Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Best Of The Drifts - Senate Debate 2008

Originally published 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 sponsored 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".

No comments: