Posted: 12:55 pm Friday, June 6th, 2014

It could have been Saxby Chambliss… 

By Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., waves to supporters as he leaves a stop on the first day of a three-week campaign on Wednesday. Cochran, 76 and seeking a seventh term, faces state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville. AP/Rogelio V. Solis

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., waves to supporters as he leaves a stop on the first day of a three-week campaign on Wednesday. Cochran, 76 and seeking a seventh term, faces state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville. AP/Rogelio V. Solis

You have to know that, somewhere in D.C., Saxby Chambliss is shaking his head, perhaps murmuring, “There but for the grace of God….” From the Associated Press:

JACKSON, Miss. — National tea party groups are divvying up the nuts and bolts of campaigning as they rush to boost Republican Chris McDaniel’s effort to deny Sen. Thad Cochran a seventh term representing Mississippi.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogThe activist-focused FreedomWorks will run a door-to-door, get-out-the-vote operation ahead of the June 24 runoff. The anti-tax Club for Growth is ready to air even tougher television ads. The Tea Party Express will rally supporters with a bus tour through Mississippi next weekend.

That frees up the cash-strapped McDaniel campaign to replenish his nearly empty campaign accounts for a three-week sprint to yet another Election Day.

 “I’ll be brutally honest with you: Our campaign is almost out of money,” McDaniel wrote in a fundraising plea.

His allies, however, are not.

McDaniel led Cochran in Tuesday’s primary voting by fewer than 1,400 votes but fell short of a majority, forcing the two men into an intraparty runoff that could prove costly and messy.

Outside groups, which helped the 41-year-old McDaniel mount a more-viable-than-expected challenge to the 76-year-old incumbent, were huddling to figure out how they might pick up a win, which has proved elusive for tea party-styled activists this election year.

Cochran’s allies, meanwhile, have been more muted, even as they promise to stand by the senator.

McDaniel has been out of the spotlight since Tuesday. Cochran toured a defense contractor’s manufacturing plant Thursday with no media allowed inside. The most frenzied action came from those technically independent from the candidates.

“We can’t coordinate with campaign. We can coordinate with super PACs and obviously we can coordinate with activists,” FreedomWorks chief Matt Kibbe said in an interview.

There is “an ongoing conversation among outside groups” about how to help McDaniel, Kibbe said. “Everyone feels like they’re in the same boat on this one.”

Even before Tuesday, the group’s network knocked on 100,000 doors, distributed 40,000 yard signs and passed out 10,000 bumper stickers. In all, the group counted almost 275,000 conversations with potential supporters before Tuesday’s voting began— again reminding its foes of its clout among rank-and-file conservatives.

 FreedomWorks has ordered 20,000 more yard signs and 40,000 more red-white-and-blue pieces of pro-McDaniel fliers to leave at voters’ doors.

Separately, Club for Growth Action already spent almost $2.5 million to help McDaniel and urged Cochran to drop out of the runoff or else face even more spending. On Thursday, the group promised tougher criticism.

“Whoa,” Cochran said after visiting a Raytheon Co. facility about 50 miles east of Jackson. “They can relax. … I have no intention of dropping out. I have every intention of winning the election.”

Outsiders already have been a major factor in the Mississippi race. Cochran raised about three-quarters of his cash from Mississippi voters and a quarter from non-Mississippi voters. It was the inverse for McDaniel, who raised three-quarters of his cash from outside the state.

Third-party groups spent about $8.4 million in the primary, mostly on TV ads. McDaniel enjoyed a 2-to-1 tilt in his favor in outside spending.

***

Chalk up one more member of the G-9 for Jack Kingston. U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, today endorsed his congressional colleague in the Republican runoff for U.S. Senate. From the press release:

“In my three years in Congress, I have come to know Jack Kingston as one of the most conservative Members in the House, but more importantly, I have come to know him as one of the most effective members of the House.”

***

One of our number, Monsieur Daniel Malloy, currently of Normandy, France, ran into U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Decatur, at this morning’s D-Day ceremonies.

Johnson was one of 15 members of Congress in attendance. With a variety of Sousa marches playing in the background, he said:

“It’s an honor to be here. I’ve been able to meet and thank probably about 40 veterans, many of whom actually landed on one of these beaches on June 6 of 1944. I’m in awe of what they were able to accomplish here despite all odds. It was a helluva fight to take this beach.”

Our man in Normandy noted that the trip must be a welcome break after a hard-fought primary against former DeKalb County sheriff Tom Brown. Johnson didn’t flinch:

“That is so far behind me at this point, and it’s so miniscule in comparison to today’s ceremony – it makes me want to live the kind of life that these veterans would find respectable. I want to live up to the ideals that they fought so brilliantly and bravely for.”

***

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed the nomination of Sylvia Mathews Burwell as secretary of health and human services, making her responsible for delivering health insurance to more than one-third of all Americans.

