Posted: 8:46 am Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

It begins: Super PAC attacks Michelle Nunn on Obamacare 

By Greg Bluestein

Expect to see quite a bit of the above for the next seven months: A Republican-allied Super PAC is airing television ads starting today attacking Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn over Obamacare.

Ending Spending is the group, and it was founded by Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts to be a conservative-backed group in the spirit of the Koch brothers’ empire. Its donors include Newt Gingrich patron and casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

The Wall Street Journal reports this to be a modest television buy of $150,000. That’s modest compared to Americans for Prosperity, anyway, which is dumping millions on Senate races across the country, not including Georgia so far.

The Ending Spending ad drops as the wide-open Republican nomination heats up, but also as tax season is in high gear. The ad addresses the IRS penalty for those who do not sign up for insurance.

The Nunn campaign struck back by rebutting some of the ad’s assertions.

In response to the statement that Nunn “supports Obamacare,” her campaign points to statements where she said she wants to “fix” the law, including a delay of the insurance mandate penalty. Also the ad accuses Nunn of being in favor of higher taxes, but Nunn says she wants “revenue neutral” reforms to the tax code.

“These ads are exactly the type of dishonest attacks Georgians have come to expect from our broken political system,” said Nunn spokesman Nathan Click.Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blog

***

In related news, healthcare.gov broke down again on deadline day for Obamacare open enrollment, but the administration said its sign-up goal was in sight.

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — Beating expectations, President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul was on track to sign up more than 7 million Americans for health insurance on deadline day Monday, government officials told the Associated Press.

The 7 million target, thought to be out of reach by most experts, was in sight on a day that saw surging consumer interest as well as vexing computer glitches that slowed sign-ups on the HealthCare.gov website.

Two government officials confirmed the milestone, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter ahead of an official announcement.

Seven million was the original target set by the Congressional Budget Office for enrollment in taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance through new online markets created under Obama’s signature legislation.

That was scaled back to 6 million after the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov last fall. Several state-run websites also had crippling problems.

For AJC subscribers, Misty Williams has the scene in Georgia:

Lithia Springs resident Kevin Darity was one of scores of people rushing to meet that deadline who showed up to get help from health insurance “navigators” — workers specially trained to guide insurance shoppers through the process — during an enrollment drive at World Changes Church International in College Park.

Darity, 53, a father of five who works in home construction, went without health insurance for 16 years. He said he searched for individual plans in the private market but couldn’t afford the $300 to $500 monthly premiums he was quoted.

On Monday, however, Darity signed up for a silver plan that covers him, his domestic partner and two of their children for less than $100 a month after federal tax credits are factored in.

“It’s such a relief,” Darity said of having health insurance. “You don’t have to sit around and suffer and hope it doesn’t turn out worse that it is.”

***

We have our first ethics complaint in the governor’s race, and the target is not who you might expect.

James Stein of St. Marys lodged his complaint last week claiming that former Dalton Mayor David Pennington failed to file his financial disclosure within seven days of qualifying like the law required.

Pennington qualified to run in the GOP primary against Gov. Nathan Deal on March 11, a day after stepping down as Dalton’s mayor. State records show he filed his disclosure just before midnight on March 19, but there wasn’t much to it. In fact, it had the insurance executive’s assets at $1 and his net worth at $0. When pressed on that at the time, his campaign promised an update, and the next day an amended version was posted.

Pennington’s campaign said in a statement that the document was filed on time and it was working with the ethics commission to resolve the matter.

“I see this as a case of technical glitches with the state (ethics) website,” said David Allen, a campaign spokesman.

Update at 1:30 p.m.: Pennington’s campaign has agreed to pay a $125 fine after a round of calls with the ethics agency. Allen, the Pennington aide, said the ethics website is “glitchy” but there’s no way to prove he filed the documents on time.

***

In the final days of the legislative session, rumors abounded that a jilted lawmaker upset over the stalled proposal to create a new city of Lakeside would take to the well and name names. That didn’t exactly happen, but now a former lawmaker has.

Kevin Levitas, the former state representative who headed the effort to forge Lakeside, wrote a scathing column over at zpolitics blaming GOP infighting for the failure.  The title, “A Snake in the Meadows,” speaks for itself.

