Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 13, 2014


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 13, 2014

President George Washington returned to the City of Washington on November 13, 1789, ending the first Presidential tour.

On the same day, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his friend Jean-Baptiste LeRoy, in which he said,

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

On November 13, 1865, the United States government issued the first Gold Certificates.

The Georgia General Assembly adopted a resolution against ratifying the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 13, 1866.

In deciding not to ratify the 14th Amendment, the General Assembly adopted a committee report explaining that: “1. If Georgia is not a State composing part of the Federal Government known as the Government of the United States, amendments to the Constitution of the United States are not properly before this body. 2. If Georgia is a State composing part of the Federal Government … , these these amendments are not proposed according to the requirements of the Federal Constitution, and are proposed in such a manner as to forbid the legislature from discussing the merits of the amendments without an implied surrender of the rights of the State.”

Excavation began for a new Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on the site of the former City Hall/Fulton County Courthouse on November 13, 1884.

Walt Disney released “Fantasia” on November 13, 1940.

Georgia Governor and Constitutional Commission Ellis Arnall moved that a home rule provision be included in the new draft of the state Constitution and his motion passed 8-7 on November 13, 1944.

On November 13, 1956, the United States Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down a law requiring segregation on buses in Montgomery, Alabama.

Ronald Reagan announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for President of the United States on November 13, 1979.

“The people have not created this disaster in our economy; the federal government has. It has overspent, overestimated, and over regulated. It has failed to deliver services within the revenues it should be allowed to raise from taxes. In the thirty-four years since the end of World War II, it has spent 448 billion dollars more than it has collection in taxes – 448 billion dollars of printing press money, which has made every dollar you earn worth less and less. At the same time, the federal government has cynically told us that high taxes on business will in some way “solve” the problem and allow the average taxpayer to pay less. Well, business is not a taxpayer it is a tax collector. Business has to pass its tax burden on to the customer as part of the cost of doing business. You and I pay the taxes imposed on business every time we go to the store. Only people pay taxes and it is political demagoguery or economic illiteracy to try and tell us otherwise.”

“The key to restoring the health of the economy lies in cutting taxes. At the same time, we need to get the waste out of federal spending. This does not mean sacrificing essential services, nor do we need to destroy the system of benefits which flow to the poor, the elderly, the sick and the handicapped. We have long since committed ourselves, as a people, to help those among us who cannot take care of themselves. But the federal government has proven to be the costliest and most inefficient provider of such help we could possibly have.”

“I believe this nation hungers for a spiritual revival; hungers to once again see honor placed above political expediency; to see government once again the protector of our liberties, not the distributor of gifts and privilege. Government should uphold and not undermine those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded—religion, education and, above all, family. Government cannot be clergyman, teacher and parent. It is our servant, beholden to us.”

“We who are privileged to be Americans have had a rendezvous with destiny since the moment in 1630 when John Winthrop, standing on the deck of the tiny Arbella off the coast of Massachusetts, told the little band of pilgrims, “We shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.”

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982 in Washington, DC.

On November 13, 2006, groundbreaking began for a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, we learned that Rick Richardson, longtime leader in the Georgia Republican Party, was hospitalized. Here’s the latest we have on his condition, from DeKalb County Republican Party Chair Linda Smith,

It is with a very heavy heart that we inform you that Rick Richardson suffered a serious stroke at his home very early this morning and was rushed to Emory University Hospital.

Rick is in critical condition and has not regained consciousness.

He is in the Emory ICU unit.  Please pray for Rick, his mother Willi Richardson and the rest  of his family at this very difficult time.

The Special Election to fill the State House District 50 seat being vacated by Rep. Lynne Riley (R-Johns Creek) has been scheduled for January 6, 2015.

A run-off election, if needed, shall be held on February 3, 2015.

Qualifying for the special election shall be held in the Elections Division of the Office of Secretary of State, 802 West Tower, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30334. The dates and hours of qualifying will be Wednesday, November 19, 2014 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m.Thursday, November 20, 2014beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m.; and Friday, November 21, 2014beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 12 o’clock noon. The qualifying fee shall be $400 for the office.

