Posted: 8:44 am Monday, February 24th, 2014
By Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy
Proof that Georgia is likely to become a multi-million dollar November battleground for control of the U.S. Senate surfaced over the weekend in the form of a Super PAC filing on the Federal Election Commission website.
“Georgians Together” is a 527 formed under the name of Keith Mason, former chief of staff to Gov. Zell Miller. It will be used exclusively to support the candidacy of Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Mason said this morning.
“It’s one that can support her record of service and solutions first, and partnership over partisanship,” said Mason, a partner at McKenna Long & Aldridge in Atlanta.
Mason said his connections with the Nunn family go back to his childhood. While at the University of Georgia, he headed up the youth section in one of U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn’s re-election campaigns. For several years, he was on the board of Hands On Atlanta, a volunteer group headed up by Michelle Nunn.
Nunn faces several Democratic opponents, including Branko “Dr. Rad” Radulovacki. Qualifying begins March 3.
We already know that Gov. Nathan Deal had given his approval to House Bill 990, the GOP initiative that would strip him of the power to expand Medicaid. But internal emails obtained through Georgia’s Open Records Act show that Deal’s staff also played a role in crafting the legislation.
In a Feb. 12 email, Deal spokesman Brian Robinson sent a link to the legislation to David Werner, Deal’s top legislative liaison.
“Have we been consulted on this bill?” asks Robinson.
“Yes,” came Werner’s response. “We actually helped tweak it to make it stronger.”
Deal’s embrace of the legislation has quickly become a campaign issue in his re-election bid. Democrat Jason Carter has blistered him for “passing the buck,” while Deal has offered the reminder that “I always have a veto pen if I don’t agree with it.”
H.B. 990 goes before the House Judiciary Committee today.
Michael Thurmond, the top executive for the DeKalb County school system, will be at a meeting of DeKalb lawmakers at the state Capitol today. He’s expected to let them whether he intends to run for state school superintendent.
Through his own blog and postings on PeachPundit, Jason Pye is probably the best-known voice in the libertarian movement in Georgia. And he is not pleased with state Rep. Sam Moore, R-Macedonia.
Sworn in only two weeks ago, Moore was chastised by House GOP leadership on Friday for a bill he introduced that would ban loitering laws and end restrictions that keep child molesters away from schools and playgrounds.
Read Pye’s post in its entirety here. A few choice paragraphs:
I know you consider yourself a principled guy and take your oaths to the U.S. and Georgia constitutions very seriously. As a libertarian who believes very much in the civil liberties protected in the Bill of Rights, I can appreciate the commitment. But the firestorm over your bill highlights one of the big problems in Georgia’s liberty movement.
Did you not think about making the overall argument against “stop-and-identify” laws from the start rather than putting yourself in a position in which you come out making yourself and the rest of the liberty movement look crazy? It’s not like the Republican establishment is going to pass up an opportunity to criticize us…..
It’s unfortunate, frankly, that there is a segment of the liberty movement in Georgia that look to you and Rep. Charles Gregory as heroes. Personally, I believe that you are a liability to our cause because you’re either unwilling or incapable of making arguments for liberty-based policies, and this is broadly speaking, not just about the irresponsible legislation you’ve introduced. As I’ve already explained, you’ve marginalized yourselves and anyone who identifies with the liberty movement in the Peach State.
I don’t believe you should resign. Much like your legislative ally, Rep. Gregory, you’ve committed political suicide. Your constituents effectively have no representation because you have made yourself irrelevant. No, I think you should stick around. I want your constituents to respond to this and the rest of your short political career at the ballot box. That’s where your fate should be determined.
Derrick Grayson’s cool factor just increased exponentially. In our post on Saturday night’s forum among GOP candidates for U.S. Senate, we told you about the acerbic pastor’s “after-after” debate party – featuring his own band, the Axis Experience.
In fact, his is a Jimi Hendrix tribute band. Grayson provides the vocals and bass. He’s posted this on YouTube: