Friday, September 29, 2006

TWO Events, ONE day

One Day
Two Great Ways
To Support the Young Democrats of Georgia
Young Democrats of Georgia Big Deck Blowout!
All Ages Event
Please Join the Young Democrats of Georgia at Roxx Tavern & Grill
1824 Cheshire Bridge Rd NE for an afternoon of fun and food
Saturday, September 30, 2006 3 pm – 6 pm
Cost of Admission: $20
Young Democrats of Georgia Sweetwater Event
21 years and older
Please join the Young Democrats of Georgia for a fun filled event at Sweetwater Brewery, 195 Ottley Dr NE
Saturday, September 30, 2006 4 pm – 7 pm
Cost of Admission: $25

We’re doing this to fund our youth voter program for this year’s elections….been proven in other states to dramatically raise under 36 turnout, especially those that agree with us politically ;-) Anyway, everyone is more than welcome. The sweetwater event is all the beer you can drink for the $25.

Promises from Campaigns Past...

I've been a bit busy, or I would have blogged a few days ago on something that is eating at me in the Georgia Governor's race. The problem is the spate of idiotic promises that both major candidates are offering. Neither is well thought out, and they are all designed to pull in support on Nov. 7. Normally, I don't pay much attention to promises made in a campaign, as I view most of them as cheap ploys to get votes from people who don't think about the world around them.

This year's Georgia gubernatorial race, however, is like an LSD flashback to Virginia Governor's races past. First up is hysteria about criminals and crime. Atlanta has had the fewest number of murders this year since 1969, but you wouldn't know it from looking at Sonny's and Mark's ad. Actually, it's not violent crime, but child molesters who are out to get us all. This is probably fed from the news stories of the last year from Dateline NBC and other outlets about the child molesters in our midst who use the internet to seduce our children. This is a serious problem, and it shows that pedophilia is more common than anyone would be comfortable with. I have no problem cracking down kiddie porn, arresting people who possess or trade in child porn, or being damn tough on convicted child molesters. Speaking as someone who was molested by a stranger in a movie theatre as a child, I know what kind of damage it can do to a child's self-esteem and psyche. I emerged pretty unscarred, but I immediately told the police and my parents what happened after what I felt to be the immediate danger passed. But for years, I thought the molestation was my fault, because I had just entered puberty and my hormone laden fantasies and dreams were definitely of the homosexual variety. I figured God was punishing me for my homo desires (thanks Southern Baptist Convention!). Anyway, I think there is a special place in hell for anyone who would abuse a child.

Sonny and Mark came out with child molester ads within days of each other, so I'm not sure who was first. Sonny's ad also started the nauseating "Sonny Do" commercials which I expect to be subjected to through November. It starts on a clear morning with Mrs. Perdue looking absolutely stricken as she gazes out of a kitchen window. Sonny places an arm around her while a Levitra ad plays over his shoulder, and Mrs. Perdue cries out about her worry over the children of Georgia and all those child molesters out there! You can practically see Sonny slap her ass as he tells her it will be all right, because he's worried too, and he's starting a Georgia CSI unit (Child Sex Investigation, not Crime Scene, like the TV show) with the state police. Mrs. Perdue's eyes glisten and remarks what a great idea that is ... and that she'll put that on his "Sonny Do" list.

Not to be outdone, Mark Taylor came out with an add that promises the death penalty for any repeat child offenders...assuming the victim was under 14. I guess it wouldn't be worth death if you molest a 12 yr old and follow up later with the statutory rape of a 15 yr old. Mark promises that with him as governor, child molesters will FRY (or be put to sleep since Georgia uses lethal injection). Can't beat death in the "who's tougher on child molesters" sweepstakes.

Sonny's commercial is a stunt. He's already ordered this new unit in the state police to be started, which is a good thing. The problem with internet predators is long standing, so why did it take an election to get his attention? With Mark's proposal, I'm not certain that is legal. Yes, other states have the same kind of law...but I don't think it's been tested yet. No one's met the criteria for it to be tested in the courts. Death penalty jurisprudence has evolved to the point where death is imposed only when someone else dies AND there's aggravating factors. If you rape and kill a 12 year old, that would get you the death penalty TODAY if a jury was willing to impose it. I'm not convinced that the 8th amendment would allow a repeat child molester who did not kill his/her victims to be put to death without it being a violation of cruel and unusual punishment. There's definitely an argument to be made that it's no more cruel or unusual than what the molester does to his/her victim, but the law has a way of looking at things with the emotion stripped away. Besides, it's VERY expensive to put someone to death, more expensive than keeping them alive for life behind bars. You also would have to expand death row, I imagine. How will Mark pay for that and his proposals to reinstate the $1 billion Sonny cut from education or to expand PeachKids to all children under the age of 18, regardless of income? If you say "higher taxes", I will show you a GOP General Assembly that will not let that happen, no matter how sound the proposal.

