AFD Candygate

The Perspicacious Conservative shares an interesting story from over the weekend. Yesterday she, along with several other Atlanta Young Republicans, visited Atlanta fire houses delivering Valentine’s candy to firemen to honor and support their service to the city.

We divided up in teams, mostly ladies, to divide and conquer the 41 stations across the City of Atlanta. When we arrived at a station, our schpeel went a little like this:
“Hi my name is ________ and this is my friend _______ and we’re from the Atlanta Young Republicans. We just came out today to share our appreciation and deliver this bucket of Valentine’s Day candy. We are really grateful for all that you do.”

At most of the stations, this opened the door for casual conversations about how we got involved, what other stations we had already been to and general friendly conversation. A couple of the stations gave us a tour, showed us some of their equipment or shared funny stories and pictures. It was a really great opportunity to meet real public servants and make them feel appreciated. At one point, my car partner and I even discussed how much we’d like to do MORE for our local fire fighters on a regular basis because of how kind they had all been to us.

That was, until, we were turned away because of political affiliation. Apparently one of the chiefs was concerned about accepting candy from a Republican group because they did not want to appear partisan. This prompted an email to a supervisor that resulted in a city-wide candy delivery shut down.

Read the rest of the post for TPC’s reaction.

TPC said via email that the teams visiting stations further south in the city got a “less than receptive” welcome.

The “rejection” stopped distribution on our part because they said emails were circulating. A friend received an email this morning saying that pictures were not allowed and things were skating the line of being too political.

Too political? Seems to me that the “po-lit-i-cal” is coming from the City of Atlanta, not YR’s handing out candy. Rather than fostering the non-partisan image that we all hope to see in our city service departments, the City has shown it is anything but.


  1. Rick Day says:

    Why did you insist on saying who you represented, out of all the organizations you may be a part of?

    “Why couldn’t you just say, here, my friend and I came up with an idea and here is a bucket of candy!”

    May be young, but you are politically savvy enough to know that Atlanta is a heavy D-town. I certainly home this was misplaced enthusiasm and not an attempt to create fodder for a conservative blog.

    Because that is something only the GOP would dream up….


    • Rick Day says:

      home = hope.

      BTW I’ve done the same thing, only I never told them I was from the Midtown Neighbors’ Association. I just gave them the donation (in this case, a heavier set of dumb bells for their exercise room. You know….candy for men 😀 )

  2. all4starsnstripes says:

    It was a Volunteer Outreach effort, why should a Salutation not be used? Would you give a friend a gift anonymously? Aren’t Republicans constantly battling accusations of being heartless and uncaring? This action shows that Young Republicans are DOERS not TALKERS and shouldn’t be silenced for their efforts.

    • Rick Day says:

      no one says they R’s are heartless…uncaring…eh…

      And yes I give gifts quite a few times as a secret santa or ‘from a friend’.

      Don’t you?

      If one give a gift expecting recognition for giving that gift, then who is the gift really for?

      It was ‘almost’ the nicest thing they could have done. But labeling an entity as the one responsible, as in this case as well, draws more attention to the entity than the act and the gift itself.

      My opinion, of course. These days, any nod is better than no nod.

      • Rick Day says:

        quantifying the first statement, if someone calls R’s heartless, they are generally wrong. Nothing ‘wrong’ with their heart, just their sense of justice and fair play.

  3. Nonchalant says:

    Well, it’s what I expect from the city that–as I understand it–told a Tea Party type group to pound sand on hokding an event in Woodruff Park, but on the other hand has allowed the Occupy groups free reign at times (Woodruff, till they abused it, AT&T building (weeks)).

    Given this, I sincerely hope we never see AFD or APD equipment at Democratic events. Or for that matter, uniforms, except those on duty for public safety reasons. Active-duty military cannot wear the uniform to political events, there is no reason cops or firemen should be able to do so. If they want to be apolitical, as this incident indicates, absolutely fine, no issues from me–but then I don’t want to ever again see some uniformed guy endorsing a pol. He shouldn’t be doing it at all, but if he decides he must he can do it in mufti. The dignity of the uniform is not his to do with as he wishes.

    • Nonchalant says:

      If Kasim Reed thinks he is just going to waltz into representing all Georgians one day while agencies he oversees actively discriminate against or cannot tolerate half (more than half, actually) the populace, he is sadly mistaken.

        • griftdrift says:


          How about this.

          As a former government worker, we were permitted to be political. It’s a free speech thing you know As long as you limited it to a bumper sticker of wearing a pin or what not. Where the line for crossed was actively campaigning while working.

          But even with that, the vast majority of us did not because being partisan in anyway when you could easily be on the wrong side after the next election would not be very prudent.

          I imagine whichever chief curtailed the candy delivery was thinking the same thing. Better to allow none rather even give the appearance of favoring the one. And setting a precedent where he has to honor the “gratuity” of whoever shows up. Tricky thing about being an agent of the state. You don’t really get to pick and choose who is the right kind of patron and who is not.

          Or maybe, he just hates Republicans.

          Anyway. Pardon my interruption.

