John Oxendine and the “Mentally Retarded Registered Voters”

June 24, 2010 10:29 am

by Erick · 62 comments

John Oxendine tells everyone he voted for Ronald Reagan. He wants us all to know just how much of a Republican he has always been. Even when he was a Democrat, Oxendine voted Republican. That’s what he says. Except, like Oxendine’s pro-life position and every other position he has that doesn’t involve an exchange of money, it’s a lie.

Oxendine was an active and committed democrat prior to changing his registration to run for office in 1993. He received appointments to various boards and commissions through governor Joe Frank Harris. Oxendine had worked on the campaigns of democrat candidates. His wife Lee was attorney for the state democrat party.

In 1988, Oxendine sought election as a delegate for presidential candidate Al Gore. He did not win. As part of his effort to win, he brought “about 40 mentally retarded registered voters” to the caucus in buses. Many others took exception to Oxendine’s actions.

A North Georgia lawyer bused about 40 mentally retarded registered voters to Saturday’s elections of Democratic presidential delegates in hopes of getting their support.

Now some observers of the 9th Congressional District caucuses are charging that the attorney, John Oxendine, exploited the residents of Annandale at Suwanee Inc. They say the moderately handicapped adults had trouble completing their registration forms and had to be assisted in filling out their ballots.

“The problem that I had and I think other people from all over the 9th Congressional District had was that this was an abuse of people,” said Stephen Farrow, a Dalton lawyer who was elected as a delegate for Sen. Albert Gore Jr. of Tennessee. “Everyone was, I think you can fairly say, appalled and repulsed by the events that took place.” . . .

“The problem that I had with it is they had to vote for them, do their voting,” said Carlton Harris, who attended the caucus.

SOURCE: Jane Hanson, “Exploitation charged after Ga. Lawyer buses retarded to elections,” Atlanta Constitution, February 5, 1988.

Oxendine cooperated with two other delegate candidates. The daughter of one of Oxendine’s allies was observed helping the mentally retarded fill out their ballots. Oxendine also served as the attorney for the facility where these individuals lived.

Oxendine rejected all criticism. He was being a good citizen.

“The thought that we exploited them really offends me, . . . All of them can take care of themselves. And they’re very active in politics. They were excited about this because in politics they’re equal to other citizens.”

. . . .

Oxendine brought the handicapped adults to the caucus to support his candidacy as a Gore delegate to the Democratic National Convention. He said the residents know and like him and he was merely campaigning among his natural constituents.

SOURCE: Jane Hanson, “Exploitation charged after Ga. Lawyer buses retarded to elections,” Atlanta Constitution, February 5, 1988

The voting rights of mentally challenged but not mentally incompetent people is a difficult issue. Their participation is to be admired, but undue efforts to influence them are deplorable. Oxendine’s efforts to round them up on buses and transport them to the caucus while his allies help them fill out their ballots seems questionable. It can certainly be portrayed as an effort to take advantage of impressionable individuals.

As an isolated incident from more than 20 years ago, this may be easily dismissed. It remains a valuable example of Oxendine’s character and judgment. As a part of Oxendine’s long and flamboyant political career, it becomes another indication that Oxendine lacks the integrity to be governor.

LoyaltyIsMyHonor June 24, 2010 at 10:35 am

Looks like the Handel machine is out in full force today.

Erick June 24, 2010 at 10:38 am

Actually, this is from the binder, which did not come from any of the campaigns.

In The Arena June 24, 2010 at 11:07 am

How do we get this story to voters who have only seen his name on a gas pump for the last 16 years?

In The Arena June 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Erick, please answer the above question. How do you plan to get this message out to the average voter? Or are you just going to sit here and preach to the choir and then if Oxendine actually wins, sit back and say told you so?

You are the barometer of the conservative movement and the 65th most influential conservative in the USA. Put your money where your mouth is and do something.

polisavvy June 24, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I agree with you and sincerely hope that Erick can get the message out. Oxendine is the last thing that Georgia needs.

