Looking at the races for House Districts 80 & 81

Insider Advantage takes a look at what’s going on in House Districts 80 & 81:

In terms of recent voting history, the district (HD 81) backed Barnes over Sonny Perdue 55 percent to 39 percent in 2002. John Kerry narrowly led George Bush 51 percent to 48 percent in 2004. Also in 2004, the district split almost evenly in the U.S. Senate race, giving Johnny Isakson 48 percent of the vote to Democrat Denise Majette’s 47 percent and the rest voting Libertarian.

The district has a growing gay population and is known as a melting pot of liberal, Libertarian and conservative philosophies. Hence, Chambers was the only Republican in either the House or Senate to vote against a proposed 2004 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Jacobs’ district (HD 80) runs along the DeKalb-Fulton line from I-285 in the north to LaVista Road in the south in Toco Hills. Al Gore narrowly carried this district in 2000 (49 percent to 48 percent), Barnes won it 56 percent to 41 percent in 2004 and Kerry just barely edged Bush by 49.7 percent to 49.5 percent. But Isakson won over Majette in the Senate race 51 percent to 46 percent.

And until Jacobs switched in 2007, the district was represented by a Democrat.

He wrote on his website: “… my strong belief in fiscal responsibility and restraint … is not a good fit within the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.”

None of this sat well with his former colleagues in the Democratic Caucus, some of whom have now come forward as active workers behind the candidacy of his independent challenger.

In a recent telephone conference with reporters, House Democratic Leader DuBose Porter said there is a “values vacuum” in the district now.

“When Mike was a Democrat, he would not vote with the Democratic Caucus. Time and time again. There was a values vacuum even then,” Porter said.


  1. AtlConservative says:

    If the Dems were so concerned about Mike Jacobs, why didn’t they find a viable candidate to run against him? Instead they get a criminal who hasn’t even established appropriate residence? Why? I’m guessing only because he was gay. Then, let’s assume Michelle Conlon is actually one of them (though she claims I), but she fails to disclose anything!

    Jacobs is honest and true! Hands down, he’s the best candidate!

  2. John Konop says:

    I have disagreed with Chris on issues but that was a cheap shot by Jill Chambers I have never seen him cross the line and say anything vulgar on this site.

  3. Tea Party says:

    In the end, its’ about what your Rep. has accomplished or brought to a vote:

    Chambers: “The referendum on SB 52, I was one of the House cosponsors on that. It restructures DeKalb, takes power away from the CEO and gives it to the county commissioners … I have been a strong advocate for open records and transparent government.

    I sponsored the bill that requires all state spending to be disclosed through an online database by 2009 and brings in the state authorities and the Board of Regents to the list of state agencies the Legislature can ask the state auditor to examine.”

    SB52 is the first step in reigning in the CEO power imbalance in DeKalb County.

    Not that my friends in Early County would find that interesting, but it is a big deal up here…

  4. Dave Bearse says:


    The Chambers flyer was disreputably deceptive. I was dissappointed in a Huttman campaign flyer attacking Chambers votes to increase legisltive pay. That’s unimaginative and there are more important issues.

    I think Tea Party is on target that winning the vote of pragmatic Democrats is important in winning the district.

  5. Dave, we’ve also talked about education cuts, voting to limit eligibility to peachcare, potential property tax increases with more coming.

    Part of the general theme is Chambers going along with Jerry Keen’s increase in daily per diems. Before 2007, legislators got a per diem of less than $130 per day, more than enough for gas/meals for someone like Jill Chambers who lives in Dunwoody and can return home by car or MARTA every night to sleep in her own bed. She doesn’t need to rent a hotel room or pay hundreds of dollars weekly for gas to get to the capitol.

    Now the per diem is $173/day. An increase of $45 per day. And Chambers went along with it, refusing to introduce any sort of alternate proposal and also refusing to not accept the increased per diem, as former Gov. Roy Barnes did. In nearly 20 years in the legislature, I don’t believe Barnes ever cashed a single per diem check, saving the taxpayers probably more than $35,000 in that period.

    Certainly there are more important issues, but this is still an important issue and symptomatic of the go-along to get-along culture down at the General Assembly. Many Democrats are also complicit in the pay increases.

    My understanding of what happened is instead of shifting to a mileage based per diem (where only legislators outside of a 50 mile radius or so would get the room and board per diem and the travel per diem would be adjusted based on distance to drive) legislators on both sides thought it would just be easier to increase it. One reason they did this was that some legislators like Harry Geisenger had filed numerous expense reports for frivolous items and the “deal” that Keen was making with the Geisenger’s of the world was we’ll increase the pay to just go ahead and give you the money that you’ve been requesting so you stop filing the reports and stop leaving an embarrassing paper trail.

    Why should legislators like Chambers, Jacobs, Levitas, Adelman, Stoner, Teilhet etc get rewarded with an additional $45 per day on top of the $128 per day they already got so that Harry Geisenger can stop leaving a paper trail of frivolous receipts?

    So you see, that may seem like a relatively unimportant issue but if you believe, as I do, that the culture at the General Assembly needs to change, it is very symptomatic of the larger problems down there.

  6. John Konop says:



    My son tutors many of his friends on the new math 123 program. He was grandfathered out of it and is taking algebra 2 as a freshman.

    My son told me the reason his friends are having problems is it is taught out of sequence. Also the learning guide is terrible and does not teach the building blocks of math right.

    His friends tell math 123 is mass confusion with no real help!

    I have heard this from numerous teachers, students and parents. What do you think about this issue?

  7. rugby fan says:


    Care to refute the claims that you are actually Glenn Richardson?

    As an aside, I don’t remember Richardson ever being sworn in. I’ve never seen it happen, so I can’t say for certainty if he was.

  8. bowersville says:

    “Well, I believe I am the one making those claims.” And quite frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

    Since when did any one give a hoot what you think? Huh?

  9. Dave Bearse says:


    Sorry to return so much later to this thread. Thanks for the explanation—I’ve in the past taken exception to per diem being excessive, at minimum for metro Atlanta legislators relative to those outstate. I don’t consider per diem “pay”. I would have understood your point if your flyer had said per diem and not pay on the flyer.

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