There Are Holes In My Ballot

Never before have I approached a general election with as much uncertainty of how I will vote when I reach the ballot box than for what I will face on Tuesday. A large number of my votes will be decided as I type down the Diebold machine.

Normally, when I (and I’m guessing most other contributors) post who we’re voting for, it’s not an effort to influence so much as an act of disclosure. We can and do pontificate throughout the election season, but at the end of the day, there is only one vote, and that is the record that stands.

This cycle, however, this post is a bit different. There are some races I feel strongly about. Others, completely indifferent. And a few, I still don’t know enough about the cadidates to even make the right decision. The fact that I am fairly new to residency in Cobb County doesn’t help with the local races, either.

Thus I would prefer the comments below to be directed at the races for which I am undecided. You’re not going to change my mind on US Senate or Lt. Governor, and I’m fairly set on Governor for this round. SOS, AG, and Ag are locked.

But the others, please tell me why I should vote FOR your candidate/position. Platitudes without specifics will be ignored. Rants against the other candidate(s) in that race will receive no merit from me.

With that is mind, this is where I am as of today:

US Senate: Firm for Johnny Isakson

Governor: Weak protest vote for John Monds; Still may write in David C. Byrne

Lt. Governor: Firm for Carol Porter

Secretary Of State: Firm for Brian Kemp

Attorney General: Firm for Sam Olens

Agriculture Commissioner: Firm for Gary Black

Commissioner Of Insurance: These are really my choices?

State School Superintendent: Most likely John Barge

Commissioner Of Labor: leaning Darryl Hicks; Will not be Mark Butler

Public Service Commissioner: Leaning against Tim Echols

US Congress: Mike Crane

State Senate: Beth Pollard

State House: ?

Justice, GA Supreme Court: David Nahmias

Court of Appeals: I need a 3-way coin; McFadden, Schaeffer, Gunter

Cobb Superior Court Judge: I need some help here, both races

Cobb State Court Judge: Yeah, Don’t know these folks either

Amendments 1: Hell no

Amendment 2: Right issue, wrong funding mechanism. NO

Amendment 3: Yes

Amendment 4: Yes

Amendment 5: Yes

Statewide referendum: No


    • Mike Stucka says:

      I don’t like that site because I left it open, and couldn’t figure out where the stupid noises were coming from.

      More substantially, though, it’s utterly lacking in granularity.

      Guns: Yes or no? Well, just what does that mean? I suspect a good number of folks typically against most of the gun control measures proposed in contemporary times would -not- like to see felons be able to buy anti-tank weaponry the moment they get out of prison. Or does “yes” on that question mean no one is allowed any guns at all? There’s a whole lot of gray and variation within a single question.

      Afghanistan: In or out? What? On what terms? With what strategy?

      • saltycracker says:

        You think those questions left a lot to be desired – try to do one of those expensively mailed Republican party ones !

        But then again maybe the questions accurately reflect how well we can pinpoint our politician’s positions !

  1. Erick Likes Puppies says:

    Who are your state House choices?

    Appeals Court: McFadden is the best-known, well-revered guy who literally wrote the book on GA Appeals. Yes, he says that often, but it means quite a bit when you’re expert enough on appellate courts to…write the book on it. Also, a good guy.

    Insurance: I don’t LOVE any of them, but I say Squires. I like her, she says good things, and generally speaking isn’t a moron.

  2. seenbetrdayz, Ph.D. says:

    Curious as to your justification for the referendum vote.

    I’m a friend of a new small-business owner and I think it’s rather silly that he’ll have to wait until January to stock his inventory and fully open his store because the state will tax him for unsold goods at the end of this year. According to the Savannah Morning News, we’re one of only six states that levies taxes on business inventory.

    Maybe you’re approaching it from an angle that I hadn’t considered when I voted Friday.

  3. Clint says:

    I have taken many bullets over my support of Roy Barnes, and that’s fine, I expected most of them. What I did not expect was for Republicans to set aside all notion of principles in support of Nathan Deal. At this point, with all that we know, I’m not sure you can site fiscal responsibility, good steward of taxpayer money, honest, has integrity, or transparent in any description of Nathan Deal.

