On WGAU (1360 AM) this morning, Tim Bryant and Republican U.S. Senate hopeful David Perdue had a discussion about his controversial ad linking Democrat Michelle Nunn and Points of Light to terrorist groups -- and Nunn's response.
Bryant brought up the criticism from Neil Bush, among others, and Perdue replied that he had been endorsed by Points of Light founder, President George H.W. Bush. He went on:
Bryant: "Let me ask the question directly then: Do you believe Michelle Nunn is in any way associated with terrorist organizations?"
Perdue: "Well, that's what it says in their plan, Tim."
For more background on what the memo does and does not say, here's
Republicans contend that former Sen. Sam Nunn's efforts to distance his daughter from Majority Leader Harry Reid by saying she wasn't Reid's first choice for the seat ring hollow. The evidence:
1. Reid slightly stepped on Michelle Nunn's campaign debut the night before she announced by telling an Organizing For America gathering that he had just spoken with Nunn and proclaimed "she is really good."
2. Reid's leadership PAC gave Nunn's campaign $10,000.
3. Nunn's internal memos anticipate getting outside help from Reid's Super PAC, Senate Majority PAC, though the group has not yet spent in Georgia.
for more support for his re-election bid in a conference call and
. Now we have a taste of the response.
Rep. Bruce Williamson, R-Monroe, sent out an invite to an Oct. 12 BBQ fundraiser on Deal's behalf in Monroe, featuring several state legislators and almost-congressman Jody Hice. A mere $100 per couple gets you in, $1,000 makes you a sponsor.
Is David Pennington's endorsement of the Libertarian in the gubernatorial race a sign of tea party discontent with Gov. Nathan Deal, or a personal vendetta from a politician who bitterly opposed the incumbent?
The battle lines were drawn shortly after we brought you the news that Pennington, the former Dalton mayor who waged an unsuccessful GOP challenge against Deal, was backing Libertarian Andrew Hunt in November's race.
Democrat Jason Carter's campaign gleefully welcomed the news as a sign that Deal can't pass the 50 percent threshold next month. Pennington got nearly one-fifth of the GOP protest vote in May, their thinking goes, and if even a fraction of them side with the Libertarian it could deprive him of the majority he needs.
The counterpoint to that comes from Republicans and other Deal allies who saw Pennington as a political gadfly who was just waiting for the chance to twist the knife into his old adversary.
State Rep. Trey Kelley dismissed Hunt and Pennington on Twitter as "two losers" and state Rep. Buzz Brockway wrote on Peach Pundit that, come November, Carter "will scare some folks back into the GOP with his talk of how money is the solution to all that ails us."
Jason Carter was confronted by a pointed - his campaign would say planted - question yesterday at the state PTA conference involving whether his Special Education Task Force proposed fixes for the problems it found.
Republicans quickly disseminated the above video of the exchange. After the event ended, Carter could be seen talking quietly with the questioner.
Deal allies also pointed our way to a story that recently ran in the Atlantic about the legal implications of a Vice News documentary of the Islamic State. It explored a 2010 Supreme Court case that held it was constitutional to ban legal professionals from doing work with groups on a State Department watch list.
That decision means, for example, that Jimmy Carter and his Carter Center could be in violation of federal law for giving peacemaking advice to groups on the State Department's FTO list. Any private individual who coordinates with a group on that list, or a group that the individual ought to know engages in terrorism, with the purposes of providing it advice or assistance—even on how to pursue an end to its campaign of violence—is guilty of a crime by the logic of the Roberts Court. In the justices' judgment, the government's interest in delegitimizing and weakening any such group easily outweighs constitutional rights to speech and association.
On a visit to coastal Georgia on Thursday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson presented U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss with the department's highest civilian honor, a Distinguished Public Service Medal. It's not exactly the Peanut Hall of Fame, but a nice honor for the departing senator.
Congress' approval rating has dipped to 7 percent -- 7! -- according to a new nationwide poll by the Associated Press. President Barack Obama's approval is at 42 percent, and a plurality of voters wants the Republicans to run the unpopular legislative branch:
In those places where Senate campaigns are nearly impossible to avoid, voters aren't bullish on the GOP's chances of taking the Senate. Among likely voters in 10 states with competitive Senate races, 52 percent think the Democrats will hold the Senate while 49 percent think the Republicans will take control. These voters are also evenly split on which party ought to control Congress, 44 percent favor each party.
That neither side has grabbed a clear edge is unsurprising given the public's take on those currently in power.
Among all likely voters, majorities have unfavorable opinions of each party — 96 percent say they are dissatisfied or angry with the leadership of one side or the other. Among those who prefer a GOP-controlled Congress, 52 percent say they're dissatisfied or angry with the current Republican leadership.
No word of this happening yet in Georgia, but the conservative Super PAC Ending Spending has reserved $2.4 million in airtime in Louisiana for after the Nov. 4 election -- assuming that the "jungle primary" system produces a runoff. The National Review has the story.
Lena Dunham, the star of HBO's "Girls," is using her national book tour to promote Democrats endorsed by Emily's List, the group that backs female candidates -- including Georgia's Michelle Nunn -- who favor abortion rights. From Buzzfeed's scoop:
Dunham had reached out to EMILY's List prior to her book tour, aides familiar with the conversations said, and wanted to use the tour to help the group with get-out-the-vote efforts for Democrats in the midterms. The group has provided her with the number of women voters who drop-off in a midterm elections specific to whichever area she is on the tour, and she'll use them the numbers when encouraging the audience to vote in November. They also gave her names and details of candidates to talk about on the tour.
Alas, Dunham's tour is not scheduled at this point to come through Georgia. Maybe we'll get Marnie.
Some late-breaking news from the 12th District of Georgia: Prognosticator Charlie Cook has moved the race from a Democratic lean to a toss-up. The full item:
Toss Up. Barrow is perhaps the most skilled straight-to-camera ad-shooting incumbent in the country, and he is once again running some of the best ads (and overall campaigns) of the cycle. Yet the fact remains: 2014 is the first midterm election he has had to run in since Republicans dramatically redrew his seat in 2012 to drop its Democratic performance ten points. The combination is perilous.
Republican Rick Allen won his primary without a runoff, and although Democrats are attacking him as a tax-and-spend construction profiteer, he is a marked improvement over 2012 GOP nominee Lee Anderson. Newspapers panned Anderson for refusing to debate Barrow, yet still won 46 percent of the vote. In this year's first debate, Barrow displayed his deftness but didn't score any knockout blows.
The last white House Democrat remaining from the Deep South, Barrow moves heaven and earth to cultivate a brand of bipartisanship. He will highlight endorsements from the NRA, NFIB, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and BIPAC, among other traditionally GOP-leaning groups. In surveys, voters continue to give Barrow high personal marks, and he works the district with retail tenacity.
Yet President Obama's approval rating in GA-12 is stuck in the low 40s, and there is data to suggest Barrow, a 10-year incumbent, is well under 50 percent at the moment. Allen's campaign released a mid-September survey taken by Public Opinion Strategies showing Barrow up just 44 percent to 42 percent. We still see Barrow as an ever-so-slight favorite, but not by enough to keep it out of the Toss Up column.
Barrow's camp points out that Roll Call recently removed him from its list of top-10 endangered members. Here's what Barrow spokesman Richard Carbo had to say about Cook:
"These are the same guys that predicted the 'worst candidate in the country' would win in 2012. Roll Call got it right then, and they've just moved this race off of their top ten list. We feel better than we've ever felt, have the numbers on our side, and aren't letting anyone slow down our momentum."
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Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution