Democratic campaign for governor gets rough - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Democratic campaign for governor gets rough

June 19, 2006

Albany--The gloves are off in the democratic gubernatorial race. Mark Taylor filed a lawsuit against Cathy Cox today while Cox started a petition for him to pull what she calls 'lying TV ads' off the airwaves.

Taylor Commercial: "Cathy Cox opposed the law creating Hope scholarships."

This is the Mark Taylor ad that the Cox campaign says is a flat out lie.

Taylor Commercial: "On April 20, 1993, Cathy Cox admitted she voted against the Georgia lottery."

"There's absolutely no basis in fact, it's an outright lie,"  says Peter Jackson, spokesperson for Cathy Cox.

"Facts don't lie, but Cathy Cox does. It's absolutely clear, thirteen years ago, it's in the newspaper, a report about her speech to her constituents who voted seventy percent against the education lottery," says Rick Dent, spokesperson for Mark Taylor.

 But the reporter who wrote the story thirteen years ago, says the Taylor campaign took Cox's remarks out of context. Newspaper editor Terry Toole says quote: "I can see why Cathy Cox would be upset that Mark Taylor would use something that she said in 1993 to damage her image by taking it out of context. Cathy didn't say she voted against the lottery in Georgia," says Toole.

And that's why Cox's campaign has started a petition for Georgians to call on Taylor to pull the ad.

"If he's the kind of guy to put blatant lies and malicious distortions on television all across Georgia, it really questions whether or not he really has the honor and integrity to be Georgia's next governor," says Jackson.

But it doesn't end there. This afternoon, the Taylor campaign filed suit against Cox claiming she misused public money for a series of television ads last year.

"She misspent more than four million dollars. She should be held accountable for it," says Dent.

In the ads, Cox, as secretary of state, warned Georgians about fraud. Taylor maintains she used the ads to raise her profile for the upcoming election and he wants copies of how the money was spent.

"The last communication received from Cathy Cox was Friday afternoon, and you know what she said? 'You cannot have these documents, period!" says Dent.

So this afternoon, the Taylor camp filed suit.

 "This is just them trying to drum up some free media, and it's infuriating," says Jackson.

And it's likely there will be more insults, barbs, and accusations flung between now and election day.

You can see Mark Taylor, Mac McCarley, and Cathy Cox debate each other on WALB, July 12th, at 7:00 PM. The debate will originate from the Albany Municipal Auditorium and is open to the public. It will also be broadcast statewide.

Feedback: news@walb.com?Subject=Cox/TaylorCampaign