Bennett’s win in HD 80 has ramifications

Taylor Bennett’s victory over J. Max Davis in the House District 80 runoff could have several ramifications in the Georgia General Assembly.  

Bennett, a Democrat, defeated Davis in Tuesday’s runoff, winning the seat formerly held by Mike Jacobs, now a DeKalb state court judge.

Bennett’s win is a big one for Georgia Democrats, who now have control of the Fulton County House delegation. Fulton Democrats want to roll back some recent measures taken by the General Assembly to limit the size of the county’s government.

Bennett also came in first in the special election last month, while Davis — who arguably had the campaign’s highest political profile — came in second.

Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Rep. Tom Price campaigned for Davis, while Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and other Democrats — including former state senator and gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter — supported Bennett. Davis also raised twice as money as Bennett.

Davis’ fellow Republican Catherine Bernard, who finished a close third in last month’s race, refused to endorse him in the runoff. As results became final Tuesday night, social media was rife with speculation that Bernard’s lack of support was a factor in Davis’ defeat.

For a while, Davis was the public face of Brookhaven. He was a leader in the BrookhavenYES movement and became the city’s first mayor. He resigned as mayor to run for the seat held by his father for more than two decades.

But he also carried some political baggage, from a controversial municipal campaign to close Brookhaven’s Pink Pony to a war with neighboring Chamblee over annexation. Most recently he faced an embarrassing charge of sexual harassment from a Brookhaven employee.

In the end, all of that that baggage was too much to overcome in a campaign for an important House seat.

40 comments

  1. The ultimate lesson to me is that new cities make no one happy. Is there waste and abuse in a giant county like DeKalb, Fulton, Cobb or Gwinnett? Certainly. Will a city which has to incur new costs because of the lack of scale be cheaper? No.

    So – all the people who were against a city because they understand how math works? Still mad.
    All the people who were for a city because they magically thought their tax burden would go down? Still mad but not at the county anymore.

    The minority of pro-city supporters who were ok with higher taxes if it meant bigger government for them? Probably happy but as J Max Davis can tell you tonight, you can’t build a future majority with those people.

    Republicans used to understand that the whole point of taxes is to redistribute (if not why bother collecting taxes) but wanted to be responsible in how the money was spent. Now they pretend there’s a free lunch if only you’ll give them more political power. The voters eventually catch on.

    • ATLguy says:

      Nice try genius.

      1. Please don’t compare waste and abuse in DeKalb and Fulton to that in Cobb and Gwinnett. Seriously, the only problem that anyone should/could have with Cobb and Gwinnett at this point is their ongoing refusal to find some face-saving method to join in with Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton to create a regional public transit solution. The same cannot be said for Fulton (who doesn’t even get along with the Atlanta mayor’s office anymore) or DeKalb (who fired their own corruption investigator because he, well, investigated corruption).

      2. Please, enough for one side dictating what is best for the other, trying to tell the other side “what truly matters” as if you have their desires and interests at heart, as if their best interests are what you really care about instead of your own agenda, OK?

      3. While I agree that there was a hint of “we don’t want to be governed by THOSE PEOPLE” in the cityhood movements, there is nothing wrong with incorporation. To put it another way, if it was OK to create the city of Atlanta in 1847 when it had like 6000 residents, and if it is OK for the “city” of Lithonia with its population of 1,924 to exist, then there certainly is nothing wrong with creating Sandy Springs (population 93,853), Johns Creek (population 76,728) or Brookhaven (population 49,000).

      A bad politician (J. Max Davis) lost to a former big time college quarterback in a special election runoff in a swing seat. There is absolutely nothing notable about that outcome at all, other than perhaps marking this down as still more evidence that the Georgia GOP prefers ethically challenged, not particularly accomplished good ole boys over more capable females (Karen Handel says hi, as does Martha Zoller and Tricia Pridemore). The Democrats’ inability/refusal to run an actual moderate against Deal or Perdue saved the GOP in 2010 and 2014, but they can’t continue to count on Dem ideological intransigence to bail them out going forward.

      Catherine Bernard will run again in the next general election and crush the former signal caller. However, hopefully this loss will chasten the Fulton GOP delegation and force them to finally abandon the Jan Jones “we don’t want to be governed by THOSE PEOPLE” agenda.

