From a press release sent out today:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2012
Collins Statement On Recent Violence in Gaza
Gainesville, GA – Congressman-elect Doug Collins (R-GA) issued the following statement regarding the recent attacks in the Gaza Strip:
“The recent violence against Israel is intolerable and must come to an end,” said Representative-elect Collins. “As someone who has served overseas in our military and seen first-hand the devastation put in place by radical Islam, I wholeheartedly support the decision made by Israeli leaders to defend their country and protect its citizens.
“For years, Israel has been our country’s greatest ally in the Middle East, and we must continue to stand with them during this time. All the while we must remain steadfast in our joint commitment to promote freedom and democracy throughout the world. We hope for a final and diplomatic end to the violence in Israel and across the region.”
This beautiful, blue-eyed, white husky-mix is described as sweet and is available from the Murray County Animal Shelter in Chatsworth. Without a rescue or adoption, he will be euthanized on Friday in the pre-dawn hours.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections
The United States Supreme Court will hear a challenge to parts of the Voting Rights Act that affect states that had a history of vote discrimination when the act was passed; this includes Georgia.
The challenge to Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act was launched two years ago, and the court added it to its docket just days after an energized minority electorate played a critical role in the reelection of President Obama, the nation’s first African American president.
The justices said they would decide whether Congress exceeded its authority in 2006 when it reauthorized a requirement that states and localities with a history of discrimination, most of them in the South, receive federal approval before making any changes to their voting laws.
Three years ago, the court expressed concern about subjecting some states to stricter standards than others using a formula developed decades ago. But the justices sidestepped the constitutional question and found a narrow way to decide that case.
Georgia State House Republicans re-elected their leadership team yesterday, with Speaker David Ralston, Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, Majority Leader Larry O’Neal, Majority Whip Ed Lindsey, Vice Chair Matt Ramsey, and Secretary Allen Peake unopposed and Caucus Chair Donna Sheldon beating back an intramural challenge from Rep. Delvis Dutton.
The Democratic Caucus reelected everyone but Rep. Brian Thomas, who was beaten by Rep. Virgil Fludd.
Later this week, Georgia Senate Republicans will gather at Little Ocmulgee State Park for a
group hug caucus meeting. Pro-tip to anyone attending: do not accept any offers of an “after dark swamp tour.” (more…)
The General Election date is November 6th, 2012. The deadline for voter registration for the General Election is October 9, 2012, less than one week from today. Today would be a good day to email five friends with the following information, so they can make sure they’re registered.
To check your voter registration or view a sample ballot, please visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s office and use their MVP voter registration tool.
For questions about election dates, always check with the Georgia Secretary of State’s website or your local County Elections Office.
Advanced voting in person starts October 15, 2012. More than 10,000 voters are marked as having already voted in the November 6th General Election, according to data from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.
Khloe is a young female lab mix who is available for adoption from the Lowndes County Animal Shelter in Valdosta. She looks like a great playful dog. The $105 adoption fee includes neutering, vaccinations, heartworm removal and preventative, cleaning, flea spray, and a nail trim. Compared to the cost of a puppy’s first vetting, that’s a pretty good deal.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections
Governor Nathan Deal announced yesterday his intention to restore days cut from state-funded pre-K programs in the next budget. Dennis O’Hayer with WABE spoke with the Governor and with Democratic State House Leader Stacey Abrams.
Jim Galloway writes that state Senator Tim Golden introduced Senator David Shafer to fundraiser attendees as “the next President Pro Tem of the Senate.” The President Pro Tem of the state Senate is important to voters because he or she often functions as one of the most valuable spokespeople for the Senate, and because the position can play a significant role in the administration of the Chamber, influencing the flow of legislation and committee assignments.
David Shafer represents parts of Gwinnett and Fulton Counties and was first elected to the Senate in a special election in February 2002. He currently chairs the Regulated Industries Committee.