Icarus June 24, 2010 at 11:38 am

I understand the other campaigns’ sock puppets wanting to marginalize anything written here as a product of the Handel campaign, but you’ve been around here long enough to know better.

Erick addressed this below. As for the Ox post I did last night, I think you would agree that bringing up PolitiFact isn’t something the Handel camp would have exactly asked for.

LoyaltyIsMyHonor June 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Sorry, I sometimes succumb to knee-jerk reactions too.

polisavvy June 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Off subject for a second, did you get my message about Charlie Elliott’s firing range? If not, it’s in Newton County and pretty good.

LoyaltyIsMyHonor June 24, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Awesome, thanks for the tip!

AlanR June 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Let them try an marginalize all they want. It didn’t come from the Handel campaign, it came for the Atlanta paper through eyewitness accounts. If it happened to have been found and passed along by Handel, all I can say is thank you.

Who cares where it came from if its true? Does Ox have a response? Lets hear it.

polisavvy June 24, 2010 at 1:40 pm

The story has been up for three hours and no response. His silence is deafening. I guess it will take a while to come up with a justifiable response.

I Am Jacks Post June 24, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I wouldn’t hold your breath. Ox can afford to be silent. With his money and his lead, he’d be a fool to repeat the negatives.

polisavvy June 24, 2010 at 1:50 pm

LOL! I hadn’t looked at it that way. Perhaps you are on to something.

AlanR June 24, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Sad but very true.

reaganrev4 June 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Weird, the FPP’s didn’t feel that way when news of Tom Grave’s fraudulent transfer of property was in the AJC…How would a FPP put it? “I hate slinging mud until I do it?”

reaganrev4 June 24, 2010 at 2:33 pm

And for the record that was in no way supposed to be an attempt to defend the Oxtortionist (I read that from another post about Ox being a skeez and stole it)

LoyaltyIsMyHonor June 24, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I should have trademarked that :(

I got the idea from someone else on that same thread calling him an Oxortunist.

But I bet Barnes will be using both pretty soon though.

reaganrev4 June 24, 2010 at 3:54 pm

It’s not to late to TM it. I’d hurry though before some local talking head with a radio show steals it because its clever unlike the other nicknames I hear on Radio. Has anyone else noticed how the hannity’s and limbaugh’s are so quick to take credit for any nickname out there? As much as I can’t stand Rahm Emanuel…if I hear Hannity say “Rahm Rahmbo Deadfish” one more time I’m gonna ram my truck into whatever is in front of me. Can anyone shed some light on the origination of that nickname?

polisavvy June 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm

I no longer have a “dog in the fight;” however, I do believe that something like this should be reported. It shows Oxendine’s character and integrity (or lack thereof). The voters need to know the fibers of the men and women who solicit their votes.

HowardRoark June 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm

I hear “Undecided” is surging. He’s running on a platform of “Man, all of these suck” Seems to be resonating with the grassroots.

LoyaltyIsMyHonor June 24, 2010 at 10:40 am

Now that I’ve read it in more detail, it’s actually a pretty interesting issue.

I forget her name, but there used to be a lobbyist for the nursing home industry who would threaten legislators that she’d bus out all the elderly in their district to vote against them if they didn’t support her positions.

TPNoGa June 24, 2010 at 10:48 am

Erick,

What are you going to do if Ox manages to win the GOP nomination? Will you support Barnes or Monds? Just curious, what is your Plan B?

Jace Walden June 24, 2010 at 10:54 am

He’d better say “Monds”, if he knows what’s good for him.

Doug Grammer June 24, 2010 at 10:56 am

My guess, he will write in Sec. Handel’s name.

polisavvy June 24, 2010 at 11:31 am

Just curious, Doug. Is there a way to write in a name?