      • seenbetrdayz says:

        2. Please, enough for one side dictating what is best for the other, trying to tell the other side “what truly matters” as if you have their desires and interests at heart, as if their best interests are what you really care about instead of your own agenda, OK?

        ^^ Yes, please. If nothing else.

      • Salmo says:

        It’s hard to take you seriously when you hold up Martha Zoller as “accomplished and capable” in one paragraph and then denigrate Jan Jones in the very next. That’s laughable.

        Also, I hope you see the irony in accusing the GA GOP of locking out capable females and then referencing the female who is second in command in the GA House immediately after.

        • ATLguy says:

          “It’s hard to take you seriously when you hold up Martha Zoller as “accomplished and capable” in one paragraph and then denigrate Jan Jones in the very next. That’s laughable.”

          As with everything, context matters.

          Comparing longtime grassroots activist Martha Zoller to carnival barker Jan Jones (whom you have a much higher opinion of than I)? No. Comparing Martha Zoller to Doug Collins? Not nearly as laughable as you wish to believe.

          Also, I wasn’t comparing Jones to Catherine Bernard either. I was merely comparing J. Max Davis to Bernard. Sorry, but in this state it certainly looks like the establishment good ole boys generally wins race after race. This just happened to be the first time that it bit them. But if this keeps going on AND if the Democrats start nominating people whose political views actually reflect mainstream Georgians (as opposed to trying to sneak through people who represent national and global progressivism) this defeat will be merely the first of many.

      • benevolus says:

        ” To put it another way, if it was OK to create the city of Atlanta in 1847 when it had like 6000 residents…”
        If size were the only thing that mattered there might be a point there. But one has to consider the alternatives. Was creating Atlanta better than what they had here then? Was creating Lithonia better than what they had going on at the time?

  2. Gray says:

    Brookhaven is a ‘swing seat’? Sour grapes much?

    If HD 80 was thought to be a swing seat before the election, the Governor would have never appointed its former Republican representative to a judgeship.

    It’s a swing seat now, as of 7 pm yesterday.

    • benevolus says:

      I think one could make the case that it’s a swing seat, since Jacobs was elected as a Dem, switched parties, and then was re-elected as a Repub.

    • ATLguy says:

      Why would I have sour grapes? Considering that I live in, well check out my handle for hints, my area will actually BENEFIT from the Fulton delegation no longer forcing the general assembly to waste time appeasing Jan Jones’ anachronistic windmill-tilting.

      But considering that Obama only carried the district by 6 points in 2012 and Deal by 4 in 2014, I feel pretty good in calling it a swing seat. That the GOP will retake in 2016 when a dumpster fire (apologies to dumpster fires everywhere) won’t be their standard bearer.

    • Corvid says:

      Despite a weak candidate with J. Max Davis, this is just another example of the lackluster “leadership” of Ralston & Jones.

      Perhaps Ralston is too distracted by his legal issues in front of the State Bar Association. I wonder if he and his new defense attorney Roy Barnes have been yukking it up over this race?

      Jones has always been a one trick pony with her dream of Milton County.

      Neither seem to really care about the Republican Party or the strength and reputation of their caucus. It is smart campaign strategy for the Democrats to capitalize on these caucus weaknesses.

  3. Three Jack says:

    This special election doesn’t really mean much at all. A runoff in the middle of summer does not usually reflect the true direction of a given district.

    Also the winner gets one session during an election year so won’t have much impact other than being able to vote against all the theocratic junk being put forth by GOPers unwilling to address real issues.

  4. northside101 says:

    Some clarification is in order regarding this district:

    Yes, Jacobs was initially elected as a Democrat in 2004, but from the old House District 80, which then (as drawn under the federal court in 2004 following the Larios decision that struck down the old 2001-2002 legislative maps drawn by the Democrats). The district as drawn then was about a 50/50 political split, as some examples splitting almost evenly in that year’s Kerry/Bush contest and Jacobs beating Davis there by a 51-49% margin (about 400-votes spread). In those days (2004-2010 election cycles), the district was entirely within DeKalb, running along the DeKalb/Fulton border from 285 south to Lavista Road near Emory. Jacobs switched in 2007 to the GOP and won pretty easily during his 10+ year career.

    In 2011 redistricting, the district lost the Democratic-leaning precincts south of Buford Highway and picked up portions of GOP-leaning Sandy Springs (in the southeast corner of that city, such as around the 285/400 interchange), which certainly made the district more Republican than in its previous incarnation, but a far cry still from say ultra-Republican districts like in Cherokee and Forsyth Counties.. It isn’t as if, for instance, Bennett was winning a seat that was normally 65 percent Republican (though admittedly the district voted Republican in every statewide contest last year). In fact, Michelle Nunn won a respectable 46 percent in the district in her unsuccessful Senate bid last November. All Bennett had to do was hold that percentage and get some voters who had reservations about Davis, and you had victory.

    It is also worth nothing that districts don’t always “behave” as expected (in terms in political performance). The 2002 election cycle was evidence of that. In the then-existing CD 12 that ran from Athens to Savannah, Republican Max Burns defeated Democrat Champ Walker—even though the district that very same day backed Roy Barnes and Max Cleland in their unsuccessful re-election bids (Cleland for instance won a handy 57% in the district the very same day Burns was elected). Over in Augusta, Republican Randy Hall defeated the ethically-challenged (later convicted) Charles Walker in a majority-black Senate district that also easily went for Barnes and Cleland. In 2012, John Barrow held the redistricted CD 12 even though it easily (55%) backed Romney over Obama. In each of these cases, the party expected to win the seat put forth flawed candidates, either ethically or from a competency standpoint, and got surprised at the ballot box.

    Whether Bennett is “too liberal” for the district (as some claimed) will be proven in the regular 2016 general election—a presidential year when turnout is the highest of any 4-year cycle. Though Obama got just 43 percent in the district last time, perhaps Clinton (if she is the Democratic nominee) would run better. It will depend more (the “liberal” charge) on his fiscal record than his stance on social issues; as has been mentioned, House District 80 is not a “Bible Belt” district—this is not a Rick Santorum/Ted Cruz/Mike Huckabee district, but more I would guess a Jeb Bush/Mitt Romney-type district. The recent Planned Parenthood controversy (alleged sales of body parts) probably meant little to voters of a district which unquestionably are more on the pro-choice side of abortion than pro-life persuasion. Probably of more interest to voters here will be a proposal (likely introduced in the 2016 legislative session) to cut the state income tax rate and reform of DeKalb County government.

    • Good analysis – I’d add that new DeKalb cities don’t really make anyone happy. Unlike Fulton, DeKalb’s government has broad powers and provides services similar to what one would get in a city. Brookhaven, when it was North Atlanta back in the 1960’s found that argument so persuasive that they actually dis-incorporated and just decided to take the lower tax county proposition. At the same time, Sandy Springs voters desperately wanted a city (and kept fighting for 40 years) because Fulton didn’t do the things DeKalb did and they were in a legitimate crappy service/value proposition environment.

      Republicans who push new DeKalb cities (so that their friends can get elected and so that more money can be spent on Republican consultants) offer a free lunch – they want you to believe there’s so much waste in DeKalb county that a new smaller “more efficient” city can deliver the same services for cheaper. Unfortunately for them, that isn’t how math and efficiencies of scale work. Does DeKalb have corruption? Sure, but most of they tax money they bring in ultimately goes to roads, water, sewer, trash etc.

      Look at Brookhaven’s budget. They spend 27% of their expenses on general government. A lot of things in that include stuff like city council salaries, city hall upkeep, city attorney, etc etc etc. Crap that didn’t exist when the city didn’t exist. That means to be a value proposition even with DeKalb’s waste they have to be something like 30% more efficient in paving a road than DeKalb is. Sorry but it just isn’t possible. Now, it’s possible that an area like Dunwoody or Brookhaven will have average property values much higher than DeKalb as a whole and so the millage rate will be lower, and so for some high cost houses it’s a better proposition, even with the waste. But that’s where we are.

