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Posts Tagged ‘voting’

trojan-horse-in-troy-city

The November election in Georgia is important because the Governor is trying to slip an education Trojan horse into every school system.   The Opportunity School District constitutional amendment sounds harmless or helpful: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance?”

Intervene.  Intervene how?  The Governor’s Office, not the state department of education, would take over certain schools with the option to declare them charter schools and privatize these schools.  “Oh, you went to a school so bad that the state took it over…what a stigma…do you know what stigma means?”

First, my concerns aren’t about Democrats and Republicans.  When Governor Deal was a congressman from the northern section of Georgia, he did a fine job representing the people of that region.  However, Georgia is a big and diverse state with different regions.  Muhammed Ali once said that the problem with Atlanta is that it is surrounded by Georgia.  Come on, champ, some of us prefer the rest of Georgia.

My point is that the conservative region above Atlanta doesn’t understand that schools fail for various reasons and only bloggers will admit that the primary reasons might be home life—little Johnny can’t focus at school if home is rough.  Of course, we all want kids to be ready to learn, focused and prepared to concentrate like we were…and we were because we grew up focusing from the front pew of church.

Wait a second, my conservative friends have been fighting against federal or state control of local governmental matters for 40 years.  Generally, they would hate a state officer telling them what to do with their local schools.

History

Some ultra conservatives have been trying to resegregate schools since Brown vs. the Board of Education.  Paying property taxes to fund a school full of kids whose parents don’t pay property taxes burns them up.  The situation is exacerbated by the notion that “those kids” at times are the discipline problems that make the public schools unacceptable.  So, Mr. Property Owner must go deeper into his pockets to pay for private school.  For the record, everyone should cheer for the academic success of every child because you want to have an intelligent labor force to attract well-paying industries.  If you don’t pay for school, you will pay in time in prison cost…Georgia State University or Georgia State Penitentiary.

Ultimate Real Deal

The Opportunity School District is a Trojan horse that would open the door to privatizing public schools and taking control of schools from local leaders and citizens.  I bet you will find some corporations that run schools at the center of this idea.  Remember, they tried the same thing with privatizing prisons—built the prisons and they got rich off mass incarceration.  Orange is the New Black is based on facts.

This deal is even cuter. This plan goes down like this: Rather than cherry-picking the best students and putting them into charter schools or magnet schools, you open the door to cherry-picking the worst schools or students, turn them over to private companies and the remaining students will be better off.

Yes, something must be done about under-preforming schools and the effort will require an honest analysis of all factors…including students, parents and environment.  But, the governor’s office taking over schools is not the answer.

Hillary Clinton Smiling

You know that Democrat voters in Georgia are experiencing an enthusiasm problem.  They aren’t necessarily hyped about voting for president because the national media keeps saying that Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida are the only swing states this side of the Mississippi River.  Clinton will win those states and with the help of Republicans running from Donald Trump, Georgia and North Carolina are on the toss-up list.

Clinton should be smiling because this crazy Opportunity School Board mess would light a fire under unlikely registered voters.  If presented to the people correctly, OSB could be a game changer.  Wait, it gets better.  Real money is flowing around the state to stop this ill-conceived amendment.  Traditionally, Dems raise money in Atlanta to spend in say Florida but this year, Hillary and maybe the U.S. Senate candidate Jim Barksdale might win by riding the coattails of the anti-Opportunity  School Board movement.

Bloggers are ready to stop OSB with rallies, cookouts, tailgates, receptions and radio spots.  Georgia Dems can be elitists at times—elbowing each other for glory.  We don’t have time for that crap this time because the stakes are too high…what’s in the balance is the future of our kids.  We won’t let them recreate a second class school system based on race, region, or income. I think they want rural school systems to have a city kids school and county kids school but that is really county kids getting new schools and town kids keeping the old, current schools.

Plan

The plan to stop OSB centers on early voting and educating voters about voting the total ballot.  President Obama recently said at Howard University’s graduation that he would have had a different congress if voters who voted for him would have voted for congress and other ballot items. We must get the word out and it needs to come from trusted members of the community…like me.  They need to put that money on the street…old school style, Maze and Motown playing at rallies, family reunion style.  Oh, I would put a Trojan horse with OSB on him on 3,000 t-shirts in one month.

