Georgia Politics, Campaign, and Elections for April 18, 2014

18
Apr

Georgia Politics, Campaign, and Elections for April 18, 2014

On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere and William Dawes mounted up on horseback to warn of British troops on their way to confiscate American arms and to warn patriots Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who the British sought to capture.

By 1775, tensions between the American colonies and the British government had approached the breaking point, especially in Massachusetts, where Patriot leaders formed a shadow revolutionary government and trained militias to prepare for armed conflict with the British troops occupying Boston. In the spring of 1775, General Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, received instructions from Great Britain to seize all stores of weapons and gunpowder accessible to the American insurgents. On April 18, he ordered British troops to march against Concord and Lexington.

The Boston Patriots had been preparing for such a British military action for some time, and, upon learning of the British plan, Revere and Dawes set off across the Massachusetts countryside. They took separate routes in case one of them was captured….

About 5 a.m. on April 19, 700 British troops under Major John Pitcairn arrived at the town to find a 77-man-strong colonial militia under Captain John Parker waiting for them on Lexington’s common green. Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation, the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead and 10 others were wounded; only one British soldier was injured. The American Revolution had begun.

President William H. Taft learned on April 18, 1912 of the death of his military aide, Major Archibald Butts of Augusta, Georgia on RMS Titanic.

The honeybee was recognized as the official state insect of Georgia on April 18, 1975.

On April 18, 2006, Governor Sonny Perdue signed legislation establishing February 6 of each year as “Ronald Reagan Day” in Georgia and celebrating the date of President Reagan’s birth.

Georgia Politics

Yesterday, InsiderAdvantage released a poll for Fox 5 Atlanta and Morris News on the United States Senate race and the Gubernatorial contest. As a disclaimer, I work for InsiderAdvantage, writing for the InsiderAdvantage.com website, but am not involved in their polling.

The race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate shows political newcomer David Perdue leading 3 congressmen and a former Georgia Secretary of State.

David Perdue: 19%
Jack Kingston: 15%
Karen Handel: 13%
Paul Broun: 11%
Phil Gingrey: 9%
Other: 1%
Undecided: 32%

In the race for the GOP nomination for Governor of Georgia, incumbent Nathan Deal has an overwhelming lead over his two opponents. The results are:

Nathan Deal: 61%
David Pennington: 7%
John Barge: 4%
Undecided: 28%

Matt Towery of InsiderAdvantage was quoted:

“Handel shows the most momentum at the moment,” he said. “Kingston has solidified second place with his more recent ‘Obamacare’ ad featuring images of Barack Obama engaged in leaving a faux voicemail for Kingston. But his first round of ads featuring an old station wagon clearly hurt him with female voters who tend to dominate the metro-Atlanta electorate.”

Handel’s campaign manager, Corry Bliss, stressed that she has spent little on advertising while Perdue and Kingston have each invested more than $1 million on television.

“We feel confident that as we spread Karen’s message of achieving conservative results, we will continue to grow our momentum,” he said.

Within an hour of the poll’s release, the Handel campaign sent an email to supporters stating, “a new poll released this afternoon has Karen Handel surging,” and soliciting contributions to help “keep the momentum going.”

Yesterday afternoon, I spoke to Eric Tanenblatt and Tharon Johnson, both from the McKenna Long law firm here in Atlanta. In 1992, Eric Tanenblatt was Political Director for Paul Coverdell’s Senate campaign, and I interned there. Since then, Eric has become a nationally-recognized Republican political strategist and served as a political advisor and National Finance Co-Chair for Governor Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential campaign as well as Georgia’s State Chairman for President George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000. Tharon Johnson managed Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s first winning campaign in 2009 and National Southern Regional Director for the 2012 Obama For America campaign, leading the presidential re-election campaign efforts for 11 southern states, including two key battleground states, Florida and North Carolina.

Here’s the take on yesterday’s poll and what it means for the Republican nomination for United States Senate from two of the top political operatives in the country.

It was an honor to talk to these gentlemen and be allowed to pick their brains on polling and politics nationally and in Georgia. I learned more in an hour there than in anything else I’ve done in recent years.

Hopefully, we’ll be talking more in the future.

As it happens, I had met Tharon the night before on the set of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “On the Story.” It was a pleasure to be with hosts Bill Nigut and Bobbie Battista, as well as fellow panelists Jim Galloway of the AJC, Jackie Cushman, and of course, Tharon. Here’s a clip.

Handel also announced earlier this week that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is endorsing her campaign for Senate.

Yesterday, Congressman Jack Kingston received the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in his bid for United States Senate. Here is Jim Galloway’s analysis of what it means:

solidifying [Kingston's] position as the choice of the business establishment and representing a blow to businessman David Perdue, who is fighting in the same space of the Republican primary electorate.

The Chamber can back up its endorsement with independent spending, though political director Rob Engstrom would not reveal any plans for a buy. The group has already spent $500,000 each backing Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., in their primaries against tea party insurgents.

Word is Perdue had a testy interview with the Chamber, but Kingston also mostly votes with the Chamber’s wishes: He got 75 percent on the group’s scorecard last year, compared with 67 percent for Rep. Phil Gingrey and 46 percent for Rep. Paul Broun.

I think that it also hurts Kingston in some quarters, Tea Party-type conservative activists who are suspicious of anyone who appears too close to the Chamber of Commerce may distance themselves from his campaign at this point. But to the extent that Kingston wishes to discuss economic development, and fostering both the Port of Savannah and agriculture, Georgia’s largest industry, it enhances his ability to discuss business development and job growth.

Speaking of job growth, yesterday saw the announcement that Georgia’s unemployment rate dipped again, for the ninth consecutive month. This marks the lowest unemployment rate since September 2008, and the lowest since Governor Nathan Deal took office. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Deal campaign is talking to their media strategists about adding that point to the currently-running TV ad.

We’ll wrap up this morning’s news with a look at John McCallum’s newest commercial featuring his wife Heather, who just happened to have been the first deaf person selected as Miss America, winning in 1995. Heather has an impeccable Republican pedigree herself, having spoken at the 1996 and 2000 Republican National Conventions.

 

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