Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Suggestion for Cox Supporters Being Courted By Perdue

Our friend, Amy, at Georgia Women Vote has an excellent suggestion for Cathy Cox supporters being sent cards by the Perdue campaign seeking support for the governor.

"We could cost the Perdue Campaign a little money with a coordinated effort to return the pre-paid cards with similar responses. Maybe we could suggest that to our readers."

Amy filled her card out and signed herself as "informed voter" and told Sonny, "thanks but no thanks."

Being as that Perdue has a huge advantage in terms of money. We could send these post pre-paid cards back to Sonny and make a small dent in his mailing budget. We could also send the message that Democrats are united for our gubernatorial efforts this fall.

The campaign between Taylor and Cox was a rough one. Feathers were ruffled, and I'm afraid some long lasting grudges have been made. We all know what primary campaigns are like. Especially in this day and age where negativity seems to be the weapon of choice. What happened wasn't totally unexpected. But in the end, I think what's really important is to put a Democrat into the governor's mansion again. I still feel that's better for our state than to allow it to continue to languish under Sonny Perdue.

For those that aren't aware of what's been happening the last week or so, here's an AJC article about Sonny courting Cox supporters.

Perdue asks Cox backers for help

James Salzer - StaffWednesday, August 2, 2006

Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue is asking Georgians who contributed to the unsuccessful Democratic gubernatorial campaign of Secretary of State Cathy Cox to join his team.
In a letter to Cox supporters --- sent a week after she lost the Democratic primary to Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor --- Perdue writes, "I want to continue to create a unified Georgia, ready to move forward in a positive direction. I would be honored to have you join me."

Derrick Dickey, spokesman for the Perdue campaign, wouldn't say how many Cox supporters have signed on, but he called the response "overwhelming."

"Sonny has spent the past four years working for every Georgian, regardless of their political affiliation," Dickey said. "We believe the governor has a strong case for earning the support of folks across party lines and we will leave no stone unturned."

Some Cox backers said they doubted Perdue would lure a lot of her supporters.

"As unhappy as this Cox supporter was with the primary result, I know Mark Taylor would make a better governor than the one we've got now," said retiring Democratic Rep. Tom Bordeaux, a Savannah lawyer who contributed $2,500 to Cox's campaign. "Cathy was my first choice, Mark is my next, and Sonny would be my absolute last choice ... as in last person on earth."

Debbie Strickland, a Bainbridge Cox supporter and friend, said, "I still haven't decided if I'm going to vote, period."

But she said she's not a big fan of Perdue. "We're still at the bottom of the barrel in education, and he has thrown a little money at teachers to get their support." In the meantime, she said, he's concentrated on "things that don't matter," like changing the state flag.

When asked for names of Cox supporters who now support Perdue, the governor's re-election campaign staff mentioned Charles Rozier, a Bainbridge forester whose wife is a cousin of Cox's. He contributed $5,500 to Cox's campaign, according to state campaign disclosures. However, Rozier also gave $1,000 to Perdue's campaign for governor in 2002 when he ousted Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes, and $5,000 to Perdue's re-election campaign on June 30.

"To be fair about it, if Cathy lost, there were many of us that were going to gravitate to Gov. Perdue," Rozier said. "The way Lt. Gov. Taylor ran the campaign made it easier."

In his letter to Cox contributors, Perdue wrote: "Anyone with the courage to stand for election and open themselves to the scrutiny of a statewide campaign should be applauded. Secretary of State Cathy Cox ran a very commendable campaign for governor."

He said he has shared Cox's goal of changing state government, crossing party lines to get things done. "I think that's one of the reasons my legislative agenda passed the General Assembly with over 90 percent approval during the past two sessions." Another reason is that Republican have controlled both chambers of the General Assembly: in his first two years in office, when the Legislature was split between Democratic and Republican leadership, Perdue had a tough time passing some of his key initiatives.

The letter then provided a phone number and Web site where they can find information, donate or request a bumper sticker.

Rick Dent, Taylor's campaign spokesman, said he doesn't expect Perdue to have a lot of success courting Cox backers.

"Sonny can't convert Cox supporters any more than he can convert Taylor voters because both hate his billion-dollar-school cuts, both want affordable health care and both want a governor who works for them," Dent said. "And that's not Sonny."

