The Strong Ballot: Georgia 2014

Democrats have a strong statewide ballot and the GOP has begun to get concerned about their prospects for maintaining control of key positions.

Democrats have a strong statewide ballot and the GOP has begun to get concerned about their prospects for maintaining control of key positions.

This week’s closing Primaries opened the doors to the final stretches of this 2014 Campaign and Election Season. Although the road is long before the huge November Election Day, the rollout of the Georgia Democratic Nominee Ballot highlights just precisely why the eyes of the nation will be on the State of Georgia.

I remain optimistic that this campaign will propel my candidacy and that our chances of retaking the Senate District 6 seat is most likely. The good news is, our entire slate of candidates on the Democratic ballot is absolutely stellar, for such a moment in time as this.

We have an awesome opportunity ahead of and let me tell you, the numbers that truly matter are indeed on our side. Make no mistake about it, we are in an ideal situation to take back this Senate Seat for the people of Georgia. From the outset, we wanted to remain above the noise and the political rhetoric by simply delivering the facts. Here are a few:

(1) Recent polling in the race for Governor in Georgia places State Senator, Jason Carter, the Gubernatorial Democratic Nominee up in the polls by 8 points over Republican incumbent, Governor Nathan Deal, with the potential to only widen as the race heads toward the fall according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Questions about the ethical conduct of Governor Deal has only become the bane of his campaign’s existence with recent rulings requiring ethical payouts and settlements at the taxpayer’s expense for his administration’s mishandling of the public’s confidence.

The list of the ethical violations on behalf of this Governor are simply too many to list, however, they are all well documented and as the AJC stated, a lot of sleepless nights for the Deal Campaign are ahead. What once looked like a strong incumbency, now is the one of the weakest in the nation for republicans with regard to re-election hopes.

(2) Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Republican powerhouse, Sam Nunn, is honestly our best hope to hold on to the U.S. Senate, but locally, she is clearly our best choice for steering our state back toward common sense legislation and representation for the people of Georgia and the polling data is proof that Georgians agree.

(3) With Connie Stokes (D) sitting in good shape as the Democratic Nominee for Georgia’s Lt. Governor’s race, facing off the incumbent, Casey Cagle (R), the line up on this year’s ballot is a strong representation of the will of our state’s people to change course. I’m excited about what is ahead of this State and the passion of our voters.

Connie Stokes (D), Nominee, Lt. Governor

Connie Stokes (D), Nominee, Lt. Governor

The strong support of various communities within the State for Carter and Nunn, only solidifies the opportunity we knew Connie had going into this race earlier this year. Let me add this, the day I qualified for the Senate Seat back in March 2014, it was Connie Stokes who offered her sincere wishes and support for turning Georgia Blue. Although the hill may have looked hard to climb for both of us at that time, the voters have continued to stand with us and I know that the Office of the Lt. Governor in Georgia will be under the direction of Connie Stokes come this November.

We have a lot of work to do! However, what we have found this election cycle is that, huge war-chests won’t be enough to win over the will of the people. My campaign is working to establish open lines of communication with our voters to ensure their message, their concerns and their desires permeate through the election noise.

The incumbent in this State Senate race that I am facing has continued to stand with this wounded Georgia Governor but polls won’t be enough. Our focus remains on the very things they have pledged to continue to oppose such as Medicaid Expansion which Connie Stokes has been hitting hard on lately, Education and Ethics Reform, a strong foundation for Carter’s win strategy and Equality at all levels.

I continue to be the voice for Marriage and Income Equality and the necessary reforms to our State’s immigration policy and its supporting legislation. Here’s the thing, there is room for compromise and I am confident we can all get the job done, but first we need you to work for this strong ballot team! This won’t just be about your vote or your resources, but instead, we’ll need you to host parties, contact your friends and families to garner their support, become “Carpool Captains” to ensure everybody who wants to vote, has the opportunity and the necessary transportation to vote.

Everyone has a role to play. Just know, when I raise my hand over the Bible under the Golden Dome of the Capital building in Georgia, I will do so with the backing of those who sought to retake their state government from the droning sound of an opposition party. That’s my story and um sticking to it.

Antron D. Johnson (D), Nominee
Georgia State Senate, District 6

The Real Hate vs. Freedom – Antron Johnson

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada Rancher has now decided that Republicans are weakened due to their refusal to stand proud and speak their minds on immigrants and "the negro". So Mr. Bundy and his wife are now "Independents".  However, notice the personal copy of the U.S. Constitution in his top pocket, he truly feels his position is not hate, but "Real American".

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada Rancher has now decided that Republicans are weakened due to their refusal to stand proud and speak their minds on immigrants and “the negro”. So Mr. Bundy and his wife are now “Independents”. However, notice the personal copy of the U.S. Constitution in his top pocket, he truly feels his position is not hate, but “Real American”.

Nevada Rancher, Cliven Bundy who recently enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame when he staged a public standoff with Federal Agents over his illegal use of federal lands to graze his cattle, has now left the Republican Party. After his “let me tell you something else about the negro” rant, those in the GOP, who had supported Mr. Bundy’s refusal to pay taxes scattered.

Fox News Channel made this guy, Mr. Cliven Bundy and his family national celebrities by not only promoting his hateful antics but by also providing them prime time television for the purpose of rallying their republican base; the idea was to make the Obama Administration and federal officials appear to be “taking” the rights of hardworking ranchers away or better yet, taking his cattle away.

They never talked about the fact that Mr Bundy owe $1 million in taxes and grazing fees and that his refusal to pay is the only reason why his cattle were temporarily seized. However, they supported the militia, the actual armed militia who occupied Bundy’s ranch, hunkering down for an actual war. Republicans applauded and furthermore facilitated this behavior, all while suggesting that middle class workers and those who are working poor, pay their fair share.

They, the GOP, also never seemed to understand that it isn’t only considered hate when ethnicities and an individual’s skin color is involved.  Mr. Bundy repeated all the same republican talking points uttered by those in our state and federal government.  Several 2016 potential presidential candidates even chimed in by adding their voices to the cause, but quickly ran for the hills after Mr. Bundy removed his hooding.

What real hate is, well, it surfaces when although immigrants who’ve found new homes in this country by working hard and African Americans who have put themselves through school or started businesses of their own are brought into the dialog of a rancher and the federal government. Keep in mind, Bundy’s house of cards as well as his 15 minutes of fame evaporated right after his unsolicited ‘negro summations.

No one asked, no one prodded, but there they were, for all the world to see on primetime. Immediately and as they should’ve, establishment republicans and all those anti-big government soldiers began to take 20 paces back away from the Bundy clan. All the talk of him being the face of “real america” were gone. All those who ran to microphones to add their two cents as to why he was the voice of real pain only then left the microphones to their spokespeople.

Real hate has become just as modern as our technology. It hides itself in our legislation and in our lack of tolerance for those who have real need. We know who those people are, but we still add road blocks by suggesting a “demonstration of that need” but be provided. Show me how hungry you are; Give me something that shows how unemployed you are and if you can’t, you’re obviously just not working hard enough, is the new conventional wisdom.