Congressman Elect the Republican candidate for Eleventh Congressional District, spoke at a Tea Party debate in Forsyth County last week. Five additional debates or joint appearances are planned between now and election day with Collins and his Democratic sacrificial lamb opponent Jody Cooley.
Chuck Eaton is the only incumbent Public Service Commissioner who will debate in the Georgia Public Broadcasting televised debates. Eaton faces Democrat Steve Oppenheimer, who appears unable to tell the truth, and
Librarian Libertarian candidate Brad Ploeger.
Two bald guys writing in Gainesville Times ask why politicians seldom directly answer questions at debate or press appearances.
In our research, we have found that viewers are most likely not to detect dodging when politicians offer answers to similar, but objectively different, questions than the ones they are asked.
In one study, for example, participants were shown video of a politician being asked a question about his policy on either health-care coverage in America, the illegal drug use problem in America, or America’s war on terrorism. He offered the same answer to all three questions: “I’m glad you asked me that. There are so many important problems facing America today. We need universal health care because …” and then proceeded to give a long answer about health care.
People who saw video of the politician who was asked about health care saw him as trustworthy, honest and likable; he answered the question he was asked, after all.
State Rep. elect Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville) met with a group of constituents Monday night. Jeff Gill of the Gainesville Times gives lengthy coverage of what was a small meeting; this is good reporting, does a service to the voters, and is incredibly rare nowadays.
Candidates on the November 6th ballot are reminded that the grace period for their September 30th Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report runs out October 5th. Get it finished early.
Republican organizations across the state will gather tonight to watch the first Presidential debate of the General Election. Here are some cool places to gather with friends tonight:
Atlanta Young Republicans – Debate Watching Party
8:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Hudson Grille – Midtown
942 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
Contact: [email protected]
Cobb County Republican Party (East Cobb) – Debate Watching Party
8:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Tijuana Joe’s Cantina – Marietta
690 Johnson Ferry Road
Marietta, GA 30068
Contact: (770) 820-6545 or [email protected]
Cobb County Republican Party (Northwest Cobb) – Debate Watching Party
8:30 PM – 11:00 PM
El Nopal Mexican Restaurant
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Contact: (770) 820-6545 or [email protected]
Emory University College Republicans – Debate Watching Party & Meeting
7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Harland Cinema, Emory University Main Campus
605 Asbury Circle
Atlanta, GA 30322
Contact: [email protected]
Forsyth County Young Republicans – Debate Watching Party
8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Taco Mac – Cumming
2275 Market Place Blvd.
Cumming, GA 30041
Contact: (954) 553-1529 or [email protected]
Fulton County Republican Party – Debate Watching Party
7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Fulton GOP Headquarters
5920 Roswell Road, Suite B-115
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
Contact: (404) 851-1444 or [email protected]
Gwinnett County Republican Party – Debate Watching Party
8:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Olde Towne Tavern – Suwanee
340 Town Center Avenue
Suwanee, GA 30024
Contact: (770) 564-9864 or [email protected]
Muscogee County Republican Party – Debate Watching Party
8:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Muscogee County GOP Headquarters
2910 2nd Avenue
Columbus, GA 31904
Contact: (706)871-4467 or [email protected]
Paulding County Republican Party – Debate Watching Party
8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Paulding GOP Victory Center
168 North Johnston Street, Suite 205
Dallas, GA 30132
Contact: [email protected]
Georgia Commissioner of Juvenile Justice Gale Buckner (not to be confused with 2012 Democrat Senate candidate and former Senator Gail Buckner) will step down from the agency to become the new Chief Magistrate Judge for Murray County. Her predecessor as Chief Magistrate, Bryant Cochran, resigned in the midst of investigations by the FBI, GBI and JQC.
National Public Radio ran a national poll on the Presidential race administered by Democrat Stan Greenberg and Republican Whit Ayres, who formerly called Atlanta home. Given the glut of national surveys lately, the actual results aren’t as interesting to me as the discussion by two pollsters of different parties of the likely makeup of the November electorate.
