Kooky Primary Season in East Cobb

Political goings-on are too funny for words and too serious to be ignored.

From what I’ve heard lately, East Cobb Republicans aren’t too proud of some of the candidates they have elected. An article in the Feb. 25 Marietta Daily Journal, our local Republican newspaper, said some very negative things about state Rep. Don Parsons in Northeast Cobb.

The MDJ article makes him out to be a pawn of power companies and electric cooperatives. The last time he had a conversation with a constituent was when he was cutting grass in his front yard and someone walked over and said hello.

(Earlier this month, Northeast Cobb Patch reported  at as part of the character education program.)

We are used to representatives in East Cobb who don’t return phone calls, emails, or have public meetings but Don Parsons seems to be especially bashful. I may not always agree with Commissioners Bob Ott and JoAnn Birrell or Chairman Tim Lee, but at least they have town-hall meetings. These meeting are actually pretty good and much better than an evening in front of the television.

In the MDJ article, it says that Don Parsons will have a primary opponent, JoEllen Smith. I met the Tea Party candidate (that is what her bumper sticker said) at one of the anti-Cobb EMC forums last Tuesday at the Mountain View Community Center. A couple dozen candidates for the board (mostly guys) spent the evening saying that they are for and against the same exact things.

Ms. Smith would walk up to someone, state her name and that she is running for state representative, and ask for their vote. If they said yes, and it would be rude to do otherwise, she immediately gave them an absentee ballot request form. She won’t need a GOTV (get out the vote) element to her campaign. If you met the candidate, your ballot will soon be on the way.

She passed out a lot of copies of the MDJ article about Don Parsons. The MDJ will lie about a Democrat, but you can generally trust them when they criticize a Republican.

What was unusual was her actual absentee ballot request form. It was hard to read and missing a lot of helpful information that you’ll see on a Cobb Elections form.

Ms. Smith said that she got it from the Georgia Secretary of State’s website. I asked her why wasn’t she using the easier Cobb form? She said that she had tried, but her Tea Party friends refused to touch it since there were arrows pointing to the Democratic ballot box. Yes, but there was an arrow pointing to the Republican ballot box too. Apparently, when you are easily confused and see conspiracies everywhere, it gave Ms. Smith no choice.

Yes, the head of the Cobb Elections Commission is a Republican.

Too bad the Democrats don’t have a candidate with some money because the Republicans in State House District 42 only have one thing going for themselves, an “R” next to their name on the ballot.

