Posted: 10:14 am Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Michelle Nunn endorses Keystone pipeline construction 

By Greg Bluestein

 Michelle Nunn told volunteers for her U.S. Senate campaign gathered in Marietta on Monday that she would support completion of the fourth phase of the Keystone XL pipeline in the name of economic development and national security.

“I have a lot of friends who have different perspectives on Keystone,” Nunn said. “We need to continue to focus on green energy and finding sustainable sources of energy, but I do believe we should move forward with Keystone.”

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogThe candidate also said she wanted to see a third, cheaper tier of health insurance coverage offered through the Affordable Care Act. “Obviously, there are trade-offs in terms of price and coverage,” she said in an interview afterwards.

Nunn also said she would work to repeal cuts to federal funds aimed at rural hospitals that treat the indigent. In Georgia, those hospitals have been pinched by the state’s refusal to expand its Medicaid rolls under Obamacare.

While making appearances throughout the state, Nunn has avoided forums that also feature her Democratic primary opponents. She has committed to a single televised debate, sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club, which would be taped May 11 and aired on Georgia Public Broadcasting a day later – eight days before the primary.

nunnmarietta

“That’s the only one that we have planned right now,” she said, in a brief interview after meeting with 60-plus volunteers at the Marietta Diner – including state Rep. David Wilkerson, D-Austell.

While dodging waiters delivering onion rings, burgers and chicken-fried steak, Nunn pointed her supporters to her first TV ad, which emphasizes her optimism, and polling that has her even or better with the seven candidates who make up the Republican field. Nunn also reassured those worried about Super PAC attacks from the likes of the Koch brothers, declaring that the 17,000 people who have donated to her campaign thus far would serve as a buffer to TV ad attacks.

The topic of the Keystone pipeline, a divisive issue in Democratic ranks, was the first question posed in Nunn’s back-and-forth with those gathered. The candidate elaborated afterwards:

“I ultimately believe that environmental concerns have been addressed through a deliberative process, and that the issue of economic growth, economic development and the imperative to focus on North American energy independence is compelling.”

Her father, former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, only recently put his name to a recommendation that the U.S. boost its sales of natural gas to Europe, in order to reduce the leverage of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the region. Said the daughter:

“We need to be aware of where we’re getting our energy. Getting it from Canada is a good alternative to getting it from a variety of other places.”

***

Over at myajc.com, two of us look at Georgia Republican worries that Michelle Nunn could take advantage of serious infighting on the GOP side of the U.S. Senate race:

At Republican events across the state, there is an undercurrent of fear that the divided primary could strengthen Nunn, a nonprofit executive who is the daughter of former Democratic U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn. U.S. Rep. Austin Scott of Tifton made that much clear last month with an impassioned introduction to a Senate debate in Macon.

“Barack Obama would not be the president today if every one of us would have gotten over not having the person we might have voted for in the primary,” Scott, his voice crackling with emotion, told the few hundred activists who came to judge the Republican Senate candidates that Saturday night.

***
The liberal group MoveOn.org today released results from a series of polls it commissioned in seven states with competitive Senate or gubernatorial races. The automated polls, conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, focused on Medicaid expansion. But in Georgia, the PPP poll also included a head-to-head match-up between Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic challenger Jason Carter. The numbers:

– Deal 42 percent;

– Carter, 43 percent;

– Don’t know, 15 percent;

Carter has an 11:15 a.m. press conference at the state Capitol, specifically to offer his reaction to Deal’s proposal to overhaul the state ethics commission. But the poll is sure to come up.

***

Money is flowing to the top of the Democratic ticket, as Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter have each raked in more than $1 million in campaign donations. Not so much, though, for the down-ticket candidates.

Most Democratic candidates for the down-ticket statewide races are hardly treading water, despite the fact that they could freely raise money over the last two months while their GOP adversaries were blocked by law from getting campaign donations during the session.

Former state Rep. Keith Heard, running for insurance commissioner, loaned himself $3,500 – the entirety of his campaign war chest. Connie Stokes, a former state senator running for lieutenant governor, raised less than $5,000 between February and March and has about $21,000 in cash on hand. Robbin Shipp, seeking the labor commissioner’s gig, raised about $20,000.

Chris Irvin, the grandson of long-serving Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin, hadn’t filed any campaign disclosures in the race to reclaim his grandpa’s seat. Neither had Gerald Beckum, the small-town mayor running for Secretary of State.

(Even Carter’s campaign hadn’t filed their report by Tuesday morning; a spokesman cited a technical difficulty and sent us over a copy.)

An outlier was Greg Hecht, the Democrat running against Attorney General Sam Olens, raised about $148,000 and spent very little of that money since jumping in the race in March.

***

The Democratic contest for the wide-open superintendent’s race shows no sign of simmering.

State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, unpopular among some Democrats for her charter school stance, reports about $56,000 cash on hand after raising about $6,000 in the days following the session. The party’s favored candidate, Valarie Wilson, has virtually matched her by raising about $50,000 and spending only a tiny fraction of that sum.

A sign of Wilson’s embrace by party stalwarts? Her contributors include state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver and the Georgia Federation of Teachers. Morgan, by the way, has her own establishment support to boast about: A $1,500 contribution from former Gov. Roy Barnes’ law firm.

***

Get ready to start seeing more Gov. Nathan Deal ads. The incumbent snapped up a lot of ad time in the runup to the May 20 primary, mostly in metro Atlanta. Click here for the details.

***

Walter Jones of Morris News Service reports that the state Democratic party will pose the following questions to voters on its May 20 primary ballot:

1. Should Georgia raise the state minimum wage above the current $5.15 an hour?

2. Should Georgians’ federal tax dollars be returned to Georgia to fund Medicaid expansion and relieve the indigent-care burden on our hospitals?

3. Should the Constitution of Georgia be amended to create an independent ethics commission, not tied to the governor’s office, legislature or other elected office, to more effectively police potential ethics violations by elected officials?

4. Should the Constitution of Georgia be amended to make the education budget Georgia’s first funding priority?

Jones notes that the Georgia GOP will pose no question on its primary ballot. In 2012, Republican voters were asked their opinions on a cap on gifts to lawmakers from lobbyists, and on gambling. The question on ethics fueled an uncomfortable debate on the issue during the 2013 session of the Legislature.

***
On the Republican side of the U.S. Senate race, certain candidates have been debating the value of a college education – to which Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has now offered a solution. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

More than two decades after leaving Marquette University without finishing up his degree, Gov. Scott Walker wants to earn his diploma.

A spokeswoman said the governor wants to finish his college degree through the University of Wisconsin-System’s innovative online course offerings. For now, however, Walker is still waiting for the right degree program to be added to the lineup of the still fledgling program.

“Governor Walker would like to finish his degree through the UW FlexOption once they expand the degree offerings,” Laurel Patrick said.

The governor left Marquette University his senior year to take a job with the American Red Cross and hasn’t finished his degree. He has often said he would like to wrap up the task.

***

In the coastal First District congressional race, Republican John McCallum is up with a new ad in which he talks about his wife’s hearing loss and shows former Miss America Heather Whitestone McCallum along with their four young children. He also calls Obamacare “un-American.” Watch here:

***

Democrat Jason Carter’s campaign manager, Matt McGrath, is quickly establishing himself as a force for Twitter humor. We dare say he’s giving Deal spokesman Brian Robinson, strangely absent from the social media platform these days, a run for his money.

Check out some of McGrath’s rhetoric from yesterday. These days, Twitter can be more important than a press release for campaigns.

