Posts Tagged ‘jim martin’

I saw this on the AJC–I have always said that Vernon Jones could sway this senate runoff.

Of Vernon Jones and his opinion of former opponent Jim Martin

You know that the transition of CEOs in DeKalb County has become a rather noisy thing.

But Vernon Jones, the outgoing head of DeKalb government, is also pulling a Dylan Thomas when it comes to the U.S. Senate race.

Jones, defeated by Jim Martin in the Democratic runoff in August, has declined to endorse his former opponent in a close contest against Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Jones has labeled Martin a hypocrite for inviting President-elect Barack Obama to come to Georgia to boost his Senate campaign — because Martin didn’t vote for Obama in the presidential primary. Martin opted instead for Democrat John Edwards, who had already dropped out of the race.

“Jim Martin did not want Obama to be president, but now wants he wants Obama to come down and help him get into the U.S. Senate,” Jones told my AJC colleague Jim Tharpe in an interview on Monday. “He wouldn’t vote for the man, and now he wants the man to come down and get him out of trouble.

“He [Martin] could not come to grips with voting for an African-American for president,” Jones said. “And he couldn’t come to grips with voting for a woman [Hillary Clinton]. So he voted for a man who was not even running for president.

“He voted for a man who had an affair and not an African-American who is married with two beautiful children,” Jones said.

The DeKalb County CEO himself got into hot water with the Obama campaign during the Democratic primary, with a campaign mailer bearing an altered image of himself standing next to Obama in front of a campaign crowd. Jones said no deception was intended.

But Obama called Jones out on the flyer during a visit to Atlanta, and declared that he only knew the DeKalb CEO as someone who voted twice for George W. Bush.

The Martin campaign refused to be drawn into any post-primary debate with Jones — not 14 days before a general election runoff.

“We wish Mr. Jones well,” Martin spokesman Matt Canter said Monday. “If he wants six more years of Georgia jobs getting shipped overseas, higher health care costs, and higher taxes for working families, that’s his prerogative. Jim Martin will work with President Obama to fix the economy for middle-class Georgia families, Saxby Chambliss has pledged to obstruct Obama’s economic recovery efforts.”

Jones said he has not endorsed anyone in the race and was evasive when asked who would get his vote.

“My vote will be cast when I get to the ballot box,” Jones said.

Martin’s other Democratic primary opponents have endorsed Martin’s candidacy with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Josh Lanier of Statesboro has hosted two campaign events for Martin. Rand Knight and Dale Cardwell have endorsed Martin, but have not been actively involved in his campaign


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The runoff election between Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin never should have come to this in my opinion.  As I have consistently stated, Chambliss is a good senator whose primary shortcoming is failing to develop a functional relationship with the African American community in Georgia.  Members of the House of Representatives can win elects with members of their parties only or people who look like them; but, all senators are statesmen and stateswomen literally who cover the entire state.


When the Republican Revolution occurred, their leadership discouraged relationship building with the other party or people who voted against them.  (The opposition of the Obama transition process today.)   While many African Americans would support Chambliss based on his regional achievements and actions, the dated GOP strategy assumes our community would never support a conservative or that their methods of energizing their base would turnoff Black voters.  The “Liberal Elite Media” is reporting that Chambliss said the rush of early African-American voters during the general election energized “our side.”  I had to find the actual quote and clearly Saxby said that Republicans were motivated to vote to balance the new Democrats voters, many of whom were Black. 


Saxby’s “our side” should include a coalition of African American farmers, military families, small business people, moderates and other conservative of color.  The young preppies that are the campaign staffers of the GOP know little about the diversity of Black Georgia and that is a shame.  Saxby is in a great position: the opportunity to end this rough year on a winning note.  The southern GOP had better do some soul searching to explain their base because the Blue Dog Democrats have created an attractive subsection of our party for reasonable people—Obama Republicans?   



The development is not lost on Mr. Chambliss. “There has always been a rush to the polls by African-Americans early,” he said at the square in Covington, a quick stop on a bus tour as the campaign entered its final week. He predicted the crowds of early voters would motivate Republicans to turn out. “It has also got our side energized, they see what is happening,” he said.

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The nation focuses on the senate runoff election in Georgia between Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin.  Of course, the big question is “Will the African American community come back out to vote with Obama not being on the ballot?”  Another question is “Does President-Elect Obama have the power to persuade the Democrats to return to the polls for the runoff?”


The Georgia senate runoff election has various angles and factors that should be considered.  I was always an African American for Saxby—which puzzles his GOP base.  People vote for and against candidates for different reasons.  Saxby experience on agriculture, military bases and other issues of interest to Georgia is reason enough to keep growing his seniority. People vote their regional concerns and Saxby is the only member of the Georgia congressional delegation who lives in the southern part of our state.  On regional concerns, I never would have thought that Blue Dog Democrat Jim Marshall would receive 44,000 votes in Bibb County, Georgia, while not endorsing Barrack Obama or Hillary Clinton.  Basically, the people of Macon said they are with their former mayor Marshall despite his attitude about Obama.  That was big of Macon and the same can be said for Democrat Sanford Bishop pulling 69% of the vote and Republican Jack Kingston getting 66%.  Marshall, Bishop and Kingston clearly enjoy crossover appeal after years of service.


Jim Martin is a respectable guy but I am still troubled that the Democratic establishment convinced him to run because they did not think African American Vernon Jones was worthy.  They turned their hoses up at Jones because he voted for President Bush during the aftermath of 911. It just occurred to me that Vernon Jones would be a better runoff candidate against Saxby because Vernon has a knowledge of agriculture, is more conservative than Martin and could get the African American voters back out without riding Obama’s coattails.


Am I the only person in Georgia who remembers that Jim Martin voted for John Edwards and not Barrack Obama during the primary?  Speculation is high that the big guns (Obama, McCain, Palin, the Clintons) will be in our state for this runoff.  Let me say this in no uncertain terms: If you voted for Sanford Bishop or Jim Marshall, Saxby Chambliss is closer to them politically than Jim Martin.   Republicans don’t want to hear it but moderates appreciate Georgia Senators Chambliss and Isakson efforts to work across the aisle on the Farm Bill, the energy plan and other matters. 


Consider this: maybe the moderate and conservative African American community should gain some crossover clout by giving Saxby our support.  In return, all I want is fair debate on the issue for the new White House—the same consideration that the Blue Dogs Democrats gave President Bush.  November is going to be awkward in the peach state because Congressmen Bishop, Barrow, Marshall and maybe Scott don’t really want to campaign against their aggie friend Saxby.   Jim Marshall will be fine because President Obama will find a position for him in the administration.

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Rants, raves, predictions, contradictions, finger pointing, circular firing squad, kudos. 


Remember the Music Tab at the top of the page…for your little celebration at your desk at lunch and while watching the numbers roll in tonight…of course, the Blues is there if needed.   

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