Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 11, 2014


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 11, 2014

On August 10, 1787, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completed “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”.

On August 11, 1862, Confederate General Braxton Bragg declared martial law in Atlanta.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the summer commencement address at the University of Georgia on August 11, 1938. Later that day, Roosevelt endorsed Lawrence Camp over incumbent Governor Walter F. George, saying George had not been sufficiently supportive of the New Deal.

The Atlanta Braves signed legendary Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige on August 11, 1968.

On August 11, 1984, Ronald Reagan jokingly announced that he had “signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever…we begin bombing in five minutes,” without knowing he was speaking into a live microphone.

Speaking of which, here’s a flashback to October 2012.

Nunn on the hot seat?

Walter Jones of Morris News has a great analysis of the fallout from the Nunn memo that leaked several weeks ago.

The apparently accidental leak of a 144-page strategy memo from consultants to Michelle Nunn is causing heartburn among some of her natural allies.

For instance, blacks vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, but her dismissal of two blacks running against her in the Democratic primary left many African-American leaders miffed. Plus, she put off a lot of party regulars in the primary with her campaign’s tactic of skipping functions organized by Democratic auxiliary groups in favor of events manufactured by her staff and even ducking debates organized by non-partisan civic groups. They all began to feel a little insulted, like she didn’t want to be seen with them.

She also brushed off some of Georgia’s targeted media, such as Atlanta Progressive News by being the only Democrat in the Senate primary refusing to participate in a sit-down interview.

“After all, APN’s questions for Nunn were issue-driven and policy-driven, and the last thing Nunn would want to do is to take positions unless they were right-wing ones (for example, on same-sex marriage, the proposed Keystone Pipeline, the Voting Rights Act, the once-proposed U.S. Invasion of Syria, or the proposed nuclear fuel reprocessing plant),” notes the online publication’s staff writer Barbara Payne.

If Nunn fails to energize her base, it’s not only a blow to her election but also bad news to down-ballot Democrats needing a ride on her coattails. As her memo states, with an expected 52 percent turnout in November, she is aiming to get 1.4 million votes, more than any other Democrat has ever garnered here in a non-presidential year like this one.

The Nunn camp plans to operate sophisticated targeting to send different messages to each segment of the electorate in order to drive up turnout. Many in this audience won’t ever pay attention to political coverage in the general media and will get information about the race from ethnic media, social media or direct mail.

Speaking of the Nunn memo, this Letter to the Editor in the Augusta Chronicle appears to be another example of the Nunn campaign following the plays detailed in the memo. It’s ironic that their message is “there’s nothing to see here,” as they prove the validity of the memo and that the Nunn campaign will slavishly follow the advice of their DC consultants.

If you have any lingering doubts about the nationalization of the campaign to elect Michelle Nunn to the United States Senate, this should put them to rest. The Democratic Party of Georgia announced the leadership of their coordinated campaign committee this weekend.

Tracey Lewis, former strategic adviser for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has been chosen to serve as the campaign’s executive director. Lewis has also worked with the Alliance for Climate Protection and has held leadership positions in several other campaigns and voter outreach initiatives.

Managing partner of Franklin Communications, Cabral Franklin, has been chosen as the campaigns senior adviser. Franklin has served as a consultant for several local and state politicians and political action groups.

Michelle Nunn cranked up the rhetoric before a friendly crowd at the Democratic Party of Georgia state convention in Dublin this weekend.

“The Republicans have finally chosen their candidate in David Perdue. (Boos from the crowd.) Let me tell you a little bit about him, by sharing one of the first things that he said after the election.

“He said, ‘So who brings more value to the debate? Someone who has run a philanthropy for 15 years – or whatever. Or someone who has been out here’ – not bragging, he says – ‘competing in the real world.’”

“So let me tell you about the real world that I’ve been in for the last 26 years here in Georgia. It’s the real world of public school classrooms, where teachers and volunteers are fighting for equality for all of our children. The real world is seniors who depend up on meals to be delivered to them to make sure they can live with dignity and independence.

“The real world of neighbors and communities rebuilding in the wake of natural disasters after they’ve lost all their earthly belongings. This is the real world that I have found, and I believe that there is nobility in helping others….”

A challenge for the Perdue campaign will be found in Nunn’s “Main Street versus Wall Street” rhetoric. As Republicans, we must do a better job of articulating our vision of a strong and robust economy that creates jobs and opportunities for all citizens versus a government colossus that fails to make good on its promises. For the first part of that, Governor Nathan Deal is doing a good job explaining the benefits of job creation.