All persons who are not registered to vote and who desire to vote in the special election must register to vote before the close of business on December 8, 2014. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 6, 2015.

Roll Call’s At the Races has an article on how Republican David Perdue won the Senate race against Democrat Michelle Nunn.

The morning after he won Georgia’s open Senate seat, Republican David Perdue was asked on “Fox & Friends” how he avoided a runoff when every available poll had shown a tight race.

It was the question of the day in the Democrats’ best pickup opportunity — where millions of dollars poured in from both sides during the final month of the contest, yet the Republican emerged with an unexpectedly large 8-point victory.

His answer indicated the Perdue campaign may have been the only ones not in the dark.

Our pollster, Chris Perkins, had it pegged all along,” the former corporate CEO and first-time candidate responded.

It was a rare shout-out for a consultant on national television, but it wouldn’t be the last time the Texas-based Perkins would receive praise in the wake of the election. In interviews with other Perdue operatives and consultants, and in a briefing at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Perkins was consistently cited for accurately feeling the pulse of the state — even when his numbers seemed too good to be true.

According to Perkins, Perdue was up 5 in each of his tracking polls — one per week for the final six weeks — until the final week of the race, when Perdue led 48 percent to 40 percent, with the Libertarian candidate taking 3 percent.

Perdue received some much-needed air cover from the NRSC and others as he reloaded for the general.

“We were broke and out of a very tough primary runoff against Kingston and not able to immediately defend ourselves,” Perdue general consultant Paul Bennecke said. “I thought the timing of that really was important for us to take a breath, catch up and then get back up on TV.”

Bennecke touted his own ground game — and the campaign’s ability to keep quiet the extent to which they were going in identifying supporters and potentially persuadable voters. A week after the runoff, the campaign set a goal of winning about 1,362,000 votes — it ended up with 1,355,392.

“Out of 159 counties, I’d say we probably missed 5-8 of them where we underperformed our goal,” Bennecke said. “Those are some tactical things that I think are important in developing what then became the message arc of what we were trying to do to win the election.”

“We knew ‘Washington outsider with business experience that will shake things up and get spending under control’ was the best message in the primary, was the best in the runoff, and it was the best in the general,” Perkins said. “From a consistency standpoint, getting to that as quick as we could was really what needed to be done, and we finally did it in the last 10 days.”

So, when the debate turns to pollster performance, look back at that – the difference in professional campaign polling in a multi-million dollar Senate race, where the campaign was tracking their performance consistently over the last six weeks of the race. This probably means three nights of phone calls in the field every week.

Final campaign disclosure reports are not available yet, but looking back at Perdue’s October quarterly report, we see a disbursement to Wilson Perkins Allen Polling on 9/30/2014 for $16,875 and another disbursement on 9/12/2014 in the amount of $8044.71, another $16,875 on 9/0/2014 . That total of $41,794.71 in September alone likely dwarfs what in-state pollsters doing work for television stations were paid by a factor of 3 to 4 times.

So the polling frequency and the amount of money spent on polling by a top-tier campaign is vastly different from what’s available to local media like WSB-TV, so you should not be surpised if they return different results.

That said, I don’t think there was a problem with polling in the 2014 election – the problem was media expectations and incorrect benchmarks based on word-of-mouth among non-political professionals. I also believe that Mark Rountree of Landmark Communications makes a compelling case that his firm got the numbers correct this year.

Roll Call also has a race review on Republican Rick Allen’s victory over Democrat John Barrow.

The road to Augusta is paved with Republicans who had lost to Barrow.

And when Allen entered the race in June 2013, joining a crowded GOP field, national Republicans weren’t keen on their chances.

With Allen as their nominee, the NRCC pressed forward. It promoted Allen to its “Young Guns” program for aid top-tier candidates and made an initial $800,000 television reservation to target Barrow.