Ayres, the Republican half of the team, noted that the actual electorate in November may not have as many Democrats as this NPR poll’s likely voter sample, which he called “a best-case scenario” for the president’s party.
“When you sample voters over time, you inevitably get varying proportions of Democrats and Republicans in the sample. It’s nothing nefarious, just the vagaries of sampling,” Ayres said. “This sample ended up with seven points more Democrats than Republicans. In 2008, there were seven points more Democrats than Republicans in the electorate, according to exit polls, But in 2004, there were equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans.”
If this year’s voters were to split evenly again between the two major parties, Romney would have an advantage. The NPR poll found him a 4-point favorite among independents.
Most observers expect this year’s party ratio to be somewhere between the Democratic tilt of 2008 and the even split of 2004 (which recurred in the midterm elections of 2010). Stan Greenberg, the Democratic member of the polling team, said polling this year has generally found fewer people self-identifying with the GOP.
“They’re moving into the independent category,” Greenberg said, “where also if you look at the brand position of the Republican Party and Democratic Party, the Republican Party favorability has been dropping throughout this whole period.”
The former Pollster for the Presidential campaign of former U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-Scumbag) was deposed in a lawsuit, and the transcript give a lot of insight to the way in which pollsters have become integrated with the political press team of some Presidential campaigns.
Under oath, Hickman admitted that in the final weeks of Edwards’s 2008 bid, Hickman cherry-picked public polls to make the candidate seem viable, promoted surveys that Hickman considered unreliable, and sent e-mails to campaign aides, Edwards supporters and reporters which argued that the former senator was still in the hunt —even though Hickman had already told Edwards privately that he had no real chance of winning the Democratic nomination.
“They were pounding on me for positive information. You know, where is some good news we can share with people? We were monitoring all these polls and I was sending the ones that were most favorable because [campaign aides] wanted to share them with reporters,” Hickman testified on May 14 at the trial in Greensboro, N.C. “We were not finding very much good news and I was trying to give them what I could find.”
Hickman testified that when circulating the polls, he didn’t much care if they were accurate. “I didn’t necessarily take any of these as for—as you would say, for the truth of the matter. I took them more as something that could be used as propaganda for the campaign,” the veteran pollster said.
In the wake of recent discussions of whether media polling accurately reflects the partisan makeup of the electorate, the Washington Post one-upped UnskewedPolls.com by offering its’ own online calculator the Poll Manipulator, allows you to enter what you
wish think the partisan breakdown is, and it automatically skews the polls to reflect the view through your rose-colored glasses. It’s pretty fun to play with.
Speaking of rose-colored glasses, the Sierra Club sent out an email claiming that Republican Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton, “according to the most recent polls, is running neck and neck with his challenger Steve Oppenheimer.” Democrat Nan Orrock also sent out an email claiming,
A recent poll shows that Steve, is in a dead-heat with the incumbent
Commissioner (www.chuckeaton.org) . We have a great
opportunity to make change at the Public Service Commission.
Pure fiction. Since these purported poll results are now being discussed publicly, Oppenheimer’s pollster should release the information required under the American Association for Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practice.
Ends & Pieces
I’ve got my tickets for the October 20th Willie Nelson show at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth. Let me know to look for you if you’re going too.
Dave Matthews Band will play Gwinnett Arena in Duluth on December 11th. Tickets go on sale October 19th.
Petit LeMans will run at Road Atlanta in Braselton on October 20th with qualifying taking place the 17th through 19th. Tickets are on sale now.
I am highly unlikely to ever attend a game of the Lingerie Football League team that will play home games in Gwinnett next year. Unless I have an unavoidable client meeting there or something.
On Tuesday, Gainesville set a record for the most rain falling in a 24 hour period.
