Saturday, April 23, 2016

State Rep. Tom Taylor of Dunwoody apologizes to voters for DUI arrest & he still has my support.

The Dunwoody community was shocked when our State Representative Tom Taylor of Dunwoody was arrested last week and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Rabun County.  Tylor, 54, a Dunwoody Republican who worked diligently to create & serve the City of Dunwoody, had a blood-alcohol content of .225, nearly three times the legal limit of .08.

These salacious details made national news just weeks before the election and for some, this mistake is enough for Dunwoody residents to vote for the other guy no matter what.  I understand that perspective but let's also realize that Tom has a problem that he will work to correct and maybe this community should compare Tom's voting record against what the alternative candidate will bring to our community.

As per the Crier... "Taylor came to local attention through his work with Citizens for Dunwoody, serving as vice president and then president. He was a leader in the three-year fight for cityhood, taking a prominent role in successfully lobbying the General Assembly to allow a referendum.

That and his work as chairman of the Police Task Force, helping to establish the Dunwoody police department, led to his election to the first City Council. In 2010, when Dan Weber decided on short notice not to seek re-election to the state senate and state Rep. Fran Millar decided to move up, Taylor ran for the state house and was elected.

In the state house, representing Dunwoody and pieces of Chambee and Doraville, Taylor is best known locally for championing a bill to create an independent school system for Dunwoody. Less publicized was his work on legislation to force DeKalb County to sell its parks in Dunwoody to the city for $100 an acre and convey $7 million in bond funds for Brook Run Park to the city.  In 2011 he was chosen Rookie Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.  Despite his short tenure in the house, Taylor was chosen as chairman of the MARTA Oversight Committee and is on several key committees such as economic development and tourism, governmental affairs and regulatory industries."

Bill Torpy the straight talking columnist in the AJC (whom I admire and who reminds me of Chicago's Mike Royko) wrote a spot on the perspective of Tom's arrest just prior to reelection where he outlines the options for the Dunwoody community.  My favorite quote is "There are a lot of preeners, egotists and even loons in the state legislature. Taylor isn’t one of them."  "Tom Owens, is a well-known, self-appointed, in-your-face, conspiracy-minded, immigrant-fearing fringe candidate. To put it mildly.  The prospect of Rep. Tom Owens (R-Dunwoody) heading to the Legislature has GOP and Dunwoody politicos guzzling Maalox by the pint."

Mr. Torpy is spot on, as a Dunwoody politico (I prefer the term public servant) I know Candidate Tom Owen as I have been in numerous meetings (1, 2, 3) with him and I detest the thought of him representing our community!  Character goes a long way for me and your history of arrests and interactions with law enforcement usually shows an aspect of ones character.  This is Tom Taylor's first offense and he is taking full responsibilities for his actions.   Now let's compare that against candidate Tom Owen whereby he was charged for spitting on a businesses door because of his intolerance against immigrants and whereby he thought they were funding terrorism.  There are numerous stories on candidate Owen within the links on this blog post where there are numerous restraining orders filed against him because of his threats of violence against various people, and his intolerance for differences. 

As a fellow Dunwoody City Councilman, Tom Taylor and I have had a long friendship based on mutual respect but when we talked earlier this week I informed him that he needs to regain that level of respect from not only myself but from the entire community and this needs to be done by kicking this habit in order to clear any demons that he may be facing.

Once that is done, I believe Tom Taylor should be reelected to the Georgia Legislature in order to represent us and push the needs of our community within the State Legislature. If you disagree with my assessment, I respect that decision but I would like you to be fully informed as to the other choice for State Representative as it is my opinion that Tom Owen is not a viable candidate to work with others in the state legislature to push for positive change in our community.

In case you are not fully aware of the story of Tom Taylor or the history of Candidate Tom Owen, here are a few links.

AJC - Georgia Rep. Tom Taylor charged with DUI in Rabun County Thurs Apr 14

The Crier - Taylor apologizes to voters for DUI arrest

AJC - Rep. Tom Taylor said DUI arrest was his wake-up call Thurs Apr 21

Atlanta Area Lawmaker with DUI – His Opponent says He’s a Drunk

Ga. State Rep. Tom Taylor Of Dunwoody Charged With DUI  - Full Report

AJC - Bill Torpy at Large: Kids, a .45 and a high-speed DUI

Peach Pundit - Tom Owens, A Man Amok from Oct 2014

Doraville Police Report - Tom Owen for spitting on a business.

MARTOC Chairman Arrested for DUI

AJC - And you thought DeKalb politics couldn’t get any crazier?

Tom Owen addresses the DHA Political Forum - watch the question & answer at 29:55


GaryRayBetz said...

Sorry Georgia State Representative Tom Taylor, I ain't buying it - your apology, that is. You're just sorry you got caught. I haven't an issue with the vice. Lord knows that I have my own "demons"; however, although I imbibe, inhale, ingest, and inject in my own self style safe house and never ever drive foreign exchange students entrusted to my care at 72mph in a 45mph zone while blowing a .225 blood alcohol level, I still wouldn't ever consider running for anything other than village idiot.

I will not vote for you in the primary, albeit not for the other knucklehead either, nor in the general election. You need to address your problems, but being someone that we couldn't even trust to safely drive our children home from school kind of eliminates you from being someone we would bestow with the privilege of representing us as a State of Georgia legislator.

dpgroupie said...