On Aug. 12, Georgia’s 12th District was one of the first districts where the NRCC started airing ads. The committee kept spending there for the rest of the cycle, putting more than $2.5 million on television and radio ads — taking pains for the spots to have better production value and targeted messaging.

Speaker John A. Boehner, Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan and NRCC Chairman Greg Walden made trips to the district to help Allen raise cash.

“It’s no secret that John Barrow has been the NRCC’s No. 1 target for cycle after cycle, and 2014 was no exception,” Scarpinato said. “That’s why the NRCC went up on TV in this district before any other in the country, and devoted staff and resources to winning. By working as a team with Rick Allen and his campaign, we were finally able to knock Barrow down.”

Allen was forced to dip into his own deep pockets, dumping $900,000 of his own personal fortune into the race. It brought Republicans up to parity with the millions Barrow, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC dumped onto the airwaves.

In a wave year that saw a net loss of at least 13 Democratic House seats, Barrow became that collateral damage.

“When you do have a wave, you see signs of it in the last few days,” said Steve Murphy, the man behind Barrow’s ads. “We were doing better in terms of John Barrow’s favorability — better than we’d ever done before. But it’s real simple: The election was completely nationalized to the voters in a fashion that made Barrow’s independence and job performance irrelevant to them.”

James Richardson of wrote in Daily Beast about the Barrow upset, bringing this tidbit:

Everything was going right, at least outwardly. Money was pouring in. Powerhouse Washington lobbies that ordinarily supported Republicans, like the National Rifle Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, were lending their support and imprimatur. And his GOP opponent’s campaign appeared adrift.

For years, attempts by sympathetic reporters or columnists to review Barrow’s internal polling or early fundraising figures were rebuffed by uncommonly loyal attendants, but in private conversations Wednesday the blue dog’s battle-weary aides told me their boss never trailed his Republican challenger in their confidential surveys.

Still, at least one Democrat close to Barrow conceded, Tuesday’s defeat was not altogether surprising. He quipped that the defeat “probably would’ve happened” last cycle had Barrow’s previous opponent, Anderson, “not been an idiot.”

Last week on Political Rewind

Jim Galloway was on last week’s Political Rewind with host Bill Nigut and fellow panelists Tharon Johnson, Howard Franklin, Eric Tanenblatt, and Leo Smith, along with Mark Rountree of Landmark Communications, and recounts part of the show in the AJC Political Insider.

Last week, two Democratic strategists, Tharon Johnson and Howard Franklin, were on Bill Nigut’s “Political Rewind” program on WRAS (88.5FM). I was there, too.

Johnson, who has worked on the campaigns of not just Kasim Reed, but U.S. Reps. John Barrow and John Lewis, pointed out that Nunn and Carter probably dropped a combined $30 million on TV ads aimed at white voters – to little measurable effect.

“We did not focus on our base voters. We did not focus on the 1.6 million registered African-American voters that are out there,” Johnson said.

Franklin chimed in. “If you’re getting 22, 23 percent of the white vote, and you’re spending two-thirds or three-quarters of your money to do so – you could get a bump in African-American turnout spending half a million dollars,” he said. “A vote by a white person or a black person is still a vote.”

Then, this happened on Twitter:

Common Core

The Georgia State Board of Education has posted for public comments the revisions to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) in English Language Arts and math.

The standards were revised based on a formal review and evaluation process, as directed by an executive order from Governor Nathan Deal. The review and evaluation process included several survey opportunities, along with legislative and State Board of Education listening sessions.

“Through this process, we have taken every opportunity to hear the concerns of educators, parents, and other stakeholders,” State Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. “It’s on the basis of that feedback that we are proposing these changes. This revision is not a retreat from our standards, but a refinement to ensure they are the best standards for Georgia’s students.”

Richard Woods, newly-elected State School Superintendent, who will take office in January, issued this statement,

Richard Woods has consistently stated that the Common Core standards need to be reviewed to determine what changes need to be made.

“I am encouraged by the State Board’s decision today to release some of those changes for public input,” said Woods. “This is a positive first step in a longer process that must involve Georgia’s parents, teachers, and business community in a comprehensive review of our standards.”

