One message minority voters already sent Georgia’s GOP

The GOP’s post-election listening tour comes to Atlanta today, with a twist.

Reince Preibus, the recently re-elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, is scheduled to meet this afternoon with a couple of dozen black Republicans in an “engagement and listening session” aimed at widening the GOP’s appeal. It’s an imperative bit of outreach for Georgia Republicans — the like of which the state party, despite undeniable demographic trends away from its nearly all-white voting base, has done dangerously little.

No doubt, any number of ideas will be discussed during this session. But there’s one policy that is a color-blindingly obvious necessity for any serious attempt to win over minority voters: school choice.

Just a week ago, hundreds of students and their parents and teachers braved the cold for the annual school-choice rally on the Capitol steps. As is the case every year, the majority of these students were not white.

And almost all of them will be eligible to vote by 2018 or 2020.

If you don’t know, those are pretty much the years Georgia Democrats are eyeing as the time those demographic trends will make them competitive again in state politics.

So, let’s see … we have a group of people who traditionally don’t vote for Republicans, rallying in support of a policy that, in Georgia anyway, has been promoted chiefly by Republicans.

If Georgia’s Republicans can’t connect those dots, frankly they don’t deserve to stay in power much longer.

Not least since this annual picture of their potential future constituents comes on the heels of a resounding victory in November’s elections for the GOP-led charter schools amendment. That’s particularly true in areas of the state where Republican victories are rare.

In case you missed it back then, let me repeat some statistics about how the charter schools amendment fared:

Of all Georgia’s counties, the amendment did best in Clayton (71 percent), where Mitt Romney won just 15 percent of the presidential vote.

The amendment won 66 percent of the vote in Fulton and 64 percent in DeKalb. And here’s guessing parents who vote in DeKalb have even more interest in school choice today, given the shenanigans going on with the leadership — if that’s the right word for it — of that county’s school system.

Together, those three counties accounted for about one-third of all black registered voters in Georgia. Their approval of the amendment outpaced even the healthy support for it in counties where majorities sided with Romney (56 percent).

Yet, during the present legislative session, there appears to be little chance of seeing more significant school-choice legislation passed.

Why? Because some legislators are afraid it’s bad politics.

Bad politics? A policy that wins by double-digits in GOP-majority counties, and by even more than that in the largest majority-Democrat counties, is considered bad politics?

Yes, it goes over poorly with the entrenched educational bureaucracy. But so did the charter-schools amendment. And anyway, since when does the Republican Party side with the bureaucracy over taxpayers and parents?

If Republicans are to make inroads with minorities and other groups that typically don’t vote for them, they’re going to have to demonstrate, among other things, that they will put a priority on those voters’ interests. In some cases, that means siding with those voters’ interests over the financial interests of those who are trying to maintain the status quo.

That means putting the interests of students and parents — of any race — above those of the education bureaucracy. That means understanding that public education means ensuring all of our children are well-educated, and not necessarily that all of them must be educated by a publicly run monopoly. That means arguing as passionately for giving individuals choices in education as in health care.

If they can’t do those things, they might as well give up on the listening tours.

– By Kyle Wingfield

193 comments Add your comment

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

February 7th, 2013
7:49 am

If you follow the track of our educational system decline you will note that it coincides with the rise of the teacher’s unions and increased spending. For that reason alone, it’s time to give the Charters a chance.

rwcole

February 7th, 2013
7:50 am

Even when explaining the policy, Kyle parses the truth. Republicans should start by just being honest with everyone.

rwcole

February 7th, 2013
7:52 am

The educational decline in GA coincides with the rise of the Republican party in GA. They complain about the education system here, then tear it down, then point and say, “See, I told you so.”

sailfish

February 7th, 2013
7:59 am

aesop

The real truth of the matter is that blaming public schools and teacher unions is so much fiction; if you don’t have parents that care and reinforce education as a priority in the home environment, then balming teachers is all you’ve got. Personal responsiblilty? Dig deeper… and by the way, dunce priebus is not the greatest poster boy for the republican party.

