So . . .

I’m a big believer in voting conservative in primaries and Republican in general elections, but I don’t think I can stomach voting for Kathy with a “K” Cox for School Superintendent and I rather like the Libertarian candidate in the race.

I am considering going on all in. After all, I don’t suspect Kathy with a “K” Cox can win anyway, so why not go with the Libertarian who is no more a long shot than Kathy?



        • eschristian says:

          I’m with Erick on this one – if Kathy Cox is the R nominee (and unfortunately now that Hines is out she most likely will be) then the Libertarian candidate will be the best choice in the race because Kathy Cox is really just a D anyways.

          She lost my vote and any support (which was none to begin with) after Obama was in office and his failure stimulus program was enacted I heard Kathy Cox speak at a local YR meeting about how glad she was that we received Obama stimulus money and how thankful she was for it. That was enough to let me know that she is NOT a conservative and there were other troubling comments from her that night as well. Not to mention what has she really done for our schools – hmmmmm crickets crickets crickets – enough said!!!

  1. JasonW says:

    A little secret that I’ll let the Peach’ers in on…I couldn’t stomach voting for her last election either. I voted for Denise Majette.

  2. There is absolutely no reason to give someone four more years to do a job they could not get done in eight. I’ll vote for a Democrat to get her out of office, and you can mark that down right now.

      • Lady Thinker says:

        I called his campaign headquarters and asked. I was told he couldn’t raise the necessary funds to run. I talked to him several times at different debates. He had a firm grasp on the problem and was developing ways to get out of the NCLB program as well as a return to firmly teaching the basics. He was my favorite candidate for that position.

  3. Pine Knot says:

    I agree with the two above me, and you Erick. Kathy deserves another term as much as Ox deserves a car with blue lights at this point.

    • Technocrat says:

      Ox hasn’t had a car with “BLUE” lights in 10 years. Strange how some don’t realize the value of a true youthful learning experience.
      Same with taking his job as Georgia State Comptroller General [writing the monthly checks for each departments expenditures SERIOUSLY brought him into conflict with everyone who wanted to spend more and more.

      When you see the evil and still have to give them what the Governor and Legislature mandates is often sickening!

  4. brettbittner says:

    For those of you interested in finding out more about the mystery “Libertarian candidate” that Erick mentioned, her name is Kira Willis, and you can find her website at

    She is a teacher in northern Fulton county, and her husband is also an educator in the same system.

  5. Chris says:

    I suppose if you want free pot distributed along with the free condoms, the Libertarian is the way to go.

    Wow, I visited her campaign website. It has googleads on it. Tacky.

    She seems as qualified as the two democrat candidates who could figure out how to setup a website, so I don’t see why you couldn’t support her.

    • Chris – Libertarians may support decriminalizing marijuana, but I don’t recall any ever advocating it being given away freely to students. Could you provide something to back up that statement?

      Free condoms? Again, I doubt it. Libertarians may support proper sex education (not just teaching abstinence), but I don’t think giving away free condoms at taxpayer expense is something a Libertarian would support. Perhaps you’ve confused the Libertarian ideals with those of the Democrats?

    • brettbittner says:

      Thanks for furthering the stereotype of Libertarian=Libertine. We never get tired of hearing that one. Perhaps a dictionary should be added to your Christmas wish list. I’ve never once heard a Libertarian/libertarian once advocate for the use of drugs by children, and CERTAINLY NOT that it be distributed for free. We believe in capitalism, not handouts. 🙂

      • Hank Reardan says:

        So Chris did you smoke pot when you were in the Libertarian party. I dont believe you handed out free condoms either. No maybe someone should have given you mother some free condoms back in the day but then again maybe she was stone on pot and forgot to use one.
        man I sure do miss you you at the ex comm meetings and the libertarian fundraisers.
        again Chris I do miss you

    • girlygrrll says:

      Drug addicts should pay for their drugs and accept the consequences. How ever:


      • hannah says:

        Almost a true statement.
        Since the majority of fertilized eggs are spontaneously aborted before implantation or soon after, the use of condoms to prevent contact between sperm and egg undoubtedly lowers abortion rates. That’s probably not the intent of the statement as written. Despite all the verbiage expended, a concise and accurate designation of the intentional premature termination of fetal development still hasn’t been found.
        It’s a sensitive issue with males. Bad enough that most of their reproductive effort goes to waste. It’s adding insult to injury to have it intentionally destroyed.

