A first glimpse into Brian Kemp's voter registration probe

Credit: Jim Galloway

Credit: Jim Galloway

The targets will hold a noon press conference at the state Capitol, but this afternoon's emergency meeting of the state election board will be Secretary of State Brian Kemp's show – an opportunity to explain why he's launched an investigation into the most prominent voter registration project of the 2014 election season.

Click here for the details gathered up by our AJC colleague Kristina Torres.

The board will gather in Room 341 of the Capitol, one of the building’s largest meeting spaces. But the meeting won’t be livestreamed – you’ll have to be present to win.

House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, one of the organizers behind the New Georgia Project, says she’s not sure of the purpose of the meeting, which was called by Kemp.

“Given that we were not invited to the hearing, we’re not exactly sure what’s going to happen there. We were not notified, nor were we invited,” Abrams said. But the group, which continues to charge that Kemp’s subpoena is an attempt by the Republican office-holder to paralyze the voter registration effort, will have someone in the room to listen.

“The ball is in the secretary of state’s court,” said the Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church and another New Georgia organizer. “We continue to be concerned that a lot of the folks that we’ve registered we know are not on the rolls. That’s something someone needs to ask him about.”

Kemp's office said there was no need to extend an invitation to Abrams and her supporters because it is a public meeting that's been on the calendar since Monday.

Attorney David Worley, a long-time Democratic member of the election board, said he’ll be looking for Kemp to explain his actions.

“What I really want to know is, what are the facts that have lead to targeting the New Georgia project. It seems pretty clear that they’ve been targeted, and I want to know why,” Worley said. “And I want to know what is the fraud that supposedly is going on. Is it a small number of mistakes? What I want to know has not been clear from any of the news reports – how many irregularities are we talking about?”


We now know what made Gov. Sonny Perdue, and his Senate-candidate cousin, David Perdue, so darned modest and upright: Watermelons.

A new TV ad by the David Perdue campaign features the former governor, and is clearly aimed at voters living Outside The Perimeter:

From the script:

Sonny Perdue: He grew up modestly like we all did here. Packin' watermelons, pickin' watermelons, totin' watermelons. He got the real deal stuff here -- the morals, the values, the work ethic.

Narrator: David Perdue knows how vital agriculture is to our Georgia economy. He wants to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee to help Georgia farmers grow.

It’s a nice, feel-good spot. But it makes you wonder what moral fiber you might get from harvesting Vidalia onions. Probably nothing but tears and the power of empathy.

But more seriously: Georgia farmers are still morning next year's loss of U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss. U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, who supported the latest Farm Bill, was agriculture's replacement candidate in the GOP primary. David Perdue explicitly said he would have voted against the Farm Bill. So Perdue has some serious ground to make up -- and his governor-cousin is providing the street cred. Er, field cred.


A new front is opening in the Georgia Senate race over employment discrimination lawsuits.

Republicans are highlighting a portion of the infamous Michelle Nunn campaign memo that listed two EEOC complaints as a potential vulnerability with a new online attack. Meanwhile, the Democrat's supporters have identified a trove of lawsuits filed against Dollar General while GOP hopeful David Perdue was at the Fortune 500 company's helm.

The complaints the GOP invokes are not a matter of public record, and Nunn's campaign hasn't offered any details yet. Leslie Shedd, spokeswoman for the GOP's Georgia Victory group, said her silence speaks volumes.

"What is Michelle Nunn hiding?" said Shedd. "It’s time for Nunn to start answering the questions she was hoping no one would ask.”

The Democratic document lists five settlements of alleged wage discrimination while Perdue was in charge of Dollar General, and more than a dozen settlements filed by employees who claimed they were sexually harassed or faced discrimination because they were pregnant that were filed or settled on his watch.

The complaints largely involve disputes with local or regional staffers at stores and don't mention Perdue. Several cite incidents that took place long before his tenure. The Republican's campaign has accused Democrats of cherry-picking lawsuits and point to Perdue's record of opening new stores.

The back-and-forth comes days after Nunn accused the Republican, in her most recent ad, of pay discrimination when he led Dollar General. That complaint, which also didn't name Perdue, was settled for nearly $19 million after Perdue left the job. Perdue's camp called it a misleading attack that would fall flat with women voters.


You're seeing a number of election-forecasting operations start to lower GOP chances of reclaiming the U.S. Senate in November. From vox.com:

What's behind the change? All these models incorporate "fundamental" factors in their forecasts that tended to advantage the GOP — things like incumbency and presidential approval ratings — but, as the election nears, they're relying more heavily on pure polling, and Democrats are doing surprisingly well in the polls.

The Senate Majority PAC, fueled by billionaires and labor unions, has been the biggest-spending super PAC of the 2014 midterm contests. Together with an allied tax-exempt group, Patriot Majority, the pro-Democratic effort has poured at least $36 million into ads and voter outreach, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research organization.