In two separate committee hearings, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson made clear that he was unhappy with one of Burwell’s last decisions as director of the Office of Management and Budget – i.e., to tap the brakes on federal funding for the dredging of the Port of Savannah.

A flurry of one-on-one negotiations between Isakson and Burwell occurred in April and May. Isakson was apparently satisfied. Burwell was confirmed by a vote of 78-17. All the no votes were cast by Republicans – but neither Isakson nor U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss were among the dissenters. Both voted for Burwell.

***
Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, likes to tell of the days at Manuel’s Tavern when “we literally passed around empty beer mugs and asked people to pitch in what they could to help us start Hands on Atlanta.”

But Georgia Tipsheet today notes that Republicans are picking at the origins of Nunn’s biggest bragging point, leaning on a Washington Beacon piece – which in turn points to this AJC article from 2009, noting that Hands On Atlanta was the brainchild of Elise Eplan:

The 12 volunteered as a group. If an agency needed a weekly volunteer, rather than one person having to make a weekly commitment, the group worked together to fill that slot. That gave them flexibility. They also offered to work weekends, promising agencies they could supply a number of people.

The idea, which began in that informal meeting in Eplan’s Atlanta apartment in 1989, has turned into the largest volunteer coordinating agency in the U.S.

Nunn, as the article explains, was brought aboard shortly after the founding of Hands On, and led the organization through its nationalization in 1992 and the agency’s merger with the larger Points of Light Foundation in 2007.

What neither Tipsheet nor the Beacon mention is the fact that one of the Hands On founders quoted in the 2009 article, Kent Alexander, is now Nunn’s chief of staff for her Senate campaign. Which doesn’t point to any rift over Hands On history.

Updated at 12:40 p.m.: The Nunn campaign has released this statement, acknowledging the presence of beer as a factor in Hands On Atlanta’s founding, from Eplan, Alexander and Gayle Barnes (née Adams):

These political attacks on the organization Michelle built from the ground up are ridiculous. Michelle was integral to the founding of Hands On Atlanta and it’s growth into a worldwide organization dedicated to service. We needed a leader with the vision and talent to take what was then only an idea and build it into a force for good. That’s why we asked Michelle to become Hands On Atlanta’s first executive director.

At one of our first public meetings, which we held at Manuel’s, Michelle joined us as we passed around an empty beer mug to collect our seed money. Over the course of 25 years, we’ve worked with Michelle as we built what is now the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service — an organization that touches the lives of countless individuals across the world. We could not be more proud of the work she has done and we could not have done it without her.

***

jcmailer

The Republican Governors Association isn’t limiting its attacks on Jason Carter to the airwaves. The RGA sent thousands of mailers out to Georgia voters, including to several Democratic tipsters who forwarded it to us.

The Republican Governors Association’s anti-Jason Carter mailers.

The mailer, like the ad, focuses on Carter’s willingness to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a phraseology that the GOP prefers not to use. And it’s a charge Carter isn’t running away from.

***

The news that the state is nearing another seven-figure payment to a former ethics official led Democrat Jason Carter’s campaign to rekindle its call to review the 2010 complaints against Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign.

“Gov. Deal and his office orchestrated a cover-up of an investigation into his campaign,” said Bryan Thomas, Carter’s spokesman. “It’s no surprise that he wants to settle this case to avoid another public trial.

***

Former state senator Tom Coleman of Savannah has died at age 85. From the Savannah Morning News:

Coleman started the Bonitz of Georgia Inc. specialty subcontracting company in 1954 and remained as board chairman until his death.

He began his political career as a city of Savannah alderman during the Malcolm Maclean administration in 1962-66, was elected chairman of the Chatham County Commission from 1972-1976, then to the Georgia Senate in 1980 where he served for 14 years before deciding not to seek re-election in 1994.

After leaving the Senate, then-Gov. Roy Barnes called on him to take over the troubled state Department of Transportation. He served as director from June 6, 2000, to Aug. 31, 2003, serving both Barnes and former Gov. Sonny Perdue.

77 comments
MHSmith
MHSmith

The only thing Nathan Deal, The Georgia GOP and the Republican Governors Association
isn’t limiting is their inhumanity, Jim.


Jason Carter only has his proprieties misaligned: Health is number one, education is number two and we can publically fully fund both in this country and this state.

To expand Medicaid we don't have to rely on Federal promise money and we don't have to raise compulsory taxes on anyone. 

I refuse to lend my support or "MY SILENCE" to this party of heinous barbarians!   

td1234
td1234

Oh no, those evil Koch brothers just gave $25 million to the United Negro College fund. Notice the President of the fund said "long-standing support".


