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Greg BluesteinDaniel Malloy

Michelle Nunn team launches pushback on ‘old news’ memo

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Rep. Raphael Warnock at the state Capitol in March (AJC/Kent D. Johnson)

Rep. Raphael Warnock at the state Capitol in March (AJC/Kent D. Johnson)

A flurry of calls from Michelle Nunn’s supporters came a day after the 144-page series of memos outlining her campaign strategy was exposed, and they used phrases like “routine” and “old news” and “a lot about nothing.”

Some spoke on record and others spoke on background. But all calls were arranged by the Democrat’s campaign as an effort to push back on further stories about the leak.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political Insider BlogOne caller was the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the leader of Ebenezer Baptist Church and one of Nunn’s most prominent black supporters. He said he wasn’t surprised that “people are trying to make hay out of it.”

“But the notion that somebody who is trying to run for the Senate actually has a plan to run for the Senate is not interesting or news to me. It’s not news – and it’s old news at best.”

Of course, this isn’t just any memo. It lays out Nunn’s campaign strategy, as of December at least, in clinical terms – certainly not the type of details you’d expect to see in the heat of a campaign. Those details were deemed noteworthy enough to be picked up by most major media outlets, from the insiders at Politico to the folks at The Washington Post and The New York Times.

That said, we agreed to hear the callers out on their argument. One veteran Democratic operative, who would speak only on background, likened it to a business plan that’s akin to “watching sausage being made.”

And Steve Labovitz, the well-connected Democratic attorney mentioned in the memo, told us he’s “shocked that this is even an issue” while praising it as one of the “better campaign documents” he’s seen.

“Getting it out is clearly a snafu, but even in football games, you see a playbook get out,” he said. “It happens. But they’re making a mountain from a molehill. And to me, it shows a well thought-out campaign.”

Organized Surrogate Pushback to Memo Leak was not included in the December document’s communications strategy section, but perhaps it’s in the update.

***

The David Perdue campaign, meanwhile, is trying to make fundraising hay from the document with an email to supporters:

Michelle Nunn’s own team admits it —> She’s “too liberal.” She’s not “a real Georgian.” And they even call her Harry Reid and Barack Obama’s “best friend.”

We interject here to note that those were among the memo’s predicted attacks from Republicans that Nunn would have to parry. We are unaware of any regular lunches with Barack and Harry. And now the pivot to “send us cash:”

Click here now to read the entire 144 page plan. 

While there, please consider a quick $7 donation. Michelle Nunn has over $6 million in the bank to help execute her plan to deceive Georgia voters, and after a tough primary, our bank account is dry.

We must replenish our accounts right now

***

The U.S. Senate sent a short-term transportation funding bill back to the House on Tuesday night, with little time before the highway trust fund runs out of money.

Among the amendments that fell short was one proffered by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, mirroring a House proposal sponsored by Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, that would all but get rid of the federal gas tax and devolve most highway funding duties to the states. In the Senate test vote for Graves’ tea party-inspired proposal (it’s called the Transportation Empowerment Act), 28 Republicans were in favor.

That number included both Georgians, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson.

***

U.S. Reps. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, and Keith Ellison, D-Minn., plan to introduce a bill today to make labor organizing a civil right, designed to get the labor movement “on offense” after legal setbacks. From left-leaning The Nation magazine:

The Ellison-Lewis legislation would amend the National Labor Relations Act to include protections found under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to include labor organizing as a fundamental right. That would give workers a broader range of legal options if they feel discriminated against for trying to form a union.

Currently, their only redress is through a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board—an important process, but one that workers and labor analysts frequently criticize as both too slow and often too lenient on offending employers. …

[Said Ellison:] “I mean this Supreme Court is openly hostile to racial justice and worker justice simultaneously. So we better be moving out on both fronts.”

From the right-leaning Washington Examiner:

The possibilities for litigation would be practically endless, noted Heritage Foundation labor policy expert James Sherk.

“Things like race/gender/etc. are very obvious. They don’t change. But if unions make ‘union organizing’ a civil right then any employee about to get laid off — such as for performance — in a company undergoing a unionizing drive need only claim he wants a union in order to make letting him go a very legally risky,” Sherk said.

The real purpose of the proposed legislation was to force employers to stay quiet during organizing bids, Sherk argued.

The bill is unlikely to get far in the current Republican-majority Congress.

***

To say state Rep. Allen Peake is excited about a new federal proposal to allow the use of cannabis oil to treat debilitating is an understatement.

The Macon Republican, who introduced similar legislation in the state Legislature that failed to pass, called the bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Penn., a “game changer” for families and their children with seizure disorders.

He sent us over a picture of the Colorado Springs Gazette, where he was visiting Georgia families who have moved to Colorado for medical cannabis, that featured the bill on its front page.

Peake said he’s reached out to the Georgia delegation – he “will beg if necessary” – to urge them to sign on to the bill. He also said he’s been assured by GOP nominee David Perdue that he’d support the effort.

Said Peake:

“Our federal elected officials will be heroes to Georgia families by supporting this initiative. We lost a young boy yesterday, Abe Hopkins, who died in Georgia while having to wait for medical cannabis. How many more Georgia children will die while we wait? We cannot move fast enough.”

***

Gov. Nathan Deal notched a coveted Pat Boone endorsement. Sort of.

Boone is the spokesman for the 60 Plus Association, a conservative seniors organization that awarded Deal its top honor for his “longtime leadership on tax reform.”

“I’m still singing at concerts, but today I’m singing the praises of Governor Deal,” said Boone.

No word on whether any more of Boone’s love letters are headed the governor’s way.

***

A few Democrats have pointed out the above  Twitter post by WAGA’s Dale Russell showing Deal spokesman Brian Robinson with the governor before his interview this month on the Holly LaBerge memo.

The not-so-subtle hint was to question whether his office’s aides should have been involved in the interview prep, which took place at the office of a Deal campaign fundraising aide, or whether it should have been left to campaign staff.

Robinson said there was no doubt this was an “official story” from the start, given that it involved allegations that Deal’s top aides improperly interfered with the investigation. He also pointed out that us media types (your Insiders included) consistently called him – not the campaign – for comment.

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