Posted: 10:06 am Monday, August 11th, 2014

DuBose Porter on whistles, Israel and an upcoming DNC gathering in Atlanta 

By Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

DuBose Porter, chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia. AJC file

DuBose Porter, chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia. AJC file

 The most prominent and, without a doubt, annoying gadget at the state Democratic convention in Dublin this weekend was a cheap, plastic whistle, meant to symbolize lawsuits brought or threatened by four dismissed employees of the state ethics commission.

The shrieks, blown at nearly every mention of a Republican – especially Gov. Nathan Deal — assaulted every eardrum in the DuBose Porter Center of the Oconee Fall Line Technical College, an auditorium named after the state lawmaker who is now chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogDuring the proceedings, we chatted with Porter:

Insider: So who came up with the idea of the whistle?

Porter: I have to give the remarkable staff at the Democratic party credit for that. But when they mentioned it to me, I thought, ‘Absolutely, yes.’

It’s a way to remind people how serious this issue really is – that we have a governor who had the same problems in Congress, who resigned so they couldn’t sanction him. And then he’s done very much the same behavior in his campaign for governor, and as governor.

It’s nothing that’s made up. It’s very real. The case went to court, resulting in verdicts from impartial jurors that held on the side of the people who blew the whistle….

Even when the case was won by the whistleblower, they wanted to change the rules for whistle-blowing.

Insider: They backed off that really quick.

Porter: But [Deal] did it. His first instinct was to stop something that caught him in his bad act. And then we found out, during the discovery process, that Sam Olens, the attorney general, withheld the evidence that would have – more than likely, had the judge seen that – had the governor as a witness, to have to testify under oath in [executive secretary] Stacey Kalberman’s case….

Insider: We’ve got [former President] Jimmy Carter quoted as saying that the race for governor isn’t going to be decided on ethics.

Porter: No, it’s going to be decided on education and other things – which is what we’re running on. But how people behave, and confidence in government, is important, too.

In his welcoming speech, Porter told convention delegates that Deal’s efforts to reconfigure the HOPE scholarship program, to adjust for falling revenue, fell unfairly on technical college students who receive a separate HOPE grant. In our conversation, he elaborated:

Porter: We were placing 90 percent of graduates here into a job, and it was cut by a thousand students. That’s what dropped. Truck drivers can make, starting off, around $50,000 [a year] when they get their CDL license. That program was cut back, because it’s an expensive program. They came back to fix certain areas, because they badly they messed it up.

Right now, the state has a demand for 25,000 truck drivers that were being trained through the technical college. Since that pipeline has been stopped, we can’t get those people on the road.

Job training does matter, and to not put a priority on funding that has hurt our economy and people’s opportunity to have a better life in Georgia.

Insider: You’ve seen a concerted Republican attack, on both Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter, on the topic of Israel. Have there been any discussions at the state party level on how to respond? Does it threaten the state Democratic party’s Jewish support in Georgia?

Porter: I don’t think it does, because they know where our party has been in the past. And it’s been very supportive of Israel. What the Republican party is doing is trying to find some issue to wedge – forgetting that people’s day-to-day life has been hurt because of their policies.

Insider: Do you think the responses by Nunn and Carter have been sufficient, or do they need to come out a little bit stronger?

Porter: I read their response. I thought it was adequate. But I know that the history of our party has always been supportive of Israel. And I don’t think that people in the Jewish community feel that that’s changed. Matter of fact, I appointed Rabbi Larry Schlesinger to our state committee. He was on the [Macon] city council and now on the [combined Macon/Bibb] county commission. Larry has been a very good guidance for us.

Porter: What’s the significance of the Aug. 20-23 gathering of the Democratic National Committee in Atlanta?

Porter: Because of the interest in these national races in Georgia, [party chairman and congresswoman] Debbie Wasserman-Schultz selected Georgia for the DNC convention. They’re bringing resources from everywhere, on how to do voter turnout, how to do better electronic media, how to do the registration.

This is the best shot in the nation right now.

Porter added that Wasserman-Schultz is Jewish, and would certainly address Republican accusations that Carter and Nunn are soft on Israel.

***

On his fivethirtyeight.com website, statistician Nate Silver says there’s evidence that non-traditional pollsters are adjusting their results to conform with better polling being conducted in their races:

It’s easy to see why we have a problem. In races with no gold-standard pollster, the nontraditional pollsters have had individual polling errors about 0.6 to 4.3 percentage points higher than when at least one gold-standard pollster is active in the race. Gold-standard pollsters’ error rates were about 1.5 to 3.1 percentage points lower during the same period.