        • ByteMe says:

          It’s a sensitive issue with males. Bad enough that most of their reproductive effort goes to waste. It’s adding insult to injury to have it intentionally destroyed.

          Only some males. Many of us have evolved past that burning desire to impregnate everyone we get next to.

              • Lady Thinker says:

                No sweetie, just a statement that men and women can be more to each other than just sexual partners and that is really a good thing.

                While I have many female friends, only a few want to talk about political issues and it is those friendships I cultivate the most, but nearly all of my male friends will debate something.

                I am glad that Peach Pundit has more women posting because they have some fresh ideas and some of you men are my favorites to read.

                It’s all good.

  6. Game Fan says:

    I’d lean towards some “new blood” over “status quo” in many cases. Someone who “didn’t get the memo” who hasn’t been “molded” by the system. Someone who steps on other’s toes and embarrasses folks and doesn’t even know it.

  7. Red Phillips says:

    “Wow, I visited her campaign website. It has googleads on it.”

    The lady has to pay the bills.

    Shouldn’t a libertarian candidate for superintendent of PUBLIC schools have as her sole objective shutting them down? I’ll probably vote for her in the general anyway.

    • Red – not necessarily. I think most libertarians realize that though we may prefer that schools be privatized, we’re too invested in the current system to just shut them down. Education is still a necessity. So a libertarian would certainly encourage competition within the education market, but insist that the waste within the existing system be eliminated. They would also likely support sharing resources – making the athletic facilities of public schools open to home schoolers for instance.

    • Easy there Red… Let’s get to more local control first (peeling the onion back so to speak). However, thanks for the vote.

      We get attack because our candidates are too radical… now we’re being attack for being too pragmatic 😉 , I guess that’s why we have the saying about “pleasing all the people”…. 😉 .

      I know I’m biased here, but of all the candidates running… Kira Willis is the best one for the Job… It’s nice of Eric to recognize it… If he keeps this up and I’ll have to forgive him for kicking me off redstate… and admit he’s gaining some credibility back (we’ll see, proceeding with caution). However, there seems to continue to be little hope for my friend, Chris “Rat Bastard” Farris…. but hope none the less.

      As for the google ads… there’s a simple way to take care of that.

      • Chris says:

        DNA – the way see it, if Nick Clegg could find himself in government, there may actually be hope for the LP some day.

  8. mondaymorningqb says:

    Erick, how about voting for someone different in the R primary? I haven’t made up my mind yet, but John Barge seemed relatively competent the one time I met him.

    Does anyone else have any strong opinions (pro or con) about any of the Republican challengers for Cox?

    • drjay says:

      my opinion is the anti cox vote will be divided up enough that she will win her primary…i liked hines and was disappointed he had to drop out.

  9. Bill Mauldin says:

    Cox shouldn’t have even bothered to qualify. She has done an abysmal job with the school system even when the budget wasn’t all that bad.

  10. Technocrat says:

    That’s it write in Karen Handel………after all she is educationally qualified [to match students] and such a good administrator surely she can fix the situation.

  11. NorthGeorgiaGirl says:

    I think John Barge would be a great replacement for Kathy with a K. He seems very knowledgeable about education, and very experienced, especially in secondary education.

    Besides, he is totally against the Math 1 nonsense (gee, anyone wonder why math scores are going down?) and opposes Race to the Top and the federalization of education.

    • Mozart says:

      When you are writing “Kathy”, you do not need to emphasize that it is “Kathy” with a “K.” 🙂

      • NorthGeorgiaGirl says:

        You must not have been around for her first annoying campaign for State School Superintendent when Secretary of State Cathy Cox was running for re-election and we got to hear “Kathy with a K” bring up the spelling difference every chance she got. Also brought up frequently by her was the annoying “Check the box for Kathy Cox.”

        I’m not a big fan.