MiltonMan

February 7th, 2013
8:00 am

The democrats can keep the wastelands of Clayton, DeKalb & South Fulton. I would prefer that the poeple in these area who over and over again elect garbage to ruin their counties kept it at the county level & not elect their clowns at the state level.

curious

February 7th, 2013
8:05 am

Get Neal Boortz to give the opening speech.

UIC

February 7th, 2013
8:05 am

Of course the parents in Clayton County will buy the snake oil; it’s either that or admit that they are the problem. If these charter schools are the answer, they shouldn’t open a new school and be given the children who have parents involved enough to get them signed up for the charter. They should just take over one of the low performing schools. Let’s see how much better they do when they’re given the exact same group of children the public school was working with.

interested observer

February 7th, 2013
8:09 am

Many of the people clamoring to get their kids out of failing schools are part of the reason those schools fail. They’re not supportive of school policy, don’t demand that their kids be accountable and aren’t willing or able to provide the support and encouragement their kids need. They blame the school for their children’s failures.

They will take those same attitudes to the next school.

independent thinker

February 7th, 2013
8:12 am

Does Rinse Prepuss really think he can find a couple dozen black Republicans in the entire state of Georgia?

Georgia , The "New Mississippi"

February 7th, 2013
8:13 am

Kyle , you are totally lost…. Minorities ( Black Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Gays , Women, Poor folks, Highly educated folks ) do not vote Republican because you guys have never stood up FOR or WITH any minority on any issue that benefited THEM. You guys are all about $$$ and race. As along as a person of any minority group accepts that reality they can be a member of Team GOP. Get registered to vote and I will see you at the you at the Polls !

indigo

February 7th, 2013
8:15 am

“they don’t deserve to stay in power much longer”

Finally, as honest assessment of the Republicans currently in power!!!

I am a Democrat but, if the Party starts a further drift too far to the right, then they don’t deserve to stay in power either.

For America, centrist is the word.

charles moore

February 7th, 2013
8:26 am

The rise of unions and spending have nothing to do with what has happened to public education. I remember the instant response to the segregation of schools in the south. Immediately, white southern citizens began to establish and operate private school to ensure that the majority of white children were not integrated into the public school systems. Next, the funding of public schools were attacked; and closely attached to the funding was the systematic decline in the tax base required to support public schools. In most major southern cities; whites moved out of the city and formed new incorporated communities and took their tax dollars with them. So, when I look at the charter school movement I find just a continuation of the response to school integration. “All children can learn”…period.

Aquagirl

February 7th, 2013
8:34 am

Bad politics? A policy that wins by double-digits in GOP-majority counties

If you’re referring to the policy approved by the charter school amendment—oh yes Republicans, please run with that. African-American voters will just love the idea an appointed state commission can overrule their local elected officials. That’s worked out so well for minorities in the past. They’ll flock to the Republican banner! Now tap your ruby slippers together while you repeat that three times.

SB

February 7th, 2013
8:47 am

@MiltonMan

The democrats can keep the wastelands of Clayton, DeKalb & South Fulton. Well, Milton Man the funny thing about the “wastelands” of these heavily populated area, are some good hardworking, tax paying citizens who want the same for their community as you do yours. Now, what you need to be concerned about is those same “Republican right wing ideals” legislators that you value oh so much from coming in and corrupting this future “Milton County” that you guys want to create, its just more government, isn’t that what you have been whining about for the only the last four years?

Skip

February 7th, 2013
8:52 am

Won’t the charter schools have the same students, teachers and parents as the hated government schools?

