Posted: 6:27 am Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

David Pennington: About that snowstorm we had in January… 

By Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

While Gov. Nathan Deal finished up his bill-signing and veto duties on Tuesday, GOP primary challenger David Pennington, the former mayor of Dalton, launched his first TV ad of his comparatively underfinanced campaign, leading with weatherman Al Roker’s declaration that the governor wrong on this year’s first snowstorm:

The Pennington campaign isn’t saying what kind of cash is backing the ad, but that they have purchased time on WSB-TV and Fox News.

***

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is making its move in the Georgia Senate race, with a TV ad and statewide buy backing Jack Kingston in the Republican primary.  “Consistent conservative” is the operative phrase of the 30-second spot:

The Chamber did not reveal the amount of the buy, but the Associated Press offers this larger picture of the move:

WASHINGTON  — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching ads this week in North Carolina and Georgia in a crunch-time effort to help establishment-backed Republicans in crowded Senate primaries. It is also pumping money into commercials praising GOP hopefuls in Michigan, Montana and Alaska.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogThe powerful business organization’s ad buy is a clear attempt to tip the balance in Republican contests and help the GOP nominate viable general election candidates. In 2010 and 2012, tea party and far-right conservatives cost the GOP seats in Nevada, Delaware, Colorado, Indiana and Missouri and shots at Senate control, a fate Republicans are determined to avoid this November.

“We will aggressively support those candidates who plan to campaign on a free enterprise and growth agenda, have the courage to govern and the ability to win,” said Rob Engstrom, national political director for the Chamber.

The GOP needs to gain six seats to seize the majority in the Senate, and emboldened Republicans, pointing to President Barack Obama’s unpopularity, are bullish about their chances.

The North Carolina primary is next Tuesday, Georgia two weeks later. The Chamber will begin airing ads Wednesday for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis and Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston.

The question is whether the U.S. Chamber’s entry will spur Club for Growth, an anti-Kingston group, to jump into the primary fray as well.

***

SurveyUSA is out with a new poll conducted for 11Alive, showing Gov. Nathan Deal at 41 percent and Jason Carter at 37 percent in a general election (MOE +/-2.5%). Voters who call themselves “moderate” break decisively for Carter, but there are a lot more self-identified conservatives than liberals out there.

David Perdue remains ahead of the Republican U.S. Senate field (+/-4.5%):

-  Perdue 26 percent (down from 29 percent five weeks ago);

-  Jack Kingston 20 percent (up from 19 percent);

-  Karen Handel 15 percent (up from 10 percent);

-  Paul Broun 13 percent (up from 11 percent);

-  Phil Gingrey 6 percent (down from 12 percent);

The poll reached 501 likely Republican and 435 likely Democratic primary voters,  via automatic recording or showing them a questionnaire on their smartphone or tablet.

Other GOP primary results:

– In the governor’s race: Deal 64 percent, David Pennington 11 percent, John Barge 10 percent (MOE +/-4.3);

– For state school superintendent: Ashley Bell 10 percent, Richard Woods 9 percent, Nancy Jester 7 percent, Mike Buck 7 percent, Allen Fort 7 percent, Fitz Johnson 5 percent (MOE +/-4.5%).

In the Democratic U.S. Senate primary, Michelle Nunn checks in out of runoff range at 57 percent, with Steen Miles at 13 percent, Todd Robinson at 7 percent and Branko Radulovacki at 5 percent (MOE =/-4.7%).

Among Democrats for school superintendent, Alisha Thomas Morgan leads with 19 percent, followed by Valerie Wilson in a virtual tie at 16 percent, Denise Freeman at 13 percent and Tarnisha Dent at 10 percent (MOE +/-4.8%)

***

WABE’s Michelle Wirth caught up with the King family to get reaction on a soon-to-be-signed law to place a statue of MLK at the statehouse grounds. Martin Luther King III said he was pleased with Gov. Nathan Deal’s support, but said it clashed with the broad gun rights expansion the governor signed into law last week. Said King:

“I’m honored that the governor would certainly sign legislation that creates a memorial to Dad, but I’m troubled or concerned about the new gun legislation that just passed, that was also signed, because you honor Dr. King, but it seems to me that’s an inconsistent policy. But that’s politics.”

