Understanding conservative America — in one Venn diagram – The Washington Post

I suspect there is more overlap between Tea Party and Christian Right in Georgia, but it’s interesting and illustrative.

As the below chart from the Public Religion Research Institute shows, the group of people who identify as tea partiers is in fact a very small portion of the Republican Party, but it’s also overwhelmingly contained within the Republican Party.

The Fix Venn Diagram

Understanding conservative America — in one Venn diagram – The Washington Post.

Witness: Ellis asked for $25,000 campaign contribution | www.ajc.com

A businessman who was the preliminary winner of a $5 million county contract tried to pull out after suspended DeKalb Chief Executive Officer Burrell Ellis asked him for $25,000 and offered to help smooth out problems with the pending deal, Terry Merrell testified Tuesday.

Merrell, co-owner of family-owned Merrell Bros. Inc. in Kokomo, Ind., testified the agreement to take waste-water and spread it over crops was problematic because the original local business he partnered with was in trouble. He was in the process of securing approval for a replacement “local small business,” which was required for the county project, when Ellis called him.

Merrell said after Ellis asked for a contribution he offered to make a call to smooth out the situation with his county contract.

“What he said next just sent shivers through my spine,” Merrell testified. “He said ‘do you want me to make a phone call’ and I said, ‘no, I don’t want you to make a phone call.’ I didn’t want any part of that.”

Merrell testified that Ellis still responded “I have a feeling that will get worked out,” referring to Merrell’s request to be allowed to change his local business affiliation.

via Witness: Ellis asked for $25,000 campaign contribution | www.ajc.com.

The Fix guide to understanding all the great political cliches – The Washington Post

Political observers say

Definition: A sage stored in an undisclosed office space at all news organizations who happens to agree with all a reporters’ opinions about the subject they are covering. In order to substantiate any opinions the reporter has, they consult with the political observer, who nods when briefed on the possibility that a game is about to be changed, and allows the writer or pundit to insert their beliefs in a story without fear of being reproached. The political observer usually dabbles in conventional wisdom, and offers little insight — having been stored in an undisclosed office space for so long. The general rule should be, if you can’t say anything without a political observer, it is better to say nothing at all.


Definition: Someone who has at least one political campaign on their LinkedIn page and always picks up the phone when reporters call. Synonymous with “expert,” except with substantial syllable inflation.

via The Fix guide to understanding all the great political cliches – The Washington Post.

Close races mean possibility Senate control will be decided by post Election Day runoffs | Fox News

A handful of tight races in states with quirky election laws make for the possibility that Election Day will come and go without deciding which party controls the Senate.

If that happens, brace for a fierce runoff election and possible recounts that could make for an ugly holiday season in politics and government.

Georgia’s Senate race could have an even messier outcome than Louisiana’s. GOP nominee David Perdue is thought to have a modest lead over Democrat Michelle Nunn in the race to succeed retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss.

But there’s a Libertarian on the ballot, who might win enough votes to keep Perdue and Nunn from reaching 50 percent. That would trigger a runoff Jan. 6, three days after the new Congress’ scheduled start.

It requires a lot of “ifs.” But a scenario in which Republicans entered the new Congress with a 50-49 Senate majority, while awaiting a Georgia outcome that could soon return them to the minority, would further roil an already bitterly partisan government.

If nothing else, “it would make for a bad Christmas for everyone,” said GOP strategist Ron Bonjean.

A recount of a Georgia runoff result, should there be one, would extend confusion even deeper into 2015. A candidate may request a recount if the margin is less than 1 percent of all votes cast.

via Close races mean possibility Senate control will be decided by post Election Day runoffs | Fox News.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 23, 2014

Bon Homme Richard

John Paul Jones, at the helm of US ship Bonhomme Richard, won a naval battle off the coast of England on September 23, 1779.

After inflicting considerable damage to the Bonhomme Richard, Richard Pearson, the captain of the Serapis, asked Jones if he had struck his colors, the naval sign indicating surrender. From his disabled ship, Jones replied, “I have not yet begun to fight,” and after three more hours of furious fighting the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough surrendered to him.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned to St. Louis Missouri from their exploratory trip to the Pacific coast on September 23, 1806.

On September 23, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was speaking at a dinner with the Teamsters union and addressed attacks that had been made by Republicans, including the allegation that after leaving his dog, Fala, behind in the Aleutian Islands, he sent a Navy destroyer to fetch the dog. This would become known as the “Fala speech.”

These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family don’t resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I’d left him behind on an Aleutian island and had sent a destroyer back to find him—at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars—his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself … But I think I have a right to resent, to object, to libelous statements about my dog.

The idea for the joke was given to FDR by Orson Welles. The political lesson here is that any time you get an audience laughing at your opponent, you are winning.

A statue of former Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge on the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol was unveiled on September 23, 1949, the 65th anniversary of Talmadge’s birth near Forsyth, Georgia in 1884.

