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.


Ben Emanuel said...

Todd: In case you are dying to hear it first-hand, as far as I know the plan is still for Mary Kay Mitchell to re-broadcast last night's debate on WUGA (91.7/97.9 FM) tonight (Wed.), 8-10 p.m. Blake definitely hit some good highlights, but there is a bit more fun to be heard if you're so inclined.


Ryanetics said...

When Alvin asked how many of us could remember anything from five years ago I was tempted to stand up and mockingly yell "September 11th, never forget" but decorum won out over comedy in end.

Anonymous said...

I think it's really interesting that Charlie likes to beat Heidi up for not moving fast enough on poverty, economic development, etc. His whole (and very misguided) message seems to be that, if he's the mayor, he'll snap his fingers and jobs will suddenly rush in to the city, poverty will disappear, and everyone will get a free puppy. And all over night.

Yet, on the only contentious issue, where a majority of the Commission and the community supports domestic partner benefits, he suddenly says Heidi is moving too fast.

I'm just saying...

Chuck said...

What were you doing on November 30, 2001? Precise details please, and justify each and every thing you did on that day, beginning from morning until night.

Anonymous said...

The other bi-polar aspect to Charlie's stance on domestic partner benefits is that any time he's asked for specifics he defers to staff saying multiple times that we have people paid to do that. Yet, he disputes the amount that domestic benefits partners will cost. Sorry Charlie, who do you think came up with those estimates?

Polusplagchnos said...

Chuck, it's not a question of what one was doing in the bathroom or driving to the grocery store, but why one voted. If a person votes from principle, they should remember how, at the very least, they voted. I mean, sure, you have the point that we don't remember all of the details of life, but he was asked why he voted certain ways, not what the precise language was in the proposals. For all the talk that conservatives give about bringing principled politics into government, I would think that you, the self-styled conservative, would find it questionable someone would just forget something they were the standout vote for. A vote like that has to have some principle to it, since from our cynical perspectives we think politicians want to go with the majority. But to be the lone dissenter, that takes principle. If so, then why forget what one's principles are?

My impression of what Charlie says he is going to do is not necessarily to snap his fingers and fix it all, but through leadership delegate the fixing to people beneath him after getting advice and information from people more knowledgeable about the particulars. You know, what kind of puppy will work, where to distribute the puppies, and which part of the government will be in charge of maintaining the puppies, all that will be decided by people who work for him and the city, and he will lead others into moving forward on it. But getting all that together and putting the machine into work, that does take some time, and it seems to me someone can say that Heidi is doing just that. So, that's how I take him to be inconsistent.

That's the thing. Lack of clarity means he's always inconsistent, and he cannot win for trying. But it's not our fault for hating on the guy, but on his campaign for not giving us a clear and unequivocal message.

Ryanetics said...

On November 30th 2001 I was waking up in a hotel in California getting ready to drive to Oregon to play a show in Portland. On the way the van I was travelling in got stuck in the snow at the top of Mount Shasta and so we spent the night in a hotel up there getting wasted and talking about George Harrison who had died the night before.

I remember what I was doing that day because I was doing something that was important to me and therefore memorable. If Sheats wants to be in public office so badly perhaps he should start taking the race a little more seriously.

If being in politics is as important to him as he claims then I would hope he would remember the last vote he cast while previously in office - especially considering it was a contentious vote in which he apparently ignored the will of his constituents.

Of course even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and accept his claim of memory loss that still doesn't get him off the hook for passing up the opportunity to talk about anything in the time given. The man couldn't even BS his way into a semi-relevent/coherent argument. Anyone who has so little to say that he is willing to forgo his allotted speaking time is obviously lacking the vision to hold public office.

As for Charlie - I find it disturbing that his deer in headlights stare and tenuous grasp of the English language have carried him so far in this race. It is a sad testament to the voters of Clarke county that a man so ignorant to the mechanics of ACC politics and so completely devoid of ideas that even his PR machine can't seem to define his campaign wasn't trounced in the Nov 7th election.

And if one more person says that we should vote for Charlie because he is a ncie guy or because he loves Jesus I am going to lose it. Though being Mr. friendly Jesus lover might qualify him for a job at Chik-Fil-A, it is not a platform for ACC Mayor.

Chuck said...

Ryan - what substance did you get wasted on? What hotel was it? Why did you choose that hotel as opposed to other hotels? What kind of room did you get (Two double beds, suite, etc.), and on what floor was it located? This applies to both the hotel you woke up from and the hotel you ended up at. What was the make, model, and year of the van? Why did you choose that type of vehicle as opposed to others? What percentage of Mount Shasta did you ascend before your unfortunate incident? About what time did the incident occur? Were any curse words used when the incident occurred? Describe them, and explain why you chose them as opposed to the number of other curse words at your disposal.

Poulos - the point is that there are many factors that go into each individual vote. And I think it reasonable to believe that after five years, one might not remember what all the factors were and the balance that was applied.

And, as far as I'm concerned what we need MORE of in Athens government, government in general, is people who love Jesus. So I do believe that is a qualification.

The campaign seems defined to me - it is a campaign about change, about booting Heidi Davison out onto the street where she belongs, and removing the obstacles to new jobs in this community.

Anonymous said...

Translation: "Look I'm a lawyer! Tee hee hee!"

A much better question would be, why did you choose to go, instead of not going. Or, were there factors that influenced your decision to go? Remembering why you voted the way you did on a certain (and fairly important to your constituents) issue is not even remotely close to "What color socks were you wearing?" And Chuck knows that, he just gets some sort of masochistic glee from being in an indefensible position.

But here's the real question. Does this indicate what type of Commissioner you would have been, Chuck? The kind that doesn't remember even the least scintilla of information on why he voted the way he did? The kind that would rather crack wise and go (unsuccessfully) for the cheap laugh than answer legitimate questions about his record?

If so, you got a bigger problem than Cobbham, buddy.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, i can totally see it now...chuck wins some race, and when he's up for reelect some constituent asks him about a vote and he says, "dude, that was like four years ago - get over it!"

Jmac said...

... the point is that there are many factors that go into each individual vote. And I think it reasonable to believe that after five years, one might not remember what all the factors were and the balance that was applied.

This seems like a ridiculous position to defend Chuck. I can concede you might agree with Sheats on the issues more, but defending his ignorance of these votes is absurd.

I don't dispute each issue and each vote has a myriad of factors that come into play, but I don't think that's the argument. The argument is that, well, he should probably be able to actually recall how he voted ... let alone if he voted.

Anonymous said...

What does everyone think about Jane Kidd running for Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia?

Polusplagchnos said...

The one thing I'll add beyond what these anonymous have said to your response, Chuck, is that he was not asked for all of the factors, but for some reason why, and yet he could not remember the votes at all.

I mean, you yourself are making the exact same point ryanetics is making in his argument against Sheats: the reason why we tend not to remember permanenetly how many times we wear the same pair of socks, the kinds of vehicles we pass on the road, what song is playing in the elevator, how many times we fart in one day, is because we don't care about it. It's not important. It's irrelevant. So, you establish the plausibility of saying that Sheats doesn't care about the way he votes or his own history in voting. So what, exactly, are you trying to prove? You're not helping Sheats by defending his character or honor or reasonableness, so are you just being polemic for the helluvit?

I'll also concur with the judgment of the anonymous who mentioned that you seem to take some kind of enjoyment in adopting very contrarian but poorly supported positions. It's something of a testament to yourself that you maintain the position through sheer will power alone, since there is nothing else there to support it. Sure, yes, this is just a "blog" and not to be taken seriously and my aren't we all here for fun anyway oh gosh look at the time gotta run and dont take things so serious no harm right see ya so like bye, but you're representing yourself here. Perhaps the act works to bring you the sort of fanbase or crowd you want to attract, and you receive emails of support.

The rest of us, well, are we your lost cause?

Ryanetics said...

Alright Chuck, you wanna play contrarian? I can go stubborn and annoying with the best of them. Here are my answers to your questions -

1 - "what substance did you get wasted on?" - A giant handle jug of Jim Beam that I bought at an Albertsons grocery store up the mountain a bit. I walked there and was amazed that I could buy booze in a supermarket.

2 - "What hotel was it?" - The Mount Shasta Best Western. The bar tender was married to an old San Francisco ex-hippie who walked through the snow to get wasted with us and told stories about hanging out with garage greats The Seeds.

3 - "Why did you choose that hotel as opposed to other hotels?" - Because it was the only hotel. We would have chosen something cheaper if we could have but honestly it was worth it not to freeze to death in the van.

4 - "What kind of room did you get (Two double beds, suite, etc.), and on what floor was it located? This applies to both the hotel you woke up from and the hotel you ended up at." - Outside of LA I woke up at a Dollar Inn. Standard dive with 2 double beds. That room was on the second floor. In Mount Shasta we got two rooms because there were two bands on tour. Each room had two Queen sized beds. I slept on the floor in a room on the ground floor. The other room was on the second floor.

5 - "What was the make, model, and year of the van?" - The van was a Burgundy 1995 Ford Econoline.

6 - "Why did you choose that type of vehicle as opposed to others?" - Because it was the only van big enough for sale at the car dealer on the day we bought it.

7- "What percentage of Mount Shasta did you ascend before your unfortunate incident?" - We made it all the way to the top when we realized that there was no way we were making it down the other side safely.

8 - "About what time did the incident occur?" - Approximately 4PM Western Standard Time ('natch).

9 - "Were any curse words used when the incident occurred? Describe them, and explain why you chose them as opposed to the number of other curse words at your disposal." - I think "Fuck Yeah" was what I said. I chose "Fuck Yeah" mainly because as much as it sucked to get stuck somewhere, we were stuck at one of the most beautiful places in America that I have ever seen with a ton of friends and a hotel bar. Best near accident ever.

- Suck it.

Chuck said...

Al: There *is* no bigger problem than Cobbham. Cobbham is the source, center, and summit of all evil and wickedness in the world today.

Poulos and JMac: I am not trying to "defend" anyone. All I'm saying is that it is kind of silly to expect somebody to remember, on the spur-of-the-moment, each and every vote he ever cast and the reason therefor. I suppose if given a certain amount of time, I can go back and explain every vote I cast in every election since I turned 18, but I of course cannot do that on the spur of the moment.

Also Poulos: I'm not running a campaign anymore, yet. And even if I were, when I'm in a place where the people have already made up their minds negatively about me, and are never going to speak favourably of me no matter what I do, why shouldn't I let loose and have a little fun? (Like I did with Cobbham and Gomorrah above) There's no sense in doing anything unless you have fun doing it.

Ryan: First, I hope your band doesn't make a lot of noise to disturb the "quality of life" of people around you; we all know how Heidi and her crowd feel about micromanaging the "quality of life" around here. (Of course, you're not a college student anymore, most likely, so Heidi might not "crack down" on you as much.)

Second, wow, they actually sell Jim Beam at supermarkets? Next time you go, pick me up a bottle of Crown Royal XR.

