We also published this article in the July issue of the Townelaker! See page 50 to read the print version!
We don’t need another career politician.
In 2010, Michael Caldwell ran a campaign for State House. Some shrugged off the 20-year-old candidate as a pipe dream.
Then he took 46% of the vote against a six year incumbent in a 5,000 ballot election.
As it turns out, Caldwell’s message of more accountable local government is an issue that hits home for many living in the Woodstock/Towne Lake area. While his opponents try to discredit him because of his age and perceived lack of life experience, it’s evident that Michael is no ordinary young man.
Running a campaign for State House in your early 20s is one thing... running a campaign while finishing a four year bachelor’s degree in Finance (a degree he earned in two years and eight months, faster than anyone else in state history) begins to set the stage for the kind of person Caldwell really is. Fast-forward to present day: Caldwell was highly recruited away from social media giant Vitrue (which was recently acquired by Oracle) by his father the CEO of Python Safety, headquartered in Woodstock, GA. Since Michael joined, the company has quadrupled in size. As the highest revenue producing Regional Sales Manager, Caldwell is responsible for millions of dollars of revenue which has resulted in more than a dozen new jobs in Cherokee County this past year. Caldwell is putting Georgians back to work.
“Inexperience” is not a word that comes to mind when you look at Caldwell’s inspiring resume.
In fact, Caldwell is a full-time businessman in the private sector. Alternatively, his opponent Charlice Byrd’s official state biography, campaign website, LinkedIn and Facebook boast a career spent entirely in politics and government with no indication of private sector business experience.
Perhaps most amazing of all isn’t Caldwell’s backstory, but the platform on which he stands in Georgia, the lowest rated ethics state in the country.
“Together they are proving wrong the mythology of incumbent wisdom. They represent two of the most professional, transparent organizations in the state. Together they represent what could be: ethical, accessible, dynamic lawmaking.”
The Caldwell for House campaign has committed to accepting no contributions from lobbyists or out of state donors, another significant differentiator in the District 20 race. Caldwell is also the only candidate to disclose every penny of financial activity in his campaign, and the only candidate who supports Term Limits.
Recently highlighted in a national Fox News OpEd, a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee comments on Caldwell and another young candidate in Georgia, “Together they are proving wrong the mythology of incumbent wisdom. They represent two of the most professional, transparent organizations in the state. Together they represent what could be: ethical, accessible, dynamic lawmaking.”
Could it be that it took someone in their early twenties to remind the Georgia political establishment that the State House belongs to the People? Have some of the representatives at the Gold Dome lost sight of what really matters with their years of experience?
Maybe what we need right now isn’t more of the same political “experience” but fresh and new ideas.
In an impressive display of knowledge and insight Caldwell captivated the audience at the recent Cherokee County Republican Party debate. With quick and natural responses to questions directed at him, he proved that his opponent will need to do more this election than play the “experience” card.
During the same debate it was uncovered that Charlice Byrd has been voting one way on the House floor (the only vote that creates law), and then changing her vote with House Officials (House Clerk’s Office). She then claims that her second vote is the vote that counts. It doesn’t. For instance, Byrd voted ‘Nay’ on Sunday sales, then told citizens she voted ‘Yea’.
When directly confronted on the issue, Byrd maintained that all representatives have the right to change their vote. House Officials prove this claim false: the vote on the floor creates law. Any further changes are simply clarifications to the Journal. Period.
This vote-one-way-declare–another pattern has happened dozens of times since Byrd was first elected. In fact, in the past six years, Byrd has “changed” her vote more than any of the other 180 state representatives.
It’s clear that there are big problems facing the state of Georgia. In addition to Education, Transportation and Budget, Caldwell seems to see something others have missed. Ethics reform is on the horizon, and while we fix huge issues in the state, maybe we also need to take a look at the system itself. It starts in District 20.
This will be an election year to remember, both on a state and national level. With unemployment rates as high as they are, and an ethics rating worthy of a plaque in a public restroom, there is a lot of work to be done.
Perhaps most surprising in this years upcoming election: that “pipe dream candidate” from two years ago appears to be the most qualified for the job at hand … and after coming within a few hundred votes of winning in 2010, Michael Caldwell is definitely a force to be reckoned with July 31.
Representative with 10 or more inadvertent votes (2006-2012)
Caldwell on the issues
It is the responsibility of a Representative to protect and serve the Constitution of both the United States and the State of Georgia.
As a legislator, Michael Caldwell will fight to protect Georgia’s citizens’ right to life from the moment of conception to natural death.
Michael Caldwell is the only candidate who discloses all financial activity, above and beyond what the state mandates.
Working Citizen Legislator
Michael Caldwell is a hard working citizen who will bring the same work ethic to the Capitol that he brings to work every day.
Michael Caldwell supports legislative term limits, campaign finance and electoral reform. Caldwell demonstrates his commitment to more accountable Government in being the only candidate to say “No!” to all lobbyist and out of state contributions.
Michael Caldwell is the only candidate who attends every school board meeting. He will continue to fight for educational freedom and local control.
Every American, by constitutional right, should be able to bear arms.