The Jolt: Brad Raffensperger has a book deal, too: ‘Integrity Counts’

News and analysis from the politics team at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
12/14/2020 —  Atlanta, Georgia — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger during a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta, Monday, December 14, 2020.  (Alyssa Pointer /

Credit: Alyssa Pointer /

Credit: Alyssa Pointer /

12/14/2020 — Atlanta, Georgia — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger during a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta, Monday, December 14, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer /

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan has been making the national media rounds lately selling his “GOP 2.0.” But he isn’t the only Georgia Republican writing a book about the headline-grabbing 2020 elections.

We learned today that Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who has taken the lion’s share of former President Donald Trump’s relentless attacks since November, also has a book coming out. “Integrity Counts” will be published by Simon & Schuster and hit bookstores Nov. 2.

Simon & Schuster describes the book as, “Raffensperger’s inspiring story of commitment to the integrity of American democracy,” and says he’ll speak out in the book, “against the former president’s false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.”

But it the Secretary of State won’t be limiting his criticisms to just Trump and Republicans. He’ll also take Stacey Abrams and Democrats to task for refusing to concede the governor’s race in 2018.

The description of the book from the publisher says, “The similarities don’t end there, and when considered with some care, they paint an all-too-bipartisan willingness to undermine the integrity of our democracy, and the public’s confidence in it, for the sake of personal and partisan gain.”

One bold-faced name to blurb the book will be former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who writes, “Brad Raffensperger put public service above party service, and for that he is a true democracy action hero, and he is also my hero.”

Schwarzenegger and the University of Southern California directed hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money to Georgia counties for election administration ahead of the 2020 elections.

Raffensperger mentioned his upcoming book during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday, when he was also asked about Trump’s ongoing attacks against him and results of the 2020 election in Georgia, which Joe Biden won by about 10,000 votes.

“We’ve been reviewing, rebutting and fighting all this misinformation disinformation for over 10 months now,” he said. “And it’s not healthy for American democracy,” he said.

Raffensperger also reiterated his confidence in the results of the last election.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Vice President Biden carried the state of Georgia,” he said.

If Raffensperger had been hoping the far-right fury at him would die down before he’s up for reelection in 2022, “Integrity Counts,” and statements like that will likely make sure it doesn’t happen.


Donald Trump’s return to Georgia this weekend is shaping up to be less of a rally and more of an all-day Trump fan festival. And it will feature Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s first public campaign speech since entering the race a month ago.

Though the former president isn’t expected to take the stage at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry until 7 p.m. on Saturday, organizers say the venue will host a University of Georgia football watch party for early arrivers. The No. 2 Bulldogs square off against the scrappy Vanderbilt Commodores at noon.

Gates for the speeches open at 2 p.m. and around 6 the opening speakers will deliver remarks. Walker, who announced his campaign last month with Trump’s blessing, is set to address the crowd.

So are state Sen. Burt Jones, a candidate for lieutenant governor who earned Trump’s endorsement, and Rep. Jody Hice, his pick for secretary of state. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the far-right first-term Republican who Trump labeled a “rising star,” will also speak. Not on the list of scheduled speakers: Either of Gov. Brian Kemp’s longshot challengers. Nor, of course, the governor himself.

We wouldn’t be surprised if the entire pro-Trump ticket lines up for a photo on stage with the former president.


One of the nation’s most prominent abortion rights groups is taking sides in the Democratic primary for Georgia attorney general with an endorsement of state Sen. Jen Jordan.

NARAL Pro-Choice America backed the Sandy Springs legislator over Charlie Bailey, a former prosecutor who was runner up in the 2018 race to be the state’s top law enforcement officer. Bailey narrowly lost to Carr 49% to 51%.

Christian LoBue, the organization’s chief campaigns and advocacy officer, cited Jordan’s “bold action” to oppose far-reaching new abortion restrictions that narrowly passed the Legislature in 2019. LoBue called her the “chief advocate and lawyer that Georgians need to protect abortion access at a time when it faces unprecedented threats.”

Jordan said that the tough new Texas abortion law that the Supreme Court allowed to take effect served as a warning that “reproductive freedom is on the line” across the nation. She added that it’s “past time that we had a woman serving as Georgia’s attorney general.”


One of your Insiders was on hand in San Antonio Monday for the launch of Stacey Abams’ nation-wide book tour.

She did not make any announcements about her future, but this statement about why the audience should stay engaged in politics caught our eyes.

“The world is going to impact us one way or another. I’d rather be in the arena shaping the outcome. I’d rather be part of the doing, than a part of the done unto. You know what you need already. Voting is about making sure your voice is heard, and about shaping the vision of what we want to see.”


The Georgia House Democratic leadership strongly condemned the anti-Semitic messages, including images of swastikas, scrawled recently on bathroom walls of Lassiter High School and Pope High School in Cobb County.

The statement was crafted by state Rep. Michael Wilensky, a Dunwoody Democrat who is the only Jewish lawmaker in the state Legislature.

“We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community. Acts of hate, including anti-Semitic acts, will not be tolerated in our great state. These hateful incidents must be responded to with education and made to be teachable moments. No child should go to school in fear due to the hatred and ignorance of others around them.”

Last week, U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff used a Yom Kippur address to condemn the hateful acts.


All but two Democrats in Georgia’s Congressional delegation have added their names to an Amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to preserve access to abortions.

The high court will hear arguments on Dec. 1 regarding a challenge to Mississippi’s law banning most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

The lawmakers’ brief asks the court to preserve the Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion, as well as the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision that prohibited states from banning abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb.

“Reaffirming the fundamental right to control one’s own reproductive life, including by choosing to terminate a pregnancy before viability, is critical to ensuring all people’s ability ‘to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation,’” the brief says.

Altogether, 48 Democratic senators and 188 Democratic members of the U.S. House signed onto the brief, including U.S. Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, along with U.S. Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux, Lucy McBath, Hank Johnson and Nikema Williams. U.S. Reps. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, and David Scott, D-Atlanta, did not.

The Supreme Court recently allowed an Texas abortion law to go into effect, despite concerns about its constitutionality. The first cases regarding that state’s ban of abortions after six weeks of pregnancy were filed at the state level after a San Antonio doctor said that he had performed an abortion, “because I had a duty to care for this patient.”

A federal appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments Friday challenging Georgia’s 2019 abortion law, which bans abortion after a fetal cardiac activity is detected, usually at about six weeks of pregnancy. The AJC’s Maya T. Prabhu writes that Attorney General Chris Carr wants the judges to allow the Georgia law to take effect.

The lawmakers’ Amicus brief cites Georgia’s law as one of several that are “blatantly unconstitutional.”


Georgia STAND-UP will hold a series of mayoral candidate forums for mayors’ races in Metro Atlanta ahead of Election Day.

Tonight, candidates for mayor in the City of East Point will answer written questions from the public during a moderated event. Candidates in the City of South Fulton will meet Oct. 6. The forum for mayor candidates in the City of Atlanta will be Oct. 13.

The events will be livestreamed at the STAND-UP website and social channels.


We told you yesterday that the Black Voices for Trump offices promised for Atlanta never surfaced. Republican Party officials informed us the Trump campaign opened two outreach offices for Black voters last year-- one in Mableton and one in Decatur. Those offices are scheduled to reopen ahead of the 2022 election.


If you can’t get enough Georgia politics, may we humbly pass on the fact that one of your Insiders, Greg Bluestein, has a new book coming out that just might scratch that itch?

“Flipped: How Georgia Turned Purple and Broke the Monopoly on Republican Power” went up for pre-order this week and will publish in March.


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