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Daniel Malloy
Jim GallowayGreg Bluestein

David Perdue is back on the air, jean-jacketed but baby-less

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David Perdue is back on the air. Above is his first general election television effort, which hits Democrat Michelle Nunn on her campaign memo and attacks on the Republican before pulling back into the positives from Perdue’s business career.

Gone, for now, are the famous babies, but Perdue still sports his jean jacket at the end of the spot.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogIt’s the first chance for Perdue to rebut attacks on his business career by Nunn and her Super PAC allies on TV, though his own allied outside groups have spent heavily on his behalf — mostly going after Nunn. The “stretch” characterization attributed to the AJC’s Politifact, by the way, is taken slightly out of context — that was a judgment on Pillowtex-related attacks on Perdue made by U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston during the primary, and in a Democratic Party of Georgia press release.

Also notice the fine print: Paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, via funds that allow it to coordinate with the Perdue campaign. This is not to be confused with the straight negative NRSC ads pelting Nunn, which come from a different pile of money used for the NRSC’s independent expenditure campaign.

It also suggests that once Perdue restocks his own campaign account, Fred Davis’ handiwork might return.

***

This morning, at the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber breakfast, state Sen. Josh McKoon laid out a few priorities facing the state – including health care, transportation and public safety.

But McKoon has also been a top advocate for ethics reform in the state Capitol, and this is what he proposed in the wake of the mess that is the state ethics commission:

“I think it is safe to say that all of the problems of the commission date back to the passage of the 2005 Ethics in Government Act. The well-publicized lawsuits, the behavior of the [now-fired] executive secretary and the overall inability of the Commission to perform the duties required of it by Georgia law were built into the original law, which is why we need a major overhaul as soon as possible.

“I intend to move forward on legislation that essentially will scrap the commission as we know it and start over. We need a commission that is appointed in such a way as to minimize political influence. We need an executive secretary who is appointed for a fixed term of office that is long enough to guarantee his or her independence.

“An adequate level of funding should be dedicated to the commission so that it is always able to carry out its duties and is not subject to legislative whim when it comes to appropriations. The fox should not be guarding the proverbial henhouse. We also need to work on the ethical issues outside of state government.

“From DeKalb to Gwinnett to Clayton and beyond, we have seen numerous local governments facing serious charges of corruption and nepotism. That is why I intend to work on a serious conflict of interest law for all levels of government in our state as well as a real reform of procurement law so that no bid contracts become a thing of the past.

“We also need powerful new investigatory tools for the commission as well as a statewide grand jury, which can affirmatively seek out and eliminate corrupt practices at every level of government in our state.”

***
On a somewhat similar topic, Stefan Passantino and Jeremy Berry, both of McKenna, Long & Aldridge, have sent word that the state ethics commission, despite the chaos within one half of the Twin Towers, has quietly put out some rule changes that will come up for a vote later this month. Click here to see them all. Among the changes:

Regulates lobbying expenditures on behalf of a public official’s family member by stating that “Any money spent on a member of the family of a public official is deemed a lobbying expenditure on behalf of the public official and must be reported as such. For purposes of this Rule, a members of the family means a spouse and all dependent children.”

Adds a rule (consistent with the existing statute) that lobbyists cannot spend more than $75 per lobbying expenditure “per individual public officer.” The proposed rule permits one or more lobbyists to “split pro rata a lobbying expenditure” provided that a single lobbyist does not “exceed $75 per expenditure per individual public officer.”

In other words, a ratio of one lobbyist to one lawmaker would result in a $75 dinner. A ratio of two lobbyists to one lawmaker could produce a $150 dinner, and so on.

***

Through Jeff Breedlove at Georgia Pundit, U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, has a report on his recent trip to Central America to investigate immigration issues. We’ll highlight just two paragraphs:

You don’t hear this very often in America, and certainly we all want border security to be even better, but according to human smugglers in Central America, American border security is the best that it has ever been. It is so good, in fact, that smugglers are now offering a “three trips for the price of one” guarantee. That’s right. Smugglers no longer expect to succeed the first time, so they promise to try a second and third try for the former one trip price…

The American media is certainly driving the violence narrative, but in every nation and in every meeting that myth was dispelled. The United Nations is reporting that these nations are getting safer during the very same years that migration is exploding. When these countries interview those who have been repatriated, they report economic opportunity as the primary driver, followed by family reunification, followed third by violence. In Guatemala, for example, the safest but poorest area of the country, the Western Highlands, accounts for the bulk of all the Guatemalan migration to the U.S.