      And btw – just because Atlanta or Lithonia exists doesn’t mean Brookhaven is a good idea. Does Brookhaven have the right to create itself? Yes. Does that mean it was a good idea? No.

      • bgsmallz says:

        The thing you miss with your argument is that you assume DeKalb is using its budget equally throughout the county. That’s 100% false.

        It’s actually quite absurd ….You are against cities on the idea that the city government exists to give GOP consultants a free lunch. I mean, have you seen the DeKalb County payroll? Have you been paying any attention to the corruption probe, the trials, the P-Card abuse scandals, the watershed contracts, Irons, Vernon, and the palaces in Stone Mountain for the county and school government? The Crawford Lewis trial? Pat Pope? Any of these things ringing a bell?

        To sum it up…you say cities are bad because GOP consultants get paid in the tens of thousands so we should keep DeKalb and its TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars of payroll to friends and family, abuses, no-bid contracts, legal fees to clean up said abuses, etc. etc. etc. oh…and efficiency, math, blah blah blah.

        See…it’s actually quite simple. if the county spends next to nothing in the area because it has no reason to do so politically (which was historically the case for the last 20 years or so in North DeKalb), then even if you accept your ‘waste’ argument (which I don’t), any services provided by cities are still by definition infinitely better than what DeKalb was providing.

        That’s the crux….with DeKalb we were getting nothing for our taxes…again, because the DeKalb county government didn’t have to provide services to Brookhaven in order to protect the Status Quo so long as incorporation wasn’t an option.

        Again, for you to say that ‘no one is happy’ is just completely wrong. I’d actually counter that while most folks in Brookhaven are embarrassed by the clown show that has been happening at City Hall…they’d still rather have the police, parks, paving, etc. that Brookhaven is providing.

        It’s a difference between if you asked me…’are you happy with your city government?’ …see that’s a hard one. Now if you asked me…’are you happy with your city police force?’…or ‘do you think Parks have improved, stayed the same, not improved since the city took over?’….different answer. I’d argue the latter two are much more important and better gauges than the former, btw.

        One last item…

        “So – all the people who were against a city because they understand how math works? Still mad.”

        First off….those people said the city would be broke and would have to raise its millage rate above the cap provided in the charter. (The CEO had a press conference on it…it’s on the web. Google it.) They were unequivocally wrong.

        Now, back to math….

        Average value of a home in Brookhaven is 426,000.

        Property Tax committed to Tax Funds in 2012 for that house (assuming standard homestead)….$1,648.27.
        Property Tax for Tax Funds to DeKalb and Brookhaven for that house in 2015….$1,467.89.

        That means the average Brookhaven homeowner is saving roughly 11%…by definition, 49.9% of folks are saving more than that.

        But you know, Math.

        • Baker says:

          is this a longest comment contest? bgsmallz wins but i think he had too many new paragraphs so on pure word count, i give it to northside…

          • bgsmallz says:

            My bad! I didn’t even say anything about the election. I’ll keep it short.

            Taylor won because J Max was a flawed candidate that many folks had spent 3 years tearing down (some issues that he created on his own…some that folks invented). Real Issues mattered little.

            Example…in Brookhaven precinct, 7/14 it went 154 Bennett, 199 Bernard, 55 Davis…last night was 321 Bennett and 117 Davis. Those are votes against Davis….Bernard and Bennett had zero in common except that they weren’t J Max.

        • I don’t know what your definition of math is, but when I look up a house in Brookhaven, it is paying more total Dekalb+Brookhaven now than it was paying before just to Dekalb, adjusted for home price.

          • bgsmallz says:

            I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but you’re wrong.

            1) You can’t ‘look’ at what a home in Brookhaven is paying today because the 2015 property tax statements haven’t been produced by the county yet.
            2) I did the math. A house assessed at $426,000 in 2012 paid $1,648.27 to DeKalb. A house assessed at $426,000 in 2015 will pay $1,467.89. Explain to me how that is ‘paying more’ please?

      • BhavenMa says:

        I have to laugh at what you wrote:

        I’d add that new DeKalb cities don’t really make anyone happy.

        ANYONE.

        I will tell you that there are legions of citizens who are very happy with Brookhaven, even though there have been some mistakes.

