Friday, December 12, 2008

Blog Stories 2008: #7 - House District 80

We are used to politicians lying while in office. We are used to politicians lying during an election. We are not used to a politician lying before he qualifies.

When Rep. Mike Jacobs switched parties in 2007, the screams of betrayed Democrats echoed from Dunwoody to Toco Hills. Given Jacobs began his career in the trenches with Young Democrat organizations and those most passionate of supporters wore out their Buster Browns getting him elected, the first opportunity to oust the turncoat created political bloodlust.

Lust is wonderful in the short term. Cling to lust, however, and it will eventually lead you into the darkness of stupidity.

So blinded were the Democrats of the 80th, they ignored their own and fell sway to a young unknown named Keith Gross.

On paper, Gross was just fabulous. He claimed to be a successful business owner. He claimed to have a war chest full of money. And in a district where gays and lesbians are a potent demographic, the opportunity to elect Georgia's first an openly gay representative didn't hurt.

Then it all began to fall apart.

One would think such a successful businessman would be proud to roll out the resume. Strangely, Gross refused. The Southern Voice did verify the existence of one of the businesses Gross claimed to have owned but it was in Maryland. The only connection to Georgia was a website registration with a Georgia address but with a Florida telephone number.

Then the condo which didn't exist was discovered. On his qualification paperwork, Gross listed a complex which does in fact exist but a unit number which did not exist. The Gross campaign's response was Gross was concerned for his safety and didn't want people just knocking on his door.

A final twist of the tale was when snoops found not only a Keith Gross Florida drivers license but a snazzy Porsche with Florida plates.

High noon was an adminstrative hearing in July where Gross mumbled his way through questions concerning his activities and ultimately was thrown off the ballot.

Shell shocked Democrats pulled their act together quickly enough to put write-in "independent" candidate Michelle Conlon on the ballot. Hampered by lack of name recognition, little money and even less time, the earnest Conlon was trounced by Jacobs.

When all the dust settled, Gross once again disappeared and local Democrats were left to wipe the stains of snake oil from their faces.

CORRECTION: A reader reminds me that Karla Drenner was the first openly gay representative.

P.S. Honorable mention goes to the nasty slugfest in House District 81 but Top Ten only had room for one crazy ass local race this year.

Proceed to #6


Jen said...

House District 80 = FAIL!

Anonymous said...

Just as an aside, only a few folks were really fooled by this fool. He made the scene early by being snotty and stepping on many toes. Various things didn't add up for some of us right from the start.

People most likely to have been taken in; folks who were interesting in billing him for something.


Jason said...

I will also add to Jules that the Democratic activists were not taken in by Keith. He rolled in with supposedly $250K to spend, and MadDog taking him around to "clear the field". Many of us desperately tried to find someone who would run that could beat Jacobs, but no one was willing to do it with the specter of a nasty, expensive primary first.