Friday, April 28, 2006

Creative Loafing hosts Political Party, Wednesday, May 10th 2006

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2006 at 5:05 PM

On Wednesday
May 10, 2006

In partnership with
Dad's Garage and Hands On Atlanta

Creative Loafing

Political Party


Low-income Exodus, Affluent Entry?
Atlanta's inner city is being restored and upgraded, but at what cost? 
Where have the city's financially-challenged  residents gone? 
Can they afford to come back to the housing being built?

Guests Panelists:

  • Mtamanika Youngblood, President & CEO of Center for Working Families
  • Don Bender, the unofficial mayor of the hippest pocket of the city, Little Five Points
  • Noel Khalil, founder and co-partner for Columbia Residential
  • Larry Keating, Georgia Tech professor and author of Atlanta: Race, Class, and Urban Expansion

Host: Ken Edelstein, CL Editor

Political  Party is held at Dad's Garage. 
280  Elizabeth Street,  Suite C-101, Atlanta, GA 30307
Click here for directions
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.
As always, itÕs free (though the beer and wine will cost  you), so show  up early for seats.

And, if you would like to submit questions for an upcoming Political Party, suggest show topics or make guests recommendations, e-mail us at:


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Burmeister bows out of District 19 Race

Posted By on Tue, Apr 25, 2006 at 8:14 PM

By Coley Ward

Rep. Sue Burmeister (R-Augusta) will not run for re-election this November.

Burmeister is citing a need to spend more time with her family. Her husband recently took a job in Alabama and last year her 24-year-old son was arrested and charged with aggravated child molestation.

Former District 3 Augusta Commissioner Barbara Sims is expected to qualify for the seat.

Burmeister leaves behind a legacy as champion of conservative issues. She sponsored the Voter I.D. Act, which requires voters to show an I.D. at the polls, as well as the WomanÕs Right To Know Act, which requires women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion.

Sims was elected to the Augusta Commission to fill the unexpired term of then-Commissioner Stephen Shepard in 2004. She later won the seat outright but announced last year she would not seek re-election.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Majette offers few details on plans for state schools

Posted By on Mon, Apr 24, 2006 at 3:26 PM

By Coley Ward

You can put the "Will she? Won't she?" rumors to rest. Denise Majette will not challenge Cynthia McKinney for her spot in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Instead, Majette will focus on a previously announced run for Superintendent of Georgia Schools.

Majette has served one term as a U.S. congresswoman and nine years as a state court judge, but doesn't have any experience in education. She wasn't heavy on specifics when we asked her about her plans to rehab the state school system, but she did key us in on three things that she would focus on if elected superintendent:

  1. Involving parents and keeping them engaged once their children are in school.
  2. Helping children be prepared to learn.
  3. Helping teachers teach children.

Pretty vague, right?

When pressed about her goals, Majette said this:

"Teachers need the ability to be able to teach instead of filling out paperwork and having to play a number of different roles. But the job we're asking them to do is teach our children and they need to be able to focus on that.

In a number of places across the state, parents or teachers have to buy their own supplies for the classroom, things they ought to have supplied for them. Paper, school supplies, soap. It should not be the teacher's responsibility to pay for those things."

OK. Those are the problems. As for solutions É well, it's a long time before November. We'll give Majette a little time.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Reed could lose crotch-ety publicist

Posted By on Thu, Apr 20, 2006 at 7:42 PM

By John F. Sugg

Poor Ralph Reed gets hit with another body blow. Or is it a blessing?

Earlier this month, Jimmy Baron, for 12 years the popular host on alternative rock station 99X, was booted off the air without even the courtesy of a goodbye broadcast. Management mumbled about stalled contract negotiations. Baron had once boasted his salary topped $300,000 -- a figure management might have wanted to slash. Baron, meanwhile, winged west to San Francisco to try out for a talk show.

The station will only say Baron is "on leave right now."

So, how does the absence of Baron, with his often over-the-top commentary, impact God's Own Candidate for Lieutenant Governor?

Reed's public relations person is Lisa Baron, Jimmy's wife. She's a brittle mouthpiece whose strategy seems to have been to help Reed dig his image hole deeper and deeper. Every revelation about his shenanigans with Jack Abramoff, the great Washington, D.C., corruptor, elicits a curt and haughty denial from Baron. She's a disciple of the Scott McClellan School of Republican Prevarication -- deny the truth, blame the reporters.

Baron also has been a liability with Reed's base among conservative Christians. She writes a column for the Sunday Paper, in which she has discussed her oversized vagina. Hardly the type of imagery on which the pious want to focus.

Whatever, other publicists in town think she'll also move to San Francisco if Jimmy lands a job.

Reed may be wearing sackcloth at the thought -- or praising the Lord.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Step forward or step back?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2006 at 4:23 PM

By Scott Henry

On Friday, Sonny Perdue flexed his executive-order muscles and created the Governor's Commission for Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood Research and Medical Treatment. The move seemed to be the guv's way of salvaging a bill by Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth, that would have set up a network of public/private banks for umbilical cord blood and placental tissue for use by researchers. Shafer's bill, which gained notoriety for originally containing a provision to criminalize certain types of stem-cell research, failed to gain final approval in the waning minutes of the General Assembly.

