Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Big Guy's Looking Awfully Small Today

Taylor's desperate attempt to attack Cox blew up in his face today when Terry Toole, the editor and publisher of the Miller County Liberal (Taylor's source) issued a statement calling the ad, "a political fabrication." Cox called a press conference at noon today, and in the strongest of terms refuted Taylor's claims, calling the it "the Big Guy's Big Lie" and referencing Toole's written statement. Her full statement can be found here.

Is Taylor willing to say anything to get elected? How can we trust anything he says? If this is a sample of what's to come, we'd better hook a lie detector up to the television set for the next month. Is GAE going to sit by and allow him to use their name in a commercial that spins such fabrication? This certainly reflects poorly on their organization.

Here's the statement from Terry Toole.

June 16, 2006

I can see why Cathy Cox would be upset that Mark Taylor would use something that she said in 1993, that was published in the Miller County Liberal, to damage her image by taking it out of context. Cathy didn't say she voted against the lottery in Georgia. Cathy was speaking to the Colquitt Lion's Club as a newly elected state representative, updating us on what was happening in the state. She let us know that she had nothing to do with voting the legislation in, since she was not in the legislature when the law was voted on.

Cathy could not have voted as an elected official for or against the lottery question. She said that she would be watching what happened with the lottery proceeds to make sure they went to education and scholarships as any good, honest public servant would be expected to do.

It looks like The Big Guy is grasping at straws stating that Cathy is against what the lottery money has done for education. That is just a political fabrication.

Many of us were against bringing legal gambling to Georgia. More were for the legal gambling. I personally still think it will, and has, hurt more Georgians than it will ever help. If anything good comes out of the lottery, it will be what it does to help educate our young people. No one is against helping fund our children's education. Some of us just hate to see people who can't afford to lose their money spend it on a sure losing proposition.

It looks like it is throat-cutting time in the race for the governor's office. Seems if the throat of an opponent can be cut by taking a 13-year old news article out of context, the throat is still cut. This doesn't make The Big Guy look too big in my eyes, or in many of the eyes of Georgia voters. If that is all I could drag up on my opponent, I believe I would try to run on my own record.

There is a saying about people who live in glass houses throwing stones. If I were a betting man, I would bet that some glass is about to shatter.

Sincerely,

Terry Toole, Editor & Publisher
Miller County Liberal

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6 comments:

GetReal said...

Amy-

I know you have really invested yourself in Cathy Cox, and you even think you’re doing the Democratic Party a favor by supporting her. I have to ask, however, whether you really believe that the item in the article in question has been taken out of context by the Taylor campaign. Look at the article on website the Taylor campaign put in the ad (coxrecord.com). It looks pretty clear to me what the context was – Cox told the Colquitt Lions Club that she opposed the lottery referendum in 1992 (like her district overwhelmingly did), but she would pay attention to how the money raised by the lottery would be put to use, to make sure it was used appropriately.

Before you answer, “Don’t believe me, believe the guy who wrote the article,” which of the following two scenarios to you believe to be more likely?

(1) Terry Toole sees the Taylor ad, remembers precisely the context of what he wrote more than thirteen years ago, and wants to set the record straight with the letter Cox released. Remember that Cox at the time was a no name freshman state House member talking to a Lions Club.
(2) The crack Cox campaign staff saw the ad and said, “Cathy knows Terry Toole from her days representing Miller County in the House, and they’re still friendly. The way Toole wrote the sentence at issue leaves us a millimeter a wiggle room, so let’s get him to sign a letter we can release saying that the article is being taken out of context.” They call Toole, he says something like, “I’ll help Cathy; write something up and I’ll sign it,” and there you have the letter straight from the computer(s) of Riggall and/or Jackson. Toole doesn’t really remember the specifics of the exchange thirteen years ago, but is willing to sign the letter to give Cathy at least something to try to muddy an otherwise crystal clear article that presents major problems for her, especially after she aired weeks of ads bragging about protecting a program she in fact opposed. Note that the AJC ad box now on the paper’s website says that Toole wasn’t available for comment on Saturday.

Again, read the article. You will note that after the sentence reporting that “Rep. Cox stated that although she did not vote FOR the lottery” (it’s important that the reporter didn’t write “she did not vote ON the lottery”), she says, “I have learned that there is not a way to please everyone. I want to represent the majority of people in this district [which according to the election stats Taylor’s campaign cites from the 1992 AJC, voted overwhelmingly against the lottery], but we are outnumbered in the General Assembly.”

Here is my problem with this whole exchange. Everyone (even you, Amy) knows exactly what Cox is up to. Doesn’t it bother you that someone who might be Governor would call a press conference and just flat out lie? She knows she wasn’t for the lottery when she ran for the legislature in 1992. Very few people were in conservative rural areas like her district. She was the same as the other legislative candidates from those districts – she was against Zell Miller’s lottery.

She’d have been better off just saying, “Like my constituents, I opposed the lottery in 1992. I now believe that we must protect it in order to ensure the safety of the HOPE Scholarship, which is a great program. While Mark Taylor and I had different opinions on the lottery fourteen years ago, I am now as committed as he is to protecting HOPE Scholarships and the lottery that funds them.”

