Thursday, October 25, 2007

Drought Work Session

We'll be doing a bit of "liveblogging" coverage of the Commission drought work session. We've already dialed up the red carpet coverage pre-meeting coverage of Blake Aued dropping his note pad. Stay tuned for more excitement.

Finally starting up; Heidi apologizes for sitting with her back to the audience, apparently because of the large screen used for the work session.

Fun fact: We are now in what is called an exceptional drought, which means it's only expected to be this dry once every 100 years.

We're now apparently liveblogging JobTV. Oh wait, just kidding. And there it goes again. I guess that job in Monroe was more important than the three words I missed. Seriously, can I get a job managing the feeds for Channel 7? Cause this guy sucks. Also, that slide is giving me a headache.

Seems like the bottom line is that the steps taken so far are kinda working, and we'll probably be ok so long as we keep conserving like we've been doing and so long as it rains somewhere in the normal range the rest of the year and early next year. If not, we'll eventually have to take Step F, which apparently involves some mandatory reduction in usage. Violations will involve a 10 times rate for amounts over the limit, that plus a $1,000 surcharge for a second offense, and all of that plus a service disruption for a third offense.

No change in current drought conditions would place Step F as occurring on December 14, 2007. We would then have to start to use internal back-ups (Lake Chapman and the Loop 10 reservoir, which I didn't even know we had until tonight) on February 23, 2008 if things didn't improve before then.

However, it unfortunately sounds like a mandate from Sonny may force us to go to Step F sooner than that. We have to cut an additional 10%, even though we've already taken steps that other communities haven't taken. No good deed goes unpunished.

Maxwell is talking about paper plates and such. Now he's suggesting a 4-day work week. Cool!

Hoard makes the case for multi-year averages instead of a 12-month average in calculating the base from which a % must be reduced, suggesting that a 12-month average unfairly penalizes companies that have proactively taken steps to conserve in recent years. I don't disagree, except that it might drive up the amount of reduction that has to come from residential.

Girtz: "This is a great drought, and I thank you for it."

Guvmint low-flow showerheads for the poor, courtesy of fines against violators? That might work.

Ok, I've got to go eat and watch BC-VT. My civic engagement only goes so far. I'll refrain from ordering water.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Flounder Files: Really?

Sigh. Why do I get the feeling that "really?" is a word I'll be using quite often with this guy?

So, another email from Rand "Flounder" Knight, candidate for U.S. Senate, fell into my inbox from an anonymous friend. Here's the headline:

Rand Knight leads new poll!

Stop the friggin' presses!!!!!!!!

So this Flounder guy, who hasn't even made it into any Georgia poll that I've seen, who hasn't even really made it into most of the news stories I've read about this race, is leading in a poll?


Hmm, this bears reading. Maybe I've judged him harshly. Maybe I've been under a political rock for the last few weeks and missed a sudden Flounder-surge.

Not so much, no.

The poll in question was an online poll (apparently fairly old) that was hosted on something called (Long domain names much?) Apparently it's a social networking (translation: one step up from dating) site for the politically inclined.

And, the "lead" Rand brags about breaks down like this:
Rand Knight: 16.28%
Dale Cardwell: 11.63%
Vernon Jones: 0.00%

Hmm... I did go to public schools, but I know a little math. Enough to know that 16.28 + 11.63 + 0 = 27.91. And enough to know that 27.91 is less than 100%. Fortunately, the kids over at Blog for Democracy have the answers I see. (Those Atlanta folks - so bright and on top of their bloggin' stuff.) Sez Bernita:

Wyc Orr: 25.58%
Rand Knight: 16.28%
Dale Cardwell: 11.63%
Vernon Jones: 0.00%
Jim Marshall: 46.51%

So what you're saying is, Flounder is not so much leading, as he is trailing two guys who aren't even in the damn race (one of whom may not even be much of a Democrat) in a poll conducted on a social networking site?


Yeah, that's some shit to brag about, Flounder. Keep up the good work.

What can Broun do for you?

Saw this on a blog from the Bobby Saxon campaign. Saxon, you may recall, is challenging Congressman Paul Broun in the 10th District. (The Flem is also running.) Saxon is a Democrat, but by most accounts, the most serious Democrat to run in the 10th in a while. Being quick to respond when Broun acts the fool is a good indication that he might actually be a serious candidate.

Sez Bobby:

What can Broun do for you? Not much if you’re a Georgia child in need of healthcare

ATHENS, Ga. Democratic Congressional candidate Bobby Saxon released the following statement on last night's vote in the House of Representatives to re-authorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). S-CHIP is the parent program for Georgia's successful PeachCare program, which provides affordable health insurance to hundreds of thousands of Georgia children.

“I'm deeply disappointed that Congressman Broun chose to put party above principle with his vote last night. I'm not a doctor like my opponent is, but I do know the Hippocratic Oath, and its charge to protect patients from harm.

“With his vote against children's health care, Congressman Broun has broken that promise and, if he had his way, hundreds of thousands of Georgia children, and their families, would be harmed.

“I'm going to fight to keep our promise to our children, because this is about more than just a health care bill. Healthy children do better in school, they learn more, and they succeed. That's good, not just for the children and their families, but for the future of America's workforce and economy. When I am elected to Congress, I will always put the interests of our families and children first.”

Bobby Saxon is a small business owner and has served in Iraq, Afghanistan and led a Homeland Security mission. Saxon also serves as Chair of the Jackson County Democratic Party and is a member of the Democratic Party of Georgia State Committee. Please go to for more information on Bobby Saxon and his campaign for United States Congress.

Ok, not bad. I don't know whether this went to reporters (how about it, Blake?), or his email list or what. I picked it up from Tondee's Tavern. Still, nice one, Mr. Saxon.

The bloggernetz are angry!!

At one Jim Marshall, that is. Seems Rep. Marshall, a Democrat from Macon, did the unthinkable - he voted against his party on extending children's health care.

Flackattack is pee-yossed!

And even more pee-yossed!

Since, once upon a time, we here in "Heidi's world" had a congressman who bucked the party line more than some of us would like, how about the Athens take on this whole thing. (Don't worry, our former Congressman voted for children's health care, and he approves of them dawgs too!)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Get a load of this guy!

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm pleased to introduce you to Rand Knight, Democrat for U.S. Senate. You've probably never heard of ol' Rand. That's cool. For your background information, he's been in the Senate race for a handful of months and has just made the transition to actually being mentioned in newspaper stories.

