Posted: 9:00 am Saturday, May 24th, 2014

David Ralston on Georgia tea party leaders: ‘They could threaten GOP’ 

By Jim Galloway

House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, campaigning during his first primary challenger since 2004.

House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, campaigning during his first primary challenger since 2004.

The 2014 Republican primary was a rough one for Georgia’s tea partyers.

Yes, they collected the scalp of Don Balfour, the most senior Republican member of the state Senate. The Snellville lawmaker may have been acquitted on expense-padding charges last December, but jurors and voters are two different species of animal.

Moreover, tea partyers are certain to pick up some coveted congressional seats come November.

But the 6-year-old movement finished out of the money in the all-important U.S. Senate race. Three candidates willing to carry the “Don’t Tread on Me” banner – Karen Handel, Phil Gingrey, and Paul Broun – diluted the Earl Grey crowd into irrelevance.
Now tea partyers will have to choose between a former Fortune 500 CEO and the candidate favored by one of their most active enemies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

More important, Georgia tea party leaders also took on House Speaker David Ralston on his north Georgia home turf – and missed. And in missing, created a long-term, implacable foe.

The Georgia example runs parallel to the national scene, where tea partyers continue to demand the ouster of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. In Kentucky, national tea partyers backed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s luckless primary opponent.

In Georgia, Ralston beat his tea-party backed opposition, a local high school wrestling coach, by 65 percent. But the second most powerful figure in state government was forced to walk his mountainous 7th District, spend more than $500,000, and endure attacks on his profession as a defense attorney and on his dead father – who was publicly called “a snake.”

So it was worth asking the House speaker for his opinion of a movement that has turned so fiercely on him.

“You have to draw a distinction between the concerns that gave birth to the tea party movement, and then the individuals who sort of hijacked the movement – and have tried to drive it off the cliff,” Ralston began.

“The concerns about less taxes, a leaner, more efficient government, a government that’s more responsive – those are concerns that are central to conservative Republican beliefs,” the House speaker said. “We share those principles.”

The movement’s leaders, Ralston said, are another matter.

He never mentioned the name of Debbie Dooley, a co-founder of Atlanta Tea Party Patriots and one of 22 original members of the national organization. The same Debbie Dooley who rented a cabin in Ralston’s district through Tuesday’s vote.

But that’s who the House speaker meant. “The beauty of the age of the Internet is that you can form a tea party group and call yourself a CEO or chairman or president, and nobody knows how many members you have or followers you have,” Ralston said. “People have abused that platform for their own agenda, and I think you saw that come in its most extreme form up in my district this spring.

“They’re driving people away from a conservative majority here in Georgia,” Ralston said. By conservative majority, did you mean the Republican party? I asked.

“If they continue, I think they could threaten it. Because people – I think they’re just tired of their tactics, they’re tired of their rhetoric. So they no longer serve any useful purpose in the party,” the House speaker continued. “That’s not to say the ideas that gave birth to the movement are any less valid today, but we’re not going to embrace any of these tactics that they’re using.”

Party identity has become a serious issue with Ralston.

In the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s vote, Georgia’s largest corporate entities banded together to oppose state lawmakers they considered anti-business. The Georgia Coalition for Job Creation, financed by the likes of Coke, Home Depot, AT&T, and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, ultimately raised more than $400,000 for the effort.

The business group did not participate in Ralston’s 7th District scrum. But among its targets on Tuesday were state Reps. Sam Moore of Ball Ground and Charles Gregory of Kennesaw, both of whom called themselves “liberty” Republicans. Both lost to primary challengers.

Ralston said he was aware of the effort. “I know they had some concerns with at least two members of the Republican caucus – at least, two who called themselves Republicans,” he said.

Do you not think that Gregory and Moore are Republicans? I pressed.

“I’m not sure, frankly,” Ralston replied.

The bright side of a hard-fought campaign is that it requires a lawmaker to reconnect with his district. And in the end, Ralston, who is a stout fellow, was happy that the vote was in May – rather than July, a Georgia primary’s usual spot on the calendar.

It was during his walks that the House speaker said he picked up on a disconnect between his very conservative district and the hot tea party rhetoric that was born in the fear and gloom of the Great Recession.

Ralston said his voters know that they are on the other side of that chasm now. Attitudes have changed. “They’re frankly more optimistic and positive than people give them credit for being,” he said. “These are people that have weathered a very tough time economically. But they’re kind of excited, at least on the state level, of what the future holds.”

