One of the great embarrassments of this year on the Republican side was the fact that after her humiliating defeat by Scott Brown in January no republican got on the ballot to oppose her in the fall.

Jim McKenna however is trying to reverse this mistake, he is launching a sticker campaign for the Republican primaries. If he can get 10,000 sticker votes during the primary he will be on the November ballot and we will have the chance to retire Martha Coakley permanently.

I talked to Mr. McKenna last week concerning his campaign:

He also made a presentation at the Twin City Tea Party last week. Here is his presentation in three parts:

Part 2

Part 3

Not getting on the ballot initially was a mistake but there is no reason why we can’t make up for that mistake on primary day.

Red Mass Group has more here.

Update: Looks like he would be a square peg in the statehouse. from his BIO:

Jim has taught courses on law and ethics as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the part-time MBA program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Department of Management.

Ethics in Massachusetts? Boy talk about not fitting in.

At the Twin City Tea Party Candidate Forum yesterday we had 1 republican, 1 Independent and 2 democrats at the Twin city Candidate forum Lets see the candidates in the order they spoke:

First up was Keith Nicholas Independent

He then took questions:

Next up was Republican Lew Evangelidis

There weren’t as many questions as he had appeared before the Tea party before

Third was Democrat Scott Bove, he is the only candidate who actually works in the Prison.

And he of course took questions:

Finally was Tom Foley

And he took questions

Mr. Evangelidis left shortly after his presentation but I talked to the other three candidates to see what they thought:

Keith Nicholas

Scott Bove:

And Tom Foley:

Candidates of all parties showing up to Tea Party events, what will the MSM say?

..as they keep showing up at local Tea Party Candidate forums. Here are some photos from the event:

People gathered as the Candidates and their supporters arrived

The crowd was good particularly early

This photo must be an optical illusion

Don’t tell Charles Sherrod that guy was there

A few of the candidates for Sheriff posed for pictures:

Keith Nicholas (I) for Worcester County Sheriff

One Independent

Scott Bove (D) for Sheriff

Bove made his second appearance at twin city

Tom Foley (D) for Worcester County Sheriff

For Foley it was his first visit, those D’s are not an illusion I guess they didn’t get the NAACP memo that we were a bunch of evil loons. The Republican candidate was also there but he was in and out and I didn’t get a chance to get a posed solo shot of him.

Now thats a gavel for a tea party meeting

Gotta love the cool Tea Party Gavel. Talked to several people in attendance before the candidates went on:

First there was Bob

And then there was Joanne:

Unfortunately Joanne left right after the forum so not only did she miss getting interviewed a 2nd time but she missed the Monday 25 cent wings and half price appetizers at the Border Grille & Bar after 8 p.m. That’s tragic. However I did catch Bob again:

This post is already the size of Cuba so I’ll put the actual candidate speeches in a later post. I still have to tweak the Youtube descriptions and one video upload failed overnight. I’ll have news from the forum all through the day.

Update: Candidate forum videos up

Here is the video of Jen Flanagan and her opponent Neal Heeren at the Twin city Tea party on the 28th

I recorded these in about 10 minutes swatches based on my camera and the space on my two cards:

I actually think she made a good presentation. I thought her answer on “Tea Party Extremism” was a safe answer, but I think her answer on NH was week.

She did meet with people privately and talked for a while, as I said before she deserves a lot of credit for showing up.

Here is her opponent Neal Heeren


I missed the start of his speech as my batteries needed switching.

Without a question Heeren was a weaker speaker, he had to refer to his notes quite a bit on opening and seemed very uncomfortable on stage, rather odd for a lawyer. On the issues he was more correct but you have to be able to make the case to people. That’s a skill he can develop but if Flanagan keeps showing up and manages to make credible explanation and presentations it will be harder for him.

This more than anything illustrates why Flanagan’s presence was smart! Rather than avoiding the Tea Party in fear she confronts it directly. Were all her answers good enough? Likely not but you can’t beat something with nothing. She is an experienced pol and a personable lady. There is no reason why she shouldn’t make a good impression on the people she represents.

If what you believe is right it can stand up to argument. Liberals in fear of the tea party have conceded that argument. If they follow the example of Flanagan for good or ill that might change.

I’ll have Jen Benson and Kurt Hayes up later tonight

The genesis of my trip to Georgia was a short phone interview concerning the IRS chief revelation that the government would seize tax refunds of people who fail to buy insurance.

the World of Coca-Cola

Cheryl who remembered me from CPAC is her Chief of staff and arranged the interview. It was during that interview that something amazing was said.

Even more incredible was their reaction concerning the Media. The were fed up with it, they concluded that they were not getting the true picture from the MSM. As they put it: “Truth Matters!”

If you are getting the NAACP deciding that the Mainstream media can’t be trusted then the seminal change I was discussing is upon us. The same issues, regardless of race, face all.

