My Voter Guide, pt 2: Georgia Attorney General

Sorry for the delay!  Here’s part 2.  But first, for those who haven’t seen the first guide here is a little basic info:

In this guide, you will find brief explanations of the offices and/or amendments up for grabs this election.  For each office, I have provided summaries of the candidates’ political positions, voting records, and histories.  After the summaries, you will find my pick for the office and my reasoning.  For ballot measures, you will find an explanation of the measure, along with my vote and reasoning.

Important things to know:

  1. YOU DON’T HAVE TO VOTE THE WAY I DO.  We may not have the same politics.  That’s okay.  You may not agree with my picks.  That’s okay too.  Just disregard my picks, and use the summary information to inform your own vote.
  2. You can take this guide with you when you vote.  Let this remind you of how you decided to vote so that you are not flustered when you get in the booth.  Alternatively, you can jot down your votes on a sample ballot or a sheet of paper to bring with you.
  3. Share with your people.  This is free info!  Make copies, pass them around, spread far and wide.

Attorney General

The attorney general is basically the lawyer for the state.  The AG represents the state in legal cases, and also provides legal opinions on matters concerning the state.  Additionally, the AG prosecutes public corruption cases (which we know is a problem in our fair state), negotiates contracts, and initiates civil or criminal actions on behalf of the state.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. Courtesy of law.ga.gov

Georgia’s current Attorney General, Sam Olens (Republican), is running for reelection.  He has been in office since 2011. In addition to looking at his campaign platform, let’s take a look at his record. Olens has proudly led the state’s legal challenge against the Affordable Care Act and cap and trade environmental regulations.  He has also been a player in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  His flagship accomplishment has been legislation to end child sex trafficking in Georgia.  Olens has defended Georgia’s immigration laws.  He has also strengthened open records laws, though he has been criticized for not enforcing the laws often enough by seeking punishments for those who violate them.  Though he has not taken a stand on same sex marriage, he has stated that he will defend the ban on same sex marriage unless courts rule it unconstitutitonal.  He is being supported by the gun rights folks and most of the state’s district attorneys, regardless of party.  He is also supported by the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association.

Democratic Candidate Greg Hecht. Courtesy of greghecht.com

Olens is being challenged by Democrat Gregory Hecht.  The former assistant district attorney, state senator, and state rep is campaigning on fighting to protect consumers from identity fraud, fighting against ethics violations, and working against child abuse and neglect.  He has stated that he will not defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban.  As a legislator, his work focused heavily on preventing child and elder abuse.  Greg Hecht is pro-Death Penalty, and does not believe in early release being granted to people who are incarcerated.  He touts his record as ADA of having represented cops in a number of lawsuits, including lawsuits alleging excessive force, and plans to “work closely with law enforcement” if elected.  He says he will support a Georgia Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights (as would his opponent), which in other states has made it nearly impossible for folks to get justice when assaulted by police.

My Vote

I almost endorsed Hecht.  I was so close.  And then I found the questionnaire he completed for the Fraternal Order of Police.  Though he didn’t win their endorsement, his answers were telling enough that he also doesn’t win my vote.   Should have known, considering his former role as a Special Prosecutor for the DEA. Nonetheless, we’ll have to watch our backs with either of these guys.

I’m writing in Attorney Mawuli Davis.  

My Voter Guide, pt 1: Georgia US Senate Race

A few days ago, I decided that I would make a voter guide based on my sample ballot, and share it with my folks.  It was intended to be something that you could print out and take with you to the polls.  However, when I started doing the research and writing, the guide started to get kind of long.  So, I figured I would share the full content as a series here on the blog, and then create a condensed version that is printable.  Here is the intro text and the first part of the guide.  Enjoy!

