Your morning jolt: Nathan Deal heads south, Karen Handel courts the coast

The two surviving candidates in the Republican race for governor on Thursday moved into territory once held by defeated comrades.

While Nathan Deal followed I-75 to south Georgia, Karen Handel was on the coast for a meeting with the editorial board of the local newspaper — which had endorsed homeboy and former senator Eric Johnson in the July 20 primary.

We weren’t there to here the pitch from the former secretary of state, but Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News was.

Handel told editors it was a “disgrace” that Nathan Deal, her runoff rival, didn’t reveal that he was “associated” with a federal grand jury investigation into a ‘09 meeting with state officials about his business dealings with the state.

Said Handel:

“Heaven forbid,” [she said], “if it had come forward and Nathan Deal was our nominee.

“The GOP would be in big trouble. And that would mean he put his interests ahead of the greater interests.”

Now, about this Johnson fellow — who so far has endorsed neither Handel nor Deal:

Earlier, she extended an olive branch to former state Sen. Eric Johnson, who finished third on July 20, but drew 71 percent of the vote in Chatham County.

She urged about 45 people at a Savannah “meet-and-greet” session to applaud Johnson for his “wonderful” campaign.

“We need his voice in policy making,” she said.

But at the editorial board, she wouldn’t discuss one of her primary campaign TV ads, which said he had “iffy ethics.”

“I’m not going to rehash the primary,” she said. “It’s over. I finished 11 (percentage) points ahead. I’m moving on.”

Later, she told the board “there was a clear contrast between me and the others in the field from an ethics standpoint. That’s what we wanted to show.”

Handel also noted Deal and others “took their shots” at her during the primary campaign.

The response from the Deal campaign’s Brian Robinson:

“Karen Handel can’t tell the truth about Nathan Deal’s record,” he said. “She can’t tell the truth about Eric Johnson’s record. She can’t even tell the truth about her own record.”

***

Meanwhile, Nathan Deal flew into Lowndes County, where – according to the Valdosta Daily Times – he didn’t waste much time. Possibly because Handel won the county with 36 percent of the vote 10 days ago.

Deal quickly pushed on to Adel and Cook County, which was won by state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine on July 20.

***

Oops. Someone’s a little bit too eager to count a win: The Washington Post has an online map of all the endorsements made by Sarah Palin in the last few months, and how the candidates have fared in Republican primaries.

The map is slightly off when it comes to Georgia, however, listing Karen Handel as having “won” her primary for governor.

Handel won a plurality on July 20, but somebody forgot that Georgia is a majority-wins state.

***

Something you probably didn’t know about the brewing constitutional confrontation in Arizona – also from today’s Washington Post:

The federal judge who blocked key aspects of Arizona’s new immigration law was so well regarded across the political spectrum that she was nominated to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, who tapped her on the recommendation of Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), one of Congress’s most conservative senators.

***

Former Gov. Roy Barnes was one of the first two statewide candidates to hand in a questionnaire from the Georgia Charter Schools Association.

(John Barge, the GOP nominee for state school superintendent, was the other.)

Barnes should score well – except for his answer on the constitutionality of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission established by the Legislature in 2008.

The legislation, still the subject of a lawsuit, allows charter schools to be imposed in school districts that reject them – using state cash allocated to the systems. Writes Barnes:

As indicated in prior questions, I support both the equitable funding of all charter schools and additional authorizers of charter schools.

However, as a lawyer, I do have concerns about the constitutionality of HB 881, which is currently being appealed in our court system. I would support legislation to allow a more equitable system of funding of all types of charter schools, but it must not violate existing provisions of the Georgia Constitution.

Under our state constitution, local boards of education have the constitutional mandate to control and manage local schools, including charter schools. We must find ways to incentivize local boards of education to support charter schools so that they receive full and equitable funding.

***

On roughly the same topic, Americans for Prosperity and the Foundation for Educational Choice are hosting a seminar at 1 p.m. today at the Hilton Hotel Norcross on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

The topic: “Solutions for improving education in Georgia through school choice platforms.” Speakers include B.J. Van Gundy, president of the Georgia Charter Schools Association; and Sandra Foster, a founder of Christian Family Home School Educators.

***

Another independent candidate has bit the dust. From the Augusta Chronicle:

After collecting 6,752 signatures to run as an independent candidate for Georgia Senate District 23, Chuck Pardue announced Thursday he was withdrawing from the race.

