Demogogue v Public Servant: Vernon Jones Is A Bully

There is a current debate going on in DeKalb County, Georgia regarding the structure of the county government and whether we would be better off by incorporating as a city. The City of DeKalb would become the second largest city in Georgia, so we are talking about something with a large impact. There are of course good arguments to be made on both sides of this issue. Joe Knippenburg of Oglethorpe University presents one of the more compelling ones this morning. However, this story has quickly gone from a substantive discussion into something more personal.

Vernon Jones is the current CEO of DeKalb County and has come out strongly in favor of turning the county into a city. One would hope that Jones would take every opportunity possible to thoughtfully advocate his position. Well, for those who are familiar with Jones, the reality can’t come as a surprise.

It seems as if Jones has decided instead to insult one of the opponents of plans to incorporate the county. Yesterday, Vernon Jones referred to State Representative Mike Jacobs as having “the IQ of an empty Corona light beer bottle.”

Let us ignore for the moment that Jacobs is a highly successful attorney, is a fellow Democrat, was elected to the state legislature at a fairly young age, and is the consummate public servant.

Jones has a long history of bullying his political opponents. And this strategy has worked to a point. But with the recent defeat of Cynthia McKinney, the voters of DeKalb County have shown that they will not perpetually put up with politicians who cling to power with demogoguery and bullying tactics.

There is much talk of there being an anti-incumbant sentiment in the air this fall. Well, I hope that it is joined by an anti-demogogue sentiment as well.


  1. stephaniemills21 says:

    I have to say, I laughed when I read Jones’s comment. Never been a big fan of Rep. Jacobs and see him as one of our weakest democratic reps. BUT, if it am not mistaken Jacobs took a couple of swipes at Mr. Jones in the past few weeks himself. I will try to remember what it is. Can anyone else remember? So this might just be a little payback for that.

  2. Dignan says:

    Stephanie: are down on Mike because he doesn’t pander to the extreme left of the party? Mike is one of the best legislators because he goes out of his way to help his constituents, first and foremost. I have many disagreements with Mike but he is a man of high integrity and is actually a public servant.

  3. stephaniemills21 says:

    Digan, see I have no problems with any dem being being conservative. In fact, I would put Rep. Jamieson, who is arguably our most conservative dem, in my top three favorites. My problem with Jacobs is that he has not shown himself to be a man of integrity. Besides him lying directly to my face he has shown himself to be a political opportunist at every turn who looks out for his own best interests. I am not going to go into the other reasons for my dislike, as that would just be taking an unneccesary shots at a fellow dem, but if you would like more, just email me.

  4. skbarton13 says:

    Your post title is so correct. Vernon Jones has a lot going for him, but he has an ugly side that doesn’t require a lot prodding to bring forth. He mentions the Corona bottle crack twice, encouraging the reporter to include his bon mot?!

    The DeKalb CEO format has been a problem with everybody who has held the office — remember all the taxpayer money wasted on the lawsuits between the board and Liane Levetan? Fixing it now isn’t about Jones — and he isn’t going to get a City of DeKalb as long as Republicans are in charge of the state house, so what is that all about?

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