    You just have to be honest and say, I’m scared of redistricting and judges. Barnes has put forth a great plan on redistricting that would once and for all remove some of the backroom deals and shadiness of redistricting by creating a non-partisan independent commission to draw the district lines. Even here, some Republicans are saying no, I prefer the secret deals and shady status quo. Amazing.

    I have no comment for judges, because I think that both Governor’s Barnes and Perdue have made good selections of qualified people to be judges. I expect they will do so again.

    Furthermore, it must be noted that Republicans had some great candidates running in the primaries. The caliber of people that stepped forward was awe inspiring. Running for office is a humbling experience and the courage and determination shown by the candidates and their staff is to be commended. Some of those that actually ended up winning the primaries though, with some exceptions, leave a lot to be desired.

    I cast my ballot on day 3 of early voting. Some of these I regret and have noted them. Others I’m so glad I voted the way that I did.

    With that here is my self disclosure:

    US Senate – Firm for Isakson. Hate my involvement in politics, blame Isakson. As a 12 year old it was watching Johnny Isakson speak that inspired me to want to be involved. He’s a great man and does a great job representing Georgia in the US Senate.

    12th District Congress: weak for Barrow – wish I could have voted for Austin Scott. I struggled with this one. I worked for Ray briefly in 2008. I would have voted for him in 2008 against Barrow. I followed the Young Guns closely and his lack of knowledge about their plans and refusal to support a ban on earmarks as a Republican, along with his position on Social Security and Medicare were what pushed me to cast my vote for Barrow. In hindsight, I would have skipped this election.

    Governor – Firm for Barnes. I like Barnes. I rode on the bus with him. What started as a protest vote has become a full vote in support and in confidence of him to lead our state forward once again as a leader in job creation and economic prosperity.

    Lt. Governor – Firm for Porter – this was the toughest call for me, but my disappointment in Cagle was leaning me to look for an alternative. I was very impressed with Carol Porter when she stood in for her husband at the NFIB forum. She’s got real business experience, speaks with conviction, and is a determined person to put GA first.

    Attorney General – I took a friend’s recommendation on this one and cast a vote for Ken Hodges. Not sure I’m happy with that or not. I think the race may go to a runoff. I couldn’t get an answer from either candidate on continuing Thurbert Baker’s investigation into the foreclosure mess. If I were voting today, I’d leave it blank more than likely.

    Secretary of State – Super firm for Brian Kemp. I liked Doug MacGinnitie a lot and hope that he will run for office again soon. Our state needs his experience. I didn’t even consider voting for the Democrat or Libertarian. It was a tough primary. Brian was appointed to the job and that’s always tricky. Brian is a great guy though and has shown incredible character and integrity in the time that I have known him. He will do well and has a bright future ahead of him in Georgia.

    Agriculture Commissioner – Super firm for Gary Black. Strong Farms and Safe Food. There aren’t enough nice and positive things to say about Gary Black.

    Insurance Commissioner – Mary Squires. Ralph Hudgens was, in my opinion, one of the weaker candidates on the trail for Insurance Commissioner. He flew under the radar so to speak. Now we know that he wants to so change insurance coverage that it would drive costs up through the roof. I have encouraged everyone I know who has battled or had experience with cancer to cast a vote against Ralph Hudgens.

    School Superintendent – Seriously, these are our choices? I support scraping the current way we elect the School Superintendent and going to a system where we elect the State School Board by Congressional District and the Chairman statewide. Then the school board would select a qualified Superintendent. Until that happens, I’m not voting for sub-par candidates to oversee the largest and most important part of our state government.

    Labor Commissioner – No way in hell I’d vote for Mark Butler. I wrote in Melvin Everson. Melvin just needs to run a better campaign next time and he’ll win hands down, like he should have this time.

    State Senate District 1 – Skipped – Could not get an answer from Buddy Carter in regards to the creation of a State High Risk Insurance Pool. As outlined by House Republicans, this is how they will address reforming Obamacare. However, GA is one of the few states without a State High Risk Insurance Pool. If the GOP is successful in changing this part, but GA won’t create a high risk insurance pool, people like me with a history of cancer are kind of screwed. So, because Senator Carter wouldn’t answer the question, I didn’t vote.