Pardue cited family reasons for the drop out, leaving Republican qualifier Jesse Stone with no opposition on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Pardue spokesman Gunner Hall said the condition of Pardue’s son John, who was recently injured in Afghanistan, had worsened Monday and required the support of his entire family….

The Democratic party tried to substitute Pardue’s name for that of Leon Garvin, who qualified to seek Sen. J.B. Powell’s Senate seat after Powell withdrew to run for commissioner of agriculture, after Garvin realized he did not live in District 23.

***

On his new blog, Human Behavior, Tom Crawford points to Houston County, where a preacher wants Warner Robins High School to scrap its mascot, the “Screamin’ Demon.”

Crawford remembers that past Screamin’ Demons include a certain Sonny Perdue, who was the starting quarterback in 1964:

“I asked Gov. Perdue’s communications office if he had any comment on the petition drive to dump the Demon. They did not respond.”

But the bet here is that Perdue – whose son has become a relatively prominent Southern Baptist preacher – is secure in his both religious and high school beliefs, and won’t sign.

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60 comments Add your comment

Ole Sarg

July 30th, 2010
10:29 am

Deal is the essence of what is wrong with our political system. We need to get rid of these career crooks/politicians. He represented his own interests at the expense of the people that he was suppose to serve. Just because he has supported things we like doesn’t mean we should tollerate his corruption. The only difference between Deal and Chaelie Wrangel is Deal is a republican.

Aquagirl

July 30th, 2010
10:33 am

Keep ducking and weaving, Deal—I’d love to see the Republican nominee run while under indictment.

Where's Benjamin Conley when you need him?

July 30th, 2010
10:34 am

My hope is one day the citizens of this great state will not have to pick between two different shades of mediocrity.

Churchill's MOM

July 30th, 2010
10:37 am

Doesn’t Nathan Deal’s no bid contract and strong arm tactics to keep it remind you of Maynard Jackson and the Atlanta Airport. The common thread between both parties is corruption. Georgia has the choice of electing a HONEST woman or a Corrupt Washington Insider. Get your friends out to vote for a honest woman, Karen Handel

Good 'ol Dawg

July 30th, 2010
10:54 am

Just because a politician has spent time in Washington does not mean that he is corrupt. Someone has to go to Washington to be the voice of the people. People who question Nathan Deal’s politics should look into his voting record while he was in Congress. He did a good job representing the entire 9th District of Georiga. I know for a fact that he did not pursue his own interests in Congress, but the interests of the people of North Georgia. If he was such a corrupt/crook politician why did the majority of his Congressional district vote for him? We have all been pleased with the job he did while in Washington.

SKB

July 30th, 2010
10:57 am

Anyone but DEAL, I would rather have Roy Barnes win, rather than this snake corrupt politician.

Aquagirl

July 30th, 2010
11:09 am

“If he was such a corrupt/crook politician why did the majority of his Congressional district vote for him?”

Two words: Charlie Rangel.

td

July 30th, 2010
11:26 am

Anyone besides Karen Handel. Would rather have had Johnson but I will jump on the Deal bandwagon now so that Handel can pack up in November and move back to Maryland.

please

July 30th, 2010
11:27 am

i just cannot get past the fact that handel doesn’t have a college degree and has only lived in georgia for 10 years or so. i believe deal is the better option on the GOP side, but barnes is the choice overall.

Bobby Anthony

July 30th, 2010
11:29 am

I voted for Poythress in the primary but will vote for Deal in the general election if he wins the nomination. I will not vote for Barnes or Palin’s candidate.

Ted

July 30th, 2010
11:46 am

Wait, wait – “please” cannot get past the fact that Ms. Handel has only lived in GA 10 years.
Try to remember the size of Atl ten years ago. What – 3 or 4 million less people. During this time Ms. Handel steadily moved to bigger and better positions ending with state-wide responsibility as SoS. As one who earned his degree at age 50, but was making nearly $100K before then, I am not affraid of Karen. She has proven that she can handle a state-wide job.
Of course, you dem bloggers would love to take us back to the era of King Rat Roy.
no, no – been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

Rankin Blank

July 30th, 2010
11:49 am

Did Karen Handel have an abortion?

Ted

July 30th, 2010
11:51 am

Love that Aquagirl – of course his district re-elected him.
We were not aware of what was happening behind closed doors. But there is nothing like an election period to bring out the whistle blowers.
Deal and Rangel. Now it seems one candidate for State AG had a harem of young staffers till his wife walked in on him and then divorced him. (AJC earlier this week) Another election year OOPs.

kreedham

July 30th, 2010
11:53 am

I know they won’t say publicly but who would Barnes rather run against?

