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Reforming Georgia's Government

For all of the talk from our government’s leaders about ethics reform, we have seen our government become less accountable and ethical

Instead of working for all Georgians, our government has become focused on helping the insiders. Under the Perdue administration, corporations have underwritten research to benefit their bottom lines. And within the last two weeks, we saw the need for change when Governor Perdue’s political team forced out our state’s top non-partisan ethics watchdog.

We can do better.

I have unveiled a plan to promote government reform, accountability and responsibility. This far-reaching proposal will close the revolving door of government, put ethics law enforcement in the hands of a truly independent body, create a tough code of ethics, and reform the way state contracting is done.

You can download your own copy of the plan by clicking here .

Among the specifics of this plan are proposals to:

• Make the State Ethics Commission and the State Elections Board non-political and independent, with their members appointed by the judiciary rather than the governor, House and Senate leadership or political parties.

• Keep partisan politics out of county-wide offices so people are more effectively served.

• Prohibit corporations from underwriting state research that could benefit their own bottom line.

• Require Legislators and state elected officials to disclose whether their personal business or their employer has done business with the state in the past five years or is soliciting business with the state.

• Create an independent State Contracting Standards Board.

I hope that you will take a few minutes to download this plan and share your thoughts with me. I will need your support to make these changes a reality.

We deserve a government that works to create opportunities for all Georgians, not just the insiders. My plan will make government more accountable to the people it serves.

Thank you again for all the help you have provided to our campaign. This is just the first of several plans that we will lay out during this campaign. But none of them can come to be without your continued involvement and support.

Sincerely,

Cathy Cox

Posted by: David McLaughlin
02:59 PM January 24

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Save the Hapeville Ford Plant

I need your help to defend jobs for Georgians.

Ford Motor Co. will decide next week whether to close their facility in Hapeville, a move that could mean the loss of 2,500 jobs and $100 million per year in lost wages for many of our fellow Georgians.

This is our final opportunity to act.

On Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Sonny Perdue has declined to meet with Ford executives—a step that governors of other states facing plant closures are taking—to persuade them that this facility is important not only to their company, but to Georgia’s economy.

An independent analyst said that the Hapeville plant is competing with Ford’s Wixom, Michigan facility and that “unless Georgia comes up with something amazing, we believe Wixom stays and Atlanta goes.” However, Perdue and his staff are unwilling to hold a face-to-face meeting with Ford, opting instead to rely on incentives offered to the company some six months ago.

To read the article, please click here.

As the clock ticks down to a final decision, we have one last opportunity to make a strong impression on Ford executives. We should seize this unique opportunity to show Ford and the people of our state that Georgia’s jobs transcend political differences and partisanship.

I sent a letter to Governor Perdue and Lt. Governor Taylor asking them to join me in an emergency visit to Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan to make the case for keeping the Hapeville plant open. Meeting face-to-face with the company’s executives to present Georgia’s case that the plant must remain open may be the step that saves the jobs of more than 2,000 of our citizens.

As the state’s top three elected officials, we share a duty to look out for the interests of all Georgians. Please join me in urging the Governor and Lt. Governor to work with me in showing that Georgia can set aside partisan politics and unite to save jobs. I hope you’ll add your signatures to the letter.

Show your support for the letter by clicking here.

It’s time to put partisanship aside and to do what’s right for Georgia. We can’t afford to lose more jobs and another key component of our state’s economic engine. Should Ford decide to choose the Wixom plant over Hapeville, that decision would be especially devastating coming on the heels of GM’s announcement last November to close its Doraville facility, with a loss of 3,100 similarly well paying jobs. The closure of Brown and Williamson’s Macon plant, with some 2,000 high paying manufacturing jobs, has had a very damaging impact on the middle Georgia economy.

But there is still time to act by making one last case directly to the executives at Ford. We owe it not just to the 2,500 Ford employees who are facing the possibility of unemployment; we owe it to the millions of Georgians we have the solemn duty to represent.

