CD-8 Straw Poll

Last Saturday in Tifton, an 8th Congressional District debate was held. I am told the crowd was made up of mostly out-of-towners. Results of the statewide races straw poll can be found here. As you can see, a large number of people were undecided. I am told that both Max Wood and Doug MacGinnitie were alerted to the event with just over 24 hours notice, but still managed to pull higher numbers than their opponents. Take what you will from these numbers.

What I am more concerned with are the straw poll numbers from the 8th Congressional race:

Valerie Meyers 3.17

Ken DeLoach 3.02

Angela Hicks 2.93

Diane Vann 1.39

Actual Vote Break Down can be found here.

Whereas statewide polls were based off of simple majority, the straw poll for the 8th Congressional seat used a weighted average method.

Now, I got several calls over the weekend regarding this debate, specifically the one for the 8th District Congressional race. Organizers were accused of rigging the debate for one particular Congressional candidate. However, I gave the organizers the benefit of the doubt and contacted them. They assured me that the debate would be neutral (no softball or attack questions) and that it was merely to inform the people of the candidates and issues. That being said, I am confused as to why, out of all the races, the Congressional straw poll used a different method. Why would you use a different method to calculate a poll for one race than you did for all other races?

I was told by those in attendance that some of the audience got multiple ballots and that others didn’t vote in everything. Another accusation was that one candidate’s supporters were seen giving them a first ranking without giving other candidates a ranking, detracting from their score. Given that any of these are true, it renders the straw poll useless and/or biased. I know people fight over polls all the time. Some say straw polls are useless, maybe this time they are right.

113 comments

  1. Doug Deal says:

    The scoring method was dodgy to say the least.

    If you go by total points (4 for first, 3 for second, etc), Ken DeLoach wins. But, apparently after seeing the results, the organizers introduced a “weighted average score per voter” method which gave the victory to Meyers. There method was to discount the ballots that were left blank by dividing the total points by the number of votes cast. In essence, if my team scored just 1 touchdown, and my opponent scored 5 field goals, I will get the victory because I averaged 7 points per score, while they averaged 3.

    If you look at the raw totals, DeLoach had 139 points on 46 votes, Valerie had 133 on 42 votes. They then divided their scores by the number of votes cast to give DeLoach with a score of 3.02 and Meyers a score of 3.17. If I had gone, I would have left Meyers blank myself, yet they would have scored my ballot as actually helping that candidate.

    Of course Meyer’s people were the one’s organizing it, so what do you expect?

  2. ByteMe says:

    I’m outraged that political candidates are manipulating fake polls in their own favor. OUTRAGED!

    Ok, I’m over it. Zzzzzzzz………

    • polisavvy says:

      Could you please enlighten me on what’s going on between Doug and Ken? I think I understand but am not quite certain. Is there some bad blood there? Thanks, Byte.

      • ByteMe says:

        I want to write something funny here about BFF or Facebook, but nothing’s coming to mind.

        I think it’s better if they explain it. It sounds like inside baseball stuff and people getting their feelings hurt and other people not being sympathetic about it.

        • polisavvy says:

          Okay, thanks Byte. I have tried to connect the dots but seem to be coming up short. I sense drama and feel that there is more to the story than meets the eye. I don’t think BFF will work in this particular case at this particular time. I enjoy reading their posts and hope they can work things out.

      • Doug Deal says:

        poli, byte makes a fair point. I had no ill will toward Ken or Ralph, and until they attacked my integrity to have me removed from a panel I did not ask to be on in the first place because I had spoken my mind about their candidate of choice. They did this without ever informing me of this.

        The results of the straw poll also showed demonstrable massaging to give their candidate the win over another. To me it seemed shady, and I am a strict adherent to rules, so I pointed out this out.

        I do not hold grudges, so beyond this issue, I have no personal animosity toward them, but I do have some issues with their character.

        • polisavvy says:

          Thanks for the explanation. I had figured some of it out; but, I did not understand it completely. I am sorry that things have happened like this, but am glad that you don’t hold grudges. Nothing is ever gained or accomplished with that at all. Just remember, at the end of the day, it’s always important to be able to lie your head on your pillow with a clear conscious. After that, nothing else matter. Hang in there. BTW, how’s your bracket?

          • Doug Deal says:

            Life is too short to let anger or bitterness get the best of you. As for my bracket, if OSU wins and WV beats KY, I am in good shape.

            How’d you do.

            • polisavvy says:

              So I don’t get in trouble for thread jacking, I’m just responding to Doug’s question. I’m doing fine. I, like most people, was shocked at the Kansas game. Who would have thought that would happen? I still have 9 of Sweet 16, 6 of Elite 8, three of final four, and Kentucky winning it all. I guess it’s okay. Some of the crazy games really messed me up; but, I guess that was to be expected after two of the first three games played went into OT (only 2 the whole tournament last year).

  3. PaulRevere says:

    I wonder if Brian Kemp’s numbers were so low because Gary Black’s were so high. After that ugly run-off in 2006 and all.

  4. Ralph Watson says:

    I was duly elected Chair of a Steering Committee to organize a number of events to promote the GOP candidates for the GA-8th by the County Chairs of the 8th District. I was ably assisted by a number of hard working, dedicated committee members. It is in this capacity I respond.

    I am a Triple-A, Type D personality (high task/low relationship) which tends to get me in a lot of trouble with people who get in the way of making something positive happen. Bluntly speaking, there are a couple of political hacks who are willing to trash the Republican Party to build themselves a reputation. I will not stand still for it and they both need to know I play hard ball.

    Ken DeLoach represents an important demographic for our party – the evangelical conservative. Diane Vann comes from a military and medical background. Angela Hicks is a small business owner with a compassionate heart for foster children. Each of these fine candidates are valuable to our party and I will not stand for anyone saying anything negative about any of them.

    Why then are these ‘kingmaker-wanna-bes” so Hell-bent on destroying Valerie Meyers? She is what has been called a “soccer-mom.” A single mother, working a full time job, continuing to go to school and a passionate conservative. Do we not need people like her in our party just as much as the others?

    I don’t know that Ms. Meyers can win this race, but she should be accorded the same respect for getting on the field and getting her nose bloodied as any other candidate. I think all these candidates deserve our thanks because they are willing.

