Your morning jolt: Karen Handel throws cold water on Atlanta mayoral challenge

The Office of Inspector General under Secretary of State Karen Handel last night threw some cold water on charges pushed by Mary Norwood supporters, who claim that about 1,300 voters cast illegal ballots in the Dec. 1 runoff for mayor of Atlanta:

Based on preliminary findings, we believe that the original list provided by Citizens for Fair Atlanta Elections is not a list of voters who actually cast a ballot in the Atlanta mayoral election. Rather, it appears to have been created or pooled from a larger list of registered voters.

From this list, approximately 40 voters do not appear to have valid residence addresses. The Inspector General’s Office will continue its investigation to determine the eligibility status of these voters. We are forwarding these preliminary investigative findings to the Fulton County Board of Elections and Registration as it conducts its own investigation into this matter.”

Kasim Reed has been declared mayor-elect, by a margin of 715 votes. A recount is scheduled for today.

State Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), who has become a major arbiter of what is and is not conservatism in the state Capitol, has said something nice about the Atlanta Journal-Constitution – specifically, a multi-part series on the lack of property tax deflation in the metro area.

Said Rogers:

“The outstanding investigative work by AJC reporters … confirm what I have stated for years – the property tax system in Georgia is a broken relic of a 19th century economy. It is filled with inequities and human based error. The single best action we can take is to scrap it altogether in favor of a model based on our 21st century economy. If not, the least we can do is systematically remove flaws that produce inherent unfairness.”

Rogers’ friends and associates are quietly organizing an intervention.

Debbie Dooley, one of the organizers behind Georgia’s tea party movement, pointed out the following bit of news from Rasmussen Reports. Which thrills if you are an anti-tax, tea party advocate, and chills if you’re a traditional Republican.

Poll respondents were asked to assume that the tea party movement had organized itself as a new political party. The results, according to Rasmussen:

Running under the Tea Party brand may be better in congressional races than being a Republican.

In a three-way generic ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, the Tea Party comes out on top. Thirty-three percent (33%) prefer the Tea Party candidate, and 30% are undecided. Twenty-five percent (25%) would vote for a Democrat, and just 12% prefer the GOP.

Among Republican voters, 39% say they’d vote for the GOP candidate, but 33% favor the Tea Party option.

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108 comments Add your comment

GoOx

December 9th, 2009
8:55 am

Wow, Handel pandering to the Atlanta liberal crowd. We need a true conservative leader – my man Ox.

RUKidding

December 9th, 2009
9:01 am

Handel once again shows her character, and ability to get things done. Great rapid response by the SoS office.

The Late Maynord Jackson

December 9th, 2009
9:03 am

Dead folks won this election, we got them out of the phone book. Reed is the Jackson Machines boy & the money will keep flowing.

Vote Barnes Early & Often..

Road Scholar

December 9th, 2009
9:12 am

“of a model based on our 21st century economy” And what is that…?

The Tea Party hasn’t had any binding decisions made in the public forum. Just give them some time before the numbers change.

RUKidding

December 9th, 2009
9:16 am

Tea Party is a brand?

John

December 9th, 2009
9:18 am

I wish Mary Norwood would lose gracefully. The city has spoken. She needs to be supportive of the new mayor and council and so should the rest of you.

GOPer

December 9th, 2009
9:19 am

Shocking that an Ox supporter would assume every action taken by a public official is for some political motive. Karen ordered an investigation which revealed the facts. She reported the facts and is acting on them. I guess if you want a governor who would suppress the facts and play politics, Ox is your man.

atlin83

December 9th, 2009
9:20 am

Go figure. The Citizens for Fair Atlanta Elections pitch seemed to be that every resident of the housing projects and other developments they questioned had moved out of the city and every single person came back in to fraudulently vote. Implausible. I’m not surprised at all, but with Norwood’s momentum cooling, maybe they were trying to spur her forward. I recall all last week that she said she’d file a recall as soon as possible on Monday morning – then she seemed uncertain over the weekend and didn’t end up filing until Tuesday afternoon.

Anyhow, I’m surprised. I’d have though Handel would have been more partisan and done whatever she could to support the more conservative candidate – I distinctly recall her endorsing conservative candidates before other elections (which seems like a conflict of interest to endorse if you’re in charge of elections).

