Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Electoral Aftermath

First, the results.

GOVERNOR: Mark Taylor (51.65%)
LT. GOV: Jim Martin (41.26%) and Greg Hecht (36.4%)
SEC. of STATE: Gail Buckner (25.45%) and Darryl Hicks (21.88%)
SCHOOL SUPER.: Denise Majette (67.08%)
US CONGRESS, DIST 4: Cynthia McKinney (46.92%) and Hank Johnson (44.52%)
HOUSE 44: Sheila Jones (63.2%)
HOUSE 56: Kathy Ashe (73.2%)
HOUSE 58: Robbin Shipp (40.81%) and Allen Thornell (26.32%)
HOUSE 59: Doug Dean (44.86%) and Margaret Kaiser (40.47%)
HOUSE 65: Sharon BEASTLY-Teague (60.70%)
SENATE 36: Nan Orrock (62.21%)
HOUSE 84: Stacey Abrams (51.19%)
HOUSE 86: Karla Drenner (62.45%)

Obviously, these are all Democratic results. The only remark I will make on the GOP primary is that Ralph Reed was given a stunning defeat with only 43.91% of the vote. There was some cross-over voting, although the Democratic primary had more voters than the GOP primary. This proves that the Theocrats are losing strength, even in Georgia. My only hope is that this will kill any chance of Ralph Reed having a career in politics, and that it's the beginning of the end for Sadie Fields and her minions.

Another piece of relatively good news is that of the candidates that Stonewall Democrats endorsed, only one lost outright: TJ Copeland. More on that race later. Two others, Allen Thornell and Doug Dean, are in the run off August 8 for their respective house seats. Jim Martin also made the run-off in his race after gay-baiting by Greg Hecht's campaign.
My thoughts on the governor's race are ones of sadness. Cathy Cox gave a truly inspiring concession speech last night around midnight. It brought to mind the Cathy Cox whose candidacy once inspired and thrilled me. The one who electrified the hall when she spoke to the Young Democrats convention in April at UGA. I don't know if she fell victim to the Al Gore syndrome of becoming captive to her DC-based consultants or what. Her campaign was a mess, and stumbled badly through the summer. It started with the gay marriage issue which I have blogged about. She could not have handled her response to the amendment being temporarily overthrown more badly if she'd tried. Then she came out to basically say she felt gays should have no protections under the law whatsoever (no civil union rights, no adoption rights, no non-discrimination in housing or jobs rights, etc), all while trying to oddly wink at the gay community. She backed away from the pro-choice crowd, hedging her bets on that issue too. Her commercials were OK, but didn't seem to say much. She fought from a defensive stance all summer, and she paid the price yesterday. If she'd had been the Cathy we all knew she could be, I think she would have run away with the nomination.

Mark Taylor gives you a smarmy feeling. It was strange seeing his child-bride next to him on the stage and his DUI and vehicular homicide charged son standing behind him as he gave his victory speech. Mark is a good ol' boy from the days of when Democrats were the only party in town. He does abuse his power and seems to love power for its sake alone. My only comfort is that I know he'll do anything to win. Sonny better buckle his seat belt, because if Mark can raise the money, he will attack Sonny with a vengeance. Still, I think we'll see Sonny win in November. As bad a governor as he is, Sonny doesn't give you that "I need a shower" feeling that Mark Taylor does.

I'm very happy that a man as decent and good as Jim Martin is leading in the Lt. Gov's race. I hope he can beat the crap out of Hecht on August 8. The smurfling hit new lows in campaigning this past week when he accused Jim Martin of being: a) a child murderer, b)a rapist-lover and c) some kind of firebrand looking to force your children into watching gay porn. Ok, I exaggerate the last point, but Hecht's campaign fingerprints were all over a false call that went out this past weekend to rural Georgia and older white males in Metro Atlanta featuring an effiminate "gay sounding" voice talking about how Jim Martin wants gay marriage and all this other stuff. It was gay-baiting, pure and simple. Jim Martin is a fair minded candidate, and he sees gays as human beings worthy of respect. Greg Hecht sees us as convenient punching bags in his climb up the political ladder.

The Secretary of State's race stunned me the most. The two most qualified candidates were BY FAR Shyam Reddy (16.51%) and Scott Holcomb (11.52%). Yet, they came in 4th and 5th respectively. Even more appalling is that Glamour-shot photo Angela "Vote for Miss Angela" Moore came in THIRD with 17.53% of the vote. That a bad joke like Angela Moore could beat Shyam and Scott is something that Democrats should be deeply ashamed of. If I weren't such a political junky, this race alone would have shaken my faith in the system to its core. I can understand why people don't vote when I see results like this. The two candidates that seemed to come out of nowhere were Gail Buckner and Darryl Hicks. I am not suprised that one of the two black candidates got into the run-off. With the black vote nearly 1/2 (it might have even broke the 50% barrier yesterday...the numbers have not been released) of the primary vote, it makes sense. At least it was Darryl and not "Miss Angela". Gail Buckner is the one who stunned me. I don't know if she even really campaigned, but she came in first. As a friend told me yesterday, I had to remember that she was the only viable woman on the ballot, and she was listed first. In a 6 person primary, most people didn't know WHO to vote for, so they go with the first name or the girl. Especially since the office was "SECRETARY" of State. Anyway, in the run-off, my vote goes to Gail Buckner hands down. Darryl Hicks is a corporate tool from Atlanta Gas & Light, and I view him with a LOT of suspicion.

