Dunwoody News Alert

Monday, October 30, 2006

AJC's endorsements of Dan Weber and Fran Millar

AJC, Opinion, 10/23/06, by Maureen Downey and Jay Bookman, for the editorial board

Best in DeKalb races

From the story:

In state Senate District 40, one-term incumbent Republican Dan Weber, a mechanical engineer from Dunwoody, faces Democrat Martin McConaughy, a retired schoolteacher from Tucker. McConaughy brings intelligence and fresh ideas, including a "HOPE Returns" plan that would use HOPE scholarship recipients to tutor elementary students during summer. But Weber is also smart and articulate, and deserves one more term to prove himself. His biggest handicap is an unwillingness to buck his party even when he disagrees with its positions on education funding and other issues. His intelligence doesn't do his constituents much good if he can't find the independence to use it.

From Steve Barton:

When the AJC editorial board praises Dan Weber's intelligence AND his voting record, I am sure I will be looking for a Republican challenger to take him on. Don't make the AJC happy, Dan! (see example of Jill Chambers below)

From the story:

In House District 79, Republican Fran Millar has styled himself as a counterbalance to the ambitions and administration of controversial DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones, a posture that Dunwoody voters seem to value. But Millar, an insurance agent, is less vocal and informed on other issues that ought to concern his community. For example, his Democratic challenger, environmental engineer Keith Kaylor, faults Millar for ignoring the growing alarm bells over the state's water supply, and for voting the GOP party line too often. Those are valid criticisms that may someday lead voters to consider a change, but for now Millar remains the better choice to represent a community in flux.

From Steve Barton:

Oh yeah, the "valid criticisms" of Fran Millar are: not working on the growth vs. water supply issue and voting like a Republican. Ha! Fran's committees are Education (Vice Chairman), Health and Human Services, Rules, and Economic Development and Tourism. I don't know which Georgia House committee has been given the lead on the water issue, but it isn't one that Fran sits on. What is this baloney the AJC puts in print?

Also I have to note that styling and posture (see that first sentence of the AJC Millar endorsement) are not what any real person thinks when they meet Fran Millar. He is smart, direct, and blunt. Styling and posture? He is effective at crafting legislation and compromise that gets the best results for the state and his DeKalb County constituents on education, tax, and spending issues.

Why make such a pitiful endorsement of Fran Millar? Maybe it's because his opponent isn't "viable." Keith Kaylor's campaign website includes his campaign event calendar. For October, Keith is scheduled to participate in 10 campaign events...on behalf of Bob Roche running against Jill Chambers! He also has on his schedule a film screening (documentary "Iraq for Sale") attending a "progressive" PAC endorsement get-together (Kaylor's name isn't on their website), and four rallies. Are the rallies for Keith Kaylor? No, it's the "Impeach / Stop the War Rally" held every Thursday at 5 pm in Decatur. There aren't any events for Kaylor in the next week before the election either. Now we know why Kaylor wasn't endorsed -- he is not a real candidate.

Yo, Dan Weber. Look at what the AJC has done for Jill Chambers, R-Chamblee.

Jill Chambers is moderate on social issues, and has undertaken on a hard and necessary task for the legislature. She has led the first real legislative oversight of MARTA in untold years, digging into finances, contracts, and operations. MARTA bureacrats have not been used to anybody from the state (even though MARTA is a creation of the state) looking closely at what they do, but Jill Chambers has been dogged in getting the info. Her interest and daylight-shining has forced MARTA to be more efficient with our tax money -- and she has done this without ego or grand-standing. Taxpayers of DeKalb County should be especially appreciative.

To me Jill Chambers sounds like the kind of Republican the AJC would like -- their news coverage of her MARTA efforts over the last two years has been very positive. But the AJC didn't endorse her!

From the same story first cited:

Voters in District 81 face a quandary. Incumbent Jill Chambers has been a rare and valuable commodity, a moderate Republican. But she serves a Chamblee community that is increasingly Democratic, and this time faces a viable opponent in Democratic computer consultant Bob Roche, who is smart and informed.

That may be why a worried Chambers, a business owner, has resorted to a low-blow campaign, peppering her literature with unsubstantiated accusations. She has shown a tendency to make unsubstantiated charges in other forums as well, forfeiting her moderate reputation and perhaps her grip on this district, thus giving voters valid reasons to replace her with Roche.

Ah, have a "viable" opponent and an R next to your name and none of your good works get mentioned. The AJC said pick 'em, and slammed Chambers over her campaign while calling Roche "smart." I looked at that "low-blow" campaign stuff and, though some items have only a distant relationship with the absolute truth, these low blows are pretty tame.

Lesson for Republicans: you will only get endorsed if your opponent is a nut or neophyte, or your re-election is absolutely assured. When a Democrat has a chance of knocking you off, the AJC will ignore all your hard work and slap you for campaigning for yourself.


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