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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Focus on the ballot box after Zimmerman ruling, congressman says

For Congressman Hank Johnson, the recent George Zimmerman ruling has served as a call to arms to drive people to the ballot box.

The Democrat, who represents parts of Gwinnett and DeKalb, said “African Americans have taken some serious hits lately,” when referring to the “disappointing” verdict in Zimmerman’s Florida trial related to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, as well as a recent Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act.

“People of good conscience have a right to be angered and disappointed by these recent ocurrences, but we must not allow our anger to overcome our obligation to work towards a country where equal rights, prosperity and justice for all can become the norm,” Johnson said in a statement.

“The justice system, no matter how much one may disagree with the Zimmerman verdict, has worked,” the lawyer said. “I firmly support the legal principles of the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof being on the prosecution, with proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt being required for the jury to convict.”

Instead of blasting the judicial system, Johnson said people should focus on the lawmakers.

“We must now work to educate and register citizens to vote. Laws like stand your ground and voter i.d. are public policies written into law by misguided legislators, who need to be replaced at the voting booth,” he said. “These recent setbacks should stregnthen our resolve to work even harder toward true and just verdicts across America on Election Day 2014. Leave no voter behind!”

GOP statement on corruption

In a similar way, a Republican official says the recent indictment of DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis should also change people’s voting patterns.

Mike Seigle, the chairman of the GOP in the 4th Congressional District, Johnson’s district, said the area needs a “viable two-party system” to combat recent corruption problems.

He described the removal of Ellis from office this week as “a symptom of continuing ethical and political problems in the Atlanta area.”

He pointed to recent allegations of state Rep. Tyrone Brooks and the legal woes of Clayton Sheriff Victor Hill as other examples, along with the accreditation problems for the Clayton and DeKalb school systems.

“The individuals responsible for this are Democrats,” he wrote in a statement. “Clayton, Dekalb, and Fulton are under the absolute control of the Democrat Party. The best way to help the good people in these areas is to have a viable two party system that makes it easier for the voters to remove those who abuse their position.”

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

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.

Comments

gwinnettresident1 1 year, 2 months ago

I guess Zimmerman should have just stood and taken an a*& beating.......

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notblind 1 year, 2 months ago

Or happily went to prison for his whole life just so that the democrats can make points with their base. The implications of this whole mess are staggering.

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NewsReader 1 year, 2 months ago

...or continued to be a victim of the crime perpetuated by these thugs in his neighborhood.

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Say_that_again 1 year, 2 months ago

Zimmerman should not have profiled Martin based on his race and clothing choice. Zimmerman should not have followed Martin, espicially since the 911 operator had tole him no to follow. Zimmerman should not have been carrying a concealed weapon. When Martin asked, "Why are you following me" Zimmerman should have apologized and returned to his truck. The "stand your ground" has already tried to be used as justification for murder, sometimes successfully. It should be overturned. Even before the law and in states without the law, self defense was/is an acceptable defense. The law is designed by NRA advocates to encourage gun ownership and is resulting to a return of the old west mentality of shoot first and ask questions later. Any time I see someone carrying a gun that is not wearing a uniform that justifies the weapon, I am fearful of my life. Because of this fear, do I have a right to attack him first? If you are minding your own business, walking back home from the store someone chases you, you choose to find out why then see the gun as they near you, would you run to get shot in the back or hope he gets close enough for you to grab the gun to prevent him from aiming it at you?

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JV 1 year, 2 months ago

You really should find another media source for your entertainment. MSNBC Just Had Its Most Dreadful Ratings Period In 6 Years

http://www.businessinsider.com/msnbc-ratings-fall-fox-news-cnn-rachel-maddow-chris-hayes-2013-7

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NewsReader 1 year, 2 months ago

"... Any time I see someone carrying a gun that is not wearing a uniform that justifies the weapon, I am fearful of my life. Because of this fear, do I have a right to attack him first? If you are minding your own business..."

I submit to you, that if you are indeed minding your own business, the business of an individual carrying a weapon for whatever reason is absolutely no concern of yours. As to your fear, that is not the carrier's issue. That is your issue, and because it is your issue, you feel compelled to dictate the actions of the individual carrying the weapon in spite of the fact that he/she is minding their own business. You're such a hypocrite. Go seek counseling to see what you can do about your paranoia!

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 2 months ago

So, when living in a neighborhood that has seen several break-ins over the previous weeks, when the neighborhood watchman saw someone that he didn't recognize just "walking around looking at house" on a cold rainy night, he should've just let it go? There's no racial profiling. Race wasn't even brought up until the police dispatcher asked for it, so the cops would know what to be looking for. Zimmerman didn't just offer up Martin's race. He didn't even say it with confidence. When the dispatcher asked if he was "white, black, or hispanic," Zimmerman's reply was "He looks black." Zimmerman wasn't even completely sure. If he was, the easy answer would've been "He's black" not "he looks black."


