Posted: 10:24 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

A hair-pin turn in U.S. Senate race puts the focus on Michelle Nunn 

By Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Georgia’s first – and perhaps last – nine-week primary runoff concludes today. A hair-pin turn in the race to replYour daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogace U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is already underway.

Republicans Jack Kingston and David Perdue have thrown millions of dollars’ worth of insults at each other. Kingston has accused Perdue of consorting with the French. Perdue, on slightly firmer ground, has accused Kingston of being a member of Congress.

In Washington, The Hill newspaper has found someone willing to offer a highly technical assessment of the situation:

They’ve been beating the crap out of each other,” said Georgia-based Republican strategist Chip Lake, who is neutral in the contest.

On the subscription side, one of our number outlines the high cost of the Republican runoff:

The impact of the nine-week slog can be measured in dollars: According to a breakdown of advertising spending obtained by the AJC, Kingston and allied political action committees — including the deep-pocketed U.S. Chamber of Commerce — spent at least $3.02 million on television ads during the runoff. Perdue and his allies spent at least $2.22 million on TV in the nine-week span.

That story also explored how Republicans never, ever want a repeat of the grueling nine-week runoff. We caught up with Senate candidate David Perdue last night to catch his thoughts.

“I hope this will be the last. It’s too much money. We need to get settled up and go get ready to fight the Democrats. I understand why they did it. But it’s a long nine weeks for both of us. It was an equal playing field so there was no advantage for either side, but that’s a lot of money, a lot of time, a lot of energy that we could be spending running against the Democrats.”

Tom Perdue, who is the long-time adviser to Sen. Saxby Chambliss, has a notoriously frosty relationship with Gov. Nathan Deal, and is no relation to David Perdue, is turning some heads this morning with a quote in The Hill piece mentioned above. Tom Perdue advises the newspaper to keep a close eye on Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidates for governor and Senate, respectively:

“The Carter boy and the Nunn kid are the cleanest Democratic ticket the Democrats have had in a long time. Nunn is an outsider. She is a fresh face. She is a newcomer with a pedigree.”

More important, at least this week and next, is the fact that Nunn is rested and flush with cash, while the winner of tonight’s Republican primary runoff will be not only exhausted, but broke – in the Hillary Clinton sense of the word.  After the May 20 Republican primary, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stepped in to give Kingston time to regroup and refuel. This time, another group has stepped forward. From Roll Call:

With the Georgia Republican Senate runoff ending Tuesday, an outside group focused on eradicating wasteful government spending launched a TV ad against Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn.

The group, Ending Spending Action Fund, spent more than $200,000 to produce and place the ad, according to an independent expenditure report filed Sunday with the Federal Election Commission. It also spent more than $28,000 on opposition research.

Here’s the TV ad that’s already up:

Incidentally, Kingston and Perdue, in separate interviews this morning on WGAU (1340AM) in Athens, vowed to support tonight’s victor.

“I will take off my Kingston button and put on a perdue button tonight if that happens. There is no equivocation,” Kingston said.

Said Perdue: “This is bigger than Jack, bigger than me. …We just cannot give Harry Reid one more vote in the U.S. Senate.”

***
A first debate in the general election contest for U.S. Senate has already been scheduled for Aug. 21. The Macon affair will be hosted by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

***

If turnout hits a record low today, Georgia won’t be alone in that boat. From USA Today:

A new study shows 14.8% of eligible U.S. voters have cast ballots in the first 25 statewide primaries this year, according to the non-partisan Center for the Study of the American Electorate. That’s down from 18.3% turnout in the 2010 midterms, when the Tea Party movement was strong and Republicans regained control of the U.S. House.

So far, 15 of 25 states have had record low turnout in primaries this year, according to the report.

***

On the ethics front, AJCers Aaron Gould Sheinin and Greg Bluestein have new information that indicates that the relationship between the top staffer of the state ethics commission and aides to Gov. Nathan Deal may not have been as threatening — or distant — as claimed:

Text and email messages obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution between Holly LaBerge and Chris Riley show the ethics commission director and Gov. Nathan Deal’s chief of staff exchanging lighthearted missives just hours after LaBerge claims Riley pressured her to settle ethics cases against his boss’s campaign….

The new texts obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News show that LaBerge and Riley carried on a jocular conversation that ended with LaBerge thanking Riley “for the kind words.”

***

From the So-Late-It-Probably-Won’t-Matter Department: Dr. Ben Carson, the Maryland neurosurgeon popular with the tea party and a buzzed-about dark horse presidential candidate, is out with an endorsement of Jack Kingston. The congressman recently became first U.S. Senate candidate to sign Carson’s pledge on health care reform that mirrors many Republican principles already under discussion.

