Posted: 4:15 pm Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Former Gov. Roy Barnes steps into row between Elena Parent and Kyle Williams 

By Jim Galloway

If you’re Kyle Williams, you’re feeling particularly lonely today.

The grand old man of the Georgia Democratic party, former Gov. Roy Barnes, is the star of a very tough robocall hitting answering machines in Senate District 42, which on Tuesday will pick a successor to Jason Carter.

Barnes treats Williams’ only rival, Elena Parent, as an incumbent: “She’s a progressive Democrat, and we should keep her.”

And the former governor slams Williams, a Decatur attorney: “Shame on her opponent….I hope you’ll join me in rejecting these Karl Rove-style dirty tricks.” Click here to listen:

The row began with a Williams mailer that lodged this accusation against Parent, who in 2011 was a state representative representing Atlanta:

parentattack“Supported Governor Nathan Deal’s plan to slash the HOPE Scholarship.The HOPE Scholarship has allowed a generation of Georgians the opportunity to afford college. There’s no excuse for Parent’s vote to limit these opportunities and hurt our children’s futures.”

Politifact looks into the issue today, and has declared the charge “false.” Parent voted for an early version of the bill that was the result of some negotiations led by House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, but voted against the final version.

In the robocall, Barnes credits Parent with leading “the fight to preserve the HOPE scholarship.”

But a defiant Williams campaign maintains that Barnes might not have always felt that way.

Campaign manager Beth Cope points us to this email from the former governor, published on Feb. 25, 2011, before horse-trading on the HOPE changes began. It was originally published by my AJC colleague Maureen Downey:

A message from exile where grandchildren and cows rule the day. I can’t believe what we have done to HOPE. Did there need to be a change made to HOPE? Without a doubt, but what we are doing is the wrong solution. The answer would have been to go back to the original plan for HOPE. Available to those with a family income of $75k for a single parent and $150k for two parents.

Now, to get the full ride for HOPE you have to have a 3.7 GPA and a 1200 SAT. This favors kids who come from affluent families. As a first generation college graduate I know first generation kids generally score lower on the SAT and that is generally from family circumstances. Children in non college families don’t get exposed early to the breadth of learning as kids from college graduate homes.

My children scored significantly higher on SAT than their mother or me, and their children will score even higher. What we have done is give HOPE to the affluent families who can already afford to send their kids to college, and deprive poorer white and black kids an opportunity to break out. Bad policy.

16 comments
honested
honested

Poor kyle, his overly aggressive campaign manager keeps letting him step in it with both feet.


I hope he still has a job to fall back on next Wednesday!

Jke
Jke

@ AvailableName--Politics is a blood sport where fact becomes fiction and vice versa. If you think this is a little rough you must have never run for office, been involved in a campaign or been one of those who puts slander in the street. I'd be careful of anything ole Roy "Children die everyday in Georgia" Barnes said, as he's the absolute master of talking out of both sides of his mouth. He's slicker than hot dog poop on ice, though he did a pretty good job as a moderate-conservative governor and is a good family man.

BTW, clever handle. I chuckle every time I see yours and AuntieChrist. Subtle sarcasm versus overt snarky.

AvailableName
AvailableName

You have to love primaries.  You *&&%).  The general election.  "John McCain (Barak Obama) is the finest Republican(Democrat) that I've ever seen." 


I'm just happy that either Parent or Williams will represent me; though, I think Williams is playing a little rough.

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

My my, democrats playing ugly? I am shocked, shocked I tell you.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Progressive Democrat in Georgia = Moderate Republican in a previous decade.

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

Ahh Governor Barnes - brings back memories of the days when Georgia was prosperous and growing - before the last 12 disastrous years of Republican rule...

honested
honested

@gavoter42  

Wow, there are still jill chambers supporters among us.

Who knew?

Or is it that kyles people will find anybody to make any bogus claim they can?

TBS
TBS

@The_Centrist  

Get your whine on little buddy.  You must be one sad sack. 

Derwin0
Derwin0

@The-Centrist  yes, so good that he's the only governor in Georgia history to lose re-election.  

Kamchak
Kamchak

@The-Centrist  

The usual whine about sock puppets by plagiarism boy extraordinaire in 3...2...1....

gavoter42
gavoter42

@honested


What bogus claim? If we're accepting that Politifact is a real, accurate thing, then you've gotta accept this one, too, which shows that Parent blatantly lied about her opponent. 

NWGAL
NWGAL

Kamchak, it really is like predicting the sun will rise in the East. Conservatives play the same tune over and over. Their play list is very limited.

honested
honested

@gavoter42 @honested 

I'm sorry Elena gave jill so much of a pass.

jill was such a terrible legislator and distasteful person, Elena should have gone for the throat.

Much like she should have done for such a lying sleaze as kyle.