Posted: 10:58 am Monday, August 18th, 2014

Michelle Nunn losing the Super PAC war 

By Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

072414 ELX Senate race ba02

Michelle Nunn greets supporters at an Atlanta event last month. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

Never mind the polls in the race for U.S. Senate. Democrat Michelle Nunn is losing one of the more important modern measurements of candidate potency: Super PAC support.

While Nunn’s campaign has been wildly successful at raising money, her allied Super PAC, Georgians Together, had brought in a mere $70,000 as of the end of June. Keith Mason, treasurer of that organization, sent us some spending figures over the weekend, which we have adjusted slightly. Here’s what has been spent on Nunn’s behalf on TV in Georgia, and by whom, since the July 22 runoff:

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blog– $842,988, by the Nunn campaign;

– $4,540, by People for the American Way;

The Nunn total: $847,528

Here’s what is being spent on behalf of Republican David Perdue:

– $558,463, by the American Chemistry Council;

– $1,014,ooo by Ending Spending;

– $2,601,800, by the National Republican Senatorial Committee;

The Perdue total: $4,174,443.

That’s a nearly 5:1  spending advantage enjoyed by Perdue — none of it involving his own money.

Update: An earlier version of this post had listed Ending Spending’s buy at around $609,000, but Ending Spending’s Brian Baker pointed out that this did not include the Super PAC’s big buy the week of the runoff — as well as other spending it has done on web ads and such. In all, Ending Spending has spent $1.3 million this year attacking Nunn, and Baker said the PAC intends to keep its foot on the gas.

Also, the NRSC figure is how much time the group has reserved over the next several weeks — it has not all been spent yet.

Mason had included $161,784 in spending by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Perdue’s behalf, but that appears to be delayed reporting of GOP primary expenditures on behalf of U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston. However, the total figure doesn’t include $195,000 worth of mailers just issued on Perdue’s behalf by the National Rifle Association.

Nunn is being slammed on Georgia television as a tool of President Barack Obama, Mason said. “And yet she’s not getting any national support.” Instead, she’s tapping her own seed corn.

One can’t help wondering if Nunn hasn’t been hurt by her own challenge to Perdue, to eschew support from outside pots of money. (Perdue has declined the challenge.)

Mason said Georgians Together hasn’t spent anything yet — not that $7o,000 gets you much. “We haven’t spent anything, other than on lawyers and accountants,” he said. “But I’m hopeful we’ll be able to send something soon.”

The Democratic National Committee meets in downtown Atlanta beginning Thursday. You can bet this will be one of the topics of discussion.

***

Conservative provocateur Erick Erickson says he’ll have Texas Gov. Rick Perry on his WSB Radio program in the five o’clock hour today. Perry has been indicted on local charges of “abuse of official capacity” and “coercion of a public official,” involving a local prosecutor with a drinking problem. Even liberals are raising their eyebrows. From the AJC’s own Jay Bookman:

This is the kind of controversy that voters, not jurors, ought to judge. Perry may not come out of this looking like a stalwart defender of public integrity, and it ensures a close look at other aspects of his 15-year career as Texas governor. But arguing that he’s a felon? No, I don’t see it.

***

The Ice Bucket Challenge has caught on with Georgia politicos.

The fundraiser for ALS research has become a social media craze, which meant it was only a matter of time until the candidates got on board. GOP Senate nominee David Perdue, his foe Michelle Nunn and Democratic gubernatorial contender Jason Carter all took the plunge. Nunn even got her father, former Sen. Sam Nunn, and her former NBA star pal Dikembe Mutombo to join in — with Mutombo having the best reaction.

But our favorite was from Libertarian Andrew Hunt, also running for governor, simply because he called out one of the Insiders to do the same. (Another of your Insiders already has.)

***

We’re kind of hoping that another trend will catch on, too. Gov. Nathan Deal’s aides promised back in April to release his tax returns after a bizarre confrontation with GOP challenger David Pennington. Democrat Jason Carter’s camp said it would do the same.

With less than three months to go until election day, neither side has revealed them. Both campaigns seem to be waiting for the other to unleash them first. Here’s to hoping we’ll soon see an end to this détente.

***

Michelle Nunn had an interesting moment in Jesup last week. Her visit to the south Georgia town Thursday came shortly after a fire claimed much of a city block. From the Jesup Press-Sentinel:

U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn was not repeating campaign points as she walked down North West Broad Street in Jesup Thursday afternoon.

Instead, she was asking questions about the fire that had claimed the entire quarter-block to her right the week before.

Nunn, the Democratic candidate for Saxby Chambliss’ Senate seat, and her entourage had just met with approximately 50 local dignitaries and supporters at the Jesup Depot.

“I really do feel confident this community’s going to emerge stronger,” she told her listeners in regard to the fire.

***

David Perdue, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, hit the road with Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black over the weekend, visiting Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley to declare his intention to serve on the Agriculture Committee if elected. The man Perdue is trying to replace, Saxby Chambliss, has long served on the committee and was once its chairman.

