Your daily jolt: Amendment One opponents scrape together cash for a TV ad

Opponents of Amendment One, the ballot issue to reinforce the state’s power to establish charter schools, have scraped up enough cash — $40,000, they say – to launch a low-budget TV campaign:

The ad features Donna Kosicki, president of the Georgia Parent Teachers Association, state School Superintendent John Barge (indirectly), and Valarie Wilson, president of the Georgia School Board Association.

The spot is seeing limited air-time in metro Atlanta and Columbus, said state Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur. “We’re hoping we can raise some more funds so we can really put it out over the state.”

Last week, the lead proponent organization for the charter school measure, Families for Better Public Schools, reported raising $1.2 million, much of it in high-dollar contributions. Vote Smart! No to State-Controlled Schools reported raising $18,164.

Jones, who is currently chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, has emerged as the political leader of Amendment One opponents. “Because no one else would,” he said this morning. “There are a lot of different groups out there in their own individual silos, and we needed to bring them together.”

***
On only a slightly different note, perhaps you saw that the antagonism between Gov. Nathan Deal and state School Superintendent John Barge has expanded beyond the charter school ballot issue, and now includes who has more say so over see $400 million in federal “Race to the Top” cash. From my AJC colleague Wayne Washington:

Barge says Deal asked him to replace MacCartney with Kristin Bernhard, who has served as Deal’s education policy adviser. Deal said he said he only wanted Bernhard to oversee Race to the Top implementation.

That, however, is precisely the role MacCartney occupied, Barge said, and he had someone else in mind — Clara Keith, associate superintendent for Race to the Top implementation.

Barge wrote Deal on October 24 to tell the governor that he was appointing Keith. “I believe that hiring Ms. Bernhard in this senior level position with no prior educational experience, over many who are more experienced and better qualified, would have the potential to create a contentious work environment within the Department of Education,” Barge wrote Deal.

The governor fired back the next day. “Apparently, you forgot that I told you I was not asking that she be appointed as a Deputy Superintendent, only that she be responsible for overseeing the implementation and that she have a direct line to you, me and the U.S. Department of Education.”

You can read their letters here (Barge) and here (Deal). But before you dismiss them as evidence of unimportant squabbling, consider that – whichever way the charter school issue goes on Tuesday – Barge will have emerged as the only Republican with a statewide network that could rival Deal in a 2014 re-election bid.

We’ve got no evidence that Barge is thinking in this direction, but you have to wonder whether the governor sees a potential threat.

***
In the 12th District congressional race, Republican Lee Anderson has needed a TV spot to break through the clutter. You have to wonder whether this one, portraying a “bromance” between President Barack Obama and Democratic incumbent John Barrow, is edgy enough — by south Georgia standards — to fill the bill:

***
The latest poll has President Barack Obama ahead by five points in all-important Ohio, for this unusual demographic reason cited by the New York Times:

In Ohio, according to the latest poll of likely voters by Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News, Mr. Obama runs nearly even with Mr. Romney among white voters who do not have college degrees.

That helps explain why he appears slightly better positioned there in the closing week of the campaign than in Florida and Virginia, where the polls found that Mr. Romney holds an advantage of about 30 percentage points among those voters.

***
Which makes it appropriate to close with Kerwin Swint, the political scientist over at Kennesaw State University, who writes today on the disparity in national tracking polls, with Gallup showing Mitt Romney in the lead and the above NYT/CBS poll that has President Barack Obama leading in critical swing states. Writes Swint:

You have to go back to at least 2000 and probably 1980 or 1976 to find the polls this far apart. But it provides someone with a real opportunity to be right; and of course it also means someone is going to look really bad next Tuesday night.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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39 comments Add your comment

fes

October 31st, 2012
10:13 am

Vote No! The state has proven that it can’t run public schools. Why would charters be any different. If you want to send your child to a charter school, by all means do so. But you need to pony up the money, not the taxpayers.

Mitch

October 31st, 2012
10:22 am

fes, incredible how many lies you packed into a three line response. First, the state does not run charter schools. And when has the state ever run a school, other than the schools for the blind and deaf. And, charter schools dont have tuition like private schools, they are public schools.

Charter School Dad

October 31st, 2012
10:22 am

Interesting that the Anti-charter people feel the need to trot out status quo bureaucrats talking about money to be their spokespeople. The pro-charter campaign is focusing on Autumn, a student who actually goes to a charter school talking about education.