        To a person Iknow – and I belong to and serve as a leader in at least 3 brookhaven civic orgs, as well as serve as a church elder in a large bhaven churct- the police presence alone went from nearly ZERO with Dekalb police to a presence that is light years better. From speeding to crimes in the buford area, the police addition alone made the city worthwhile … almost

        Parks- huge improvement. Brookhaven parks were a complete disgrace the last 5 years when run by Dekalb. Dangerous, unkempt, full trash cans.

        • Sure but it also costs a lot more. Let’s create a bigger government city that does more and costs more – not how it was sold.

          Hey but we don’t even have to really speculate. Did its outgoing mayor win a partisan race in which his party has a 10 point advantage or not?

          Before you say he had corruption issues that were so special that he couldn’t win, please may I point you in the direction of Nathan Deal, Davis Ralston, etc.

  5. JeffHaffley says:

    Last was a big black eye for the Atlanta cartel.

    Atlanta/leadership/lobbyist backed candidates lost in ALL three runoffs, continuing a long streak of special election looses going back to 2013.

    When the people have a clear choice they vote for the candidate least associated with Atlanta.

    With establishment Republicans retiring right and left, 2016 may be the year that the “Peoples’ House” finally gets enough real people in it to make a difference.

    • analogkid says:

      This is seriously the most intriguing comment on this thread and no one has responded to it. I guess I will bite…

      I’d like to know what “difference” you are hoping these “real people” will make?

      Also, you’re aware that Bennett was backed by the mayor of Atlanta, right? I’m not sure whether the mayor took a position on the other two races (he may have, I honestly don’t know), but we can agree that, at worst, he’s batting .333, right?

  6. northside101 says:

    A further look at the returns shows the following:

    –Davis mostly “held his own” in the northern DeKalb portion of the district, compared to, say, how David Perdue fared there last November. In the Montgomery precinct (south of 285 and to the east of Fulton, north of Marist High School), Davis won 58.3%, slightly ahead of Perdue’s 57.2%). Right below there, in Ashford Parkside (Marist, Blackburn Park, Johnson Ferry Road corridor), Davis got 54.4%, Perdue 54.9%.

    —But Davis saw a dramatic drop south of Windsor Parkway/Peachtree Golf Club area. In the Silver Lake precinct (which includes Oglethorpe University and the DeKalb portion of the Capitol City Club golf course), Davis won just 45.1%, compared to 56.5% Perdue. And in the Brookhaven precinct (which is east of the Norfolk Southern rail line that bisects the district—such as Dresden Drive/Caldwell Road area), Davis got a mere 26.7% of the vote, compared to 52.7%. Perhaps someone can clarify if the Brookhaven precinct was the home precinct of Bennett and/or Catherine Barnard?

    –The shocker (for Davis) may have been the Sandy Springs portion of the district, specifically SS 12 (High Point Road/”Pill Hill” area) and SS 14 (southeastern corner of Sandy Springs mainly between city of Atlanta line and Windsor Parkway/Nancy Creek). Both precincts went handily for Perdue in 2014 (58.9% Perdue in SS 12, 67.1% Perdue in SS 14). Yet Davis managed just 44.3% and 45.2% in those two precincts, respectively. And turnout was disproportionately low on the Fulton side (only about 14 percent of the total turnout yesterday came from Fulton, though the Fulton side accounts for more than a quarter of the district’s registered voters). SS 12 cast 1,209 votes in the Perdue/Nunn general last year, but just 237 in the special yesterday.

    The election results yesterday also showed the diminishing returns for legacy—and not just in HD 80. In HD 146, Larry Walker (son of the former Democratic majority leader) lost badly in the runoff for the seat once held by Larry O’Neal. The late Max Davis Sr. served a long time in the House in northwest DeKalb (until his death around the 2002 election cycle), but even he was probably too conservative for that area by that time (on social issues). And no one under the age of 30 could have voted for Davis Sr., so legacy would not have meant anything to the “under 30” crowd backing Bennett.

