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Rick Allen tries to distance himself from stimulus bill

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The 2009 stimulus bill is a big deal in Rep. John Barrow’s re-election race, in part because the Augusta Democrat has not voted for many other big-ticket Democratic items in the Obama era. It has been the subject of a simian-themed National Republican Congressional Committee ad, and Republican Rick Allen has hammered it on the stump.Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blog

At the same time, Allen must distance himself from the stimulus, which was backed by the Associated General Contractors of America — seeing as the bill provided an infusion of cash for “shovel-ready” construction projects. So you have the video above (please excuse the vertical iPhone), taken in May in Candler County. Says Allen:

“I was against the stimulus package. My industry lobbied for it. And I broke with my industry association over that one issue, meaning that I quit funding that PAC because of that stimulus package. Because I knew what was in there, and I knew it was wrong, and I was against it. And  for them to — and all they’re doing is saying he supported the stimulus. I did not support the stimulus package. And as proof of that, that’s when I stopped writing checks to that PAC.”

But AGC received a check from Allen in March 2009, nearly a month after the stimulus was signed into law. He also was on the board of directors for the Georgia affiliate of AGC through at least June of that year.

His financial disclosure form this year says Allen still is a director for the group, but spokesman Dan McLagan said that was an error. Allen has not been listed as a director on the organization’s annual reports since 2009.

Allen has not donated to the group’s PAC since a month after the stimulus passed, and he had been a sporadic giver before that, tallying donations in 2007 and 2002.

The contractors don’t have hard feelings over all of this, though. The PAC has given Allen $15,000 over his two runs for Congress.

McLagan, via email, said Allen planned to continue pushing Barrow on the stimulus:

“It looks like even the Democrats are feeling defensive about Barrow’s vote for Obama’s stimulus with its coked up monkeys and sidewalks to nowhere — they should be.”

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Barrow, meanwhile, put out a list of endorsements in all of the 12th Congressional District counties on Thursday.

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The best political ad of 2012 is back, sort of, in Georgia.

At least that’s what the National Journal argues in a piece about the new Michelle Nunn ad highlighting GOP rival David Perdue’s Pillowtex plight.

It was the single most effective ad of the entire 2012 presidential campaign, according to research by Ace Metrix, a television analytics company. And the Democratic strategists who made the devastating spot are using the same themes again this year in Georgia’s Senate race. How much weight the concept carries against someone other than Romney, though, is still in question.

The Republican candidate in Georgia, David Perdue, is a wealthy businessman. And Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn has retained the same media strategists, Shorr Johnson Magnus, who made the memorable anti-Romney ads for the Priorities USA Action super PAC in 2012. The result: Nunn’s latest TV ad, which stars former millworkers (almost all women) from North Carolina who lost their jobs when their company, Pillowtex, closed down shortly after Perdue came and left as the chief executive. “He left all of us there holding the bag with nothing in it,” says one woman at the end of the ad, which contrasted Perdue’s high salary with the workers’ predicament.

It cuts right at Perdue’s biggest strength: his business experience. And research Ace Metrix conducted for National Journal shows just why ads like this work. The data suggest that while the Nunn ad isn’t quite as potent as the anti-Romney one, it’s grabbing hold of Georgians’ attention just as their Senate race starts to heat up.

Leslie Shedd, the spokeswoman for Georgia Victory, the GOP-backed effort to win the Senate seat, couldn’t help but chime in.

“If this is the best ad that Democrats have to offer,” she said, “then they’re going to have a long and painful road to November.”

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Lightning rod U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is staffing up for a possible White House run. From the Washington Examiner:

To help the Tea Party-affiliated senator manage his role as a national leader and prepare for a possible White House run, his political shop has added Jason Miller as a digital and communications advisor, Jeff Roe to offer organizational guidance and help run Cruz’ more nationally focused operation and Lauren Lofstrom to handle national fundraising.

The Missouri-based Roe was Jack Kingston’s general consultant for his Senate campaign.

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Atlanta’s First Baby met Georgia’s First Lady this week.

Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed are known for their famed friendship. It seems their wives have struck up a relationship, too.

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GOP Senate candidate David Perdue picked up the endorsement of former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.

Bolton’s two political action committees, which report a combined $3 million in cash on hand, also pledged to support the candidate.

It’s the second time Bolton has popped up on Georgia’s political radar this month. He co-authored an op-ed with Gov. Nathan Deal in early August on Georgia’s expanding partnership with Israel.

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Allowing same-sex couples in Georgia to marry could generate almost $80 million in spending for Georgia’s economy.

That’s according to a study released this week from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

The study estimated that about 10,000 of Georgia’s 21,000 or so same-sex couples would marry in the first three years, bringing a $50 million boost in the first year alone. In all, the study found it would add $5.5 million in sales tax revenue and create almost 1,000 jobs.

 

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