Items from the political notebook as we draw closer to this year’s primary election:
•Candidates have different ways to get their message across to potential voters, although some are more irritating than others.
Here’s one method that quite frankly does nothing for me: mass market phone calls. Hardly a week day goes by without me arriving home from work and having at least one recorded message from some candidate or another.
It’s annoying, irritating and quite frankly, an intrusion of my privacy. I’m a firm believer of “a man’s home is his castle” and I have no use for this method of campaigning. If you want to send something through the mail that’s fine. If you want to place an ad in a newspaper (wink, wink) that’s also OK.
But, for goodness sake, give my home answering machine a rest. If you want me to consider voting for you, don’t call me at home.
•Several weeks ago I put out a question of “Where have all the political campaign signs gone?”
Well, I think I have my answer now. They have all drifted to the Georgia coast. On a recent trip to Jekyll Island, I saw enough campaign signs to satisfy even the most die-hard political junkie like myself.
While a few have popped up in our area (mainly for local races), the Georgia coast seems to still be a hotbed for statewide candidates when it comes to old-fashioned campaign signs, of varying sizes.
Seeing them was like a step back in time.
•The Ray Boyd campaign for Governor, which started with such a bang, may be fizzling somewhat.
Boyd’s campaign website has not been updated since June 1 and I have no doubt the candidate with good intentions may be learning just how tough (some would say unethical) our state’s ballot access laws are for those who don’t want to participate in the Democratic and Republican controlled primaries.
Boyd, as you may remember, was set to enter the Republican primary, but refused to declare an oath of loyalty to the state party. In response, party officials then told Boyd to get lost and he decided to try running as an independent.
Georgia has one of the strictest ballot access laws in the country so I’m not surprised Boyd is facing so many hurdles. He still may end up breaking through all the barriers, but it was a still battle from the start.
Perhaps one day voters in our state will truly be able to declare their independence.
•The Democratic primary for governor is a rematch of sorts from 1998 when Roy Barnes and David Poythress faced off.
Barnes would eventually win the primary although he was given a gift victory in the runoff from Lewis Massey, who finished in second. Massey, who at one time was tagged as a future star in state politics, was not heard from again and has only recently resurfaced in the secretary of state’s office under Republican Brian Kemp.
•Perhaps another sign of the current economic times is the fact very few candidates have taken to the airwaves with advertising.
With the exception of Barnes, I can’t think of another governor hopeful who has been on TV at this point. The primary is now less than a month away and I’m sure there will be a late surge, but it has been awfully quiet to this point. Don’t underestimate the power of television advertising. Even getting the word out on the radio is key at the statewide level. For some statewide candidates, the silence says a great deal.
Chris Bridges is editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.