Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In Which I Hate On Everyone

Georgia is quiet. The Dems are partying in Denver and you can follow their exploits at Tondee's and BfD.

You can even check out the antics of those who breathlessly grab their precious credentials and race to the convention floor to hear a speech that doesn't happen. The over/under on his retractions/non-disclosures is set at 2.

Back here in Georgia, far from the glitter, Fay sputters and spews, running rivers down into the sewers. Something compels me to follow the flow down into the darkness. Today, I'll be your janitor. Welcome to the sludge.

Atlantans And The Weather

What can keep a veteran political journalist from scooting off to Denver to rub elbows with the current powers that be? Well, probably budget cuts in the travel office. But what better to salve that wound than to send him out in the rain to stand in front of a blowed over tree to talk about Atlanta's never ending obsession with bad weather.

Two weeks ago, I sat in my little cabin in south Georgia as a squall line walked in. It was serious enough to make me consider crawling under a desk. But I never did. I continued watching my television with its spare, tiny crawl unobtrusively listing the counties under the ubiqutous tornado watch and ate a sandwich.

If I had been in Atlanta, there is little doubt I would have been inundated with bobbleheads screaming about STORM WATCH '08!

It's a good thing to have a place of perspective to flee the madness.

SpaceyG and The PP Boys

Yeah, I haven't commented on it. So what? Okay, fine I will.

As I told a friend, "Peach Pundit is the idiot pool but Spacey knew the rules before she jumped in". Spacey knew the site is primarily dedicated to Georgia politics, she continued to flaunt her violations of this parameter even after being warned and ultimately got booted. During her tenure and even after, she was heaped on with abuse - much over the line and uncalled for. Having said that, part of my own personal ethic is if you are an online persona you have to be able to defend yourself. Knowing SpaceyG as I do, I'm pretty sure she's got that covered.

So why comment now? Because of this stupid and classless comment. Some of the PP boys obviously miss their old whipping post. Even after successfully vanquishing the uppity woman they just can't resist the desire to take one more smack.

Classless. Erick, you're editor-in-chief. Does class not count for the "premier political blog in Georgia"?

Republicans And The Chi-Coms And The Nazis Blah Blah Blah

Williams Ayers, Reverend Wright, Tony Rezko, Chi-Coms, The Red Scare, wash, rinse, repeat.

Of course some take it a step further. Some choose to wade up to their chests in Godwin's law.

Comparison to Nazi Propogandist Leni Riefenstahl? Check. Actually comparing the Democratic Convention to a Nuremburg Rally? Check. (To be fair that last one was an idiotic commentor and as far as I know has no relationship to Jason who even when we disagree doesn't resort to this crap)

Yeah. You guys are the ones that relate to mainstream America. Keep on ascribing such self-importance while spewing statements so assinine a mule would disown you and we will continue to watch your party slip further and further into the wilderness.

Powell And The Democrats

As good as the copy is, I am rightly sick of Handel vs. Powell. What was once an interesting conversation about the law and separation of powers has become an opportunity for every tin-foil hat, voting conspiracy nut to crawl out of Democratic Party woodwork.

As I told an insider the whole thing can best be summed up as "Wendy Shoob is a nut and you guys got lucky."

But go ahead and continue to overplay your hand. Jump at every imagined booger in the Diebold bush instead of coming up with a coherent message to actually beat Handel in the court of public opinion instead of the court of crazy.

It's worked so well for you over the past six years.

The Shill For Karen Handel

And now back up out of the sewers to the greasy skies of Fay panicked Atlanta. I'm not sure which is better.


Amber Rhea said...

Erick is full of shit and I don't understand how anyone can actually believe that "premier political blog in Georgia" line. It's transparent as hell.

Unknown said...

Is the Administrative Law Judge that ruled for Powell initially also a nut? What about the Court of Appeals/Supreme Court justices that are going to affirm this ruling?

Admit you were wrong, c'mon even in a comment that no one will read?

griftdrift said...

No. The ALJ followed the law. As did Handel. Something you Chris and your followers travellers on the road of this is the worst political scandal of all time seem to not understand.

Shoob? Not so much.

Wouldn't you feel much better if you just could admit you don't really give a damn about the law and will settle for the political victory at all costs?

Sara said...

Appellate courts let rulings stand all the time not because they agree with their reasoning but because they don't want to deal with it. I wouldn't take appellate affirmance (especially one without a detailed written opinion on the issue) to be proof of the rightness or wrongness of any legal proposition. It's only decided when the court hears and decides the statutory interpretation issue on the merits, which they are very unlikely to do here.

griftdrift said...

And nice attempt at a flame. I haven't heard the "no one pays attention to you anyway" variation in quite a while.

Now why don't you wander back over to the nicey places you came from where the flames are just toasty warm enough to scorch a few marshmellows.

Anonymous said...

I will say one thing for this. If Powell does win out this case and stays on the ballot, he needs to send Handel some flowers for keeping his name in the news when this race would be otherwise disregarded. He's getting publicity he couldn't buy otherwise.

Having read the briefs (do some digging, you can find them), Judge Shoob essentially deferred to the Dozier v. Baker precedent. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

rptrcub said...

What's frightening about Erick is that he actually holds political power, albeit in the cesspool on the Ocmulgee. (Yes, I lived there, too. So I can talk smack about the town if I want.)

Grifty, it sounds like you might be closer to a stroke than I am, although I have these rantings on a weekly- to semi-weekly basis. You have my total respect, and I'll be seeing you in the neurology ward.