Ted

July 30th, 2010
11:56 am

For Rankin – No. Ms Handel has medical problems which prevent her from being a mother.
She had tried in-vitro. This is why the GA Right to Life has made her public enemy number one.
GARTL then quoted in the Politco news also slamed her and Sarah Palin’s special needs child.
The GRTL has turned into a vicious anti-woman group.
Moreover, the group has tried to turn this election into an abortion debate. Fortunately, Handel has stayed with the issues. Go see her website.
thanks,

Georgia female

July 30th, 2010
12:01 pm

All of you Liberals who claim to be Repubicans want Handel, who would be like having Obama in office. She also talks about a change we can believe in. Also, her campaign manager is part of Perdue’s gang at the Capitol. Need any more be said??????

Go Ox

July 30th, 2010
12:04 pm

Told all of you that my Man Ox was not the most corrupt candidate for Governor. Now while Deal is in Federal Jail my Man Ox will be making that big insurance consulting money. If you want a corrupt Governor Deal will be your man until he goes to jail.

earl

July 30th, 2010
12:06 pm

you same people keep coming on these blog sites with the same old comments. you should really spend more of your time studying some facts about the candidates before sounding off. it’s not even worth the time to try and convience some of you that your dead wrong. you’ve read too much and listened to too many people that don’t know what their talking about. think for youselves for once. if you like a negative-attack like campaign you’ve certainley got a candidate you can vote for…the same candidate rasumessen polls have told us on several occations CAN’T BEAT ROY BARNES IN NOVEMBER.

Tom

July 30th, 2010
12:13 pm

Jim, when discussing Clinton appointees, the phrase “tapped her” might not be the best choice.

????

July 30th, 2010
12:17 pm

earl

July 30th, 2010
12:06 pm

The last Rasmussen Report before the election had Deal & Handel tied at 24%, she out scored 35% & Deal by 23% in the election. That is well outside the range of error. By Rasmussen reports Ralph Reed is now the Lt Governor Cagle.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2010/election_2010_governor_elections/georgia/election_2010_georgia_republican_primary_for_governor

Pamela McGregor

July 30th, 2010
12:23 pm

What self righteousness from Handel — Heaven forbid if the GOP had to endorse Deal as the Candidate’. Barnes, she is the self-anointed winner and she is busy doing research on you and begging for $$$. SarahPAC does not hand out money easily…I am leaving the US and I will return on the 9th. Enough of this GOP fiasco…Johnson and OX are not exactly saying anything…Turnout will be so low; she and Deal may have to charter buses and give out free sandwiches at nursing homes ….What a waste; none of them could be a clear winner because they are all the same except for slamming each other. Bring it on!!!!

Ray

July 30th, 2010
12:25 pm

Rasmussen said Handel & Deal were tied at 25% not 24% and She beat Deal by 11.4% in the primary. Rasmussen is not a very well respected poll by the pros but if they say what you want them to say post it even if it will never happen.

Handel has her problems but Deal is a typical Washington politician corrupt to the core.

Jimbo

July 30th, 2010
12:31 pm

@ earl looks like you were studying the wrong poll..hope Deal is paying you well.

Mugwump

July 30th, 2010
1:12 pm

Deal is beginning to look tired, under a lot of stress and in pain, I feel sorry for him. He is under a lot of pressure.with the investigations and all going on. Bless his heart.

hotrod

July 30th, 2010
1:23 pm

Jim – On another matter, your silence has been deafening on the recent revelations in the GOP Attorney General’s race!

????

July 30th, 2010
1:31 pm

Does Billy Morris still own the Savannah paper? If so Deal will have a hostile audience.

Fred

July 30th, 2010
1:39 pm

Enter your comments here

Marge

July 30th, 2010
1:40 pm

Is it true that Karen Handel is not a college graduate? How embarassing. In this day and age one would think she could go to night school and earn some credentials. That is a BIG NEGATIVE….she has no kids….there is no excuse…..she doesn’t seem like the brightest bulb in the room …maybe ambitious but you would think she should have a little humility..

????

July 30th, 2010
1:44 pm

@Marge, you Deal Paid Bloggers have worn this 1 out.. Do you want a Honest woman or a Corrupt Washington crook/political like Deal?

The race is over & guess who wins?

July 30th, 2010
1:46 pm

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will campaign for Karen Handel the day before the Republican runoff for governor.

