Early Voting Through Friday, October 31

Have you voted yet?  If not, why not?  There are people who are literally dying to vote in other countries throughout the world.  Voting in free elections for the candidate of your choice without risking your life and/or putting your family in danger is your birthright as a U. S. citizen.

Here’s some information to help you make some very critical choices …

David Perdue …

the Republican nominee for Senate in Georgia, has a lady problem—at least according to recent polls, which show Democrat Michelle Nunn ahead with women voters in this toss-up election.

In a Sunday night debate between Perdue and Nunn, the moderator suggested that ads about Perdue’s time as the CEO of Dollar General, a discount chain, had damaged the GOPer’s campaign. Shortly after Perdue stepped down as Dollar General’s CEO, hundreds of female managers sued the company for pay discrimination that allegedly took place during Perdue’s tenure. Nunn’s campaign and EMILY’s List have both aired millions of dollars’ worth of negative ads describing the class-action lawsuit. The moderator urged Perdue: “Talk to those women in particular.”

Here’s how Perdue responded: “If you look at Dollar General as an example, there was no wrongdoing there,” he said. “That lawsuit, or that claim, or that complaint was settled five years after I had left…And it was less than 2,000 people. We had upwards of 70,000 employees in that company.”

An annual report Dollar General submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission puts the actual number of female managers in that class action at 2,100. As Mother Jones reported in May, the women had been paid less than their male peers between the dates of November 30, 2004 and November 30, 2007—almost exactly the dates that Perdue was CEO (from April 2003 to summer 2007.) The class action began in late 2007, and Dollar General settled the lawsuit for $18.75 million without admitting to discrimination.

“Two thousand women, that actually seems like quite a lot to me,” Nunn said at the debate.

For more information, go here.

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Governor Nathan Let’s-Make-A-Deal

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonpartisan political watchdog group, named Nathan Deal one of 15 Most Corrupt Congressional Members in 2010. Their list included 7 Republicans and 8 Democrats.

Jim Walls is one of our favorite writers (Atlanta Unfiltered — investigative journalism and watchdog site).  Here’s what Walls had to say about Deal in the October 2014 issue of Atlanta Magazine:
“Even now, on the eve of [Nathan] Deal’s re-election bid, questions about the ethics allegations from four years ago have only grown stronger. His opponent, Jason Carter, returns to them almost daily. “Imagine,” he said in the first debate between the candidates, “a world where the governor comes on the radio and he’s not talking about an ethics scandal.” Common Cause Georgia says a jury’s $1.1 million award to former ethics commission director Stacey Kalberman underscores the need to reopen the investigation; Sam Olens, the state attorney general, dismissed Democrats’ earlier call to revive the probe as politically motivated.

“Technically speaking, all the complaints against Deal were resolved in 2012, when he paid $3,350 in administrative fees for filing defective campaign and personal finance disclosures.

“But a review of the commission’s files shows the investigation leading to that settlement was never really completed. Ethics commission staffers abandoned inquiries into tens of thousands of dollars spent on air travel and credit card charges, and questioned no one but lawyers for the campaign accused of wrongdoing.

“Deal, while denying misconduct, has sounded the need for reform, calling for more money for the commission and a restructuring of its leadership. Skeptics contend true reform must go farther by shielding the ethics commission from political pressure and giving it a dedicated source of funding.

“Deal’s campaign spokesman, Brian Robinson, referred our specific inquiries to the campaign’s lawyer, but not before scoffing at a suggestion that the commission’s probe missed anything.

” ‘We’ve answered all these questions over and over and over again,’ Robinson told me [Jim Walls] in a recent telephone interview.

“Not really. Among the questions that the commission never appeared to have answered:

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Sam Olens

What can we say?  We asked for Sam Olens’ assistance with more than 20 unanswered Open Records Requests sent to the DeKalb County School System.  We supplied Olens’ office with a detailed spreadsheet of our requests.  The Open Records Requests met all the legal requirements for such requests.  Both Olens and his staff (Jeff Milsteen, Chief Deputy Attorney General) declined to assist.   We do not think that Sam Olens is the kind of person who should be Georgia’s Attorney General.

We encourage you to vote for:

Michelle Nunn for U. S. Senator

Jason Carter for Georgia Governor

Gregory Hecht for Georgia Attorney General

Remember — EVERY election affects K-12 education!  For 2014:  From Georgia’s General Fund, 52 cents ($9.7 billion total) out of every Georgia tax dollar goes to education.   Of that, $7.4 billion goes to K-12 education.  Federal funds make up 32% of Georgia’s budget and, of that, $2.1 billion goes to students with disabilities, low-income students, school nutrition and other education services.

Monopoly* money?  No.  YOUR money.  Vote wisely!

*TM, ® & © 2014 Hasbro

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About dekalbschoolwatch

Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
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23 Responses to Early Voting Through Friday, October 31

  1. Frustrated Dekalb Parent says:

    While these elections have an impact on the local schools, some have a greater impact on the broader direction for the state and federal governments and that is what I will consider when I vote.

  2. Agreed. Let’s just make it straight D in every statewide race.

  3. Yep. Give the other team (D) a chance. Could they do worse than what we have right now?

  4. Marsha T. says:

    The record of Republicans in statewide offices has left me underwhelmed at best and outraged at worst. I have already voted, and voted Democratic in every race possible. I did, however, vote for Nancy Jester for county commissioner.

  5. Concerned Dekalb Mom says:

    “Have you voted yet? If not, why not? There are people who are literally dying to vote in other countries throughout the world.”

    Yes…which is why, in my house, voting day is an event. Children know that both Mom and Dad go vote (though we vote differently, pretty much canceling each other out every election) on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. We are fortunate to have occupations that allow us the freedom to vote on Election Day. My children are growing up with parents who don’t only vote every 2 or 4 years…we vote at each cycle…and we talk about WHY we vote, WHO we vote for, and what those offices mean. And voting day matters in our house.

    So, that’s why I haven’t voted yet.

  6. bettyandveronica1 says:

    Vote.

  7. howdy1942 says:

    I know that Senator Fran Millar will not like this, but I would be very pleased if the Dekalb County School System would run the buses throughout every part of Dekalb and take people to the voting booth. Scotland recently had an 85% turnout – would that be wonderful in Georgia and Dekalb County.

    I just read in today’s paper that Georgia is ranked dead last in ethics among all these United States (see the editorial page). Georgia has the highest unemployment rate in the County and significantly trails each of our neighboring States. We have had nothing but issues at the Ethics Commission. We have a board licensing physicians who lost their credentials to practice in other States. We have 700,000 residents in Georgia with no heath insurance and probably the highest public sector populace with exposure to ebola. And these are the very people who clean rooms in hotels, clean the office building where we work, clean the airport, clean our schools, and even work in physicians’ offices. We have a school system that is losing substantial ground relative to other States. Atlanta is not among the top cities where young college graduates are moving. We just learned today that the State Government is going to pay United Healthcare $7 million even though its own audit found substantial evidence of overcharges and our State promised not to pursue any action to further investigate any findings on promise that United would drop its lawsuit regarding improprieties in the selection of a healthcare provider for our teachers and other government workers.

    Georgia needs change – big change and my one vote will be for that change.

  8. whyisnobodylistening says:

    although paltry at 1%, i just received my first raise in seven years. deal has my vote.

  9. Why is nobody listening you only got a 1% raise due to Deal. Because we have the worse economy in the country. Do you want the low dollar economy. Ignorance reigns supreme, when you vote for folks like deal.

  10. One percent is an insult, the icing on the cake of injury and disrespect If you vote for anyone who has been a party to this debacle, you are saying thanks for the last seven years and asking for more of the same.

  11. Stan Jester says:

    Correlation does not imply causation is a popular phrase among scientists and statisticians. Let’s take a look at the data we have at hand …

    The FY2015 General Fund Budget is $36 million more this year than it was last year. FY2015 appropriates $61 million more than it did in FY2013. That is to say $61 million more will be spent in the General Fund this year than 2 years ago.

    With that extra money, DeKalb Schools erased all the furlough days. They raised the gross annual earned income for all employees by 1%. They reduced the daily rate of many teachers. That is to say many teachers will have to work more this year to make the same money they did last year. Max class sizes have not been lowered the last 2 years.

    Classrooms First for Georgia” – Requires, at a minimum, 65% of a system’s total operating funds to be spent in the classroom. DeKalb has not been complying with that law and has been getting retroactive waivers. (I don’t have those links readily available. Links to the state board approving those waivers would be appreciated.)

    Board contributions to the TSA have not been restored either. DeKalb Schools pays into TRS, but not TSA or Social Security (as you all know).

