C’mon Sen. Fort, your media consultants sent out a negative mailer using information from Graham Balch’s personnel records, really, really? The mailer says it retrieved the information from “APS Office of Internal Resolution: Employee Relations Report, 6/30/2009, via public records request”. Is that what negative campaigning is headed towards? On top of it all, it seems like a wasted piece of research and a lot of dead trees. You can do better than this.


28 Responses to I expected so much more from Sen. Fort

  1. Deb A says:

    Robert, I think I know you. You are one of the two who have been posting over at Creative Loafing under the article on this race. i say that since what is post is almost word for work for posts that have been made there. If I wasn’t convinced before, I am now that those two folks were the same person and were Fort plants. Nice job! I also asked you two days ago to post the APS records and yet it has yet to happen.

    Also, if this was a violation of Federal laws, don’t you think Balch would have been fired by now?

  2. Robert says:

    My understanding is that Graham actually apologized and admitted his conduct was wrong. If that could be proven, then what would you say?

  3. Robert says:

    I have no idea what you are talking about. I am just me. So maybe your technology is bad. But I can tell you this, saying the someone is bipolar or whatever, sure isn’t addressing the substance of what is being said.

    Look people, no one dislikes Graham. he is probably a nice guy. I read his bio on his web page. Well I read two version of it. THe first version wa quite different from the second version. He changed it after being called out on all the Republican stuff. Yet another reason why I feel he has poor leadership because he has attempted to trick people into thinking he was being honest all along. But really he was hiding things (the full picture of who he really is) and then got called out, AND then “fessed up.” When all he had to do was lay everything out and let people decide for themselves. Good thing someone researched him, he needed to be researched given all that I have read.

    As far as monitoring goes. I think that Graham has someone monitoring because every blog I go to to talk I see his people on it saying things about Senator Fort.

    But what I was saying is that I don’t dislike graham. But I do feel that his supporters are willing to turn a blind eye to things that is Senator Fort had done, you guys would be all over. For example, if you knew Senator Fort voted for Bush, you’d be sick, you’d be all over the place. If you just knew Fort voted in the, 2004, general election as a Republican, all of you would be up in arms. Graham did, and every one blows it off. I do not want to be forced to break down Graham’s republic ties and voter/registration record on this site. It is very extensive, VERY.

    I will say this. Everyone on this site probably hold themselves out to be at least some what intelligent. So if I told you someone was barely a racist, is it logical to say that the person is a racist, even if barely so. Well it is supposedly barely true that graham is Republican, then to me that mean it is true, even if barely so. Maybe I am off. Please let me know.

  4. Deb A says:

    I do not deny that there is a file on Graham. What I deny is that the file contains any more than accusations. Unproven accusations. It is easy to come up and say they he was accused of something. But let’s face it, if these documents clearly proved that Graham did what they say, they would be posting them online for all to read. It is people like you Marlene who are misleading the public. Notice how everything Graham cited about Fort he gave links that people could go online and research for themselves. Not have to take the time (and incur the cost) of doing an Open Records request.

    And I did ask Graham. It was the first thing I did. And he denies it. Plus his wife also denies it. I have also spoken to Graham in person about his work at Grady and I have seen how his face lights up when he talks about it, how proud he is to work there and how all he wants is to give his students the best education possible.

  5. Marlene says:

    Deb A, don’t mislead the public. No media consulting firm releases that info unless its backed up by documented records b/c they are scared of getting their butts sued. See the footnoted citations to the APS open records on the mailer.

    But to solve this problem it is very simple. There were forty other people at the dinner and several eye witnesses including the teacher who finally broke down and dropped the charges after Graham begged her to death to do so in order to save his political career.

    Why don’t you just ASK GRAHAM? Ask him if he released private, student confidential info? Ask him if he called Grady ghetto?

    This will resolve any dispute. While I may think Graham is a Republican and lacks good judgment, I don’t think he is a liar. I think he will fess up to the truth if asked.

    Just ask him, simple as that.

    • Bernita says:

      and yet another name – “Marlene”. Forget tri-polar I’m thinking straight up schizophrenic.

  6. Deb A says:

    I think it is obvious that Fort’s campaign is monitoring this website and coming on and posting multiple times in order to try and drive the discussion in the way they want. But it all boils down to this for me: if the records he has are so damning, what has he not posted them online?

  7. Robert says:

    I read on here about Senator Fort paying for opposition Research. All I can say is that I know for a fact that Graham Balch paid a member and advocate of the Dekalb Tea Party for consulting and research work. That is really crazy to me. I looked the person up and he does all the smear campaigns for extreme Republicans in Georgia. Balch brought this guy on to help with his campaign.