    Also, I stand to be corrected on this, but this may be the first time in decades (maybe the 1960s) that DeKalb now has only 1 elected Republican serving in the State House (Tom Taylor of Dunwoody). I think as late as the 1988-1990 period or so, the DeKalb House delegation was closely divided, something like 8-7 in favor of GOP. But redistricting and changing demographics have slowly reduced the GOP presence in the county, such as in the 1990s when Tommy Tolbert and Tom Lawrence lost seats that once favored the GOP (in the Stone Mountain/Tucker area). That is 1 more than Clayton, however, which has an all-Democratic state legislative and congressional delegation.

    • “Perhaps someone can clarify if the Brookhaven precinct was the home precinct of Bennett and/or Catherine Barnard?”

      Catherine’s in the Brookhaven precinct; Taylor’s next door in Briarwood.

      • BhavenMa says:

        402 turned out in Brookhaven precinct in July.
        Bernard had 197 in July.
        Davis had 55.

        416 in August. Bennett doubled the # of votes in that district from July to August
        from 141 to 298. That’s 158 more.

        Davis went from 55 to 115. 60 more,doubled his prior votes there.

        Looks like voters overwhelming went Bennett.

        No question Bernard,a GOP member, cost Davis this election.

      • Sherean says:

        Bennett lives in the apartments right next to the Baptist church, which is the Brookhaven precinct voting location, I believe.

    • Actually it comes down to the city creation. The traditional Brookhaven areas south of the tracks were against it. The areas that they looped in up by Marist (which no one in 100 million years that is from there EVER called Brookhaven before Mike Jacobs was too embarrassed to say DeKalb County/Chamblee and started calling it “North Brookhaven”) were overwhelmingly for it.

      It all goes back to my thesis though. People who voted no – still mad. People who voted yes – many of them are paying high taxes and questioning whether it was worth it. Either way J Max Davis was your whipping boy if you wanted to let off some steam. Add in the Lysol incident and there you go.

  7. atlandy says:

    J max lost the dresden vote because it is in district 2. Brookhaven is divided into 4, district 1 is where he (and the new mayor) lives, the rest are treated poorly (money only goes to murphy candler, their subdivisions paved, etc. ). The race had very little to do with R vs. D, but 3/4th of Brookhaven had enough of J Max.

  8. BhavenMa says:

    Looking at the precinct results:

    11 inDekalb, even though the PDF is not easy to read, looks like Davis won only 4 precincts outright…

    While Taylor trounced Davis in 6 precincts (More than 60% of the votes)

    Silver Lake which is pretty close to Davis’ home went Taylor Bennett.

    Ashford Parkside- a Davis won precinct – had less than 20% turnout.

    Chamblee which I**think may** be Jacobs area went Bennett.

    http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/Voter/pdf/Disct80SOVC08112015.pdf

  9. Jiminy Cricket says:

    @Chris Huttman

    You are wrong about the new city movement. They do work well, economically, by any measure. You leave out one point in your ‘math,’ comment – People like and need a sense of place. A large county doesn’t provide that in any meaningful way.

    I neither have the time, nor perhaps the skill, to rebuttal your inane statement as well as Bgsmallz or N’side.

    Three Jack keeps it real and really simple, best comment: ‘being able to vote against all the theocratic junk being put forth by GOPers unwilling to address real issues.’

  10. northside101 says:

    Uh, Jiminy Cricket, what did I say that was an “inane statement”? I haven’t commented pro or con on new cities—not my area of expertise. Is there some questionable data I have printed? Did I say that Obama won the district? (He did not.). Did I say this was a “Bible Belt” district? (I did not).

  11. ATLguy says:

    @Chris Huttman:

    You are simply ideologically against city creation in DeKalb.

    1) DeKalb is run by a progressive Democratic majority.
    2) The cityhood movement is mostly – but not entirely – led by Republicans (albeit moderate/centrist Republicans as opposed to conservatives or neo-segregationists)

    Therefore, it must be bad.

    The reality is that the folks who created their own cities are not Neal Boortz types who have problems with redistribution of wealth. For example, they are not like the North Fulton contingent, who want to starve Fulton of funds until the county collapses, facilitating A) their breaking away to create Milton County and B) south Fulton and the city of Atlanta are forced to combine governments in order to (barely) economically survive, and all of it due to their decades-long temper tantrum of losing political control of Atlanta and Fulton and never being able to get it back.