Handel’s campaign said the details are still being worked out but that Palin would hold an event from noon to 1 p.m. somewhere in the “north metro area, most likely,” spokesman Dan McLagan said.

Palin’s endorsement on July 12 helped elevate Handel to the top spot in the July 20 runoff. Now, she and former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal will face off on Aug. 10 for the GOP nomination.

“I’m coming to Georgia to campaign with my friend Karen because it is absolutely critical that Georgians nominate an ethical leader and a true conservative to take the fight to Roy Barnes in November,” Palin said in a statement released by Handel’s campaign. “Karen Handel is a strong, pro-life leader who isn’t afraid to take on the status quo and do the right thing. She will be the 21st century governor Georgia needs to tenaciously address the state’s challenges.”

A Palin visit has always been considered the best chip Handel could play and after weeks of speculation, her campaign confirmed Friday that it will happen.

The timing would appear to be planned for greatest impact. The day before the runoff, Palin’s visit will likely energize an electorate that turned out in low numbers for the primary.

In South Carolina earlier this year, a Palin visit for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley drew 1,000 people with only 24 hours notice.

“I am very excited that Governor Palin is coming to Georgia to help our final get-out-the-vote push,” Handel said in a statement. “The energy and enthusiasm she will bring will make a huge difference in the final push to victory in the run-off election.”

Fred

July 30th, 2010
1:49 pm

It is funny that the people that know Karen the best like Nathan the most. I mean, it is interesting that she had to go to Alaska to get someone to endorse her. After all, Sarah Palin is closer to Russia than to Georgia and presumably knows more about the people there than here. How, as a practical matter is Karen going to govern the state when almost the entire House and Senate republican caucus are supporting Nathan? Also, Rasmussen last head to head poll showed that Nathan had a lead against Roy Barnes that was outside of the margin of error (49 to 44). Karen and Roy run neck and neck in the mid forties. Simple fact is Roy is going to win or lose outside of Atlanta, and he will cream Karen south of I-20.

KING JACK

July 30th, 2010
1:49 pm

when KING ROY was king Ga.was in a much better place then we are now !!!!

Deal Supporter

July 30th, 2010
1:51 pm

The name “Nathan Deal” and the word “corruption” simply don’t go together in the same sentence. I’ve known him for 49 years and he’s totally honest and non-corrupt in all that he does. He’s been successful in every endeavor he’s been engaged in…publicly and prrivately. He has a great family and the people closest to him (his constituents) have returned him to office by huge majorities in his re-elections. That’s hard to counter.

Ray

July 30th, 2010
1:55 pm

Fred 1:49 pm

This a copy of my post from above about the reliability of Rasmussen, Several post above mine is a link to the actual data.. You just can’t trust anything Deal says.

Rasmussen said Handel & Deal were tied at 25% not 24% and She beat Deal by 11.4% in the primary. Rasmussen is not a very well respected poll by the pros but if they say what you want them to say post it even if it will never happen.

Handel has her problems but Deal is a typical Washington politician corrupt to the core.

Obama Wasn't President Then

July 30th, 2010
1:55 pm

“when KING ROY was king Ga.was in a much better place then we are now !!!!”

Remember: ceteris paribus.

????

July 30th, 2010
1:58 pm

Deal Supporter 1:51 pm

“He’s been successful in every endeavor he’s been engaged in” What is the name of the salvage yard he & his partner were ripping off the taxpayer to the tune of $300,000 per year?

please

July 30th, 2010
2:01 pm

it’s a shame that the only thing handel has going for her is the palin endorsement. i doubt the two have ever been in the same room together, much less spent time discussing ideology. what’s even sadder is that this endorsement carries so much credibility. can you imagine the scorn georgia will get when the national media finds out our governor does not have a college degree?

????

July 30th, 2010
2:07 pm

@please, you Deal Paid Bloggers have worn this 1 out.. Do you want a Honest woman or a Corrupt Washington crook/political like Deal?

Shaun

July 30th, 2010
2:08 pm

Karen Handel has no college degree??????????? And she is actually in the runoff for the GOP????? That is the very reason the world looks at Georgia like we are some backwater hicks. Come on GA, lets show the nation we are better than that…. She could have earned a degree by now, she has no kids, and no life… She could have gone to Shorter and got atleast a 4 year degree. Only a fool would vote for her.

????

