It’s my party and I will invite who I want
While meeting with the Armadillo Hat Club over Christmas break, one of the members asked me to go look at a new online paper: The South Hall Gazette. It appears that most of the content is provided by John D’Aquino. A Google search shows that John is an actor from Canada.
I think to be a real news organization, you need to use your real name. John D’Aquino may be the real name, but it looks a little curious. Obviously, my middle name is not Hall County, so it can be derived that I write a blog. The South Hall Gazette seems to want to walk a difficult line between being a news page and a blog site. The try to report news, but then they also want to give their “opinions”. It is in their opinions where you can see how left leaning their organization truly sits.
Let’s look at something that I meant to talk about last year: the “debate” at the South Hall library between Bobby Banks and Emory Dunahoo for the State House seat #25. I was not at the event, but read the article in the evil Times and on the AccessNorthGa website. The South Hall Gazette first reported a rather innocuous piece about the meeting, but then followed it up with an opinion piece saying that the Republican Party was the one at fault.
The problem wasn’t with Bobby Banks, the local party, Craig Lutz, or even Pam Norman who asked the offending question; the problem is that the local party didn’t get a say as to whom could run with their brand. Yes, the party is a brand, but where CocaCola could prevent RC Cola from using Coke’s label, the Republican Party didn’t have a choice as to who could represent the party. The local Party told Bobby Banks that he was no longer welcome; however, when the time came for Banks to run for State House, he was able to take the Republican brand and use it without permission.
I assume that the problem is tolerated in an effort to maintain the two party system as Georgia has one of the toughest ballot access laws in the nation. The 1943 law requires new party and independent candidates to submit a petition signed by 5% of the number of registered voters in order to get on the ballot for any office. In the case of State House, the number would have been 1,724 signatures. This would have been 661 more signatures than the leading vote getter received for the special election.
It should be noted that the petition rule is waived for special elections because of the short runway. The best example of this was with Eugene Moon who ran under a new party banner for Congress. So Bobby Banks could have run as an Independent or even made up his own party. But if the Republican or even Democrat Party wants to fix the issue, they should support relaxing the ballot access laws here in Georgia. That way they can toughen their standards to ensure that they have candidates who support their platforms.
Hugh Hall County Akston