Two choices:

1) Vote Yes, and side with the parents and students focused on fixing education

or

2) Vote No, and side with the paid bureaucrats focused on money and power

The differences in the two campaigns kind of makes you realize where their true priorities are.

Mitch

October 31st, 2012
10:25 am

And oh wouldnt it be great if Barge did decide to challenge Deal in 2014. That way we could replace him as School Superintendent.

KID

October 31st, 2012
10:25 am

Charter School Dad,

Well said…I agree!

phil

October 31st, 2012
10:34 am

Vote No- You side with the PTA, Atlanta Tea Party, School Board members of every school systen in Georgia, and John Barge.
Vote Yes- You side with outside interest groups who have no interest but their own. You side also with state senators, state representatives, and Nate Deal..

As for me and my family, we are voting NO!

Jeff

October 31st, 2012
10:39 am

I’m still thinking this race is getting very interesting indeed based on the numbers that you reported yesterday, Mr. Galloway. The numbers seem to indicate Ga may be in play – and if indeed it is, next Tues will not be a highlight of the GOP’s brilliance….

td

October 31st, 2012
10:46 am

I voted NO today on the fake charter school amendment. We already have the means to have charter schools approved at the local level and all this amendment allows is for an unelected and unaccountable commission to open a “State” approved Charter in your local neighborhood and you the voter will have no say so whatsoever over the money, discipline or the curriculum.

GaBlue

October 31st, 2012
10:49 am

“Charter School Dad” sounds a lot like “Charter School Mom” who was here the other day, and both sound like they have a ve$ted intere$t in helping outside corporations profit from the systematic defunding of public schools that’s been going on in Georgia for a decade now. Kind of like the telemarketers who are blanketing the state with phone calls. (Who’s paying for that and why? People don’t shell out that kind of cash because “they care.” They do it when there’s profit to be had.)

His points at 10:22 are exactly backward. A YES vote would give power to an un-elected board of bureaucrats who would funnel money to their buddies who come in from out of state with their for-profit education products. A NO vote sides with the parents who still want a say-so in their local schools, through their elected school boards, which is as it should be in a representative republic like ours.

honested

October 31st, 2012
10:50 am

td,
The one place where we voted alike.
Despite the other ticket where we cancel one another.

honested

October 31st, 2012
10:51 am

GaBlue,

They can’t point to ANY improved educational results ANYWHERE, so you’re right, it has got to be about the MONEY.

Decatur Joe

October 31st, 2012
10:52 am

The edunions, the status quo of education, the PTA (who is going against the wishes of their national organization), and one lone tea party person all satisfied with Georgia’s dismal outcomes in a nation falling further and further behind other industrialized nations. At what point did America stop embracing the characteristics which make our country great; innovation, the ability to have choices, commitment to excellence, and personal responsibility? Vote YES on Amendment 1. Vote YES to America.

Fedup

October 31st, 2012
11:02 am

I voted “YES” to America by voting “NO” to Amendment 1. I voted “YES” for local control and “NO” to state inteference with local control. We already have the ability to create charter schools. Amendment 1 simply gives the state government the ability to override a local decision not to create a charter school.

Funny, how the “Autumn” ad fails to mention this and falsely implies that the only way to have charter schools is to vote “yes” for Amendment 1.

No Longer Republican

October 31st, 2012
11:03 am

Wow…I cannot believe I agree with TD on an issue. Amazing! Vote NO on the charter school amendment. Our education system needs help, but this amendment will NOT help. We need to
find ways to help LOCAL boards help their communities, not give already scarce money to for-profit
companies who have no clue about Georgia communities.

Cutty

October 31st, 2012
11:04 am

Vote yes if you trust Shady Deal to appoint responsible, knowledgeable people to this new state board. Don’t see how you people can vote NO on T-Splost because you don’t trust government with building and maintaining roads, but will vote YES on this amendment that will directly affect your kids.

KID

October 31st, 2012
11:13 am

Will someone PLEASE provide some solutions to our current failed public school system!!!!

Reality Check

October 31st, 2012
11:23 am

Takes money from local schools? Actually it will save millions for local schools. I wish Barge would explain that when he states it’s going to cost $430 million he fails to state it will actually save over $200 million. If people really knew that facts everyone but the educrats would vote for it.

td I have to say I am very disappointed in you. Every time you post you sound like a true conservative but you missed the boat on this one. Have you read the ruling from the Georgia Supreme Court? It is very clear that they believe the only group that can authorize schools are local boards. Just read it, I dare you.