26397 is a young male lab; he looks out of pen 114 waiting for his family to come get him and save him from being euthanized. They aren’t coming. During a recent four month period, 744 cats and dogs were euthanized at the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter. This young male lab can go home with you for $30 adoption fee and a $60 vet fee. Citizens 55 and older adopt for free and pay half the vet fee for a total of $30. Gwinnett County employees adopt for free and pay only the vet fee. Adopt this dog and email me and I’ll reimburse the adoption fee.
Georgia Politics, Campagins, and Elections for August 201, 2012
Tomorrow is the primary and nonpartisan judicial runoff election. Polls will be open from 7 AM to 7 PM.
A warning to campaigns who are considering a last minute attack based on your opponent’s apparent failure to file a campaign contribution report that was due six days before the runoff — the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission website appears to be lagging in making timely-filed reports available when searched for.
The best story about runoff craziness comes to us from Glynn County, where a magistrate judge had to tell a preacher to behave.
The Rev. Ken Adkins became the only person in Glynn County Friday who can’t call a school board member a fool.
In issuing two good behavior warrants against Adkins, Magistrate Steven Morgan forbade him from using Facebook and other means to call school board member Venus Holmes “a fool” or a “runaway slave” or tow truck driver Robbie Tucker a “child molester” in his work for two local campaigns. It was, however, a mutual good behavior warrant, which forbids Holmes and Tucker from doing anything to harm Adkins.
“Political discourse or not, this has crossed the line,’’ Morgan said before issuing the warrants.
Adkins’ lawyer Robert Crowe argued that he was just expressing his political opinion.
But Morgan stuck with his ruling saying, “You are not to call [Tucker] a child molester unless you’ve got proof of it. You can’t call [Holmes] a runaway slave or a fool.”
But as a result of Morgan’s order, Tucker’s and Holmes’ election opponents both said they are withdrawing from the races.
Republican Darlynne Rogers was running against Holmes for the District 5 seat on the county school board. Tashawnta Wells is in Tuesday’s Republican runoff against Tucker for the District 5 seat on the County Commission. Adkins was advising both in their campaigns.
Also gone off the rails is Loree Anne Thompson, spokesperson for the Doug Collins campaign for the Republican nomination for Ninth Congressional District. At a forum held by the South Hall Republican Club,
The setup of Tuesday night’s forum was different than in the past. Candidates were not asked questions; instead, they were allowed to speak for a set amount of time and follow up with a shorter statement after their opponents had their say.
With or without the format, signs the campaign season is beginning to wear on the candidates’ composure were visible early in the meeting.
The first surfaced when Martha Zoller, candidate for the U.S. House 9th District seat, addressing the video- and audio-recorded statements opponent Doug Collins’ campaign has used against her, said she felt “sorry for the poor little intern” who Zoller said had to sit and watch her talk for “hours and hours.”
Then, Zoller said that the intern only found “two minutes” of ammunition for the campaign. The statement prompted Collins’ campaign spokeswoman Loree Anne Thompson to interrupt Zoller’s speech.
“It was a lot more than two minutes, Martha, I can promise you,” Thompson said.
Thompson’s interjection was immediately followed by a shout from a woman in the front of the room, “Why don’t you shut up?”
As Zoller made her closing statements, Collins’ himself interrupted, saying statements Zoller was making about a vote of his were “not true.”
Earlier in the week, Loree Anne Thompson had emailed out Martha Zoller’s cell phone number asking recipients to call Martha and ask her loaded questions. I consider this a cheap, unprofessional attempt to harass the opponent.
So then, Loree Anne Thompson turned to harassing me because I had the audacity to notice what she did. Thompson sent me a self-serving “response” that I declined to publish or write about. Then after calling me three times, she emailed me this:
Todd, I’ve called you 3 times today with no response. This doesn’t take into account the multiple number of times I’ve called you on this campaign with – wait for it - no response. I’ll be HAPPY to talk with your editor about your inability to communicate with anyone on the Collins campaign, and by the looks of it you probably speak with Martha pretty regularly.
