Sometimes it can be very hard to be a Republican woman in Georgia. Women often feel like party crashers at times here in the peach state. Although I support balanced budgets and lower taxes, the Republicans once elected, seem just as inclined to spend our money as the Democrats. And don’t think Republican women in Georgia didn’t notice the sly and subtle sexist attacks levied against Karen Handel either. It wasn’t overt, but women got the message loud and clear. Perdue was especially vicious against Handel with his remarks about having no college degree and it made him look like a complete asshole. He dismissed her backstory of leaving an abusive home at 17 and rising from that to become the Secretary of Sate and someone young girls could be proud of as a role model. I was very disappointed Handel did not win as Governor against Deal and disappointed again when she lost this Senate race. It seems like women have a far harder tougher climb to win a big GOP ticket in Georgia than Democratic women and that needs to change.
But in recent weeks it has become even harder because of a few events near where I live in Dekalb county and I felt the need to speak out. No, I am not talking about all the ethics problems with Nathan Deal or the fact that Holly Laberge his ethics chief was just fired. I am talking about a race much closer to home in Dekalb county.
In our district there is a race for the Georgia Senate. Normally, this would not be a race to get much notice with elections for both the Governor and U.S. Senate seat hogging all the attention. The only notable thing about district 42 is the fact that this is the district Jason Carter served before he decided to run for Senate. I have been following Greg Williams who is the GOP candidate and Elena Parent the Democrat candidate off and on just to see what they are about. Then I came across this tweet by Greg Williams.
— Greg Williams (@GregsListLive) July 22, 2014
— Greg Williams (@GregsListLive) July 22, 2014
Now at first I didn’t think too much of it. After all Mike Tyson bit off someones ear TWICE and also battered his wife at the time Robin Givens. He is not a guy that you can feel a lot of sympathy for normally, but I will give him credit for trying to improve his image in the last few years. I also know he has a very famous lisp that comedians love to poke fun at. I am not easily offended either by the way. The raunchier the humor the more I laugh. So this is not a case of someone that is easily offended by politically incorrect statements.
But here is my problem with that tweet. He sent it to Brian Kemp the Georgia Secretary of State. That is a very important point to remember.
This is the man that recently launched a fraud investigation into illegal voter registrations. Kemp told his colleagues “… the Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, if they can do that, they can win these elections in November.” I am certainly not in favor of voter fraud so I have no problem with checking on any fraud and forgeries, but if this turns out just to be a fishing expedition then it is going to backfire big time. You can read all about that in detail here. It also at least gives the impression that Republicans are trying to make it harder for minorities to register whether true or not that is what it looks like.
Georgia Law requires all applications must be turned in even if they look fake or forged or suspicious. It is the job of the Secretary of State to determine if they are valid or not. So how then can the Secretary turn around and blame groups for sending in registrations if that is what the law dictates? Wasn’t the whole point of the Voter ID law a few years back meant to prevent illegal voting. It is certainly possible some members of the New Georgia Project or other registration groups are filling out false registrations but it is quantum leap to say that is the policy of the entire group or on the orders of Stacey Abrams. It is far more likely if any fraud is found it was some people acting on their own accord and not under any orders.
By that logic a few unethical politicians like Nathan Deal would mean a subpoena should go out for all records for all Republican politicians in the state shouldn’t it? No, the only people that should be investigated should be the ones doing the bad deed and not the entire party or organizations.
If the secretary of state and the Voter ID laws are working as they should, then none of these forged registrations will ever be counted in any case. Yes, fraud is a crime and I am all for stamping that out but as my grandmother used to say you don’t use a sledgehammer to kill a fly either. Brian Kemp might have just awoken a dragon he should have left alone.
Recently a few counties in Georgia decided to open early voting on a Sunday as well. I have always been a strong advocate for changing all elections to Sundays. Most people are off work that day and that would be a much better day for most people to vote. Even though companies are required by law to allow workers to vote it can be a huge pain in the ass. Not to mention long lines since everyone goes before work, at lunch, or after work. Then you often also have a long drive. Make Sunday voting the norm for all elections if you actually care about what voters want. I can’t imagine why anyone would be against offering voting on a day that is perfectly suited for voting like no other.