Finally, I don't think "fuck yeah" counts as a curse word. Cursing is something people generally do when they are upset; and I think the phrase "fuck yeah" is more in the vein of something you would say while celebrating. I believe you would hear it a lot at Charlie Maddox' campaign HQ on runoff night, for example.

Ryanetics said...

Chuck did your momma drop you when you were a baby?

If "Fuck" followed by any word ("Yeah," "You," "Yo mama," "Me," "Wad," etc. are all appropriate) doesn't count as a curse word then why the fuck can't I say it on the radio? Or was that just your awkward attempt to shoehorn in a joke about Charlie winning the runoff?

You might want to brush up on your funny, I hear laughter helps when trying to get over a loss.

I knew that I was glad you were no longer running for office, it is only now that I know just how glad.

Ryanetics said...

Also Chuck if you have such a problem with the way Athens is (and has been for the 13 years that I have lived here) why don't you move? I hear they love Jesus and big business over in Snellville.

Blackfin_Day said...

ryanetics... wow you've got some time on your hands... and frankly, I love you for it.

Anonymous said...

Fuckheadnetics is a fucking zero.

Anonymous said...

and your band fucking sucks ass.

Harry Tuttle said...

Chuck said...
Poulos and JMac: I am not trying to "defend" anyone. All I'm saying is that it is kind of silly to expect somebody to remember, on the spur-of-the-moment, each and every vote he ever cast and the reason therefor. I suppose if given a certain amount of time, I can go back and explain every vote I cast in every election since I turned 18, but I of course cannot do that on the spur of the moment.

You're still missing the point. Alvin is running for office, essentially the same office he's held before. He's running a campaign hopefully based upon his ideas for a better Athens. For him not to remember, even broadly, a contentious vote when questioned about during a campaing to regain office is insulting to the voters of ACC.

Ryanetics said...

Hey Blackfin_day, there are tons of things I should be doing, but I just can't resist playtime with Chuck. Besides, beating a jackass at his own game is its own reward.

Speaking of jackasses (and their games) - Fucknonymous (if that is your fucking name) - Fuck says thanks for having his mother fucking back, the fucking pressure was begining to fuck with him.

Chuck said...

You know what they DON'T have in Snellville? INTENSE POVERTY.

More big business = more jobs = less poverty.

Sounds fucking good to me!

Ryanetics said...

Chuck, for a man of God you sure do play fast and loose with the F-Bomb. You are right though, there isn't intense poverty in Snellville because all of the poor people who lived there got priced out of town and now live in lovely slums in and around ATL. You should check them out sometime, really swell places.

But seriously, I have never understood why people of your mindset are even interested in living in Athens. It never has been and never will be the town you want to make it so why not graduate, move on and let the rest of us have one small blue island in the red sea of crap that is the rest of the state? Are you really so stubborn that you instist on trying to change a town that doesn't agree with you?

It comes down to this, Heidi initiated the People for a Prosperous Athens initiative which is actively working to get the community involved in education, mentoring and business initiatives that will fuel smart growth and offer a helping hand. This was deeply needed and is running right on track. Plus the upside is that this help doesn't come with smokestacks, tax breaks for corporations or toxic waste - it comes with rising literacy rates, dropping crime rates, more job and family training and most importantly hope. Only by doing something massive and community wide like this can a true sea change be effected in Athens. We have been dealing with poverty since Reconstruction, don't be fooled into thinking that a factory is going to be the magic bullet.

So instead of blindly jumping ship for a confused (but I am told quite affable) old man why not see this initiative through with Heidi since she has actually offered up some real concrete ideas and beyind that has even gone on to impliment them.

Harry Tuttle said...

And I mean this most sincerely...

Heidi Davison, better the devil you know, than the devil you don't know.

(and btw, chuck, don't start in on a jesus rant, I'm not calling Charlie a devil, it's a figure of speech. That I got right, by the way... not like Alvin Sheats, who is NOT the sharpest knife in the shed, even though he may be the best.)

Harry Tuttle said...

Fuck! I mean sharpest knife in the drawer! See, it's catching.

Todd Mitchell said...

Chuck writes: "All I'm saying is that it is kind of silly to expect somebody to remember, on the spur-of-the-moment, each and every vote he ever cast and the reason therefor. I suppose if given a certain amount of time, I can go back and explain every vote I cast in every election since I turned 18, but I of course cannot do that on the spur of the moment."

You couldn't? Throw a race out, any race going back to 1988, and I can tell you how I voted and why. The notion that a commissioner can't "remember a vote" he made, five years later, or fifty for that matter, is absurd. The only reason I'd dodge the question with memory loss is because I *wanted* to dodge the question.

G. Lamb said...

I have pigs in pokes for sale in honor of the upcoming election. Only a true Southren will understand what I mean.

G. Lamb said...

"You know what they DON'T have in Snellville? INTENSE POVERTY.
More big business = more jobs = less poverty.
Sounds fucking good to me!"

I sure hope you're not including STUDENTS in the poverty rate you speak of. If you are then you're being disingenuous.
So, let's take the roughly 100,000 people who live here and subtract approx 30,000 for students. Does the remaining portion (70,000) really have a 28.5% poverty rate?

Oh, by the way, "poverty" as defined by the government is NOT based on wealth. It's based on INCOME. So, for example, a pensioner who owns their own home, owns their own cars and lives off of a retirement fund (such as an IRA) is deemed to be living in "poverty". Until the goverment fixes it's methods of calculation all such numbers will be bullshit.

Chuck said...

Haha Ryan is now fucking criticizing me for using the "F-bomb" as he puts it. After he used it many times above. But I guess I get held to a higher standard - I suppose that makes sense.

Any fucking way, yes I am going to stay here and fight to change. I'm sure you would like to run off everyone who disagrees with you, so that you can live in your own little world where you don't ever have to hear a disagreeing opinion. That's not going to happen. Sorry to disappoint you.

(Actually I'm happy to disappoint you, it's just that "sorry to disappoint you" is a figure of speech.)

Lamb - I don't care about government numbers and all that. We all know that we have a poverty problem in Athens. That is really beyond dispute. A major reason for this is that there are few jobs in Athens because of the irrational hatred for big business that consumes the local "scene" around here.

(And of course because many people here care more about the damn - or excuse me, fucking - trees than they do about eliminating poverty.)

Adrian said...

Ryanetics just might have an above-average memory. I don't remember what I had for lunch yesterday.

hillary said...

Does the remaining portion (70,000) really have a 28.5% poverty rate?

No, but it has a 23.5% poverty rate when excluding the 18-to-24-year-old population of Athens, not all of whom are college students. Still pretty shitty.

Anonymous said...

If your lunch yesterday didn't plop 1,000 apartments smack dab in a single-family zone, or rezone a residential area for heavy industrial, then it's slightly less of a big deal.

And your point is, as Mr. Sheats so eloquently put it, mute.

Chuck said...

This is a college town. GET OVER IT.

College kids need places to live. GET OVER IT.

WTF don't people get about this? If you want to live in a place where there are no college kids, move to Oconee County. You will love it. No noise at all - where my godson's family lives, the closest rooster lives 5 miles down the road and he doesn't wake up until noon.

If it weren't for the students, Athens would be a tiny dot on the map that says "Eat here and get gas." (And there wouldn't be any gas station.) So stop complaining about college kids when they want a place to live.

G. Lamb said...

"Lamb - I don't care about government numbers and all that. We all know that we have a poverty problem in Athens. That is really beyond dispute."

Oh, great, so let's get this straight: you're a politician who 'doesn't care' about numbers but just have some gut feeling that this is a problem, right?

I agree that poverty is a problem in Athens but when you refuse to consider the way such numbers are calculated you're just as pie-in-the-sky as that nebulous nemesis of yours (AKA "the scene") who you accuse of being blindly anti-big business.

Besides, Athens had a huge poverty rate even when we had a strong manufacturing base. We didn't magically create more poor people with the exodus of Westclox, etc.

Does the poverty rate take into account into account transfer payments such as section-8, food stamps, TANF, WIC, etc as part of someones income? I certainly hope so. If not the numbers are being skewed even further.

The point is this: I think you're using the spectre of an enormous poverty rate to make it sound like those of us who oppose a massive influx of big business into Athens are somehow anti-poor.

If the numbers were calculated correctly then I think we'd have a much clearer picture of what types of business devolpment would be beneficial to Athens and we wouldn't have the opportunity for politicians to ride the backs of the poor towards an electoral victory.

Chuck said...

I'm interested in what to do about the problem that is right here in front of everyone's faces. We don't need methods of calculation or crap like that, we need action.

Suburban Chaos said...

There was a poverty study before PPA. It said we needed more better paying jobs. It has been ignored and the whole process restarted in the name of politics.

Tom Reagan said...

The point is this: I think you're using the spectre of an enormous poverty rate to make it sound like those of us who oppose a massive influx of big business into Athens are somehow anti-poor.

That's exactly the point. This has been an interesting election season for the very fact that we have a pro-business contigent pushing forward a message that to be anti-business is to be pro-poverty, when many of these individuals don't give a shit whether poor people ACTUALLY get a leg up, as long as their strip malls get built.

It's interesting that when somone like Kelly Girtz talks about taking efforts to lower local unemployment by giving preference for businesses/contractors that hire local workers, that that is considered anti-business, and therefore pro-poverty.

I would like to know just how many ACC residents actually had full time employment building the Hilton Garden Inn... maybe it's a lot, I don't know, but it seems to me that the surburban lodge on macon hwy (which advertises "weekly/construction rates") has a lot of work trucks parked in their parking lot most weeknights.

More sprawl WILL bring more jobs. At McDonald's, Burger Kings's, etc. That's not going to solve our poverty issues here (whatever the calculations).

Chuck, I've been to Snellville, and it's a fucking pit. It's fucking ugly, it's fucking bland, and it's fucking boring.

I choose to live here, and willingly pay higher taxes here, and raise my kids here, and sometimes put up with some nanny-governing from elton dodson, et. al., becasue I like it here, warts and all. It has a soul, and I'll do everything in my power to protect it from shrill, ignorant, naive little carpetbaggers like you. I'm really fucking sick of you (amd I mean you personally, not just whatever it is your represent) and wish you would go away.

Seriously, everyone is laughing at you.

(And, before you even start, I AM NOT Al Davision!)

Get a life.


Suburban Chaos said...

Netics, Your passion is laudable but your Jesus bashing is getting old. You make some decent points but the bigotry detracts from your credibility.

I don't think you really have a point questioning whether someone should live here. When this town was old south and the hippies and freaks showed up, the town didn't take to the street screaming “you don't want this town to turn into Berkley, do you?". They accepted the people who choose to live here and you could take a lesson from them. You really need to accept that people can live here without your permission or blessing.

Honestly, your constant shitting on people is tired. If you are not shitting on Alvin or Charlie or people who support them or Snellville or Christians or the chamber then your arguments are fairly thin.