That would be the honest way to deal with this issue. Instead, Cox tries to get away with a snow job because she thinks she won’t get caught. That’s what she did with the anti-gay marriage amendment – before 2006, she went around telling gay people and their allies that she supported civil unions and was opposed to the amendment. Then when it became a campaign issue after Judge Russell’s ruling, she took the exact opposite position. Her problem was that the people to whom she had made opposite statements remembered what she’d said and called her out on the flip-flop. That resulted in weeks of Cox slithering around trying to find some sort of spot where she could hide and people would leave her alone. She had Jackson go out and try to claim that she hadn’t changed her position at all, and that her previous statements on the amendment had been about “legislative mechanics” (whatever that means). If she’d just had the backbone to stick with her original position (or even the guts to be honest about the fact that she changed it), she would have come out a lot better.

Let me also remind you of another, and somewhat forgotten, example of the Cox operating style. She sent out a call for paper receipts on her voting machines literally minutes before a Bill Stephens press conference on the topic. Her spokesman (Chris Riggall) actually claimed on Cox’s behalf that she had always favored paper receipts, even though every reporter who covered the issue knows she was against them.

All of this points to a deep and disconcerting character flaw. Cox will say anything, and she has no compunction about saying things she knows to be untrue if she thinks it will advance her quest for the Governor’s Mansion. Maybe she is so certain that she should be Governor that she thinks the ends justify the means (some of her supporters certainly seem to think that). Just ask the gay community what you get when you ally yourself with someone like that. It’s only a matter of time before you get badly burned.

Button Gwinnett said...

Oh so now Terry Toole is a liar? Do you even know Terry Toole? I can't say that I do. But do you?

Just because he/she catches "the big guy" in a "big lie" and he/she doesn't sit back and let it happen, we're supposed to assume he/she is a liar? Toole has been in the newspaper business in the small town of Colquitt, GA for a long time. Do you honestly think that people would continue to support his/her paper, since at least 1993, if that's how he/she operated?

If you have ANY sane, sensible, plausible, first hand, or heck, even second hand info. as to why Terry Toole would see fit to risk his/her credibility and livelihood as a journalist for the sake of telling a lie on poor ole Mark Taylor, please share it with us. Otherwise, I'm just not interested in seeing you call an innocent person a liar.

If it took calling every man, woman, and child in the state of Georgia a liar to get Mark Taylor elected, would you really do that? Is that what Mark Taylor inspires in people? Because we've already seen a few examples of this.

Take your suggestion that Cathy should say was against the lottery (even though she was for it) but then supported it later. I can think of at least THREE Taylor supporters who post here that would do as they did on the flag amendment: emphasize her first vote and then ignore her subsequent votes which put her on the right side of things. LYING BY OMMISSION and trying to paint someone that isn't a racist as being a racist is a VERY common tactic among Taylorites. And when they do it, they're only following the lead of the Taylor campaign itself.

To me, that's a demonstrated reason enough to believe that some folks just aren't interested in the truth. Only in the "political fabrication" (your own source said so) that comes from Mark Taylor.

So if you've got the goods on Terry Toole and why he/she would take a part in your elaborate scenerio, I would suggest that you spill it.

Amy Morton said...

Mark Taylor is the Calder Clay of the Democratic Party in Georgia. I didn't think so until yesterday, but his ad reminds me of the baseless attacks Clay leveled against Jim Marshall. And his own source comiong forward to de-bunk the ad is like the veterans rallying around Marshall to spank Clay. You see how far this approach got Calder. Voters don't like this kind of thing. Taylor has ahd several missteps in the last week. Is Dent asleep at the wheel?

Lyman Hall said...

We need a candidate who CLEARLY helped create HOPE--not one with a Kerry-like position: I was actually for HOPE before I voted against it??? I wasn't in the legislature, but I was against the lottery, but I personally voted for the lottery on the referendum??
No, we need a candidate who can take on Sonny. "Big Time." Not someone who is as weak as Sonny on HOPE.

Taylor Troll said...

Have any of you actually read the article linked to in Taylor's ad. It is pretty clear that Cox either 1) didn't vote for the HOPE scholarship or 2) is heavily pandering to a crowd that was against the lottery by pretending not to be for it.

Which one is worse? I can't tell.

GetReal said...

The only goods I have on Terry Toole come from my ability to read. I've read the article multiple times on the Taylor campaign's website, and it is unambiguous. No reasonable person can read that article and believe that Cathy Cox was talking about anything other than her personal vote against the lottery. The entire article is Cox telling the Lions Club that she is conservative like they are, but that districts like hers are outnumbered in the legislature.

That brings me to another point. Have you read that entire article? She attacks Zell Miller for trying to take the Confederate battle emblem off the flag. I guess the same people that told her to co-sponsor a bill to force public schools to fly the old flag told her to distance herself from the effort to change it.

What exactly was she getting at when she pointed out that her district was 75% white, that reapportionment had divided a number of cities and counties to create a certain number of black districts, and that "many of the issues and bills are racially motivated?" What about the explanantion to the club about welfare reform putting a cap on the number of raises a mother could get for having children?

Before you start crying foul about the Taylor campaign (which does not employ me) falsely calling Cox a racist, I'm not doing that. I'm just pointing to words on a page written long before Cathy Cox or Mark Taylor were even rumored to be candidates for statewide office. As supporters, what do you think they mean? Additionally, in the context of what appears to be a pretty right wing speech, do you think that increases the likelihood that she was asserting that she personally opposed the lottery (like her conservative district), but now that it passed, would make sure the money was spent properly?