  12. dsw2contributor says:

    It’s currently open season for health insurance. It looks like switching back to United Healthcare (which we had, until Deal switched us to BCBS this calendar year) is going to cost far more than the 1% salary increase DCSD employees are getting.

  13. Stan Jester says:

    Here are the 2015 monthly premiums for the State Health Benefit Plan.

    Price tag on budget items:
    $5.8 million – 1% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for all Employees
    $3 million – 1 furlough day (FY2015 saw a reduction of 4 furlough days)

  14. whyisnobodylistening says:

    of course 1% is an insult, and every teacher i know took it..unfortunately, the money had to go through the dekalb county school board. i blame them for our insulting raise, along with our class sizes, the subs’ cutting of pay and hours, the freezing of our step increases, lack of ss, our low morale, etc. i do not blame every republican i see listed on a ballot somewhere.

  15. September says:

    I blame the State of Georgia for failing to do the right thing for the children in DeKalb schools. DeKalb was in need of supervision. We shouldn’t have had to wait until our accreditation was in jeopardy. The Gov. Deal did not move to put money back into the state school budget and increase teacher pay until this year. An election year. I’m not voting for him.

  16. d says:

    I didn’t get 1% from the county – I am still making state minimum.

  17. Consider a nearby county that now employs a great former Dekalb teacher: It gave teachers Deal’s political 1% in addition to adding step raises back. It pays into Social Security. In addition to better pay, Social Security, and the addition of a step beyond that at which Dekalb was paying me, on a personal note, I consider myself a refugee who has found a better home.

    Warning to current Dekalb teachers: Make sure that Dekalb is counting your years’ experience correctly. They were not counting year 0 for me. This is required by state law. It may be that they took advantage of me when I was employed by Dekalb several years ago because I transferred years’ experience from another system.

  18. ComeOn says:

    Way to toe a party line. Shall we take a poll as to the party affiliations of Lewis, Atkinson, Brown, and the recently dismissed BOE?

  19. FWIW, as with most families, friends, etc, those of us who run this blog and who participate on this blog are not in complete agreement as to how to vote. There are good candidates in every party. The moderators do agree on casting a vote for Nancy Jester! We also agree that Gov Deal has not done a very good job statewide. We are officially the most corrupt state, with nearly the lowest test scores and the highest unemployment in the nation.

    The rest of the elections are up for grabs in reality.

  20. dsw2contributor says:

    Thank you Stan, for posting the SHBP rates for 2015 on your blog.

    As I mentioned above, switching back to United Healthcare (which we had, until Deal switched us to BCBS this calendar year) will cost far more than the 1% salary increase DCSD employees are getting.

    For example, look at the “You+Child(ren)” column and compare the cost of the most expensive BCBS option (Gold) to the UHC HMO cost:

    $326.86 – $300.38 = $68.48

    That’s how much more an employee will have to pay –every month– for BCBS over United Healthcare. Multiplying by 12 gives us the extra cost for the full year:

    $68.48 x 12 = $821.76 per year.

    Now, if a Dekalb teacher was $82,000 (or more) before the 1% “raise”, then she would come out ahead. Anyone know a DCSD teacher that makes $82k or more? I don’t.

    The costs are much higherto move from BCBS Bronze & Silver back to UHC. For Bronze back to UHC would cost:
    12 x ($326.86 – $130.74) = $2353.44 more each year….. a teacher’s 1% raise would cover that if she had been making $235,000!

  21. Teachers matter says:

    Please list Michele Nunn’s accomplishments so that I can see why you support her.

  22. It’s one of those ‘lesser’ of two ‘evil’ politicians kind of choice. Perdue has not done right by women and there is plenty of evidence. As supporters of education for boys and girls, young men and women, we can’t support a candidate who does not view people as worthy of equal pay.

    There are very few people we feel happy about rushing out to vote for anymore. You often just have to weigh the evidence and try to get a look into the character. Impossible? Maybe. But it’s all we can do. Gov. Deal has driven this state into a big hole. He is reported to be one of the most corrupt politicians in the country. His leadership will not inspire good character. Perdue doesn’t view women as worthy of equal pay. We just want to make the best choice possible for the people of Georgia – every one of them.

  23. Just Wondering says:

    Why is United’s HMO so much higher than the Blue Cross HMO? According to United, they did not set the price. It seems like the state is promoting one insurance provider over the other.

Comments are closed.