Also, Zimmerman didn't call 911. He had a non-emergency hotline number that the police had given to the neighborhood watch. The operator didn't order him or even tell him not to follow Martin. They requested that he not. From the evidence provided, it appears at least initially that Zimmerman complied and Martin was basically handed a two-minute headstart to get away. He wasn't far from his townhouse, and it's not unreasonable to believe Martin could've covered the distance in the time allotted. The fact that an altercation even occured seems to point to Martin turning back and confronting Zimmerman.


How did Martin know he even had a gun? Zimmerman's gun didn't come into play until Martin already had him on the ground and was punching him.


It sounds like you are advocating for no self-defense. Seriously, should Zimmerman have just laid there and let Martin pummel him? Who's to say Martin wouldn't actually have killed or at least seriously injured him that night? We don't know; we'll never know. The justice system worked. Even Hank Johnson admits that, which is refreshing. The fact that he, and others like Sharpton, Jackson, the CBC, and the NAACP are portraying blacks (and other minorities) as victims, but then trying to get rid of a law that would let them defend themselves is very worrying.

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Say_that_again 1 year, 2 months ago

"How did Martin know he even had a gun? Zimmerman's gun didn't come into play until Martin already had him on the ground and was punching him."

Again, facts that are not in evidence. We do not know if the gun was well concealed or if, upon nearing, an obvious bulge was visible or George could have exposed the weapon menacingly. Zimmerman may have even placed his hand on the weapon or drawn it. We don't know. The only reason to believe your statement is from Zimmerman's account which had considerable self interest. We do know from his history that Zimmerman did not like to back down, even getting into an altercation with police. You continually make the false assumption that Zimmerman was minding his own business when Trayvon just decided to attack. There is no evidence that Trayvon was not provoked. I believe that if George had not been armed that the he would not have been as aggressive and Trayvon would not have felt threatened to the point of taking self defense action. If Trayvon had attacked with the ferocity as described by Zimmerman, then Zimmerman would have been knocked out cold and unable to draw his weapon. When he lied about claiming his head had been repeatedly slammed into the pavement, he proved his entires account should not be trusted. We had medical experts that examined his "injury" to say it only indicated one bump and that one not too hard. I do realize that sometimes self defense is justified. If someone is following me and pulls a gun without some good explanation, I would have the right to defend myself. Wait!! That would justify Martin for trying to stop Zimmerman from shooting him!

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Haughton 1 year, 2 months ago

"Zimmerman should not have followed Martin, espicially since the 911 operator had tole him no to follow."


FALSE: the 911 operator did not give a direct order of NO or DO NOT

At 2:26, the dispatcher says, “Okay, we don’t need you to do that,” to which Zimmerman responds, “Okay.”

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Haughton 1 year, 2 months ago

"Instead of blasting the judicial system, Johnson said people should focus on the lawmakers."


Mr. Johnson,

Yes, you are right. Lawmakers have more important issues at hand .... like a World without helium balloons allowing tiny islands to tip over.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/04/26/rep-hank-johnson-on-helium-debate-imagine-a-world-without-balloons-video/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/01/hank-johnson-thinks-guam_n_521541.html

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NewsReader 1 year, 2 months ago

"...like a World without helium balloons allowing tiny islands to tip over..."

LOL, that just cracks me up!

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NewsReader 1 year, 2 months ago

"...For Congressman Hank Johnson, the recent George Zimmerman ruling has served as a call to arms to drive people to the ballot box..."

LMAO, Hank "Guam is going to tip over" Johnson's call to arms to drive people to the ballot box is an absolute joke. You already did Hank! They elected you. They elected the now removed from office elected officials on the board of education. They elected the already indicted Victor Hill. The people of Dekalb, Fulton, and Clayton and the officials they elected deserve each other. Elections have consequences, and we all see first hand what those consequences are. Are Republicans exempt? Why certainly not! Gwinnett just recently in the last few years had a major house cleaning on the board of commissioners by the removal of Kevin Kenerly, Charles Banister, and Shirley Lasseter.

If you truly want to resolve the issues that plague your community, start by voting Hank "Guam is going to tip over" Johnson out of office!

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notblind 1 year, 2 months ago

The first person that did something that was actually against the law was Martin.

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kevin 1 year, 2 months ago

Not one person is asking the question what if Martin carried a gun and Zimmerman decided to just run away. The Liberals are very mad because it is perfectly legal for a person to use a gun to protect themselves. The "other" folks demanded a trial and got one. If you didn't like the real facts and verdict, too bad. Justice was done so leave it alone and stop trying to take away our gun rights. It won't happen, not even for political reasons. Mr. Martin should not have confronted Zimmerman in the first place. Mr. Johnson, quite trying to making this a voting issue for your job.

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SuxBeanU 1 year, 2 months ago

Typical politician, Don't let the facts get in the way of an ignorant theory.

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