***

From the So-Late-It-Probably-Won’t-Matter Department, Vol. II:  Bob Barr, in a do-or-die Republican runoff with Barry Loudermilk in the 11th District congressional contest, has received a late endorsement from U.S.Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chief inquisitor of the Obama administration as chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Said Issa:

“I served with Bob on the Government Oversight Committee when he was in the House previously, and we need his expertise as a former prosecutor and tough inquisitor now more than ever to help conduct vital investigations of the Obama Administration’s abuses of power.”

***

An interesting stat from Roll Call: If Jody Hice wins today’s 10th Congressional District GOP runoff (and presumably in the fall) it would bring the number of ministers in Congress to eight. One of the others is Gainesville’s own Rep. Doug Collins.

 

127 comments
MaryPolleys
MaryPolleys

Where is Dr. Ben Carson's endorsement of Kingston, Mr. Galloway?  Your link just goes to Dr. Carson's healthcare pledge. I understand that Kingston signed the pledge. Where did Carson sign something endorsing Kingston?  I can't find it via google or the Kingston camp either. I admire Dr. Carson. I want to read what he wrote.

LookbeforeIleap
LookbeforeIleap

Anyhoo... 2 hrs and 15 minutes until the polls close.

What's the over/under on when the GOP Senate primary gets called?


If Fulton comes in before 9, my bet is 9:15.

LHardingDawg
LHardingDawg

Did she attend college at UGA, or maybe Georgia Tech, or perhaps Georgia Southern, or Mercer, or Emory, or .........?

LookbeforeIleap
LookbeforeIleap

Is it my imagination or do the resident GOPers and their sock puppets seem especially cranky today?

LHardingDawg
LHardingDawg

Tough bunch of check getters on here today.

anothercomment
anothercomment

I will be volunteering on Michelle Nunns phone banks starting Wednesday afternoon. People are sick of negative campaigns.

LHardingDawg
LHardingDawg

Does anyone know her married name? Just asking!

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

After their circular republican firing squad Nunn has a lot of good info to pick and choose from to finish off whoever wins. 

Jack_Republican
Jack_Republican

Flushed is she? She was only a plumber's daughter, but when the boys whistle, she flushes.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@LHardingDawg  she graduated from the University of Virginia and holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.  Where did Sarah Palin graduate from? Ooops!  teacher, teacher, pick me I know the answer.....she went to four community colleges, it took her five years to get her bachelors in journalism and she still did not know how to be interviewed by a jounalist.  You mad?   

BuckheadBoy
BuckheadBoy

@LHardingDawg Indeed I do. But, I consider that about as material as me knowing Liz Cheney's married name, as I've always had little appreciation for matters on which the small-minded seem to dwell.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Do you know Jack Kingston's wife's name? It is Libby Morris. Professional women often keep the name they have used to develop their careers.

GaBlue
GaBlue

@LHardingDawg


What's it to you?  Why are you harping on it?  In the 21st Century, a woman is free to use her father's name, use her husband's name, hyphenate her name, or change it entirely if that's what she wishes. WHY DO YOU HATE FREEDOM?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Jack_Republican Sarah Palin attended four community colleges in five years to earn her bachelors degree in journalism and you guys put her up against a Harvard Law School graduate who received his doctors of law degree.  You should have no problem with a plumbers daughter who graduated from the University of Virginia and holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. 

LHardingDawg
LHardingDawg

@StraightNoChaser  Did she attend grade school in Perry and maybe Northside of Perry for high school or maybe a private school in Macon or in the surrounding counties adjacent to Houston County like Peach County or somewhere close to home? 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@NWGAL @LHardingDawg how can you know this when you keep your women in binders? 

"I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks?' and they brought us whole binders full of women," ~~~Mitt Romney October 2012.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@NWGAL  My sister runs her own business, and kept her maiden name after marrying because of the professional advantage it offered her.


You would think cons such as Dawg would encourage that.

honested
honested

@NWGAL 

Speaking of Libby's money, her being a wealthy professional woman is what gave jack HIS career.

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser I watched O'Reilly last night doing interviews with Harvard students and it is apparent that they have really lowered their standards turning into a totally progressive school. I was not impressed. 

NWGAL
NWGAL

SNC, misogyny is going to be a major theme in the next few months. These guys are like the uneducated thugs in India who abduct and rape young women attending schools. They have no brains, just envy.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@LHardingDawg  She's not barefoot and pregnant.  Are you made because she is an educated woman who does have a platform to run on and not just hold onto your guns and religion?  You betcha!  wink wink

DannyX
DannyX

@LHardingDawg, who the hell cares?

Oh, and I see The_Centrist is here today!  I knew he couldn't stay away!