On average, the gold-standard polls in the final 21 days of Senate campaigns had an absolute mean error of about 3.8 percentage points. The nontraditional pollsters in those same races had an average error of 4.3 points. Those are fairly close, but when no gold-standard pollsters were active, the mean error rate for the nontraditional polls shot up to 6 percentage points.

Silver’s definition of non-traditional polls:

– doesn’t follow probability sampling;

– doesn’t use live interviewers;

– is released by a campaign or campaign groups (because these only selectively release data);

– doesn’t disclose (i.e. doesn’t release raw data to the Roper Archives, isn’t a member of the National Council on Public Polls, or hasn’t signed onto the American Association for Public Opinion Research transparency initiative).

***

The other day we published a story scrutinizing some of state Sen. Jason Carter’s missed votes, including his non-vote on a proposal to incorporate Lakeside even after a fiery speech condemning the move.

Republicans dug up a video of that speech, which you’ll find above. Near the end of the video, around the 8:40 mark, you’ll see Carter walking out of the floor of the chamber just as the bell rings for the vote.

Carter’s camp has said he was clearly opposed to the bill, even if his “no” vote didn’t register. But Gov. Nathan Deal’s camp has seized on it as an indication that Carter is “afraid” to make tough decisions.

Update: Carter’s campaign notes that the video appears to have been edited around the 8:27 mark to make the voting time seem shorter. His aides say, again, that the Democrat obviously intended to vote no – his speech made that very clear – even if the vote wasn’t logged.

***

We’ve already seen Republican Senate nominee David Perdue hit the trail with Gov. Nathan Deal, and this past weekend brought Perdue joining forces with Rick Allen, the Augusta businessman challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. John Barrow.

The pair hit Statesboro, Lyons, Dublin, Waynesboro and Augusta, according to the Statesboro Herald, which pointed out that the duo has a lot in common — lengthy business careers and no previous service in public office.

We suspect this remark from Allen might pop up again in a Democratic attack, as he went after Barrow for voting for the Dodd-Frank financial reform law:

“What happened to this economy was the federal government tried to engineer the economy,” he said. “We need to get back to our free enterprise system. The banks will regulate themselves.”

***

We told you Friday about the American Chemistry Council’s $720,000 ad buy boosting David Perdue. The spot is above, and it presents Perdue as a future teammate to Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson in Washington — the first time Georgia’s soon-to-be senior senator has brought into the current contest on TV.

Meanwhile, Ending Spending Action Fund put another $47,000 into online ads hitting Democrat Michelle Nunn.

***

At their gathering in Dublin, Georgia Democrats announced a couple of hires to run the coordinated statewide campaign for Jason Carter, Michelle Nunn and the rest of the ticket.

The executive director is Tracey Lewis, who was deputy campaign manager for liberal star Elizabeth Warren in her 2012 U.S. Senate race win in Massachusetts over Republican incumbent Scott Brown. Lewis also worked on the coordinated campaign in Connecticut in 2010, helping elect the well-named Gov. Dan Malloy (no relation to any of your insiders).

Senior Advisor Cabral Franklin is from Atlanta, the son of the former mayor, and was a consultant for an Atlanta city council race in 2013, the T-SPLOST effort in 2012 and Georgia Democrats’ 2010 coordinated campaign.

***

William Perry, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, is calling on the Atlanta Ethics Board to investigate expenditures by Councilman Michael Julian Bond.

Click here for the 11Alive report on Bond’s $2,400, five-day trip to Washington that also included a family reunion

 

 

28 comments
Jke
Jke

Rick Allen--let's hope Mr. Barrow wins again.

Jke
Jke

On Dubose Porter's statements re--Democrats and Jews and Wasserman's come to the rescue response. Draw your own conclusions.


From the Boston Globe 7/21/14


"...America’s Israel-friendly consensus is splitting along the same left-vs.-right fault line that has polarized so many other issues. While support for Israel is overwhelming among Republicans and conservatives, it has been shrinking among Democrats and liberals. 'The partisan gap in Mideast sympathies has never been wider,' reports Pew, with 73 percent of Republicans sympathetic to Israel in the ongoing conflict, but just 44 percent of Democrats. Respondents identifying as liberal Democrats were five times as likely as conservative Republicans to sympathize more with the Palestinians."