    Now are far as the straw poll. This was not a part of our early planning and most of the planning for this event was done via emails. However, the purpose was to draw attention to the forum and it certainly did that!

    I will let someone else defend the weighted averaging, but I insisted that all the raw data be released so that any one could spin this any way they wanted. If you could get your head out of your butt long enough to look past the US House race, it is disturbing that almost half those voting voted for “Undecided” over a sitting US Senator!

    In closing, every candidate had the same opportunity to rally support for this event and in the end most campaigns hinge on turn out. Ken DeLoach brought a load of supporters on a church bus and Valerie Meyers had a group of her faithful in the audience as well. There was little evidence that Angela Hicks or Dianne Vann had made that level of commitment to have a large number of supporters there. I am not criticizing any of these candidates for either inviting supporters or NOT inviting supporters. I am not managing the campaign of any of these fine people. I provided the venue and it was up to them to decide what was right for them. Paul Rish decided not to participate. I am fine with that as well.

    I met will all candidates prior to the forum and was very transparent with them regarding how I met Ms. Meyers and I did not hear one negative comment from any one that attended.

    All the negatives are coming from people who were NOT there! Some need to be reminded of Reagan’s 11th Commandment!

    Ralph Watson
    404-520-1030
    [email protected]

    • SFrazier says:

      This was repealed with the birth of RINOS…. Would someone please call Mac Collins and get him to run. This is a seat we should pick up with a good candidate… These candidates should be running for school board.

      • SFrazier,

        Criticizing these candidates is not helpful. Do you actually know any of them?

        These are good people who have put their reputations, their time and their money on the line. They deserve our respect, if nothing else, and I believe they deserve more than that.

          • Hi poli,

            Sad, but true – By definition, one cannot reason with unreasonable people.

            I’ve had the pleasure of meeting all four of these folks and Paul Rish. All of them are good folks who are investing a lot of themselves into this process.

            There were very good answers to some difficult questions at the forum. I was impressed with the candidates.

            • polisavvy says:

              I’m totally amazed at what I like to think are grownups who spew like some of these people do. It’s like their opinion is the only one that counts and that anyone who disagrees with them is beneath them. Well, I have news for a good many, they aren’t as smart as they think they are. The spewing is just making up for other shortcomings they have, in my opinion. On occasions it does provide comic relief in a very sad and disturbing time in our country. I enjoy your posts and keep up the good work.

      • ReaganRepublican says:

        Austin Scott could beat Jim. He does not have a prayer in the governors race. He should put his country before himself and run for congress.

        • Doug Deal says:

          I have desired the same thing, but he is in the race to stay. He has his reasons, and we may not be able to see things the way he does, but I have learned to respect that decision.

          As for him not being able to win. I think there is a chance, but it is a long shot. He is saying the right things and has done a good job in debates going to toe to toe with other candidates, but it is hard for a candidate without a lot of cash or a big name to break the noise barrier with lazy press people.

          In a perfect world, I think it would be Scott, Johnson and Handel battling it out, but if we lived in a perfect world, we wouldn’t need any of them to run for governor because whoever did win would be great anyway.

          Of the other candidates, there is Chapman and then there are three bad apples. I like Chapman and think he is a decent enough guy and a credit to the party, I am just not convinced that he is governor material.

          I won’t bother to give an opinion about the three lead weights whose only goal seems to be to sink the party in November.

    • Doug Deal says:

      This is a load of crap Ralph. I have four people who attended the meeting in Butts County where you took Valerie Meyers by the hand and told people that she was the one to vote for. You had no business being in charge on this event. It is fine to participate, but to be in charge, when you are a blatant partisan is ridiculous.

      In addition, it was clear that this whole event was amateur hour as a number of statewide candidates were not notified until the very last minute. Whether on purpose (unlikely) or by incompetence, it does not reflect well on you or on the 8th, who mistakenly originally laid their trust at your feet.

      The event was staged from the very beginning to be a coming out party for Valerie, and the funny thing is that Ken DeLoach beat you guys, so you had to redefine how the winner was selected in order to do it.

      All candidates need criticism; it is how we vet them for office. The Democrats are not going to put on kid gloves, and if these candidates are incapable at taking it (Valerie Meyers has a record of leaving crazed voice mails and ranting twitter comments) then they need to drop out and help someone who can.

      The fact is, I used to have a high opinion of Valerie, but her completely off the wall lunatic reactions to the normal course of political discourse has revealed her as little more than a risky embarrassment to the party. Couple that with her unabashed support of McBerry, and she is nothing but trouble.

      • Ralph Watson says:

        Your lack of objectivity obviously clouds your judgement. These personal attacks of “Lunatic” is exactly why you were asked NOT to be a panelist in Tifton. Yes, I did introduce Valerie around the Butts County party, but this event was NOT a Butts County event; it was an 8th District event. The whole argument used to invite you to be a panelist by your supporter was that you could be ‘objective’ but you are unwilling to grant that status to anyone else? The name for that is “Hypocrite!”

        At the time Ms. Meyers came to Jackson, I had not met any of the other candidates, but I felt she was qualified for the job. Now that I have met and gotten to know at least 3 of the others, I would gladly introduce them around my local party as enthusiastically.

        BTW, who died and left you the arbiter of what is good and not good for the party? Who besides McBerry do you think ought to leave the GOP? And me, of course.

        • ByteMe says:

          By “qualified” if you mean breathing and over 21, yep, she’s qualified.

          Otherwise, she’s a lightweight and the Party should be able to do much better.

          • Ralph Watson says:

            That’s what elections are for – to determine who is “better.” Why are any of you who are casting stones not in the race??

            • ByteMe says:

              So you have a problem with people telling other people our opinions in a public forum, huh?

              She’s a LIGHTWEIGHT.

        • Doug Deal says:

          That’s hilarious. I was going to simply ask questions. You had control over the whole event. I was somehow too “partisan” to ask questions yet you were a perfectly reasonable choice for deciding how to score it and who to have ask questions, when you have an obvious horse in the race.

          Someone, somewhere needs to sit you down and explain to you what objective really means.

          • Doug,

            It wasn’t even “partisan”. There is something more than politics at work in your biases. It’s obviously very personal with you for some reason. Honestly, I don’t get it. Perhaps you would care to be honest and explain.

