An Important Political Story You Didn’t Get in the Mainstream Media

MUSCOGEE COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY JEFFERSON -JACKSON GALA ATTRACTS ALMOST 300 $50-A-PLATE ATTENDEES AND ALL FIVE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR

In my view, Columbus mainstream media didn’t do its job of informing you about a major political event.  To me, it is irresponsible not to cover such events since  the public depends on the media to get its political information in order to cast an educated vote.

The Muscogee County Democratic Party’s Jefferson – Jackson Gala attracted all five of the Democratic candidates for governor.  There is a very good chance that one of these men,  Georgia Attorney General Thubert Baker, former Georgia Governor  Roy Barnes, Ray City Mayor Carl Camon, House Minority Leader Rep. DuBose Porter, or  Georgia Adjutant General David Poythress will be Georgia’s next governor.   Republicans, who control state government,  have a lot to answer for:  water, transportation, and educational problems that have gotten worse.

All of the Democratic candidates made it clear that Atlanta’s water problems cannot be solved at the expense of those downstream, which would include Columbus.

 They would not furlough teachers and would give education the support it deserves.

They would work to implement a transportation plan that would include rapid rail.  

They did not attack one another and were all on the same page that Republicans have made a mess of governing the state.

The Muscogee Democrats gave the Jack Brinkley Service Awards to former State Rep. Maretta Tayler,  former Mayor Frank Martin, and former City Councilor and State Rep. Milton Hirsch.   Oct 27 2009_JJ DINNER_1415

Oct 27 2009_JJ DINNER_1413

Oct 27 2009_JJ DINNER_1414

Attorney and MidTown Executive Director Teresa Tomlinson gave the keynote address.  She opposes the two-Columbus approach, one that favors the north over the south, and favors affluent schools over lower socio-economic ones.   A couple of  people I talked with at the dinner said they hoped she would decide to run for mayor.

The Democrats honored the memory of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy with a locally made video.

There were almost 300 people who paid $50-a-plate at that fund-raiser.  Some heavy hitters that I have not seen at past Jefferson Jackson Galas were there. It could be that something is in the wind, something like the Democrats regaining control of state government.

This event should have been covered by Columbus media, and I would say if the Republicans had a similar meeting it should be covered, also.  In a free society that elects its representatives, coverage of major political events is the responsible thing to do.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Georgia State Democratic Committee, but, as I said, I would be opposed to ignoring such a story if the event had been Republican sponsored.

Sidelight:  One Republican was praised at the JJ Gala. Muscogee Democratic Party Chair Jeanne Dugas thanked U.D. Roberts, who published the Gala’s program,  for his cooperation in making last-minute changes. She said when she told him that the number of those attending the fundraiser increased to 280, he said, “This is a sad day for Columbus Republicans.”  Smiling, she agreed.

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13 Responses to “An Important Political Story You Didn’t Get in the Mainstream Media”

  1. Richard Says:

    So much for the “mainstream media left-wing bias,” huh?

  2. JR Says:

    Georgia has 10% unemployment – many people in the private sector are hurting. Even the employed are taking pay cuts to keep their jobs. Revenues for many businesses are down – tax receipts are significantly lower. The govenor asks the teachers to make a small sacrifice by taking a few furlough days to help share in the state’s budget burden. Just take a couple of unpaid days off – then come back to your job that is full of vacation and holidays of which the rest of us can only dream. Dick and his democrat friends say no to teacher furlough days – we will not share in the sacrifice – we must protect the union. The teachers at the poorly performing schools such as Carver, Spencer, Kendrick, Jordan, etc appreciate your support.

    The teamsters union bosses would be proud of your stand. One of a left-wing, partisan clown.

  3. Dick McMichael Says:

    Send in the clowns.

