Posted: 9:54 am Monday, June 16th, 2014

A glimpse of the man who blew the whistle on Jack Kingston’s cash 

By Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

As the weekend began, Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News gave you a first glimpse of Robert Miller, the marketing consultant who blew the whistle on more than $80,000 in campaign contributions to Jack Kingston, the frontrunner in the GOP runoff for U.S. Senate.

Miller has alleged, to the AJC and the FBI, that Khalid Satary, a Palestinian expat whom the feds are attempting to deport, allegedly arranged bonuses for employees of two companies so that most of the cash could be given to Kingston last November and December.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogKingston has returned the money. Now what’s at issue is when the Savannah congressman knew of the problem. When the story first broke, earlier this month, Kingston said he was surprised by the details.

But Miller says he and his attorney sat down with the Kingston campaign on May 1 and unloaded the details. “There’s a credibility issue now, and there’s an integrity issue,” Miller said. “I am a disgruntled ex-employee, sure. But the truth is the truth. And the facts are the facts.”

Also, Kingston says he doesn’t know Satary. Miller said that, at the December fundraiser, the congressman sat next to Satary for two hours.

***

Sunday’s Macon Telegraph included an endorsement of U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston in the GOP Senate runoff, from former Karen Handel advocate Erick Erickson, the radio provocateur and editor of redstate.com. A paragraph:

Kingston is not perfect. David Perdue, to be sure, looks like the perfect candidate. People want an outsider and Kingston has been in Congress a long time. But even on the outside, Perdue has used his connections to benefit his companies. For an outsider, he is comfortable with the insiders. Kingston, an insider, has never been so comfortable with the insiders.

***

On somewhat the same topic, the AJC’s James Salzer today has a look at connections between U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue and his governor cousin, Sonny. A taste:

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of campaign donations showed that by the end of April, David Perdue had raised more than $450,000 — more than a third of his contributions from outside sources — from donors connected to Sonny Perdue, including some of the former governor’s top lieutenants and numerous board appointees.

“This isn’t Mr. Smith goes to Washington,” said Chuck Clay, a former state GOP chairman and lawmaker. “This is kind of a proxy fight between the Washington political machinery and state political machinery.”

***

We told you last week about the  Jobs and Progress Fund, a pro-David Perdue group that is going after Jack Kingston in the U.S. Senate GOP runoff. Here’s the spot, featuring Cash for Clunkers and the debt ceiling, that began this weekend:

One interesting footnote: In dubbing Kingston the “king of earmarks,” the ad goes back to a 2007 column by political journalism giant Bill Shipp.

***

Gov. Nathan Deal has long vowed to explore legislation that would give the state more leeway to intervene in struggling school boards in a second term – one of the reactions to the crisis with DeKalb schools last year.

He wasn’t able to make it to a speech at the Georgia School Boards Association in Savannah on Saturday, but in his prepared remarks he sought to build support for the initiative. From the remarks:

“We know that your actions as boards can shift the foundation of student learning — for good or for bad.  Governance matters. Schools, teachers and students need support to not only get students across the finish line, but to avoid costly remediation later.”

***

Jon Richards over at peachpundit.com caught Rep. Tom Price at Saturday’s North Fulton County GOP breakfast.

The Roswell Republican blamed Eric Cantor’s shocking upset on his tea party challenger’s grassroots popularity, the specter of immigration reform and Cantor’s national duties as the House’s No. 2.

He says he thinks Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy will win Cantor’s old post. But as for who will take the No. 3 gig, Price said the race is “wide open.” As for Price’s ambitions? From the post:

When he was asked by an attendee whether he planned to run for Speaker of the house, Price answered, “Not now,” saying he wanted to chair the House Budget Committee in the next Congress. He felt that would be a better way to represent the interests of the sixth congressional district.

***

Speaking of House GOP leadership races, there was a brief kerfuffle this weekend about a dark horse Lynn Westmoreland candidacy for Majority Whip, the No. 3 spot in leadership, but it was not to be.