Sincerely,

Cathy Cox

Posted by: Peter Jackson
03:29 PM January 20
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An Evening in Dalton

Cathy Cox brought her campaign for change to Dalton last night. She touched on education, jobs and openness in government. She also emphasized her willingness to reach out to all Georgians, regardless of party label. The Dalton Daily Citizen picks up the story:

Whitfield County isn’t a hostile place for Democrats, says Georgia Secretary of State. Cox, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, came to Dalton on a campaign swing Tuesday.
“The reception has been very good, and I think in large part that’s because of a very different message we are trying to send in this campaign,‿ said Cox, who acknowledged that Whitfield County has gone solidly Republican in recent years.
Cox noted that the chairman of her campaign is former Republican state legislator Dan Ponder.
“That’s something very new and different in Georgia, to have a candidate actually embrace people on the other side of the aisle. This is not about electing me as a Democrat so we can push Republicans aside and keep playing the same nonsensical games. This is about having a governor who wants to work with everybody,‿ she said.
Full article here.
Posted by: Morton Brilliant
03:30 PM December 14
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Creative Campaigning: CL on CC

Cathy Cox is the subject of a cover story in this week’s edition of Creative Loafing. Definitely worth a read; the whole profile is here.

Some excerpts:

Cox, 47, is not a battle-scarred politico haunted by a record of gotcha soundbites and a long list of enemies. Her closets seem almost improbably skeleton-free. Many observers, therefore, have tagged her as the Democrats’ brightest hope for beating Sonny Perdue in the 2006 governor’s race, little more than 11 months away…
Still, Cox already has shaken up Peach State politics by roaring out of the gate with a fully tooled campaign. Prohibited by law from collecting political contributions during the General Assembly this spring, the secretary of state quickly made up for lost time, blindsiding Taylor by out-fundraising him by $1.5 million to $2 million in the year’s first reporting period…

The people who know her best speak out:

(State Rep. Tom) Bordeaux, a Savannah Democrat who served with Cox when she was in the state House, observes: “Cathy Cox is exactly as she appears to be – straightforward and low-key – but she’s also hard-nosed and businesslike. Anybody who knows her knows she’s not soft.”
Former Public Service Commissioner Bobby Rowan describes Cox as “very tough, well-organized. As Gov. [George] Busbee’s slogan went, ‘She’s a workhorse, not a showhorse.’ But she has more personality than Busbee ever had.”
“Cathy is not the typical politician,” says a former department head in the secretary of state’s office under Cox. “She’s all business. She’s not a glad-hander or good ol’ boy. You really can’t get much past her.”
“Contrary to what people say, I’m not one of Cathy’s worshipful followers who’ve known her since Sunday school,” (Campaign Chairman Dan) Ponder says. “I’ve been in both parties and I’ve seen their underbellies and I want someone who’s going to represent all of Georgia.”
Read the full article here.
Posted by: Morton Brilliant
02:53 PM December 08
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Perdue Chastised for Interfering

Saying that “there is legitimate reason now to fear that selection of the University System’s next chancellor might have more to do with politics than probity,” today’s Athens Banner-Herald took Sonny Perdue to task for meddling. The paper also observed that his activites once again raise the whiff of insider dealings.

Full article here.

Posted by: Morton Brilliant
01:07 PM December 06
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Herschel Walker: "It's Not the Party, it's the Person."

Picture of Herschel Walker and Cathy Cox

On the eve of the SEC Championship, Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker joined Cathy Cox for a reception to endorse her campaign for Governor. UGA football fans came together Friday night to meet Herschel Walker, offer their support to Cathy Cox, and cheer on the GA Bulldogs to victory.

Herschel Walker praised Cathy’s roots in rural Georgia and cited their shared commitment to small town values. Calling Cathy Cox “the best one for the job,” he said “it’s not the party, it’s the person.”

Posted by: Elizabeth Ponder
01:34 PM December 05
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Salutes and "Grave Concerns:" More from Macon

Sometimes, the funniest things don’t actually make it into the main story. Some more tidbits from Cathy Cox’s appearance in Macon on Friday:

THAT CALLS FOR A SALUTE
When Bibb County Magistrate Billy Randall introduced Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox during Friday’s Politics & Lunch meeting, he drew some laughs over his nickname for her: General Cox. Randall explained that once while he and she were state legislators, they ended up on opposite sides of a bill concerning child support issues. Acting with military efficiency, Cox rallied female House members to her side and outflanked Randall. “She whipped those ladies into shape, and they whipped me really good,” Randall said.

Much was also made of Cathy’s childhood home—which was located just over the family’s funeral parlor in Bainbridge.