[...] waronxmas said…much ado about nothing…bunch of sore losers…. Your morning jolt: Karen Handel throws cold water on Atlanta mayoral challenge | Political Insider [...]

PoliticOracle

December 9th, 2009
9:25 am

This is what most of us knew all along. Secrets ballots are just that, secret, (Mary knows all about that). I was always skeptical that they had a list of actual voter addresses, as that is very hard to come by. Mary Norwood should be ashamed of herself for trying to further divide the city. She’s a joke, Ralph Long’s a joke and so is his wife Erica.

Mrs. Long, please explain why you gave $500.00 to Mayor-Elect Reed’s campaign if you are such an ardent supporter of Mary Norwood.

BigGuy53

December 9th, 2009
9:26 am

I have to congratulate Tom Graves for being the only candidate for the 9th District to be invited to speak at both the State and National Tea Parties. This latest poll bodes well for him.

Cutty

December 9th, 2009
9:31 am

Ralph and Erica Long made a rookie mistake that they’ll pay for when reelection time comes. You’re supposed to hedge your bets and work for who you want to win behind the scenes. Its chess, not checkers. I’m sure Reed will be an ardent supporter of your opponent. All you Norwood supporters, I guess this is change you can believe in huh?

OMG

December 9th, 2009
9:34 am

Well, it sounds like ACORN has created a tradition. Dead folks voting, absentee ballots of nonexisting persons, and the democrats acting so innocent. Atlanta will remain the arm pit of Georgia.

Real GA

December 9th, 2009
9:37 am

I hope the Tea Party is around in 2012 so the President can get re-elected with a larger margin than he earned in 2008. Let’s hear if for the Tea Baggers!!!

Cutty

December 9th, 2009
9:39 am

@OMG- Don’t let little things like the truth dispel your rumors. If Karen Handel of all people said there weren’t any violations in illegal voting, why can’t that suffice with you? I highly doubt Reed has Handel in his pocket. Bet you’ve never even seen ACORN in Atlanta, just got your talking points from you know who!

PoliticOracle

December 9th, 2009
9:43 am

@OMG

There is no irregularity in this election. These dummies used a voter registration list to stoke flames and our REPUBLICAN secretary of state even admits that they claims are baseless.

Again, if Mary Norwood’s team had put these same energies into their GOTV we may be having a different conversation. She needs to ask for a refund from all her senior campaign staffers, this was her race to lose. And she definitely lost big. This attempt to sully the results is classic Mary. Either she and her supporters are real dumb or they are purposefully misleading people. But guess what? It doesn’t matter anymore, REED IS MAYOR!!

715 may seem miniscule to you all, but Reed really came from a long way down and had to battle two better-known candidates to get into place for this win. Tharon Jones, Reese McCranie and Rashad Taylor all did a fine job.

KASEEM REED-MAYOR!

December 9th, 2009
9:45 am

GET OVER IT NORWOOD CROONIES!!!! KASEEM REED IS THE MAYOR-ELECT FOR THE CITY OF ATLANTA!!! STOP WASTING TAX PAYERS MONEY WITH RE-COUNTING OF VOTES!!!! I KNEW THAT NORWOOD CAMP WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE RUMORS OF ‘ALLEGED’ ILLEGAL VOTES!!!! HOW SAD IS THAT???

Eliseyes

December 9th, 2009
9:47 am

Mary Norwood is showing her true colors now because she knows that she has lost. And there is no way that blacks will support her here in Atlanta. But there is hope for Mary, she can have the a position in his administration. “Cleaning up the building as a maintanence worker”. She said she wanted to clean the city up so here’s the chance.

PoliticOracle

December 9th, 2009
9:49 am

@GoOx

Now that my candidate has been elected Mayor, I have now taken a keen interest in the Governors race. It seems your man “Ox” is about is stinky as they get when it comes to corruption. This state is going to beat back corruption and we will not elect your man. I am an avowed Democrat, but I am seriously considering voting for Karen Handel. I am tired of the good ole boys in this state and Ox is one of them. Handel has proven herself to be a decisive and honest leader and despite her lack of education, she has demonstrated a real understanding of the state’s issues.

