Time magazine today released its annual list of 100 most influential leaders, artists, thinkers, and heroes in the world.
No. 15, under the category of “Leaders,” behind Barack Obama (No. 4) and Sarah Palin (No. 9), is the name of Cherokee County’s own Jenny Beth Martin, tea party organizer extraordinaire:
Every revolution needs icons. The Tea Party movement may have mushroomed because of its reluctance to anoint a leader, but leaders have emerged nonetheless. In February 2009, Jenny Beth Martin was one of about 20 people who took part in the original conference call (convened via Twitter hashtag) in response to Rick Santelli’s now famous rant.
Her commitment to building the burgeoning movement has made her one of its breakout stars. Martin, 39, is a co-founder and the national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, an umbrella organization that claims 1,800 local affiliates with some 15 million members. She serves as co-chair of her hometown Tea Party in Atlanta, and she helped lead the 9/12 movement’s march on Washington in September.
“I have a tendency to raise my hand to volunteer too often,” she’s quoted as saying.
A certain giddiness swept over the Nathan Deal campaign for governor on Wednesday, as a Rasmussen Reports (automated) poll showed that in a slew of hypothetical match-ups against Democrat Roy Barnes, the former north Georgia congressman did better against the former governor than any other Republican.
It was Deal at 46 percent, Barnes at 39 percent. And John Oxendine, 45 percent, and Barnes, 43 percent. And Handel, 42 percent, and Barnes, 41 percent. And Eric Johnson 37 percent, and Barnes, 42 percent.
The Rassmussen poll for the first time extended its hypotheticals to Democrat Thurbert Baker, who polled best (at 36 percent) against Karen Handel (44 percent).
A pair of points from the Deal campaign in a press release:
One, it shows for the second month in a row that Deal is the strongest candidate in a general election and that lead is growing. Two, Nathan is the only Republican beating Barnes beyond the poll’s margin of error – in fact, it shows Barnes beating Eric Johnson and it shows Karen Handel and John Oxendine’s margins over Barnes shrinking.
Perhaps more important, the poll of 500 voters (4.5 percent MOE) was taken April 22 — before the dust-up in Arizona really took hold.
Gov. Sonny Perdue’s approval rating stands at 55 percent, according to the same survey.
On Wednesday, Democrats Roy Barnes and David Poythress wrote their qualifying checks to be placed on the Democratic primary ballot as candidates for governor.
Republicans Karen Handel and Ray McBerry, in the same race, wrote their checks for $4,180.18, too. McBerry’s request to have his name on the ballot listed as Ray “States’ Rights” McBerry was denied by GOP officials.
Republican John Oxendine is expected at the Capitol this morning. Democrat Thurbert Baker has a formal kick-off this morning at the DeKalb County courthouse in Decatur. But when he will drop by the Capitol is unclear.
Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson has signed up for re-election to the U.S. Senate, as has Democrat R.J. Hadley. But state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond has yet to present his check.
All this to say that one of the great superstitions in Georgia politics appears to be disappearing. It used to be that any candidate within driving distance of the Capitol would make every effort to sign up the first day available – in order to demonstrate his commitment and enthusiasm.
We’ve no solid evidence, but word is filtering through that state Rep. Austin Scott (R-Tifton), currently a gubernatorial candidate, may indeed be responding to high-level GOP pressure to avoid a primary confrontation with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle – dropping into the 8th District congressional race against U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall instead. He’s got until noon Friday to decide.
According to Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office, real estate executive Ray Boyd will have to collect 44,071 valid signatures in order to be placed on the November ballot as an independent candidate for governor. That’s 1 percent of the total number of registered voters in 2006. His deadline July 13, at high noon.
The game of musical chairs – powered by both natural gas and electricity – continues. State Rep. Jeff May (R-Monroe) has qualified for the District 2 seat on the Public Service Commission being vacated by Bobby Baker. And former Athens mayor Doc Eldridge has decided against the race.
Sen. John Douglas (R-Social Circle) is also a candidate for that PSC seat. State Rep. John Lunsford (R-McDonough) announced this morning that he’ll attempt to fill Douglas’ Senate seat.
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