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Posts Tagged ‘Connie Stokes’

Code Enforcement meetings coming this month

October 2, 2010 1 comment

If stories about litter and signage in stories like this get you frustrated, then you can have your voice heard at several meetings planned by the code enforement task force this month.

This from CEO Ellis’ newsletter via e-mail today

Code Enforcement Task Force Seeking Input From Citizens


CEO Ellis recently appointed Super District 7 Commissioner Connie Stokes as chair of the newly established DeKalb County Code Enforcement Task Force. The task force, which includes community leaders, county officials, and other key stakeholders, will identify and assist in the implementation of solution-driven recommendations to address code enforcement issues affecting communities throughout DeKalb.

The DeKalb County Code Enforcement Task Force, which held meetings in September, has two final sessions scheduled in October to receive input from the public. The dates and locations are as follows:

Thursday, October 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Lynwood Recreation Center
3360 Osborne Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30319

Tuesday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Cedar Grove High School
2360 River Rd.
Ellenwood, GA 30294

For more information about the DeKalb County Code Enforcement Task Force, contact the office of Commissioner Stokes at 404-371-3053 and conniestokes@dekalbcountyga.gov, or visitwww.conniestokes.org.
We all know that DeKalb, especially South DeKalb is in need of reliable and constant code enforecement. I would attend one of these meetings if for no other reason than to let the task force know how much work needs to be done to clean up the litter, signs being displayed illegally, and citizens who allow properties to fall into a state of disrepair. I am marking my calendar now.

Late night musings

August 25, 2010 Comments off

No public cash for private developers

Connie Stokes and Kathie Gannon reportedly were the only two commissioners to vote in favor of the GM site redevelopment plan. What baffles me is that the entire commission was dead set against raising taxes to cover budget shortfalls, funding of public safety and infrastructure projects but were in favor of a tax increase to take what amounts to a gamble that if lost, the taxpayers would be stuck with the bill. I know the increase was minimal, but it is about principles. If you are willing to raise taxes to fund a private developer, why not raise taxes to fund items that make the county work. As for the 9,000 jobs this thing was going to create, I wonder how many would actually go to DeKalb or Doraville residents. If this thing was funded by private dollars, and the infrastructure could be paid for with out a tax increase, then this thing would have been a no-brainer. This would have turned into DeKalb’s version of the federal stimulus plan.

Not Surprised by nail salon manager

A store, no a nail salon in Lithonia charges a lady an extra 5 bucks because, in their opinion, she is too heavy for their chairs. Michelle Fonville was shocked and almost at tears according to her when she was told she would have to incur an overweight surcharge. Add to that a manager who basically told Fonville eff you, it costs me 2500 dollars to fix my chair because you sat down and broke it. The salon manger told Fonville to take her business elsewhere and even said that had she seen Fonville before she sat down, she would have refused to serve her based on her weight. all this on local TV no less. This does not surprise me at all. Stores like these consistently berate, and belittle the very people who keep them in business. This nail salon manager knows that her business will not suffer any ill-effects of this bad PR. It will be forgotten Thursday, and she will have a packed house on Friday evening. I personally will not give my cash to a store that berates or denigrates it’s customers. This should be a wake-up call. If they treat you like crap and you continue to give them money, what does that say about you. see video of Fonville here.

Hush Money??

DeKalb just can’t seem to stay out of the AJC’s line of fire. After the county rejected using pubic dollars to finance a private project, here’s this. The AJC reported tonight that former communications director Shelia Edwards (she accused NJ police of murder in the death of a friend) is getting a 46k severance to keep her mouth shut. I know these things are typical, even my company did it, but it seems odd they would give her severance and include phrases like not disparage the county, or not sue the county. Tells me she knows stuff that could at the very least embarrass some folks.

A quick note on Dekalb schools.

