Opinion: Today’s elections more about ethics, taxes than R’s and D’s

AJC File Photo / Hyosub Shin

It’s Election Day, not that most voters will notice. We can expect poor turnout to elect folks to offices that, while not always staples of headlines or dinner-party conversations, often have the largest direct effect on our everyday lives.

Locally, we can expect a runoff at least for Atlanta’s mayor, who first and foremost will be called on to set a new tone when it comes to ethics and corruption at City Hall. The elections for its City Council president and some council seats might also remain unresolved after today’s balloting. Maybe some school board seats as well. There are mayoral and council elections in other metro Atlanta counties and an important commission chairman’s race in Fulton when it comes to getting a handle on property taxes. Not to mention a handful of special elections across Georgia for seats both the state House and Senate.

Looking beyond Georgia, New Jersey and Virginia are the two states that hold elections between presidential elections and the midterms. A Democrat seems all but certain to succeed Chris Christie, whose fall from “he coulda beat Romney” in 2012 to complete ignominy today has been amazing to behold from afar. Virginia’s gubernatorial race looks like more of a toss-up, with Republican Ed Gillespie narrowing his deficit in the polls lately against Democrat Ralph Northam.

The temptation will be to interpret the results as instructive about the two-party lens through which we view everything these days. Democrats in Georgia, badly needing a win going into 2018 after the Democratic debacle that was the 6th District race earlier this year, hope to pull off one of a handful of truly contested state legislative races. The Gillespie-Northam race in Virginia will likewise be pored over by tea-leaf readers (although election analyst Dave Wasserman makes a good case that Virginia’s legislative races are a better indicator of the general mood toward the two major parties).

But remember how this post began: low turnout. Add to that the large number of people running in what amount to jungle primaries in the special elections for Georgia’s legislative races, and its mostly nonpartisan local races, and one can imagine a number of scenarios that wouldn’t tell us much about R’s vs. D’s going forward.

Consider another 6th District race: the Georgia Senate District 6 election. That one is in the spotlight because then-incumbent Hunter Hill (who resigned this summer to focus on his race for governor) barely beat a little-known Democrat last fall in what should be a relatively Republican-leaning district. But with five Republicans and three Democrats running for the seat now — none of whom appears to have a clear grip on the race, even among their own party’s voters — pretty much anything could happen. If two Republicans make the runoff, or one of them eventually wins the seat, the GOP shouldn’t feel overly confident about that race, or others, going into 2018. Keep in mind that there are more contested races going on in the (larger) Fulton part of the district, which leans Republican, than in the Cobb side, which tilts more Democratic. One would expect heavier Republican turnout both now and in the runoff, when a runoff for Atlanta mayor will also be taking place. That would tend to bode slightly better for the Democrats if one of them was able to win, but next year will still an uphill battle for even a Democratic incumbent because of sheer numbers in the district (and the lack of Donald Trump’s name on the ballot to drive intensity on the Democratic side).

All of which is to say: These races are important in their own right. Clean government is worth having. So is an equitable and predictable property-tax system. Pay more attention to what these elections mean on their own than what they say — or, more likely, don’t say — about other races yet to come.

Reader Comments 0

115 comments
SGTGrit
SGTGrit

I think a normal life for some on here is going out to shop with their EBT card and returning to the blog so they can lecture on racial discrimination, global warming, single payer healthcare, abortion and gun control. What a pathetic life.

Doomy
Doomy

@SGTGrit


Hedley is gainfully employed I think. And lately it seems he's been actually working instead of blogging all day on his employers time. I suspect there's a reason why Hedley can blog all day and not get fired for being so non productive for his employer. 

Ychromosome
Ychromosome

@SGTGrit You can think that, but I can assure you some of us are retired with more money in the bank than you'll make in your lifetime. 

Doomy
Doomy

You can tell a Dimocrat when you find someone who thinks that a person's wealth or position is solely due to the help of government, society, family or luck and not hard work.  

