It’s a new day in GA, with a complete sweep of our constitutional officers out of office.

At certain points in time, we’ve all wondered what the bottom would look like.

I think we now know.

There were bright spots… Congratulations to Elena Parent!

Anything constructive you’d like to say?  Play nice.


69 Responses to Sigh, and so we begin anew

  1. Tina S says:

    What I see happening is a replay of the 1950s and earlier when Georgia was a one party state with Democrats in charge. It’s the same people, better suits, same fake-populist appeal to white voters, only now they are Republicans. Perhaps it is their historical swan-song, or can they generate enough clones to keep their attitudes going? At any rate, our hope lies in appealing to the under-represented (some of whom don’t even KNOW they are under-represented), the newcomers, the younger people, and others whose minds have not been closed…or whose true interests can be appealed to with good results. Democrats do a lot of preaching to the choir. We need to look very closely at the factors that will make our target groups enthusiastic. Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

  2. Justin McDaniel says:

    The jobs vs deficts tradeoff is just not politically viable. The unemployment rate is the crest of a wave that was in the making years ago, and is fueled partially by uncertainty, but primarily by structural changes to the economy.

    To think that any lone politician, at any level, has the ability to influence this problem, is crazy. Particularly so in a messaging landscape that has been tilled very effectively by the idea that short term deficts in order to fund significant elements of the economy (and create jobs) are the second coming of Lenin.

  3. JMPrince says:

    The secret also lies in R.J’s much touted plan for Rockdale, which if I recall his stump speech correctly added 20K new voters to the county rolls ~2008. We always need more massive voter registration drives. That’s essential as it is fundamental for survival, especially here & now. JMP

  4. JMPrince says:

    Some obscure reasons for a debacle, somewhere near the top might be found here:

    Your fondest dreams realized, or not:

    I’ll also make the safe prediction that the Orange man from OH will not only be more entertaining than imagined, but more effective too.

    But overall? You really ought not to keep your job anywhere in politics with 2+ years of @ or near 10% unemployment. You’re either working furiously every day to correct the problem or you’re part of it. JMP

  5. JMPrince says:

    What Steve said & most of what Ms. Buckner is saying. And welcome to Miss., 1945. The only real constant in recent Ga. politics being, ‘don’t worry, it can and likely will get a whole lot worse’.

  6. Jason says:

    As of today, we live in a one-party state once again. I’m not sure why Georgia seems to only want to have single party rule, but here we are. Our destruction is fairly complete for now. But hold on to your hats, because redistricting will show us exactly how low we can go. The GOP will redistrict us into oblivion and do its best to make sure the only elected Democrats are black…part of that whole “Democrats = Black, Republican = White” thing they’ve been pushing for so long. I don’t think our final shoe will drop until the 2012 elections when we will face the newly gerrymandered districts.

    Hopefully the state party will rebuild itself with a focus to be able to have Democrats elected. This means a focus on the grassroots party structures at the county level. We can’t just write off rural or south GA. We need to be honest about who we are as a party, and just keep repeating it until the folks trusting the GOP will finally listen. Who knows if we can accomplish this, but I am hopeful that a new generation of leaders that Amy mentioned will help lead us out of the darkness. Either that, or we seriously need to a move to different state.

  7. Richard Williams says:

    Poor House 81 with Parent.Think,I’ll sell my houseand move that airhead as my House Representative.The DeKalb Delegation can forget about getting their bills on the House floor now.Voters, have spoekn but the actions of tha t vote will screw and hurt DeKalb County

  8. Gail Buckner says:

    Someone pointed out to me that my name was mentioned in an earlier post, so let me help you folks out with the facts- I was not a Write-In candidate against Rep. Mike Glanton. According to Georgia law, I could have been a Write-In candidate for Senate 44. This information is easily accessed on the Secretary of State’s website.

