Lawton likes politics. And Cheez-Its. He is an IT graduate of Georgia Southern University, commonly referred to as The GSU. He rode in the elevator with the Oak Ridge Boys at the 2012 Republican National Convention. He has been called a RINO, an establishment hack, a libertarian, a Tea Partier, a right wing extremist, but he prefers to take long walks beside a lake.
I traveled to Bluffton, South Carolina yesterday to participate in a contractors round table with U.S. Congressman Mark Sanford (SC-1). Rep. Sanford joined approximately 25 contractors immediately after completing his eighth town hall in his district. The group of contractors employs between 2,500-3,000 people, with 62-63% being Hispanic.
Rep. Sanford opened the meeting by sharing seven major areas that will be addressed this year, though immigration dominated the discussion following his opening thoughts:
1. Healthcare (possible new bill within the next month)
2. Tax policy
3. Continuing resolution/budget
4. Debt ceiling (The plan appears to be to set financial limits instead of a just a cutoff date. He used the analogy of giving a credit card to someone and telling them they have a $10,000 limit instead of saying they could use the credit card until October).
5. Transportation – The money will probably be around $1 trillion
6. Border wall construction and work permits
7. Flood insurance reform
Rep. Sanford felt that a rushed timetable led to the demise of the GOP’s first attempt at healthcare reform this year. He stated that AHCA and Medicare Part D were discussed 10 times longer than the recent bill. He said there was just not enough time for people to buy into the bill and to offer up meaningful amendments.
EDIT: 12:03 a.m. – Ossoff at 48.61%, Handel at 19.49%. Gray, Abroms endorse Handel in June 20th runoff.
11:40 p.m. – Technical issues in Fulton County. I am sure the Russians will be mentioned. WSB-TV reporting: “Rare data error from one of the cards means Fulton Co. will have to manually go through hundreds of cards to find the culprit.”
9:49 p.m. – Ossoff is just above 50% at 50.96%. Handel is in second at 18.08% and Judson Hill in third at 9.50%. 97/210 precincts reporting.
As of 9:37 p.m., GA-6 is trending towards an Ossoff (53.94%) – Handel (17.62%) runoff. 67/210 precincts reporting. A LONG way to go, though.
After what seems like a million campaign ads, posts, and tweets, it is finally election night in #GA6 (and SD32). GA6 has seen a special election where one penny was given locally for every $10 given nationally. Rachel Wilson has a great overview of the race and its finances over at The Center for Public Integrity.
You can follow the results below or at the Secretary of State’s website. Take note that the election results webpage has been updated and looks very nice and colorful.
Karen Handel was endorsed by Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul this morning for the GA-6 special election.
Handel: “I am honored to have the support of Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul. If elected to Congress I will be a partner to our local government and work hard alongside them to improve the 6th District.”
From a press release from the Gray campaign, Karen Giorno, Former Southeast Director and Senior Political Advisor for the Trump campaign, will be stumping for Bob Gray in GA-6 this weekend.
Giorno help lead the Trump campaign to victory in the Florida primary. She then oversaw the Trump campaign’s southeast operations before becoming the Senior Political Advisor and National Spokesperson for the Trump Coalitions.
This is typically Ed’s space on Wednesday, but he is not here. Once the fumigation wears off, he should be back. His birthday is on Saturday, April 15, still the most dreaded day of the year despite taxes being due on Tuesday this year. Ed probably won’t let me fill in for him again.
An equation using today’s date: (4 x 1) + (2 + 2) + 0 – 1 = 7
CNN has definitely been keeping close tabs on the GA-6 special election. A reader has brought to our attention a story CNN posted about Bob Gray (R) accusing Jon Ossoff (D) of placing campaign signs in people’s yards without permission. Gray’s comments came from an interview with Gray on The Bryan Crabtree Show. Ossoff’s campaign denies the practice.
“Well, they’ve got the Hillary (Clinton) voting list and they’re just having large teams, many from out of state, walk through and they’re just putting signs in every yard of a Hillary voter.”
Ossoff’s campaign via an email to CNN’s KFile:
“Our campaign has provided ways to request yard signs (sign-in sheets at events and online). We have delivered yard signs to those who have requested them, and when doing so we have included a stapled sheet explaining how they got the yard sign and who to contact if they received it in error.”
