Monday, August 31, 2009

Special Election Qualifying

Today also marks the beginning of qualifying for the special election to fill the vacant 141st District seat in the state House of Representatives.
Candidates interested in running to fill former state Rep. Bobby Parham's unexpired term in the House will be qualifying at the Elections Division of the Office of the Secretary of State in Atlanta.
For those of us who have responsibilities in the State's Antebellum Capital, special election qualifying can be monitored by navigating your Web browser to this page.

As of 10:30 a.m., it appears that E. Culver "Rusty" Kidd III has kept his promise of being the race's most enthusiastic candidate.

Update: The Union-Recorder received a press release from a Milledgeville man who is throwing his hat in the ring to challenge "Rusty" Kidd in the special election for the state House of Representatives.
Casey Tucker, a 22-year-old Georgia College & State University graduate, says he wants to provide the 141st district with a "fresh face" in state politics.
"For too long we have let the government grow too large and step beyond their bounds. It's time for a new voice and new politics in Georgia. We must look to the future and reinvigorate Baldwin, Putnam, and the entire state on sound principles. I look forward to serving my neighbors here by doing just that."
Although he told our editor, and the Telegraph, that he qualified today, I still don't see him listed on the Secretary of State's site.
Now that poses a question, don't it.

Update 2: I just refreshed Karen Handel's site, and it says Tucker is affiliating with the Republican Party. Because I forgot to mention it above, Kidd listed his party affiliation as independent.
You can learn more about Tucker by navigating to his campaign site at here.

Update 3: Word on the street is that there will be another candidate to step into the contest before qualifying ends Wednesday.

Day 2

Update 4: I just got off the phone with our mystery qualifier and she is Angie Gheesling, Executive Director of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority.
Gheesling said that in the years since she's returned to Milledgeville (from working on economic development throughout the state) she's seen a lot of the pieces fall into place for Milledgeville to have a viable future, but the remaining pieces lie in Atlanta. And that's why she's going there (and literally while I was talking to her).

Day 3

Update 5: The race's first Democrat has entered the fray. Secretary of State Karen Handel's site is showing that a candidate by the name of Darrell Black qualified this morning.

Darrell Black is the owner and operator of Flooring America on Highway 22. He has been a resident of the district for four years.

Municipal Qualifying 2009

One Capital Removed is coming to you live today from the ground floor of Milledgeville City Hall.
With help from the City of Milledgeville, we've set up shop across the hall from Municipal Elections Superintendent Patti Rushin's office in order to catch all the action for day one of 2009 municipal qualifying.
Starting today and continuing for the next four days, Milledgeville residents can throw their hat in the ring for the offices of Mayor, one of six open City Council seats and one of six open seats on the Georgia Military College Board of Trustees.
Qualifying ends abruptly at 4:30 p.m. Friday, and if last year's County Qualifying is any example, all the action will take place in the waning hours of candidate registration.
So check back as often as you'd like to see who's putting their money down early to get on the ballot for November 3rd's non-partisan election.

Update: Qualifying started off with a pop and a fizzle as a power outage killed the lights on the entire 100 Block of East Hancock Street in downtown Milledgeville this morning.
Lights went out at approximately 8:45 a.m. causing city employees to go into emergency mode. Everyone was accounted for, and the lights were back on within 45 minutes.
The interruption did not keep anyone from being the first to qualify Monday morning.

Update 2: Rev. Donald Hill was the first to candidate to qualify for municipal elections at approximately 11:30 a.m.
Hill, a former Alderman who served the third district for just over nine years, said that he wanted to qualify as soon as possible to get the gears in motion.
"The quicker people know who is running, the more able they are to look at the issues and know who can best represent them," he said.

Update 3: Jeanette Walden was the first Council incumbent to sign her name on the dotted line and qualify for the 2009 elections.
"I always come in [and qualify] on the first day," Walden said. "I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm a public servant, there's no strategy involved, I just enjoy serving the public and I love my district."
And that is District 2, in case you're wondering.