I talked with a teacher at a school that was recently built under the direction Crawford Lewis, Patricia Pope and others. This teacher told me the school is in terrible shape. Door knobs not working, ceiling tiles falling onto the floor, and leaky ceilings among other things. She told me that she can’t believe that all of the money earmarked for the school construction actually made it there. She told me plainly that she thinks Pope her husband and others took advantage of the school system and should be made to pay. That comes from a teacher who has a couple of decades in the profession. Also, attorneys for Dr. Lewis asked for a change of venue. They say the will be unable to get a fair hearing in DeKalb. If you are guilty, that evidence will follow you wherever you go. A change of venue will not change that.

Lastly, I have to weigh in on this mosque thing that seems to be captivating everyone. I do not believe that this is about reverence for a site that saw the deaths of 3000 people. There is nor reverence here. On the site will rise another structure praising the glory of capitalism. If it was a place to be revered, it would be more like the memorial at Pearl Harbor. In the end this is about hatred of all things Islam, after all it was the religion of Islam that caused the deaths 0f 3000 innocent souls. The idea of government not promoting or sponsoring any particular religion really means that Judeo-Christian principles rule the day, minus the Judeo part. These men and women, being citizens of the United States, have every right to build their place of worship wherever the choose, so long as it meets existing laws/ordinances, and does not infringe upon the rights of those around them.

DeKalb gives raises to select few

July 29, 2010 2 comments

Some DeKalb elected officials gave staff raises  | ajc.com.

What really sucks about this is that a few days after this story was reported, a DeKalb officer is shot, luckily not killed, working for a pittance. If this isn’t a slap in the face, I don’t know what is. And it is bad in so many ways. The CEO decided to change job descriptions to get raises for his favored few.

Records obtained by the AJC also show that Ellis changes the scope of work for several of his employees, including promoting one woman from a housing project manager to deputy chief of staff – a job that carried a $31,000 raise.

A back door raise if you may. I will change your duties, and that will get you the raise that you want. Way to go Mista CEO.

But what about Commish Stokes, who wanted to Rep the 4th district. Here is her explanation;

Stokes said she tried to abide by that policy, but when her staff heard about the CEO’s raises, she had to give in. Stokes staff began complaining after the AJC reported that former chief communications officer Shelia Edwards’ salary went from $125,000 to $138,000. Edwards resigned Monday because of other reasons.

However, the records show she also gave two of her staff members raises, including a communications manager and camera-operator for the county’s TV station.

“I thought it was not fair to them when I heard everyone else had gotten increases,” Stokes said Tuesday. “I can’t say the policy is out the window because I don’t run the county, but I understand how it may look.”

Stokes, chairwoman of the commission’s budget committee, gave one of her two assistants, Tonza Clark, a $15,300 raise last week. She argued that her staff was paid way less than other commissioners’ assistants.

However, records show that Clark’s salary was similar to other commission staff.

You didn’t try very hard did you? So you helped pass a resolution that says no raises, for anyone, then you slide a couple of your people some extra cash. And your excuse is that others were doing it also. By that logic, it is OK for me lie, cheat and steal. After all there are plenty of people doing that in the very government that is suppose to work for us not against us. It is hard for me to believe that they thought this would fly. Ms Stokes and her cohorts must have a very low opinion of the residents of DeKalb, and the officers that protect the county. The problem with Ms Stoke and most of the DeKalb leadership is that they have no integrity. This was done without regard as to how it looked or how it affected others on the county payroll. It was selfish and all involved should be made to pay.

http://dekalbofficersspeak.blogspot.com/2010/07/do-they-realize-how-stupid-they-sound.html

see the video of Stokes trying to slither her way out of this stupid decision.

Johnson, Carter to battle for 4th district title in November.

July 21, 2010 4 comments

Well what can be said about last night’s primary results. Vernon got whacked by an incumbent who will probably return to Washington for yet another term. Liz Carter beat down her competition, and will now become the Republican’s sacrificial lamb in November.

