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Archive for the ‘Georgia’ Category

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Coalitions win elections.  After primary battles, the party that gets itself together fastest will likely be victorious.  I am still upset that Ralph Nader pulled enough voters from Al Gore to help George Bush win in 2000.  Like Hillary Clinton, Gore won the popular vote but you must have strategy where it matters.

Strategy is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty.   Remember, at this point in 2016, I was telling everyone who would listen that Donald Trump could win the election by playing opossum (playing dead) as we say in the country.  We let our guard down.

I am getting over my feelings about Bernie Sanders Progressives who didn’t vote for Hillary (…if you had it to do over, grasshopper….).  Yes,  those voters could have been the margin of victory in pivotal states.  I want to take a brief look at coalitions on the Republican and Democrat sides relative to 2012 and 2020.

First of all, the Republican base will obviously vote for whomever their party nominates in any election.  They have been so brainwashed about Democrats until they trust the Russians more than us.  To get to 50%, they motivate some rural people with faith and gun issues.  But, most of the Black folks at my church are veterans who own peacekeeping steel also.  Go figure?

So, will working class Whites stay with the Trump division of the GOP?  Will the Dem Team develop and market a package to entice those voters back?  You can’t win a statewide election in the South without a certain percentage of those voters.  It starts with quality schools, jobs and affordable healthcare.  The awkwardness of the Trump administration from day one has tarnished the Republican brand.  They have some decisions to make.

On the Democrat side in the South, we must understand that Blacks for now are the backbone of the party.  To some, the party feels like a plantation with Whites running everything while Blacks do the heavy lifting.  The strategy for me involves a coalition of everyone….city progressives, moderate rural Blacks and some working class Whites who are about to learn that far Right budget cuts know no color.

Know this: there is a difference between a political party and a movement.  Black Lives Matter, The Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, Trump’s Make America Great Again and Sander’s Progressives are movements and not subject to political parties.

We need to know now if movements are going to “act right” if parties give them a national stage. Really, they shouldn’t as activist but just say so from jump street.

We are looking at candidates for governor in Georgia for 2018 and even president in 2020.  My friends don’t agree but I believe in asking candidates how they feel about candidates and officeholders on other levels of government.  You don’t get my vote if you thought Obama was a bad guy and Trump is wonderful….no way.  Actually, the 2018 election will be a referendum on Trump… local, state and federal.

The margin of victory for Democrats in 2018 is narrowed if candidates put a fire in the belly of infrequent voters.

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The holidays time is a season of giving and it is better to give than to receive.  I have seen many political bloggers break their necks pushing candidates, parties and policy positions out of the kindness of their hearts and/or because it is the right thing to do—giving, giving, giving. However, those same candidates and parties fork over tons of cash to others.

I have a kind heart but it’s not that kind: hit the tip jar or donation tab on political blogs (starting with this one) to say thanks for the past and thanks in advance for the future.  Time is money and knowledge is golden.  I can’t  believe that the guys who pour tons of money into rough radio and T.V. ads would toss a few bones (a fraction of those ad buys) to their favorite bloggers and grassroots advocates.  It’s like the advice your aunt gave your cousins: if you don’t take care of home, someone else will.  My fellow bloggers need to also remember auntie’s advice about free milk and a cow. 

Bloggers provided much political energy in the past few years and a lump of coal in the Christmas stocking isn’t a renewable energy source.  Donate.

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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 said, “They talk about me like a dog.”  But, who are they?  I am tired of hearing rough talk about this White House from Democrats eager to toss whomever under the bus to win reelection.  Of course, some political observers think this plan was cooked up in the House Speaker’s office, the DNC or maybe the White House itself. 