Be Accountable or Be Gone: A People’s Voter Guide

Once upon a time, I was introduced to the concept of grassroots voter guides by the League of Pissed Off Voters (later, the League of Young Voters).  Voter guides are a way to encourage people to turn out to the polls, and to help folks in our communities make informed choices in that voting booth.  It is with this intention that I present this guide to you.  With midterm elections quickly approaching, I realized that I was not prepared.  I had seen some ads, read a few articles, but could not call myself an informed voter.  Failing to find an existing guide, I figured I’d develop my own.

In this guide, you will find brief explanations of the offices and/or amendments up for grabs this election.  For each office, I have provided summaries of the candidates’ political positions, voting records, and histories.  After the summaries, you will find my pick for the office and my reasoning.  For ballot measures, you will find an explanation of the measure, along with my vote and reasoning.

Important things to know:

  1. YOU DON’T HAVE TO VOTE THE WAY I DO.  We may not have the same politics.  That’s okay.  You may not agree with my picks.  That’s okay too.  Just disregard my picks, and use the summary information to inform your own vote.
  2. You can take this guide with you when you vote.  Let this remind you of how you decided to vote so that you are not flustered when you get in the booth.  Alternatively, you can jot down your votes on a sample ballot or a sheet of paper to bring with you.
  3. Share with your people.  This is free info!  Make copies, pass them around, spread far and wide.

Who I am

My name is Tamika.  I’m a mama, a  community organizer, a writer, a homeschooler, a performer, a birthworker.  I live here in Atlanta.  I’ve been involved in activism around voting rights, prisons and policing, reproductive justice, birth justice, and racial and economic justice.  I believe in liberation for all people, and I believe that liberation for all of us requires the liberation of the most oppressed.  I believe in examining the places where oppressions intersect, and fighting on those front lines.  I believe that there are many places for each of us to enter, and many roles for all of us to play, all of which are valuable.  I believe that we should get in where we fit in.

The vote is one place for folks to get in.  It’s a start, a means, but not an end.  This voter guide is my contribution to helping folks enter a movement for liberation.  It is an attempt to hold politicians accountable.  To let elected officials know who has the power.  But we don’t stop when we leave the booth. We build power in our communities every day. We advocate for our needs during the legislative session. We call our legislators, stop by their offices, protest in the Capitol steps, whatever we need to do to remind them of who we are.  And we organize, organize, organize. Because “we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.”

US Senate

Michelle Nunn (left) and David Perdue (right); Getty Images/AP Images

In the US Senate race, we have three candidates who couldn’t be more different:  David Perdue (Republican), Michelle Nunn (Democrat), and Amanda Swafford (Libertarian).  The two major party candidates pretty much toe their party lines.  Perdue believes in the free market, wants to remove regulations on business, and is against raising the minimum wage.  He is anti-gun control legislation, anti-same sex marriage, and anti-choice, but pro-Israel.  His views on the Affordable Care Act are unclear.  On immigration, he touts “border security” and believes that children born here to undocumented parents should not get citizenship.  He is running on his business experience, so it’s worth noting that his company has been sued for gender pay discrimination.

Michelle Nunn, like Perdue, wants to lower the corporate tax rate.  She believes in increasing the minimum wage, extending unemployment insurance and supports the Paycheck Fairness Act.  On immigration, she wants to expand pre-k, reduce the cost of childcare and allow parents to write off childcare expenses, and promote low cost, low interest student loans.  Nunn is campaigning for transparency around fracking, affordable and sustainable energy,  and combating climate change, but supports the Keystone pipeline.  She is pro-choice, and believes states should decide on gay marriage.  Also like Perdue, she is pro-Israel, but differs in her belief that people held as “terrorism” suspects should be allowed constitutional rights.  Nun is in favor of Medicaid expansion, and believes we should fix the Affordable Care Act.  On immigration, she believes in a pathway to citizenship that requires folks currently living in the US to learn English and pay back taxes.