Ychromosome
Ychromosome

@Doomy Were you on food stamps and welfare, but "nobody" helped you? Did it go right over your head?

Ychromosome
Ychromosome

You can tell a Republican when you find someone who thinks their wealth or position is solely due to their own hard work and not the help of government, society, family or luck. Classic example - Craig T. Nelson telling Fox News he's "been on food stamps and welfare - anybody help me out? No." 


How unselfaware can one be?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTwpBLzxe4U

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Well just a drive by and got to humiliate one of the bigger fools around here as well.


Was fun. Like old times.


But the demands of a normal life insist I take my leave


Cheers

Doomy
Doomy

@Hedley_Lammar


Your white flag of surrender is duly noted- as is the fact that you couldn't refute any of my points below. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

You can tell if someone is a democrat supporter based on two questions.


1. Do you lack a college degree or if you have one is it of no value in seeking employment?


2. Do you think that Blacks and Hispanics are discriminated against in America and have no hope of ever reaching the same economic levels of Whites?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@SGTGrit 1. Do you lack a college degree or if you have one is it of no value in seeking employment?


Since 1992, the Democratic Party has grown more diverse, more educated and less religious, Pew finds. The Republican Party has undergone those changes to much lesser degrees, and at the same time has grown older.


Sorry that is just incorrect.


Do you think that Blacks and Hispanics are discriminated against in America ?


Yes Because they are. 


Plus when you put people in chains for 400 years. Then when they are free you keep up the lynchings and discrimination for another 100. Yeah that tends to have an effect that lasts more than a generation or two.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

We are he only country in the world to reject the Paris Climate Agreement


Arent you proud ?

Doomy
Doomy

@Hedley_Lammar


Yep. So tell me, Hedley. Where are all these cataclysmic effects of global warming? And please don't respond with drought, hurricanes, etc. Those things have been going on since the dawn of time. 


Tell me, Hedley. Let's say you're right and that the Earth warms even more. What cataclysmic event is going to happen that's so bad? It won't be ever rising oceans which btw have been rising for thousands of years anyway. 


Furthermore, Jamvet and I watched the same left wing natgeo special on the melting ice. Know what it said, Hedley? It said that between freezing and refreezing and the continuous cycle of this that it would take several centuries and likely 1,000 years or more before all the ice is melted. Doesn't bother me in the least. We would live in a nice, warm atmosphere near the artic circle- just like the dinosaurs used to when the Earth was far, far warmer than it is today. 


Tell us specifically what is so skeery, Hedley. Be specific. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Doomy @Hedley_Lammar Those things have been going on since the dawn of time. 


Not like this. That are getting more frequent and more violent. 


Look around you. This isnt normal and oyu know it.


Doesn't bother me in the least.


Your children's children will thank you.


Its not the raw temp. Its the rate of change. 

Doomy
Doomy

@Hedley_Lammar @Doomy


"Not like this. That are getting more frequent and more violent."


Well, if you're going to just make up a load of crap then so be it. We've had numerous destructive hurricanes going back to 1906 and there were numerous canes long before we started keeping records and before the national weather service ever existed. That BS statement is completely unverifiable. Ever heard of Hurricane Betsy? Galveston? 


You cannot empirically support your statement. And we both know that. 


As for the rate of change that is also unverifiable. We know this because I showed Jay a link showing that science cannot detect the rate of change within 10,000 years going back millenia. And Jay did not and could not refute the science. We do not know how much the climate changed withing 10,000 year blocks going back tens of thousands or millions of years. So your point is complete BS. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

I can tell you if you are a Trump supporter based on two questions.


1. Do you lack a college degree ?


2. Do you think whites are discriminated against in America ? That everything is given to minorities and that they have it easy ?


If you answer yes to both you are probably a Trump supporter. If not then not so much. 


If you are a Republican and answer yes to both you are a Trump supporter. 

Doomy
Doomy

@Hedley_Lammar


I can tell you if you are a Dim supporter based on two questions.


