GA 4 - Showing McKinney the Door (again) Posted by: McQ
on Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Cynthia McKinney and Hank Johnson had their debate and, as with most of them, it was more flash than bang. Accusations and charges flew but in reality not much of substance was debated.
McKinney went after Johnson citing his past financial difficulties.
Johnson acknowledged that he had financial problems involving nonpayment of taxes and had filed for bankruptcy several years ago, but he repeatedly denied taking money from landfill operators. He challenged McKinney's motives for bringing up his past problems as a campaign issue.
"This allegation was just simply a desperate attempt by a desperate candidate to try to inflict some personal damage on this candidacy," Johnson said. "Quite frankly, it was the politics of personal destruction. And in addition to that, she's been the candidate of polarization and divisiveness."
But the punch landed. Johnson counter punched citing McKinney's Congressional record, or lack thereof. First he cited her missing key votes:
He asked her why she missed some key votes, including a vote on raising the minimum wage and a vote stopping an amendment that would have gutted the Voting Rights Act.
"If the Voting Rights Act is not important enough for you to show up, then what is important enough for you to show up?" Johnson asked.
He then doubled up with an attack on her lack of meaningful legislation:
Johnson also charged that McKinney has "absolutely failed to deliver any meaningful legislation." He said she has introduced only 64 pieces of legislation over 12 years, and that only one passed: a measure to rename a post office. "That's a pitiful record for a congresswoman," Johnson said.
McKinney responded by saying she had a 94% voting record in Congress. As to the latter charge:
McKinney rebutted by saying that congress.org has given her its highest marks among the Georgia Democratic delegation, including Rep. John Lewis.
Now try as I might, I couldn't find that cite giving any marks, much less "its highest marks", to McKinney.
But I did find a power ranking they'd given the 6 term Congresswoman among her 435 peers. She ranks #408. And Congress.org ranks McKinney 12th out of 13 in the Georgia House Delegation. John Lewis ranked 7th. That's close, huh? Among the 205 Democrats in the House, Ms. McKinney ranked 177. A real power broker.
And in the important category of "influence", which is defined by Congress.org as "Actions by member to effect or influence a bill", McKinney rates a powerful zero.
So it looks like McKinney somehow misinterpreted Congress.org's profile of her. Imagine that.
McKinney seemed much more comfortable in the debate setting than did Johnson, but Johnson did well enough to win the runoff. A post debate poll shows an increase for McKinney but with Johnson still holding a fairly comfortable lead:
A new poll by InsiderAdvantage released Tuesday shows Johnson with 49 percent of the vote and McKinney with 34 percent. The tracking survey recorded responses from 300 likely voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points. A poll last week by the firm showed Johnson leading McKinney 46 percent to 21 percent, with one-third of voters undecided.
As with most primaries and especially with runoffs, it all depends on who manages to find their way to the polls on August 8th as to whether we see a new face in Congress or we are treated to another 2 years of McKinney trying to interpret her Congress.org profile and make it positive.