Amanda Swafford; Courtesy Swafford for US Senate

The third party candidate Amanda Swafford hits most of the typical Libertarian talking points.  She wants to abolish the IRS and the Department of Education, eliminate the corporate income tax and estate tax, and end the Federal Reserve.  She touts the 2nd amendment, and wants to open up healthcare to the free market.  Swafford believes the US should privatize Social Security, get rid of welfare and the minimum wage altogether, and leave the United Nations.  She also supports legalizing medical marijuana and opening access to alternative healthcare options.  On foreign policy, Swafford wants the US to end all foreign aid, including to Israel and withdraw from Afghanistan.  She believes in a simple path to citizenship for the undocumented, a revised guest worker program with no cap on the number of visas, and fines back taxes, and a probationary term for those already living in the US.  Additionally, she believes undocumented folks should have access to private (though not public) health coverage, and be able to participate in any activities requiring government ID, and that children born in the US should be granted citizenship.  Swafford is pro-choice.  Believing in states’ rights and the private sector, she believes that states should decide on the death penalty, employers should decide on including birth control in insurance coverage, and research should be left to the private sector.

My Vote:  I’m not crazy about any of these candidates (not that I expected to be).  Perdue is essentially the antithesis of everything I stand for.  Swafford’s only pros are being pro-choice and her views on alternative health care models.  Nunn is pro-Israel and for some reason believes that requiring people to learn English to become citizens is sound policy.

I’ll probably write-in Cynthia McKinney.

My October ATL Homeschool Field Trip Master List

Alright, Here is the October list.  There’s a lot more here to choose from than last month.  I tried to include more information to make the calendar more user friendly.  I would love to hear any feedback from you all.

Hope you guys find something fun to do!!

I’ll be posting some updates from some of the things we did last month over the next few days.

Enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 1

Georgia State Fair, http://www.georgiastatefair.org/

Homeschool Ice Skate at Marietta Ice Center, 12-2, $10 (includes skate rental), http://www.mariettaicecenter.com/#!home-school/c2q4

Homeschool Bounce at Bounce U Kennesaw, 1-3, $5, http://www.bounceu.com/party-places-for-kids/georgia/kennesaw/

Creative Wednesdays at West End Library, 3-4

Improv in the Park at Atlantic Station, 8-9, http://atlanticstation.com/event/improv-in-the-park-2/

Thursday, October 2

Annual Cherokee Powwow, http://www.cherokeeofgeorgia.org/cherokee/node/42#.VCpCNyldXFo

Georgia State Fair, http://www.georgiastatefair.org/

Sky Zone Kennesaw Home School Day, 11:30-2:30, http://www.skyzone.com/kennesaw/Calendar/ctl/Details/Mid/12817/ItemID/31753

Friday, October 3

Annual Cherokee Powwow, http://www.cherokeeofgeorgia.org/cherokee/node/42#.VCpCNyldXFo

Georgia State Fair, http://www.georgiastatefair.org/

Booth Museum Homeschool Day, 1-2:30, $10, http://boothmuseum.org/homeschool/

Sky Zone Roswell Home School Day, 2-4, http://www.skyzone.com/roswell/Calendar/ModuleID/12950/ItemID/30888/mctl/EventDetails

Fairy Tale Fridays at Olivia’s Dollhouse Tea Room, 6-7, $20 RSVP REQUIRED, https://www.facebook.com/OliviasDollhouseTearoomAtlanta

Saturday, October 4

Maker Faire Atlanta, http://makerfaireatl.com/

Annual Cherokee Powwow, http://www.cherokeeofgeorgia.org/cherokee/node/42#.VCpCNyldXFo

Georgia State Fair, http://www.georgiastatefair.org/

Home Depot Kids Workshop, 9-12, http://workshops.homedepot.com/workshops/kids-workshops

Students Day at the National Weather Service, Peachtree City, 10-4, http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/ffc/pdf/StudentsDayatNWS_Flyer2014.pdf