    Instead, these are folks who had legitimate issues with services that they were getting from the county. That is why your “you are betraying your less government/low tax philosophy by creating new governments and increasing taxes to support them” argument falls flat. The cityhood movement in DeKalb wasn’t led by Sam Brownback, the Koch brothers or the Club for Growth. For goodness sakes, the Republican whose seat Taylor Bennett took supported using state funds to expand MARTA! (And I am actually sad to see the guy leave.) They are more akin to “country club” Republicans who want good government, good schools, low crime (though not the “tough on crime/lock-em-up/broken windows agenda … think more Mike Bloomberg than Rudy Giuliani), economic growth and good quality of life. They aren’t the folks who think that if you cut taxes and reduce regulations those things will magically spontaneously generate. (Remember, it was George H. W. Bush who famously called such thinking “voodoo economics”, not the progressive left.) Instead, these folks believe in creating it themselves and are willing to pay for it.

    And yes, unlike the North Fulton crowd that I love to bash, they are also willing to pay for economic development in South DeKalb. Their problem is that they lack confidence in the ability of the leadership of DeKalb County to effectively deliver it. And when you consider that DeKalb County needed intervention from Nathan Deal to avoid the economic nuclear bomb of losing accreditation for its public schools (this in addition to the many injuries that bgsmallz listed above).

    It looks like you honestly are backing the DeKalb government because of partisan and ideological issues, regardless of its effects on a citizenry that is for the most part civic minded and well-intentioned. I am not ashamed to say that such a stance makes you part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution. I am thinking that it was guys like you who kept Mike Barrow from being the next governor or U.S. senator – very winnable races against weak candidates – because you preferred losing with a progressive with outside the (Georgia) mainstream views to winning with a moderate whose views actually represent it. Just like you guys prioritized your own views and agendas over the interests of the state when making that decision, it is clear that you would impose similarly self-interested leadership to the good people of DeKalb if you were in the position to. That is why I am very glad that you aren’t, and very much hope that as few people like you (on either side) get into power.

  12. Sherean says:

    It’s worth noting that the area around Dresden and Town Brookhaven is awash with new, younger residents (in apartments mostly). Understanding that they aren’t registered to vote in the same percentages as older voters, it’s still bringing in younger, probably more Democrat-leaning voters. Also, the Brookhaven zip code (30319) is the fastest-growing zip code in the state. Lots of new folks in the area that have no idea what the cityhood vote was about. No memory, no baggage.

    The electorate is churning.

    As for Bennett’s victory, I think it has immediate ramifications for the city of Brookhaven. I have no idea if it’s indicative of a broader shift in District 80 (but given the volume of new residents, it could be). There is a continuing divide in the city of Brookhaven between city D1 vs 2, 3, and 4. The folks in 2 and 3, especially, are vocal about wanting to get rid of the current mayor and council with the exception of John Park (D2’s relatively new rep). There has been a sense that it’s an uphill battle. The entire original city council and mayor were all Republicans (I think – I’m not sure about the original D2 rep). Bennett’s victory has energized the area. People believe we really can change the government for the better now. Catherine Bernard’s voters were very much a part of this cleansing mindset.

    The November elections for mayor and D3 city council will be interesting to watch in Brookhaven!

  13. Jiminy Cricket says:

    ****** BELOW THE FALL LINE ALERT ****

    ” Their problem is that they lack confidence in the ability of the leadership of DeKalb County to effectively deliver it. And when you consider that DeKalb County needed intervention from Nathan Deal to avoid the economic nuclear bomb of losing accreditation for its public schools (this in addition to the many injuries that bgsmallz listed above).” ATLGuy

    This comment summarizes precisely why Rep. Tom Taylor’s “School Bill,” HB4 must prevail in 2016.

    Thank you.

    HB4 Hometown News [Dunwoody]:
    http://www.reporternewspapers.net/2015/05/17/bill-allowing-independent-school-systems-on-hold-until-2016/

    HB4 Advocacy Group: GLASS [Georgians for Local Area Schools]
    http://www.glassnow.org/

    ****************************************************************************************

Comments are closed.