Updates 4 & 5: I took a short lunch break, but here's what's happened since the last few minutes before that and what's happened since.
A newcomer, Alan Wicker, a presiding elder in the AME church, qualified to run for the council seat in the first district.
"I'd like to see Milledgeville progress, and I'd like to be a catalyst in that process," he said.

One of the more widely speculated candidates in this year's municipal elections ended all the speculation and qualified today.
Phillip Joiner said that his experience as a student, resident and businessman give a good perspective with which to view public issues in the city.
"i am not running as a candidate for the college student, but I will not dismiss their input and opinions," he said. "As an alumnus and businessman, I have a good middle ground with which to understand both sides of any issue, and I have ideas to bring both sides together."

Update 6: The pace has quickened during the middle part of the day.
The first mayoral candidates has qualified.
Milledgeville Mayor Richard Bentley came in around 3:30 p.m. to qualify.
"As far as I'm concerned there's no need to wait," he said about qualifying on day one. "I'm prepared to continue serving the people and I want [to qualify] as soon as I can. I would've done it sooner, but the power was out."

Day 4

Update 7: Incumbents including Denese Shinholster, District 3; Richard "Boo" Mullins, District 5; and Steve Chambers, District 6, have filed their qualifying papers for municipal elections.
The only newcomer to the field, for the last three-day stretch, has been the entrance of John Alton in the fourth district race. For now his only opponent is Phillip Joiner. Expect this to be the race to watch as old and new Milledgeville clash in D4.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

It All Begins Monday

Qualifying for Milledgeville Municipal Elections, and for the special election to fill Bobby Parham's state House seat, begin Monday morning at 8:30 a.m.
If you're so inclined, you'll be able to find me at City Hall trying to get the skinny on all the candidates and their prospective races.
At the U-R, we'll also be searching for interesting ways to cover the elections from as many angles as possible. So if you have suggestions on how you would like to see the elections covered, drop me a line at or leave a comment on this post.
I look forward to any insight into what should be a contentious election during a watershed moment in Milledgeville history.

What We Might Not Want To Admit About Milledgeville

Last week, through all the coverage of a certain music video that made some of us out there question what is wrong with Milledgeville, I think I, as well as some of my colleagues, glanced over the fact that there are some artists in Milledgeville who are recording an aspect of our community that most of us would rather not think about.
To illustrate my point, I present you with this:

Through this collection of images and sound, we can get a glimpse of what is going on in and around some of our neighborhoods in Baldwin County.
It's not pretty. It's gritty, but it's real.
Far from glamorizing a lifestyle that only ends well in a world of music industry-induced fantasy, Maintain shows a place where Big Beats and Big Streets can barely mask the hard-scrabble reality of growing up in a community that is long past its prime.
Yeah, those metal-flake paint jobs and chrome wheels sure shine bright on a Friday night, but they don't really change the place you'll be waking up at Saturday morning.
As the state and manufacturing jobs that once made up the back bone of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County economy continue to leave the area every time the governor or some CPA opens their mouth, how will we as a community be able to tell the next generation that a hard day's work at an honest job is still something to strive toward?
That world may not even exist anymore.
A video like this poses more questions than it does answers. But in the mean time, all we're left to do is maintain.

What is it about Milledgeville?

Athens Banner-Herald reporter Blake Aued posted on his blog that the controversy over the old state flag led to Roy Barnes' 2002 reelection defeat.
But what caught my eye was this graph (as they call them in the biz) about what caused Barnes to pursue changing the flag:
"Business leaders came to see Barnes to ask him to remove the Confederate emblem from the state flag, and he turned them down, he said. But he changed his mind after a trip to Milledgeville. He called all the businessmen into his office and asked them for help to change it."
What is it about the State's Antebellum Capital that caused him to want to commit political suicide?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

...Just Write About Yourself 2

Last month I wrote this post about the awkward trend of newspapers casting themselves as the protagonists of their own stories.
Well, unfortunately this trend seems to be catching on.
The AJC had this article about their prospective move from downtown Atlanta to my parents' neck of the woods.
That certainly is a shame.
Here's what one blog I follow has to say about this.

