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Posts Tagged ‘albany’

In the local elections this fall, I know and respect all of the candidates.  But, competition is actually healthy; competition like Obama vs. Hillary that elevated both of their games.  I can’t help but think that better competition might  have compel Rep. Sanford Bishop to have been hungrier legislatively and could have lead him into the U.S. Senate or a presidential cabinet postition.

 

 

Barrack Obama was defeated in a U.S. House race by Bobby Rush, who is from Albany, Georgia.  Heaven only knows who would be president today if Obama got bogged down in the morass of the House.

 

 

Local and state elected positions are building blocks for federal positions.  Actually, there are members of the state legislature who never wanted to be in the Congress.  Being a part-time lawmaker is cool but being a full-time congressman would be a pay cut for a person balling in the private sector. i.e. state Rep. Calin Smyre of Columbus.  By building blocks I mean that congressional candidates look to members of the state house and state senate for support.  Candidates for the state houses in turn look to local officials.  Of course, presidential candidates look to elected officials on all levels.

 

 

To make it plain, Hillary Clinton 2016 starts with local elections this year.

 

 

I am ticked off by the ultra conservatives who ran moderates out of the Republican Party and who are designing laws and procedures in the state capitol to limited Americans from voting.  They seem to be functioning under the Jean-Paul Sartre/Malcolm X phrase “By any means necessary.”

 

 

Gerrymandering of state legislature and U.S. Congress lines have left large sections of the South with one party leadership. In other words, candidates can win elections with little input and support from anyone who doesn’t look like them or thinking totally like them.  My friends in the conservative movement will dare elected officials to listening to and explaining matters to the other side.  I thought that was their jobs.  To give credit where credit is due, Rep. Sanford Bishop and Rep. Jack Kingston love to talk issues with anyone in their service areas—hats off to them for that.

 

 

I want paraphrase Jesus to those whom might come up short in the coming election: Let not your heart be troubled…in my father’s house are many mansions.”  The houses I have in mind are the state house and state senate.  These are the legislative bodies where laws like “stand your ground” were passed. The place where state officials and lawmakers think it is cute to make it hard for regular people of any color to vote.

 

 

Look, I didn’t like former Democrat Congressman Jim Marshall and I gladly voted for reasonable Republican candidate Austin Scott because Marshall slamming Dems was too much.  With the same strategy in mind, I hope that some of the candidates who fall short in the local elections will consider running for the state houses next year—from either major political party.   I am sure that there are enough southern moderates to sway some primaries next year.

 

 

The most important matter is massive voter turnout.  You can vote for Dora the Explorer for all I care but vote because someone is trying to reverse your rights.  “Oh, after Obama is off the ballot…those people will go back to not voting again….right?”   Wrong.

 

 

In the future, we will have some Republican sistas in the Georgia congressional delegation.  These conservative ladies will keep legislative debate civic and tell my community what wise people already know—that the government isn’t your bank.

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With Rep. Bishop

Albany, Georgia City Commissioner Jon Howard is my classmate from college and one of the most dedicated public servants you will ever meet.  He put together a candidates forum this morning and I found myself talking with Bishop, Everson, Monds and Dukes. 

That list of names isn’t a law firm but speakers at the forum who represent the whole political spectrum.  Sanford Bishop is a sitting Democrat congressman and my old boss.  I had three congressmen bosses on Capitol Hill and they all took pride in listening to and serving everyone in their districts—the people who voted for them as well as the loyal opposition.  During this election season, I have heard that the Democrats don’t listen to people.  I take that personally because I know for a fact that we had hell to pay if we didn’t give full consideration to every citizen from our area. 

(Follow me because this is about to get complex.) 

When a candidate says “everyone I talk with wants the D.C. crowd gone,” that candidate is being sincere and isn’t lying.  That candidate simply has been receiving a constant diet of information from a select or limited group of voters-come to my side of town.  Albany State University is playing a college football classic game against Savannah State in Waycross, Georgia, today.  Waycross is represented by GOP Rep. Jack Kingston, who prides himself on going to political forums in every area…alone.  Jack knows he isn’t going to get any votes on that side of town but wants to stand like a man by his legislative decisions.  

