This campaign resembles a football game in that there are 4 quarters. We are in the first quarter and finding it an open field as we do our canvassing and telephone calls. We know there is an opponent out there; he just hasn’t shown up to play yet other than running ads building up to a game which is already halfway through the 1st quarter. This quarter is how democracy is supposed to work; people become passionate about a candidate and get behind him. These people, our volunteers, are out there every day, stirring up interest in the game by calling other people, asking them to play with their time, their talents, and their contributions.

These volunteers come to appreciate the kind of commitment that is needed to keep a democracy working. They understand that when complacency sets in, people take advantage of it to shut out the voices of the people. That is exactly what is happening in our County government. We have a Chairman who finds our voices inconvenient and is doing everything he can to ignore us. He is not leading the form of government that I wore a uniform for 30 years to defend.

The next quarter starts after March 7th when candidates qualify—when we find out who the real players are. We are not waiting that long. As I have said since the formal declaration of my candidacy, I shall be in the race until the end. But like any game, we need fresh players. Now is the time to join. Not March. Not April.

Get involved!! Join the team by donating and volunteering!!

This past week has been marked with sadness and yet also the emergence of kindness, hope and strength that marks us all as Americans and also people of God.

On Saturday, July 11th, an early morning telephone call awakened Judy and me.  Her nephew, Andy Davis, the selected sculptor for the Martin Luther King statue at the State Capitol and the Glavine-Smoltz-Cox statue at the future Sun Trust Stadium, was at Grady Hospital in a coma after being struck by a driver (who later on was charged with DUI).  Judy said that Andy was like the son she never had.  I have never seen Judy as upset and she still griefs for him.

On Tuesday, I attended the funeral services of a favorite aunt.  She married her husband before he went off to World War II, kept the home fires burning despite the anxiety that came with knowing that her husband was part of the invasion at Normandy and fighting across Europe until the end of the war.  She was a beautiful and loving soul who brought joy, laughter, and support into my life.  She was a wonderful representative of the Greatest Generation.

While attending the funeral for my aunt, I learned of the shooting and ultimate deaths of a sailor and 4 Marines in Chattanooga.  One of the Marines, Lance Corporal Squire “Skip” Wells, was a graduate of Sprayberry High School.  The outrage from these murders is still growing.  More importantly these tragedies may finally be the catalyst that is needed to convince the American people that the best way to respond to radical terrorists is ensure that government official s make public security their number one priority and give public officials the political support they need to take such measures.  As I learned long ago in my participation in the military response to the Los Angeles Riots in 1992, and later, while in a Persian Gulf country and being responsible for providing force protection for the members of my military office and their families, much of what we do is founded on the expectation of security.   Regrettably, as in the death of these members of the newest Greatest Generation, it often takes a tragedy to wake people from their complacency.

The bright shining light in all these sad episodes is the response of family, friends, and American people in general in gathering around the grieving and doing everything possible to let those in mourning know that they are not alone in their sorrow.  All those who passed in the last week left a legacy that will be carried on.  My aunt in a nephew who will carry forward her sense of duty and responsibility to his family; the community of Andy Davis which is committed to his vision of the arts, a vision I never fully appreciated until I attended his service and joined the hundreds in honoring him; and finally, the fallen members of our military who gave their full measure of devotion.  These warriors probably would have been truly amazed at the response of America to their sacrifices.  But, then again, maybe they are sitting in heaven and watching with satisfaction that comes from knowing that, despite their short lives, they made a difference.

May all these great Americans rest in peace.

Mike

Many of my friends have asked me why I am a candidate for Cobb County Chairman.  I have been blest with a wonderful family, financial security, and a lifestyle which could easily offset any benefits derived from the seemingly thankless job of being an elected official.  It’s been asked why anyone would want a job where on its best day, half the people are not happy with something you have done.

However, as we prepare to celebrate the 239th birthday of our great nation this weekend, I am reminded that there is a higher calling that must be answered when you see a wrong that must be corrected.  Or at least you have to make the effort to do so.  You can sit on the sidelines and complain or get into the fight.  You can die with the regret that you wish you had done something, or you can come to know what it means to stand for something.  I choose the path of involvement and making a difference.

I am in this race because I believe our County needs new direction and new leadership.   I am convinced that we are stronger as a people when our voices are heard.   The Founding Fathers knew that the only way to preserve democracy was to spread the power out among the people.  The price we pay is a system of government which is frequently exasperating, always emotional, and occasionally chaotic.  Sometimes the only consolation, if you come out on the losing side of a vote, is that at least you had your say.  But I prefer this to a government which finds the voters inconvenient and works to limit their freedom of expression.  I find that is the case in Cob County today and I am running to change that.

In that spirit I ask you to join me by becoming involved and make a difference for tomorrow by acting today.  Volunteer and donate at www.likemike4cobb.com.

On this Independence Day, may the Lord continue to shine His manifold blessings on our nation. I ask a special prayer for the members of our armed forces who are on duty this coming weekend defending the many freedoms that we enjoy daily.

Mike