On September 23, 1952, Senator Richard M. Nixon was under fire for allegedly accepting $18,000 and using it for personal expenses. To salvage his place as the Vice Presidential candidate on Eisenhower’s Republican ticket, Nixon took to the airwaves in the first nationally-televised address and delivered what came to be known as the “Checkers Speech. From The Atlantic:

[A] 1999 poll of leading communication scholars ranked the address as the sixth most important American speech of the 20th century — close behind the soaring addresses of Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The “Checkers” speech wins this high rank for one stand-out reason: It marked the beginning of the television age in American politics. It also salvaged Nixon’s career, plucking a last-second success from the jaws of abject humiliation, and profoundly shaped Nixon’s personal and professional outlook, convincing him that television was a way to do an end-run around the press and the political “establishment.”

Click here for the full text of the “Checkers Speech.”

On September 23, 1976, President Gerald Ford and former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter met in their first televised debate.

The last game played in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium took place on September 23, 1996.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Latest Polling

Rasmussen has released polls on the Gubernatorial and Senatorial races. In the Gubernatorial race:

Nathan Deal………………45%
Jason Carter………………44%
Some other candidate…..3%

And in the race for United States Senate:

David Perdue………………46%
Michelle Nunn…………….41%
Some other candidate……4%

It is a fundamental flaw and a sign of laziness in a poll of Georgia elections to not include the name of the third party candidates.

The Washington Post column on politics called The Fix wrote yesterday that Republicans are a slight favorite to gain control of the Senate, and specifically,

For those wondering about Kentucky and Georgia — Democrats’ other two pickup opportunities — both seem to be fading from sight.  All three models show Republicans with a strong chance of holding both seats. In Kentucky, the probabilities range from 85 percent to 99 percent; in Georgia it ranges from a 77 percent chance of a Republican victory to a 95 percent one.

Forget the “War on Women,” it’s a “War for Women’s Votes”

Yesterday saw duelling press events at the Georgia State Capitol. From Greg Bluestein, writing for the AJC:

We’ll start with Perdue’s presser, which focused on two EEOC complaints that Nunn’s camp unintentionally exposed in the infamous series of memos that leaked this summer. State Rep. Lynne Riley and other GOPers wrote a letter demanding that Nunn release the complaints, which haven’t been made public yet.

“The only way for Georgians to know the truth is for you to voluntarily release this information,” said the letter. “Why haven’t you done so already?”

They then marched over to Nunn’s event to deliver that letter to the Democrat’s campaign manager, a stoic Jeff DiSantis, as a few dozen Nunn supporters chanted “go blue” and “equal pay.” As you can see in the above video, they were briefly held up by state troopers.

Once the Republican gaggle was out of earshot, the Democrats proceeded to pummel Perdue over whether he’d back the stalled-out Paycheck Fairness Act. That bill aims to narrow the persistent pay discrepancy between women and men.

“All we want to do is go to work and be treated as equals, leave behind gender-based discrimination,” said Orrock, an Atlanta Democrat.

Here’s why the Democrats are talking about Paycheck Fairness, from polling earlier this year:

Republican voters divide on gender lines, with a majority of Republican women supporting the plan (54%) and more than a third (36%) of Republican men supporting it. Independent women are also strong supporters, 61% favor the plan as well as 49% of Independent men.

A strong majority (60%) of voters are also likely to use a candidate’s support for policies that have a direct impact on working families as a vote-determinant. This includes 84% of Democratic women, 57% of Independent women and 53% of Republican women.

Women Poll Table

Polls of the Georgia Senate race consistently show a gender gap, with Republican David Perdue leading among men and Democrat Michelle Nunn leading among women.

The distinction was sharpened in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll released Sunday. Democrat Jason Carter led Republican Gov. Nathan Deal by 10 points with female voters, and women gave Michelle Nunn a three-point advantage over Republican David Perdue in the Senate contest. Other recent polls have portrayed an even wider gap between male and female voters.

Susan Carroll, a Rutgers University political scientist who has studied the gap, said ultimately many women end up voting on the “kitchen table” issues such as the economy and education.

“Men are much more likely to be in favor of cutting back on government than women are,” Carroll said. “Women, even if they want to cut back, care more about protecting the safety net. Over time, that’s factored pretty seriously into the gender gap.”

Rural Georgia in play?

Rural issues in the Senate election are also getting significant attention. Rural health care has become a Rorschach test for the candidates’ views on Obamacare.

In an updated election guide, produced by Healthcare Georgia Foundation, the two candidates answer a new question about rural health care.

In her response, Nunn, a Democrat, calls for expansion of the Medicaid program in the state as outlined by the Affordable Care Act.

Expansion “would enable over 600,000 low-income Georgians to sign up for Medicaid and allow rural hospitals to receive payments for services to people who were previously uninsured,” Nunn said. “By not expanding Medicaid, Georgia will lose $33.7 billion in federal funding from 2013 to 2022, while our tax dollars are spent in other states.”

Perdue, rather than implement more of the ACA, would go in the opposite direction. The Republican candidate supports a plan by U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to repeal the ACA and embrace free-market solutions to the problems of health care.

