He’s in the GOP Now

Representative Mike Jacobs has set up a blog and used it to announce he is now part of the Grand Old Party.

s you know, I have always strived to represent all of my constituents, Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike, to the best of my ability. You have a right to know that the people elected to represent you, regardless of whether you voted for them, are listening and care what you have to say.

That hasn’t changed, nor will it. What has changed is that my strong belief in fiscal responsibility and restraint – a belief that the vast majority of my constituents share – is not a good fit within the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.

Welcome aboard Mike.

59 comments

  1. Mark Rountree says:

    Congratulations on a good decision. I saw some comments made by some other observers about the supposed Democrat leaning trends of the district.

    That’s wrong.

    The district is quite split, but trending Republican as much of Brookhaven and Buford Highway renovates, updates and gentrifies. From a Republican point of view, there’s one or two rough precincts: the rest of them aren’t bad and some are very strong.

    The only reason that Republican voters have so little State House representation from DeKalb is due to redistricting. This puts the good guys with three House members now (he joins Jill Chambers and Fran Millar).

    Because Jacobs has already been voting with the GOP on many issues, the local party will accept him.

    Congratulations.

  2. stephaniemills21 says:

    Wonder if he will be marching in the Pride parade this Sunday as he has in the past?

  3. Andre Walker says:

    Here’s a supplemental comment for everyone to digest.

    When I initially put the rumor about Mike Jacobs switching parties out there, I had people breathing down my neck saying that “He is a loyal democrat, and one of the best politicians (young or old) that our party has. And he is not a party switcher.”

    If my memory serves me correctly, DecaturGuy attacked my credibility on the rumor when he wrote, “Unless you can substantiate this rumor, you need to take this down. Your credibility is already pretty low, but this about takes the cake.”

    I stood by the story because I trusted my sources. It turns out that my sources were right.

    I’d say that’s probably the worse thing about running a political blog…receiving tips from people that may be true and having to decide whether to publish them or not.

    In hindsight, I’m glad I did publish the Mike Jacobs’ rumor because it may have ended up softening the blow amongst activists in the Democratic Party.

  4. Rogue109 says:

    Andre:

    We get it. You “broke” the story months ago. You are amazing. You are incredible. Your journalistic skills surpass all others.

    Move on…

  5. Decaturguy says:

    Thanks for saying what is on everyone else’s minds Rogue109. And Andre, you were wrong about the rumor back in December of last year.

    You said before the last session that Jacobs was going to switch parties. He did not. While the rumors persisted, he served as a Democrat the entire session. In his post today he said he did not finally make the decision to switch until the last day of the session.

  6. Bill Simon says:

    Yeah! yeah! I’ll support Andre’s predictability skills over the other whiners.

    Decaturguy, who are you ticked-off more at, Andre or Jacobs?

    Sounds like sour grapes against Andre for being right, regardless of the “timing” of it.

  7. jm says:

    I live in Jill Chambers District and as much as I am a democrat, I think this is a good thing for his district, to be from the majority party. Chambers actually wins in our district, despite more voters having voted in the democratic primary. I also think that Jill lends some sanity to the Republican party, and I hope Mr. Jacobs does too.

  8. Rogue109 says:

    “Sounds like sour grapes against Andre for being right, regardless of the “timing” of it.”

    No, Bill, it’s not. Much like you asking over and over and over and over and over and over and over about the sexual habits of members of the General Assembly, we get the point already. We understand your point, too, and we all have it burned into our memory that Andre wrote about something like this months ago.

  9. Bill Simon says:

    Rogue, I think I only asked it 3 times. So, that would mean I asked about it once, and then “over and over” about it.

    So, you exaggerate a tad bit. 🙂

  10. memberg says:

    “Openness and straight talk are the hallmarks of good public service.”

    After that opening line, wouldn’t it make sense to at least be straightforward and outright say, “I’m switching parties,” or something like that.