    Now for a little background: Another person had announced as a Write-In for Senate 44 so I ventured out as a Write-In for House 76 because I, like other informed citizens, found Sandra Scott unacceptable. She was removed by the Governor from the Clayton County School Board for causing the Clayton County School System to lose accreditation. We felt that she was an embarassment to the Democratic Party, as well as our community. How sad that the “movement” helped put her into that position because there were two other good choices. Now not only is Clayton County stuck with her for two years, so is the Democratic Party.

    Personally speaking, let me assure you that there are numerous other things that I could do rather than “rilly, rilly want to go to the Gold Dome” where I work for about 75 cents an hour to help others rather than just looking our for my family. For going on 30 years, I’ve just been too passionate for my own good when it comes to trying to address economic and social issues, so I don’t take kindly to people that reflect badly on my community. When the Clayton County School System lost accreditation, Georgia was in the national news. The Clayton County School System lost $23 million in federal funding, and we were left to provide necessary services without this money. Our property values hit rock bottom and our taxes went up. More than 3,200 students left the school system. Surrounding counties were calling the Governor’s Office complaining that they didn’t want to take these students. I’ve been told that 17,000 calls were received.

    I ran for the Senate in 2008 for these same issues and reasons. Gail Davenport, who had been elected when our long-serving senator retired, had also embarassed us at the Capitol with her unprofessional behavior while trying to pass a bill to give Victor Hill a pay raise. Since Sheriff Hill cost our county an infinite amount of money, most other folks thought that he didn’t deserve a pay raise. When the Lt. Governor calls the local elected officials and tells them that Clayton County’s senator won’t be getting any thing from the Senate because of her conduct, that is a problem that impacts all of us.

    Likewise, Davenport defended the dysfunctional school board members throughtout the loss of accreditation and even through the Run-Off. I’ve been in programs with our students and they would get tears in their eyes as they asked questions about their school system and their HOPE Scholarships that they had lost. Special legislation had to be pushed through to allow these students to receive the only money that most of them would have to attend a higher education institution. Our school officials had to call presidents and admissions officers of universities and colleges to convince them to accept our students. Those students earned almost $14 million in scholarships that year, and they didn’t deserved being betrayed by the persons that should have been protecting them.

    Well, the citizens of House 76 heeded their mandate to vote straight down the entire ticket, so now they have Sandra Scott as their State Representative- and so does the Democratic Party. I truly hope that Sandra Scott will accomplish outstanding things for all concerned, but based on her track record of being removed from office after only two year of service, I suppose the likelyhood of that happening is about as great as my chances of winning a Write-In in a state that doesn’t even post a list of Write-In candidates at the terminals. And, how silly of me to think that a majority of the voters would consider the importance of the national attention that I brought to our community and the Democratic Party via the three national awards that were presented to projects that I coordinated versus the national attention that Sandra Scott brought us.

    One the lighter side- a citizen in the district told me that at least Sandra Scott was sent a message. My response was that next time he could just send a singing telegram because I’ve done my part.

    If there are any other facts or commentary that I can provide, don’t hesitate to ask. Don’t be uninformed because the inside scoop can always be very interesting, as well as to help use up more space!

  9. Steve Golden says:

    I’m incredibly depressed (politically at least, on other levels, I’m doing just fine thank you). Beyond anything else, we saw bona fide crooks and liars elected at nearly every level over some amazing Democratic candidates (but, to be quite frank, they could have affiliated with any named party and been just as good). Just to name a few– Chris Irvin, Jack Lance, and Matt Roberts.

    But of course I am sorest about Will Avery’s loss. We’re all taking it especially hard, particularly given how dedicated he was, the passion he has, and the future he promised. Worse yet was the “person” who won. I feel truly sorry for Paulding County. They lost a great guy in Will Avery.

    I’ll have more to say soon. I expected much of what of occurred last night here in Georgia, and there are a number of things that need to change, and quickly (and I damned well know I’m not the only one). But for right now, I need to decompress and think about what’s next.

