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Posts Tagged ‘Libertarian’

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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Incumbents general cruise to victory in Georgia congressional politics but recently Libertarian candidates forced several elections into runoffs where two candidates duke it out without the coattails of their party’s heap in their corners.

How many Democrats voted for Rep. Jim Marshall during the Obama wave last November but could not pick him out of a lineup?  Actually, I am wrong about that because TV viewers saw the 1.3 zillion political ads he ran that never connected him to my guy Obama.  About Obama, while the president is quick to kiss and make nice we will live in this South while he is planning his presidential library on the side of an Hawaiian mountain or in a Kansas cornfield.  President Obama doesn’t have the right to tell me not to be upset that Rep. Jim Marshall never help us get Hillary or him into the White House.

I have been listening to the Libertarians and other “third” parties lately and came to realize that they are often about creating better government and deeper discussions rather than winning elections.  A non-Democrat or non-Republican candidate gets into the debates and asks the real questions about what’s what and if the people are feeling that whole truth thing a runoff is needed and all bets are off.

So Rs and Ds are forcing to make better policy and be fiscally sound now because the people will remember in November after the third party candidate constantly reminds them.  In the past, Rs and Ds could do whatever they wanted because the only other choice was other considerably different.  The Libertarian candidates I have seen in the past, who get their debates suits at Jacque C. Penne, actually thought they were going to win and it turns out they were right because their objective was to improve the accountability of officeholders.       

If a few of those Tea Party guys run for congress next year, things will be interesting for the Blue Dogs and GOPers because those cats have a double barrel shotgun of fact checking.  If you have a Blue Dog in a runoff with a decent GOP candidate because a third party candidate ran well, history has proven that the Democrat base doesn’t come back out. 

On the other hand, the GOP should be concerned about losing supporters who are discovering that our current national crisis is due in large part to Chaney, Rove and congressional Republicans leading W down the wrong path and misleading the people as they planned their cushy post-government careers with elite private sector companies and firms.  What if GOP voters start think, “Wait a second, Bush did do all of this alone..where was the congressional oversight from the Blue Dogs and the GOP.”

For sake of full disclosure, my personal problem with the establishment is that I did get my corner office….yet.  As  rapper Biggie Smalls said, “Call the crib…same number..same hood…it’s all good…and if you don’t know…now you know.”  That’s the unsettling thing about third party movements; they can’t be bought.

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Seems I’ve been on the frontlines of politics lately. Umm.. Wednesday night,  I was on the air with Herman Cain and this coming Monday afternoon, it will be a cyberspace online debate with a local Liberterian on an important Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST VI)upcoming vote. See article below from the Augusta Chronicle. http://www.augustachronicle.com

P.S. By the way, that photo was from my 2005 Mayoral race in Augusta…

Coming Monday: online SPLOST debate

Posted by Johnny Edwards on June 03, 2009 – 5:18 PM

SPLOST VI – a mean, lean infrastructure package, or chock full of pork?

A good way to keep property taxes down, or yet another government mechanism for fleecing the people?

Back on track now that the Augusta Commission has made progress on the TEE center, or doomed because commissioners did too little too late?

So far, about 400 people have cast early ballots on the city’s proposed $184.7 million special-purpose sales tax package, which goes to the polls citywide on July 16. For the benefit of the remaining registered voters – about 10 to 15 percent of whom are expected to take part in the referendum – The Augusta Chronicle will hold an online debate on the merits of SPLOST VI on Monday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., moderated by yours truly.

In one corner, representing the “No SPLOST” crowd, will be Libertarian Party of the CSRA Chairman Rocky Eades. This will be the first time any Libertarian anywhere has been permitted to take part in a debate in the United States. Not really, but I do believe it’s high-time the nation’s third-largest party had a voice in national and local political forums.

In the other corner, from the “yes to SPLOST” viewpoint, will be Helen Blocker-Adams, former mayoral candidate, host of “People and Issues with Helen” on NewsRadio WNRR-AM (1230) and one of the Garden’s City’s sharpest pundits. Far from a tax-and-spend liberal, Ms. Blocker-Adams was a speaker at the Augusta Tax Day Tea Party at at Riverwalk Augusta’s Jessye Norman Amphitheater in April.

The debate will unfold on our Web site in a live chat format. To follow along or take part, go to http://augustachronicle.com/metro.

So long as you’re logged on to our site, you can submit questions as we go which I will selectively pose to the participants. (Stick to the subject matter, be civil and no profanity.) Questions can also be submitted in advance though a link already up on the Metro page.

I’ll also take early questions at my e-mail address, johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com. To preserve the integrity of the debate, please don’t post your questions on this blog. At least not if you want me to use them.

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