    • Jo Middlebrooks Says:

      Bless your little ol’ heart, J.R.
      Seems like progressive thought is a bit challenging to you. Since the historical election that put the a Republican in the Governor’s mansion, everybody in the state has struggled to educate Georgia’s beautiful children in a way that will insure Georgia’s standing in the future. Hard to do with the present state administration. Don’t forget W coming along to send Georgian’s to the seed store to buy a cow and plant some turnips to survive. How’s your turnips? Mine’s up, thinned and had a lot of help from the rainy October. Purty soon neither of us will be concerned about how greedy our educators might be. There won’t be any. They’ll all be working for the CCC digging ditches, first-aid nursin’ and such. Them’s gone be the good jobs. Mama got paid good for first-aid nursin’ them CCC diggin’ project boys back in the depression when Alabama closed her one room, eight grade school house down and turned it into a first-aid station. So, don’t get down on Georgia teachers not wantin’ to get furloughed. Purty soon they’ll be nursin’.

  4. Jeanne Dugas Says:

    Dear J.R.: I take it that your comments primarily are leveled at Georgia teachers. And that you are thinking only of the fact that teachers, as you say, have a heavenly job filled with lots of vacation days and holidays. Here’s some reality: Teachers who perform their job well (…there are lots of them…) work exceedingly hard and do so even on their vacation days and holidays. As for furloughs, these are not just “…a couple of unpaid days off.” Every day a teacher and students cannot meet in the classroom, we all are the worse for it. Protect the union through sacrifice? Sacrifice can help, but here’s a thought: How about protecting the union by supporting education? If you are concerned about poorly performing schools, how about suggesting solutions that might effectively boost school performance? This could include any number of proactive measures including performance-based merit pay, more inservice training for K-12 teachers and administrators, more monetary support for Georgia University System schools that train K-12 teachers, etc. Notice that I did not include furloughs in this list.

  5. BARBARA JACKSON Says:

    It’s amazing to me that comment would be posted about Georgia’s unemployment and the tax receipts being “significantly lower” when the state is being lead by a Republican Govenor! We all will and are making sacrifices but don’t forget who put us in this mess!

  6. Ross Marshall Says:

    JR – Get a clue! The Undeniable fact that this state has been run by republicans for a few years now, seems to have escaped your myopic viewpoint. Factor in that there are better ways to increase revenues than putting teachers on the side lines even for one day. Take for example the tax free shopping days. Now there is a real real republican boondogle for you.

    The miniscule amount that is saved by each individual, multiplied by the total number of shoppers, pretty much takes care of the deficit. As for unemplyment being high, thank your buddy Sonny, he is the one that allows industry to escape the state. no democrats involved. In fact, under Governor Barnes we experienced industry growth in Georgia.

    For all that is wrong in Georgia right now, blame your right wing wacko friends.

  7. Mie Opinion Says:

    J.R.,

    Its always constructive to give the individual making a post such as yours some benefit of the doubt; however, I’m perplexed that you choose to cherrypick events in space and time to make an irrational argument.

    We are at this point because of 8 years of Bush economics and ethics, and 1 year of costly effort to right the nation’s affairs beginning with the Bush led bailouts.

    Furthermore, we are here because of poor managment and accountability in our State and local administrations. Its all about priorities and political will. Before furloughs,

    1. Moritoriums on spending for anything not directly related to classroom instruction and maintenance of existing classroom facilities for operations and safety issues. Stop the travel. Stop the special projects. Stop the new construction.

    2. Roll back adminstration wages to 2000 levels. Freeze teacher wages.

    3. Reassign teachers and administations from successful schools to so-called failing schools. Reassign teachers and administrations from failing schools to so-called successful schools. The teachers and administrations from the so-called successful schools won’t stand for the issues that the teachers and administrations at failing schools have to endure at the hand of their own administration. Watch the rubber hit the road.

    I believe you make false arguments laced with illegitimate cause-effect relationships.

  8. Mie Opinion Says:

    On the subject of reporting about the JJ Dinner, I’m disappointed with the decision by the LE and other media (WRBL, WLTZ, ect) to ignore the event.

    Instead of opine about it, I’ll express my dismay with my pocketbook.

