From our civics classes we remember what democracy is supposed to look like. In East Cobb, we see it decides that her representative is not doing a good job of representing his district.
She gathers friends together, informs them of the issues, makes sure they are registered, urges them to vote and passes out absentee ballot applications to make the process easier. Money is collected, signs and campaign literature made, forums created.
In South Georgia, there are some similarities. In Brooks County, the school board had been controlled by the same good old boys for as long as anyone could remember. The local JoEllens decided to run. They organized, educated, registered voters, used early voting, and absentee balloting to win elections and take control of the school board on November 2, 2010.
On December 21, 2010, 10 Brooks County residents were arrested and accused of illegally helping people vote by absentee ballot. The local police, the GBI, and State Patrol, thanks to Gov. Perdue, were used to arrest the new school board members. In some cases, five police cars would come to a house at 7 in the morning.
With no evidence, except an election defeat, there was no indictment till a year later, November 21, 2011, and then because the selection of a new school superintendent was near.
Indicted school board members can be suspended in Georgia and that is what Gov. Nathan Deal did. New school board members were appointed that reflected the old power structure. Two years after the arrests, no arraignment date has been scheduled
Since the AJC has closed its South Georgia bureau, there is a lot of news outside I-285 that we don’t hear about. You can use the internet but you have to know where to look, like “The Quitman 10.”
This is an interesting story on many levels. How could black teachers and former teachers win election in a majority white county? Former white students of these teachers and their parents knew who they were voting for.
You can learn a lot about the character of a teacher in a class room or at a parent-teacher conference. How can you have an indictment without evidence? The assistant district attorney is also a member of the school board. The two incumbent board members, who lost in the primary, switched positions and ran in the general election and lost again.
If JoEllen wins her primary race, do you think that Gov. Deal will send the police to her front door in East Cobb while it is still dark outside? He’s done it before. He’s no fan of the Tea Party.
Probably not, there are too many TV stations and newspapers nearby that will shine too much light on the subject. Besides, how many areas of difference are there between JoEllen and the Governor anyway?