Posted: 9:54 am Thursday, April 10th, 2014

The effort to unseat House Speaker David Ralston 

By Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, after signing up for re-election last month at the state Capitol. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, after signing up for re-election last month at the state Capitol. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

We’re picking up word that some cash is flowing through north Georgia in an attempt to foment revolution and the overthrow of House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge.

Consider the following paragraphs, penned by Debbie Dooley and Julianne Thompson of Atlanta Tea Patriots:

“Speaker Ralston killed the autism bill, the bill that would ban Common Core in Georgia, the religious freedom bill, the foster care bill, gutted the gun bill, gutted H.B. 707 that would help nullify Obamacare in Georgia. He also added $17 million in the budget to build a new parking deck for the new Falcons stadium….”

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogThe missive is contained in a fax, so we don’t have a link. But it directs tea partyers to Sam Snider, the teacher and wrestling coach from Ellijay who is primarying the Republican speaker. More:

“Tea party activists in the 7th District helped convince Sam to run.

“There will be groups and people completely outside of Sam’s campaign that will be making expenditures in the race. Sam has an excellent chance to defeat Ralston if we all work hard.

“If you would like to help Sam by volunterring to go door to door in the 7th District, your travel expenses, lodging and food will be paid.”

Dooley confirmed authorship this morning. “Different factions are coming together to go after Speaker Ralston,” she said. But Dooley declined to elaborate on who was picking up the tab. Mostly, anyway.

She  pointed us to this full-page ad in today’s Time-Courier in Ellijay, paid for by Ray Boyd, a well-known funder of tea party causes:

boydad

Assuming that the speaker has the wherewithal to survive this challenge, this has all sorts of implications for next year’s session of the Legislature.

***

Lost in the 40-year retrospectives on Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king’s defense of President Barack Obama. In an interview with USA Today marking the anniversary of his record-breaking 715th career home run this week, Hank Aaron told sportswriter Bob Nightengale that he hangs on to some of the cruelest letters he received during that famous stretch.

When asked why, here’s what he had to say:

“To remind myself that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record. If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed.

“We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated.

“We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country.

“The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

***

Over at the University of Virginia, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball blog has reassessed Georgia’s race for governor – as a result of last week’s verdict in the wrongful firing lawsuit of the former head of Georgia’s ethics commission. Sabato’s crew has shifted the race from “likely Republican” to “leans Republican”:

Just like a poor Republican nominee could allow Michelle Nunn (D) to score an upset in the Senate race, so too could a damaged [Nathan] Deal open the door for [Jason] Carter. In that regard, the races are similar. …

We’re not yet willing to bet against the GOP holding the governorship and the Senate seat. It’s a GOP year, plus the Peach State isn’t at the tipping point to turning competitive purple. Thus, Republicans may well pull both chestnuts out of the fire. But our point is: They are playing with fire.

***

Democrat Jason Carter’s campaign for governor is sending yet another message that its rhetoric is fast shifting from education to ethics.

Carter has pounced in the aftermath of last week’s ethics jury verdict, with press releases blasting Gov. Nathan Deal’s “incompetence” and a press conference Tuesday calling for a review of the 2010 complaints at the center of that trial.

And now his campaign has unveiled a new website calling on voters to back an independent ethics commission and urge Deal to pay the $700,000 jury award from his campaign coffers.

***

 Jack Kingston stepped up his already pace-setting fundraising in the first quarter.

Kingston’s Senate campaign reports this morning that he raised $1.1 million in the first three months of the year, his best report yet. He had $2.1 million on hand as of the beginning of the month, down from $3.4 million in January as Kingston unleashed a wave of advertising – including reserving time for the final weeks before the May 20 primary.

***

Michelle Nunn apparently is raising money in D.C. today. We know this because she was greeted by two camera-wielding trackers this morning. Witness the glamorous life of running for Senate:

***
In an email to supporters, businessman David Perdue on Wednesday tried to downplay his comments about Karen Handel’s education. Apparently her high school diploma trumps Michelle Nunn’s master’s degree in public administration from Harvard. Said Perdue:

“Although attacks from fellow Republicans were inevitable, I have said multiple times during this campaign that all of the Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate are better qualified to serve the people of Georgia than the Democrat. But who is our best candidate for November?”

***

The Democratic Party of Georgia, which last year barely had enough funds to buy a decent used car, has now pulled within financial range of the Georgia GOP.

Campaign finance reports show that Democrats have about $520,000 in cash on hand, while the state Republican apparatus has about $620,000. Both organizations are gearing up ahead of a busy election cycle, so expect their cash burn rate to speed up.

***

Let’s present the following piece with two important caveats: No. 1, it’s about post-election maneuvering seven months from now. No. 2, there were plenty of anonymously sourced reports that John Boehner’s speakership was ending before this Congress commenced, but the revolt fizzled.

Anyway, National Journal’s Tim Alberta resumes the Boehner watch with this today:

“Several dozen frustrated House conservatives are scheming to infiltrate the GOP leadership next year—possibly by forcing Speaker John Boehner to step aside immediately after November’s midterm elections.