            • Doug Deal says:

              That’s funny Ken, you and Ralph were the ones who attacked my integrity without allowing me the chance to know what was going on. I know Valerie is your girl. The difference between me and you is that I won’t cheat to change her political fortunes.

              • In politics, perception is reality. Only a fool would allow a person with open personal biases to be on a political panel.

                You can dodge all you want, Doug, but your own documented words are the reason you were excluded. There is no other reason. No cabals. No conspiracies. No Knights Templar or Committee on Foreign Relations hiding behind billowing curtains. You are the reason you were excluded. Period.

                There was no cheating Doug. There is no evidence of cheating. There is evidence that you do not accept responsibility for your own words.

                • Doug Deal says:

                  Look at the tallied scores Ken. Funny how you guys left the fact Ken total more points and if not for a bogus calculation method, you declared Valerie the winner. When you recount the votes until your guy is the winner, we call that stealing an election. (Gore v Bush 2000).

                  To show absurd your method was. If one person voted Paul Rish as a write-in and first, he would have won with a weighted average of 4.

                  You are partially correct. Appearance can be reality. Two Valerie supporters, one who backed her with his good name and another who has travelled with her to campaign events, arranged a forum to give Valerie desperately needed credibility, kick off some they consider anti-valerie and recalculate scores in a fanciful way to snatch her victory from the jaws of defeat. No, nothing shady in that at all.

      • Ralph Watson says:

        You are welcome. I don’t usually engage in dialog with anyone who can’t distinguish “there” from “their” but for the integrity of the forum, it seemed worth the effort.

        Helen Keller said that “there is none so blind as one who will not see.” There is something up here and it is not about any straw poll. One of Mr. Deal’s friends was in Paul Rish’s pocket when Valerie came to Butts County, but for some reason, he doesn’t represent Mr. Rish anymore. Being a management consultant myself, I know exactly why a consultant loses a client! His discontent with me was that at the time, I was introducing an opponent of HIS candidate! Get the picture??

        The whole forum was videoed and DVD’s will be made available to the public. What you will see is a professionally produced political discourse between men and women of good will.

        If either of these two had been there, I suspect they would have cut their losses and shut up a long time ago. For instance, Jeff from the Tift Area Patriots asked Valerie a question which she answered,. “I don’t know.” So much for the whole deal being scripted! Why would we have allowed a question to be asked that our alleged ‘favorite’ couldn’t answer??

        From the git-go, Mr. Deal’s ‘highly regarded friend’ questioned why we were having a political event prior to qualifying. I gave him 4 or 5 good reasons and he responded, “I’m in.” Great!

        I accorded him all the respect due any member of the steering committee. I asked several to do some heavy lifting as the support from South Georgia was limited. I did ask Ken and Varie to work on projects as I asked Mr. White. Until the whole Doug Deal incident came up, Mr. White had been very cooperative. I even agreed for him to serve on the panel even though he had been an advisor to Mr. Rish. I had given Mr. White a lot of liberty in recommending panelists.

        In return, Mr. White betrayed the trust I had placed in him by inviting someone he knew to be a vocal adversary to one of the panelists. I would NOT have tolerated it for ANY one of the candidates. Mr. White offered to resceind the invitation and I asked him to do just that. Later, Mr. White notified me that he would not be participating on the panel and started making all these fallacious accusations.

        I refuse to continue to argue with a fool, so this is my last post.

        Thank you again for seeing through the BS to grasp the truth of the ‘straight talk.’

        Kindest Regards,

        Ralph Watson

        • Doug Deal says:

          And now you are attacking Jay White’s integrity. Jay White is one of the most honorable people I have ever had the pleasure to meet and has been a tireless GOP grassroots worker across this state. He has earned the respect of party leaders, elected officials and fellow grassroots activists. Anyone who would assail his character for some rhetorical point is a slug. Feel free to be as sleazy as you are known to be. I have a number of friends in Butts county who are well aware how you are and worthy of respect is one adjective they would never mention.

          As for me, it is clear that you are a man without honor or decency and are the embodiment of what is wrong with some parts of the GOP. Ethics is important to the rest of us, perhaps you will one day catch that point and reform yourself, but one day pigs might fly.

    • benevolus says:

      I think I’m a “Type A-Triple D” personality too. Once I realized that, I understood that the volunteer community was not a good milieu for me to operate in.

  5. Tyler,

    The method used to calculate the Straw Poll for the 8th Congressional District GOP candidates was different because we asked for different information. While we asked the audience for a simple vote on the statewide races, we asked them to rank the congressional candidates 1 through 4. We did this because the congressional candidates participated in the forum and we wanted to know more than people’s first choice.

    As for the implication that this was done to change the outcome, if you will look at the number of first place votes, then the results are exactly the same as the weighted average. What does this mean? It means that the results are identical to the outcome that would have resulted from a simple vote – the same method we used for statewide candidates.

    Why a weighted average? We had three choices. We could have thrown out all ballots that were not completed as requested and failed to rank all candidates. This would have disenfranchised those people who chose to vote for only one candidate. We did not think that was right.

    The second option was to ignore the sandbagging – intentional or unintentional – of the audience and count the votes as cast. This; however, cheated the other candidates out of even a ranking of a 1, which is the lowest ranking available under the instructions. We did not think this was right, either.

    This left us with the use of a weighted average which allowed us to use all ballots and avoid having the results skewed by, in effect using 0s in some cases instead of the minimum possible score of a 1. I stand by this method, suggested by another of our committee members, as the best method available.

    While a person might argue for a less inclusive solution, the solution was not only reasonable, it was the best solution possible under the circumstances. To come back later and nit-pick methodology in an attempt to discredit this forum is simply wrong. I understand some conspiracy lovers might want to make more out of it, but the fact that we released the raw numbers unrequested gives lie to that scurrilous implication.

    We did our utmost to ensure that each person received one and exactly one ballot, we just can’t honestly guarantee this was the result. We have never denied this was possible to anyone, not even the candidates.

    Because the facility was open early and people were in attendance earlier than 1 PM, when the straw poll ballots arrived there were people already inside the facility. This prevented us from using the entrance as a place to distribute the ballots. I can tell you that multiple ballots were not widespread and may not have happened at all. There were some people who chose not to vote. They must have their reasons for not doing so. They won’t be forced to vote on July 20th either.

