Buckhead Republicans and the open season on white Democrats

In this state, white-tail deer and white Democrats have something in common this fall. It’s open season on both.

For the last decade, one of the most worrisome trends in Georgia civic life has been the re-segregation of political power, as white voters have flocked to the GOP, collapsing the biracial coalition that kept Democrats in power for so long.

The trend is likely to continue on Nov. 6, as several white Democrats attempt re-election in new, post-census districts designed by a GOP-led Legislature to make sure they fail. U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Augusta, now the last white Democrat from the Deep South in Congress, is merely the most prominent.

State Rep. Rick Crawford, D-Cedartown, has promised to switch parties if he survives. Another, state Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta, may escape – in part because of a blunder by his Republican opponent, who last week falsely accused the Democrat of illegal drug use in a TV ad that was quickly deep-sixed.

There are others, but beyond Barrow, the most closely watched Democrat is state Sen. Doug Stoner of Smyrna, whose safe Cobb County district has now been extended across the Chattahoochee River and deep into Republican Buckhead.

With Stoner’s defeat, Republicans anticipate achieving a constitutional two-thirds majority in the 56-member Senate – which could turn the remaining Democrats in the chamber into little more than an afterthought. The importance placed on the contest is reflected by the cash that GOP forces have poured into it.

Republican Hunter Hill, challenging Stoner for the second time, has raised $411,012 – nearly double the amount of the Democratic incumbent. The two candidates met for their first and only debate on Tuesday night, before affluent members of the Mount Paran-Northside Citizens Association.

The debate was preceded by a short ceremony held to thank a trio of Atlanta police officers for their off-hour, private patrols – memorizing the faces of visiting landscapers, monitoring swimming pools and irrigation systems for leaks, even feeding pets for absent owners. In other words, this is a neighborhood where people like you and me would like to live – but don’t.

Biography is half the battle in this Senate contest. Stoner introduced himself as a Cobb County native, a third-generation business owner, and “someone who reaches across the aisle.”

The word “Democrat” never crossed his lips, but Stoner didn’t hesitate to explain that his primary area of expertise at the state Capitol was transportation. Voters in the District 6 defeated this summer’s TSPLOST by 53 percent, but a majority of Buckhead approved it – and Stoner’s campaign includes many prominent members of the Atlanta business community.

Hill described himself as a native of nearby Vinings and graduate of Westminster Schools, a private institution in Atlanta. Then came West Point and three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne. He’s now in real estate. Hill’s top priority is elimination of the state income tax, which would be replaced by a sales tax and an increase in the state tax on gasoline – to force illegal immigrants and tourists to pick up their share of the cost of government.

By extending District 6 and other GOP-dominated districts into Fulton County, Republicans plan to take control of local legislation and ultimately reduce county government to a shell of its current self.

Stoner said he would work with Republicans to lower the cost of county government. Hill said his election would eliminate any need for bipartisan cooperation. “I will work across party lines, but fortunately in this case, this is an initiative where I think we would have the numbers, if you will, to provide the necessary legislation within the delegation,” he said.

The odds are against Stoner. Perhaps his only chance of re-election is the fact that Republicans who live inside I-285 are slightly different than those who live outside it.

At one point, the moderator of the debate asked the two candidates who their choice for U.S. president would be. Hill jumped up, ready to declare. Stoner was far less enthusiastic.

But then the crowd – about 80 were in in the room, filling almost every seat – stepped in. They began to boo. To hiss. They didn’t want to know. And so the moderator withdrew the question.

A few minutes later, a woman noted that the Legislature had been recently preoccupied with issues concerning female health. She didn’t utter the words “abortion” or “contraception,” but the candidates understood what she meant.

Hill responded by noting that he has not been endorsed by Georgia Right to Life, the state’s most aggressive anti-abortion group. That itself was extraordinary – and proof that Hill recognized he wasn’t standing in front of a traditional GOP audience.

“I’ve been focused on jobs and the economy, education,” Hill said. “Social issues have not been talked about in my campaign for the last year, nor has it been something that’s been driving my motivation to serve this community.” And then he sat down.

Stoner immediately reminded the audience of HB 954, the bill passed by the Legislature to shorten the period during which a woman could seek an abortion, with no exception for rape or incest.

The incumbent pointed out that, in January, the General Assembly is likely to take up a constitutional amendment to bestow “personhood” on embryos, which he declared could outlaw some forms of contraception and eliminate in vitro fertilization for women who have problems becoming pregnant.

“My opponent here – obviously he doesn’t want to talk about this issue,” Stoner said, earning the loudest applause of the evening.