These are Americans looking to fire on federal agents to defend a racist.  Calling it a fight for Freedom should represent all freedom, not just those who are intolerant.

These are Americans looking to fire on federal agents to defend a racist. Calling it a fight for Freedom should represent all freedom, not just those who are intolerant.

Real hate encourages one’s lack of tolerance as a “individual freedom”.  What members of Congress who sided with Mr. Bundy, prior to their disavowing his comments fail to understand is, most Americans see intolerence and injustice through an entirely different kind of prism.  In the face of our nation’s lack of employment and financial progress, Americans have grown tired of this nonesense.  Hate has gotten in the way of us doing all the big things we once did generations ago.  Our progress is beginning to look a lot less like forward motion and a great deal more like a horrible history we have traveled far to overcome.  This entire episode featuring the Bundy’s exposed just how fractured our political system is.  It also demonstrated how easy it is to be exposed of our truest intent; to disenfranchise in the name of freedom.

We don’t build landmark bridges anymore, we instead create traffic jams on them as political retribution.  We don’t do the very things that still today feed our local economies such as Hoover Dam or Stone Mountain in Georgia.  Our anger and hate prevents us from building because it is so much easier to tear down.  Many employers cut their workforce only to increase their stock prices, but then blame the economy for the cuts.  You simply can’t have it both ways.

As long as we can point to someone who is successful, then the assumption is, “you aren’t because you’re not doing enough”. We are going to do our part to change that when I am elected to the State Senate here in Georgia. Real hate is walking around with a copy of the U.S. Constitution in your top pocket as Mr. Bundy does as if that document is his resource.

How many rely on the same document that you and I do as their source of injustice? Mr. Bundy said:

““I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids—and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch—they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

All of that with the copy of the Constitution in his pocket. We have to do better. Real hate is using that document to block a women’s right to choose, supporting legislation “intended” to make voting harder rather than more assessible. Real hate is labeling hard working Americans as takers when you know they are simply too busy working to effectively respond. Real hate is using the very freedoms of our nation to impose restrictions on all those we disagree with.

I am Antron Johnson and I am the Democratic Nominee to become the next Georgia State Senator. We are here because hate, whether it because you either support or disagree with same sex marriage, or whether or not you support relieving the tax burdens on small business, hate is that thing that crushes or punishes the lesser of a defenseless people for self serving gain. I keep saying “real” hate, because this hate wraps itself in the American flag and good intentions, while simultaneously throwing the rock and hiding its hand and I simply won’t stand for that.

Antron Johnson
Georgia Senate 2014
Antron@AntronGASenate.com

Hope Is Not A Verb – by Antron Johnson

What does Victory look like? Hard to say considering the fight to regain the Georgia Senate Seat in District 6 has only just begun. We are facing a well-funded candidate, however, money alone, will not deliver for my opponent a repeat of the 2012 race after Republicans in the Georgia Assembly voted to shift the district lines to make a more difficult for a Democrat to win.

Antron D. Johnson and his daughter, Aaryn Mary Josephine Johnson, 7,  casting his ballot for the Georgia State Senate race, Primary-2014.

Antron D. Johnson and his daughter, Aaryn Mary Josephine Johnson, 7, casting his ballot for the Georgia State Senate race, Primary-2014.

That won’t be our excuse and we intend to win. Now, let’s make this clear. Many have told me that we wouldn’t make it this far, and they were wrong. They said we couldn’t, without powerful friends, a law degree or tens of thousands of dollars, make it through the Primary Election against a military veteran who had the wind at his back.

We learned rather quickly; they were wrong. They continue to be wrong and with the support of the folks in this district as well as the business owners who have seized this opportunity to speak for themselves and not the conservative movement who believes they alone understand how to grow mom and pop businesses, we learned that they were wrong.

Walking into the polling location here on Lower Roswell road makes me keenly aware that real freedoms take sacrifice and sacrifices breeds risk and opportunity. It becomes immediately obvious that hope is not a verb; here is where we mobilize those ideals and live out those desires, however, now is the time to act.  We’ve done it before and we will do it yet again when the polls close and we are proclaimed the Democratic Nominee.

As I enter, what is running through my mind? The many who await real, comprehensive Immigration Reforms so they could stop living and working in fear of being separated from their families. Whether you’re talking about just here in Georgia or in our nation’s Capital, Americans by and large support the necessary reforms for those in our Latino communities.

I am thinking of those who regardless of putting in forty hours a week on their first of two jobs, they still continue to live in poverty, labeled as “working poor”. No matter what they do, they will continue to rely upon the state and national programs to meet their most basic of needs, however my opponent’s party continue to imply that they are “takers” or lazy with no regard for carrying their own water.

I have a plan to address both imperative issues; get our state’s budget back in the black as well as relieving the demand on the state’s entitlement programs.  You would think the GOP would get behind this because it addresses everything they say they support, however, not  so.

I enter Eastvalley Elementary School, to cast my vote for improved and better funded education policies that will truly put our children first. Let’s not kid each other, the Common Core standardized testing does require some improvements, however, the concept of the law requires each child, regardless of where they live, to learn and comprehend the same as any other child in the country. Every U.S. President since Lyndon Johnson took a crack at it, yet we continue to work to improve this most valued goal.

Identifying myself with an official Identification card and confirming my address in miniscule, a minor blip on the radar, for what is at stake. However, I cast my vote proudly today because I know there are many like Paul Broun, a Republicans-U.S. Senate Candidate on this very ballot who believes Immigration Reform is “morally wrong“. He went on to say “giving them the right to vote”…”only helps democrats”. I cast my ballot for the State Senate today because, this can no longer be about the party, but individual rights.

Antron D. Johnson (D) and Aaryn Johnson, 7: "Teaching her the importance of voting and having her there to cast my ballot for me was worth it all".

Antron D. Johnson (D) and Aaryn Johnson, 7: “Teaching her the importance of voting and having her there to cast my ballot for me was worth it all”.

As demonstrated in states like Texas, where having a middle initial on your driver’s license but not on your voter’s registration would force you to utilize a provisional ballot instead of your original designated one, or North Carolina, which just passed the nation’s harshest Voting Rights law in the entire country. I step up to the polling box understanding in this very State of Georgia, countless men and women suffered so that generations of hardworking individuals would one day be considered (1) People, then (2) Citizens, (3) Voters and ultimately (4) Equal.

So if you think a thicker campaign war-chest will cause our energy to wane or dissipate, we have been underestimated. I will call on the leaders of this State to support this campaign, to make room for us at the table for several tens of thousands because we aren’t coming to dinner alone. Those who championed these causes in past elections, those who labored for justice, we walk into this polling location with our heads high because we continue to stand on your shoulders.

We campaign on Education because we live it.  My three children attend Georgia’s public schools and we see first hand where the funding and innovation is needed.  Our supporters know where we stand, however, this race is not about reaching the base for us, but also reaching out to those who can pull themselves away from the vitriol and the venom what our political system has become.  We see a better way where doing what’s right doesn’t cause pain.

