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Editor's Diet: Reduce your political e-mail weight gain after the polls close
I have taken on extra poundage for some time now, but certainly in excess over the last three months. I assure you it is not water retention. If I had been packed back a few gallons of H2O, I’m positive our governor Most Cloudy Perdue would have found a way to siphon it out of me to fill Lake Lanier for his Aug. 5-8 mega fishing tournament.
Nope, my blubber bonanza came from the barrage of political e-mails I received from candidates, candidates’ cohorts, and candidates’ opponents who want to denounce the other candidate’s credentials.
After a flow of a political “check me out, I’m great” electronic mail every 3 seconds, the computer messages came to a virtual crashing halt at 7:01 p.m. on the night of the election, July 20.
Now I am not so dense that I don’t know that the editor of every newspaper, tabloid, leaflet, and middle school news handout wasn’t blitzed with political mumbo jumbo, but typically it’s those in the bigger cities that get the poli-pounding.
Even though I solicited none of them, I got loads of candidate e-mails – 29 different candidates, including two from South Carolina and two from Alabama. Sadly, I got none from either Tennessee or Florida. Maybe in the next big go-round.
To prove that all those e-mails weren’t merely just a constant reminder this or that candidate is the best qualified because they know how to hit “send to all,” I have compiled a comprehensive tabulation of the messages.
In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic candidate Rakeim “R.J.” Hadley e-mailed the Telephone and visited Screven County. His opponent Michael “Mike” Thurmond neither e-mailed nor visited, but won convincingly and will face incumbent Johnny Isakson in November. Isakson e-mailed in his role as senator.
Stay with me on this one – in the race for the Democratic nod for governor, Thurbert Baker visited, but sent no e-mail.
Roy Barnes e-mailed so much that I thought he invented e-mail just like Al Gore invented the Internet. Barnes, however, did not visit, but won the primary in a landslide.
DuBose Porter e-mailed and visited, while David Poythress just e-mailed.
Democrats Bill Bolton, Carl Camon and Randal Mangham did not e-mail.
On the Republican side, Eric Johnson, John Oxendine, Otis Putnam and the two who will face each other in a runoff Aug. 10 Nathan Deal and Karen Handel all e-mailed.
Republicans Jeff Chapman and Ray McBerry did not e-mail.
Lieutenant governor Democratic candidate Carol Porter e-mailed, while Tricia Carpenter McCracken did not. Republican incumbent Casey Cagle did not e-mail.
As for the Attorney General race, Ken Hodges, e-mailed about his inner goodness and spewed forth about the inferiorities of fellow Democrat Rob Teilhet, a non e-mailer. Preston Smith e-mailed, while fellow Republicans Sam Olens and Max Wood did not e-mail.
Republican Commissioner of Agriculture candidates Gary Black and Darwin Carter e-mailed. Democrat J.B. Powell, who ran unopposed, did not e-mail.
U.S. Representative District 12 race, Raymond McKinney and Jeanne Seaver e-mailed, but fellow Republicans Michael Horner and Carl Smith did not e-mail. Incumbent John Barrow, e-mailed and visited, while his Democratic counterpart Regina Thomas visited, but sent no e-mail.
Brian Kemp e-mailed in his capacity of Secretary of State. Democrat Georgeanna Sinkfield e-mailed, while Gary Horlacher, e-mailed and visited. However, I never received e-mails from Democrats Gail Buckner, Michael Mills and Angela “Miss Angela” Moore nor Republican Doug Macginntie.
In the Commissioner of Insurance race, Mary Squires, who ran unopposed on the Democratic side, e-mailed, but none of the nine Republicans e-mailed.
State Senate District 23 Republican candidate Jesse Stone e-mailed. Chuck Pardue, an independent running as a write-in for state senate, e-mailed to say he had the necessary signatures to be a “legal” write-in. No Democrat is on the ballot after J.B. Powell made his abrupt last-day of qualifying political change to the ag commish race.
As for the Public Service Commissioner race, Tim Echols did e-mail, but there was no e-mail from the other three Republicans. No e-mail came from Democrat Keith Moffett.
For School Superintendent, Democrat Beth Farokhi e-mailed. Of the other candidates – two Republicans and two other Democrats – none e-mailed and none visited.
In the Commissioner of Labor race, Republican Melvin Everson e-mailed, but I can’t say the same for Democrats Terry Coleman or Darryl Hicks or Republican Mark Butler.
Rounding out the Georgia races, State Representative District 157 Republican incumbent Jon Burns e-mailed and visited, while Elizabeth Johnson visited, but did not e-mail.
So what can I deduce from all these e-mailers and non e-mailers? E-mail is a gentle reminder from candidates reminding voters not to forget them on election day. Just like the candidates themselves, one click from the voters can make a candidate and e-mail disappear.
Dear voters, candidates mostly are facades of who they really are. In some ways, we all are. We present an image we want people to see. The true person is how one acts when no one else is around.
What I have learned over time is politicians forget that e-mail still operates just as well after the election as it did before. Of all those who e-mailed me during the campaign, only a few have hit the send button after the ballots were tallied.
Since the polls closed, Barnes at 10:54 p.m. election night sent out a victory e-mail. South Carolina’s incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson sent out a vote for me e-mail. Isakson announced a small business summit for Macon.
However, it was Seaver, who lost in her bid for the Republican nod for the 12th Congressional district and Johnson who came in third and out of the gubernatorial runoff for the Republican pick on Aug. 10 that I admire. They e-mailed in a gracious tone despite losing. Now that’s class.
I probably will forever believe that voters are only considered stepping stones for politicians’ rise to the top. Maybe the “thank you voters” e-mails from Johnson and Seaver will redirect my thinking.
Maybe, but probably not.
Enoch Autry is the publisher-editor of the Sylvania Telephone.