Anyway, Rand Knight is not having the best week ever. First, he and his fellow candidates, Cardboard and Snuggles, got royally dissed by the national Democrats and state party chairwoman Jane Kidd. (Don't act so shocked folks, they're only saying what everybody knows - the candidates for U.S. Senate suck.)

Then, he decides to declare war on the AJC by launching into a whiny tirade over at Tondee's Tavern. JMac is all over this one like a hipster on a PBR.

Then, this afternoon, Jim Galloway and Bob Kemper over at the AJC's Political Insider delivered this hot, steaming nugget into my RSS reader. Rand has jumped on the bandwagon of 21st Century politics by making a bad YouTube video. Here you go.

Really? Ok, a few points to make here.

  • His head looks extraordinarily, um...tall. That's a mega-noggin.
  • "Technical and sales background." Really? Because voters really seem to like salesmen, right?
  • Is it just me, or does his "southern accent" sound contrived? I don't mean a little exaggerated, I'm talking Nick Cage in "Con Air" bad. ("Put thuh bunneh in thuh bawx.")
Anyway, I never thought that I'd say this, but this guy makes me miss the political juggarnaut that was Cliff Oxford.

In the grand tradition of Tondee's Tavern and their candidate nicknames, I hereby christen Mr. Rand Knight....



Sunday, September 16, 2007

The GlennTax Travels, part II: D-I-V-O-R-C-E

The GlennTax travels, part II:
in which we talk about the 'Stache's control issues and why even prominent Republicans are less than thrilled about this idea. Also, we show Elton the love.

Control Issues:
To a lot of folks, the biggest slam on the GlennTax is it's decimation of the concept of local control. If you've followed Georgia politics closely for the past few years (you know who you are ... dork), then you know that the state Republican party created and solidified its hold on the majority in the General Assembly on the issue of local control. The line was essentially, "those big-gummint, tax-n-spend libruls are tryin' to run everthang from up in Atlanta! We [the GOP] recognize your right to run your community how you want to run it."

With all due respect, fellas - horseshit. The GlennTax is a direct, and probably gut-busting, shot to home rule and local control, because it takes the primary revenue stream for cities and counties and throws it in the trash. Instead, your county government is going to have to go to Atlanta, hat in hand, and beg the Stache (aka Speaker Richardson) for money every time you want to buy a fire engine, hire some new first grade teachers, or pick up the latest Jackie Collins pageturner for your local library.

Now, the Stache will tell you that if his nefarious scheme goes through, Athens is guaranteed to get as much money from the gummint next year as they collected in property taxes this year. Fair enough, but what about the year after, and the year after that? And, what if Athens wants to make a big, necessary capital expenditure, say building a new middle school? There's no guarantee that the State will release the funds. In fact, since Athens is represented in the House by two Democrats and one Republican (and let's be honest, Bob Smith only represents a tiny sliver of this town), smart money is on Paulding County getting a new middle school (or fire truck, or whatever) before Athens does.

As long as Republicans are in power, the GlennTax has the additional benefit of being "re-election insurance" for GOP incumbents, because they'll always bring back the bacon. So, it's a pretty sneaky way of getting close to that "permanent majority" about which some Republicans like to fantasize. (When they're not fantasizing about other things.)

Needless to say, a lot of local officials are less than excited about the possibility of going from being elected leaders to elected beggars. Here in ACC, Mayor Heidi Davison is all het up (and good on her!), and Super-Commissioner Elton Dodson, who is not always known for his reticence and tact, was pretty miffed as well. Sez Dodson:
"We would lose all local autonomy. ... It's the end of home rule in Georgia. It's the end of local control..." (ABH 08/27/07)

He's right, you know.

GOP to the Stache: Um... not so much, no
But those are just the insane ramblings of a bunch of mixed up libruls. Surely the GOP establishment is standing squarely behind the Stache and his tax pony?

Um... no.

In fact, GOP leaders like Governor Sonny Perdue, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, and Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson are publicly expressing their concerns about the GlennTax. And in a Georgia accustomed to monolithic GOP posturing, even the expression of mild concern is the political equivalent of declaring Glenn Richardson and his little plan dead to them.

Face it, these guys are divorcing themselves from Glenn Richardson and his plan and running the other way as fast as they can.

Even Phil Kent, who is to conservative meme what Britney Spears is to poor fashion choices, expressed some mild disagreement on this morning's "Georgia Circlejerk Gang."

Wrapping it up:
So to sum up, here's what you've got on the Glenn Tax. As we saw in part 1 of our Magical Mystery Tour, you're getting a whole slew of new taxes to make up for one tax, and the Stache would really appreciate it if you didn't notice that you're going to be paying those new taxes so that WalMart gets a tax break. And, if that isn't enough, it's also going to make sure that the Stache gets to dictate what goes on in your community, instead of your duly elected local leaders. Also, no one really likes it, other than Glenn and his cronies.

Join us for the next chapter, wherein we talk about alternatives, politely disagree with Flack and JMac, and make fun of the Stache some more.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Flem is loose!

So it's official. The Flem is running. (HA!) If you're interested in hearing him make it officially official, you could tune into Tim Bryant's show tomorrow morning.

Anywhich, Broun tells our pal Blake that he ain't skeered. Which is good, because if he were actually quaking in his boots, it would make it harder for the Flem to smack him around.

But, as previously mentioned, don't rule out hometown boy Bobby Saxon. As Blake points out:
"The Iraq veteran from Jackson County manages to slam the surge and the New York Times, and both praise and criticize, all in the same press release. Well played, sir."

He's right, you know. It's a small thing, but it's a smart triangulation move, and shows a level of political sophistication that hasn't been seen in this district in quite some time.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Roundup: September 9th, 2007

Here's some stuff.

  • JMac no likey Food Lion. What's next, war on Ingle's?
  • I wax eloquent about the GlennTax. (Preview: it sucks!)
  • Jim T talks about noun wars. As a veteran of the gerund conflicts of '87, I can't agree more. Never again. (Ok, seriously, Jim makes good points here.)
  • Bill Shipp continues to barrel down the slippery slope from "crotchety" to "irrelevant" with this column. One point I'm going to make in opposition to this piece: Hillary Clinton is currently ahead of Obama, and by a not insignificant margin, in Georgia. And guess what, even that doesn't matter, because it's five months until we vote. A lot can happen in five months.
  • A few days ago, Blake's blog had an interesting thread with some good comments on poverty.

GlennTax Travels: Part I

[Editor's note: For the love of Girtz! You go away on a quick, year-long vacay, and this is what happens to AthPo? Seriously guys. All righty, let's pick it up.]

