Your morning jolt: Mary Norwood sues John Eaves over demand for handwritten ‘Fultons’

Mary Norwood, running as an independent candidate for Fulton County Commission chairman, says she has sued Democratic incumbent John Eaves — for allegedly using a picayune point of law to sabotage her campaign.

mnorwood

Mary Norwood, independent candidate for Fulton County Commission chairman/AJC

Norwood needs 22,000 or so signatures – 5 percent of Fulton County’s registered voters — by mid-July in order to have her name placed on the November ballot.

Norwood says that Eaves, relying on what she calls a “hyper-technical interpretation of the law,” is insisting that the word “Fulton” be handwritten, by each signer, along with a street address. Eaves is being represented by former congressman Buddy Darden of Marietta, with the influential firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge.

Norwood says her campaign received written approval from the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections to “pre-type” the word in the space requesting the signer’s county of residence.

Because if it says “Cobb” or “DeKalb,” the signer can’t also be on the Fulton County list of voters.

The demand for handwritten “Fultons” would jeopardize thousands of signatures she’s already gathered. Norwood seeks an emergency ruling from a superior court judge.

“This is further proof why residents of Fulton County deserve another choice for commission chairman this November. We need anyone who cares about ballot access or is a supporter of mine to come out and sign the petition,” Norwood said in a press release.

purpleheart

Brian Kemp, the Republican incumbent in the contest for secretary of state, is fuming over a mailing by primary challenger Doug MacGinnitie.

One side of the flyer includes an image of the Purple Heart given to those wounded in combat, with the following:

He’d gladly surrender this [the medal] to get his vote back. Read about how Captain Basnett lost his vote after being wounded in Afghanistan. The story’s on the other side of this card.

purpleheart3

The reverse side explains that an absentee ballot was on its way to Afghanistan when Basnett was wounded. He was brought home in time for the election, and called his county clerk. Sorry, the clerk says, only one ballot per veteran.

Only in the third block of type does MacGinnitie reveal that Captain Basnett is a “hypothetical” member of the armed forces.

Writes Kemp:

By MacGinnitie’s own admission, “Captain Basnett” does not even exist and the entire story was a fiction designed to illustrate a point about Georgia law. Worse, the point he is making about Georgia law is false as well.

Georgia law does in fact allow voters, especially service members overseas, to request another absentee ballot from their county elections officer by signing a simple affidavit stating that the first ballot was not received. The elections superintendent will then cancel the first ballot and issue another. [O.C.G.A. § 21-2-384 (a)(5)]

In his flyer, MacGinnittie argues that the problem hasn’t been entirely fixed.

State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, the leading Republican candidate for governor, has won a temporary reprieve. From my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin:

A State Ethics Commission hearing about more than $100,000 in questionable campaign contributions to Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine’s bid for governor has been cancelled, according to a posting on the commission’s website.

No other details were immediately available, but as of late last week the hearing was still scheduled.

But the case has been simmering for more than a year, since The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Oxendine collected $120,000 in contributions from a series of Alabama-based political action committees with ties to a insurance companies that Oxendine regulated.

The companies, State Mutual Insurance and Admiral Life Insurance Co., both of Rome, filed suit in Fulton County Superior Court in late May to quash Ethics Commission subpoenas that sought documents related to the contributions.

On Monday, Atlanta Stonewall Democrats issued their first-round list of endorsements in the July 20 primary.

There were no surprises, until you reached House District 94, currently held by Randal Mangham of DeKalb County, who has decided not to seek another term.

Four Democrats are in the contest to replace him. But the Stonewall Democrats declined to endorse, “since all the candidates demonstrated qualities that would be a dramatic improvement for its LGBT residents over the current representation.”

In 2004, Mangham cast a deciding vote to put a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage up for a referendum.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meets next week with President Barack Obama.
U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss wants to make sure they talk chicken.

He’s authored a letter to that effect with Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Says the Senate pair, according to feedstuff.com:

“Our poultry producers are required by USDA to meet very stringent food safety standards, which help them produce a safe and high-quality product. The Russians have failed to supply a reasonable, scientific explanation for restricting their market to U.S. poultry and we believe that their citing of safety concerns as reason for their trade barriers is baseless,” they wrote.