THEY HAD GRAVE CONCERNS?
During her Friday talk, Cox said her south Georgia upbringing was idyllic but odd – odd because she grew up at her family’s funeral home. “You don’t know there’s anything odd about it except none of your girlfriends want to spend the night,” she said.

You can read the full political notebook here.

Posted by: Morton Brilliant
03:06 PM November 20
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On the Ground in Macon

Speaking to an overflow crowd in Macon, Cathy Cox took on Georgia’s current political leaders for failing to put the needs of all citizens first.

“This is not government working for everybody,” she said. “This is government working for some special interests.”

Recently, the Perdue Adminsitration ignored the concerns of teachers, doctors, retirees and other state employees, and made changes to the state’s health plan that threatened the quality of health care throughout large parts of Georgia. Cathy cited this as another example of how our current leaders are failing us all.

Cox said she wants a state government that puts education, economic development and the needs of all residents ahead of partisan one-upmanship. “That is not happening in our state Capitol today,” she said. “Right now I do not believe that government is working for everybody in this state.”

The full article can be found here.

Posted by: Morton Brilliant
02:00 PM November 19
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On the Road with Cathy Cox

Cathy Cox returned to south Georgia on Monday to visit with friends in Valdosta. Both young and old came out in support of Cathy and her campaign for change. Leaving Valdosta, Cathy stopped in Savannah at the County Officials Association of Georgia Convention to speak with Sheriffs, Tax Commissioners, Probate Judges, and Clerks.

Posted by: Elizabeth Ponder
05:06 PM November 16
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"Make Government Work For Everybody"

After weekend stops in Helen and Madison, Cathy Cox brought her campaign for change to Americus, where she laid out her vision for Georgia:

“To make government work for everybody, to bring all voices to the table and all perspectives to the table, to make government work in a way that you don’t have to have high-priced lobbyists in the hallway of the Capitol to make government work for you.”

The full article can be found here.

Posted by: Elizabeth Ponder
04:12 PM November 08
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CC at ABAC

Cathy Cox was back in Tifton last night visiting the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, her alma mater. You can read more about her trip here.

Posted by: Morton Brilliant
03:10 PM November 02
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Weekend Report

Cathy Cox spent yesterday meeting with elected officials and community leaders in Albany at GABEO’s fall conference. This afternoon, she’ll be at the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500.

Posted by: Morton Brilliant
12:30 PM October 30
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Report from East Georgia

Cathy Cox made several stops in East Georgia this week, with appearances in Statesboro, Swainsboro and Dublin. Both Democrats and Republicans turned out to show their support for Cathy.

In Swainsboro, folks from Emanual and its surrounding counties came to Flat Creek Lodge to visit with Cathy Cox and hear some straight talk about improving Georgia.

Posted by: Elizabeth Ponder
05:38 PM October 26
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Saturday Night in Taliaferro County

Bluegrass and BBQ were on the menu Saturday night as Cathy Cox brought her grassroots campaign to Sharon, Georgia. She spoke about her plans to shake up state government and make it work for all Georgians and her commitment to ending the political games and bickering that are holding our state back.

Posted by: Elizabeth Ponder
10:03 AM October 24
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The Week Ahead: East Georgia

Cathy Cox will carry her campaign to make government work for all Georgians into East Georgia this week, with visits planned in several counties. Stay tuned to this space for updates.

Posted by: Morton Brilliant
05:16 PM October 23
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Thank You! You Did It!

Over the last 48 hours, we have asked our friends and supporters to chip in and contribute enough to keep the cathycox.com community going strong.

The response was incredible. Thanks to your commitment and generosity, we raised nearly $13,000 in 48 hours. This money has been set aside to maintain the cathycox.com community.

Thank you for your support and your input. If you haven’t already signed up for our email updates, please do so.

See you on the trail. Sincerely,
Valerie Martin, Finance Director

Posted by: Valerie Martin
03:57 PM October 20
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Culture of Secrecy

At the end of nearly three years in office, the legacy of Perdue remains a cipher. A culture of secrecy in state government has allowed the public only fleeting glimpses of how, when and where important decisions are made.

A week after we learned that lobbyists pull the strings in the Perdue Administration, Perdue’s government of, by, and for the insiders is briefly highlighted in columns throughout the state. You can read the rest of the article here. Any thoughts?