Levitas, the son of a former congressman, calls out DeKalb commissioner Elaine Boyer, state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, CEO Lee May and gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter. But he reserves the harshest words for state Rep. John Meadows, the chair of the powerful House Rules Committee who was no fan of the proposal. From the column:

The tale of how one person—a former mayor from a small county in the northwest corner of Georgia—could kill the opportunity for cityhood for tens of thousands of DeKalb residents is instructive about what is so very wrong with the political process in our country.  The sad and bizarre story of Mayor Meadows’s usurpation of local control is strong anecdotal evidence of why tea parties began and why Republicans observers find it increasingly difficult to tell a difference between politicians with R’s and D’s after their names at the state Capitol.

I didn’t really know much about the city of Calhoun until Mayor Meadows made that geography relevant to me and to my DeKalb neighbors a week or so ago—when he destroyed our chance, a chance for Democrats, Independents and Republicans, to vote on self-determination for our community.

I now wonder, however, how folks from Calhoun would feel if people from DeKalb started redrawing Calhoun’s city lines—or simply decommissioned the city entirely.  They might rightly demand: “What in the [heck] business is that of yours?!”  We in DeKalb would, of course, be wrong to interfere in Calhoun’s local business, just as it was wrong of Mayor Meadows to team up with veteran lobbyists, Democrats and a few gullible Republicans to decide the fate of DeKalb citizens by killing its city-hood bill.

What a dangerous legislative precedent Mayor Meadows set when he decided to intervene in the business of other officials’ local areas.  It’s a new day under the Gold Dome, and Mayor Meadows and his comrades-in-arms among the high-paid lobbyists and in the Democrat Party are simply ecstatic.  He has done an incomparable job of increasing the stock of both latter groups—and just in time for the fall elections.

***

Walter Jones of Morris News Service snagged an interview with Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who told him that he didn’t think political machinations were behind the delay in federal funding to deepen Savannah’s port.

Instead, Chambliss said, he sees it as a result of overzealous bureaucrats. Said Chambliss: “I really don’t see any way that you could point to this and say it was a political decision.”

That’s quite a contrast from the rhetoric we’ve seen in the governor’s race and the GOP contest for the Senate seat Chambliss will soon vacate.

***

Channel 2 Action News has the scoop on an armed robbery of one of Michelle Nunn’s campaign staffers near her Midtown office. Police have arrested two 16-year-old suspects.

***

Georgians can now register to vote online and on their phones, via a new system rolled out Monday by Secretary of State Brian Kemp. A how-to from Kristina Torres:

April 21 is the deadline to register to vote in Georgia’s May 20 primary. Anyone can confirm his or her voter status online through the Georgia secretary of state’s website (www.sos.ga.gov). If you haven’t already, here’s how to register:

 

***

Another black eye for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Augusta has arrived via the Washington NBC station and former Cox DC Bureau reporter Scott MacFarlane:

Veterans Affairs Department financial manager Jed Fillingim was involved in a deadly incident while traveling on business for the agency in 2010.

Police and federal investigators found Fillingim drove a government truck after drinking with two colleagues at a bar near Dallas while attending a June 2010 conference for federal employees. One of the two colleagues, Mississippi-based VA employee Amy Wheat, who had also been drinking that night, fell out of the truck while it was moving and died. …

Though he resigned from his position with the agency’s Jackson, Miss., medical center five months later, the News4 I-Team has learned Fillingim was rehired in March 2011 and has since assumed a high-level managerial position in Augusta, Ga., earning more than $100,000 per year.

***

Running in the 11th Congressional District, Georgia House Majority Whip Ed Lindsey has an unusual request for the Federal Election Commission: He wants to support other Gold Dome allies in his own advertisements.

The rules say he can’t give more than $2,600 to state candidates, and a mention in a TV ad could be an in-kind gift of much more than that.

So why would Lindsey want to call out his House mates? His consultant Joel McElhannon said Lindsey wants to talk about all of their accomplishments during the session.

“I would note though that there are many interesting lessons from this past legislative session,” McElhannon wrote in an email. “One is that some cut and run when the time for action arrives.”

That would be a reference to Lindsey foe Barry Loudermilk, who resigned his state Senate seat to campaign full-time.

***

Last night was the deadline for political candidates to raise money before the latest reporting period ends, and many of us received more than a few impassioned pleas for odd dollar figures.

Here’s one of our favorite reactions to the increasingly desperate requests:

 

116 comments
honested
honested

Will kevin levitas stop bothering people now that it has been made clear they don't share his 'vision'?

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

Thanks for screwing up my healthcare libs. November is  payback time!