BW

February 7th, 2013
8:52 am

I think MiltonMan’s comments simply reinforce the notion that Republicans look down on minority voters from a throne of superiority and honestly could care less about the interests. I hope that the Republican party reaches out in a meaningful way but honestly outside of school choice, I have yet to hear any policy position that would engage minorities to vote for them. The fact is that this has really always been a one party state and will remain that way for the foreseeable future. I would offer that simply attempting to see matters from someone else’s shoes before judging would be a good first step. After that stop crafting legislation at the state level with so many loopholes that the legislation allows certain income brackets to take advantage of something not meant for them.

yuzeyurbrane

February 7th, 2013
9:06 am

Kyle, anyone who spends some time around the state Capitol knows the listening tour is all pr bs. You have a point about the charter school vote but there are many other issues which are totally out of touch with Georgia’s minority communities and women. The old white men in charge will not change their ways. Perhaps a younger generation and a few losses at the polls as demographics take hold will force a change? My own guess is that it will but it will be fiercely resisted and the change will come very slowly.

JohnnyReb

February 7th, 2013
9:17 am

Litmus Test

Whether its how to manage education, transportation needs, Wall St, or whatever a test if there will be a meeting of the minds can be answered with this question.

Do you think Obama’s most recent give away program where smartphones will be given to poor people is OK? BTW, the phones will come from a company owned by a big donor to Obama.

If you think the smartphone give away is OK, you will never fit in with Republicans on any subject.

CC

February 7th, 2013
9:17 am

This meeting is a waste of time. Blacks may meet with Republicans and Republicans may work toward and achieve goals benefiting blacks, but blacks will continue to vote and support dimocrat candidates. That fact is as certain as the sun rising in the east.

I can’t account for the support for the charter school amendment in Clayton, Fulton and DeKalb Counties except that the minority voters may have been mistakenly instructed by the reverends and other so-called ‘civil rights leaders’.

Road Scholar

February 7th, 2013
9:22 am

Just remember , taking the vowels out of Reince Preibus leaves you with RNC PR BS !

If they want to be more inclusive, why is the meeting closed door?

Bob

February 7th, 2013
9:24 am

Georgia , The “New Mississippi” you are totally lost…. Minorities ( Black Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Gays , Women, Poor folks, Highly educated folks ) do not vote Republican because you guys have never stood up FOR or WITH any minority on any issue that benefited THEM.”
You have a short memory, while dems were pushing segragation, repubs pushed for equal rights. A higher percentage of repubs voted for the eqaul rights amendment than dems. Dems had Klansmen like Byrd and segregationists like William Fulbright, a guy given a medal of freedom by Bill Clinton.

Road Scholar

February 7th, 2013
9:28 am

From Jim Galloway’s column today RP and others want the country and their party to be inclusive. From derogatory comments above concerning Dems, how is that working for you Kyle?

Are you really going to change the vocabulary….and the mindset.. of Aesop, Milton Man, Johnny Reb.. some of the flag carriers of your republican party on these blogs?

barking frog

February 7th, 2013
9:34 am

Too little. Too late. The party’s over.

Road Scholar

February 7th, 2013
9:36 am

Bob: Maybe in the 40’s, but my memory of the 60’s had the Dems as champions of civil rights. Remember LBJ? Kennedy? The parties changed roles in the 50’s. Yes the south was consumed by hatred and the klan, but who do those folks now support? Even in GA, past conservative dems have become today’s conservatives, and many of those still have bias in their hearts and brains…if they have them!

mike

February 7th, 2013
9:45 am

I see the repubs think this matter of school choice will be enough to sway minority voters. Do these people really think minorities especially black folks are that gullible? You already made the mistake of talking to a few invited black republicans to get ideas from. You won’t learn anything from them since they have the same old ideas as you. Sorry repubs you have a long way to go if you honestly think minorities will vote your party considering your party’s history with them. Reading some of the ignorant posts here should give the repubs an idea of how far they have to go. It isn’t the minorities repubs need to concentrate on, it’s those in your own party. Personnally I cant wait to hear their campaign rhetoric. How do you disparage people then turn around and ask them to vote for you?