Two other promises I've heard in connection with Taylor's campaign is a promise to a) eliminate the property tax on personal vehicles and b) to eliminate parole. That move is straight from the playbook of George Allen in 1993 and James Gilmore in 1997 when they won the Virginia governor's mansion. George Allen promised to eliminate parole and ended a 12 year Democratic reign in Richmond as a result. Parole was ended for anyone convicted after June 1994 in Virginia. The sentence you got is the sentence you would serve, by damn! It worked quite well, except for the fact that the prisons quickly became overcrowded. The solution to that was to cut higher education to fund building more prisons. George Allen chose prisons over schools, and Mark Taylor is setting himself up to make the same kind of choice.

In 1997, Gilmore promised to eliminate the property tax on vehicles. The problem is that this tax was not levied by the state; it was levied by the counties and cities. In Virginia, all sovreignity resides with the General Assembly, and counties/cities can only do what the General Assembly gives express permission for them to do. However, take away the tax on vehicles, and you decimate the local governments. Their budgets would virtually disappear overnight, and things like sewers, fire, police, and local roads would have no funding whatsoever. The way around this was to have the state reimburse the localities for the tax, and freeze the millage rate at where it stood in 1998. The problem is that SUVs and other expensive cars became hugely popular around this time, so the cost estimates for this program (much like the Bush estimates for the Medicare prescription drug program) were wildly under-stated. The program had to be frozen because it was bankrupting the state, and when the recession of Bush's first term caused a fiscal crisis in Virginia, Democrat Mark Warner was forced to freeze the program at 80% of the tax being covered by state funds. Mark Taylor should know that this program, while popular, will be extremely expensive, and money has to come from somewhere. How will he pay for it? This is a program for which Sonny has said "me too" so it looks like we'll be facing some kind of car tax relief in 2007. Again, the choice to cut the tax will have consequences, so the question is what will Georgians sacrifice to avoid that nasty birthday tax on our cars?

My point in all this is that choices have consequences. Bush has tried to sell the American people on the notion that you can have something for nothing, but that's irresponsible. It's the best way to bankrupt our society and government. Luckily, states can't run deficits, although rainy day funds do allow some extra spending in hard times, which is appropriate. We can't have everything we'd like, so we have to make choices. The hard decision comes when we have to decide whether to invest in our children or in housing our criminals. In pulling Georgia out of the education cellar or in getting a tax break on our cars. Virginia made these choices in the 1990s, and paid a price for it. Georgia would be wise to look at Virginia's experience before going down the same road.

Friday, September 15, 2006

It must be a mutation

This morning as I was driving to work, I came across a car with an interesting combination of stickers on its bumper. First I noticed the fish symbol colored in with a rainbow. That tells me this person is loudly proclaiming herself a lesiban Christian. (I could tell it was a woman driving when I passed.) The next sticker was more shocking: a W 2004 sticker.

As I drove past this lesbian of color, I became more flabbergasted. What could possibily lead a person of homosexual orientation to support Bush's re-election in 2004? Let alone a lesbian of COLOR! If anyone knows oppression, it would be a lesbian of color. I know about 29% of the gay vote went to Bush in 2004, but I figured most of that was snotty white guys who figured that greed was good and they'd have enough money to "buy" acceptance in a GOP world. That's usually how Log Cabin Republicans are at their core, despite the flowery rhetoric of "this is the only thing I don't agree with the GOP on" and "I'm more than my sexuality."

But a lesbian of color still having her W 2004 sticker on her car just boggles my mind. Here is a man who based his reelection on scaring the living crap out of conservative and rural voters with visions of forced homosexual marriages in every corner of the country, regardless of your sexuality! Bush purposely demonized LGBT people for his political purposes, which makes him no better than the segregationists of the South who did the same thing to blacks during the 1950s and 1960s especially. Luckily, the politicians who still vilifiy blacks (albeit more subtlely) in order to get elected are nearly all on the GOP side now.

How could an openly lesbian woman of faith support that man? How does she sleep at night knowing what she has contributed to? I simply do not get it. Bush's policies harm homosexuals and people of color. He's driven down wages, and given tax breaks to the most wealthy among us. He's undone good programs like Hope VI in order to pay for his military ventures. Yet, this lesbian of color (STILL kills me!) proudly puts her W2004 sticker on her car!

It makes me wonder if there's some kind of genetic defect that make people adopt a political party and set of beliefs that causes great harm not only to themselves but to everyone who is like them. Do they hate themselves that much? Or it is a mutuation that renders them incapable of rational thought?