From the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, 7/30/14


Pew reports that “the share of Republicans who sympathize more with Israel has risen from 68% to 73%; 44% of Democrats express more sympathy for Israel than the Palestinians, which is largely unchanged from April (46%).” When ideology is considered, the divide is even wider. Among conservative Republicans, 77 percent favor Israel while among liberal Democrats only 39 percent do.


These numbers do not go unnoticed whether NY, Cleveland, Philly, ATL or Miami.  


From Politico, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/57983_Page3.html#ixzz3A6UzPUbM


“When Obama was running, there was a lot of concern among the guys in my group at shul, who are all late-30s to mid-40s, who I hang out with and daven with and go to dinner with, about Obama,” recalled Scott Matasar, a Cleveland lawyer who’s active in Jewish organizations.

Matasar remembers his friends’ worries over whether Obama was “going to be OK for Israel.” But then Obama met with the community’s leaders during a swing through Cleveland in the primary, and the rabbi at the denominationally conservative synagogue Matasar attends — “a real ardent Zionist and Israel defender” — came back to synagogue convinced.


Now Matasar says he’s appalled by Obama’s “rookie mistakes and bumbling” and the reported marginalization of a veteran peace negotiator, Dennis Ross, in favor of aides who back a tougher line on Netanyahu. He’s the most pro-Obama member of his social circle but is finding the president harder to defend.

A Philadelphia Democrat and pro-Israel activist, Joe Wolfson, recalled a similar progression.

“What got me past Obama in the recent election was Dennis Ross — I heard him speak in Philadelphia and I had many of my concerns allayed,” Wolfson said. “Now, I think I’m like many pro-Israel Democrats now who are looking to see whether we can vote Republican.”


Even Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who spoke to POLITICO to combat the story line of Jewish defections, said she’d detected a level of anxiety in a recent visit to a senior center in her South Florida district.  'They wanted some clarity on the president’s view,” she said. “I answered their questions and restored some confidence that maybe was a little shaky, [rebutted] misinformation and the inaccurate reporting about what was said.'"




EdUktr
EdUktr

Democrats run the risk of being perceived the party of cheap plastic whistles and phony allegations—with nothing more to offer than association with an increasingly unpopular president Obama: http://tinyurl.com/mrttwof.

As they continue to trail the Republicans they're running against, both Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter need to prepare themselves for the blame they'll receive from Democrat Party elders—when the November votes are counted and they come up predictably short:

http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2014-georgia-senate-perdue-vs-nunn

http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2014-georgia-governor-deal-vs-carter


MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

"Porter: What’s the significance of the Aug. 17 gathering of the Democratic National Committee in Atlanta?


Porter: Because of the interest in these national races in Georgia, [party chairman and congresswoman] Debbie Wasserman-Schultz selected Georgia for the DNC convention. They’re bringing resources from everywhere, on how to do voter turnout, how to do better electronic media, how to do the registration.

This is the best shot in the nation right now.


Porter added that Wasserman-Schultz is Jewish, and would certainly address Republican accusations that Carter and Nunn are soft on Israel."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Very smart political strategists, DuBose Porter and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.  I'm looking forward to the DNC convention coming to Atlanta August 17th, next Sunday.  Vote Democratic in November, fellow Georgians.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

"Porter: We were placing 90 percent of graduates here into a job, and it was cut by a thousand students. That’s what dropped. Truck drivers can make, starting off, around $50,000 [a year] when they get their CDL license. That program was cut back, because it’s an expensive program. They came back to fix certain areas, because they badly they messed it up.


Right now, the state has a demand for 25,000 truck drivers that were being trained through the technical college. Since that pipeline has been stopped, we can’t get those people on the road."


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Take a close look at Republican priorities which do not serve the common good, and then vote a Democratic ticket for all Georgians in November.

DS
DS

"The banks will regulate themselves." --- Rick Allen

This has to be the most idiotic comment I've heard a political candidate make during this political season.

Apparently Allen hasn't heard of the financial collapse that triggered the Great Recession. Where has he been the past seven years? Living in a cave?

People like this should not be entrusted with either political power or government authority. They threaten the health and well-being of our economy and society.

Astropig
Astropig

Yeah, on any major vote that requires a backbone,Jason carter is MIA. Let's put him on a milk carton so his district can find him. He says that he'll stand up to Washington mandates that he doesn't agree with, but he runs like a scared puppy when it's time to stand up and be counted.He's an embarrassment to Democrats. They had hundred of thousands of potentially good candidates and millions of housepets that they could have run and they picked this loser.