How dare you try to throw me under the bus, and then refuse to update a comment I freely offered you regarding the subject.
When you want to be a responsible journalist and include both sides of the story – give me a call.
The manure spreader and what the Augusta Chronicle calls “a cartoonish splatter of mud” certainly deserve
dishonorable mention in any discussion of runoff craziness.
Maybe the runoff fever is understandable when candidates put so much time, money and effort into it.
Dennis Reese was one of three men mired in a contentious Tift County Sheriff election. He says there is a lot of work that goes into it.
“It can be very overwhelming financially, mentally, even physically. A lot of people don’t even realize that it can be very overwhelming,” Reese said.
Between speaking engagements, knocking on doors, and waving from the street, many sacrifices had to be made including a good night’s sleep.
“I probably got anywhere from five to six hours,” Reese said. “I was always constantly going, constantly thinking, preparing the next day if I had a speech, going down my list of who I am going to see tomorrow and the next day. So, it’s really never ending.”
That never ending schedule has kept many candidates with their feet planted on Tift Avenue for long hours.
For seemingly months, candidates have occupied street corners during their campaigns- so much so that tax commissioner candidates have joked that they should start charging property taxes there.
Dennis Reese lost to Steve Wood and Gene Scarbrough who are in Tuesday’s run-off.
If Cobb County Commissioner Woody Thompson meant to suggest that moms won’t have time to serve in elected office, he might just find out whether they have time to vote in runoff elections.
In recent Marietta Daily Journal article, entitled “Thompson touts experience on job,” Thompson pointed out that Cupid is 35 and he is 65.
The paper stated, “Thompson also questioned whether Cupid, a married mother of two young children, would have time to dedicate to the job.”
Cupid, who graduated with an engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and will graduate with graduate degrees in law and public administration from Georgia State University in December, has two sons and is married to her college sweetheart, Craig Cupid.
Cupid responded to Thompson’s claim of experience as a commissioner, saying “Having a lot of years on the commission board does not equate to having a lot of results or being effective. I think that people want to see more results.”
She called Thompson’s comments that a mother of two young children may not have time to dedicate to the job of commissioner “a slap in the face.”
And she was quoted in the article saying, “While I was in school, I worked, I had children, I was very involved in my community and was more visible than he was. So what was Woody’s excuse?”
On Friday, Cupid’s campaign sent out an e-blast encouraging South Cobb residents to go vote and adding remarks about Thompson’s mother comments.
Governor Nathan Deal recorded a robocall for Doug Collins that has been sent to likely runoff voters. In Hall County, Deal received more votes in the 2010 primary runoff election than were cast for all candidates in the primary itself. I’m not aware of another example of that ever happening.
In the Second Congressional District Republican Primary Runoff between Rick Allen and John House, Dougherty County reports only 29 ballots cast during early voting. Chatham and Effingham County elections officials also report little voter interest.
The Augusta Chronicle examines the voting records of the candidates in runoff elections this year.
Only two – District 5 incumbent Commissioner Bill Lockett and school board member Patsy Scott – made it to the polls every time.
Lockett, retired from careers in the military, U.S. government and board of education, said he was stationed overseas during much of the civil rights era but recalled the sacrifices his parents and others made as a reason to always vote.
“We knew people that lost their jobs because they chose to vote, and there were even people that made the ultimate sacrifice … I don’t want their work to go down in vain,” said Lockett, who – like Scott – is unopposed for re-election and voted in 31 of the 31 opportunities he had.
A strong work ethic also sent him to the polls every time, Lockett added.
“In too many instances we choose not to vote, then complain about the decisions made by elected officials,” he said.
All four runoff slots in Gwinnett County judicial election belong to women, with Emily Brantley and Pam Britt facing off for State Court and Kathy Schrader coming in with a healthy 2-1 margin over Tracey Mason Blasi in the runoff for Superior Court.
