Attorney General Chris Carr. AJC file/DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM

The Jolt: A Democratic effort to make Chris Carr own ‘heartbeat’ bill

State Sen. Jen Jordan, D-Atlanta, has sent Chris Carr a hand-delivered letter asking the Republican attorney general to pass judgment on House Bill 481, the anti-abortion “heartbeat” bill that would ban abortions after only six weeks.

Jordan posted a photo of the letter on Wednesday, with the Twitter notation that “voters across GA are concerned about the litigation cost & burden to taxpayers.” From the letter:

“I am writing to request that you issue a legal opinion as to the constitutionality of House Bill 481. As you are aware, H.B. 481 was passed during the 2019 Session of the Georgia General Assembly.

“Because of the possibility of substantial legal fees associated with litigation surrounding the likely protracted defense of HB 481, it is important to understand your legal position as the chief legal officer of the State of Georgia….”

Backers of HB 481 have acknowledged that the measure, like similar ones passed in other states, is intended as a legal vehicle that could reach the U.S. Supreme Court, and give justices an opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Gov. Brian Kemp has until mid-May to sign the legislation, but has fended off those seeking an exact date.

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The Morning Consult is out this morning with an expansive poll of governors and U.S. senators. Click here for the interactive site that ranks Gov. Brian Kemp and U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson.

Among U.S. governors, Kemp ranks No. 27 when it comes to voter approval in his state.

But it is among Georgia’s senators that we may have a measure of what loyalty to President Donald Trump can offer.

Out of 100 senators, Perdue ranks No. 31 in terms of high approval. Isakson ranks No. 64. Perdue also has a 76% approval ranking from Georgia Republicans, No. 17 on a list of the 20 Republican senators with the highest GOP approval. Isakson isn’t on that list.

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After his appearance at a drug addiction summit in downtown Atlanta on Wednesday, one of your Insiders got a chance to ask President Donald Trump about that stalled disaster relief bill so desperately needed by Georgia farmers:

The Republican accused Democrats who “feel they’re not going to win the farmers anyway” of trying to score more money for Puerto Rico.

“The Democrats don’t care about Georgia. They don’t care about Alabama,” Trump said. “They don’t care about numerous other states, South Carolina. They don’t care about numerous other states.”

Democrats, of course, accuse Trump of treating Puerto Ricans as something other than U.S. citizens.

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Gov. Brian Kemp wasn’t at that summit. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan did the honors, which allowed Kemp to proceed with a fly-around that celebrated his first 100 days in office. At one stop, the governor committed himself to another try at the jet fuel tax break sought by Delta Air Lines. Said Kemp:

“I had a plan that Delta supported that was going to be good for them on the jet-fuel tax and would have provided much-needed funding for rural airports,” he said. “Some in the Legislature, for whatever reason — and I’m still kind of baffled — didn’t agree with that. But we’re committed to working on that.”

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Read into this what you will: Stacey Abrams is scheduled to deliver an address on May 10 to National Security Action, a D.C. group led by former foreign policy advisers in the Obama administration. Other speakers include ex-White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. The former Democratic candidate for governor should have already decided whether she’ll run for U.S. Senate by then. 

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It’s not exactly the Georgia Democratic playbook, but liberal groups have collaborated on this dense spreadsheet outlining which seats they see as vulnerable and which are off-limits. It’s tempting to focus solely on the congressional and legislative seats, but the document goes far deeper to county and city races. Dive in.

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On a related note: Alex Kaufman, the Republican who lost to Democrat Josh McLaurin in the 2018 race for the open House District 51 seat, has announced he’ll seek a rematch. This is the seat given up last year by Wendell Willard, a Sandy Springs Republican.

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Over at The Resurgent, Erick Erickson has a fascinating, granular piece on a potential trouble spot for Republicans in 2020 – a door-to-door GOTV platform that doesn’t always work:

In Georgia, Brian Kemp’s team used the same system as that outside group in Florida. The system worked and they relied on paid door knockers instead of volunteers. The results speak for themselves. National groups promised to deal with the situation in suburban Atlanta and never actually did it. The volunteer effort in the Atlanta suburbs collapsed, but the paid effort with competent software and apps in rural parts of Georgia saved the day, just as it had in Florida.

The GOP needs to get on this issue quick. The party needs to budget for paid door knockers in key swing states and needs to make sure its technology is robust and smart enough to not get fooled by fraudulent data. Florida and Georgia show real cases where that combination of paid door knockers and robust apps with honest data can save close races. But time is wasting. In Georgia, for example, Democrats have already poured into the state and are already engaged in both identifying voters and making contact with them. Republicans need to up their game and do so quickly.

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