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Posts Tagged ‘ballot access’

Political blogging has been interesting over the last few years, but now it’s time to get out and talk with real people about matters that are often missed.  Since there is no need to discuss the same old same old, we have put together 10 questions than should be considered in 2010.  We hope to discuss these questions as often as possible and in various settings across the state in an effort to give our community logical political information and options. While we don’t have all the answers, these questions serve as conversation starters. 

1. Would reform of the ballot access laws improve the election process?

The process of getting on the ballot in Georgia is a monster.  Was it designed to keep new political groups from participating?  Of course, California and some other states have a process that allows almost anyone to get on the ballot.  Would ballot access reform also change the primary process since improvements are needed there too? 

The 2004 Georgia U.S. Senate race is a classic example.  Johnny Isakson, Mac Collins, and Herman Cain were in the Republican primary while Denise Majette and Cliff Oxford were on the Democrat side and Allen Buckley was the Libertarian candidate. African American voters who generally take the Democratic ballot didn’t have the opportunity to vote for newcomer Cain or old friend Isakson.  To be honest, the Democrat side was thin that year.  Under some states’ systems, all candidates would have been on the ballot in the primary together and the top two would be in the general election (maybe, a runoff occurs if a certain percentage of the vote is not reached.)  In 2004, Isakson and Cain would have likely been in the general election. 

During this election year, businessman Ray Boyd ended his bid for governor of Georgia after he refused to take a GOP loyalty oath and he learned that getting on the ballot as an independent was a headache

Another problem with our current primary system is that party voters produce candidates they favor with secondary consideration for the public in general.  In other words, this candidate is like me (the Party) rather than a candidate best positioned to represent everyone.

In the 2010 Florida U.S. Senate campaign, sitting Governor Charlie Crist faced the wrath of the GOP because he worked on some level with the Obama White House on economic recovery matters and dude-hugged the president.  With a primary defeat looming, Crist decide to run as an independent.  The general election field will be Rep. Kendrick Meek, Governor Crist and the bright GOPer Mario Rubio.  Florida should be under a new system in which all candidates were in the primary and the top two vote getters faced off in the general election. 

2. With 1994 in mind, can we leverage political strength to diversify our political portfolio?   

In 1994, Newt Gingrich and the GOP took over the congress and the Black community wasn’t really involved.  Rep. J.C. Watts is a great guy but some southern “us” would have been better.  Since you don’t have to be Black or Democrat to serve our community, we should have fostered a functional relationship with every political party.  Old school Blacks are often weary of the government anyway but there is no way that a major political party should ever run a branch of the federal government without our input.  During this election season, we should meet all the candidates, if you can, and listen to them at the rallies.  The Black middle class is about achievement and could be waiting for like-minded Black candidates, rather than the same old “how much can we get” crowd.

Elements of other political groups could improve or tweak policies.  We must remember that Newt and the Contract With America pulled Bill Clinton toward the political center and improved his presidency.

Similar to failed romances, political parties take us for granted when they feel we have no other options.  But, we do have options if we noticed that voters support candidacy for different reasons.  As a pro-agriculture and pro-military person, I often support Republicans and Democrats from my region with the same interests. It is no secret that I put President Obama over the Democrat Party and Democrats that run from him are flirting with disaster.  Actually, Rep. Jim Marshall use d the term “disastrous” to describe the health care law that he wants to repeal.  Is he appealing to conservative voters while hemorrhaging progressives and minorities?

John Monds is the Libertarian candidate for Governor of Georgia.  While I am not Libertarian or Vegetarian, both groups have certain elements that are healthier for my body and the body pf politics.  Interestingly, Monds lives in Southwest Georgia and is active in the NAACP and a prominent Black fraternity.  His wife works as a professor at my Black college so the Libertarian Party might be the recipient of Gubernatorial votes for various reasons—take the votes where you can get the votes.  Monds might be the leverage needed to compel the Democrats to respect our community.

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