Do this. Make a clear and clean case for why Heidi supports Partner benefits, which she says will only affect a small group of people, but she has stalled enactment of the Floating Homestead Exemption which freezes seniors tax appraisals because, according to her, it only helps a small group of elderly, impoverished people. Why does one group get consideration within six months but the other has waited for over two and a half years. Is one "small group" simply more important than another?

Argue this one out without your regular bashing and let us all see what a thoughtful little politico your really are.

Chuck said...

TR - I am not interested in what you wish or don't wish. Write a letter to Santa Claus. I'm NOT going away, I'll keep fighting for change. Real solutions to poverty, the complete eradication of the Athens Grow Green people, postive student-resident relations, bringing low the snobbish gentry that puts trees and "quality of life" above people, etc.

If that angers you, that is interesting (and to no small degree amusing), but it is also not my problem. You are the one who needs to get over it, with all the haste that duly befits befits someone whose time is up.

hillary said...

Do this. Make a clear and clean case for why Heidi supports Partner benefits, which she says will only affect a small group of people, but she has stalled enactment of the Floating Homestead Exemption which freezes seniors tax appraisals because, according to her, it only helps a small group of elderly, impoverished people. Why does one group get consideration within six months but the other has waited for over two and a half years. Is one "small group" simply more important than another?

Can you explain whether the floating homestead exemption proposed specifically targets seniors? Does it include income caps? It seems to me that the reason Heidi supports partner benefits over this, when both affect a small group of people, is that partner benefits appear to be right to her on principle, hence the importance of doing something about the issue in more of a hurry. Property tax exemptions are muddier and less of an area to take a moral stand.

Adrian said...

Let's not forget that some of those college students in the poverty statistics actually are living in poverty. If they don't have financial support from family, they actually face a worse job situation than some other people because of their schedule demands.

Anonymous said...

A few things:

Our people in poverty ARE working, there are a percentage of disabled folks and elderly who are not... but for the most part, our poor are working not just one but multiple jobs, because they work temporary part time positions, and juggle attendance at them so that they can make in 60 hours what they should be making in 40. Everybody should go to the PPA website and READ what the wages folks said about temporary part time workers at the university pulling down wages for everyone. The University doesn't even pay social security on those folks, simply deducts an equal sum from each workers checks, and then stashes it into some kind of fund that makes money for the university, but not for the workers. When the workers leave, they are not even told about the fund! So when those workers are qualified for unemployment insurance, they go over to the Labor Dept. and find that the University doesn't pay that on their empoyees either.

But wait, back at the PPA website, read about the proven positive impacts of raising wages on local businesses... think of it this way, if worker Sue has no car, where is she going to spend that extra income? Right here in Athens! And if she makes enough money to buy a car, where will she do that?

One reason 50% of our kids (I don't know the stats on how many of these kids live in poverty, but I bet it's high) aren't making it thru school is because their parents are never at home. Two parents working low skilled jobs, at the beck and call of multiple employers, don't have time to attend PPO meetings, to pay for and carpool to soccer, plays at town and gown, or even to go to the library. They're doing well to get the rent paid, lights kept on, gas in the car, insurance on it, and food to eat.

And here's my main argument for living wages: If the employers aren't paying them, the taxpayers are. In food stamps, medicaid, subsidized housing, dependant care, subsidized bus rides, emergency room medical care, and annual heat subsidies, commodity give aways, and all the salaries and beaurocracies that support those services, which we PAY for.

Wal-Mart has something like 120,000 people on medicaid in the state of GA. They are the single most aggregious employer, their personell offices look like a DFCS office. When people go in to try to get more hours, an employment review/raise, they're literally handed information about public housing, food stamps, the health department, and the dfcs dept of dependant care. I have a favorite story of an african american woman in atlanta who'd been working at the wendy's at the airport for 6 and a half years. She was making exactly that much in hourly wages. Now, she was the Trainer for the store, ran the front counter, worked all the busiest times, reliable and eligible for benefits, but couldn't afford to buy the health insurance. "But" she said, "that's okay. We live in public housing (2 kids) we have help w/daycare, foodstamps, and medicaid for my youngest daughter who we think is autistic".

As far as I'm concerned any company that enriches itself to the detriment of their own employes, and forces them to rely on us for all the things listed above, is a theif. There is no excuse for huge disparities in the owners incomes (sending their kids to athens academly and buying one of those "on the shoals" mansions out there in Oconee county) and the reality of the folks forced into the substandard housing of the Athens Housing Authority. If they're lucky enough to live thru the waiting lists of well over 1 year to 2 years for housing w/the 1250 units of the Authority.

That's right, that big old building full of staff people only runs 1250 units of affordable housing. Century 21, who I rented from for years, handles twice that many with two agents and an answering machine. The only people the Athens Housing Authority really works on behalf of are the staff, so that their salaries keep coming in.


Jmac said...

Chuck, you disagree with the majority of folks here and that's fine. You see a problem and want to change it, and that's laudable despite our disagreements.

However, since you began posting on this blog (and mine as well), you keep talking about how you're going to fight for change. You left the District Nine race under the premise that a new opportunity to help affect this change had arisen, and then said you'd explain it to us. It's been a couple months ... and I don't know what you're doing.

What is it that you're doing to work for change? Because, and don't take this the wrong way, if it's merely engaging in fruitless arguments with folks on these blogs ... that's not exactly going to accomplish anything.

If you're doing something, I sincerely want to to know.

Ryanetics said...

OK Suburban Chaos, I understand that my opposition to certain people and the way they act has been misconstrued as bigotry so let me make something clear before I get to the rest of your post - I have no problem with Jesus or Christianity as a concept. Based on what people wrote about him, Jesus seems to have been a pretty happening dude. I just have a problem with how some people have manhandled his message of caring and love into one that often centers on condemnation and control. Because of this I have a major problem with the way this manipulated image of Jesus has been infused into politics over the past couple of decades. The separation of church and state is vital to the American way of life and I can't sit by and watch people subvert that without calling them out.

My problems with Alvin, Charlie, Snellville and the Chamber are this - neither Alvin nor Charlie have exhibited the mental capacity or vision that I feel is vital to serving our community; Snellville is a really shitty town amidst a string of shitty towns plagued by problems that I don't want to see in Clarke county; the ACC Chamber does not represent the best interest of the people of Clarke Country, that is reason enough for me to oppose them.

I don't know how long you have lived here but I promise you that the "Old South" Athens you speak of did not welcome the freaks with open arms. Talk to anyone who was here in the heyday of the B52s or REM and you will hear plenty of stories about the friction created by the new freaks in town.

That aside, I have no problem accepting people with different points of view as long as they are not maniacally trying to mess with my way of life like Chuck seems intent on doing. It is one thing to come to town with new ideas and see how they might fit into the community as it exsists, it is a completely different thing to come here ranting about how everything is broken and insisting that the only solution is to completely toss out the ideas of everyone who was here first.

You asked me to "make a clear and clean case for why Heidi supports partner benefits" but has "stalled the enactment of the Floating Homestead Exhemption" - I would love to do that for you, if I were Heidi. As far as I know I am not Heidi so the best I can do is hazard a guess. Unfortunately Hillary beat me to the punch and I really have nothing further to add as I think she nailed it.

One more thing - while you had no problem accusing me of bigotry and petty sniping, I can't help but notice how you revel in judgemental condescention. So, from one "thoughtful little politico" to another I say "judge not, lest ye be judged."

As for Chuck, all I can say at this point is put up or shut up. Plenty of people here (including myself) have listed numerous ongoing ways that the mayor is working to correct the problems in Athens. The only thing you have said is we need to change. The word change on its own is just that - a word. Take JMac's advice and tell us what you are doing to make things better or give it a rest. Oh and yes, I was holding you to a higher standard than myself because after reading your website I was given the impression that you consider yourself a serious man of God looking to shepherd the heathens of Cobbham into a new age of righteousness. Then I read your posts here and find you spouting off like a drunken hobo in the Bowery. Pardon my confusion.

Polusplagchnos said...

What I lament is the death of any true conservatism in the US, from fusionism to paleoconservatism. Nobody gives a damn about Russell Kirk, Richard Weaver, Samuel Francis, or Richard Neuhaus, even to the point where the more bothersome aspects disturb us. What we have, instead, are the college students I teach and have arrested: young and priggish souls who say on their facebook that Christ is their guide with the Bible their favorite journey, who think Reagan the zenith of the conservative cause and self-identify as Republican, and yet fill their photo albums with pictures of their underage drinking parties and dissipated lifestyles. They fight earnestly to repudiate the liberals and the progressives, with their hippy treesex parties and hatred of soldiers expressed as disapproval of war, while referencing their feelings and their victimization as the basis and ground for changing the world. They talk of principles and honor and foundations, but the words are cynical, and doubted, and have no force within them.

Even you, Chuck, say that we need more Jesus-loving people in government, but then later come back and say that there is nothing in life sensibly worth doing unless it is fun. Is fun the reason why you associate with, Chuck? You seem to have had a good time at the PlayboyU party recently, so were you there to have fun or to be a witness? You might say that you go to sexually-charged events in the same way that Jesus associated with tax collectors (we might call them, today, liberal bureaucrats) and whores and sinners and lawbreakers. Many of my Christian brothers and sisters like to see themselves this way, as not holding themselves to an unreasonable legalism but modelling Christ's love for all, but they don't realize the path they choose combines the worst of Lot and Jonah.

For, if a person who thought liberal treesex hippies are the worst thing for a society, then the model of Jesus is precisely to show constant and clear love for them. Not to use others as an end to one's own personal happiness. Because, if you were to look further at the model, his life reveals a deep sadness and loneliness, where the motivation to keep going and loving was not to increase his own fun and enjoyment in life. So, either Jesus was not a sensible person (and who would elect him to office, anyway?) or all this talk about loving or walking in the path of Jesus is not genuine, not consistent, or not thoughtful.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is like the Harold Ford race all over again. Except Chuck's white and not running for anything, and nobody really cares.

Btw, I hate to be nitpicky, but "For, if a person who thought liberal treesex hippies are the worst thing for a society, then the model of Jesus is precisely to show constant and clear love for them."; easily one of the worst sentences I've ever seen contstructed. And "treesex"? Really? Are we still sticking with calling liberals treehuggers? Can't you think of anything better?

Jmac said...

Btw, I hate to be nitpicky, but "For, if a person who thought liberal treesex hippies are the worst thing for a society, then the model of Jesus is precisely to show constant and clear love for them."; easily one of the worst sentences I've ever seen contstructed.

BTW ... I hate to be nitpicky, but when you misspell one of the words in your grammatical critique, you forfeit all rights to be said grammatical expert.

I also think you failed to see the sarcasm and humor in his comments. But go ahead, continue with your grammatical crusade.

Polusplagchnos said...

anonymous, I admit to being a bad writer of sentences. But if that's easily one of the worst, you must read a lot of really awesome stuff. I read a lot of shit, and I guess it rubs off on me. Sorry. I'll do better.

