Archive for August, 2010

Tea party backs Mike Keown in 2nd District race against Sanford Bishop

Freedomworks, the tea party group headed by former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey, is weighing in on Georgia’s District 2 congressional race by endorsing Mike Keown.

Armey was in Albany on Wednesday to promote his latest book, “Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto,” and his campaign indicated the  endorsement would come later in the day, Pete Skiba of The Albany Herald reports.

Keown is trying to unseat Democrat Sanford Bishop, who is seeking a 10th term representing the southwest part of the state. From Skiba’s report:

“As grassroots activists, the Tea Party Movement is fighting not only the Democrats but Republicans,” said Armey, former Republican House majority leader. “They must come to believe that we have every right to point and expect of them to uphold our conservative values. Big government is choking the private sector. It is time for Republicans to gain courage or just give up.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee quickly …

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Oxendine: ‘I’m a big boy. It’s over with.’

More than a month after his plunge to fourth place in the Republican primary for governor, 11Alive on Tuesday caught up with state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine – at a news conference about that arson case up in Calhoun.

Oxendine, who plans to open his own law firm after he leaves office in January, pulled on his big-boy pants and gave this quick analysis of his fortunes:

“Part of it’s the fact that if you are the frontrunner for a long period of time, it makes you the natural target. I’m a big boy. Whether I think the media was always fair or unfair doesn’t matter. I’m a big boy. I don’t cry over spilled milk or anything.

“I think a lot of the media was not always as flattering as it could be. I think of that may have had play in it. But it doesn’t really matter to me. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter. It’s over with, it’s done with. And I’m good.”

We’re told that Oxendine’s decision to hammer on a rising Karen Handel in the final …

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What does Deal want for his birthday? Contributions

It’s Nathan Deal’s 68th birthday today and the GOP gubernatorial candidate isn’t shy about what he wants: Contributions.

Visitors to Deal’s campaign website are greeted with a festive birthday card, balloons and all, with this reminder:

By making an online donation today to the Deal for Governor campaign, you’ll be sending a Happy Birthday message to Nathan. And you’ll be sending a message to your fellow Georgians that you’re not going to risk turning Georgia over to the Democrats.

Deal has also planned a birthday bash in Gainesville from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at The Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center. He faces Democrat Roy Barnes and Libertarian John Monds in the November gubernatorial race.

Follow and join the Georgia election conversation on Twitter @ajcgaelections

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Race to the Top praise doesn’t come without Barnes jab

GOP gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal and Democrat Roy Barnes are heaping praise on Georgia’s success in getting millions from President Barack Obama’s  Race to the Top competition.

Barnes, however, isn’t letting voters forget that Deal was once against the federal education assistance before he was for it.

As Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News reports, both candidates zeroed in on how the grants could help the state improve the quality of public education. Deal vowed to “convene teachers, parents, elected officials and education leaders” to make sure the money is spent effectively if he is elected governor.

Barnes, who has courted teachers heavily and recently gained a major endorsement from the group,  said  “at a time when teachers are being furloughed and school years are being shortened this is welcome news for Georgia’s public education system.”

But Barnes also slipped in a jab: “Unlike my opponent, who has wavered in support of these funds, as governor, I …

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Deal, Barnes, Monds to be at Cobb health care forum Saturday

The topic of health care is about to get a boost in the Georgia race for governor.

All three candidates – Democrat Roy Barnes, Republican Nathan Deal, and Libertarian John Monds – will be quizzed Saturday during a health care forum at the Cobb Energy Centre. The candidates will be on stage together.

The hour-long event is hosted by the Medical Association of Georgia, Georgia Drug Card, the Georgia Chapter of the American College of Cardiology, the Georgia College of Emergency Physicians, the Georgia Neurological Society, the Georgia Orthopaedic Society, and the Georgia Society of Dermatology.

