Posts Tagged ‘Roy Barnes’

Some of my Best Friends are Republicans

October 17, 2010

MCDP Jefferson-Jackson Gala at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center

One of the most interesting aspects of the Muscogee County Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Gala is the diversity of the attendees.  You’d expect a lot of African-Americans, whites, Hispanics, and Asian Americans to be there.  The Democratic Party prides itself on its big tent. But, there were also some very prominent Republicans in the audience.

No doubt some were there because a friend of their’s was being honored. I had one tell me that he and his wife were there because retired Columbus attorney and state legislator Milton Jones was one of the Democrats honored for his service to his communty, state, and country.  I am on a friendly basis with every Republican I saw there.   

This was a Democratic Party event, but it was also a community event. More than three hundred  people paid $50-a-plate to attend.  The party did raise some money, but not as much as you might think. The Columbus Convention and  Trade Center ain’t cheap.

Rep. John Lewis, (D) GA 5th Congressional District

While those Republicans in attendance stood with everyone else to applaud keynote speaker and civil rights icon U.S. 5th Congressional District Rep. John Lewis,  they did also have to endure some partisan talks, the best of which was made by my cousin Carol Porter who is running for Lt. Governor.  She is a very articulate and forceful speaker.

Carol Porter, Democratic candidate for Georgia Lt. Gov.

The problem for her is that she was only speaking to three-hundred people, people – with the possible exception of some of the Republicans there – who are going to support her anyway.  To get elected, she needs for hundreds of thousands of people to hear her message.  Roy Barnes is getting to those hundreds of thousands because he has raised the money to do it.  And some of that money came, no doubt, from some Republicans.

I think it’s generally agreed that CEOs of most businesses are Republicans, but it is a well-known fact that some give to both sides.  They want whoever wins to pick up the phone when they call.  There is a very good chance that Roy Barnes will win.

One definition of power is that it is the ability to do favors.  I suppose the corollary to that would be the ability to do harm. Governors can do both.

And so can Lieutenant Governors.  Maybe Carol Porter will benefit from those who hedge their bets by giving to both sides.  With very little media coverage, she is  running close to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the polls.  If she can get her message across to enough voters, she can win.

The point is that some Republicans do support some Democrats and visa versa.  And the point is that a lot of folks in Columbus, including me, are friends with a lot of people who identify with different parties.  They also come together to get important things done for the community.  It would be great if our representatives in Washington and Atlanta would follow the Columbus example.  The meanness of spirit and polarization that is permeating our Capitols and our country is not good for America.

Yes, it is time for the country to return to civility and sanity. It is time for political leaders to put their country first instead of their party.  It is hard to do when some powerful media personalities use hatred and fear to line their pockets with millions of dollars. But, it has to be done, or this great nation stands to lose its greatness.

At their State Convention, Georgia Democrats Call for Ending Republican Misrule

August 15, 2010

Georgia Democrats demonstrate with music and rhythmic clapping for Democratic candidates running for state and federal offices. I took this picture at the party's State Convention in Athens.

Just check out your auto’s gear shift and that will tell you the difference in what Democrats and Republicans do for Georgia.  “D” stands for Democrats and it stands for driving forward and “R” stands for Republicans and moving in reverse.  That was one of the comparisons made at the Democratic Party of Georgia State Convention in Athens yesterday.  

It was also where former Governor Roy Barnes accepted the party’s nomination for Governor of Georgia. Barnes told the delegates that the billions of dollars in cuts to the Georgia education system is “the greatest moral retreat that’s ever been seen in our history. That other team wants to do away with the public school system. They want to take a voucher and give it to their kids, and they don’t care about ours.”

The only newspaper report on the convention that I have found online so far is an article in the Athens Banner-Herald. You can check it out by going to this link.  I will have a more on the convention later.  I was there.


August 9, 2010

Roy Barnes.

Barnes and Handel Almost Cross Paths at Columbus Airport

July 19, 2010

Karen Handel arrives at Columbus Airport

The general aviation terminal at Columbus Airport was a political stump today as candidates flew in to get day-before-election news coverage.  Two front-runners for governor, Democrat Roy Barnes and Republican Karen Handel almost crossed paths at the airport.  