Ox is a nobody and if Handel is able to do well in Metro Atlanta she will best him in the primary.

Cutty

December 9th, 2009
9:57 am

@PoliticOracle- Sorry dude, I can’t vote for anyone to run this state that doesn’t have a college degree. Her lack of education automatically disqualifies her for many private sector jobs.

That and the fact that she would not assist metro counties in obtaining more voting machines was it was known that there would be a huge turnout in voters for the Presidential election last year. A number of counties, Clayton County in particular, requested the SoS to send additional voting machines to be used in their precincts. She simply ignored the request causing people like myself to wait in line for half a day to vote. She wasn’t interested in what was best for Georgians then, she won’t get any crossover vote from me next year. Barnes is the man. And we all know Ox is a crook.

CONCERNED CITIZEN

December 9th, 2009
10:07 am

Mary Norwood get a life. Mr. Kassim Reed has won the “ATLANTA MAYOR’S” race. It is said and done. Accept the fact and move on with your life. How do you know how many people voted illegally unless you have already done something illegal. You lost accept the fact and move on with your life. Life is to short and sweet to stay bitter everyday. Leave it alone and let this city get on with its daily work. Why are you trying to come up with all kinds of illegal tactics? Move On with your life, it seems as though Mayor Kassim Reed has already done that.

PoliticOracle

December 9th, 2009
10:08 am

@Cutty

Very interesting facts there you present on handle. I didn’t know about the voter machine request. Is there anywhere you can lead me to read more about this issue? I have to see things myself, if you know what I mean.

I like Barnes, but he seems to be kind of relic from the past. I was kind of young when he was Governor and I don’t know his strengths are beyond being past Governor. Tell me more about him.

Intown lib

December 9th, 2009
10:09 am

So Handel is being surprisingly non-partisan. Thanks. Now when the recount turns out the exact same vote totals as before (electronic voting folks … no hanging chads) Reed can get on with governing and Norwood and her conspiracy theorist wacko supporters can spin themselves silly with baseless and racist accusations. This time though, maybe the paper won’t have to report their nonsense as “news.”

CharminSoftBear

December 9th, 2009
10:13 am

Norwood is my Mayor. I don’t care what any of you people say. She won on November 3rd and those are the only numbers that matter. All black people in Atlanta are racist and all white Reed voters have let their white guilt overtake them. Atlanta needs white leadership, because black people just don’t have what it takes to lead anything.

The Late Maynord Jackson

December 9th, 2009
10:19 am

Let’s get this voting business straight,, The Jackson Machine supplies ALL THE DEAD VOTERS, ACORN supplies the DRUNKS, HOMELESS and DRUGGIES. Norwood may have got he most voters but Reed got the most votes.

VOTE ROY BARNES EARLY, VOTE ROY BARNES OFTEN.

The Late Maynord Jackson

December 9th, 2009
10:25 am

PoliticOracle .. When are you’ll opening the Cracker Barrel out at the JACKSON AIRPORT?

VOTE ROY BARNES EARLY, VOTE ROY BARNES OFTEN.

CharminSoftBear

December 9th, 2009
10:35 am

@The Late Maynord Jackson

Seems you and I should open a “Salty Cracker Barrel” in Forsyth or Cobb County, where we live. We don’t need these mmonkey people in Atlanta, let them have this cesspool. What time’s our “meeting” tonight? I’ve gotta get my white garments cleaned.

Raquel Morris

December 9th, 2009
10:36 am

@Cutty-

Your comment about “hedging your bets” is the most effective indictment I’ve seen against Machine politics. According to you, no politician has the right to openly support anyone EXCEPT the Machine candidate. Scary thought, and even scarier if it’s true.

Let’s all pray that Atlantans keep a critical eye on the Reed Administration.

Cutty

December 9th, 2009
10:37 am

PoliticOracle

December 9th, 2009
10:38 am

@The Late

Are you still harping on the airport contract business? I have a job in architectural landscape and business is going quite well for me.

Looks like CharminSoft knows you pretty well. I wonder white kind of meeting you two are going to tonight that requires white garments.

