Your morning jolt: The four-month fund-raising desert

In a weekly column he writes for Georgia newspapers, attorney and Republican strategist Randy Evans points to the tough choice many of the 2010 candidates for governor — Republican and Democrat — will face as the new year approaches.

Fund-raising pressures, he says, will force some of them to quit the race — or quit the state office that gives them a prominent platform from which to speak.

Georgia has a law that prohibits any elected statewide officeholder or member of the Georgia General Assembly from asking for or receiving a campaign contribution while the Georgia General Assembly is in session. The General Assembly convenes on January 11, 2010 and will probably extend into April 2010.

As a result, current statewide elected officials and members of the General Assembly can not raise any money during this time.

What does this mean? Well, in the Republican Primary, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, Secretary of State Karen Handel, state
Sen. Eric Johnson, and state Rep. Austin Scott can not raise money during the session and remain in office. On the other hand, Congressman Nathan Deal can.

In the Democratic Primary, Attorney General Thurbert Baker and House
Minority Leader Dubose Porter can not raise money during the session.
Former Gov. Roy Barnes and former secretary of labor David Poythress

Needless to say, for current officeholders running for governor, the
choice at the end of this year will be real – either forfeit four months
of fund-raising or leave office.

On a roughly similar topic, the Republican gubernatorial campaign of Karen Handel reports that Handel won a straw poll at a Saturday night barbecue hosted by the DeKalb County GOP.

The final talley, per spokesman Dan McLagan: Handel, 101; state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, 63; state Sen. Eric Johnson, 38; U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal; 27; Ray McBerry, 20; and state Rep. Austin Scott, 7.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder and president of Rainbow PUSH Coalition, has let it be known that he and others will hold a prayer vigil at 6 p.m. this evening at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta on Peachtree Street — to protest home mortgage foreclosures.

Seventy-five-year-old Councilman Jim Maddox, who says he’s the longest-serving elected official in Atlanta history, announced this morning that he will not seek re-election to his 11th District seat.

Like many retirees, he intends to travel. In the same press release, the councilman reports:

Maddox will be leaving for Argentina this week, where he will meet with mayors and city council members from South American countries, in an effort to promote Atlanta in economic exchange opportunities. He then heads to St. Petersburg, Russia and Moscow on a diplomatic mission on behalf of Mayor Franklin and the Council.

No doubt the chief topic of discussion will be the placement of missile defense units in Eastern Europe.

In the (formally non-partisan) race for mayor of Atlanta, if you’re looking for a difference between Mary Norwood, Lisa Borders and Kasim Reed, this YouTube video may help you.

We don’t know what the occasion for the clip is, but it was posted Saturday. In the video, Reed — a state senator — shows himself a comfortable and sharp-spoken partisan on the topic of transportation:

“I think the governor of the state of Georgia has set our state back a decade. I think he has a hostility toward the entire northern region of the state that has prevented him from doing anything to help the region that generates the overwhelming amount of money in the state of Georgia — and sends out six dollars for every one that it takes in.”

We don’t know where Borders is on the topic of Gov. Sonny Perdue, but Norwood has portrayed herself as a strict non-partisan.

While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s

  • Georgia has own water war with downriver communities.
  • FDIC sanctions banks in Ellaville, Adairsville.
  • Lottery funds can’t 
keep up with HOPE.
  • Tom Price’s wife seeks seat on Roswell council.
  • How will race impact Atlanta’s mayoral election?
  • Atlanta candidate Jesse Spikes has an outsider’s chance.
  • Earlier preparation may help lift Georgia SAT scores.
  • Some opinion:

  • Your Luckovich fix.
  • Cynthia Tucker: Kennedy’s politics moved the nation to the left.
  • Kyle Wingfield on getting race out of the race.
  • Bob Barr says Obama ‘advisers’ have made flu hysteria contagious.
  • Elsewhere in Georgia:

  • Macon Telegraph: Roy Barnes is sucking all the oxygen out of the room.
  • Southern Political Report: In Atlanta, politics never as simple as it seems.
  • And beyond:

  • WSJ: Cheney says he was proponent for military action against Iran.
  • WP: Harley-Davidson rumbles into India.
  • NYT: As big banks repay bailout, U.S government sees a profit.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    7 comments Add your comment


    August 31st, 2009
    10:39 am

    I thought Ox had the best grassroots team in the campaign? How did he get beat almost 2-1 in the county where he grew up?

    Looks like Deal is fading fast, guess that’s what happens when you use your position to line your own pockets.

    Did Austin walk through Dekalb? I’m sure if he had his results would have been much better.


    August 31st, 2009
    11:10 am

    Deal, Real, Steal, will have been forced out of the race by January, so everyone will be on the same playing field.


    August 31st, 2009
    1:16 pm

    It will be interesting hearing about how they got political contributions while the Assembly was in session.

    In the discussion of how race may affect the Atlanta Mayoral contest,Ms.Norwood is again described as petite.I think they’re playing the size card.Implying Ms. Norwood is too small to matter may be a smart political ploy.


    August 31st, 2009
    2:32 pm

    A straw poll in Dekalb county means nothing. This race will be won outside of the Atlanta area. Handle will have a hard time, but then again she won the 3rd most popular statewide office in 06 against other male challengers so she has done this before. However, her poll numbers stink. Ox has been elected statewide several times so downstate and upstate voters know him, but his polling is not very good either. Johnson is known in south GA, but no one in the northern part of the state knows him. The opposite is true for Deal. The people in the North know him very well, its the people in south GA that don’t. Those are the four to keep an eye on. Two of them ( I am thinking Deal and Oxendine) will more than likely headed to a runoff unless they pull a Sonny and get their name out there quickly and create a following.

    Now like I always say, we will see who the front runners are come April or May. The fact that only a handful can fund raise the first four months of the year will hurt. Money is tight right now and people will definitely not be in the giving mood going into the holiday season. If you don’t haul in a boatload between now and Jan 1, then consider yourself out of the race. That will pretty much leave it to Deal, Ox, and Handle who all three have the money to stay in the race on the Republican side. I don’t think this will effect the top two Democrats though Debose has some thinking to do.


    August 31st, 2009
    4:21 pm

    Poll numbers don’t mean anything at this point, just ask Hillary. McCain was in 4th.

    Republican Gut Check

    August 31st, 2009
    10:04 pm

    In 2007, Ron Paul won the DeKalb GOP straw poll. He probably had a better chance then than Handel does now. Once you get past the canned phrases, Handel has no content. The Emperor (Ox) truly has no clothes in his old stomping grounds. Deal wasn’t even there, but almost received as many votes as Johnson. There are 430,000 reasons that if anyone gets out of the race early, it will be Handel.

    your afternoon common sense

    September 2nd, 2009
    2:19 pm

    I find your portrayal of Kasim Reed as partisan disingenuous. The comments that he put forth aren’t partisan, transit issues have been discussed on both sides of the isle as being important, especially when it came to the one cent optional transit tax. Following your logic, Lisa’s a Republican corporate shill for working with Cousins and giving money to Johnny Isakson, and Mary’s a far-left liberal for her smart growth and environmental stance.

    See? I took two smaller things the other candidates said/did and made them look partisan too.

    It’s not an issue if they’re leaning one direction or another. Throwing verbal bombs like “partisan” around affect how people think about candidates. It seems you’re not too fond of Mr. Reed, but at least appear to be somewhat balanced about Mary and Lisa’s failings rather than a frontman for Lisa Borders.