Republican Senate candidate David Perdue and Twelfth District Congressional candidate Rick W. Allen headlined the GAGOP Unity Tour this weekend, including a stop in Statesboro.

Perdue and Allen obviously have something in common: decades of experience operating businesses, no experience in government, and therefore “outsider” status.
“We have business backgrounds and the priorities in Georgia right now are the debt and the economy and jobs, and so he and I have had several conversations and his stands on those are very similar to mine,” Perdue told reporters in Statesboro.

Another thing they seem likely to share from now to November is a tactic of linking their opponents with national Democratic Party leaders — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and President Barack Obama — whose names are spoken as anathema in Georgia Republican circles.
“We see the failed policies of this administration as being the centerpiece of this debate, and right now in this district we need to present the fact to the people that his opponent is another supporting voice of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama,” Perdue said, making the charge against Barrow on Allen’s behalf.
Returning the endorsement, Allen noted that his “outsider” talk sometimes sounds like Perdue’s.
“Obviously I have not served in public office, and so I’m an outsider,” Allen said. “I know you’ve probably heard that from our next senator for the great state of Georgia, but yes, I’m a businessman, I’m not a politician. I’ve created jobs, I’ve grown the economy, I’ve balanced budgets, and the politicians in Washington can’t seem to do either. It’s time to change. The country is ready for it.”

Walter Jones also writes about the conundrum faced by Georgia state legislators and Members of Congress when it comes to transportation funding:

[W]when state transportation officials and business groups say there is a need for road improvements, it isn’t hard to be convincing. And that’s even with the less obvious needs like the 16 percent of Interstates falling below state maintenance standards or the 11 percent of state-owned bridges due for major rehabilitation.

The Georgia Department of Transportation only has enough money to resurface 2 percent of roads per year.

“If you have to wait 50 years to see your road resurfaced, you’re not going to be too happy,” Transportation Commissioner Keith Golden said Tuesday to a committee of legislators and citizens chosen to study the issue of road funding.

DOT gets most of its money from taxes on gasoline. But better fuel efficiency means less in taxes for each mile driven.

Road-construction advocates offer a handful of ideas for boosting DOT’s finances.

One is simply to increase the gas tax. No one has offered a specific amount publicly yet. But Georgia’s tax rate is below the national average, and the typical driver pays $85 annually toward state road building and maintenance, which is much lower than the general perception, Golden said.

The idea is unlikely to fly because a large number of legislators got elected on a pledge against any tax increase.

Another idea is to change the basis of the tax from the fuel purchased to the actual miles driven. A device in each vehicle would record the miles and tally the cost for each driver to pay while filling up. However, many conservatives worry about compromising motorists’ privacy.

A third idea is to remove a major expense from DOT by having the state’s general budget pay off bonds issued for road building. After all, no other state agency has to use part of its operating funds for debt service.

The simple fact is that to put more money into our road system, the state DOT needs more money. The overwhelming failure of T-SPLOST in 9 of 12 regions suggest that either voters are unwilling to pay more in taxes, or they distrust elected and appointed officials to spend more money wisely. Probably both. Efforts to roll-out toll-financed improvements and conversions of existing roads hasn’t been smooth or popular either. This puts transportation planners and legislators on the horns of a dilemma.


The trial of 12 on charges from the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal starts today – Savannah Morning News.

The former administrators, principals, testing coordinators and teachers all face racketeering charges. Individual charges include influencing witnesses and lying to state investigators.

Prosecutors have said that more than 30 educators participated in a conspiracy to cheat on standardized tests dating back to 2005, motivated by pressure to meet federal and APS standards and receive bonuses or keep their jobs.

Prosecutors have agreed to plea deals with 21 defendants also included in the initial indictment, and several could testify against their former colleagues. Prosecutors expect jury selection to take two to four weeks and the entire trial to last from four to six months.

Nearly 100 members of the Southeast chapter of the North American Young Gen­eration in Nuclear will attend a conference near Plant Vogtle – Augusta Chronicle.

August Mayor Deke Copenhaver has issued nearly 1200 proclamations during his nine years in office, including some surprising ones – Augusta Chronicle.

A “Homeless Help Card” available soon in Newnan will provide discounts for holders with proceeds while providing funding for local charities working with low-income and homeless people – Times-Herald.