    Justice, GA Supreme Court – David Nahmias

    Court of Appeals – David Schaeffer

    Amendment 1 -No

    Amendment 2 – Yes

    Amendment 3 – Yes – this will save our state money in the end

    Amendment 4 – Yes

    Amendment 5 – No

    Referendum A – No

    • TPNoGa says:

      Rode on the bus with Barnes? What does that mean? Are you volunteering for him, working for him or did you just accompany him? Just curious.

      Also, I am asking you to stop saying that those of us who are choosing to vote for Deal have no principles. It was a tough decision for me, but I think Deal would be better than Barnes. That’s my opinion. You may disagree, but I can assure you I have principles.

      • Insider Mike says:

        I once rode on a bus with a homeless man who had pooped himself. That doesn’t mean I’d vote for him.

      • Clint says:

        Just saying that I’m all in on this one. He’s touring the state in a school bus. I have a sign in my yard and stickers on my cars. I accompanied him and actually introduced him.

        I’ll stop saying that Deal voters lack principles. I don’t like it said about me and see your point. I do not understand the votes for Deal but that doesn’t mean people don’t have their reasons.

        • rightofcenter says:

          Now you’ll stop saying that Deal voters lack principles? Two days before election day? Gee, thanks. Judging from your ballot, I think you can drop your “Republicans for Roy” membership. I don’t think you qualify anymore. I’m just sayin’.

        • TPNoGa says:


          Thank you. I understand your voting for Barnes. I was all in for Karen. I had yard signs, bumper stickers and donated money to her as well. I was pretty crushed when she lost. It almost hurts to vote for Deal.

          My reasons for voting for Deal may not make sense to most people here. I do not hate Barnes, I didn’t live here when he was governor. I know the CATO Institute gave him high marks. But, unfortunately, I do hate his party (this year). I cannot give my vote for governor to a Democrat, I just can’t. Not this year anyway. I do not want the national party to be able to point to a single major race for comfort. I want them wiped out. I know people may see this as unfair, and it may very well be unfair. But, it is what it is.

          I am, however, willing to give my vote to Carol Porter because it isn’t a major race (nationally). So, at least they may get one of my votes.

          Anyway, you may think my reasons are stupid, but they are still valid to me. If this were almost any other year, I probably would have voted for Barnes, but we are in 2010 and I want to express my anger at the ruling party.

          • “I want to express my anger at the ruling party”

            The ruling party in Georgia is the Republican Party. If you want to express your anger at them, voting for them probably isn’t the best way to do that.

            • Doug Grammer says:


              The ruling elected party is represented by the President, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S, Senate. There, fixed that for you.

              • I didn’t realize the President, U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate voted on Georgia’s budget. So tell me, what were Obama’s thoughts on the Golf Hall of Fame and the Music Hall of Fame and the Go Fish programs?

                Nothing to fix, thanks.

                • Doug Grammer says:

                  They were the ones who rammed the 2000 page healthcare bill that we had to pass before we could know what’s in it, with no transparency or time to read it. The average voter is much more ticked about that than the Golf Hall of Fame.

                  There’s a lot that needs fixing and the voters will start fixing it in 17 hours.

                  • B Balz says:

                    Repeal without a replacement component is a non-starter. If the replacement component does not uphold the elimination of ‘pre-existing conditions’ (PEC), that will fail. Replace must address cost, which the current HC law ignores.

                    In order to eliminate PEC, coverage must be virtually universal, to spread the risk and cost. Therein lies the rub, unpopular (perhaps illegal) individual mandates provide the mechanism that allows for the elimination of PEC.

                    A great tactic would be to have cost controls in whatever plan we make.

                    Rep. Nathan Deal is the MOST QUALIFIED candidate to represent Georgia on this matter.

                    I hope he listens and tempers his actions with the message, we cannot ‘repeal’ without a ‘replace’ plan. Without a ‘replacement’ plan ‘repeal’ only will be the conservative Donnybrook in 2012.

                    As it stands, ‘repeal’ is a Court battle. Similar battles were fought and lost with Social Security. I see the potential of Georgia ending up looking ignorant, unless we offer a solid ‘replace’ option.

                    Doug, sometimes you worry me a bit….