***

An angry state Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, is promising to end Sunday balloting in DeKalb County when state lawmakers assemble in the Capitol next January.

The promise is contained in this response to news that DeKalb County will reserve Oct. 26 for early voting – with one of the polling stations at the Gallery at South DeKalb, a.k.a. South DeKalb mall:

How ironic! Michele Obama comes to town and Chicago politics comes to DeKalb.

For the third time in recent months Governor Deal appointee Interim CEO Lee May has disappointed those of us that hoped he could help bring the county together.

First, he assembles a task force of 15 with no elected Republicans to review various aspects of county government. I called his hand and Representative Jacobs and I were asked to serve on the group. This seems like a good idea since legislation will be required for many changes.

Second, he schedules meetings throughout the county with Tucker being the only north location. Again, I called his hand and several north locations were added with little publicity.

Now we are to have Sunday voting at South DeKalb Mall just prior to the election. Per Jim Galloway of the AJC, this location is dominated by African American shoppers and it is near several large African American mega churches such as New Birth Missionary Baptist. Galloway also points out the Democratic Party thinks this is a wonderful idea – what a surprise. I’m sure Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter are delighted with this blatantly partisan move in DeKalb.

Is it possible church buses will be used to transport people directly to the mall since the poll will open when the mall opens? If this happens, so much for the accepted principle of separation of church and state.

Interim CEO May says this election decision is an administrative matter and he can unilaterally make this decision. I don’t think this is necessarily true and we are investigating if there is any way to stop this action.

This may be another reason to eliminate the CEO position.

I have spoken with Representative Jacobs and we will try to eliminate this election law loophole in January. Galloway summed it up, “Democrats are showing their hand on how they might boost their numbers”. For this to be called a “non-partisan opportunity” by Interim CEO is an insult!

Another first for DeKalb! So much for being inclusive.

***

A good portion of the NRSC money flowing into Georgia came from our parts in the first place, via the Senate Battleground Fund — a joint fundraising committee for the NRSC and Republican National Committee.

Well-heeled Republicans can mark their calendars for Sept. 21 at the Cobb Energy Centre for a “roundtable” chat with RNC chairman Reince Priebus, NRSC chairman Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, Georgia Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, and Perdue. It will only cost you $25,000 to get into this intimate event.

The riffraff can pay $10,000 for the VIP reception and photo op, or $5,200 per couple for the general reception.

***

NRSC governors

Speaking of fundraisers, take a hard look at the above section of an invite for an NRSC event Monday night in Washington. Seven former Republican governors, banding together to raise money to turn the Senate Republican.

Not on the list is the only former Republican governor we know of whose cousin is currently running for U.S. Senate.

And yet, we’re told David Perdue did stop by the event, in the midst of a hectic couple of days in D.C.

***

A little freer to speak his mind these days, outgoing U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, told the New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman on Monday that Congress should vote on an authorization to hit ISIS — but the politics are better not to:

“A lot of people would like to stay on the sideline and say, ‘Just bomb the place and tell us about it later,’ ” said Representative Jack Kingston, Republican of Georgia, who supports having an authorization vote. “It’s an election year. A lot of Democrats don’t know how it would play in their party, and Republicans don’t want to change anything. We like the path we’re on now. We can denounce it if it goes bad, and praise it if it goes well and ask what took him so long.”

Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, meanwhile, told the Washington Post that Special Forces should be on the ground to fight ISIS:

“Air power alone won’t be enough,” Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said in an interview with The Washington Post. “We need to put together a wide-ranging coalition and have our Special Forces support it.

“Special Forces are how we took out Osama bin Laden,” he added. “I would not be reluctant to use them.”

***

The U.S. House is set to vote today on a resolution condemning the Obama administration’s prisoner swap with the Taliban for Bowe Bergdahl. It’s co-authored by Reps. Scott Rigell, R-Va., and John Barrow, D-Augusta — who can enjoy the opportunity to put a little more distance between himself and the White House.

***

Better Georgia, the left-leaning advocacy group, is hosting a comedy roast of former Gov. Roy Barnes on Sept. 21. The title: “Laughing till the cows come home.”

We’re told former South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges and party honcho Bobby Kahn will be among the roasters.

We wonder if any Republicans will be invited.

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