Thursday, November 30, 2006

This just in..

This just might be worth ten bucks, for the sheer fireworks factor...

This is your last chance to mingle with the mayoral candidates before you
cast your vote on December 5th!

Northeast Georgia Business Council &
Athens Area Chamber Commerce MBAC presents...

First Friday Mixer
The premier networking event for Northeast Georgia's business professionals


When: Friday, December 1, 2006 6-10p.m.

$10 cover (includes food and drinks)
Where: Athens Area Chamber of Commerce
246 West Hancock Avenue
Athens, GA 30601

Door prizes before 8p.m.
Doors Open at 6:00pm (Professional Socializing)
Parking in the rear, enter on the Chastain Building side.
Mayoral Candidates and District 9 candidates will be in attendance.
* Celebrate your Promotion, Anniversary or Birthday with us!!
* Complimentary Food Buffet
* Professional Atmosphere

This set is designed for Grown People who want to relax in a nice
environment and vibe to mature conversation, libations, and good people.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Final Debates

I wasn't there last night, so can't comment first-hand, but from Blake's coverage in this morning's Daily Planet, it seems as though no news is good news for the candidates.

"Mayor Heidi Davison defended herself again from charges that she's ignored economic development and certain groups of residents during her tenure, while challenger Charlie Maddox again offered few specifics, as he tried to deflect charges that he's short on substance."

Nothing new there. Seems the only bone of contention was providing benefits for domestic partners of city employees: "The two also tangled over a proposal, scheduled for a county commission vote next Wednesday, on whether to offer health insurance to the domestic partners of unmarried county employees. Maddox said the vote is being rushed.

"I'm against this right now," he said. "We have no idea where this could take us financially."

"Davison said the proposal has been coming through the pipeline for six months and is ready for a vote. Insurance for more employees will save the county money on indigent care, she said. Davison also accused Maddox of changing his position since last month. Maddox said he wanted to study the issue more, and now he has.

"I talked to people in the insurance field and other people who said this could be disastrous," he said.

I believe this issue has been discussed on the blog before, but what say the readership about it now? Pro or Con on domestic partner benefits? Likely to change a vote or two?

The funniest and liveliest exchange seems to have come in the District 9 Commish faceoff between Sheats and Girtz.

"Kelly Girtz, a candidate for District 9 on the county commission, stumped opponent Alvin Sheats, a former commissioner, with two questions on Sheats' past votes. Girtz asked Sheats why he was the only commissioner to vote in favor of rezonings for a 1,000-bedroom apartment complex in 2002 and a waste transfer station in East Athens in 2001. Sheats said he couldn't remember either vote.

"That was five years ago," Sheats said. "How many of you remember what happened five years ago?"

"Sitting in the front row, county planning commissioner Jerry NeSmith raised his hand."

LOL. No offense to Alvin, but if you can't remember what happened five years ago, you probably shouldn't be in politics. Or breathing, for that matter.

Either way, it's almost over, folks. Early voting is ongoing...Git'r'Done.

Monday, November 13, 2006

More on Barrow/Marshall

Interesting bit in this morning's New York Times:

"Politically speaking, Georgia proved to be a mirror image of the rest of the country in the midterm elections. Republicans swept nearly every statewide office, and turnout among Democrats was low, thanks to a lackluster candidate for governor. But two Democratic congressmen in highly competitive races in the state seem to have successfully fought those odds, though they are hanging on by the slenderest of margins and are still waiting for their opponents to concede."

I wasn't aware that Collins/Burns hadn't conceded, though it doesn't surprise me. How much of a loser can you possibly be if you can't beat Democrats in the State of Georgia?

"The two Democrats, Jim Marshall of Macon, in the Eighth Congressional District, and John Barrow of Savannah, in the 12th District, were on the Republican Party’s short list of beatable incumbents. Their adjoining districts, which encompass large rural areas, were redrawn by a Republican legislature, their opponents were former congressmen, and the National Republican Congressional Committee poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the races. President Bush campaigned in each district twice."

Sounds like Collins/Burns should have taken a page from Charlie Crist in Florida and run like hell when Bush came calling.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Barrow Claims Victory

OK, moving on now. New topic. Given the change in leadership in the house, is a Barrow victory really a good thing for progressive democrats?