It is easy to forget that there are endangered political creatures in Georgia other than white Democrats. Moderate Republicans, for instance.

The question for Stoner is whether there are enough of the one threatened species in Buckhead, and whether they also have any desire to save another.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

67 comments Add your comment

mehlman rings twice

October 24th, 2012
6:19 pm

I hate to break the new to the Romney/Ryan campaign but Georgia is already in your column.

Don Simpson

October 24th, 2012
6:22 pm

More liberal bias from everyone’s favorite political commentator

d

October 24th, 2012
6:25 pm

..clearly the Republican party has no respect for the integrity of Democracy…between the voter Id Hustle, gerrymandering, purging of voter rolls and electoral boards selling votes (i.e Westmoreland)…its clear they intend to polarize the country beyond repair ….they need to take a good look at history…this sort of thing repeatedly leads to civil unrest…though Im guessing thats the plan…Got their guns got their Gods guess theyre good…ignorant primaytes…sm

d

October 24th, 2012
6:28 pm

Simpson…look at the State legislature…the numbers dont lie..whn one party rns everything thats not a democracy that is tyranny..we have a duty to take up arms against that…

Tedd

October 24th, 2012
6:36 pm

Hill waffles on life vs. choice at every opportunity. I tend to vote Republican but want no part of a supermajority

Georgia

October 24th, 2012
6:37 pm

I think God wants the birthers in the Tea Party.

Tedd

October 24th, 2012
6:41 pm

MUSTANG100

October 24th, 2012
6:42 pm

Lets see if the Democrat Party penchant for labeling might be part of the reason:
1) Disagree with anything Obama: Racist
2) A business owner exercising his First Amendment Right: Homophobe
3) A citizen exercisng their Second Amendment Right: Redneck Maniac
4) Citizens who want to hang on to their hard earned savings: Coldhearted Stingy Conservatives
5) Cautious business owners who are afraid to reinvest earnings given the current political
environment: Greedy Profiteers
Anyone who tries to point this out is guilty of accusing the Democrats of CLASS WARFARE.

MUSTANG100

October 24th, 2012
6:43 pm

d, the Democratic Party and their Media Prostitiutes have no intergrity

Ralph

October 24th, 2012
6:45 pm

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I generally vote Republican but you need enough Democrats around to keep our gang on their toes.

cc

October 24th, 2012
6:51 pm

d:

“they need to take a good look at history…this sort of thing repeatedly leads to civil unrest…though Im guessing thats the plan…Got their guns got their Gods”

Is that some sort of threat?

GaBlue

October 24th, 2012
6:55 pm

Dear Georgia Republicans,

Unlike the cute little white-tailed deer, WE fight back. Do you think your constant ridicule sways us? Cracker, please. You can attack our character all you want, but we’re not going away. On the contrary, we’re reproducing and, despite your best efforts, educating our children. Our progressive, educated yankee cousins are still moving here at an alarming rate. It will be the one-party tyrants who find themselves caught like deer in headlights when sunshine lights up the Gold-Dome corruption you work so hard to sweep under the rug. What, did you think Gov. Shady’s firing of Ethics Commission Investigators would silence everybody forever? Or that declaring gift caps from lobbyists “unnecessary” would simply make it so?

**snerk**
Right. We’re irrelevant. We’re marginalized. Keep telling yourselves that if it gets you through the night. The next generation isn’t going to follow you back to the 1930’s, no matter how much lipstick you smear on that pig.

cc

October 24th, 2012
6:56 pm

d:

“the numbers dont lie..whn one party rns everything thats not a democracy that is tyranny..we have a duty to take up arms against that…”

Never mind my earlier post: it obviously was a threat. Strange that no one took up arms when the dimocrats controlled this sate for 150 years, isn’t it? Was that tyranny? I submit that elections were held and the winners took office.

I can only imagine your rage when President Romney defeats Obama. I’m sure that it will know no bounds.

Buymadeinusjobs

October 24th, 2012
6:59 pm

If you do not see face of candidate or I approve…your vote is being bought by wealthy for a Republican.
Rommey/his wealthy buddies give millions of dollars to American Crossroads/GPS/Karl Rove, American Prosperity/koch Bros. Freedom Works,Reed, 600 other super pacs etc.
The Republican Supreme court in United Citizen case said wealthy can give all they want.
American crossroads/others run advertisments telling lies/half-truth about democrats. 75% or more of super pac money is spent against democrats.

Don’t you want checks and balance? c-span.org has all Washington. members votes, bills, Ryan budget 2011, Rommey’s video 5/14/12, check the facts for yourself. .