    • Jeff says:

      The guy talks about having worked at the very school every male in my immediate family other than me graduated from (classes of ’78, ’04, ’07) that is barely 2 miles from the house I spent half my life in (and remember, Cartersville AIN’T exactly a big town), and I had never heard of the guy before he filed for this race. Checking in with some in the area after he filed… results not exactly positive, but nothing definitive.

      • NorthGeorgiaGirl says:

        Jeff, do you know everyone in Cartersville? Seriously, I don’t think the fact that you don’t know anyone who remembers Dr. Barge from the probably brief time he was at Cass High before he moved on to bigger and better things makes him a liar or disqualified for the job of state school superintendent.

        Does Kira Willis like the silly integrated math program? I can’t support anyone who wants to keep a program that doesn’t even have a book to go with it, since other states that tried it already decided it was a failure and dumped it. I only ask because I know you like it and you are supporting her.

  12. HowardRoark says:

    If she were a real Libertarian wouldn’t she be running on a platform of abolishing the office? Ya know, Chuck Sheid style?

    • Jeff says:


      See the comments above from David and Daniel. Basically: Abolishing the office will be jumping off the top of the Empire State building sans parachute – NOT smart.

      Instead, work to minimize waste, restore genuine local control, and make the State Department of Education a servant of the local schools rather than a tyrant over them.

      Just as one would never think of cutting the strings to your own parachute when you’re still thousands of feet in the air, we should NOT be working to simply eliminate the State Department of Education outright.

      • Doug Grammer says:

        So you are saying it’s good that the Libertarian candidate won’t be following the Libertarian platform?

        “Libertarian Party of Georgia Platform
        As approved in convention
        March 1, 2008
        Atlanta, GA
        III. Domestic Ills, 5. EDUCATION

        We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools have led to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choices of parents. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended. We call for the repeal of the guarantees of tax-funded, government-provided education in Georgia.”

        • Jeff says:


          Just because we’re at the top of the Empire State building and say that our ultimate goal is to get to the bottom doesn’t mean we just just jump off the side of the building.

          Instead, we should take the elevator, or maybe even the stairs.

          • Doug Grammer says:

            Then you should change the platform to reflect that.

            Btw, this is taken:

            “Education Means a More Competitive America

            Education is a parental right, a state and local responsibility, and a national strategic interest.

            Maintaining America’s preeminence requires a world-class system of education, with high standards, in which all students can reach their potential. That requires considerable improvement over our current 70 percent high school graduation rate and six-year graduation rate of only 57 percent for colleges.

            Education is essential to competitiveness, but it is more than just training for the work force of the future. It is through education that we ensure the transmission of a culture, a set of values we hold in common. It has prepared generations for responsible citizenship in a free society, and it must continue to do so. Our party is committed to restoring the civic mission of schools envisioned by the founders of the American public school system. Civic education, both in the classroom and through service learning, should be a cornerstone of American public education and should be central to future school reform efforts.”


        • hannah says:

          Right. Parental, especially paternal, control over off-spring makes every man a potential king/tyrant. However, our increasing life-span has had the unanticipated consequence of creating a need for greater individual competence and expertise to facilitate individual contributions to society. When the average age of parental demise was less than four decades, it wasn’t necessary that children have specialized skills. All that was needed was that they take over their parents’ responsibilities.
          Now, longer-lived parents actually require specialized services and care that their own off-spring, if they even have any, are not prepared to provide. In other words, increasing longevity has created a need for increased specialization and the education to provide it.
          Never mind parent/child relationships that are totally disfunctional from the get-go.
          He who benefits should pay the freight. Moreover, while we can accommodate a considerable number of freeloaders, that they are freeloaders should not be ignored and their selfish interests should not be permitted to direct public policy.

          • HowardRoark says:

            Hannah, I’m unsure what it is that you’re smoking, but I am genuinely interested. I can’t heads or tails of a single thing you’ve posted.

  13. John Konop says:

    What I found most disturbing how Kathy Cox could watch all the cuts to teachers and office staff doing the work and administrators and her massive staff did not take any cuts! I am not saying some cuts were not needed, but why would they only focus on the people doing the work and not the bureaucrats?