“The conservatives’ exasperation with leadership is well known. And now, in discreet dinners at the Capitol Hill Club and in winding, hypothetical-laced email chains, they’re trying to figure out what to do about it. Some say it’s enough to coalesce behind—and start whipping votes for—a single conservative leadership candidate. Others want to cut a deal with Majority Leader Eric Cantor: We’ll back you for speaker if you promise to bring aboard a conservative lieutenant.

“But there’s a more audacious option on the table, according to conservatives involved in the deliberations. They say between 40 and 50 members have already committed verbally to electing a new speaker. If those numbers hold, organizers say, they could force Boehner to step aside as speaker in late November, when the incoming GOP conference meets for the first time, by showing him that he won’t have the votes to be reelected in January.”

 

 

37 comments
btn
btn

Nice to see that the Tea Party does care about health care, but only when it is a disease that disproportionately affects white people.



PoliticalOutsider
PoliticalOutsider

I wonder if Sam Snider ever thought to look into the State Patrol records that show Ralston had a certain female driven by the troopers from Blue Ridge to Atlanta everyday for two years at taxpayer expense. When Mama found out, Mama wasn't happy.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

While I am in no way a supporter of Sam Snider's politically, I cannot vote for Ralston.  He is nothing like his late, nearly saint-like father.   He has done too many sketchy, unleaderly things--tax payment problems, trips to Europe for the family on the dime of a lobbyist--the list is long.


Sam has come out waayy too extreme for most folks, but it plays well in Gilmer/Fannin counties.  However, Ralston has about 981,000 dollars more than Snider in his war chest.

AvailableName
AvailableName

“'Speaker Ralston killed the autism bill, the bill that would ban Common Core in Georgia, the religious freedom bill, the foster care bill, gutted the gun bill, gutted H.B. 707 that would help nullify Obamacare in Georgia. He also added $17 million in the budget to build a new parking deck for the new Falcons stadium….'”


If it weren't for the parking deck thing, I'd move up there and vote for the Speaker.

td1234
td1234

"Perhaps Mr. Aaron should remember that back then the folks in the hoods were Democrats. Perhaps Mr. Aaron should assess Barack Hussein Obama based upon his character and not his skin. Perhaps Mr. Aaron should realize that it was the former Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo) who stated that deference was given to Obama by blacks and that if anyone else were in the White House they would be marching. Perhaps Mr. Aaron should see that the national unemployment rate for blacks is 12.4 percent and there are no excuses. Perhaps Mr. Aaron needs to be reminded that Obama canceled the DC school voucher program for deserving minority (i.e. black) children in one of the nation’s worst school systems.

I am black, from Atlanta, raised by awesome parents, and based upon principle I challenge the policies of President Obama. Does that associate me with the KKK?"


Allan West

dreluv
dreluv

Women will come out strong to vote against republican because they voted against Equal Pay for Women..I read Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn will win majority of women voters because the

republican voted against Equal Pay.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Politics became most salty when President Obama was elected.

JackClemens
JackClemens

Does Debbie Dooley not understand the autism bill is a very expensive, government mandate? It's very like Obamacare, yet she likes it? I guess she's a fiscal conservative when she doesn't know someone who wants 40-hours of taxpayer subsidized therapy per week.

Bernie31
Bernie31

The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.” - Hank Aaron


Thank-you Mr. AARON for sharing with The GOOBERS! They think they are ALL that and a Bag of Chips too!


Many of these Hood Supperters have Yella Teeth too!

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

So, according to Hank Aaron everyone who voted for Romney or supports the GOP is a KKK member?  48% of the country in 2012 were KKK members, right!   What a simplistic idiotic thing to say.  Stuck in the 60's is ole Hank. 

NWGAL
NWGAL

Mark my words - in four years Sam Snider will not be conservative enough for the Tea Party. The Purity Police will function like Robespierre, killing off every tiny deviation, every failure prone act 100% of their fruitloop goals.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Republicans will have a lot more cash than Democrats during the general election - because they are the incumbents.

Here is the political Cash On Hand as of 3/31:
Deal - $4 million
Pennington - $208K
Barge - $16K
Carter - $1.6 million


Eleven U.S. Democratic senators on Thursday urged President Barack Obama to make a final decision on whether to approve TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast.  Most notably are the Senators in trouble of having the Senate flip to Republicans: Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mark Pryor of Arkansas.  "This process has been exhaustive in its time, breadth and scope. It has already taken much longer than anyone can reasonably justify," they said.

honested
honested

I guess debbie dooley has an internal timer that requires a full-on crazy outburst at regular intervals.

GaBlue
GaBlue

What's with Teapers and the Autism Bill?  I know our ALEC-funded legislators were pushing for it as well, but it seems uncharacteristic for those who squawk about the law telling insurance companies how to conduct business to make this exception for Autism. Why demand that insurance companies cover this, but then not give a rat's flying fuzzy about other pre-existing conditions, or about families facing other serious medical conditions who fall into the income abyss widened by the failure to expand Medicaid in Georgia?  What did I miss?