I saw a district, and moreover a county outright reject Vernon Jones. I was one of only a handful of people who thought Jones could push Johnson to a run-off. I was wrong. I was wrong by a more than 2 to 1 vote tally. Going into Tuesday, my confidence in a Jones/Johnson run-off had waned a bit, but I still thought he would make a race of it. I had talked to a couple of people in the Jones campaign, and they told me that they felt if they could run well in Rockdale, they could challenge Johnson in DeKalb, especially South DeKalb. As I watched results start to roll in around 830, Rockdale was going solidly with Johnson. As the night wore on, Rockdale was giving Johnson a comfortable 2 to 1 edge. It never got any closer. By the time I got to Jones possible victory party around 1030 in South DeKalb, It seemed like the votes just were not going to come in. It could be a few weeks before detailed data is available on the SOS site, but I am interested to know what precincts Vernon won. When I talked with a person close to the race in the 4th district the weekend prior to the vote, they told me that Jones would not even make the run-off. I asked why? Their response was that voters in the 4th district do not have short memories. All the baggage that Vernon carried into this race was just too heavy a load for voters to just put away.

I know that Johnson was the incumbent, but he really thumbed his nose at the voters of this district. He put very little effort in this and took for granted that voters would give him a victory. For me this is a turn off. He only attended one forum held in the district, and public appearances were few and far between. In other words, Johnson was more than just confident of a win, he was downright cocky. That was evidenced by his line on ajc.com that he was never really concerned about this race and his desire to get back to Washington as early as possible. Come on Congressman, you can do us better than that. If he was not concerned about the primary, then he must be absolute giddy that he is facing a Republican in a district that has been slobbering over Democrats for nearly 15 years.

In the Republican race, there was only one surprise, and that was that Larry Gause actually put up a fight. Though he was summarily beaten down by a campaign that had made itself the front runner by being a part of any conversation about the 4th, Gause’s vote tally was impressive. When this whole thing started who the heck knew who Liz Carter was. I know I didn’t. Now she is in the championship round, a veritable Cinderella if you may. How long will it be before the carriage falls back to a pumpkin, and the glass slipper comes falling off? I don’t see how Liz is going to get the votes needed to advance on to Congress. She is going to have to convert not just independents; she is going to have to pull a sizeable chunk of Democrats as well. Just look at these numbers: 57, 61, 60, 77, 63, 75, and 99. These represent the percentage of votes won for the Democrat candidate since 1996. It is truly going to be an uphill battle, especially since she did not draw Vernon Jones. I can’t wait to see how she works through this.

As for the other candidates, Cory Ruth and Victor Amendariz flamed out both manages to get just over a thousand votes. Actually Amendariz got more votes than Ruth, so on the Republican side Ruth was the biggest loser. On the Democrat side, Connie Stokes brought up the rear, but kept it close with Vernon until the end. She still has some time left in her career, she may make a few runs at Hank before it is all said and done.

Jones, Carter, Johnson only legit contenders for 4th district

July 12, 2010 8 comments

Stokes, Jones, Carter, and Gause were on time. Ruth and Amandariz made it there really late. Hank was a no show again