July 30th, 2010
2:12 pm

@Shaun , you Deal Paid Bloggers have worn this 1 out.. Do you want a Honest woman or a Corrupt Washington crook/political like Deal?

please

July 30th, 2010
2:16 pm

@????…i would love to get paid to blog, but unfortunately, not the case. i would say the reason it is being “worn out” is b/c it is very relevent and telling as to the candidate – simply look at the reactions by those who just discover this fact.

????

July 30th, 2010
2:20 pm

If Deal is elected, when he goes to jail.. Casey Cagle will be Governor, Casey does not have a college degree. If you want a college graduate you need to vote for Roy Barnes or John Mond.

Hambone

July 30th, 2010
2:23 pm

Shaun, Shaun, Shaun????????? I am guessing YOU have a college degree??????????????

Tell us what an “atleast” is?????????????

Probably a bunch of us “fools will vote for her”

BeyondTheRhetoric

July 30th, 2010
2:30 pm

The Georgia, ‘Rasmussen Reports’ poll you all refer to, was taken on July 13th, six days before the election. The report also indicated 14% of those interviewed were undecided. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points. Most Republicans decided who to vote for within the last week prior to the Primary.

The last Rasmussen Reports poll on the 2008 Presidential Election, taken October 30th, three days before the election, predicted that McCain would win Georgia by +5.0%. The final results from the election: Georgia voted for McCain by +5.2%.

Rasmussen is a non-partisan, professional organization folks. This can be confirmed by going to Real Clear Politics.

BeyondTheRhetoric

July 30th, 2010
2:33 pm

FBI and DOJ Ethics Investigation

The following information is quoted from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) Report on Nathan Deal’s alleged ethics violation, Review No. 09-1022 and the AJC Article ‘AJC exclusive: Panel subpoenas businessman over ex-congressman’s pact with state’ by Aaron Gould Sheinin and James Salzer.

Why The Subpoena?:

From the Memorandum of Interview prepared by the OCE’s Investigative Attorney, Paul J. Solis, Mr. Graham, Georgia Revenue Commissioner, indicated the following: “that there are more details that he (Mr. Graham) can provide about this matter but pursuant to the advice of his counsel, he will not provide the information unless he is subpoenaed.”

Thus, it appears that Mr. Graham’s statement started a chain reaction. The OCE voted to take no action on any of the allegations. Then, according to the AJC article, “a Washington-based watchdog group asked the U.S. Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation”.

In addition, although the OCE voted not to take action, in the summary of the OCE Report, “The OCE was unable to access any information, testimonial or otherwise, concerning the matter discussed by the Georgia Revenue Commissioner during his interview with the OCE. The Revenue Commissioner stated that he would release information if subpoenaed. Thus, the OCE recommends that the Committee on Standards of Official (Conduct) (AKA; Congressional Ethics Committee) subpoena the Georgia Revenue Commissioner.”

I believe that because the investigation was incomplete, based upon Mr. Graham’s statement, the US Justice Department had no choice but to accept Mr. Graham’s challenge and issue a subpoena.

please

July 30th, 2010
2:33 pm

what?!? cagle has no college degree either?!! lord, please help this state. maybe that explains why he suddenly quit the governor’s race…nah, those in the know are aware of the real reason he didn’t run, but let’s not bring him into this.

KING JACK

July 30th, 2010
2:42 pm

THIS STATE WAS F????? UP LONG BEFORE OBAMA BECAME PRESIDENT!!!!!!

Rural Education

July 30th, 2010
3:10 pm

Georgia, the only state in the nation where the two highest political offices will he held by people with only high school diplomas. Not that we value education or anything.

RGB

July 30th, 2010
4:12 pm

I’m in accord with all you folks rightfully denigrating Handel for her lack of a college degree. I mean in this day and age–really. How gauche.

I wouldn’t be upset if you, right now, stopped using your Windows-based PC (Bill Gates) or Mac (Steve Jobs) because the founders of these companies don’t hold college degrees either. Do they take us for patsies?

In fact you could donate your computer to your favorite charity–say Planned Parenthood or the Council on American-Islamic Relations. That way you’d be protesting against Handel via her computer magnate surrogates and helping a pet cause simultaneously.

That’d really show folks that you didn’t support those backwater, backwards, uneducated (Deliverance music playing in background) people like Handel, Gates, and Jobs.

I mean we have to put our money where our mouths are, right?

kreedham

July 30th, 2010
4:36 pm

I’m not certain but I don’t believe Lynn Westmoreland has a college degree either. He wanted to run for governor but saw that he couldn’t get elected where the folks keep sending him back to Congress!