Denise Majette won on name recognition alone. She may be the only name that stands a chance against Kathy Cox, but Kathy will run away with his election in November. The only way Denise makes this a contest is to hit hard and consistently on Georgia's low test scores and standing in the nation. It would help too if she could articulate a plan to turn the education system around.
Another surprise of the night was Cynthia McKinney being forced into a run-off. This race doesn't affect me anymore since I am now in John Lewis's district (THANK YOU GOD!!!), but I hope that all the GOPers in North DeKalb who didn't vote yesterday rush to the polls on August 8 to send Cynthia home for good. She's an embarrassment to the Democratic party, to DeKalb County, and to Georgia.

In state house races, it looked at first like Robbin Shipp would get the nomination without a run-off. As it turned out, her strongest precincts came in first, because her vote percentage kept lowering as the evening wore on. In a majority black district, Robbin being the only black candidate meant that she would make the run-off and probably come in first, both of which happened. Luckily, Allen pulled away from his competition in the end to survive to fight again on August 8. Hopefully people will turn out for him that day and send the first openly gay man with HIV to the legislature to join Karla Drenner.

Speaking of Karla, I was glad to see her beat back a challenge from a woman whose sole argument was, "This is a black-majority district, and we need a black woman to represent it, not some honkey lesbian." Karla's district rebuffed this argument and sent her back to the state house. She will be sorely needed when the GOP goes after gay families through adoption.
I'm very happy to see Nan kick ass in her primary. She will be such a forceful progressive voice in the state senate. I look forward to having her there.

The race between Sharon BEASTLY-Teague and TJ Copeland lives me sickened the most. TJ ran a brilliant campaign. He walked all over that district, went door to door, did all the right things a candidate should do. All this against an incumbent who does nothing, barely shows up when the legislature is in session, and is an anti-gay bigot. TJ is as fine and upstanding a man as I've seen run for office. That his district would vote for a woman who doesn't do her job, doesn't pass bills, and works against the interests of her district, says a lot about them. South Fulton residents can go to hell as far as I'm concerned. They get the government and representation they deserve. I hope BEASTLY continues to shit all over them and that they are starved of resources. I hope their schools continue to fail. Voting for what witch over a hard worker like TJ shows they don't deserve him. I will never lift a finger for South Fulton in the future.

Finally, in DeKalb, the tool of developers and Vernon Jones, Jeff Rader, won his county commission seat. It was much closer than I thought. Don Broussard had a lot of silent support, but he lost in the end. I think Gail's (the retiring commissioner) call the day before the election talking about what a bad man Don was to be "lying" about Jeff Rader may have made the difference. It looks like Vernon's majority on the commission just got stronger....God Help Us.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Presiding Bishop-Elect of the Episcopal Church Responds

I posted my letter to the Bishop of Atlanta, the delegates to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church USA from the Atlanta diocese, and the Presiding Bishop and Presiding Bishop-elect. Going through my email, I received an actual response from the Presiding Bishop-elect, whose email I swiped from the Diocese of Nevada's website before they could hide it better.
I am amazed that she took the time to write back to me, as I'm sure being the newly elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church means she is being innundated with emails, letters, phone calls, etc. I find her response to be hopeful, and I do feel I am in safe hands with her at the helm. Here is the text of the letter:

Sent: Saturday, July 01, 2006 12:08 AM
Subject: Re: Personal Thoughts on the Reactions to the General Convention

Dear Jason,

I agree with you about the place of gay and lesbian people in the church, and I will continue to do what I can to ensure that that place is expanded to include all ministries and orders of ministries in this church.

We also have a role in advocating for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in other parts of the Communion, and we lose our ability to do that if we are seen to repudiate our membership in the Communion. I certainly recognize the challenging place in which we stand just now, and your pain at this point, and can only assure you of my prayers.


I never in a milliion years thought I'd receive a note from a church leader like this. Unlike some politicians, I don't think that the Presiding Bishop-elect will throw gay Episcopalians under the proverbial bus in order to placate Africa and the rest of the Global South.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Perdue Can Kiss My A&&

The good news is that I have a nice tan from my time in South Beach. The bad news is that I must return to Atlanta tomorrow and resume "normal" life. I'm sad for it to be over, but it's been a great vacation.

The real world has intruded itself in my email. I saw that Georgia and New York gave LGBT equality a one-two punch today. Georgia Supremes voted unanimously that the legislature meant to deny marriage AND all its benefits to gay people, so the marriage amendment was legal and reinstated, despite the fact the question on the ballot only asked about defining marriage. Once again, the South leads the way in discrimination and hatred against a particular minority group. Governor Perdue stated that he hoped that gay Georgians didn't feel "marginalized" by the decision. "I don't think it demeans gay Georgians in any other way," he said. "They're free to work and live their lives; they're just not free to marry in Georgia."

Governor Perdue can KISS MY ASS. And we're not "free to work" without fear of being fired, as it's legal in Georgia to fire someone just because you think they're gay and you "don't like fags." That man is full of shit, and his "statement" is rubbing salt in a wound. Doesn't DEMEAN gay Georgians? I look like I'm severely retarded and would believe such a lie?

The only good thing is that it takes the issue off the table for this year's election. But the damage is done as far as Cathy Cox is concerned. She has cut her own throat with gays for nothing. If she had kept her damn mouth shut about the legislature being recalled if the Georgia Supremes had not acted as they did today, she would still have gay support. As it is, none of us will vote for her.

New York's top court also said that it was quite LOGICAL to actively discriminate against gays. They took the amici briefs of the religious right and basically cut and paste the arguments. It's very disheartening to read the defence of gay bigotry as the law of NY state. The only hope is to get the legislature to change the law. Yeah, let me hold my breath while THAT happens.

I wonder if blacks felt this way in the 40s, 50s, and 60s when civil rights became really heated for them. Did they think that they'd NEVER win their rights to be treated as equal? The constant fighting for my rights to be treated as I would if I were straight is tiring. I hope it will be won in my lifetime, but I hope I'm not too old to enjoy it when it does.