I called Dooley to let her know what the speaker thought of her. She did not disappoint. She pointed out that her war with the leader of the House didn’t begin this spring. That, Dooley said, began at the 2012 state GOP convention, when Ralston denounced a tea party push for ethics reform as liberal apostasy.

“By God, we’re not going to be silent at the state level. The tea party is not an arm of the Republican party,” she said.

Dooley also said she would return to Ralston’s district in 2016. “He’s always going to be looking over his shoulder,” the tea party leader said.

Ralston knows this. He may have spent half a million dollars defending his seat this spring. But he’s got another $522,816.30 in the bank.

134 comments
DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

To The_Centrist, Never let it be said that I don't admit when I'm wrong:

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2014/georgia/election_2014_georgia_governor


Rasmussen reports that their latest poll taken regarding the Georgia Governor's race at 48% to 41% in favor of... 



Jason Carter.


Unlike your numbers-out-of-thin-air blogspot Rasmussen gives their methodology, and like their Senate poll you rejected this one also only includes likely voters in November.  

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Back to the recent Senatorial poll - it was taken during a bruising primary, did not use likely voters, before the large campaign fund raising advantage for the Republicans, and there are no professional handicappers predicting a Nunn win.

LostGoat
LostGoat

old crooks get voted out, a new set of crooks gets voted in --- ready to get hold of all those taxpayer millions to hand out to all their "friends"!!!  pay up chumps!

Kamchak
Kamchak

http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2012/02/its-time-for-birthers-to-throw-orly-under-the-bus/

I’ve read Judge Michael Malihi’s decision in the case of Farrar v. Obama and it is clear to me that David Farrar didn’t have a chance. Farrar’s claim, presented by his attorney Orly Taitz (pictured right), was that Barack Obama has a forged birth certificate, a fraudulent social-security number and a false name. That’s a pretty substantial claim and ought to require some serious evidence. Orly Taitz called witnesses, but since her legal skills are abysmal, she didn’t bother with details like establishing the qualifications of her witnesses, or validating their methodology. 

[...]

 

Orly’s case was so bad that she lost when the defendant didn’t even show up.

I want to add just one thing before the birthers throw Orly Taitz under the bus as a scapegoat for losing the one case decided on the merits where they actually got to present witnesses in favor of the birther version of Obama’s origins. That is, not only did David Farrar not have a chance, Orly Taitz didn’t have a chance either because she could not have established the qualifications her witnesses if she had tried, nor any of the birther fraud witnesses that dance around the Internet, because they are not qualified. The whole birther movement is just a bunch of amateurs and cranks, Orly Taitz queen among them.

Birthers.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Attacking stark statistics, historical data, and reality because you don't like the data or source is an ostrich approach.

Had folks believed this wishful thinking blog earlier this month - Karen Handel's "momentum" would have gotten her in the runoff.

notagain
notagain

Put a cigar in his mouth-Think back to the Dukes of Hazard-What you see is what you get....

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

new political light shinning forth from the torch of the Tea party

hahahaha... ahh Mr. Farrar, that's a good one..

(Although in the future when I see your posts I will make sure to put down my coffee.  It's kind of hard to clean it off my keyboard when I spit it up reading your humor...  You did intend that to be humor, right?)

DavidFarrar
DavidFarrar

Complete and utter trash. It has never been the main goal of the Tea party to elect to public office its candidates. The Tea party isn't a political party, but a body of thought, and therein lies the completely incomprehensible point virtually all of the Democratic controlled liberal press, including Atlanta Journal-Constitution, never seem to grasp.


Sure, if the incumbent is a die-in-the-wool RINO, who refuses to see the new political light shinning forth from the torch of the Tea party, the only choice is to primary that office holder. But if Congressional Republicans do see the light, and move in that direction, the Tea party would much prefer the second course of action than the first.


ex animo

davidfarrar

DS
DS

@DewieCheatem_n_Howe I saw that poll mentioned on Twitter---wondered when it might be mentioned here.

Are Georgians ready to vote for moderate Democrats?  Signs point to yes. 

I think the outcome will depend on turnout, though, and in the governor's race, how many voters are aware of the Stacey Kalberman verdict. (There was a recent poll which showed that voters who knew about that verdict turned hard against Deal.)

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

@The_Centrist

Attacking stark statistics, historical data, and reality because you don't like the data or source is an ostrich approach.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@The_Centrist 

 Back to the recent Senatorial poll...

Whistling past the graveyard again.

