Better known as the Georgia Democrat candidates for Secretary of State!
There are six, COUNT'EM SIX, candidates!
UPDATE I: The candidates are now asking each other questions. Hats off to the moderator for keeping the charlie foxtrot straight! Gail Buckner goes after Walter Ray who goes after Shyam Reddy.
UPDATE II: Scott Holcomb goes after Darryl Hicks about his history of a lobbyist for Atlanta Gas Light or was it Georgia Power. This is all very confusing. Hicks pivoted nicely to say that he has the ability to relate to business. Hicks and Holcomb went back and forth for several times. It's near chaos! Poor moderator.
Now Reddy is going after Hicks. First Holcomb now Reddy. Is Hicks the front runner and I don't know it?
UPDATE III: I have to say Hicks is taking the questions very well. He's very eloquent. Now here goes Angela Moore after Gail Buckner. They are talking about individual house bills they both supported. A dentist could use this instead of novacaine.
UPDATE IV: Okay, this is boring. After watching the nasty catfight that was Cagle - Reed, I'm not sure I can sustain mysef through this. Now here we go! Hicks just accused Ray of privately telling friends that Hicks is the best candidate. I have to say at this point Hicks is looking the most positive. Reddy needs to get a little livelier.
UPDATE V: Now the journalist are asking questions. First one is about voting paper trails. I'm going to bet they are all for it.
Reddy not only wants a paper trail but wants random sampling that could cause a manual recount. It sounds a bit byzantine and over the top.
Ray is for a paper trail. Shocking. At least he brought up that we are going to have to pay for it somehow.
Moore started with some bizarre answer about how she would steal an election. She wants to have an 800 number so you can call and verify that your vote is counted. That sounds even more bizarre than Reddy's double count system. Good lord how consultants would abuse that 800 number for exit polling data!
Holcomb is for paper trails. Shocking! He is for simple receipts that become the official ballot but he threw in once again his service overseas.
Hicks start right off with his business experience in auditing. Hicks wants the vendor to open up the machine and show the safeguards. Now we're talking! Open source, baby! He also wants a paper trail. Shocking!
Buckner is for a paper trail. Shocking! She's going to research and audit these machines from top to bottom. Here answer is a little bizarre ala the Ted Stevens the internet is tubes stuff.
UPDATE VI: Now voter ID. Yeehaw!
Buckner informs us that the law is on hold because of the courts. DUH! She does roll out her record against voting against both ID laws because she believes its an unfair poll tax.
Hicks thinks it's a bad bill because it disenfranchises. But if the law is passed he would enforce it. At least he understands how the job works.
Holcomb believes in common sense and protection of rights and this law fails on both. He brings up the absentee ballot issue which he believes is the real source of fraud. He wants to get people more involved not set up barriers to voting. Good answer.
Moore brings up she is native of D.C. and knows what it's like to be disenfrachised. Okay, she's a little weird. But of course that makes me like her more. Touting your not a native Georgian is probably not a wise move. She would follow the law but wants it to be fair for everyone. Wow that was pretty weird.
Ray thinks its a bad deal. His mother-in-law is 96 and has no driver's license. He does roll out that over 600k people don't have IDs. He wants to beat them at the polls. Okay, the middle of the panel is pretty out there.
Reddy points out that over 200k would be affected. He and Ray have different number I suppose. Brings up that he was an attorney that helped get the injunction. There should be a better way. Proactively issue ID cards. Better answer but he needs to be more personnable dammit!
UPDATE VII: Individual questions.
Moore is asked if she supports bringing casino gambling. She's against it.
Holcomb asked about ID theft. He's against it. Just kidding. He wants to educate the public. Which is what the Sec of State does. So that's a pretty good answer. His wife is a victim and he knows how it is. Not bad.
Reddy is asked about Sec of State being appointed instead of elected. Ray jumped into answer! He thought they were asking him. HAHAHAHA! He said Ray and Reddy are pretty similar. Anyway, Reddy came back that he thinks the people should have a say but he could see a possibility of a commission overseeing elections. That's interesting. And he seems more engaged. I think Ray's gaff may have woke him up.
Ray is asked about contactor licensing. He would work through the contractor associations. The rest is pretty boring. I just caught a shot of Reddy and he looks like he's still giggling over Ray's Oprah / Uma moment.
Moore supports bringing boxing to Georgia? She wants boxing but not gambling? Welcome to bizzaroland. Sec of State runs the boxing commission? Didn't know that. She believes this will bring in revenue quickly. I say lets get ready to rumble!
Holcomb is asked about his military service. Oh boy is that a softball! Holcombs big bit is his status as a veteran. He brings up his service in Bosnia and how that makes him want to make sure things are fair here. He's going over his whole service record and leadership. My god could he have gotten a better question!!
Buckner is asked about saving state records. Sec of State is the state historian? I'm learning all kinds of stuff! She brings up a fire that happened in the early 1900s. Didn't know that either! She's going to look for ways to duplicate records all over the state. Well I suppose that's a pretty good plan.
Hicks is asked about growth vs regulation. This is Hicks version of Holcombs question! He's running as someone who can work with business! He wants to help small businesses by offering training programs. Technology and customer service will help.
Ray is asked how you could get anything accomplished with the other party controlling the legislature. Another softball! Ray was president pro tem! He's a bridge builder and is respected by both parties. Now he's touting his legislative service like Holcomb did with his military service. Who's writing these questions? The campaigns?
Reddy is asked about illegal immigration. His primary charge is to promote economic growth. He wants to help people in rural Georgia to start business. If the legislature passes immigration laws he will enforce them but then pivots right back into encouraging new business. A bit of a stumble there.
Hicks is asked about incentives for small businesses. I swear it's the campaign managers are writing these questions! He wouldn't alienate large businesses while growing small businesses. Can someone please ask this guy about microloans? His grandfather owned a farm and he understands that a business is personal.
Holcomb is asked about his work as a securities lawyer. This is basically a repeat on identity theft question. Educate the public blah blah blah. But he is the only former prosecutor and he will pursue justice.
Moore is asked about internet access to the government. It's full of tubes! Okay she didn't say that but she believes the internet information is valuable for businesses. Especially in rural offices where people can't get to main offices. Click and pay remotely via pre-form. Not a bad answer.
Reddy is asked about experience forming coalitions. As an attorney he helped people grow their business and investors where to put their money. Huh? He brings up the Red Clay Democrats that he helped form which he should have said from the get go. He's trying to cover too much in a one minute answer. He'll build bridges.
Buckner is asked if we should have a history museum. She's asked a second history question? I swear I am not making this up. This gives her a chance to brag about her role in getting a new state archives. Which was a good thing. Who is this Capital Impact guy? His questions suck.
Holcomb is asked about negative campaigning. He believes people should run on their strength. He commends all the candidates in this race. Just wait until the runoff. I guarantee some negatives.
I'm not going to summarize the closings. Back in a moment with some final thoughts.
UPDATE VIII: Okay that was kind of fun. I've never done live blogging before. But don't expect me to do it for whatever is coming on next. It's pretty intense.
Clearly the best performance here was Darryl Hicks. He was personable and comfortable. He stayed focused on what the job of the Sec of State is and how his experience would make him a good manager. And that's really what the Sec of State is. A manager.
Scott Holcomb did pretty well too. He got his military service in at every opportunity.
Shyam Reddy I am sorry to say did not do well at all. He seemed very uncomfortable. Maybe it was the format. Maybe it was being on TV. It's surprsing because in person Shyam is really a nice and personable guy. If he makes the runoff, his staff better have him better prepared next time.
That's all for now. I'm going soak my fingers in Palmolive.