    A REAL LEADER in her position would have cut their bureaucratic staff, expenses and pay before going after teachers. This would have set the proper example for local school districts. Kathy Cox and company demonstrated, it is all about them and NOT the kids!

    This adds injury to insult after all her failed gimmick lobbyist driven projects at tax payers’ expense like math123……


    The axe falls in Cobb where teacher firings stun parents. Are we moving to bare bones schools?

  14. Bucky Plyler says:

    Honestly, why do we need a Sec. of Education ? Write me in, we’ll have vouchers for home schoolers & education freedom…wait…you can’t do that with our disk ballot !

    • B Balz says:

      I kinda with you on this one, Mr. Plyler. We have a school board in my County whose budget is over $800MM.

      What does the State help us with? Compliance to Federal regs?

      • ByteMe says:

        Distributing the Fed money and redistributing state funds. Half the state budget is education-related and much of that money comes from the Feds.

          • hannah says:

            The federal government prints money. Why it hands it out to banks and then borrows it back, paying interest to the banks, is a question that needs to be asked.
            It’s our money. Why do our public corporations have to contribute a premium to the banksters to use it?

  15. sndeak says:

    I recommend Brian Westlake..yeah, yeah, he is a Democrat. Check out his Bio. He is a really intelligent guy that knows the issues very, very well.

    Currently a high school teacher at Berkmar
    US Marine Corp
    BA in History
    MS in Sociology
    Juris Doctor Georgia State University’s College of Law
    Master of Public Administration from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

    • I have a natural tendency to fear someone with that many degrees, because often times people like that can’t cut it or just can’t settle down. Not saying this is the case here, but why does he have so many degrees? That’s an honest question, because if he gets the nomination I’m likely to vote for him.

    • Game Fan says:

      “…he believes the strength of our democracy is tied to our commitment to provide a quality public education for all children and create the common thread by which the fabric of our community is woven.”


  16. ricstewart says:

    I’m voting for Beth Farokhi in November. Very knowledgeable, very experienced. Since I’m voting in the GOP primary in July, though, I’ll be voting for Richard Woods.
    I also really like Kira Willis.
    Dr. Farokhi, Westlake, Woods, and Willis are all excellent candidates and I wouldn’t have a problem casting my vote for any of them.

      • Doug Grammer says:

        I was disappointed when Rep Hines decided not to run. I’ve met Mr. Woods several times and he is a nice fellow. Dr. Barge has some impressive credentials.

    • Jeff says:

      Joe (and everyone, really):

      What is your wish list for her website? I happen to know the guy that needs to get his tail in gear re-working it. 😀

    • Capt. Jack Sparrow says:

      I will not vote for Cox
      I will not vote for Ox
      I will not encourage Congressmen to steal
      So I will not vote for Deal

      I will not vote for Chapman;
      it just ain’t gonna happen
      I will not vote for McBerry
      becuase he is just too scary

      And I’m never going to eat green eggs and ham!

  17. I am John Barge’s campaign manager and I would suggest you give John a close look. He is a true conservative, a career educator with experience at every level of education and administration. He has a fresh look at common sense at the State Department of Education in Atlanta and believes we can do a better job of educating our children without spending more money–part of the key is to test less and change the math curriculum. You can see everything he believes in at

    • Jeff says:


      Key there is that he is a “career educator”. The majority of his experience has been in administration, not classroom teaching. The problem faced right now is that too many “career educators” are running the shop, rather than TEACHERS. TEACHERS know what is actually happening in the modern classroom and can best shape the State Department of Education to deal with those realities. Only two actual teachers are running – Kira Willis and Brian Westlake.

      We’ve had enough bureaucrats. Now we need results.

      • NorthGeorgiaGirl says:

        Jeff, I hate to point this out, since you may not know this, but it is my understanding from hearing “K”athy Cox’s stump speech that she got into politics as a social studies teacher (state house) and then jumped in to a statewide seat.

        So, we’ve had a former classroom teacher and not an administrator in the office for the past 8 years. I guess now that she is elected she has become a bureaucrat, just as any candidate who gets elected will be.