Setting the Record Straight

December 9th, 2009
10:40 am

The counties possess all of the voting machines. There is no warehouse of additional machines and counties have been purchasing equipment on their own for years to supplement the original purchase made by Barnes and Cox.

In fact, more than a year before the presidential election SoS Handel encouraged counties to assess their needs and inventory and to plan accordingly. Many counties did purchase additional equipment. And the distribution of the equipment by precinct is managed by each counties’ boards of elections. Clayton’s request was motivated purely by politics — deflecting blame for the issues that they were experiencing.

PoliticOracle

December 9th, 2009
10:42 am

@Raquel Morris

The point that Cutty made about Long is actually valid. Erica Long definitely gave Reed a $500.00 contribution during the general election as she was trying to fly under the radar and play both sides. I guess Mr. Long wasn’t having it and he forced her to get fully on the bandwagon with Norwood.

@Cutty

Thanks for the link, I’ll read it shortly.

Cutty

December 9th, 2009
10:44 am

@ Raquel- Following the opponent around with a video camera, then hastily forming a political activist group to contest votes is a little over the top. Especially for an elected official and his wife. You didn’t see Andy Young or Roy Barnes chasing Norwood backers around with a video camera. My point was Long obviously has a lot to learn about politics. What kind of working relationship do you think Long and Reed will have now? Who may be the ones to suffer from Long’s personal decision to fervently back Norwood: his constituents. And Atlantans should also keep a critical eye on their elected officials. No argument there.

Raquel Morris

December 9th, 2009
10:44 am

@Oracle-

I’m not sure if I follow you. You’re not speaking to the point I raised, so let me repeat.

Do you agree (with Cutty) that politicians are not allowed to support people outside of the machine for fear of recrimination? Are you comfortable with that notion?

S. Atlanta

December 9th, 2009
10:50 am

@ STRS- Your response is valid, but why didn’t Handel say that in response to Clayton County at the time instead of just ignoring the request? Seems like she was playing politics at the time as well. I’m with most people’s thinking on her; not having a college degree is a non-starter for me to lead this state out of the turmoil its in. She’s had years to even take online classes and passed. How can someone promote higher education to the children of Georgia without taking that step themselves?

Recovering Demoholic

December 9th, 2009
10:53 am

With regard to “… thrills … and … chills….”

Rasmussen — based on three-way race: Dem 36, Rep 18, Tea 23, Und 22 (Tot 99).

Now, suppose this holds for likely voters, and eventual actual voters in a two-way race of USA vs. MAO.
(United Stalwarts for America & Maniacal Azzh0les for ObaMao)

Further, in this two-way race, suppose that a Tea endorsed candidate, USA, is running, against a Dem endorsed candidate, MAO.

Suppose that 90% of Rep and 100% of Tea would vote USA, and 100% of Dem would vote MAO.

So, far we have:
USA: 16 (R) + 23 (T) = 39
MAO: 2 (R) + 36 (D) = 38

For MAO to win against USA by at least a single vote requires 55% of Und (12) to vote MAO:
USA: 39 + 10 (U) = 49
MAO: 38 + 12 (U) = 50

Will 100% Dem, 10% Rep, and 55% Und support MAO?

PoliticOracle

December 9th, 2009
10:56 am

@Raquel Morris

I see the point that you’re making very well and no I don’t think people should feel inhibited as to who they support. Do you also see my point? It appears that, either the Long house was split at one point or they were trying to have it both ways. It shady either way and is a poor reflection on them, especially given Mr. Long’s status as an elected official.

Politics is a full-contact sport and if you don’t play the game correctly and by the rules, you risk losing and I think the Long’s have definitely lost out on this one. Margaret Kaiser was on the fence too, but she was quiet in her opposition to Kasim Reed.

I’m telling you, Norwood had a bunch of amatuers over in her camp and it shows.

PoliticOracle

December 9th, 2009
11:07 am

The 1300 number that the Longs and APN are bandying about is intended to mislead people who have a pre-existing prejudice that blacks steal elections in Atlanta. Folks, these classic bait and switch tactics are exactly the reason why voters rejected Norwood. With her, it was all about whatever what was the hot topic of the day. She never brought solutions to the table as a councilmember or as a candidate for mayor.