Doug Grammer June 27, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I am not really sure on a touch screen…if you really want me to check, I will. I was being playful with my answer.

polisavvy June 29, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Yes, Doug, I am serious about this. So, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

Doug Grammer June 29, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I asked my local county voter registrar and was told that one needed to become qualified as a write in candidate. I countered with doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a write in? My answer was this is to avoid bugs bunny, (fictional) and Hulk Hogan (out of state.) I called my State Rep. on the way home and he agreed this was something that needs to be looked at.

polisavvy June 29, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Thanks Doug and you are right about it defeating the whole purpose of a write in. Anyway, if someone wants to vote for Bugs or Hulk, they should be allowed without Bugs or Hulk having to qualify to have their names placed on the ballot. I think it should be looked into personally. Thanks again Doug. You always manage to come through for me and I appreciate it.

sofnbc June 24, 2010 at 11:40 am

Move to Tennessee, at least they have water.

Steve Perkins June 24, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Two years ago, John McCain was spawn of the devil on Peach Pundit. I believe he only had one open supporter in the entire community (and whatever happened to Bull Moose?). Most of the front-page personalities, just like most Georgia legislators, changed their endorsements multiple times… starting with FRED!, then to Huckabee, then to Romney, and they finally accepted McCain as a begrudging 4th-choice after it was mathematically certain.

Such primary-season waffling doesn’t faze people ONE BIT. Once the general cycle arrives, Georgia partisans shut the **** up and fall in line. Despite all the big talk from people about how they would vote against McCain, or walk out on Saxby at the GOP state convention (remember that one?), none of that rebellion happened. It won’t happen this time either. If Ox gets the nomination… his detractors on Peach Pundit will simply go negative on Barnes, and refuse to talk about the past year.

Erick June 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Actually I’ve been very public that I will support the Democrat. Not one of them is as bad or corrupt as John Oxendine.

Game Fan June 24, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I could be cajoled into supporting a second-tier Democrat, besides Roy B. if the Ox is the face of Ga Republicans.

Holly June 24, 2010 at 1:37 pm

I think Bull Moose may be working for one of the gubernatorial candidates?

I Am Jacks Post June 24, 2010 at 1:42 pm

He used to be employed by Handel, might still be.

Bull Moose June 24, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I’m alive and well in Savannah… I left the Handel campaign after the passing of my mother – and solely because of the passing of my mother. Losing a parent is very tough. I am not on the Handel payroll, but I am still a very strong Handel supporter and help out when I am able. I firmly believe Karen Handel is the only GOP candidate without the political baggage and negatives that can win in the fall. I hope to resume my political and partisan activities later in the summer to early fall.

B Balz June 24, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Sorry to hear of your loss, that is a tough situation. Stay around here, I enjoy your perspective.

polisavvy June 24, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I, too, am sorry to hear of your loss. You are correct about it being tough. Trust me, in time it does get better, I promise. Just hang in there.

Steve Perkins June 24, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Sorry to hear about that, Moose.

AlanR June 24, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Condolences on the loss of your mother.

Looking forward to your return to pp as an active contributor.

polisavvy June 24, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I will just skip that part of the ballot in November. I absolutely, positively will not vote for Oxendine. I won’t go any more negative on Barnes than I already have been. If Ox is the best we have, then I think I’ll just “sit this one out” and jump on down the ballot!

David Staples June 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Or you could just vote for Monds or Ray Boyd (if he makes it on the ballot) instead…

achilles June 24, 2010 at 10:54 am

Personally, I didn’t think my opinion of Oxendine could sink any lower.

Well, I was wrong. And what makes this incident so damning is that it seems so in keeping with what I already knew.

The General June 24, 2010 at 10:56 am

Ah…behold the power of the mighty binder.

drjay June 24, 2010 at 11:01 am
NorthGAGOP June 24, 2010 at 11:06 am

Wonder if Deal was a Gore delegate?

lukethedrifter June 24, 2010 at 11:46 am

This story is typical of what a slime ball weasel Oxendine truly is. I bet no one can find an example of his concern for helping these mentally handicapped individuals exercise their political freedoms before or after he hauled them in to vote for him as a delegate.

polisavvy June 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm

He should be ashamed for using them in such a manner. He’s a real tool. He’s also defiant in that he will not cease and desist using the University of Georgia’s logo even though they have asked him repeatedly to do so. The way I am seeing things, there is a set of rules and morals for us and an entirely different set of rules and morals for Oxendine. What a complete tool!

