Today in CD-6: Handel’s Endorsement Announcement

This morning, CD-6 candidate Karen Handel announced a list of endorsements that includes more than two dozen current and former municipal, county, and statewide elected officials.

Notable among that list is Cobb County District 2 Commissioner Bob Ott:

“I am proud to endorse my longtime friend Karen Handel. Karen has always worked hard to find solutions and deliver results for both her business clients and the people she’s served in elected office. That’s why it’s both an honor and privilege to be a part of her growing campaign team and I look forward to working with her as our next representative for the 6th Congressional District.”

District 2, which includes East Cobb, Vinings, the Cumberland area, and part of Smyrna, overlaps significantly with Georgia Senate District 32, which was occupied until last week by Judson Hill, who resigned from the Senate when he qualified to run for CD-6 along with Karen Handel and sixteen other candidates in what is frequently referred to as a “jungle primary.”

See the rest of Handel’s endorsements after the jump. Continue reading “Today in CD-6: Handel’s Endorsement Announcement”

An Open Letter to Georgia Democrats

We need to talk. It’s time to wake up. You need to get out there on the field and look alive.

You’ve been struggling for some time. The tables starting turning in favor of Republicans back in 2002 and they now have a choke hold on the state house, the state senate, and the Governor’s office. And every Constitutional office in the state, both U.S. Senate seats, and 10 of the 14 Congressional seats.

That stinks for Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, and anyone who does not fit the cookie cutter Republican mold. We see so much criticism on the federal level when a single party has control over two chambers and a Presidency. There is fear of steamrolling and disenfranchisement, but that does not happen on the state level -at least not here in Georgia. It is time we talk about the Democrats in the state legislature.

First, what on EARTH are you doing?

Continue reading “An Open Letter to Georgia Democrats”

Cobb County GOP Chairman Race Just Got More Interesting

We received an email in our tipline promoting a website titled “Shepherding The Truth”. Its mission is to supposedly expose Jason Shepherd as the “wolf among sheep.” The blogger wrote in one post,

At the caucuses, Cobb GOP Chairwoman Rose Wing, who also announced her intention to seek a 2nd term, distributed literature which touted about 250,000 calls or something like that. A big number, not a one Jason himself contributed (more on that at a later date), but one Jason said didn’t matter because “…down in Coweta County which is much smarter-smaller-than us (yeah, we caught that too Jason) they did 120,000 calls in one week for Mike Crane’s campaign alone…”

We don’t know if Shepherd indeed said these things, or whether the numbers bandied about are true, but these unverified claims have brought attention to the race.

The blog later points out that Crane was running in a Republican primary and questioned why the Coweta GOP organized a phone bank for a Republican primary candidate.

Cobb County is perhaps the epicenter of Trump backlash against Republicans. The reliably Republican county voted for Hillary over Trump in November and now Trump’s supporters are pinning the blame on the GOP Establishment. Electing Shepherd is their first priority.

We will see how strongly the backlash materializes next month at the Cobb GOP County Convention. Rose Wing, the incumbent chairman, is running against Jason Shepherd, the candidate Trump loyalists are rallying behind. This isn’t Shepherd’s first time to run for a Cobb GOP executive committee position. He was previously defeated by Wing.

 

Morning Reads for Wednesday, the 22nd of February, 2017

On this day in 1980, the US Olympic Hockey Team downed the Russians in the semifinal, in one of the greatest upsets in sports. In less great news for our nation, Spain ceded Florida to the US on this day in 1819.

