Hello, I’m [Insert Label Here]

Labels in politics scare me. That’s the conclusion I reached this weekend as my Facebook News Feed became alternating posts about political candidates. I get it. Labels are catchy. They sum up a campaign in three or less words. “Career Politician” sounds like a bad thing. “Outsiders” sound like a good solution to a broken government.

But the labels being used are dishonest: politically and intellectually. Take my experience this weekend: I was bombarded by Facebook posts telling me abut friends who supported a Senate candidate who “had a real job,” who is an “Outsider,” not a “career politician,” and a host of other labels. I knew who they were supporting because of the pictures associated with the posting.

There was just one problem. Michelle Nunn is not a career politician, had a real job, and would be an outsider in Washington. No one I asked wanted to vote for Nunn, even though she met the labels. No one would indicate they were inclined to vote for Nunn, should their candidate lose.

It gets worse. Know of anymore career politicians running this fall? Governor Deal has more than twenty-two years. Will the outsider’s supporters vote for the “outsider” Jason Carter? I doubt it.

Let’s be honest. Political labels sound good when they can be used to bolster a candidate we support. But what if the only criteria voters armed themselves with were labels? I think you would see results ideologically inconsistent with the voters beliefs. Drill down further, my generation receives information in 144 characters or less. Do we really want voters operating solely off “labels?”

The Marietta Daily Journal – Election official Interest pushes more Republicans to polls during early voting

Friday was the final day of early voting, and 9,606 Cobb residents voted in person during the advance voting period that started June 30, according to Janine Eveler, the director of the county’s election board. That total does not include mail and overseas ballots.

Eveler said Friday that Republicans generally turned out in larger numbers to vote ahead of time than they did before the May 20 primary.

She was not able to provide a grand total of Republican to Democrat voters because the state reports don’t come out until Monday, but she compared data from two dates to give an example: Thursday was the next to last day to vote ahead of the runoff election and saw 1,183 Republicans cast ballots in the county. The final day to cast a ballot before the primary was May 15, which garnered 1,127 ballots.

In comparing those two days, 56 more Republican voters, or about 5 percent more, turned out to vote in the runoff election.

Typically “the numbers go down in a runoff, so the relatively higher Republican numbers showed a continued interest in the races on that ballot,” Eveler said.

Democrats did not follow suit those same two days: 289 voted May 15, while 136 came to an early polling station Thursday, a difference of 153, or 53 percent fewer voters.

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Election official Interest pushes more Republicans to polls during early voting.

Voters to decide Georgia primary runoffs Tuesday | savannahnow.com

Some 393 poll workers will be on hand as 89 polls across the county are scheduled to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There will be 157 fewer poll workers than worked the May 20 primaries, but Chatham County Elections Supervisor Russell Bridges told elections board members last week he expects just 10-15 percent voter turnout.

“It may be higher,” Bridges said.

Activity has been busier than what is typical for a normal summer runoff, he said. But at 23 percent, he said, May’s primary turnout was low, though not exceptionally low.

The primary, which is typically held in July, was moved up to May this year.

By Friday morning, just 4,160 (not including 1,137 absentee ballots mailed), or 3.2 percent, of Chatham County’s 129,463 registered voters participated in early voting, which

ended Friday. Poll workers at the Savannah Civic Center, one of four early voting sites, estimated that only 60 people had voted there last week.

via Voters to decide Georgia primary runoffs Tuesday | savannahnow.com.

Congressional candidates report final fundraising push | savannahnow.com

The primary runoffs are Tuesday, and the numbers are in for the last round of fundraising in the 1st Congressional District races.

Last Tuesday was the deadline for federal candidates to file campaign disclosure reports.

State Sen. Buddy Carter, who faces Bob Johnson in the Republican runoff, raised $369,168, including a $50,000 personal loan, during the final three months of the campaign. He spent $380,214, which left him with $230,698 in cash on hand.

By comparison, Johnson’s campaign between May 1 and July 2 raised a total of $287,104 in contributions, including a $4,000 personal loan, and spent $442,641, leaving him with $49,656.

Carter and Johnson loaned themselves $300,000 and $224,000, respectively, during the course of the campaign, which equates to one-quarter of their contributions. They relied heavily on their professional colleagues for much of the rest.

via Congressional candidates report final fundraising push | savannahnow.com.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 21, 2014

On July 20, 1864, the Battle of Peachtree Creek took place in Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a special online section on the Battle of Atlanta.

On July 21, 1868, the Georgia General Assembly ratified the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution as a condition for readmission.

Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton gave the speech nominating Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis for President on July 20, 1988 at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. Dukakis accepted the nomination the next day.