To me, "treehugger" is intended on implying a more sexual and intimate relationship, so why not just cut to the quick? I mean, Chuck called them fucking trees, so I'm thinking there's an Evil Dead connection here, too. And, I'm not saying liberals are tree huggers, but rather that's what those post-conservative college students call liberals. That's the kind of language Chuck is invoking, and he's not the only one to do so. Which you acknowledge when you ask if that's what we're still calling them. I call liberals "bourgeois capitalist sympathizers," because that's the leftist thing in me to do.

But that's still not better, and still old.

Suburban Chaos said...


I thought I could give you a chance to show the real depth of your thoughts on the issues and you did. It probably would have been better for you to just be assumed a dumbass than to confirm it. Props for trying.

Hillary, Good questions. I have some details and a little sass below.

Can you explain whether the floating homestead exemption proposed specifically targets seniors? Does it include income caps?

Yes. The exemption approved by the school board over two and a half years ago restricts the exemption to those 62 years old or older and making less than 30k annually.

It seems to me that the reason Heidi supports partner benefits over this, when both affect a small group of people, is that partner benefits appear to be right to her on principle, hence the importance of doing something about the issue in more of a hurry.

I think you are absolutely right. That does not make two and a half years of inaction to help a group of vulnerable citizens simply go away. Her priorities are misguided.
I am for partner benefits and the fully equal treatment of all people. Heidi has let preferences get in the way.

Property tax exemptions are muddier and less of an area to take a moral stand.

You’re right but this exemption has been vetted and approved. All that was missing was action by the M&C. There are few votes in it. At least Heidi is hoping so.

hillary said...

So it sounds more like it fell between the cracks than it was willfully ignored, no? It does sound like a good idea if it is indeed age- and income-restricted and falls within the purview of local government, all of which appear to be the case. Normally, I don't like bumps in homestead exemptions and property tax cuts because they're not targeted to the people who really need the break. They're an easy way to score political points while robbing the local government's tax coffers. This doesn't really sound like that. But I find it hard to believe the reason it hasn't been passed is malicious in any way or shows a deeply wrong system of priorities. What did Heidi answer when asked about this in the debate?

hillary said...

Also, people, try to be civil to one another. Even to Chuck.

Suburban Chaos said...

I think allowing something to fall through the cracks is a good indicator of whether or not it is a priority.

Heidi's answer, however, was not that it fell through the cracks but that it only affects a small group of people and therefore was not a priority.

So I ask again. Why is one supposed small group a priority over another?

hillary said...

Because one small group is always going to be a priority over another, though which one it is will continually change. Not everything can be a priority. I suppose it sounded better to give the answer she gave than to say it fell through the cracks. From what I gather of government in general and local in particular, it sounds like walking into a turkey farm: a lot of loud voices all trying to get your attention. That was not meant to be folksy. In fact, it pretty much sounds like my nightmare.

Unless you're a senior citizen who would have benefited from this exemption or a gay person with a partner who stands to have a shot at health insurance now, I'm not sure this issue's going to decide any votes. Is it?

Not to minimize the difficulties of the elderly with high property taxes and small incomes, but is the point here that Heidi sucks more on poverty than Charlie would? Or just that she sucks somewhat on poverty, Charlie aside?

Ryanetics said...

Suburban I am choosing to ignore the fact that you called me a dumbass in an attempt to bait me into a flamefest so that we can get back to real discussion.

What Heidi actually said at the debate is that the floating homestead exemption only affects a small group of people and that they are looking at something that will help a larger group of ACC residents.

Don't get me wrong I am not saying Heidi is a saint or the best mayor possible, but between the two candidates in the runoff I agree with much more of what she stands for and feel totally uncomfortable with Maddox's ability to handle the job.

As Jmac said (when you posted the exact same question over at his blog), this issue of partner benefits vs. homestead exemptions is a false argument. It stinks of the "Dump Heidi" crowd grasping at straws to further the manufactured image that she somehow looks down on a portion of Athens while giving the county away to a select group of evil gay liberals who are out to manufacture poor people. Drop it, it doesn't hold.

Anonymous said...

Suburban Chaos,

Your candidate needs to at least have one proposed solution to anything before he can critique any of Heidi's.

Jmac said...

Since Ryanetics mentioned it, here is my response to Suburban Chaos's question:

You've set up a false argument. By the nature of the beast, the local government employs a small percentage of the workforce. Logic dictates the number of unmarried workers who would qualify for domestic partnership benefits would be an even smaller number. However, few would argue it's not in the interest of the local government to find effective and fair ways to provide for its workforce.

You may have some disagreements with actual benefits, but it doesn't make much sense to compare it to the Floating Homestead Exemption, which is a matter of public policy.

The exemption would surely benefit some folks, but Davison's point all along has been there are several other ways to enact the same type of tax relief to a much broader audience.

Blackfin_Day said...

On this partner benfits thing vs. homestead exemptions, I think we're sorta missing the point, procedurely. I still don't know where I stand on partner benefits. I've been too busy rolling on the floor laughing at Chuck's posts to make my mind up. But we're talking about beneifts for ACC personell. The stated reason FOR them, according to supporters, is attracting and keeping top-notch county employees with a competitive bnefits package. So to make an apples to apples comparison, priority wise, between an employment policy and a property tax policy seems a bit of a stretch.

Blackfin_Day said...

And, while I was hunting and pecking, JMAC beat me to the same point. And did it better.

hillary said...

Davison's point all along has been there are several other ways to enact the same type of tax relief to a much broader audience.

McG, can you give some of these other ways? I'm not denying they exist. I just can't remember.

(FWIW, the phrase "tax relief" makes me almost physically ill.)

Suburban Chaos said...


You're exactly right.

She looks down on a portion of Athens while giving the county away to a select group of evil liberals.


She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.
She has had two and a half years.

Ryanetics said...

Suburban, I might not agree with Chuck on anything but at least he is fun to argue with.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

How did you decide that 18 was the magic number of times to type that phrase to get your point across?

G. Lamb said...

"tree sex hippies" should be called by their proper name: denderphiliacs.

I'm just a stickler for proper terminology and good accounting. Sue me.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

Not to be confused with "danderphiliacs", which is a whole other madness.

Ryanetics said...

mmmmmmm, dander.

Chuck said...

JMac - Thank you for your interest. For reasons that will become clear when it is made public, I am unable to discuss my new opportunity at this time. I must invite you to be patient a little while longer. All will become clear when I wish it to be so.

Ryan - I am not looking to shepherd the Cobbham people into anything except... heh, ok that would be mean, even for me. But still, I don't think that "I was here first" amounts to a substantial political argument. Secondly, on your more minor point, I think you are trying to box Jesus into a specific category that I don't think He entirely fits. You do this by picking out one Bible verse, the liberals' favourite Bible verse. Jesus transcends categories. So why not read the WHOLE Bible instead of picking out here and there the verses you like?

Finally, if "separation of church and state" is such an essential American principle, how come it didn't make it into the Constitution?

Poulos - I had a blast at the PlayboyU party, in the VIP area no less. Who wouldn't? It seems that you have this idea of Christians as ultra-moralistic, prudish people, and I am here to tell you it is not so. I'm sure there are some like that, but again the majority do not fit into the little box you have carved out for Christianity. As for me, I can be against infanticide (abortion), pro-troops, pro-religion,

Now, if you want moralizing, if you want to hear people complaining about college kids making lots of noise and having beer bottles around and everything, you don't need to go to church. You need to go to Cobbham. And if you want moralizing and looking down your nose at other people, look not for a priest, look to Heidi Davison, David Lynn, Elton Dodson, and their "quality of life" garbage.

(Ordinarily, I use "go to Cobbham" as a great insult, but it is not meant so in that case. It just means that Cobbham is the place where they moralize and judge far more than even the most prudish of Christians.)

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

Chuck said...

M hm.. thank you for that rather random Constitutional quote. Here's one from me. "No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay. "

Now, if someone could answer the question about why "separation of church and state," that allegedly essential principle, never made it into the Constitution?

Or if someone could respond to the other points I made?

G. Lamb said...

"I'm interested in what to do about the problem that is right here in front of everyone's faces. We don't need methods of calculation or crap like that, we need action."

Sure, Chuck, that's why doctors in emergency rooms don't rely on triage or any of that other crap they just throw a bunch of pills at people because, you know, pills have helped a lot in the past and other cities use 'em so why not, right?

Why waste time calculating when we can just participate in some "action", right?

Jmac said...

I kinda agree with DiDDY ... something like 20 would have been a better number, but no matter.

I think she has done some things related to this issue over the, what was it ... two and a half years. She's lowered the millage rate, however the increases from the school board have hurt that.

There's also state legislation possibly coming, and it's been lobbied for by the Georgia Municipal Association, of which she is a ranking officer. The state's cities and communities are helping to formulate a comprehensive plan that can provide property tax relief for a larger audience.

As far as this particular proposal ... I don't have a problem with it. I've gone on record saying that, and I'll do it again. I'd lean toward supporting a Floating Homestead Exemption since it provides targeted tax relief to those who need it, and I like that kind of thing.

But I'm also not willing to damn Davison because she's working on larger (in scope) plans for property tax relief.

G. Lamb said...

Um, Chuck, do you not consider the amendments to the constitution to be constitutional and vital to the United States?

That's like saying your legs aren't vital to your existence. Sure, cutting them off might radically effect your quality of life but, really, you don't need them to live.

Exactly what are you saying here?

Jmac said...

Well, it didn't make it in because that intent was implied through Thomas Jefferson's writings, hence the language used by many of the Founding Fathers from George Washington to Jefferson himself. We learn of this implication, of this intent, through later writings (such as the Letter to the Church in Danbury). It's widely understood by most legal scholars and historians that the intent of that article was to create this wall of separation.

Now, an argument could be made about states having the ability to set up their own government-sponsored religions, but the 14th amendment and resulting Supreme Court decisions have stamped that argument down as it gives federal law jurisdiction over state and local law. Plus, it gets us further off topic.

You've also got a point about Christ not fitting neatly into a box, which is problematic for both conservatives and liberals. Christ is downright conservative on, say, divorce, but rather liberal on how to treat our fellow citizens. Which is why I get frustrated when both conservatives and liberals try to say 'Jesus was a Republican' or 'heck no, that dude was original liberal' ... fellas, He was neither. Poulos, however, can argue this point more effectively than me ... he being a student of philosophy and theology and all.

Polusplagchnos said...

Chuck, as an evangelical Christian who finished his undergraduate degree at a Southern Bible College, I am familiar with the diversity of those who embrace Christ, as missionaries from Korea, Central Africa, Latin America, India, Eastern Europe, &tc attended the school to go back to their home countries or to other countries and evangelize and witness. The "box" I have "carved out" for my brothers and sisters is quite large, if there are any boxes to carve at all.

