Interesting Strategy

Many of you remember that I ran for State House district 81 against Jill Chambers.  Jill fights dirty every year to keep her seat, and didn’t much appreciate it in 2008 when I fought back, instead relishing her previous few elections where she ceded her opponents the high ground from the start.

Needless to say, I have respect for Jill (she does what it takes to win) but little sympathy.  Today I got the first mail piece of the 2010 campaign and learned that:

  • Jill’s family business has collapsed
  • It caused multiple lawsuits and tax disputes
  • She separated from her husband
  • Jill did not pay her taxes on time
  • (Although after she paid them late she got a small refund)
  • She is upbeat and excited about new opportunities coming her way

Wow, I guess the new candidate running against her this year learned some lessons from me about how to lay it all out there in the mailbox.  What you may be surprised to learn is that Jill Chambers authorized her own campaign to tell the voters all about this stuff, presumably to “head off” anyone else telling you this stuff.  After all it’s so easy to “distort” a lien for not paying your taxes, duh.  I presume next month Jill will be challenging her opponents to produce the “long form” tax lien, but I digress.

Yikes.  Couldn’t have happened to a more truthful politician.


    • Howard Roark says:


      When I am a big time consultant like you I will use my real name. I have followed your career since your group developed the best political logo I have ever seen in 2002. The race was in NE Ga.

      You would have not let Pat Graham (a woman I admire) have such a lack luster website.

      BTW I am Howard Roark. There is also a HowardRoark on Peach Pundit.

  1. All:

    Jill will win because her constitutents understand she is who she is — outspoken, fiery, brash, and a relentless rough and tumble fighter for her community. Like a lot of folks in these difficult times, she has had some personal and financial setbacks and she has shown guts to lay it all out for the public to see.

    However, that hasn’t kept her from being a leading voice in her community to stop DeKalb County from giving public tax dollars to private developers for the old GM plant, or casting a public light as the Charman of the MARTOC oversight committee on the financial missteps at MARTA.

    I’ve personally walked Jill’s district with her and seen the genuine affection her voters feel for her and how many are willing to cross party lines to vote for her. They like her spirit and her willingness to fight. It is impressive to see the number of folks who open their doors and hug her effusively. It did not matter what party they belong to. In 2008, I would often see signs in voters’ lawns for President Obama, Jim Martin, and Jill Chambers. Chris Huttman, her opponent in 2008, is a fine person but couldn’t make the same connection. That is why she won then and why she will win this year.

    Jill drives strict partisans on both sides of the political divide crazy because she refuses to fit comfortably in any cookie cutter mold. She is staunchly fiscally consevative, strongly libertarian, and an outspoken advocate for open good government. Even more, however, is the fact that her voters know she will be a relentless guardian of their best interest.

    Rep. Edward Lindsey (R-Atlanta)

  2. B Balz says:

    I have known Jill for many years and cannot disagree with anything Rep. Lindsey said. As many of you know, my advocacy work disallows the ability to post under my own name, or I would happily do so.

    All of Mr. Huttman’s juicy revelations were generally known by Jill’s friends several years ago and are not news in any way. Everytime Mr. Dick Williams gets his digs in on Jill, I have to laugh because her use of the slogan of ‘truth over power’ really resonates with her constituents.

    For you new reps, study this lady, her work ethic, intelligence, and willingness to engage in ‘hand-to-hand’ debate are attributes of a successful lawmaker, regardless of Party affiliation.

    — A Friend

  3. Scott65 says:

    I am somewhat torn as to what I think about this woman. She is a strong supporter of gay rights and is generally helpful to her district, but I just have a hard time with her behavior as chairman of the MARTOC committee. Transportation is a huge problem for the Atlanta Metro and her constant vendetta against all things MARTA is not productive and in fact has hurt the region (and some could say those in her district which depend on mass transit). She has a very credible challenger in Elena Parent. If this is an anti incumbent year Jill might be in trouble. It sounds like she needs to leave the the legislature and focus on her own personal life to get her own house in order

  4. Progressive Dem says:

    She has used her role as MARTOC Chair to be a destructive force as opposed to a contructive force. For example, she held hearings recently and would only allow the MARTA Board of Directors to give testimony and answer questions. No MARTA professional staff was permitted to speak. It seems to me if you want to hold hearings and gather information, you shouldn’t muzzle some of the best informed people. The board of directors of a private corporation even though they have fiduciary responsibities is rarely qualified to speak about the detailed operations and finances of their company.

  5. jm says:

    I put her chances at better than even that she will win re-election.

    People like her. Even Dems around here like her. They don’t like the way that she campaigns, but she votes with the district and the county, not with the party. Not every time, but often enough to count. I know democrats with her sign in the yard. And they like the fact that she shows up for whatever it is, and she’s dressed for the picnic, the party, the meeting – she blends in. That helps her.

    She’s claiming to find millions in MARTA funds that are wasted. That resonates. Its kind of over people’s heads to understand that Jill could have spearheaded some comprehensive regional transportation plan, but hasn’t. But say you’ve found some money – people get that, and you become a hero.
    She’s an awesome campaigner. It turns a lot of people off, but it also makes people wonder about who they are voting for. Ponder was toast. Roche was nice, in over his head. Chris, you came the closest, and you came out swinging but that just blurred the two.

    Elena Parent – she seems nice. She seems smart. But every once in a while she just seems to miss what we all want to hear. It sounds like its coming out of a campaign playbook, and I cringe. She’s raised a lot of money, that helps, but if its mano a mano attacks against Jill, Jill wins.

    In this district, it’s not about the partisan left and right – its about the guys in the middle, and that’s where Jill finds a lot of her support. I’d be surprised if Elena can get any closer than 45%. Delighted, but surprised.

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