Citizens should consider their use of time in support of the communities’ youth.  So, you can sit in a high school football game for three hours to support the players, cheerleaders and band but you won’t take 10 minutes to early vote for good candidates and against junk like OSB.  You use your smartphone to play Angry Birds but won’t get angry about conservative politicians trying to quietly take over our schools; we are talking about the same conservatives who constantly called for the end of the state and federal departments of education.  As projectlogicaga.com’s Best Interest Initiative states, everyone has an agenda.

My agenda is to use social media to mobilize and energize every voter this year.

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I missed President Obama talking about getting Cousin Pookie off the couch to go vote last winter.  The election results indicate that “Pookie n nem” stayed right there on that sofa, futon or whatever.  As Secretary/Senator/former FLOTUS Hillary Clinton ramps up her campaign, she must know that the actions of Pookie, Ray Ray and n nem in the fall of 2016 could tip the balance of the presidential election.

First, I declare my continued admiration for cool presidents Barrack Obama, Bill Clinton, JFK and Teddy Roosevelt.  However, Obama is all kinds of special with his coolness.  He is so cool that I support him in general when I would have personally preferred different positions on matters.  But, that’s cool because the American people selected him and I respect the process.  I even respected the Office of the Presidency during the Bush Administrations—something many of my Republican friends can’t current say.  I would like to add that not respecting  the process and ignoring laws that you don’t like is in my opinion un-American.

I keep hearing that President Obama will be on the “right side of history” about this and that.  He is that bold kind of guy but sometimes he is doing what he knows is right as opposite to what the nation in general wants….like Lincoln.   In college pol sci class, we called that a trustee elected official.  That trustee puts the information on the table and makes a wise decision.  Of course, we didn’t have the freaking internet information/new media machine in college and everyone wasn’t an expert on everything.

I know Pookie and Ray Ray n nem more and better than 95% of the politicos and staffers in Washington because I am part of nem (corruption of them.)  Since I was sent to political and financial exile in the “kountry,” I have been listening and learning like Napoleon.  I watch football on that same couch with Pookie before I went to vote but getting him to go is hard because the “Right side of history” Democrats seem to have less interest in the rural “we can’t win there” areas and more interest in needs of the Latino and gay communities….that’s what the homeboys are saying.

If the first Black president can’t get them to vote when he isn’t on the ballot, can the Dems count on that block in 2016?  If there is hope, it starts with listening to their concerns and explaining clearly and plainly what alternatives would be.  Scary them with the truth then take it back to the future.

Black moderates should be talking about a less government- involved community similar to the 1950s and 1960s.  Of course, the government is need to protect basic civil rights for all Americans but Ray Ray is starting to see kids coming up (not growing up) expecting the governmental safety net and that expectation thwarts personal development and achievement.   While we were under constant fear of domestic terrorism before 1970, we were grinding hard to improve ourselves—we were mindful about how we carried ourselves.

Democrats seriously having that conversation might get a few of those departed conservatives back.   But, efforts like the Best Interest Initiative never get  support and funding.  It will be “go find the preachers and tell them to tell Black folks to vote.”  Church folks will vote anyway but Pookie and Ray Ray n nem are going to needs something new and real.

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Could it be true: are some people too dim to vote.  I just noticed a comment on a post about John Monds, candidate for governor in Georgia from the Libertarian Party.  The comment said “he short as hell” and I did not know if the writer was referring to my picture with Monds or with Rep. Sanford Bishop.  Monds, Bishop, and MLK are all Morehouse Men and like Dr. Benjamin Mays of Morehouse they emphasize achievement and intellectual stature over physical stature.  

John Monds is taking the high road in a governor race that has seen negative ads after negative ads from candidates who aren’t generally considered negative people.  I think a cottage industry has developed in which people are more interested in making money from fundraising and media ads than actually winning the elections.

Monds has represented the LP movement well and introduced a southern style of the LP.  Nationally, the LP generally stands for freedom and liberty from government regulations and involvement.  Monds has pushed those principles without bringing up the marijuana card that could spicy up his numbers with some voters.  I am not for smoking cannabis or for gambling personally (gaming being another hot button issue) but many political observers would play that card with the current changes in California in mind.

Monds is a powerful man in Georgia politics because his governor bid could provide ballot access to the LP for future elections and his run will likely force a runoff.  Former congressman Nathan Deal is fighting to hold his base and former governor Roy Barnes is fighting to turnout the Dem base while attracting moderates.  Politicos I bumped into during the local HCBU’s homecoming all said the same thing: why are Democrats spending 30 million dollars on media buys and very little on the streets. 