    As far as the Grady situation, what really concerns me is the disclosure of children’s information. That is very unprofessional. And as an educator, I know that is a big NO-NO.

    Graham should apologize if he has not already to the child, the child’s parents, and anyone who was there listening to him reveal personal information. Actually that is a federal violation. Very unprofessional and demonstrates a complete lack of respect and judgment.

    Honestly my biggest problem with Graham: his judgment. I have been reading all these blogs and verifying some of the comments. Unfortunately, it’s true that, in 2008, Graham supported a racist, anti-gay, anti-semite (Paul Weyrick) to be in Obama’s DREAM cabinet. I could not believe it when I read it and when I verified it, I was even more shocked. I personally would never want a racist, homophobic, anti-semite as part of any cabinet, no less my DREAM cabinet.

    I looked up the voting accusations too. And there accurate. But what concerns me more is that it is one thing to reach across the aisle, I understand that. But graham seems to pick Republicans that are really extreme and not at all in line with modern democrat philosophy on issues such as, for example, the environment.

    I could not believe when I verified that, in 2008, he wanted Christine Whitman back as head of the EPA. I was shocked. In case any of you do not know, Christine Todd Whitman was severely criticized by several federal judges for lying to the American public after 9/11. Her lies placed thousands of American Citizens at risk of death. Some died. The Judges were horrified at her behavior and called it unconscionable, amongst other things. That is what I read.

    So Graham to me is showing us who he would surround himself with. People like Paul Weyrich and Whitman? We have to really pay attention to these things because he has no legislative voting record, so these type of things mean even more in his case.

    As far as the ghetto thing. He should not have called Grady that. I will get the APS records, read them, and post them to makes sure the context is accurate. I sure do hope he did not do that.

    • Bernita says:

      Oh wow “Ashley P” and “Susan” has now added a new name “Robert”. I thought it was a person with bipolar now I guess they are tri-polar. Awesome!! Loving the multiple personalities.

  8. Deb A says:

    Susan, if you did this and are so concerned because you have a child there, why not post the records online? Share them with everyone so they can see for themselves?

  9. Deb A says:

    And you were so disturbed, you took the time to go down there and do an open records request? Really? Well then how about posting the documents online? How about posting them on Google Docs? If you need help, I’d be glad to work with you.

    And if he did this in front of SOOO many witnesses, wouldn’t he have been fired?

    Somehow Ashley your story just doesn’t hold water. You rather seem like a plant.

    • Bernita says:

      DebA, just so you know “Ashley P.” and “Susan” are the same person. They don’t understand that there is this technology call the internets and it tracks IP addresses.

  10. Susan says:

    I asked to see the records myself as well after being extremely concerned as I am a parent with kids over at Grady High School.

    The investigation revealed that he disclosed very confidential student records (private information about personal family problems using specific first and last names of students), additionally he was overheard talking to over forty people at this neighborhood dinner event, expressing very hurtful demeaning comments about Grady High School and their school principal Dr. Vincent Murray–including calling Grady “Ghetto” while talking about his political aspirations.

    This to me just lacks good judgment and common sense.

    If Mr. Balch exercises such poor judgment as a teacher, how are we expected to trust him to use good judgment as a state senator?

    Finally, I was most concerned to note that HE WAS NEVER CLEARED OF THIS INVESTIGATION.

  11. Ashley P. says:

    YES He did call it Ghetto and YES he did release very private confidential student information in violation of federal law!!! I was so disturbed when I heard about this, I open record requested it myself.

    The independent outside investigation after a fellow teacher reported the incident that had occurred in front of multiple eye witnesses from the neighborhood westside progressive dinner. Graham showed up uninvited and began campaigning. Incident happened in June of 2009.

    Around approximately forty people Mr. Balch began expressing how “Henry W. Grady High School was a ghetto school and many students had problems” he then began disclosing first and last names and mentioning their very personal, private specific confidential problems in direct violation of federal FERPA privacy laws.

  12. Deb A says:

    No he didn’t. A teacher at Grady who made an accusation that he called Grady “ghetto” and talked about a student’s private records. APS looked into it and found it so false that an investigation was never even warranted. Of course Fort doesn’t mention that. Let’s be honest, if this was really true, wouldn’t Fort have gone to the press with these documents? Wouldn’t he post them online for all to read? The fact that he hasn’t tells you that what he has was merely an accusation and nothing more.

  13. Hmmmmmmmm says:

    Wait, did Balch call Grady ghetto?

  14. Deb A says:

    FYI, Sam. You said “The party is using funds against a fellow Democrat? Disgusting!” Look at Fort’s campaign expenses. He spent 30,000 to the GA Democratic party. Why? So they would spend the money and do this. See, this let’s him appear to take the high road. He can say “oh, well, I didn’t do this, the party did. How terrible”. But they did this with the 30,000 he gave to them. And they got this “information” from the 6500 Fort spent on opposition research.