All the John Lewis’, the Doug Stoners’ and the Shirley Franklins’ of our great metropolitan area. To all the Jeff Grahams’ and the hard-working people who continue to fight for what is right, not what is free. As a candidate who just voted for himself, the honor cannot be effectively described, just know however, as I waive to those anxiously waiting for their shot at the experience of the ages, it all became clear; I have already won, because I am Antron Johnson and I am the Democratic Candidate for the Georgia State Senate.

Speak Loud Today: by Antron Johnson

Select Antron D. Johnson as your 2014 Democratic Nominee for Georgia State Senate.

Select Antron D. Johnson as your 2014 Democratic Nominee for Georgia State Senate.

Over the coming days and weeks, we’ll begin to systematically lay out why it is that we should work each day to ensure that I take the Georgia State Senate seat back for the people. More importantly however, we have to do more than simply impose the same rhetorical talking points of the political parties as well as my opponent’s flank, but instead, “show” why we are running the best campaign with the ideals of everyday Georgians in mind.  Our job over the next several months is to unravel through awareness, the legislation that just passed our State Assembly.  Not because these measures were in response to the will of the people, but instead the necessity of the contolling majority.  We have to inform people, that even when it doesn’t appear to be a fair fight, we continue onward for the sake of all those who came before us who sacrificed for what the GOP hopes you lose the will to fight to maintain.

Today, we head to the polling booths to speak up and speak loud.  We live in a nation where this right to speak, if left in the hands of some, will either fight vigorously to erode it, or simply stand by to ensure the majorities’ will is enforced regardless of the fact that the very act undermines our national constitution.  Well, I ask that you go speak; inform those who’d dare presume that you are at asleep at the wheel that they have made a great error.

The Primary Election being held today is the nation’s largest this year.  More states are intended to head to the polls to cast their ballots for candidates who will round out the midterm competitions and I am standing up to ask right now for your support and your vote.

What we do today is not for me and as I have stated time and time again, the people of this Great State stand to gain a true advocate for the concerns of those who desire income equality, marriage equality, improved education initiatives with funding to support it, lower state taxes without off-setting fees to compensate for the revenue shortfall and jobs for our hard working citizens.

I do not intend to wage a nasty campaign, we simply don’t have too. The people will stand with us; strong and determined, while simultaneously angered by the ongoing extremism that dominates our state politics. We simply have to do more and we must define what “more” actually looks like.

We will indeed be outspent, but fortunately, this race isn’t about who can raise the most money, however, who can galvanize the people of this district to once again speak, vote and distinguish for themselves, who truthfully represents their values. We’ve been told that “they” are coming to take their country/state back, but I continue to ask, take it back from whom?

What will the “taking” look like? Well, you’ll have to start with Voting Rights, then work your way down to Equality measures for those unaffected by the suppressive rights imposed. Then you’ll head on over to those you simply refuse to count, our growing Hispanic and Latino populations that span from Savannah, Georgia all the way up to Marietta, Smyrna and Sandy Springs.

As soon as you think the republican party is done, they’ll continue to attack, albeit in vain, the healthcare reforms recently implemented that has insured millions, while pretending to ignore the fact that over 650,000 Georgians still remain uninsured from our Governor’s stubborn failure to expand the already paid for, already budgeted, not saving a knickle by rejecting Medicaid plan. Round all that off by ensuring everyone and anyone can take a gun to local churches, schools and parks., because somehow that’s going to improve “freedoms” in our state? Not hardly.

We launched this campaign to bring the voices of those citizens who were uninvited to the table, back to the conversation and that is precisely what I am going to do. We’ll make some mistakes along the way because we aren’t running the campaign of a career politician, but understand this, the people will prevail on November 4th when I am elected Georgia’s State Senator.

This effort is about undoing this GOP experiment which was made official through our recent gerrymandered district in 2012. That won’t matter in 2014 because the people have seen through this as nothing more than a power grab that many republicans don’t support. We head to the polls today to speak; we intend to speak loud choosing our representatives and those who will craft the next waive of legislation to lead this state. I thank you for your support. I am Antron Johnson and I am running for Georgia State Senate because I truly believe, “all men are created equal”.

We The People: by Antron Johnson

Chances are, when this awesome document was penned, you weren't one of "the People" is was intended for.  My campaign is about ensuring this document's desire and intent expresses your rights and way of life as well.

Chances are, when this awesome document was penned, you weren’t one of “the People” is was intended for. My campaign is about ensuring this document’s desire and intent expresses your rights and way of life as well.

Our State’s history has not been kind to our present in many aspects. Because it appears we have either forgotten or would much rather choose to forget, the Great State of Georgia is no longer approaching a fork but instead a cross road.

What we are facing, what is right in front of us will require much more than a slight right or left. Crossroads require us to be truthful not only about the journey ahead, but also the paths we’ve already trailblazed behind us. The challenges ahead are not new ones; we’ve seen them before. However, what once took literally one hundred years, will take less than a fraction of that this time around.

My campaign to become Georgia’s next State Senator has purposed me for the people of this Great State. But therein is where we find the problems with where republicans in this state, see their own ideologies pushing for the days that have long been removed, but from our memories.

Democrats and Republicans are not fighting an ideological war on the rights of the people, we are at odds over who precisely are “those people”. Nearly two years ago, I wrote an article, “What Is This America They Speak Of” and the question I had hoped to raise was when we speak of the American people, who are we talking about?  Is it those who laid down the tracks for the first railroads, those who performed as property owners or maybe those families who worked as sharecroppers.  There were two Americas and neither of them belonged to the Susan B. Anthony’s or the Sojourner Truth’s of yesterday.

imageThe United States Constitution has long led the way for our nation and its trajectory. I am grateful to live in a land where the rights of its people are protected, valued and defended. However, that’s just one half of that story. The other half is where we find ourselves fighting today. (1) Who are the People? Whereas we developed rights first, we, as a nation, never felt the need to identify who “the people” were because to our founders, it was already understood.

They began with We The People…, but many more occupied this State and this land than those considered to be people at all. Great effort was actually taken to single out those who would not be considered at the federal level as well as at the state and local levels.

Take for example, “That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society…, (enter state of society, meaning excluding slaves). Well who were the slaves? Were they not people? What about the Native Americans?…Were they not people? Well, not people represented by this government. This quote was found in the very first paragraph of the Virginia Declaration of Rights 1776 and became the foundational framework for the Constitution.

The greatness of our nation to evolve sometimes gently and other times by the force and will of the people has made us who we are. (2) Am I a person via legislation or by my human right? Is my personhood because you have proclaimed it to be so or am I endowed by my Creator?  Any reference to a “person” in the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution or the Declaration of Independence was never referring to me the day it was written and for over a century.  We live to perfect these truths.

We work to improve equality in pay, the right to vote for all citizens, a women’s right to choose as well as a person’s right to love whom they choose.  As we approach the Primary Election period later this month, I hope many of you remember and therefore value the accomplishments of inclusion that has only made this Great State what it is today.

Stand up and fight for the rights of all people, not just the days when life appeared simpler for you. It was during those days, that others were victimized for the way they looked, where they were from or who they loved. How ironic, although we have blazed ahead, many more of our people are still fighting these battles.

