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Daniel Malloy
Jim Galloway

With $2.5 million TV buy, GOP can’t say Georgia race for U.S. Senate is a ‘gimme’

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U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, talks to the press after making his victory speech at an election watch party on Tuesday. Roberts defeated tea party-backed challenger Milton Wolf. AP/Charlie Riedel

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, talks to the press after making his victory speech at an election watch party on Tuesday. Roberts defeated tea party-backed challenger Milton Wolf. AP/Charlie Riedel

National Democrats were thrilled Tuesday to see that national Republicans are going to spend early and big on the Georgia U.S. Senate race.

The news that the National Republican Senatorial Committee will spend $2.5 million on Atlanta TV on a five-week span starting Tuesday — a huge sum at this stage of the race — was immediately picked up by Democrats as evidence that Georgia is not as safe as the GOP would like to claim.

Here’s the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Twitter:

guycecilFrom a tactical standpoint, every dime the NRSC spends on must-win Georgia is a dime not spent on a state Democrats have to hold, such as Colorado. Of course, in the Super PAC age, outside money can arrive from anywhere at any time and in any amount.

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On the other hand, Kansas just made Georgia’s race for U.S. Senate a little more important for Democrats. From the Washington Post:

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogSen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) won his closely watched primary on Tuesday, dealing a dispiriting blow to the national tea party movement in one of its final chances this year to unseat a Republican senator….

His victory raises the odds that for the first time since 2008, no Republican senator will lose in a primary. With most nominating contests complete, the last major test will come on Thursday in Tennessee, where Sen. Lamar Alexander is heavily favored against state Rep. Joe Carr, an immigration hard-liner running to the senator’s right.

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Democrat Michelle Nunn has been back on the air for a week with her own ad, a positive spot about her work at Points of Light foundation featuring old photos and testimonials from co-workers. We finally found the ad on YouTube. “Self-empowerment and collaboration” is the key catch-phrase.

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The Georgia Voice has an editorial today that is somewhat puzzling. The newspaper spotlights an Atlanta fundraiser for state Sen. Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, hosted by an LGBT activist last week.

Reporters were barred from the event – the prohibition isn’t unusual, whether the campaign is Democrat or Republican – which raised nearly $90,000. But citing second-hand sources, the Voice took umbrage at thoughts that Carter allegedly didn’t express:

Carter never said the word “gay” or “LGBT” as some people noted on social media following the event and also as reported by Project Q Atlanta….

But we do know Jason Carter can say the word gay and LGBT. When he ran for the state Senate in 2010 in a special election, he received the endorsement of Georgia Equality and talked publicly about his support of “LGBT issues” but nothing about marriage. Marriage was not on the front burner like it is today.

During Carter’s four years in the Senate, the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage never became an issue, even at the committee level, so the video record is slim.

But we’re pretty sure we’ve heard Carter, whose Decatur-based district is very gay friendly, express himself on the issue. This arrived last night from Bryan Thomas, a spokesman for the Carter campaign:

“Jason has long supported marriage equality, and has said so to anyone who asked him. He doesn’t think we should ever be in a position of telling churches what to do, but has long been on the record in support of civil marriage equality.”

Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, said this morning that he was pleased by the above statement, but suggested that the Carter campaign might want to be more responsive to LGBT media in the future.

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The tin-foil hat crowd is peddling the idea that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is the reason that two Americans infected with the Ebola virus are now residing at Emory University Hospital. From someone named Dean Garrison at Freedom Outpost:

I find it simply ironic that Reed was invited to Bilderberg for seemingly inexplicable reasons and now we have an Ebola patient in Atlanta. To put it as bluntly as possible, Kasim Reed seems like way too small of a fish to be rubbing fins at Bilderberg.

I think it is a fair question and could certainly add to already existent doubts that this “Ebola treatment in America” thing is a “false flag” or simply a pre-planned event to advance an agenda.

Reed is a fine fellow and all, but we just don’t think he has that kind of pull.

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President Jimmy Carter and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson were on the guest list for a state dinner at the White House last night honoring African leaders in town for a summit.

Carter has spent considerable time in Africa in his post-presidency and Isakson had made several trips there — including one this year. He was formerly the ranking Republican on the foreign relations subcommittee for Africa.

Lionel Richie was the main entertainment, but a White House pool reporter spotted Isakson exiting the tent on the South Lawn as the singer began “Dancing on the Ceiling.” Isakson, as anyone might know, doesn’t do disco.

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As the war in Gaza continues, Rep. Tom Graves is heading to Israel on a trip sponsored by the charity affiliate for a pro-Israel lobby.

Graves will be among a delegation of members of Congress that will meet with President Benjamin Netanyahu, among others. From a prepared statement:

“While we will discuss a broad range of economic and political issues, I am especially interested to learn more about Israel’s counter-terrorism techniques, including their approach to securing borders and ports of entry.”

The trip is sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, a charity affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that frequently takes lawmakers to Israel.

Post-Jack Abramoff Congressional lobbying reforms prevent lobbyist-funded travel, but charity affiliates such as AIEF provide a loophole. We wrote about this issue two years ago.

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Get ready for Snowden 2.0. A story published by journalist Glenn Greenwald’s new site, The Intercept, on the huge number of people on the U.S. government’s terrorist watch list includes classified files taken after Edward Snowden left the country. U.S. officials tell CNN this means there is a second leaker, but the documents shared so far are not as highly classified as Snowden’s “top secret” files.

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