Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Taylor Apologized, But Has He Changed?

He's apologized, and that should be that. That's what some say in response to Mark Taylor's effort as a senator to reduce to one the number of majority black congressional districts in Georgia and his impassioned plea, "if you're tired of being bullied, and you're tired of paying for the sins of your fathers and grandfathers..." I don't doubt that Taylor recognized his political misstep and that he apologized for his mistake. My question is, has Taylor has changed? What in a man's character makes it possible for him, not only in the privacy of his own thoughts, but in the Georgia Senate, in front of other lawmakers, to stand and say those words? What does he offer as evidence of his transformation? His current choices?

Consider this: Mark Taylor has chosen as his campaign's attorney, A. Lee Parks, who has successfully challenged federal school desegregation orders as well as racial weighting in school admission policies.

In reference to his case against The University of Georgia, where the percentage of black students was about 6% at the time, Parks was quoted in the Washington Post in 2001 as follows: "For so long, the civil rights groups have tried to create a linkage between race and diversity, but now we can see that it's really nothing more than a racial quota system." (Walsh, Edward. Court Strikes Down Georgia Admissions Policy: Federal Appeals Panel Finds University's Race-Based 'Point' System Unconstitutional. The Washington Post, August 28, 2001.)

And, in a separate article, "It's an uncanny quota," Parks says. "They haven't proven there's any educational value to [diversity]. That's an assumption." (Cooper, Kenneth J. Leaders in a State That Once Fought Civil Rights Movement Rise to Defend University's Approach to Affirmative Action. The Washington Post, January 3, 2001)

According to The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, enrollment of black students at The University of Georgia has declined from 5.8% in 2001 to 4.6% in 2004. When ranked in terms of ratio of black students to black population in the state (28.7%), the performance of the University of Georgia is the worst among the nation’s flagship universities.

In addition, in what one writer called, the quiet death of school integration, A. Lee Parks represented white parents in Charlotte in Belk v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, a case that ended busing to achieve integration. Belk is especially significant because it revisits Swann the Supreme Court case that many credit for putting the teeth in Brown v. Board of Education. (Kirp, David. L. The Quiet Death of School Integration. The American Prospect, August 12, 2002)

Recently, in an effort that cost the Bibb County Board of Education about $200,000 in legal fees (for all counsel), Parks and another attorney represented white parents in Bibb County who sued contending that the M-to-M transfer policy implemented in lieu of busing to achieve racial balance should be subject to space availability. That successful negotiation also potentially opened the door to ending federal oversight of the desegregation of Bibb Schools, something the presiding judge has said he may be inclined to do when he revisits this case in one year. (Hubbard, Julie. Bibb Schools Paying $200,000.00 for Legal Fees. The Macon Telegraph, 4/06/2006.)

These are just a few of the cases the Taylor Campaign attorney has handled. Successful, no doubt, but in light of Taylor's remarks in the senate, does this choice raise some interesting questions?

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26 comments:

Lyman Hall said...

Check this out nugget from the AJC Political Insider:

Mark Taylor stands at 49 percent, up two points from a week ago. — Cathy Cox remains at 41 percent, with no change from a week ago. She and Taylor are splitting the female vote down the middle, which could spell trouble for her.

I guess Georgia women really are voting...for Taylor! With plans like Georgia RX, PeachKids, taking tax off of OTC drugs, being tough on violent offenders, and protecting HOPE scholarships, I can see why.

See y'all at the early voting booth!

Lyman Hall said...

To imply that Taylor is a racist is as ridiculous as it is despicable. It is especially shady for the Cox campaign to try engage in this type of politics through a third party. You can tell which part of this post they sent to this blog and what part (the Macon part) was added by the actual writer. Pathetic attempt.

I'm not going to insult anyone's intelligence by trying to list every black supporter and endorser on the Taylor team. However, a few prominent individuals really deserve mention: Amb. Andrew Young, Rep. Tyrone Brooks (even when most of the House went with CC), and Brooke Jackson Edmund (Maynard's daughter). I know they don't speak for the entire black community, but do you honestly believe they would support a racist? Give me a break.