My predictions for Gwinnett County: Emily Brantley for State Court and Kathy Schrader will open up her 2:1 margin to win the Superior Court race. Schrader is my client, so there’s that, but watch the margin and see if it doesn’t actually increase.
Gwinnett County Commissioner Mike Beaudreau faces perennial candidate Tommy Hunter in the runoff election for District 3.
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer calls Senator Don Balfour the poster boy for the ethically-challenged and misquotes Senate President Pro Tem Tommie Williams saying that proponents of limiting lobbyist gifts to legislators were limited to “media elites and liberal interest groups.” I’m pretty sure it was Speaker David Ralston who is credited with that last statement.
The seven-candidate Republican Primary for Jackson County Sheriff has been winnowed to Janis Mangum, a 23 year-veteran of the Sheriff’s office, and Ramone Gilbert, who worked in the Hall County Sheriff’s Office for 24 years before he retired.
Madison County voters will choose between incumbent sheriff Kip Thomas and former sheriff Clayton Lowe; Julie Phillips and John Sartain meet in a runoff for Coroner.
Murray County voters return to the polls on Tuesday for the Republican primary runoff for Sheriff between Gary Langford, a 38-year law enforcement veteran who served with the Chatsworth Police Department, Murray County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia State Patrol and Wyle Keith Pritchett, a patrol officer for the Eton Police Department who also worked at the Resaca Police Department and Murray County Sheriff’s Office. Democrat incumbent Howard Ensley will meet the winner in November’s general election.
In Whitfield, incumbent Clerk of the Superior Court Melica Kendrick was forced into a GOP primary runoff against Susan Miller; no Democrat qualified for the office. More information on that Clerk’s race is available here.
Dalton State College President Emeritus Jim Burran will give talks about “Southern Politics” twice this week.
He will speak at a Coffee & Conversation program in Chatsworth on Thursday, Aug. 30, and at a Lunch & Learn program at DSC on Friday, Sept. 7. Both programs are hosted by the Dalton State Foundation.
“Georgia’s 1966 campaign for governor proved one of the most interesting in the state’s history,” Burran said. “This was the first time since Reconstruction that a Republican candidate emerged as a legitimate contender. It was this campaign that thrust future President Jimmy Carter into the limelight. And it was this election that put restaurant owner Lester Maddox into the governor’s chair.”
Apparently, the South is no longer solidly Democratic. Who knew?
The “Solid South” was a political fact, benefiting Democrats for generations and then Republicans, with Bible Belt and racial politics ruling the day.
But demographic changes and recent election results reveal a more nuanced landscape now as the two major parties prepare for their national conventions.
Southern strategists and politicians say results will turn again this year on which party and candidates understand changing demographics and voter priorities.
New citizens, birth rates, and migration patterns of native-born Americans make high-growth areas less white, less conservative or both. There is increasing urban concentration in many areas. African-American families are moving back to the South after generations in Chicago, New York or other northern cities.
Young religious voters are less likely than their parents to align with Republicans on abortion and same-sex unions. Younger voters generally are up for grabs on fundamental questions like the role of the federal government in the marketplace.
Virginia grew from 7 million people to 8 million from 2000 to 2010, according to the census. North Carolina went from 8 million to 9.5 million. Both states were 65 percent white, a drop from 72 percent in each state. Native North Carolinians made up 58.6 percent of the population, a proportion that topped 70 percent two decades ago. Virginia is now half transient or immigrant.
“The North Carolina that Sen. (Jesse) Helms ran in was certainly different than today,” said GOP campaign strategist Brian Nick, referring to the cantankerous five-term Republican senator. Nick worked for Helms’ successor, Republican Elizabeth Dole.
My own mentor, Dr. Merle Black at Emory, discusses negative campaigning and changes in technological delivery of campaign manure.