Cathy's Revenge

The newspapers have been all atwitter about the absence of Cathy Cox from the Taylor for Governor campaign. Cathy has been very conveniently busy or travelling whenever an opportunity has arisen to appear with Mark and put on a good show for the cameras.
But today, the AJC reported that Cathy's campaign chairman, a Democratic turncoat who became Republican to preserve his seat in the legislature, has endorsed Sonny Perdue for re-election. Dan Ponder was supposed to be emblematic of how Cathy would govern in a different way, and she would reach across the aisle for the best ideas from both sides of the political spectrum. Apparently, there were a lot of GOPers eager to support the first female governor of Georgia, even if she was a Democrat.

The problem is that Cathy's campaign collapsed. Much of it was her fault, I think, and she didn't handle Mark Taylor's well-timed attacks too well. I've already documented on this blog my disappointment and anger over Cathy's reaction to the gay marriage amendment "crisis" earlier this year. I think she totally blew it and flushed her chances of election at that time. Mark Taylor did play dirty with her, there's no doubt. And the "Taylor Trolls" out there who were his most vociferous supporters (or the ones who just hated Cathy the most because she was a woman running for Governor) did more than their fair share of Cathy-bashing.

After Cathy's loss, I thought her concession speech was fantastic. It was the old Cathy Cox that I had once known and loved. However, I cannot blame her for being angry over Taylor's campaign tactics. She should not have been surprised though...he's notorious for playing rough when he has to. He always waits for his opponent to mess up first, but then he goes after them with a vengeance. After that wikipedia scandal when her campaign director Morton Brilliant amended Mark Taylor's bio to include information about his son's drunk driving and vehicular homicide charges in South Carolina...she should have known it was coming.

Cathy and her people have every right to feel bitter and angry about the primary. I look at it as a missed opportunity. I think Cathy could have peeled off GOP voters from Sonny easier than Mark will. Her campaign, though, did not do what it needed to do in order to nail down the Democratic primary. It was a case of opportunities wasted.

I think Cathy's revenge will be to stand idly by while Mark Taylor flounders and ultimately loses to Sonny in November. First, people aren't pissed off at Sonny like they were at Roy Barnes 6 years ago. Sure, Sonny's a mixture of greed, insider dealing, and broken promises packaged in a folksy grampa persona...but he doesn't have people really pissed at him. That's hard to fight in an incumbent governor. The sweetheart tax deal that Sonny had the legislature pass to save him $100,000 in taxes would have been a great start to the fall campaign, except for the fact that Mark Taylor's daddy pays him $100,000/yr and the free use of a Buckhead mansion for a couple of hours of work a month. Which is worse? I would argue Sonny's tax situation, because it was an abuse of his power and position as governor, but Mark's situation is no less sleazy and self-serving.

I'm not sure what Cathy's game plan is. Maybe she's setting her sights on 2010 to try again for Governor, or maybe someone can convince her to run for US Senate against Senator Bush, errr, Chambliss. I'm not sure inaction to let Mark fail will hurt her in the long run. She can't be seen as actively against Taylor, but she can just sit at home and do nothing to help him. Honestly, that's what a lot of Democrats in Georgia seem to be doing. We want to beat Sonny, but we're not sure Mark's the guy to do that. Cathy could have done it, maybe, but she screwed the pooch on her campaign, and there are LGBT voters who will never forgive her for the way she handled the marriage amendment being overturned. I'm not quite as harsh. I withheld my vote in the primary, and that was my punishment for Cathy. I hope she learned a lesson from it, and I'm willing to support her again in the future. I also will cast my vote for Mark Taylor, but the race doesn't get me as passionate or excited as, say, the Jim Martin campaign for Lt. Governor against that theocrat neanderthal Casey Cagel.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

YDG Democratic State Convention AFTER PARTY!

Join Us!

Following up on the great success of the YDG GADCC Dinner After Party in Macon, we're doing it again!! Please Join the Young Democrats of Georgia, and the Georgia Democrats still Young-At-Heart, as we celebrate and gather together after the Democratic Party State Convention at Shout in Midtown. Complimentary Valet Parking is available and recommended.

What: Young Democrats After-Party for the Democratic Party State Convention

When: Saturday, September 16th, 6pm-?Where: Shout in Midtown (Colony Square, 14th Street and Peachtree)

Link with Map:

Shout is located in Colong Square, where the Sheraton Midtown is also located. If you are planning on joining us for the After Party, and have a long drive home, you may want to consider booking a room at the Sheraton.

We look forward to a great evening with great Democrats!

If you have any questions, please contact Page Gleason, YDG Executive Director, at or 404-317-3563.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Adovcate seeks future LGBT political leaders

Now, I quibble with their definition of young (25 and under), but this is the gay community we're talking about, so they probably felt like they were being generous to push "young" all the way to 25 yrs old. So, if you know anyone, urge them to apply. I got this through the YDA LGBT Caucus.