The 1996 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony was held on July 19, 1996 and competition started the next day.

The Georgia State Quarter was released on July 19, 1999.

Campaigns and Elections

Three major Congressional runoff elections take place tomorrow in Georgia.

In Coastal Georgia’s First District, State Senator Buddy Carter and Dr. Bob Johnson meet in a runoff that has been dominated by high-dollar spending.

State Sen. Buddy Carter, who faces Bob Johnson in the Republican runoff, raised $369,168, including a $50,000 personal loan, during the final three months of the campaign. He spent $380,214, which left him with $230,698 in cash on hand.

By comparison, Johnson’s campaign between May 1 and July 2 raised a total of $287,104 in contributions, including a $4,000 personal loan, and spent $442,641, leaving him with $49,656.

While the Democratic Primary to be the sacrificial lamb nominee facing the winner of the Carter-Johnson runoff has been decidedly less expensive.

Amy Tavio raised $4,839 during the final months of the campaign and spent $5,290, leaving her with $1,866. She loaned herself $2,084 during the campaign.

Her Democratic runoff opponent, Brian Reese, raised $3,875 and reports show he didn’t spend any money in the closing months. He loaned himself $3,000 during the race.

Chatham County is expecting turnout in the 15-17 percent range.

Some 393 poll workers will be on hand as 89 polls across the county are scheduled to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There will be 157 fewer poll workers than worked the May 20 primaries, but Chatham County Elections Supervisor Russell Bridges told elections board members last week he expects just 10-15 percent voter turnout.

“It may be higher,” Bridges said.

Activity has been busier than what is typical for a normal summer runoff, he said. But at 23 percent, he said, May’s primary turnout was low, though not exceptionally low.

By Friday morning, just 4,160 (not including 1,137 absentee ballots mailed), or 3.2 percent, of Chatham County’s 129,463 registered voters participated in early voting, which ended Friday. Poll workers at the Savannah Civic Center, one of four early voting sites, estimated that only 60 people had voted there last week.

In the Tenth Congressional District, Congressman Paul Broun has endorsed Jody Hice for his successor.

Broun had stayed out of the GOP primary in the 10th District until now, saying he did not want to anoint a successor. But in a Monday radio interview in Georgia, Broun said recent events pushed him to support Hice over businessman Mike Collins in the July 22 runoff.

“Just recently Mike Collins has rejected and repudiated my simple four-way test. … Jody Hice has pledged that he is going to use that same four-way test as he evaluates legislation and Mike Collins just recently said that he rejects that test,” Broun said on Georgia’s Morning News with Zoller & Bryant.

Hice came in first by a few hundred votes in the May 20 GOP primary in this district — a strong Republican seat located in the Atlanta exurbs. In Georgia, if no candidate gets 50 percent of the primary vote, the race proceeds to a runoff.

Hice has made controversial remarks in the past, including that Islam should not be protected by the First Amendment, and that women should run for office only with their husband’s permission.

Collins is the son of former Rep. Mac Collins, R-Ga., and owns a successful trucking company. He received the endorsements of former Georgia Senate candidate Karen Handel, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and former Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.

Here’s one fact that may indicate how that race is going. Jody Hice carried nearly 57.1% of Walton County’s votes in the Primary on May 20th, while Mike Collins took 21.7% in Walton.

During the May 20th Primary, 1482 Walton County voters cast ballots in the Tenth District Republican Primary; as of the latest file from the Secretary of State’s office, 1,762 ballots have been cast in early voting leading up to tomorrow’s Tenth District Republican Primary Runoff in Walton County, an increase of nearly 20%.

Given that Walton is the most populous county in the District, and Hice carried well over twice as many votes as Collins in the Primary early voting, this may represent a boost for Hice. Or it may be that people who would otherwise have voted tomorrow simply chose to vote early.

Cobb County Elections director Janine Eveler also says that turnout is higher in Cobb County early voting, where runoffs are being held for 11th District Congress between Bob Barr and Barry Loudermilk; a County Commission Runoff between Bill Byrne and Bob Weatherford, and a school board runoff between Tim Stultz and Susan Thayer.

Eveler said Friday that Republicans generally turned out in larger numbers to vote ahead of time than they did before the May 20 primary.
She was not able to provide a grand total of Republican to Democrat voters because the state reports don’t come out until Monday, but she compared data from two dates to give an example: Thursday was the next to last day to vote ahead of the runoff election and saw 1,183 Republicans cast ballots in the county. The final day to cast a ballot before the primary was May 15, which garnered 1,127 ballots.
In comparing those two days, 56 more Republican voters, or about 5 percent more, turned out to vote in the runoff election.
Typically “the numbers go down in a runoff, so the relatively higher Republican numbers showed a continued interest in the races on that ballot,” Eveler said.
Democrats did not follow suit those same two days: 289 voted May 15, while 136 came to an early polling station Thursday, a difference of 153, or 53 percent fewer voters.