**

In the New Republic, Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab, writes about the biggest challenge for Democrats across the country this year: Their base does not turn out in midterms. He offers a revealing look at how Democrats hope to change that:

“The real reason Democrats have embraced a progressive agenda has not been to energize their own base but to lure Reflex voters from the other side. Obama and his party’s candidates talk about the minimum wage in the hope that working-class whites skeptical of Democrats on other matters will become more ambivalent about voting Republican.

“Democrats’ renewed interest in women’s issues—including a defense of Planned Parenthood and embrace of equal-pay standards—is also designed with defections in mind. In 2012, the Obama campaign’s entire direct-mail program on women’s issues was targeted at reliable voters who leaned Republican: Field experiments in the first half of that year had showed that the messages were most persuasive among voters whose likelihood of voting for Obama previously sat between 20 and 40 percent.”

The article also draws on numbers from Democratic data firm TargetSmart that illustrate the massive undertaking Democrats will go through in Georgia to change the face of the electorate. TargetSmart calculates that in Georgia, Democrats’ “win number” – the number of raw votes it must have to beat a strong showing by its opponent – is 1,472,509. The number of core voters they can expect to come out and vote Democrat: 808,810. That leaves a yawning gap of 663,699 voters they must find before November.

***

On Thursday, Cherokee County school board member Kelly Marlow, GOP political consultant Robert Trim and Barbara Knowles, secretary of the Cherokee County GOP will be sentenced for making false statements to police. The trio had accused  Superintendent Frank Petruzielo of trying to hit them with his SUV. A statement from Cherokee GOP chairman Rick Davies, sent to party members last night, includes this:

“I, like many others in the community, have followed this recently concluded court case. This country was built upon the bedrock of our founding fathers wisdom and amongst that wisdom was a belief in the rule of law and the tenet that anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. The Republican Party, not only here in Cherokee County but also at the national level, supports the individual’s right to a fair trial and a decision rendered by a jury of their peers.

“As such, earlier in the year, the Cherokee County Republican Party Executive Board cast a vote to not act in haste regarding the removal of two members who sat on the Full County Committee and to await a verdict rendered by the above-mentioned jury. With this verdict having been reached, I have received and accepted the resignation of Barbara Knowles from her position as the Secretary of the Cherokee County Republican Party, effective this past Saturday evening.

“It is my sincerest hope that from this point on all Cherokee County Republicans can now move to fulfill the core ideals of the Republican Party platform and work, diligently, towards the upcoming primary on May 20th to select qualified Republican candidates to represent us on the ballot on November 4th, 2014.”

***

It wasn’t unexpected, but Democrat Valarie Wilson’s campaign for state school superintendent was endorsed by the Georgia Association of Educators on Monday. The group has the ear of thousands of teachers across the state. Wilson’s chief opponent in the Democratic primary is state Rep. Alisha Morgan Thomas, who was closely tied to the 2012 charter school referendum.

***

Concerned Women PAC, which seeks to elect conservative women, has endorsed Karen Handel in the Georgia U.S. Senate race. From group CEO Penny Nance:

“Karen Handel has shown courage and conviction in her personal and professional lives demonstrating that she can rise above adversity and that she will be a true fighter for conservative principles. She is fearless, as amply demonstrated when she took on the pro-abortion giant Planned Parenthood.”

***

Allen Buckley, the Libertarian Party of Georgia’s U.S. Senate candidate in 2004 and 2008, on Monday endorsed two Republicans in the upcominhg May 20 primary. In the U.S. Senate race:

“Art Gardner is the only candidate in the race who has proposed significant changes to major entitlements, at a time when those entitlements are bearing down on our nation. They threaten the ability of the country to survive. Art’s opponents talk tough, but recommend nothing of substance. The time for such actions has passed.

“His opponents’ backing of the Fair Tax shows they either have little knowledge of the subject and federal finances in general or are attempting to mislead the public.”

On the race for governor:

“David Pennington is a fiscal conservative, and I believe he will make prudent financial decisions regarding problems coming to the fore in the near future like public pensions and other post-employment benefits. While I don’t agree with all of Mr. Pennington’s positions, I agree with the vast majority of them. Mr. Pennington appears to be superior to Governor Deal in terms of ethics. Finally, Governor Deal’s refusal to debate the other candidates is inexcusable.”