    He just dances around it: “address some persistent rumors regarding my party affiliation” ; “not a good fit within the Democratic Caucus”; “my belief that I fit best with moderate Republican legislators”; etc.

    That’s not openness and straight talk. I don’t know how anyone could read that and not infer that he’s trying to say something without actually saying it.

    (By the way, it’s kind of weak that comments are closed on the blog.)

  11. memberg says:

    Wow.

    Just wow.

    I’ve been on hiatus for a long time, so I put it on private mode.

    If you really want to stalk me, just facebook me – I’ll add you.

    Cripes.

  12. Ben Marshall says:

    I’m ecstatic at this. Democrats only have themselves to blame for driving him out of the party.

    Decaturguy- The Republicans are going to welcome him with open arms. As for his more liberal positions on social issues, Ed Lindsey and Jill Chambers fall into that category at some points, and they are highly respected in the party.

  13. Decaturguy says:

    Decaturguy, who are you ticked-off more at, Andre or Jacobs?

    I’m not ticked off at either. However, I find Andre tiresome.

  14. memberg says:

    Hmm…
    Mike Jacob’s blog is open and active, with comments off – Apple.
    My blog is closed and inactive – no posts, no comments – Orange.

    Where’s the even keel? What does my blog have to do with anything? What is wrong with you today?

  15. YourFutureLeader says:

    Saw this coming, he got in hot water with Vernon Jones about some Decatur County issue that got killed in front of the assembly. Then he was extremely quiet about Dunwoody. Dont know if its a good move for him or not. We’ll see how the Republicans treat him.

  16. Bill Simon says:

    Memberg,

    I didn’t get past this statement on your blog: “This blog is open to invited readers only.”

    So, only “invited readers” can read and/or post on your blog?

    Whereas, anyone and their mother can read Mike Jacobs’ blog.

  17. Teddy C. says:

    The Dems used to be a big tent party, but all that is left is angry left wing radicals who mutter “good riddance” every time anyone leaves.

  18. nrallen says:

    for what its worth, the DPG blog doesnt allow comments either…..which I’m not all that thrilled about

  19. memberg says:

    I’ll make this as clear as possible.
    My blog is on private status because I am not posting on it and nothing on there is current. In fact, no one is an “invited reader.” But when it was up (and if I bring it back up) anyone and their mother could read and comment.

    Thus, the issue is clearly whether an active blog is open to comments. I think it’s “kind of weak” when an active blog is not open to comments. If you want to have a blog, then you should allow comments. Otherwise, just have a website with a contact email.

  20. GabrielSterling says:

    The GOP will treat Jacobs very well. We are much more tolerant of a variety of views in our party than the Democrats of today.

    Jill Chambers is a Chairman, and the only one with subpoena power at that. Our caucus has many moderates, not the same can be said of the Dem Caucus, at least not the last six years. It has become much more liberal and out of step with the majority of voters.

  21. Mike-El says:

    I’ll wait to see how Rudy fares in Georgia before getting into a tent-measuring contest.

  22. Romegaguy says:

    I could have sworn that Andre got scooped by Nostradamus on this like a thousand years ago…

    As far as acceptance goes, we will watch and see next summer when Jacobs is running for re-election whether he gets GOP opposition or not. I am betting he does and that some mailers will go out with pics of him at the PRIDE parade.

  23. Good Work Andre, here are “excerpts” from a letter from one of MIke Jacob’s fellow Legislators assessing Jacob’s record and the things he failed to mention in his transition announcement:

    To: Mike Jacobs
    From: One of his fellow Legislators

    1) Re Predatory Payday Lending:

    “You’ve also not mentioned your support for this year’s ghoulish and predatory payday lending legislation.
    You voted this year, by supporting HB 163, to allow payday lenders to charge up to 395 percent interest
    rates and to provide de facto amnesty for those loan sharks that broke the law for the better part of the last century by offering these loans despite the fact that they were clearly illegal under Georgia law.”

