Monday, July 21, 2008

Post Primary Thoughts: hi jinks, hypocrisy and higher taxes

The July 15th primary has come and gone and I am pleased to be the Republican candidate for Chatham County Chairman as that allows me an opportunity to carry forward my ideas about better public policy for our county.

I am most grateful to have the support of sensible Republicans who believe in lower taxes, more efficient government and better public safety. Who did not support me was the far right and special interest characters of the Chatham County Republican Party. I'm sure come November they will be voting for Pete anyway. In the short course they supported James Dewberry in an attempt to punish me for speaking out for sensible and improved public policy: impact fees on new construction, changing CAT buses from big to smaller and from diesel to smarter fuels, and working with the City of Savannah to support curbside recycling in the county.

Instead of picking apart reasonable and now very common policies (now routine in other communities and counties across the state of Georgia), they should have paid  attention to my long standing position that Chatham County property taxes are too high, not uniform between like kind classes and unfair to most property owners. Plus, they might want to think what is in store for the Chatham County budgets in 09, 010, 011? The tax digest will be flat or down (inflation included) and they won't have a fifth vote to stop a tax increase. Or do they enjoy being a minority on the commission so Pete will be the deciding vote to increase taxes?

Some of them also went a little nutty because back in January I made a comment to Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News that I was considering voting for Barack Obama. Many of the same CCRP individuals are the ones who sent me the emails over and over again about how Obama is a Muslim, won't salute the flag and is otherwise an evil person. Please.

They are also unnerved because some of the people who I met and worked with last year in the city recycling petition campaign, have decided to enter the races of sitting republicans commissioners. To them I say, this is America and those who want to be candidates have just as much right as anyone else to run. I did not "put them in the race." They saw the need to improve public policy at the county level and made up their minds to offer their own ideas. Sorry that some in CCRP feel I don't meet the CCRP country club standards, get over it.

Too and also, may I remind everyone that in January it was this commission that stood up together in Johnson Square, Kicklighter, Gellatly, Stone and Farrell (all Republicans) and announced that they would be running as a team, a conglomerate of Democrats and Republicans pledging their unwavering support for one another in this year's 2008 election.

It takes a lot of nerve to complain about another person who wishes to enter the election process after you have stood toe to toe and shoulder to shoulder in an obvious attempt to stifle any opposition and avoid any discussion of your record in this year's election cycle.

So perhaps we have cleared the air a little bit on the recent primary race, I hope so. The back story is what it is, convolution and frustration indeed, perhaps better discussion and better public policy will emerge in part because of it, not despite it.

PS: My advice to CCRP? Next election - recruit a Republican candidate for chairman that you approve of. (Kicklighter and Gellatly each have over 8 years service on the commission so why didn't CCRP encourage either of them to move up?)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Obama Military Experience

I find it hilarious that the right wing adores attacking Obama on his lack of a military record. Can someone please tell me when John McCain gained personal experience on Urbanized, Desert warfare? How is he better able handle an urban, desert conflict than Obama when his personal skill-sets and combat expertise are obsolete by over 30+ years, and geared towards Jungle, artillery based conflicts? Can someone also tell me how he can effectively manage a military force that has spent the largest amount of military funding in history – yet less than 10% of the overall combat force is battle ready? Finally, if many areas in the country of Iraq have been on nearly continuous lockdown for several months to stop the violence, how is John McCain taking leadership of the armed forces going to make us succeed in Iraq?

I keep thinking that World War 2 took less time to win than the time we have been in Iraq. That blows my mind: We beat Hitler in less time that has taken to “secure” Iraq. Wow.

American leadership always has, and always will, rely on a vast network of intelligence advisers, military specialists and other professionals that serve the commander in chief. Although the president may change office, the same professionals who advised George "Whoops" Bush will still be in place when Obama takes office. What I think is very important to have happen is a leader that is able to hold those networks and those professionals responsible for their actions and advice. The Bush administration has been staggeringly inefficient at coaxing results from these professionals, has been entirely too hesitant to admit its mistakes and faults, and has committed the blood of our most prized possession – our kids – into a war we simply cannot win because the “Iraqi” people do not want a government imposed upon them.
Iraq was a nation carved out in the 1940’s. It has several ethnic groups that simply don’t want anything to do with one another. I don’t understand why we need to have one country exist here instead of three – one for each faction. What’s really sad is we were once a nation under siege from a superpower that decided to declare independence from a government we didn’t want imposed on us. Now, we’re trying to do the same thing to Iraq.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more ashamed to be an American – our government is failing in so many ways at the moment that I think we’re on the verge of collapse as a nation. The west coast of the US has been in a chronic drought situation for 30 years, we haven’t bothered investing in a comprehensive energy policy while other nations leave us in the dust. (33% of Germanys electricity is now solar generated). We have millions of senior citizens ready to retire into a broke social security system. We have an enormous brain trust of 20-somethings who now have to compete for white-collar, high paying jobs with Indish and Chinese citizens able to work at 1/20th the cost our kids can. We have a higher incarceration rate than China and North Korea based on a drug “war” that also failed miserably. Our college graduates can’t afford basic housing and are being forced to move back in with their parents after school – they’re lucky if they earn $9 an hour at Wal-Mart – and are expected to buy $300K houses and pay for their parents social security checks too. Our middle class hasn’t had a raise in 30 years, the rich have been huge benefactors of all of the economic growth over the last 20 years. In short: Maybe our government should spend less time talking about and trying to regulate who I decide to have sex with and solve issues that actually matter.

I want accountability. I want to be proud of America again. I want a raise, I want my credit cards paid off, a good job, my neighbors and friends to not die in a senseless conflict with no resolution, a military held accountable for its spending. I want my gay husband to not wake up in the night screaming out of fear he’s going to be shot at. I want a country that recognizes the hypocrisy in asking someone to give their life for their nation but be ashamed of who they are and whom they choose to love. I want a leader that inspires me, shows me that the sun can rise again on America, and that we really can move forward as a nation – and get answers to the things we’ve been needing for decades.

I think the first step is to show we really have changed. Let’s put a black man from a single parent home in the white house….