Archive for October, 2010

234 Fulton ballots sent out incorrectly– twice

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Fulton County election officials report that more than 200 voters  received the wrong absentee ballots — twice — earlier this month. Both the original ballots and the replacement ballots were wrong, report AJC’s Marcus Garner.

County elections chief Barry Garner said the errors were inexcusable.

“Even if it was one, it’s a big mistake,” Garner said, pointing out that some of the 234 voters impacted by the mistakes had already sent in their erroneous ballots.

He said his office disqualified those ballots and eventually paid to send those voters the right ballots.

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Clayton candidate offers $500 to get stolen signs back

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A state senator who is running for a House seat is offering a $500 reward to get back campaign signs she said have been stolen from yards across District 76. Sen. Gail Buckner has filed a report with the Clayton County police, AJC’s Tammy Joyner reports.

Buckner estimates she has lost about $800 worth of campaign signs in the last few days.

“In a campaign, you have kids and teenagers who steal signs and sometimes you have your opponent stealing your sign,” Buckner said. “Sign stealing happens. I’ve been in 11 campaigns since 1988 and I’ve never had this type of vandalism before.”

Buckner said she was particularly alarmed that signs were stolen out of people’s yards, which is against the law….She is running for House seat 76 against Democrat Sandra Scott.

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Georgia appeals court seat attracts crowded field of candidates

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Three vacancies opened up this year on the busy 12-member Georgia Court of Appeals. Gov. Sonny Perdue recently appointed people to fill two of them but six candidates are competing for the third seat in Tuesday’s elections.

Five private attorneys from the metro area and a North Georgia district attorney are running to succeed Judge Edward H. Johnson, who is retiring at the end of the year. The ultimate winner will likely be decided in a runoff on Nov. 30.

Running a statewide race in a nonpartisan election for a seat on a low-profile court can be a daunting challenge, Lawrenceville attorney Mike Sheffield said. In both 2004 and 2008, Sheffield ran for open vacancies on the appeals court but lost both times, once in a runoff. He is not running this year.

“The problem is most people don’t know much about the Court of Appeals or how it affects them — but it does affect them a great deal,” Sheffield said. “Then …

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Austin Scott’s divorce records remain sealed; Dec. 6 hearing set

It appears a decision on unsealing Republican U.S. House candidate Austin Scott’s divorce records will not be made until early Dec. 6, well after next Tuesday’s election, according to a report by 13WMAZ.com.

The website reports a Tifton judge denied the request of a Democratic activist to unseal the records on Scott and ex-wife Annette Jordan. The judge said they were not given enough time – 30 days – to respond to the request by Democratic  activist Amy Morton, who claims the former state legislator received special treatment when the records were sealed in 2004.

Judge Bill Reinhardt said he was aware of “the elephant in the room” — the Nov. 2 election for the 8th Congressional District seat — but said the law is the law.

Scott faces Democratic incumbent Jim Marshall.  Scott accuses Marshall of being behind the request to unseal the records.

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And now, a final word from Nathan Deal

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Republican Nathan Deal is out with what Political Insider’s Jim Galloway calls his closing argument just days before the Nov. 2 gubernatorial race. From the television ad:

“As a veteran and a prosecutor, I’ve fought to keep families safe. As a public servant, I cut spending and cut taxes. As governor, I’ll kick-start the economy to protect the jobs we have and create new jobs for the future.”

Galloway notes that “public servant” has become code for  “member of Congress.”

Deal, Democrat Roy Barnes and Libertarian John Monds also  appeared Tuesday at a debate at the state Capitol. Despite the slogan “Stop the Madness: Let’s Get to the Issues” at the hour-long WXIA-TV 11 Alive News forum, AJC reporter Jeremy Redmon said the forum “quickly steered toward the candidates’ negative campaigning.”

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Georgia’s candidates for governor face-off in state capitol forum

Georgia’s candidates for governor squared off over taxes, gay marriage, Sunday alcohol sales, marijuana and President Obama’s birthplace in a forum at the state Capitol Tuesday, just a week before voters go to the polls.

Democrat Roy Barnes, Republican Nathan Deal and Libertarian John Monds participated in the hour-long WXIA-TV 11 Alive News forum. Using the slogan “Stop the Madness: Let’s Get to the Issues,” the forum sought to avoid bomb-throwing between the candidates and dive into meaty issues.

And, for the most part, the forum did just that. It was less negative than other recent televised debates between the candidates. The candidates are scheduled to face-off in three other debates before Election Day.

Tuesday’s forum quickly turned to the issues. All three candidates said they would work to repeal the national healthcare overhaul as it applies to Georgia. And Barnes and Monds said they support allowing the sale of alcohol on Sundays in Georgia, while Deal said he would …

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Atlanta Tea Party to rally against Kenerly in Gwinnett

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Members of the Atlanta Tea Party will be rallying at 6:30 p.m. this evening outside the chambers of the Gwinnett County Commission, to encourage the resignation of Commissioner Kevin Kenerly, who was indicted last week on bribery and other charges.

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More DeKalb school board candidates have arrest records

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AJC reporter Megan Matteucci reports that DeKalb school board member and candidate Jesse “Jay” Cunningham isn’t the only one running who has had run-ins with the law. A search of police files by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows two other current candidates also have arrest records.

On Sunday, the AJC reported that Cunningham, who is running for re-election in District 5, once pleaded guilty to felony theft.

District 3 candidate Corey Wilson was once charged with two counts of simple battery and two counts of violating the state’s family violence act, all misdemeanors. Wilson’s  wife signed an affidavit saying she did not want to prosecute.

Board Vice Chairwoman Zepora Roberts, who is running for re-election in District 7, was arrested during an anti-apartheid protest in 1986. Roberts was booked into the DeKalb jail on one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass. A judge later dismissed the …

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Georgia governor’s race could be headed to a runoff

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Sunday’s Insider column pointed to the possibility of a runoff in Georgia’s race for governor. 11Alive just provided some fresh statistical underpinnings:

With the general election just a week from Tuesday, a new independent poll from SurveyUSA commissioned by 11Alive News and V-103 Radio shows a commanding lead for Georgia’s Republicans in statewide offices, but it also shows an increased possibility of a runoff in the hotly contested governor’s race.

Democratic candidate and former Gov. Roy Barnes is up a small bit from our last survey six weeks ago, but the numbers indicate that Republican former US Congressman Nathan Deal is ahead of Barnes, 49 percent to 39 percent.

Libertarian John Monds, at 8 percent, Monday takes the votes of 1-in-4 independents and 1-in-6 liberals, potentially keeping Deal just under the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff, though support for third-party candidates …

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Is the breadth of the tea party movement inflated?

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The Washington Post said it spent months trying to get a better understanding of the tea party movement, which has galvanized a large vocal segment of the electorate angry with Washington and what the say is the country’s downward spiral, and The Post has come to this conclusion:

[That the tea party is] “not so much a movement as a disparate band of vaguely connected gatherings that do surprisingly little to engage in the political process. …

Seventy percent of the grass-roots groups said they have not participated in any political campaigning this year. As a whole, they have no official candidate slates, have not rallied behind any particular national leader, have little money on hand, and remain ambivalent about their goals and the political process in general….

The findings suggest that the breadth of the tea party may be inflated. The Atlanta-based Tea Party Patriots, for example, says it has a listing …

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