GOP Primary Runoff Roundup – Mud Everywhere in Gov. and Lt. Gov. Races

The primary runoff for Governor and Lt. Governor has become a regular ol’ pig sty as the mud has been tossed about freely. From talking with several pockets of voters, the mud slinging seems to be hurting support more than garnering. I don’t make tens of thousands off of campaigns, though.

I have compiled three TV ads (Cagle, Duncan, and Kemp) and some other information provided by the various campaigns. They are posted in alphabetical order.

Casey Cagle (GOP for Governor)

Theme: Cagle is getting things done: school reform, cutting taxes, fighting sanctuary cities, and standing against liberals attacking conservative values

Cagle’s campaign goes after Kemp directly in a campaign email:

Brian Kemp has been so busy running a dirty tricks operation against Casey Cagle with his good buddy Clay Tippins because he doesn’t want voters to know about his own record of covering up assault charges for one of his major donors.

The Atlanta Journal reported today that there are now two more independent calls for an investigation of Brian Kemp. A Cobb County prosecutor is calling on Georgia’s Attorney General to investigate after Kemp failed to take any action against massagetherapists who sexually assaulted their customers. Despite these serious charges, Kemp has refused to investigate any of the dozens of complaints filed by victims, and has instead swept them under the rug. This leaves the perpetrators free to continue to work in the massage business, putting innocent Georgians at risk every day.

Even worse, one of Georgia’s two female state Senators has asked the U.S. Attorney to investigate the circumstances around an illegal fundraiser that Kemp held at the home of the owner of one of the massage businesses that he regulates. This was the very same business where sexual assaults against massage customers occurred.

Brian Kemp is legally prohibited from accepting contributions from the businesses he regulates. He’s already under investigation by the State Ethics Commission for doing this. Now we learn that Kemp has swept investigations under the rug and taken large illegal campaign contributions from the very businesses where assaults occurred.

This behavior is outrageous and is exactly the kind of political insider corruption that we must fight against. Georgia voters need to know the full depth of this growing corruption scandal involving Brian Kemp before we cast our ballots on July 24th. Brian Kemp is facing at least three potential investigations that we know off, and more may well be on the way. Georgia Republicans cannot afford to nominate this man and then lose the Governor’s seat to a liberal Democrat this fall.

Geoff Duncan (GOP for Lt. Governor)

Theme: “Underdog” – He became a successful businessman despite being told an ex-jock couldn’t do it. Shafer has the fat cat insiders but Duncan has “the people.” Duncan promises to fight for term limits and conservative values.

Brian Kemp (GOP for Governor)

Theme: Cagle is falsely attacking him. Cagle passed bad policy for campaign money.

Kemp’s campaign provided additional kindling in a campaign email:

After failing to advance in the Republican Primary held on May 22, 2018, businessman and Navy Seal Clay Tippins met with Lt. Governor Casey Cagle to discuss an endorsement.

Tippins recorded the entire conversation on his iPhone.

On June 7, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and WSB-TV broke the story and released seven minutes of the recording.

The most notable dialogue recorded was about a controversial school choice bill that Cagle beat “to a pulp” in years past but advanced during the 2018 Legislative Session. When asked by Tippins to explain the change of heart, Cagle confessed that his decision was politically motivated.

“It ain’t about public policy,” said Cagle. “It’s about (expletive) politics. There’s a group that was getting ready to put $3 million behind Hunter Hill…Is it bad public policy? Between you and me, it is. I can tell you how it is a thousand different ways.”

Days later, Sen. Lindsey Tippins, who recently resigned as Senate Education Chairman (and Uncle of Clay Tippins) went on the record to affirm the validity of Cagle’s comments. Sen. Tippins also revealed that Cagle forced passage of another controversial bill to steer campaign cash into his own coffers.

“He said, ‘I’ve got to do something for charter schools,’ ” said Tippins, describing a conversation with Cagle in the legislative session’s closing days. “He said, ‘The Walton Family Foundation is fixing to put $2 million in Hunter Hill’s campaign. And he said, ‘If this bill passes, I’ll get it in mine.’ ”

Shortly after Sen. Tippins’ revelation, State Senator Bill Heath and State Rep. Susan Holmes requested a criminal investigation stating:

“These questions need to be asked by law enforcement because Cagle has demonstrated repeatedly, notably on the audio recording provided by Clay Tippins, that he will lie with a straight face to the media and voters.”

Others pilled on including conservative lawyer and talk show host Erick Erickson.

“Georgia law makes it a felony for an elected official to advance legislation in exchange for anything of value. If Sen. Tippins is right that Cagle wanted a campaign donation, Cagle arguably committed a felony. If Cagle is telling the truth that he wanted to stop an opponent from getting money, he also arguably committed a felony because that too would be a valuable benefit to him.”

The secret recording is only part of Cagle’s ongoing corruption scandal. In addition to accepting millions of dollars from special interests in exchange for tax breaks, the Atlanta Journal Constitution recently reported that Cagle is using state aircraft to avoid traffic and raise moneyfor his political campaign. There is an ethics complaint pending review. It was also reported by the New York Times that Cagle purchased a condo from a well-known energy lobbyist at a discount and then flipped the property years later for a large return on investment.

David Shafer (GOP for Lt. Governor)

While I couldn’t find a new ad from Sen. Shafer, he did set up a website that rebuts “the false negative attacks of his opponent, ex-Representative Geoff Duncan.” Below are the highlights, as provided by a campaign email:

LIE #1: David Shafer is being sued for conspiracy.
TRUTH: The newspaper headlines in the Duncan advertisement (“Candidate accused of conspiracy in CEO’s ouster”) refers to a lawsuit filed against former gubernatorial candidate Clay Tippins. Shafer is not named as a defendant or accused of wrongdoing in the Tippins lawsuit. In fact, David Shafer has never been named in any lawsuit.

LIE #2: David Shafer doesn’t pay his taxes.
TRUTH: Shafer’s tax dispute was resolved in his favor and the tax lien issued against him was marked “issued in error and withdrawn.”

LIE #3: David Shafer used political power to end an ethics investigation.
TRUTH: David Shafer was completely exonerated by a two-month, bipartisan ethics investigation. Shafer cooperated fully. He sat for two interviews and produced 10 years of email and telephone records. The independent counsel hired by the Ethics Committee to investigate the complaint determined that the allegations had been “fabricated” and were “politically motivated.”

LIE #4: David Shafer got rich as a State Senator.
TRUTH: David Shafer has worked his entire life. He opened his first bank account at age 8 with money saved from mowing lawns. He worked as a church janitor at age 13 and a restaurant busboy at age 16. He worked his way through college as a department store sales clerk. After college, he earned his real estate license and invested in real estate and he has invested in and started numerous businesses. Shafer is proud of his business success.

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