The Senators noted “a continued absence from the Russian market, which is worth $800 million annually to American producers, would only increase the economic uncertainty our poultry farmers already face.”

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85 comments Add your comment

AH

June 22nd, 2010
9:29 am

Wow is John Eaves a little scared?
That is the problem with petition drives, either you have to worry about the gather forging signatures or you have to put up with technical BS on the other side throwing out signatures.

Cutty

June 22nd, 2010
9:33 am

Didn’t she just want to be Mayor less than a year ago?

If the law says you have to write by hand the county name, how is that being hyper-technical? Any serious campaign would rely on the rule of law and not what some county worker said.

SpaceyG

June 22nd, 2010
9:35 am

Oh fer chrissake. Can’t they just reach 5K Twitter followers and call it a day?

AH

June 22nd, 2010
9:44 am

If you get written approval to type it then that should be end of story.

Ole Glory

June 22nd, 2010
9:46 am

Doug McGinnitie is a disgrace to this state, telling a lie to about a wounded veteran just to get elected? Misleading everybody? It is sad that politicians are now stooping to this low level. Doug, you are a joke and should be ashamed of yourself!

Jason

June 22nd, 2010
9:49 am

While I think Mary is correct on this one, can’t she find something to do other than elected office? If her telemarketing business doesn’t need her, there are many great charities that could use someone with business experience to help them out.

These people who feel they must always hold a government office, any office, seem like powermongers. Mary might be a good compromise between the two extremes that have held the county chairmanship the last decade or so, but coming right after her failed attempt at becoming mayor of the state’s largest city and an extended (and by many accounts, unproductive) stay on the city council, it makes me nervous of her motivation.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 22nd, 2010
9:53 am

Mary Bush Norwood needs the public’s approval to overcome the shame of her earlier bad choices in life, just as Roy Barnes needs what should be the honor of public office to justify himself after slinking into law school to dodge Vietnam.

Joel Dockery

June 22nd, 2010
9:57 am

Wow, I guess “Democrat” doesn’t necessarily mean “proponent of democracy”.

Peyton

June 22nd, 2010
10:13 am

Doug MacGinnitie what are you thinking?!?! I am sick and tired of getting stuff from you in the mail that is full of lies. Using hypothetical situations to make false claims. Do your background work before sending out lies to Georgia voters. If you are elected, are you going to continue to lie to Georgia citizens just to get your way??

Susan

June 22nd, 2010
10:17 am

I thought Doug was a man of integrity when I met him but all of these deceitful mailers are starting to make me think otherwise….

MBJ

June 22nd, 2010
10:19 am

We should be respecting and praising our military and veterans, not making up false stories and degrading the Purple Heart. Please do not vote for Doug MacGinnitie. He is not a man, a politician, or a businessman that I want working for me.

Oh Intown Writer...

June 22nd, 2010
10:28 am

This makes Eaves look petty and scared, and the petty part bothers me more as that’s been part of the problem in Fulton Co. governance (or, turf protection at the expense of good governance). And it also gets back to the pettiness problems of the State Democratic party, which has irked many a voting person I know.
As far as being nervous about Mary’s motivation – she met with far more City residents than either of the other mayoral candidates – the winner who’s been a City resident now for how long?, the other of whom ensured she never received a committee chair appointment and then made a campaign issue of it.
Perchance Mary runs because she actually knows what the problems are and thinks she can do something about them~

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 22nd, 2010
10:32 am

MacGinnitie’s endorsement by Rome’s GRTL “front” says he wants to make the victims of incest and rape bear the fruit of the crimes of pedophile rapists. What does that say about him?

HIs fictitious use of the Purple Heart image on his mailer is a attemnpt to tie himself to the honorable military service he never sought. He is a fraud of a man.