A Politico story floated the Coweta County Republican along with Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas as possible late entries into the whip race, but Westmoreland’s office quashed the talk while signaling a run later this year for chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee, where Westmoreland now holds the No. 2 slot:

“Currently my focus is on … the November midterms, and the efforts to create the largest Republican majority in decades. If there are future opportunities at the NRCC or within the conference after November, I would like to be a part of that discussion.”

The Washington Post this morning lists Westmoreland as a prominent backer of Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., in his whip bid.

***

Bob Barr and Barry Loudermilk, the two GOP runoff candidates for U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey’s seat, locked horns in a debate at Kennesaw State University on Saturday. Our AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon caught a glimpse of the growing foreign policy division within the Republican camp. The topic was a crumbling Iraq:

A former congressman, Barr said he would support a U.S. military strike on the Sunni extremist militants who have captured large portions of northern Iraq and are advancing toward Baghdad.

“I would advise [President Obama] to use the air strike capacity that we have — both man and drone capability — in this situation,” Barr told the audience at Kennesaw State University.

“The targets are clear. There is very little danger — with these folks marching down the highway — of collateral damage as they say — killing innocent civilians. [The militants] provide a perfect target. We have the weapons to do it for surgical airstrikes and drone strikes.”

Loudermilk, a former state lawmaker, expressed caution.

“If there is a clear and present danger that Iraq poses, we must intervene on behalf of the safety and security of the United States,” he said, noting his son serves in the U.S. military and could be deployed. “But if it does not, then we should not be engaged. I can’t answer that question right now.”

They also had an interesting split on gay marriage, with Loudermilk falsely stating that most of the country is against it, while Barr said it’s not a big issue:

“The overwhelming majority of the people in America agree,” Loudermilk said, “we should define what marriage is — that marriage — legally defined — is between a man and a woman.”

Barr said: “I have to tell you I have not heard one person who has said to me, ‘Bob, the most pressing issue is whether the presidential candidate in 2016 will champion gay marriage’ or whatever. It is not something that is on people’s minds as we look to the congressional elections in 2014.”

***

Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn is on the move this week, with stops heavy on North Georgia — typically tea party country. She plans campaign stops in Macon, Columbus, Newnan, Rome, Dalton, Trion, Canton, Jasper, Blue Ridge, Blairsville and Nacoochee.

***

Through the decades, the late Tip O’Neill’s dictum that “all politics is local” has been a rule of thumb. But in a look at the fortunes of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, now engaged in a desperate runoff, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the New York Times says O’Neill’s Law is wearing thin:

For all the talk about how partisan polarization is overwhelming Washington, there is another powerful, overlapping force at play: Voters who are not deeply rooted increasingly view politics through a generic national lens.

Friends-and-neighbors elections were already a thing of the past in congressional campaigns. But the axiom that “all politics is local” is increasingly anachronistic when ever-larger numbers of voters have little awareness of what incumbents did for their community in years past and are becoming as informed by cable television, talk radio and the Internet as by local sources of news. In this year’s primaries, the trend is lifting hard-liners, but it has benefited more moderate candidates in general elections.

“They don’t know who the heck Thad is,” said the Republican strategist Karl Rove, of Mississippi’s newly arrived voters. “There is no 40-year history with him, knowing that this is the guy who built up the state’s modern Republican Party. The same with Eric, people who have just gotten to Richmond don’t even know what the House of Delegates is, let alone that he served there.”

73 comments
PSWallace
PSWallace

"Erick Erickson, the radio provocateur "

There is a reason why you chose this, and not, say, "former CNN contributor", or "Macon city council member". Mr. Erickson is harder right than I am on some things, but honestly....name me one thing he has "provoked" on the radio, besides your disagreement. What thing "outré" has been said? What?

tinala
tinala

I would rather have Nunn with no Political experience than Kingston or Perdue as the next Senator of Georgia. MIchelle Nunn worked for the Bush Administration Points of Light Foundation as the Chief Executive and the  Kellogg Foundation  you didn't hear about any unethical practices when she was with those organizations.

petel
petel

I for one am sick of the good ole boys who rail against Washington, but are career politicians who  don't mind accepting government money for their salaries. Most of them are crooked and unethical.  I will be voting for Nunn in the general election, but I hope Perdue is the GOP nominee.  I do think he is honest and he has actually accomplished something, unlike Kingston.  Nunn is also someone who has accomplished a great deal in her life. 

partlycloudy
partlycloudy

Get rid of Kingston.  Let's see if Perdue can do a good job.  We in the first district know just how bad Kingston is.  So we want him out of savannah politics and out of GA politics.  The old group of Handel and Kingston and the like want to keep control of congress.  Dump kingston.  He is bad for savannah and will be bad for the whole state.

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

For all of the talk about how slanted the AJC's coverage is by the sock puppets in this blog, how do you explain keeping the hottest issue of the Governor's race behind the AJC pay wall and no mention of it at all in this column?  The AG's settlement on Friday with the other 3 people ousted from the ethic's commission in order to keep the cases out of the news appears to be a complete success.

electric1234
electric1234

Kinston is your typical congressman (Crook)! Or lawyer, lie till you get caught!

pb
pb

So what is  Bill Miller's angle? Why is he stirring this up? (Think he  is a mad ex- employee of this company, wanting revenge.) Still think Kingston is the best choice. Better than the fake conservative David Perdue. And better than Michelle Nunn, who is trying to hide the fact she is a Democrat and has no real political experience.

Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

At least now we have a grasp of Kingston's take on immigration reform. Give him 80 large and you can stay.......Unless it is exposed.

Lesson to learn here. Do a better job of keeping this secret.

Barves_Loss_Agian
Barves_Loss_Agian

Aslo kepp in mine that if Nun get eletced she will suprot Obama takin R guns a way.

Barves_Loss_Agian
Barves_Loss_Agian

He gave the mony back waht the big deal? I rater have him as senater then a women. How can we trust her 1nce a motnh?

DeaconBlues
DeaconBlues

I haven't voted for a Democrat in 25 years, but Michelle Nunn may cause my to break my trend.  I have always respected her father; he is a man of integrity, and he was a Democrat during a time when neither party embraced the "extreme."  Once upon a time, it was okay to be a conservative Democrat, and it was okay to be a moderate Republican.  Politicians talked to one another, debated with one another, compromised and legislated.  Today, Republicans and Democrats don't exist:  there are Liberals and Conservatives, with each side pulling towards the extremes of ideology because that's where the money is.  Jack Kingston is a Conservative, not because he goes to church on Sunday with his neighbors but because he wants Khalid Satary's money (who, I suspect, cares only about disrupting the process of government to soften the blow for the Cataclysmic Intifada, the Islamic "Final Solution").  


It's not just Conservatives (I'm loathe to call them Republicans any more).  Liberals are just as bad.  Reid, Pelosi, Obama, Biden and the Clintons (remember the Chinese?) on the take.  The NAACP and the College of Black Congressmen (Bumpy Johnson would be so proud!), they're taking money from George Soros, Media Matters and Labor Unions (to name a few), they're all contributing to a Liberal agenda that's focused more on ideology and less on governance.  They are more interested in shouting down an opposing view rather than engaging in a discussion about it (a tactic, interestingly enough, ushered in by conservative talk radio in the late 80s-early 90s).


In sum, there is only one real political party; the Party of Money.  Since I don't have any, I'm really not a player at the table (sorry to say that, Herman Cain).  In truth, neither are most of us who comment on these blogs.  Which is a shame, really, because we are the ones about whom these elections should be.  Unfortunately, many of us seem more interested in posting an anonymous zinger than we do about posting a salient contribution to a political discussion.  And that's our fault.  Not Rush Limbaugh or Al Sharpton or Sean Hannity or Chris Matthews.  It's our fault, because we cede our voices to these pompous windbags and consider our best contribution to be an insulting put-down rather than an invitation to bebate and cogent discussion.


