and the middle-class gets screwed on both ends".

It's one of the best examples of Republican hijacking of sound bites. I wish I could say that it doesn't work but history shows differently. Billy Bob and Sarah June see "common sense" and just go "Hell, yeah! I'm fer common sense!"

I'm for common sense, too. Actually, I prefer uncommon sense because I think the people we elect should be just a little bit special.

Anonymous said...

how can you not like a grimace like that? :/

Anonymous said...

Interesting the specificity of Bill's "contribute" blurb with its indication that a married couple can EACH contribute two grand and a business owner can contribute the same from BOTH a personal and business account.

Not that cash is too important to Bill in this campaign...


Polusplagchnos said...

Publius, would you pay to ride to Atlanta (as in, on the choochoo)?

Publius said...

Hi kids. Bill Cowsert wrote in to clarify a few things with respect to my post. In fairness to Bill, I'm quoting his email to me in toto, since he more or less said we could. Getting some candidate insight is a good thing, and we appreciate Bill writing us.

Bill, if you're reading this, man, don't be shy. Feel free to comment directly as well.

Here's what Bill has to say:

"Thanks for alerting your readers to my campaign website. Two things:(1) the point of my health care proposal is not to create a new insurance pool or a new taxpayer funded health care plan for businesses to join. The idea is to allow businesses to participate in the existing State Health Benefit Plan which state employees, teachers,etc.are currently insured through. There are over 600,000 insureds in the plan which is currently administered by United Healthcare. The plan is not perfect but it is very reasonably priced as compared to many other private insurance plans. One reason for the low pricing is the shear number of participants in the plan. For example, my law partner's wife is a public school teacher which allows him to pay about $250 per month for coverage for himself and 3 children. I, on the other hand, pay over $1100 per month for my family's coverage provided through our law firm. A major advantage of my proposal is that it costs the state and its taxpayers NOTHING. The cost is covered by employers who are better able to afford the cost of providing this benefit to their employees due to the low cost of the state plan.It should actually save the State money if premiums are reduced as a result of spreading the risk over a substantially larger group of insureds. I think that this is a common sense solution, or at least part of a solution, to affordable health care.(2) As far as my commitment to fully funding education, the legislature HAS fully funded the higher education "funding formula" the last 2 budget years. I am committed to continuing this trend as well as protecting the Hope Scholarship. The next issue we must deal with is funding for k-12 education. Thanks for listening to me. Feel free to cut and paste or quote this on your blog. Bill.

Fair enough. Let me say one thing in reference to the education thing, which is a big deal with me, as well as a lot of folks in Athens. (Including, I would presume, many of the AthPo community.) First of all, Bill's right. Higher ed funding has been mostly ok from this legislature. UGA is the proverbial 900 pound gorilla in the legislature's living room. My concern, which Bill rightly acknowledges, is that k-12 funding hasn't been so well-protected.

UGAdemocrat said...

It's funny that Bill wants to look into protecting our public schools (schools which his children do not attend) when it is HIS republican party that has cut 1.25 billion dollars from public education. Is Bill going to stand up to his party and join the Democrats, Democrats like Rep. Kidd and Mark Taylor who are calling for full funding to public schools as a top priority. Also, I hope that everyone would take time to look at Jane's website and contact her campaign about the issues because they do get back to everyone in a very timely manner, I have been personally impressed with their outreach: www.electjanekidd.com

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jane is running a great campaign. She has hired experienced staff, is canvassing and phone calling voters with live volunteers, is in her office now...
I hope everyone will work with her campaign, and support her. Bill's brother-in-law designed the splitting of our town into two republican leaning state senate districts so Billy Bob could have an easier race against Jane. I for one intend to do whatever it takes to get both Jane and Mac elected. It's the only way to teach Lyin Brian that we see through him, and will NOT elect his brother-in-law as a reward for their hostility towards Athens Democrats.
I too would like to know what EH, if he's such a friend of this site, has to say about the fact that he hasn't paid his taxes?
And I'm not working directly on any campaigns, I'm just a good old yella dog democrat who is supporting ALL our democratic candidates, and NONE of the Republican parties trojan horses or candidates. That doesn't make me a flamer/lurker, just a Democrat.