In Georgia, Rep. Jim Marshall and Governor candidate Roy Barnes aren’t mincing words about their disdain for the healthcare reform law.  No Bush or Clinton would take this from inside their party; Hillary would be on their blanks.  If the Democrats continue offending the base, they are toast.  Recent polls indicate that losing one or both Houses of Congress is a forgone conclusion so let’s have the losing ones be those who don’t understand loyalty. And if some Republicans must be elected, we should hope they aren’t the crazy ones who are hell-bent on fear and division. 

I thought a dog was man’s best friend but some of these Blue Dogs are biting the hands that feed them.  In my community, we might need to take a better look at that Que dog, Morehouse Man  and Libertarian running for governor, John Monds.  A dog can’t stop an attacking elephant or donkey but one can make them think twice and you must admire Monds’ dedication to what he believes.  

The people Democrats are trying to help are the same people who took three hours to see the movie Takers this week but they can’t take 10 minutes to early vote.  Al Gore learned this the hard way and President Obama doesn’t deserve this from his party. In my corner of Georgia, the congressional Blue Dog has earned our support.  Can you say the same about yours?

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2010/sep/06/barnes-says-health-law-could-be-devastating-georgi/

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The field for the general election is in place and our community needs to check and double-check every aspect of our situation relative to political realities.  The candidates’ records, actions and potential must be checked along with their staffing histories and efforts regarding whole community representation.

When we watch the news reports, we always look to see if the crowd behind the candidate looks like Georgia—you know what I mean.  Candidates were pulled or naturally gravitated to the far end of their parties during the primary but can they seriously think about winning without a functional relationship with the center or our community. 

I am putting fresh batteries in my remote control next month so I can flip the channel during the coming onslaught to T.V. political ads with candidates wearing denim shirts, playing with children, sitting on tailgates and walking with dogs.  That stuff is nice but some of that ad buy money could be checks for real events with real people so they can get a real ear full and create a real bond.

The political establishment smirked when two candidates I know personally went on walks to meet the people but those guys learned a lot from a range of Georgians.  As a community, we should fairly give everyone a listen and ask tough questions because the future of his nation is on the table and it is no time for grandstanding or playing political fear factor.  The Democrats are about to rollout the mother of all GOTV efforts and some folks are going to have a very merry Christmas from those fat checks but please ask the candidates and their supporters what’s the plan for creating jobs, fighting crime, improving education, and supporting our troops…oh yeah, and do it on budget.

The Republican candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania made a good point on T.V. yesterday. Pat Toomey said that the GOP “check” of the Clinton White House after the min-term elections actually helped Clinton’s presidency.  But it must be serious Republicans with genuine policy experience rather than those who live off fear and ugliness.  “Checkout” Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels as an example of Harry Truman-like leadership. 

Sadly, we must check the laundry list of Black GOP candidates in Georgia who didn’t make it to the general election.  It might be time to check into a more open election process so this Democrat could vote for Black conservatives with taking the GOP primary ballot.  Is it time to check if they want you arround becasuse some quality candidates didn’t stand a chance.

We need to check with the White House about the Democrats who keep running from President Obama.  In my neighborhood, we don’t play that while we are fighting to protect the seats of good Democrats.  If you check, President Obama has more Republicans in his cabinet than Congressional Black Caucus members and the southwest Georgia congressman was the only CBC member seriously considered for a top spot.  Obama might need to check under his tree in December to see if we groomed a sensible congressional GOP freshmen or two.      

If this blog post seems like Czech to your campaign, write me a check or hit Palpay and I will help you understand.  If I get enough checks, I can checkout my old friends in the Czech Republic after the election. Prague is lovely that time of year.

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The NAACP Scholarship Banquet in Tifton, Georgia, “advanced” me profoundly last night but then again, they say the hardheaded never learned.  In college, we were too radical to be involved with this organization.  It was all about Public Enemy’s lyrics like “Mandela..cell dweller…Thatcher, you should tell her.”  In retrospect, the grassroots chapters of the NAACP have brought us from a mighty long way.