          Far be it from me to be the one who interrupts the party that controls every Constitutional office and near super majorities in both houses while it continues to point out how terribly it is persecuted.

          • Nonchalant says:

            Well, my friend, you certainly act like a man of confidence backed by ability. You may even be so. Or not. I have a guess. At any rate, my best to you.

            For the record, I actually don’t like cheese. Cheers.

            • Nonchalant says:

              Oh–as an addendum–far be it from me to interrupt the party that “identifies the target, freezes the target, etc.”, so as to destroy in order to get political goals passed. Saul Alinsky, correct?

  4. I’m thinking that the City over-reacted. But doesn’t intentionally announcing your political affiliation automatically politicize the introduction, and the act that follows? And doesn’t a label like “perspicacious” mean you already know that?

    • Nonchalant says:

      The conter-argument is the group is still a civic group, showing everyday citizens can be politically oriented, and yet not defined solely by it, but are in fact members of the community, doing things for the community outside of politics. That should be reasonable–the group is made up of Republicans, but this does not necessarily mean every activity is of a electoral nature. As this episode shows.

      Otherwise, why should I not want the NAACP done as ever being officially associated with the city, in any way. Too politically oriented.

      This then means no firehouse visits for them, either.

      • Nonchalant says:

        Basically, it boils down to this: which is truly better for the spirit of commonweal, and which would lead to less divide and strife in this jewel of the South–allowing a group of a political bent to do something absolutely non-partisan, and designed to show that despite policy differences we are nevertheless all in this together, as Atlantans, OR to make such interaction verboten, allowing feelings of hostility due to politics to fester unabated on both sides because the contestants were never able to mingle together and realize each was human? Which one is truly more in line with the spirit of Christian charity, Southern hospitality, communal feeling, and the ethos of a city too busy too hate? Which one smooths, and which one coarsens? Which one is basically truly harmless, and which one does true harm? Someone needs to tell me.

        • Harry says:

          If the Young Democrats showed up at a Johns Creek fire station I wonder how it would go down? Uh, wait. Hmmm… I know that among school teachers in Atlanta, calling someone a “Republican” is probably the worst slur one can toss out.

        • Nonchalant says:

          And I will add to this–which one is absolutely best designed to insure residents in other locales care not one whit what happens within the legal confines of the City of Atlanta proper–allowing folks vowing allegiance to the view of a not inconsiderable few to be an accepted part of the community (out of the closet, as it were) or treating them as lepers instead?

            • Nonchalant says:

              It seems to me that what they did more was tell perfectly reasonable people they could not be accepted members of the community, because of politics.

              There are people like that, you know, perhaps not necessarily in this case, but in life, in general. Folks who try to “unperson” other folks, and think they can do so easily, and like doing so. I personally call such types “sociopaths”, but that is just me.

  5. saltycracker says:

    PC: “One final thing I ask you, City of Atlanta fire personnel….what have the Democrats done for your lately?”
    Guaranteed the years not working will be longer and better than the working years ?

  6. Charlie says:

    Dear Nonchalant:

    You have an incredibly bad habit of posting answers directly to yourself.

    Take the time to think about what you want to say, then say it concisely.

      • Nonchalant says:

        Just a clarification, in my defense–They are not answers directly to myself, they are additions, reflections upon additional thought. As for “taking time”–I hardly think my scribblings have been indicative of lack of thought. Even the first one.

        But…. if you don’t want the extra thought, then I simply won’t post it. No issues. Function should follow form.

        I thank you for the service you do, and for having the website. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to live up to your standards, but then, some of us are just merely mortal. Thanks for your work once again.

      • guest says:

        I enjoy this website and the comments on it……..all except for yours.

        You would think that you would encourage people to participate since you are EIC. Instead you seem to demean and discourage. If you have a problem with the way people are responding or making comments then maybe it would help to have a (polite) standard response that you could just copy/paste when necessary.

        I have never posted a comment before this one, but I read the stories almost daily. I forward stories to others which gives this site more exposure. You’ve got good content. But (especially here in the South) you are going to lose readers with your attitude.

  7. Ed says:

    Wait, so the YRs are actively promoting and engaging in a political activity and then its the City of Atlanta who is to blame for politicizing this? WTF?

    Also, fwiw, my Grant Park fire house has a parking lot full of trucks with Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and NRA stickers. Not sure there’s a single Obama or Democrat one, other than the firefighters’ union.

  8. Doug Deal says:

    As someone who has worked in federal and state facilities, I think the denial was probably appropriate. The last thing an honest government facility wants is to be accused of being politically partisan, especially if they are there to respond to people in an emergency. However, it would be even more appropriate if the this type of thing would happen to Democrats once.

  9. elfiii says:

    This is a prime example (including some of the posts here) of what is wrong with our country. Distributing the candy would have been fine as long as the people doing so didn’t say who they were affiliated with.

    Could it possibly have been an innocent Valentine’s greeting by people motivated to let their public servants know they appreciate the valuable service rendered? Must there be an ulterior motive assigned to every public act of activism simply because people state who they are affiliated with?

    This is stupid. Let it burn.

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