    2) Re: Limiting Open Records Requests:

    You also omitted from your message to constituents your support in the Judiciary Committee for several
    measures that would limit the applicability of the Open Records Act and make public documents more
    difficult to obtain. Most heinous was your support for requiring open records requests to be ma de in
    writing. You supported this despite uncontested testimony in committee that the bill would have allowed government to require a citizen to identify themselves and state the reason they wanted certain
    records in writing before having their request for public information processed. Public documents belong
    to the public, and should be made available without requiring a citizen to be subjected to aggravation or
    even political retribution for requesting them. Feigning a commitment to open government while you seek to undermine it through your work in the legislature, is one of the oldest and worst parlor
    tricks in politics. Such duplicity creates fertile ground for the cynicism that makes good public service more difficult.

    3) on Taxation:

    Your message also suggests support for Mr. Richarson’s tax plan, which depending on which version you support would increase current sales taxes by more than 25% and levy billions in new sales taxes on needed
    everyday goods and services such as groceries and doctors visits. Your statement of a belief in fiscal
    restraint, when combined with your willingness to support a plan to tax everything that moves, raises
    additional questions about your basic credibility.

  24. Ha, oh my god. So many funny comments. Where to start. So the Democratic caucus is out of step with the majority of voters in the state? Well as of today we have one less member who marches in the gay pride parade and was a vocal opponent of a gay marriage amendment that passed with nearly 80% of the votes.

    Let’s see, what else do you got? Ok, how about the 24 hour waiting period. Lot of Georgians support that law. Well, as of today the Democratic caucus has one less member who is out of step with majority Georgians.

    You guys that are excited about getting Mike are getting a snake. Beware. I feel sorry for the guy who has to answer his phone calls during the next election when he freaks out about every single little decision, or go out to lunch with him and hear him whine and worry about whether his district is trending Democratic afterall.

    To those who think this district is trending Republican, you are out of your mind. Ten years ago, before all of that so-called gentrifying started this district was giving Republican candidates 65% of the vote in general elections. This past year Sonny won the district (but where didn’t he win?) but Jim Martin beat Casey Cagle by a large margin.

    I like Jim Martin and it is not an insult coming from me to say that he is well known and proud to call himself a liberal Democrat. And Cagle had the reputation particularly after beating Ralphie as a moderate Republican, and Mike’s district chose the liberal D over the moderate R by almost 10 points.

    Now, in many parts of the state where you guys are from white people = conservative Republicans. Not the case in district 80. District 80 is inside the perimeter, within a 10 minute drive from Perimeter mall as well as Buckhead and Lenox, and unlike in downtown Atlanta where a house costs $800,000 you can still get a home for a somewhat decent amount (though not as cheap as a few years ago).

    So a bunch of well off white people are moving to district 80? That does not make it Republican. They could have moved up to the suburbs in Cumming or Canton and got a larger home and eaten at Applebee’s and Outback for the next 15 years while their kids grew up attending “good” schools.

    They didn’t. They moved to an affordable intown neighborhood where the schools are diverse, where they can live within about a 3 minute drive of not 1 but 3 MARTA stations so they can get out of their car and actually enjoy their lifestyles.

    They like moderate politicians who are liberal on social issues and moderate and fair on fiscal issues. They had the choice and they chose to live in a county that is majority black instead of fleeing to Gwinnett or Forsyth, and they will not be happy when they learn about Mike’s votes for payday lending and Peachcare cuts.

    Good riddance to this joker. It’s exciting for Democrats that we now have a district to target where the gay marriage amendment lost.

  25. Decaturguy says:

    So the Democratic caucus is out of step with the majority of voters in the state? Well as of today we have one less member who marches in the gay pride parade and was a vocal opponent of a gay marriage amendment that passed with nearly 80% of the votes.

    Chris, you sound like you are happy that the Democrats lost a member who marches in the gay pride parade and was a vocal opponent of a gay marriage amendment so that the Caucus is more in step with the majority of the voters in this state. Am I wrong?

  26. Mark Rountree says:

    Wow Chris. I can see why you use the name “chrisishardcore”.

    Cross Keys area in Jacobs district is what the Dems hang their hat on to win it. Cross Keys is changing faster than most parts of Atlanta — run down apartments (read: Democrat voters) are being replaced with property owners buying new homes and townhomes (read: Republicans).

    You are correct that in the 1990s until around 2000 or so that the district became more Democratic. But that is being quickly reversed as the revitalization re-developers spray Roundup across much of the southside of that district.

    What’s happening on a macro-political level is that the suburbs are becoming more Democratic and the ‘outter ring’ of the intown area (Smyrna, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven) are becoming more Republican.

    Traffic is squashing the Suburbs and people with means are moving back intown.

    Be happy with gains in the Suburbs. That’ll be legit. Traffic is crushing the suburbs, bringing rising crime, worsening schools and — therefore– more Democrats.

    But do yourself a favor and don’t bet your meds on this district going back Democrat.

    And as a conservative Republican speaking for most — we happily accept him as the newest member of our disfunctional family.

  27. DecaturGuy, I’m poking fun at GabrielSterling who talks about how out of touch the Democrats in the state are. Though I can’t be sure, I would guess that he is talking about social issues as that seems to be what most Republicans on here focus on.

    I think it is ironic that these guys think the Democrats are out of touch because we are social liberals and yet they are welcoming a guy to their party who defined himself on being a social liberal.

    I have a hard time believing that any potential Democratic replacement for Mike in District 80 would have anything less than a stellar record on equality issues. In District 80, a Democrat’s positions on social issues and their association with a party that is “out of touch with mainstream Georgians” will be an asset, Mike’s willingness to join up with the opposing party will be a liability.

    I guess my overall point could be summed up thusly: the Republicans on here think they are getting some fed up moderate/conservative to switch parties giving yet another indictment of the liberal Democrats.

    In actuality they are getting a confused liberal with a bruised ego who just 4 years ago authored a website called “Brian Kemp Watch” whose only loyalty is to himself. I didn’t think Mike Jacobs could make himself into more of a footnote in this era of Georgia politics but today he did it.

  28. Mark, you want to talk about Cross Keys and it’s magical Republican trend, let’s talk about it.

    In 2004 Kerry got 51.5% and Bush got 47.8% of the vote in Cross Keys.

    In 2006, Perdue BARELY carried this district, even though he did 4% better in DeKalb county overall than Bush did.

    In fact, Perdue carried Cross Keys 47.52% to 45.43% for Taylor. More people voted against Perdue than for him here.

    What about other races? Martin beat Cagle 54.4% to 41.6%. So let me get this straight, Cagle – a moderate with no baggage gets 6% fewer votes than Bush in a district that is allegedly swinging heavily towards Republicans and moderate Republicans no less?

    Other notable Republicans who lost this district: Handel (Buckner beat her 49-46) and McGuire (Baker won 65-35).

    Now, Oxendine and Kathy Cox won this precinct, but not with anything near the margins they enjoyed statewide, Ox 58-42 and Cox 50-42.

    Republicans have long preferred to look at Public Service Commission races to detect any underlying trend. So let’s go. Of course incumbent David Burgess carried this precinct 52-41, but what about incumbent Republican Stan Wise? Whoops, he actually lost here 49.7 to 44.6.

    So you mean to tell me that not even an incumbent Republican public service commissioner is doing as well as Bush did here only 2 years prior? And to compare apples to apples, did you know that Bobby Baker won this precinct 54-42?

    Tell me Mark, has all of the gentrification only started post 2006 general election. Because by the looks of this district and the rest of North DeKalb for that matter things are still getting more Democratic.

  29. ColinATL says:

    I am so conflicted by Mike’s decision. His frustration with the House Caucas was so palpable, that I totally understand why he did it. But at the same time, Mike is the kind of Democrat that I see changing the party for the better, and that seems less likely now. We’ll miss you, Mike. I hope your corporate overlords treat you better. 🙂

  30. CorporateOverlords says:

    Mike: where should we be sending the $4000/can Caviar and $600/bottle Champaign?