    Overall, the event was a definite success. Feel free to contact the four candidates who participated and I believe they will concur. This event was to promote our candidates, give them an opportunity for exposure and practice in a forum/town hall environment. It did so.

    I would like to take the opportunity to thank the candidates, the panelists, the timekeepers, the audience and our committee which worked hard to put this together.

    I’d also like to thank the Bibb, Dodge, Houston and Tift County GOP organizations which contributed to this forum.

    • Tyler,

      Do you still have questions or have they been answered – at the very least – in a reasonable and credible manner? If you still have doubts, feel free to let me know.

      Ken

    • Doug Deal says:

      Ken, you recalculated because the result was not what you expected. Look at the google doc and look who clearly won the initial calculation. Dividing by the number of votes cast? Are you serious. People leave people off the ballot because they do not want to vote for them, not so you can “adjust” their vote to help someone out.

      This is exactly why I called you and Ralph out on this event. You and he has no business leading the event when you have clear loyalties to one of the candidates. Unlike you, I respect the fair rules of competition and would never allow something like this to be compromised by my own desires. I let people know exactly how I feel, but I would never cheat anyone to win something so petty as a straw poll.

      You and Ralph are precisely what is wrong with a portion of the GOP today. It needs to be called out, and I will do it every time. I want a better GOP, not one where cronies and hacks like the two of you try to direct things from behind the scenes.

      • Doug,

        There were no recalculations. It was done as a weighted average from the beginning. My explanation of the weighted average is sufficient for anyone of average intelligence. Perhaps someone will explain it to you.

        You and everyone on the committee knows your problem with the forum is that you were denied a place on the panel. The fact that you continued to lobby for the position even with a very public history of personal animosity toward one of the candidates indicates that your exclusion was the correct choice.

        To have allowed you on the panel with that history would have been incredibly naive and stupid. And in this case, it IS about you, not the candidates.

        Doug, since you don’t like the way this forum was handled, I challenge you to create one of your own. You have exactly the same resources we had. Go to it if you can do better. I sincerely doubt that you will do a thing – as usual.

        • Doug Deal says:

          Ken, I never lobbied to be a member of the forum, I was invited and reluctantly agreed to serve because although it was a 6 hour commitment on a precious Saturday, I considered it an honor. I spent effort to plan fair questions and was arranging things with my wife when the phone rang telling me that you personally assailed my integrity and had me removed from the panel.

          If anything was personal, that is the very definition. It was general knowledge that you and Ralph were VSM hacks, but me and Jay White, who resigned from the panel in protest, gave you two the benefit of doubt. Ken, a man with integrity makes his accusations to the person he is attacking, he does not hide behind closed doors.

          If you want to learn about integrity, I will teach you sometime.

          • Doug,

            You cannot deny your personal and public attacks on one of the candidates. They are public record. But you still expected us to allow you to be on that panel. If we had allowed that then we would have been subject to legitimatee complaints of bias.

            As for not “lobbying”, I guess your threatening phone call to me would be considered what? Maybe a “shakedown” instead?

            My response was to Jay and to Ralph. Jay suggested you and Ralph was the committee chairman. I raised legitimate, documented concerns about your biases. Those are facts, not accusations. Now, you are still whining about not being included.

            As for you teaching anyone about integrity then you must first teach the concept of antithesis if you are to be the example.

              • Hi Icarus,

                Jay White invited Doug to be a panelist so I do not know the exact date.

                Here are the references I sent to Ralph and Jay:

                Doug referring to Valerie Meyers on Twitter (Sat 13 Mar 22:46): @jeffscottshow She is also unstable, blows up at people at the drop of a hate and is a wide eyed McBerry KoolAid drinker.

                And here on Peach Pundit: http://www.peachpundit.com/2010/02/11/ga-8-meyers-wants-to-cut-congressional-pay/

                Just read down the thread or would you prefer I copy some of the direct quotes?

                • Icarus says:

                  My point is that Doug was invited AFTER these horrible, horrible quotes.

                  Did Jay White have the authority to invite Doug or not?

                  • Doug Deal says:

                    He invited me Friday morning. I was ousted Late Friday afternoon.

                    The thing is Icarus, if someone had asked me, I would have dropped out, since it was a major inconvenience anyway. Instead two people who do not know me passed judgement on my integrity outside of my presence. It was outrageous enough for someone I respect greatly to resign from the panel in disgust. In another time, those two men would be labeled cowards.

                    It is okay to begin a journey with the end in mind, but one should be mindful of the means one uses to get there.

                  • Jay was a committee member, and Ralph delegated that authority to committee members. When I became aware of this selection I responded to Jay and cc’d Ralph. When Ralph became aware of Doug’s comments, he immediately asked Jay to rescind his selection of Doug.

                    • Icarus says:

                      Then I think you have to accept the responsibility for making an invite and then pulling it. You’ve smeared someone else’s character unnecessarily. Doug has been very active in the 8th district, and in my opinion, would have made a great panelist. Instead, your loose control of the process and organization has opened you and your organization up to charges of favoritism and beyond. And in my reading of the comments, I’d say they’re sticking.

                    • Icarus,

                      Obviously I disagree with your pronouncements. Feel free to continue. I will say this; however:

                      1 – To have included Doug would have opened us up to legitimate complaints of bias.

                      2 – The event was a success.

                      3 – Doug’s allegations of improper motive are the true smear here, Charlie. You can pretend otherwise.

                      4 – We have been open with the process which is why we’re open to criticism. Nothing is hidden here and the results are open for everyone to see.

                      5 – I will stack my activities in the 8th Congressional District against both Doug and any of his supporters.

                  • Ralph Watson says:

                    This is Ralph. Due to the limited support for this forum in South Georgia, I relied on a number of Steering Committee members to do a lot of heavy lifting. The Tift County Party got the ball rolling with a $100 donation.

                    I had asked Ken and Varie to work on a structure for the debate knowing that Varie had experience with such. I did not know Jay White had similar experience, however, I asked him to locate us a keynote speaker. Johnny I. couldn’t make it, so Jay offered Melvin Everson. I thought it was a good call. When Melvin turned us down at the last minute, I offered to MC the program as I have done a good bit of stage work.

