McKinney documentary premieres at Sundance

Political Notebook

Cynthia McKinney gets her share of television time on C-SPAN and other news broadcasts, but soon the Georgia congresswoman could be seen on the big screen.

On Monday, McKinney attended the premiere of "American Blackout," a documentary looking into the marginalization of black voters, centered on McKinney's career, her 2002 election loss and 2004 return.

The film, according to McKinney spokeswoman Kaia Shivers, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Shivers said Sundance founder Robert Redford praised the Atlanta woman in front of the standing-room-only audience.

Filmmaker Ian Inaba followed McKinney for three years to make the documentary. Shivers said the film is not complete and Inaba just got financial backing to finish it.

Because it is an independent film still looking for distribution, Shivers said there are no plans for an Atlanta showing.

Known for her controversial criticism of both Bush administrations, both wars in Iraq and other world events, McKinney served in Congress from 1992 to 2002.

She lost the 2002 Democratic primary to Denise Majette, a feat many attribute to Republican cross-over in portions of the 4th District in Gwinnett.

When Majette left the seat to run for the U.S. Senate, McKinney regained it.

Special year of elections

January isn't even over yet, but three local cities are already scheduling special elections.

In three bizarre news events this year, the cities of Auburn, Snellville and Winder lost councilmen in the first month of 2006.

Auburn's newly re-elected Councilman David Hawthorne resigned immediately after he took the oath of office in order to take a job with the city.

In Snellville, newly re-elected Mayor Pro Tem Mike Smith resigned last week after being indicted in a telemarketing scheme.

And in Winder, longtime Councilman Billy Sheridan died of a heart attack last week.

Both Auburn and Winder are expected to hold special elections on March 21, but Snellville officials will wait until July 18 because the city has to get approval for its new polling location, the new City Hall.

Also in March, Barrow County has scheduled a special election to consider a renewal of a penny sales tax to fund school construction projects.

Even with the political twists of the last several weeks, Gwinnett Elections Supervisor Lynn Ledford said the number of special elections already scheduled doesn't seem unusual.

"That's why they put those dates out there," she said, referring to the Secretary of State mandating four days a year for special elections in Georgia.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.