  31. Mark Rountree says:

    Chrisco,

    I find it amusing that you find “magical” trends. Yes, I guess they might seem magical if one doesn’t understand them.

    That’s quite a bamboozle you have done there, comparing apples to oranges, district numbers to precinct numbers.

    First you write “in 2006, Perdue BARELY carried this district.” Yes. But what you forgot to note is that Perdue lost this district in 2002. That’s called a trend.

    then you write, “Martin beat Cagle, 54.4% to 41.6%. Yes, but again you fail to note that the Republican vote for Lt. Governor has always lost the district. I’m not sure how you make your case that Cagle is a “moderate”, either. Simply by beating Ralph Reed in the primary? Interesting and telling perspective to see from you.

    You go on to write “Republicans have long preferred to look at Public Service Commission races to detect any underlying trend.” (Only partially true. There are five GOP Public Service Commissioners and zero Democrats…sounds like an interesting statewide trend!)

    You then pointed out Burgess took the district 52-41%…

    However, what you didn’t point out is that David Burgess is FROM DeKalb County, and was elevated into the position by the DeKalb political crowd in the first place. So his numbers were stronger than normal. That’s what is called a “base”.

    I could go on. But the main point you are missing is the word trend. And as the southside of the district changes, particularly the precincts right along the border of I -85, so shall the voting trends change.

  32. blackmalevoters says:

    Corporate Overlords,

    Blackmalevoters will be accepting those $4,000 cans of caviar and $600 bottles of champagne on behalf of Mike Jacobs.

    We’ve got hoes to keep happy after all.

  33. jmax says:

    If I recall the marriage amendment vote in district 80 was around 50/50. I know for certain it did not fail by 80%. With a “d” from the NRA, gay pride marches, and union, naral, etc. endorsements Mike might have to worry about Republican opposition. I welcome him to the party as well, but we need a seminar for new members.

  34. Mark, when I said district in my above post I really meant precinct. All of those numbers are just from the Cross Keys precinct, which you picked out as a trending republican precinct/area.

    I hope you are advising Mike now that he is a Republican because you have no idea what you are talking about. Let’s just pick one small bit: the PSC races. First of all, the fact that all of Georgia now has Republican PSC’s and yet this district votes for Democrats certainly doesn’t make it look like it is some sort of Republican trending district. It is doing the exact opposite of what the state has been doing (getting more Republican, the district/precinct more democratic).

    There were two races for PSC on the ballot in November, one had an incumbent D and one had an incumbent R. The Democrat carried the Cross Keys precinct in both cases, even Dawn Randolph won it. The reason Burgess did 3 points better than Randolph is not because he’s from DeKalb County, it’s because he was the incumbent. In fact, it would be better written that Wise did 3 points better than Eaton because he was the incumbent in that race.

    95% of the public don’t know who their public service commissioners are, and as a political consultant you should know that. The average resident of House District 80 (and by average I would wager 80%+) do not know who David Burgess is or that he is from DeKalb County.

  35. And hey, Mark, you want to talk trends and compare apples to apples in the Cross Keys precinct, let’s go.

    Sonny did a lot better here than he did in 2002, but c’mon the confederate flag changing candidate of ’02 is not the same Sonny that voters like today. He went from getting 38% here in ’02 to 47% in ’06, but the district still voted 53% against the Republican, splitting their votes between a weak Democratic candidate and an unknown libertarian.

    So what about other races? Taylor carried this precinct 55-41 in 2002. Now keep in mind that Taylor was romping to re-election against an unknown candidate while Martin lost the state by 10 points. Cagle, who is a far superior candidate compared to Steve Stancil, did exactly the same as Stancil did. In a precinct that is really trending Republican, wouldn’t you at least expect the dream candidate (ie Cagle) to do better than a dud (Stancil) and oh yeah, to win which Cagle didn’t even come close to doing?