If, for you, a Christian is permitted public drunkenness and the celebration of pornography, perhaps there are many who would agree with you that it should. We live in a modern age, where fun is the only virtue and measure of life, and you are its religious proponent. Wide is the gate to a baptized hedonism, as so many have forced open its doors to this new world of cool. But then, are you against domestic partner benefits? What do you think ACC should do in this situation being discussed? Also, are you against state recognition of gay or lesbian marriages? How about polygamous marriages? Do you think there is such a thing as sexual morality to be found in the Bible, in the Catechism of your church, in its traditions and practices? What does the whole Bible say about a life that celebrates porneia? If you would rather discuss this elsewhere, we can do so, since I don't want to detour an otherwise engaging discussion with bibletalk.

Also, I don't think doubledawg's quote was all that random. I think it's actually a very strong argument against your claim. A weak argument would be to note that religious tests are expressly forbidden as a condition for holding office, indicating that the tight connection was not acceptable to the delegates. Together, they present a picture of increasing distance between religious practice and belief and the operation of the state.

And, finally, do you disagree with me that American conservatism is dead of thought? Are there, in your opinion, any thoughtful and principled defenders of what it means to be conservative, as there especially had been in the middle of the 20th century?

Chuck said...

Lamb - the Amendments are part of the Constitution. The point I was making is that "separation of church and state" does not appear in the Constitution.

Jmac - you make great points here. But I don't think that simply saying the government cannot create an official state religion, Church-of-England style, equates to a requirement that religion and government be totally separate. Religion, in some form or another, is an aspect of everyone's life. (Even atheists worship, they just worship themselves usually) So as long as you have humans making governmental decisions, you are necessarily going to have at least some of those decisions based on the religious beliefs of the decision makers.

Put another way, people make governmental decisions based on their values. And values are necessarily informed, if not dictated, by religious beliefs.

So while there is no dispute that it is unconstitutional, and unwise, to establish a state religion, it is similarly beyond dispute, as the Supreme Court noted, that "the First Amendment... does not say that in every and all respects there shall be a separation of church and state" Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306, 312 (1952). The Court in 1973 summed it up well: "this Nation's history has not been one of entirely sanitized separation between church and state. It has never been thought either possible or desirable to enforce a regime of total separation." Committee for Public Education & Religious Liberty v. Nyquist, 413 U.S. 756 (1973).

Poulos -

What I do know is that there were only two perfect people in the world. And I am neither one of them. It is written that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". Now, "all" in that context certainly does have exceptions, but as luck would have it, I am not one of those exceptions.

I believe that as long as you believe in Jesus, receive the Blessed Sacrament reverently, pray faithfully, follow the Commandments as best you can, and confess your (mortal) sins when you have seriously failed to live up to His expectations, then you remain in the state of grace.

Polusplagchnos said...

Are you against giving domestic partners of city/county employees the same benefits spouses receive, Chuck?

Are you for or against the state recognition of gay or lesbian marriages? Polygamous marriages?

I appreciate that you want to stress a Catholic interpretation of when one remains in a state of grace, but that's tangential to the theme and context of my questions. For instance, do the Commandments dictate very a specific sexual morality? Are the Commandments summed up as the whole of the Law, or are you talking about just those on the stones? If you tell others that they should look at the whole Bible (but not the catechisms or the fathers?), you should as well, is that not correct?

And, it is one thing to admit one's imperfection; it is another to go out of one's way to demonstrate it, over and over again. But perhaps we cannot be tasked to remember all of the times we have sinned before, especially not those from five years ago. There's always grace for that, and thank goodness.

Still, I am wondering. Who are the conservative thinkers that guide you, Chuck? Whom do you read?

Todd Mitchell said...

Chuck writes: "thank you for that rather random Constitutional quote. Now, if someone could answer the question about why "separation of church and state," that allegedly essential principle, never made it into the Constitution?"

LOL. So DoubleDawg quotes you that "random" 1st amendment, and you don't get the separation of church/state? Jefferson himself referred to the 1st amendment wording as "thus building a wall of separation between church and state." And he was, y'know, kinda like the *author* of it and all.

Polusplagchnos said...

I think Chuck is saying the particular phrase 'separation of church and state' is not in the Constitution, and as a principle only appears in the interpretations of the Constitution as a distinction that does not result in complete exclusion or complete inclusion. In other words, Chuck is arguing against a position I am not sure anyone in this thread adopted: the Framers wanted religion to have nothing to do with political affairs.

Of course, 'checks and balances' does not appear in the Constitution, either, as a phrase.

I've been thinking about aquarius' comparison of AHA to Century 21. What does Century 21 do that the AHA don't? If AHA is working for its own employees, is the solution the gutting of AHA for new employees, changing the very idea of public housing altogether into arranged business relationships with private sector landlords or realtors, or creating new SOP for how AHA handles things? aquarius, do you have a thought for what can make the Housing Authority more like Century 21, or is the comparison just to show that much can be done with few?

Anonymous said...

Uh, any of y'all actually ever READ the First Amendment?

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

A lawyer ought to know better, Chuck.

Not Al Davison

Chuck said...

And where is "separation of church and state" in that quote, F. Lee? I don't see it. Please point to the place in the Constitution where the phrase "separation of church and state" occurs. Article and section please?

Poulos (1) - well first I believe it is appropriate to be precise, and when using phrases like "separation of church and state" it should be clear that the Constitution does not actually say that. And when most people (whether participating in this thread or not) hear "separation of church and state" they think complete divorce of religion from government - i.e., get rid of Ten Commandments, no praying in schools, and other such nonsense. Clearly this is far removed from both the text and the intent of the Amendment, is it not?

Todd - and of course you cannot take one letter of one founder and equate it to Constitutional text. Maybe Jefferson did feel there should be a "wall of separation" (he probably did not, at least as we mean it today, but that is another discussion), and if he did, then why didn't that phrase make it into the Constitution? Perhaps no one else agreed.

Poulos (2) - Yes, I do oppose same sex "marriage" - I do not believe that the government ought to be in the business of sanctioning conduct that is gravely immoral. I think that a Playboy party is of an entirely different flavour. If I had gone to an orgy, that would be one thing. Remember, the trifecta (Bible, Catechism, and fathers) agrees that there are degrees of sin; some that are serious and some that are not so serious. Even if going to a Playboy party is "sin" in the religious sense, which I do not believe it to be, then clearly it would only be one of those non-serious things (certainly not serious as compared to homosexuality or an orgy).

Suburban Chaos said...


I think it is exactly the point here that Heidi sucks more on poverty than Charlie will?

In her first six months into office, Heidi commissioned a study of poverty which was a promise made during her campaign. The study was completed and the result called for more better paying jobs. Heidi waited a year and a half and called for another poverty study just before announcing her bid for reelection. We are still waiting on the jobs. This county has fallen behind the rate of population growth with new jobs since Heidi took office.

Charlie has lived and worked within the impoverished community his whole life. His work with social services, housing and the faith community’s efforts to alleviate poverty's impact on children far exceeds anything Heidi has ever voiced or attempted.

Charlie also has the experience and track record for job recruitment since it has been his job for three decades.

The situation of the floating homestead exemption is little more than a group of impoverished citizens falling off the priority list. Such is very telling of how important poverty really is to this mayor. Save the PPA bullshit. There has been no action.

Seriously, we are not going to change each others minds here. I work in social services and have seen the reality of poverty in Athens upfront. I have met the people who have been made promises by Heidi and are still waiting for her to act. I think she is a good person and a great cheerleader for Athens as a great place to live. I just don't think she is a good mayor and I think Charlie will do better. I used to believe in Heidi but have been let down so many times that she’s lost my vote.

It sucks that this forum has had to become such a shit sandwich and I am ashamed I had to pile some on. But Charlie is a decent guy and those assholes that sit here and take pop shots at my friend, who only wants to be mayor because he thinks he can do a good job, yeah, those people can fuck off. Charlie is a really good guy and to have his intellect and ability questioned by a fourth rate dickhead from a piss rag of a newspaper just confirms to me that some people really don’t see the realities of this city. A third of our citizens are in poverty. Half of our kids won’t graduate. Businesses, even the ones we may want, avoid this place like the plague. All these things need to be priorities and not stuffed behind duplicating state laws, getting trash cans off the curbs, fucking with separation of powers, moving the smoke from inside bars out onto the street where we all can enjoy it and all the other dumb shit played off as “responsive government”.

Disagree all you want. No amount of long winded bullshit pseudo reasoning or playing grab the tambourine and praise Heidi is going to change my mind. You have your views which are from your perspective and I have mine. However, if anyone here has not made up their mind and would really like to talk to Charlie about something in particular, email him at

Anonymous said...

"...a fourth rate dickhead from a piss rag of a newspaper..."

Is that a Blake Aued reference?

Polusplagchnos said...


1) You say, "And when most people (whether participating in this thread or not) hear "separation of church and state" they think complete divorce of religion from government - i.e., get rid of Ten Commandments, no praying in schools, and other such nonsense." My response is this. It seems to me that it's conservative Christians who are the people who hear 'separation of church and state' and think it means complete divorce of religion from government, no prayer in schools, and "other such nonsense." I mean, ryanetics just says the phrase and then you present this claim that it's not in the Constitution, later recognizing that the tradition of the SC has been that the separation is not complete and exhaustive. My experience with many progressives and liberals who support the principle is pretty much in line with some variation of the moderate tradition: not too much, not too little, but definitely not anything that will blur the line between entanglement and acknowledgement. There are some progs and libs who would like to see complete evacuation of religion from the government, and certain leftists as well. Not surprisingly, there are also religious people who would like to see the same thing, for the preservation of their own spirituality—a tradition and practice that has been approvingly with Christianity since the Romans burned them to light the roads.

But, I don't think there were any people in this topic advocating such a position: Ryanetics' original comment using the phrase seemed, to me, to be against a misinterpreted Jesus being used to dominate and control people—in other words, he was, in his own way, upholding the commandments to neither create a false image of the Lord nor to use his name for vain purposes. So, as I suggested, you seem to have been arguing against a straw man. I mean, because someone just used the phrase—which you took to mean that Ryanetics wanted complete separation—you argued against the phrase being used for complete separation, only later arguing with yourself that people who think it means complete separation are being nonsensical. That's the problem, Chuck. You see the phrase being used, and you automatically think that unless it is coming from a conservative as a phrase to be corrected, then it must mean "complete and total separation" by whoever is saying it. This is a failure of precision.

But, if it's a question of precision, you should not have called 'separation of church and state' a principle and then asked why "it" is not in the Constitution, when you meant "it" as the phrase. It seems that slippage between word (the phrase) and object (the principle) caused some confusion. Clearly, the principle is there: your own citations demonstrate a recognition that there is a separation; but the phrase is not. Where you disagree with Ryanetics (and whomever you're thinking about, since they may or may not be in this discussion) is in the scope and form of the separation itself, as you both recognize there is one. But, as that's the proper place of the disagreement you have with Ryanetics, going on about the lack of the phrase appearing in the Constitution is a complete non sequitur. It's irrelevant.

