Archive for July, 2010

Karen Handel and Nathan Deal start GOP runoff with a combined $110,238

Karen Handel and Nathan Deal have a combined $110,238 to spend on their three-week Republican runoff for governor. In other words, bupkis.

From Shannon McCaffery with the Associated Press:

The scramble for cash is on in the three-week sprint to Georgia’s Aug. 10 runoff.

Nathan Deal and Karen Handel are working the phones, lining up the dollars they’ll need to win the GOP nomination. Both skated into the primary nearly on empty and must quickly reload in time to get television ads up.

A review of campaign disclosures by The Associated Press shows that Handel has just $66,648 in money designated for the primary runoff. Deal had $43,590.

To put that in perspective, a weeklong statewide media buy costs roughly $600,000.

Both campaigns said Thursday they are having a far easier time raising cash now that they have emerged as the top two vote getters.

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Rasmussen poll: Roy Barnes has a tough row to hoe

A new, day-after-the-vote poll from Rasmussen Reports:

[R]egardless of which Republican wins the run-off, Democrat Roy Barnes finds himself in a close race as he seeks to reclaim the title of Governor.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state finds that Barnes earns 44% of the vote if Karen Handel is the Republican nominee and 43% if Nathan Deal is his opponent.

Handel earns 45% of the vote against Barnes while Deal picks up 49%.

The automated poll was conducted on Wednesday, and has an MOE of 3 percent. These may be the more important numbers:

Handel is viewed as politically conservative by 44% of Georgia voters, moderate by 30% and liberal by 14%.

For Deal, those numbers are 54% conservative, 21% moderate and 11% liberal.

Barnes is seen as liberal by 37% and moderate by 44%.

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Paul Broun, Tom Graves oppose bill to ban ‘crush videos’ of animals

On Wednesday, the U.S. House passed a measure that would again make it a federal crime to sell “crush videos” depicting animal cruelty – three months after the Supreme Court struck down an earlier version as overly broad.

The description from CBS:

Crush videos appeal to a sexual fetish by showing women crushing to death small animals with their bare feet or wearing high heels.

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From the Los Angeles Times:

The high court in April overturned the conviction of a Virginia man prosecuted under the 1999 law for selling dog-fighting videos. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the law was too broad and could allow prosecutions for selling hunting videos.

This bill is narrowly drafted to prohibit the sale or distribution of only obscene visual depictions of animal cruelty, according to a House Judiciary Committee report.

The Prevention of Interstate Commerce in Animal Crush Videos Act excludes the sale or distribution of depictions of hunting, trapping, fishing or “customary and …

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Your morning jolt: A test of clout for Georgia Right to Life

The Republican runoff for governor on Aug. 10 will be major test of influence for Georgia’s most aggressive anti-abortion organization.

Georgia Right to Life has already made it clear – in a couple hundred thousand re-election robo-calls – that the group will oppose Karen Handel in favor of Nathan Deal.

And Deal has already indicated that social conservatives are at the heart of his runoff strategy.
So this message from GRTL president Dan Becker is worth noting:

Throughout the state [Tuesday], voters supported an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution that said the “right to life is vested in each human being from their earliest biological beginning until natural death” and that right should be protected by law.

In all 46 counties where the amendment was presented, it passed overwhelmingly by an amazing 75%! Georgia is the first state in the nation where voters have said “yes” to the personhood question.

The presence of the question was made at the county GOP level. (One …

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President Barack Obama headed for Atlanta

President Barack Obama will make a rare fund-raising trip to Atlanta next month for the Democratic National Committee and Organizing America, the successor grassroots organization to Obama’s ‘08 campaign effort.

See the invite here.

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In S.C., they could put a sales tax on water and lights

Georgia has a tax reform commission not unlike this one, headed by Gov. Sonny Perdue. From The State newspaper in South Carolina:

You could have to pay a state sales tax soon on the water and electricity that you use at your home, and the groceries and prescription drugs you buy at a store.

