On Saturday, August 27th, Democratic activist Amy Morton appeared on Randall Savage’s “CLOSE-UP” public affairs broadcast on Central Georgia’s largest television station –WMAZ-TV (Channel 13).
Morton talked about a variety of issues ranging from redistricting to local congressman Austin Scott.
The first part of the program was about her role in trying to get local courts to release divorce records of the current 8th congressional District representative.
Morton had told Savage that she was asked to pursue the issue of releasing those public records and it wasn’t her original idea.
It is debatable on whether the release of the divorce records would have saved conservative Democrat , Jim Marshall.
Savage had attempted to imply if attempting to unseal those divorce records backfired for Democrats. However, 2010 was definitely a Republican year in which conservatives were just more active in getting their base support out to the polls.
Scott’s divorce records were eventually released to the public for observation. However, it was several months after Marshall was defeated and Scott already in office.
Marshall, the former Macon mayor from 1995-1999, had received strong African-American support for a few election cycles since his 2003 arrival in Congress.
However, Marshall became increasingly more conservative once he assumed office and became a vocal opponent of President Barrack Obama, the country’s first African-American president.
Marshall had voted for the Bush Tax Cuts and voted for Republicans’ prescription drug law that helped to explode the federal surplus left by former President Bill Clinton in 2001 which turned into a growing deficit.
Marshall insisted he was a fiscal conservative along with voting for two wars (Iraq and Afghansitan) that weren’t paid for and further put the United States in an economic bind.
Scott got stronger support and turnout in Houston County and ultimately it pushed him to a victory over Marshall who was accustomed to receiving close to 70% of the vote in recent election cycles from Bibb County–the largest population center in the Eighth Congressional District.
Consequently, in 2010, some African-Americans and progressives in Bibb County skipped passed Marshall’s name on the ballot and had received closer to 60 percent in Bibb County and this opened the door for a relatively close Austin Scott victory over the incumbent Jim Marshall.
Morton is not only a Democratic activist, but a strong advocate for women candidates.
The North Bibb Democrat touted that she once supported Susan Cable, who is a Republican.
Morton has said that she normally votes Democratic, but said she was open-minded when candidates such as Cable came to her and asked for her support.
Morton also expressed pride in the election of Miriam Paris, who recently became a state senator in District 26 and had been officially sworn in by the Georgia General Assembly.
Paris was able to beat David Lucas with strong Republican support on August 16th and the bulk of that support came from unincorporated North Bibb and North Macon in particular.
Morton seemed unfazed when Savage asked about conservatives –who normally for Republicans– crossing over to help Paris win.
In recent election cycles, voters from the mostly conservative precincts in North Macon had voted for Nathan Deal, Sonny Perdue, Saxby Chambliss, Johnny Isakson and of course, North Bibb’s Allen Peake.
In regard to redistricting, Morton said she wants more competitive districts and said Georgia Republicans are trying to restrict the impact of women and minorities during the reapportionment process.