2) Consider me a prude, then. It seems to me that any commitment to viewing gay or lesbian relationships as serious sin ought to also see anything that condones and perpetuates pornography to also be serious, if it is to be a consistent commitment. Afterall, if it is irrelevant that the people themselves demonstrate their love and devotion through public declaration of responsibility and obligation, and it's just the improper use of the genitals that signals the seriousness of the sin, then the lustful desires pornography tends to incite should signal another sexual impropriety, where Christ links together the mental image with the physical act as the same in commission of intent. But perhaps I am being too harsh here, when maybe the Catholic conservative position is that there is no room for gay or lesbian sex, but straight porn does have a closet. I don't know. I'm not Catholic.

Public drunkenness, perhaps, is not so serious, but there seem to be no end within the Bible of the historical failures of drunkenness (Noah and Lot being the prime examples) and the severe condemnations of it (it was one of the signs of a rebellious son to be punished by stoning him to death).

Still, I guess the point stands that you had fun, and nothing in life, for the committed self-identifying conservative Christian, is sensibly worth doing if it ain't fun.

Personally, I do think there are occasions where a Christian can attend a brothel or a strip club, but it would not be in the capacity to have fun. Not in the sense these establishments are selling. Maybe you're being modest, but you hadn't suggested that your presence was in that capacity.

suburban, if you've read this far and will continue to read, I want to say first of all that I do sympathize with you that those of us who enjoy privilege should directly and indirectly help out those of us who do not. Secondly, I do think that you might have me in mind as one of those making "pop shots" at Charlie, when my intention is to point out what I think is a problem in his message. That is not a shot at him, unless the man is the message (maybe it is?). I think his message is far too broadly construed. It's far too inclusive. It is far too big of a tent. Because of that, the message ends up being internally inconsistent. I expressed this on Jmac's blog, where I did want to "debate the issues" with you. I am not saying that Charlie or his campaign are idiots or unintelligent; on the contrary, I have in the past on my blog expressed I thought there were moments of brilliance in the campaign. I admit that I had accepted the (somewhat) popular criticism of Charlie that he lacks substance or a platform, but I've come to see that that's not quite right. As my comment on Jmac's blog says, I think it's more that the platform being advanced is far too big! I think it is a problem of the way the campaign was structured around the idea that everyone is with Charlie: if everyone is with Charlie and Charlie is with everyone, then Charlie is going to have to adopt inconsistent views, since the "Grow Green" people on the face tend not to hold the same values and positions as the "Chamber of Commerce" people. It seems to me that parts of the campaign literature reposted many times are written to gain the interest of one group, and other parts for the other group. But these parts are not clearly going to work together, or, it's not obvious how he intends for them to work together beyond just stating that he'll do both.

A solution to be both "with everyone" and having an internally consistent message is to adopt a mediating position built up from the bottom by taking what is socially relevant and economically attractive from both (or all, given the numbers of positions out there). But, that's not going to look like any other position, and just might exclude those who are committed to only one picture for doing things. In other words, it will be divisive, and it may mean that Charlie is not with everyone and not everyone is with Charlie. But it will be a position. I think Charlie is moving towards that direction in how he represents himself and how the campaign is trying to represent him, but for some it is far too late.

(A different solution is to adopt the position of Solomon: cut the baby in half and see who wants it more. It's more ruthless, but then you'll know who your dedicated constituency is, and you'll know who will continue to elect you. If that's what we want in an elected official. I doubt Charlie even considers this, but it is one way of engaging in politics.)

suburban, as you are someone who works in social work, what do you think can be done? In your discussions with Charlie about this, does he agree with your thoughts on what should be done? What did you think about aquariusrizing's comparison of the Housing Authority to Century 21?

I think you can definitely help to clarify things. And I don't mean that in any snide or sarcastic way.

Suburban Chaos said...


Thank you for the sincere request and I will try offer answers as well thought out as the questions.

First, the assumption that Charlie’s campaign is predicated on the idea of “Everyone with Charlie” is just not true however; I can see how the confusion has festered. When Charlie declared to run, it was because he felt that large groups of citizens were either promised a voice in government and then didn’t get one or were simply ignored. Charlie has run a campaign from the outset of giving representation to the entire city. From the working poor to the republonazis to the chamberites to tree people to Bertis Downs; everyone deserves a voice.

The roping together of Charlie and the Chamber was a campaign hoax put forth by Heidi’s campaign. It is true, the chamber would like someone that will at least attend meetings and that has a more open mind. It is true, Heidi’s business prowess is a bit lacking and the Chamber would like someone with more understanding and credibility to be the flag bearer for attracting jobs to the region. Plus, the very bad blood between Heidi and the chamber from when they fired her a few years back is still there. The Chamber would most likely prefer someone with less prejudice.

But what of that is Charlie’s fault? Charlie has not toed the Chamber line. And I call bullshit on the claims of influence peddling from the chamber. So they gave money the candidate they hate less. Heidi has accepted illegal campaign contributions from a group unabashed in its support of gay rights. So are partner benefits their play for pay? I don’t think so but It’s a better argument than Charlie playing the chamber’s tune for campaign contribution since he has openly criticized the chamber’s and the government’s inability to work together for the common good.

I don’t get your Solomon analogy. Grow Green and the Chamber are not the same baby. But since the spirit has been moving on this blog lately, I’ll give an analogy of my own.

A blind man approach Christ and asked to be cured of his blindness. Christ spit in the dirt and smeared the mud in the man’s eyes. When the man washed out the mud, he could see.

Another man approached Christ and asked to be cured of blindness. Christ place his hands over the man's eyes and the man could see.

The two men met later in life and conversation took them to how Christ restores sight. While they agreed that Christ restored them, they could not find common ground on how it happened.

So is the case with us. All of our issues are linked to the fact we all love this town and want it to only be better. I think most of us on this forum like most of the same things about Athens and I think we all agree that we must protect ourselves from internal and external foes.

Heidi says we’ll get there through the environment.
Charlie says we’ll get there with people.
Both respect each others position.
But they have different priorities and I doubt either will change.

As far as the comparison of AHA to Century 21, I really am not sure where to start. AHA is more than a place to live. The housing authority is a whole entity which consider the entire housing issue. For example, AHA underwrote the bond to build east campus village which withdrew 1200 students from neighborhoods and put them back on campus. The hopeful result is more plentiful and affordable housing for families. The AHA operates a number of services and case management for people who scare real estate agents back into their luxury SUVans. And, quietly and all around the city, AHA has been getting families with sec 8 housing integrated in traditional neighborhoods before a NIMBY commissioner can call foul. AHA knows what we should, that concentrated poverty intensifies crime and the better mixed income our community is, the more we all benefit. I know AHA does a great job and they are consistently rated as a top housing authority in the nation.

When I bought a house from Century 21, they didn’t even come back and refill the fucking hole the sign left in my yard.

Finally, and I know this is not my argument, but I would like another Christian’s perspective on partner benefits.

The early church was divided on the issue of taking the faith to the Gentiles, a race the Jews found to be unclean and riddled with sin. Yet, Peter took the faith to the Gentiles and even I came to know the love of Christ because someone shared the truth with someone they thought were “unclean”.

The Lord commanded that we love him with our whole selves and that we simply love each other. The love and acceptance we show to all mankind is the love, I believe Christ wants us to share. I have found it hard to accept the “living in sin” argument as justification for denying others compassion for others as Christ did not only walk amongst the holy.

You thoughts are eagerly awaited.

And I am happy to debate Charlie points as you see fit. I am sorry I had overlooked your other post.

Suburban Chaos said...

Blake Aued reference?

No, Blake does not take cheap shots.

But you can flip a coin between Winders and Thompson. I have never see a editorial page editor consistantly run so much negative opinion with no real argument. We really need another paper in this town. Perhaps even one that pays a living wage.

Anonymous said...

WHOA! Surburban Chaos what do you mean, "Plus, the very bad blood between Heidi and the chamber from when they fired her a few years back is still there. The Chamber would most likely prefer someone with less prejudice."?
That is a HUGE accusation given that Heidi's website doesn't even list employment with the Chamber and it goes all the way back to her days as a school teacher in Oconee County. Either you are lying or she is hiding something. If you are not lying and she is hiding something then that would explain an awful lot of the stinky relationship with the business community and the Chamber of Commerce. Can you provide any more details?

Polusplagchnos said...

Suburban, that is what I mean by "Charlie is with everyone": his intention is to give representation to the entire city. That is what my impression has been of the campaign signs along the roads where various groups of Athenian society declare they are with Charlie, even cyclists are with Charlie. That's also my impression of the press release (I read it on Jmac's blog) put out after the infamous "Let's use Charlie" email. I suppose where I might be going wrong is in thinking that by giving them a voice, he also has to say something for them as well. Again, when I see that email with its bullet points of what we can do and whom we can work with, my thought is that bits and pieces are appealing to this or that group. Rather than facilitate one's own voice, Charlie is running as the voice of the people. I think what you are suggesting is that he is running as the former: the facilitator for each of us to speak. But I hear him as sounding like the latter: he is the voice of everyone within government. It's not so much that these are exclusive positions, but a matter of emphasis (as your parable of healings shows).

It seems to me that more affluent people are able to adopt the message of self-empowerment, since they think of themselves as having succeeded through self-directed effort and using their own resources to accomplish their own tasks. Having their own voice is an essential political reality to strive for, and so they look to themselves to be able to participate in the political sphere. On the otherhand, less affluent people are not able to succeed through direct effort since the difficulties and struggles are too much for one person, so they look to a community for strength to overcome (We, not I, shall overcome). They see resources as not their own, but as a collective pool. The essential political reality is of mutual cooperation, where particular individuals are too occupied to focus on other tasks besides daily life and survival and so must trust and rely upon someone to defend their community views in the political arena. In either case, being able to participate in government has become what one does with the time left over from maintaining the home and the family and the job.

It seems to me that you are saying that Charlie is more like the former, bringing to us our own voice, but the campaign suggests that he as a leader is there to bring about change, which is more like the latter, leading the various groups into a consensus for the community's sake. It may be possible that he is striving to be both, emphasizing things at different times. But, again, it comes back to my fundamental problem with the message of the campaign: trying to be too many things at the same time.

Insofar as Heidi is divisive, she is being a one thing. And people can know where they stand with respect to where she stands. But, if Charlie has come down hard on the Chamber being unable to work with the government, and the Chamber comes around and supports him with a campaign contribution, I think it's not unreasonable for people to question what that means. It may, in the end, mean nothing. But there is this old Maoist maxim: "If you have an idea, one must become two." Sometimes, division is going to be necessary to fulfill one's objectives.