***

Speaking of debates, Democrat Michelle Nunn has apparently ticked off Chuck Williams of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer for skipping a regional, televised debate of U.S. Senate candidates in his bailiwick. In part:

But in a strange move, she was here a week before the debate at the Whitewater Express office right next door to the Columbus State University theater where the debate took place.

Her people were trying to get coverage for that and other Columbus events. But then she ducks the debate where she and her handlers can’t control the questions or environment.

That is insulting.

***

Secretary of State John Kerry’s reported comments that Israel could become an “apartheid” state caused a stir Monday. Rep. Paul Broun jumped on the outrage train by calling for Kerry’s resignation – following the footsteps of the rabble-rouser he hopes to join in the Senate.

 

 

41 comments
Astropig
Astropig

Wow. I mean just WOW!


The thing that jumped off the (electronic) page at me is the state school superintendent race on the (D) side. The insider, well connected, union puppet Valarie Wilson is TRAILING Alisha Thomas Morgan.This is just a wow! moment. Now, we have quite a ways to go to the election (and probably a runoff), but this would be an upset of gigantic proportions if Thomas-Morgan can pull it off. I thought that the GAE union people had already decorated an office for Wilson,with the election a mere formality.I guess you learn something new every day.

Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

There is simply no question that the honorable Governor Nathan Deal will attract at least 72.5 percent of the vote. The only folk who will be surprised come Election Day 2014 will be members of the Democrat Party who hate the characteristics of what made this country great. Amen, Bill 

EdUktr
EdUktr

" ... Gov. Nathan Deal at 41 percent and Jason Carter at 37 percent."

After all the eager help he's gotten from the AJC, the Carter boy's still behind the Governor in polls? And even slipping?

Derwin0
Derwin0

MLKIII must have forgotten that his father supported gun rights and himself had applied for a concealed carry permit.


Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Kingston has lived on the gov't teet for the last 10 years,  unless your name is Jesus Christ, 10 years in Washington is way too much.  He has been a part of all of the failures.  Time for someone new.

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

Kerry should resign, he ought to know better than to compare the only democracy in the Middle East with South Africa at it's worst. I wonder how "tolerant"  Palestine is to Jews? Just wondering.

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

Uh oh!!!!!


Barge is up to 10%.  


That Facebook campaign seems to be working for td1234.  



Lynn43
Lynn43

@Astropig Ms. Morgan is an enemy of public education and doesn't know a flip about education.  She has NO credentials and is only a spokes person for another enemy of public education, Michelle Rhee.  This woman, Michelle Rhee, has committed the same criminal acts as Beverly Hall, encouraging her employees to cheat on test, doctoring and lying about her credentials, and totally destroying what little the D.C. school system had going for it.  Do we want the same for Georgia?  No, No, No.  Also, what has Mr. Bell done to deserve this job.  He is not an educator and knows nothing about public schools just like Arnie Duncan.  He is just another puppet for Deal.  These people are just politicians wanting a new job.  The educators of Georgia deserve and need a person who loves and has an obsession to make Georgia's public schools reach greatness.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Astropig As I stated in an earlier comment, giddy as a school girl who has just been asked to the prom, every time a poll is announced.

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@Bill OrvisWhite Not true. I believe I am very conservative and I won't vote for Deal. I'll either vote Carter or more likely not vote for either one of them. Why you may ask? I won't vote for any incumbent or anyone period that refuses to debate the other candidates.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@Bill OrvisWhite - You are probably on the high side.  I'd guess that 85% of voters are locked into voting their party line (more Republicans than Democrats in GA).  That other 15% will probably mostly break to the incumbent over the young, inexperienced Democrat.  My prediction will be a small landslide for Deal depending on how many votes the Libertarian might get: Deal low 50's percent, Carter around 40 percent and the rest to the Libertarian.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Bill OrvisWhite  

There is simply no question that the honorable Governor Nathan Deal will attract at least 72.5 percent of the vote. 

There is simply no question that I have a date with Catrinel Menghia this evening.

honested
honested

@Wascatlady  

Now, now, we on the Left need to ensure Representative broun has his opportunity in November to be the clear choice of Georgia Republicans on the General Election ballot.

honested
honested

@EdUktr  

The Governor's race has been clouded by the republican, also-ran, noisemakers.