Things Happen That Way

You gotta love this story.
But I especially love this quote:
“I was acknowledging God and all of his creation and talking to him,” Fisherman Tom Head of Warner Robins said. “I wasn’t expecting to catch anything.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Update on What's Wrong with Milledgeville

Apparently word is spreading quickly throughout the two local government buildings in downtown Milledgeville about the community's budding music industry.
But in contrast to the way the State of Georgia attracts industry through windfall tax giveaways, Baldwin County is looking to a higher level of regulation to prevent the use of their property for revenue generating enterprises.
Assistant County Manager Ralph McMullen told media representatives that the county is looking to tighten its application process for renting out county properties.
To his knowledge, although he was not certain at the time, Frank Nitty's production applied for and received permission to use the Collins P. Lee Harrisburg Community Center, but there was no disclosure that the community center was going to be used as the location for a music video production.
McMullen said the county is reviewing Nitty's application to use the community center, and they are reviewing the application process to find ways of preventing unauthorized usage of county properties in the future.
McMullen did go on to say that he's viewed the video and is appalled by the content of the video.
"There are some nasty, nasty views expressed in [the video]," he said.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What's wrong with Milledgeville?

Well we might want to start with the fact that some of our local leadership think it's alright to be featured in music videos that promote the culture of drugs and gang violence.
"Doin' Big Sh** from City to City/Everywhere Nitty man, the Bloods is with me"
Please tell me how someone can explain away the bad judgment of being an elected county school board official in a video that proudly proclaims Milledgeville as Murda City and goes on to tout the upperward mobility of selling drugs.
"Weighing Sh**, Bagging Sh**, Cooking Sh**, Fu** a Bi***"
Could you at least take the Baldwin High School Football shirt off for the video shoot so that there could plausibly be some separation between what you do in your off time and your role as an elected official?
"So Long, They Misrepresent Me/A Real Dope Boy/Let Me Show You How To Live It"
No Harold Simmons, I think you've represented yourself pretty darn well. It just worries me about how you represent this community.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Does the City of Milledgeville need to begin searching for a new city manager?

One of the members of our City Council just called to alert me to this.
This isn't the first we've heard about this story. An enterprising young reporter from the Tribune's competitor, the Ledger-News, called a few weeks ago to say about the same thing. Although she didn't mention anything about light refreshments being served.
I think the Tribune about scooped us on this one.
I guess we'll have to see whether or not the Bulletin scooped us as well.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

So that's how he does it!

Political Insider

From D.C. to Atlanta, Jim Galloway brings you the political news that concerns Georgia.

While browsing the AJC's Georgia Legislature page I saw this curious picture/cutline combination.
This image appears to have been taken during a Wild Hog Supper, the aptly titled opening bash for the Georgia General Assembly each session. You would figure that the picture would be of AJC's Political Insider Jim Galloway getting the latest scoop on some behind-the-scenes going ons under the Gold Dome, but instead it appears to show some state legislator talking with a wo...wait a minute!
If you take away the mustache and add some hair....Oh My Gosh!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rollin' with Rusty

Just thought I'd add this excellent picture of E. Culver "Rusty" Kidd to the blog.
If you decide to take this man on, your picture can get posted here too!

Perdue announces Special Elections

The Governor finally issued the Writ of Elections to fill Parham's 141st District state House of Representatives seat.
No between 30 and 60 day period here. I guess this means the law really is that vague when it comes to special elections outside of the legislative session.
The election will happen November 3, along with municipal elections.

Barrow in the crosshairs

It seems that our conservative Democrat Congressman is the target of leftist
The AJC's Gold Dome Live has this post about radio ads hitting the state's airwaves targeting John Barrow for his vote against health care reform in a House Committee on Energy and Commerce meeting last week.
Now I don't know if those ads are hitting the airwaves in our neck of the woods--I didn't hear any during last night's Braves victory over NL West cellar dwellers, the San Diego Padres.
But understanding a little bit about Middle Georgia politics, and witnessing the way that Barrow grooms himself as a politician, I think the last thing he is going to worry about is being targeted by
In fact, depending on where he was speaking on what ever night, he'd probably wear it as a badge of honor--and I'd advise him to do so.