Posted by: David McLaughlin
02:20 PM October 12
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Sign The Petition for Change

The revelations piled up all week.

First, we learned that Sonny Perdue refused to follow his own call to limit nonessential travel. In fact, less than 24 hours after declaring our schools “nonessential” and shutting them down for two days, he traveled half way across the state to speak at a political rally.

Then on the heels of that example of Perdue-as-I-Say-Not-as-I-Perdue came this headline sheding light on the real reason that Perdue shut the schools down in the first place: Lobbyists call, schools close.

Had enough of the same old insider politics? You can send a message by joining the hundreds of people who have already signed our petition for change.

Here are some of the comments so far:

“I am disappointed that the governor cannot even take his own advice. It’s arrogant and tells me that he is above the law.” Cherie in Valdosta.

“While you were burning fuel in your SUV, thousands of parents were scrambling to find child care for their children.” Stacy in Atlanta

“Lead by example.” Melinda in Summerville

“I’m sure the parents of those students who were given last minute notice they had to find daycare for their children are thrilled to hear they were less important than the 500 Republicans who were waiting and couldn’t be told at the last minute that you weren’t coming…” Terry in Atlanta

“A governor needs to set an example by his own actions. The example that you set was that it is alright to use gasoline even when others are being required to conserve it.” Beverly in Marietta

Add your voice to theirs—sign the petition today!

Posted by: Morton Brilliant
07:41 PM October 05
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Shots from the Trail: Frank Ski's and Charles Mathis' Reception for Cathy Cox

Frank Ski and Charles Mathis recently held a reception for Cathy Cox. Frank and Charles demonstrated their support for Cathy, and introduced her to many of their friends and colleagues.

Posted by: Elizabeth Ponder
12:16 PM October 05
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Cox Back in Southwest Georgia

Cathy Cox was the featured speaker at the Southwest Georgia Board of Realtors� annual political meeting on Monday night. She spoke on the need for Georgia to abandon the partisan politics that she believes is keeping the state from making significant progress in areas of economic development and improving educational opportunities for all. Her comments to the attendees included:

“We need to have a vision on how we can make all of Georgia grow with the people and jobs that want to come here.”
“We’ve got to do better for our students and for our children, not only because of what we want for them, but because of the implications it has when we get into economic development.”
“Educators are the experts. They are there on the front line every day,” Cox said. “We�ve got to let our teachers guide the process on how we can reform education.”

Read the full column here

Posted by: David McLaughlin
09:48 PM September 28
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Cathy Cox @ ADL ATL

Snapshots from the trail:

Cathy Cox spent yesterday evening at the Anti-Defamation League’s 40th Anniversary celebration.

Posted by: Elizabeth Ponder
03:20 PM September 23
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Cathy Cox planning daylong campaign trip to Gainesville

Cathy Cox is the first of the announced Georgia gubernatorial candidates planning a major campaign foray into Hall County.

Cox, the incumbent Secretary of State who is running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, plans a daylong swing through Gainesville Sunday.

Read the full story at Access North Georgia
Posted by: David McLaughlin
11:31 PM September 15
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Cox in Savannah: "Take on Insider Dealmaking"

The Savannah Morning News covered Cox’s recent appearance at the Chatham County Democratic Committee’s dinner. Some excerpts:

Democratic candidate for governor Cathy Cox vowed Thursday to “clean out the back rooms of gossip and insider dealmaking in Atlanta.” Cox, Georgia’s secretary of state, is running against Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor for their party’s nomination in 2006…

Praising the efforts of Chatham County democrats, the candidate told them “we cannot stop here. We’ve got to leave here…all charged up.”

She invoked the memory of her father, former state legislator Walter Cox, as an example of “service, leadership” that all elected officials should follow.

Cox also praised the response of ordinary Americans who are helping hurricane-devastated Louisiana. “We should pray that we will not abandon this renewed spirit of community in America,” she said.

Full article here.

Posted by: David McLaughlin
01:30 PM September 09
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Nearly Two-Thirds of House Democrats Endorse Cathy Cox

In the largest single endorsement yet in the 2006 gubernatorial campaign, 51 Democrats in the Georgia House of Representatives (plus one independent state Representative) have announced their support for Cathy Cox, who is herself a former rural legislator. This broad and diverse group of Representatives runs the gamut from freshman legislators to long-time House members. They also hail from every region of Georgia.