Once they are gone, the focus on the 'r' side will be limited to deal. Think of an ant under a magnifying glass in the sun.

With luck the Feds will move on their ethics charges by July and the rest of the exercise will be academic.

I realize it won't change your vote, but some Voters do look to facts and solid information rather than slavish allegiance to a failed party.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@EdUktr Love how the TP gets all giddy as a school girls just asked to the prom, every time a poll is announced. Sensible people will wait until the poll taken on November 4 is announced before they dance in the streets.

None of them want to acknowledge that there is a sitting governor who is only polling 41 percent of the potential vote, and what that means for his chances in November.  In terms that only a teatard can understand, let me explain, 60% of the voters don't like him.

DannyX
DannyX

@Derwin0, just like Republicans forget their daddy, Ronald Reagan, supported gun control?

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@Jefferson1776 - What you are suggesting is voter imposed term limits since we unfortunately don't have them via statute for Congress.  But it rarely works because of name recognition, advantages of incumbency, large campaign donor lists, and special interest backing.  We know that at least two out three sitting Congressmen (Broun, Gingrey, Kingston) will not be going back to Congress from GA, though. 

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Retired-Soldier except he didn't compare Israel to South Africa. Why can't you TP's try honesty sometimes, instead of applying your own warped 'interpretations' to anything Obama administration. Living Will provisions in Obamacare, suddenly become "death panels," any Executive Order by Obama brings cries of "hitler, dictatorship, oppression."  When Kerry says Israel "risks becoming an apartheid state," that is broadcast by the right as "anti-Israel," and a comparison to S. Africa boers. When one of your TP buddies says such and such actions will risk us becoming a second rate world power, are they comparing the US to Greece or Spain?

Astropig
Astropig

@Lynn43 @Astropig 

Valarie Wilson is a corrupt hack that would sell the schoolkids of Georgia for a nickel.She isn't a tool of a special interest...She IS the special interest.Electing her means a surefire increase in lawyers fees (taking money away from classrooms and real teachers) as she sues everybody in sight to get full union representation (with a right to strike) for militant union goons.She's a dangerous candidate in that she would turn back the clock to the days when parents had NO say in how education money is spent. That's probably why voters are looking at anybody and everybody running against her for  a glimmer of hope that education will be reformed before our graduation rate goes even lower.

Astropig
Astropig

@AuntieChrist @Astropig

" giddy as a school girl who has just been asked to the prom, every time a poll is announced."

That generally happens when the poll tells you that you're winning.  Maybe one day you'll get to experience it.


Nah.

Disgusted Voter
Disgusted Voter

@Retired-Soldier @Bill OrvisWhiteLike you, I am a conservative who will not vote for Nathan Deal. He was my Congressman when I lived in the mountains...first as a Democrat...later as a Republican. Didn't like him then...don't like him now. While voting for Carter would be difficult for me voting for Deal would be harder. Like you, Retired Soldier, I was in the military. As I was injured and am a 100 percent service connected disabled vet. I couldn't stay long enough to retire but would have if I could have. Don't have much use for either party as they are today and voting for any of these scumbags is hard. God save America!

anothercomment
anothercomment

First good comment I have seen from you soldier.

anothercomment
anothercomment

Look at in New York the Statan Island Republican. Congressman Grimm has been indicted by the Feds yesterday not for the suspected campaign finance issues but on his Healthy fast food Restaurant in NYC; two weeks after the last day for Republicans to enter the race.

They found while investigating him that some of the same players were involved in his pre Congress Restaurant and his campaign. He also lied in a deposition in a case that two Hispanic workers have filed in Federal court with the labor Dept, that he was not even paying minimum wages or for hours worked. He was taking cash out of the till and paying employees either in part or full under the books. Then you have to love this one, he was employing illegal aliens and paying them completely off the books. When he gave the deposition he denied that he was hands on. Except handing people an envelope with their pay. When asked who did this work he said the back room. He lied about where his e-mail account was. He claimed ridiculously low salary numbers compared to revenue. Then he kept lowering both. In 2010 he said that the place only paid $36k in , so obviously wrong. My daughter works part- time at a coffee shop they have 2-4 plus a manager on a shift. She made $11k. They have about 10 employees just for the non managers they would easily have a payroll of $100k. Even with tipped workers you have to now declare all their tips and make up the rest. The most he ever declared was $56 k in salaries about 10% of the revenue he was declaring. All to avoid paying FICA, income tax, workers comp. They say he shorted at least $1 M in revenue in 3 years.