GlennTax Travels, Part I
In which we explore stalking horses, and how you're helping big-box business get ahead.

So, the editorial board at the ABH thinks Glenn Richardson needs to give it up on his whole "GlennTax," "Tax Pony," "I wanna be your Speaker and your banker" ish. For what it's worth, they're 110% right, but I don't know if I want to see what comes next to replace the GlennTax. Anyway, this gives me a great opportunity to jump in with one of those rambling, half-ass analyses that I know we all enjoy. Buckle in tight, kids, 'cos I got a few things on my mind. So many things in fact, that they can only be thoroughly explored in a multi-part series that will be posted as I feel like it.

The Stalking Horse Theory:

Some bloggers believe that the 'Stache (that's hipster bloggerspeak for Richardson, if you're keeping score at home) has no intention of passing his plan, and is instead using it as a stalking horse for a much more "reasonable" plan (and by reasonable, I mean less overtly crappy) that he can bring in as a "compromise" measure (and by compromise, I mean that they're going to ram it down your throat the same way they do everything else) later down the road.

Some folks think the GlennTax is a placeholder, designed to rile people up enough that Glenn can then pull the plan and replace it with a similar idea proposed by his loyal minion, Jerry Keen (R-St. Simons). Keen's scheme would replace property taxes with an increase in the statewide sales tax. I don't need to tell you that this is a terrible idea, for many of the same reasons that the GlennTax itself is a bad idea. In fact, it's very much the same plan, although it is less ambitious in scope. Of course, being less ambitious in the scope of taxes you're getting rid of means that the numbers fail to add up in an even more egregious fashion.

For what it's worth, I'm inclined to think that this theory is at least possible. It's not outside the realm of possibility that the 'Stache and his posse know that Keen's plan is a political turd, and the only way to polish it is by making it stack up favorably against an even bigger, stinkier bill. However, on the other hand, I'm not sure that the Speaker's ego will let him knowingly introduce a straw plan to block for Keen's bill.

Wal-Mart to Athens, Thanks for picking up our tax bill!

Here's another point that hasn't gotten much air time with respect to the GlennTax. As anyone who's been following this thing knows, if it passes, your property taxes go bye-bye. Sounds great, right? I mean, heck, sign me up! But wait, it's not just your property taxes going away, it's everybody's property taxes going away, and that means mine, Heidi's, JMac's, and - hmmm, oh yeah - every mall, factory, private college, McWendyKing's, car dealership, and every other business in the state of Georgia. And did I mention that bane of progressive suburban existence, Wal-Mart? Y'see, the 'Stache wants to frame this debate around residential property taxes, and he would just as soon nobody think about the fact that (almost) all properties pay property taxes. What that means for you and me is that businesses get an oh-so-sweet tax break, while we get a somewhat less-than-sweet tax break that, depending on your income, consumption, etc, may or may not end up costing you more money. Put another way, we're going to lose the property tax revenue from the new Lowe's, and that money has to be made up somehow. Guess who's going to be making it up? Consumers.

And that's why the GlennTax should perhaps be called the "GlennTaxes," because he's making up for that revenue shortfall by introducing a whole host of brand new taxes on everything from the will you get your lawyer to draw up to your haircuts, your tax preparation, the guys who cut your lawn, even your freakin' babysitter. So, while your babysitter is calculating the sales tax you owe her for watching the rugrats while you spent a few hours at Cine, please rejoice in the fact that you are helping Lowe's and Wal-Mart duck their fair share of the tax burden.

Stay tuned for Part II of the GlennTax travels, in which we talk about the 'Stache's control issues and why even prominent Republicans are less than thrilled about this idea. Also, we show Elton the love.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Flem rises...

According to CQ, Augusta state rep Barry "the Flem" Fleming is going to get into the race for the 10th Congressional District. And, as anyone with half a brain could've predicted, the folks down in Augusta have got a big ol' girlcrush on the Flem. Sez Debbie McCord, who runs the GOP in Columbia County, “Barry is very popular in our area and I do know he has a lot of support.”

Translation: Screw you, Broun. How dare you get elected from Athens?

Hey, by the by, isn't the Flem the state rep who got busted for DUI? No wait, that was this dude.

Not that Broun is any prize pig himself. I know, I know, he got elected because Whitehead essentially took a big fat dump on our civic pride. We did what we had to do, held our noses, and voted for Doc Broun. Given the fact that we'll actually have a Democrat in the general this year, we probably shouldn't do that so much this time around.

Not that it's going to be an issue. With the Columbia County GOP behind him, the Flem will beat Doc Broun in the primary like a rented mule.

But, speaking of Democrats, Athens does have a pretty good choice - this guy.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

DPG Reacts to Voter ID Ruling

Here is the official response of the Democratic Party of Georgia to the ruling today upholding Georgia's Voter ID law:

Kidd responds to Voter ID ruling

ATLANTA – Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Jane Kidd released the following statement in response to a federal court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Georgia’s Voter ID Law.

“We disagree in the strongest possible terms with the Court’s decision, and maintain that Georgia’s Voter ID Law continues to represent a burden to the public and to the right to vote. The law especially places an additional burden on elderly and low-income voters.

“Over the next few months, we will be ramping up our voter education programs, to ensure that every voter is prepared to vote with one of the proper forms of identification. To that end, we’ll be working closely with our county parties to help them educate voters at the grassroots level. We’ll also be focusing closely on our election protection program to prevent inaccuracies and inequalities at the voting booths.”


Perhaps more later, after I've had to time to look at the ruling more closely.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Happy belated Labor Day, everyone (NSFW)

Words cannot express exactly how not safe for work this is. (Unless you work down on the docks or something.

Poythress Retires

So David Poythress, the Adjutant General of Georgia's National Guard, has announced that he will retire in November.

Is he planning to run for something?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

May I See Your IQ?

We need to start checking people's IQ's rather than their ID's in this town:

Athens Commission taking hard look at doormen job: "The Athens-Clarke Commission will vote Tuesday on a police proposal to begin mandatory fingerprinting and $30 background checks for doormen to weed out criminals."

Why? Because of "stories about some doormen who let in attractive women who are under 21, accept bribes or tips from underage patrons and even deal drugs on the side."

Emphasis there on "stories." Meanwhile, the real "criminals" in this entire underage drinking scenario seem to escape culpability. Because out of the ensemble of the doorman, the bartender, the bar owner and the underage drinker, there's only one person at 11pm who sets out willingly and knowingly to break the law, and it ain't the doorman.