Update 1 p.m.: The Nunn campaign attacked Perdue for the event Monday by pointing out that he said in a GOP debate that he would have voted against the Farm Bill, even as Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson were for it. Thus, Team Nunn claims, Perdue engaged in “hypocrisy” when it comes to supporting Georgia farmers.

Many conservatives said the bill did not do enough to cut the food stamp program and wanted the farm subsidy and nutrition program pieces to be permanently severed.

***

The Libertarian Party of Georgia is blaming America’s war on drugs for the explosive situation in Ferguson. Doug Craig, the state party’s chairman, tied the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown to the killing of Kathryn Johnston and wounding of Habersham County baby “Bou Bou.”

“The war on drugs continues to be the main catalyst for the abuse of power and excessive force we see in the streets of this country and state,” Craig said in a press release Friday.

***

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, got his turn in the spotlight this weekend, delivering the weekly Republican address. The topic: How Harry Reid and those pesky Democratic senators are blocking House Republican proposals to boost the economy.

 

34 comments
Infraredguy
Infraredguy

Michelle " I don't have " Nunn was asked if elected what she would do about the Import/Export Bank issue, she responded that she would communicate with her Grandmother using her clairvoyant skills and get back to us.

Andy123
Andy123

Much to the disbelief of the in-town liberals, Nunn never had a snowball's chance in hell. 

honested
honested

rick perry is just another 'crony capitalist' making sure that the donors come first and nobody else gets a place at the table.

Only a rube like erickson would give him a platform.

Jke
Jke

Farm bill--it's never as simple as it seems to the simple. 

Perdue ran to the right to get the nomination and now has to tack back to the middle.

Libertarians--while it's probably true that the war on drugs is in large part the genesis of the militarization of the civil police, why do they often sound like nuts? 

NoahVale
NoahVale

To Bluestein, et al:


"Update 1 p.m.: The Nunn campaign attacked Perdue for the event Monday by pointing out that he said in a GOP debate that he would have voted against the Farm Bill, even as Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson were for it. Thus, Team Nunn claims, Perdue engaged in “hypocrisy” when it comes to supporting Georgia farmers.


Many conservatives said the bill did not do enough to cut the food stamp program and wanted the farm subsidy and nutrition program pieces to be permanently severed."


THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for actually giving context as to WHY conservatives didn't want to vote for the Farm Bill as presented.  Each item should have been submitted separately for voting.


NWGAL
NWGAL

Republican proposals in DC to boost the economy - how does that square with the reality that blue states are doing better than red states? How can policies which don't work on the state level possibly work on a national level?

PoliticalOutsider
PoliticalOutsider

Let's see if we can wake up td1234 from his latest fantasy dream about Nathan Deal:

From today's AJC:

"Georgia notched the second worst unemployment rate in the nation — 7.8 percent — in July, according to a report released Monday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only Mississippi, with a jobless rate of 8 percent, came in below the Peach State.

Each month the BLS lists unemployment rates for every state. During the peak of the recession, Georgia — hit hard by the collapse of the housing and construction industries — had much company at the bottom of the jobless rankings.

But the recession ended five years ago and many of Georgia’s downscale partners have since seen their economies rebound. Alabama, for example, carries an unemployment rate of 7 percent and comes in at No. 40 on the BLS scale. (All 50 states and the District of Columbia are included in the BLS list.)

South Carolina’s unemployment rate is 5.7 percent, tied with Pennsylvania and Ohio for 22d worst.

Florida’s unemployment rate reached 11.4 in early 2010, a full point higher than Georgia’s jobless nadir. Today, Florida’s jobless rate stands at 6.2 percent."

OUCH! Now td, remind me again about all the jobs Deal has brought to Georgia?

DS
DS

Interesting way to spin the news.

If Michelle Nunn had raised more SuperPAC money, we'd be hearing all sorts of caterwauling about how elite wealthy outsiders are trying to buy the election for her.

But when Nebraska billionaire Joe Rickets tries to buy the election for Perdue, it's okay.

Georgians can take some comfort that Michelle Nunn has raised a lot of money to fund her campaign too, much of it from ordinary folks. In fact, she's received donations from supporters in every county in Georgia.

The difference between Nunn and Perdue is becoming clear: Nunn is supported by thousands of people from all across Georgia who trust her to represent them in Washington with a can-do bipartisan spirit. Perdue is supported by a few wealthy billionaires who expect him to do their bidding if he ever makes it to Washington. Bought and paid for.

honested
honested

The republican (koch) attempt to promote One Dollar=One Vote seems alive and well in Georgia!

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

"...war on drugs continues to be the main catalyst for the abuse of power and excessive force..."

This statement may be subject to debate, but there is no arguement to suggest the money spent on the war on drugs has shown a cost effective outcome.

DS
DS

"The topic: How Harry Reid and those pesky Democratic senators are blocking House Republican proposals to boost the economy."

Nice try, Collins, but as anyone can tell you, Republican proposals to boost the economy are just giveaways to Corporate America, which would boost income for the wealthy but without doing anything for the overall economy.

Trickle-down economics does not work.