Roy and Mrs. Barnes arrive at Columbus Airport

Republcian gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel, with supporter Josh McKoon, who's running for GA Sen. Dist. 29

She arrived from Macon a little early, and he arrived from Albany a little late.  She wants to fix things economically by, for one thing,  relying less on income taxes and more on sales taxes.  He wants to raise billions by cutting out tax exemptions for special interests like insurance companies, saying schools need the money, that education is the key to Georgia’s future. 

Mrs. Barnes, Roy Barnes, and supporter, Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington

Whereas the question among pundits was “who will be in the runoff with John Oxindine?” it’s now who will be in the runoff with Karen Handel, who said the latest poll shows her ahead by 11 points.  On the Democratic side, the polls are showing a win without a runoff.  The two could be facing each other in November.


July 9, 2010


Karen Handel, Republican Primary Candidate for Governor

If the latest poll I just read is right, we could have women running for Georgia governor and lieutenant governor in the November General Election. The poll, which was taken Wednesday and Thursday of this week by SurveyUSA for 13WMAZ in Macon, and WXIA and V-103 in Atlanta, shows former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel gaining on front- runner Georgia Insurance Commissioner  John Oxendine.  If Handel gets into a runoff with Oxendine, and that appears likely, because, with the election only 11 days away, Oxendine is way short of winning without a runoff, and if she wins the runoff, she will be the Republican candidate for governor. 

Carol and DuBose Porter with their 4 sons

  And if Carol Porter wins the Democratic nomination – she is the front-runner and is running far ahead of Tricia Carpenter McCracken – she will be the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.  (Full disclosure: Carol is my first cousin once removed.)  Carol is the wife of DuBose Porter, minority leader of the Georgia House and candidate for governor.  If the poll results are accurate and they stay that way for the next 11 days, Carol could be the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor and DuBose will not be the Democratic nominee for governor. The Poll shows former governor Roy Barnes winning the Democratic primary without a runoff. DuBose comes in third, after Attorney General Thurbert Baker, who is shown gaining on Barnes. Asked about the possibility that his wife could win and he could lose, he said he has been asked about that a lot, and he always answers that she will get his full support no matter how it turns out.  I don’t think we’ve ever had women running for governor and lieutenant governor in the same election in Georgia  before.  If both of them just get the female vote, they’ll win.  That’s right, according to the latest figures from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, slightly more women than men are registered to vote in Georgia.

Can Roy Barnes Win Back the Governorship?

June 4, 2009

Former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes is giving it another shot.  He lost his reelection bid to Republican Sonny Purdue in 2002,  which resulted in Republicans also gaining control of the Georgia legislature.

 Most political pundits agree that he lost because of two things, angry teachers and his decision to change the Georgia flag.  Maybe the flag issue is dead because Governor Perdue didn’t get the old flag ,which prominently featured the Confederate battle flag, reinstated.  But, can he win over the teachers this time?  They didn’t like it when he moved to end tenure for newly hired teachers, his centralized approach to education,  ending social promotions, and his emphasis on testing, which many said made teachers “teach to the test.”

Perhaps all he will have to do is ask, “Well, teachers, are you any better off with Sonny Perdue in the governor’s office? What has he done for education in Georgia?  What has he done to education in Georgia?”

Barnes will have to get past some other strong contenders for the Democratic Party nomination, people like House Minority Leader Porter DuBose (my second cousin by marriage),  Attorney General Thurbert Baker,  and former Secretary of State, Lt. General, and Georgia Adjutant General David Poythress .  With Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and Secretary of State Karen Handel running for governor, a good primary race is shaping up on the Republican side, too.  Anyone have any idea who the insurance industry will support?

Barnes Effort to Prevent this Financial Crisis was Overturned by Sonny Perdue

September 29, 2008

  Former Governor Roy Barnes saw this financial debacle coming and had the Georgia legislature pass a law to prevent it happening in Georgia. It held lenders accountable for their lending policies. Bill Shipp reports that K Street lobbyists in Washington tried to get Barnes not to do it, but they failed. In order to stop what Barnes was doing because it could have spread to other states, Wall Street bankers and K Street lobbyists poured money into the Sonny Perdue campaign. Once Perdue won the election, he saw that the Barnes’ law was dismantled.

  You can get the details by reading Shipp’s column. Just click on this link.