AlanR June 24, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Luke: Thank you. This is the most important point anyone could make.

redrock June 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Oxendine is incredibly sleazy.

The only surprising part of this story is that he has been at it for over 20 years.

Three Jack June 24, 2010 at 12:08 pm

catering to his people…you’d have to be mentally retarded to support the ox.

Pine Knot June 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm
Rick Day June 24, 2010 at 12:41 pm

The voting rights of mentally challenged but not mentally incompetent people is a difficult issue. Their participation is to be admired, but undue efforts to influence them are deplorable. Oxendine’s efforts to round them up on buses and transport them to the caucus while his allies help them fill out their ballots seems questionable. It can certainly be portrayed as an effort to take advantage of impressionable individuals..

That paragraph in general, could pretty much sum up the GOP strategy a la Atwater.

Just sayin’…..

Steve Perkins June 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I suppose we’ll be getting a random page from “The Binder” once every 48 hours?

Ping me when Erick posts a page that isn’t dated 1988.

In The Arena June 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I expect to see a similar story regarding Handel and her recruitment of a “steering committee”.

janna June 24, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Ox + the “mentally retarded” = it takes one to know one

TalmadgeGhost June 24, 2010 at 2:57 pm

“Oxendine was an active and committed democrat prior to changing his registration to run for office in 1993. He received appointments to various boards and commissions through governor Joe Frank Harris. ”

Someone, anyone raise your virtual hand if you think Joe Frank Harris would have run as a democrat if he had launched a re-election campaign last year?? Come on folks – if you are going to disqualify such a “quality” individual like Oxendine because “he supported democrats” prior to 1993, that would eliminate every republican in the state, except for the Dafuskie Island gang.

“I don’t know nothin’ bout no nudie club dancers”.
– Matt Towery

Barnes didn’t switch because of where he lives. Been to Mableton lately? The King knew that he couldn’t be a republican and live among all those people of color… Sonny Do had no issue. Easy to run as an enemy to “that Atlanta crowd” from Bonaire.

AlanR June 24, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Switching is not the problem. The problem is Oxendine saying he was a Reagan voter and didn’t vote for democrats for president. He’s said it repeatedly during the campaign. If Reagan was such a big influence on Ox’s life and political views, what was he doing running as a Gore delegate? And busing in mentally challenged people to do it?

As Erick said in his post, this happened a long time ago, but the reason its important is because its so consistent with Ox’s other sleazy behavior over the years.

drjay June 24, 2010 at 5:01 pm

i realize it’s technically not the point, but voting reagan and then trying to be a gore delegate is not an odd combination for that era of dems. gore was the southern, moderate to conservative option in the dem primaries in 88, and was a fairly palatable choice for southern dems again of that era–i believe it was the former d.a. in augusta that used to say things like “i’m a democrat, but not like a ted kennedy democrat or anything” and would be coy about his prez votes, of course he eventually did switch parties…

HowardRoark June 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Oh, man. Looks like that binder is legit. Are we going to get one of these a day until the primary?

kolt473 June 24, 2010 at 11:44 pm

kolt473 back online for your political enjoyment, the ox-bow incident, no different when Rahm Emanuel called the Liberal voters ”F-RETARDED.” . Ox-bows latest take-off on NEWT THE FRUIT LOOP ad, I just literally died laughing, like king Roy’s I trust neither one of them, as for THURBERT BAKER puh-leeze, if the ox-bow incident think all voters are mentally brain dead as to believe ”broken promises” I wouldn’t vote or trust any of the 3 stooges king roy=larry-ox-bow=curley, thurbert baker=moe give me a break.

B Balz June 29, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Word !

Comments on this entry are closed.