Just sayin'.

DavidFarrar
DavidFarrar

@Kamchak


Not to change the subject, but simply to correct the record: Judge Malihi, in his decision, stated our evidence had, "... little, to no probative value." The significance of this point comes into focus when you consider the fact that neither of Obama's birth certificates have any probative value whatsoever! That is to say, none of the information contained in Obama's two birth certificates can be independently verified.


As to Judge Malihi's second point in our case, namely; that Obama is an Art. II §I cl. 4 natural born Citizen, can only be reached if you believe a natural born US citizen, in a republican construct, is no different than a natural born subject, in a monarchical construct.


ex animo

davidfarrar

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

@The_Centrist 

More on your "stark statistics" source: 

Your first clue when someone is throwing numbers around is to check their source. He doesn't give one, much less the methodology of the polling. I can pull numbers out of my er... nose too. Second clue should be claims of "journalist" or "political analyst" without any creds. Third is the entire website is published by a husband and wife team as "Editor" and "Asst. Editor" along with contributions from their pastor and a youtube "humorist". Fourth the site is hosted out of Provo, Utah for the grand sum of of $239 per year. So you tell me, who is playing the ostrich here?

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

@The_Centrist 

The source of a Tea Party blogger's opinion isn't quite stark statistics. The only poll I've seen published so far is the Republican leaning Rasmussen one that Jim already published showing Nunn a couple of points higher than Perdue and even more over Kingston. Who is ignoring reality?

honested
honested

@DavidFarrar 

A new oxymoron, including 'tea party' and 'body of thought' in the same paragraph.

And, one who has been around long enough to remember mr. venables little shindigs over at the mountain, we've seen the 'torch of the tea party' before.

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

@DavidFarrar 

Fact: Debbie Dooley took her torch and cauldron to a cabin in Ellijay a couple of months ago to "primary" Ralston. 

Fact: She is quoted elsewhere that her "Georgia Integrity Project" was responsible for Ralston attack ads & mailers.

Fact: GIP received at least $100K in grants from the Tea Party Patriots

Fact: She has both denied supporting Ralston's opponent to keep from having to file with the State ethics board while bragging that she increased his number from 12% to 35%

How is that complete and utter trash and how does this keep the Tea party from being a "political party"? 

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

I also think turnout is the key.  But there are at least a few Georgians who are disgusted by the extremist tp Republicans.

My wife has been a consistent Republican voter, sadly.  But she is absolutely disgusted by the antics of the Legislature this year, especially the 'guns everywhere' bill.

She will vote for Jason and Michelle this year, to - as td keeps telling us - send a message.  (It's just not the message he keeps touting...)

Hopefully there will be enough like her to put them over the top.

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

Oh yeah, as evidence - this from the poll article:

A new statewide telephone survey of Likely Georgia Voters

Pretty easy to find, unless you 'don't like the data.'

Kamchak
Kamchak

@CherokeeCounty 

Your welcome. I thought it necessary in order to provide some context for our resident birther, David Farrar.

LDH2O
LDH2O

@DavidFarrar  No, you are misquoting the order. It says in full, "None of the testifying witnesses provided persuasive testimony. Moreover, the Court finds that none of the written submissions tendered by Plaintiffs have probative value." The Judge was NOT talking about Obama's birth certificate itself.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@DavidFarrar 

For the record, Malihi handed you your a$$. You couldn't even win without a defendant.

Birthers.

honested
honested

@DewieCheatem_n_Howe @The_Centrist 

I forgot to mention the 'rasmussen effect'.

If they show Nunn ahead by 2 and 6 respectively, a real polling organization would give her a cushion of 4 and 12!

DavidFarrar
DavidFarrar

@honested @DavidFarrar


The records speaks for itself. We are now witnessing all the senatorial contenders for Georgia fight towards the light, including Ms. Nunn.


ex animo

davidfarrar

DavidFarrar
DavidFarrar

@Nobody_Knows @DavidFarrar @Kamchak


Again, you don't know any more than I do where or when Obama was born.


Moreover, Obama, himself, admits to being born a foreign national, which, does legitimately call his qualification as an Art. II §I cl. 4 natural born Citizen into question.


ex animo

davidfarrar

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@DavidFarrar @Kamchak 

Let the record reflect the truth that your case was laughed out of court. 


Face it David you will be talking about your birther conspiracies for years to come.  I bet you are a celebrity at the the bait shop and beer store in Cedartown. 