  15. Deb A says:

    This is pathetic. It is pathetic that Fort has stooped so low to this (although not surprising. Isn’t this merely playing the race card? And doesn’t Fort do that all of the time?) and that the Dem Party went along with it. And this is one reason while I will never give the Dem party of GA a cent. I don’t like it when Republican’s pull crap like this and I hate it even more when we do.

    Look at Fort’s campaign expenses, he paid 6500s to a law firm that specializes in opposition research. And again, this is something we HATE when the Republicans do to Democrats, so it shouldn’t be any better when we do it to each other. Now who is the acting like the Republican, eh?

    My sister is a teacher in NJ. She is president of her union and has been a teache for over 20 years. I know from talking to her just how easy it is for someone to make an accusation against you. As a teacher you risk pissing off students, fellow teachers, administration, and parents. Getting accused of something is just part of the job when you are a teacher. Besides, being accused and being found guilty are two different things. Was he found guilty? Aren’t we as a nation founded on the concept of innocent until proven guilty? If this evidence is so damning, why isn’t Fort posting it all online, so everyone can read it and get the full context? In this day and age this would be easy to do. The fact that he doesn’t speaks volumns to me.

    As for what kind of teacher he is, why not read what one of his students had to say:

    As for

  16. Mario H. says:

    This is an interesting strategy, and ridiculous. I teach at Grady HS and have worked with Graham. He’s a good guy who believes in a quality education for all students and strives to improve a system that is rife with challenges. Do we agree on all points? No. Yet we have wonderful conversations and come away thinking about things differently. THAT is the type of person who should be in politics. The problem I find with the current political climate is that if both sides dig their heels in for a “progressive” or “conservative” advantage, everyone is at a disadvantage. Consensus is what has made our political machine work, not standing by an American flag, pounding your chest, declaring you are right and know best. That is fine for an Oliver Stone movie, but not for real life. The flyer is a desperate attempt at making the political climate so negative that people don’t vote. I believe that people are smarter than that. The comment was made that Graham may be “naive.” The problem with that comment is that using that argument just shows how jaded people have become. When everyone is yelling no one is listening. I know that Graham listens. Start listening to people, not political machines.

  17. Hmmmmmmmm says:

    You don’t have a dog in this fight? Really? I would have expected so much more.
    You KNOW Fort has been on the front lines of active progressive resistance to the far right ideology that consumes this state.
    Balch’s meek and wishy washy “I want to work together with the republicans blah blah blah” is the most pathetically naive crap I’ve ever heard. It completely shows his lack of depth and understanding of political maneuvering and compromise. In short, Balch would get eaten alive.

    Someone, please: what in the world makes this man qualified to represent such an important district?

    Prediction: Fort by .7%

    • Bernita says:

      “Prediction: Fort by .7%” – Now that has to be the boldest election prediction all season.

  18. Drew says:

    Ouch. Don’t mess with Vincent Fort.

    Being but an observer of this sort of stuff, what motivation, if any, might have prompted Fort to release this mailer after early voted had ended? Seems like it’s the sort of thing that’d drive people to the polls.

  19. Hmmmmmmmm says:

    Where were you when Balch sent out his negative pieces, Bernita?

    Someone give me one reason to vote for Balch other than he’s not Vincent Fort.

    • Bernita says:

      Here’s the difference: Balch sent out negative pieces attacking Fort on issues that can be easily proven: missed votes, voting yes on certain bills, etc. Fort sent out a negative piece using info from the Balch’s personnel records that we don’t even know the context of the discussion and why Balch made such statements.

      I don’t have a dog in this fight nor can I vote for either candidate. I would have expected Sen. Fort to take the higher ground and spend more time highlighting his great work in the community.

  20. Will says:

    The fact is that Vincent Fort voted for increasing taxes on hard-working families while not paying his own. The fact is that Vincent Fort is one of the most absentee Senators in the Georgia State Senate. The fact is he is grasping for straws and is out-of-touch with everyday people.

  21. Sara says:

    Yuck. I guess he decided not to take the high road. The ghetto comment is a stupid thing to have said (though we have no context), but I dislike the thinly-veiled way Sen. Fort is using it here.

    • Sam says:

      What?!? and it’s “paid for by the Senate Majority Fund, a Project of the Democratic Party of Georgia.” The party is using funds against a fellow Democrat? Disgusting! They’ve lost my vote and dues.

      • Seriously? says:

        The purpose of the Senate Majority Fund is to protect incumbents. The party at all levels often tries to protect incumbents (see Pennsylvania.)

        Welcome to politics.