1. Do you lack a college degree ?


2. Do you think minorities are discriminated against in America ? That everything is given to whites and that due to white privilege that they have it easy ?


If you answer yes to both you are probably a Dim supporter. If not then not so much. 


If you are a Dimocrat and answer yes to both you are a kook left Dim supporter. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Doomy @Hedley_Lammar 1. Do you lack a college degree ?


Sorry that just isnt correct


Do you think minorities are discriminated against in America ? 


Yes because they are.


That everything is given to whites and that due to white privilege that they have it easy ?



I wouldn't say easy. Unless you are a trust fund baby like Trump. Easier ? Yes

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 Several states have looked at single payer.


Every 1st world nation on the planet has single payer or something close to it.


They spend far less and get better results. Sorry that argument just doesnt hold water


Oh yeah. When citizens in Single Payer countries vote on it. They always vote to keep it. 

Doomy
Doomy

@Hedley_Lammar


"Every 1st world nation on the planet has single payer or something close to it."


Canada is the only true single payer system. And they piggy back off our system.Why? Because their system cannot afford the enormous fixed cost of hospitals, MRI machines, etc. 


"They spend far less and get better results. Sorry that argument just doesnt hold water"


Lying again? Cancer survival rates are higher in the U.S. The U.S. also has vastly superior levels of new medical device innovation and new drug innovation. You can point to better infant mortality there but many cultural factors have to do with infant mortality rates which is why its lower for some groups in the U.S. and higher for others. 


"Oh yeah. When citizens in Single Payer countries vote on it. They always vote to keep it."


Wrong yet again. Sweden, often hailed as the model of socialized systems- is moving in the opposite direction of us. They used to have a fully socialized system. But it got to expensive and had to be reformed in the 90s. Now they have a hybrid system. Last I checked I think it was 20% of all Doc visits and 30% of all surgeries are now done by private docs there. You really ought to educate yourself before spouting off on things of which you have very little knowledge.

Robert1959
Robert1959

Kyle, I hope you have the courage to "apologize" to the voters in the State of Georgia for rejecting Donald "birther" Trump, 1st white nationalist/alt-right POTUS " racist strategy".  The "Good People" of Georgia will not be "targeted" or "weaponized" and used as a "weapon of mass destruction" to spread hatred, fear and bigotry all across the USA

https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=39kBWoXHEIz9mAG-15ngAw&q=trump+white+nationalist&oq=trum&gs_l=psy-ab.1.0.35i39k1l2j0i131k1l3j0l2j0i131k1j0l2.1794.2563.0.5706.5.4.0.0.0.0.263.499.3j0j1.4.0..

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 a purple state just made a decidedly blue-state move to essentially expand Obamacare.


But lets not talk about Obamacare huh


Idaho and Alaska vote next. And it should pass there too. 


The really good news. Thousands of Americans will benefit. 

Doomy
Doomy

@Hedley_Lammar


Several states have looked at single payer. You want to know the results, Hedley? None of them could afford it. And have you seen the latest premium rises? Ya seen that, Hedley? LOL!


Your defense of Obamacare reminds me of what a friend's mama use to say- "Ya can't shine shyte". 

Doomy
Doomy

@Hedley_Lammar


Americans will benefit from premiums that have risen 105% in 4 years. 


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Doomy @Hedley_Lammar Why not make it 436%


As long as you are making up numbers. 


The people are voting FOR IT. Overwhelmingly.


I trust them not you and Trump

Doomy
Doomy

@Hedley_Lammar @Doomy


Making up numbers? LOL! Sorry, sport but I can use the gubment's own numbers to verify the claim. 


Class is in session. And Hedley continues to get his schooling. 


https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2017/05/23/hhs-report-average-health-insurance-premiums-doubled-2013.html


"A report released Tuesday by the Department of Health and Human Services shows a significant hike in the average cost of individual plans since 2013 in 39 states.