                    We were still short a panelist and Jay had recommended Ron Daniels from Peach Pundit and I said “Sure!” Relying totally on Mr. White’s integrity to take the high road. He called back to inform me that Mr. Daniels could not come and suggested another writer for Peach Pundit, Doug Deal. I didn’t know Doug from Ron, so, not having any reason to question Mr. White’s motives at that time, I again said, “Sure!”

                    It was only after the fact that I was informed about a BITTER running feud between Doug and Valerie with PERSONAL attacks being made by Doug. That is when I pulled the plug on Mr. Doug.

                    All of this was happening on Friday as I was driving to Tifton to get a visual on the venue. After Mr. White took his ball and went to the house, we had to scramble to find replacements and did we ever. Our panelists were top drawer!

                    I hope this clears up your question. Yes, Jay did have the authority, but he abused the trust imparted to him.

                    • Icarus says:

                      Even in your above description, I don’t see how an unbiased observer would coclude that Jay “abused the trust imparted to him”.

                      You threw an event together, didn’t have the resources to get it done, relied on others, and when the others didn’t do as you approved, yanked the authority you gave them.

                      That’s how I read this, and I haven’t spoken to Jay, Doug, or anyone else related to this event.

                      I’d consider you and your committee might want to take a deep breath, and then decide if you might need to start mending some fences if you have any desire to have a united party come November.

                    • Doug Deal says:

                      That’s hilarious, “bitter running feud”. Until Friday I had not realize there was any animosity. If there was, it was on her part (I know some people who could forward you some off the wall emails, private twitter comments and voice mail she has authored which points to someone looking for feuds, but I digress).

                      Despite your efforts to deflect this into a personal attack on me, you have not addressed the suspicious scoring of the event and the fact that major campaigns were not notified of the straw poll until less than 24 hours before the event.

                      Perhaps you can also send more offensive emails to volunteers and candidates when you attempt to organize the next one.

                    • Ralph Watson says:

                      I have received a gracious note from Ken DeLoach thanking us for the forum. I am not going to post it as it was a personal note.

                      There is a lot more to this story than you are going to read here.

                    • Red Phillips says:

                      Doug you keep on fighting the good fight of standing up to that fringe position of actually following the Constitution as originally intended. You are so noble.

                    • Red Phillips says:

                      “I’m glad Red wasn’t on the Live-Blog of ObamaCare, my liver would’ve eroded.”

                      Huh?

                      I also think it is cute that the centrist cabal has brought on Tyler to be their designated centrist in waiting. He is obviously being groomed to take on the mantle of centrist defender of all things reasonable and respectable once Icky and Doug are no longer up to the task.

                      Of course nothing will get conserved in the process, but that’s incidental. Who cares about conserving the Republic when you have moderate bona fides to polish?

                    • Tyler says:

                      Red, you don’t know me very well.

                      Conserve? You wish to conserve nothing. You and the secessionist crowd would rather tear down. You want to turn tail and run in the wake of an ever-expanding gov’t. Why not actually fight back with the political process? BTW, telling the Feds to shove it doesn’t work, not with the size of our current government.

                      I go back to you not knowing me, you’re crowd would rather make enemies of those closest to your principles than unite and fight back against big gov’t. Give me a break.

                    • Tyler says:

                      And “liver erosion” is a reference to the “Constitution” drinking game we’ve developed here on Peach Pundit. (That’s another for me).

                    • Icarus says:

                      I absolutely love the fact that to some people, believing the 14th amendment is a valid part of the Constitution makes one a “centrist”.

                      Red, in your world, I’m willing to be a lefty.

                    • polisavvy says:

                      Could someone explain Red’s deal to me? I have yet to be able to figure him out. Any takers?

                    • Red Phillips says:

                      Tyler, thanks for the explanation of the liver reference. I was puzzled by that.

                      I have no problem working with people who are with me on some issues and not others. Or who are with me part of the way but not all the way. But the people who are actually not willing to do that are the people who deal with dissenters to their right in the way that is common here. It goes something like this. First ridicule with condescension and snark. If that doesn’t succeed in chasing them away or shutting them up then amp up the rhetoric, hysteria and arm flailing. When that fails fling the r word (racism) and make Hitler and white hood references. (Some actually resort to this first. Cuts down on bandwidth usage I guess.) And whenever anyone says anything about the original intent of the Founders make a sleazy allegation that they want to reinstitute slavery.

                      I don’t get it. Why must it be this way? It is so childish and absurd. I never call names, and I only resort to being a smart a** in retaliation. If Joe Constitutionalist says something about enumerated powers then why not simply respond with “I don’t agree with enumerated powers, and here’s why.” Or if he says something about original intent why not respond with “I disagree with original intent. I think the Constitution is a living and breathing document, and here’s why.” This is how adults carry on a conversation. I have practically begged for someone to make a reasoned historical case against enumerated powers, original intent, nullification, etc., and I get nada. And what’s with the no friends to the right of me strategy? Why is someone to their right more of a threat and in more need of being hooted out of polite discourse than someone to their left? Hmmm…

                      So the problem is not with me. I am more than willing to make my case in a reasonable and rational way and have repeatedly done so. The problem is with your mentors who seem completely unwilling and/or incapable of doing so and prefer to just resort to the childish strategy I outlined above.

                    • Red Phillips says:

                      Ick, as I explained before, the 14th Amendment was passed under duress. Is a contract signed at gunpoint valid? The Confederate states had to pass the 14th amendment to get readmitted to the Union, but wait … I thought they weren’t allowed to secede so they never really left the Union. Which is it? So they weren’t a part of the Union and required readmission, but yet their ratifications still counted towards the 3/4ths of the states requirment? Again, which is it? Additionally, two states recinded their ratifications, yet Congress said the ratifiactions counted but the recensions didn’t. That’s curious. Why?

                      But even if I concede that the 14th Amendment was appropriately ratified, the incorporation doctrine was not the original intent of the amendment and did not arise until later.

                      There. I have laid out my case rationally and civilly. All of this is easily verifiable historical data. This is wikipedia level stuff. It is not esoteric. It is a case that has been made by many others for many years. It did not arise with me. It is not unique to me. Are my facts wrong? If so which ones? You might well think my logic and conclusions are wrong. I’m sure you do. But I wouldn’t know why because you don’t make a case. You make snide remarks. I know you know history. Why don’t you use it? I know you’re a smart guy. Why don’t you demonstrate it?

