Posts Tagged ‘Georgia politics’

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

October 28, 2009


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.


Josh McKoon: “High speed rail will be the interstate of the 21st century.”

June 18, 2009

One of the great tragedies of the do-nothing Georgia legislature is that it did nothing about a state transportation plan again in the last legislative session.  Nothing in face of a monumental transportation problem, especially in the Atlanta area is incredibly irresponsible, in my book. Nothing means the same old same old in dealing with the problem.  Nothing means continuing to spend hundreds of millions on widening lanes even though that simply is not going to solve the problem, especially on the long haul.

Josh McKoon announces for Ga. Sen. Dist. 29, Government Center, Columbus, GA

Josh McKoon announces for Ga. Sen. Dist. 29, Government Center, Columbus, GA, Courtesy: Josh McKoon

Josh McKoon  says that is one of the issues on which he will concentrate if elected to fill Seth Harp’s Georgia Senate District 29 seat, the one Seth Harp is giving up so he can run for state insurance commissioner.  I am glad to hear that Josh plans to squarely face the transportation problem  because he will probably be District 29’s next senator.  29 is a strongly Republican district and Josh got a lot of publicity as chairman of the Muscogee Republican Party, and for his fight as an attorney for the group taking action against the city of Columbus to force it to spend SPLOST money to build a park in back on the new library.  

Sam Rawls, Josh McKoon, Government Center, Columbus, GA

Sam Rawls, Josh McKoon, Government Center, Columbus, GA

Josh sent me a few pictures of his announcement kickoff, which, as you can see, I’m using.

Josh McKoon, Georgia state Sen. Seth Harp, (R) Dist. 29, Government Center, Columbus, GA (Courtesy: John McKoon)

Josh McKoon, Georgia state Sen. Seth Harp, (R) Dist. 29, Government Center, Columbus, GA , Photo Courtesy: Josh McKoon

We’ll get into the insurance commissioner’s race later. There’s a lot I don’t know about it. I’m going to study up on it to decide what to ask about it.  Insurance plays one heck of a role in our lives.  Just look at the health care mess.  We’ll definitely be looking into it.

While, I’m having to work on the insurance commissioner questions,  I don’t have the same problem with the issues that Josh McKoon faces if he gets elected.   We are talking transportation,  water allocation, health care,  energy,  election reform,  to mention a few. 

I decided that I would concentrate on one issue in the upcoming state election one at a time on this blog.  That’s why when I thanked Josh for the pics, I asked hin for his position on transportation.  He said some things that I wanted to hear.  Here is the email he sent me in response to my question.

Josh McKoon: “Thanks for your e-mail.  I said in my speech announcing my candidacy last week that high speed rail transit linking our cities will be the interstate of the 21st century.  We need transportation solutions now and I will be supporting all of our alternate means of transit, including rail.

” Of course roads will continue to be important and funding for road projects will continue to be an issue going forward.  One proposal I have made to insure a steadier and larger revenue stream for all transportation projects is to dedicate the revenues from the unit tax on motor fuel for transportation projects only.  Currently those funds go into general appropriations and can be spent on pork projects.  We need to make sure transportation funds go for transportation needs.

 “We must confront the transportation issue now both as to passenger and cargo traffic.  A robust transportation infrastructure is the key to our continued economic growth and if we continue to rest upon infrastructure investments made in the 1960s and 70s we will see our growth choked off by an inability to move people and goods efficiently around and through our state. 

“Please let me know if you have any follow up questions. 



Anybody have any follow-up questions.  If so,just click the “comment” button and ask it.  I’ll make sure Josh gets it.

Why Did Cobb County’s Sam Olens Come to Columbus?

January 26, 2009

Rob Doll, of Rob Doll Nissan,  former chairman of the Muscogee County Republican Party,  invited Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens to speak to the Rotary Club of Columbus.  Rob told me he that he did not bring him to Columbus because he might run for governor, especially since he has already decided who he is supporting, and it’s not Chairman Olens. He just thought he would make interesting speaker about mutual problems facing Cobb and Muscogee Counties.  He was right. It was an interesting talk, and I’ll get into that tomorrow.

  Being a broadcast journalist for about 50 years,  I have to confess to being somewhat of a cynic – certainly a skeptic; therefore,  when a  Cobb County official comes to Columbus to make a speech,  my first thought is that he must be running for governor. 
Sam Olens, Chairman, Cobb County Commission, Rotary Club of Columbus Speaker, Columbus Conventionand Trade Center                                               Sam Olens, Chairman, Cobb County Commission, Rotary Club of Columbus Speaker

The fact is Chairman Olens is considering a run for governor. He told me that he doesn’t have a burning desire to do it,  that he is quite content to work for the people of Cobb County,  “but if the legislature fails to act on the transportation plan and fails to act on other cirtical problems in the state,  I will seriously consider running for governor.” 

Frankly. I share his feelings about his concerns.  Not that I have decided that he is the one to fix things – I hardly know him – but the inaction of the legislature to address these critical issues during this grave economic time is not only irresponsible, but, as I have said before, immoral.

Tomorrow we’ll get into what he told Rotarians.