                    • Doug Grammer says:

                      Whatever replacement may be offered will come from a congressional level. I’m OK with just defunding it, until we get a President who will actually replace it. Georgia, as a state, should join the law suit to prevent Georgia from being part of the covered area. What I want first, is that any solution on this issue, be constitutional. Buying insurance across stateliness would open it up to be under the commerce clause. Until we can do that, I think the whole bill is unconstitutional.

                      I’m not wrong that more people care about Obamacare than museums, so don’t worry too much.

                  • jm says:

                    I read it. Much of it, anyway. I saw video of people reading it, Congressional aides, etc. And Republicans added amendments to it. And hopefully you all will read the stuff before you try to change it or repeal it. There’s good stuff in the bill. Like companies not being able to turn down kids with pre-existing conditions.

                    Not enough time? The bill was out there for months. Lame excuse.

                    • Doug Grammer says:

                      For months? Are you insane? I think there was less than 4 days between the time the final wording was done and the actual vote.

                      No one likes turning down kids with preexisting conditions, but that can be handled on a state level. If they won’t have a high risk pool, then they can’t write insurance in our state. All I am saying is show me where we are allowed to do this under the constitution.

                    • B Balz says:

                      Are YOU insane? When I asked Mr. Oxendine about Georgia looking into a high risk pool that might actually run in the black, like Idaho, he had NO CLUE about such a thing. Nor did Mr. Hudgens.

                      State run will not happen. We cannot even cover the poorest of the poor without the Federal teat.

                      Insuring across State lines runs the real risk of a ‘race to the bottom’ as price, not quality drives sales.

                      You are a loyal man, I admire that, but facts are stubborn things.

                    • Doug Grammer says:

                      I can’t say what Com. Oxendine or Mr. Hudgens knows or have said.

                      I am approaching it from a legal standpoint. Some me where in the constitution where this is allowed for the federal government to be involved in. Until we start buying insurance across stateliness, I don’t think the commerce clause applies.

                      If Idaho can run a high risk pool, (I assume without federal assistance,) why can’t Georgia?

                  • Doug – perhaps you’ve fallen a bit behind and haven’t had much time to look at the ballot. This particular election there is nobody on the ballot for President. Sure, there’s the US House and US Senate race, but the majority of the people that were on your ballot when you voted the other day weren’t running for those 3 slots.

                    The ruling party in Georgia is the GOP. So again… if someone wants to show their anger at how our state is being run, it’s not Isakson or your US House Rep that is going to make a difference in state politics… it’s the other races – Governor, Lt. Governor, Agriculture, Attorney General, etc. You just don’t want your party losing any power. (Which isn’t likely this year anyways…)

                    • Doug Grammer says:

                      Yes, the party in power in Georgia is the GOP. However, that’s not what TPNoGa meant. You got dizzy from your own spin. Voters are mad at the party in power in DC, not so much in Georgia.

                    • “Yes, the party in power in Georgia is the GOP….Voters are mad at the party in power …not so much in Georgia”

                      And do you see the hypocrisy and lack of accountability in that?

                      I truly hope the GA voters do, and demonstrate it today.

                    • Doug Grammer says:

                      I was never a fan of fishing or gofish. I see truth I what I said. Only 5% of Georgia will see it as hypocrisy.

                      The truth is they aren’t nearly as mad at the people under the gold dome as they are at DC. The votes today will prove that.

                      This isn’t a washing machine and we don’t need your spin cycle.

    • Doug Grammer says:


      I type in all caps because I am shouting. You can’t seem to hear me otherwise.

      Your thread from a few days ago on redistricting gave a link with a quote from Gov. Barnes: “It should be charged with creating as many politically even districts as it can. What’s wrong with Congress is there are too many safe districts.”


      He wants to weaken districts to allow the Dems a chance to gain more seats. Sure, he’ll be in favor of a commission as long as he gets to tell it what to do. And it would be formed after the 2012 maps are drawn.

      There’s nothing wrong with it, but I would describe you as an independent. Three votes for GOP candidates, five for Dems, a protest write in vote, skipped a race. That either looks like an independent voting, or an open minded Dem. It does not look like a hardcore GOP ballot. When you admit you are voting for more Dem’s than GOP, that does not make you look very GOP.

      It’s not a bullet, it’s an observation. You left the Republican party this year.

      • B Balz says:

        Hey Doug,

        I am certainly not in favor of gerrymandering and I am opposed to the use of computer modeling to design ‘safe seats’. I am not sure how to resolve the current situation.