  9. Verray Caldwell Says:

    I regret that we didn’t get the opportunity to attend the JJ diner due to other commitments. We however was planning on reading about it in the LE the next day, but it never showed up. I am really not surprised this seems to be the norm for the LE lately (one sided news organization). My wife and I discussed this issue the other day, and we concluded that the LE was wrong and we believe that they owe there readers and apology. We have decided to give them two more opportunities to make the same kind of mistake. If and when they do we will just politely cancel our subscription to the LE, and look elsewhere for our local news coverage.
    NOTE: To J.R. ” united we stand and divided we fall”. J.R. keep in mind that these are tuff issues, and tuff decisions during unsual tuff times, but together with your help we can reach the best possible solution to the crisis at hand, when our best minds are involved. It does not matter what political party you are affiliated with, just join us J.R. and let get the job done. Keep the faith J.R.

  10. Paul Says:

    This event should have been covered. All five candidates running for a party’s gubernatorial nomination coming together is news. Doesn’t matter if it’s Republican or Democrat. And I’ve seen both parties ignored in different places.

    How well was the event publicized to local media? I ask because it was obviously publicized well among party faithful.

    When I worked in government, we expanded our media contacts. The idea that only one daily newspaper and a TV station or two is all you need for coverage is outdated and absurd. Hit all the media–weeklies, radio stations, etc.–any outlet that provides news. The old guard resisted, but it worked.

    Working in the news media, I have missed events at times because nobody bothered to send us anything about it until the last minute–or because when they did and we called to find out more, we left messages that weren’t returned in a timely manner. When you have a limited staff, you have to plan as much as you can.

  11. Jeanne Dugas Says:

    Re/Paul Says…Paul…The media were well-informed about the J-J Gala. As a matter of fact, the Ledger ran an article publicizing the event on the Saturday before we had the Gala. Also as a matter of fact, two television news programs–WRBL and WLTZ–told us that they would cover the event and then did not show up. And WTVM never answered our e-mail and phone messages when we contacted them about covering the Gala. On the other hand, we were given very thorough attention in various radio venues…and I agree that good publicity in this town calls for hitting as many media-weeklies as possible.

    Recently, I met with the L-E Executive Editor who made it clear to me that the L-E would never cover such an event unless it was “news”. For example, five gubernatorial candidates in attendance is not news, but if one of the candidates spoke on some topic and completely reversed themselves on a position they previously had taken, then that’s “news”. Or, when the Republican Women’s Club had a dinner last September, five of their gubernatorial candidates attended. Later, (after Josh McKoon complained bitterly about anti-Republican bias in news coverage) the L-E ran an article about the event because a straw poll for the gubernatorial race was taken among the 200 or so guests. Evidently, the straw poll counted as “news”.

    Now, I frankly do not agree with this definition of what is news. However, since I am clearer on the L-E news rules, I have changed my expectations about what articles I can expect to get published or what sort of events I can expect to get “covered” by this media outlet. For another example, be looking for a special “forum” on the Op Ed pages in which one of us Democrats and a Republican write opposing pieces on a topic of interest to all. Executive Editor Holden first proposed this idea to us Democrats last May. We intend to take him up on it. And if we stage another event that I know will not qualify as “news”, perhaps I will try to lure the Atlanta-Constitution to cover the event. They came down and covered us last fall…Maybe they would like to do so again. Finally, I think it would be a good idea to run a straw poll at our next function–a Political BB-Q scheduled for April 17th. You just never know what notoriety that might bring our way.

    As for local TV news, go figure. I find their failures in many ways more perplexing than I find the L-E’s definition of “news”.

    So, there you have it…Best regards from “Professor Dugas” (Josh’s recent moniker for me…)

  12. Paul Says:

    Professor, thanks for the info. This event should have been covered. If five Democrats running for Governor show up at something, sounds like news to me. If five Republicans show up, sounds like news as well. Maybe they had staffing issues on this particular day, but that is why good news departments plan for events like these, as Dick would have done. 🙂

    I like the idea of the opposing viewpoint op-ed pieces. But here’s another idea to try on for size: why not also get the county or state chairs of both the Republican and Democratic parties to write a joint piece encouraging the media to cover the candidates and their stands on the issues and also an exhortation to voters to follow the process and participate? The leaders of opposing parties standing together on this would definitely be news and might, just might, be a wake-up call to other media to do their thing.

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