County Democratic Committee says re-electing Stoner is job No. 1
by Jon Gillooly
jgillooly@mdjonline.com
April 23, 2012 12:49 AM | 4266 views | 17 17 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chairwoman Melissa Pike, right, and Rukia Rogers, 2nd vice chair, pose before the Cobb County Democratic Committee meeting on Thursday. <br> Photo by Jon-Michael Sullivan
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MARIETTA — Melissa Pike, chair of the Cobb County Democratic Committee, said the re-election of state Sen. Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna) is “job one” this year.

The Republican majority in the General Assembly redrew the District 6 boundaries lines that Stoner represents to incorporate the Republican Buckhead area, which could put Stoner at risk in the November general election.

But to get to Stoner, Republicans must first win the Republican primary on July 31, and that could prove their downfall, Pike said.

“Whoever does become the Republican nominee is going to have to run in Buckhead as somebody who’s got to strike a balance as somebody who is pro-Buckhead and whether or not they’re going to be pro- or anti-Milton County,” she said.

Republican leadership would like to carve out north Fulton to create a new county, Milton County, a proposal Stoner opposes. Creating that new county would leave Buckhead paying for more Fulton County expenses, Pike said.

“So it’s going to be very difficult to be pro-Milton County while the people in Buckhead do not want to be the major funding base for Fulton County,” she said.

Pike references Stoner rather than President Barack Obama as job No. 1 this year because it’s the job of the Cobb Democratic Committee to re-elect Democrats on a local level. Even so, she does intend to support Obama and believes he will beat Mitt Romney.

“I think he’s going to beat him like he stole something,” Pike said. “The fact is Romney can’t excite the base, and that’s a problem. As much as I disagreed with her on so many things, Palin at least excited debate until she imploded. And then all of this random stuff comes out of her mouth, and you wonder, did she come up with this by herself?”

While Pike and colleagues will be busy trying to help Stoner, to date they have come up empty on a Democratic candidate for county commission chairman.

“I think the messiness that people saw between (southeast commissioner) Bob Ott and (county chairman) Tim Lee, I don’t know if it necessarily scared people off, but they said that kind of drama is simply not worth it,” Pike said, noting that people “want to work for my community and not to fight with somebody internally, and it seemed like that’s what kept happening over and over again.”

Regarding the controversial July 31 transportation referendum to raise the sales tax by one percent for the next 10 years, Pike said she isn’t taking a position so as to allow the various Democratic candidates flexibility. For instance, she said state Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Austell) may approach the subject differently than someone in east Cobb.

“They need to answer to their own constituency,” she said.

The idea of answering to the voters who elect politicians gave Pike an opportunity to praise state Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-east Cobb). Cooper, who identifies as pro-life, recently blasted Georgia Right to Life President Dan Becker for threatening her with political retaliation for not voting the way he instructed.

“I was really proud that she came out and said something,” Pike said. “We’re not always on the same page with everything, but I was really pleased that she came out and said, ‘I’m not their legislator. I represent my constituency, not you.’ And she was appalled that they came back and said, ‘we’re going to get rid of you.’ That to me is so anti-Democratic that they would do that to somebody.

It is outright bulling, and there’s one thing that I can’t tolerate, and it’s a bully.”

An Irish Catholic from Chicago who is fourth generation union, Pike’s party credentials are lifelong. Her father, Jim Snyder, worked for the Proctor & Gamble plant in Chicago before it closed and he was transferred to Albany.

She recalls a childhood celebrating the holidays from Easter to Christmas at the local union hall.

“I’ve been a Democrat since birth,” Pike said. “I was probably 10 years old before I knew there was a divide between the Catholic Church, the union and the Democratic Party.

As such, she grew up being expected to volunteer in soup kitchens on one day while walking the picket lines on another.

Pike earned a degree in political science from Darton College in South Georgia, moving to Marietta in 1998 to work in the sales and customer service division of a major telecommunications company, the name of which she prefers not to mention to avoid bringing it into the political arena.

She is a former vice president of Communication Workers of American Local 3204 and became chair of the Cobb Democratic Committee in November 2010, a two-year term.

She intends to seek re-election.

Pike and her husband, Chip, a deputy with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department, live in Marietta and attend Holy Family Catholic Church. They have two rescue dogs, Gozer and Slimer.

Stoner said he’s been happy with Pike’s leadership.

“She’s a very energetic person, very organized and just rolls up her sleeves and gets right to work, so I’m very happy to have her as chairman of our local party, and she’s demonstrated having that position to everyone who is involved in the party,” Stoner said.

Addressing the problem of veterans returning home and not having jobs in which to integrate back into civilian life is one topic she hopes to tackle. Attracting young people to the party is another goal.

“We have a good time in Cobb, and that’s a big priority for me is making people understand that it’s a party again,” she said.