  • If Not Darwin, Who? An alternative history of the great ideas of science. (Nautilus)
  • Rally to save ACA in Georgia sparked by those who had healthcare reliance (AJC)
  • John Oliver Takes on the Trump Era (Rolling Stone)
  • Take a guess, who’s America’s Shakespeare-a? (National Affairs)
  • Tom Brady, 4.8-time Super Bowl champion: but for a silly coin flip Atlanta might have beat us (Economist)
  • Spielberg: The Inner Lives of a Genius (New York Review of Books)
  • Meet the man responsible for third-wave coffee — and Frappuccinos. (Lucky Peach)
  • Get excited: Thursday will see the first vote on casinos! (AJC)
  • Woolly mammoth on verge of resurrection (the Guardian)
  • Scenes From the Westminster Dog Show, or Best Dog Detection (the Atlantic)
  • The Man Who Broke Ticketmaster: The most infamous ticket scalper of all time used bots to buy millions of tickets. Now he wants to stop them. Alternative title: Why You Couldn’t Get a Ticket to see A Flock of Seagulls (Vice)
  • Terrorists are building drones and France is destroying them with eagles (Wapo)
  • How DNA Editing Could Change Life on Earth (New Yorker)
  • GEMA Director increases his (Butter)worth (AJC)
  • Along with San Paolo and Shanghai, Atlanta among most difficult to go back and forth (WSB)
  • But good news! Because of this, they are going to fix North! (WABE)

Dear David Abroms – Please Don’t Spend $250K in GA-6 Race

Dear David Abroms,

I don’t know you, but I have some advice I want to share. I read an article today at AJC.com titled “A GOP newcomer lays a $250K bet on Georgia’s 6th District.” Greg Bluestein shared with us that you plan on putting $250,000 of your own money into the GA-6 race. A race with SEVENTEEN other contestants in a special election that takes place 8 weeks from today on April 18.

Please, sir, don’t do this. I cannot just sit back and say nothing. Donate the money to charity if you don’t need it, but please don’t spend it on this race.

A GA-6 poll was released this week. Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel are both beating someone else/not sure by 7-14 points. They are ahead of the other four candidates listed by at least 14-21 points. $250,000 will not buy the name ID to make up the difference to get you into a two-person runoff, as these candidates are going to spend money as well over the next 8 weeks.

$250,000 doesn’t buy much in congressional politics, especially when you have to introduce yourself to approximately 200-250,000 voters AND separate yourself from the 17 other candidates, including a former statewide office holder and a few former State Senators. Mailers, TV/radio advertisements, etc. are expensive, especially TV advertising in your neck of the woods. I am sure the prices are high with so many people in the race, if the time slots are even available to you at this point.

I am sure that you think you can win this seat, just like the countless candidates that I spoke with during my stints as Bulloch County GOP Chairman and GA-12 District GOP Chairman. I am cognizant of the fact that there are people out there that like to whisper into the ear of a non-viable candidate and tell them they have a shot. I have never done that and I am not going to start doing it now.

PLEASE reconsider. If by some miracle you make the runoff in 8 weeks, then maybe consider using your own money. It is your money and your right to spend it, but you can make a real difference by donating it to charity instead of tossing it into the wind.

I sincerely wish you the best in this race and the other endeavors that will follow.

Regards,

Lawton Sack

FBI Raids Atlanta City Hall As Bribery Probe Deepens

According to WSB TV, FBI agents have targeted the City of Atlanta’s procurement office this afternoon and are questioning the City’s procurement director Adam Smith.  Presumably, they’re looking for the invisible hands behind a pay for play bribery scheme that has already netted two guilty pleas by city contractors, but none for City of Atlanta officials.

Much of the attention media has given this case surrounds Mayor Reed’s former campaign official turned city employee Mitzi Bickers. The AJC had a team of reporters do a profile of Bickers’ recent personal and professional history that’s worth a read to understand the lay of the land here.

This is the same investigation that the City and Mayor Reed decided to be quite cute with open records requests, pretending that printing electronic records (many of which were illegible or blank pages) and putting them in bulk in a room would satisfy the public.  It only served to anger the press, who continues to ask “What is the city hiding”.

Now, the FBI is asking Adam Smith.  Hopefully he’ll be able to shed some light on to who, exactly, was involved in the city’s part of this division of labor to engineer payment from contractors to guarantee city business.

McMaster adds another Georgia Tie to Trump Administration

Yesterday, Lt. General H.R. McMaster was tapped to serve as National Security advisor by President Trump. McMaster served as Commanding General at Ft. Benning from June 2012 to July 2014. The then two star general received his third star and took his current post with Training and Doctrine Command.