Reed isn’t perfect, but he’s head and shoulders above Norwood.

Cutty indicts Reed

December 9th, 2009
11:10 am

If Cutty is going to suggest that Ralph Long’s constituents will suffer because of Long’s support for Norwood, then Cutty is doing no less than suggesting that the Reed administration will be driven by the personal petty politics of retribution, and not by what’s best for the people of Long’s district who happen to live in Atlanta.

Not exactly an endorsement of Reed or for Cutty’s faith that Reed will act in the highest ethical standards as to what’s best for all of Atlanta’s citizens.

Setting the Record Straight

December 9th, 2009
11:10 am

SA. Once again -
In fact, more than a year before the presidential election SoS Handel encouraged counties to assess their needs and inventory and to plan accordingly. Many counties did purchase additional equipment.

Bubba

December 9th, 2009
11:20 am

Still waiting for Tiger Woods to move to Georgia and declare his candidacy as a Republican candidate for the legislature.

The Late Maynord Jackson

December 9th, 2009
11:22 am

Edith L.

December 9th, 2009
11:24 am

Didn’t Mayor-elect Kasim Reed and the Atlanta Political Machine support Ralph Long’s campaign for State Rep.

PoliticOracle

December 9th, 2009
11:26 am

I don’t think Reed could care less about Ralph Long. Bottom line is, the guys a clown and I’m sure if one of Reed’s supporters or friends want to run he’ll help them. Ralph Long is just like Mary Norwood, ALL TALK. So to get his do-nothing behind out of the State House may do some good.

Cutty

December 9th, 2009
11:31 am

Ralph Long’s tactics should be indicted. I see his opponent’s commercial now: “While District 61 saw record unemployment and foreclosures, what was your representative doing to help you through these trying times? Following campaign volunteers of Kasim Reed for Mary Norwood. Ralph Long does not have your best interests at heart. Vote November 2nd for (XYZ).”

Say whatever you want, Long is toast next year.

Capitol View Residents

December 9th, 2009
11:37 am

Rep. Long does not need the support of Kasim Reed, Vicent Fort or the Atlanta Political Machine. He is a valued and respected member of the community and will win handily over anyone they choose to digg up.

Al Bundy

December 9th, 2009
11:48 am

Long better have that video camera with him on election day. He’s gonna take a whuppin!

TP4U

December 9th, 2009
12:03 pm

As soon as I saw Maceo Williams leading the charge for ineligible voters in Atlanta, I knew it was a joke. No one in their right mind takes Mr. Williams seriously. He’s a nice guy, but seriously, he doesn’t have a clue about the voting process. For him to hold up a list of voters from SOS and say these are the people that voted illegally was ludicrous. It was disappointing to see Mr. Williams on his very first news interview supporting a cause that was dead in the water from the very beginning. A lot of people would have said to you, “sorry for your lost”. But, for you and Ericka Long to carry on after it was clear Kasim Reed won is beyond my comprehension. Was this all about a job? What did Ms. Norwood promise you? On a positive note, you showed a lot of damn courage!

Truth

December 9th, 2009
12:42 pm

Karen Handle is one of the meanest persons I have ever met. She is extremely cunning and rules through fear and intimidation. All of her employees hate her. Fulton county hates her. She has never taken any time to find out who is working for her, or what capacity they operate for her. Most of her employees are always in fear of losing their jobs. As a State Employee, I cannot elect someone that does not have my best interest at heart. She has changed the way her employees can use leave and how much. Her directors hate her as well. Even the directors that she herself had hired from other states. Her immediate staff has stated that she alone will make them vote Dem in the next election. There is also alot a shady dealings around her office, do not think that there isn’t. If she gains in the polls, her employees are determined to bring forth all of what I speak of. Be prepared for the splatter on the fan.

ThisJustIn

December 9th, 2009
1:00 pm

Mary Norwood picked up one vote in the recount. She’s a Republican and should’ve never thrown the party under the bus. She should have stood tall for her Republican beliefs and she would energized a lot more Northside voters. She dropped the ball on this one and I regret donating to her campaign.