MANGLER

February 7th, 2013
9:51 am

Let’s just follow the money and see how many of the downtrodden minority students end up in these privately run yet publicly funded charter schools that are being opened up in under served urban neighborhoods. It’s not like the schools are being open up in wealthier areas that tend to be more suburban or rural and they don’t offer transportation services to get to them and are receiving funding by parents and family members redirecting tax dollars from the State as a whole and funneling those dollars directly into the white christian academy of their choice to pay for students who were never actually attending public school in the first place, or anything like that now is it?
Wait, we can’t even track those kinds of statistics because the language in the bill refuses to hold anyone accountable at any level for anything?

Grasshopper

February 7th, 2013
9:52 am

I wish Preibus well; it would be nice to see more minorities support the Republican Party.

But if the freebies aren’t forthcoming from the R’s (FREE healthcare, FREE smartphones, FREE ID cards, FREE EBT cards) forget it. Not a snowballs chance.

Promises of federal largesse helped get and keep Obama elected. Unless Republicans start playing that game (and I pray they don’t) many minorities, and non-minorites alike, currently on the dole willl not give them a second look. Social issues come in second place when someone wants to take away your free government cheese.

MANGLER

February 7th, 2013
9:53 am

BTW, notice how the GOP is all for choice when it gets them to keep their kids away from the blacks and hispanics, but when it comes to a woman’s reproductive decisions or two people who happen to be in love with each other but are the same sex, choice is a 4 letter word. Hypocrite much?

jconservative

February 7th, 2013
9:58 am

I would like to see a Republican in the White House. But there are obstacles.

The 2012 presidential election resulted in women voting for Obama by 55% and unmarried women by 68%. What do Republicans need to do to reverse those numbers? Will they actually do it?

southpaw

February 7th, 2013
10:03 am

Road Scholar @9:22

What do you have left if you take the vowels out of sailfish’s “dunce” @7:59?

sailfish

February 7th, 2013
10:08 am

southpaw

Hey, does that mean you accept dunce?

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

February 7th, 2013
10:08 am

Maybe in the 40’s, but my memory of the 60’s had the Dems as champions of civil rights. Remember LBJ?

There’s one thing the dummycrat party will never be in short supply of, dimwits that are willing to vote for them -

”These Ne-gro-es, they‘re getting pretty uppity these days and that‘s a problem for us since they‘ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we‘ve got to do something about this, we‘ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”

~Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat)

Cherokee

February 7th, 2013
10:11 am

“But if the freebies aren’t forthcoming from the R’s (FREE healthcare, FREE smartphones, FREE ID cards, FREE EBT cards) forget it. Not a snowballs chance. ”

And Republicans wonder why blacks don’t vote for them – after reading tripe like this.

Kyle, of course those folks showed up for the school choice rally. They care about their children just like you and I do – but they’ve seen Republican legislators decimate the public school budgets in this state. And they’re smart enough to realize that’s not going to change anytime soon. So of course they’re looking for alternatives for their kids.

Kind of a sweeet gig you have there – Republcans decimate the public shool budgets, then point to problems in the schools as a reason that we need charter schools.

My guess is that most black parents, like most white parents, see through the obfuscation.

southpaw

February 7th, 2013
10:11 am

sailfish @10:08

I haven’t bothered keeping up with him. As such, I neither accept nor reject “dunce.” I just wanted to give Road Scholar a different perspective on removing vowels. Sauce for the goose and all that.

Cherokee

February 7th, 2013
10:12 am

Got a source for that, Aesop?

southpaw

February 7th, 2013
10:13 am

More specifically, haven’t bothered keeping up with Preibus.

zeke

February 7th, 2013
10:19 am

Blacks and other minorities, IF THEY WOULD ONLY LOOK WITH A LITTLE INTELLIGENCE AT THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT LIBERAL VALUES AND AGENDA, WOULD SEE THAT CONTINUING TO BLINDLY SUPPORT THE POLICIES AND IN TURN THE PARTY OF DEMOCRATS IS DOING NOTHING TO FURTHER THEIR ADVANCEMENT OR PROSPERITY! CONSERVATIVES AND REPUBLICANS ARE THE ONES WITH THE VIEWS THAT PROMOTE AND HELP “EVERYONE”!