***

Rep. Jack Kingston has a new epithet for Common Core: “Obamacare for education,” as he put it in an op-ed in the Washington Examiner. The key excerpt:

A competitive grant from Washington means states get to compete for their own tax dollars by kowtowing to Obama, Duncan, and their teachers’ union overseers. The Department of Education, by carrot and stick, can enforce their vision of schooling on classrooms throughout the country, all the while hiding behind it being “optional.”

The most notorious competitive grant is the Race to the Top program, the vessel through which the Common Core national education standards were coerced upon 45 states and the District of Columbia. By giving out waivers to the No Child Left Behind mandates and some Race to the Top dollars in exchange for Common Core compliance, the White House got its “Obamacare for education” imposed on states while claiming the initiative was voluntary, state-driven, and competitive.

Kingston is taking a more aggressive tack than businessman David Perdue, who backs the “original intent” of Common Core — as proposed by his cousin, Gov. Sonny Perdue — but takes issue with aspects of how it’s being implemented.

29 comments
JanFreed
JanFreed

There are many good reasons to say "no" to Keystone.


It will not create the jobs claimed* for it, nor will it reduce prices at the pump.  In fact, prices may go up as domestic oil finds easier ways overseas.


It threatens drinking water supplies.


But most importantly, the IEA estimates that Keystone could harvest 3 times the carbon that would take us over 2 degrees C, the absolute limit for a catastrophe we might survive, if we're lucky.  And other carbon projects are in the wings, taking us up to +6 deg. C, with "massive climate change and irreparable damage"  How reckless can we be?


See: "IEA acknowledges fossil fuel reserves climate crunch"
http://priceofoil.org/2012/11/12/iea-acknowledges-fossil-fuel-reserves-climate-crunch/


We are warned of this climate abyss by our most trusted messengers, such as NOAA, NASA, every scientific academy, such as the Royal Academy of UK (SIr Isaac Newton was president), the National Academy of Sciences (Einstein was a member), the very conservative World Bank, fact-checked by National Geographic, Scientific American.


We are told of current disastrous health effects by the 
American Academy of Pediatrics,  the World Health Organization and the AMA.


We cannot rely on State Department assessments, if made by employees of the carbon industries.


And Keystone could eventually strip forests the size of Florida, forests that might have absorbed enormous quantities of CO2 before they were removed as "overburden".


Would Keystone "replace" those forests? They've say they would make good any future


damage.   Laughable.


Even 2 degrees itself may be too high - a "prescription for disaster"
says Dr. James Hansen, chief climatologist at NASA (ret.), one who, early on, predicted many of the catastrophic effects that we have seen.


Many of us know the bitter taste of the weird weather out there, with just current warming of  .8 deg C. Recent consequences over the World and the U.S. are tallied here:
http://www.climatehotmap.org/
http://www.pinterest.com/climateimpacts/

Shall we roll the dice for our kids and grand kids, saying "let it ride!" beyond 2 degrees and more? More, and we might invite abrupt, irreversible changes.


No, taking your kids to to soccer practice or Disney World does not make up for that.
With its high risks and low return, Keystone XL is not a smart gamble.
------*
*jobs  http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/globallaborinstitute/research/keystonexl.html
A recent State Dept. study said the construction workforce would be 5,000 to 6,000 workers. And once the construction phase ends, almost all of these jobs, however many are created, would go away.

 

Andy123
Andy123

This great news seeing how GA is so far from the actual pipeline.  I hope she's for drilling drinking water wells in California too.   I can just see her winning in November. 

td1234
td1234

With all these "conservative" stands she is taking where is the motivation factor that is going to turn out the youth and blacks?

JonLester
JonLester

Nunn should distance herself from the incredibly stupid op-ed her father submitted last week. The US is a net natural gas importer, and will be still when the terminals are in place in no sooner than 2 years. There is no way to undercut Russian production without heavy subsidies, and American energy prices will rise, too. The only benefactors will be a few bankers and energy executives. 


In other words, this could well be her Mondale Moment. Who wants to vote for an increased cost of living and greater income disparity? 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Michelle has learned well, tell them what they want to hear back home, get elected, and then vote with the Hairy Reed National Democrats.


