17 April 2014

My Take on GA CD 10

The 10th Congressional race has been slowly heating up here lately, although there really isn't a ton to report at this time except for fundraising. Speaking of which, Jon Richards over at Peach Pundit did a nice little write-up detailing everybody's 1st quarter's haul and a basic synopsis of where things stand. It's a pretty good read...

I'm pretty much in agreement with a lot of what he says in this article. To me, at this time, there are two defined front-runners, one right behind them, a possible dark horse, and then the rest of the field. Let's take a look:

  • Front-runners

    • Mike Collins - The son of Mac Collins, the well-known and well-liked former Congressman from Georgia, Mike is a very likeable guy. He comes across as very real and genuine. A successful businessman, he is making that the focal point of his campaign - a business approach to dealing with things. His plan, as evidenced by his web address, is to "overhaul D.C.." Out in east Newton Co., near my neck of the woods, he has a lot of support, and as I understand it, he has a lot of grassroots and financial support throughout the entire district as well. I'd be pretty surprised if he doesn't make it past May 20th. And he currently has the most cash on hand of any candidate in this race. As an aside and in the spirit of disclosure, this is the guy I'm supporting in this race. Haven't donated or anything, and hell, I can't even vote for him as I'm west of the Alcovy, but this is who I like in this one.
    • Jody Hice - The smart money is on Jody being the other one to wake up on May 21st with a run-off campaign to work. Hice raised the most money in this year's first quarter, He, too, has a very strong grassroots structure. Hice is the more fiery TEA party type who is also a Preacherman. And he can whip 'em into a frenzy - he gives a very good stump speech. Mr. Hice, by the way, is also a very nice man. The thought that some have had is that perhaps he peaked too early, but some have said that of Collins as well. It definitely doesn't hurt that he's from the most populated county in the district in terms of GOP votes, Walton Co. We'll see...

  • Second Tier

    • Donna Sheldon - For a while, Sheldon was kind of an enigma. The word was that she had raised a lot of money but wasn't really spending much of it and wasn't really campaigning that much, either. Well, that has changed. She is now very much running a very active campaign. She's raised more money than anyone else, and she almost raised the most in the 1st quarter as well. She's a good speaker and seems to connect well with audiences. She's also a pretty good-looking lady, and that probably doesn't hurt with some voters. If someone is going to knock one of the top two off the perch, it will probably be this former state representative from Gwinnett

  • Dark Horse: 

    • Gary Gerrard - He hasn't raised a ton of money, but he hasn't done bad. He seems to have a pretty good campaign team and structure and has some decent grassroots support. Yes, he's a lawyer, but he seems like a good guy. He also seems to be smart as hell. For a time, I was thinking about publicly supporting Gary in this one. Chances are that he'll finish fourth behind the aforementioned three, but I wouldn't totally count him out. Some big donations and a few things go his way, and he could have a very outside shot at making the run-off. 

  • The Rest

    • Stephen Simpson - Super nice guy and well-qualified and has come a long way as a candidate since 2012, but he doesn't have much of a chance, I'm afraid. He might slip up and take 4th place, and that's about as well as he could wish for. 
    • Mitchell Swan - Late to the race. Not that it would have mattered.  He makes you think about some things. Very passionate and intelligent. No chance whatsoever.
    • Brian Slowinski - I can't lie. I kind of like ole Brian. Yeah, he's kind of an oddball, but he actually knows his stuff pretty darn good. Not sure exactly why he's running, though. The only drama with these last two is to see who doesn't finish last. Because he will be on the ballot before Swan, I'm picking the upset and going with Slowinski to finish 6th with about 3 to 4% of the vote.
So...that's my take on the 10th. 

***Update: My good friend, Jason Pye, has also weighed in on this race.

08 April 2014

The Law of Unintended Consequences: GOP Style

 *Cross-posted at United Liberty

Let's take a stroll down memory lane right quick. Back to the late Summer of 2012 to a little place called Tampa, FL and a little event known as the Republican National Convention.

As I reported back during this time, the GOP, for some unexplained and borderline-obsessive reason, was desperate to "maintain the narrative" that they were 100% united behind Mitt Romney. They thought it would be a good idea to completely re-write longstanding GOP rules and bylaws to keep Dr. Ron Paul from getting the guaranteed speaking slot that would come with his having captured the plurality of delegates in five states. So, led by Romney's lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, and the most awful Republican of all time, John Sununu, the GOP did just that - completely reworking and reshaping the entire power structure of the GOP.

As Rick Ungar mentioned in his column at Forbes.com yesterday, the main reason this was done was to put out that pesky Ron Paul fire and also to ensure a smooth process for Romney's reelection during the 2016 delegate process. Of course, there is one little problem there. Romney didn't win, so now the GOP is stuck with Rule 40 that now mandates that a candidate has to have a majority (rather that plurality) of delegates from eight (instead of five) states.

With the very crowed field that the GOP primary season will almost undoubtedly see, is there a real concern that we might get to the 2016 Convention without the ability to nominate a candidate? According to Ungar, that answer is a very possible yes. And also according to him, there is nothing that can be done about it until the RNC starts up the 2016 convention and who knows what the Rules Committee might look like. If it's made up of people all supporting different candidates, this thing has the ability to be a full blown mess.

So, the law of unintended consequences and the whole "be careful what you wish for - you just might get it" thing.

And one final recollection of mine from the day after the November election:

Looking back on it, it should have been obvious. The GOP had a death wish. It seemed as if they were, at every, single turn, making all of the WRONG decisions. On everything! Flipping the middle finger to all of the Ron Paul supporters wasn't one of their finer moments, for sure! With the polarized electorate we now have, you've got to be as inclusive as possible, not completely exclusive.

Has the GOP learned its lesson? I'm wanting to maintain some optimism at this point. It seems, from where I'm at, as if more and more long-serving and rank-and-file GOPers are getting on the Rand train. So maybe.  But what about the mid-terms this year? Can the GOP keep from snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?