  10. It seems to me that branding the Democratic Party as the party it is: one that stands for the middle and working class; quality public education; fairness in employment, judiciary, and commerce; and care for the weak among us; is a message that can reach beyond the blue island of metro Atlanta.

    The problem is that we have done VERY LITTLE to brand the party. We try to make electing Democrats a means to building the party, instead of building the party as a means to electing Democrats.

    You know what Einstein said: Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    • Rubyduby says:

      It figures that I said the exact same thing to Brian this morning! We have no message. Now can we please stop listening to the same pathetic people who continue to do the same sad campaigns that don’t win and try something different? Pretty please with sugar on top?

  11. MouthoftheSouth says:

    Additionally, it is easier to trend toward the mean than away from it. We get 90% of the Black vote and 23% of the White. It is easier to get to 35% of the white vote then it would be to go from say, 78% of the Black vote to 90%.

    However, those numbers reflect a problem that our party does not want to address. Robert Brown talks about this sometimes, and that is the goal of Republicans to identify the Dems as an African American party. Well it looks like we are there.

    • Sara says:

      We need to figure out how to deal with the island of Atlanta in a sea of rural south. Take away Atlanta and we have nearly the same demographics of Alabama or Mississippi. It is too easy right now to marginalize Atlanta-based politicians in statewide races by making them seem like “not one of us” ro the rest of Georgia, be that because they’re citified, or black, or liberal, or whatever.

      This is why I am not content to write off running folks in rural counties even if we think they’re always gonna lose. Once in a rare while, they won’t. And if we can figure out what allows individual candidates to relate well to voters in those districts and pick up a seat, we can figure out what our next successful statewide candidate will need in order to win some of those voters.

      And before anyone says it, I’m not content to simply accept that we can’t win those folks so we shouldn’t even try. We can win some of them. Hell, if we can win 10% more of them than Roy got this year, we can win a governor’s race sometime in the next 20 years.

      • The Ed is our New Leader says:

        “Take away Atlanta and we have nearly the same demographics of Alabama or Mississippi.”

        Democrats run shit there and have power. Of course I haven’t checked their legislative election results from last night, may be a different story.

        • Sara says:

          Alabama and Mississippi each have one congressional district held by a Democrat.

          Democrats lost every statewide race and lost both houses of the legislature in Alabama last night.

          Mississippi has a Democratic Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Secretary of State and Commissioner of Insurance. However, the last MS statewide races were in 2007 which was a pretty good Democratic year. We’ll see how many of those they hold onto next year.

      • Gunner says:

        Rural and South GA have been written off by the Party and we have yet to win statewide. We cannot win with just the metro areas of the state (Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Macon, Columbus). We have carried those areas every election since the GOP takeover and still have yet to win statewide. I know that this is a very sensitive issue but I do think that it needs to be talked about. At the county level Democrats own South GA but these folks need to be engaged by the state party but only time they the county committees hear from the Party is when it is time to buy tickets to the JJ Dinner. It is a much deeper issue than what can be summed up in a blog comment but I am willing to have this conversation (outside of this blog) if other folks are willing.

        • Jen B. says:

          Gunner is absolutely right. I’m just not sure how we fix this problem. The Democratic Party is a big tent party, but some factions of the tent just aren’t willing to compromise. “Citified” folks dislike Jim Marshall. Rural folks dislike .. uhm .. Hank Johnson? It’s too bad they don’t have Cynthia McKinney to kick around anymore.

        • Sara says:

          I totally agree with you and I think it is incredibly arrogant and misguided to write off rural and south Georgia. We need to find a way to bring back those voters in order to win, not just decide that we’re wasting resources trying to run candidates there or trying to get voters there to support our statewide candidates.

          I know there are limited resources and you have to focus them on what is most likely to maximize your return, etc. but writing off almost 40% of the state because it doesn’t tend to vote for your guys won’t win future elections.

          I think our next State Party chair and probably our next statewide candidate need to be from these areas.