Of the Georgia Senate candidates to whom I've written to expound on their political views, Michelle Nunn is the only one who has written back in a non "robo-response" way.  I've heard about Perdue's business experience, I've heard about Kingston's political experience, but I heard Nunn's answers to my specific questions.  Some I agreed with, some I didn't.  My point is that I was heard.  That's what I want in an elected official.  Dialogue.  Not "talking point."  I don't care about what Bush did, what Clinton did.  That was yesterday.  What are you going to do for me TODAY?

Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

Remember when Fredo claimed to not know who Johnny Ola was?

GMan68
GMan68

Kingston and Perdue are both crooked and that is why one of them will win the Senate Seat.  In Georgia, we cherish and vote for the most crooked politician available.  No wonder the State is economically and academically behind.  I wonder how this is going to be blamed on the Black Democratic Vote.  

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Michelle Nunn is not going to blossom until Kingston and Perdue settle their score.  We are just beginning to learn about both of these fellows - neither perfect and both with significant baggage.  Let them pound on each other (I think Muhammad Ali -a.k.a. Cassius Clay) referred to this as 'rope-a-dope'.  It works particularly well when you are not even in the ring yet, but will eventually climb in there fresh and ready to lay out the tired, bloody survivor.  One good right cross should do it.

SouthGeorgiareader
SouthGeorgiareader

Throw both Kingston and Perdue out.  They're just warmed-over excuses for leadership with distasteful connections. Give Nunn a chance as a fresh face for the Senate. 

SamTheSham
SamTheSham

Not all people want an outsider.  I, for one, do not.  I wouldn't want someone fresh out of business school to perform heart surgery, and I will NOT vote for a business man with NO political experience to be my United States Senator.  I STILL back Jack.

EdUktr
EdUktr

So here we go—Jim is leading the AJC effort to discredit Rep. Kingston and boost the slumping campaign of Michelle Nunn. But no sign it's working ...


Deal 44%; Carter 38%

Kingston 43%; Nunn 37% 

Perdue 43%; Nunn 38%

—Latest poll results from 11Alive News (WXIA-TV) http://tinyurl.com/ouq4e3d

DS
DS

I wasn't too concerned when the news first broke that Satary had violated campaign finance laws. Fine, that's on Satary---Kingston can give the money back, and Satary can go to jail.

But when Kingston started saying he didn't know Satary, who had organized a fund raiser for Kingston and appeared in a photo with him from the event, that's too much.

And now we have someone who claims he told the Kingston campaign, and the FBI, about six weeks ago.

Kingston is committing political suicide with his lies.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

"Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn is on the move this week, with stops heavy on North Georgia — typically tea party country. She plans campaign stops in Macon, Columbus, Newnan, Rome, Dalton, Trion, Canton, Jasper, Blue Ridge, Blairsville and Nacoochee."

Wasted trip - Mary Nunn is trying to convince the GA voter that she is one of them.  There might be a total of 5 people in all those towns mentioned above that wil come see her speak and 3 of them will be there for the free BBQ.

Ultraman8
Ultraman8

anything is better than a CARTER in the mansion. And always BEWARE of those running an ad with CHURCH in it. Look at Pat Swindall. Ah yes a CHURCH going man. And look what happened. VOTE PERDUE!

nick1234
nick1234

Westmoreland, the same guy who only a few years ago said his district wasn't ready for an African-American candidate now wants to Chair the NRCC? The Republicans just keep proving that they don't want to compete in National Elections....

honested
honested

deal and kingston.....

Not just crooks, but incompetent crooks....

It would be different if the policies they pursued had provided greater prosperity to the broad Georgia populace, but their policies (both in the State and National arena) have been a disaster.