All they have to do is to look at the plight of the poor and minorities over the last 60 or 70 years. All the feel good, sound good policies and agenda of democrat liberal socialist that were proposed to help them, HAVE NOT IMPROVED THEIR POSITION OR ECONOMICS AT ALL, IN FACT, MOST ARE WORSE OFF NOW THAN THEY WERE THEN!!!

jconservative

February 7th, 2013
10:21 am

” A higher percentage of repubs voted for the eqaul rights amendment than dems.”

Correct. And then came the “Southern Strategy”. The democratic voters who had voted the “dems” into office changed parties and started voting for Republicans, saying that they “did not leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left them and became a “civil rights” party”.

So we had the party of Lincoln which enjoyed a solid black voting bloc change and that solid black voting bloc became a Democratic voting bloc.

But the Southern Strategy worked with 20 of the next 24 years having a Republican living in the White House.

But things change, as they always do. Now the Republicans are looking at the strong possibility of 16 straight years of Democratic presidents.

Kyle is correct in his column about school choice being a smart move by Republicans. But are Republicans going to continue to push for restrictions on the ability to vote? Republicans need to change, but will they?

Cherokee

February 7th, 2013
10:21 am

Never mind Aesop – not that you get really concerned about things like accuracy.

I found it – from 1957. Typical of LBJ – he was a pretty foul guy – with everyone.

As someone else has pointed out here already, what matters is today – not Robert Byrd’s youthful indiscretions, or LBJ’s foul language. When Grasshopper tosses out his ignorant racial slurs, and the rest of you cheer him on, I wonder why you would expect to ever win blacks to your cause?

Cherokee

February 7th, 2013
10:22 am

And then there’s Zeke – if only black people had a brain, like I do,….

Keep talking folks – you’re only digging in deeper…

Dave

February 7th, 2013
10:29 am

I don’t know that the charter schools vote evidenced a desire for choice so much asa desire for quality. Metro schools aren’t doing a good job. That’s a given. The question is what can/should be done to change the result. Grabbing on to the charter school bandwagon says nothing about the GOP other than that it is willing to pander to folks who are desperate.

yuzeyurbrane

February 7th, 2013
10:40 am

Road Scholar–thanks for your amusing observation about spelling of Reince Preibus. I’ll plagiarize that. I don’t know about his background but with a name like that I always imagined he was the little goody goody brown-noser whose parents belonged to the country club.

Politico

February 7th, 2013
10:42 am

They actually sent a message back in November.

Grasshopper

February 7th, 2013
10:43 am

Ouch.

Cherokee must be one of those living off the dole that I mentioned. Will never vote R.

And that’s the problem that Republicans face; you point out that Dems get many of their votes from promises of freebies, (and I’ll repeat) from minorities and non-minorites alike, and you get called the lovely name of ‘Racist!’

Est et semper erit.

CharterStarter, Too

February 7th, 2013
10:50 am

Amen, Kyle.

Let’s also hope our Republicans also realize they need to expand their reach into the Hispanic and Asian communities – traditional Republican values are shared with these constituencies, but the Republicans can’t seem to get their vote….

indigo

February 7th, 2013
10:52 am

Aesop

Let me guess.

You never wash your underwear because having flies is lucky.

CC

February 7th, 2013
10:57 am

Grasshopper:

“Est et semper erit”

Cherokee may require assistance here as the “public shool budgets” may not have been adequate.

Jefferson

February 7th, 2013
11:08 am

Some folks will see a soap comercial and go buy that soap.

SBinF

February 7th, 2013
11:17 am

“Reince Preibus, the recently re-elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, is scheduled to meet this afternoon with a couple of dozen black Republicans in an “engagement and listening session” aimed at widening the GOP’s appeal.”

I call shenanigans. There’s no way there are two dozen black Republicans in the state.

clem

February 7th, 2013
11:20 am

herman cain has the ego of 12;; does that count sbinf