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty You sister is also a conservative if memory serves me correctly. You could learn some valuable lessons from her. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 So when a democrat graduates the standards are lowered  but when a republican graduates like Willard Mitt Romney (Harvard graduate) they are smart as hell?  That explains why Willard lost the presidential election to the democrat who is a Harvard graduate.  Wow  "You people"~~~~Ann Romney July 19, 2012  are too funny.

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser There you go with your insecure progressive woman babble again. I know you are jealous of all conservative women because they are much better off and stronger than you would ever hope to be. 

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@td1234 @CherokeeCounty  She is. What's that got to do with her choice of her last name?


And  on a related topic - her investments and her business  have done magnificently under Obama - under prior Repub presidents, not so much.....

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser When did I say that? I just said after some of the interviews I heard I am not impressed with what is being produced at Harvard. 

honested
honested

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser 

In the world of intelligent people, and educated Progressive woman beats any wrong wing nut, hands down.

How did noots money do at saving him in crunch time?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 Oh yea?  So what are the contemptuous comments  about Michelle Nunn made by male posters on here called?  Misogyny? I have nothing to be jealous about if conservative women are keeping house with guys like you. That would be called a house full of hell.  Thanks but no thanks I am good.

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty My businesses have done fine under both Bush and Obama. Under Obama I have had a little less money to invest back in the business and hire a few less people due to increased cost of regulation and taxes but the businesses themselves have thrived.  

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 so your reference to progressive and lower standards had nothing to do with being a democrat?  Really?  News flash contrary to GOP belief not all women live in binders, we do not have lower standards, low IQ's or run for office on an empty platform with nothing more to offer than to stand like a piece of eye candy, wearing some cute glasses and winking at a geritol crowd.  Some of us are intelligent.

LookbeforeIleap
LookbeforeIleap

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser 

Ever occur to you that what you saw was a result of selective editing?  Or do you subscribe to the delusion that O'Reilly has some sort of journalistic integrity?

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser Michelle Nunn is a progressive so by definition she is uninformed and evil. If you want to call that "misogyny" then that is your problem. 

honested
honested

@td1234 @CherokeeCounty 

Pray tell, where have the costs of 'regulation' and 'taxes' increased in ANY measurable amount in the last decade?

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser Can the hyperbole be any deeper. Do you actually believe Conservative women are in "binders" and do what they are told to do? BWhahahaha


Maybe it is Conservative women are real women and know how to handle a relationship, career and family. Maybe it is they understand that raising children correctly takes both the man and woman in the house and they put their family ahead of themselves. 



StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Lookbeforelleap  "Cheatin'in the next room Making plans to meet her soon Talking softly on the telephone Making plans to meet her somewhere alone "~~~~~Z.Z. Hill

Newt Gingrich at work as Speaker of the House....Sexual Harrassment all day long.

PoliticalOutsider
PoliticalOutsider

td

For months, I thought you were just another ultra right wing whack job, who pleasures himself while watching Fox News. Your inability to make an intelligent argument causes you to name call or quickly switch the subject to Obama, the liberal media, or Hillary Clinton.

Now you show us another side of your rather simple mind. You are intimidated by and scared to death by women who are educated beyond the third grade. I would bet the ranch that you have never met Michelle Nunn. I would also bet the ranch that you cannot produce a single fact to support your claim that she is "uninformed and evil". Those words are from a man that is clearly intimidated and insecure. Just like always, you name call and accuse rather than articulate your position or produce a fact.

It must really suck to wake up everyday and realize that you're td1234, and that the highlight of your day will be the ere€tion you get when Sean Hannity comes on the screen. Get a life, loser.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 "And God said...." please stop.  Questioning her politics is one thing but making comments about her education and last name takes it to another level.  Yes it is misogyny in the worst form. 

LookbeforeIleap
LookbeforeIleap

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser 

You are calling someone out for hyperbole after posting this ditty:


 "Michelle Nunn is a progressive so by definition she is uninformed and evil."

Does your continual hypocrisy ever cause you to lose sleep at night?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 please explain Michelle crazy Bauchaman, looney Orly Taitz and I don't know what to call her Sarah Palin.  They are the new millenneum poster women for the GOP.  What's understood don't need to be explained...True

td1234
td1234

@PoliticalOutsider My wife has a college degree, speaks multiple languages, and made over a 1200 on the SAT. She is more intelligent than you are, will work your butt under the table and is better looking than you are. 


You can try your BS and come after me personally but you are not in the same class when it come to intelligence, class or looks with her.  

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser As compared the Nancy, queen bat crazy, Pelosi. Maxine, no nothing, Walters. 


The list is just as long on the left as it is on the right. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 Maxin Walters revealed the drug connection between Iran contra and the Reagan "just say no" administration.  Now that was funny put the drugs on the street then have you wife tell them to just say no.  Of course you don't remember that piece of history that still haunts black neighborhoods do you?