'cause he really smells a lot like Zell Miller these days....


OK, not trying to beat a dead horse here, but this is an interesting topic, based upon the various postings from folks since the election.

What's curious about this to me is the party dynamics of this. A lot of the pro-McKillip postings previous have accused all of the insinuations and nay-saying to be sour grapes from republicans. But I know personally several "real" democrats who have the same questions/concerns as have cropped up on the blog here.

Personally, the endorsement thing was a slimy manuever. The letter in today's paper defending it is just plain stupid. When I was a kid and my dad caught me doing something I knew I shouldn't do, I would try to wheedle out of punishment by claiming he'd never actually, told me NOT to do it. And he'd smack me upside the head and accuse me of being legalistic.
The endorsement thing reminds me of that, a slick lawyer move. And it turned me off. So I didn't vote for him. And I voted for every other Democrat on the ballot.

My point is, and I want some real, not campaign propaganda responses here if possible, what's the deal with Doug?

None of the other Democrats in these local races were facing criticism from democratic voters like he was/is?

And, does it matter? Or is there a great, uninformed chuck of voters out there who will vote for a ham sandwich as long as there's a "D" by it's name?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mea Culpas and Various Gloating

First the mea culpas. I was way off on my state-wide predictions. I really thought Mark Taylor was going to do better than 38%, which is why the Libertarian (who pulled at least 4%) would have thrown it into a runoff. However, I'm glad it's over. Talk about your choice between Dumb and Dumber (I'll leave the readers to plug in who's who).

Jim Martin did better state-wide than Taylor, as did Jane Kidd in her district, but neither was close in the end. I didn't predict SoS, but I would have guessed Gail Buckner would have done better than she did.

Looks like the only Democratic statewide bright spots were Thurbert Baker and Athenian Mike Thurmond. And Carol Hunstein, if you believe she's "one of them activist, liberal jerdges".

Locally, I did much better in my predictions. Right on Heidi/Charlie, right on Girtz/Sheats, and half-right on McKillip/Culpepper. Turns out the ABH endorsement flap was a non-starter, but I didn't think McKillip would take more than 50%.

So, we have the prospect of four more weeks of mayoral campaigning. History favors the runner-up in these things (the one exception being the Chisholm/Overend solicitor scrap last summer, but that was damn close), so Heidi shouldn't assume 45% was a "near victory". The flip side is 55% of the city/county didn't support her, so Charlie could and will make up big ground. Should be a long four weeks.

And how weird will it be to see candidates out at the mall campaigning during the Christmas shopping season? Ho, Ho, Ho.

On the bright side...

things look good on the national level.

My message to the DNC....

Don't blow it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Wow... what a disappointing evening


a) we were wrong about a lot of shit.


b) the only democrats who are doing well are ones I didn't vote for.

The really scary thing is not the landslide in the governor's race, but the astonishing numbers being turned in by sacrificial lambs like Perry McGuire and Brent Brown.

I guess this is our new day in Georgia, huh?


Well, CNN now officially has their exit poll data out of quarantine. Any hard results are obviously still several hours away.

I don't know whether to be amused or scared that elected officials are themselves running into problems voting today. Gov. Sanford in South Carolina had to go back to his house to get his voter registration card (which is apparently required to be on you when voting in SC); and there were a couple of other instances of representatives having problems voting. The bigger issue is the array of systematic problems reported in numerous states. I understand that unexpected things can happen, but seriously, doesn't it seem like it's a lot harder for us to have elections in this country since 2000? Perhaps it's just the increased focus on such things...

The rain is relentless, and has surely depressed turnout, which is not good. Hopefully you all got out there anyway.

We'll be here all night, folks.

First CNN report on exit polls:

Corruption is the biggest issue (42 %)
57% disapprove of the war in Iraq.
62% said that national issues made a bigger difference in their decision than local issues.

Monday, November 06, 2006

24 Hours

We need a clock ticking in the corner of the blog (3 days, 48 hours, 24 hours...just six more minutes to vote!)