Let's hope Commissioners follow Kelly Girtz's lead and vote for his alternative to this nonsense. And let's put the responsibility of underage drinking back where it belongs...on the underage drinker.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Porter Thinks That Perdue Doth Protest Too Much

This is the original, full version of an op-ed from Dubose Porter that ran in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today:

I think I may have hit a truth nerve. I think this because our Governor responded to my comments regarding his massive public relations campaign concerning SAT scores by releasing one of the finest public relations pieces to ever come out of his office. Since I also called on the people to become more engaged in deciphering the truth from this spin regarding education, I thought when I responded I would do so by highlighting a few of the tactics used in his latest press release as a primer.

1. Always, always crucify the messenger first.

The Governor's release- "For more than 130 years, Democrats like DuBose Porter and his pessimistic friends presided over an educational system..."

Only in the deepest world of "Spinning P.R." would you call someone a name that would also apply to yourself. You all did know our Governor was a part of the 130 year legacy he is bashing? Does he? Of course, but he didn't think anyone would be fed up enough to take the heat that comes from speaking truth to power.

2. Misconstrue while making it look like the messenger insulted someone (preferably a large group.)

The Governor's release- "Representative Porter's comments yesterday were disrespectful and insulting to Georgia teachers, administrators, parents, and most of all, our high school students, who have worked hard to improve their SAT scores over the last four years."

What I said had nothing to do with the ability of the teachers, administrators, parents or the students. What I said had to do with the cuts the Governor made that took away the tools to teach. The greatest lumberjack in the world can't cut down a tree with a hundred dollar bill when they need a chainsaw.

3. When facts fail call the messenger names.

The Governor's release- "…his comment 'I'm not surprised. This is exactly the result I was expecting…' is indicative of his bigotry of low expectations"

What exactly does that mean? When he cut tools to teach, learning suffered. Did he mean I am a bigot of instructional money???? Who knows, but it sure did sound bad.

4. Say something that can't be researched.

The Governor's release- "and a culture of negativity among Democrats."

Where was that poll taken and was that before or after the Governor was a Democrat?

5. Be willing to link unrelated ideas if necessary.

The Governor's release- "His reference to a 'massive public relations campaign' minimizes the hours, weeks and months of hard work and effort that Georgia teachers, students and parents have put forth to result in closing the gap with the national average."

My calling attention to the massive public relations campaign glossing over the negative results of cuts to education minimizes the work of teachers, students, and parents exactly how? I think they are doing amazingly well with 1.3 billion dollars less in the state's education budget.

6. Be willing to distort the heck out of the statistics.

The Governor's release- "Today, four and a half years after I was elected, Georgia is steadily closing the gap on the SAT national average. Since 2003 the gap between Georgia and the national average has shrunk by one-third, from a 42 point gap to only 28 points."

Overall, the nation's graduating class of 2007 averaged the lowest math and reading SAT scores since 1999 and Georgia's average dropped 5 points from last year. Everybody does worse, but the gap narrows and in the world of massive P.R. this is turned into a positive.

7. If something good does happen use it even if you worked to cripple its effects.

The Governor's release, "Georgia's minority students are even outpacing their counterparts around the nation with higher scores in most areas of the test."

That's great. But this same governor backed and implemented a criteria change for grade eligibility designed to prevent a large number of these same minority students from receiving the H.O.P.E. scholarship. It went into effect this fall and also cuts out a large number of our majority students from H.O.P.E. scholarship money. Lottery funds are at all time high.

8. Show a fact that looks good and means nothing.

The Governor's release- "In terms of participation rates, Georgia public schools beat the national average by 20 percentage points. Approximately 66 percent of public school students in Georgia take the SAT while an average of only 42 percent of public school students nationwide take the SAT."

If more people are taking it, it has just as much a possibility of going up as down. (Unless you have maybe- "bigotry of lower expectations"???) Regardless, we went down 5 points from our own score last year.

9. Half-truths are always effective.

The Governor's release- "Georgia teachers continue to be the highest paid in the Southeast."

Because of the Governor's changes to the State Health Benefit Plan, teacher's health insurance takes up a larger amount of their salary. The net effect is that in many cases the take home pay is actually less than before.

10. If need be, take credit for things that haven't even happened.

The Governor's release- "Thanks to our high school and middle school graduation coaches, our graduation rates have increased by almost eight points."

I also support graduation coaches, but it is just too soon to calculate its actual effect. If you have to be 16 to drop out and the program has only been in place for one year, how can you take credit for students not dropping out when they couldn't have dropped out yet, even if they had wanted.

11. When all else fails just say something positive and run.

The governor's release- "As I said yesterday, despite all our gains, I will not be satisfied with Georgia's SAT scores or ranking until these indicators become a true reflection of the quality of education that is being provided to students in our state every day."

… despite all our gains? Our Governor oversaw cuts in the state education budget of 1.3 billion, cuts of eligibility to H.O.P.E by almost a third, cuts to teacher's take home pay, cuts in score results… and these are gains? No, what that is, is a massive public relations campaign.

If enough light is focused on education, we can begin to see real improvement. While I would not have cut education at a time when our students have to compete in a global market, there are many positive solutions that don't require more money. However, they will only work if the public is allowed to see the truth instead of the spin. Reducing paperwork for teachers and therefore giving them more time to teach, making more effective use of our technology to speed learning, shifting the focus of learning methods to reading in the early grades and allowing stronger discipline are just a few of the changes that would move our state forward, without raising taxes- but this won't happen until we quit sugar coating reality and start dealing with it.

Tell 'em Porter.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Locals Sound Off On GlennTax

From Blake's piece yesterday:

"Imagine if Speaker Richardson was in control of this community," Dodson said Thursday at a Clarke County Democratic Committee meeting. "How much money do you think Athens would get from state coffers?

"We are going to have to beg for money in Atlanta," he said. "We would lose all local autonomy. ... It's the end of home rule in Georgia. It's the end of local control, unless you happen to be a community that's very closely aligned with whatever power structure is in Atlanta at the time."

The issue of local control also concerns Charles Worthy, president of the Clarke County Board of Education.

"I just can't imagine having state taxes funding the local school system," Worthy said. "When you look at it realistically, you're taking local control away from the school system."


A vote in the state legislature on whether to place the plan on the 2008 ballot still is at least six months away, but it's already drawing opposition. Davison attended a meeting Wednesday between Richardson and local officials from across the state, and said opposition was nearly unanimous.