The Marietta Daily Journal has an excellent piece covering the final days of the runoff in their local races.

Barr and Loudermilk have ramped up the intensity of their personal and political punches since weeding out four other candidates in the May primary. Because no Democrat filed to run in the district, the winner of the runoff is expected to replace Gingrey in Congress.

“It’s been really heating up the last couple of weeks,” Swint said of the race.

Loudermilk said although his own campaign has tried to maintain its focus on the issues, “the tone has definitely changed” for his opponent since the runoff began.
Last month’s dust-up over allegations that Loudermilk had embellished his military service record put both campaigns on defense.
While Loudermilk decried what he saw as an “orchestrated attack on my military record,” Barr said he was not behind the accusations, which were publicized by a group of local veterans. He downplayed the fact his campaign manager, Jeff Breedlove, attended news conferences at which Loudermilk’s record was questioned.
“I think it was and is bothersome to the veterans,” Barr said of the controversy. He said most of the veterans he talks to are “very careful” not to misrepresent their military service.
“I think they were concerned and remain very concerned about that kind of embellishment.”

Concerns about runoff turnout have dominated the Senate race as well. The AJC brings us this story:

The TV ads get the attention, but as David Perdue and Jack Kingston circle the state ahead of Tuesday’s U.S. Senate Republican runoff, both are emphasizing the politics of the personal.

Turnout is expected to be 10 percent or lower, giving each handshake and social media post greater import. And while both men have worked every corner of the state, they are spending the most time in metro Atlanta and parts north to mine an area thick with Republican voters.

“If you study runoffs in Georgia, there’s no pattern to who wins,” said Perdue, former CEO of Dollar General, at a recent campaign stop in northwest Georgia. “If you finish first or second, it doesn’t matter. But the one constant is motivated people win. When you call people and tell them who you’re voting for, it matters to them.”

Kingston tells crowds that posting a photo of themselves with the 11-term Savannah congressman on Facebook is far more effective than his TV ads.

“What we’re trying to do as much as possible is a lot of email, a lot of Facebook and getting the party enthusiasts out telling their friends — word of mouth — with the hope that overcomes some of the negative ads,” Kingston said.

The TV ads get the attention, but as David Perdue and Jack Kingston circle the state ahead of Tuesday’s U.S. Senate Republican runoff, both are emphasizing the politics of the personal.

Turnout is expected to be 10 percent or lower, giving each handshake and social media post greater import. And while both men have worked every corner of the state, they are spending the most time in metro Atlanta and parts north to mine an area thick with Republican voters.

“If you study runoffs in Georgia, there’s no pattern to who wins,” said Perdue, former CEO of Dollar General, at a recent campaign stop in northwest Georgia. “If you finish first or second, it doesn’t matter. But the one constant is motivated people win. When you call people and tell them who you’re voting for, it matters to them.”

Kingston tells crowds that posting a photo of themselves with the 11-term Savannah congressman on Facebook is far more effective than his TV ads.

“What we’re trying to do as much as possible is a lot of email, a lot of Facebook and getting the party enthusiasts out telling their friends — word of mouth — with the hope that overcomes some of the negative ads,” Kingston said.

John Konop, of Canton, said he was still trying to make up his mind — and coming away dispirited.

“I hear talking points on both sides and I don’t hear anything of substance from either one,” he said. “I’m a regular voter but it is frustrating because I’m having a hard time distinguishing what they’re really going to do.”

Kingston and Perdue are running to replace Republican U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring. Tuesday’s winner faces Democratic nonprofit executive Michelle Nunn of Atlanta in what is expected to be a nationally watched race.

Perdue won the most votes in the May 20 primary, claiming 30 percent of the vote in the seven-candidate race. He was particularly popular in north Georgia, winning most of the mountain counties and even besting primary opponents U.S. Reps. Paul Broun of Athens and Phil Gingrey of Marietta in their own congressional districts. Perdue also was popular near his boyhood home of Warner Robins.

Kingston, meanwhile, captured enormous margins in areas he has represented in Congress. He won his coastal First Congressional District with 74.8 percent of the vote. Perdue, who now lives in the district in Sea Island, was second there with 10.5 percent. Kingston also won two neighboring South Georgia districts, parts of which he represented before redistricting.