                    • Icarus says:

                      My point is pretty simple Red. If I was a history professor, or maybe even a constitutional law professor, we could debate it in an ivory tower all day long.

                      But this is a political blog. Politics as I’ve said many times before is about reaching 51%. I would venture that the 14th amendment has become an accepted part of the constitution to at least 99% of the American population.

                      So I’m here to debate the things that aren’t settled, not tilt windmills on tangential issues that most of us do not believe are the subject of debate.

                    • Bill Greene says:

                      Charlie, if you’re just here to debate the things that aren’t settled, why don’t you stay out of the more rational discourse of us grownups around here, who believe in conserving (as in conservative) our Republican form of government (as in, well, Republican)? Thanks so much.

                    • Red Phillips says:

                      I get where you are coming from Ick. I really do. But why is the best way to deal with us windmill tilters (I absolutely do not deny this is what I am.) with sarcasm, condescension and name calling? And why the no friends to the right of me strategy? Are constitutionalist McBerry supporters really more of a problem for the Republic than Nancy Pelosi?

                    • Doug Deal says:

                      There is not a “no friends to the right of me strategy” Red. You are not to the left or the right of anyone, you are totally off the grid.

                      Anyone calling for the overthrow of the USA is whacky at best and delusional and dangerous at worst. Throw in the ties to racism and we have a winner for worst platform plank ever.

                    • Red Phillips says:

                      Doug, I have never once called for the “overthrow of the USA.” What I have called for is the restoration of the constitutional order as originally intended by the Founders. I have argued and will never cease arguing that state’s rights including nullification, interposition, and secession are allowed under said constitutional order. (And for that matter are a necessary part of maintaining said constitutional order.)

                      I am not presently calling for secession. The country is not there yet. I would and do defend the idea that secession is a legitimate moral and legal constitutional option if other lesser measure of restoring said constitutional order fail.

                      But even if I was calling for immediate secession, that would not be calling for the “overthrow of the USA.” Secession is not overthrow. It is not revolution. It is the leaving of a territory from a previous political bond while leaving the previous bond intact among the remaining constituent territories. The USA would still be a functioning entity if a state or states left.

                      It is not my fault that you were taught only the victor’s version of history when you were in school in Ohio (Southern Ohio was a hotbed of Copperhead support for the South BTW.) and hence are horrified when confronted with real history. You claim to oh so love your country, but what you really love is a myth. You don’t love the actually history of your country. You love the myth constructed by the victors.

  6. Red Phillips says:

    “Couple that with her unabashed support of McBerry, and she is nothing but trouble.”

    Ahh… now we get to the heart of the matter. We can’t have any of those real conservatives messing up our centrist party now can we.

    • Doug Deal says:

      Red, so do you think someone who calls for secession and was forced to resign from a teaching job for molesting a student is good for the party?

      It is good for the party to have a candidate calling for the return of the racist segregation supporting 50s era flag?

      Did you ever criticize David Duke, or was he right your alley too? I will always stand against such people who make the rest of the party look like marginal fringe, and I will let my opinions be know. What I would never do is cheat to win anything.

  7. Red Phillips says:

    Doug, the vast majority of YOUR party opposed the change in the flag, and Sonny ran on a promise to allow a vote to change it back. Racist all I guess.

    If you were not opposed to Ray would you be so quick to repeat allegations that the candidate denies and have never been proven? Somehow I doubt it.

    Anyway, this thread is not about Ray.

    “I will always stand against such people who make the rest of the party look like marginal fringe”

    No doubt you will. Because that is what it is all about for you. Maintaining “respectablity” and not looking “fringe.” Actually conserving something is a much lower priority for you.

    • Doug Deal says:

      Then I will stand up and say my party is wrong. This is because I have integrity. However, I challenge to prove a majority of Republicans support that finger in the eye to ending Jim Crow that is the confederate battle flag.

  8. slyram says:

    As a moderate, I am wondering if anyone looks at the list of candidates and asking the obvious question: can or should any one of these people beat Rep. Jim Marshall. Here’s the twist: the strongest Republican party member might not be the person who can actually win in November. Which candidate could pull voters away from Marshall, the go-to guy in the Georgia delegation on military matters?

    The nightmare scenario would have been a significant GOP candidate enters the race (Scott, Erickson, Tollerson) and nearby compelling Marshall switches to the GOP like former Blue Dog Parker Griffith in North Alabama. Hey Doug, maybe you could have done the job.

    We know Marshall is as conservative as a Democrat can get and the guy is smart. I looked at the GOP candidates’ webpages earlier today and the best wild card factor I see would be Democrat working moms wanting a woman in the old boys club known as the Georgia congressional delegation. For sake of disclourse, I wanted by friend Bogans in Savannah to make that move and she is African American to boot but that seems unlikely.

    At the end of the day, the goal for both major parties is gettingor holding that seat and it will take a little finesse. Finesse like Democrat leadership allowing Marshall to be himself and serve his conservative district.

    • Bill Greene says:

      You had me until you called Erickson a “significant GOP candidate”. Seriously, I’ve got tears, I’m laughing so hard. Thanks for making my day. 🙂

  9. Doug Deal says:

    Sly, your logic is, as always, spot on. I have no illusions that any back bench House member is anything more than a proxy for leadership. If Marshall switched parties, I would not vote for him in the primary, but I would support him in the general election (at least in a runoff if there were multiple candidates).

    One advantage for the district if there was a Republicanis that they can actually move up into leadership, while a Democrat would have to be too careful with what side they are on every issue to every make a viable leader. If you aren’t capable of being solidly behind those in charge, they can’t use you.

    When you cast your vote for House member, you are casting that vote for who they will vote for as Speaker. The truth be told, the Speaker is the first or second most powerful person in the country, depending on who is President and what party they hail from.

  10. jaywhite says:

    Ok. I don’t usually post, however, since my integrity and character have been attacked I feel the need to do so.

