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12 April 2010

A Note From A State Democratic Committee Member

Rarely do I write a blog entry in my official capacity as a member of the state Democratic committee, but there is a growing concern in my mind regarding the campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Four years ago, Georgia's Democratic Party had two great candidates for governor -- Cathy Cox and Mark Taylor. Sadly, these two superb candidates spent more time tearing each other down instead of focusing on Gov. Perdue's failed policies.

The Taylor campaign strongly suggested Cathy Cox was not to be trusted. And the Cox campaign portrayed Mark Taylor as a bigoted member of the southern "good ol' boy" club. The end result was a badly divided Democratic Party that got trounced in the general election.

As a member of the state Democratic committee, I do not want to see a replay of the 2006 primary campaign. That's why I'm asking the Democrats running for governor to sign a clean campaign pledge.

The clean campaign pledge is very simple. It says:

I pledge to conduct my campaign for public office openly and fairly. I will discuss the issues and participate in fair public debate with respect to my views and qualifications.

I will not engage in, nor permit defamatory attack upon, the character of my opponent(s) nor shall I engage in unwarranted invasions of personal privacy unrelated to campaign issues.

I shall not appeal to, and I shall condemn appeals to, prejudice based on race, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or political affiliation.

I will not permit the use of any campaign material or advertisement which misrepresents, distorts, or otherwise falsifies the facts regarding my record or that of any other candidate.

Finally, I will publicly repudiate support deriving from any individual or group whose activities would violate this Fair Campaign Practices Pledge.

In signing this pledge, I assume personal control and responsibility for the conduct of my campaign.

Quite honestly, there is no weight behind this pledge. Thurbert Baker, Roy Barnes, Carl Camon, DuBose Porter or David Poythress are under no obligation to agree to this pledge. There's no punishment if the Democratic gubernatorial candidates violate this clean campaign pledge.

Still, with all the issues facing our state --double-digit unemployment, transportation, jobs, education-- I'd think that the Democrats hoping to be Georgia's next governor would prefer to spend more time discussing the issues and less time tearing down their opponents.