    Whoops, maybe that’s because this precinct is not trending Republican. Here are some more comparisons: Baker only got 59% here in 2002 but got 65% this year. Drexinger actually did a percentage point better in 2006 than our insurance commissioner candidate from last time.

    Let’s do a straight apples to apples in PSC races. In 2002, when we also had 2 races up, the Democratic candidates (who were incumbents) won 50.3-49.7 and lost 47.28 to 47.63.

    But last year in 2006 both Democratic candidates for PSC beat their opponents by at least 4 points. The incumbent won by over 10 points and the challenger won by 4%.

    So as you can see, while the rest of Georgia has started shifting their votes to Republicans in things like the PSC races, Cross Keys precinct is giving Democratic candidates a higher margin and Republican candidates a much lower margin, in fact a lot of voters shifted their votes to the libertarians which took a big bite out of the (R) votes but didn’t seem to hurt the D’s at all.

  36. rightofcenter says:

    Now that’s why I love Peach Pundit. Where else can you see a Repub political consultant and a Demo political consultant get in a pissing contest? Gotta love PP!

  37. Mark, now let’s look at the area of Mike’s district that is the most Republican, the Montgomery precinct and see how things have changed from 2002.

    In 02, Sonny got 52%, this year he got 62%, but I don’t think voters really viewed this as a partisan race, as I’ve made the case.

    Other races:
    Lt Gov, R’s won 55-40 in 2002, but D’s narrowed the gap, this time in ’06 it was only 51-42.

    Wait a second, you mean in the most Republican part of Mike’s district, Casey Cagle actually did 4 points worse than Steve Stancil? How’d that happen, I thought all those new “homeowners” were big Republicans?

    Attorney General: Thurbert actually lost here in ’02, 53-47, but this time he turned it around winning 56-44. Sounds like a positive Republican trend to me, NOT.

    Ag Commissioner: Irvin lost here 48-46 in 2002, in 2006 he won 50-41. Say what?

    Labor Commissioner, Thurmond got blown out in ’02 in Montgomery, losing 53-40, but in 2006 he nearly reversed the margin winning 51-40.

    Now to those Public Service commission races, which are good for partisan purposes because voters know so little about the candidates that they just vote their partisan instincts.

    Well, the two Democratic PSC candidates got 35 and 34 in 2002, the GOP candidates got 53 and 64. So the average from ’02 was 58-35. In 2006, the Dems here got 40 and 35, for an average of 38 and the GOP got 51 and 56 for an average of 54. So this time, the GOP averaged a 54-38 margin, which is a DEMOCRATIC trend of +7 points.

    So yeah, it seems like the Northern part of Mike’s district including your beloved Cross Keys isn’t getting any more Republican, and the last time I checked Toco Hills isn’t turning into some sort of Republican bastion either.

    Mike used to call me on the phone all the time and whine about how “is my district trending Republican” and I would look at these types of numbers (and also remember how Republican it used to be when I was growing up there) and go Mike you are crazy.

    Obviously, Mike wanted the answer to be yes because he was looking for an excuse to switch, and with you and his new Republican friends he found someone who was willing to say yes mike, it is trending, but unfortunately for Mike the numbers do not indicate that that is the case, unless you only look at one race for Sonny Perdue. The rest of the evidence points to a solid Democratic trend district wide and in specific precincts.

    Hey, here’s hoping that your direct mail for Mike is as solid as your political analysis, which is to say not very good.

  38. jmax says:

    The district is trending slightly Republican but in a Presidential year that Montclair precinct will give 800+ votes to a Democrat and 200- to a Republican. It might not matter if Jacobs wins Cross Keys and all the Republican precincts at even a 60% + margin because the Democrat precincts are more solidly Democrat. If the Dems find a moderate family woman it might be trouble. A solid conservative who is not over the top on abortion has a better shot at igniting the loyal Republican base in the primary and general.

  39. jmax says:

    Cross Keys is also one of the smallest precincts and not a good example for trends. Brookhaven and Briarwood would be better to look at for trends.

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