Thursday, November 6, 2008

No Regrets!

Well folks, we tried. Lowndes County was close (45.4% to 54.6%; that poll didn't lie). Unfortunately, Bill lost every county (33.4% to 66.6%), except one:
Bill Gillespie, who challenged Kingston said, “We won Liberty County! That felt goo. Since I am a 3rd ID veteran and still work there. We had great support in Liberty.

“As for the First Congressional District, it was unfortunately, very similar again to 2006. We thought there would be more incumbent angst and Obama coat-tails, but no. The district wasn't ready for Obama. However, I want to make it clear that I was! I am very excited about our future.

As for my campaign, I have no regrets. I think we ran the best small campaign we could. The experiences, causes advanced and friends made were well worth it. We helped the Democratic Party in the district continue its positive growth. It is now time to come together as Americans to fix these tough obstacles.
Thanks to all of you who helped.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Last Call! Vote Today

Room fullThere will be no House race runoff, so if you want Bill Gillespie to be our next U.S. Representative from Georgia's First District, and you haven't voted yet, vote today!

The VDT was confused about the runoff, but they weren't confused about Jack Kingston being in a precarious position. Help oust Jack and elect Bill.

If you have already voted, go on down to the Tybee Island office and help get the vote out.

Or go to your local Obama Campaign for Change office (such as 102 East Adair St., Valdosta) and help call to remind people to vote, join door-to-door canvassing to remind people to vote, or volunteer to give rides to get people to the polls.

These people waited 45 minutes to 2 hours Friday in Lowndes County to vote. People in Atlanta stood in line up to 8 hours. Are we in the 1st District going to let Atlanta outdo us? I didn't think so. Get out the vote!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Veterans' issues in WSVH radio interview

The intro says "long-shot candidate" but the audio interview includes snippets like a veteran wearing a McCain hat recognizing Gillespie, calling him by name, engaging in conversation, and later saying he may vote for him. Lots of material about Bill Gillespie's Iraq experience, disabilities, and knowledge of veterans' health care. Also economy, taxes, and Iraq. Well worth listening to.

Poll: Jack Kingston in Precarious Position

GA-01The Valdosta Daily Times says:
The position of Jack Kingston is equally precarious. Kingston’s support is exactly 50 percent with almost one in four registered voters undecided, according to the survey, making a runoff in Georgia’s First Congressional District with challenger Bill Gillespie a possibility.
This is from a telephone survey of 453 random phone numbers (margin of error 4.6%) in Lowndes County on 16-26 October by the Center for Applied Research (CAR) at Valdosta State University (VSU), Professor James LaPlant.

Update: The VDT was confused about runoffs. While a runoff is quite possible for the Senate race, which has three candidates, a runoff is extremely unlikely for the House race, which has only two candidates. So if Jack Kingston is to plummet from his precarious perch, it will happen today, and, if so, Bill Gillespie will win today.

The Valdosta Daily Times previously relegated a story on massive new voter registrations to the inside pages and put a story about Lowndes County supposedly always being Republican on the front page of the same issue. The VDT later declined to endorse anyone, because they didn't expect so much early voting! If even the VDT says Kingston's position is precarious, Kingston is perched on a precipice indeed. Bill Gillespie can win!

I have the whole poll, and among respondents who said they'd already voted, Kingston was below 50%. This is ignominious for Kingston, who in 2006 got 59% against 41% for Democrat Jim Nelson in Lowndes County.

This figure shows early voters vs. likely voters:

Early Voting, Poll, Lowndes County, Georgia

Chris Prine (D) and Freddie Taylor (R) are running for sheriff, Ashley Paulk (D) and G. Norman Bennett (R) for county commission chair, Bill Gillespie (D) and Jack Kingston (R) for U.S. House GA-01, Jim Martin (D) and Saxby Chambliss (R) for U.S. Senate GA-Sen, and Barack Obama (D) and John McCain (R) for U.S. president GA-Pres. As you can see, the local races are not even close; the Democrat is way ahead in each of those. The national races show the Democrat trailing, but much closer in early voting. In GA-01, Jack Kingston (R) fell below 50% in early voting, and Bill Gillespie (D) is catching up. The poll showed 28% early voters at a time when more than 20% had voted early. The last day of early voting was packed in Lowndes County. Final early voting was about 22,000 out of about 57,000 registered voters, or about 38%. So if the trend shown in this survey continued, the Democrats are even closer in the national races now.