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

I laugh when a Road Kill Republican says Citizens United is "Free Speech."  The Koch Bros, and Adelson spent a half Billion dollars alone!!

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Time for a recap of part of what I had written this morning on this thread:


"What is equally shameful are the numbers of Republican billionaires who are trying to turn our beloved democratic republic into an oligarchy to serve their selfish interests. Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, whose group, ironically called "Ending Spending," funded the negative ad against Michelle Nunn, is only the latest name to emerge, along with billionaire Sheldon Adelson, and of course the infamous billionaire Koch Brothers, who have been "outed" for years now as to their motives. Ricketts knows that Michelle Nunn has a very good chance of winning the U. S. Senate race from Georgia and that is why he is willing to spend big money to try to stop her momentum. 


Don't be bamboozled again, fellow Georgians, vote Democratic and throw these hypocritical deceivers to the wolves."


Now, go to this link and be more fully educated, politically, about factors which affect your life:


http://billmoyers.com/2014/04/01/how-to-vote-against-the-koch-brothers/

honested
honested

What is the conserrrrrrrrrvative alternative......


Oh yeah, the awful situation that was the only option before the ACA.......


Is anyone dense enough to think that was a better idea?

EdUktr
EdUktr

Gee, if Obamacare's somehow morphed into the popular program Jay Bookman's leading cheers for next door ... won't these television ads send voters flocking to her in November?

(When pigs also fly?)


AvailableName
AvailableName


There's hope - at least part of the anti-Nunn ads are on MSNBC during the prime time opinion shows.  Effective spending indeed. 

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Silly ad since Michelle Nunn had nothing to do with passing the Patient Protection Act and, to the best of my knowledge, has made so specific statements about it.  Is this the best the Koch brothers can come up with?  Having heard her speak, I know she is a serious and steady worker with a mature sense of humor and a broad education (B.A., M.A. from Harvard, honorary doctorates).  I suppose those of us with a cantankerous nature would probably sue for defamation but, in actuality, this kind of silly ad reminds everyone of the crack-pots, like Michelle Bachman and Paul Broun.  So, it is actually beneficial for the Democrats in general, who are looking good in the polls and sounding good at the rallies.  So, bring it on - to quote some old cowboy - I forgot his name.

clanmack
clanmack

td1234

"Thank you for giving my wife a great LOL moment for the day."

So you're wrong at home, too.  Why parade your ignorant, ill conceived and boorish mindset for all to see.  It is further proof of your bigoted, sexist and neanderthal perspective.  Get out of your bubble if you have the courage!

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

What...technical glitches with the Ethics website?!


Repeal ethics. Impeach the ethics commission and Gov. Deal. This is unacceptable! This is socialism marching its way in....this is a slippery slope toward communism! This is proof the government doesn't work! Sean Hannity is a demigod!  AARRARARRARGH


FYI, that is exactly how stupid all of you anti-ACA people sound.  Grow up.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Whoever paid for that anti Nunn ad wasted some money. LAME. With all these rich folks spending their millions of chump change on trying to rig elections, when will we get campaign finance reform? I personally mute EVERY political ad.

BuckheadBoy
BuckheadBoy

Ending their spending of that 3.8% tax that the ACA imposes on passive income is the real interest of Ricketts, Adelson, et al. -- and the right trash doesn't have a clue! It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Charles50
Charles50

That is one of the more lame commercials I've seen.  Where is it running in Poduck, GA.  I mean really are Repubs that gullible?  The Obama-Nunn plan?  The woman hasn't even been elected to anything yet.  

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

Your run-of-the-mill liberal in this state:  "Vote for Michelle - she is just like us"

No she isn't.  She attended the National Catherdal School - very expensive private school.  She sends her kids to private school.  Yep she will definitely be a champion for public education in this state.  Heck she even supports Common Core.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Ms Nunn will bring out the vote and get Georgia out of the outhouse.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

What the heck does Michelle stand for???  She has been out of the public eye forever.

I noticed that she has a bunch of losers as honorary chair"people" on her election committee - to include the racist Shirley Franklin

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

"The people of Georgia will be foolish if they keep electing bought and paid for Republicans who do not look after the interests of the people of Georgia.  38% of Georgia's legislature are members of ALEC, supported by the plutocrats, and those 38% (90 legislators) are all Republicans.  Wake up and stop voting against your own best interests, and that of Georgia."

No.  We were foolish when we elected clowns like Roy Barnes, Max Cleland, etc.