        I realize you were a teacher and teachers hate administrators, but I can tell you as the relative of an administrator and a teacher that there is a lot that administrators put up with and fix in order for teachers to do their jobs. Let’s not play education class warfare here. While a teacher might do a fine job, you can’t legitimately say that we need an actual teacher to fix things, because we have that right now and her experience in the classroom is so narrow that she has made a mess of things. It would be better for you to say that you feel that Willis has the best mix of experience, because when you look at facts about the current office holder, it shows your argument to be very weak.

        On your other question about Willis’s website…it needs more on the issues, and what exactly the scope of her classroom experience is. What level or subject does she teach? For example, someone who has only taught Kindergarten will not understand at all the struggles involved in the graduation test or the end of course test. What is her experience in curriculum? What w0uld she do with the current curriculum (I have examined it, at least through 8th grade, and it is full of problems.)

        By the way, 17 years of classroom experience also qualifies Kira Willis for the title of career educator. In fact, anyone who has spent their entire working lives as a teacher or administrator in a school setting can claim that title.

        I personally would love to see the whole department shut down, since it does nothing but gum up the works and cost the taxpayers money, but I guess that won’t happen any time soon.

    • John Konop says:


      Several years ago the State Department of Education completely revised the K-12 curriculum for the State of Georgia. For the most part, the revisions were well-done and strengthened education for the children of Georgia. One major paradigm shift, however, that has been a disaster since the beginning is the revised math curriculum. In a nutshell, Georgia has become the only state in the country that does not teach Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, etc. as separate courses. Quite simply put, this means that students entering or leaving the Georgia system in midstream will be unable to keep up with the math curriculum—thus being penalized for our illogical choice of math curriculum. The courses are all integrated into the following courses:

      Math I – Algebra/Geometry/Statistics

      Math II – Geometry/Algebra II/Statistics

      Math III – Advanced Algebra/Statistics

      Math IV – Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry/Statistics

      I have a variety of issues with the new math curriculum:

      Resources – This curriculum has presented hurdles for local school districts from the beginning. First, there has been the issue of resources. There was not a textbook publisher in the country that was producing a resource for our teachers to teach math based on this model. Why? Because most textbook companies did not want to produce textbooks for this out of step curriculum that they could only sell in one state.

      Portability – As a curriculum director at the local district level, I urged the state to consider this fact. What class do we put a student in that comes in from another state or from a private school within our state? Because they haven’t studied under our math curriculum, it is a guessing game as to which one of our integrated courses in which to place him/her.

      Second, when our students graduate and head off to an out-of-state college, their competitiveness could be hindered by the fact that post-secondary institutions in other states don’t know what Math I, II, III, and IV are. The state’s solution was for our counselors to attach a form to the transcript to explain it. Seriously? How can we, as educated people, develop a curriculum that other educators need to have explained to them? Our graduates in a couple of years may suffer some serious consequences when applying to out-of-state schools.

      Lower graduating numbers–Speaking of our graduates, we will have far fewer of them with this new math curriculum. Because our current leadership in the state believes that every student should receive the same education, ALL students are now required to complete 4 units of math, including Math I, Math II, and Math III. While that sounds good, EVERY child in this state successfully completing Math III Advanced Algebra/Statistics is not realistic.

      With impending budget cuts, we are hearing that the state will not be providing training in the remaining math curriculum to be implemented, Math III and Math IV.

      Career-Technical and Agriculture Education – It seems that CTAE has little room in our current administration’s one-size fits all mentality. Over the last couple of years, our current state superintendent has phased out the Career-Technical diploma and said that every child in Georgia must complete a college prep curriculum. In order to get that measure approved, policy makers included career pathways in graduation requirements, but that language was removed at the last minute. Over and over again, this administration has showed its ambivalence to Career, Technical, and Agriculture Education. Not every child wants to or needs to attend a four-year college. Let’s prepare the students who want to attend a four-year school to the best of our ability, but let us also prepare students who want to go into the military or into a technical school in the way that best prepares them for their choice of post-secondary education.