The professor who organized the survey, Jim LaPlant, tells me:
I should also note that the survey found that Democrats outnumber Republicans in our sample of Lowndes County registered voters. Our sample was 36% Democrat, 34% Republican, 26% Independent and 4% no
response. In 2004, Republicans outnumbered Democrats and the numbers were roughly equivalent in the 2006 survey.
The survey also shows 53% of voters chose the economy as their biggest issue, with terrorism coming in a distant second at 12%. Bill Gillespie's top issue is the economy, and on terrorism Bill is a decorated Iraq veteran and Jack is not.

The poll summary says 2008 has:
...a presidential election that has the potential to generate the highest voter turnout since the 1960 presidential election.
This turnout, especially of the massive number of newly registered voters, will favor Bill Gillespie, especially in Lowndes County, where the local Obama office has handed out thousands of Bill Gillespie flyers and has mentioned his name at every opportunity.

So, if you haven't voted for Bill yet, get out and vote Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Major Endorsement!

Bill Gillespie snags a major endorsement from newspapers distributed throughout Georgia's First District:
Coastal Empire News, publishers of Savannah Daily News, The Business Report & Journal and Coastal Family Magazine, is endorsing Savannah's Bill Gillespie (D) for Congress to represent the 1st Congressional District over incumbent Jack Kingston (R).

Savannahian Bill Gillespie is a highly educated, fiscally conservative Democrat, a war hero of the Iraq War, a recipient of the Bronze Star and a candidate with a vision of how to bring jobs back to the 1st District in manufacturing, alternative energy and the timber industry.
And as for Jack "flag pin" Kingston:
And these times force us to step back, and take a hard look at his actual voting record on critical issues including fighting all measures to set a timeline to get out of Iraq, his failure to fight runaway Federal spending as a member of the House Appropriations committee that develops the budget, his leadership in defense of Tom Delay and President Bush as well as Republican party smear campaigns this election cycle, and his failure to file his personal financial disclosure information due last May 15 even though he was up for re-election. These votes and others lead us to believe that it is time for a change in 1st District representation.

Frankly, Jack began to lose our support last Feb. 27 when he appeared on the Dan Abrams show and said it was okay to "question Sen. Barack Obama's patriotism because he doesn't regularly wear an American flag lapel pin."

Problem was, sitting there on the TV set with the cameras rolling, Jack wasn't wearing a flag pin. These types of smear tactics are repugnant and demean elected officials in an era when voters are begging for straight talk on the issues versus old-style personal attack politics.

Yet, he continues to use such tactics, seeking to smear his opponent Bill Gillespie in this race, accusing him of lying about his educational degrees and other achievements, despite two news organizations having confirmed that Gillespie's resumé is accurate.

I guess they agree with Larrietta Johnson about that Atlanta debate.

Much more in the endorsement, con Kingston and pro Gillespie.

Concluding statement:
Bill Gillespie is a credible candidate and a man in touch with the needs of the military establishment in our region, which is a critical component of our local business economy.
To achieve a change, we must change.
All that and Bill Gillespie can fly!

Oh yeah: you can, too.

Bill in Valdosta with Jim Martin Thursday Friday

Photo: jimmywayne22 CC
Jim Martin and Bill Gillespie are on the road! As you know, Jim Martin aims to defeat Saxby Chambliss for Georgia Senator. You're probably aware by now that Bill Gillespie aims to oust Jack Kingston from GA-01.
"What is the Road To Change Bus Tour? The Democratic Party of Georgia will tour across Georgia, making 50 stops in 7 days, touting our Democratic candidates."
Friday 31 October 2008. Introductions at 7:30PM, Jim Martin at 8PM, other candidates at 8:30PM, including Lt. Col. Bill Gillespie (Army, ret.), all on the Lowndes County Courthouse steps, 108 E Central Ave., Valdosta, GA 31601.

Come see the new face of Georgia's Congressional delegation!

You can RSVP via

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Letter from a Veteran

This one needs no editing:
From: "Larrietta Johnson"
Date: Tue, October 28, 2008 2:02 pm

Hello Bill,

It's Larrietta Johnson. I was the soldier in the accident traveling behind your vehicle in Kuwait. I just wanted you to know that I voted for you today to represent the first congressional district of Georgia as our congressman.

I also watched your debate against Jack Kingston on GPB and I was proud of the way you handled yourself. I remember you saying that no one listened to you when you were in charge. I think the important thing is that you listened to others. I once had a young army captain tell me "Sergeant there is nothing to discuss" when I was trying to explain something to him. You were not like that and I will never forget you telling me that I could always come to you whenever I had an issue to discuss. Thank you for that.

I am currently about to finish my last semester to become a registered nurse. I attend school at the Technical College of the Lowcountry in Beaufort, S.C. Out-of-state tuition, inadequate funding in educational benefits for veterans, and gas prices has left me on the verge of packing it up and leaving Hinesville. I've just about lost everything that I've worked so hard for trying to better myself and my financial situation through education.