Here is my take on the trip:

The District:

The district includes North Atlanta, Tucker, Rockville, Decatur, Lithonia, Stone Mountain, it is overwhelmingly Black and democratic, and located to the East of the city.

The People:

The People of district 4 that I ran into were primarily middle class regardless of race. They seem a deeply religious people although

Richard Thompson at Mamie

]there is a vast choice of religion to deal with. Mostly protestant but with some Catholic, Islamic and Orthodox in the mix They are friendly, and once comfortable with you are willing to speak about what is on their mind. They are polite and will usually do their best to not offend. They will not,

Daniel in the Lion

particularly in public talk about the personal faults of others. It is not a community that is hurried. There is a large amount of folks who are transplants from other locations. It is very hard to find people above the age of 40 who have lived there all their lives.

The Issues:

The Issue on every set of lips was jobs jobs and oh jobs. People who don’t have them want them, people who have them are

Stone Mountain memorial, one of only Two confederate memorials I saw

worried about keeping them. Above all other issues this is paramount. Keeping things easy for business to grow is also an issue. There are some other issues such as water that are significant but to more to the politicians. Bottom line for everyone is the economy. Until the jobs issue is addressed everything else is on the back burner.

Race:

I know this is a tired old horse but if I didn’t mention it people would be wondering why. From what I saw it reminded me of

One of many wing wagons you will find

Fitchburg back in the 60’s and 70’s. You had an Italian Section of Town, a French Section, a Finn section a Yankee section etc, there would be some crossover but not a lot. It seemed to be pretty much the same, different ethnic groups tended to congregate together while various areas were mixed. In terms of jobs and entertainments people work side by side. In terms of taste people have their own cultural and culinary tastes but there is cross over. As a rule the younger the people were the less history bothered them. This is a very good thing but because of the history people are still very aware and sensitive.

And now the Meat and Potatoes of the Matter:

The Democrats:

There are three democratic candidates. The first being congressman Hank Johnson, he is the prohibitive front runner. In terms of policy his positions are standard left and pretty much in line with both Cynthia McKinney and Denise Majette who followed her but with none of the abrasion that McKinney was famous for. In my time in Georgia I did not meet a person who personally disliked him. This includes republicans. The big question on Johnson is his health. Depending on who you talk to he is either “courageous” in publicly dealing with his illness that isn’t slowing him down or practically on death’s door. Usually the answer is based on who you are supporting. He does have a new committee assignment on the transportation committee which considering the issues concerning MARTA certainly can’t hurt.

Next comes Vernon Jones. There are two constants concerning Vernon Jones. Every voter I talked to says he is smart and dynamic and more than capable of doing the job. Also every person I talked to in Ga-4 had the same reaction when I said his name. Everyone smiled a big wide grin like there was an inside joke that everybody knew but nobody wanted to say aloud. The adjectives used to describe him included “interesting”,

This is the 2nd wealthiest African American community in the country

“active” and quite a few more. Of the democratic candidates He has the best chance of unseating Johnson but in a district that is a very religious one Jones issues might be too much to overcome but his message of Jobs First is exactly the right message in this district and has played well with business owners.

Quite a few Vernon Jones signs in the area

Connie Stokes: Most voters I talked to didn’t even remember her name. This is a bad sign if you want to go to congress. Her campaign has nobody talking, at least nobody I heard.

I think this primary turns on Congressman Johnson’s health. The most knowledgeable unbiased source I talked to said he is clearly not himself but didn’t think it would be enough to derail him. A healthy Johnson beats both Jones and Stokes without much trouble, all indications are that a Johnson even with health questions will win this race unless those questions become so pronounced that he can’t function. Jones is known as a street fighter but he wasn’t able to take DeKalb county during the democratic primary for Senate. With tougher times his jobs message is a good sell but Stokes gives people who are unsure of Johnson another place to go if they are not comfortable with Jones.

My prediction: Johnson wins without a runoff.

Republicans:

The most interesting fact about this race according to people experienced in Ga-4 is that there IS a race. This is one of the “majority-minority” districts that has been a double edged sword for liberals. The fact that four candidates are going for this

Liz Carter

nomination is a sign of what his happening all over the country.

Liz Carter has been campaigning hard in the district, and has impressed a lot of people even on the other side of the aisle. She has a strong presentation, a good grasp of the issues and is utterly fearless. Her willingness to fight to get her message out to the black community shows a fearlessness that is necessary if you are going to be a republican and win in such a district. Her push on financial issues and jobs is an excellent message for the times and it is no secret that I was and am impressed by her.

Cory Ruthis exactly what the Republican party needs more of. A young self made black man who is enamored with basic conservative principles, who looks to the future rather than the past. His mantra that if the government would get out of the way of people in general and of the black community in particularly it can excel. Ruth also has deep connections within the black community that would be a big advantage in a general election but in a district where most of the black community are registered democrats doesn’t help much in the primary but as I saw, his support is not confined to the

Cory Ruth at Arizona

southern part of the district.