          Also, I’m going to say it now and I know few if any will like it, but…start thinking about running Bishop for Saxby’s Senate seat or for Governor in 2014.

        • Drew says:

          Question: which counties constitute “rural and south Georgia” and how many people are in them? Every election, I read how these counties don’t get enough attention, and every election, I wonder how much attention they deserve – there simply aren’t that many people in south Georgia, and there are even fewer when you exclude Savannah, Macon, Augusta, and Columbus.

          • Bernita says:

            It doesn’t matter how much turnout we get in Fulton, DeKalb, and Clayton counties if we continue to get our asses kicked in Cherokee, Cobb, Gwinnett, and Forsyth counties. It goes back to branding and messaging and the current GA Dem Party has no message to sway those voters from voting for Republicans.

  12. MouthoftheSouth says:

    I got something for you. Look at the improvement from 2006. Keep in mind that 2006 was a Dem Wave election and this was an R one.

  13. Matt says:

    Realigning Georgia will happen the same way it’s happened elsewhere: by winning the cities and the suburbs. It’s long past time for Georgia Democrats to quit beating their heads against the brick wall that is the rural part of the state. One, rural areas are not going to vote for yus. Two, even if they did break toward us, it won’t make a difference if we’re losing big in places like Forsyth County and Cherokee County. Three, pandering to the “values” of rural voters (homophobia, xenophobia) will cause a backlash (see: Mark Taylor). Four, the suburbs have a much higher proportion of whites who might actually vote for a Democrat.

    It’s encouraging that Rockdale STAYED BLUE, Douglas went for Deal by only like two points (and with only a plurality), Henry and Newton were in single digits. It also looks like Macon, Columbus, and Augusta have finally broken big for Democrats.

    • MouthoftheSouth says:

      You can now drive across the state without entering a red county, if you so chose. First time you could do that in a few years.

    • Gunner says:

      That train of thought is exactly why we will never take back the state.

      • Matt says:

        No, wasting time and money on an area that won’t vote Democratic and won’t make a difference even if it shifted is what will keep us from re-taking the state. Spending resources to try to win over voters in Perry is the same as spending resources to try to win Utah in a presidential election.

    • Rubyduby says:

      Newton had absolutely no GOTV plan in place, but that won’t happen in 2012. I’m hatching one already. I will not let the damn GOP beat me. I hate the Republicans in this town and I want nothing more than to see their face when we beat them in 2012. An encouraging sign for Newton County – we held a county commission seat that could have gone either way (the nominee knocked off the incumbent Dem in the primary – don’t ask). This tells me that the western part of the county is now more than trending Dem. With the western part of the county now a Dem hold and the middle of town one as well, we will focus our efforts in the super crazy areas of the eastern portion of the county. Like I said…I have a plan.

  14. Jeff Romig says:

    Elena will be an amazing State Rep. She is one of the smartest, sweetest and most genuine people I know. And I am so humbled to have had the opportunity to work with her.

    She would want everyone in the BfD community to know the amazing campaign team responsible for her election.

    Leslie Herman, Carolyn Rodriguez Monden, Jodi Cobb and Joshua Smith were each so integral to this success, especially in the closing weeks, days and hours.

    Bess Weyandt is the hardest working and most amazing Deputy Campaign Manager Elena and I could have ever asked for.

    John Lurie is the best young field strategist that not enough people know.

    From an organizational support aspect, Don Weigel, Stephanie Stuckey Benfield and the GA House Caucus and Amy Morton, Anna Beck, Jenna Moore Colvin, Allie Kelly, Mijha Butcher Godfrey and the other wonderful women at Georgia’s WIN List were critical to Elena’s success.

    There are also so so many volunteers and contributors who made the win possible. Every door they knocked on, every call they made and every dollar they contributed is why Elena is a winner today.

    • Sara says:

      Her election is my one bright spot in Georgia today. I am so proud to know personally and have supported the woman who finally knocked off the wicked witch of the west. And I agree, Elena’s political future is very bright.

