exhuming the Vernon Jones Senate campaign

Looking about on the political controversies of Vernon Jones, I see that he is running for Congress.  Why?  Can he win?

Understand, in 2008 he ran for the Georgia Senate Democratic nomination — and put out this flier:


On March 23, 2007 Jones announced he was running for the United States Senate against incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss. His campaign saw immediate controversies. In campaign literature, Jones sent out a flier in which he appeared in a picture next to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama with the words “Yes We Can.” However, Obama himself stated he not only never posed with Jones (the picture had been digitally altered), he did not endorse Jones or any other candidate for the Democratic nomination for Senate. In response, Jones blamed his “liberal opponents backed by the liberal media” for trying to ruin his campaign.

Things got hairier from there, and apparently it runs in his political nature.  One thing you might fault him for in a Democratic primary?

Another source of criticism leveled against Jones, mostly by chief rival Jim Martin, attacked his more conservative national record. On his campaign website, Jones acknowledged being a conservative Democrat, and in an interview, told the press he voted for George W. Bush.[9] Additionally, Jones donated more than $2,464 in two separate donations to the Georgia Republican Party in 2001.

It was with that that once he lost to the nomination to Jim Martin — his black support base eroded between the initial primary election and the run-off as the rules of “Identity Politics” goes to waste against the issues–, the National Democratic Party swooped in and made the elction between Martin and Chambliss a race they were willing and ready to fight for and pour some resouces into.  Watching the campaign polls, Martin was always down by 3 to 6 points.  Chambliss just barely was forced into a run-off, Martin’s vote percentage matching Obama’s reasonably “on the edge of contesting” vote total in Georgia, a Libertarian candidate siphoning off a few percentage points that forced it into the run-off.  There, Martin was swamped — the black vote not motivated to the polls, the Conservative Base had an early rallying call — an early erosion of White Southern voters against Obama — the Republicans brought in Zell Miller for some campaigning and Jim Martin brought in … Jay Z???

What makes me ponder the existence of Vernon Jones, out of the political graveyard?  Something about here:

The buzz among many savvy Republican and Democrat insiders is that Jones is doing Chambliss a big favor. Chambliss probably doesn’t have to worry about his seat. He has a solid base among the new-segregationist, religious-nutcase, hate-Atlanta bunch.

But it’s just possible the Democrats could find a viable Senate candidate – such as Jim Butler, a progressive and well-connected trial lawyer from Columbus. If Jones, prior to May 2008 when he’d have to formally declare his candidacy, appeared to be running for the Senate, he’d siphon support and money from other candidates. Jones is a celebrity in DeKalb, with its large black and liberal base that’s essential to a statewide run by a Democrat.

He could be the bomb that blows apart a true Democratic bandwagon on its way to unseating Chambliss.

It’s worth recalling another DeKalb pseudo-Democrat, Denise Majette. The anti-Cynthia McKinney Republicans in DeKalb crossed over to the Democratic primary in 2002 and sent Majette to Congress. Two years later, she made a run for an open U.S. Senate seat and was soundly trounced by Republican Johnny Isakson, as everyone knew she would be.

Republicans nurtured her political career from the beginning. They knew a GOP candidate couldn’t hope to unseat McKinney in DeKalb.

Had the Democrats fielded a real candidate in the Senate race against Isakson, there was the slimmest chance the Republicans would have lost. Majette had no chance, but she could snare the black vote and ensure that the Democratic nomination for senator went to a sure loser: her. Was she a convenient fool, or will she be the recipient of Republican favors in the future?

Skip forward two years.  Skip over to the neighboring state of South Carolina.

Look.  I already said that I don’t find the election results of a complete unknown beating another unknown.  The pull of Alvin and the Chimpmunks and Al Green the singer beats the pull of Vic any day of the week.  But there remain some problems with that candidacy — could Alvin Greene please have filled out his quarterly filings with a bunch of “$0″ allotments, please?  Those FEC filing requirements aren’t there for your health, are they?  (At the very least, they force a candidate into an active, even if anemic, political campaign.)

Okay,  to ween away from the shiny object that is that kooky candidacy — it bears some import to mention some more reasonable but probably not competitive Senate candidates.  Roxanne Conley is running against Chuck Grassley in Iowa.  Seems a good person to vote for if you were in Iowa.

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