This joker used to be an FBI agent working undercover on wall street ( the FBI says they have to go back over all his cases now). He was a Marine before that. He ran on a Republican Ethics platform with his Marine and FBI background. If you want to see stupid read the indictment and his deposition in the Labor suit as a sitting congressman it is on the NY times.

Would love to see Sally Yates do the same against the Ethically challenged Deal. Perhaps Chip wants a Deal against Nathan and his Congressman co-owner Graves who have ditched him.

Derwin0
Derwin0

@DannyX @Derwin0  So?  Is anyone in this article talking about Reagan ond gun control?  No, MLKIII is saying his father would be for gun control, when the opposite was true, as MLK Jr. was a fervent believer of the 2nd amendment.

Lynn43
Lynn43

@Astropig @Lynn43  You do not speak the truth about Mrs Wilson.  I have worked with her, and she is one of the most honest people I know.  She is for students, teachers, and public education.  Unless you are involved in education as a profession, you know not of what you speak.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Astropiga far,far more accurate gauge of where things are going is the increasingly bitter,hate filled rants by people like...well people like astropig.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Astropig  You mean you're going to wait until Nov 5? Looks to me like you're already sure of the results. 

I hope you can provide some examples of hate-filled rants that you speak of. I would love to read them, if they were posted by libs or Dems. The only ones I see on here everyday are posted by cons. And don't bother to go back and repost the hate filled spittle you hurled at Mary Elizabeth Sings a couple of days ago, when you called her an idiot and other insults. I did read that one, so no need to repost.

Astropig
Astropig

@AuntieChrist  

Polls are all well and good and all,but a far,far more accurate gauge of where things are going is the increasingly bitter,hate filled rants by people like...well people that have been shut out of power for a while. Desperation sets in and then they get ugly. By that measure, it looks better and better for November. Please join me here on November 5th as we dissect the results, won't you?

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Astropig Like why stay for the entire NASCAR race when you know that the guy in the lead after the second lap is surely going to win. Why stay all nine innings of the baseball game, when everyone knows the team ahead after the second inning always wins. Same with elections, the candidate leading in April will surely win in November.

So keep those cheerleader tights on and your pom poms dry, as you tell everyone "we're gonna win, it's a certainty."  That egg on your face in November should be a perfect accessory for your tutu.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Retired-Soldier "I agree with your description of apartheid.and what you described was a description of apartheid as practiced in South Africa,"

Then you agree with my depiction of how it is practiced in Israel also, thus you can have no argument over what Kerry stated..

"your buddy Kerry never mentioned that"

As I said before, when you decide to find a credible news source, you will find he placed as much blame on the Palestinian negotiators as he did the Israelis.  But that doesn't fit with your anti-Obama obsession, so you choose to ignore any facts that counter it.  

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@AuntieChrist I agree with your description of apartheid and what you described was a description of apartheid as practiced in South Africa, hence the comparison.


Does apartheid also apply to the Palestine sector? Yes of course it does but your buddy Kerry never mentioned that. BTW, why did the two state talks fail? Because the "some what" moderate Palestine's joined with Hamas. How do you negotiate with a group that has vowed to destroy you and will never recognize Israel's right to exist? 


Kerry blew it and ought to resign.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Retired-Soldier  I don't profess to be brilliant, but I do read and comprehend reliable, honest news sources. If you did the same, you would not have posted either comment above. Apartheid is keeping certain people contained in camps, ghettos, or restricted townships, and requiring a 'pass' to go from one area to another, or to travel freely in one's own country. The debate is eternal as to why Israel should/must do this, but it does not detract from the fact that requiring this of the Palestinians amounts to apartheid.

Kerry's statement was that if the latest round of talks fail, if there is no 2 state solution forthcoming, then Israel will likely maintain the status quo, i.e. apartheid. No where did he mention any comparison to S Africa, no matter how much and how often you and bill kristol try to infer that.