"We are enormously grateful to Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation for their long-standing support of UNCF and for helping to create new opportunities for earned success and a better future for our students,” said UNCF president and CEO Dr. Michael Lomax.


http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-California/2014/06/06/Koch-Brothers-Give-25-Million-to-United-Negro-College-Fund


btn
btn

There wasn't a single candidate in the GOP primary that would have given Chambliss a contest.  Not a single one.  He would have been a man among boys and girls.


For all the talk of Tea Party strength, they still weren't able to beat an elderly senator who is so confused that he accidentally endorsed Obamacare the weekend before the election, in the most conservative state in the entire country.  And after the election night lock in shenanigans they may not be able to beat him in the run off.

honested
honested

I had hoped the 'gooberstan posse' would keep trying to stir up the hot air over Hands On Atlanta.


I guess they realize that sometimes it is best to be quiet when you haven't the faintest idea of that which you speak.



findog
findog

Everyone in the tea party is not crazy; however a preponderance of available cooks in one party is God’s way of helping lazy people see what is really going on…

NWGAL
NWGAL

Just imagine what the response would be if three Democrats accidentally got themselves locked in a room with ballots being recounted? Or if three friends of a Democratic candidate snuck into a nursing home to take photos of a woman with dementia for political purposes? We are told the Tea Party is not the party of kooks but where is the outrage from these good people who make up the Tea Party when operatives of their organization behave this way?

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

11 Alive has released the results of a new SurveyUSA poll that show Congressman Jack Kingston leads David Perdue by 11 points. It also shows that either Republican candidate leads Michelle Nunn - Kingston defeats Nunn by 6 points and Perdue defeats Nunn by 5 points. The same poll has Governor Nathan Deal leading State Senator Jason Carter by 6 points -  effectively unchanged from 2 previous SurveyUSA tracking polls.  Cell-phone and home-phone respondents were included in this research. SurveyUSA interviewed 2,200 GA adults 06/03/14 through 06/05/14. Of the adults, 1,854 were registered to vote. Of the registered, 999 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 11/04/14 general election, 419 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 07/22/14 Republican Runoff.

honested
honested

To the rga ad, do they realize they have the EKG graph backwards?


When people without coverage begin coverage, treatment becomes an option, the pulses BEGIN not end.

SmartAleck
SmartAleck

I just haven't heard anybody say it yet:  After being in Congress for 21 years, WHAT is Jack Kingston's signature legislation? 
You can't give me his votes on the Appropriations Committee--that he received massive earmarks and goodies in exchange for his votes. Nor can he claim dredging the Savannah River project.  This has been dragging out for 17 years!  


What did HE do in his 21 years? 

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@EdUktr - While it is way too early with the November elections still 5 months away, these Republican advantages in a red state with no Democrats in state wide elected offices on the ropes nationally for mid-term elections, and in limited and desperate need for campaign funds - the gap will almost surely widen to landslide proportions.

td1234
td1234

@MHSmith It does not matter if Carter is elected or not because the legislature made it impossible for him to expand Medicaid. 


The only way Medicaid gets expanded in Georgia is if the LEGISLATURE send a bill to the governor to sign. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@Kamchak

But we do get to keep our doctor and our insurance plan if we like them—right?

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

'www.breitbart.com'

With props to Kamchak, 'there's your sign'

td1234
td1234

@btn Chambliss knew better than running. It was not the Tea Party that wanted him to retire but most of the Republican party in Georgia. Johnny is in the same boat in 2016. Retire or get beat. 

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

I think you should post it another several times, ed.  There may be someone in Mongolia who reads the AJC and has missed your several prior posts...

MoFaux
MoFaux

@EdUktr Is this website owned by The Onion?  They gave Kingston the title "True Reformer".

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@EdUktr - You are reading too much into this concerning Perdue.  His stances on sub-issues related to ILLEGAL immigration are "Unknown" because of this very poignant statement of his:  "Securing our borders is a matter of national security. The debate in Washington over illegal immigration has become unnecessarily complicated. Politicians have created another massive bill, like ObamaCare--1,200 pages long. Simply put, we need to strictly enforce current laws and any new laws should be straightforward, focusing on true border security. Until the federal government meets that important responsibility, discussing anything else is pointless."

MoFaux
MoFaux

@SmartAleck Collected a salary and received pretty decent health insurance?

EdUktr
EdUktr

@The_Centrist

Now we know why the AJC seems a bit less eager to talk about these races in recent days, eh? 

But why am I telling you this? We're the same person, according to Maureen Downey. (Or was it me and Lee_CPA?)

honested
honested

@td1234 @MHSmith 

So in 2016, maybe enough Georgians will become enlightened to the need for purging the punitive, backward-looking, so-called conserrrrvatives from the General Assembly.

honested
honested

@EdUktr @Kamchak 

Same policy for the last 10 years, same doctor for the last 25.

What did you do wrong?