However, Sonny's order comes with no funding. At best, the commission is simply a way for the state to tap experts as unpaid consultants to help Georgia attract biomedical research grants. Unfortunately, Perdue has a bad habit of shoring up his conservative support by adding right-to-lifers to important boards that set public health policy. Exhibit A was the appointment of Bruce Cook, the owner of an abstinence-education publishing company, as chairman of the Department of Human Resources board. Cook's first move was to try to shut down teen health clinics that distributed condoms.

Sen. David Adelman, D-Atlanta, who introduced a stem-cell research bill later co-opted by Shafer, says Perdue's proclamation still does little to encourage the most promising types of research, such as those championed by Nancy Reagan. While other states have pledged millions toward a broad range of research, Perdue, by contrast, has advanced no money and is mainly focused on appeasing Sadie Fields and the Christian Coalition.

"Georgia is continuing to fall behind," Adelman says.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Air Loaf goes to Hecht

Posted By on Fri, Apr 14, 2006 at 10:32 PM

By Ken Edelstein

CL Editor Ken Edelstein will be joined on tomorrow's Air Loaf radio show by Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations...One School at a Time. Greg was a destitute "climbing bum" attempting to climb K2, the world's deadliest peak, when his Himalayan adventure went terribly wrong. Disoriented and alone, he'd wandered the desolate region for weeks when Pakistani villagers finally found him. They nursed him back to health, and he vowed to repay them for his life.

Over the past decade, Mortenson has raised money to build 55 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  He'll be appearing at the Dekalb Public Library and the Carter Center next week, but you can hear him first on Air Loaf.

Next up, two congressional challengers: Steve Sinton, Democratic challenger for Georgia's Sixth Congressional District seat now held by Tom Price, and Allan Burns, a political neophyte and small business owner who's going up against John Linder in the Seventh District. Sinton and Burns have their work cut out for them in two heavily Republican, suburban north districts.

In the second hour, hear Greg Hecht, one of two leading Democrats in the race for lieutenant governor.

Listen to Air Loaf every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon on 1690 Air Atlanta. And participate by calling the show at 404-633-1690.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006


Posted By on Thu, Apr 13, 2006 at 10:06 PM

By John F. Sugg

One indicator that the just-finished Georgia legislative session was a snore-producer: At the April 12 Creative Loafing "Political Party," the hottest debate was over a piece of legislation that passed last year.

Senate Bill 3 -- passed in 2005's session -- was the legislature's obsequious kowtow to Big Medicine and Big Insurance. The law caps medical malpractice awards at $350,000. It was billed as a way to reduce medical insurance premiums.

But as Political Party panelist Allie Wall, executive director of the consumer advocacy group Georgia Watch, mentioned, insurance premiums haven't decreased, medical costs have climbed, and common citizens "have been denied their legal rights" to recover damages.

Continue reading »

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Five Qs for the Candidates

Posted By on Thu, Apr 13, 2006 at 8:44 PM

By Coley Ward

The Georgia Republican Party has prepared a press release for the benefit of slow-witted journalists with a list of five questions that Cathy Cox and Mark Taylor need to answer between now and the July 18 Democratic primary election.

This is really great, since generating questions is one of the toughest things a reporter does and sometimes we could use a little help.

It also is a possible indicator of what issues we can expect the Republicans to focus on come November.

Of course, we here at CL are equal opportunity bloggers, so we called the folks over at the Georgia Democratic Party and asked them to send us a list of questions for Governor Perdue.

After the jump are the two lists.

Continue reading »

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Listen to the April 12 show!

Posted By on Thu, Apr 13, 2006 at 7:34 PM

Let the races begin!


Having done their damage during this year's legislative session, state

lawmakers are set for a hot and heavy political season. Hear and

question the leading politicians and prognosticators on this year's

crucial election campaigns.

Guest panelists:

  • Rep. Tyrone L. Brookes Sr.
  • Sen. Curt Thompson
  • Sen. Renee Unterman
  • Allison Wall, executive director "Georgia Watch"

  • Hosted by, CL's Senior Editor John Sugg

Listen to the show

Photo by Sonia Clark, for more click here.

For bios click "Continue reading"

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A bit too obvious

Posted By on Wed, Apr 12, 2006 at 4:24 PM

By Ken Edelstein

Monday's Georgia GOP press release -- "Top 5 Questions Cathy Cox and Mark Taylor to Answer" -- says more about what Republican strategists view as their hot-button issues than it raises questions for Democrats.

The five questions:

  1. "Do you support Cynthia McKinney's extreme views and outrageous behavior?"
  2. "Where do you stand on gay marriage?"
  3. "As governor, would you have signed the Women's Right to Know bill, requiring a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion?"
  4. "Did you support or oppose last year's landmark tort reform legislation?"
  5. "Do you support the illegal immigration legislation passed by the House and Senate this year?"

Hmmm. Let's see. Recycling the settled 2004 gay marriage issue, along with abortion and the great boogeywoman, Cynthia McKinney. But not a word about taxes, spending, education, the economy, health care or any other significant issue.

Might this agenda seem a bit cynical? Is there any doubt now that the big push for the state to do something on the federal issue of illegal immigration was no more than a campaign tactic?

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