I know CC has prominent African-American support, too. You don't need to point that out to me because I would never accuse her of being a racist. I don't think the guilt by association game is a good one to get into. Should we pull every Marvin Griffin quote from the past since that is CC's political mentor? Should we trump up some shady votes from CC's Republican campaign chair? I'm sure we could find some. How about votes her father made while in the legislature? Maybe if I had the research time (or campaign connections) I would, but I know its ridiculous.

This is the last week. I know MT is in the lead. He doesn't have to call good Democrats racists to win. Maybe CC should have focused on running her own, issue-driven race the whole time and she wouldn't be forced to this gutter politics. A whisper campaign in Georgia--wow, she really is offering change!

Amy Morton said...

Yes, you're right, I think that Taylor supporters should feel completely confident at this point. There's probably no need for them to do anything else at all.

Amy Morton said...

The Cox Campaign had nothing at all to do with this post. I have been active in advocacy for education in this state for a very long time, so I know who Lee Parks is and am entirely capable of doing this reseach on my own, and I did. You can take whatever implication from it you want. Your inference, not mine, by the way. I just pointed out the facts and asked a question. And yes, I'll compare Dan Ponder's speech in the well that won him the Kennedy Profile in Courage Award to Taylor's speech any day. I cannot reconcile Taylor's alliance with Young, Brooks and Parks. It just doesn't fit. Who is Mark Taylor, anyway?

Lyman Hall said...

He's the Big Guy!

:) Thought I would lighten the mood.

Ed Hula III said...

HAnk Aaron edorsed MT

MelGX said...

Wow Amy. It seems like you struck a raw nerve. And rightly so. This does raise many questions. I wouldn't go so far as to call Taylor a racist, but he is the son of white privilege who seems unable to grasp the continued legacy of discrimination. Like most wealthy Southern white men of his generation, he lacks the character and capacity to change. He is from another time and place.

Button Gwinnett said...

Personally, while disturbed that he made such comments and worked against minority districts, I think Taylor's "overall" record is a good one in the area of race. By the same token, I would say the same thing for Cathy Cox despite her initial flag vote that the Taylor campaign still uses against her.

But what I would like to know from Lyman is where was your outrage when your campaign and several Taylor hacks were calling Cathy a racist? Why is it okay for Rick Dent and minor campaign adjutants to allege these things about someone who obviously does not have neither the reputation nor the voting record of a racist?

You can't blame a person for fighting back. If Mark and his supporters think that what Cathy says and does 15 years ago is relevent. Why isn't it okay to question the words and actions of Mark and the people that he keeps company with?

Ed Hula III said...

Button, its fair ground. You and the CC campaign also have some double standards for what is OK for CC to do but not OK for CC.

MelGX said...

There it is again. The reason any criticism of MT or praise of CC is always met with allegations that we work for the Cox campaign is because Taylor has no real grassroots support. He pays his endorsers, his bloggers and anyone else who will say a kind word about him. They can’t understand how anyone could be passionate about a candidate without a vested interest. It's a mystery to them.

Ed Hula III said...

hmm...I seem to remember various Cox supporters saying MT supporters were on Dent's payroll because they can't understand that people actually like MT.

Wait, this sounds like a typical campaign's opperations.

Cathy Cox--the new style of politics.

GetReal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MelGX said...

Unlike the few Taylor supporters, Amy and I use our real names, or make it possible to find our names. Do you find either of our names on the Cox disclosure other than as contributors? No, didn't think so.

Button Gwinnett said...

"Button, its fair ground. You and the CC campaign also have some double standards for what is OK for CC to do but not OK for CC."

I'd love for you point out just what those exceptions for Cathy are. I've actually been critical of Cathy and most especially her campaign on several occasions. I judge every candidate by the same standard that I judge any one candidate.

Care to comment on Amy's original post?

Fall Line Dem said...

The facts about Lee Parks speak for themselves. Not one comment critical of the post disputes that. I also cannot believe that anyone would claim that the issue of race, discrimination, and disparity of treatment has been adequately settled in this State. Amy Morton is simply asking a basic question, what does having Lee Parks as his campaign attorney say about Mark Taylor? Mark wants to be our governor. As such his "choices" should be scrutinized. Asking hard questions is not unfair or inappropriate, particularly when it is based on "facts".