    • MouthoftheSouth says:

      So happy for Elena!

    • Gunner says:

      Let’s also not forget to thank the Judge that froze Chambers campaign funds. I am so happy this lady is gone. Good luck Elena!

  15. Trevor Southerland says:

    Out of 180 seats in the Georgia House, 62 seats (34.4%) were won by unopposed Republicans, 60 seats (33.3%) were won by unopposed Democrats, 46 seats were won by Republicans with opposition (26.1%), 11 seats were won by Democrats with opposition (6.1%) and 1 seat was won by an Independent with Democrat opposition.

    The Georgia House now has 108 Republicans, 71 Democrats and 1 Independent. (A 60/40 Republican majority.)

    Out of 56 seats in the Georgia Senate, 22 seats (40%) were won by unopposed Republicans, 13 (23%) seats were won by unopposed Democrats, 13 (23%) seats were won by Republicans with opposition, and 8 (14%) seats were won by Democrats with opposition.

    The Georgia Senate now has 35 Republicans and 21 Democrats. (A 63/37 Republican majority.)

    Assuming Sanford Bishop holds on during the recount, we lost one Congressional seat, leaving us with 8 Republicans and 5 Democrats in the Congressional delegation. 3 of the Republicans were unopposed while none of the Democrats were unopposed.

    • Sara says:

      This amply demonstrates the importance of candidate recruitment. We need to start now for 2012. Hell, we needed to start 2 years ago.

      The biggest problem we are facing is the lack of a Democratic bench from which to draw statewide candidates in 4 years. Who in the hell are we going to run for Governor? (First person who says the name Roy gets a throat punch from me.)

      Also, I would very much like those of you involved in the state party step from behind the scenes and start running for things. Organizing and fundraising are not getting us where we need to be–we need people with good ideas to go out there and qualify, pound the pavement, and get elected. And the folks who’ve been sitting in safe Dem house and senate seats for 8+ years need to start stepping up and running for higher offices.

      • Chris says:

        Having a candidate in those 60 uncontested house seats would have produced 0 wins.

        • Sara says:

          I agree, it probably wouldn’t have mattered yesterday. It might not matter in 2 years. But we don’t know if we can pick up a few seats unless we start running people for them. Also, it’s pretty clear the DPG is terrible at candidate recruitment right now. We nearly didn’t have a LG candidate until DuBose’s wife stepped up, J.B. Powell qualified for AG Comm under the wire, and the folks we did get to run raised way too little money and/or put in way too little effort to even have a shot of winning.

          We need to either start finding self-funded folks for statewide races in 2014, or we need to figure out who from our very thin and little known bench can start preparing now to build statewide name rec and run in 4 years.

          • Julianal says:

            I’m going to have to disagree a bit here, we won’t prevail just by launching a “candidate all-skate”.

            There are seats that just aren’t winnable, on both sides of the isle.

            We need to choose specific seats, in specific areas, and run folks who will run a quality campaign, represent the office and us well and be able to hold the seat for a number of cycles.

            I have no problem with forcing the GOP to spend money in some races-but just for shits and giggles-how’d that work out really. The only candidate who was “broke” got there by her own steam, not anything we did.

            As we saw this cycle, plugging people into races without providing the support drained resources from places that really could have used them. We also recycled some people who really really really should not have run and are a huge distraction within the community.

            I know I’m not popular for saying this.. flame away.

      • The Ed is our New Leader says:

        Roy Barnes.

        I say that mostly in jest.

        • Ugh says:

          The fact that you felt compelled to add the word “mostly” to that comment is puzzling, even coming from you.

      • Gunner says:

        Who is organizing and fundraising?

      • Jason says:

        FYI… I’m prohibited by Federal Law from running for office (Hatch Act). That, and I’d have to move 🙂

  16. Sara says:

    Let’s go even more basic than that, Trevor:

    Find Democrats to run for office. As many as you can.

