Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Strippers, predators, *a hill to die on* in the 141st

*Too strong and not a good metaphor. Apologies.*

These are mailers the House Democratic Caucus is sending out against Rusty Kidd in the four-way race to replace Bobby Parham in state House District 141, which is centered on Milledgeville:

Three things here:
  1. When, exactly, did the state Democratic Party decide that Rusty Kidd, son of long-time Democratic legislator Culver Kidd, was one of the world's most dangerous predators?
  2. Was it around the time Kidd filed to run as an independent and started dodging questions about his party affiliation?
  3. Does the state Democratic Party see District 141 as a *hill to die on?*
Update: I just spoke to Angela Gheesling McCommon, who's running as a Republican in this race. She said she was recruited to run by House Majority Leader Jerry Keen and House Majority Whip Jan Jones. The Dems don't want him, the R's don't want him. If elected, will Rusty Kidd be a man without a party?
The fliers above focus on Kidd's business, Quick Loans, and obviously cast him as a payday lender. Kidd says he charges 5 percent interest on a 30 day loan, not 600 percent like some of the payday lenders "that we ran out of Georgia."

It's actually the other fliers that are more fun, though. They focus on Kidd's role in a classic Georgia political scandal: The Daufuskie 5.

In 1995 five state legislators and a handful of lobbyists headed to the South Carolina island for a golf junket, and someone paid four strippers to tag along.

While it seems terribly reasonable to me to take political leaders to an exclusive island out of state and bring along some girls from The Cheetah, this apparently rubbed some folks the wrong way.

James Salzer at The AJC did a "what ever happened to" piece on these folks back in 2007 and quoted Kidd:
"A lot of events that take place have hostesses who come by just to carry on conversation," lobbyist Rusty Kidd, who invited the dancers along, said at the time. "It was an innocent thought and nothing but innocence took place. But the perception is not good."
Honestly, who among us hasn't innocently invited strippers to a resort?

Wade Ellis, who lobbied for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce back then, took the main fall for the Daufuskie trip when he lost his job, The AJC reported. But just who invited the ladies is a little unclear.

These days, Kidd says he only discovered that the dancers were invited after they'd left Atlanta. Cell phones weren't so common back then and it was too late to turn the girls around, he has said.

It's worth noting, though, that AJC articles from 1995 say the ladies stayed at the resort for 3 days. That coverage is a hoot to read, by the way, though you'll have to access it through Lexis Nexis or The AJC's archives, both of which cost a little money.

I should have noted that the Democratic caucus is supporting Darrell Black in this race. Another Republican, Casey Tucker is also in the race.

Kidd's campaign site is here. Gheesling-McCommon's Facebook page is here.

It's also worth noting that Mr. Black is the only candidate who hasn't filed his campaign fundraising disclosure yet. But I spoke to him yesterday and he said they're working on it and it will be filed this week.


Keith McCants said...

If dems lose this seat tuesday night there will need to be some serious soul searching done within the party. im trying to help darrell black by starting a fan page on facebook supporting his candidacy. keep an eye on mike cantone as a possible challenger to jane kidd for party chair if dems fare poorly in 2010. he has been critical about the direction and leadership of the party.

Political said...

Travis Fain has clearly lost his mind.

Rusty Kidd charging 5% per month - which I'd like to see verification of, btw - is still 60% per year. That's pretty predatory to low income families and military families, if you ask me.

And Travis REALL believes the LOBBYIST for the adult entertainment industry when he says, "Shocked! Shocked I was that there were strippers at my "golf retreat" for politicians!"

Anybody have the theme song to Best Little Whorehouse in Texas conveniently on hand?

Rusty Kidd is just another smoky-back-room-old-school Georgia good old boy. And he's had his way in Milledgeville for so long that he expects when he says things like, 'It would have been RUDE to turn those poor academic scholars (strippers) around and send them all the way back to Atlanta by their lonesome after just three days with us fine strapping political men," that people believe him.

C'mon - Travis. You've been around the block. You're REALLY going to let Rusty get away with this kind of bunk?

Darrell Black is right - MIlledgeville is a good town with good people in it. Is it REALLY so revolutionary to ask that we have a good, decent, honest man representing us under the Gold Dome?

Georgia said...

Okay, I don't live in Milledgeville - so I just Googled this story.

The old AJC coverage of this is AMAZING. Let me see if I have this straight - a long-time corporate lobbyist, Rusty Kidd, hired four, count them four strippers from The Cheetah to "entertain" male members of the Georgia House of Representatives.

And Rusty's response to this is they were "there for conversation," and "he couldn't turn them away once they were in the car because this was 1995 and we didn't have cell phones then."



Keich said...

As a onetime Milledgeville resident, I can attest to Rusty's shadiness and his sense of entitlement.

He also lied to me when I was a reporter at The Union-Recorder when I wrote a story about a smoking ordinance. At the time, he was a lobbyist for tobacco companies, which he did not disclose. I can think of nothing nice to say about him, so I will leave it at that.

He does not need to be in the Legislature.

jowdjbrown said...

Was it around the time Kidd filed to run as an independent and started dodging questions about his party affiliation? NYC strippers