Editor's Note - It's election season

And it hasn't been pretty

Georgia's July 18 primary election season hasn't been pretty.

In the race for governor, two Democrats who could have conveyed a principled vision to compete with Gov. Sonny Perdue cowered all spring behind polling numbers and negative ads.

First case in point: Cathy Cox's waffling on gay marriage. Rather than articulating a thoughtful, honest position that might have gained respect from both sides, the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful frittered away her credibility by sending different messages to different groups — and appearing disingenuous to everyone.

Second case: Mark Taylor's campaign in general. His minions spent their energy strafing party unity with win-at-all-cost attacks on Cox while they inflated his role 14 years ago in working Zell Miller's lottery plan through the Senate. Taylor's campaign guru even opened the race with the McCarthyesque claim that Cox is a "liberal."

This isn't new to Georgia. Our politicians long ago learned how to mislead voters by faulting others. Somewhere between slavery and Jim Crow, they found they could distract white voters with bombastic accusations and simplistic solutions to difficult problems such as poverty and ignorance. We've been all the poorer for believing them.

Nowadays, Republicans resort to updated versions of the same. In many ways, gays and Hispanics have become the new scapegoats. And while open racism is politically incorrect, Perdue's new voter ID legislation sends a clear message that some citizens' rights are less equal than others'.

It doesn't need to be that way. Look on down the ballot. You'll find potential leaders who've actually used the campaign to debate ideas that might move the state forward. The Democratic field for lieutenant governor and some candidates in both parties who are running for secretary of state have stuck largely to the issues.

Our endorsements (on page 34) throw credit toward those who have shown themselves to be such principled campaigners. In many cases — for example, the choice between Jim Martin and Greg Hecht for lieutenant governor on the Democratic side — the choice proved difficult for the right reasons.

In the case of Cox and Taylor, the choice proved difficult for the wrong ones.

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Wednesday November 19, 2008 04:57 am EST

Huffington Post reported this afternoon that former Veep Al Gore will campaign here Sunday for Democratic Senate candidate Jim Martin. I'm sure Young Thomas will be getting us more details later.

Meanwhile, here are details on former President Bill Clinton's visit tomorrow (or today by the time you read this) at Clark Atlanta University on behalf of Martin. For those keeping score, John...

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Monday November 17, 2008 02:35 pm EST

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2. Paul Broun compares Obama to Hitler By Andisheh Nouraee

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Saturday November 15, 2008 02:27 pm EST

Creative Loafing Inc. has asked a bankruptcy judge to allow it to pay $495 an hour to the investment banker who engineered last year's purchase by CL of two other alternative weeklies, according to Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy. This time Skyway Capital Partners' Bryan Crino would be tasked with helping to solve the company's financial woes.

Under the company's Nov. 10 motion to the...

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Monday November 10, 2008 11:17 pm EST

After eight years during which the federal government didn't even have an urban policy, an aide  President-elect Obama is indicating that he plans to coordinate aid to cities.

The Washington Post reports that Obama plans to establish a White House Office of Urban Policy.

"He's going to have a White House chief of urban policy," transition co-chair Valerie Jarrett told the Trotter...

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Monday November 10, 2008 03:17 pm EST

1. AJC censors comics, movie ads By Scott Henry

2. Georgia Court of Appeals: The most important vote you may skip on Tuesday By Ken Edelstein

3. Election night photos By Alejandro A. Leal

4. Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Obama celebration photos By Thomas Wheatley

5. The Libertarian effect on Georgia's U.S. Senate race By Thomas Wheatley

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