If either one of these Republicans has an open forum or a debate, I’d love to be there in the back of the room. It will be better than the best episode of I Love Lucy.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jeff A. Taylor March 27, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Mike, I admittedly only moved to Cobb in August and may be out of my depth however a claim like "The MDJ will lie about a Democrat" is pretty extreme. As the MDJ strikes me as a functional, if imperfect, suburban daily, I was wondering if you could supply specific examples of MDJ lies about Democrats. Or, really, any MDJ lies at all.
Mike Holzknecht March 27, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Dear Mr. Taylor, I will not deny you the opportunity to discover the difference between the Patch news and the MDJ. The last time I bought a copy of the MDJ (I'll take a peek on line) they decided to forgo having an editorial and substituted a column by Bill O'Reilly which makes them biased and lazy. Welcome to Cobb. It isn't as dull a place as the MDJ would have you believe. Mike Holzknecht
Kathy V March 28, 2012 at 09:59 PM
A direct quote from Parsons, to the students of Sprayberry High School, “As a legislator, you must have trust and integrity among your legislative colleagues, but also you must have trust from lobbyists who provide much of the data that legislation evolves from," Yeap, Representative Parsons just told you the truth – the good ole’ boy network and the lobbyists, who write the legislation they want passed. And, kiddies, don’t worry about voting, he didn’t mention his constituents, did he?
JoEllen Smith March 29, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Mr. Holzknecht, I appreciate your reporting and your sense of humor. However, I just wish to clarify a couple of things for your readers. Although I am proud to be endorsed by my friend Debbie Dooley of the Tea Party Patriots and have widespread Tea Party support, I am not strictly just "The Tea Party Candidate." If you go on my website, www.JoellenSmith.com you will see that I actually have as many long-time GOP officers and activists as well as Cobb business leaders, education activists, teachers, nurses, veterans, small business owners etc. endorsing me. A wide spectrum. As for my bumper sticker, I'm happy to discuss. I have had two bumper stickers on my mini-van for a long time: - One I picked up at the Cobb GOP headquarters which says " Freedom First, Cobb GOP." - One from Americans For Prosperity which simply states "Cut Spending Now" As for the absentee ballot form. I am attaching the Cobb form here. A couple of people at different events have told me they find it confusing because the arrows point from the July 31st primary box directly to the Democratic box and it looks as if they can only vote Democratic in that Primary, I do explain but they are uncomfortable with the form being that way. If they are confused I will happily supply the Georgia Secretary of State's absentee ballot instead.Either form is acceptable. http://elections.cobbcountyga.gov/pdf/2012/2012AbsenteeApplication_GeneralPrimary.pdf Thank you very much, JoEllen Smith
Marie Therese March 29, 2012 at 12:57 AM
PASS SB 459 PARSON'S IS THE CHAIRMAN AND IT IS JUST SITTING THERE Friends, we need to post this (below) everywhere we can ALL DAY (OUR LAST DAY!) where people will understand the danger Georgians are in, and will ACT! We’re still calling and/or emailing Governor Deal, and asking him to intercede on our behalf for Senate Bill 459, an opt out for extremely dangerous “smart” meters. Just as someone on death row heading to the electric chair hopes for a reprieve, so, too, do we, as we head toward our own personal electric chair, the “smart” meter! They can harm your family, your home, and your finances, so please call Gov. Deal at 404-656-1776 (email: http://gov.georgia.gov/00/gov/​contact_us/​0,2657,165937316_166563415,00.h​tml), and ask him to use his influence to get SB 459 out of the Energy Subcommittee and onto the House floor – there is still time! One more thing: We also think calling/emailing the Speaker of the House, Rep. David Ralston (404-656-5020/​david.ralston@house.ga.gov), will be fruitful. Tell him that, for the House to maintain its integrity, the Energy Subcommittee/"Rep." Mark Hamilton/"Rep." Don Parsons must be forced to pass Senate Bill 459 to the Rules Committee, then to the House floor IMMEDIATELY. We demand real representation! For more information, please visit www.stopsmartmetersGeorgia.Org. Thank you!
JoEllen Smith March 29, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Mr. Holznecht, I was just informed that you are a House District Chair for the Cobb Democratic Party and (according to the Georgia Government Transparency website) a consultant and a contributor to the East Cobb Democratic Alliance. Don't you think it would have been more honest, and forthcoming, to inform your readers of this prior to bashing both Republican Primary contenders in an article (and calling for a Democratic contender), so that the readers could have understood your obvious bias? In addition you were quoted today in the MDJ as being in favor of the T-Splost and referring, at a meeting, to those against the T-Splost in the following manner "We're so used to conspiracies and theories and UFO's and things like that," thanking the (unelected) Atlanta Regional Commission official for her presentation. Most people I know who are against the T-Splost don't see conspiracy theories. In addition, I never said to you at the Cobb EMC meeting that individuals who refused to fill out the absentee ballots claimed a "conspiracy," I simply said they refused to fill it out. You created your own reason from your own close-mindedness, which I now understand. If you wish to run for office, please do. If you wish to report on an event where there are Republican candidates, feel free. I simply ask that you are truthful and accurate in the future. Thank you, JoEllen Smith
Kathy Smith Vaughn March 31, 2012 at 12:33 AM
JoEllen, you really wouldn't have to be Sherlock to discover the author was a Democrat. Just read the title and the last paragraph.


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