They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and when Rep. Kevin Levitas (D – Tucker) announced that he was backing out of his re-election effort, Allan Williamson (R/D/I – Tucker) decided to step up and try to prove the old maxim. Multiple Democratic party sources tell me that Williamson, the Finance Director of the Georgia Young Republicans, first attempt to emulate Levitas was to try and qualify as a Democrat in the special Democratic primary for the seat. Despite the fact that our party doesn’t have a loyalty oath and that sometimes it seems like we will take just about anyone who wants to associate with us, I’m told that Democratic officials talked some sense into Williamson and that the then Republican decided not to jump in, leaving Democratic favorite Scott Holcomb as the only partisan candidate on the ballot.
Now the word is that Williamson is out collecting signatures for his independent bid. Collecting signatures is hard sweaty work, but most voters these days want to see your website when you say you’re running for office and expect you to have at least some of your views on the issues fleshed out. Williamson’s website offers a platform of ideas that while incomplete should at least be familiar to the district’s voters. While not quite word for word, they are heavily appropriated from – you guessed it – Levitas’s old campaign website. I won’t bore you with the details, you can check it out yourself or hit read more to see the cut and pasted borrowings for yourself. Hey, give the guy some credit: Levitas won this swing district two times in a row and came within about 100 votes of beating a quasi-incumbent the first time he tried. If you have to copy someone, at least copy a winner.
Levitas on education:
We have to take a no-excuses approach to education in Georgia. We need properly funded schools, a return to emphasizing fundamental skills over a constant stream of standardized tests, incentives for outstanding educators to remain in their classrooms, smaller class sizes and assurances that school tax dollars raised locally will not be unfairly redistributed to other regions. We must maintain a strong HOPE Scholarship program.
Williamson on education:
There is simply no excuse for ignoring education needs in Georgia. We must have properly funded schools, incentives to keep the best performing educators in their classrooms, smaller class sizes, and above all a return to emphasizing fundamental skills over a constant stream of standardized tests. Residents should be assured that school tax dollars raised locally will not be unfairly redistributed to other regions. It is also vital that we maintain a strong HOPE Scholarship program to provide educational, as well as economic, opportunity to the next generation.
Levitas on Efficient and Ethical Government:
An efficient and ethical State government starts by trimming waste from government spending (especially spending on wasteful pet projects funded with taxpayer dollars) and cleaning up state purchasing. We need a State “Comptroller” (as 40 other states have) to purchase goods and services for State agencies. Pooling buying power lowers costs. Meaningful ethics reform and enforcement will help protect against special interests and corrupt dealing. In addition to greater transparency regarding all monetary and in-kind campaign contributions as well as gifts to government officials, stricter enforcement of ethics law is needed to catch and punish violators, especially habitual offenders.
Williamson on Improving Gov’t Efficiency:
An efficient State government starts by trimming waste from government spending programs and thoroughly auditing state purchasing. This is not only necessary for keeping a balanced budget, but also a matter of ethics – we must be good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars. We need a State “Comptroller” (as 40 other states have) to purchase goods and services for State agencies. As a businessman, I know that pooling our buying power will result in lower costs. Meaningful ethics reform and enforcement will also be key to protecting taxpayer dollars against special interests and corrupt deal-making. In addition to greater transparency for monetary and in-kind campaign contributions to government officials, we must demand stricter enforcement of ethics laws already on the book.
Levitas on DeKalb Taxes:
No matter where they live in the County, DeKalb taxpayers should be charged a fair, uniform rate based on their homes’ actual values. We must eliminate unfair property tax rates, hiding behind so-called “quality point” rate adjustments and ensure that older residents on fixed incomes aren’t forced from their homes by spiraling tax increases. I will continue my efforts in the legislature to reform the current unfair system of taxation. (see video)
Williamson on Taxes:
DeKalb taxpayers should be charged a reasonable, uniform rate based on the actual values of their homes. Unfair property tax rates, which make use of so-called “quality point” rate adjustments must be stopped to ensure that older residents on fixed incomes aren’t forced from their homes by spiraling tax increases.