This weekend was a busy one for the 4th district candidates. They were on GPB TV Friday night, and low and behold, all  showed up in the heart of South DeKalb on Saturday except one(guess who?). I am not going to give a blow by blow of either event, after all, you pretty much know what is going to be said. What I will offer is what I took away from each event. Let us start with the long shots. Larry Gause is not going to win, but he has ideas that are interesting to say the least. He is an intellectual. People do not like intellectuals, ask Al Gore. Mr. Gause believes that the folks in Washington should stay at home most of the time and spend little time in Washington. It is something I am sure he could write a book on, but who cares. People want solutions, real or not, that deal with their everyday issues. Most people could care less about the travel arrangements of their congressperson, unless there is scandal involved. Those are the facts. Not to mention lobbyists would cry foul since they would be forced to go to every little backwoods hamlet looking for congressmen to bribe. It ain’t gonna happen, and Gause is basically running on principle now. He did come to South DeKalb though, which shocked the you know what out of me. Victor Amendariz was much better on TV than he was at the South DeKalb forum. That may have been because he was so late, he only got to answer one question and do his outro. He seems a bit nervous to me. When he had the opportunity to question one opponent, it took him nearly 15 seconds to tell us who his question was for. He stumbled around and stammered like a kid who did not do his homework and was trying to answer a question. Right now, if he was being tossed hardball questions with follow-ups, he would come off pretty bad. Dude is not ready. Moving on to Cory Ruth, my golden boy a few weeks ago has lost some of his luster, and in such a short period of time. Why? I don’t know. I am not sold on him as a candidate. I have seen him in person twice, and both times he seems aloof, almost arrogant. Although he has polished answers, and has a smooth delivery that shows his knowledge of issues, I am just not feeling him. On to Ms. Stokes and her invisible campaign. I haven’t been able to get a read on her at all. If experience and knowledge were the only qualifications, she would be running neck and neck with Vernon. In this game you have to be able to connect with people and she is not connecting, at least not with me. At the forum on Saturday, the applause for her after she spoke was lackluster. I don’t think she has done anything to get her name in the conversation, good or bad. At this stage of the game, you do not want to be an unknown. It is a shame too, because she seems like such a nice person. Now that I have disposed of the also-rans, let’s talk about the three who can win. Let’s start with Hank. He missed the televised as well as the S. DeKalb forum at the mall. Now, I know he is a sitting congressman, and he has to work and campaign, but dang, you would think he would show his face every once in a while. I think he has been to one forum with the other candidates. If I am a new voter in the 4th, I have to wonder what is up with this guy. Is he OK? Is he fit to serve? Hank is going to wake up on the 21st and realize that he is soon to be known as the former congressman from Georgia’s 4th district. That leaves just two. I am going to start with Liz Carter. I get the feeling she has shifted this thing into cruise control, though she and her campaign will deny it. After all she does not want to expend too much energy on what seems to be a done deal on the primary. Her only competition, Cory Ruth is having his conservative credentials questioned, especially his plan to possibly bring Haitians to America while Haiti is being rebuilt. Liz banged him on that one. I checked his site like he encouraged, and this is what is in the letter today –

“My concern is that with temperatures in the nineties, no shelter, no clean water, rampant diarrhea and other diseases, human waste and dead bodies in the streets – are there discussions to begin rapidly transporting the Haitian population to neighboring countries – including the United States?”

Even though he posed it as a question, in this climate you do not want to advocate or seem to advocate bringing any foreigners  into this country to suck our resources dry. It can be the end of your campaign especially if you are a Republican. Anyway, back to Liz. She is playing it safe for now, and seems to be positioning herself for a run at the moderate and independent voters of the district. At about the eleven minute mark, she smoothly explains off any question about her position on issues relating to gays, and puts a states right spin on it. A safe move as to not alienate too many of the 4ths liberal voters. Liz Carter is definitely headed to the big dance, and the last time a moderate Republican female ran was Sunny Warren in 2000, and she got nearly 40% of the vote against a wildly popular, at the time, Cynthia McKinney. Can a moderate Republican win this district? Anything is possible, but she will have to beat an incumbent or Vernon. Last but not least, is Vernon. I am not going to say much about Vernon. The guy is a damn good campaigner, and he truly knows how to move a crowd, albeit a sympathetic crowd most of the time. On Sturday he said He has humor, and he pounds away at you with his accomplishments.  In both the televised and South DeKalb forum, he had a commanding presence on stage. I know that Vernon is playing well in South DeKalb. Just talking to folks in casual conversation, they know him, and they know what he has done, and they like him. My only fear is that his baggage is going to hurt him. It’s not deadly cargo, but it is cumbersome. Had he not been carrying so much extra baggage, I would say without a doubt he will be representing the 4th. It is a shame too, because I much rather see a Vernon/Carter slugfest than a Hank/Carter sleepwalk.

If you missed the debates, here are the Republicans. Here are the Democrats.