We just received the following press release from the Georgia Hospital Association in response to an unauthorized use of its logo by MoveOn.org in a pro-Ossoff ad in the GA-6 special election.
MoveOn.org, the public policy advocacy group and political action committee, has made an unauthorized use of the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) logo in its online political ad called “The Void.” The video misrepresents the concerns GHA recently shared with our congressional delegation regarding the American Health Care Act (AHCA), legislation that was pulled from consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 24, 2017.
“The Georgia Hospital Association denounces the online advertisement from MoveOn.org and its unauthorized use of the GHA logo, a fact that is being communicated to that organization along with a formal request to remove our logo from the ad,” said GHA President and CEO Earl Rogers.
The MoveOn.org ad implies that GHA is aligned with the Ossoff for Congress Campaign in opposition to the AHCA, an assertion that has been furthered by other online media sources. Although we are interested in the outcome of the special election, GHA has not endorsed a candidate in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District race. The same is true of our national organization, the American Hospital Association, which makes appropriate campaign contributions on behalf of Georgia’s hospitals with guidance from GHA. Furthermore, GHA continues to work with both Republican and Democrat policymakers toward the mutual goal of protecting Georgia’s patients and ensuring that all citizens of Georgia have access to quality health care services.
“GHA is proud to serve as an unbiased resource to Georgia’s state leadership and congressional delegation as they consider options to improve our complex health care system, including potential changes to the Affordable Care Act,” Rogers continued. “With the help of our member hospitals, we will continue to analyze the impact of any state or federal health reform legislation and voice our concerns about any proposals that would result in additional payment cuts to providers or less affordable coverage options for Georgians.”
An announcement made yesterday by Gov. Nathan Deal stated that Georgia’s net tax collections for March, 2017 totaled almost $1.57 billion, an increase of about $32.5 million (2.1%) from March, 2016. This brings the net tax revenue collections to $15.8 billion for the current 2017 -18 fiscal year, which is up $530.9 million (3.5%) from last year.
The following is a breakdown of the March, 2017 revenues in comparison to March, 2016:
MoveOn.Org has released two videos urging voters to stand against President Trump’s desire to make changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by voting for Jon Ossoff.
Of note, the “Void” video shows the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) as an ally of MoveOn.Org and Ossoff in standing against changes to ACA. It is interesting that the GHA is standing against the GOP in this race, while at the same time asking for support from Republican Speaker David Ralston and Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to back Medicaid Expansion 2.0.
Georgia Life Alliance has announced its endorsements for the GA-6 and Senate District 32 special elections. All seven of the endorsements, five in GA-and two in SD-32, were all Republicans. The following are those that received the endorsement, including any exceptions they may have to preventing abortion.
Bob Gray – Exception for preventing the death of the mother
Keith Grawert – Exceptions for preventing the death of the mother, in cases of rape where the rape is reported to an appropriate law enforcement agency, and in cases of incest where the incest is committed against a minor and it has been reported to an appropriate agency
Karen Handel – Exceptions for preventing the death of the mother, in cases of rape where the rape is reported to an appropriate law enforcement agency, and in cases of incest where the incest is committed against a minor and it has been reported to an appropriate agency
William Llop – No Exceptions – “I believe that we should defend life from conception to its natural end.”
Bruce Levell – Form not available
Senate District 32
Kay Kirkpatrick – Exceptions for preventing the death of the mother, in cases of rape where the rape is reported to an appropriate law enforcement agency, and in cases of incest where the incest is committed against a minor and it has been reported to an appropriate agency
Augustus Makris – Exceptions for preventing the death of the mother, in cases of rape where the rape is reported to an appropriate law enforcement agency, and in cases of incest where the incest is committed against a minor and it has been reported to an appropriate agency
The FEC shows reports for 13 of the 18 candidates in the GA-6 special election for the period ending March 29, 2017. Approximately $9.63 million was donated by individuals to those campaigns and another $3 million kicked in by the candidates, though $1.92 million was by Dan Moody alone. PACs added an additional $190,522, with almost all of that going to Jon Ossoff, Judson Hill, and Karen Handel. $9.44 million was spent by the campaigns through March 29.
The PDF below shows the information that was available as of last night. I have highlighted the highest in each column, excepting the Other category, with red for Republicans and blue for Democrats.