APN 2014 Endorsements Pt. 1: “Nunn of the Above,” Gibeling, Stokes

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NunnAPN 2014 Endorsements Pt. 1: “Nunn of the Above,” Gibeling, Stokes

By Matthew Charles Cardinale, News Editor (October 12, 2014)

(APN) ATLANTA — The Atlanta Progressive News Board of Directors has issued endorsements in Georgia’s 2014 General Election.

Previously, in the 2014 Primary Election, we endorsed State Sen. Jason Carter (D-Decatur) for Governor; and former Decatur Schools Board Chair Valerie Wilson for State School Superintendent.  We reiterate those endorsements in the General Election.

Our additional endorsements for the General include:

U.S. SENATE: NUNN OF THE ABOVE

In the Democratic Primary, we endorsed former State Sen. Steen Miles (D-Decatur).

Only one of three candidates in the General Elections, Amanda Swafford, the Libertarian nominee, participated in an interview with APN.  Swafford should be commended for her accessibility–something that Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn has not exhibited.

However, we were not pleased with Swafford’s responses on several issues, including nuclear power, which she supports; amending the U.S. Constitution to clarify the power of U.S. Congress to regulate campaign contributions, which she does not support; or a new Voting Rights Act Section Four, which she does not support.

Meanwhile, Nunn leaves much to be desired.  As previously reported by APN, Nunn agreed with the Supreme Court majority that struck down the Voting Rights Act Section Four; Nunn wanted the U.S. to invade Syria; she supports the Keystone XL Pipeline; she believes same-sex marriage should be up to states to allow or disallow; and she supports nuclear fuel reprocessing.

David Perdue, the Republican nominee, also failed to participate in an interview with APN.  His business background, as reported by APN, as akin to that of former U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and he is proud of his record of outsourcing.

With Nunn, and U.S. Sen Mary Landrieu (D-LA), likely to go into Run-Offs, we may revisit the race after the General Election.  With the Democratic U.S. Senate majority likely hanging on by a wire at that point, a vote for Nunn may become critical to preventing a Republican majority in the Senate.  But at this point, we are not endorsing Nunn.  We are endorsing “Nunn of the Above.”

HOUSE DISTRICT 54: BOB GIBELING

We have taken a special interest in House District 54, where Bill Bozarth, former Executive Director of Common Cause Georgia, used the petition process to get on the ballot as an independent candidate.

We interviewed all three candidates: Beth Beskin, the Republican nominee; Bozarth; and Bob Gibeling, the Democratic nominee.

Beskin is accessible and while she has tread a right-wing path to her nomination–supporting such things as an increased statewide sales tax–we believe she will be willing to work with progressives, as she always has been since she first ran for office in 2010.  However, we cannot endorse her based on her responses.

Meanwhile, while Bozarth has the positive traits of being non-partisan, experienced, and knowledgeable about many issues, we have major concerns about his judgment and his conflict of interest involving elections integrity, that we cannot support him either.

Bozarth–while Executive Director of Common Cause Georgia , on or around 2002–used the organization’s mantles of ethics and transparency, to throw his weight and support behind Georgia’s change to unverifiable electronic voting.  Bozarth’s position was out of line with national Common Cause’s position on electronic voting.

CCGA, under Bozarth’s leadership, accepted money from Secretary of State Cathy Cox, to help educate Georgians on how to use the unverifiable machines.

Today, according to Bozarth, he is a contractor with electronic voting software firm ES&S, and he profits from the very industry that he defends, and that undermines the integrity of our democracy.

In addition, during his tenure on the Atlanta Citizens Review Board, Bozarth defended the Atlanta Police Department’s practice of profiling citizens based on their appearance of being homeless.

Gibeling, in his interview, said that he supports lowering the petition requirements for independent and minor party candidates; opposed the constitutional amendment re-constitution the state charter school commission, that now overrides the decisions of the local and state school boards; expressed concern about nuclear power; supports a voter verifiable paper audit trail; opposes an increased state sales tax; supports medical cannabis; supports GMO labeling; and opposes cuts to early voting.  We endorse Gibeling.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: FORMER DEKALB COMMISSIONER CONNIE STOKES

We are pleased to endorse former DeKalb County Commissioner Connie Stokes for Lt. Governor of Georgia.

We interviewed Stokes in 2010 when she ran for the Democratic nomination for U.S. House, Georgia’s Fourth Congressional District; and again this year, in 2014.  We feel that she has made tremendous improvement on progressive issues.

Stokes opposes nuclear power, she supports GMO labeling, she supports adding a Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail to electronic voting machines in Georgia; and she supports medical cannabis in Georgia.

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