        If one buys into the premise that part of the reason behind WDC gridlock is that pols ‘handpick’ their Districts, then the current system is unsatisfactory.

      • Three Jack says:

        no doug, the republican party betrayed us and continues to show total disregard for fiscal conservative principles. i don’t speak for everybody voting anti-gop in ga this year, but i know i do so with regret that the party and its’ so called leaders have done such a poor job. hopefully the message will be sent tomorrow in at least one of the statewide elections (gov or lt gov) that it is time for a change.

        • Doug Grammer says:

          The party and it’s leaders have done such a poor job that many people are expecting a sweep tomorrow. (I give credit to the candidates.) I am OK with everyone in the state who doesn’t know how to capitalize a sentence voting straight Dem. You can vote for 1 or 2 Dems and still keep your GOP credentials. When over half your ballot is cast for a different party, the prima-facia evidence is that you are either independent or batting for the other team.

  4. Clint says:

    The point of Charlie’s post though was ballot decisions and I left one off – PSC – I voted for Echols. Tim’s a nice guy.

    • Lady Thinker says:

      Charlie or Clint,

      Can you explain Amendments 3, 4, & 5 in layman’s terms?

      McFadden got the most support from his peers in a the Georgia State Bar Association vote.

  5. JSBarrington says:


    I am supporting David Schaeffer for Court of Appeals as I feel that David is the impartial, independent and qualified choice. And he has run as race as a candidate for the bench should– independent and impartial.

    Stan Gunter has made the race partisan by linking himself to the Republican Party– and making this a race about party instead of a race about who would be best suited to uphold the law.

    McFaddin has done the same except as a Democrat. He has tried tying himself to the Democrats as can be seen with the blast email from the Georgia Democrat Party supporting him.

    I think it is inexcusable for candidates for the bench to make a partisan race out of what should be a non-partisan position.

    That’s one of the top reasons I support Schaeffer.

    Hope this helps and good luck voting on Tuesday!!

    • I presume this refers to the October 26 email from “Georgia Democratic Insider” entitled, “Have you seen these videos by our great candidates?” As soon as it was forwarded to me, I sent its author this message:

      “I’m very grateful for and honored by your support.
      “But my race is nonpartisan. And I’m committed to running a nonpartisan campaign, seeking support from both Democrats and Republicans. In fact I spoke out in support of nonpartisan judicial elections years before I first became a candidate myself.
      “Would you please send out a clarification?
      “Thanks very much,

      I have not heard back.

      • Lady Thinker says:

        Regardless of what the GDI say, I am voting for you and I have given your name out to numerous friends who have asked for a recommendation for your spot. I have met you and spoken with you numerous times since Christmas last, and been impressed with you each and every time.

        Even though my mind is made up in support of you, thanks for the clarification so others can know more about you.

      • NoTeabagging says:

        Chris, I guess non-partisan means you put your campaign signs illegally on public property rather than finding residents to legally put them in their yards. Your low point was placing one in front of Decatur Cemetery. No Respect. I sent you a copy of the ordinances and a request to obey them. A judge should know better. You never replied.

        • Doug Grammer says:

          I wouldn’t have replied either. A statewide candidate doesn’t put out all of their own signs, and you are silly to think that he has had the chance to talk to everyone who does that for him. Many times, a statewide candidate will drop off 200 signs to someone in a county and ask them to be put up. That person calls a 4 or 5 friends and sometimes marching orders don’t get conveyed or sometimes they get ignored.

        • polisavvy says:

          Note to “No Teabagging,” the actual candidates do not go out and pick up yard signs or 4 x 4’s as a general rule. Volunteers do it. Be hacked off at the volunteers not the candidates. It’ll be okay, in about two days they will begin coming down.

          • B Balz says:

            Prior to voting day, I think folks that get wound up about pol ‘sign pollution’ are wankers.

            To me, seeing a corner with DOZENS of pol signs gives me a great sense of security knowing that OUR right to choose remains sacrosanct.

            Seeing signs two weeks after election day, I become a wanker. So get your pol-vols to pick up regardless of win/loss.

