The Jolt: More fallout for Herschel Walker after swastika controversy, canceled fundraiser

Former professional football player Herschel Walker speaks to the crowd before introducing President Donal Trump during a Blacks for Trump campaign rally at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Friday, September 25, 2020. Walker is now a candidate for the U.S. Senate. (Alyssa Pointer /

Credit: Alyssa Pointer /

Credit: Alyssa Pointer /

Former professional football player Herschel Walker speaks to the crowd before introducing President Donal Trump during a Blacks for Trump campaign rally at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Friday, September 25, 2020. Walker is now a candidate for the U.S. Senate. (Alyssa Pointer /

The fallout continued for Herschel Walker after his campaign canceled a fundraiser at the home of a Texas woman who once sported a swastika composed of vaccines on her social media page.

Dov Wilker of the Atlanta chapter of the American Jewish Committee said that scrapping the event doesn’t go far enough. Jewish groups have condemned the use of the syringe swastika in protests of vaccine requirements.

“A swastika is a symbol of hate,” Wilker said. “Walker may have canceled his fundraiser after a sponsor associated with the event displayed the antisemitic symbol proudly, but he must condemn Holocaust and COVID health policies comparisons immediately.”

Democrats, prepping to defend U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock’s Senate seat in 2022, also slammed the GOP frontrunner.

“Herschel Walker defended a swastika, and canceling a fundraiser does not change the fact that he failed to condemn a hateful, anti-Semitic symbol,” Dan Gottlieb of the Democratic Party of Georgia said in a press release.

Walker didn’t address the controversy during an appearance late Wednesday on Fox News. But he did make a statement to host Sean Hannity that you don’t often hear from GOP candidates.

“I don’t care whether you’re Democrat or Republican, I’m here to represent you,” he said. “Because everything that the Democrats want, I guarantee it is what I want. We want law and order. We want the border patrolled. We want prices to go down.”

That led to some head scratching — in emoji form — from his main GOP rival, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.

One person who isn’t sorry is the Texas woman who was set to host the event, Bettina Sofia Vivano-Langlais.

“My biggest disappointment is that yet again another Conservative has decided to succumb to the outrage mob, cancel culture, and cancel the event,” she told the “I specifically chose that symbol as an artistic protest against those that seem to think it’s okay to violate human rights.”

Vivano-Langlais changed the image on her Twitter profile shortly after the Jolt first reported it Wednesday morning. But now, her account appears to have been deleted altogether.


It was a message that gave senior Georgia Republicans a dreaded sense of deja vu.

Former President Donald Trump encouraged fellow Republicans to boycott next year’s election if “we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020.”

The claims of election fraud, of course, are bogus. But the threat of Republicans staying home is not.

Tens of thousands of Georgia Republicans – some deterred by Trump’s lies – stayed home rather than cast ballots in January’s runoffs, an AJC analysis showed. The drop off helped Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock sweep the U.S. Senate contests.

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, one of the few elected Republicans who have confronted Trump, called his statement “another painful reminder that his pride is more important than his party.”

We’re just as curious what Trump’s preferred slate of Georgia candidates think about his talk of boycotting the 2022 race. But we didn’t immediately hear back from aides to Burt Jones, Jody Hice and Herschel Walker.


More campaign fundraising reports for the three-month period between July and September are trickling in.

  • Attorney Jake Evans will report raising more than $400,000 and injecting $500,000 of his own cash into his 6th Congressional District bid. The Republican said he’ll end the quarter with $836,000 in cash on hand.
  • Another candidate in metro Atlanta’s 6th District, former state Rep. Meagan Hanson, said she raised $300,000 last quarter and made no personal loans.
  • Retired Air Force Col. Alan Sims collected about $310,000 in the first quarter since launching his campaign in July to succeed U.S. Rep. Jody Hice in the 10th District. The Republican is among many in the crowded field to represent the northeast Georgia seat.


The last major lawsuit filed in Georgia contesting the results of the 2020 election has been thrown out, the AJC’s Mark Niesse writes.

A judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday by Donald Trump supporters who sought to inspect absentee ballots from last year’s presidential election, a decision that came a day after Georgia investigators told the court they were unable to find any counterfeit ballots.

Superior Court Judge Brian Amero’s ruling ended the last remaining major lawsuit over Georgia’s 2020 election and prevented an outside review of Fulton County’s 147,000 original absentee ballots.

The judge’s order is the latest in a series of decisions against supporters of the former Republican president who have asked the courts to help them pursue suspicions of fraud or reverse the results of the election.


The special election to fill the seat of the late Savannah-area state Rep. Mickey Stephens will happen on Nov. 2, the day before the General Assembly gavels in for its special session on redistricting.

The Savannah Morning News writes up the twists and turns of the four-person field, including a promise from former Savannah mayor Edna Jackson that she won’t run again in 2022.


The Southern Poverty Law Center, a racial justice and civil rights organization, is soliciting proposals from potential partners on a planned 60,000-square-foot office space to be built in metro Atlanta.

“We are interested in relocating to an area that is prime for growth, diverse and culturally inclusive,” president and CEO Margaret Huang said in a news release.

The goal is to identify one or more partners by early 2022 and open the new facility by 2024.


The primary union representing most TV and film crews said it will begin a nationwide strike on Monday if it can’t reach a deal with show producers, the AJC’s Rodney Ho reports. A strike would shut down most TV and film production in Georgia, crippling one of the state’s highest profile and lucrative industries.

The two sides are negotiating a new contract but are struggling to find common ground over issues such as rest periods, meal breaks and better pay for working on streaming service shows.

“The pace of bargaining doesn’t reflect any sense of urgency,” said Matthew Loeb, president of The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) in a press release Wednesday. “Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now.”


Black candidates in Sandy Springs say there is a racial element to some of the criticism they’ve faced ahead of the upcoming municipal election. Here is more from the AJC’s Adrianne Murchison, who interviewed mayoral candidate Dontaye Carter:

Carter, other candidates and some residents say skin color is playing a role in the Nov. 2 election, unfairly distracting voters from important issues and the candidates’ political positions.

Longtime resident Renee Hoelting said she believes some residents and candidates are using fears of Buckhead crime spilling into Sandy Springs as a tactic against Black candidates. Flyers with such themes have been left in her mailbox she said, adding that the underlying message to neighbors is that “if they vote for these Black folks, we will become another Atlanta.”

“It’s so distressing as a white person to see this happening in the city,” Hoelting said. “It’s race-baiting.”


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