The meeting was organized by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, which opposes the plan, as does the state's other major local government group, the Georgia Municipal Association. Elected officials of both parties in Savannah, Albany, Cobb County and Rome, among others, also have criticized it.

"It was very clear ... that no one seemed to like this plan, and I would say I was in the minority as far as party affiliation," said Davison, a Democrat.


So far, local lawmakers are waiting to see the details of Richardson's proposal before deciding how to vote. State Rep. Bob Smith, R-Watkinsville, said he is planning several hearings this fall to gauge constituents' interest.

"I want to see what they have in writing," Smith said. "I've got several questions to be answered, local-control questions."

State Rep. Doug McKillip, D-Athens, said he hopes his bill giving low-income workers a break on their state income taxes will be part of the reforms the legislature eventually votes on. He said he is skeptical of Richardson's plan, especially since a tax on services and a renewed grocery tax would hit the poor hardest.

"If you are going to overhaul the tax system, I would like to see the regressive nature of the taxes that are being suggested eliminated," McKillip said.

You gotta admire Glenn's ability to bring unity between Georgia's two parties, even if it is only unity in opposition to the GlennTax. Here's hoping the GlennTax proposal dies a slow and unceremonius death.

Friday, August 03, 2007

What do Chambliss and Isakson Have Against Georgia's Children?

The Senate passed an expanded SCHIP program 68-31 on Thursday. Georgia's Senators both voted no.

How can they possibly justify this? This is not a complicated issue. It's a really simple one. Either you believe that providing health care for all of Georgia's children is an important priority or you don't. Apparently Chambliss and Isakson believe that doing the bidding of a President that's barely hanging on is more important than doing what is right for Georgia's children.

Let's see if Georgia's voters agree with your priorities next year, Saxby.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bongs For Broun!

Broun Votes To Ease Up On Medical Pot:

"U.S. Rep. Paul Broun offered Democrats a peace pipe and sent Republican leaders' hopes that he'd toe the party line up in smoke this week by voting to ease federal restrictions on medical marijuana laws."

Get a load of Blake and his "peace pipe" allusion.

"The Republican congressman from Athens was sworn in Wednesday and cast his first vote in the House of Representatives late that night in support of an amendment to stop the U.S. Justice Department from prosecuting people who distribute medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

"The measure failed 262-165, but Broun said he fulfilled his campaign promises to respect states' rights and be independent by bucking GOP leadership and joining just 14 other Republicans who voted for the amendment, proposed by Reps. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y, and Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif."

The real laugher? "Rep. John Barrow, D-Savannah, a former Athens-Clarke commissioner, voted against the amendment, as did Georgia's six other House Republicans besides Broun."

[snicker] I have no idea what's in store the next 18 months, but I can predict two things from this: number one, that vote would never have been cast by Charlie Norwood. And number two, Broun just picked up a, er, significant voting block here in Athens.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Victory For Athens

If the results hold true (as Billy reports below Paul Broun is extending his lead), then this really is a victory for Athens-Clarke, no matter how you slice it. And you have Jim Whitehead and his anti-Athens strategy to thank for it.

Since I wrote last week, I can't tell you how many people I've heard from the past few days saying that Paul Broun, Jr. was the only choice, and that there was no way we could "let that (fill in the blank) from Augusta tell us what to do here in Athens." Over and over, even from friends who would have preferred death to voting for a Republican. Several even said they were forgoing the "none of the above" strategy in favor of the hometown Broun.

Throw in the MCG satellite campus brou-ha-ha, and Broun targeting Democratic voting households with calls and mailers, and I think we saw an "Athens surge" at the polls yesterday. Coming on the heels of ACC Dems failure to put Marlowe in the runoff, this would suggest we're still a force to be reckoned with, no matter how much Ralph Hudgens et al want to draw us out of existence.

As Mike-el pointed out in comments "Broun taking A-CC 5,122-601 is just staggering." And if the vote count holds, it is the reason Mr. Broun will go to Washington.

Let's just hope the Republican Broun remembers the largely Democratic "Athens surge" that put him there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Broun Extends Lead

98% reporting, and the lead is now 371.

Meanwhile, they are debating not so much Iraq, but whether the all-night session is or isn't a stunt, in the Senate.

Not So Fast!

Well, well, looks like we may have spoken too soon in the comments. With 95% of the votes in, Broun is leading by 271 votes. In fact, Peach Pundit is calling it for Broun. I don't know about all that, but Broun is once again outperforming expectations.

Since we're gonna try to stay up and watch the Iraq debate, or whatever it is they're planning to do all night in the Senate, we'll put up news as we come across it.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The '08

Tomorrow we will have the runoff special election between Jim "Did I say that out loud?" Whitehead and Paul "Sure I live in Athens" Broun, Jr. So that's what we should be talking about here on AthPo, right?

Nah. If I go and hold my nose and pull the lever for Broun tomorrow, it will only because of Whitehead's "Augusta v. Athens" comments; otherwise I may sit out my first election in years. This election isn't much of a choice, is what I'm saying.

But I'm operating under the theory that neither can do too much damage in the year or so before the election next year. By the time they get settled in and get a staff hired, they'll have to start thinking about that election. And, since it's kinda what we do here (or what used to be done here, anyway), I thought we'd go ahead and think about it now.

Question 1: Which Democrat(s) will challenge whoever wins tomorrow?

Will Marlow be back? Despite the woe-is-meism of a lot of Democrats after Marlow failed to make the runoff, I still think Marlow could make a run at it. If the state party continues to build on some of the inroads they're trying to make in the rural parts of Georgia (including of course the mountains of the Northeast that make up a lot of the 10th), and if Marlow starts early with a bona fide ground attack up there, he could make a race of it (especially if Broun is his opponent).
If not, the Dems need a true star. For example, is there any chance we'll ever see Don Johnson run for anything again? I would love it, but I don't know if it will happen.

Question 2: Should Democrats vote for Broun because he will be easier to beat in '08?

The conventional wisdom seems to be that the national Republicans will put much more money and energy behind getting Whitehead reelected than Broun.

While that makes sense to me on an intellectual level, I've got a bit of a psychological problem with "wishing" for a particular opponent. I guess it comes from watching sports playoffs; it seems like when you wish for the easier opponent, they end up beating you. They are, after all, the one that won to get there in the first place.

But then again, it does reinforce my other reason for voting for Broun.

Give your thoughts on these and other questions regarding the '08 10th race in the comments (and I guess if you must talk about the runoff, you can do that too).

[In the spirit of full disclosure, and in case it's not obvious from this post, I am (like my predecessors on AthPo for the most part) a Democrat and a liberal. I am from Athens, after all (although we're not all both of those things)].