            • NoTeabagging says:

              Thanks BB. I wouldn’t mind a blitz of signs, even in a few public areas, say for 30-60 days before an election. IF the volunteers, paid sign placers, and code enforcement promptly removed them. But we, in the metro area, experience year round campaigning. The signs go up in February and stay months after the Nov. elections. There are still signs up from the losers of the July Primary.
              I can say thanks to McFadden for only placing his signs in the last month. Just hope he gets his vols out to remove them, that would show some responsibility and respect.

            • polisavvy says:

              I think that the campaigns should be fined if the signs aren’t removed within two weeks of the election ending, unless, of course, they are in a run-off. If I’m not mistaken they are supposed to remove them. Some campaigns actually ask their volunteers to help them retrieve the signs so they can be saved and used the next election cycle. That task is usually done by the county coordinators for the campaign. These signs are expensive and if I were a candidate, I’d want to get as many back as possible.

              • NoTeabagging says:

                Yes, Poli, there are ordinances that say legally placed signs must be removed after the election within a time frame (usually one week) or they are in violation. Illegal signs are not allowed anyway, so they should be removed and fined as soon as they are up.
                Corrugated Plastic signs are mostly coroplast (TM) (recyclable #5) and the newer “garbage bag” signs are usually #4 recyclable plastic. Few campaigns label the material as recyclable so it eventually ends up in the landfill.

    • Charlie says:

      Thanks. I haven’t met Schaeffer, but I have friends supporting. McFadden has been good at attending Peach Pundit events and mixing it up with our community, as evidenced by his comments below. Gunter has also attended events. And I should say, I have friends supporting all three.

      I may try to do a thread just for this race tomorrow, but clearly, time is growing short.

  6. Who really gives a rip? It’s not like the earth and the moon hang on Peach Pundit and the folks that read this already have a pretty good clue where the main dogs are coming from. This horse has left the gate and PP ain’t going to influence anyone. So, put your money on your horse and we’ll see Tuesday.

  7. timechols says:


    Even at this late hour, I hope to earn your vote. I am assuming you have not watched the GPTV debate from last week (located at my home page of, read the text of the Savannah Morning News endorsement, or pondered why Creative Loafing would endorse a conservative like me. Please take a look at each of those in particular.

    I have traveled the state the last six months not only campaigning, but visiting power plants, solar farms, and even the LNG site here in GA. I have been conducting energy forums, meeting with industry people to hear their concerns, and attending PSC meetings.

    To my own detriment, I did not take contributions from employees of those I regulate, nor their attorneys. When visiting with lobbyists, I paid my own way. At my meetings with Georgia Power executives, I took my own bottle of water and paid for my own meal. Additionally, I took a strong stance against GP’s pre-charging of construction financing at Plant Vogtle.

    I have two fine gentlemen who I am running against–one of them being a close friend of Erick Erickson from Macon. I am guessing that may have some influence in this case. I have run a noble campaign not only in the general election, but during my previous two elections in July and August.

    Charlie, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns by phone or email prior to Tuesday, or afterwards if your time does not permit. My cell is 706-340-0773 or you can reach me at [email protected]


    Tim Echols

    • Charlie says:

      I appreciate the comment and the invite to call. With 24 hours left, and with both of us having full days tomorrow, I won’t tie you up with my concerns. I’ll leave you with the comfort of one of our other contributors, and that “it’s a Republican State in a Republican year,” so any conversation we have in the near future will probably be with you as PSC-elect.

  8. seenbetrdayz, Ph.D. says:

    I find it somewhat funny that people here will be quick to say that no one cares when someone publishes their voting choices in the PeachPundit community but this topic has apparently attracted some concerned candidates.

    See, non-believers? You’re wrong. Politicians care. 🙂

  9. B Balz says:

    If a person’s character is the litmus test for your vote on Appeals Court Judge, then Chris McFadden is your only clear choice. When attorneys I know mention that Chris McFadden is their ‘goto guy’ for providing advice and research on an Appeals Court matters, that speaks volumes to good to me.

    The man’s character has matured, but not changed substantially from when I met Chris McFadden in 1976. He is a stalwart alumni and supporter to his alma mater Oglethorpe university, and that means something to me. Chris McFadden is one of the ONLY clear choice that I have on my ballot.

    The League of Women Voters Guide link below. It has a section for the candidates, referendums, and amendments:

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