Your thought on AHA parallel mine: it seems to me that Century 21 doesn't do as much of the case work and other assistance that AHA does, and the comparison is flawed as a result. I think there are fundamental differences between the interests of the private sector and those of the public, and that's even reflected in the criticism that AHA is only interested in collecting paychecks for themselves. Even though collecting a paycheck is the basis for the private sector, the assumption is that this should not be the case in the public sector. But then free marketeers want to turn around and say that government should be run more like the private sector, where profit motive drives the development towards better efficiency! "We don't want them to be eager to collect paychecks, so we will put the desire to efficiently make more money into them."

I do have to disagree with one aspect of the claim being made about ECV, though. Many of those living in ECV are athletes who were formerly living in McWhorter Hall when it was off Agriculture Dr. The number might not be as high as we want to think. Also, it seems to me that living on the campus has not benefitted the students in terms of learning more about the community they are living in. Most of the students don't even know that "those projects" across from the highrise dorms has a name, don't know anything about the coming (or already present) landfill problem, or don't understand why there is "poop on the loop." The condition of the fraternity homes on S. Lumpkin (north of Baxter) attests to how much pride in one's community appearance matters. It's a difficult balance to find in teaching young adults the virtues of civic life and in living out one's own life in peace. But your own point is well-taken: college students change the way the housing market operates.

As for domestic partner benefits, I don't have a problem with it, whether straight or gay or lesbian or queer relationships. It seems to me that valuation of long-term relationships is one of the problems that any liberal or progressive concept of government has to pass through if it is to think political responsibility towards the social, since the proliferation and general social acceptance of new patterns of constructing families and friendships undermines the assumed model of a "traditional" family. In other words, people "sleeping around" and this becoming acceptable changes how we view the significance of marriage itself, and it changes whether we think the state has interests in preserving marriage or not. As it was said, the state wants to attract better workers, so it adds more benefits to the package offered, but why the assumption that better workers have longterm partners? My thought is it's because of a deeper assumption that longterm relationships resulting in marriages are more closely aligned with the protection and preservation of property, which is the fundamental position linking today's liberals and conservatives together in the political world after the Enlightenment. This is a disagreement over who has the better way of preserving capitalist commerce cast in an obscuring language of religious doctrines and social advancements. I do think it will make governmental accountability much harder, and the most vociferous true debate will be in questioning what right the state has in deciding whether this or that relationship is more legitimate than another. So, that's the twist: as a Christian, I see the benefits issue from a position critical of assuming property is what we should protect absolutely.

As for the Solomon reference: they may not be the same baby, but they are competitive "mothers" if you will. As a metaphor, any number of things can be the baby. The point is to see both who loves the baby more and how they love the baby. It's possible to say that Charlie puts himself in the position of the one who loves the baby the most, and then goes on to split himself for it. But that may be too weird a twist on the metaphor.

Anonymous said...

Heidi was employed by the Chamber of Commerce as the director of Leadership Athens (The Chamber's leadership Development Program) just a few years ago. She was released and the program was revamped to its current form, LEAD Athens. This fact can be confirmed by calling the Chamber at 549-6800.

Suburban Chaos said...


All great points though I disagree about ECV. No matter which students are in the east campus village, they are there none the less and that's one less "Arbor Pointe", "Silver Britches Station" or 'keg Stand Landings" student development that will be going up.

I don't think the metaphor is weird. As mayor, Charlie will have to walk a delicate line and he has told me he will not ignor Grow Green and Clean Air Athens as Heidi has ignored the Chamber.

He will need to split somewhat. It will be a bit painful for him, but he will do it. He promises to give forum to all voices whether he agrees or not.

Suburban Chaos said...

Anonymous said pretty much what I was going to.

Blake or somebody should really confirm this.

Also, a complaint was filed with Board of Elections for Heidi accepting two donations from a husband and wife exceeding $4000 which is illegal. The complaint was filled weeks ago. Why is this being ignored by the paper?

Suburban Chaos said...

Here is the Mayor’s Bio:

Mayor Heidi Davison
235 Wells Drive
Athens, GA 30606
Phone Numbers: (706)546-9643 (h) / (706)613-3010 (w)
Professional Experience: Elementary and Middle School Language Arts teacher (1975-1989); Studio Manager, Alan Campbell Studios (1992-1998); Project Direct - Senior Leadership Academy, Athens Area Council on Aging (1999-2001); Director - Leadership Athens (1996-2001);

Here is one of students

Morgan, Leneva J., public relations specialist with the Department of Marketing Services, was a member of the 1996-97 Leadership Athens class, administered by Athens Area Chamber of Commerce.

Polusplagchnos said...

Suburban, thanks for the further clarification about Davison's involvement with the CoC.

About ECV, my point is that they were already on the campus, and so were not removed from the community and then placed into ECV. But, I get your point. I have very strong feelings about many of these townhouse and condo developments (stripping down greenspace and forests to clay, building homes and neighborhoods on top of them, planting small saplings, and then calling the development "Great Oaks" or "Wooded Heights" or "Pineview" or "Descriptive Name Having to Do With Forests"). It seems, then, there'd also need to be a criticism of the University bringing in more students than it has space to handle, year after year. Perhaps that is already there.

Anonymous said...

An article from 1998 during her tenure.

Athens chamber seeks Leadership nominations

By Jim Thompson
Staff Writer

The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for Leadership Athens.
Leadership Athens is an annual program of the chamber designed to identify new and emerging business, civic and government leaders; provide them with a network of other new and emerging leaders; and give them a broad-based view of the problems facing Athens-Clarke County.
Potential participants must be nominated for the program, but self-nominations are accepted. Nomination forms are available at the chamber office in the Commerce Building, 220 College Ave., and at a number of member businesses. The deadline for nominations is March 15.
Nominees will receive application packets, and must complete those applications by May 1. The announcement of the Leadership Athens Class of 1998-99 will be made on July 1.
Leadership Athens classes have been held since 1982. Currently, the program comprises an orientation session, a weekend retreat and six sessions between September and March.
The six-hour sessions bring class members into contact with local officials and others with expertise in a variety of disciplines.
The theme for this year's class is "Building Community Capital, A Framework for Development."
Class members will look at the various types of capital - human, social, environmental, physical and financial - available in the community.
Leslie Bates, director of Minority Services and Programs at the University of Georgia and a former Leadership Athens participant, said the program "provides a commonality of information, concerns and challenges to its participants and provides them opportunities to address challenges - not as individuals, but as a team."

Suburban Chaos said...

We can have our cake and eat it too, but we have to be careful how much we bitch about it.

I love the time of year when the student go home and we can reclaim the town if only for a few days or weeks.

But the students are really great. They fund things that other cities just don't have. Their energy and creativity really shapes this place for the better.

We can get students into responsable housing by help UGA implement it's master plan. The type of density the University will use will, in part, protect land elswhere in the county.

Suburban Chaos said...


The ECV is hugh compared to McWhorter. Those are not just displaced student athletes living over there.

Polusplagchnos said...

Yes. Not just. But you'd be surprised who does live there.

hillary said...

SC, I do see your point about thinking Heidi's been crappier on poverty so far, and I'm not sure she has the most awesome plans for dealing with it, but, to me, her plans seem slightly more fleshed out and realistic than those Charlie has. I've just tried to go to his page to refresh my understanding of his plans, but it's unavailable right now.

Anonymous said...

Heidi's done more for poverty than any Mayor in Athens' history. Charlie needs to pick a better point of attack.

Suburban Chaos said...

Oh, really?

Why don't you school us on the wonderful things Heidi's done concerning poverty. And don't even mention PPA. Heidi had a study of poverty done once already and she ignored it's findings.

Make sure you show the great strides she made over Julius Bishop's efforts which gave housing to hundreds of impoverished citizens or Upshaw Bentley's recruitment of industries which today employ thousands of medium skilled workers with a living wage and benefits.

Please enlighten us.

Anonymous said...

Wow...the Maddox people just keep getting more and more desperate. What's the matter? Turnout machine not working so well?

I guess the desperation would explain the negative attack mail I got last week. ("Common knowledge" is not a legitimate source, kids.)

Suburban Chaos said...

Quit sputtering and back up your claim or will you also have to cite the ever elusive, "common knowledge"?

Honestly, do you have anything to add beyond conjecture? Do you really know why you support Heidi or do you simply do it because you wrongly believe you're sticking it to the man.

Well congratulations. You're sticking it to the man alright. You're sticking it to a whole lot of poor men, women and children and you've shown that you're too ignorant to know even that.

Onward Heidi soldiers!

Anonymous said...

Actually, you just backed up anon 1:24's claim pretty well yourself there, pal.

Anonymous said...

Not only did Charlie send out an attack on Heidi, he sent out two attack ads - one if you vote Democrat and one if you vote Republican - that way he would be consistent with his message: "Pandering for All of Athens, so we can have a better today for a better tomorrow because I'm an Athenian for all Athenians."

Anonymous said...

Good God!
Ain't no way this shit still be goin' on! Go to WORK people!

Polusplagchnos said...

Could someone put these "attack ads" up?

Anonymous said...

Charlie is dumb and his color sheme is terrible. Blue and Orange? You'd think Cedar Shoals High School was running for mayor!

Suburban Chaos said...

Heidi's a fucking snob and her awesome campaign literature looks like it was designed for a 7th grade book report. You'd think a pandering, hardly employable, ancient hippie is running.

Wait. She is.

Suburban Chaos said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

suburban chaos,

You're a douchebag. See, I can call people names too.

Anonymous said...

Heidi's no snob! Stop being a meanie!
I'm gon' cry.

Suburban Chaos said...

And you, of no name, are louse in the locks of society. You are a fool with an idiot for an advsior. Even your insults show an ability to think that is found wanting.

May your right hand change into a serpent and rend you. May you and all yours be blasted and may you sink into hell accompanied by a tune from Bryan Adams. And while you wallow in squalor, may worms feast on your entrails in token of worm that dieth not.And when your name has ceased in relevance, may your very image be held up in mockery as a truly insignificant life.

Mike said...

You're really crossing the line in terms of decency and civility by bringing Bryan Adams into this.

Jmac said...

Well ... it cuts like a knife.

G. Lamb said...

Bryan Adams is Canadian. Why do you hate America?

andyrusk said...

Holy crap.

Sometimes the circus comes to town and you just don't see the train.

Seriously, pizza party at my place when all this is over.

And hey, is that you, Snowden? I gotta bone to pick with you.

andyrusk said...

Ryanetics in 2010!

Suburban Chaos said...

Come over tommorow after 1.

Ryanetics said...

re: "I work in social services and have seen the reality of poverty in Athens upfront."

Suburban Chaos,

If you are Snowden then how is it exactly that you work in "social services"?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Snowden's going to be 0 for 2 this election cycle.

Anonymous said...

Snowden = Suburban Chaos

Suburban Chaos said...


I really don't need to prove anything to you but for anyone who is so deeply concerned with my work in the non-profit sector....enjoy.

I have or currently represent the public affairs interest of the following organizations.

Athens Area Homeless Shelter
American Red Cross, NE Georgia
Rockdale Emergency Shelter
Phoenix Pass Women and Children's shelter
Community Connection of NE GA.
Childcare Resources of Northeast Georgia
The Athens Clarke County High School Completion Initiative.