Bi Hat

October 24th, 2012
7:21 pm

When Romney is elected, will he wait until March for Kristallnacht, or start right away in January?

Buymadeinusjobs

October 24th, 2012
7:41 pm

Did you hear Rommey say 47% consider themselves victims, do not pay federal income tax and feel entitled to healthcare, food etc.
41% of Georgians white/others unemployed, low paid workers, others fit his 47%.. If you have a heart attack or lose your job , you may be one of 41% youself.
All Republican senators and congressmen voted for Ryan’s Budget 2011 and Rommey said he would sign it.
Their 35% cut in medicaid will affect,seniors/disabled in nursing homes, children’s heathcare for unemployed/low paid workers.
The budget cuts 17 billion out of veterans programs. The Republican House did not provide enough money to Veterans Administration to prevent major backlog of claims for 55,000+ verterans disabled in Afganistan/Iraq as well as other vets from viet-nam[ agent orange??], Desert storm-oil fires , etc.,
It also change medicare to voucher, cut food stamps/unemployed/ low paid workers need. it supports Rommey’s video and how Republicans feel about people who are not millionaires.
See c-span for all facts/votes. Primary source/most reliable/out of horses mouths when they are not trying to get your vote. Vote everyone, even if you think Rommey will take state.
If house president , senate become Republican you will have Bush Era again. Do you want more large defense budgets, wars. Look out for you pocketbook. Is the preacher going to feed your family, give health insurance to your children. take care of grandma/disabled while you work.

Why do you think it is ok to give taxpayer paid great health insurance/pensions to all politicians who are temporary employees and they tell us there is no money for us to have it.Are they better than us. Washington /congress/senate only worked about 110 days last year and their approval rating is 12% because they did little law-making.

JBarrett

October 24th, 2012
7:41 pm

I’m embarrassed that I ever considered myself a Republican. But then again, in the 90’s there was more emphasis placed on economics than the invasion of personal liberties. The Republican Party, with their sharp turn to the right, became more concerned with what was happening in my bedroom and doctor’s office than they had any right. So I became one of these “white democrats” you now say is endangered. I hope not. I sincerely hope not.

Earnestly

October 24th, 2012
7:42 pm

Mustang 100 is a little mixed up but that puts him (or her) in the majority in GA. Class Warfare is a republican term that is used to denigrate any effort to have the wealthy pay the same tax as the poor. I haven’t heard anyone called a redneck maniac in a political context, but something tells me Mustang 100 has been called that. As for media prostitutes, that’s rich, there is no greater Jezebel than Fox News.

JASF

October 24th, 2012
7:48 pm

@MUSTANG100 “d, the Democratic Party and their Media Prostitiutes have no intergrity”

Are you referring to the “liberal media” … such as Fox News or perhaps radio(Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, etc.)

Conservatives are extremely well represented in every facet of the media. The correlative point is that even the genuine liberal media are not so liberal. And they are no match–either in size, ferocity or commitment–for the massive conservative media structure that, more than ever, determines the shape and scope of our political agenda.

Just own it

October 24th, 2012
7:51 pm

All of this is nothing but racist hatred by Whites.

Whites are tripping (still) that there is a Black president. The blatant disrespect Whites have shown Pres. Obama; for Mitch McConnell and others to “want President Obama to fail” (even before he was sworn in!), and that their goal is to ‘make him a one-term president,’ etc is nothing but pure D racism.

Whites just cannot stand for anyone to have anything, live anywhere, achieve anything, or do anything but them. GTFU.

The blatant attempts to thwart votes. The blatant lies that are cast across the media and nation.The ‘birther’ movement. The “code words’…everyone knows what they mean! Whites know, and so does everyone else.

Just own up to it: Many Whites–the right-wing extremists in particular–see their kind fading; and for a Black man to be president of the USA…? It’s simply too much for them to bear.

Pres. Obama has made some strides; but he could have made a lot more if those right-wing racist RBMFs would stop fighting against him and work with him for the good of the country.

Think people: women’s rights, women’s health issues. Middle class. Home prices are improving. OBL is dead. Auto industry saved. Stop fighting and act like what an American should: One who wants his president to succeed, because we all succeed.

Ever since the origin of the ilk of Limbaugh, etc., spewing hatred for three hours every single day…WHY would you listen to such negativity and angst?

Because folks may disagree, rethuglicans refuse to even talk to folks on the other side of the aisle, or on the other side of the street. THAT type conduct will cause this country to fail, with or without Obama. It’s not President Obama destroying this nation, it is the vile intolerance of racist Whites who refuse to accept anyone except their own and will stoop to any gutter level to regain power. Nasty people.