Yet for the Georgia gop, this is ok.

They may be crooks, but they are our crooks.

What a sad state indeed.

Kamchak
Kamchak

SATARYGHAZI !

WHAT DID KINGSTON KNOW AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT ? !

Larry1234567890
Larry1234567890

Georgia is going to have a canidate for governor and senator being investigated by the FBI .

Nice going GOP

Can't wait to get them both out of office, what an embarrassment.

honested
honested

@pb 

Could it be that Mr. Miller has an allegiance to the law, something that is absent in so many modern republicans?

tinala
tinala

Barves_Lose_Agian, you should go back and take a remedial course in English; because, your spelling is horrible. For you to allude to a women's menstrual cycle is IGNORANT and STUPID. If you have some issues about it, may I suggest you speak with God.

td1234
td1234

@Ralph-43 That could work if the three were equal but in this case you have two heavy weights fighting and the winner will take on a feather weight.   

td1234
td1234

@SouthGeorgiareader And you can prove to us that Nunn is not going to try to implement the corrupt Obama agenda?

DS
DS

Wait a minute---did you say free BBQ? I'll go!

honested
honested

@MiltonMan 

I don't think the Nunn Campaign stopped at any of the rock-stupid troglodyte areas.

They realize some people are too stupid to vote in their best interest.

willbeback2u
willbeback2u

@Ultraman8 I'd trust a church going Carter over the crooked Purdue. Look at the millions of taxpayers dollars Sonny spent for himself and his buddies. We need honest people running the country and there really isn't that many of them.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

@honested - wants to return to the good 'ole days of Roy Barnes, Lester Maddox, etc.  No thanks.

td1234
td1234

@honested Can you say Governor Deal and Senator Kingston? You better get use to it because that will be the actuality come November. 

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

If it were up to the typical GA lib, Hank Johnson would be our senator and John Lewis would be our governor.

td1234
td1234

@Larry1234567890 Why is Gore, Clinton and Obama not in jail? All three took illegal contributions from either convicted felons or out of the country. They all took the exact same action as Kingston took at returning the money and nothing else was even mentioned. I think Clinton or Gore actually had to pay a fine to the Feds for their contributions they accepted. 

pb
pb

In the TV commercials shown a few weeks ago before the primary, there was no mention of her political party at all. Just that she will be a uniter,  above partisan politics., etc.  Sounds nice but is it reality? Once she gets to Washington, how will she behave and vote? Probably like a Democrat, which is not really in line with majority of Georgia voters.  I am not crazy about Kingston or Perdue. but they are more acceptable than her, even if her name is Nunn, and her Dad was a good Senator.

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

@tinala 

Please don't feed the trolls. This one has been on here in several guises, all using the same misspelled racist/misogynist schtick.   

pb
pb

Think this person "Barves" is a clown or troll. just trying to act  crazy and stir things up. No one can really be that ignorant.

Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

@DS It's only free if you agree to a state subsidized abortion.

honested
honested

@MiltonMan 

maddox shifted to republiklan in his closing days.

I figured you and he would be good buddies.

honested
honested

@MiltonMan 

First, republiklans would have to commit to voting for honest people........that won't happen here.

anothercomment
anothercomment

Now who actually believes an 18-19 year old is the actual CEO of a company with many other employees and not his Felon father who has a deportion order ?. I have a 19 year old and see their friends, absolutely none of them are capiblible of actually running a corporation.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@MoFaux 

 Please define the "Obama agenda" for us.

Require everyone to get gay married, and then force 'em to have abortions.

honested
honested

@td1234 @honested 

The same misguided clown who thinks Georgians are too stupid to do anything but elect crooks.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@MoFaux 

And pay for the abortion via Obamacare?

Or food stamps.

Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

@Kamchak @MoFaux And force dentists to perform those abortions, then reinsert the fetus in the mother just to have another abortion on MSNBC