Fayette County Board of Education is expected to retain the same millage rate later this month, but some property owners will see tax increases due to increased assessments –

Brian Upshaw and Rick Unruh were sworn in to the Houston County Board of Education –

On August 21, the Cyclorama will host a panel discussion on the relevance of the Civil War today –

An uplifting and enjoyable story about how a rural Georgia community embraced a survivor of Cambodian genocide who has become their Superior Court Judge, Meng Lim – Atlanta Journal-Constitution Political Insider by Jim Galloway.

The opening of a gun club has Buford residents up in arms over noise – Gwinnett Daily Post.

State Rep. BJ Pak (R-Gwinnett) was named to the Republican National Committee’s “Rising Stars” program – Gwinnett Daily Post.

Cobb County foreclosures up 5 percent in last month, still lower than a year ago – Marietta Daily Journal.

The proposal to create a Community Improvement District for Lake Lanier Islands Parkway appears to be cratering – Gainesville Times.

Public schools nationwide are predicted to no longer have a majority of white students for the first time – Associated Press via

Fairview Elementary School in Habersham County opened for classes without running water –

Forsyth County Commissioners are considering placing a $190 million SPLOST referendum to fund roadwork on the November ballot –

An $834 million project will add four new exits from reversible lanes on I-75 in Cobb County – Marietta Daily Journal.

Congressman Austin Scott will speak to the South Georgia Young Republicans Tuesday night from 7-8 PM at the Valdosta Country Club – Valdosta Daily Times.

West Point Society celebrates College Football Hall of Fame

The West Point Society of Atlanta will celebrate the opening of the College Football Hall of Fame museum in Atlanta with a black tie event featuring United States Military Academy Superintendent Lieutenant General Robert Caslen, Jr. (Class of ’75) on Tuesday, September 2, 2014.  The gala evening event is the first university function scheduled at the 94,000 square foot facility, which opens in Atlanta on August 23rd.  Colonel Greg Gadson, USMA ’89, is also a featured speaker, with sports commentator and author John Feinstein as Master of Ceremonies.

The West Point Alumni Glee Club out of Wash, DC will sing for entertainment.  If you come, bring a box of Kleenex – they do “The Mansions of the Lord” from “We Were Soldiers Once & Young.”  Along w/ their own arrangement of “God Bless the USA,” courtesy of a royalty free approval from Lee Greenwood.

Click here to register and pay online.

Click here for a form to print and send in with a check.

Events this week

Athens GOP Meeting: with Richard Woods

August 11 @ 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

The Country Inn & Suites, 236 Old Epps Bridge Road, Athens, GA 30606

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Join us on Monday, August 11th at 6:00pm for our monthly GOP meeting at the Country Inn & Suites.  Our guest for the evening will be Richard Woods, candidate for State School Superintendent.  We will also have representatives from the offices of Senator Isakson and Congressman Broun give a presentation on the current Veterans Affairs issues.  At the end of the meeting we will hold the drawing for the Big Green Egg.  Tickets will be available at the meeting.

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Greater Gwinnett GOP Women Meeting

August 11 @ 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

O’Charley’s, 830 Lawrenceville Suwanee Rd, Lawrenceville, GA 30043

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Greater Gwinnett Republican Women Meeting

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DeKalb County GOP: Take The Senate Tuesday

August 12 @ 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

DeKalb GOP HQ, 1532 Dunwoody Village Pkwy, Dunwoody, GA 30338

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For the NEXT 13 TUESDAY NIGHTS GATHER AT THE DeKalb GOP HQ to make phone calls for VICTORY. HELP US FIRE HARRY REID AND SEND DAVID PERDUE TO THE US SENATE. Snacks, Pizza, Drinks and Childcare provided.Call ahead if you are planning to bring your kids. Mary Ann Langford (706) 402-4541 Linda Kelley Smith (404) 422-5462

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Houston County GOP: Dinner with Benita Dodd of Georgia Public Policy Foundation

August 12 @ 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

El Bronco, 2067 Watson Blvd, Warner Robins, GA 31093

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Bring your appetite to El Bronco as we welcome Benita Dodd, Vice President of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, as our guest speaker for a special evening meeting of the Houston County GOP. Benita Dodd will address legislation being introduced in the next session of the Georgia Legislative Assembly. Check out her recent op-ed response written to the Macon Telegraph.

