Friday, May 16, 2014

Dunwoody resident's response to Brad Goodchild’s “Attack on Education and Tom Taylor”

By, Erika Harris
       Co-Chair of Georgians for Local Area School Systems and Dunwoody Resident

This election campaign cycle has been an interesting and sometimes difficult one to observe.  I’ve been proud to watch Representative Tom Taylor stay positive, refuse to engage the mud slinging & negative campaign run by Goodchild, and focus on his own past efforts, successes, and his future intentions. 

Just days before the May 20th Primary, Brad Goodchild has put out a mailer attacking Representative Taylor for the extraordinary work he has put forth on the Independent School Resolution (HR486).  For the record, I have workedin lock step with Tom Taylor on this resolution for the past eight months.  

“My opponent spends a lot of time touting his bill for a Dunwoody school district... that never saw a vote. Why does he feel pride in this legislative non-accomplishment?”  - Brad Goodchild

I am floored by the ignorance and arrogance that Mr.Goodchild reveals in his commentary.  Both Tom Taylor and Fran Millar were extremely upfront that this effort was going to be one that would require patience and time to accomplish.  Consider that it took three years for Dunwoody to become a city through Legislative approval, something already allowed by the constitution.  How is it then that Brad Goodchild would assume that this constitutional amendment wouldn’t be vetted with equal time and consideration?

HR486 serves to amend our state constitution, ratifying an amendment from nearly 70 years ago.  If Brad Goodchild knew any of the background of education legislation in Georgia, he would know why this was not going to be a one session push through.  Further, if he understood the dynamics and complexity of rural versus metro politics, he would not be so quick to criticize Mr. Taylor’s legislation.

But Brad Goodchild does not know these things.  Why?  Simply because he has not been involved in any of the efforts to improve education in our city or our state. He has not attended information sessions, city events to learn more about improving education through legislative efforts, or shown support down at the Capitol... 

“My opponent personifies the "showing up is good enough" mentality that has brought DeKalb County schools to the brink of losing accreditation.” – Brad Goodchild

Well, if this is really the bar he is using, “showing up”, Mr. Goodchild has not even come near reaching his own bar. Let’s recap: not showing up for any educational events, not showing up for the DHA debate, not answering media phone calls…  When does he show up? 

Our children do deserve better, as Brad Goodchild points out in his letter.  They don’t deserve someone who seeks to “pad his resume” using false claims and undeserved bravado in an attempt to win an election against a proven incumbent, as Mr. Goodchild does. 

I urge everyone to show up on Tuesday the 20th and cast their vote for Tom Taylor who stands for honesty, integrity, and accountability in more than words, but in proven leadership.


Bob Fiscella said...

Thanks Erika. Hopefully folks will educate themselves before voting on Tuesday. If they do, they will understand that Tom Taylor is - by far - the best option for Dunwoody!

Paul Ryan Republican said...

Come on Erika, get off your high horse. We're all set just as long as we elect a Republican looking out for our schools, whether it be Goodchild, Jester, or Taylor, that ensures we can have local control to keep evolution from being taught, keep the quota of minorities low, and enforce Governor Nathan Deal's law to allow guns on campus, then who does it matter which one of the Republicans we elect. We don't have to keep electing old school, just as long as it's a republican then all will be cool.

SimplyDunwoody said...

PRP - I read your post in the only two lenses I could imagine them being written through. The first being sarcasm ridden, in which I have to admit, I did laugh. Because certainly, evolution, guns in schools, and the exclusion of minorities are in the top of any Republican's to-do list... Or not. Hence assuring (hopefully) that you are writing using sarcasm.

My second read was a more frightening one, that maybe you are serious - that it doesn't matter who the person is in the office. So, just in case, I thought I'd take a moment to share my own perspective on that.

First of all, Nancy Jester is not running for the Legislature, she is running for the State Superintendent's Office. And thank goodness people elect based on more that just party line, good looks, and winning smiles for that office. Mrs. Jester carries mad math skills and has the ability to analyze and create a budget second to none. Not a bad skill when you are managing half of the state's budget I'd say.

Goodchild and Taylor on the other hand have a different role to play. They work (or in Goodchild's case might one day work) in the world's most difficult game - politics. (Okay, maybe motherhood is harder.) It is a lot like an insane game of Catan - building bridges to get what you need and want, and having to bargain with your opponents to build those bridges. The most successful players who are able to truly meet their constituents needs are the ones who are able to make strategic moves along side other players, building consensus along the way. This is a learned game and it is a game that requires a person who is capable of understanding the importance and need of strategic compromise and relationship building. And not ANY Republican or Democrat can do that.

So, my question to you would be, if what you say is true - and Taylor and Goodchild see eye to eye on policy, but it has been Taylor who has been enacting and supporting strong Republican policy in office and it is Taylor who has a proven track record of building strong relationships and moving important legislation - why NOT keep him in office? Why fix it if it ain't broke? And why Goodchild now? What would drive him, if policy wise, he and Taylor see eye to eye? A personal power grab?

SimplyDunwoody said...

When did character become a non-existent playing piece? If Mr. Goodchild were ready for this office and this office needed him, Bad Goodchild would have been able to run a campaign based on his own merits and based on truth in deficiencies that Mr. Taylor has. But Mr. Goodchild can't and hasn't been able to. Because Tom Taylor is a strong legislator - measured by many accounts.

Goodchild can not point to a single thing that he has done to prepare himself for office. He hasn't built relationships with the community (outside of Save Dunwoody - btw, who is Save Dunwoody and who are their members? I am Co-Chair of GLASS and my name and phone number are all over this group, as are the people who support and work with us.) He hasn't been involved in the important issues he espouses. He seeks to garner attention and pull on the hearts of parents struggling with a broken school system. These parents are in there EVERY day. THEY are the ones working to fix it. And Mr. Goodchild has the audacity to criticize Tom Taylor, the first legislator to take this issue head on, and claim that he could do better? He doesn't even know what we need to be better. Anyone can throw around the words local control and accreditation. Those are buzz words. They hardly hit at the meat of the problem though.

And as one of several people who have worked tirelessly with Tom Taylor to pass a constitutional amendment to fix a broken district organization system in this state, and to never have head from Mr. Goodchild in ANY fashion during this endeavor - simply shame on him for claiming to be an advocate and a knight in shining armor for this critical issue and attempting to garner support from the people who are enduring this struggle daily - while he has not lifted a finger to help or understand it.

So, Paul Ryan Republican, if my second read of your response was the true intention... It most certainly does matter which Republican we send back in. We send back in the one who actually does the work and would do it even without a title attached to his name. Brad Goodchild didn't need to get into office first to start working for what he believed in. It should have been the reverse. That is the difference between a patriot politician and a career politician.

How is that for being on a high horse?

~ Erika Harris