Rodney King was at my table.  Not that Rodney King but a 20-year-old fellow who won’t hesitate to tell you about the good works of his church.  Both Rodney Kings spent a lot of time in the hospital but this R.K. is employed a Tift Regional Hospital.  When I told him that my mother was there last year for several weeks and that he was luck because that camp is “full,” he looked at me as if too say “I am protected my check rather than being concerned with that stuff on the job.”

Young people from King’s church served the food at the banquet while other young people sang and praised dance.  Two young students from the community received scholarships and words of wisdom from Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham.   Justice Benham told the audience that they were in the wrong place if they wanted to hear negative information about the community because he would be speaking about positive experiences.  While he spoke, a slide show of Black history flashed images from the March on Washington to Little Rock to Medgar Evers to Obama speaking to the NAACP.  Justice Benham remained us that the NAACP has been fighting the good fight for years.  In his official capacity, he has ruled for and against the organization’s positions but he appreciated their efforts. 

Justice Benham was introduced by a long-time friend of his who isn’t Black and several of the honorees weren’t Black.  I remembered that Whites have always been involved in the NAACP.  I also remember that like any organization the NAACP has local chapters that are as different as leaves on a tree (that is what Helen Blocker Adams says about the Augusta Tea Party events.)   President Rev. L. Chris Solomon and the Tifton NAACP chapter seems to emphasis community improvement and encouraging the youth. 

Since I am often alone, I thought I mastered taking cellphone pictures of myself—I had to get one with the anti-lynching slide.  When I when to take a photo with Justice Benham, who told me he married an Albany State University grad, a women asked me why would I take a picture of myself when she could have the professional photographer do it.  Again, the hardheaded never learn that some things require the help of others; it’s called community. 

One of the honorees was a county commissioner with a long history of cleaning up the community street by street.  I met her a dozen years ago and told her husband and her congrats on their civil efforts.   Morehouse student Ambrose King help organize a fine program.  With old friends at NAACP events and the other contributor on this blog speaking at Tea Parties, community involvement is happening while I am sitting at his keyboard….blogging.  

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Lincoln and Booth

This drama about the Tea Party movement and the NAACP has me thinking.  Are racists at Tea Parties?  Yes.  Are racists at NAACP rallies?  Of course.  If you get a big group of people together, heaven only knows who is in the crowd.  Anyone who says Blacks can’t be racists is delusional.  Is that racism justifiable?  Is the thug mentality more detrimental to our community than racism?  I better leave that alone.     

PBS’s brilliant documentary about the assassination of President Lincoln includes a photo with John Wilkes Booth in the crowd at the second inaugural.  The last paragraph of that great speech reads:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. 

As a congressional staffer who lived blocks from the Capitol, I found myself stopping by any rally on the National Mall on Saturdays because I was compensated to serve as a conduit of information between all the people and my congressional bosses.  From pro-gun to gun control, pro-choice to pro-life, treehuggers to drill in the tundra, I listened just so I could say I listened.  The fetus pictures at the pro-life rallies were as rough as the concentration camp pictures at the Holocaust Museum. 

The Million Man March was a historic event but without doubt there were some people in the crowd who had considered taking the fight to another level; that’s what zealots on both sides do. I like to think that positive messages from that event introduced peaceful options to them. 

All of my African American friends who are conservative have attended and/or have spoken at Tea Parties.  When they looked into the crowd, they were hoping that no signage when overboard.  Like President Obama, I understand and respect their concerns with the size and role of government.  Of course, I also have moderate African American friends who wonder if leaders of the traditional civic rights organizations are battling for equality or seeking to stay paid.  That’s the thing: organizers of groups on the right, left and center often have their personal income in mind before anything– this blogger needs to get paid also.  A ruckus is good for donations and the NRA guy and the Handgun Control lady could be dining together in a D.C. tony eatery…. private dining room of course.

As I say weekly, our community should be supportive of a few sensible conservatives or those really nutty folks will be running things.

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