Rafe Hollister

October 24th, 2012
7:51 pm

Where were you democracy lovers, when Republicans were as rare as a piebald deer, at the Capitol. Back when Tom Murphy ran the House and openly antagonized, poked fun at, and demeaned the Republicans, everyone thought that was just hunky dorey. There were no riots and no threats of violence, even though many people and their positions were not given any representation. Karma, such a wonderful thing!

An observer

October 24th, 2012
7:53 pm

I can see by the comments why the Democratic Party is fading in Georgia.

ol' vern

October 24th, 2012
8:07 pm

No chance that the Dem party morphed into socialism in the last 30 years or so and simply moved away from the principles of a large majority of votersin the State of GA is there???…No, of course not, it’s a giant right wing conspiracy decades in the making to return back to those idyllic plantation days (sarcasm for those incapable of the concept)….Proggies please take a reality pill and reread the Constitution..both Fed and State.

Just own it

October 24th, 2012
8:09 pm

PS: That so many GA Republicans are switching parties is due to racial issues, and/or for being a democrat, they are catching so much flack from their fellow repubs because they are so intolerant of anyone who sees things differently from them. That is NOT the way people it is destructive and uncivil.

Good night.

td

October 24th, 2012
8:14 pm

“For the last decade, one of the most worrisome trends in Georgia civic life has been the re-segregation of political power, as white voters have flocked to the GOP, collapsing the biracial coalition that kept Democrats in power for so long.”

The real question is why do socially conservative African Americans continue to support the party whose planks want to allow abortion till birth, sodomy and denied God three times at their convention.

Don't tread

October 24th, 2012
8:16 pm

“one of the most worrisome trends in Georgia civic life has been the re-segregation of political power, as white voters have flocked to the GOP”

The conservative Democrats have been run out of the party, while the liberals now in charge denigrate white Southerners as greedy, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals “clinging to their guns and religion” (among other insults) every chance they get. And you have to ask why the white voters went to the GOP!?

Kris

October 24th, 2012
8:18 pm

Is it ethical to hunt republicans with bayonets while riding the finest show horses.

arm the Bambie’s.

President OBAMA 2012

Don't Tread

October 24th, 2012
8:24 pm

P.S. we can add “racist” to the epithet list as evidenced by the above comments.

Watcher...

October 24th, 2012
8:26 pm

Does anyone realize how many Babies, in the United States, have been lost because of Abortion, since Roe v. Wade became law? Answer: 50,000,000 Babies! 50 million Children!

Pat

October 24th, 2012
8:40 pm

@td
Willard is a part of the occult, and will always be. Since you bring up morality, do not cherry pick your sins. Also, if you are a real person, capitalize your name! Lying Ryan/Willard need to read the real bible about liars, greed and pride.

alex

October 24th, 2012
8:43 pm

Quite a nauseating group of bloggers, “arm the Bambies”?, really.. Don’t think you’ll get close enough to me to use a bayonet……
Bihat throughs in Kristalnacht, are you serious?, do you have ANY idea of that intensly brutal episode, not just a lot of broken glass, a great deal of HUMAN destruction….you should be ashamed to use such episodes so glibly..
Ga. blue,I ‘ve met your cousins and yes they are returning home and NO they are not very educated or they would not have to “return” to find a job and by the way what IS the unemployment rate for your young cousins at the “cracker barrel”

I live in one of those neighborhoods, Mr. Galloway-studied hard in school , worked hard to be successful and send my kids to a private school while driving 15 year old car, your smug jealousy brings out the morons in this city, the “intellectual” blacks in our govt who are so jealous of the competency of the Sandy Springs govt (see the Economist article) that they want to drag it back in the sewer that is the rest of this city.

as for d, your porole officer wants to see you in the morning , back to the big house with the rest of your cousins…

Anonymous

October 24th, 2012
8:49 pm

It’s amazing how much Republicans whine about everything. Listen, my fellow friends on the right: you control this state and all but a few counties, so don’t blame any of Georgia’s problems on liberals. We don’t have much power.

And you might not like this factual statement here: facts are not liberal bias.

alex

October 24th, 2012
8:57 pm

@anonymous: let’s see… “factual” statement here; “facts”are not….. did you get your primary education in an APS; you are possibly anonymous,but you are assuredly an idiot and THAT is why YOU don’t “have much power” shheeeesh

MUSTANG100

October 24th, 2012
9:15 pm

I rest my case.

cc

October 24th, 2012
9:29 pm

Just own it:

Don’t look now, but there is a racist posting on this blog!

It is YOU . . .