Additionally, I served as communication coordinator for The Red Cross concerning the relocation of evacuees to North East Georgia and am on the board of Community Connection of Northeast Georgia and Safe Campuses Now.

My firm has worked with a local development corp. to recruit jobs to some of the poorest areas in Georgia's Black Belt through the development of cottage industries.

And when I am not helping at one of the other four non profits of which I am on the board, I volunteer at DFACS with my wife who is a case manager.

If you are trying to smear me, good luck. I have been down in the dirt of social services and you cannot even begin to imagine the utter filth (literally) I have seen or dealt with. Ryan,you could have known all this already if you'd just read your own paper.

As for the rest of you, it has been a pleasure. As the election will soon end, so will my fling with this blog. I have really enjoyed the messages and debate (even from you, ryan) and I hope we can all do it again sometime.

A few of us flacks and journalists are meeting at the Globe for a beer soon and I would really love to meet everybody. And please, I don't harbor hard feelings and if you don't please come join us for beer and non-political conversation.

I can be reached at:


Please tune into my blog soon for a review of Times Picayune Reporter Chris Rose's acclaimed book "One Dead In Attic: A reporters account of Katrina".

Suburban Chaos said...

Oh, and to the anonom poster, I helped be part of getting the first African American mayoral candidate into serious contention with a runoff. I made great freinds that I otherwise would'nt meet. I learned more about faith, anger, repent and going it alone than I perhaps ever have. I feel like a winner already.

Anonymous said...

Well, awesome! I learned about trains this year. Yay! We all win!

Nicki said...

Hey, suburban --

I understand your comments about "better jobs," but I don't understand why you think Heidi cn magically create them. Or not. In 4 years. Athens has been poor for 100 years, by the way.

Ryanetics said...

As we shake off the election night hangover, I guess what I am left wondering is how a Public Relations magnate like Mr. Jeff Snowden plans to represent his clients to the Banner-Herald after a wonderful display of public relating like:

Snowden: ...a fourth rate dickhead from a piss rag of a newspaper...

Anonymous poster: Is that a Blake Aued reference?"

Snowden: Blake Aued reference? No, Blake does not take cheap shots. But you can flip a coin between Winders and Thompson.

Methinks that Jeff's clients might be concerned that calling the Executive Editor and Editorial Page Editor "fourth rate dickheads" and calling the only real newspaper in town a "piss rag" could negatively impact his ability to publicly relate their information.

I think we are seeing yet another example of people not realizing that they are accountable for what they post in blogs. We've seen it before in this election cycle (see Ed Vaughn's breakdown in an earlier post) and I am sure we will see it again soon. I just wonder why people have such a hard time realizing that just because you type something doesn't mean it won't be taken seriously - just ask the Unibomber. Or Mark Foley.

Suburban Chaos said...


That is a good point. I have said before that we need jobs which truly understand our labor force.

A while back I advocated for the recruitment of the printing and animal health industries to Athens. With our base of skills (Artists, writers, photogs, editors, lad techs (vie Athens Tech), Vets and the presence of two major Animal health companies already here, it just makes sense.
These industries support a strata of jobs from factory workers, exec editors and these industries have good records for paying living wages.

Where I believe Athens has fallen short is where we have yet to activily recruit these or any businesses. Consider this: in a town of many graphic artists, writers and communication professionals, this town does not have a brochure. Seriously, no brochure. If we wanted to send something to an interested busineeses, we have nothing to send. We are not proactive, rather, we sit and wait for busineeses under the idea that we are just so "cool" that they should come here.

I believe we should seek out the busineeses we want. And speaking of such I working with a few freinds to try to bring a Fresh Market to the westside in the old Winn Dixie. Those who can or would like to help, please e-mail me at


My firm is a advertising and marketing group (You should remember that from when we kicked the complete shit out of you and the ABH in the ADDYs last year BTW: Nice Dawguide, real high level work). We don't call on your fucking paper on behalf of any clients unless they are non-profits whose work I do pro-bono.
We place advertising which mean you idiots get money from us. We don't need your fucking favors.

So unless you're stating that you and your employer, The Athens Banner Herald, activily shun non-profits because you got critiqued on a blog, I really don't fucking care. Plus, I could always send me release through AP. 95% of your paper is their stuff anyways.

The next time you want to offer advice on how to run my business go down to the Grady school and gaze at my pitcure on the hall of fame then,

come back and stare at your fucking cubicle.

Ryanetics said...

Well, looks like I touched a nerve. I am not interested in a pissing contest and I certainly wasn't offering advice. But thanks for continuing to prove my point.

Anonymous said...

I concur with ryanetics. I hear that Snowden is halfway decent at business but he's definitely pissing it away on politics, which he's not any good at. If I were him, I'd specialize more.

Polusplagchnos said...

Is "suburban chaos" more a character, an act, or the real deal? I can understand it if this is a character, meant to take advantage of viral media to generate interest in a product or a project, but I can also understand this as a real deal thing, too.

Also, I wonder about the refrain that we should "debate the issues" and point out what Heidi did right or what Charlie is doing wrong. That's clearly one way of getting free feedback from the community on what ways the campaign needs to change or continue to get across its message. What to emphasize or to let go.

But perhaps that's just too cynical to think.

G. Lamb said...

I don't know this dude Snowden but for a pr/marketing/ guy he sure doesn't do a good job of 'relating to the public' a'la "public relations".

He's been very rude on here and I must conclude he's a mean man.
Mean! Rude! A bad DUDE!

G. Lamb said...

Oh, yeah, if this comments thread gets to 150 posts I'll buy the 150'th commenter a taco!

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G. Lamb said...

Alright! even though those posts weren't really in the spirit of the contest I congratualte Blackfin_day who has just won a free taco at Taco Bell on the corner of Alps and Braod street.

(Open nightly until at least 2 AM, Taco Bell has a reputation for satisfying even the most discriminating drunkard.)

Post your address and I'll send you $.79 TODAY!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be so long getting back on and answering the question posted about how AHA could be better, and why it should be compared to private sector housing management.

There are a lot of ways that AHA COULD be helping it's residents, but is not. Those homes that they're rehabing and then selling to their residents are only sold to people who can get a mortgage! People who can already qualify for a mortgage and who have saved up a down-payment. Which doesnt' help the people who are in medical bankrupcy...

AHA has a huge staff, including a department called admissions and occupancy, which does an annual examination of each resident, to make sure that AHA gets .30 of every dollar the tenant makes. In rent. Recently, AHA has almost completely removed the subsidies they were giving residents for untilities, so now the bills for residents are comparable to those for anyone, up to several hundred bucks a month.

AHA does NO education for its' residents, all of them should be taught and encouraged that they are entitled to an account at the Credit Union, and taught how to manage a checking/savings account and their money.

AHA's "resident services" department does NOTHING but run the individual neighborhood groups, and the larger intra community council. Other than that, their job is to screen all residents OUT of getting referrals to social service agencies in town. The word is that the Ark and food bank, etc. were getting too many people from public housing, so AHA created a system whereby every resident who is in need of extra help, say for the new extremely high utility bills, has to go to resident services who will most often lecture the person on how they really could have budgeted for the unsubsidized bills, and deny them access to the social service structure that might help them. They do give referrals for food stamps, but
other than that, if you go to resident services for help, actual cash, or food (they limit referrals for food boxes to twice a year) you will be told no. They warned everyone when they removed the gas and electric subsidies that there would be no access for those who needed it to any help outside the authority. Unlike citizens who don't live in AHA, who are eligible for heating assistance every year. Certainly AHA residents qualify for that help income wize, but they're being denied access to it.

AHA has a huge staff, some of them maintenance and rent office, which I consider valid. Also, admissions and occupancy, valid, they have to prove every year that they've earned the federal money they get for each and every tenant. But, in other areas, where resident services could really be making a difference, addressing truancy, obesity and healthful eating habits, smoking cessation, offering books and book bags to residents who are attempting to attend school or classes... offering a matching fund for those people so as to incentivize continuing education... creating a real section 8 program so that the poor aren't segregated into cesspools of poverty and crime... There are funds available out the yin yang for creative housing solutions... i don't remember who posted somehting about some section 8 program that the AHA has something to do w/, but that is wrong. There is a number to call for Section 8 housing, no one ever gets thru that line, they only take applications to file applications about twice a year, and the AHA has nothing to do w/those folks. AHA SHOULD take responsibility for a local section 8 program, set up w/HED.

AHA above all should be finding incentives for local developers to include affordable housing in each of their developments, whether apartment or single family housing. Until we stop segregating these folks they will never see how other people live. Those citizens who are literally living intergenerational poverty, who show up at age 18 at the admissions and occupancy office wanting to move out of their Mom's apartment and into one of their own, IN AHA, are never getting a chance to see life outside one of those projects!!! I think if the poor were integrated into the community, subsidized by section8, they would see how the other half lives, and as a huge benefit would be spared the stigma and shame of living in a housing project. Kids never outgrow that stigma, except a very few, like Charlie and Pete Fair (who runs the maintenance and rent offices), or even George Maxwell, who grew up in Broad Acres.

Charlie Maddox has had a blast being on the board of the AHA... some people are upset that when he goes on trips to conferences, he takes his whole family along. At our expense! And Rick Parker has won a bunch of awards nationally for his work w/the AHA. But we shouldn't be fooled by that. He has just managed to maximize the amount of money he has to run his staff... in otherwords, if there's a funding stream out there, he figures out how to meet the criteria of the funding and snag it for the AHA. Which is all good, except that it hasn't resulted in anything tangible for the residents of the AHA.

And frankly, I do think they should have to explain why they needed that multi-million dollar headquarters, and all those staff, several of whom write grants (which should be handled by HED) and the "no you can't get any help with that" department, should have to prove their worth to the residents of AHA. If Century 21 or any other property management company can run thousands of apartments w/an answering machine I think AHA should have to be efficient too.

Then there's the fact that they legislate morality by disincentivizing marriage, and forbidding cohabitation of unmarried couples. If a couple gets married, both incomes count, and suddenly they're paying full market value for the substandard housing provided by the authority. That market rate rent is ridiculous, by the way... my apartment was listed as worth 386$ a month. But I maintain that no student in their right mind would pay that much for a 400 square foot cinder block w/pink linoleum apartment with a galley kitchen that doesn't even have room for a table in it. Also, none of their apartments include a dryer hookup, the logic having been that poor people have time to hang their clothes out on the line... only a couple of their complexes have central heat and air, and where they do, they installed the LEAST efficient systems for NO student in their right mind would pay their "market value" on their places. That's just a number that the AHA uses to draw down federal funds.

Just one more pet peeve, the AHA doesn't recycle, or even make it possible for residents to recycle. I have never understood why not... there are folks that come around to the dumpsters every day and pick out the cans, but residents should have to recycle, period.

okay, I'm done.