“I was born a poor black child…..”
According to Matt Towery the rest of the country is made up of elitists who “jes don’ unnerstan’ de souf”. Actually what he said was:
I’m known to write occasionally that the rest of America doesn’t understand the South. Now comes some clear and convincing evidence.
As fate would have it, InsiderAdvantage, the company that I lead, just this week purchased the long-established Washington, D.C.-based Southern Political Report. Hastings Wyman, a widely respected political reporter in Washington, will continue to edit the publication.
So why on Tuesday night was network television airing shows like “Tommy Lee Goes to College,” instead of providing wall-to-wall live coverage of this historic, catastrophic event? Where were the rock stars announcing soon-to-come mega-concerts to raise quick cash for the stricken region? And why in the world was the stock market rising both on Monday and Wednesday?
I’ll tell you why. It’s because the know-it-alls in New York and Washington don’t have a clue about the American South. They don’t comprehend its political might and economic muscle, and thus the ultimately crippling impact Katrina is going to have on them, too. It’s that simple.
This isn’t to knock the courageous and resourceful print and broadcast reporters on the scene or the media venues that have devoted practically all their column space or airtime to this cataclysmic event.
I’m aiming higher with my complaint — at the top-level program directors and network executives who think that earthquakes in California and attacks on New York warrant the full attention of the world, but life-threatening emergencies in the swamps and “backwoods” of the South don’t.
Of course the fact that we have wall-to-wall cable news outlets like CNN, MSNBC, Fox, C-SPAN, etc. covering it seems lost on Matt but that could be because he’s a man of the people, the common clay, a good ol’ boy who likes nothing better than hanging out at Floyds and shooting the shit with locals talking about them “smart-ass New York jews“, etc. etc. etc.
Matt Towery ’87 once had mixed emotions about attending law school. He now counts his degree from Stetson Law as one of his great accomplishments.
The Atlanta native seemed surprised to be profiled as a Stetson success story. â€œStetson is blessed to have some really successful alumni. Stetson has graduates who have achieved far beyond what I could ever dream of accomplishing.â€
Yet Towery is the author of several books, writes a syndicated political column, serves as the chief political analyst for the Atlanta NBC news affiliate, and is a governmental affairs and campaign strategist.
This humble alumnus is also CEO and co-founder of InsiderAdvantage.com, an Internet-based government affairs and media company with a host of subscription-based online services.
For generations, the Towery family had run an Atlanta-based printing company. Maurice â€œBuddyâ€ Towery was adamant that his only child, Matt, would become a lawyer. â€œMy dad made it very clear that I either went to law school or I was not going to be part of our businesses,â€ Towery said.
Matt had just graduated from Cambridge University in England. â€œThe weather in England had been cold and miserable,â€ recalled Towery. The young scholar was anxious to return to the South. â€œI visited Stetson and it met my criteria: a great law school, a beautiful location and a warm climate.â€
Despite Stetsonâ€™s strong curriculum and idyllic location, Towery had mixed emotions about his fatherâ€™s mandate. â€œI came to law school somewhat begrudgingly and left absolutely delighted with my Stetson experience.â€
Prior to joining the family business, the elder Towery had yet another prerequisite for new lawyer son, â€œStart and run a successful business of your own.â€
Another entrepreneur in the family
After passing the Georgia Bar in 1987, Towery and a friend founded the law firm Venema, Towery, Thompson & Delashmit, which grew to 14 attorneys before he left the firm. Towery eventually joined the family business, and his fatherâ€™s counseling helped establish an entrepreneurial spirit that continues to this day.
While managing his law firm in 1990, the Republican Party nominated Towery to run for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. Even though he lost that bid to Pierre Howard, he and Howard set aside political differences, became friends, and later forged several business alliances, including their current partnership at InsiderAdvantage.
Towery juggled multiple careers in the 1990s. He sold his law firm, served in the Georgia House of Representatives and worked as Of Counsel to one of Atlantaâ€™s largest law firms, Long, Aldridge & Norman.
Towery took the helm of the family printing business in 1993, doubling profits and embracing the use of digital technology.
Nowadays, Towery spends his time running his own business and playing golf at the Buckhead Country Club where the greenskeepers still have to keep asking him to “keep his goddamned coonhounds off’n the greens”.
And that’s what I like about the south….