In 2013, the average annual cost of a premium for an individual health care plan was $2,784. By 2017, the average annual cost for a premium for an individual health care plan on HealthCare.gov was $5,712. Thirty-nine states use HealthCare.gov."


http://dailysignal.com/2017/05/24/3-charts-biggest-revelations-new-obamacare-study/

Doomy
Doomy

@Hedley_Lammar


Hedley is bragging about health insurance in Alaska??? What is Hedley drinking this morning. LOL!


"The issues are particularly acute in Alaska, the fourth most expensive state in the U.S., where a standard knee replacement might cost five times what it does in Seattle and pricey air ambulance rides are common in emergencies.


Individual health insurance premiums here climbed almost 40 percent annually after the ACA went into effect, and high health care costs drove all but one provider, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield, out of the market in 2017."


https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/gop-bill-dead-alaska-gets-creative-reduce-health-care-costs

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Doomy @Hedley_Lammar In 2008, the average employer-sponsored family plan cost a total of $12,680, with employees footing $3,354 of the bill, according to Kaiser data. By 2016, the cost of the average employer family plan was up to $18,142 for the year, with workers picking up $5,277 of the tab.


These increased costs for employers and employees alike may seem steep—up around 50% over the past eight years—but they could have risen far higher had the Affordable Care Act never passed. The Kaiser study shows that average family premiums rose 20% from 2011 to 2016. That rate of increase is actually much lower than the previous five years (up 31% from 2006 to 2011) and the five years before that (up 63% from 2001 to 2006).


Sorry you lose again. Most are on employer plans. And they saw a decrease in the rise of premiums. 


http://time.com/money/4503325/obama-health-care-costs-obamacare/

Doomy
Doomy

@Hedley_Lammar @Doomy


I'm sorry, Hedley. But I'm going to have to take you to school yet again. And this time I have to do it using YOUR OWN LINK! 


The premium rate increases are lower. But that's because employees are paying far higher deductibles and more out of pocket costs during the last several years. Not only does your own link say that but Clark Howard spoke on it last night. 


"For another, the typical plan’s deductible is quite different nowadays. In 2008, high deductibles were the minority: 18% of covered workers had deductible of at least $1,000, per the Kaiser Family Foundation, up from only 10% in 2006. For workers with employer-sponsored plans at small firms, 35% had deductibles of $1,000 or more in 2008, up from 16% in 2006.


Fast-forward to 2016, and high-deductible plans have become standard: 51% of all covered workers, and 65% of workers in small firms, face deductibles of at least $1,000. Workers at smaller firms must pay an average of $2,069 out of pocket before insurance payments kick in, versus $1,238 for workers at firms with 200 or more employees."

Doomy
Doomy

"The GOP has been taken over by white nationalist politics."


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


There's nothing like some good humor from our deranged friends on the left to start the day. If you listened to the kooks you would think a klansman in full white pointy hat and robe was giving campaign speeches. 


Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Doomy 


Do you think it a coincidence the GOP is almost entirely white these days ? Old white and uneducated in general ? Like yourself.


Think the birther stuff wasn't about race ?


Some pretty deep denial you are in.



Doomy
Doomy

@Hedley_Lammar @Doomy


"Old white and uneducated in general ? Like yourself."


This from the guy who sez he is white. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!


Of course the GOP is getting whiter. Why? Because the Dims have virtually abandoned white working class voters. Duh! And  because the Dims have chosen to appeal to racial politics and tribalism.


The VA campaign commercial showing a white guy in a pickup with a confederate flag trying to mow down a group of minority kids tells you everything you need to know about dwindling white support for the Dim party. 


Btw are you black or white today? LOL! 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Doomy @Hedley_Lammar  Of course the GOP is getting whiter. Why? Because the Dims have virtually abandoned white working class voters.


Not really. But ill play along


So how does that explain EVERY minority in the country rejecting the GOP en masse ?

