Archive for the ‘U.S. Senate Race’ Category

Confusing amendments on Georgia ballot explained

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Confused about the five amendments on the ballot next Tuesday? Voters may have a hard time weighing through the densely worded proposals, so AJC staff writer Steve Visser provides an explainer for each one. As Visser points out, the problem with amendments is the legal wording can make it unclear why the measure is being proposed and what it accomplishes. The five amendments:

Amendment 1: Making non-compete agreements more binding

Amendment 2:  Providing funding for trauma centers

Amendment 3: Change in transportation funding

Amendment 4: Allowing state multi-year contracts

Amendment 5: Allowing owners of industrial area property to get city services.

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Ballot measure for trauma would add $10 to Georgia car tags

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By Carrie Teegardin, AJC staff writer

Plenty of Atlanta drivers speed through the South Georgia segment of I-75 on the way to Florida’s beaches.

But they might slow down if they knew what some health care workers call that portion of the interstate: “the corridor of death.”  The stretch of road earned the name because people who get in car crashes in much of South Georgia are at least 50 miles from a trauma center – a hospital equipped to handle serious injuries.

Georgia voters will decide on Nov. 2 whether they want to add $10 to the cost of annual vehicle registrations to improve trauma services statewide. Hospitals, emergency services workers and public health officials say the $80 million that would be raised every year by passage of Amendment 2 is needed to save lives.

Everyone wants a fast response when they dial 911 for help, but selling the new $10 fee may be difficult. Some metro …

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1,900-plus serving in military file for absentee ballots

County elections offices have received more than 1,900 applications for absentee ballots electronically from military and overseas voters, Secretary of State Brian Kemp said this week.

Requests for absentee ballots in electronic format have come from Georgians stationed or living in approximately 45 countries in North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

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U.S. Senate debate looms. Send questions. Quick.

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Do you have any questions for U.S. Senate candidates Johnny Isakson, Michael Thurmond and Chuck Donovan? Political Insider’s Jim Galloway is welcoming suggestions as he prepares for a televised debate Sunday with the three candidates. Get more details here.

Continue reading U.S. Senate debate looms. Send questions. Quick. »

New poll shows Republican sweep in top Georgia races

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Another poll shows the same expected sweep by Republicans on Nov. 2. The Landmark Communications poll has Republicans on top in the races for governor and four other statewide contests. Republican Nathan Deal beats Democrat Roy Barnes by 8 points instead of the 5 points found in the recent InsiderAdvantage/WSB-TV poll earlier this week.

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Lobbying becomes a booming business despite tougher rules for lawmakers

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At a time when the economy has most industries hurting, the business of lobbying is booming, reports AJC’s Bob Keefe in Washington. He reports that while Congress passed tough rules aimed at lessening the ways lobbyists can influence politicians three years ago, the money flowing to lobbyists continues, and among the companies making sure their voices are heard are Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. and Southern Co.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and its affiliated companies, for instance, paid Washington lobbyists about $6.3 million in the first half of this year alone — double what they spent in the comparable period last year, according to public records.

The rise in spending on lobbyists by Coca-Cola and its affiliates coincided with a rise in legislation that could have affected the company, such as a proposed tax on soft drinks, new school nutrition guidelines and environmental legislation affecting water …

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Energized Republicans turning up the heat

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By Aaron Gould Sheinin, Tammy Joyner, Jeremy Redmon, AJC staff writers

Just 50 miles apart, Cherokee and Clayton counties are political polar opposites.

Cherokee is rock-ribbed red, having gone 75 percent for Republican presidential nominee John McCain in 2008 and where nearly 10 times as many voters cast ballots in the GOP primary in July as in the Democratic.

Clayton, meanwhile, gave 83 percent of its votes to Barack Obama for president, and five times as many voters participated in July’s Democratic primary as in the Republican one.

As Election Day approaches, the two counties tell a story that is being played out across the nation: Republicans ready to take back Washington are gearing up for a banner year, while Democrats are laboring to prevent major losses.

Ralph Reed, a former state GOP chairman and chairman of the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition, predicts the November election …

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In congressional races, incumbents still rake in plenty of cash

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By Bob Keefe, AJC staff writer

WASHINGTON — When it comes to campaign cash, the I’s — as in incumbents — still have it in Georgia’s congressional contests.

Incumbents in U.S. House races had about 4½ times as much cash on hand as their opponents did at the end of the third quarter, according to new federal campaign finance filings.

Incumbents in nine contested congressional races had about $3.9 million in cash going into the final weeks of the election season, compared with $864,000 held by challengers.

In the Senate showdown between Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson and Democratic challenger Michael Thurmond, the difference is even more pronounced. Isakson had almost $2.5 million in cash at the end of third quarter, compared with Thurmond’s $103,000.

It’s not unusual that sitting members of Congress would have more cash than challengers. Yet given the backlash against incumbents nationwide this year, the …

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Sky’s the limit for Georgia PACs

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Candidates in other states are benefiting from a Georgia law that allows unlimited corporate contributions to political action committees. Just take Mississippi Gov. and potential presidential candidate Haley Barbour.

Political watchdog Jim Walls reports Barbour this summer more than doubled his Jackson-based political committee’s bank account, pulling in $231,000 after July 1.

Mississippi law caps corporate donations to PACs at $1,000. The sky’s the limit in Georgia, where Barbour’s committee is registered. Haley’s PAC pocketed seven checks of $20,000 or $25,000 from businesses in his state just in July and August.

There, in a nutshell, is why political action committees love Georgia….

Barbour, Gov. Sonny Perdue and hundreds of other elected officials have also formed their own “leadership PACs” to donate to other candidates and to pay for loosely defined nonpolitical expenses. Haley’s …

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Race looks tough for Johnny Isakson’s competitors

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Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds of  winning, Democrat Michael Thurmond and Libertarian Chuck Donovan aren’t giving in to the pundits’ conclusion that incumbent Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson has the race for U.S. Senate sewn up.

“The polls in midterm elections always deal with likely voters, not registered voters,” which may not give an accurate picture of the eventual turnout, Thurmond tells The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Arial Hart. “It’s almost as if there’s this desire, a need, a fixation with concluding the election before it’s even held.”

And Isakson himself isn’t taking the race for granted

“There’s only one poll that matters,” Isakson told the AJC, “and it’s on Nov. 2.”

Still, Isakson must be feeling pretty confident given the size of his war chest compared with his rivals’ and polls like the one on  Sept. 27 from  InsiderAdvantage/WSB, which found Isakson with 61 percent …

Continue reading Race looks tough for Johnny Isakson’s competitors »