Mo’ Money in the 4th

June 28, 2010 Comments off

Money means so much when running a political campaign. It can make an unknown candidate a household name overnight. Here are some tidbits I found on the candidates who are running for the congressional seat held by Hank Johnson. These are not eye-popping numbers, but I think it shows how competitive this race will be. If it were not for the PAC’s financing of Johnson, he would be right down there with Vernon Jones and Liz Carter in terms of funds raised from individuals, although he still has raised double what Vernon has in individual contributions. The number that surprises me here is the amount of money Liz Carter has on hand. She has raised just over $28,000 but has about $6,100 on hand. These numbers of course have changed since they were reported in March of this year.  Get the same data and more at the following links:

http://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary.php?id=GA04&cycle=2010

http://www.fec.gov/

Raised

Hank Johnson (D)* $290,143
Vernon A. Jones (D) $37,570
Liz Carter (R) $28,336
Connie Stokes (D) $16,340
Cory Ruth (R) $6,792
Lawrence F. Gause (R) $2,300
Victor Armendariz (R) $0

Hank highlights

72 percent from PAC’s, expected since he is the incumbent and has a wider circle of support

$79,000 from individuals about double Vernon.

$64,000 on hand also double Vernon.

Hanks top contributors:

National Beer Wholesalers Assn: & $11,000

American Assn for Justice: $10,000

Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers: $10,000

United Food & Commercial Workers $7500

AFLAC inc.: $7000



Vernon highlights

$37,500 raised

$31,000 on hand

No debt
Vernon has no data for top contributor

Liz Carter highlights

Raised: $28,336

Spent: $22,219

On Hand: $6116

Debt: $1,600

Liz Carter Top Contributors

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP: $2,400

American Hermetics: $2,000

American Hermetics of Ga: $2,000

Iovation Inc.: $1,500

Inside Gwinnett: $1,295

Connie Stokes highlights

Raised: $16,340

Spent: $7,130

On Hand: $9,210

Debt: >$80,000

Individual Contributions: $7,110 or 44%

Self-financing $5,880 or 36%

Top contributors to Connie

Ngp Software: $2,600

Mme: $1,000

Where the mony comes from: In state vs Out of state funds. Not surprising that Hank gets a lot of cash from outside. What is surprising is the out of state money for Liz Carter

In State        Out State    No State

Hank Johnson (D) $53,175 (76%) $17,000 (24%) $2,000 (3%)
Vernon A. Jones (D) $34,700 (99%) $250 (1%) $0 (0%)
Liz Carter (R) $9,691 (49%) $10,000 (51%) $0 (0%)
Connie Stokes (D) $3,850 (55%) $3,100 (45%) $0 (0%)
Lawrence F. Gause (R) $600 (50%) $600 (50%) $0 (0%)
Cory Ruth (R) $601 (100%) $0 (0%) $0 (0%)
Victor Armendariz (R) $0 (0%) $0 (0%) $0 (0%)

4th district candidate questionnaire

June 27, 2010 1 comment

I sent the following questions to all of the candidates in the 4th congressional race. A couple bounced back, so I used their contact form on their website. Only one has responded so far and that was Liz Carter. I am going to post any answers I get in a post sometime next week. Stay tuned

These are the questions I sent to the Dem candidates

  1. As Democrats, it is hard to separate the candidates from one another based on issues. What one thing separates you from the other candidates in the primary and therefore makes you the best candidate to vote for?
  2. Our national government is accumulating massive deficits, trust in government is at an all-time low, and special interests groups tend to be more of a force in national politics than ordinary Americans. What do you think can be done to restore the national government to respectability among average Americans.
  3. How involved should the government be in the BP gulf oil spill?
  4. As a veteran, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are always in my head. The wars have cost taxpayers over a trillion dollars. Do you believe it is time to remove our troops from one or both war zones, and if so how soon would you want to see a withdrawal begin?
  5. For more than a decade, Democrats have been elected to office in the 4th district, but little has come back to the district in terms of jobs, dollars, or respect. Why should 4th district citizens continue to vote for the Democrat come November

Here are the questions I sent to the Republicans:

