Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tell Emily to Take a Hike: A Verse for Bill Shipp

A Verse for Bill Shipp
Don't call 911
Just yet.
And tell Emily
To take a hike.
I assure you there's
A Great
Deal happening, not
All of it polite!

Holy cow. Based on Bill Shipp's last two columns, I'm shocked that I found neither paramedics nor Emily Post on hand when I arrived at the DPG headquarters on the Saturday after Thanksgiving for a Platform Committee meeting. Shocked, that despite the holiday weekend and Georgia/Georgia Tech game that afternoon, the majority of the committee managed to join the meeting either on the phone or in person. Stunned that on that Saturday, there were canvassers in the DPG office, part of the new Grassroots Georgia effort that has already garnered nearly fifty grand for the Party from critical low-dollar donors-a source we have rarely tapped. Flabbergasted that when I returned to on Tuesday at 5 p.m. there were people with clipboards, scripts and maps headed out to metro neighborhoods. They were probably just going out to give lessons on manners. It's not possible that they were actually going out to update our brand new voter file system or invite people to volunteer and give to the Party. And, then, surely the AJC was mistaken when they reported that, yesterday, fifty-five of our seventy-three democratic lawmakers bothered to attend a work session on the Speaker's hugely unpopular tax plan. They were even accused of doling out "rough treatment." Georgia democrats, the original alley fighters of politics, could not possibly be preparing to kick some GOP behind, could we?

After all, on Sunday, Shipp said the Party appears "about to flatline," and yesterday he declared us "perpetually polite losers." And, Dr. Green had some questions, and since she asked so nicely, I thought I'd take a crack at the quiz. Just remember, I'm answering for myself here, not on behalf of the Party.

1. Who constitutes Georgia's slate of Democratic leaders?

There are too many to list, but I'd start with folks like President Jimmy Carter, Gov. Roy Barnes, Sen. Sam Nunn and the list of Statesmen and women could go on, and move to some of our currently elected like Commissioner Mike Thurmond, General Thurbert Baker, Rep. DuBose Porter, Rep. Kathy Ashe, Sen. Valenica Seay, Sen. Robert Brown, Sen. David Adleman, Rep. Nikki Randall and the list goes on and on.

And then there are locally elected democrats like our school board president in Bibb County, Lynn Farmer, our newly elected Mayor Robert Reichert, our newly elected Macon City Councilwomen, Lauren Benedict, and, let me not forget to add incumbent City Councilman Mike Cranford-who actually switched back to the democratic party in the last election. Yes, some of them are actually switching back to us...

And folks like Sheriff John Cary Bittick and Sheriff Jerry Modena. Did you know that the majority of Georgia sheriffs are democrats? They are.

And, then there are the people whose names you may not know, volunteers like Steve Leeds, who works tirelessly to help the Party and democratic causes in general, Sally Rosser, who has sweated blood working to birth brand new county parties and support congressional district chairs, Jason Carter, who help launch Democrats Work, a national initiative, Melita Easters, who co-founded Georgia's WIN List, Shyam Reddy, who ran for SOS and helped found Red Clay Democrats, Kyle Bailey, who is active with Stonewall Dems and seemingly everything else, and I should not leave out Jane Kidd, our chair who has already burned a set of tires traveling the state, speaking to groups-like the Georgia Chamber-where democrats have feared to tread. I could go on and on and on. You can access a list of the "official party leadership" here.

And don't forget to add yourself, Dr. Green. The DPG is a "we" not a "they." If you're a Georgia democrat, then it's your party, too, and you are part of the leadership.

Surfice to say, I'd stand our leaders up beside Glenn Richardson, Sonny Perdue and crew any day of the week.

2. What are they doing except saying 'DONATE'?

There's actually a whole lot going on, but even I know that all political strategy does not belong on a blog. But, here are a few examples: the Grassroots Georgia Program (the canvassers I mentioned above) is but one example of a new initiative. You can learn some more on the brand new website. We have been busy planning for he JJ Dinner and have invited all of the presidential candidates to joins us on Jan. 30th, right before our primary. You should come; it will be a blast and it's a deal until Dec. 1. Speaking of leaders, we'll also be honoring Sen. Max Cleland and Sen. John Lewis at this special event.

Committees are meeting, planning is taking place, candidates are being recruited, money is being raised, county parties are forming, formed and functioning-though we need more. The Party has taken a very active roll in the two special elections that happened this year in Georgia, most recently helping Bonnie Byrd Gardner with her race. I'm talking substantive help with mail, canvassing etc. And, while she did not win, if we are going to gain ground in Georgia those are precisely the kinds of races we need to invest in. Jane Kidd went herself to knock on doors with Bonnie, along with teams of canvassers from the Party. YD's helped, too, as did the unions.

And, I could go on, but again, the Party is not a "they," it's a "we." So, if you're a Georgia democrat, it's your party. I challenge you to get involved, if you're not, and help make a difference.

3. Why is there seemingly nobody with credibility opposing Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-GA?

There's no question that this race is a problem for us. I posted about it earlier this week. It's not easy to convince someone to run against a sitting senator. Political races are expensive both in terms of cash and personal time commitment. So, if you know someone who is credible, has great name id, could partially self-fund and can take the next year off to run-please send them over. Perhaps you?


4. Why do we hear nothing from the Democratic Party of Georgia on the rubber-stamp Republican government we have?

I personally support the shift to positive messaging for Georgia Democrats. We cannot win elections-and should not win elections-unless we make a compelling argument for why we should be allowed to lead. That means telling folks what we will do, not just why they're bad. I think people get tired of just hearing us beat on the r's.

5. Why was there no uproar among Democrats when SR 3033 (2005) was passed by the General Assembly to urge Georgia lawmakers to support blindly all Bush nominees?

Here's where you find out that I'm honest-I don't know what this is, but I promise I will find out. But, I do think "blind" and "Bush" should always be in the same sentance.


6. Why is there seemingly no statewide Democratic organization even though Democrats have a good chance to elect the new president?

There are actually at least two statewide democratic organizations-the DPG with our affiliate county parties and congressional district organizations and the Georgia Association of Democratic County Party Chairs. Expanding and strengthening this network is part of the 159 County Strategy. We are working to grow where there are no local groups and deepen our roots where there are such groups. The DNC helps fund grassroots development through the 50 State Strategy, and that means meeting measurable goals.

Even though I'm ever the optimist, unless hell freezes over, the outcome of the presidential election will not hinge on Georgia, but we have critical down-ballot races that it will impact and that we must work hard to win. We need your help.


7. Why was there no Democratic outcry regarding Sonny Perdue's land deals?

This was all over all the papers, in ads, on the radio, messaged every thirty seconds, practically, during the 2006 election cycle. I thought if I heard the word Oakey Woods once more I would scream. We were swimming in ink on this. You're right, what he did and is doing is horrible. We all but served warrants. But I don't know how you missed the messaging on this one.


"I could not find a dazzling e-mail address for the Georgia Democratic Party, so I am sending this to others who may know how to get through.
"The Democrats of Georgia have tucked their heads for too long. Those of us who care can do very little without a very strong state party.
"People are waiting. People are tired of DONATE, DONATE! There's nothing happening. - E. Ruth Green, Ph.D."

Here's the link for the email addresses and other contact information for the Party. Perhaps not dazzling, but functional, all the same.

There are a whole lot of us who are not "tucking our heads," but instead are doing all we can do to make our Party stronger. Is it perfect? Far, far from it. Is it frustrating? Often. We have a huge task in front of us, and need every single shoulder at the wheel, including yours. We are making progress, building a foundation for growth and success in elections. So, Bill, don't call 911 just yet, and tell Emily to take a hike. I assure you, there's a great deal happening, not all of it polite.

Sphere: Related Content

8 comments:

Don Thieme said...

Keep it up, Amy! Georgia needs many more proud Democrats like you to help it move forward and participate in national politics again. I noticed that John Barrow did not make your list of state Democratic leaders. It is infrrf unfortunate that he has decided to sell his soul for quick and easy election down there in Savannah.

Amy Morton said...

Thanks, Don. You, too. There were a lot of people who didn't make my 'off the top of the head' list who are great Georgia dems. Maybe we need to highlight some of them.

starcomed said...

Great job, Amy! No one could have said it better. I'll communicate with Ms. Green privately, but you discribed wonderfully, the many things Democrats in Georgia are doing to win elections and improve Georgia. Thank you for all your hard work. You go girl!!!

VictoratGaImproper said...

Amy, you and Mr Shipp gotta quit this humor in uniform biz, i'm laughing so hard i'm about to bust a valve...

Amy Morton said...

Always glad to make you laugh, Vic. I had a little fun with this.

Thanks, Starcomed. Right back at ya.

Trackboy1 said...

"the list of Statesmen and women could go on, and move to some of our currently elected like Commissioner Mike Thurmond, General Thurbert Baker, Rep. DuBose Porter, Rep. Kathy Ashe, Sen. Valenica Seay, Sen. Robert Brown, Sen. David Adleman, Rep. Nikki Randall"


Are you kidding...seriously, are you kidding??? What have they accomplished? What? PeachCare, mass transit, protecting the coastline, strengthening legislative ethics and reporting rules, funding our state troopers, making a stand and getting enough Repub's just once to overturn Sonny on something?

Maybe,, maybe one out of twenty average Georgians knows who somone is on the list...might be closer to one of of twenty five.

12:50 AM

Trackboy1 said...

Why was there no Democratic outcry regarding Sonny Perdue's land deals?

This was all over all the papers, in ads, on the radio, messaged every thirty seconds, practically, during the 2006 election cycle. I thought if I heard the word Oakey Woods once more I would scream. We were swimming in ink on this. You're right, what he did and is doing is horrible. We all but served warrants. But I don't know how you missed the messaging on this one.


BECAUSE THURB BAKER IS COMPLETELY INEFFECTIVE! The Georgia Attorney General should be rooting out waste & corruption, especially by elected officials. What has Thurb done...ever? Rank him amoung AG's from all 50 states. Who's worse?

GeorgiaValues said...

Don't we already have 4 or 5candidates in the race for U.S. Senate?

These candidates hail from around the state and from very diverse backgrounds.

What's wrong with the candidates we already have???