Judging a Nathan Deal donation

Credit: Jim Galloway

Credit: Jim Galloway

Among the many Gold Dome donors to Gov. Nathan Deal's re-election was outgoing state Sen. Tim Golden, R-Valdosta.

Golden gave Deal $6,300 on Aug. 12. On Aug. 13 Deal appointed Golden's wife, Ellen S. Golden, to a new judgeship in Lowndes County.

Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said Golden was hosting a fundraiser in South Georgia on Aug. 12, as an explanation for the timing. And he said there is no link between the contribution and the appointment:

"Our fundraising operation has no idea when the governor's official legal team calls appointees and makes their decision. And our legal team has no idea when fundraisers are held and when checks are coming in. Governor Deal judges appointees by their credentials. And that's all."


Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political Insider Blog

We've gone from terrorists to pirates.

The latest hit on Michelle Nunn's Points of Light foundation involves the organization being a conduit of funds to an environmental organization that has been accused of high seas mischief.

From the Washington Free Beacon:

They intentionally ram their ships into other fishing and whaling vessels, throw "prop foulers" to break their propellers, and often pelt the ships with paintballs, water cannons, smoke bombs, and stink bombs.

Through Points of Light's MissionFish program, people could send donations through eBay to their preferred charities, including Sea Shepherd.

This is a similar situation to Islamic Relief USA -- which was used by Nunn foes, with a few more degrees of separation, as a link to Hamas, after her internal memo alluded to it as a potential liability. Here's what a Points of Light spokeswoman told the Free Beacon:

"These nonprofits were vetted regularly to ensure tax-exempt status, good standing with the IRS, and exclusion from terrorist watch lists," Weiss said.

Starring in reality TV's "Whale Wars" was not an impediment.


Here's the latest from the Federal Elections Commission on outside spending in the Georgia U.S. Senate race:

The National Rifle Association is putting another $332,000 into TV ads opposing Michelle Nunn.

Those Spanish-language People for the American way television and radio ads hitting David Perdue and Nathan Deal that we told you about the other day have a modest $45,000 behind them.

The National Federation of Independent Business has put another $61,000 into radio ads for Perdue, bringing its total to more than $150,000.


Witness the awkwardness of Kentucky Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes refusing to answer whether she voted for President Barack Obama -- despite having been a DNC delegate.

Michelle Nunn can expect to encounter this line of questioning at some point, too.


We told you earlier this week that moderates-boosting Center Forward has launched an ad campaign in the 12th District race on Augusta Democratic Rep. John Barrow's behalf. The spot, above, attacks Republican Rick Allen on student loans -- and the Allen campaign is crying foul.

The spot asserts that Allen wants to get rid of the federal student loan program, based on the fact that he wants to get rid of the Department of Education. Allen does want to eliminate that department -- as many conservative Republicans do -- but, according to spokesman Dan McLagan, he wants to do so to clear out the bureaucracy and send more money and authority to the states, while retaining the Pell Grant and federal student loan programs.

Barrow also launched a new positive ad this morning on energy, highlighting his work on behalf of Plant Vogtle and opposition to the Obama administration on the Keystone XL pipeline.


Jim Thompson at the Athens Banner-Herald raises an interesting conundrum for outgoing Rep. Paul Broun, who has a mysterious ethics case hanging over him, with an announcement from the House Ethics Committee due Oct. 29:

I'm not necessarily suggesting here that Broun's endorsement, even if it were available, would move the needle all that much for either Republican Senate contender David Perdue in the contest with Democrat Michelle Nunn, or for GOP gubernatorial incumbent Nathan Deal in the contest with Democrat Jason Carter. It's worth noting though, that both contests are coming down to being games of inches, and in that kind of environment, a Broun endorsement might make a difference.

Broun, you may recall, stayed quiet in the U.S. Senate runoff before backing Jack Kingston without much fanfare at the last minute.