Cast your votes for those who are committed to moving this State and this nation forward by ensuring the rights of all people. Many stand and tout the works of the founding fathers, but it was our nation’s first President, George Washington who said in his Letter of Transmittal to the Congress, “It is obviously impractical in the federal government of these states, to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all: “Individuals entering into society) ( <– here’s that quote again, taken straight from the VA Declaration of Rights), must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest.

The key is that last sentence, “must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest…”; even they understood, we all would be required to “give up something”. If we remain truthful in that regard, the concern many have is, giving up something for those whom you feel are unworthy of your sacrifice. Let me say, there is no legistlation or law for such worries.

If we are to begin legislating as many around the country would have us do, we then, as a State, and as a nation, will once again plunge ourselves head first into what we have all struggled to climb out of since the late 1700′s. Today, “We the people” means, us all. This government “Of, by and for the people” relates to how we work and activate our ideologies for the sake of the whole.

This isn’t about taking our country back, but instead about moving this country forward. For any public official to even engage in that type of laced hatred in not only insensitive to the people of this state and this great land, but also disrespectful to the law of this land.

I am running the “People’s Campaign” because I want my actions to serve as a milemarker for the distances we have come as a community as well as a landmark for the place we will afford ourselves to look back at. Giving women the right to choose what is important for their own bodies, strengthening the rights for Voting and making the effort to ensure accessibility after so many “sacrificed” for that rest of us.

You can’t possibly read the Constitution now without seeing the rights of the many who were infringed upon without regard.  We can’t return to that.  Those founders are not bad, just not informed.  That’s no longer our excuse today.  We know children need health care, we know we can’t legislate through hate.  For those who intend to maintain the status quo, I am Antron Johnson and I am going to be your next Georgia State Senator because “We The People” matter. That’s my story and um sticking to it.

Antron Johnson (D)
Georgia State Senate #6
Antron@AntronGASenate.com
(404)-647-0018

The Obama Rule: Expanding Politics

A few years ago, I performed a research effort to look deeper into the election of Barack Obama for the purpose of sharing with other political junkies via Wikipedia. My goal was to break down the strategy of the most unlikely candidate on the face of the planet and define the winning strategy utilized.

Following that research, America received yet another opportunity to see what we all missed the first time around in 2007 when he first sought the presidency. In 2012, we once again saw the political process turn on everything it thought it knew. This was not just another re-election, its what I later named the Obama Rule.

While the State Senate campaign we are currently bringing forth is entirely a different race than that of anyone looking to be President of the United States, however, the Obama Rule has changed how we all view campaigning and getting out the vote efforts.

To expand the electoral college map with the use of several tactics such as increased partisan voters registrations that could shift the outcome of an election; the use of micro-targeting voters that elevates the individual and what is likely to concern them socially and campaign in that area on those issues to win their vote; or divide the household vote into two separate votes if one does not support your candidacy allowing one to cancel out the other is defined as The Obama Rule. This edict has been the most effective tool in the decolorization of the electoral college map in the twenty-first century.

When Barack Obama came to the national scene in the 2004 Democratic National Convention at the invitation of then Presidential nominee, the United States Senator from Massachusetts, John Kerry. Barack Obama, then, the State Senator, United States Senate Candidate and future President (2008-Present) from Illinois launched into his keynote speech rejecting the divisions of America by ideology, race and those states which tilt Democrat (Blue), Republican (Red) or one with more Independent political views (Purple). The message of inclusion encouraged everyone to get involved in the unification of American values by getting neighborhoods, towns and cities as well as states to work together.

During his Illinois Senate race, Obama ran unopposed and with the successful delivery at the DNC, Obama went on to become the Senator from Illinois easily. After Senator Kerry was defeated by George W. Bush in 2004 for the presidency, Obama made the short list of possible presidential candidates for the 2008 election cycle. For what was expected to go handily to then New York Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton, former First Lady of 42nd President of the United States and former Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination would turnout to be the longest primary battle between Senator Clinton, who was once considered to be the inevitable candidate and Senator Barack Obama.

By empowering grass-root supporters to build a network of even more groups in support of his candidacy, Barack Obama was able to form the largest community organization which went on to become known as Organizing for America, the eventual home base of the technological war room.

U.S. Barack Obama announced his candidacy at the Illinois State Capital.

U.S. Barack Obama announced his candidacy at the Illinois State Capital.

His campaign provided blank meeting forms, campaign letterhead and other official campaign documentation for any supporter to print off from their own personal home computers with the hopes creating thousands of cell groups working in tandem with the campaign. The Obama 2008 campaign brought everyday supporters in on conference calls to equip them with weekly strategy and talking points.  In months, Barack Obama had built a powerful network of locals in every community around the nation.

Where Senator Clinton had built her campaign with larger corporate sponsors and donors, as it was the custom for political campaigns to do, Barack Obama was able to expand the number of his donor base by only asking them all to donate $5 or $10. Because more donors were able to contribute smaller amounts, more Americans were likely willing to give to his efforts than those able to donate the maximum $2,500 FEC contribution.

By expanding the donor base, Barack Obama was then able to expand the number of states he would be able to campaign in as well as purchase advertising space in more competitive areas than Clinton. This “expansion” was the birth of The Obama Rule. By expanding the 2008 Primary map, it stretched Senator Clinton’s campaign too thin exposing the internal vulnerabilities of her strategy sending her campaign into a panicked over-drive.

The Obama Rule, equipped with technology, digitally linking supporters with local contacts in their neighborhoods and all tied into a database of registered and likely voters would ultimately bring down the infamous Clinton Machine, Senator Clinton’s vast support, contacts and financial donors, as it was fondly known and Barack Obama would go on to win the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination.

The operation, overseen from the Obama Campaign Headquarters in Chicago, Illinois would be re-tooled and reintroduced in the 2008 general election against Republican Presidential Nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona and his Vice Presidential running mate, Sarah Palin the Governor of Alaska. Social networks for the first time were utilized to keep supporters advised of all made by the campaign, further empowering supporters through inclusion.

Hillary Clinton, right before her "glass ceiling" speech following a brutal primary campaign in 2007.

Hillary Clinton, right before her “glass ceiling” speech following a brutal primary campaign in 2007.

Although Barack Obama, the candidate, became a media phenom, political junkies, college students and political analysts observed how the electoral map began to shift registered voters to likely voters in states historically unkind to national democratic candidates, i.e. North Carolina, Colorado, Virginia, Wisconsin, Indiana, Pennsylvania. Although Former Governor Of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney was the first candidate in the country to use micro-targeting a decade earlier, it was Barack Obama who perfected it by micro-targeting newly registered voters through his voter registration outreaches that would help tilt the “color” of the state his direction.

The Obama Rule, when enforced effectively, forces opponents to defend once thought safeguards and multiple strongholds while simultaneously attempting to make gains in other battlegrounds states and hold off the onslaught of heavy ground movement driven by social issues which drains the opponents campaign resources. At that time, the opponent is faced with choosing which attack to address, while conceding others.