And, while Trump supporters are raving over the choice, critics can rest easy as well. McMaster earned recognition after he turned his Ph.D dissertation into a book questioning leadership. While in Columbus, Lt. Gen. McMaster took time out of his crowded schedule more than once to host discussions about his book “Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam” at the National Infantry Museum.

In an interview with the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, McMaster was quoted saying:

“Some people have a misunderstanding about the Army.  Some people think, hey, you’re in the military and everything is super-hierarchical and you’re in an environment that is intolerable of criticism and people don’t want frank assessments. I think the opposite is the case. In the Army, because the stakes are so high — right? — you can’t just be a yes-man and say, “Great idea, boss!” if you don’t believe it — right? — because lives are at stake. And the commanders that I’ve worked for, they want frank assessments, they want criticism and feedback.”

Lt. General McMaster and his wife, Katie, made quite the impact on the Columbus community during their duty station. Both warm and welcoming, they brought a depth of knowledge and leadership to Ft. Benning and the surrounding area. The McMasters are salt of the earth people and an incredible addition to the Trump Administration. They have served our nation well for the last 30+ years and America can sleep a little better knowing sound advice is being given to the Commander in Chief by one who is anything but a “yes man”.

McMaster was in the final four candidates considered for the position to include former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, acting national security advisor and retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, and West Point superintendent Lt. Col. Robert Caslen. McMaster is the first active-duty Army officer to serve in this capacity since President Raegan appointed Gen. Colin Powell.

Gwinnett Democrats Playing Smear Politics Perfectly

There’s not much to say about the so-called “ethics” case against Gwinnett Commissioner Tommy Hunter. The commissioner, in Facebook post, called beloved civil rights memorial and graphic novelist John Lewis a “racist pig,” after Lewis declared the presidency of Donald Trump illegitimate. Both men are wrong, of course, but Lewis’ comments at least rose above the playground level.

Hunter has tried to apologize for his remarks, but the complainants have refused to listen, and will accept nothing less than seppuku or resignation. Or so they claim. That’s not what they’ll likely get, nor what they really want.

The “ethics” complaint is moving forward in one of the best bits of political theater ever played. Using Hunter’s remarks as a basis for accusing him of “conduct unbecoming” his office, a pair of clever attorneys, Christine Koehler and Helen Kim Ho, are going to milk this for every headline they can.

Hunter represents Gwinnett Commission District 3, basically the southern and eastern portion of the County that has been trending from majority white to majority non-white for years. Hunter barely won reelection last fall, eking out a 51-49% win. A competent challenger who bothered to raise any amount of money would likely have unseated him.  Continue reading “Gwinnett Democrats Playing Smear Politics Perfectly”

Morning Reads for Tuesday, February 21

Good morning! Hopefully you’re not waking up to any alarming news alerts, and someone already brewed the coffee.

New Poll Numbers for CD-6

Released today, new CD-6 poll numbers, commissioned by ZPolitics and gathered by Clout Research, show former Secretary of State Karen Handel leading Republicans with 25%. First term Roswell City Councilor Bob Gray trails behind at 11%. The two day survey polled 694 respondents.

Democrat Jon Ossoff has an overall lead of 32%. However, Democrat hopefuls shouldn’t pay too much attention to those aspiring to turn the seat Blue. With 58% of survey respondents having a favorable opinion of President Trump to only 42% responding unfavorably, the likely run-off makes it improbable that a Democratic challenger will upset the long-held GOP seat.

“Democrats are much more settled in their decision about this race,” Clout pollster Fritz Wenzel said, adding that 69 percent of Democrats are solid in their support of Ossoff. “While Ossoff may win the primary, it is highly unlikely he would win the runoff election.”

But while 45% of GOP voters are “somewhat firm” in their candidate of choice, 26% are uncommitted. Which means this is still anyone’s race. Former State Senator Judson Hill has been campaigning long and hard, vying for the seat since last November. But he currently sits in fourth place when those surveyed made their first pick, moving to fifth place in the category of “Second Choice”, trailing “Someone Else” by almost two points.

A week in the real world is a life time in politics and we have 8 lifetimes to go until we reach the proverbial finish line.

(H/T: ZPolitics)