NWGAL
NWGAL

@MaryElizabethSings If technical schools trained people as waitstaff and lawn care workers, then it would be wasted money. But training automotive technicians and truck drivers and other jobs which pay a decent amount is worth tax payer dollars. 

td1234
td1234

@MaryElizabethSings But according to some regular progressives on this blog, these are the types of jobs that do not pay a living wage and do not count when Deal brings them into the state. 

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@Astropig  I dunno.  Every day that td shows up - which of course is every day - the guy gets harangued for his vote on Hope.

So which is it?  No backbone, or horrible votes?  Can't be both.  You guys really need to get your act together.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@NWGAL


However, I must mention that there is a demand for trained landscape workers who know the needs of various plants according to the seasons of the year, and who also know landscape design relative to horticulture and aesthetic presentation.  Many do not recognize the various skills involved in being an trained landscape artist/artisan.  Certainly as much skill is involved in being an excellent landscape artist as being a hair stylist or manicurist, which require state training and certification.

td1234
td1234

@NWGAL @MaryElizabethSings And not one of the 2800 jobs, brought to Georgia by Deal since June, were waitstaff or lawn care jobs, but there were several posters that stated that the $9 to $12 per hour jobs were nothing to give Deal credit for because they did not pay a "living wage".  These are the exact same type of jobs. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @MaryElizabethSings Tell us what 50k job has deal brought to this state that pays that out the gate?  Post link to support what you say.  This is why nothing gets done in Washington it's party over people nothing else is important but the fact that some a$$ wipes party (both sides) has won an election.

GaBlue
GaBlue

@MaryElizabethSings


RIGHT????  My yard people are terrible. Twice a month they show up with blowers and whackers for an average of 10 minutes. There's no actual grass anymore. My beautiful dogwood is covered in ivy. Whacking the growth back off the driveway, and blowing the deck off is all they can muster. I've tried to explain what needs to be done, but it's like they aren't interested in anything that requires a speck of knowledge or skill -- unless you count timing their visit one hour before a big storm hits as a skill.  Taking recommendations for next year!

td1234
td1234

@MaryElizabethSings Those would be called Landscape architects and they offer the degree at a large amount of the colleges in the state. They also are the ones that make the real money because they have this skillset.  

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @NWGAL @MaryElizabethSings $9 to $12 per hour is not 50k  at 9 it's 18, 720 and at 12 it's 24,960.  That's not a livable wage after taxes (payroll, state and federal), health insurance, and living expenses there is nothing left to spend in the local economy which helps the country as a whole.  

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser I am sure if you go to Baxter and/or Caterpillar job sites you will find some of those jobs. I am not doing the work for you so if you want to find them go and look for yourself. 


It is not party over people. It is all about the philosophy of how we as a nation will be organized, run and the people treated. 

NWGAL
NWGAL

@GaBlue @MaryElizabethSings I understand your problem. I finally found a guy who would not hack down the ferns and mint. Seems like neatness is the ultimate virtue in these parts and natural is evil incarnate. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@GaBlue 


Maybe that is why we needed trained and certified yard and lawn artisans (as well as auto mechanices).  I am very fortunate that I have had a wonderful older man who has taken care of my lawn ver well since my husband passed in 2007.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@td1234


There is no reason why there cannot be degrees of knowledge taught in landscape management and design. That would mean that some who might not qualify for a full 4 year college degree (or may not have the finances to afford to fund a B.A. or B.S. in landscape architecture) might be able to earn a more limited technical degree in landscape design and management (with less qualification than the full landscape architect which you mention, above).  One might think of the differences in the qualifications between being a physician and a physician's assistant.  Both are needed.

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser So I guess $50,000 a year is what you consider a "living wage" (BTW: is this individual or a household income)? 


$24,958.50 times 2 is right at that magic number you seem to be looking believing is a "living wage"? Could the answer to your problem of a "living wage" be a two parent household? 

RadicalRuralDem
RadicalRuralDem

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser "I am not doing the work for you" 

It's not work to share with others what you know for a fact if you actually know it and didn't, say, make it up out of thin air.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser  Baptists used to believe that if you had young children it was best if one of the parents could stay home with them for at least a few years.

Another example of your choice to put your conservative economic views ahead of your faith.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser  It's individual income which by the way the 2012 census reported as 66% of the American population. Also, 37% of the US population are single parent homes, some not by choice, how does a single parent with small children make up the difference when they can only work one job?