Unknown said...

Can anyone post the actual ALJ findings somewhere? I'm almost positive he says he thinks Powell should stay on the ballot. Grift?

griftdrift said...

Well Scott it would have been nice if she could have mentioned that in her freaking order. I'll dig around.

griftdrift said...

He or she did Chris. And Handel reversed (which is well within her legal ability) and that's what started this whole mess.

Unknown said...

So the question then becomes why is she doing this?

On the one hand, maybe you could argue that Cox and prior SOS's should have been more strict about the standard they applied to these challenges in the past. I certainly would have liked that in the case of Ralph Hudgens and Roger Williams in 2004 (much stronger cases were made against them than the one against Powell).

On the other hand, a guy named "Jim Powell" is running against a guy named "Lauren MacDonald" in what is about to be the best year for Democrats since at least 1998. Powell's primary victory proves that when voters don't know anything about a race they'll pick the name that sounds most familiar. Jim Powell is a more common name than Lauren MacDonald.

All things being equal, I also think Powell is the most impressive Democratic candidate to run for this office in years. Certainly more of a consumer advocate than David Burgess (who while very intelligent on PSC issues leaned too much towards industry) and there really is no comparison with Mac Barber.

So why Powell? My primary opponent voted in the February primary in a different district than the one she was running in. She wasn't registered to vote in the district she was running in until April. Yet the judge said she was qualified (as a judge also did with Powell). Why didn't Handel pick and choose from the various findings of facts in that case?

griftdrift said...

Is this Huttman?

Can someone recount the number of times I've said this was politically motivated and the Democrats should use that against Handel?

Unknown said...

Yeah. I'm just curious why you're going so far out of your way to defend Handel's actions in this case?

Sure, Shoob is a great judge to draw if you are Powell, but I don't believe she was the one that entered in the initial stay to keep Powell on the ballot and I believe the appellate court will also uphold the decision.

Candidates should be treated equally as much as is possible. That's why the process of submitting to the ALJ exists in the first place. It allows a hearing to be conducted and an impartial opinion to be given out that the SOS can just follow. Cox was glad to just rubberstamp whatever the ALJ's said as it prevented her from having to play politics in the office.

Imagine going to court because your car hit another car. The jury determines that yes, your car hit the other car, but no, you aren't at fault. And then the judge ignores the not at fault part and says "well the court did rule that your car hit the other car". That's essentially what Handel has done here. Yes, the court found that the homestead wasn't at the Towns County house, but at the same time ruled the homestead requirement in itself isn't determinant, particularly if Powell was trying to move it and due to a quirk in the law (they only re-evaluate these things in a small window) wasn't able to. Handel took that one part (my car hit your car) and ignored everything else.

In my own case, I bought my current residence in 2005 but wasn't able to take occupancy until March 2006 due to construction delays. You can't file for a homestead exemption after March 1st. The homestead exemption isn't issued until that summer. Although Georgia law says that a homestead exemption is where you live, the ALJ's and the SOS have historically taken into account that for example someone like me wouldn't have gotten a homestead until 15 months after I had been living at the property. Did I not live there for 15 months?

In the same manner, a voter filed a residency challenge against my primary opponent because she had not registered to vote in the district until April 2008. In February she signed an official legal document that said her address was elsewhere (not in the district) so that she could vote by absentee ballot in the Presidential primary. The voter challenged residency based on this. The judge ruled that she had in fact lived in the district for more than a year, even though she was tardy in updating her registration.

Keep in mind that it is against the law to vote at an address you don't live at, which is what she did in February. Didn't matter. The judge said she lived there. So why didn't Handel say "she either lived elsewhere in February when she voted, or she broke the law by saying she did, she's off the ballot."

Who knows? To me, Jim Powell's good faith effort to change his homestead (and failure to do so) seems like a more valid reason to stay on the ballot than someone who voted in a different district just two months before qualifying. In both cases the ALJ said let them stay on. In one case Handel reversed (incorrectly in the opinion of myself and Wendy Shoob and soon to be future lawyers) and yet Handel keeps fighting this case.

Seems like there are better ways to spend state money during a $1.5 billion shortfall. I guess Handel perceives the damage to her reputation in Republican circles if she gives up now to be greater than the cost of continuing a futile fight.

Unknown said...

What I've gathered from the prior posts, are:
(a) Handel's actions are completely legal and generally evil, to the tune of election rigging.
(b) Shoob's ruling might be legally groundless, but is relatively good, in that it negates (or at least, postpones) the preceding evil.

A statement of (il)legality is not a defense of an action's nature.

Chris, your refusal to differentiate between the two concepts not only amounts to a demand for fealty (or punishment for disloyalty), it implies your support for Handel's tactics, and your willingness to use them if placed in a position to do so.

This, as opposed to analyzing the laws in question, maybe floating some constructive changes to said laws. I realize that's (technically) a job for the legislature, but if you were honest to begin with, you wouldn't have a problem with either doing so, or reading from those who did.

Instead you chose, at this late stage, to declare truth wrong, then spray ink like a squid when called on it. You're more akin to Erickson, and until you can actually demonstrate honesty, you can go jump in the river.

Joeventures said...

I'm beginning to see a patter, which I would call "Godwin's meta-Law."

As comparisons to Hitler increase, the probability of references to Godwin's Law also increases.

Joeventures said...

err.. pattern.

There is no patter of Godwin's feet.