“It wasn’t a surprise that Jack did well in south Georgia – the surprise was the margin,” said GOP strategist Chip Lake, who is not aligned with either runoff candidate. “David Perdue probably has an advantage in the northern part of the state, but he’s not going to have the margins Jack will in the south. And that makes for a competitive, close race that could be decided within a point or two.”

n the primary Kingston’s south Georgia margins were enough to overcome former Secretary of State Karen Handel’s metro Atlanta strength. Handel, of Roswell, has endorsed Kingston in the runoff and has been an energetic backer, urging her donors to give to Kingston, hitting the campaign trail for him and even offering a homemade concoction to soothe Kingston’s weary throat when his voice failed him.

“I want to be helpful in consolidating some of the votes that I won – that can hopefully be the difference in the race,” she said. “The southern strategy is going to be important, but Jack’s not forgetting about metro Atlanta.”

In fact, this weekend, Kingston’s volunteers scattered across the Metro Atlanta, covering every event they could find, and smothering potential voters with personal attention.

Here’s the Kingston campaign’s end-game, all out there on Facebook for everyone to see.

1. Fly-around tour of Georgia, with prominent stops in Savannah, Brunswick, Albany, Macon, Augusta, and Atlanta. Likely others.

2. Volunteer phoning in large numbers.

3. Campaign stops and rallies in Metro Atlanta.

 

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 21, 2014

Last week, a reader asked for suggestions on a dog he could adopt that would be less likely to cause allergy problems for his grandchildren. Wheaten Terriers are widely said to be hypo-allergenic or less-allergenic. Today we’re featuring Wheaten Terrier mixes. Every dog is different and every case of allergies is different, so our best suggestion is to foster so that if it doesn’t work out, the dog will have a safe place to go to.

Dini

Dini is a young male Wheaten Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Angels Among Us in Atlanta, Ga.

Roscoe

Roscoe is a Wheaten Terrier/Yellow Lab mix who was found in an area where dogs are dumped. He is gaining some much needed weight and loves everyone, including the other dogs in his temporary home. Roscoe has plenty of energy and would love to live with an active family who has the time to spend with a new furry family member. Roscoe is available for adoption from Star Bright Animal Rescue in Perry, GA.

Rolo

Rolo is a senior, female Wheaten Terrier mix, approximately 11 years old and 28 pounds.

Rolo has special needs, but don’t be fooled – this very intelligent girl gets accustomed to her environment quickly and can get along without much help!

Rolo was rescued from Animal Control when she was set to be put to sleep, and she is extremely grateful to have been rescued! Rolo appears to have had a hard life with untreated eye issues that left her blind. Since she has been with her foster, Rolo’s vets have been amazed at the progress she has made with just a little TLC!

Rolo is very gentle and likes all dogs, cats and people. She is extremely low-maintenance as she is very content to lie in her doggy bed like a true pampered princess. She loves to be loved on and will wag her tail in excitement when you pet her. She is housebroken and crate trained and will bark or go to the door when she needs to go outside. The perfect home for Rolo will be one where her forever family accepts her as she is, without pitying her. In return, she will provide unconditional love

Rolo is available for adoption from Angels Among Us in Atlanta, Ga.

We have a blind senior dog, who is currently sitting at my feet. Roxy’s loss of eyesight doesn’t seem to bother her, she just needs voice commands occasionally when we’re walking, and when she goes down the main staircase in our home, we go down ahead of her and tap on the stair treads so she knows where to step and doesn’t slip. But the trust she place in us to be her eyes is a blessing to us all. Consider whether you can help a senior dog grow old in comfort.

Scotty Pointer

Scotty is a young male Pointer with a docked tail, who got adopted from Clayton County Animal Shelter, got loose, and his new owner left him there. He is available for adoption from Clayton County Animal Shelter, and you can donate online here to help pay for his vetting when he is rescued.

Contributions pour in for Ben Hasan and Bob Finnegan prior to District 6 runoff | The Augusta Chronicle

Newspaper publisher Ben Hasan led the May 20 election and out-raised second-place finisher Bob Finnegan in the latest campaign financial reports due Tuesday, with significant support from a law enforcement political action committee.

Ben Hasan led the May 20 election in the latest campaign financial reports, with significant support from a law enforcement political action committee.

But the tables could turn as local power brokers throw their money behind Finnegan in the July 22 District 6 runoff, which could shift the color balance on the 10-member Augusta Commission.

Hasan, who raised $4,825 since the May 20 five-way race, had $7,891.52 on hand last week to spend on the runoff, including $550 and two $750 contributions from the Southern States Police Benevolent Association, an organization that endorsed him and whose CSRA chapter represents Augusta-area law enforcement.