For example, in the 2008 campaign, then Senator, Barack Obama used this edict to win the presidency by expanding the base of donors with small donations which built the grass root movement with self governed supporters, thereby expanding the reach of the campaign while also expanding the electoral map. Senator John McCain and the Republican National Committee were unable to run their own campaign as they had wanted because the expanded map forced them to respond and react as opposed to drive and be proactive.

2008 Republican Presidential ticket; Sen. John McCain (AZ) and Gov. Sarah Palin (AK)

2008 Republican Presidential ticket; Sen. John McCain (AZ) and Gov. Sarah Palin (AK)

John McCain, now faced with ground attacks from every direction on the map and used the bulk of his campaign cash on hand to respond leaving himself vulnerable in his own home state of Arizona. In order to force McCain to spend more money, Obama began to campaign in the Senator’s home state, hoping to woo the growing the Latino vote. Arizona once a stronghold for conservatives and convincingly in McCain’s corner began to lean and became a new battleground state.

Obama announced that the 2008 Democratic National Convention would be held in Colorado, and by doing so would expand the electoral map even further in his favor. The following states were targeted in 2008 using the Obama Rule to make all national politics local and increase the voter involvement in all demographics:

1 – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, *Florida and Nevada- Their growing Latino populations.
2 – Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio- Auto Industry and Manufacturing jobs.
3- Iowa, Florida, Indiana- Education, Economic issues, Independent Voters
4- Virginia, North Carolina- Military conflicts in the Middle East (Afghanistan/Iraq)
5- *Nevada- Economic (Home foreclosures, Unemployment)

The McCain campaigned failed to effectively balance the electoral map with concise policy proposals that were different from the previous republican administration. The Obama Rule requires the opponent to appear present and in control all over the electoral map simultaneously, but McCain had no technological infrastructure in place to effectively monitor the map in real time and manage the ground game to work in tandem with the campaign and political action committees.

imageIn the 2012 election, democrats once again utilized Organizing for America to launch an “information arms war” coupled with social networking resources available to nearly every voter with a smart phone. Through effective micro-targeting, democratic campaigns were able to reverse their projected political misfortunes and convert them into electoral victories. As the electorate has moved away from telephone landlines and political parties, instead, adopting political independence and technology with the use of the Internet, campaigns will be encouraged to utilize this resource of door to door classic campaigning specifically for the “desired” voter, establish a trust and follow-up.

What the Obama Rule has done to define the psychology of the division in the electorate cannot be understated. The nation will continue to be evenly divided on new terms. Formerly, party lines were drawn by ideology alone, today however, the nation’s demarcation line runs through the conservative’s ideology and the American voter’s issue of the day, represented by a more liberal party. Issues will continue to win out against ideology especially if that ideology is perceived to exclude any demographic.

What the Obama Rule did for his campaign will also now be blueprinted for other campaigns all over the country and to be quite honest, it was used in several elections all around the globe since 2008. What Obama did was to perform all the heavy lifting most campaigns had just became too lazy to do-Walk the neighborhoods, inform the voters and educate their fears.  By doing that, he empowered them to change their neighborhoods with just one vote; their own. That’s my story and um sticking to it.   

Antron D. Johnson (D)

Candidate, Georgia State Senate

Antron@AntronGASenate.com

 

The Real Politics of a Broken Education System

1965 - President Lyndon Johnson signs the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as a part of his War on Poverty.

1965 – President Lyndon Johnson signs the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as a part of his War on Poverty.

There’s no better way to fully explain the generational frustrations with our national education headaches without simply addressing the politics of its history. Just stay with me, I am certain this will open many eyes as to how we got where we are today. What’s important to note at the onset is, our nation’s battle for the last fifty years didn’t begin with education, in fact it began with poverty; President Lyndon Johnson’s War On Poverty.

PRESIDENT LYNDON B. JOHNSON:

In 1965, President Johnson presented Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to address the inbalance of poor performing schools and the ever widening student achievement gaps between those students in higher income areas against those in lower income areas. Johnson believed that in order to prepare the next generations for college and the labor force, the country would need to make the necessary investments in education.

The ESEA in today’s political environment would never pass, and I’ll provide proof of that shortly because it would be perceived as an entitlement to lower income families and would require new taxes or stimulus to support the national equity for all students, which was precisely what the law was intended to do. Johnson believed that the country could not afford to continue leaving children behind.

President Johnson’s legislation required reauthorization every five years to ensure the programs were remaining effective, continued to meet the states’ initiatives and standards as well as continued to improve over time. So keep in mind, every five years…each president, each new congress would be able to take a swipe at their vision for what this ESEA legislation should look like. In most cases, the politics of education drove the arguments that would either be put in place to strengthen or weaken the reauthorization of the law.

PRESIDENT(S) RICHARD NIXON / GERALD FORD:

Richard Nixon, reigned from Office under impeachment before he could sign the reauthorization bill. However, President Gerald Ford, who as one of his first official acts in the presidency, signed the reauthorization but not much else was done.

President Jimmy Carter who thought, an entire shakeup would be needed so what was once the Department of Health, Education and Welfare was broken up and he created in 1979, the Department of Education as a Cabinet level Secretary position, leaving the rest to become the Department of Health and Human Services. Carter thought in order to best address the needs of the overall deliverables of educational programs, they would need to be brought out front and center.

“Interestingly enough, State Sen. Jason Carter of Georgia, former President Carter’s grandson, who will be elected as the next Governor of Georgia later this year, recently proposed a resolution similar to that effort when he suggested the state’s education budget be voted on separately from the full budget presented each year by the State Congress. This, I believe will no longer permit the legislature to hide the cuts they continuously make to our state’s education initiatives.

PRESIDENT(S) JIMMY CARTER / RONALD REAGAN

President Carter created the Department of Education and brought a representative, the new Presidential Cabinet Secretary to executive levels, while President Bill Clinton signed into law his version of the ESEA through reauthorization.

President Carter created the Department of Education and brought a representative, the new Presidential Cabinet Secretary to executive levels, while President Bill Clinton signed into law his version of the ESEA through reauthorization.

What Carter did was to make the nation rethink Education in a whole different light. Reauthorization after reauthorization, much of it all remained the same. Ronald Reagan came along with his Education Consolidation and Improvement Act (ECIA). Reagan represented what conservatives then and now wanted most; to reduce some of the federal regulations on Title 1 funding as well as how the states were allocated and ultimately disbursed their federal funds. This was designed to increase the achievement levels of students in schools performing more poorly than students who tested at higher levels, more often from families with higher incomes. Title 1 was not just intended for urban-inner city areas, but also rural schools on the outskirts of major growing cities.  However, the only thing Reagan’s ECIA actually accomplished was a simply name change from Title 1 to Chapter 1 and yes, it reduced the regulations necessary for states and schools to obtain much of that federal funding.

PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH:

In ’88, kind of came and went with his own reauthorization but little to no fan fare on the educational front. No one truly expected him to move away from the Reagan plan. President Bill Clinton however, introduced Improving America’s Schools in 1994 . In his reauthorization, Clinton added some Technology and Bilingual education aid as well as some funding for Charter Schools, a major conservative talking point even to date.

