May 10, 2006
In partnership with
Dad's Garage and Hands On Atlanta
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?
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
By Coley Ward
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo by Sonia Clark, for more click here.
For bios click "Continue reading"
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:
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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