Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 28, 2014


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 28, 2014

August 28, 1929 saw Governor Lamartine Hardman sign a Constitutional Amendment authorizing the levy of a state income tax. On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the “I Have a Dream Speech” on the Mall in Washington, DC.

If you’re interested in the structure of speeches, Nancy Duarte has done an excellent analysis of the speech, which you can watch here:

An obscure college professor named Newt Gingrich began his political career on August 28, 1976, as he kicked off his first campaign against Congressman Jack Flynt.

Old Newt Pic

On August 28, 2008, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools revoked the accreditation of the Clayton County Public Schools. Later that day, Governor Sonny Perdue removed four members of the Clayton County Board of Education upon the recommendation of an administrative law judge.

What have Republicans done?

My friend, Leo Smith, serves as Minority Engagement Director for the Georgia Republican Party. He wrote on Facebook:

As I travel the state to speak with civic organizations, churches, and black leadership groups about the Republican Party, the most prevalent question is this: “What have Republicans done to better the lives of African Americans in Georgia?”

And, of course, he went on to answer the question. I’d like to offer my own answer of three things the Georgia Republican Party has done to improve the lives of African-Americans. 1. Creating 250,000 new jobs in Georgia – nationally, unemployment rates among African-Americans have been significantly higher than among whites, so it’s not surprising that many African-Americans name jobs as their most important issue. Governor Deal’s proven record of bringing more than 250,000 new jobs to Georgia by making it the #1 state in which to do business will benefit all Georgians, regardless of race. Additionally, word-readiness programs like the expansion of the HOPE Grant for Technical Colleges helps Georgians seeking jobs by helping them gain needed skills for new industries. 2. Sentencing reform – Governor Nathan Deal has instituted sentencing reform to concentrate more on “accountability courts” to address issues like psychological problems, alcohol- and drug-dependency, and persistent poverty that underlie much criminal behavior, rather than simply “warehousing” a substantial number of Georgians. Among other effects, this has helped lower the number of African-Americans as well as Georgians of all other races who are being incarcerated and helped put them on a path to recovery.

“Accountability court funding and improved rules for probation detention centers have successfully addressed the large jail backlog and high costs paid to counties housing state offenders. By identifying low-risk, nonviolent offenders and more effective ways to rehabilitate them, we are steering these offenders away from a life of crime and reserving our expensive prison beds for the violent offenders who pose a public safety risk,” said Governor Deal.

3. Removing members of the Clayton and DeKalb County School Boards that threatened our childrens’ education – When SACS, the regional accrediting agency, placed DeKalb County’s accreditation on probation, Gov. Deal moved decisively and quickly to remove the Board of Education members whose lack of leadership led to the crisis (ironically, along with the member who first brought to light the issues that led to the probation). DeKalb County serves a student body more than 70% African-American, and Gov. Deal’s leadership put the school system back on track to improving the quality of education these students receive. Additionally, much of the tax burden to support DeKalb County schools falls on African-Americans, who were being cheated of the effective use of their tax dollars, and whose children were being cheated of the education they deserve. Similarly, in 2008, former Gov. Sonny Perdue acted swiftly to put Clayton County schools under new leadership after SACS revoked that system’s accreditation. In other areas of education, Governor Deal has led strongly, expanding the HOPE Grant, saving the HOPE program from financial ruin, and investing an additional $500 million in education in this year alone. I don’t believe that is an exhaustive list of what Republicans have done to improve the lives of African-Americans in our state, but those three things are absolutely vital to improving the lives of all Georgians.

New State Rep. Candidate in HD 98

The Georgia Republican Party named David Clark to fill the vacancy created when GOP nominee for House District 98 Michael Brown died unexpectedly.

“Congratulations to David Clark and best wishes as he prepares to serve House District 98 in the Georgia General Assembly,” said GAGOP Chairman John Padgett in a released statement. “We appreciate everyone who offered themselves up for public service and look forward to working together this fall to secure victory for the Republican ticket.”

More DeKalb Commission shenanigans

WSB-TV reports that questions have arisen about DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton paying her boyfriend for political advice and consulting from taxpayer funds.

Documents indicate DeKalb County taxpayers paid a commissioner’s boyfriend tens of thousands of dollars for his consulting services. Sharon Barnes Sutton is a commissioner for District 4. Channel 2 Action News and the Atlanta Journal Constitution secured documents which show Warren Mosby received more than $34,000. Channel 2’s Erica Byfield asked Barnes Sutton via phone on Wednesday if she and Mosby had a personal relationship. “That does not matter because I have not broken any laws or violated any county policies,” said Barnes Sutton.

Between an ongoing federal investigation and an Atlanta news media apparently looking into the public documents, I would be surprised if we don’t have more shoes dropping in the future.

Yet another DeKalb election in November

A special election to fill the DeKalb County Commission seat from which Elaine Boyer resigned has been scheduled to coincide with the General Election on November 4, 2014.