  1. As Republicans, it is hard to separate the candidates from one another based on issues. What one thing separates you from the other candidates in the primary and therefore makes you the best candidate to vote for?
  2. Our national government is accumulating massive deficits, trust in government is at an all-time low, and special interests groups tend to be more of a force in national politics than ordinary Americans. What do you think can be done to restore the national government to respectability among average Americans.
  3. How involved should the government be in the BP gulf oil spill?
  4. As a veteran, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are always in my head. The wars have cost taxpayers over a trillion dollars. Do you believe it is time to remove our troops from one or both war zones, and if so how soon would you want to see a withdrawal begin?
  5. In past elections in the 4th district, the smaller, less intrusive government proposed by Republicans has fallen on deaf ears. Many in the district rely on   government benefits to make ends meet be it Social Security, Section 8, or Medicare/Medicaid. How can smaller government help those who need help the most.

4th district candidates meet up in forum.

June 24, 2010 18 comments

Well I attended my first candidate forum on Teusday evening at the DeKalb History center. The forum was sponsored by the DeKalb League of Women Voters, and the Champion newspaper. By the time I arrived, they were in the midst of introducing the candidates who were there. In a previous post,  I said Hank Johnson would win this hands down. The forum and other actions since then makes me want to adjust “hands down” to “it is going to be a squeaker”. Johnson still pulls it out, but probably in a runoff. Back to the forum, the following candidates showed up: Victor Amendariz, Liz Carter, Vernon Jones, Cory Ruth and Connie Stokes. Larry Gause and Hank Johnson were no-shows. I must say, it is best to see the candidates in person at least once. You observe t hings about them that you cannot possibly get from a tweet, or a facebook update. My overall take about the forum was that it was civil and light-hearted. no back and forth jabs between candidates, probably becasue the moderator forbade them to do so. The candidate that most impressed me was Cory Ruth. All of his answers to question were to the point. Whether I agree with his answers was not too important to me. After all we know what a Republican believes, and we know what the Democrats believe. For me, last night was a chance to see how the candidate presented themselves, and how they reaceted to their environment. To that point, I had a few qualities I was looking for.

Confidence. Did the candidate seem shaken or sure of their position

Knowledge. Did the candidate have a solid handle on the issues presented to them.

Experience. Not just political, but ability to lead, craft new ideas (Job, business, etc).
Victor Amandariz – He has a great story, son of a successful legal immigrants, successful in his own right, and a straight ” I beleive in the Constitution” guy. His solution to just about every issue raised was less government, more private sector. Though  I agree that government can screw up mightily, I also must recognize that the private sector can muck up stuff as well. His stance on what to do about Section 8 housing was his only highlight for me. He proposed that organizations like Habitat for Humanity should be expanded to provide low-income housing as oppose to the Feds managing a handout. Over all, I was not impressed with Mr. Amendariz. He should consider a run for county commission or  city council. He just ain’t ready for the big stage of Congress.

  • Confidence: He was way sure of his convictions, there were times he was searching for words, but he did a good job overall.
  • Knowledge:  Only because he seems to think that less government solves all problems no matter the issue.
  • Experience:  I cannot recall one time where he referred to an event in his life that would show him as a solid leader.

Liz Carter – Liz was good. she didn’t hit a home run, but she didn’t strike out either. I think she has the best run campaign by far, and she seems at ease and confident talking with folks who were obvious supporters of Stokes and Jones. Though many of here answers were a rehash of the issues on her website, she did provide details at times. On the issue of public transportation, she talked about the need to integrate all of our transport options like rail, bus and other forms so that people on mass transit can move around more quickly and efficiently. She pointed to cities like San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Chicago as examples of cities where mass transit works. One issue where I felt she faltered on was Section 8 housing. The queston was posed by an audience member, who was concerned about the amount of Section 8 housing in the district. I thought this was an excellent question, because, behind foreclosures, Section 8 has been devastating neighborhoods across South DeKalb. Her answer made me feel that she needed an update about Section 8. She gave the typical response about the role of the private sector being better able to handle the issues that come along with Section 8. She followed fellow Republican Amendariz in support for more Habitat for Humanity like projects to help with Section 8 issues. Though her answer to this question was not what I wanted to hear, I still think she will be the Republican candidate, and I also think she will poll well in the general election.

