Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

can we kill the run-off? plz?

well, i voted. yet again. it seems like all i do these days is vote. a presidential election last year, then a senate run-off last year, then a mayoral election this year, then a mayoral run-off this year. it’s getting a tiny bit out of control.

at least i can assume that 2010 will not bring any run-offs as both johnny isakson and john lewis are pretty much assured at least 50 percent. that being said, can we do away with the run-off and just elect the person with the plurality after the first ballot?

it’s no secret i voted for mary norwood (although it was one of the least enthusiastic votes i have ever cast), so yes, in this instance, the lack of a run-off would have elected my candidate, and now, it appears, although a recount is imminent, that the run-off will elect her opponent, but look, i would support this either way.

it’s not that i dislike voting, it’s just that i am not sure what the point of the run-off is. it’s not like it’s the exact same electorate. some people vote in the run-off who didn’t in the previous election. a lot of people who voted in the general election never make it out to the run-off. so it isn’t about who most people support, but more about who can get people to go out and vote yet again.

i am all for people’s civic duty, but when we are voting over and over and over, and as ben mentioned for positions most people don’t even know what they do, it’s easy to see why people throw up their hands and don’t vote.

so i say kill the run-off.

i am sure i am wrong about this, so tell me why.

question of the day.

how low will turnout be in the atlanta mayor run-off?

20%, 15%, could we even get to 10%?

whatcha think?

update: your "leaders" speak about the marta situation.

the ajc reports on the response of yours an my elected leaders on the financial crisis at marta.

for his part the governor just seems torqued that nobody asked for his help, which makes sense seeing as he and his staff are so effective at getting legislation passed (sarcasm intended.) he then said, “It’s always unfortunate when people who depend on MARTA have their service cut, and I hope they (MARTA) can find a way …. to make it through the end of the year.”

translation – sorry, losers without cars. hope someone figures this out, but don’t ask me. not my gig.

thanks sonny. we appreciate your concern.

the lite governor, well he is a little more concerned.

cagle, pressed about marta cutting a day of service apparently said, “that could be hurtful.”

really?

he went on to add, “MARTA is a vital part of what gets done in metro Atlanta, particularly with tourism and the convention business.”

no word on whether the lieutenant governor thinks the 100,000 plus people that ride marta to work every day are a vital part of what gets done in metro atlanta or not.

still no word from the dunce from dallas.

clowns. all of you.

keep up the phone calls.

governor perdue – 404-656-1776
lieutenant governor cagle – 404-656-5030
speaker richardson – 404-don’t-waste-your-breath.

get on board with saving marta.

marta is calling today for the governor, the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house to convene a special session of the legislature to deal with the marta funding issue.

according to the marta release:

MARTA Board of Directors today urged Governor Sonny Perdue, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and House Speaker Glenn Richardson to call a special session to deal with transportation and MARTA funding issues. During their 2009 General Assembly, state legislators failed to pass critical legislation providing regional or state transportation funding and lifting restrictions on the use of MARTA’s capital reserve funds. The Georgia General Assembly ended last Friday, April 3. During the 2009 legislative session, MARTA petitioned state lawmakers to grant the authority access to $65 million in its capital reserve account to fund a significant gap in its operating budget.

“I can’t emphasize enough how critical it is that MARTA be allowed flexibility to use its reserve account to fund operation of the system. I commit to you that the MARTA Board is looking for all ways to cut expenses and run this system as efficiently and effectively as possible,” said MARTA Board Chairman Michael Walls. “We implore the state to please reconsider this issue so that during this difficult economic time we can keep this essential transportation service running, which acts as a lifeline for so many people.”

(full press release here)

please help with this. please.

take 30 seconds and call the governor at 404-656-1776 and ask him to convene a special session of the legislature.

then take 30 seconds and call the lieutenant governor at 404-656-5030.

by the way, i just did this. the governor’s office told me to call my legislator, so i am not expecting a ton of leadership from him on this.

at casey cagle’s office they did discuss the issue with me and get my contact information. then again casey wants to be governor so he has some incentive.

please flood our elected leaders. let them know that you want to see some leadership on this.

a letter to the georgia republican party.

dear georgia republican party,

f you.

i am about the last guy you could have afforded to piss off. well maybe not exactly, but i am an rnc donor, volunteered for mccain, voted for sonny and casey a few years ago.

i believe in limited government and lower taxes. i believe charity is best left to private sector. i believe that government ought to stick to functions where there is a societal need and the market isn’t capable of providing a competing service. in short, i am your voter.

let’s go back to that last piece though. one of the places where it has been proven, over and over again, that government is needed is municipal mass transit. a strong mass transit system relies on government funding and is necessary to a good urban quality of life. and yet, despite this , the jokers in the georgia republican party that run this state decided to say fu to public transport.

so as a marta commuter, i say fu right back.

the funny thing is marta wasn’t even asking for new money. all they were asking for was to be able to use all of the money that is collected through sales tax in fulton and dekalb for operations. read that, not a state sales tax, a sales tax in two counties.

for those of you who don’t know about this, marta is forced by it’s absurd enabling law to put aside 50 percent of it’s sales tax regulation into a captial fund. no other transit system has to do this. just marta. why you ask? simple, the legislators at the time wanted to keep marta poor so it couldn’t offer free rides. that’s it. no other reason.

and despite all that, you couldn’t find a way to release this money so marta can keep operating. i ride marta every day. how many members of the martoc, including it’s inept chairwoman, jill chambers, can say the same? i ride it and more than 100,000 other people depend on it to get to work. and you are letting it starve.

why? i really don’t know. i don’t understand the legislative chicanery that led to this, but i know that there should have been a way to get it done. and you failed.

there is no telling what marta is going to have to do now. close bathrooms, eliminate weekend service, cut back bus routes? who knows. you could had prevented it, and you didn’t.

so screw you.

in my opinion you have no proven that you are completely incompetent to run this state. i will continue to vote for republicans at the national level, but next time i see a georgia office i am voting for the libertarian.

hope you got a few votes out of butts county out of this, because you lost one in fulton.

sincerely,

james hervey

Lisa Borders officially back in Mayor’s race

We have a bit of an exclusive here – word comes from a trusted source The AJC reports that Lisa Borders is indeed going to be, um, re-throwing her hat into the ring for Atlanta Mayor.  She’ll be announcing at City Hall at 11am, which will be streamed live at Tondee’s Tavern, but also here.