MUSTANG100

October 24th, 2012
9:58 pm

Keep proving my point. Thank you.

Turnabout

October 24th, 2012
10:09 pm

If you vote Republican, you now consent for the government to forcibly impregnate you for delinquint taxes.

If we have to make it personal for you to stop, we will do it.

Even if you win in 2012, you won’t hold on to power forever.

We will remember.

Rabbit

October 24th, 2012
10:10 pm

While a single party government is a recipe for bad government, it’s what Georgia’s wallowed in forever. What’s puzzling is how women fall for the phony pitch that puts them farther behind socially and economically.
Women could turn this state and this country around if they would simply stop buying this stuff.

d

October 24th, 2012
10:13 pm

@ cc – re: threat…take it anyway you want…its only a matter of time before these power hungry psychopaths turn on you…further 150 yrs ago much like now State senators jump party lines based on convenience…clearly the only true party in GA is the good ol boy party…of which you seem to be a card carrying member….so keep waving your confederate flag buddy…lol
@ Mustang 100 – thats called projecting… no ones accused of those things but you know thats what you are…the proof sadly is in the pudding
@ Ol Vern – Medicare and pblic shools are socialist institutes…so maybe we should cut them out?
@ Dont tread – white “democrats” that fled the party were the racists that were plants and hijacked the party…the left for the GOP because the GOP is clearly openly racist…pigs need a sty
@ alex = clearly YOUR education has robbed you…Kristalnicht was preceeded by just this kind of fascist fervor…till it came to a head…sometimes its difficult to be honest…being so steeped in your ideology I understand..yo cant help yourself…youve been programmed…by the way about Sandy Springs…ppl come to GA for Atlanta…not Sandy Springs…and that ’sewer’ has provided a living for you and yours but your thinly veiled racism bubbling just beneath the surface cant contain itself…like a rabid dog foaming at the moth you spew…yo spew…

James Bond 007

October 24th, 2012
10:14 pm

It is very strange that we send our young daughters and sons to fight for equality and freedom in foreign lands while our Republican brethren have systematically dismantled the American voting system. What happened to fair elections?

Turnabout

October 24th, 2012
10:18 pm

You think I am kidding? Overturn Roe v Wade and find out.

Vote for Obama cause he's black

October 24th, 2012
10:19 pm

Whites don’t care what color a politician is.They voted Obama in 2008.We just want a winner,just like the Falcons,UGA football,the Braves.We support the teams,we own the teams,we pay the big salaries.We can’t stand the wining,complaining.
Blacks only make up 16% of the population.95 % of blacks vted for Obama.It’s wrong to vote against someone because of their race,wrong to vote for someone because of their race.
What does that say ?
We just want a winner !

Turnabout

October 24th, 2012
10:21 pm

We are also going to find a way to make men pregnant. Even old men. Especially old menn.

Before you laugh….they can close people….we can translant skin and limbs….

YOU. WILL. SUFFER.

GaBlue

October 24th, 2012
10:23 pm

Our daughters can go fight for our freedom in foreign lands, but when they come home, the State of Georgia intrudes upon their doctor-patient relationships, and mandates decisions made NOT by trained doctors, but self-righteous men who yearn for Taliban-like control over all the women in their realm.

emz

October 24th, 2012
10:24 pm

Not all white Southerners are Republican. Republicans are not helping people in this state and are especially not helping women.

Turnabout

October 24th, 2012
10:26 pm

Faces. Hearts. Skin. Limba. Lungs. Organs.

We can transplant all of them. We can do it with vaginas.

WE WILL MAKE YOU PREGNANT.

Amazed

October 24th, 2012
10:41 pm

What surprises me the most is even though we live in the Bible Belt, no one is speaking of gov. Romney being a Mormon. Guess that answers the question that many Georgians are more racist than Christian.

dd

October 24th, 2012
10:49 pm

It’s the white folks fault!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! after all, black folks who voted 95%+ for the black candidate couldn’t possibly be racist. It must be the white folks fault, who only voted 50% for the black candidate.

d

October 24th, 2012
10:51 pm

..finally to the Republicans…who seem to think theyre in pig heaven…an education:
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

ad

October 25th, 2012
12:30 am

Actually, Watcher, no babies have been lost because of Roe v. Wade. Zero. Zip. None. I assume you believe that a fertilized egg is a baby, but, as the good book says, its not a baby until it is born. Roe v. Wade has kept many babies from being neglected or being raised in homes where they were not wanted by preventing the birth of babies to people who don’t want babies or saving the life of women who are in danger from medical complications. To all you moderates, do not doubt that Romney will end this right.