Doomy
Doomy

@Hedley_Lammar @Doomy


Easy. When you run commercials showing a white guy trying to mow down minority kids that kind of propaganda, as nasty and filthy as it is, fools some people and creates an atmosphere of fear. Minorities flock to the Dim party because it continuously uses scare tactics to convince them that whitey is out to get them. Plus the Dims promise them more gubment goodies and more tribalism based racial preferences such as affimrative action. 


Hedley Lamar- the only "white guy" I've ever seen claim that we need to spend more money on sensitivity trainers. LOL! 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Doomy @Hedley_Lammar Minorities flock to the Dim party because it continuously uses scare tactics to convince them that whitey is out to get them.


LOL


 Plus the Dims promise them more gubment goodies


Ah yes. The soft bigotry of low expectations.


They are all just idiots right ? Bought off with trinkets ?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Governor Race in Virginia


Northam (D) vs Gillespie (R)


Republicans continue to embrace White Nationalist politics = FAIL


television ads portrayed Northam as enabling the MS-13 gang by being soft on immigration enforcement. He picked up on Trump's culture wars, hitting NFL players for kneeling during the National Anthem and promising to keep Virginia's Confederate monuments up.


Lt Governor Race in Virginia


Fairfax (D) vs Vogel (R)


The GOP's War on Women continues unabated = FAIL


Vogel, who as a state senator had pushed a bill requiring women seeking abortions to undergo vaginal ultrasounds.


http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/politics/5-takeaways-election-virginia-governor-trump/index.html


Maine Question 2, Medicaid Expansion Initiative 

The GOP couldn't keep the state from expanding access to healthcare = FAIL


On Tuesday, Maine became the first state to expand Medicaid with a ballot initiative. And it passed overwhelmingly: Maine voters agreed to grant health care to an estimated 70,000 low-income residents by a nearly 20-percentage point margin


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/11/07/maine-could-become-the-first-state-to-expand-medicaid-by-ballot-initiative/?utm_term=.365114d16811


More to come. 

Doomy
Doomy

The Dims are joyous about winning governorships in 2 already blue states. Too funny! 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Doomy 

If the dumocrats lost either one of those blue states the already fractured party would splinter into oblivion. 

Doomy
Doomy

@BTC @Doomy


The gubment workers in the northern part of VA came out strong. Looks like the swamp really wants to protect their bureaucratic turf- at taxpayer expense of course.  

Doomy
Doomy

@SGTGrit @Doomy


I think its funny watching them get all excited over winning in 2 blue states. It seems they forgot all the whippings they took this past year. What were they 0 for 4 or 0 for 5 in all those special elections. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Doomy @SGTGrit 

They have no clear agenda to run on because they have a left, a far-left, and a hard-left faction within the party.

bendedknee
bendedknee

Someone explain to the gun huggers here why a mentally ill person with a history of violence can buy an AR in Georgia with no background check at a gun show or buy it with background check if no proceedings the last five years and also buy lots of ammunition and go in a church and blast away.


Idiot in Chief is wrong to say  there is no gun control issue in Texas shooting. Tell that to the victims families.

Doomy
Doomy

@bendedknee


Clearly, you are ignorant of the failures in the Texas massacre. They are all gubment failures. The Air Force failed to notify the other federal bureaucrats of this man's institutionalization and other problems the guy got into. Gubment failure is what allowed the man to get guns. 


Secondly, the man was stopped by an NRA member, carrying one of those dreaded AR15s. A private citizen did what gubment(the police), the Air Force, and many a law on the books could not do. He ended the massacre. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@bendedknee 

If existing laws can't be enforced how can new ones expect to be any different. Out of thousands of flagged fraudulent firearm purchase applications only a few are actually prosecuted.

Billisnice
Billisnice

Why vote for a Republican as they allow car insurance to soar in the state? The GOP has stopped working for Georgians.

breckenridge
breckenridge

It would be unwise to read too much into yesterday's elections.  The one exception  would be the Virgina race, which was a rejection of the Trump-Bannon type of extremism and an embrace of more moderate politics.