Knowing the political makeup of Kingston’s district, I would not move there and badger him for not being a moderate like me.  By my logic, the same mindset applies in Bishop’s district.  However, Democrats have a tendency to take some elections off or not fully appreciate the work of elected officials like President Obama.  So, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and the other side is very loud. 

Democrats are too nice to each others.  If  you support this president, you should vote now because this election to those of the far Right is a referendum on the White House and the Democrat-controlled congress.  The vote this November is actually as important as the vote in November 2008 because Obama wasn’t going to win Georgia but we have a lot to lose this year. 

Melvin Everson was a GOP candidate for State Labor Commissioner and also a graduate of Albany State University.  I told him earlier this summer that I looked forward to voting for a fellow Golden Ram but his party’s primary voters picked someone else.  At the forum this morning, he was surprisingly classy to supported other GOPers because I am still tickled about his defeat and the defeat of GOP congressional candidate Dr. Deborah Honeycutt in the Atlanta area.  I better leave that alone but…..you know what’s up. 

Winfred Dukes is a local contractor and long-time state representative.  I never met him before today but admired his fight during the last legislative session.  Some young members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity were sitting in front of me and clearly there to support their brother Dukes.  

With Libertarian Party Governor candidate John Monds

Before John Monds spoke as governor candidate from the Libertarian Party, I told the young men that Monds was also a member of their organization.  Speaking with Monds today was interesting because he could be the kingmaker in the governor race.  Monds, whose wife is a professor at Albany State, could get more support from the ASU family and the Omega family than his political party.  The GOP could be cruising to victory in the governor race because a woman, Karen Handel, lost in their party to former Rep. Nathan Deal.   What party wouldn’t welcome the chance to pull a sizable amount of the women voters from the other side?   Monds could get enough of the vote to force the Democrat and Republican into a runoff.  So, Roy Barnes’ campaign better not take my community for granted.  Monds and the LP have a message that some people are starting to dig.  

In politics and policy, you circle the wagon and this president isn’t the horrible leader some would have you think.  However, it’s up to us to have real talk about real issues.  I was there in 1994 when Gingrich, Kingston and company took over congress in Bill Clinton’s first mid-term.  This year is different because Newt had vision (back then) while the Tea Party Movement, which has taken over the Right, has something else in their eyes.  

In addition to Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay, the other bigwig in the 1994 revolution was Dick Armey and Armey is very good at what he does.  Where is Armey today?  He created Freedomworks—the foundation of the Tea Party Movement. 

Back in the day, the Right demonized Bill and Hillary Clinton but quietly many on the Right were surprised when they got a better look at her during her presidential bid.  Did she change?  No, they just got to see the real her rather than believing the rhetoric from the media.  

President Clinton recently said that President Obama should nationalized the mid-term election, admit that the recovery is taking longer than planned and ask for two more years to get things done.  

I am for that because I am patience and respect elected leaders. When Vice President Cheney said that the war in Iraq would be funded by money from the Iraqi oil fields if we could get to them before they set them on fire, I trusted him.  I never voted for Bush/Cheney but I respected the will of the people.  Did President Obama ever get a second of similar trust and respect?  

Georgia Democrats shouldn’t be mad at the GOP and/or the Tea Party Movement.  We should be mad at each other for not using an equal amount of energy to rally real people we help with policy.  (They must dial back that spending because I can’t stand owing China.)   

President Obama had an issue discussion in someone’s backyard this week and I love it.  We should follow his lead and take to the backyards to fire-up the grills and the voters.  If we can argue and fuss about football teams, we can do the same about these important elections.   Enough with the zillion T.V. ads for the governor race; that money could fund some serious Obama style backyard talks.  So, my fancy friends in D.C. need to stop calling me about the elections in our state and send down some Johnsonville brats and  Matchlight coals.  We will take care of the rest.

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President Obama should listen to the jam band Cameo during his Martha’s Vineyard vacation.  Of course, he must hit the Black Dog Tavern and cop a t-shirt and cap.  An old friend sent me a Black Dog hat and people in south Georgia wonder if the “Black Dog” is an African-American sub-group inside the Blue Dog Coalition.