They say he might be knucklehead but that's our Dave.  He was always a dufus but damn it he is our dufus and we wont ever forget it.  He took on that Marxist commie Mooslem darkie or at least he tried. 

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@DavidFarrar @Kamchak 

Truth...........The truth that your attorney and yourself were laughed out of court.  The truth that on state and Federal district levels your like minded ilk were laughed out of court.

The truth that you can't come to grips with the fact that the Alex Jones's of the world made money of you dolts as they sold you a false bill of goods.  

The the truth that Trump and Arpaoi are publicity hounds and as dolts like you were cheering on the birther bs they laughed at you as they got the publicity they wanted from this fake story. 


The truth that in spite of all your conspiracies Obama was elected twice.


The truth that you have nothing more than more conspiracies and stupidity as to why the initial birther conspiracy went nowhere fast. 


The truth that you can't come to grips with how wrong you were and are on this issue because it more than your big ego and little brain can deal with.


Yes the truth is all over you but you elect not to see it. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@DavidFarrar 

... the truth of the matter.

(shrug)

The truth of the matter is that you hijacked a thread at Jay's and kept it going for over a week prior to the case. You were repeatedly warned that this wasn't gonna turn out well for you and this would adversely affect your reputation.

We told you so.

Just sayin'.

DavidFarrar
DavidFarrar

@NWGAL


You are right, not all. But most if Obama had actually moved his birth certificate into evidence in a proper court setting, following the Rules of Evidence -- which was the object of the hearing -- rather than run away to Las Vegas with his tail between his legs.


ex animo

davidfarrar



NWGAL
NWGAL

The truth of the matter is that no amount of proof would be sufficient to convince birthers that Obama is a genuine citizen of this country. All evidence is suspect in paranoid world.

DavidFarrar
DavidFarrar

@Kamchak @CherokeeCounty


The context being, "little, if any", is a whole universe more than "none", which is the probative value of Obama's birth certificates.


ex animo

davidfarrar

DavidFarrar
DavidFarrar

@LDH2O @DavidFarrar


"The Court finds the testimony of the witnesses, as well as the exhibits tendered, to be of little, if any, probative value, and thus wholly insufficient to support Plaintiffs' allegations." *


Try reading from the actual transcript of the case rather than a blogger's opinion. A blogger's opinion who, I might add, doesn't even write under his own name.


The point of this setting was to hold an evidentiary hearing, to establish prima facie impeachment evidence to overcome Obama's prima facie evidence, to simply call for Obama to move his so-called birth certificate into evidence.


ex animo

davidfarrar

*https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_KEK8-LWmzhNWQ4MmI2ZGUtZDMwYi00ZGU4LTkxZTUtZjNkNjNhOGY2YWQ4/edit?hl=en_US&pli=1

Kamchak
Kamchak

@DavidFarrar 

Bottom line: you lost.

Obama's name was on the Georgia ballot in 2012.

It's not complicated.

DavidFarrar
DavidFarrar

@Kamchak @DavidFarrar


Look, you are as welcome to your own delusions as I am to mine, but nobody but Obama knows where and when he was born as a proven fact by the preponderance of the evidence. 


Secondly, Obama is not an Art. II §I cl. 4 natural born Citizen as 43 out of the last 44 elected US Presidents have understood the term*.


ex animo

davidfarrar

*I include Chester Arthur in with the US Presidents who followed the two citizen-parent rule due to the fact that he failed to state on several occasions the true date of his father's naturalization, and took steps to hide this fact by leaving instructions to burn all of his personal records after his death.

.

DannyX
DannyX

@DewieCheatem_n_Howe, that is exactly right.  The_Centrist is the one who got it mostly wrong.  The_Centrist said Handle was out of the race and the Political Insider shouldn't waste their time writing about her.   Remember when he would actually get mad when Handle's name was mentioned?  

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

@honested @DewieCheatem_n_Howe @The_Centrist 

Yeah and this blog didn't call it for Handel either. They quoted the Matt Towerey/Insider Advantage polls and another one commissioned by Handel that showed Handel making the runoff, maybe, the useless IA ones had a + or - 4.5% margin of error to cover their butts. OTH the AJC commissioned poll  had it right with Perdue and Kingston. Jim & the gang have just given the poll results, I believe Jim wrote that with turnout being in question it couldn't be called.

BuckheadBoy
BuckheadBoy

@Retired-Soldier @honested @The_Centrist Rebecca Latimer Felton, although she would be in your crowd today.