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

As you may have noticed over on the right, I am the first to take advantage of Blackfin's cry for help. I am Billy Merck, and you may have seen me over at Athens World. I also have my own legal blog, The Georgia Law Blog.

I have been following AthPo since the La Puerta del Sol days, and if I can do anything to help get that kind of discussion going again on here (that or 50+ comment threads on whether or not people should post anonymously, either way), I'll consider my tenure here a success. I look forward to it, and I hope you do too.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Help Wanted...

Well, obviously, we are not contributing to this blog as we used to. In response to some of the complaints/comments, we going to try to open up a bit by inviting some fresh blood to be front pagers.

If you're interested, send a "resumé" to

"Resumé" can mean whatever you think is important for us to know about you and why you want to get involved, but obviously things like occupation, time in Athens, political leanings and shoe size will be helpful.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Whitehead: "I Don't Know A Lot Of The Political Ins And Outs"

Scrolling around the Daily Planet's Voter's Guide to the 10th District Congressional runoff next week, I was surprised to hear Jim Whitehead admit in one of the posted audio clips that, since he's only been in politics for "twelve years, basically," he "doesn't know a lot of the political ins and outs," concerning when to show up for a debate and when not to.

Not a very comforting thing for the leading candidate for Congress to admit, is it? He also admits in another clip that he "never said I-raq wasn't an important isha." Oh.

So where are the AthPol readers lining up (yes it's been dead around here, yes we've been slack, mea culpa, etc.)? I've been hearing rumors from Clarke and Oconee Democrats that many are planning on going to the polls next Tuesday, putting in their voting machine card, not selecting a candidate, then hitting "cast ballot", which apparently will tally up as a "vote for neither" or none of the above.

Sounds interesting, but largely a waste of time to me. Isn't the same thing achieved when you just don't show up?

Frankly, this may be the first congressional election I've ever taken a pass on.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

New Local Blog

James Garland, formed District 1 Commission candidate, has started his own blog called "The Other Athens." Kudos to him. James has always been active in the comments section of this blog (back when there was an active comments section), and here's hoping his new blog stirs some debate and conversation.

Since we're so %&$ing slack.

Of course, it wasn't two days before a relatively benign post by James was hijacked by local one-issue wack-job
Winfield J. Abbe, whom some of you may remember from the now-defunct Online Athens forum as CrunchMeow.

Actually, I think it's going to be a lot of fun....

Friday, May 25, 2007


Immigration Bill Provisions Gain Wide Support:

"Taking a pragmatic view on a divisive issue, a large majority of Americans want to change the immigration laws to allow illegal immigrants to gain legal status and to create a new guest worker program to meet future labor demands," a new poll found.

A "large majority of Americans" except here in the 10th Congressional District, if the "leading candidates" are to be believed.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


From today's Banner Hearald: Whitehead's people are snarky bitches who think it's funny to put signs up across the street from an opponents event, and Greene's people are just bullies....

"The minutemen are coming"

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Get Them Illegals

I'm not sure about anyone else, but I was astounded reading Tom Crawford in Flagpole this morning about some of the leading District 10 Republican candidate's positions on the War in Iraq. Er, I mean, "War on Illegals" since the war in Iraq has...

"...not been a big thing in our district," said state senator Jim Whitehead, a former University of Georgia offensive lineman [and leading candidate to replace Charlie Norwood]. "Immigration is the number one issue, pure and simple."

Damn straight. In fact, according to Whitehead, "Left-wing political activists [are] intentionally registering illegal aliens to vote, including known Al Qaeda terrorists. This is a pivotal issue for the future of America. We have to have the intestinal fortitude to protect all Americans."

LOL. I wonder which of you "left-wing political activists" here in Athens in hiring "known Al Qaeda terrorists" to register and vote next month? C'mon, fess up, before Whitehead decides to, "except for the football team, bomb the University" and all of Athens.

Then we have Paul Broun, Jr. who "rejects Democratic criticisms of Bush and the war and lists the need to 'stop the invasion of illegal aliens" as a more pressing issue. "I believe that patriotism runs very deep in Georgia." Whatever one has to do with the other.

And someone by the name of Bill Greene, Crawford notes, "lists [illegal immigration] not just as the top issue, but as the top two issues on his campaign website."

Er..."Illegal immigrants are a detriment to the American economy and their refusal to assimilate is an affront to American culture."

Almost as offensive as all those businesses making millions off undocumented laborers, eh Bill?

The xenophobia is astounding. Crawford notes in his column that Democrat James Marlow seems to be the only candidate talking about the War in Iraq (as opposed to the War on Illegals) and that this may create an opening for the more moderate Marlow to make a runoff. We'll see.

Meanwhile, I'm returning to the streets of Athens to hunt for terrorists. More later.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

And we have our answer...

A letter to Jane Kidd mass circulated by Terry Holley...

Dear Jane,
This morning I had tried to send an email concerning qualifying, but my email was not cooperating. To bring you up to date, I waited until late yesterday to see how many people had qualified and decided that with three candidates running, it was not in the best interest of the Party or myself to enter this race. We had a window of opportunity immediately after Mr. Norwood’s passing and we blew it. Now, with some county committee’s endorsing a particular candidate, I have serious concerns as to why these counties are violating our bylaws and why our DPG officials have been waiting to give an interpretation on this. I certainly have informed our county chairs that I believe that this is a violation of our state party bylaws. I believe that you and I discussed this issue very early on which is why the state party would not give an endorsement. Competition is not bad, but each candidate deserves an equal opportunity as we move forward in this race. Also, I appointed Barbara Sims as first vice-chair for the district today.

With regards,

R Terry Holley, Chair

10th Congressional District

Democratic Party of Georgia

Now see, I have been a BIG anti-Terry guy since January, but after he (wisely) decided not to qualify I was gonna let it go, not bring him up again, stay positive, etc.

And then he goes and sends this letter out to everyone...

Seriously... what a little bitch he is. And a slackass too (see below). With Dems like Terry Holley, the GOP deserves to be in power in Georgia.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Terry Holley- Man of substance or slacka$$?

Terry Holley , who a few democrats are still suppporting for the 10th despite the overwhelming support for Marlow, has a little trouble keeping up with his paper work....
But really, he's the best choice for support of local dems and he really has a chance of beating Whitehead...

Status of his filings for last cycle

Status of his filings for this election cycle

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New Blog

Check out Tondee's Tavern, a new Georgia Progressive blog.