Whats important to remind ourselves of here is, all of these efforts were designed to improve and provide and equally applied standard and access to education for all students.  This notion that President Obama has ripped education rights from states and parents is simply false.  Each president and legislature has a responsibility to update as needed every five years.

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON

Clinton, a democrat with a republican congress led then by Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich (R) of Georgia became one of the most notable “reauthorizations” since the original law had been established some thirty years earlier at that time. The only other major ESEA reauthorization came only six years after Clinton, by newly elected:

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:

President George W. Bush signed "No Child Left Behind", his reauthorized version of Johnson's 1965 bill. Standing next to him, Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R), who consistently blocked Obama's ability to fix the law he watched Bush sign.

President George W. Bush signed “No Child Left Behind”, his reauthorized version of Johnson’s 1965 bill. Standing next to him, Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R), who consistently blocked Obama’s ability to fix the law he watched Bush sign.

Bush’s infamous No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) in 2001 set out to return many of Lyndon Johnson’s original focus points, but there was just one thing Johnson never wanted and that was a “universal measurement”. Johnson wanted to level the field, but Bush believed that there was no way to ever know if that field was leveled or not unless you put tools in place.

Bush’s tools would work to narrow the achievement gaps between the higher income and lower income students. Studies continue to show that as school poverty decreases, student achievement continues to deteriorate.

The problem with Bush’s NCLB was that the tools or money that was needed to fully implement the legislation never showed up. Conservatives, even then Republican Congressman John Boehner (R) who is the current Speaker of the House, applauded the law, but championed the fact that no money would go to support it beyond what was allocated through tax cuts.

Generally, republicans have supported the idea of simply writing the federal education check and mailing it to the State’s Governors because ultimately they believe the state’s should decide how those funds are best spent. However, Bush went further because he demanded schools perform at higher rates or lose the federal funding it received for each child which caused many schools around the country to close their doors.

Those closures forced some of the over-crowding in already hard hit areas, many throughout Atlanta and the metropolitan areas, but if you check your own states, you’ll find this is not unique to Georgia. Additionally, Teachers were now burdened under the law to what has been called teaching the test. The downside to that, the loss of that customed approach most life long teachers had once enjoyed.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

Finally, President Obama while running for Office laid out his views for changing Bush’s NCLB law through his own reauthorization plan while in office. Much of the changes Obama wanted had more to do with keeping many of the parts to the existing law, but add the dollars that Bush had promised and his republican cohorts refused to allocate.

**Since 1965, each president who held the Office practiced the traditions of reauthorizing President Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act on schedule, every 5 years, however the political climate had changed so much-so fast immediately following the inauguration Obama in 2008, nothing could make it through the Congress to the Oval’s desk.

President Barack Obama used Executive Orders to move his Education Agenda since a volatile GOP House continuously blocked his "reauthorization" of the ESEA that every POTUS before him since 1965 performed without question.

President Barack Obama used Executive Orders to move his Education Agenda since a volatile GOP House continuously blocked his “reauthorization” of the ESEA that every POTUS before him since 1965 performed without question.

To date, there has been no reauthorization of the ESEA by President Obama. In 2010, with his Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan standing by, Obama introduced his version of his reforms called Common Core. Basically, the same principle, but one that he could sign by Executive Order. But because Obama doesn’t see the possibility of any ESEA reauthorization passing the House of Representatives, he has to continue to work around them in order to move his own agenda.

So when you hear republicans say, the common core concepts have never been voted on by Congress or made it to any Committee, they are right. However, what is just absolutely awful is, they will never tell you that Mr. Obama had no choice because of the overwhelming amount of gridlock in Washington that they themselves helped to instigate.

Secretary Duncan has always said, their first hope, their Plan A was just to reauthorize the law as all others before them with reforms. However when that became impossible to do, they [Obama's White House] had to use Plan B; financial waivers which were awarded to the states who chose to opt out of Bush’s NCLB law by 2010.

The Governor’s of 44 states took those financial waivers as a way to prepare their states for the eventual rollout of Common Core, Obama’s version of Johnson’s ESEA law by 2014. Those Governor’s saw Obama’s policy update as the best option put forward at the time. So there is no surprise that now, on the cusp of national midterm elections and control of state legislatures, conservatives would now use Common Core against Obama as if we have never had problems with standardizing our national education programs.

I’ve gone on the record before so I’ll do it again with regard to Obama’s Common Core. Does it have problems, absolutely. Can it be improved, you better believe it, however, we have been improving education since President Johnson began his fight against poverty and this too will require further improvement.

Primarily, Common Core’s sticky points derive from “new generation assessments”, as identified by Secretary Duncan himself. Today, fifty years later, President Obama is still addressing the needs of our federal education system to best deal with, you guessed it, our very own War on Poverty that conservatives appear poised to unravel at every turn.

POTENTIAL CLINTON PRESIDENCY?

Our national issues on Education drive the state issues we currently have because those state dollars are sent from the federal government. My personal concern with legislation like the ESEA of 1965 is that it is going to continue to morph into yet another reauthorization in the next five years. If not the ESEA, what will Obama’s Common Core look like in the next Clinton Administration (@ReadyForHillary)? It’s impossible to know the answer to those questions because that’s going to depend entirely on the next few U.S. Congress’.

As we now discuss the paths Education would take in the state of Georgia and along this campaign moving forward, what we are fighting for is a better way to use the those federal funds for education. As we have this fight, I want you all to be more informed about the origin of the problems we are enduring and are laboring to get right…once again.

Each political party over time has played a role, but what we can no longer do is game the system for additional jockeying manuevers for who has the best plan while our children suffer with current benchmarks in place. We have to get it right with Common Core or work toward a more feasible plan for Georgia. That’s my story and um sticking to it.

Antron D. Johnson (D)
Candidate, Georgia State Senate
District 6
Antron@AntronGASenate.com

The Living Wage vs. The Minimum Wage: Know The Difference

I support Living Wage Increases. Minimum wage increases won't help you, see why...

I support Living Wage Increases. Minimum wage increases won’t help you, see why…

One of this years initiatives, especially one that I am getting behind in my own State Senate campaign is that of Income Inequality. Now, most simply view this as a minimum wage increase and I believe that to be simply incorrect because there is so much more to be gained. Although I intend to get into the trenches for a minimum wage increase, overall, my goal is to:

1. See the increase as a Living Wage not the Minimum wage. That’s important because under the current system, millions will remain dependent upon their local and federal government systems for many of their most basic needs, food, child care, and in many cases shelter.

You should know that the minimum wage is not the same as the living wage. Minimums are determined by law and will absolutely never meet the basic needs of the receiver. It’s just not possible. So what we are fighting for right now is to move the minimums that we already know do not and will never meet the basic needs of our people.

Minimums differ starkly from Living wage increases because those resources actually will meet the basic needs of the receiver. Here is the best reason for this debate. Raising the wage from the previously legislated minimum to the revised living returns the systems to operating back within budgets simply because fewer Georgians as well as Americans in other states will need less from the government.

These programs weren’t designed to introduce a new class of poverty and although they are extremely helpful to the millions who count on them, I strongly believe Americans would rather not depend on the government for food. So what do we do? Give Georgians the opportunity to make restoring their freedoms not only possible or feasible, but more importantly, sustainable over the long term.