Parent’s Day Out Art & Ice Cream Social at Grant Park, 12-4, $20/sibling, http://grantpark.org/event/101618?dateid=4179

Candler Park Movie Night, http://www.candlerpark.org/events

Despicable Me 2 at Emory Point, 6 pm, http://emory-point.com/special-events#OCTOBER

Sunday, October 5

Maker Faire Atlanta, http://makerfaireatl.com/

Georgia State Fair, http://www.georgiastatefair.org/

Monday, October 6

Bartow History Museum Homeschool Day, 1:30-3, $5/student, $3/parent, http://bartowhistorymuseum.org/education/homeschool-days/

Gaming for Homeschoolers at Powder Springs Library, 12-2, http://atlantawithkid.com/Location/powder-springs-library/

Tuesday, October 7

Ink Interactive Neighborhood for Kids Homeschool Day, 10-5, $4, http://www.inkfun.org/events/

Zoo Atlanta Homeschool Day, $9, http://www.zooatlanta.org/home/book_a_program/schools_and_groups/homeschoolers#rZzdO

Homeschool Fitness at Wolf Creek Library, 1-2

Georgia Aquarium Homeschool Day, 1:45, $13, http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/education/home-school.aspx

Wednesday, October 8

Museum of History and Holocaust Education Homeschool Day, 9-12, http://historymuseum.kennesaw.edu/educators/homeschool_days.php

Center for Puppetry Arts Home Educator Days, 11:30, $10.50, http://www.puppet.org/edu/trips.shtml

Homeschool Ice Skate at Marietta Ice Center, 12-2, $10 (includes skate rental), http://www.mariettaicecenter.com/#!home-school/c2q4

Homeschool Bounce at Bounce U Kennesaw, 1-3, $5, http://www.bounceu.com/party-places-for-kids/georgia/kennesaw/

Atlanta History Center Homeschool Day, 1-4, $8.50, http://www.atlantahistorycenter.com/program/homeschool-day-villains-history

Creative Wednesdays at West End Library, 3-4

Disney on Ice: Frozen, http://www.philipsarena.com/events/detail/disney-on-ice-presents-frozen

Thursday, October 9

Atlanta Greek Festival, http://www.atlantagreekfestival.org/

Center for Puppetry Arts Home Educator Days,11:30, $10.50, http://www.puppet.org/edu/trips.shtml

Disney on Ice: Frozen, http://www.philipsarena.com/events/detail/disney-on-ice-presents-frozen

Friday, October 10

Atlanta Greek Festival, http://www.atlantagreekfestival.org/

Ice Skating Homeschool Day at Ice Forum, 10-12, $6/ student (includes skate rental), regular price for others, http://www.iceforum.com/Page.asp?n=23041

Center for Puppetry Arts Home Educator Days, 11:30, $10.50, http://www.puppet.org/edu/trips.shtml

Disney on Ice: Frozen, http://www.philipsarena.com/events/detail/disney-on-ice-presents-frozen

Saturday, October 11 

Day of the Cowboy at Rock Ranch, http://therockranch.com/test-fffds-w-table/

Atlanta Greek Festival, http://www.atlantagreekfestival.org/

Atlanta Parent Family Block Party, 10-4, $5, http://www.atlantaparent.com/article/detail/523

Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic, 10-11, http://lowesbuildandgrow.com/pages/fullschedule.aspx

Video Games Live at Cobb Energy Centre, 8 pm, http://www.cobbenergycentre.com/event/video-games-live/

Disney on Ice: Frozen, http://www.philipsarena.com/events/detail/disney-on-ice-presents-frozen

Sunday, October 12

Atlanta Greek Festival, http://www.atlantagreekfestival.org/

Disney on Ice: Frozen, http://www.philipsarena.com/events/detail/disney-on-ice-presents-frozen