It should be because people can’t understand how some Democrats who benefited from President Clinton and President Obama conveniently sidestep the Dem team at times.  Cameo is coming to Albany, Georgia, next month and I hope they do the slow jam “Don’t Be Lonely” in honor of President Obama since the lyrics summarize how some Dems are running from him or how the Democrat base might feel about some candidates—“Hey, long time no see.” “Don’t be lonely…you’re not the only one who feels the way you do.”  “What would you do if you were in my shoes..you insist on trying to find a way back into my heart..I was never one to take two steps back and I will never start.”  It sounds like Larry Blackmon was singing about slick candidates.

The dictionary’s definitions of “cameo” include “a brief but dramatic appearance of a prominent actor in a single scene.”  In politics, the cameo appearance of candidates in our community will be central to swaying swing elections this fall—come correct.

At black college football games, Cameo’s “Talking Out the Side of Your Neck” is another standard.  With important issues on the table, more voters are well-informed these days and candidates can’t say one thing to one group and something else to another.  Conservative Georgians in both parties have concerns about the healthcare reform law while other Georgians will back those who supported President Obama’s historic efforts. Mr. President, you shouldn’t be lonely- enjoy your vacation and come back ready. 

One day, I am going into the Black Dog Tavern and buy my own t-shirt.  If you see a brother in ATL, MIA, NYC or DC with the Black Dog logo, it is a sign of success.  I really shouldn’t rock that hat while my wealth is shorter than a midget on his knees (Ice Cube lyric.)  At the same time, candidates shouldn’t rock “Democrat” on the ballot if they can stand up for the sitting President as GOPers stood up for President George W. Bush. 

Albany State University Show Band

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While listening to Marketplace on National Public Radio this week, I was surprised to learn that the guy from the Free Credit Report T.V. ad campaign is French Canadian.  He sounds nothing like the All-American voice of the person who actually singing in the ads.

That situation got me thinking about the “grassroots” of political debates in this country.  People are bad as hell and rightfully so because the diet of information in their ears would lead anyone to certain conclusions and opinions.

But, not so fast.  We must consider the agendas ($$$) of those who would prod and push this great nation toward another civil war.  My life-long friends are basically good people but when they hear something over and over again it must be true because they heard it over and over again.  I am personally concerned with our mounting debt with China and to learn that a Chinese company now owns Volvo.  I have had five Volvos and wanted to one day purchase a new one but with “no money it’s still a wish” as Rakim rapped. 

Real people with real concerns is a real problem for officeholders.  But, what is really real is that the Machiavellian brains behind movements on both ends of the political spectrum are at it again.  They are about job creation and job protection—theirs.  To achieve their goals, they will stop at nothing.  Thomas Jefferson said the institution of slavery was like having a tiger by the tail—you don’t want to hold on but you can’t let go. 

To me the current congress is in a similar situation.  The Democrats know spending is out of control but the interest groups who support them want their goodies.  The Republicans have the powerful Tea Party Movement in their corner but those guys are not along for the ride; they want to drive.  If the TPM doesn’t drive, the GOP can get ran over. 

So the Free Credit Report guy Eric Violette actually sounds like French President Nicolas Sarkozy and my friends who live on misinformation are sounding like Che Guevara.  It’s going to be an interesting summer and eventful fall.  They should listen to NPR more before they explode in anger.  Doesn’t healthcare reform cover that and how much is the co-pay.  Okay, I must admit that I thought “why can’t more Americans be cool like that band on the credit report ad.” 

http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/03/26/mm-freecredit/

Albany Herald columnist Carlton Fletcher wrote a great piece on a related subject in yesterday’s paper.

http://www.albanyherald.com/opinioncolumns/headlines/89337507.html

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Carlton Fletcher wrote a must read column in the Albany Herald today.  If you are from rural Georgia, you know the term “Busleft” and you know about crazy family.  I can talk about my family but you can’t.  You know, family could include our church family, our state, our South, our community, our political party, our college, our nation and our race.  It’s all about a family tree and sometimes we wish we could prune some rotten branches.  Yes, I have so much to say about the design of our new church and haven’t bought a brick or nail yet.  “See what had happen is the market is killing my pocket—not the Nasdaq…the supermarket and the job market.”   