  • Confidence: A, was impressed by her positions on various issues, was not rattled by the vocal Jones and Stokes supporters
  • Knowledge:  Well educated about a myriad of issues. generic response on Section 8 needs revamping.
  • Experience:  Business owner, plus I talked to her Chief of Staff, and she told me they run the campaign like a business. would do the same in Congress probably.

Vernon Jones – I could devote an entire post to Vernon. This was the first time I had seem him in person. His personality is overwhelming, and his ability to stir the crowd and influence those around him were evident last night(after complaining that 60 seconds was not enough to explain a position, the moderator offered the candidates a choice of more time but fewer questions. Vernon in the end stuck with the 60 seconds). He had the most vocal supporters at the forum and there were more than a few people who had their “Vernon Jones for Congress” t-shirts turned inside out. Vernon touted his record as CEO on more than a few occasions. From sidewalks and turn lanes to more open greenspace on both ends of the county, Vernon from the start let the audience know who had the most experience and the most successes in elected office. On the issue of illegal immigratin, Vernon plainly stated that he was against an amnesty program for illegals. he also stated that he supported helping Mexico with it’s economy, and that will help us with our immigration policy. I have heard that before from others, but somehow it gets lost in the conversation. It was refreshing to hear a candidate offer a measure that would truly help with illegal immigration(look to our north if you need any persuasion). Overall, Vernon impressed me. I must confess here that I voted for him both times he ran for CEO. I think he did a respectable job as CEO, though today I wonder if all the projects that he claims as successes are not coming back to haunt the county’s’ finances. He will give Hank a run for his money, and I think he will force Hank into a run-off. That said, the last time Vernon went into a run-off he lost.

  • Confidence: The guy knows what he believes and is not afraid to say it.
  • Knowledge:  He understands a myriad of issues, though I was suprised that he gave a “No Answer” to a questionon about whether he would support and Arizona style immigration bill in Georgia. He admitted to not reading the bill.
  • Experience:  He has the experience to be a congressman, and he has lead a large urban government, something the other candidates cannot claim.

Cory Ruth – As I said earlier, I was most impressed by Mr. Ruth. He explained his positions very well, leaving no doubt as to where he stood. He also made two to three suggestions on how he would handle a particular issue. On Securing our borders he said it was not just about our southern border, he stated that the government was responsible for all of our borders including the northern border, airports and sea-ports. His position was that the focus should be on securing all of our borders, and not focusing all of our attention on just one single issue of Immigration. Of all the candidates, he seemd to be the least political, and seemed to have a genuine desire to solve problems. Though he must know he is fighting and uphill battle, he was as confident as anyone on stage. He never was at a lost for words. I can’t recall a moment where I had to take pause about what he was saying, he was really that good. I think we may hear from him again later on down the road.

  • Confidence:  Really well prepared. Not intimidated in the least.
  • Knowledge:  His quick and concise answers were obvious signs he had studied the issues, and had a solid plan for what he would do.
  • Experience: No mention about past political work, or leadership in organization or business. He did not mention past work that would lead me to belive that leadership has been a primary responsibility.

Connie Stokes – I am finding Connie hard to read. Last night, she showed that she has the knowled and the experience to be a congressperson. She basically reiterated what we already know about her positions. She made a point to mention the work she had done in the state senate, and being a floor leader for former Governor Roy Barnes. She also touts her skills as a county commisoner. On the Section 8 issue, she believes that landlords who own Section 8 property should be held accountable for the upkeep of their properties. On other issues, she towed the line with what would be expected from a Liberal Democrat. She had a sizeable following at the forum, and will definitely siphon votes from Jones and Johnson. She did not hurt herself Tuesady, adn I am sure she will become more visible and more vocal in the next few weeks.