But GOP Representative Fran Millar decided to jump into the fray and wants to overturn Sunday voting because he feels it might make it easier for more black people to vote. What the hell? To me anything that makes it easier for people to vote is a good thing. This is part of that Stupid Party logic that Bobby Jindal spoke about a few years back. Everyone knows the Republican party needs to expand the base so what is to be gained by alienating and angering black voters even more? Can’t Republicans also vote on Sunday? Shouldn’t real Americans hope all Americans that want to vote to have as an easy a path as possible to do that? And more importantly everyone knows anger will get people to vote faster than anything so why would they pick that fight knowing it will result in more Democratic voters going to the polls in a year with tight races.
Then Millar dug a deeper hole for himself with this comment. ““I would prefer more educated voters than a greater increase in the number of voters. If you don’t believe this is an efort [sic] to maximize Democratic votes pure and simple, then you are not a realist. This is a partisan stunt and I hope it can be stopped. Furthermore I don’t control where people are allowed to vote but am glad Brookhaven has been added for the last week.” That sort of speaks for itself. Hard not to see the racial undertones from that comment.
Getting back to Greg Williams and his tweet. Greg Williams was and maybe still is the Republican second vice chair of the party. He was a big Bob Barr supporter and also Jack Kingston. He has a lot of pictures scattered around with him and Republican big wigs like Nathan Deal all over social media. My point is he should have known better. But then again he also has a banner of himself with a poster for what looks like a meeting for Republican Women with all men on the panel. Did I mention it is hard to be a Republican woman in Georgia? How could they not see how bad that will look by not having even one token woman sitting on that panel? Actually this tweet is what made me look at his profile and then discovered the one of Mike Tyson.
Now I don’t think Greg Williams seriously ever had a shot in #SD42 even if he had run a flawless campaign. This is usually a pretty safe Democratic district. But by choosing to tweet a picture of an African-American to the Secretary of State that seems to be targeting African American voter registration campaigns, then with the Millar statement saying he wants only “educated voters” comments against voting on Sunday that created the perfect storm to galvanize black voters come November. If any black voters were on the fence about not voting, I bet they will make sure and vote now. Can’t Republicans get out and register new voters also? Can’t Republicans also vote on Sunday? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. When you stir up a hornets nest don’t be surprised when you get stung.
I am not saying that Greg Williams is a racist. Fran Millar….well he is on his own. But I will say that Republicans need to get a clue. If we want to attract woman or minorities then include them on panels and discussions. Give female candidates the same respect and support when they run. Also stop tweeting what can easily be perceived to be extremely racist tweets. There is an old expression from ancient Rome from a quote by Julius Caesar. “my wife ought not even to be under suspicion.” He used that after he divorced his wife Pompeia. There was absolutely no evidence she had had an affair, a young man dressed as a woman had entered Caesar’s home and was quickly found out. Caesar divorced his wife and used that quote as the excuse to divorce her. In other words he admits his wife probably was innocent but his standards were so high that she could not even be under any cloud of suspicion.
Republicans have to be above even a hint of suspicion as well when it comes to women and minority issues. Republicans rightly or wrongly are perceived negatively by minorities and women and stunts like this only fuels the fire. With so many blunders and idiotic comments by politicians all over the country if we want to attract any new female voters or any minorities then we have to find a cure for foot in the mouth disease. Tweets like the one above, comments by Fran Millar, and campaigns like the one by Kemp are seen as hindering minority voter registration. The Ghetto Grandmother comment by Nathan Deal didn’t help either. Stupid party indeed.
But my favorite recent reason why it is so tough to be a Republican woman in Georgia has to be because of #pumpkingate. A female videographer at Burt’s pumpkin farm was turned on and manhandled by some brute to the point where she had severe bruises weeks later. Her crime? She happened to have a video camera recording when Ralph Hudgens said something stupid. Some will try and argue this was about private property rights but keep in mind a few facts. It was a public rally advertised as hosted by Nathan Deal. She was not causing a disturbance. She had been filming for around 10 minutes before the fracas. She was out in the open filming on the front row next to Nathan Deal. No announcement was ever made to stop recording. A male reporter was not harassed and kept on recording. She was singled out. What makes it worse is the lady wasn’t even some Democrat spy. She has over 600 videos of unedited raw footage on her youtube channel. What does it say about the Georgia GOP that we should ever be afraid of having speeches recorded? All that assault said was in private without cameras we must have a nefarious agenda we don’t want the world to hear.
Nathan Deal “Ghetto Grandmother” Speech