Vote yes to the constitutional amendment giving parents and students the power for choice.

phil

October 31st, 2012
11:30 am

Public school is not a failure to my family. Evidence- My wife, three children, their spouses, and myself are all public school graduates with advanced college degrees. My grandchildren? Yes they are attending public schools. KID- Voting yes is not a solution.

Leigh

October 31st, 2012
11:32 am

Reality Check- You have choices- public school, private school, home school, and charter school.

Profit Center Schools and Prisons

October 31st, 2012
11:39 am

With American advertising-driven politics being the replacement for an informed electorate, I’m sure the voucher crowd is excited about the corporate take-over of our schools. Maybe we can add school stocks to our portfolio, along with for-profit prison stocks.

If the pro-charter crowd is sold on the benefits of their kid getting a “special” charter education, then pay for it,. You can now, without hurting public education. WHy push so hard for the GOP’s screw “those people” policy of destruction of the public education mission, at the expense of the less well healed. We don’t all have show horses and car elevators and trust funds, so leave education alone. In a democracy, it should be the great equalizer. Maybe equity is the biggest fear of the GOP elites?

All these high-dollar efforts at duping the public into voting to wreck schools for profit show the effect of budget cuts to date. More civic classes and less football. Of course this is the goober state, with a football coach as the highest paid state employee. So for private prisons, schools, and state subsidized football teams are expected in the land of illiteracy and greed. Like GOP House Speaker Ralson said, ethics is a “liberal conspiracy”.

Shar

October 31st, 2012
12:04 pm

@Charter School Dad – The people who are “focused on money and power” are the people who are donating $1.2 million into this effort to snatch the power of the education purse from the local districts and concentrate it in the hands of straight-up political cronies – which is why 96% of the money is coming from out of state corporate interests. It’s just so much easier to bribe a small group of know-nothing hacks (there is, after all, no requirement that the appointed cronies have any education background – see Deal’s effort to put his inexperienced chippy into the Dept of Education with “a direct line to me” – or even be educated themselves – see Karen Handel) than it is to bribe district-by-district boards of education who are accountable to taxpayers and parents. The disinformation campaign put forward by Deal and people like you, who are perhaps in Deal’s employ or understandably confused by the purposefully misleading ballot language, are necessary because no one would vote for this dog if they understood what the amendment would actually deliver, which is access to local funds by filthy-fingered politicians like Jan Jones and Chip Rogers, both of whom are soulless mouthpieces for the Koch brothers’ ALEC organization.

The people who are focused on students, parents and taxpayers are the people who have only raised $40.000.

td

October 31st, 2012
12:05 pm

Reality Check

October 31st, 2012
11:23 am

“td I have to say I am very disappointed in you. Every time you post you sound like a true conservative but you missed the boat on this one. Have you read the ruling from the Georgia Supreme Court? It is very clear that they believe the only group that can authorize schools are local boards. Just read it, I dare you.”

They believe the only people that can authorize public money being spent on local schools is local elected school boards that have the ability to tax. You know the principle that only elected representative should be allowed to tax and spend our money (no taxation without representation).

What this amendment does is allow an unelected commission to spend taxpayer money on schools not set up by elected representatives. Does this really sound like a conservative principle to you?

Shar

October 31st, 2012
12:09 pm

@td: First we cast identical votes on T-SPLOST, and now we agree on this as well. I’m seeing a trend, and that post-political party agreement is indeed possible among well-intentioned, open-minded citizenry! What a hopeful way to head into Election Day.

td

October 31st, 2012
12:23 pm

Shar

October 31st, 2012
12:09 pm

And if you would just cast that vote for Romney then we would have the possibility of getting non-partisan agreement on the Federal level.

As far as T-Splost and the Amendment goes, we did vote the same way but I am not sure if it was for the same reasons:-)

I have said it before on these blogs that I am not a Republican and do not vote party line. I am a conservative and and base my votes (on individual issues) strictly based on conservative philosophy and concrete principles based on those values. If you can convince me my conservative principles are best served by voting a certain way on an issue then I do not care if you are a Republican, Democrat or Libertarian.

Excellent Points, Shar!

October 31st, 2012
12:24 pm

I’m encouraged that this wrong constitutional amendment will be defeated, if most voters have as clear an understanding of the matter as you have presented here, Shar.

Of course I only need to switch on one of the [hate] radio talk shows to be reminded many in Georgia are not very bright, easily mislead, and often grovel before the monied interests. Maybe they’ll understand our legacy school systems don’t need a corporate take-over.