The two other candidates: Victor Armendariz and Larry Gause have not made much of a splash and like Connie Stokes on the democratic side do not seem to be a factor.

The race really comes down to Carter and Ruth, both have strengths for the general election, both are impressive candidates but Liz Carter has run the stronger campaign and it has gained notice even with those on the other side. With an open primary system in Georgia, Cory may be able to draw on independent black voters particularly those who are concerned about Johnson’s Health

Signs at the Tysinger breakfast

and Jones’ reputation. There is also the pragmatic factor in terms of both winning the general election and re-election in 2012 in a majority black district that has driven some republican support his way. Liz however has already demonstrated willingness to fight for black voters and the contested contest on the democratic side may be too much of a draw for voters. I think Carter’s efforts here pay off.

My Prediction: Carter wins without a runoff.

I will not make a prediction in the general election as it is too far away, although just as you had to favor Coakley in Massachusetts early so must give Johnson the advantage in this district. You can’t count out a candidate like Liz Carter who is willing to fight for the black vote. The off year election with President Obama not on the ballot and the economic woes favor her. I’d say his has an 70% shot at re-election but the fact that any republican has a 30% shot in this district is at least as incredible as Scott Brown in Massachusetts. If Johnson’s heath takes a turn for the worse all bets are off.

The real interesting question in this race is Vernon Jones. If he wins the primary it shakes things up tremendously. If he loses does he look to 2012 and act accordingly? And what about Cory Ruth? Say I’m wrong and he wins the primary, does he have the gravitas to beat Johnson? Does his reputation in the community outweigh Jones’ street smarts in a general election? And if he doesn’t win, is he a stronger candidate in 2012 with one campaign under his belt?

For a district and a race that should be all but settled, a lot is going on and I’ll tell you what. It won’t be boring.

Here is my complete collection of posts on the Georgia Trip:

Calling all Atlanta Area Conservative Bloggers: A suggestion that we have a night out together, I’m free tonight (Tuesday) and/or Friday

Fedora now in Dixie (the I’ve arrived post)

Voices of Georgia: Rochelle (my first interview and I comment on sedition back home)

Breakfast in America Mamie’s Kitchen ga-4 (I talk to patrons of a local coffee shop)

A talk with the Crossroads News (The Rather extraordinary Jennifer Parker talks to me about the district)

Voices of Ga-4 my pal Vinnie: (He looks nothing like Joe Pesci!)

A Few Photos from tonight: Photos from the United PeachTree Corners Civic Organization candidate’s forum. on May 24th.

Individual interviews on camera with Angela Moore, Liz Carter, Brooke Nebel, Jeffery Meek, and Dr. Mary Kay Murphy from the UPCCA forum.

My quick take on the UPCCA Forum.

Various uninformative opining on stuff

The Curse of the Fedora or how the Red Sox went on a winning streak when I left

Video from the Varsity (onion rings awesome, burger so/so)

A very good sitdown with the Champion Free Press

My old friends and me

A Doraville thankyou post.

A church Tale where I talk about some of the churches I visited

Two posts about the one unpleasant moment of the trip

Chief/Col John King’s Afganistan deployment post. (MUST WATCH!)

A Thanks to Hank Johnson’s staff

Liz Carter in Doraville

My funny CNN post (well I thought it was funny)

The Republican Ga-7 candidate forum (had a very bad time uploading them for some reason)

Matthews’ cafeteria roundup

A busy day

Indictments in the 4th district

My Cory Ruth video

A photo illustrating the one thing wrong with Tysinger’s forum.

Looking for a cup of Peach Tea: My link to the examiner article on what I saw (or rather didn’t see) of the tea parties

A Reception in Doraville: The reception for Chief King after the presentation.

My Lunch with Cory Ruth: A rundown of my long Lunch with candidate Cory Ruth

Voices of Ga: Kelly Nguyen (r) Ga-5: Kelly Nguyen makes her case for ga-5

Latest Examiner Article: Breakfast without Tea: My Examiner article on the Tysinger Breakfast

The Tysinger Breakfast a great idea: My blog post on on the Tysinger Breakfast including several video clips

Voices of Ga Allen Williamson (I) Ga-82: My final Georgia voice from the trip

And of course my posts about the forum in Ga-4 that I did from here:

Ga-4 Forum: No Irish Whites need apply? The initial post on the subject

Ga-4 Forum: Statement of Newsmakers live Journal: Posting the forum’s hosts statement on the matter.

GA-4 Forum: Cory Ruth Statement: Cory Ruth’s statement on the matter

Liz Carter allowed to participate… the resolution.

The Ga-4 Forum story makes the news: and the coverage by the MSM

And that is what I did on my Georgia trip.