Enoch19
Enoch19

Michelle Nunn has been very careful. She has had nothing to say about much of anything.  She ran far, far away from Joe Biden when he was in town for fear of a picture to go in campaign ads.  She is trying to finesse he support for Obamacare with non specific promises of a "fix".  


Michelle Nunn is an ally of Obama and Harry Reid. She will be loyal leftist foot soldier if the people of Georgia are deceived into electing her. 

LaKeisha
LaKeisha

Sam Nunn was a great senator, and was a moderate to conservative Democrat.  (And that's using the REAL definition of "moderate", not just pretending that "moderate" means "liberal".)  He frequently broke with the party on a number of economic and social issues.  He was in favor of a strong military, was opposed to raising taxes, and supported a Constitutional amendement requiring a balanced budget.  He also opposed allowing gays to serve openly in the military, though he later endorsed having a new study to re-examine the issue.  But he felt that the Pentagon and the career military brass should be the ones conducting the study, and that it should include interviews with company-level commanders....instead of being "conducted" by political appointees, who were more likely to selectively pick and choose results to support a pre-determined position.  

Senator Nunn was considered a potential running mate in 2008, but the DNC felt that he would be way too conservative.

Michelle Nunn seems to be a knee-jerk liberal in lock-step with President Obama...whose only real qualification is that she's the daughter of an outstanding politician who, though I'm sure he's proud of his daughter, disagreed with her on most of the important issues.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

New blood for a new future,  grumpy old men have nothing to offer the youth.

honested
honested

@Jimmyliscious  

How so?

The previous system was so hideous (with entities skimming valuable medical service dollars off the top for providing no value) what do you consider 'screwing it up'?

Unless you survive off skimming the fat commissions.

td1234
td1234

@clanmack  I have never seen your name on any blog on the AJC and yet here you are pulling statements out of you butt that you have no evidence if they are true or untrue. 


Keep up the good work and the progressives on this blog may give you a card board cookie. 

td1234
td1234

@Charles50  


If elected Nunn would do way more to support the Reid/Obama agenda and vote way more on their side than to support the Conservative agenda so the ad is correct the Nunn= Obama. 

NWGAL
NWGAL

Senators and high government officials often send their kids to private schools, mostly for security reasons. As television likes to remind us, kidnapped kids make good leverage.

Andy123
Andy123

@MiltonMan

You mean same bigot Shirley who said if you vote for the white person, the crackers would turn the water hoses on  and release the dogs on you colored people? 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Enoch19


The people of Georgia will be foolish if they keep electing bought and paid for Republicans who do not look after the interests of the people of Georgia.  38% of Georgia's legislature are members of ALEC, supported by the plutocrats, and those 38% (90 legislators) are all Republicans.  Wake up and stop voting against your own best interests, and that of Georgia.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@LaKeisha


"Michelle Nunn seems to be a knee-jerk liberal in lock-step with President Obama."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


This is just not a true statement, LaKeisha.  Michelle Nunn has already said that she would not repeal Obamacare, but that she would work to improve parts of it, such as enforcing a delay on penalties, I believe.

DontTread
DontTread

@LaKeisha  Back in the day, conservative Democrats were Average Joe's best friend in Congress.  But the liberals of the party have pretty much run them off, except for a handful.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Keep up the good work and the progressives on this blog may give you a card board cookie. 

Maybe you could let him have some of your "smelling sauce".

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

'are Repbus that gullible?'

Thanks for giving us the answer, td....

td1234
td1234

@NWGAL  Boy have you been brainwashed my friend. All those white Democratic Senators and white/black highly educated government officials send their children to private schools in DC because they do not want to their children to go to school with poor black children.

td1234
td1234

@honested And what truth are you speaking of? The fact that I garbel my sentences on occasion? Wow, I admit it. Sometimes when you are multitasking things happen and making money is way more important than defeating the progressive agenda on this little blog. 


Wow, the earth is going to end because td1234 typed "sauce" instead of "salts". Stop the presses.  

td1234
td1234

@Kamchak  Is that all you got Kamspam? Weak very weak but typical coming from you. 

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

Yeah you got me there, buddy.  Since the Obama agenda is health care for all, jobs for the middle class, ending wars, etc etc, then yeah I want someone who will vote with him.

Guilty as charged....boy are you clever for figuring me out....

