Archive for May, 2010

GOP candidates dish up red meat

Politics and pork — and a little chicken, too — followed the 17th annual Dacula Memorial Day Parade on Monday, and four GOP gubernatorial hopefuls threw in some rhetorical red meat.

Slotted amid cheerleaders, military veterans and the occasional random parade entrant, Republicans John Oxendine, Karen Handel, Nathan Deal and Eric Johnson shook hands and passed out stickers along Hebron Road in the growing Gwinnett County town.

A dozen candidates for other offices were on hand, too, as the parade wound past historic store fronts. But the candidates saved the heavy politicking for a post-parade barbecue sponsored by the Gwinnett County GOP.  Read the complete story.

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Photos: Georgians sound off about the election

Georgians have plenty to say about the issues in the upcoming election.  Reporters from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and partner  newspapers from Chattanooga to Valdosta last week interviewed more than 150 residents about their hopes, concerns and priorities for the campaigns. Here is a sampling of  some of their comments and photos from around the state. Also, check out the complete story.

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Scarce cash changing governor’s race

The lousy economy and a crowded field of candidates has made it tough for those running for governor in Georgia to raise money heading into the July 20 primary, according to Associated Press reporter Shannon McCaffrey.

The scarce cash could change how the race is run.

Expect to see fewer television ads and more Internet video ads on social networking sites like Facebook. Campaigns might have fewer paid staffers and rely more on volunteers for things like posting signs and phone banks. And targeted robocalls and direct mail may be used increasingly to reach voters inclined to support a particular candidate rather than more scattershot — and expensive — statewide appeals.  Read the complete post.

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Candidates begin sprint to finish

Fifty-four candidates, 15 contested statewide primaries, seven weeks.

Game on.

Georgia is in the midst of an unprecedented election season with more open statewide offices than any other year in recent history, and Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial starting line for a final, breakneck sprint to the finish.

For some of those 54 candidates, the final seven weeks leading to the July 20 primaries will be humbling as momentum and dreams of standing on stage in victory fade away. A select few will win their nomination outright, but for many others, July 20 is simply a pit stop on the way to a runoff three weeks later. Read the complete story.

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Baker talks up education, jobs

State Attorney General Thurbert Baker stressed education and jobs Friday during a five-stop governor’s campaign swing through Chatham County, reports Savannah Morning News reporter Larry Peterson.

At Litway Baptist Church in Savannah, the Democratic candidate lashed out at budget cuts that have led to teacher furloughs and layoffs.

“It just burns me up that we’re trying to balance the budget on the backs of teachers,” he said, drawing applause from an audience of about 20 people. “It’s just not right.”  Read the complete story.

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Barnes revisits fallout over state flag

It’s a remarkable TV ad, according to Savannah Morning News reporter Larry Peterson.

Former Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes, who wants us to give him his old job back, sits in a church pew.

“As governor,” he intones, “my heart was in the right place, but I didn’t listen or slow down to explain why I had to make some difficult decisions. For that, I apologize.”

His campaign manager, Chris Carpenter, reluctantly acknowledges what many others assume.

That is, Barnes is apologizing at least in part for the way he handled the racially charged controversy over the state flag.  Read the complete story.

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Rivals: Barnes’ TV ad lacks credibility

Other candidates and the Savannah Morning News are pointing out that the latest TV ad by former Gov. Roy Barnes leaves a few details out. Writes Larry Peterson:

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Roy Barnes is airing a television ad that takes aim at lobbyists – and banks that receive federal bailouts.

But the former governor – the frontrunner for his party’s nomination – was himself a registered lobbyist in 2007.

And his state financial disclosure report says he owned stock last year in five banks that received more than $34 billion in bailout loans. Read the complete post

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Voters in state of discontent

All across Georgia, residents have critical issues for this year’s political hopefuls to address in an election season marked by economic turmoil.

Adults need jobs. Children need education. We need stronger borders.

Our politicians? Well, they’d better watch out.

Reporters from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and 10 other newspapers from Chattanooga to Valdosta last week interviewed more than 150 residents about their hopes, concerns and priorities for the campaigns.

The findings? We’re fretful about the economy, fearful for our schools, frustrated with illegal immigration, fuming at lawmakers.  Read the complete story.

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Bank sues 9th District’s Graves, majority leader

AJC staff writer Jeremy Redmon reports on a lawsuit filed by Bartow County Bank against 9th District congressional candidate Tom Graves and state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers.

The bank alleges the two Republicans owe $2.2 million on a loan that is now in default. Graves and Rogers, according to the lawsuit, guaranteed that loan so a company called Tich Hospitality LLC could buy and renovate the low-budget Oglethorpe Inn in Calhoun, Georgia. Rogers was once a part of Tich Hospitality. Graves’ connection to the company is unclear.

The lawsuit also alleges Graves was “insolvent” in June and that he fraudulently transferred two properties — including his residence in Ranger — to a trust in an attempt to frustrate the bank’s efforts to collect on the debt.

Rogers said he is not responsible for the debt because he is no longer involved with Tich Hospitality.  Read the complete story.

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Oxendine ethics hearing for late June

File this under bad timing, according to AJC staff writer Cameron McWhirter.

Republican candidate for governor John Oxendine has a potentially embarrassing hearing scheduled before the State Ethics Commission on June 24, less than a month before the July primary.

Stacey Kalberman, the commission’s executive secretary, sent Oxendine a letter this week alerting him of the upcoming public meeting.

Oxendine’s campaign was angered by the move.  Read the complete story.

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