Ed Hula III said...

hmm perhaps a double standard is button saying i take a page out of the MT playbook by lying, distorting the facts and calling someone a liar when I have never done that.

Ed Hula III said...

Yea I do care to comment he apologized. CC apologized for her flag vote. They were working with (at the time) people who got elected because tehy were racists. End of story.

Button Gwinnett said...

Ed, when you say you don't believe the author of an article when he himslef tells you and the rest of the world about the context of what he witnessed and wrote, are you not calling him a liar? At the very least it seems meant to distract people's attention from the real issue - which is that Taylor's own source corrected him and asked him to be more truthful in his advertising.


"Yea I do care to comment he apologized. CC apologized for her flag vote. They were working with (at the time) people who got elected because tehy were racists. End of story."

You're not on topic here. The point of Amy's post isn't about what Taylor said and the fact that he apologized about it. It's about who he has working for him and whether or not that's consistent with his message to African-Americans.

I don't know Mr. Parks. So I'm not saying anything about him one way or the other - a benefit of the doubt never given to people like Terry Toole by Taylorites. But I think Amy's question is a valid one.

Taylor's asked us to judge him on his actions and not his words. Well, we already know he's willing to lie repeatedly to get elected. Now we have to wonder if Taylor actually practices what he preaches.

I'm not trying to bust your chops. I'm just asking for some consistency from Taylor supporters in how they've treated Cathy and how they wish for everyone else to treat Mark.

Ed Hula III said...

"Ed, when you say you don't believe the author of an article when he himslef tells you and the rest of the world about the context of what he witnessed and wrote, are you not calling him a liar?" No, I expressed my doubts using my knowledge as a practicing journalist, as to how he could remember something so long ago. I never once said that he was a liar, I just warned against saying his words are infallible. Moreover, what about Taylor's source saying he was correct? I too have expressed grave reservations about his statements, but let's be consistent...

As to what Amy said, I know this sounds like I am rehashsing talking points, but who does HOPE benefit more, the people who could already afford college, or people in poverty who couldn't afford college? People in poverty. Who does Peachcare benefit? Poor people. What group of Georgians makes up the majority of those living in poverty? African Americans. Hard to believe he would be a racist...

Now consistency with what people say to get elected...oh I don't know, care to discuss Gay marriage?

Further, on this blog, as far as I can remeber, MT supporters have not been the ones to come out with allegations of lying or questioning the character of supporters. I know it has happened to me without me attacking anyone personally. I don't care, I would just like to point that out just cause you know, you guys might care about consistency...

Melanie, am I correct in saying you posted this:http://www.blogfordemocracy.org/archives/2006/07/going_positive.html

If you did, why are you guys harping about consistency with your actions and then saying "I wouldn't go so far as to call Taylor a racist, but he is the son of white privilege who seems unable to grasp the continued legacy of discrimination. Like most wealthy Southern white men of his generation, he lacks the character and capacity to change. He is from another time and place."

Does consistency only matter when you or your candidate is being attacked, it is on BforD?

Button Gwinnett said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Button Gwinnett said...

"As to what Amy said, I know this sounds like I am rehashsing talking points, but who does HOPE benefit more, the people who could already afford college, or people in poverty who couldn't afford college? People in poverty. Who does Peachcare benefit? Poor people. What group of Georgians makes up the majority of those living in poverty? African Americans. Hard to believe he would be a racist... "

Unlike some Taylor supporters who you choose to overlook, I don't think anyone has called Mark Taylor a racist. If you weren't here for the entire months of May and June, check the archives.

BTW, you'd make a much better and more honest ad writer for Taylor than who he employs. At least you admit to Taylor's "half-truths." Which I would still call flat out lies.

"Now consistency with what people say to get elected...oh I don't know, care to discuss Gay marriage?"

I'm consistent on that. That's what I criticized Cathy the most for. But I would also point out that Cathy's never been accused by anyone outside of Dent and cronies of lying about her record or her opponent's, casting stones at innocent persons, and running ads that she knows to be false. "The big guy" has that one all to himself. Why do you defend him?

"Further, on this blog, as far as I can remeber, MT supporters have not been the ones to come out with allegations of lying or questioning the character of supporters. I know it has happened to me without me attacking anyone personally. I don't care, I would just like to point that out just cause you know, you guys might care about consistency..."