Maria Saporta reported that Borders would be getting into the race last week, but Borders had not confirmed the report.  Borders got out of the race in August to help take care of her ailing parents.  Her personal situation has changed (she’s gotten help taking care of her folks, essentially), making the race possible for her now.

For those of you who may not follow politics, you can see my previous writings on this subject on my personal blog.  The basic run down of Borders positioning in the race, however:

  • Borders was generally seen as an ally of Mayor Franklin, but Kasim Reed probably will end up being tagged as part of the “Franklin machine” or whatever you care to call it.  He was her campaign manager and a major ally while at the State Senate.
  • Borders has extensive connections with the business community (she is a former VP at Cousins, and is currently president of the Grady Health System Foundation), and I these relations have convinced her to get back into the race.  None of the existing candidates ever had their trust – Borders carries much more gravitas than Mary Norwood, and more business experience than Kasim Reed (or Norwood, for that matter).
  • At one time, Borders was seen as the front runner.  Now? who knows.  She’s behind in fundraising and getting in and out of a race tends to lower a candidate’s stock (see: Ross Perot).  Also, Mary Norwood and Kasim Reed have been building their networks and gathering supporters.

I’m told that Borders plans to emphasize her Atlanta roots and personal story (single mother, child in school at Westminster, deep family history in Atlanta’s civil rights and church community, she was recently a victim of home robbery).  I’m also told she will have a “5-year plan” for each department – obviously I’d like to know more but the cynical side of me knows that in politics sometimes it is enough to say you have a plan since not many folks are willing to get into the details.

Will it be enough?  Personally, I’m less interested with a personal story, and more interested with concrete plans for the major issues facing the city.  I want to hear plans for crime and reforming the police department that amount to more than just more police officers, among other things.

there is some bipartisanship for you….

i guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find that there is one potential issue that young republicans and young democrats can agree on: sunday alcohol sales.

according to this ajc article the two groups will be holding a press conference today to announce their joint support for sunday sales.

ah, nothing brings young people together like the right to get trashed on sunday. seriously, this issue has become the windmill that we tilt at year after year here in georgia.

could this be the year? i doubt it, but momentum is growing.

h/t to the atlanta beer guide for sending the link. any guesses where those folks stand on this issue?

The Do-Over

There’s an episode of The West Wing in which we see the inside of an underdog Congressional campaign in California, based out of a defunct mattress store. Cubicles are formed out of queens and doubles stood on their ends. The campaign director, named Will, is a young politico and speech-writer trying to get attention in a district that usually votes the other way. Oh, and the candidate he’s promoting? He’s dead — killed by a heart-attack with just days to go before the vote.

A couple of little girls walk into the mattress store holding a sign they’ve made out of construction paper. They’re soon to hit the sidewalks, waving signs and getting out the vote. They hold up their creation for Will to see. He takes it and turns it around so they can see it.

“Nice work, girls, but do me a favor: read this out loud,” says Will.

The girls recite in unison, “It doesn’t matter who you vote for. Make sure you vote.”

“It’s a nice sentiment, but the thing is, I think it does matter who you vote for,” Will says. “What if it said, ‘No matter who you vote for, make sure you vote?'”

The girls quickly consider this, look at each other, and nod. “It works,” they say.

“Great. Thanks, ladies!”

I’m thinking of this today because I’m seeing TV ads from the Chambliss campaign and getting door-hangers from the Martin campaign. I’m sitting in the dentist’s office with a metal hook in my mouth, and there’s one politician painting another on the television. I’m watching a movie with my folks, who are in from out of town, and there’s a voice from an eager campaign staffer coming through my answering machine.

I think it matters who you vote for. A run-off is a real election. The candidates are in a run-off, but if you voted in November and you don’t vote again today, then you’ve, as they say, “runnoft.”

Go vote.

Former GA Senator Sam Nunn endorses Obama

I hate to get political or partisan, but given the current state of the Democratic contest for their party’s nomination, I figured this was apropos.

Former GA Senator Sam Nunn endorses Obama

[h/t Griftdrift]

Now, to hear the commenters “discuss” things over at AJC.com, this is either the magic bullet that saves Obama or the silver bullet that kills him.

I realize we’re not very political here (well, I’ve already endorsed Obama personally on my blog and james has endorsed McCain here & on his personal blog) but I’m curious what Atlantans think of this move.

Does it matter for Georgia?
Does it matter for Pennsylvania?
Does it matter for the Democratic race?

Nunn had previously toyed with the idea of his own Presidential run, do you think he’s lobbying here to be Obama’s running mate? (I do, but I think Bill Richardson is a likely choice).

Anyhow, I’m no political blogger, but I think this is a big deal. Nunn was always well-liked in the state and had that magical “bi-partisan” quality that pundits and voters talk about but can’t quite define. The “I’ll know it when I see it” variety.

Feel free to throw in your two cents on this issue.

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