Some high-dollar donors have helped the Democratic Party of Georgia restock its campaign coffers.
Recently-released financial records show the party now sports nearly $1.6 million in cash to spend on Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor and the rest of the ticket in the months ahead.
That’s roughly double the amount it had in its account at the same time during the 2014 primary.
The party has rebuilt its campaign coffers thanks partly to wealthy out-of-state donors. Billionaire George Soros recently chipped in $1 million, and philanthropist Quinn Delaney added another $100,000.
That's far higher than the Georgia GOP, which reported about $500,000 in cash in its account. That includes more than $70,000 in transfers from national Republican groups.
A pro-Casey Cagle outside group has already spent nearly $2 million on ads boosting his campaign for governor. Now Brian Kemp is getting some third-party support. A group called "A Better Georgia PAC" — not to be confused with Better Georgia, the Democratic-leaning guerilla group — has reserved about $200,000 of airtime for the secretary of state.
In the aftermath of last week's NATO meeting, and in advance of today's U.S.-Russia summit, former Georgia senator Sam Nunn has put his name to some rare public criticism of President Donald Trump. From an op-ed in The Hill newspaper, written with Ernest Moniz, the former energy secretary who is now Nunn's co-chair on the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative:
The "Trump hurricane" hit Brussels this week. There is a place for frank exchanges and even public pressure with friends and allies. But the President's public castigating of Germany as being "totally controlled by Russia" is inappropriate treatment of a valued ally. Nor is it likely to generate the necessary cooperation and trust from key allies and NATO to reengage with Russia in our collective duty to reduce nuclear dangers.This latest display of bullying our friends follows soon after disputes between the Trump administration and European allies over trade, as well as the president's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris climate change accords. The perception of a strong alliance that firmly backs the United States has been severely challenged weakening NATO and undercutting U.S. leadership. Unfortunately, this self-inflicted damage weakens President Trump's position when he sits down with President Putin in Helsinki, where the stakes for the security of America and the world are high.
U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, is mulling a run to lead an influential conservative group on Capitol Hill. The Hill newspaper reports that the sophomore congressman is one of a handful of Republicans weighing a bid to chair the Republican Study Committee next year. The caucus is the largest on Capitol Hill, counting roughly two-thirds of the House GOP -- and nine of Georgia's 10 Republicans -- among its members.
The Georgia delegation has been active in the policy group's leadership in recent years. Tom Price led the RSC from 2009 to 2010, and Rob Woodall briefly took over the job in 2014 after chairman Steve Scalise stepped down to secure a spot in the party leadership. Ranger Republican Tom Graves had initially been seen as a favorite to lead the group in 2012 -- the then-second term lawmaker had been endorsed by the RSC's founders and past chairmen -- but was ultimately outmaneuvered by Scalise that year.
The RSC once represented the House GOP's most conservative flank, but in recent years has been edged out by the Freedom Caucus. There is some overlap between the two groups -- Georgia's Jody Hice is a member of both. Loudermilk for a time was also a double member, but he quietly left the Freedom Caucus last year, saying he wanted to focus on his position on the RSC's steering committee. He told the Hill that he could be a bridge between the two groups.
Add former Gov. Sonny Perdue to the parade of Georgia officials who were frustrated by the Supreme Court's recent punt on the state's water wars case with Florida. The agriculture secretary told reporters Friday that he "was hoping the Supreme Court would have made a more definitive ruling" when it issued its opinion last month. But following a swing through farm country with his cousin, U.S. Sen. David Perdue, the former governor said the court's ruling won't necessarily be a negative one for Georgia at the end of the day. Perdue via the Macon Telegraph:
"I believe Georgia has the data and the facts to demonstrate that the water use has been appropriate and been used appropriately, agriculturally through the state and from pecans to other crops. And I think we can demonstrate that to the special master."
In their 5-4 ruling last month, the Supreme Court justices directed their expert judge, "special master" Ralph Lancaster Jr., to reexamine Florida's case against Georgia rather than dismissing it outright. The high court's decision extends the states' pricey legal battle, but the timeline moving forward is unclear.
David Kim, a Democrat on the ballot in next week's Seventh District runoff, circulated a video on social media over the weekend that showed the cops being called on two African-American students who were canvassing for his campaign in Snellville. CBS46 identified one of the students as Eli Sabur, a Morehouse College student. In the video, Sabur counts three police cars responding to the call.
“When I repeatedly hear of incidents like this, it deeply saddens me that this has become a running commentary of my campaign,” Kim said. “Political door knocking is not solicitation. It is perfectly legal and an expression of democracy at its finest. We know this happens all the time- the police are called more on canvassers of color - regardless of whose campaign it is.”