      • newby says:

        John Konop, I read the article you wrote when Kathy first proposed the new math “Sonny Must Stop Kathy Cox “. You were absolutely correct. I have read other opinions that you have written and I believe you really understand what is going on in the education system in Georgia. I believe you will like what John Barge has to say and what he might bring to the office.

  18. newby says:

    I will be voting for John Barge and look forward to helping in any way that I can to see him elected. Kathy Cox and her Math program have been a disaster and I do not want to see any more Federal control over the Georgia School System. I believe John Barge will work harder to prevent that than a person who is running as a Democrat.

    • John Konop says:


      If we implement the following it would help the massive teacher lay-offs.

      1) 20% lay-off on all administrative staff and a 20% pay cut.

      2) Require all administrative staff to teach 1 class

      3) Put a freeze on travel expenses

      4) Cut Kathy’s Cox staff that expanded before the lay-offs at least 50% and freeze all new travel expenses. Take the money and equally deploy it for re-hiring teachers.

      5) Raise fees on lunches and products sold at school

      6) Charge a fuel fee for kids to off-set cost of buses

      7) Make all extra school activities to be a least revenue neutral.

      8) Create a plan to cross utilize school facilities unused to create revenue

      9) Use parent and or community volunteers to help with office duties.

      10) Use parent and or community volunteers to help in classes as teacher assistants as long as the parent is not related to any student in the classroom.

      I am sure many of you have more ideas!

      • ByteMe says:

        Or just have local school boards with the guts to raise property taxes slightly instead of being self-congratulatory while they fire teachers.

      • newby says:

        John, I agree that we need to look at options that could help save money and still provide a good education for the children. I think some systems are looking at the “Learning Bridge” to take over the ASP programs in their schools. It is a privately owned company. That might fall under number 7 in your suggestions. Kathy Cox should already have made cuts in her staff. Can’t understand why she hasn’t.

        • John Konop says:

          I had nice conversation with John Barge and he told me Kathy Cox increased her staff, from a headcount of 411 to 513 since 2006. How could any responsible adult increase a non-essential bureaucratic staff by 25% in the last few years while teachers are being kicked on the curb?

          • newby says:

            It is just another in a long list of mistakes she has made. I spoke with someone on the Barge campaign a few days ago and I am looking forward to helping him defeat Cox in the primary. .

      • Lady Thinker says:


        I really like your list! I wonder if John Barge would be interested. I am researching him and I really like what he has said so far. I met him at the Hart County GOP but my mind was set on Roger Hinds, so I didn’t really pay that much attention. Now, I wish I had listened more to him.

        • John Konop says:

          He seems very open to working with all of us to improve the system. And he has a lot of experience. I would guess he is a very good manager.

  19. Onehappymom says:

    I am ready to see Georgia school children recognized for being high achievers- I believe John Barge is the man to lead our school system. He has had classroom experience, he does understand how to get things done and he has my vote. I heard Kathy speak and quite frankly was so embarassed for our state. I think we should require a higher learning degree to run our schools. If we never set our standards higher how can we expect our children to strive for higher learning.

    • ByteMe says:

      Because, you know, private companies never fail.

      And how did all those links get by the spam filter??

        • benevolus says:

          What exactly does it take to be a “bad business”?
          Phillip Morris?
          Dow Chemical?

            • benevolus says:

              Well, a lot of those companies DID go away, whereas the ones I mentioned have not gone away. The point being that bad companies do not necessarily go away. Sometimes they just change their name.
              Free market competition is not the panacea that some would have us believe. Banks don’t charge $2.50 per atm transaction because customers want them to. They do it because they can get away with it. Airlines don’t charge for baggage because we want them to.
              Why would an oil company ask for a waiver for an environmental impact study for an offshore well? Because it’s cheaper. It certainly has nothing to do with being a good corporate citizen. Someone would have to MAKE them do that.

        • ByteMe says:

          And what happens if a private company school decides to go away in October after taking everyone’s tuition money?

          And why aren’t people worried about “corporatist schools” as much as they are “government schools”? Why is corporatism the official GOP religion?

          • Big Bad businesses usually do or would go away… but like Byte alluded to… we must also get rid of the Big Bad Gov “bailout” and protectionist system as well.

Comments are closed.