We certainly need change here in the first congressional district of Georgia and I wholeheartedly believe that you are the change that we need. I was graded on an assignment in one of my nursing classes and ironically the subject was that I write a letter to my congressman. My nursing instructor was so impressed with the letter that she gave it her seal of approval, asked to speak with me privately about my concerns, and put a cute little sticky on my assignment that read "bet he contacts you." Guess what?

Congressman Jack Kingston never contacted me. I guess the issues concerning soldiers, their benefits, and education incentives for Licensed Practical Nurses to become Registered Nurses were not worth his time.

Thank you Bill for fighting the fight with me that most politicians only talk about. I voted for you today and I wish you all the best!

Larrietta Johnson
Veteran, US Army

Here's a link to the debate.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Atlanta Debate Video

GA-01 APC Debate: Bill Gillespie vs. Jack KingstonLook in the GPB election archive, scroll down in the menu to APCD-1st Congressional District Debate, and press play.

A very few snippets are below. You've already seen some other impressions. Now you can watch for yourself.

Bill criticises Jack for not doing anything for the soldiers in his district, and compares Jack to Colonel Sanders: good for the fast food industry; not so good for the chickens.

Jack keeps shifting ground on Iraq and Afghanistan, sounding more like Barack and Bill all the time.

Bill: "This was a war of choice." "We can leave honorably in eighteen months." "Listen: this is a sinkhole." "The Iraqis can start taking care of themselves, and we can start focusing on our own internal problems."

Reporter to Jack: "Wouldn't it be a benefit to connect south Georgia to Atlanta and other cities?"

Jack: "You know there could be a time." "...the critical mass is not there."

Bill: "The time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining." But Bush didn't do that. Ties Kingston to DeLay. "We need to make public transportation a part of our public stimulus package."

Reporter to Bill: How do you propose to pay for the things you want to do?

Bill: "It's time we look at investing in skills for the 21st century."

Reporter asks Jack about earmark reform, given his many earmark requests.

Jack: Why yes! It's all the Democrats' fault that we don't have earmark reform. Jack: #1 have to have strong military! Decisions by generals in Baghdad! "vigilant military" etc. Worked for Tybee beach erosion. (Yet Mr. Zero on the Environment wants offshore drilling.)

30 second closing statements

Bill: Not set up for 21st century. Champion of middle class and working people. Change.

Jack: "He wants to kill No Child Left Behind!" Thump thump!

I'm pretty sure he said something else, but the blatancy of "kill" "child" was over the top even for Jack.

Jack must be scared!

Jack Showed Up! "Like a Chicken Voting for Colonel Sanders"

After saying he DECLINED to debate Bill Gillespie, Jack Kingston showed up Sunday after all!

Jack didn't have much to say, though:
with Kingston primarily charging that Gillespie misrepresented himself as having a Ph.D. Gillespie said he had made no such claim, but said he had completed all of the work necessary for a Ph.D., other than the dissertation.
Instead of picking at trivia, Bill went for substance:
Among other things, Gillespie, the Democratic challenger, said Kingston, the Republican incumbent, had failed to support soldiers and their families.

“A soldier voting for Jack Kingston is like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders,” said Gillespie.
Mainstream media coverage of this debate was lacking. So now we turn to a blogger, who has more to say:
First, Kingston tried to say that Dems love him, since some Dems here in southern Georgia support him.
You can find one or two of those in every election.
Kingston is an experienced politician:
As for the rest of the debate, it mainly consisted of Kingston distorting facts and otherwise smearing as well as employing demagoguery whenever possible--like during his timed rebuttals or during his closing argument, when no one could take him to task for it.
Now to the interesting candidate:
Gillespie, on the other hand, does know what he is about. He is an expert on the environment and, to me, that is absolutely wonderful. We really need that kind of expertise as we move towards sustainable energy--and as we try to fend off the "drill baby drill" wingnuts like Kingston who refuse to see that we simply don't have the oil reserves to meet our energy needs and don't care about the environmental impact of drilling off Georgia's coast.

It goes without saying that he knows more than Kingston when it comes to Iraq and what needs to be done there.

I also see in Gillespie a reasonable person who is not a blind partisan or ideologue. We need reasonable people who can think clearly and make decisions based on rational analysis. What we don't need is more of the same, shouting, fear-mongering, know-nothing governance that we have had for so very long--and which Kingston and others in this state still think represents "good government."
Here's hoping GPB will get the debate up online soon, so we can all see it again (or, in the case of Lowndes County, for the first time, since channel 8 didn't have the feed). So Kingston only had chicken feed, and Bill had substance. That's what this election is about.