In a strange twist, I almost always understand Fletcher’s point of view but rarely get Black columnist Thomas Sowell.  You know Zora  Neale Hurston said “Just because we skin folks, don’t mean we kin folks.”  On the other hand, when Black leaders get slam relentlessly we circle the wagons—even when Blacks folks are doing the slamming.  “Say one more thing about Condoleezza and it is on.”  So, Sowell is still family and let the brother speak.  I am turning into a walking contradiction.

On Meet the Press today, it was reported that 85% of Republicans will likely vote next November but only 50% of Democrats.  With all the pressing issues on the national plate, Dems not voting would be odd and Blacks not voting would be crazy.  To be on the safe side, we need to look at a few Black GOP congressional candidates.  Hey, we got to hedge our bets.  I could go on about “get on the bus” and tie in “Busleft” but the Falcons playing in a few.

Carlton Fletcher’s column

http://www.albanyherald.com/opinioncolumns/headlines/79739072.html?storySection=story

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http://www.albanyherald.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=5281

I opened the Albany Heard newspaper this morning and saw four brothers from my old high school on the front page in military uniforms. A couple of them played varsity basketball since they are tall as Georgia pines. The brothers’ mother has noticed the maturity her sons have developed in the service but they were already well-mannered and respectful gentlemen. They were in school with a young Marine from my church who is heading to Afghanistan soon.

The Armed Forces have long been a great option or opportunity for Black southerners who sought travel, training and career stability.  To serve under this commander-in-chief is particularly sweet for some but let’s hope the two major theaters of war don’t become quagmires.

To the lady at the Town Hall meeting on T.V. who angrily said she wants “her” country back, I would remind her that people who look like me provided free labor that built the South after this contiunte was stolen from the Native Americans.  Secondly, brown, red and black troops have served honorably in high numbers in front line/combat units for decades.  So, think before you speak (shout) because “this land is your land…. this land is my land….this land is made for you and me.”

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I personally like two components in downtown redevelopment in Georgia: funky and mixed use.  The main street programs in Tifton, Moultrie, Americus, Madison and Athens are so cool to me.  Eccentric shops, coffee houses, sports bars, and bookstores might provide an after hour balance to the lunch spots for governmental workers in Albany.  When Albany State plays FVSU in Columbus, we make an annual stop at a place called the Cannon Brew Pub on Broad Street; that area could be the model for downtown Albany with the hip college kids and people who find the mall area lacking in character.  I have not been there but I hear good things about the Broad area of Augusta. 

Yes, it was a rough day when Bo Henry headed west because the second floor of his place had that vibe.  The old Broad Street Bistro had a chef from a local country club who took hook up a peanut entrusted pan-seared trout that was brilliant and all within minutes of my old office.

So let’s operate backwards for a second: while some people are wary of downtown Albany after dark, who are the possible brave souls who might help turn the area around.  I might be wrong but I still like students from the three colleges and obviously brave Marines.  I wish downtown jumped when I was in the dorm at ASU because walking across the bridge to an entertainment zone could have been too cool.  Remember Morehouse College and Spelman College, and pre-Olympics Georgia Tech (Techwood Homes) are/were in some rough areas that make downtown Albany seem like nothing to fear.  It is my understanding that Yale and the University of South California are in rough areas and I know every college student must be careful anywhere in D.C.

With all the concerns, different clienteles are packing them in at the Albany Theater.  If I were a young person, I could get into living in the building that had the crosses on top during Christmas if it was converted into apartments and lofts with ASU upperclassmen in mind.  But what am I thinking, the new dorms at ASU are great.  I am having a hard time thinking of an HBCU that is closer to a hip area and I would like seeing college students living in a town where a car is not a necessity—don’t forget about the Darton and Albany Tech students as well as young working people.  What about college hours at the First Tee? 

Another model for downtown Albany is the cool NoDa area of Charlotte, North Carolina.  They have a bar for people with dogs.  I am tired of people saying that the Albany area is fine in many ways but let’s run to Atlanta every other weekend.  

http://www.noda.org/

 http://www.dogbarnoda.com/

 http://thecannonbrewpub.com/history.php

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