Follow and join the Georgia election conversation on Twitter @ajcgaelections

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Barnes the ‘retread’ faces uphill battle with other Southern Democrats

Huffington Post is the latest national news organization to weigh in on the Georgia gubernatorial race, if only in passing. The liberal website refers to Democrat Roy Barnes as a “retread” trying to recapture an office he held eight years ago. The reference is contained in an article under the headline, “Democrats’ Gubernatorial Picture May Be Bleakest of All”:

In Florida, Georgia, and Texas, Democrats face uphill Southern battles. In Florida, Alex Sink is Democrats’ only remaining statewide elected official, but Florida has become increasingly Republican, while former Gov. Roy Barnes faces hurdles in retaking his old job in Georgia as a retread ousted in 2002; both are underdogs. In Texas, former Houston mayor Bill White gives Democrats’ their best statewide nominee in years and Gov. Rick Perry has long inspired outright disdain for his over-the-top conservative antics, but it will take an equivalent triple bank shot for White to prevail.

Writer Mark Greenbaum doesn’t go into …

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Georgia wins $400M for education in Race to the Top competition

Georgia is among the winners in President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top competition and the state will have about $400 million to invest in education reform.

Conservatives have debated whether the state should go after the federal funds. Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue has been an ardent supporter, previously saying the grant “is an opportunity to further align funding and state education policies with our desired outcome of improved student achievement.”

When Georgia was named finalist, Perdue defended the state’s effort to get the funds:

“While some have called this federal intrusion into state education policy, the goals of Race to the Top are well aligned to the direction Georgia is moving,” Perdue said.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal had been opposed to accepting the federal funds before changing position after he said  he realized his original fears were — mostly — unfounded after he discussed the program with some educators from Hall County, his home.  …

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Deal, Barnes campaigns and Falcons in the same boat

Reporter Jeff Hullinger of 11Alive News compares the challenges facing the  gubernatorial campaigns between now and Labor Day weekend to what’s happening in Flowery Branch and the Falcons’ preseason.

Hullinger, a longtime Atlanta sports reporter and newsman, says the Falcons and the campaigns of Republican Nathan Deal and Democrat Roy Barnes are taking  inventory of staff, toning their message and assessing their ability to succeed:

The Deal and Barnes campaigns are focusing on fund raising and organizational cohesion.

The Falcons are hoping to sell tickets, merchandise, and create organizational cohesion.

Both campaigns believe they have experienced quarterbacks in Mr. Deal and Mr. Barnes who can lead, run and make a critical throw in crunch time.

The Falcons view Matt Ryan in the same context.

Good defense is critical in the NFL and so too it’s paramount if you want to be the next Governor of Georgia.

While you can spend all of August game planning for the season and the …

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GOP gets enthusiasm advantage — in Georgia and elsewhere

Over at The Fix, the political website for the Washington Post, they’re talking about the enthusiasm advantage that Republicans are displaying in summer primaries:

Raw voter data backs up the polling. A three million-voter advantage for Democrats in the 2006 midterm primaries has turned into a three million-voter overall advantage for the GOP now.

And numbers compiled by Republicans show the percentage of voters taking part in GOP primaries has reached a two-decade high in more than half of the 37 states holding primaries so far this year.

Examinations of states with competitive races for governor and U.S. Senate included this:

In Georgia, Republican turnout was 63 percent of the total vote in the governor’s primary, where the GOP battle was, notably, much closer than former Gov. Roy Barnes’s Democratic primary win.

Still, the relative GOP turnout was more than 10 points higher than it was in both the 2008 presidential primary and the open Senate race won by Johnny …

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Barnes: Deal will ‘do fine’ in a debate

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes tried to reassure Republican rival Nathan Deal that he (Deal) will “do fine” in a debate against the former governor – an apparent jab following Deal’s decision a week ago not to debate in Savannah.

At the time, both were in the coastal city for what was expected to be a debate at a tourism forum. But Barnes and Deal addressed tourism issues separately. Moderator Sonny Dixon said the format was changed because the Deal campaign “didn’t think it was time for a face-to-face confrontation.”

Susan McCord of the Augusta Chronicle reports that  during a Sunday appearance in Washington, Ga., Barnes urged Deal, a former U.S. representative, to release his tax returns and agree to a debate. More from McCord’s report:

“I don’t see how you could get by without releasing your tax returns,” said Barnes, who released returns from 25 years earlier this year, disclosing a net worth of about $16.6 million…

Barnes said he would enjoy the …

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