“It’s not just messiness and politics and the ugliness that goes along with it. I want to bring back that family element to where people are comfortable bringing their kids and getting their kids involved and letting their kids see the impact of their civic duty and why it’s important.”

Even though they’re out of power in Georgia, Pike believes it’s a good time to be a Democrat.

“It’s going to become so obvious who is not the problem,” she said. “For all of the years Republicans were not in power they kept saying, ‘See? This is the Democrats that are making it such a problem.’ Well, what have they done to solve those problems? And what new problems have been created as a result?”
Comments
(17)
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sb56
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April 27, 2012
Typical, a county grows up around hard working people with conservative values becoming one of the best places to live. Then, democrats and yankees want to move in and tell us how antiquated and unfair we are because we don't believe in "social justice" and "fairness" through redistribution of wealth. They don't seem to understand or care that those ideals of social justice and fairness are what helped to ruin the place they came from.
Tex Greenfield
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April 24, 2012
Two cattle grazing at the public trough. Thats our Demoladies!
Tex G
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April 24, 2012
Hey Melissa I am using my real name. You need to get back to work you holier than thou. You have no idea about southern values. Please get a real job.
Tex G
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April 24, 2012
Hey Melissa Pike you need to go back to work. Loafing as a Union leader doesnt cut it with me. We dont need unions telling us how its done.

Unions are for people who know their market rate is not worth what they are charging. Unions and their leaders and supporters are communists by any other name.

Have another sandwich Melissa.
RepublicanForStoner
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April 24, 2012
As a Republican who observes very closely the goings on under the Gold Dome I see Senator Stoner as one of the good guys. Sure, we have our differences on issues, I have differences on issues with family members, so what of it? My only question when going into the voting booth is will this person represent his/her district well and will they listen to their constituents. On both of those questions Doug Stoner has always scored very high marks. I have never had a reservation about casting my vote for him and will not in the future.
Timus
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April 23, 2012
What I find amusing about these comments is the common theme of If You Don't Agree With Me Then YOU Must Be the Devil!!! What ever happened to respectable public discourse? Believe what you believe and I believe what I believe but we can STILL respect one another as Americans who love this country. Why am I not a patriot because I don't see eye to eye with you? Ronald Reagan would have a hard time being elected in this environment. I'm not too sure that's a good thing people!!!
mmmmmm
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April 23, 2012
Anyone that grew up in the midwest or the NorthEast and was Catholic grew up with as a Democrat Catholic. A Kennedy Catholic. I grew up with a picture of JFK on my father's home office wall.

When I moved to Georgia it was a Democrat state, so many of us would not be here with the higher paying jobs if it had not been a blue state.

Stoner has done a good job. The 3 republican candidates running are all lightweights. I just read their profiles in the Sandy Springs Reporter. it is like Blah, Blah, Blah. You forget, you still drive thru the old money Buckhead parts and see Democrate candidate signs.
ViningsDad
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April 23, 2012
God, I hope Stoner loses! He's part of the machine which would like to turn Georgia into modern-day Greece -- a society in which "takers" overpower the true "makers" of wealth.

Come Now
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April 24, 2012
That is a bunch of nonesense. Doug Stoner has a strong Small business background and a good voting record on business issues. You may not agree with him on everything, he may not be a member of the party you are a member of but your assesment is 180 degrees out from reality.
Tex G
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April 23, 2012
Yep ashamed of her democommie agenda and her employer firing her.
Melissa Pike
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April 23, 2012
No, "Tex," I'm very much employed and not at all not ashamed. I'm very proud I was raised by Southerners. I know you don't have to be from the South to love it. I had the best of both worlds. I'm proud enough I'll actually put my name to my comments instead of hiding in anonymity. You don't even know me yet you make judgements. "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Thank you, Jesus ,for blessing me with a proper upbringing to recognize right and wrong.
rjsnh
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April 23, 2012
If re-electing Stoner is "job # 1" then, either A)they need to find a better way to spend their time, or B) they need to be fired...
Southern Patriot
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April 23, 2012
“I’ve been a Democrat since birth,” Pike said. “I was probably 10 years old before I knew there was a divide between the Catholic Church, the union and the Democratic Party."

The Catholic Church is Pro-Life and the Democratic Party is pro-abortion. How can a practicing Catholic be a member and leader in a party that's in favor of killing unborn children?

I think therefore I am not a Democrat.
Tex G
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April 23, 2012
Yes more northerners coming down to show us morons how to do it. Unions, Catholics, thuggery? Well if she loses the election she wont starve!
Tex G
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April 23, 2012
One look at this tells me Democoms are in deep deep trouble. As they should be. This is the face of your party GA.
Vorant1
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April 23, 2012
After the disaster of the last 3 1/2 years anyone with a (D) beside their name is the spawn of Satan in my book. Goodbye Stoner....
Just a reader
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April 23, 2012
That was silly to not want to identify her employer...a Google search and a mouseclick to LinkedIn made it very easy to find att which company Ms. Pike works.
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