Members of the S.C. Tax Realignment Commission, a legislatively appointed group of finance and tax experts, will vote today on whether to eliminate nearly $700 million in state sales tax exemptions.

If the commission approves, the General Assembly will have the final say on whether the exemptions are eliminated during its session that begins in January.

But that’s far from a done deal. S.C. legislators have been loathe to increase any taxes.

The elimination of the sales tax exemptions would be paired with a cut in the state’s overall sales tax to 4.96 percent. That is down from the current 6 percent rate.

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Mitt Romney will endorse Karen Handel in GOP runoff

It’s official now. Mitt Romney has become the second 2008 presidential candidate weigh in on the Republican race for governor — on the side of Karen Handel.

Handel made no endorsement in the 2008 presidential contest — because of her position as secretary of state. But in his courtship of her, Romney arranged for Donny Osmond to give her a phone call.

Little girl screams echoed through the state Capitol, legend says.

Romney came in third behind Mike Huckabee and John McCain in the ‘08 presidential primary in Georgia. Here’s the info from the Handel campaign:

“A successful businesswoman and public servant, Karen Handel’s blend of executive, political, and business experience is just what Georgia needs at this critical time. The leadership skills that she has honed in both the private and public sectors will enable her to make tough decisions and enact the reforms needed to get the economy back on track and foster job creation,” said Romney.

Romney’s PAC has also sent Handel’s …

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Roy Barnes unleashed: He wants one-on-one debates with winner of GOP runoff – no panel of journalists

In post-election morning appearances, Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes was the picture of humility when discussing his 66 percent comeback.

But very quickly, his campaign issued this YouTube video of his eight-minute, stem-winder of a victory speech that laid into both Karen Handel and Nathan Deal – though not by name.

Toward the end of the address, Barnes begins his push for candidate-on-candidate debates in the fall campaign.

Though he tried to cover it up, anyone who watched the seven-man Democratic primary debates could see Barnes’ frustration with the cumbersome format that has become standard.

The former governor doesn’t want any namby-pamby panel of journalists separating him from his quarry. Whoever it may be.

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Republican runoff themes: ‘True conservative’ v. ‘next-generation’

For two people in the governor’s race, Wednesday morning became just another sleepless day of campaigning.

Karen Handel and Nathan Deal very quickly laid out the themes of their three-week encore in the GOP primary.

My early morning AJC colleagues noted this from the Deal appearance on Channel 2 Action News, who is quickly attempting to claim the mantle of “true conservative:”

For his part, Deal touted his Georgia Right to Life endorsement and predicted he’ll have the backing of former Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and former state Sen. Eric Johnson, his unsuccessful primary opponents.

Karen Handel answered him on Fox5:

“Nathan Deal’s been in politics his entire life. We need next-generation, fresh thinking for this state.”

So age will be at least a subliminal message. And the “true conservative” part? Said Handel:

That kind of makes me laugh. That, coming from a former Clinton Democrat who became a Republican when it became politically expedient for him?”

If you’re a …

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The practical, calculating side of Sarah Palin

 Karen Handel preps for this morning's interview with Channel 2 Action News anchors Fred Blankenship and Carol Sbarge. Vino Wong vwong@ajc.com

Karen Handel preps for this morning's interview with Channel 2 Action News anchors Fred Blankenship and Carol Sbarge. Vino Wong vwong@ajc.com

You and I have just become eyewitnesses to the practical side of Sarah Palin.

With a simple Facebook posting nine days ago, and a 30-second message sent to telephones in 400,000 Republican households, Palin served as both sword and shield for Karen Handel — boosting the former secretary of state to the top rung in a GOP runoff for governor.

It may have been the most efficient and impressive use of political celebrity this state has ever seen, made on behalf of a woman whose views sometimes mirror those of the former Alaskan governor – but not always.

Which is where Palin’s practical side asserted itself.

Former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin. Associated Press

Former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin. Associated Press

Some people would rather be right than be president. Tuesday’s vote in Georgia proved that Sarah Palin isn’t one of them.

We are excessively familiar with the slightly ditzy, …

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