Acidic
Acidic

As a cancer survivor, I'm now insured after three years with no coverage at all.  Does that bother you, EdUktr?

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty So the source makes the story not true in your world? 


Or is it that the LMS media does not want to run a story that does not fit the progressive narrative? 

RadicalRuralDem
RadicalRuralDem

@td1234 Is this the same "most of the Republican Party" that wanted to get rid of Nathan Deal? 

btn
btn

Chambliss just seems tired of fighting against his own party.  Why bother spending another 6 years in the Senate when most of his battles will be trying to keep Mike Lee and Ted Cruz from setting the country on fire.


Do you really think Kingston would have had a shot at Chambliss? I would wager Chambliss would have gotten over 50% on avoided a run off.


Regarding Kingston, people say plenty of things about him when they endorse him...funny how nobody ever says he is smart.

honested
honested

@td1234 @honested 

And anyone can follow with Leader of the Free World.

Is that what you meant, tiny dog?

EdUktr
EdUktr

@CherokeeCounty

Then there'll be no harm in my doing so, right?

EdUktr
EdUktr

@The_Centrist

Sorry. NumbersUSA.com knows the issues and Congress. If they say Kingston's more trustworthy on opposing amnesty than Perdue—then I'm confident that's the case.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@EdUktr - I think Galloway, Bluestein, Malloy, Downey, and Bookman are all the same person since they are all hopelessly liberal.  Add most other reporters, editors, and blog posters in the AJC.

honested
honested

@td1234 @CherokeeCounty 

Or, possibly, the kochs decided they might need to do something positive for Americans.

I mean, they will need to diminish the numbers of individuals in the tar-and-feather posse when their grand plans go south.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@td1234  "Leader is about the last word being used to define Obama."

Because in td's tp circle, they prefer to call their leader "der Fuhrer"

Kamchak
Kamchak

"President" is not a word being use to describe Romney.

Just sayin'.

td1234
td1234

@AuntieChrist HA HA AC. 


Obama will go down in history as seriously lacking in leadership skills. There are already articles being written by progressives that are talking about this subject. 


Nice guy not a leader. 

td1234
td1234

@Kamchak This country would be better off today if they were saying President Romney. 


Sport

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

Nonsense.

Booming stock market, scads of jobs being created, health insurance brought to millions of Americans, reform of the student loan program, ending marriage discrimination... all of these and more in spite of unthinking implacable opposition from the TP Repub party of NO.

Sorry bubba, but accomplishing things in spite of brain dead opposition is the very definition of  leadership.

Kamchak
Kamchak

This country would be better off today if they were saying President Romney. 

Still not president.

Just sayin'.

Sport.

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty


Yet we have the largest % of working age adults not in the labor force in 36 years. 


http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/372-percentage-not-labor-force-remains-36-year-high


“Things are improving, but it’s happening agonizingly slowly,” said Heidi Shierholz, a labor market economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

“At the pace we are currently going, it will take nearly four more years to get back to prerecession labor market conditions.”


http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-jobs-unemployment-economy-20140606-story.html

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

Sure.  Cause the TP Republicans have done everything possible to obstruct things - in order to win the 2012 and 2014 elections.  They failed in 2012, hopefully they will meet the same fate in 2014.

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty Killing Obamacare, cutting spending, lowering taxes and decreasing government regulation would have done a great deal more for the economy today than anything the Dems have done.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

Sorry td, nice fantasy, but just not true.

Medicaid expansion in GA would bring 70,000 new jobs.

Cutting spending in 2009 - when the private sector was spending nothing - would have sent us into a full blown depression.

And government regulation creates more jobs than it costs.  Restaurant inspectors, traffic control design personnel, safety officers for companies, meat inspectors, weather forecasters -  just a few examples of thousands of jobs created by government 'regulations'.

And I'd just as soon know when I go into a restaurant that someone has made sure they comply with basic food satety regs, rather than depending on the market.

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty No fantasy just compare the Obama recovery to the Reagan recovery.  


If you do not like those then just look at the actions Kennedy took and compare them to Obama. 

RadicalRuralDem
RadicalRuralDem

The "Reagan recovery" wasn't a real thing. Any President who cuts taxes AND increases government spending is of course going to preside over a booming economy. That was of course before he had to raise taxes seven times to pay for at least a bit of the massive spending increases he signed into law.

You're literally injecting unearned money into the system when you do it because it's not related to growth. Reagan essentially did the same thing that Democrats have been advocating for years: borrow, invest, and increase consumer spending. 


Of course, the difference between Democrats and Reagan was that all of the money injected/invested was either targeted to the upper income tax brackets, or not targeted at all. "Reagan's recovery" was the first part of a series of elements that caused the economic meltdown of 2008.

Kamchak
Kamchak

 ...just compare the Obama recovery to the Reagan recovery.

And there's your sign.