Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Outsiders In Athens

Sometimes, it is about who ain't there.

Although a resident of Athens, Democratic Party Chair Jane Kidd was not. Despite resigning his party post the previous day, former Vice Chair of Constituent Services Virgilio Perez-Pascoe was.

U.S. Senate candidates Dale Cardwell, Rand Knight and Josh Lanier were. Coy Vernon Jones and apparent Democratic Party of Georgia darling Jim Martin were not.

The "greasers" showed up for the rumble but the "socs" were nowhere to be seen.

Although the absence of the putative front runners was not the only topic at Wednesday's debate sponsered by the Young Democrats of UGA, the three attendee politicians took quite a few swipes at the big bucks boys as well as the party they are vying to represent.

Josh Lanier, whose campaign has been defined by campaign finance reform, pondered the possibility that Martin and Jones were too busy raising funds. Given, he said, a sitting Senator uses 1/3 of the day to raise money, the absent candidates were acting like "Saxby Chambliss with a blue tie".

Dale Cardwell was more blunt. He noted a study which showed 99.7% of the U.S. population does not contribute to political campaigns and said he believes Martin and Jones count on voters to choose the person they "dislike the least".

"Young" Rand Knight called forth the ghosts of elections past comparing the $330,000 Jim Martin raised in the first ten days of his campaign to an alledged $310,000 debt from his last campaign. He also noted Sonny Perdue beat Roy Barnes in 2002 despite an 8 to 1 money disadvantage.

When asked if all three would support any eventual Democratic nominee, Knight proclaimed "any Democrat is better than Saxby Chambliss". Cardwell levelled the harshest criticism of the night, openly alledging his belief Vernon Jones is being paid by the opposition to run. Cardwell flatly refused to support Jones but agreed he would support any of the other candidates. Lanier demured, reserving judgment, but agreed somewhat with Cardwell that everything he read supported allegations of Jones supporting Republicans in the past.

As the three insurgent candidates move on to future confrontations, they find themselves only two months away from the fateful primary day where voters will deterimine if they are Johnny slowly slipping away in a hospitial bed or Ponyboy surviving and striving to "stay gold".


Anonymous said...

Thank you for making the trek so I didn't have to. I will purchase appropraite amounts of beer for you in the near future to show my appreciation for not making the drive.

Jim a now show, uuuuummmm


pc said...

What do you all think of Josh Lanier? I like his ideas for taking money out of politics (he supports the "Fair Elections Now Act"). He says he will also fight to end the war in Iraq and bring about universal healthcare, which are two huge issues. Even though he only accepts donations of $100 or less, if a bunch of Georgians got behind him he could win the primary. Plus he has the best message to beat Saxby in November. Thoughts?

James said...

pc must be a lanier staffer. Oh wait, Lanier doesn't have enough money to pay any staffers.

As good as his message may be (which it isn't), his campaign is crippled from the beginning with his refusal to raise any money.

Good luck turning out voters without ads!

pc said...

It will be difficult for any of the Senate candidates besides perhaps Martin to run lots of ads statewide, so in that regard, the race is a fairly level playing field.

James said...

Jones and Martin could run ads. But I'm talking about the general also.

Lanier is boring anyways. If not his inability to raise money, it will be his inability to stay awake that ends his campaign.

pc said...

One thing's for sure, Chambliss will bow to the special interests and make sure he has a bunch of cash for ads. I wish politics and government were about more than money. I think it could be, but it will take us citizens and good political leaders to make it happen. BTW, I've met Josh and think he's a fairly thoughtful and funny guy. Just seems like a straight-shooter.

Unknown said...

Campaign election reform is essential if issues are going to matter in campaigns. Unless the election system is changed, the money game will continue to rule; leaving the ordinary person out in the cold and unrepresented.

Most people want to be represented. Josh Lanier will represent the people, and not special interests!

How can Georgia afford not to elect Josh Lanier?

To find out more about Josh Lanier's "Un-campaign", please
visit the Josh Lanier for Senate website: