Tag Archives: bartow county

Setting the Record Straight

Friday I wrote a blog on third-party voting which focused on poor messaging tactics and an inability to drive voters to the polls. Nowhere in the article was a specific candidate mentioned negatively by name. All of this sparked a colorful and lengthy dialogue in the comments section. In said comments section, Rep. Christian Coomer (R-Cartersville) took to a full-blown monologue for Governor Deal, essentially using my blog as a platform for the Governor, mostly because he is a Floor Leader. The retort below is a simple attempt to illustrate how people become symptoms, and then causes, of this vicious cyclical problem we call politics.

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(Photo from AJC)

In his diatribe, Rep. Coomer covered many things but what struck a nerve with me was his applause of Governor Deal’s signature on language in the comprehensive gun bill which essentially removed power from the Governor’s office during a declared state of emergency. Within the banter, he first said the media had nothing to do with this language passage and then later acknowledged that he and I discussed it in an [uncomfortable] face-to-face meeting before again saying the media pressure never happened. I know his claims to be false because I am the person who wrote the article on Peach Pundit which, within 18 minutes of publishing, prompted a text message from the Governor’s office to the sponsor of the bill to schedule a meeting about HB 100 (after years of ignoring the bill and the sponsor). I know all of these things to be true and so does Rep. Coomer – despite his attempt to tell me otherwise publicly. To be clear, this is not about me getting credit. It’s about being honest with The People, because the normal everyday people never know the inside baseball. It’s, again, about shaping a campaign message to be something that it is not. These types of things create a breakdown in trust between elected officials and citizens.

Additionally, Rep. Coomer indicated that I erred in implying that he and I differ philosophically because he and I have only had one in-person conversation. To that, I offer this: Legislators have voting records. I watch many, including his. Voting records, in turn, reflect one of two things: 1) That you’re principled and your ideology is consistent, or 2) That you’re not principled and your votes reflect yet another colorful amalgamation of who you’re accountable to. This leads me to my next point.

In my blog, I also made mention of plans to skip races on the ballot in November. Rep. Coomer took me to task saying,

“I really do believe that if any person, especially a conservative or libertarian, has a mature sense of responsibility to their state and community, has enough raw information…and has the mental capacity of critical thinking…then he or she will come to the conclusion that Nathan Deal should be reelected…”

Basically, if you don’t agree with Rep. Coomer, you’re a complete idiot that lacks the mental capacity for critical thinking. I propositioned him, asking why he had the right to sit on the House Floor and abstain from casting a vote but I was not granted that same privilege. He didn’t respond, but records show me that since being elected, Rep. Coomer has missed over 100 votes in 160 days of legislative service.

I’ve watched from the gallery as Rep. Coomer sat idly in his seat during votes, but this photo of Rep. Coomer sitting on the House Floor during the vote of Senate Bill 65 in 2014 – watching, waiting to see what everyone else is doing is quite compelling, mostly because this was controversial legislation that dealt directly with the freedoms and liberties of the mentally ill.

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In this photo, you can see that Rep. Coomer (indicated by the yellow arrow) is deeply intrigued by the vote of SB 65 (red arrow) and his name on the voting board (green arrow). When looking at the House Clerk website, you can see that he ultimately did not cast a vote, despite the fact that he was sitting in his seat. Now THAT’S intriguing.

Consider House Rule 133: “When the question is put, every member within the chamber shall vote unless the member is immediately and particularly interested therein or unless the member is excused by the House. A motion by a member to be excused from voting must be made before the House divides or before the call of the yeas and nays is commenced, and it shall be decided without debate. The member making the motion may briefly state the reason why it should prevail. In every case where the seat of a member is being contested, the sitting member and the contestant shall both retire from the House before the vote is taken.”

Coomer was also the sponsor of a bill (HB 516) during the 2014 session where the entire House Leadership got up and walked out during the vote so they wouldn’t have to be on record casting that vote. Did the gentleman from Cartersville speak up? And why not? What did he have to lose? Is this adequate representation for the people of his district?

It is a fact that in the monologue above, I made a complete example out of Christian Coomer. But that is a consequence of opening Pandora’s box. He engaged the conversation with me on my blog.  It’s not one-sided. And never did I say I wasn’t voting for his guy. I simply opened the conversation about voting tendencies this cycle. When elected, you have to be willing to answer the tough questions and I offered him every opportunity to do so while he made baseless implications against me and continued to blur the Deal campaign message into some irrelevant sloppy essay.

Elected officials are supposed to represent The People. More importantly, they are to be the example. This elected official, and a floor leader for the Governor no less, had no problem glossing over my factual points, shaming others, shifting blame and furthering the distrust and nasty image Georgia Republicans are battling right now. The image that we are out of touch, care only about ladder-climbing, and will try to squash any opposing opinion at any cost. People just want the truth and to know what to expect. Principles. If we can’t do things in a principled way, we shouldn’t do them and we don’t deserve the positive results.

When I worked on my first real campaign, I had to learn that my actions –good and bad- reflect upon my candidate. The same goes for those most closely aligned with leaders in the political realm. It’s why endorsements are tricky. But if your glass house is actually Saran Wrap, you shouldn’t throw stones. Because that’s even messier. And perhaps those stones illustrate that you aren’t the best messenger for this particular message. Perhaps some time needs to be spent evaluating the symptoms and causes of ‘the demise of the public servant’. Perhaps you should sit back quietly and graciously knowing that your constituents haven’t yet noticed that you are only carrying the torch of political expediency.

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(Photo WN.com)

BooHooing and Finger-pointing in Senate 14

crying babyUPDATE: 12:21 P.M.
The Georgia Campaign Finance et.al has removed the ‘fines owed’ for Bruce Thompson and Matt Laughridge.

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Cherokee sure does have a knack for lying candidates.  Or those that leave out a large portion of the facts.
Matt Laughridge has put out a hit piece video of the sort of resembles something a democrat would do. Read below and you too will feel the irony.

Don’t try to fool us, Mr. Laughridge. ALL 5 (4 REPUBLICANS and 1 Democrat) CANDIDATES in the Senate 14 race outstanding fines.
If you’re asking if it upsets us, the answer is yes. We want all candidates to pay their fines and file their paperwork in a timely fashion but since you haven’t either, let’s call it a wash and move on. What is not included in that ‘wash’ is the sneakiness of trying to exclude himself from claims of ethics fines. So I present to The People, Exhibit A:

Mr. Laughridge, in his video attacking Dwight Pullen and Bruce Thompson, also said “Both claimed to be Republicans but their voting records don’t support the claim.” I present The People Exhibit B which shows a  few points:

  • Bruce Thompson has NOT voted Democrat in any election dating back to 2004.
  • Dwight Pullen did pull the lever on the Democrat side in the 2010 primary.
  • Both Thompson and Pullen have voted MORE TIMES than Mr. Laughridge who seems to be new to this whole voting thing as a whole. He is young, so maybe he voted out-of-state at college or something (I would like to know where he was in 2008, but I digress), but his claims about his opponents are disturbingly inaccurate.

SD14_Voter_History_1179x155                                                                                   (h/t to Bartow Politics for the most excellent graphic from the Georgia voter database)

What this says to me is that Mr. Laughridge is grasping for straws…probably because of a last-minute poll showing him in 3rd place and not headed to a run-off. That’s just speculation but all the other candidates are out there working to meet voters and Mr. Laughridge is stomping his feet and pressing videos that evoke the same emotion of the anti-Big Bird videos from the Romney election.  I have confidence that the voters in Senate District 14 have enough common sense to see past this ridiculous unsubstantiated video that was clearly produced out of desperation.

There’s a nice little voter guide from Bartow Politics here.
I’ll also note that this video was produced by that same ol’ company that was dissolved by the pesky Secretary of State.

I’m No Accountant, But That’s A Lot of Dollars, Sir.

Baby-Piles-of-Money

So, I started a little controversy on my Facebook page (which usually leads me to post a blog) last night after discovering that Matt Laughridge, who is running for State Senate in district 14 to fill Barry Loudermilk’s vacated seat, spent $73,873 on one consultant, M.C. Collier Productions Inc., after paying two other consultants $10,000.00 and $1,100.00. Now, I’m no accountant, but that’s a lot of money! $84,973 on ‘general consulting’ fees in a shortened special election.

I can’t really appreciate that someone may or may not be purchasing other items (like billboards, mailers, pens with his name on it, coozies, jar openers or customized Laughridge boxers) through the ‘consulting fees’ because when it’s not broken down by expense, that leads many of us to believe Mr. Laughridge is paying for something other than ‘general consulting’. I fail to see why further information is not provided in a district/county/area-what have you that emphasizes ethics and transparency. If not, that’s one hell of a strategy plan and kind of sounds like a slam dunk in the district, no? I guess we’ll see.

I also can’t really appreciate that M.C. Collier Productions is no longer licensed through the Secretary of State to conduct business and hasn’t been since dissolution in 2002. I don’t know about you but when I fork out cash to various organizations, I do a little research to find out who I’m paying and what their background is. Paying that kind of money to a company that was dissolved over 10 years is unacceptable and smells a tad fishy to me.

Regardless, at least it’s mostly his own money.

That is all. Discuss.