  • Confidence:  Well prepared to explain her positions. Seemed to be searching for words during questions from the audience.
  • Knowledge: Understands issues well, especially those that affect the district directly like unemployment and foreclosures.
  • Experience: Her time in the statehouse, and the county commission, as well as her business leadership makes her a very experienced politician.

Vernon On the Move? Where is Connie? And other musings about the 4th

May 26, 2010 12 comments

Vernon is on the move

You don’t win elections based on yard signs, but driving through South DeKalb you see that Vernon’s supporters havce been busy placing his “jobs first” signs. Many are in yards, but most that I have observed are in places where permission to place the sign is probably not needed. He seems to have a particulary strong sign presence Along Flat Shoals Pkwy, and along the southern end of Wesley Chapel. Of all the candidates, He is the only one I have seen with signs in South DeKalb. On Twitter, VJ has picked up his tweeting. He does not tweet as much as Republican Liz Carter, but he has become familiar with the medium though many of his tweets are just retweets.

Connie Stokes; MIA

Has anyone seen Connie Stokes. It seems to me her campaign is MIA. With Primaries a little less than two months from now I would expect to see more of her in the media, and in the streets. Checking out her website, she attends a lot of events around the district, but she barely gets a mention in any media outlet big or small. Come on Connie, get out there and stir things up.

Liz Carter can win!

I have maintained for a while that a Republican has no chance at winning the fourth district. I still think it is an uphill battle, but Liz Carter has worked her ass off attempting to make this a race. Although demographically the fourth is overwhelmingly Democrat, I think that there are areas that could make the race interesting. Areas around Tucker/Northlake/Briarcliff, Norcross up to Duluth, and those parts of Rockdale within the district could pose a challenge to a weak Democrat. Imagine Vernon Jones beating Hank in the primary and is the candidate against a well organized Liz Carter. Vernon is a polarizing figure. You either take him or leave him. In the aforementioned areas, he may not play well. If he could not get a massive turnout in South DeKalb,  I could see neither getting the required 50+1 and the race going into a runoff. Although this scenario is unlikely, you never know what will happen in the days leading up to any election

Hank wins hands down

As for the reigning champ Hank “the incumbent” Johnson, I see no way he loses in the primary or the general election. He is a safe candidate. He plays well in all areas of the district, with the exception of Liz Carter supporters. The swing voters in Central DeKalb and Gwinnett have no beef with him nor do the fear him, and unless he makes some massive political blunder, he should be a shoe in for another term. If I had to make a complaint against Hank, it would be his inability to bring any significant jobs to the district. I would like to see a manufacturer or some service company announce that it is opening operations in the 4th.

DeKalb chooses wallcoverings over Library, Parks

January 21, 2010 Comments off

This is why DeKalb is ridiculed and made to look the fool.

$101,000 spent on DeKalb wallpaper and paint  | ajc.com.

Whether the walls needed painting and wallpaper or not, this is a public relations boo boo for the county and for Connie Stokes, since she is the one commissioner who is quoted in the story. The fact that the county commission approved this, shows that they may be a bit out of touch with the citizens they claim to represent. I am pretty sure that these buildings could be painted some other time. I am also pretty sure that the wallpaper replacement could have been put on hold a while longer. These are aesthetic changes; they do nothing to improve the safety or the quality of the actual building. And this quote from would-be 4th district Rep. Connie Stokes – “I had the same concern too about why are we doing wallpapering. But they told us it’s all for replacement for flood or water-damaged wallpaper,” Stokes told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. “They’re not decorating and adding new wallpaper.” First off  Ms. Stokes, they are decorating and they are not going to use old wallpaper. More importantly though,  you were reluctant to approve the contract so you approved it anyway. Couldn’t you have voted against it, or abstained, or pulled some political trickery to postpone the vote. See this is the type of stuff that gets citizens so upset. We have to live within our budget, and when we don’t have money, we must do without or pay the consequence. Politicians, on the other hand, just pass on a tax increase to make up for their stupidity. I hope Ms. Stokes realizes that citizens will be looking at her record on the commission in making a decision on whom to vote for as their Rep. from the 4th district. This is not a great start Ms. Stokes.