    1. Ken- you and I have already agreed to disagree. No problem.
    2. I did not hear back from Melvin Everson, and after Ralph said that he would be willing to moderate, thought that was a good idea.
    3. I did ask Doug and had the authority to do it. After talking to Doug, knowing about his posts, I felt that he could be impartial. Because I trust Doug in what he says, and going over the questions that he would have asked, still feel that he could be impartial.
    4. I think Valerie Meyers is a nice person who truly believes in what she says. I may disagree with her on some points but have never had a problem with her at all.
    5. Ralph, you can say whatever you want to. Your rants here and in emails received, laced with profanities and name calling, have made me more certain that I made the right decision. I withdrew from the Rish campaign myself to go onto other opportunities. To tell you the truth, I did not have time to manage a congressional campaign and have gone to local races. Also, your name calling and trying to slander my name will do nothing but give you a bad headache. As I stated to you Friday, I am done with this because we are hurting the 8th district more than we are helping.

    Also stated to Ken and Ralph was that I hoped the event went well. From what I hear it went without a glitch. Everyone who put it together worked hard, as well as the candidates who were there.

    I defended Doug, and his integrity, on Friday by disagreeing with Ken and Ralph and will do the same again.

    ByteMe…No matter where you are in this conversation, I always enjoy reading your posts.

    • ByteMe says:

      Jay, thank you for the feedback. I really appreciate it.

      I’m not at all in this conversation. It sounds like it’s all become a little too personal between you, Doug, Ralph, and Ken. My former marriage counselor would have some great advice, but I think everyone already knows what it is.

    • Ralph Watson says:

      Although I appreciate your first 4 perspectives, you are once again engaging in character assassination and it is not’mature’ to drag private emails into a public discussion.

      I don’t know what your definition of “profanity” is, but I reviewed my emails to you from last Friday and you are still an “ass” for implying that there was something untoward because Valerie Meyers was a friend on Facebook. I have not given her a dime of campaign money nor have I signed up as a “Fan” on Facebook, so get over it.

      I also advised you to get your “head out of your butt” so you could see some light. Other than those comments, there was no “lacing” of profanity.

      The whole Doug Deal incident lasted less than an hour and if he had not gone public with his Twitter, it would have never seen the light of day. You two remind me of the Keystone Cops out shooting yourselves in the foot and then trying to blame someone else for the results.

      Mr. Watson

  11. This dialogue has evolved into an interesting debate of character pot shots. Frankly, I don’t know that it really benefits anyone, but it does reflect the shear angst in the electorate.

    Ken Carroll is an honorable person who works incredibly hard for the Party and has been an asset in so many areas for many years. I credit Ken for befriending me when I moved from Indiana to Georgia 10 years ago. He introduced me to a number of folks in the Party and I value that benevolence incredibly.

    Doug Deal has been a good friend since working another statewide campaign in 2004. We’ve collaborated on a number of campaigns and local matters. Doug is talented and a numbers guy. I can appreciate his frustration and suspicion on the wranglings of political apparatus’. It’s definitely happened before and will, no doubt, happen again. That having been said, I don’t believe there was any shenanigans with this event. Using weighted scores seems a bit stupid to me, but that’s how it was done and it is what it is.

    Jay White is a good guy who I’ve also collaborated with on a few projects. He’s talented and hardworking as well and is going to be a big asset to the local and district. Organizing is lacking and Jay is getting his feet wet, doing a really good job.

    With the incredible amount of candidates wanting the same thing, there are going to be rough waters. Toes are going to be stomped on and egos busted, but that’s life.

    Most everyone has a favored candidate and will work to get their candidate an edge. That’s a tremendous problem when there is a severe lack of well funded races.

    I believe there will be 3 or 4 who actually qualify and one who will represent the Party running against Marshall. Marshall is no Republican and contrary to what some are saying, he ain’t switching parties.

    I hope we end up with an intellectually honest candidate who isn’t attempting the re-invent themselves philosophically or on a resume. I have seen a bit of that. The vetting process will rectify it, hopefully. My guy did very well and we’re thrilled. He’s been working very hard and is positioned well. He assured me he felt he was treated fairly and didn’t think there was any manipulation.

    Politics is a bruising game. Mike Huckabee said it best when he said if you can’t stand the sight of your own blood, then perhaps you best stay away from politics. I think all the politicos in this raucous don’t mind this a bit.

    The only criticism I have is only in the marketing of the event. I received calls from several statewide campaigns inquiring what was going on and that they were never notified about the event until the day before the event. You live and learn and I imagine the next one will probably be a larger venue with more notification and more participants.

    This district deserves quality representation. Given that this administration and congress have a huge bulls eye painted on the Free Enterprise Capitalistic system, we want a clear vocal voice. We don’t have that in our current representation. The duck and weave doesn’t cut it.

  12. old political pro says:

    Fine example of why normal people are not involved in local republican parties and how this once great blog has degenerated into the political equivalent of a 3rd grade food fight.

    • And another comment from the peanut gallery of people who hide behind a moniker so they can make claims they don’t have to be accountable for.

      I’m not getting involved in this – I have friends on both sides and generally like all of them. It seems to me this is a big miscommunication, but that’s the outsider looking at the situation in retrospect. I think everyone should just sit down and talk this over with a pitcher of sweet tea.

      I don’t like the weighted average system. Not a fan of it. Not here, and not anywhere else. Looking at the numbers, more people though Valerie won the debate than anyone else. That’s the only number I would go off of. I subscribe to the KISS principle, and would have just asked who won had I been in charge of the forum – but I wasn’t. And this is all hindsight.

      It has been mentioned here that perhaps I should have been a commentator or questioner or what have you, and in the future I will gladly accept any such position.

    • I don’t remember any 3rd grade fights, but the fifth grade, oh yeah.

      Politics should be a bruiser. One who is willing to go to the mat for his beliefs tends to emerge stronger or looking stupid.

      I thought the forum was a little too early as the field of candidates is way to broad, but I understand the motivation. While virtually all the candidates are relatively unkown they wanted to provide a series of forums to get them exposed to as many people as possible. The feedback I got was that it did accomplish that goal.

      I still maintain it was too early and the straw poll for the congressional candidates is not valuable data as the audience was made up largely of supporters of each candidate. What is more valuable is the straw poll information on the statewide candidates. For the simple fact that none of the statewide candidates had enough notification to lobby the crowd for votes one could probably make some logical conclusions.