Monday, April 16, 2007

10th District Update

Fundraising so far: (Rasied/Spent/Remaining/Debt)
GREENE, WILLIAM LAWRENCE10 $60,293$21,677$38,616$003/31/2007
MARLOW, JAMES B JR10 $36,385$8,580$28,005$003/31/2007
NORWOOD, CHARLIE10 $1,660$123,612$781,283$003/31/2007
WHITEHEAD, JAMES LESLIE SR10 $265,271$21,810$243,461$003/31/2007

Who wants to bet that when Holley files his report it shows he raised LESS than Norwood (who's dead, remember?)

In other news...
Andre has a Q&A with Marlow over on Unfiltered Politics

BFD has some dialoge with both Holley and Marlow here

UPDATE: Paul Broun has apparantly been raising money for some time...

UPDATE 2: I really can't spell worth a crap...

From over at PeachPundit

Pretty good catch from the guys at PeachPundit on this photo. See if you can spot what they caught their eye...

Here it is in context.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Athens In Black And White

Last night's vote made that abundantly clear:

"The commission voted 8-2 against letting the financially struggling ACTION Inc. sell its 1.7 acres and 100-year-old former schoolhouse to a developer with plans for 17 townhouses. Commissioners George Maxwell and Harry Sims voted to approve the plans."

Whether Elton Dodson is right in claiming "Those who would use this as a wedge issue to imply that we do not support ACTION are out of line," doesn't make the racial discrepancy in the vote or in the debate any less of a wedge.

Race is a big problem in Athens. And despite where you come down on the ACTION, Inc. issue, last night's debate/vote was a rather ugly, desultory affair, carefully dancing around the thousand pound elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Heidi's Endorsement: Andy Herod

Back to some other news: Mayor Davison made an "unexpected endorsement" yesterday in Tuesday's D8 race.

"Andy's long history of community service, extensive experience, and proven leadership make him the best choice for District 8 and has earned him my personal endorsement," Davison said in an official news release from Herod's campaign. "District 8 is fortunate to have a candidate with a proven track record who is ready to go to work. That candidate is Andy Herod."

As Blackfin noted yesterday, this would make sense seeing as "Hamilton = Doc Eldridge, State McCarter, Charlie Maddox crowd; Herod = the "cobbham elite" candidate."

So does this effect the race? Good or bad, for either Andy or David?

The Nanny Diaries (part deux)

Wherein we explore the "Nanny" side of ACC government not-related to the Commission.

Commissioner Elton Dodson was nice enough to stop by yesterday and set the record straight, and he "woodshedded" us regarding his stance on not wanting to see Happy Hour discounts torpedoed in Athens bars and nightclubs. (BTW, Elton, congrats too on fatherhood'll really be glad Happy Hour still exists very soon, trust me ;>)

But a reader doyouhaveanyidea brought up an interesting point in the comments: "Why are unelected financial staff, like Culpepper, issuing policy proposals before clearing them with the elected officials, who represent ACC citizens on these matters?"

That's the question of the day. As Elton said, he and other commissioners were shocked to hear staff was out making these proposals, yet last time I checked we didn't elect the heads of either the Financial Department or any other department to do such things. Sure, they can voice their ideas, just like any other citizen, but as Blackfin notes it's usually front page news because of who they are.

So what gives? Is this a case of "too many Chiefs and not enough Indians" within the ACC bureaucracy? Do department heads operate with impunity when it comes to policy matters? Should Heidi and the commission be cracking the whip, or is this much ado about nuthin'?

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Nanny Diaries

Wherein Athens Nanny-in-Chief, Super District Commish Elton Dodson, targets "Happy Hour" for eradication.

"Athenians would have to pay full price for after-work beverages under proposed changes to Athens-Clarke County's alcohol ordinance. One change would prevent bars and restaurants from charging different prices for drinks at different times of day, banning happy hours and late-night "power hours" popular with University of Georgia students.

"It's a real problem, and we need to address it," said Commissioner Elton Dodson, chairman of the five-member Legislative Review Committee that will consider the proposed changes.

Because heaven knows, Athens certainly doesn't have anything else going on (rapes, murders, grinding poverty, etc.) which needs addressing at the moment.

Said ol' "Volstead" Dodson: "Some of the things in here are things we should have passed years ago."

Yeah, like 1919.

From the flying monkeys....

OK, OK, we suck. But with JMAC doing a fine job of covering the D8 race, it's been sorta hard to compete. As a practical matter, I don't live in D8, and I don't know either of these gentlemen, and really don't have a whole lot of insight. Which is not to say it's not an important race, just that it's an important race that I have absolutlely no insight into at all. So I decided to keep my mouth shut.

I guess people need a place to post REM conspiracy theories without having to wade through what movies JMAC's watching right now...

So have at it.
Hamilton = Doc Eldridge, State McCarter, Charlie Maddox crowd
Herod = the "cobbham elite" candidate (c'mon chuckie, where you been?)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Hudgens Out

This is old news by now, but still worth commenting on: State Senator Ralph Hudgens officially opted out of the 10th congressional district dog and pony show yesterday.

"After three weeks of campaigning, it became very evident that I don't have the fire in the belly, I didn't have what it takes," said Hudgens, a Comer Republican.

"Since Hudgens is keeping his seat in the state Senate, former state Sen. Brian Kemp won't be able to run for it. Kemp, an Athens Republican, had announced plans to run and was considered a near-lock to win back a Senate seat."

As a reader in the comments queried, why isn't Brian Kemp considering jumping into the congressional race, especially since his name recognition (from his statewide race for Ag commish) is higher than virtually every other candidate running?

Blake also raises the possibility that Hudgens' departure might be good news for Doc Eldridge, which is interesting. After hearing and reading various scuttle the past few weeks, I had thought Doc wasn't going to jump in.

What's the word?

Thursday, March 01, 2007


According to a blurb over at Peach Pundit there are now ten people in the race for Charlie Norwood's congressional seat, seven of whom are Republicans, two Dems and one "L":

Paul Broun Jr., R
Bill Greene, R
Terry Holley, D
Ralph Hudgens, R
Julian Hutchins, R
Evita Paschall, D
Jackie Poteet, R
Nate Pulliam, R
Jim Sendelbach, L
Jim Whitehead, R

I'm assuming Paul Broun, Jr. is related to Paul Broun of the "Paul Broun Parkway" here in Athens, but wasn't Sr. a Democrat?

Speaking of Peach Pundit what's up with their slam of our own intrepid political reporter Blake Aued's comment on the paper's blog that he'd like to see Athens get a fair shake in the upcoming congressional election?