Toes the Line

June 22nd, 2010
10:35 am

What happened to “obey the law?” Shut up Norwood and toe the line. If it is good enough for elderly citizens with no driver’s licenses, immigrants with no visa, and campers with no park bench, it’s good enough for you, Mayor, excuse me Mary.

AngryVoter

June 22nd, 2010
10:41 am

How sad that these politicians know that the only way they can win is to raise technical issues. Given a choice of a viable independent candidate, the party partisans know they don’t stand a chance. Eaves obviously has so little faith in himself or his candidacy that he will make a fool of himself and try to supress a candidate because he knows it’s the only way he can win. If crud is the only choice we have, then crud has a chance of winning.

Morrus

June 22nd, 2010
10:47 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

New Blood Please

June 22nd, 2010
10:59 am

Ole Glory et al, I beg to differ. What is disgraceful is the state of Georgia not taking care to protect the rights of our fighting men and women. And Sonny’s Boy Brian claiming he has fixed the problem when what he’s actually done is apply a very small bandaid to a large and real problem–and then claim he’s actually accomplished something in his appointed office. Ill advised mailer? Maybe. But I don’t think Mac was in any way degading the Purple Heart. He has the utmost respect for active military and veterans and is fighting for their rights–unlike Sonny and camp who just like to announce legislation that gets headlines but does not in fact help those brave men and women who serve on harm’s way to protect our rights.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 22nd, 2010
11:04 am

We are supposed to be a nation of laws, though Norwood’s life suggests a pattern of disregard for law, earthly and otherwise.

Does the law say the county’s name must be handwritten by the one signing the petition, regardless of what some moronic or calculating employee in government allegedly assured Mary Bush Norwood?

Raquel Morris

June 22nd, 2010
11:05 am

In a nutshell, John Eaves knows that he can’t beat Mary Norwood at the polls, so is trying to beat her in the courthouse instead. How sad and very undemocratic.

rojer

June 22nd, 2010
11:06 am

Im tired of folks that keep running again and again til they get a government check. Clearly she dont care what job she does so long as she gets seen in the paper. Always amazes me how some of these folks run for council, then superior court judge and then school board til they get a spot. If you cant see that huge red flag you must be colorblind.

OCGA 21-2-170(c)

June 22nd, 2010
11:26 am

Each person signing a nomination petition shall declare therein that he or she is a duly qualified and registered elector of the state, county, or municipality entitled to vote in the next election for the filling of the office sought by the candidate supported by the petition and shall add to his or her signature his or her residence address, giving municipality, if any, and county, with street and number, if any, and be urged to add the person’s date of birth which shall be used for verification purposes.

GOPActivist

June 22nd, 2010
11:35 am

We need someone in office that is serious about getting out military better access to voting. Doug’s Mac’ story demonstrates the trouble these guys have. Brian Kemp had a chance to fix it and he balked. Doug MacGinnitie is a good man and sincere in his desire to fix this issue.

Cutty

June 22nd, 2010
11:39 am

Thanks OCGA. Handwriting the county is state law. I bet if Eaves had done that, half of you would accuse him of getting signatures from Clayton and Dekalb residents. If Mary can’t follow the law, what business does she have running for County chairman. Same mistakes she made running for mayor.

Robert

June 22nd, 2010
11:47 am

Let’s see. Eaves is the one who produced the campaign radio ad alleging that if his white opponent were elected, we’d have police dogs and fire hoses ala Birmingham; right? Starring Andrew Young, John Lewis and Shirley Franklin? Yes, I think so.

whatdoiknow

June 22nd, 2010
11:47 am

John Eaves and his hate ads . . . A google search will locate the actual audio ads for you or you can read the text here:

http://boortz.com/nuze/200611/11072006.html

AH

June 22nd, 2010
11:48 am

Actually Cutty, if you read the OCGA it doesn’t state that handwriting the county or other information is required. If they someone wanted to type all that info on a form print it out and sign, it would meet the letter of the law.

PoliticalOutsider

June 22nd, 2010
11:53 am

I’m voting for MacGinnitie. He’s a great businessman and the kinda guy who can really make a difference for our soliders. His story really helps underline how important this issue is. I’m tired of all Brian Kemp’s false outrage and negative, negative, negative campaigning.