      The bottom line is that the electorate is very fluid. People are keeping an open mind on most races. For me, I want someone who will pour their heart and soul into the race they are running and be open, honest and diligent in communicating their belief system. To me, that’s a strong basis point for effective leadership. Re-inventing ones resume and philosophical beliefs so that they are marketable is mere pandering and intellectually dishonest. I hope that kind of candidate implodes everytime.

      I think everyone in this feud ultimately wants the same thing, a change in congressional leadership. We simply don’t have an agreement on who that person will be. I would imagine there will be a few bloody noses along the way until July.

      In the district field, I think there are perhaps 3 viable choices and 2 I could support. Time will tell how things shake out. Who knows, there could be a game changer that happens which will stir the pot even more. Until qualifying day when the $$$ are plunked down all of this is shear posturing. Qualifying is when the game really begins.

  13. heyandrew says:

    Why are the Republicans in the northern part of District 8, incapable of holding a Candidate Forum?

    I am not sure I quite understand the “Kool Aid” comments. Perhaps I could be enlightened.

    I also wonder if the comments about the rants on Twitter are just a subliminal way to sign up to the Twitter account that Valerie Myers has, to see if she does indeed resemble some sort of head twisting girl from The Exorcist.

    If she wishes to support Ray McBerry or a.n. other candidate for what ever position that she decides, is that not her democratic right to do so. Or are we going down a road of guilt by association. I am not in Valerie Myers head, I have no idea what she is thinking. I can only go by candidate forums, phone in shows and what ever she puts on her Facebook page. She might endorse everything that Ray McBerry says, or most of it, but doesn’t she have a right to do exactly that?

    One more thing, people become fans of Candidates on Facebook for various reasons. One, to find out more about the candidate. Two, because they intend to vote for them. Three, they want to see if the crazed rants on Twitter are duplicated.

    I would subscribe to one and have yet to see three.

    What I would say in closing is that all of the Republican candidates need to look at the whole of District 8, not just the Southern part of they have any chance of winning not only the primary process, but challenging Jim Marshall. The actions of those Republican county committees in the Northern part of District 8, I find very troubling and do not understand why they are incapable of organizing a candidate forum.

    • Ralph Watson says:

      OK, I am trying to get off this thread, but if you have looked at the 8th District, we should be looking for a truck driver to be our candidate! The ‘Northern’ 8th WILL be hosting 2 rallies AFTER qualifying.

      The Steering Committee was elected at an 8th District Meeting held in Warner Robins and it was originally thought of having 4 events – the first would be a “forum” that would allow candidates to have an inside venue so it could be videoed and they would have a campaign asset for their web site or YouTube or whatever. We wanted it in Butts County, but could not pull it together there. There was a definite desire to make certain there was one on the Southern end of the District, so Tifton became the default location for the first one.

      Please stay tuned and we will notify everyone of the next one. It is being proposed to have it on May 1st – the Saturday after qualifying, so we can get off to a strong start. This will probably be a rally with all the BBQ and hoop-la that goes with an outside event.

      If this “food fight” hasn’t done any good yet, maybe it will elevate attendance at the NEXT event!!

      Ralph Watson

  14. heyandrew says:

    Thank you Ralph. I wondered about that. Why the after qualifying rule? Was it because they did not wish to endorse a particular candidate?

    Oh I forgot to mention something. I do not understand the whole issue about polls. Do people really vote for the one that they believe is favourite to win, or the candidate that reflects their own principles. Surely principles should will out every time. I would not vote for a candidate just because they are favourite to win, if they do not reflect how I would vote. The only good I see them being for a candidate is in a special election, when you are trying to see whom the second best candidate is going to be for a run-off. Did wonders for Paul Broun.

    • Ralph Watson says:

      There is no “after qualifying rule.” This first forum was to say “Thank you” to those willing to get out front and fire the opening rounds. There are some who think a ‘bigger’ horse will get on the track during qualifying; maybe so. But by having the next event the Saturday after qualifying, they better be ready to rumble!!

      As far as the poll, it has some limited value. For one, it did boost attendance. It did highlight some interesting (and valid) signals in the statewide races. It may be of more interest who came in highest without packing the pews. That is, who was the over=riding choice for second – after everyone voted for the “one what brought them.”

      But in the end this is politics. Each candidates has the raw numbers to spin any way they choose. I personally think we have 4 great candidates and that is what should be our primary concern at the moment. I realize everyone doesn’t share my opinion and they have every right to be wrong! 😉

    • Doug Deal says:

      Speaking as someone who was in on the Bibb county discussions (I couldn’t make the 8th district meeting since it happened to fall during my son’s birthday party) the main reason for having it after qualifying was to limit it to serious candidates. More specifically candidates that had or could raise the 5000 dollars to qualify.

      My idea was to allow anyone who had that in escrow to attend and have 4 like Ralph mentioned, starting early. The rest of our group preferred to just wait for qualified candidates.

      For me, the big reason for waiting for qualifying is that as a grass roots person, I believe it is not fair to ask for volunteers, get people excited about your campaign and donate money if you cannot personally guarantee you can pay to get on the ballot in the first place. I predict that of the 5 or 6 people claiming to be candidates, only 2 and maybe 3 are ready to write that check.

      Activists time is a precious thing, candidates should not waste it exercising their own ego for vapor campaigns.

  15. Doug Deal says:

    Anyway, I think we all have had our say, and I appreciate the comments from Maurice, RD and others as well as Ken and Ralph. No one involved was at their best in this, and there is something to learn for all of us.

    A simple phone call from Ken or Ralph asking me to step aside would have worked a lot better than attacking my integrity, which is extremely important to me. I would have still loved giving input in trying to guarantee a fair process, my math background would have caught issues with the “weighted average” method and I could have helped with publicizing the event.

    As for my part, perhaps I should have just taken a deep breath and let it go.

    There is an election to be had and it should be about the candidates, not Ken, Ralph or myself.

  16. bartsimpsonisdaman says:

    Damn, where do you begin. Its been awhile since being on the PP and can see things are interesting.
    So there’s a psycho chick running for congress who loves the molester McBerry? You have ghost chasers? Damn, what other oddities you got down there? Sounds like a bunch of inbreds.

    You keep doing what you’re doing.

    Remember, vote Barnes! He’s ugly as hell but knows how to keep his pants on. He aint no molester and his staff won’t be from the Exorcist.

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