Sunday, June 18, 2006

"Reality Bites" for Mark Taylor

Add the AJC to a growing list of major state newspapers that are calling Mark Taylor's bluff. His new tv ad claims that Cathy Cox voted against HOPE when she wasn't even a member of the House of Representatives when it came up for a vote. Plus, they totally ignore Cox's positive voting record on subsequent HOPE funding bills. Whatever gets you elected, right?

To their credit, the AJC takes a look at Taylor's ad and then gives Mark Taylor a dose of reality:

Reality check: A look at campaign ads Taylor claims role in creating HOPE scholarship

FROM STAFF REPORTSPublished on: 06/18/06


The television ad opens with Mark Taylor, leads to a teacher overlooking a child and notes that Taylor was endorsed "by Georgia's teachers because he's a real innovator." It touts his backing of the HOPE scholarship and pre-kindergarten classes, saying he sponsored the law creating HOPE. It then says that his Democratic opponent, Cathy Cox, "opposed the law creating HOPE scholarships." It says Cox admitted voting against the lottery, which funds HOPE scholarships, and includes a shot of a 13-year-old newspaper article in the Miller County Liberal that quotes her on the issue. "Rep. Cox stated that although she did not vote for the lottery, she would be watching how the $139 million anticipated to come in the first year would be spent." It ends with another shot of Taylor and the phrase, "On education, only Mark Taylor has always been there."

Mark Taylor for governor campaign


Taylor has been endorsed by the Georgia Association of Educators and the Georgia Federation of Teachers. While Taylor pushed the bill that created the lottery as an assistant floor leader for Gov. Zell Miller in the Senate, the proposed lottery amendment that passed the General Assembly was sponsored by the House, not Taylor and the Senate. Cox was not a legislator at the time.

Cox said Saturday that she voted for the lottery at the polls in 1992 and that Taylor's claim is false. Her campaign provided a statement from Terry Toole, author of the article cited in the ad. In the statement Toole, who is editor and publish of the Miller County Liberal, said the Taylor campaign took the quote out of context.

He said Cox, who was speaking to the Lions Club as a freshman legislator, was referring to the fact that she didn't vote for HOPE in the Legislature because she wasn't a lawmaker when it passed. Toole could not be reached for comment Saturday.

"The facts here are crystal clear: This is a big lie from the 'big guy,' " Cox said.
Rick Dent, Taylor's spokesman, said he believes the ad is accurate. "She joined [Gov.] Sonny Perdue in trying to kill the education lottery," he said.

Perdue initially opposed the lottery, but he has funded HOPE and pre-kindergarten as governor and, while serving in the Senate, voted for budgets that funded the programs.

Check out Taylor's claims:

I don't think anyone has a problem with Mark Taylor citing his role in establishing HOPE. The problem is that he jumps over quite a few people that deserve more credit than he, most especially Zell Miller, to claim that it took "the big guy" for HOPE becoming a reality. Newsflash Mark: YOUR BILL DIDN'T EVEN PASS THE SENATE. That's so dishonest. And unfortunately, one of several lies he's tried to tell the voters of Georgia.

His own source, Terry Toole, corrects him on the context of the article that he wrote in 1993. Yet Taylor's campaign spokesperson, Rick Dent, says the Taylor ad is "accurate." Oh, so now, Terry Toole, who wrote your cited article and attended Cathy's speech in 1993, isn't as accurate as your ad? You've called Cathy a liar. Is Terry Toole a liar too?

Is that the new Taylor campaign tactic? Just call every man, woman, and child in the state of Georgia if necessary to get Mark Taylor elected? You have to ask yourself, what kind of man inspires this kind of insanity?

Want to know the facts about Cathy's record of support for HOPE? Check out Amy at Georgia Women Vote. She blogged about this and produced the goods:

Tuesday, May 23, 2006The Facts: Cox, School Funding and HOPE

Despite the rumbling from the Taylor campaign and the republican blogs, when Cathy Cox was a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, she voted to increase school funding and to expand the HOPE scholarship. Not only did she vote for the first and second round of funding for HOPE, but she also voted to remove the eligibility cap on family income and to enact safeguards to protect the scholarship. She also toured South Georgia in support of the program.

If you doubt any of that, here's the record:Cathy Cox voted for budgets increasing education funding.HB 202, 1995, HB 1375, 1994, HB 259, 1993Cathy Cox's 1993 budget vote funded the first HOPE scholarships.HB 202, 1993Her 1995 budget vote removed the income cap on HOPE scholarships.HB 202, 1995In 1994, Cathy voted for SB 710, which mandated that no program started with funding from the lottery would be continued with general funds and for SB 711 which created a lottery reserve fund.

In 1995, Cathy was one of five state legislators that toured South Georgia touting the Democrat’s record on HOPE. The Democratic presentations were focused on the technical details of Gov. Zell Miller's proposals to fund pre-kindergarten programs and the HOPE scholarship program.

posted by Amy Morton @
11:55 PM

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