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Trikarri Bates COM 4488-01 Dr. Joshua Azriel Elections Analysis The November elections are coming rapidly. This will be a time for new politicians, and changes within policies and issues. However, the main questions for the upcoming election are, who is running for what position and why should citizens be concerned. While Cobb County will be voting for every major position, there are two that should be most important to Cobb County residents and families, Public Service Commissioner, and Board of Education members. According to the website of Georgia’s Public Service Commission, its main goal is to enforce its authority and influence to assure consumers that the telecommunications they receive are safe, reliable, and reasonably prices, and that energy sources, such as electric and natural gas come from technically sound and financially viable companies. The Public Service Commission is comprised of five elected members that oversee and regulate public utilities. Currently Stan Wise, a Republican, holds the seat for District 5 in Cobb County. However, he is being challenged by David Staples, a Libertarian and native Georgian. Stan Wise, alumni of Charleston Southern University, has been on the Public Service Commission for 17 years, serving as its chairman for three of them, one in 1997, one in 1999, and one in 2006. He was first elected Cobb County Commissioner in 1990 and was a member of the Cobb County Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals. He was also a Board Member of the ten-county Atlanta Regional Commission from 1992-1994. He has also served on the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Advisory Board.


Wise, whose campaign theme is “Promises Made…Promises Kept” has based his campaign on increasing and modernizing the infrastructure of Georgia’s energy and expanding its nuclear power. In the last six years, Georgia’s Public Service Commission has invested nearly $7 billion dollars into new infrastructure, solar energy, and distribution. A few key issues on his platform include: meeting future demand by increasing energy capacity, using pay-as-you-go finance methods to decrease interest costs and avoid shifting burden onto future generations to invest in the infrastructure of energy, and opposing efforts by the Green Energy Lobby to mandate policies that require all customers to pay higher utility rates so that a select few can receive energy from renewable sources. Wise is also in support of legislation that would place boundaries on gifts to or for elected officials. Wise’s campaign is moderately social media friendly, as he can be added on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stanwisepsc, Twitter at @StanWisePSC, and his website, http://www.stanwise.com. Wise’s opponent, David Staples is a relative newbie to the world of politics. As a web technologist for an international manufacturing company, his job mostly involves research, development and logic, which are perfect qualities to have for someone who is seeking a Public Service Commission. A self-described seventh generation Georgian, Staples is a member of MENSA International, the world’s largest and oldest high IQ society, that provides a forum for an open exchange of ideas. He is also a member of Georgia Carry, an information clearinghouse for Georgia Firearms and License issues and news. Staples’ campaign motto is Empower Georgia and he hopes to bring morality back to the Public Service Commission. His campaign revolves around four main issues. They are: consumers first in regards to ethics and accountability, free markets with an extremely specified


list to what citizens’ money pays for, fiscal responsibility that accounts for the payment of officials and the spending of Georgia residents’ tax dollars, and open government that uses technology to really analyze and keep somewhat of a neighborhood watch on the Public Service Commission. Staples is very active in social media with a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/VoteStaples, a Twitter @davidstaples, and a website, http://www.votestaples.com, that allows visitors to ask questions, donate, volunteer, and get an up-to-date event calendar to see exactly what Staples will be doing and where he will be located. While energy and nuclear power is a hot topic in Georgia, another important decision to be made is the future of Cobb County students. The goal of Cobb County School Board’s seven members is to provide an academically rigorous, caring and safe educational environment in partnership with families, students and the community, while promoting a community with a passion for learning. Alison Bartlett, current member and Post 7 representative of Cobb County School Board has been on the school board since Nov. 2008. Bartlett, a University of Alabama alumna, is a member of Cheatham Hill’s Educational Foundation. Through collaboration with other parents, she assisted in the formation of the Cobb Chapter of Georgia Association for Gifted Children, and served on its Executive Board from 2004 to 2007. In recognition of her leadership, the Governor appointed her to serve on the Governor’s Panel for Gifted Education in 2006. The issues that Bartlett wants to tackle this upcoming year are, inadequate educational funding, work force readiness, and the implementation of a sound and relevant curriculum. By ceasing inadequate educational funding teachers will be paid what they’re worth if not more. Work force readiness would increase the amount of straight to work young adults after high


school graduation, and a sound and relevant curriculum will ensure that all Cobb County students will be ready to compete with their peers in college and beyond. Bartlett can be reached through her email at abartlett.boardmember@cobbk12.org Bartlett’s Republican opponent, Brad Wheeler, whose campaign slogan is “Bringing Communities Together” is no stranger to the education system, but quite new to politics. A Berry College alum, Wheeler has taught for the past 25 years in Paulding, Cherokee, and Cobb counties. He has also served as school administrator at McEachern High School for nine years, and served as President of Amberton Home Owner’s Association for three. Wheeler’s platform is based on making costs matter, decreasing taxes on senior citizens, cutting non-essential waste within Cobb County school board, and regaining Cobb County School Board’s trust, to name a few. Wheeler is breaking into the new trend of social media with a personal Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/bradford.wheeler.7, and a website at http://electbradwheelerpost7.com, he can also be reached at bradfordwheeler@aol.com.


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