Tough financial times for Georgia's ruling GOP

As of its last report, the Georgia Republican party was in the black – but only barely.

A $105,130 surplus, drawn down from $867,901 in contributions, was somewhat boosted by a $55,000 loan that shows up on its June 30 report from chairman John Padgett, to secure an Athens conference center for the party's state convention.

Now we’re being told that the state’s ruling party has recently missed payrolls – though only briefly, cut out reimbursements for travel and such, and has shifted some full-time employees to contract status.

The financial difficulties follow a hot race for party chairman that only ended in May with Padget's re-election . Then there’s the Super PAC effect – draining both money and talent away from party infrastructure.

You also have to wonder whether, with party conventions becoming a venue for the airing of grievances against GOP elected officials, successful candidates are sending their cash elsewhere.

Regardless, the party’s financial straits explain much of the hoopla surrounding last month’s announcement that former Savannah congressman Jack Kingston would lead the party’s fundraising efforts.


Georgia's Democratic establishment is starting to rally around the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who is ruminating about a possible run for U.S. Senate.

House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams became the latest party poobah to urge him to run.

"Rev. Warnock has a demonstrated and admirable record of working to uplift Georgia families, and I see an emerging electorate across the state that would be enthusiastic about his candidacy," she said. "Should he choose to run, he undoubtedly will be a strong candidate."


The U.S. State Department released another batch of Clinton emails last night. Here's AP's takeaway:

Hillary Rodham Clinton and her aides at the State Department were acutely aware of the need to protect sensitive information when discussing international affairs over email and other forms of unsecure electronic communication, according to the latest batch of messages released by the agency from Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

The State Department made public roughly 7,121 pages of Clinton’s emails late Monday night, including 125 emails that were censored prior to their release because they contain information now deemed classified. The vast majority concerned mundane matters of daily life at any workplace: phone messages, relays of schedules and forwards of news articles.

But in a few of the emails, Clinton and her aides noted the constraints of discussing sensitive subjects when working outside of the government’s secure messaging systems — and the need to protect such information.

The Wall Street Journal has a searchable database of the emails for your research pleasure. One thing we found: Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., met with Clinton on July 16, 2010, as the Foreign Relations Committee was considering the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia. Isakson ended up voting yes.


In light of the Hillary Clinton email saga and a new inspector general report criticizing data security in the Tokyo embassy, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., is taking aim at State Department employees' use of private email.

Perdue, who has an oversight role for the State Department, said he will focus on the issue in the coming months. Here's what he told Roll Call:

“As Chairman of the subcommittee charged with overseeing State Department operations, I will continue to advocate for greater oversight to ensure these common-sense IG recommendations are implemented. National security and safeguarding sensitive government information must always be a top priority."


The Jeb Bush campaign has pushed out this YouTube video detailing The Donald's Democratic history. When the time is right, look for specific clips to become fodder for 30-second spots in Iowa, New Hamsphire and other early primary/caucus states:


University of Georgia football great Herschel Walker has endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 GOP presidential contest. From USA Today:

Walker said he supports Trump's idea of building a wall between the U.S.-Mexico border, but does not agree with Trump's most controversial position: deporting the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

Walker said he would like to see a plan that enables immigrants to earn citizenship, but he still likes Trump as a presidential candidate in part from what Walker learned about Trump during the 1984 and '85 seasons with the New Jersey Generals.


WSB Radio’s Jamie Dupree tells us that GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio will be in Chattanooga for a 4 p.m. Thursday rally at Lindsay Street Hall.


Outrage over President Barack Obama's removal of William McKinley's name from an Alaskan mountaintop won't spread much past Ohio, the assassinated president's home state. Alaska's two Republican U.S. senators have endorsed the move. Here's Lisa Murkowski:


Gov. Nathan Deal hasn't abandoned his hope to put private organizations in charge of some of the 7,000 or so children who reside in foster care under the watch of the Division of Family and Children's Services.

The 2014 legislative session started with a renewed push to begin privatizing the foster care system and ended with a pilot program that aimed to do just that. But the pilot program sputtered before state officials pulled the plug, and lawmakers veered from the debate in 2015.

The governor said Monday the idea is far from dead.

"That is something we're going to continue to explore," he said at an event honoring the more than 250,000 grandparents and other relatives who have stepped up to care for children in their families. "But when you get right down to it, you much prefer to place a child with a family member or someone who is very close to the family."


Rebecca Chase Williams, filling out the term of J. Max Davis, has qualified in this fall’s race for mayor of Brookhaven. Neighbor Newspapers reports two challengers:

Former DeKalb County Board of Ethics chairman John Ernst, who announced his candidacy in an Aug. 18 email, and world champion competitive eater and homeowners’ advocate Dale Boone, who announced his campaign in a Monday email, also filed their paperwork Monday.



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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.