2. Decrease the overall budgets that are currently exploding as these programs require more and more resources. No one likes big government until they need it. You don’t want a large Department of Defense until we have to face an advancing foreign threat. We don’t like regulations until we realize that due to the lack of them, our economic and financial systems are about to go over the cliff as we saw in 2008.

I am of the mind that, once we increase the Living Wage in Georgia and across the nation, less dependence will fall upon what we currently have in place. The truth is, we all enjoy the benefits of a stronger more financially stable America, however, because the need for these safety nets had increased greatly after the 2008 financial melt down, to date, they remain strained.

Not since the Great Depression has so many relied upon a national support system. Let’s make this point certain, I believe we must maintain these programs, SNAP, TANF and all of the rest that serve as a safety net to all of America, however, the current dependence is not sustainable and without changes in the area wages for hard working Georgians, relief will not be seen.

Republicans “say” they want to reduce what they call “entitlement spending“, those are costs associated with funding social programs like unemployment insurance, the SNAP food program, healthcare, Medicaid and Medicare, but what I am saying is raising the living wage will definitely do that. Republicans also “say” they want shrink the number of Americans on many of these programs, as do I, however, one sure way to do that, is increase the Living Wage. But the one thing republicans are against other than the Affordable Care Act, is living wage increases. Just doesn’t make sense.

3. Another goal that I believe is attainable through an increase of the Living Wage is to help Americans once again feel good about being less dependent on the government. Many of them were your professionals and small business owners, your consultants and engineers of four, five and six years ago back when Occupy Wall Street and the 99% were battle cries for those most affected, yet they saw financial institutions get golden parachutes at their expense.

Although it just sounds like minimum wage earners want more money, I believe they instead want independence from dependence. It becomes a bit tricky for most of them considering they already receive some form of assistance that is determined by their income and that will surely change to some degree when a new living wage is implemented. They know that and they accept that alternative.

Living Wage increases answers the GOP concerns, yet they still are not interested.  I don't think many of them even know the difference between Minimums vs. Living Wages.

Living Wage increases answers the GOP concerns, yet they still are not interested. I don’t think many of them even know the difference between Minimums vs. Living Wages.

Conventional wisdom would have you to think that ObamaCare was made to provide free healthcare to those with lower incomes and living in poverty. That, however is completely not true. The Affordable Care Act was designed to assist those who are considered the “working poor”, to enjoy more options when managing their healthcare costs for themselves and their families due to the escalating costs. If truth would be told by Republicans, most of the poor, don’t receive any tax subsidies to help pay for their coverage. With that said, those earning a minimum wage, must still be required to pay for their own medical coverage. If members of the GOP actually wanted the ACA law to actually work and not fail due to the lack of signups, they’d consider making more Americans eligible by increasing their wages. But since we know they want want the healthcare law to succeed, they’ve decided to do neither: (a) don’t expand Medicaid and (b) don’t raise living wages.

The only way around that, is each state would have to expand the Medicaid option which would directly benefit those living in real poverty. Raising the Living Wage would significantly ease that burden. It would either make them immediately eligible to receive tax subsidies that everyone else currently qualifies for and/or reduce the number of people who would need that expansion of Medicaid. More money in their pockets means less red tape in our federal and state budgets.

By permitting the increase, we address a plethora of other house-keeping matters all at the same time. Republicans now have the daunting task of walking back many of their previous statements in order to make the tough sell to their constituencies. Can they, sure, but will they, the jury is still out. That’s my story and um sticking to it.

Antron D. Johnson (D)
Candidate, Georgia State Senate
Antron@AntronGASenate.com

Atlanta Among The Top 10 Growing Metropolitan Cities

Atlanta Among The Top 10 Growing Metropolitan Cities

To many, they may only see the fact that Atlanta sitting among the top growth metropolitan areas as a sign of an economic strength, muscling its way through the economic downturn as a symbol of a re-emerging city. All of that is true, but not for the reasons you might believe. You’ll hear the spin machines in municipalities and counties all across the country talking up their business creation and incentives to lure large companies and new kids on the block to spur job growth, but the truth is, much of that is an after thought.

Politicians often state how small businesses are the engine of America’s growth, but what we see with recent studies is that, the people of this country are truly driving the economic shifts in our state and local growth. After the financial decline in 2007 and ultimately hitting rock bottom across the nation in ’09, Americans were faced with making the tough decisions on their own once they realized that only the financial markets would be saved.

Companies shuttered, jobs evaporating, suburban families were forced find their way back among larger numbers of the populous. Families that had once a decade earlier moved away from their cities urban core, the downtowns and the inner cities pushed outward, creating much of what we call the “urban sprawl” with box stores in every new neighborhood. You’ve seen them, the Bed, Bath and Beyonds, the Ross/Marshall’s and Home Depots.

In search of a better standard of living, those Americans chose to commute into the very cities they vacated understanding the new-normal challenges they faced. 2009 however revealed many of those challenges were now liabilities they could no longer afford. Two family incomes now became one with extensive layoff and downsizing while strong single family incomes dwindled to the new class of the under-employed; those individuals well over qualified to fill the available jobs they once ignored.

Atlanta and the other nine cities that made the list are swelling with population growth, but much of this is not new growth. We politicians are known for gerrymandering districts to increase our governing majorities every ten years or so, depending on your state’s legislature, but it appears, the American people have also begun their own shifting as well.

While the republicans redrew their Senate and Congressional Districts in the State of Georgia prior to the 2012 election to shore up their majorities as well as create a super-controlling majority, families in our suburbs and many of the rural areas of the surrounding metropolitan areas of Atlanta were moving intown.

Atlanta City Mayor, Kasim Reed (D) re-elected in 2013 with renewed confidence City's management.

Atlanta City Mayor, Kasim Reed (D) re-elected in 2013 with renewed confidence in the city’s forward management.

This is a classic disconnect of where our political parties have missed the boat. Democrats wrongly through their hands up in disgust in several congressional districts after reading the tea leaves of old campaigns, surrendering several districts to the republicans by not finding challengers for republican incumbents. I have to say as Democrats, we blame our numbers on redistricting by the republicans but don’t look at how to effectively challenge in those new districts. Regardless of that, the population shift from those suburban families relocating will still benefit democrats over time.

I support the parties’ “red to blue” efforts, however, my campaign for the Georgia State Senate is because I understand as Barack Obama did in 2004 (VIDEO), purple must come before blue-you just can’t get there from red without purple. The shifting of populations back to the metropolitan cities is a clear indication of an approaching shift in our nations political systems and the conservatives are absolutely afraid of that.

How do we know that? Take a look at your own cities politics. They all are seeing the same types of legislation to push back on the so-called liberal agenda. But what precisely is that agenda? Increases in the minimum wage, education reforms, voting rights and family equality? This is entirely for the changes you are making to your home address.

However, here is the problem with that calculation. This population shift is happening much faster than those legislatures can “gerrymander” those congressional districts. As for the state of Georgia and the leading metropolitan areas of our state, the Hispanic/Latino communities are growing faster than the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) can report. Hence, the GOP and outside conservative groups are working to influence the political system to prevent real immigration reforms.