The Advocate is looking for the future LGBT leaders in politics . This November will prove to be a key election for equality, and we want to hear from the young queers working behind the scenes this election cycle.
We're looking for politically active LGBT youth (25 and under):
  • Campaign/Political staffers
  • Political Action Committee members
  • Field Directors
  • Grass roots organizers
  • Campus catalysts
  • Influential bloggers
  • Environmental activists
  • Workers on the Hill
  • Coalition builders
  • Lobbyists
  • Fundraisers
  • (Other)

Please submit the attached nomination to be considered as one of The Advocate's Up-and-Coming LGBT Politicos. Those selected will be contacted for a follow-up interview and expected to provide a photograph to appear in The Advocate.
Self-nominations are strongly encouraged and any additional materials are welcome. Deadline for submissions is September 22 or ASAP.
All submissions and questions can be sent to Kevin Hauswirth,
Thank you,

Kevin Hauswirth
Editor, GenQ Editorial Advisory Board
The Advocate
+1 847.636.1791

Saturday, September 09, 2006

TalkOUT series continues this fall...

I attended a TalkOUT forum on race relations within the LGBT community last month, and it was very interesting, but poorly attended. Other than the three panelists, I was the only person of Caucasian background to attend. I found that to be a shame, along with the fact that only 4 people attended overall, including myself. The discussion was enlightening despite the poor attendance. I think these talks promise to be interesting, and the series continues this fall. I hope others will also attend. The information is below:

Talk OUT 06' Topics, Dates, Location, and Times:

Future Focused
How our Youth & Young Adults of Color play a major role in the GLBT
September 28, 2006 | 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Politic' an
The People of Color within the GLBT community, our voice and role in
October 26, 2006 | 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

War of the Sexes & Gender Diversity
Lesbians, vs. Gays, vs. the Transgendered, How the sexes clash...
November 23, 2006 | 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

GOD, the Bible, You, & Your Sexuality
The role of the Church and Religion in society and the impact on your
life and in your sexual...
December 14, 2006 | 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

All forums will be held at: City Hall East: Sherry Lyons-Williams
675 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30308
For more Info: | (877) 358-4625

For more info:
MBK's Mission is: to improve the quality of life of young men of
color by; Creating Safe Spaces, Providing Quality Programs, and
Ensuring Access to Resources.

For more info check out our New website:
Email us directly at:
Toll-Free Phone #: (877)358-4MBK(625)
Mail to us: 346 Auburn Ave, Suite 181, Atlanta, Georgia 30312
You can also join our list serves:

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Young Democrats of Georgia on MySpace

It's a little late in coming, as many of us in YDG just assumed we had a MySpace presence of some sort. That assumption was wrong, and thus has been rectified. For those who are on MySpace and interested in being part of the YDG network, go to and add YDG to your friends list.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Young Democrats of America November Meeting

Young Democrats of America Update

Greetings fellow Georgia Young Democrats!

Brooke and I wanted to update you on the annoucement of the next national meeting of the Young Democrats of America. The last general meeting was in June in Las Vegas with a theme of "What Happens in Vegas Changes America".

YDA Announces Conference in Jackson, MississippiYDA is proud to announce the location of our next conference will be in Jackson, Mississippi. The Young Democrats of Mississippi will be wonderful hosts and we are excited to spend some time in the south after the elections.
Register for the conference today!The conference registration fee of $25 per person includes lunch on Saturday and all training materials. The Registration fee does not include the hotel room fees. Reserve your room today for the special rate of $129.00, see below for hotel information.

Dates:November 17-19, 2006
Hotel Information:Marriott Jackson200 East Amite StreetJackson, MS 39201
Hotel Rate:$129.95
Hotel Reservation Information:Phone reservations ONLY 1-800-256-9194 or 601-969-5100Please tell operator you are with the "YDA Group"
Last Day to Reserve Room with Guaranteed Rate:October 27, 2006

For those who find the above hotel cost a bit pricey (which is probably everyone!), another alternative is the Edison Walthall Hotel ( about a 1/2 mile or 5 city blocks from the Marriott. I found prices ont he hotel website for $99/night and on Expedia for $90/night. With 4 people per room, that's much more affordable.

Since Jackson is about 5.5 hours from Atlanta on I-20, we will be caravaning for those who are interested. If you would like to attend, you will have a good time, as the Mississippi Young Democrats are known for their hospitality, and they have been waiting a long time to host a national meeting. It would be great to pack the place with Southerners! Please email Jason at if you plan to attend with a cc to Brooke at We can try to hook people up with roommates and rides if needed. As always, please ask us any questions you might have.

Democratically Yours,
Jason Cecil & Brooke Hesse