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Cracker Squire


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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Rep. Sims, Part III. -- If game sometimes runs against us, we must have patience till luck turns, for this is a game where principles are at stake.

Today Jim Wooten's column in the ajc is entitled: "Republicans' numbers too big to ignore." It begins:

"The exodus of rural Georgia conservative Democrats started on Monday, even before their caucus met to elect new leaders.

"'If you are in the minority and are from rural Georgia, you are not going to have much say in the legislative process,' said state Rep. Chuck Sims of Douglas, who was elected as a Democrat to his fifth term last Tuesday.

"On Monday, he joined the new Republican majority in the Georgia House of Representatives. 'You are not in the game if you are in a minority party, and rural Georgia can't afford that,' he repeated.

"State Rep. Hinson Mosley of Jesup, who won by less than 1 percentage point last Tuesday, also switched parties Monday afternoon, giving Republicans 98 of the 180 members. They began the session this year with 71.

"Before state Rep. Glenn Richardson (R-Dallas) is sworn in as the next speaker of the House in January, the Democratic exodus is likely to grow substantially."

Mr. Wooten column concludes:

"State Rep. DuBose Porter of Dublin, who hopes to become minority leader in the new House, delivered a pep talk. 'We lost the majority; let's learn from it and move on,' he said."

Since my first post on Rep. Chuck Sims' switch to the GOP, I have had many emails fussing about Rep. Sims, some using the words "treachery," etc. Another line of emails has the theme reflected in the following email:

"Does the Democratic Party have any recourse for the amount of money it mayhave put into his campaign, and if not, why can't candidates be required to sign a form requiring them to return all campaign contributions should theychange parties after getting elected as a Democrat? Why can't they be sued for something like 'false advertising'?"

My take on the foregoing idea. In Douglas and Coffee County we have been very blessed by being very successful in recruiting large industrial and business prospects. For example, Coates & Clark, Wal-Mart Distribution Center, TRW, PCC Airfoils, Inc., Inter-Metro, Tecumseh, etc.

Most are still here; a few have left. When they leave, many ask if "they" will have to pay back any of the incentives that helped attrack them here other than just coming to God's country, something now known in the industry as clawback provisions.

The reality of the situation -- in my opinion -- is that if, while we are competing against another location, we bring this up, we put ourselves at a competitive disadvantage. Regardless, to date we have not used such, but are in the process of considering them with one particular prospect.

If we think the industry is not going to be long-term and as committed to our community as we are to the industry, we don't want it.

I have the same feeling about asking a candidate to sign such a loyalty oath and clawback provision, realizing this email was written out of frustration rather than as a serious proposal (in truth, it probably was intended to be as serious as a heart attack, especially on the refund part, something that Denise Majette felt compelled to do to some who gave to her House re-election when she was considering abandoning her District for a run at the U.S. Senate).

If we don't have the right feeling toward a candidate, don't we have the wrong candidate, and maybe should consider cutting our losses on the front end.

The best thing on the web today touching the topic of switching comes from the Chatham Democrats website:

From the Father of Our Party

A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt. If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake.

Thomas Jefferson, 1798 (upon the passage of the Sedition Act)


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