Here was my response on Amy's blog to Sonny's letter:

And while we're on the subject of Gov. Perdue playing "Mr. Niceguy," Bill Shipp offers us a reminder of how Perdue ran his campaign vs. Barnes in 2002, along with just a few of his accomplishments in office:

"Perdue must look back with some regret at his litany against Barnes. After Perdue moved into the governor's suite, he became the first governor in history found in violation of state ethics laws, a breach for which he was heavily fined. The Perdue administration imposed stiff state restrictions on local school systems. Class sizes and state expenditures were rigidly mandated. Perdue offered a record $400 million in state inducements to Korean automaker Kia to build a car factory in West Point. Barnes had offered $320 million to DaimlerChrysler for a plant at Pooler. In addition, the campaign fundraising activities of Perdue and the Georgia GOP dwarf the Democrats' efforts four years

No, Gov. Perdue, you're no Cathy Cox. She set ethics standards while you broke them. She sought to give opportunities to teachers and students to be successful while you made their jobs as tough as possible. Cathy urged you to go to Detroit and save Hapeville's Ford plant while you went well over the top in buying a Kia plant.....KIA!! Frankly Sonny, you can't even tote Cathy's purse when it comes to those issues. And you won't be getting my vote in Nov., Mark Taylor will.


Kudzulicious said...

If Cathy Cox is a good Democrat, she'll immediately come out and send a letter to her supporters urging them to put past differences aside and fully and completely support Mark Taylor.

She needs to dispel any rumors that she and Sonny are "buds" and prove that she's a gracious and loyal Democrat.

Button Gwinnett said...

Kudzu, you're welcome to post you opinions. But just for the record, I don't think much of them. You and people like you are doing an awful lot to ensure that some Cox supporters will never help Mark Taylor, not Cathy. This lack of team building will sink Mark. As either Democrat would, he needs all the votes he can get in an uphill fight with Perdue.

Furthermore, Cathy Cox has been around for a long, long time. She needs to prove to no one that she's a "gracious and loyal Democrat." After all, isn't that what the Big Guy said in his victory speech? I'm positive he used the word "gracious" towards Cathy.

So I hope that you'll forgive me if I take his word over yours.

Kudzulicious said...

Dear Button:

It seems to me that CC is not helping in the "team building" effort by refusing to help Mark. It IS an uphill battle, and Cox and her supporters need to do all that's possible to help Mark and other Democrats get elected.

I'm certain that if CC had won, Mark would have immediately endorsed her and urged all of his supporters to support her campaign.

I'm glad MT used the word "gracious" toward CC. But she needs to dispel some of the rumors that she's cozying up to the Republicans once and for all.

Button Gwinnett said...

And just what has Cathy ever done to cozy up to Republicans? By that do you mean that she ran as a populist candidate above the partisan fray attracting people from both sides of the aisle? Because if that's what you're saying then I don't think that's such a bad thing. Mark, nor any Dem, can win in Nov. unless he displays some of that same appeal. Dems only account for about 40% of the vote according to the experts. That's no where near good enough to win the general election. Which is probably why both Mark and Cathy took such rightward turns on gay rights and abortion.

If Cathy were a Republican or a Republican operative, why wouldn't she just be a Republican? Lord knows it's a lot easier to get elected to public office that way in Georgia these days. And why would progressive organizations like the Sierra Club or civil rights leaders like Rev. Joseph Lowery endorse her if she was a Republican? She's a lifelong Democrat who just happens to make more friends than enemies from both parties. That's an admirable thing, not something to suspect. Before the era of the politics of destruction, that was regarded as an admirable trait.

Frankly, the only person I've ever seen or heard suggest this about Cathy is a college student who claimed to be a Cox intern, when actually he worked for Taylor. Funny enough party leaders have had and always will have a much different opinion about her.

Sorry, but this smacks of excusing making for what might happen in Nov. Personally, I would rather be trying to do something constructive for Dems and calling the public's attention to Perdue's lack of accomplishment as our governor.

Railing on a defeated candidate who has nothing further to do with this race isn't helping Mark and will not encourage Cox supporters to donate money or work for Taylor. It'll do just the opposite. Everyone knew the winner of this race would have a lot of fence mending to do. And if "Women for Taylor" is trying to do that, they're doing a lousy job of it.

Besides, in her concession speech, Cathy did ask her supporters to unite and help the cause in Nov. Just because she didn't use the word "endorse" doesn't mean she's helping Perdue.