This growth, represents the only real net-gains in population growth these metropolitan cities have, so deny legislation to positively support this new growth would appear to be a no brainer, yet instead of taking a proactive approach, republicans in our state Congress as well as those leading the national agenda are instead retreating further to their side of the electoral gulf.

We have great Atlanta Mayor in Kasim Reed (D) as demonstrated by his management of the growth swell. His forward thinking resonated with the voters last November when he cruised to re-election but more importantly, the cities’ growth represented a confidence that you will begin to see in not only our state’s legisture but in other states around the nation.

Growth is often viewed as a positive resource for legislation, however, thats only when that legislation and governance is viewed positively by those it was meant to govern. Republicans are standing on the wrong side in part because they are only focused on winning the geographical district while they lose the demograpical district. For long, the geographics won’t matter much without the people. Ask those who represented now vacant areas of Detroit. That’s my story and um sticking to it.

Antron D. Johnson (D)
Candidate, Georgia State Senate
District 6
antron@AntronGASenate.com

The Political Sea Change

President Obama and NJ Gov Christie meeting families who suffered from "Sandy".  The GOP showed just how much they disliked this show of solidarity.

President Obama and NJ Gov Christie meeting families who suffered from “Sandy”. The GOP showed just how much they disliked this show of solidarity.

Politics, for all practical purposes, took a turn in 2007. And looking back, half the nation generally agrees with me in part, besides, it was them who elected and then re-elected the architect of the seismic transformation. Barack Obama did to the Democratic National party what the state parties have since struggled with; so poorly in purple and red states that you’d almost think he was elected President of another party.

As the 44th President, he would oversee an erosion in the political process with roots to a new normal.  GOP threats to shutdown the government, credit downgrades, and actual shutdown of the government for 17 days not to mention an extinction of the moderate conservative. We’ve seen the GOP shut down their own core principles and evolve into a hammer of their own making. A tool by which they have preferred to damage their own party and the nation’s economy with repeated divisive blows whereas a single shot to the foot could be more desirable.

The Tea Party’s disdain for the GOP’s Bush rubber stamp on increased spending, the wars and the rumors of them, the continued occupations, bailouts and the failure to hold the line on what they believed to be true conservatism sparked a birth of epic proportion that has pushed the Republican Party further to the right, much more right than its own members can even stomach on most votes.

This was never about the democrats.  The Tea Party found its wedge issues, what they believe to be their core identity.  We don’t have to like it, yet they have been effective at disrupting not only a progressive agenda, but any agenda.  Obama has overseen a change, but not one history would care to be kind towards.

Fortunately he is a young man who has a much longer life post-presidency to further shape and color his time in the Oval without the bitter rancor of those who might oppose. Republican leaders don’t want to see the benefits of his time in office in part because they focus primarily on the people and not the policy.

As a former republican, the party left me; I didn’t leave it. This election cycle alone, 12 House Republicans who are known to be moderates and who worked hard to get deals done found it impossible to work with their members. If the people you work with prevent a deal that is possible from ever getting done, and you are a deal maker…there is no room for you either.

Even former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates said recently that what has “bothered” him most was that “all the moderates have quit” [Congress]. Secretary Gates was asked by President Obama to stay on in the same job and he remained for the entire first term. So when he says he was bothered that there is no longer room at the table for reasoning, I believe him.

Georgia Governor, Nathan Deal (R) who is currently lagging behind in the polls to Democratic Candidate, and former State Senator, Jason Carter

Georgia Governor, Nathan Deal (R) who is currently lagging behind in the polls to Democratic Candidate, and former State Senator, Jason Carter

Democrats are not exempt. As I run this campaign for Georgia State Senate, I too see where we as a party, have allowed the tactics of the GOP to intimidate our efforts to speak for the people we shop with, go to sporting events with, attend church each sunday with and so on. We’ve been forced to recruit the big names at the top of the ballot with the hopes that they’ll drive traffic and more votes down ballot on Election Day instead of cultivating ideas and a winnable strategy. Thank heavens, Jason Carter, the former State Senator and our current nominee for Governor, is actually the best man on the ballot this year or we’d be in serious trouble.  I know he will represent the same kind of political shift in the State of Georgia that Obama did in his first run.

We’ve got a lot of work to do, and I want to serve with Jason to get it done. Intimidated by the GOP’s redistricting, which for those who don’t know what that is, whichever party is in the majority at the time, usually every 5 or 10 years, you get to move the congressional district lines any place you like.

The purpose of that is to muscle out your opposition or make it difficult for that individual to win because you’ve moved the lines to exclude his or her likely voters. Obama’s first contribution to the electoral map was his dominance of portions of that map that he never should have won or even come close in. His first change will always be known to be how the infamous “battleground states”, long known to be absolutely necessary for reaching the required 270 electoral votes for victory, were different than they were before.

The nation readies itself for the second coming of HIllary

The nation readies itself for the second coming of HIllary

He has shown Hillary Clinton, how to win. He has laid out the new rules that say, instead of getting ready for the country, let them get ready for you. What this party has to do however is don’t just get ready for her, but make her job effective by not walking away from the tough State races where legislation at the state level drives the nation. What we cannot afford to do is put another outstanding President in The White House but then walk away from our own duties. Focusing on the people in our districts, in our states and the needs they have, to be believe and support their elected leaders is the only way we can be effective for them.

I am one the biggest supporters of the Ready For Hillary movement, yet we have to be careful that we don’t concede this president to the opposition who would have nothing better to enjoy but to watch his demise. The politics has changed and we have to change with it. There is no race to small for moving the state to purple. You can never get to blue, until strategize toward purple.

Barack Obama has allowed us to see that Red is not forever Red and Purple is not eternally such. The people of the 6th deserve a knock at the door and I will do it. They deserve a conversation and a seat at the table so this battle is not my own, but ours.

This is not about money alone, but also the need to find a place of reason. Not just in my race, but statewide as well as across the nation. It is now okay to talk about giving those who have worked hard in the country, who have contributed to its greatness, an opportunity to become a part of it officially.

There’s no reason why we can’t find a way to get this done. How can we enforce the laws that are already on the books with regard to ensuring no endangerment of everyone’s right to vote freely and with ease. How can we provide the opportunity for those who work hard to enjoy a fair wage to live on? Surely, we can phase this in without causing pain to the small business owner.  In the balance we hope to apply to the process, let us also find equality.

Most certainly, my opponent should desire my son who was born with special needs, an opportunity to have insurance coverage for his care, and not grant insurance companies a way out.  Standing with Governor Deal to not expand Medicaid is not where the people of the state of Georgia are.

Georgians like me never wanted insurance for free, we just wanted you to be forced to sell it to me. That’s equality.  Change has come a great distance, but we are not there yet.  Nationally, we project a confidence as a party of the people, but wont knock on a neighbor’s door in a School Board race. We can’t fight from the corners. Let’s get engaged in the process. That’s my story and um sticking to it.

Antron Johnson

Georgia State Senate

AntronGASenate.com

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