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty  Gullible is those that believe Nunn would not vote with the Obama agenda more than 70% of the time. I know that is what you want so it is you my friend that is attempting to brainwash the uninformed into believing something other than the truth. 

td1234
td1234

@MaryElizabethSings As I have attempted to explain many time to you my friend, the best chance your vote has to affect the election in Nov. is for you to cross-over and vote for John Barge in the primary. 

EdUktr
EdUktr

@MaryElizabethSings @EdUktr  

If anyone is a "paid political operative" it's obviously YOU. How many column yards have you filled in the past two years with your incessant and REPETITIVE nonsense about ALEC?

Enough, already! We know you hate non-Democrats! We get it!

You've earned your union paycheck!

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@EdUktr


If you think that informing the public of ALEC (and other powerful political groups) and of the plutocrats who are controlling  much in American society today is "loony talk," then you have much about which to be educated, politically.


I knew you would not have the internal fortitude to refrain from reacting to my remarks and, instead state your own political positions.  You very well may be a paid political operative and you, obviously, view my commentary as a threat to what you identify with, because I inform the public of what is actually happening politically in Georgia and in America, today.


Either way, I've lost respect for you, EdUktr, and what you represent, so I'll end our dialogue.



MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@EdUktr


Cut the BS, EdUktr, I taught school for 35 years most of which I was in instructional leadership.  I helped to support my husband and child.  There is no mental instability on my part. 


Start speaking for yourself instead of for me, if you are man enough to do so.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@MaryElizabethSings @EdUktr  

Now, now ... MaryElizabeth. Your labor union handlers are to blame for these flare-ups of your mental instability. They really have no business at all assigning you to blog duty!

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@EdUktr


You demean yourself through your political ignorance, not me.  You, evidently, either believe ignorance is bliss or you are a paid political operative. Either way, your lack of class is showing, blatantly, for all to see. 

Trackbacks

  1. […] It &#1109t&#1072rt&#1109: Super PAC attacks Michelle Nunn &#959n Obamacare Th&#1077 7 million butt, th&#959&#965&#609ht t&#959 b&#1077 m&#1072&#1281&#1077 known &#959f &#609&#1077t t&#959 b&#1091 m&#959&#1109t experts, w&#1072&#1109 &#1110n notice &#959n a calculate including th&#1077 intention &#959f proverb puffiness consumer appeal &#1072&#1109 water supply &#1072&#1109 troublesome pad glitches including th&#1077 intention &#959f slowed road sign-ups &#959n th&#1077 HealthCare.gov website. Two government officials incorrigible th&#1077 … Read more &#959n Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]

  2. […] From Greg Bluestein at the Political Insider: […]

  3. […] their party’s nomination, but also winning their general election. Two are Democrats (Michelle Nunn in Georgia and Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky) and two are Republicans (Monica Wehby in Oregon […]

  4. […] David Perdue and Jack Kingston continue to shell out large sums on the airwaves, and as a conservative Super PAC launches a $150,000 attack on […]

  5. […] launched her ad just after a conservative group hit the airwaves with a negative spot tying her to President Obama. The contrasting ads illustrate the battle lines […]

  6. […] conservative super PAC co-founded by Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts this week launched an ad campaign attacking Nunn for supporting President Obama’s health care law. Nunn has said she wants to […]

  7. […] launched her ad just after a conservative group hit the airwaves with a negative spot tying her to President Obama. The contrasting ads illustrate the battle lines […]

  8. […] David Perdue and Jack Kingston continue to shell out large sums on the airwaves, and as a conservative Super PAC launches a $150,000 attack on […]

  9. […] PAC NUNN ATTACK.  AJC.  “Expect to see quite a bit of the above for the next seven months: A Republican-allied […]

  10. […] Spending, the conservative Super PAC going after Democrat Michelle Nunn is spending a lot more than the $150,000 initially reported. (We contacted the PAC but haven’t heard […]

  11. […] It begins: Super PAC attacks Michelle Nunn on Obamacare That's modest compared to Americans for Prosperity, anyway, which is dumping millions on Senate races across the country, not including Georgia so far. The Ending Spending ad drops as the wide-open Republican nomination heats up, but also as tax … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]

  12. […] their party’s nomination, but also winning their general election. Two are Democrats (Michelle Nunn in Georgia andAlison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky) and two are Republicans (Monica Wehby in […]

  13. […] It begins: Super PAC attacks Michelle Nunn on Obamacare WASHINGTON — Beating expectations, President Barack Obama's health care overhaul was on track to sign up more than 7 million Americans for health insurance on deadline day Monday, government officials told the Associated Press. … of scores of people … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]