Qualifying for the special election will begin Sept. 8 at 8:30 a.m. and close Sept. 10 at noon and will be in the office of the DeKalb County Board of Registrations and Elections, 4380 Memorial Drive in Decatur. The fee to qualify is $1,151.24.

GOP to control Senate?

Senator Johnny Isakson told the Gwinnett Rotary this week that he expects the Republican Party to gain control in the United States Senate after November’s elections.

Georgia, he said, will play a key role in that battle. According to Isakson, Georgia and Kentucky are two seats the GOP currently controls which must be protected. Both Republican candidates, he said, are in competitive races putting those seats in danger of being lost. “Our first line of defense is to re-elect Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and elect a Republican Senator in Georgia,” Isakson said. Winning those races is necessary just to maintain the current total of 45 Republicans in the Senate. To improve the margin, Republicans would have to gain ground in the remaining 31 races, of which, Isakson said, only 12 are in play. Three of those dozen seats are more or less decided and should be a net gain for the Republicans — West Virginia, Montana and South Dakota. If those races end as expected, Republicans would go from 45 to 48 seats. Isakson believes the party has a good chance to reach a 50-50 split with the races in Louisiana, North Carolina and Arkansas. “None of those are a shoo-in, but I would think probably two out of three of them probably will go Republican,” he said. is increasingly bullish on GOP chances of gaining the upper hand in the senior chamber.

The momentum appears to be on the Republicans’ side, as Obama’s approval rating is low, dissatisfaction with Washington is high, incumbents are showing signs of weakness, and the midterm dynamics and climate are favorable. Three Democratic-held states already appear to be in the Republicans’ column: Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. If the GOP can hang on to Georgia and Kentucky, they would need to pick up just three more to win the majority. And there are a few different pathways that get them there. Perhaps most significantly, Republicans survived what could have been a problematic spring and summer: With most of the primaries over, the party has avoided the selection of flawed, stumble-prone candidates, a tendency that cost them seats in previous years. Part of Democrats’ strategy in difficult races was tied to a repeat of this history of picking weak candidates itself. The GOP’s feat bolstered Republicans’ prospects in several races — for now. “For the last five months, Democrats have been saying that their ‘legacy candidates’ provide an advantage, but the data shows it’s irrelevant,” said Brad Dayspring, the spokesman for the [Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee]. “If it were true, Landrieu, Begich, Udall, and Pryor would be at or above 50 percent.”

The New York Times writes that Republicans have crossed the 65-percent threshold in probability of winning a Senate majority.

Recent polls are one big reason. As we discussed last week, the latest evidence from Georgia has been favorable for Republicans. In West Virginia, polling continues to suggest that Natalie Tennant, the Democratic secretary of state, is a long shot to win. In Alaska — an important state for Democrats to hold — a Rasmussen poll released on Monday suggested the race was close. Another reason for the Republican gains in our model is the mere passage of time. Every day that passes with things remaining roughly as they are will gradually increase the leading candidate’s forecasted probability of winning. This is simply because there are incrementally fewer opportunities for a campaign-changing gaffe, or some other event that could swing the polls. It’s analogous to a football game in which one team is up by 3 points with the ball at its 40-yard line. Given this situation at the start of the second half, we can forecast, based on historical outcomes, that the leading team has a 67 percent chance of victory. But that 67 percent morphs into an almost certain victory with only one minute left on the clock.

In The Fix column at the Washington Post, Chris Cillizza writes that the major online models for Senate elections are converging on a conclusion that the GOP is likely to win a majority in the Senate.

First, the Post’s Election Lab, run by George Washington University professor John Sides, gives Republicans a 58 percent chance of winning the six seats they need to be in the majority come 2015. Writes Sides: “The Republicans are very likely to control at least 48 seats after the elections, including Georgia. With just three seats out of the [six] discussed above, they would take control of the Senate. That’s why we still see them as having a better than 50:50 chance to do it.” Leo, the New York Times’ Senate model, shows Republicans with a 67 percent chance of taking the majority. The third major modeler, 538’s Nate Silver, hasn’t issued a prediction from his model of late but as of early August he wrote that Republicans were “60-40″ favorites to win the Senate majority. Georgia: WaPo 84 percent GOP win/NYT 82 percent GOP win


Events Tonight

DeKalb County GOP: FREE Social Media Tech Boot Camp 

Seating is Limited. Please RSVP to

August 28 @ 7:00 PM9:00 PM
DeKalb GOP HQ,

1532 Dunwoody Village Pkwy, Dunwoody, GA 30338 United States

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COME LEARN how to exponentially increase your online presence through SOCIAL MED… Find out more »

Valdosta State CR: Interest Meeting

August 28 @ 7:00 PM8:00 PM
Valdosta State University,

UC Theater, Valdosta, GA United States

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Come find out what being a College Republican at Valdosta State is all about! We… Find out more »

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