    Make them run actual campaigns, not just be a name on a ballot. *cough* Thurmond *cough*

    We need re-education at that most basic level before we are getting any Democrats back into statewide office.

    • Chris says:

      Honesty, we just need things to get so bad that it snaps voters out of their loyalty to the Republicans. Richardson, Gwinnett County and now Deal Governorship. It could happen.

      • The Ed is our New Leader says:

        Can you give an analysis of what happened yesterday? Post it here, not Peach Pundit, thanks.

      • The Ed is our New Leader says:

        I’m just saying, if there was a year for that it was this one. Ah well.

      • Rubyduby says:

        I couldn’t agree more with you Chris. The Republicans will have absolutely no one but themselves to blame when in 2 and 4 years we go back to the polls and things are worse than they are today.

    • Jen B. says:

      Yeah, I didn’t even bother voting for Thurmond. I voted for the Libertarian.

      Dear Democrats, You can’t just stick a name on the ballot and expect us to vote for him/her. Although, 359,406 people in South Carolina (27.69%) voted for Alvin Greene.

  17. Jen B. says:

    McFadden made the runoff, so make sure y’all go back out to vote!!

  18. Trevor Southerland says:

    Back to the basics:

    1) Register voters.

    2) Get said voters to vote.

    • Chris says:

      African American turnout was likely a record yesterday – approaching 2008 and easily 3-4% higher than 2006. We only got 23% of white votes. You can’t register your way out of that.

      • Trevor Southerland says:

        Given the extremely low number of latino registered voters in this state and the fact that we still have miles to go in the African American community, we may not be able to completely register our way out of this, but it sure wouldn’t hurt.

        • MouthoftheSouth says:

          Latinos will not necessarily vote for us. You need to change your mental model.

          • Trevor Southerland says:

            So, I suppose we shouldn’t even try?

            • The Ed is our New Leader says:

              No one is saying that, just that there is a good chance many of those unregistered are also ineligible in Georgia. No real way to quantify that but there you go. Also, they are now a swing group of voters. Moreover they are highly religious and socially conservative. Going one step further, in the Latino community, there is a growing trend of Protestant-ization and they’re joining these arch-conservative mega-churches, not really known for being amenable to Democrats. So while they need to be registered and we need to court them, it isn’t just a matter of try to register Latinos.

              • Trevor Southerland says:

                Did I ever say it was just a matter of trying to register latinos?

                No, I said “register voters.” Someone else brought up race, and I responded.

                We need to register voters, period. And anybody who thinks that there aren’t large groups of all races, etc, etc, etc… to be registered seriously needs to reconsider.

                • Trevor Southerland says:

                  Of course, I’m not saying there aren’t 85 other things we need to do too… including messaging, outreach, etc, etc, etc… and as Sara has said, candidate recruitment… that’s a huge one…

                • The Ed is our New Leader says:

                  My bad.

        • Chris says:

          The AA community is approaching voting at the same share of the population as the white vote does. I wouldn’t call that miles to go. Besides, registration is 500k higher than 2006 levels and the majority of that is non-white. With the 2008 election and motor voter, what significant gains from registration could possibly be out there?

  19. Justin McDaniel says:

    Congrats also to State Rep. Terry Johnson for holding onto his seat despite republican backlash and a distict that had supported Sonny for 8 years…

  20. Matt says:

    My silver linings are that (nationally) most of the Republicans’ gains are unsustainable and will be lost back and that they took out most of our garbage (like Jim Marshall).

  21. Amy Morton says:

    There will be plenty of time for analysis, and it is needed, certainly, but the brightest spot in the evening was the Red Clay party. Why? There was so much talent in that room, both in candidates, campaign staff and other leadership. Elena Parent, Dar’Shun Kendrick, Stacey Evans, Jason Carter, Scott Holcomb, Jeff Romig, ….more.

    There’s a future, folks.