Monday, October 13

Cochran Mill Nature Center Homeschool Day, 10 am or 1 pm, $7/ student, $3.50/ adult, REGISTRATION REQUIRED, http://www.cochranmillnaturecenter.org/calendar/calendar_day/7278910/2014-9-22.htm

Chattahoochee Nature Center Homeschool Mondays, 11:30-12:30, http://chattnaturecenter.org/includes/education/HomeschoolMondayFlyer14-15.pdf

Gaming for Homeschoolers at Powder Springs Library, 12-2

Tuesday, October 14

Masterpiece Mixers Braselton Homeschool Class, 10-11, https://masterpiecemixers.com/event-registration/?ee=83

Homeschool Fitness at Wolf Creek Library, 1-2

Children’s Museum Free Day, 1-7

Wednesday, October 15

Spivey Hall Young People’s Concert, 9:45, $2 in advance, $5 day of, http://www.spiveyhall.org/educational-programs/storybook-alive-wendy-bennett

Homeschool Ice Skate at Marietta Ice Center, 12-2, $10 (includes skate rental), http://www.mariettaicecenter.com/#!home-school/c2q4

Cochran Mill Nature Center Homeschool Day, 1 pm, $7/ student, $3.50/ adult, http://www.cochranmillnaturecenter.org/calendar/calendar_day/7278910/2014-9-22.htm

Homeschool Bounce at Bounce U Kennesaw, 1-3, $5, http://www.bounceu.com/party-places-for-kids/georgia/kennesaw/

Creative Wednesdays at West End Library, 3-4

Thursday, October 16

*NASA Space Center Houston Homeschool Day, http://spacecenter.org/education-programs/school-visits/homeschool-day/

Rock Climbing Homeschool Day at Escalade Rock Climbing Gym, 12-2, $8/ climber, http://www.escaladegym.com/page.aspx?id=148

Friday, October 17

Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega, http://business.dahlonega.org/events/details/gold-rush-days-3174

Decatur Root Beer Festival at Little Shop of Stories, http://www.littleshopofstories.com/events.php

Saturday, October 18

Hot Air Balloon Rally at the Rock Ranch, http://therockranch.com/test-fffds-w-table/

Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega, http://business.dahlonega.org/events/details/gold-rush-days-3174

Boo at the Zoo, 9:30-3, http://www.zooatlanta.org/home/article_content/boo#oYLrg

Little Five Points Halloween Parade and Festival, Noon-11 pm, http://l5phalloween.com/

Art on the Beltline at Gordon White Park, 2-9:45, http://beltline.org/event/art-on-the-atlanta-beltline-performances-3/

Sunday, October 19

Boo at the Zoo, 9:30-3, http://www.zooatlanta.org/home/article_content/boo#oYLrg

Play Day at 4th Ward Skatepark, 1-4, http://beltline.org/event/play-day-on-the-atlanta-beltline/

Art on the Beltline at 4th Ward Park, 1-9:45, http://beltline.org/event/art-on-the-atlanta-beltline-performances-2/

Monday, October 20

Gaming for Homeschoolers at Powder Springs Library 12-2

Tuesday, October 21

Ice Skating Homeschool Day at the Ice Forum, 10-12, $6/ student (includes skate rental), regular price for others, http://www.iceforum.com/Page.asp?n=23041

Children’s Museum Homeschool Day, 1-4, $8/ student, http://www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org/teachers/programs/homeschool

Homeschool Fitness at Wolf Creek Library, 1-2

Lego Club at Alpharetta Branch Library, 4pm

Wednesday, October 22

Homeschool Ice Skate at Marietta Ice Center, 12-2, $10 (includes skate rental), http://www.mariettaicecenter.com/#!home-school/c2q4

Homeschool Bounce at Bounce U Kennesaw, 1-3, $5, http://www.bounceu.com/party-places-for-kids/georgia/kennesaw/

Creative Wednesdays at West End Library, 3-4

Thursday, October 23

Booth Museum Homeschool Day, 9-1, $5 for students, $3 for adults, http://boothmuseum.org/homeschool/