Koch Bros, the latest boogeyman for the Dems to throw out, while they get 7 times as much donated to their campaigns as the GOP.  Special Interests is what they call the donors to the GOP, their donors are just patriotic Americans. 

EdUktr
EdUktr

Has Michelle gotten around to identifying herself as a Democrat in her ads?

THAT would make her stand out. 


CreamofBuckwheat
CreamofBuckwheat

GeeWhizz this sure is a mighty bold thing for Michele to do ain't it?? I didn't know the pipeline was coming through Georgia.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Nunn smart to at least appear to be moderate.  She won't lose any liberal votes as Democrats have no where else to go.  Her biggest problem is that Republicans and a lot of Independents want to flip the Senate and replace the Majority Leader.

Only the AJC and their liberal followers take stock in the biased Democratic PPP.

Highlighting the Democrats running for State Superintendent is a waste of time since only Republicans win statewide offices in Georgia anymore.  But try you must.


The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@td1234 - GOP midterm turnout is expected to swamp Democrats nationwide.  Only compounds Democrat's problem in extremely red Georgia.

Eustis
Eustis

She identifies herself as a Georgian.

Compared to the Republican candidates, she doesn't need to do anything else. She'll try to help Georgia while the Republicans will try to help the Republican party regardless of the negative impact on Georgia.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

And when the general election campaign starts showcasing her standing with and supporting national liberal Democrats, her lack of a track record will overcome her moderate campaign talk.

DannyX
DannyX

@CreamofBuckwheat


You need to pay attention.  Michelle Nunn is running for a US Senate seat, not a Georgia Senate seat.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@The_Centrist But Centrist , she is a socialist according to many cons!

Did you see the story on how the oil from Canada is now being shipped....by rail...to many different locations, not just one on the gulf coast as per a pipeline? And it is being done by Canadian Rail Co's at a profit, while they are expanding service?

Oh and the delivery by pipeline requires the oil to be diluted. The dilutant is removed at the refinery and shipped back when the "empty" train returns to Canada for a refill. Costs by rail have come way down and now is just slightly more expensive than the pipeline costs.Oh , and with the dilutant, the oil is more combustible and more likely to be combustable!

DannyX
DannyX

"Only the AJC and their liberal followers take stock in the biased Democratic PPP"


I took stock in the 2012 PPP polls while right wing nuts like you and td screamed about unskewed polls and the upcoming Romney victory.  Guess who came out ahead?  PPP nailed the election, they were the most accurate. They accurately predicted almost all of the Senate and swing state presidential races.


The_Centrist, do you have any "unskewed" polls we can laugh at?

honested
honested

@The_Centrist  

It's not like she would have ever counted on any of the flat earth vote anyway.

I just don't understand people who vote against their own interest and against the interest of the State.

ChessMaster
ChessMaster

@RoadScholar @The_Centrist Any news on the all Canadian pipeline to the west coast? They threatened to build it to support shipping the oil to China and the Chinese were willing to help with financing.

honested
honested

@RoadScholar @The_Centrist 

Please don't call that 'oil'.

It is heated liquid bitumen that cannot be economically refined into any products legal for sale in the United States.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@RoadScholar- Nobody really knows where Nunn stands since she is a neophyte without a track record.  Simply taking campaign stands to win an election is not going to sway a large, wary segment of the voters.

There is now a backlog of grain in Western Canada because of the pipeline delays and oil being dangerously transported by rail.  Pipelines are fixed, underground and hauling oil by train puts the environment at greater risk – including generating more greenhouse gases.  The 10 rail accidents in North America since 2008 from oil spills and explosions like at Lac-Mégantic, Que. that claimed 47 lives will multiply if the aggressive growth requirements by rail are implemented as pipelines continue to be stalled.

td1234
td1234

@DannyX  I think Nate Silver nailed the election results in every state and he is saying Nunn has only a 30% chance of winning in Georgia and that is factoring in Gingrey or Broun as the GOP nominee. 

honested
honested

@DannyX  

Correct.