"Good things to say to a majority-conservative district....And too bad for Athens that the next Congressman from the 10th will most likely not reflect the unified'’s politics in pretty much any way."

Yeah, "too bad". The writer, someone named Jeff Emanuel, also goes on to drop the obligatory "People's Republic of Athens" slam, which is something I haven't heard since, oh I dunno, the end of the Soviet Union when the "joke" would still have been kinda relevant.

Meanwhile, back in the 21st Century...

Pete McCommons said in his column yesterday that with Hudgens officially running, Brian Kemp is expected to take over the seat Hudgens is vacating, thus giving he and his brother-in-law Bill Cowsert a solid lock on state Senatorial representation. "Cosy" indeed.

And so far the first two to announce for Commission District 8 following States McCarter's beaming back to the Enterprise, are still the only ones in the race, Andy Herod and David Hamilton. Is that the race?

Dish, folk.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A contrast of ideals...

As lawmakers around the state mourn the passing of Congressman Norwood (who, not for nothing, WAS the first republican elected to congress from Georgia since reconstruction) I present these two quotes which speak for themselves:

"There is a time for politics and a time for compassion. Today, the thoughts and prayers of Georgia Democrats are with the family of Congressman Charlie Norwood. Our hearts go out to his family and colleagues in this difficult time. While we sometimes disagreed with Congressman Norwood on ideology and policy, we all agree that he was a man of principle and ideals, conscientious in his duty to his constituents and dedicated to his work. Now is a time for compassion and we pause the work of politics to honor a good Georgian and a good man, Representative Charlie Norwood."
- Jane Kidd, Chair of the State Democratic Party of Georgia

"I'm going to resign my state Senate seat, and yes, I am going to run,"
- Senator Ralph Hudgens (R).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Congressman Norwood has passed away

Numerous television sources (including the House of Representatives live on CSPAN, where I was watching the Iraq debate) are reporting that Congressman Norwood has lost his battle with lung cancer and has passed away.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

McCarter Out; Norwood Gravely Ill

WTF happened at the Commission the other night where States McCarter just up and quits and immediately a special election is called for March 20th? And what's the scoop on Andy Herod and David Hamilton, the two as of now announced candidates running to replace McCarter?

Also stirring up the boilerplate this morning is news that Rep. Charlie Norwood is going home to Augusta under hospice care, unlikely to return to D.C. in the near future.

What kinds of bombshells is that setting off this morning? Who's in or out for Republicans and Democrats (even though any special election to replace Norwood, should he resign or die in office, would be technically non-partisan)?

Been kinda slow here we've got something to chew on.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Whither '08 Support?

So the ACJ's Political Insider reports that our guv is openly campaigning for Vice President (of the U.S., one assumes), and that various members of the Georgia Republican congressional delegation (Reps. Price, Gingrey & Kingston) are lining up behind Massachusetts liberal, er, former Governor Mitt Romney.

On the Democratic side, it's being reported that former Guv Roy Barnes will be back in John Edwards' camp, and that despite other high-profile endorsements thus far, Edwards, by virtue of being the southern candidate, will be the man to beat in Georgia.

I'm not sure I believe that. Edwards lost Georgia to John Kerry in the '04 primary, if I remember correctly, and he failed to bring his home state of North Carolina to the table in the general election. The notion that just because he's a southerner means he has the "southern vote" locked up is absurd (it would also fail to explain why Romney, a northeast moderate, would have the backing of several Georgia Republicans over, say, wild west tuff guy John McCain).

So where is the Athens political elite in these early days of the race? Anyone lining up behind or holding fundraisers for McCain, Obama, Clinton, Giuliani, Romney, Edwards, etc.?

Inquiring minds...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Frat mess...

This Op/Ed piece today in the Banana-Herald sums up nicely the crux of this issue, and I post here for discussion, since I'm sure Chuck will enlighten us as how Athens would fall in on itself without the UGA greek system.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The First Annual Athpy Awards

To start us off in '07, here's a little homage to the upcoming award show season.

Live from historic downtown Athens, Georgia, it's the First Annual Athpy Awards, celebrating excellence, or in some cases the obscene lack of it, in the world of Athens P(p)olitics.

[Insert ridiculously long/not funny song and dance opening number here.]

And now, she's your mayor, and he's the wild and crazy cowboy blogger behind the scenes making it happen; please welcome Heidi and Al Davison!

Al: Wow, honey, you sure do look "smoking" this evening.
Heidi: Smoking?! Gosh, I sure hope not. We're inside, and I sure wouldn't want to be in violation of the smoking ban. I'm cruising for a citation if I'm not careful.
Al: Did you say "cruising"? Because you know, there's an ordinance against that, too.
Heidi: Oh my! Well, while I slow down and cool off, here are the nominees for Best Political Race:

Solicitor General, runoff election
Mayor, runoff election
9th District Commissioner, general election

And the Athpy goes to: Solicitor General, runoff election!

[Insert similarly poorly written, lame, joky dialogues from presenters before each of the remaining awards.]

The nominees for Issue of the Year are:

La Puerta del Sol
The 3-laning of Prince Avenue
The Smoking Ban

And the Athpy goes to: La Puerta del Sol!

The nominees for Best Commissioner are:

Alice Kinman
David Lynn
Carl Jordan

And the Athpy goes to: Alice Kinman!

The nominees for Best Sore Loser Meltdown on a political blog:

Ed Vaughn on Athens Politics
Jeff Snowden on Athens Politics
Jeff Snowden on Winders' Blog

And the Athpy goes to: Jeff Snowden on Winders' Blog!
[sorry Ed, but the voting ended before your latest tirade...maybe next year!]

The nominees for Best Performance by a local Democrat-with-no-chance-in-hell-in-red-state-Georgia are:

Mac Rawson
Terry Holley
Jane Kidd

And the Athpy goes to: Mac Rawson!

The nominees for Most Obnoxious Commenter on a Political Blog are:

Chuck Jones

* Not sure which Anonymous? Me neither! Get a blogger ID, bitches!

And the Athpy goes to: Chuck Jones!

The nominees for Best Candidate in a Primary, General, or Runoff Election are:

Heidi Davison, runoff election for Mayor
Kelly Girtz, runoff election for 9th District Commissioner
David Sweat, general election for Superior Court Judge

And the Athpy goes to: David Sweat, general election for Superior Court Judge!

Congratulations, Athpy winners, and goodnight everybody! Let the comments begin!