Marilyn Carter

June 22nd, 2010
11:53 am

She ran for mayor a couple of months ago, and now she wants to the Commisson Chairperson, I do not know if she is qualified. I wish she just taken a job that Mayor Reed offered her. And if she is getting signatures they should show if the person who signing lives in Fulton County. Maybe she should take a vacation and take a couple of deep breaths and relax for the next four years.

georgia voter

June 22nd, 2010
11:55 am

In a short period of time Brian Kemp has proven that he is keeping his promises to voters. Doug has proven that he can run a negative campaign without actually having answers to fix the problems. Doug is great at pointing out the problems, and that is about it. We need a candidate who will actually work to fix the solution, instead of just trying to buy his way out of a problem.

Cutty

June 22nd, 2010
11:56 am

@ AH- It does state, however, that the person signing the petition shall input this information. Why not allow the person to list all this information themselves? Jus sayin.

WOW!

June 22nd, 2010
12:07 pm

@Will Jones… Mr. Vitriol… What an profoundly ugly little man… Jefferson would roll over in his grave.

…her campaign received written approval from the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections to “pre-type” the word in the space requesting the signer’s county of residence…

The Department of Registration and Elections either has or has not the authority to make this exception. If they do, case closed. If they don’t, then some functionary needs to be fired.

Oh, and what is it with those leaving comments here… I’ve never seen such atrocious grammer since the mayoral race. I hope this is not exemplary of Fulton County schools.

Been Around-Done That

June 22nd, 2010
12:07 pm

As a 100% service-connected disabled war veteran who votes in Republican Primaries, Mr. MacGinnitie’s use of a a fictitious veteran and a Purple Heart in campaign material disgusts me. He just lost my vote!

PoliticalOutsider

June 22nd, 2010
12:07 pm

Brian Kemp is creating problems. Identity theft on the SoS website is still not fixed. MacGinnitie has proposed a plan. New military voting law Kemp praises falls way short of what we need. MacGinnitie has proposed a plan. “Georgia voter” you are being selective in your reading.

DollarDawg43

June 22nd, 2010
12:11 pm

As soon as I read the reverse side of the MacGinnite ad that described the situation as hypothetical I knew I wasn’t voting for him. It was discarded immediately, as was any notion I may have had for supporting him in the primary. It was like telling a lie on one side of the page and admitting it on the other. Mac, you have handed Kemp the election with this one. Nice going.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 22nd, 2010
12:20 pm

Each person…shall add to his or her signature his or her residence address, giving municipality, if any, and county

If Mary Bush Norwood’s opponent had committed the same error, her fascist faction (now in the guise of “friendly-to-the-gay-community”) would be “morally outraged” sticklers as the hypocrites, liars, and corrupt tools of the Roman Anti-Christ they are.

WOW!

June 22nd, 2010
12:24 pm

What a bunch of cynics… how about Norwood actually wants to help the people of Fulton as best she can. How about, just maybe, her heart is in the right place.

Of course John Eaves is just the pinnacle of virtue… Allow me to direct you to read the copy for his “dogs and firehouses” ad.

http://boortz.com/nuze/200611/11072006.html

Talk about fear-mongering! The truly sad thing is that there are those that would be swayed by such race-baiting. John Lewis, Andy Young, and Shirley Franklin… they’d be nowhere but for the exploitation of the black community. They’ve all done such an admirable job of helping poorer blacks in this city… NOT! They are nothing but users, just like Eaves.

Right Coast

June 22nd, 2010
12:30 pm

If Doug MacGinnitie is good enough for Sadie Fields, he’s good enough for me.

And to h*ll with you godless, left wing America-hating jerks!