�Our campaign is about making government work for all the people of Georgia, and I am honored to have so many legislative leaders embracing our call,� said Cathy Cox.

Recent polling demonstrated Cathy Cox�s strength throughout Georgia, revealing that she leads among every demographic and regional group in the Democratic electorate � whites and African-Americans, men and women, young and old, rural, suburban and urban.

�I am honored to have such strong support across Georgia,� said Cox. Cathy Cox also outraised her primary opponent by more than $600,000 during the recent fundraising quarter.

House members endorsing Cathy Cox:

Rep. Roberta Abdul-Salaam (District 74, Clayton, Fayette)
Rep. Alberta J. Anderson (District 123, Burke, Richmond)
Rep. Kathy Ashe (District 56, Fulton)
Rep. Mike Barnes (District 78, Clayton, Henry)
Rep. Sharon Beasley-Teague (District 65, Fulton)
Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield (District 85, Dekalb)
Rep. Tom Bordeaux (District 162, Chatham)
Rep. Debbie Buckner (District 130, Harris, Muscogee, Talbot)
Rep. Gail Buckner (District 76, Clayton)
Rep. Mike Cheokas (District 134, Marion, Schley, Sumter, Talbot)
Rep. Terry Coleman (District 144, Ben Hill, Bleckley, Dodge, Pulaski, Wilcox)
Rep. Bill Cummings (District 16, Floyd, Polk)
Rep. Douglas Dean (District 59, Fulton)
Rep. Ron Dodson (Independent) (District 75, Clayton)
Rep. Karla Drenner (District 86, Dekalb)
Rep. Carl Von Epps (District 128, Meriwether, Troup)
Rep. Hugh Floyd (District 99, Gwinnett)
Rep. Virgil Fludd (District 66, Fayette, Fulton)
Rep. Pat Gardner (District 57, Dekalb, Fulton)
Rep. Joe Heckstall (District 62, Clayton, Fulton)
Rep. Keith Heard (District 114, Clarke)
Rep. Michele Henson (District 87, Dekalb)
Rep. Bob Holmes (District 61, Fulton)
Rep. Henry Howard (District 121, Richmond)
Rep. Sistie Hudson (District 124, Hancock, Glascock, McDuffie, Putnam, Taliaferro, Warren)
Rep. Carolyn F Hugley (District 133, Muscogee)
Rep. Mike Jacobs (District 80, Dekalb)
Rep. Lynmore James (District 135, Dooly, Macon, Peach, Talbot, Taylor)
Rep. Jeanette Jamieson (District 28, Banks, Stephens, Franklin)
Rep. Charles Jenkins (District 8, Rabun, Towns, Union, White)
Rep. Darryl Jordan (District 77, Clayton, Fayette)
Rep. Jimmy Lord (District 142, Burke, Emanuel, Jefferson, Johnson, Washington)
Rep. David Lucas (District 139, Bibb)
Rep. Randal Mangham (District 94, Dekalb, Rockdale)
Rep. Pedro Marin (District 96, Gwinnett)
Rep. Jo Ann McClinton (District 84, Dekalb)
Rep. Billy Mitchell (District 88, Dekalb, Gwinnett)
Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (District 39, Cobb)
Rep. Howard Mosby (District 90, Dekalb, Henry)
Rep. Quincy Murphy (District 120, Richmond)
Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (District 83, Dekalb)
Rep. Nan Orrock (District 58, Dekalb, Fulton)
Rep. Bobby Parham (District 141, Baldwin, Putnam)
Rep. Alan Powell (District 29, Franklin, Hart, Madison)
Rep. Nikki Randall (District 138, Bibb)
Rep. Ron Sailor, Jr. (District 93, Dekalb, Rockdale)
Rep. Jay Shaw (District 176, Berrien, Clinch, Lanier, Lowndes)
Rep. Paul Smith (District 13, Floyd)
Rep. Brian W. Thomas (District 100, Gwinnett)
Rep. Pete Warren (District 122, Richmond)
Rep. Stan Watson (District 91, Dekalb, Henry)
Rep. �Coach� Earnest Williams (District 89, Dekalb)

Posted by: Morton Brilliant
05:43 PM August 23

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