Sunday, June 26, 2011

My "Will to Power" Post

I got a new newspaper job in mid-January, just in time for Sunday alcohol sales becoming a big issue in Georgia.  Many of my early columns dealt with the Sunday sales issue.

I ended up write a whole bunch of columns about Sunday alcohol sales, to the point I suspect my readers are sick and tired of hearing about the subject.  I think I'll content myself with writing columns about other relevant subjects until we get close to the fall vote in Johns Creek on whether to allow Sunday sales.

Here are the links, with some background material for each one:

This is a shock--I agree with Nathan Deal

This one was the first, around the time Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced he would sign a bill allowing local communities to vote on Sunday sales.  I supported Karen Handel against Deal in the governor's race, so the fact I was willing to back Deal was pretty darn significant.  I also decided to engage opponents of Sunday sales--most of whom base their position on their religion--on their own ground, to prove drinking alcohol is not something unholy and it is not in Christians' best interest to support state establishment of religion.

Continuing Sunday alcohol ban bad for the state

In this one, I made an argument in favor of allowing Sunday alcohol sales on secular grounds--open government (when the Republican caucus tried to bury the bill), tax revenue, and the like.  I also used a quote from Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, whom I met at a Georgia Press Association function in the capital and asked about Sunday sales.

This one was the most popular in terms of Tweets and Facebook recommendations.

Both columns got me the attention of Georgians for Sunday Alcohol Sales, whose leaders asked for permission to send the columns to other newspapers in support of their cause.  I don't know if any of these ran in other newspapers, but Spalding County Commissioner Bob Gilreath did post my first column on his online newsletter/blog Griffin Journal.

Johns Creek can vote on Sunday sales this November

Eventually, thanks to Rich Sullivan and Georgians for Sunday Alcohol Sales, the Georgia House permitted a vote.  As I expected, the bill allowing Sunday sales passed.  Since the Senate had already passed it and Deal had promised to sign it, I figured it would be a done deal.

(That's not always a good idea, but this time it turned out all right.)

I shifted my focus to Johns Creek and why it would be a good idea to pass Sunday sales.

Sunday alcohol vote this year in residents' hands

The Johns Creek City Council discussed Sunday sales one evening but didn't take any action.  In response, I wrote the above column.

At the next meeting, the council members agreed to put Sunday alcohol sales on the ballot.  This led to the following column, the last I intend to write on the subject for awhile:

Johns Creek City Council's alcohol votes will benefit city

Hopefully the votes in Johns Creek and other communities and the events that follow will show that Sunday alcohol sales are not going to be destructive to the cities and counties that allow them and will not infringe on Christianity.

About the title of this post, it's an allusion to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.  Nietzsche discussed the "will to power," which according to the Wikipedia entry on the topic was in part the will to achieve.  Although I have no way of knowing the impact my writing had in getting Sunday sales passed at the state level, I do have it on good authority that my column exhorting people to tell the city council they wanted the chance to vote on Sunday sales was pivotal in getting it voted on.

I think I've helped accomplish something, even if in the grand scheme of things it's not that big a deal.

If any of you want to Facebook-recommend the above articles, that 'd be nice, although they're a little out-of-date now.  Definitely visit them, to increase the number of hits on the company web-site that come from here.

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