TP4U

June 22nd, 2010
12:30 pm

Kemp knows better. Each county election office does their own thing. SOS has not been a proponent of consistency or conforming all of the county election registration offices throughout the state. Ask one county about law they couldn’t tell you. when you ask the SOS office for advisement in writing, they call you back because they don’t want anything to bite them in the behinds that was put in writing. they than tell you to ask your county attorney for advisement. depending on who the county is that’s the answer they give you. It’s a mess. They are now handwriting experts deciding whether an absentee ballot is the signature of the voter. Opening up fraud cases where more poor voters reside or more democratic voters. It is sickening. The State Elections Board and Kemp must go now–MacGinnitie is no better!

WOW!

June 22nd, 2010
12:30 pm

@WillJones (Mr. Vitriol)…

“shall add” and “are required” would most likely have two very different legal meanings. If you mean “required”, the OCGA should state such and dispel any possible ambiguity.

Paddy O

June 22nd, 2010
12:33 pm

Cutty – it does not say that either. It says the person shall “declare” – this is accomplished by actually signing the document, no? If I do NOT sign the document, I an not declaring a thing. If I do sign it, I have declared I am a citizen of Fulton County. The requirement that it be written out by the signer is NOT stated in state law. The pre-printed FULTON should actually dissuade people from signing it. The individual still has to submit street address. I do not think that the individual must add it personally if it is already inserted in the proper location, since the signer is affirming that the “Fulton” is their home county.

Paddy O

June 22nd, 2010
12:35 pm

TP4U is telling the truth. The SOS refused to issue opinions in writing. It indicates that Georgia law is very flexible & arbitrary.

TP4U

June 22nd, 2010
12:35 pm

All the signatures must be verified. Having the County on the list makes no sense. If they are registered voters residing in Fulton County, they should be verified by the Fulton County Board of Elections and Registration. I can’t believe that this is an issue.

WOW!

June 22nd, 2010
12:36 pm

@Right Coast…

“And to h*ll with you godless, left wing America-hating jerks!”

Yo, fake-patriot-flag-waver… welcome to the First Amendment to The Constitution of the United States. You’re a facist.

Paddy O

June 22nd, 2010
12:43 pm

However, depending upon the election official reviewing the petition, it is possible to kick it out if you translate it as indicated by Will Jones. The law does indicate that the petitioner signing the form has the obligation to indicate their county. However, if the county election official who will be verifying the signatures stated that the typed FULTON was adequate, than that decision should stand. The typed FULTON does not poison the actual vehicle of the petition – that only registered voters in the jurisdiction can sign the petition.

Cutty

June 22nd, 2010
12:47 pm

Paddy O- The person signing has to ‘declare’ the they are registered in Fulton AND ADD to his or her signature his or her residence address, giving municipality, if any, and county, with street and number, if any, and be urged to add the person’s date of birth which shall be used for verification purposes.

I can they add what county they live in, if it’s already printed there?

Nice try tho.

Disavantaged Insider

June 22nd, 2010
12:48 pm

Aw, come on now WOW! You can’t say Right Coast is a facist because he said mean things about left-wingers. Facism is so much more complicated than that. However, you would be right in describing him as an A-hole if you chose to. That, I think, would be a valid assumption given the data.

WOW!

June 22nd, 2010
12:49 pm

“Georgia law is very flexible & arbitrary”…

So-called politics in the state of Georgia is not “hard-ball”, it is revulsive, revolting, and repugnant in every way possible. We should change our state motto to “Georgia, The Unenlightned State”.

Paddy O

June 22nd, 2010
12:50 pm

As I stated, it depends upon the election official. If the county is already typed, and the election official verifying the petitioner authenticity is OK with this, I do not see how this would disrupt or poison the petition. If I am signing it, that portion which requires my county voting jurisdiction would be there, and would have fulfilled the requirements of the law.

Paddy O

June 22nd, 2010
12:53 pm

GA law is intentionally written vaque, thereby allowing local lawyers city attorneys, etc to take cases to law (job security). However, compared to federal regulations, GA law is kindergarten text. Try reading the 529 guidelines, so much text with so little stated.

WOW!

June 22nd, 2010
12:54 pm

dictionary.com…

Fascist: a person who is dictatorial or has extreme right-wing views.

You’d have to admit “extreme” comes pretty close to the mark… but so does A-hole.