My, you have such a selective memory. You and others stood by silently and sometimes adding on while Taylor staffers posing as "grassroots" supporters who in some cases hadn't "made up my mind yet" called Cathy, Dan Ponder, Terry Toole, and even me once personally every name in the book. I suppose after a while, posting from Taylor headquarters, posing as multiple identities, and making up stories of being assaulted and "forced" to vote for Cathy by Cox staffers at a straw vote caught up with them. Ed, you choose to defend the strangest folks.

The truth offends those who don't appreciate it. And maybe that's some folks' real problem with Cox supporters asking legit questions, answering Mark Taylor's attacks and dishing out some of his own medicine - though in a much more fact-driven way.

demblogs said...

I dare anyone and everyone visiting this site between now and election day to stay focused on the candidates issues and platform. To date I think I am correct in saying that this site, as well as many others, have been more engaged in "pissing contests" with each other than the real issues surrounding these 2 candidates. However I will give the authors of this site credit for presenting/posting both candidates views on several issues. It's nonproductive for me to state where I stand and who I support because most of you who frequent this site know I support CC, but I find it most important to get out the message instead of slinging the mud.

Ed Hula III said...

ok your right, no one ever called MT a racist but I love this gem: "I wouldn't go so far as to call Taylor a racist, but he is the son of white privilege who seems unable to grasp the continued legacy of discrimination" your right he doesn't grasp wanting to continue with racist/descriminatory policies in GA.

I said CC was not being consistent (may we also bring up the issue of a paper trail). As to the truthiness of MT's ads; half truths. Get over it, its politics. Watch who gets the nomination. As I said, if it is not thr truth, why doesn't CC give us the investor fraud ads to prove MT wrong? Why don't people want to answer any questioning of the standards for any of the truth tests? Are they incovenient gadflies? Because you guys do much the same. I am not saying I, or anyone else is perfect. We are humans. Just dont be the pot calling the kettle black.

Its hard to label CC as a liar when its hard to pinpoint her stance on issues. Maybe this debate will clearify alot. Oh yea, and I like her talking about prison labor which was false, and other "back room deals" which she has no proof about. Just pretty campaign statements that have not moved a voter.


Now as to the MT supporters attacking CC supporters, OK they did it too. BFD. Cant handle name calling? Get out of political discourse.

You have one instance of A VOLUNTEER posting at MT HQ and everyone poster is a Taylor staffer. Whats your proof? Or are you just hyperbolic?

Oh and by the way, I heard from more than four people about being pushed to vote for CC in the same straw poll and it wasn't from MT supporters.

I know you dont think that there are any grassroots for MT (Where you got that idea I am not sure at all), but let me tell you a story. I personally have flyered my job, my neighborhood, church, everything. I have personally talked to more than 200 people about MT. Of those, ive gotten commitments from at least half of those people to vote for MT. More than a dozen were CC supporters, and there were 5 GOPers. No where is the evidence of crossover appeal for CC? Anything, even annecdotal? I dont know of people who have done as much as me, but there are other grassroots supporters. Hate to end your dellusional thoughts, your good friend is a therapist, she might be able to help you out.

In short: Dont start on MT/his supporters lying, being contradictory. Your just opening yourself up for attacks.

So strange that CC supporters are so intent on staying on a sinking ship and then destroying their soon to be nominee. CC supporters do the silliest things! Although its expected, they proved they cant handle the big time (or the Big Guy, ooo I feel sick saying that).

Robin Hood said...

I don't understand this whole blogging identity thing melgx. You seemed to be obsessed with finding out who people are. Why do you care so much?

Button Gwinnett said...

"As to the truthiness of MT's ads; half truths. Get over it, its politics. Watch who gets the nomination."

(rolling my eyes)

Ed Hula III said...

Hey button, roll your eyes all day long, maybe theyll pop out and RR's daddy can sew it back in for ya.

Seriously, bitch and moan and whine all you want about the ads, watch your candidate not get elected.

Nice work not answering a single thing I said, cause you know, thats inconsistency in your camp. Whining because we dont deconstruct every clause in your arguments and then you ignore everything I say.