He blasts the ACA, often known as Obamacare, for ending government payments to hospitals that treat a large share of low-income patients, and for “driving insurance companies out of many underserved areas, and causing health care premiums to spike on the remaining plans.”

Democrats see rural voters as a group where they can make headway.

While Kentucky’s electorate is more rural than Georgia on a percentage basis, the Peach State has many more rural voters based on population. Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn is trying to run as a centrist in the mold of her father, Sam, whose long career in the Senate ran from 1972 to 1996.

While Democrats point to the growing numbers of African-American and Latino voters as a sign of the state’s purple-trending demographics, the fact is that a significant infusion of rural voters in central and south Georgia will have to cast a ballot for Nunn if she is to defeat businessman David Perdue for the seat held by outgoing Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Keith McCants of tiny Oglethorpe, Ga. is perhaps his state’s most knowledgeable expert on rural politics, and he has a lot to say about what Nunn needs to do to be competitive over the final weeks in the rural counties.

McCants, who runs the respected Peanut Politics blog, said Nunn has two tasks in wooing rural voters. First, she must motivate “Obamacrats,” the rural black voters in the 1st, 2nd and 8th Congressional Districts who don’t come out to midterm elections like they do when Obama’s name is on the ballot. Second, McCants says Nunn needs independents and voters 55 and older to break her way. “Everyone assumes if you’re white and rural, you’re a Republican,” he laments.

As for Nunn’s field operation, McCants notes places like Tifton and Waycross have no organizers while “Perdue has a ground game [in the rural counties] and its going strong.”


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for September 23, 2014


Bambi is a sweet little 3-4 month old Lab/Shepherd mix female who is available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, Ga.

Tiara is a friendly and playful 2-4 month old, 10.4 pound female Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, Ga.


Replay is a gorgeous young adult male Black Lab who is available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, Ga. It’s usually a happy dog who has his tongue hanging out of his mouth, so you can tell Replay is always a happy boy.


This puppy is a 6-8 week old male lab mix who is friendly and available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, Ga.


Henley is a sweet and friendly little 8-pound Hound mix with the best-looking markings; he is available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, Ga.

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland: Jobs for America

Your Washington – GA 3 – Desk

From Congressman Lynn Westmoreland

Cap Lyn

Jobs for America

On September 18, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives acted again to pass H.R. 4, the Jobs for America Act, and to help get Americans back to work. It’s a package of jobs bills we’ve passed combined into one package to get the economy moving again, while protecting small businesses and creating incentives for businesses to hire. I strongly supported this jobs package.

There are 15 bills that make up the Jobs for America Act, and together they make various changes to federal regulation that would encourage job creation and spur economic growth. The package is broken down into five parts with respect to the sponsoring committee’s jurisdiction: Ways and Means, Financial Services, Oversight, Judiciary, and Natural Resources. There is a diverse variety of bills in the package, such as the Hire More Heroes Act, Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, and the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, that protect small businesses from burdensome regulations and unnecessary federal oversight. Removing the bureaucratic red-tape helps create opportunities for businesses to hire and create much needed jobs. (more…)

Buddy Carter Congress: Once Again We Have No Federal Budget

Your Washington – GA 1 – Desk

From Buddy Carter Congress

Buddy Congress

Once Again We Have No Federal Budget

On Wednesday of last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. J. Res 124, a continuing resolution (CR) for FY2015 that will fund the federal government until December 11.

The CR, which was passed the following day by the U. S. Senate, sets the discretionary funding level for the federal government- at least until December 11- at an annual rate of $1.012 trillion.

Whenever Congress fails to pass a budget before the federal fiscal year ends on September 30, passing a CR is necessary in order to avoid a shutdown of the federal government as happened last year.  A CR is nothing more than a resolution to continue funding at the same levels as the year before.

The fiscal year for the federal government starts on October 1.  Funding for the routine activities of most federal agencies is contingent upon the passage of 12 appropriation bills by Congress before this date.

Thus far, none of the 12 appropriations bills necessary to fund federal agencies for FY2015 have been passed by Congress, although the full House has passed seven of the bills (including DOD and Military Construction/VA). Another four bills have been approved by the House Appropriation Committee (HAC) with only the Labor, HHS bill not being passed. (more…)

Sen. Jack Hill & Rep. Terry England: These Budget Leaders Support Gov. Nathan Deal

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Jack Hill and Representative Terry England 

Deal Hill England


 Letter of Support for Governor Nathan Deal 

In just four weeks, Georgians will begin voting to elect our next governor. We are writing this letter to make sure every voter understands what is at stake in this election.

As chairmen of the House and Senate committees that, in conjunction with the Governor, craft the state’s annual budget, we are in positions to know better than most who Nathan Deal is and what a difference he has made the past four years.

Unlike some of his predecessors, Gov. Deal is not the kind of person who likes to brag. We respect him for that. But we want to share what we have seen and what we know.

This is the real story: Nathan Deal has governed so adeptly on so many fronts that Georgia not only has emerged intact from the Great Recession, but it also is poised for long-term prosperity. (more…)