Kris

October 31st, 2012
12:47 pm

We stopped the pocket lining and dirty asphalt DEAL.

We can stop Amendment One.. (shady deal wording as well)

Vote NO on Shady Amendment One.

Vote NO on Amendment One

Proud Voter

October 31st, 2012
12:49 pm

Charter schools are a cop-out. Instead of facing reality and doing what needs to be done in the public school, the powers-that-be have allowed charter schools. There’s money to be made there! There are so many agendas hiddne in this charter school issue it’s pathetic. And sadly, most of the agendas have nothing to do with the students. We are so afraid of being politically incorrect that we are allowing generations of our children to be inappropriately and unproperly educated. Get read parents and school boards. Take back your schools. Do away with the lies and deceit and hire those who really are interested in educating your children. There are many real teachers out there. They’re not in the headlines and on the goody list. You’ll find them in the trenches, fighting to make sure your children learn to read, write, and understand real math. Losing our children is not an option that needs to be considered.

catlady

October 31st, 2012
1:00 pm

Let’s see…Man who is willing to go against his party and make decisions based on something rather than politics vs. Deal. Barge has no chance–voters in Georgia would have to THINK to elect him as governor.

By the People, For the People

October 31st, 2012
1:02 pm

Our poor, destitute school districts managed to put together the hundreds of thousands needed for a TV ad.

Wonder which “for profit” out of state company made a donation to them….

Shar

October 31st, 2012
1:14 pm

@td: I considered Romney, I really did. But which Romney would I be voting for? He makes it very hard to tell precisely what policy positions one is choosing. Then he chose an extreme, inexperienced ideologue to step into his shoes should something untoward occur, and (much as was the case with McCain) I turned him off.

That, of course, doesn’t include Romney’s endorsement of the unabating Republican pressure on women’s health care. That is a deal-breaker for me.

I regret that I was so uninformed that I didn’t know enough about the Libertarian candidate to vote for him. I didn’t even know that the Libertarians had put together enough signatures to run a candidate. I wish I’d checked that out before I went to vote.

Cmon Political Insider

October 31st, 2012
1:35 pm

To call yourself Political Insider and then say Barge has a network to challenge Deal is … interesting. 1) Only folks with statewide networks are the ones that people have heard of. 2) No one is going to challenge Deal.

Marlboro Man

October 31st, 2012
1:36 pm

Local will jack you property taxes to the limit.

yellowdog

October 31st, 2012
1:59 pm

voted no myself…….

cc

October 31st, 2012
2:01 pm

Charter School Dad:

Agreed! I voted YES on Amendment 1.

td: Sorry! I cancelled your vote . . .

honested: I cancelled your presidential vote, and td’s vote will put our side one up.

Halftrack

October 31st, 2012
2:12 pm

Political power and government control always wants to win. Competition is the key here. What will benefit the students the most is the question. Money has been thrown at the schools for years with no apparent change. Georgia students are aided by teacher cheats on tests, drop out rate the same as 30 years ago, remedial for college is still very high, SAT scores still low compared to nationwide, and most PHD’s today are foreign students as only 20% of them are citizens. Which vote is the best for the students of Georgia? Oh! you were not educated in critical thinking at public school.

honested

October 31st, 2012
4:19 pm

cc,

Well, you only need about 35 UNOBTAINABLE Electoral Votes.

By the way, where can concerned citizens go to contribute to the efforts to STOP Amendment 1?

yuzeyurbrane

October 31st, 2012
10:52 pm

Deal plays hardball. He looks like he is trying to build a dynasty by packing all state agencies with his political cronies with absolutely no consideration given to qualifications for the jobs.

Digger

November 1st, 2012
9:10 am

Hey Jim,

Check this out! http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/31/all-whites-are-going-to-hell-says-civil-rights-icon/

What do you say about the opposition using someone like Joseph Lowery, who condemns half our population, as a spokesperson for the vote no campaign? They make strange bedfellows, no?

Digger

November 1st, 2012
10:43 am

And while you’re busy contemplating the above, how about thinking about why, if the school districts are SO FINANCIALLY STRAPPED, they are spending money on TV ads rather than putting the money back into re-establishing 180 school days, reducing furloughs, etc. That has been their argument, hasn’t it? That they are DESPERATE for money. That money that COULD go to their systems won’t be (which is wrong, as the law says clearly they won’t lose funds.)

Rhetoric. That’s it. No substance. Vote YES and send a message to the status quo that our state demands better in our public education system.