The Madison County Journal
July 12, 2000
would be fairest setup
Once again we are coming up on a general primary, and the same
problems and complaints accompany it. People ask me why they
can't vote for anyone on the ballot. I have to tell them to blame
partisan politics. Voters must choose one party or the other
in the primary. They cannot select one candidate from the Democrats
and another from the Republicans.
A primary is a tool for private political parties to select their
candidates for the general election. Each party gives candidates
an opportunity to register for their primary. The winners of
the primary then become the candidates for the general election
in November. Therefore, when you vote for someone in the primary,
you are not electing them to office. You are choosing them to
be on the general election ballot.
As I said, a primary is a tool for private political parties
to choose their candidates. But in Georgia, this private party
function is financed by public money. I have a real problem with
that. I am bothered also by the fact that Georgia law dictates
the date and form of the primary and decides which parties are
allowed to take part. Currently, only the Democrats and Republicans
are given an opportunity to offer candidates in the general primary.
Their candidates are automatically on the ballot.
All other parties such as the Green Party, Reform Party, Libertarian
Party, Constitutional Party, Natural Law Party and the newly
formed Southern Party are subjected to severe restrictions, making
it almost impossible to get their candidates listed on the ballot.
Georgia has the most restrictive ballot access laws in America.
The current system makes the two major parties a part of state
government and I cannot find anything in the state constitution
that permits that. The Georgia election code determines who is
a political party and how they will name their candidates. It
also determines who may vote in a party's primary. State and
local money is used to conduct primaries for the two major parties,
but not for any of the smaller groups. I my opinion, this is
The State of Georgia along with its cities and counties is required
to conduct a general election for the citizens to choose their
representatives. And that is all they should do. These general
elections should be open to anyone who meets minimum qualifications,
and those rules should apply to all candidates.
If political parties wish to choose candidates to represent them,
they have the right to do so by whatever means they choose. However,
a candidate should not be required to represent any party in
order to gain access to the general ballot. If a party decides
to hold a primary to choose its candidates, the party should
pay for the primary. If a party prefers to use caucuses or nominating
conventions to choose candidates, again, it is the responsibility
of the party to cover the cost of the conventions.
We, the taxpayers of Georgia, should pay for only one election
and any necessary runoff in each election cycle. The state should
play no part whatsoever in the affairs of any political organization.
And that includes selection of party candidates. All parties
and individuals should have equal, open access to the general
Only when elections are for the people, not for partisan politics,
will we have truly representative government.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal.
His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net.
The Madison County Journal
July 12, 2000
'The Munro Doctrine'
Everybody has an opinion on everything, whether they say it or
I don't usually get on my soap box and preach my views on things
because I really don't think many people would put much stock
in what I say because, to steal a line from my favorite Lynyrd
Skynyrd song, I'm a "simple kinda man."
But since I have my own column, I thought would be a shame to
waste this valuable column space without spreading my wisdom
at least once.
You see, when you get to be my age, 21, you pretty much know
it all (or at least you think you do). Given that, here is a
miscellaneous, mixed bag of the way I see things with no particular
order - a document I think I'll call "The Munro Doctorine."
Love it or leave it, I say - God bless the U.S.A. It's fine with
me if you burn an American flag, just be sure you're on a boat
headed on back to the Old Country or fleeing to Cananda while
you do it. We don't need you here.
We welcome all of our Northern visitors down here in "God's
Country" - just be sure you have your passport and proper
identification in hand with you when you cross the Mason-Dixon
line. This should be strictly enforced with fines.
Clause I: If you live in the South for over 15 years, you can
be eligible for honorary Southern citizenship.
Clause II: The Northern colony of Florida is not included in
"God's County." If I could saw it off the United States
and left it drift off into the Atlantic, I'd gladly do it.
The major sport of our nation is football. Don't take my word
for it, just look at television ratings and attendance figures.
All other sports should revolve around it like the planets revolve
around the sun and like electrons revolve around the nucleus
of an atom.
Clause I: Baseball receives an exemption from this because America
gave birth to this sport that the rest of the world decided they
wanted to play.
Clause II: No weddings should be scheduled for fall Saturdays.
All your family and friends will be busy tailgating at the Georgia
Clause III: Sanford Stadium should be declared a national monument
while Florida Field should be condemned, and Steve Spurrier should
be put in jail with O.J. Simpson as his cell mate.
Switching gears now....
THE DATING GAME
Guys, go find yourself a nice girl who doesn't care about what
kind of car you drive, what sport you play, what fraternity you
are in, etc. And if anyone finds a girl like this who actually
exists, please e-mail her number to my address posted at the
top of my page next to my mug shot.
Clause I: The "socially acceptable" age limitations
for those who actually care what other people think are as follows:
Title I: If you are older and want to date a high school girl,
be sure you were in high school at one point in time while she
is in high school. For example, while you were a senior, she
had to be at least a freshman.
Title II: Once a girl is out of high school, everything is fair
Title III: In the case of older girls - go for it.
Title IV: If you don't care what people think, more power to
The person who initiates a phone call has conversation responsibility
of keeping the talk interesting and flowing. The one receiving
the call must drag on through a grueling conversation until the
initiator "lets you go."
Switch gears again....
If you don't play your own instruments, you aren't a band, you're
Example: Led Zeppelin, Lynryd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers
were (great and legendary) bands. The Backstreet Guys, N-synk
and other disgraces of the sort are frauds..I mean acts.
You can never go wrong with khaki shorts, a T-shirt or polo shirt,
baseball cap and a pair of tennis shoes. As far as hair goes,
I don't understand guys putting all this gel or grease or whatever
in their hair. Grease is for fried chicken, not your head.
Switching to that last gear.....
Move over Willie Shakespeare, I don't understand all your sonnets
and midnight summer's dreams. Lewis Grizzard is the greatest
writer that ever lived. The man loved and wrote about dogs, Georgia
football and good Southern food. We should be incorporating his
works into the school reading ciriculum.
Well there you have it. The random thoughts and opinions from
the guy who has been around and (thinks) he's seen it all. Maybe
some of my ideas will become bills and passed into law.
Ben Munro is a reporter for The Madison County Journal.