Veritasthorn
Veritasthorn

@btn  Autism Spectrum Condition is NOT a "disease" any more than being left handed is a "disease".

honested
honested

@td1234  

I'm glad you picked a 'source' that is probably respected nationally by a group similar in size to the total population of your county.

Veritasthorn
Veritasthorn

@dreluv  Don't count on all the female vote going to Nunn. There will be TWO females on the ballot - one of whom already is. She is Amanda Swafford, a former City Councilman in Flowery Branch...

Veritasthorn
Veritasthorn

@JackClemens  It is also OPPOSED by Autistic Adults who see the "treatment" it gives docs $35K/patient/year for as child abuse and akin to "exgay" "therapy". The bill itself is supported by and pushed by an organization that wants the death of all Autistics while claiming to "speak" for us.

DontTread
DontTread

@RafeHollister  The bigger difference is that back then "they" had hoods. Now "they" have neckties and starched shirts.


"They" also like personal freedom and would like to keep it...hence the opposition to 0bama's policies.

CharlesHendrix
CharlesHendrix

@RafeHollister  "So according to Hank Aaron"? No according to you.  He did not say anything of the sort. As is the case with most ignorant people, you are trying to put words in somebody else's mouth. 

Bernie31
Bernie31

@RafeHollister - Hank said You all need to just Lay down and DIE! America will be a Better Place to Live and Breathe.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Hank Aaaron was a great baseball player.  As a person, he is a grumpy, ungrateful racist.

honested
honested

@NWGAL  

Yet they fail to notice their sense of 'purity' is not making the State function any more effectively.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Correction since the edit function is down today. Every failure to enact 100% of their fruit loop goals.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@The_Centrist  I can't think of much that the Obama regime does that they are good at, but they sure know how to 'slow walk' anything they don't want resolved.  They have slow walked Fast/Furious, Benghazi, IRS, Petraeus Investigation, and now the Keystone XL pipeline.  Obama is like basketball teams back in the 60's, before the shot clock, playing the four corner offense, hoping to win the game 8-4.  He is just running out the clock.



Parent12
Parent12

Guaranteed $35K yearly ABA payments to age 6. Taken away existing mandate for other 7+. Autism Speaks and ABA lobbyist pushing this bill. Poster child is niece of Senator and mom is registered ABA lobbyist. Bill would also exclude autism coverage under GA ACA benchmark plan. Lots of people negatively impacted if this had passed. Except ABA.

GaBlue
GaBlue

I wonder if some of the Teaper/ALEC invisible corporate funders have a stake in a new AUTISM drug that's still under development, for which they hope to make truckloads of profits? Why else would those who DON'T care about sick people suddenly care enough about Autism to create bills for it in State legislatures requiring coverage?


Remember Rumsfeld, Tamiflu, and the "Bird Flu" panic a few years back? He made TONS of cash! Now it seems it was just garbage anyway: http://blogs.ajc.com/news-to-me/2014/04/10/u-s-spent-billions-spent-on-ineffective-flu-drug-study-says/


Things that make you go: "These posers are up to something."

BuckheadBoy
BuckheadBoy

@The_Centrist Five years, you ask? How 'bout the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009". That would be five years, wouldn't it?


Now here's an easier one for you: Where have Republicans been for say the past forty years?

honested
honested

@The_Centrist  

Odd how you neglect to cite the differing opinions from yesterday's RCP.

Do you only see the items you view as the 'center' or is just easier to ignore the real world?

Bernie31
Bernie31

@The_Centrist - To show How Stupid and Uninformed You are. No person of Color in America could Possibly Be a Racist Like You and Your Tribe. Try using Your Search engine to read the Definition of the word RACIST. If anyone that word accurately describes is, YOU!

NOlongerRepublican
NOlongerRepublican

@The_Centrist  Really? Wow...how stupid are you today? Do you not realize how different things would have been for President Obama if he were white? Are you really that ignorant?

CharlesHendrix
CharlesHendrix

@RafeHollister @The_Centrist  You mean the obstructionist in Congress are simply running out the clock. You are so brain washed for the Republican Party, you can no longer even recognize reality.

GaBlue
GaBlue

@Parent12  - Interesting info. Thanks for sharing! When my State Senator came out strong for this, it made me suspicious. In one breath he explains how the "best" way to help people is to never help them at all, and in the next breath, "Well, we have to help families of autistic children."  The only way it makes sense is if there's something in it for HIM, because that's all he really cares about.

honested
honested

@td1234 @NOlongerRepublican 

How effective at finding a source to support your opinion, despite adequate facts to the contrary.

Orwell would call you a 'doubleplusgoodduckspeaker'.

td1234
td1234

@NOlongerRepublican  Even PMSNBC said this morning this racist accusation is nothing more than BS put forward by Obama to make an excuse for his failings. Clinton was actually accused of murder after Waco and Ruby ridge. The dang Republicans are to damn scared to really accuse Obama of what he is guilty of.