Carlos Museum Free Day, 1-4, http://www.carlos.emory.edu/visit/hours-admission

Friday, October 24

Grant Park Conservancy Halloween Lantern Parade, 6:30-9:30, https://www.facebook.com/events/284944418380174/

Mummies and Milkshakes at the Carlos Museum, 6:30-9:30, $5

Magic Tree House Trunk Trivia Tour at Little Shop of Stories, 7 pm, http://www.littleshopofstories.com/events.php

Saturday, October 25

Train or Treat at Southeastern Railway Museum, http://www.srmduluth.org/events.html

Boo at the Zoo, 9:30-3, http://www.zooatlanta.org/home/article_content/boo#oYLrg

Fernbank Boo-seum Trick or Treat, 10-2, http://www.fernbankmuseum.org/calendar-of-events/fernbank-boo-seum-trick-or-treat/

Kids Origami Club at Peachtree Branch Library, 4:00 pm

Trick or Treat at the Children’s Museum, 6:30-8:30, https://16707.blackbaudhosting.com/16707/tickets?tab=2&txobjid=cd0795d1-5932-4868-86ad-54bcae0fa071

Sunday, October 26

Boo at the Zoo, 9:30-3, http://www.zooatlanta.org/home/article_content/boo#oYLrg

Haints and Saints Halloween Parade in Decatur Square, 4 pm, http://parade.homegrowndecatur.com/

Family Concerts at the Carlos Museum, 4 pm, Free, http://www.carlos.emory.edu/education/public-programs/child-family-programs#education-item-158

Monday, October 27

Reptile Explorer Plus show at Sandy Springs Library, 4:30, http://www.socialweb.net/Clients/AFPL/index.lasso?id=174449

Tuesday, October 28

Center for Puppetry Arts Home Educator Days, 11:30, $10.50, http://www.puppet.org/edu/trips.shtml

Homeschool Fitness at Wolf Creek Library, 1-2

Wednesday, October 29

High Museum Homeschool Day, 10-5, $6/students, $8.50/adults, https://www.high.org/Programs/Programs/Events/2014-Events/Family-Programs/Homeschool-Day-10292014.aspx

Center for Puppetry Arts Home Educator Days, 11:30, $10.50, http://www.puppet.org/edu/trips.shtml

Homeschool Ice Skate at Marietta Ice Center, 12-2, $10 (includes skate rental), http://www.mariettaicecenter.com/#!home-school/c2q4

Homeschool Bounce at Bounce U Kennesaw, 1-3, $5, http://www.bounceu.com/party-places-for-kids/georgia/kennesaw/

Creative Wednesdays at West End Library, 3-4

Thursday, October 30

Indian Festival and Pow wow at Stone Mountain Park, 9-3, http://www.stonemountainpark.com/events/Indian-Festival-and-Pow-Wow.aspx

Spivey Hall Young People’s Concert, 11:15, $2 in advance, $5 day of, http://www.spiveyhall.org/events/colorofmusic/

Center for Puppetry Arts Home Educator Days, 11:30, $10.50, http://www.puppet.org/edu/trips.shtml

Pumpkin Decorating at Hapeville Branch Library, 4-5

Friday, October 31

Indian Festival and Pow wow at Stone Mountain Park, 9-3, http://www.stonemountainpark.com/events/Indian-Festival-and-Pow-Wow.aspx

Center for Puppetry Arts Home Educator Days, 11:30, $10.50, http://www.puppet.org/edu/trips.shtml

City of Woodstock Kids Fest, 3-7, http://www.woodstockga.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4911

Trunk-o-Treat for Halloween at Panola Mountain State Park, 4-6, http://gastateparks.org/event/220957?c=5169697

Fright Night at Fernbank Museum, 7-11, http://www.fernbankmuseum.org/calendar-of-events/fright-night-2014/