Hasan said he’s “strong pro-law enforcement” and hates to see Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies complete “the best training system in the state of Georgia” then leave for better compensation elsewhere.

Finnegan, a U.S. Army and Fort Gordon retiree, largely self-funded his campaign up to the May 20 election, but more recently has seen financial support build from a number of Augusta power brokers, including Smith, the commissioner; Mayor Deke Copenhaver in-laws Braye and Clay Boardman; retired banker Monty Osteen; realtor E.G. Meybohm; former commissioner Ulmer Bridges, Keith Brown of Kendrick Paint and Body; and the Homebuilders Association of Metro Augusta.

It’s much of the same group that propelled Copenhaver and later former commissioner Matt Aitken to local political runoff victories, although Aitken lost his bid for a second term.

If elected, Finnegan will maintain the 5-5 color balance of white and black on the commission. District 6 is also the seat that caused the most disagreement during redistricting in 2012. In the end a federal judge drew District 6 as 54 percent black, the narrowest color margin among the 10 commission districts.

Finnegan raised some $8,294 since May 20 and has spent heavily on television ads. He ended last week with $5,465.59 on hand.

via Contributions pour in for Ben Hasan and Bob Finnegan prior to District 6 runoff | The Augusta Chronicle.

Poll shows Carter widening lead over Deal | www.wsbtv.com

An exclusive Channel 2 Action News poll indicates if the election were held today, Georgia could have a new governor.

The poll conducted by Landmark Communications on July 15 found Democratic challenger Jason Carter with a seven-point lead over Republican incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal.

Carter received 48.7 percent in the poll and Deal received 41.3 percent. Libertarian Andew Hunt received 4 percent of the vote in the poll. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

The poll comes just after new developments in the ethics investigation into Deal, and it could have cost him support according to Channel 2 political analyst Bill Crane.

“This is definite cause for pause and concern for a governor who probably a year ago didn’t have any serious Democrats who were running and now obviously are in a position to knock him out of his seat,” Crane told Channel 2’s Lori Geary.

Deal has a nine-point lead in men but women support Carter by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

“If you’ve got the largest voting block, which is women, (about) 55 percent, depending on who shows up, breaking off 15 to 20 percent, that puts everything in play. It certainly should be giving a lot of pachyderms a lot of sleepless nights,” Crane said.

via Poll shows Carter widening lead over Deal | www.wsbtv.com.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 18, 2014

JailMileyComp

Miley behind bars is a young female Boxer mix who is part of the Canine Cellmates program at Fulton County Jail. She’s so dog gone happy she doesn’t know what to do!! The shelter staff named her “Miley” because she was so happy and wiggling her little butt so much they said she was like Miley Cyrus “twerking”. HAHA!! This is a sweet, happy girl who loves nothing more than snuggling up next to your feet. Give Miley girl a chance and submit your application today!!

Miley Albany

Miley from Albany is a female Retriever/Hound mix puppy, kind of the quintessential Georgia dog. She is available for adoption from the Albany Humane Society in Albany, GA.

Miley Shih Tzu

Little Miley is a female adult Shih Tzu. Miley is about 3 years old and is an adorable shih tzu. She is very very sweet and came to us from a ‘hoarding’ situation in a rural county. She is crate trained and probably housetrained but we have not had her ‘loose’ in the house yet to know. She will make a great family pet. She has been spayed, microchipped, is heartworm negative and up to date on her vaccines.

Miley is available for adoption from Remember Me? Pet Rescue in Winder, Ga.

After a raid uncovered 357 puppies in horrible conditions, the Cherokee County Animal Shelter is overcrowded and needs donation.

Susan Garcia, director of the Cherokee Animal Shelter, said the community response has been wonderful so far and thanked everyone who had already donated, adding the shelter still needs specific donations to help with the influx of animals.

“I want stuff specific to this incident,” Garcia explained. “We need stuff we can use, not stuff we have to put up … If we get stuff that’s not going to help us, it takes time for us to put it away and find space to store it.”

The shelter had to close Wednesday as staff helped care for the hundreds of dogs seized from Heavenly Kennel off Cumming Highway on Tuesday, after authorities say owner Joy Wise failed to provide proper care for the animals, despite warnings from the Cherokee County Marshal’s Office in May.

 

For now, Garcia said the best way for residents to help while the animal shelter houses an excess of animals is to donate money and needed supplies.

“We need newspapers,” she said, adding slick glossy advertisement pages do not work. “But we need them unfolded. We have to stop and unfold it … If we get unfolded newspaper, it goes right in.”

Specific items can be ordered and shipped to the shelter through an online wish list created on Amazon, which can be found online here.

Click here to donate online.