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Habersham County GOP Meeting

August 12 @ 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Aquatic Center,

120 Paul Franklin Road, Clarkesville, GA 30523

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Habersham GOP Monthly Meeting  Contact: 706-239-9136 or [email protected] for more information.

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Whitfield County GOP Meeting

August 12 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Mack Gaston Community Center, 218 N Fredrick St, Dalton, GA 30721

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Whitfield GOP Meeting Contact Chuck Payne, Chairman: 706-271-8212 or [email protected] for more details.

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Buckhead Freedom Coalition & Buckhead YR: An Evening With Sen. John Albers

August 13 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Taco Mac, 573 Main St NE, Atlanta, GA 30324 United States

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The Buckhead Freedom Coalition and the Buckhead Young Republicans will co-host our keynote guest speaker Georgia Senator John Albers who will speak about The Impact of the 2014 Elections on Issues Facing Georgia. We encourage especially the Atlanta Young Republicans, all tea party activists, and 912 members to join us for this epic event. Find us on facebook at [email protected] and RSVP or call/text 404-422-0675 for more information.

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Sen. Johnny Isakson: Dublin – Veteran-Focused Town Hall Meeting

August 14 @ 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

McGrath Keen Sr. Conference Center, Dublin-Laurens Co. Chamber of Commerce, 1200 Belleview Avenue, Dublin, GA 31021

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Veteran-Focused Town Hall Meetings As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson remains in close contact with the Atlanta VA and the veterans’ health care facilities in our state. During the Senate state work period, he will visit veterans’ health care facilities across Georgia, and will hold a series of veteran-focused town hall meetings that will be open to the public.

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August 14 @ 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Big Sky Buckhead, 3201 Cains Hill Place NW, Atlanta , GA 30305

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Join us for a Young Professionals fundraiser in support of Governor Deal’s re-election campaign. Guest tickets – $25 Admission to the event. Sponsor Level – $250  Sponsor our Deal for Governor Young Professional’s fundraiser at Big Sky in Buckhead on Thursday, August 14th. Host Level – $1,000  Become a Deal for Governor Young Professional “Host” and sponsor all 3 upcoming YP fundraisers this fall (August, September, and October). You may mail your contribution to: Deal for Governor P.O. Box 2495…

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Harris County GOP Meeting

August 14 @ 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

VFW, 7379 U.S. 27, Cataula, GA 31804

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Harris County GOP August Meeting  Meals, Snacks and Beverages available. Contact: 706-464-7228 or [email protected] for more information.

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Rep. Doug Collins: Blue Ridge – Town Hall

August 14 @ 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Fannin High School Performing Arts Center, 360 Rebel Circle, Blue Ridge, GA 30513

Congressman Doug Collins will hold three public town hall meetings in August.  All residents of Georgia’s 9th Congressional District are invited to attend

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Fayette GOP Women – Dinner

August 14 @ 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Fayette Event Center, 174 N. Glynn St., Fayetteville, GA 30214+ Google Map

  If you would like to know what the Fayette County schools will be: teaching? their goals? end results?    If so, plan to attend the GFRWC meeting on Thursday, August 14th to  hear Dr. Jody Barrow, Fayette County Superintendent of Schools, answer these questions and your questions. Contact Debbie Dickinson at 404-376-4132

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DeKalb County GOP Executive Committee Meeting

August 14 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

DeKalb GOP HQ, 1532 Dunwoody Village Parkway, Dunwoody, GA 30338+ Google Map

DGOP Executive Committee Meeting This is the regular meeting of the whole Exec. Committee.  All are welcome, but only members of the Executive Committee may vote. If you are a member of the committee who cannot attend, please give your proxy to a member that can.  Proxy forms are located under the main menu in the left column of this page.  All agenda items must be submitted to Chairman Linda Smith by 4pm on the day of the meeting. Contact…

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Oglethorpe County GOP Meeting – Sen. Bill Jackson

August 14 @ 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Oglethorpe County Library, 858 Athens Rd, Lexington, GA 30648+ Google Map

State Sen. Bill Jackson is speaking, others are pending. Hopefully, several statewide elected officials in the months leading up to the election as well. Stay tuned! Also, information on Party Headquarters for us to use from Labor Day to Election Day. Please plan to attend and bring a friend. The meeting is open to the public. We will have refreshments and fellowship after the meeting. If any questions please contact us at the numbers below. Contact: 706-897-0892 or [email protected] for…

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