All we have to do is listen to the_centrist (of the wrong place) and the ever present tiny dog and prepare for victory by the other Candidate.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@RoadScholar - Reports are often biased.  Ever hear of pipeline derailments and wrecks resulting in explosions, deaths, toxic clouds?  

td1234
td1234

@DannyX @td1234  Yes I am a believer in the Silver methodology now. Yes his numbers will be revised with more data but his analytical look at how state governors and Senate races have now turned from local to national campaigns is valid and just more proof that Carter or Nunn can not win in Georgia.  

td1234
td1234

@The_Centrist Galloway is in a dream land believing that a Democrat now actually has a chance of winning in the state. He will get another dose of reality soon. 

DannyX
DannyX

@td1234, first of all you were the biggest Nate Silver critic a year and a half ago, now he's your bff.


Nate Silver's early projections are always off, in August of 2012 Silver gave the Republicans a 61% chance of taking over the Senate, at one point he gave Romney an 87% chance of winning the popular vote.  There is not nearly enough polling being done yet to get an accurate picture.


The only thing you get from the polls in April are trends, right now the polls show a race that could be closer than the usual Republican landslide.  I think a Republican will win, the Democrats finally starting to challenge the Republicans will be the story here.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@td1234 - Agree.

Galloway has a new blog up trying to boost Carter over Deal now.  Guess he has given up on Barge and Pennington.

td1234
td1234

@The_Centrist  I do not think the Republican leaning moderates in this state will even consider voting for Nunn with control of the Senate hanging in the balance. She may end up getting 43 to 45% of the vote. 



The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@ td - Or even worse, Handel.  Nunn would get the women's vote Handel would need - not to mention men turned off by her lack of education.  Nunn's odds will jump with any of those 3 getting the nomination (especially Broun and Handel).

If Perdue or Gingrey get in the runoff, Nunn's odds will drop further with pundits like Silver.  If either of them get the GOP nomination, the odds will drop again, maybe into single digits.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Michelle Nunn endorses Keystone pipeline construction The candidate also said she wanted to see a third, cheaper tier of health insurance coverage offered through the Affordable Care Act. “Obviously, there are trade-offs in terms of price and coverage,” she said in an interview afterwards. Nunn also said … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]

  2. […] you yesterday that Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, supports construction of a new route for the Keystone pipeline to deliver crude oil from western Canada to the American Gulf […]

  3. […] Michelle Nunn endorses Keystone pipeline construction A spokeswoman said the guv wishes to complete his college degree through the University of Wisconsin-System'' s cutting-edge online course offerings. In the meantime, nevertheless, Walker is still waiting for the right degree program to be added to the lineup of the … Find out more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog site) […]

  4. […] Michelle Nunn endorses Keystone pipeline construction Photos: MyAJC's top 5 in Five Minutes — April 8, 2014. MyAJC's …. Michelle Nunn told volunteers for her U.S. Senate campaign gathered in Marietta on Monday that she would support completion of the fourth phase of the Keystone XL pipeline in the name … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]

  5. […] Michelle Nunn endorses Keystone pipeline construction The automated polls, conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, focused on Medicaid expansion. But in Georgia, the PPP poll also included a head-to-head match-up between Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic challenger Jason … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]

  6. […] the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. However, so do North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan and Georgia senate candidate Michelle Nunn. Kentucky senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and Colorado Sen. Mark Udall have not taken a […]

  7. […] the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. However, so do North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan and Georgia senate candidate Michelle Nunn. Kentucky senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and Colorado Sen. Mark Udall have not taken a […]

  8. […] the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. However, so do North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan and Georgia senate candidate Michelle Nunn. Kentucky senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and Colorado Sen. Mark Udall have not taken a […]