“The streets” or Get Out The Vote (GOTV) operations have traditionally been a method of awarding those with great community networking skills and those with well-earned reputations as community problem-solvers.  Today, that money goes to run more and more TV ads and the real winners during election season are HBO and Showtime—no commercials.

Mark my word and file this post: the down ballot Democrat candidates are suffering from a lack of GOTV and if the governor race goes into a runoff, Democrats are not coming back out because getting them out now is unbelievable hard.  Some Democrats are rumored to be voting for Monds as a protest for Barnes taking them for granted while courting conservative voters.

Again, are some people too dim to vote?  You have Dems who cried when Obama was elected but won’t vote in the mid-term elections.  We also have conservative voters whose views are shaped by TV and radio talking heads and the Tea Party Movement rather than seasoned public servants or policy wonks.  When did experience become a bad thing?   Rep. Charles Hatcher told me that lobbyists like dumb candidates and heavy turnover because congress is complex and under those conditions the lobbyists have the knowledge and power.

Recently, former governor Roy Barnes bumped into 8th district GOP congressional candidate Austin Scott and Barnes joked that a picture together would ruin Scott’s reputation.  Barnes was so right because the GOP voters want candidates who detest Democrats and Scott must cloak the fact that Democrats and Republicans down here consider him a bright and likeable guy.  Of course, there can be zero mention of the fact that Scott voted to change Georgia’s flag when Barnes was govenor.  If Scott wins next month, his history of voting his mind will put him at the top of the list of freshmen Republicans that President Obama wants to know.

That last line means that the conservative Austin Scott would be better for this White House than the current Democrat congressman Jim Marshall who is slamming Obama and Pelosi every chance he gets.

Come to think about it, I am taller in pictures than Austin Scott, Sanford Bishop, John Monds, Rep. John Lewis, Senator Johnny Isakson and Rep. Jack Kingston but that doesn’t mean a thing when we remember MLK’s line about contend of character.  (The same could be said about U.S. Senate candidate Michael Thurmond, who I never met.  He would be a great asset in the U.S. Department of Labor.)

In America, no one is too dim to vote.  However, we clearly have those who are too dim to realize the importance of voting but I am not worried because they didn’t read this long blog post.   If weed was legal or decriminalized, those dim cats would be even dimmer.  Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders is off on the marijuana issue.

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People who skip voting this year are nuts who should be shunned.  In rural Georgia, we spend hours every Friday night at high school football games but early voting takes less time than a marching band’s halftime show.  What’s up with this one or two tubas stuff?  We had an army of tubas back in the day but today I can’t feel the bass.  In the political arena, I am hearing too much from the highs and little from the bottom (the bass or base).  We are selecting decision makers and nothing tickles off your fancy boss more than knowledge that his vote carries as much weight as yours. 

After the success of the Clinton’s presidency, Gore should have been a shoe-in if the working people they helped simply would have voted.  If you don’t vote, you have zero right to gripe and moan about governmental policy.  Hell, we should have paid attention to the process starting in the primary season because good candidates from any party should be heard. 

South Carolina GOP Rep. Bob Inglis has spent the time since his primary defeat telling it like it is. He should have spoken sooner because some of the cats about to take power are out there–really out there.  As President Obama says, they are concerned Americans and their commitment is admirable but let’s be civic.

Support reasonable candidates from both major parties because those people Inglis calls the Flame throwers are reckless.  You don’t want to win a high school football game in a dirty manner and the same should apply to elections and governing.  After winning elections, winners must then govern.

http://cnn.com/video/?/video/politics/2010/09/21/am.inglis.gop.moderates.cnn

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I thought that headline would get your attention. And I’m sure it did. Of course, I want you to vote for a candidate for the office of President of the United States. But I wonder. I just wonder how many of you know of anyone else’s name and/or seat that is on the ballot this year. Gotcha’. A vote for the President is not going to impact you as much as voting for a local or state seat. Or even Congress for that matter. We’re focusing so much on the Presidency, that I have a feeling many people will go to the polls and vote for the first item on the ballot (President) and then leave. And that’s a shame. Why don’t you check with your local Board of Elections and get a sample ballot. You might be surprised to see there are Congressional races, local county and/or city commission races, U.S. House of Representatives, Judge seats, Sheriff, or even Board of Education.

Let’s take the time to focus on the races that really matter. These are folks you might see at your local grocery store, a community event, a local high school football game or even your place of worship. 

These are individuals who have made a commitment to serve in a public office, and they deserve your respect AND your vote.

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