Democratic school chief candidate Joe Martin is unhappy with a flyer being sent out by his GOP opponent John Barge.
The flyer calls Martin “Obama Liberal Joe Martin” and an “Unqualified Radical Liberal” and charges that Martin has spent no time working in public schools.
“This flyer is a throw-back to the hard-nosed tactics of attacking one’s opponent by hurling epithets and playing to fears, ” says Martin in a mass e-mail.
To me, it seems that Barge is playing to the audience dissatisfied with President Obama, as are most Republican candidates this election season. The flyer seems like typical Georgia politics.
I am showing it for your judgment: Politics as usual or over the top?
I have now attended three school superintendent panels and noticed that Barge has softened his disdain for federal aid over the course of the campaign, especially Race to the Top. I was told that he has chatted with the governor or at least with representatives of Gov. Sonny Perdue, who was influential in Georgia winning the $400 million federal grant. Perhaps, that conversation was cathartic.
Libertarian Kira Willis continues to display the strongest awareness of classroom issues, but I still think her faith in local control is not shared by all voters and may reflect her own experience both attending and teaching at a high-functioning high school in a high-functioning system.
I think it is fair to say that Martin has the best grasp of school funding and of the history and politics that landed us in this current financial mess, but his affiliation with the troubled APS, where he once served on the board of education, may hurt him.
I still don’t see this race getting much attention from either the public or the media around the state, and I suspect that this contest will be an eeny meeny miney mo choice for many Georgians.