Meanwhile, Republicans have refused to consider either a jobs bill or raising the minimum wage, programs that would put more money in consumers' pockets, increase demand for goods and services, and boost the economy.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

The main reason that Perdue leads Nunn in money gathered is the following:

"$2,601,800, by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (to the Perdue's campaign)"

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

Lesson to be Learned: National Democratic Party, make your contributions to Michelle Nunn's campaign comparable to (or exceeding) that which the NRSC has contributed to David Perdue's campaign.

NWGAL
NWGAL

So the PAC money is behind Perdue. Where are the Republican ads decrying out of state money now?

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

PAC spending for Nunn not as large as Perdue's??? Maybe she does not appreciate the lies the PAC'S use in their ads!?


The charges that Perry has been accused of come from an ethics committee lead by a repub appointee! He's being persecuted....yeah right!

DS
DS

@NoahVale

The Farm Bill was developed in the 1930s during the Great Depression. The market price of agricultural goods plummeted so low that farmers weren't able to keep their farms, and millions of people were out of work and starving. 

Presto! The Farm Bill killed two birds with one stone: it gave farmers subsidies to continue producing agricultural products to feed a hungry nation, and it gave hungry people food stamps to help them buy food.

Long after the Great Depression ended, the Farm Bill was renewed over and over again. Liberals and moderates wanted to provide food stamps to hungry people, and conservatives wanted to continue with agricultural subsidies because they wanted political support from farmers. The Farm Bill was an uneasy compromise where both sides got what they wanted.

Recently, many Republicans  have decided it's time to let the Farm Bill go, even if it means losing political support from family farmers. Why? Because there aren't enough farmers left to worry about losing their votes. Republicans would rather make drastic cuts to food stamps.

When David Perdue said he would have voted against the Farm Bill, he's agreeing that the compromise should be broken. He'd rather cut supplemental food assistance to help feed hungry people, even at the risk of losing the farmer vote. 

He's kicking the dust of the agricultural community off his boots, because he feels he doesn't need their votes.

GA Peach
GA Peach

@NoahVale So David Perdue would bring one of the most important industries in Georgia (if not the most) to its knees by voting against the Farm Bill just to ensure that people would not have access to food stamps.  Those aren't Georgians' values, but they are Perdue's values.  Just look at the way he ran his companies.  The people to whom he'd deny food stamps are the very same workers he laid off Pillotex, Haggar, Sara Lee, and on and on...

cigs
cigs

@NoahVale it is okay to pay big company farms but not feed the poor.go ahead and fund their GMO while you are at it

honested
honested

@NoahVale 

It is unfortunate that conserrrrrrrrrrrrrrvatives, in their innate need to punish people, lack comprehension of the deleterious effects to farmers caused by their misapplied 'austerity'.

One need look no further than the economic contraction caused by the 'sequester' here and the much greater economic damage in Europe from their 'austerity' measures.

Until conserrrrrrrrrrrrrvatives come to understand economics, they should not be allowed to craft economic policy.

honested
honested

@NWGAL 

First, you have to 'believe'.

Second, you have to ignore the results.

Third, you have to repeat what already failed.

Juanx
Juanx

@DS  The little people $5.00 per month to cover expenses. Just like my monthly budget. See you at the polls. VOTE!

honested
honested

@DS 

Unfortunately, the average Georgian is completely unaware that 60% of the entire amount spent in all races in 2012 came from only 159 donors nationwide.

30 people spent MORE than the MILLIONS of Americans writing checks for under $200.00.

The Founders never intended an Oligarchy or a Plutocracy.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@DS  Agreed. And all those small Georgia donors will turn out to vote for her.

DontTread
DontTread

@honested Liberals really hate it when people they don't like exercise freedoms they don't agree with, and here's another example.

MoFaux
MoFaux

@hamiltonAZ The privatized prison owners would disagree with you there. :-)

MoFaux
MoFaux

@EdUktr The probability that EdUktr will post this daily is 100%.

honested
honested

@DS 

Also, the last step of republican economic tampering (the sequester) had the same effect it did in Europe (stagnation).

Why do they insist on repeating failed experiments?

honested
honested

@DontTread @honested 

I thought conserrrrrrrrrrrrrrrvatives didn't want the court to 'invent freedoms'.

I guess it's ok when the freedoms the court invents panders to those at the top, right?

honested
honested

@MoFaux 

The probability that EdUktr has bothered to look at numerous polls and list any that do not meet his/her/it's criteria is 0%.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@MoFaux

The probability you'll believe HuffPost has it wrong is likewise 100%.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@honested @MoFaux

It's not a poll. It's HuffPost's ANALYSIS of the polls. But if you know of a major media outlet predicting a Carter victory—let's see it!

honested
honested

@EdUktr @honested @MoFaux 

Look at RCP today.

They tend to lean wrong-wing so whenever they publish anything remotely suggesting a Democratic victory, you should pay attention.

honested
honested

@EdUktr @honested @MoFaux 

They are predicting a Dead Heat in the Governor's race.

Something that your 'predictions' never reflect.

Their predicting a dead heat is as good as a Carter victory.