Amen, John. Those of us who know Tom Taylor, know what a competent and decent man he is, will stand behind him without reservation. And I would wager a bet that is most of us. Those who are familiar with his stellar record, not just in Dunwoody and the state, but throughout his lifetime, will continue to fully support him with the compassion he deserves. He knows he has my vote as well, and not just because I find Tom Owens to be repulsive. Owens and his views are utterly despicable and downright ignorant. (Like you said, check out 29:55 during the DHA candidate forum.) He is the worst kind of desperate opportunist, because he’s got nothing else. His associates are just as grimy. All of them are a bubble short of level. I agree - Tom Taylor belongs at the Capitol where he can continue to serve the overall best interests of the people in his district and state.

GaryRayBetz said...

Y'all just don't get it, do you? You can't play politics with something this serious. There are incidents so serious that the entitlement of living in a Republican ubiquitary just has to end. It's not about whether someone is a good person or not or you wanting to be loyal to a dear friend of yours. What if Georgia State Representative Tom Taylor had rolled that SUV going 72 mph in a 45 mph zone while blowing a threefold over the legal limit .225 DUI and killed those four foreign exchange students? Ethan Couch, the "affluenza" teen, killed four people while driving drunk, and society as a whole, other than his judge, were of the opinion he should have known better, and he was a mere 16 years old.

Well shouldn't Tom Taylor at his age and with his community stature have known better? But you say he has "demons" that he will most certainly address and everything will just magically go back to how it was; however, I'm telling you as one who knows, at our age those type of problems don't just go away, and most probably are destined to stay with us until we no longer have the strength to grasp a bottle.

No, what needs to happen is that your friend, Tom Taylor, needs to resign and address his problem, because he has no business representing us in the State of Georgia Legislature, and if you Republicans are not happy with his current opponent in the primary, then write in a candidate. There are plenty of Republicans in the Dunwoody area with integrity and the acumen to do the job. Get to work and draft someone and get the word out.

One more thing, this all strikes me as political or very hypocritical as in the past I've noted the same folks defending Tom Taylor literally shredded other officeholders for far less serious infractions. And what about the city's crucial Zeitgeist call-to-arms to combat speeders and drunk-drivers that have overrun the Dunwoody roadways and forced our children into hiding in their basements? Does the crime become benign when it only endangered four children from another country and not our own children or grandchildren?

Come on folks, don't reelect a man who blew a .225 DUI while racing down a 45mph zone country road at 72mph and endangering the lives of four children that were entrusted to his care, just because his opponent's views are so abhorrent. But I gotta tell you, Tom Taylor's views and decision-making seem to be pretty loathsome as well when he chose to drink enough to blow a .225 DUI with four children in his care in the car. Have some integrity, these two people are not your only option. Explore alternatives, there's always a way.

GaryRayBetz said...

I recall on many occasions being a minor and riding in a car while one of my relatives drove drunk - I white-knuckled prayed as he sped double digits over the posted limit, flew through stop signs and red light signaled intersections, and on one occasion side-swiped every third mailbox on the road. Where's the concern for the minors that were in Tom Taylor's car? I'm sure this was quite a harrowing experience for them (or were they used to occurrences like this?) and as they were under Tom Taylor's care, they had no choice in the matter. So, let's not act like this was a victim-less crime, there were children involved.

So, what every Dunwoody and House District 79 resident has to ask themselves is if those four children were their own children or grandchildren instead of the four foreign exchange students, whom Georgia State Representative Tom Taylor thought was prudent to barrel down a country road at 72 MPH, but was marked with a speed limit of 45 MPH, holstering a Glock on his hip, and having consumed enough booze to blow a .225 DUI, if they would still vote for Tom Taylor, and never mind his opponent or the politics involved.

And if any parent would answer "Yes, I would still vote for Tom Taylor had those been my children in the car.", then they are either a damn liar or a very very callous guardian.

GaryRayBetz said...

So read below and tell us again just how very remorseful Georgia State House Republican Dunwoody Representative Tom Taylor is for his .255 DUI arrest where he drove 72 MPH in a 45 MPH zone with four children in the SUV and a Glock on his hip.

"The liquor distributors’ lobby and legislative leaders have contributed big money to state Rep. Tom Taylor’s re-election campaign since the Dunwoody Republican was arrested and charged with driving under the influence earlier this month.

Lawmakers and lobby groups have contributed about $20,000 to Taylor’s re-election campaign since his April 7 arrest, according to disclosure reports reviewed by The Atlanta Journal Constitution."

By James Salzer - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Posted: 2:43 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dunwoody Mom said...

I have not always agreed with Rep. Taylor’s actions within the House of Representatives as it pertains to his job. However, I do not require that I agree 100% with my elected officials if I feel, in the end, he/she is overall representing his/her constituents properly. I believe Rep. Taylor has performed the job for which he was elected. I also do not believe that one action should define a person. As John has indicated Rep. Taylor must own his action and seek help. If he is willing to do this, then, this one action, as unacceptable as it is, should not disqualify him from further public service.

However, Mr. Owens has shown time and again, by his actions, that he is unfit for public service.

GaryRayBetz said...

Sounds very much like the rhetoric voiced in support of Republican ex-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, who also endangered teenage children. He, too, overall represented his constituents properly. And for years the voters in Dennis Hastert's district believed he performed the job for which he was elected.

If the candidates on the ballot are so reprehensible, I'd suggest writing in someone.