Democrats plan to take back Georgia

Thursday, April 25, 2013 4:58 AM
Last updated 7:31 PM
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ATLANTA – Democratic Party Chairman Mike Berlon is betting on picking up statewide races next year, but some other prominent Democrats aren’t confident about his strategy.

The clash played out Tuesday night before a capacity audience at a panel discussion hosted by the Atlanta Press Club.

Berlon is trying to broker an agreement between U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Augusta and Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn and the head of a non-profit organization.

“We no longer can afford to have these party primaries where we take six or seven Democrats and run them against each other and there’s nothing left but smoke and ruin in the end,” he said. “This time around, we’ve worked very hard to make sure that when the decision is made, these two candidates talk to each other and clear the field so we can move forward.”

But Steve Anthony, a political science professor at Georgia State University and a former executive director of the Democratic Party of Georgia, predicts Berlon won’t succeed.

“I’m conflicted about that approach,” he said.

During the 1990s, Georgia Republicans tried the same tactic while in the minority with little success, he said.

He also noted that political parties have less influence over elections than the campaigns of the candidates themselves.

“Now, political parties are in existence to help recruit candidates and then get out of the way,” Anthony said. “The candidates raise the money, and the candidates are going to decide the issues.”

But the party should harass the other party in the press, as it did under Anthony’s direction, pointing out policy differences. As a result, Democrats slowed the pace of GOP gains from previous years, according to Anthony.

Berlon rejected such open warfare.

“Calling people names doesn’t work for us,” he said. “I’m more concentrated with trying to develop the party with 159 county parties.”

His strategy is to increase Democratic turnout by 5 percent in every county in hopes that will tip the balance for statewide candidates.

Berlon also drew criticism for weak fundraising. He said competition for dollars has gotten harder with the party competing for donors with political action committees.

“I’m in the nonprofit business. I’m not interested in banking as much money as I possibly can,” the chairman said.

And he was blasted for poor candidate recruitment as was highlighted by the failure to find a Democratic challenger to state Rep. Doug McKillip in Clarke County, one of the most Democratic counties in the state. Instead, Berlon said he focused on helping Republican challenger Regina Quick beat McKillip in that party’s primary.

Bryan Long, founder of the Better Georgia liberal campaign organization that has recently begun attacking Republicans, pointed out there were fewer Democrats on the ballot than in the last 100 years. It’s difficult to boost turnout with fewer candidates, he said.

“I’ve heard two things from a Democratic chairman that I thought I’d never hear,” Long said. “He’s OK with less money, and he helped elect Republicans. That’s strange.”

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nocnoc 04/25/13 - 07:17 am
The Democrat Strategy.......

The Democrat Strategy.

“This time around, we’ve worked very hard to make sure that when the decision is made, these two candidates talk to each other and clear the field so we can move forward.”

The Democrat Strategy
is telling their voters this is their party's pick and not letting them decide for themselves. Wow that sounds like they are also saying:

They feed them, cloth them, EBT them, Obamacare them, and phone them, so they are their Masters. If the Democrat voters are dumb down after generations of spoon feeding, as they planned, then they will know no better.

So Yes the Democrat Party may be able to sneak this by just telling them what is best for them.

An they call this the Party of Change and Choice.

GnipGnop 04/25/13 - 07:41 am
Until people wake up...

and realize that they fought for their rights to be freed from slavery only to be enslaved by a nanny government, it will always be this way.

chascushman 04/25/13 - 08:10 am
The democrats are counting on

The democrats are counting on the ill-informed, the wealth envy folks and the brainwashed to get them elected. It might work it worked for the American hating Marxist/communist in the WH.

my.voice 04/25/13 - 08:53 am
Funny, I remember government

Funny, I remember government was BY the PEOPLE........not BY the PARTY.

Did I miss the memo?

JRC2024 04/25/13 - 09:39 am
I don't think you missed the

I don't think you missed the memo my.voice but alot of the democratic party is made up of people with their hand out and do you think that they will vote for someone who would take that away? I doubt it.

fishman960 04/25/13 - 09:51 am
Last election

I was vocal during the last cycle of elections. I will be fiercer next time.
A certain few on here were certain of some of the outcomes (Riverman, for one) and that was good enough for them. Not for me.....
This Democratic philosophy has to be reigned in before we all become puppets to the dictator.
The Republicans have to get their act together!

Darby 04/25/13 - 11:14 am
“We no longer can afford to have these

party primaries where we take six or seven Democrats (Republicans) and run them against each other and there's nothing left but smoke and ruin in the end...”

How many hundreds of times times have I heard the EXACT same refrain coming from Republicans?

If this guy wants to give the state back to the Dems, he's gonna have to do better than that!

rmwhitley 04/25/13 - 01:31 pm
I'm stealing a quote

from an anonymous source: "The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living".

Darby 04/26/13 - 09:47 pm
For one hundred and thirty years,

beginning in 1872, the Democratic Party controlled the Governor's Mansion, both houses of the state legislature and most statewide offices.

The Democrat takeover coincided exactly with the end of Reconstruction and the departure of abolitionist Republicans.

For many, many years, Democrats referred to themselves proudly as "Yellow Dog Democrats", meaning that they would vote for a yellow dog before voting for a Republican, so hated was the GOP for ending slavery and installing blacks in positions of power throughout the South.

The drought for Republicans ended in 2002 when Sunny Purdue a Democrat, switched parties and was elected the first Republican governor since Reconstruction. The rest is known to us all.

As long as Georgia Democrats continue to emulate their bosses to the north, they are going to have a really tough row to hoe in this state.

This state is NOTHING like Richmond County.

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