Anyway, I only make predictions at Oscar and Election time, so here are my predictions, fwiw, (and mainly echoing my fellow authors regarding runoffs):

Mayor: Heidi and Chuck in a runoff (one more month of campaigning, folks).

Commission 9: Girtz and Sheats in a runoff (too bad, because I liked Ed Vaughn).

House District 115: Culpepper and McKillip in a runoff (the "endorsement scandal" is a non-starter).

Board of Education: John Knight. Why? Because he named his son "Noble". Seriously.

Upset predictions:

GA Senate Seat 46
: Jane Kidd.

Lite Guv: Jim Martin.

Guv: One more month of the big guys. Perdue and Taylor in a runoff. I think Hayes siphons off enough votes to throw the gubers into a runoff.

That's echo Publius, go vote, bitchez.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

48 Hrs.

Ok, so nobody cares about the national races (or maybe it's just the weekend, and you guys have social lives). Fair enough, back to the local stuff. In this article, the consensus seems to support my position on the three runoffs. Interestingly, Doug McKillip says he "knows he's in the lead", even after the endorsement ad gaffe. Take the Democrat vote for granted much? I'm not so sure personally; I've been hearing a lot of Democrat support for Quick, and less than hearty support for McKillip among Democrats (and that was before the endorsement situation). I think it's even possible to have a runoff that doesn't include McKillip. What do you guys think?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

It's Invasor!

And for the rest of you normal people who don't give a crap about horse racing, let's start an open thread about the national races. Are the Democrats gonna take back Congress?

To get you started, CNN reports that a Mason/Dixon poll has Burns and Tester tied in Montana.

3 Days Out

Blake reports on early voting. Garland's just gonna go to Loco's on Monday; Heard endorses Lyle for the school board District 5 seat.

From where I sit, I see probable runoffs in the Mayor's race, District 9, and House 115. Am I wrong? If so, tell me why; if not, tell me who you think will be in the respective runoffs.

Friday, November 03, 2006

House 115

OK, this seems to be heating up a bit. From the Banner Hearald this morning:

Plainly speaking, in not disclosing the full context of the Oct. 24 editorial in his ads, McKillip showed himself, at best, as someone willing to shade the truth, and, at worst, as someone willing to try to lie to get into the state legislature.

McKillip's willingness to bend - if not exactly break - the truth should raise in voters' minds the all-important question of whether he has yet to develop the ethical maturity needed by someone seeking public office.

And now I see scanning the ole blog here that McKillip has lost at least one strident supporter (And my point is illustrative, NOT picking on the poster for flip-flopping):

September post by UGADemocrat:
UGAdemocrat said...
It's clear from the people that support Mr. Culpepper (the few, the old, the Republican) that he is no independent. It comes as no surprise that Mr. Culpepper would have a yard sign for an inexperienced, previous losing Republican. He will face the same fate as Mr. Cowsert, a definitive defeat. Mr. McKillip is campaigning on the progressive ideals that define Athens in the state of Georgia. He is supporting the issues that reflect the will of the voters. He will win hands down because Ms. Quick sadly has decided not to run a campaign despite getting herself on the ballot and because of the fact that Mr. Culpepper is a Republican in hiding who is connected to losing Republicans and party switching Athens politicians who were swept from office. Mr. Culpepper is no more of a threat to Mr. McKillip than Mr. Cowsert was to Rep. Kidd two years ago. The reason is just as Rep. Kidd was an excellent candidate for House, Mr. McKillip is ready to join the Athens delegation in Atlanta and work for the issues that matter to us.

Today's post:

UGAdemocrat said...
It's official, I'm going to vote and...

Regina Quick for House 115.

That's a pretty amazing turn-around for a guy with "democrat" in his blogger handle...

I don't really have an opinion (yet), as I don't know any of these folks besides EH and him only by reputation. But I do know that conventional wisdom last January was that 115 was still a Democrat's to lose even after Republican gerrymandering.

If you believe everything you hear, "Karl" Eldridge and other Republicans put up EH to run. But I've been seeing a lot of culpepper signs in the same yards as Jane's. (Including folks like Louise McBee).

So in the true spirit of slowing down to gawk at a car wreck... Are we witnessing a... um, car wreck in the form of the McKillip campaign? (I know, same metaphor twice in a row...)