A group of five teacher penned a letter on Common Core Standards, which ran in the AJC’s “Get Schooled” column by Maureen Downey.

Beyond setting high expectations for our students, we believe that education standards in Georgia should meet two additional criteria.

First and foremost, the development, adoption, or revision of standards should value the voices of professional educators in Georgia while also taking account of other relevant stakeholders and guiding information.  Key stakeholders in Georgia, including parents and other citizens, should absolutely have a voice in a nuanced conversation about our education system, but this issue is too important to be reduced to political talking points.

At the same time, we must build on existing knowledge, whether that knowledge comes from education research, collaborative efforts among states to develop curriculum frameworks, or lessons learned from standards implementation in other states.

Second, our standards should support, but not dictate, effective classroom instruction.  Standards that are informed by both disciplinary content knowledge and research on how students learn can help Georgia’s teachers open a wide door of opportunity for our students to have equal access to learning.

Our newly elected superintendent, Richard Woods, was quoted on this blog stating his intent to “listen to education stakeholders, provide solutions, and move us forward for the betterment of our children’s future and the teaching profession.”

We concur with this sentiment, and we look forward working with Mr. Woods, Gov. Deal, our state board members and our legislators to provide the best possible education for Georgia’s students.

Event Calendar

Gwinnett County GOP: County Committee Meeting with Melvin Everson

November 13 @ 7:30 PM8:30 PM
Gwinnett GOP HQ, 46 South Clayton Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30045

Our guest speaker is Melvin Everson.  Get there early, because there’s sur…

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Hall County GOP: Conservative Forum with Virginia Galloway

November 15 @ 9:00 AM10:00 AM
Hall County GOP HQ, 715 Queen City Parkway, Gainesville, GA 30501

Conservative Forum with Virginia Galloway Virginia Galloway is the Southern Regi…

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Paulding County GOP: Meeting with Legislative Delegation

November 15 @ 9:00 AM10:00 AM
Chicken World, 4109 Jimmy Lee Smith Pkwy, Hiram, GA 30141


+ Google Map

  Make plans to join us for our monthly meeting is this Saturday at 9:00 at…

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Sen. Johnny Isakson: 2016 Re-election Campaign for U.S. Senate

November 17 @ 11:00 AM12:00 PM
Georgia State Capitol – North Wing, 206 Washington Street, S.W., Atlanta, GA 30334 United States

Please join Johnny Isakson at the ‎kickoff announcement for his 2016 Re-election…

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Nancy Jester for DeKalb County Commissioner ~ An Evening in Brookhaven

November 17 @ 6:00 PM8:00 PM
Pub 71, 4058 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta , GA 30319

Come to meet and support the best choice to bring integrity, competence a…

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Conservative GOP Women of North Atlanta: Meeting

November 17 @ 7:00 PM8:00 PM
Magnolia Cafe, 5175 South Old Peachtree Road, Norcross, GA 30092

Conservative Republican Women of North Atlanta MeetingSpeakers: Dr. Stephen Stei…

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Barrow County GOP: Meeting

November 17 @ 7:30 PM8:30 PM
Winder Woman’s Club, 15 West Midland Ave, Winder, GA 30680
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Violence Against Health Care Workers Joint Study Committee Meeting

November 18 @ 10:30 AM2:30 PM
Grady Hospital Board Room, 80 Jesse Hill Jr Dr. SE, Atlanta , GA 30303

The Joint Study Committee on Violence Against Health Care Workers will hold its …

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Atlanta YR: How Republicans Swept and What’s Ahead with Randy Evans

November 19 @ 7:00 PM8:00 PM
Five Seasons Brewing – Westside, 1000 Marietta Street, Atlanta, GA 30318

  AYR proudly welcomes Randy Evans — one of the national leaders in t…

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Gwinnett County YR; Meeting

November 20 @ 7:00 PM9:00 PM
Georgia Gun Club, 1951 Braselton Highway, Buford, GA 30519

Gwinnett Young Republicans Meeting

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