Archive for September, 2010

Saxby Chambliss apologizes for staffer’s threatening slur

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss on Thursday apologized to the author of a gay-oriented blog for a threatening slur posted from his office, declaring, “All [gays] must die.”

In a prepared statement, Chambliss also spoke of the immediate “removal” of a staff member – who was not identified.

The wording is important. We’re picking up that the staffer was a military liaison assigned by the Pentagon — a fact that Chambliss’ office would not confirm.

A staffer under Chambliss’ direct employ would have been fired. A staffer under another entity’s supervision would be reassigned. Or removed. (My AJC colleague Bob Keefe pinned down the fact that the computer used was located in Chambliss’s Washington office.)

The blog comment at issue was left Sept. 21 on a discussion of whether gays and lesbians should be able to serve openly in the military on “Joe.My.Blog,” a site operated by Joe Jervis of New York City – perhaps an hour after the U.S. Senate turned away an attempt to repeal …

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RNC threatens Roy Barnes over use of elephant logo, and the letters ‘G,’ ‘O,’ and ‘P’

The Republican National Committee has threatened to take Democratic nominee Roy Barnes to court over the use of its elephant logo on his “Republicans for Roy” web site, as well as the letters G-O-P.

Who knew GOP was a registered trademark? Sounds like the legalese you hear before baseball games: “No accounts” of the game allowed without permission. Which, if strictly enforced, would really hamper water-cooler talk.

Read the Sept. 30 letter here. In part:

Mr. Barnes clearly lacks a belief in private property rights, as his unauthorized use of the RNC’s intellectual property demonstrates. The Barnes campaign’s use of the RNC’s Official Elephant Logo and “GOP” trademark thus appear to be clearly designed to mislead the public into thinking that Mr. Barnes is someone he is not and that he has the support of the Republican Party, which he assuredly does not have…

The RNC hereby demands that the Roy Barnes campaign immediately cease and desist from utilizing …

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Mitt Romney endorses Nathan Deal in race for governor

Romney Georgia

Former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney, standing at right, and Republican nominee for attorney general Sam Olens, standing left, stop to talk with Neely Young, right, and Ken Stewart while on the stump at OK Cafe Thursday. AP/John Amis

Once and future GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney held an impromptu presser this morning at the OK Café on West Paces Ferry Road, after breakfasting with attorney general candidate Sam Olens and a handful of Republican strategists.

Romney has an evening fund-raiser for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, but has made a 2 p.m. date with Nathan Deal to endorse his candidacy for governor.

Romney had backed former secretary of state Karen Handel in the gubernatorial primary. “We’re happy to announce today that we’ve endorsed Nathan Deal, and have sent him a check from my PAC,” Romney said.

On other matters:

– Romney, naturally enough, isn’t impressed with President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy:

“The president and his team do …

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Your morning jolt: Nathalie Dupree for U.S. Senate? More butter can fix anything

Another gift from South Carolina arrived overnight. According to this item, Nathalie Dupree is running for the U.S. Senate:

Cook and author Nathalie Dupree/Special

Cook and author Nathalie Dupree/Special

Nationally-known cookbook author and TV cooking show host Nathalie Dupree will announce as a write-in candidate for a major statewide office in South Carolina at 1:15 p.m. Thursday September 30, 2010 on the State House steps (north side behind G. Washington statue) and at 4 p.m. in Charleston at the Pineapple statue at Waterfront Park.

Nothing is wrong with the Amercan economy that can’t be fixed with more butter.

The seat is held by U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican now opposed by the unworldly Democrat Alvin Greene.

Updated at 11:35 a.m.: Just got off the phone with Dupree’s publicist, who is in the car with her on the way to Columbia. Dupree will not be declaring any party identification.


Another sign of a tight race: As soon as Congress adjourned on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, sent out …

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Identity politics: A candidate by any other name

Especially in this season, voters are inclined to think of politicians as creatures that jump into existence out of nothing more substantial than a yard sign.

This is mostly untrue. All have parents, of course. But a rare few are indeed self-created.

In a strange coincidence driven by opposition research, we have learned— in the span of three or four days — that two candidates for the state House, both Republican and both male, are not who they once were.

They have had their names legally changed. One said he had to cut a final tie with his father, the other said he needed to create a bond with his.

For many women in the audience, changing identities is a rite of passage. No big deal, they murmur. It is different for men — though not unheard of.

President Gerald Ford was born Leslie Lynch King Jr. President Bill Clinton was, out of the womb, William Jefferson Blythe III.

But name changes for men are still rare, and each instance is usually accompanied by a soap …

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Reopened bankruptcy could expose Deal to more debt

The Associated Press is promising more on this later today:

Republican gubernatorial nominee Nathan Deal is facing more questions about his finances now that a federal judge has reopened a bankruptcy filing for his daughter and son-in-law.

Deal and his wife Sandra guaranteed more than $2 million in loans for Wilder Outdoors, a failed sporting goods store started by the former congressman’s daughter and her husband. Although Deal listed himself in congressional disclosure forms as a partner or as a 50 percent investor in Wilder Outdoors, Deal’s name did not appear on the 2009 bankruptcy filing.

Deal’s campaign accountant says the omission was a mistake by Deal’s son-in-law, who filed the bankruptcy. The bankruptcy reopening, first reported by The Fulton Daily Report, could leave Deal on the hook for more debt.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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Phil Gingrey backed earmark for consultant’s client

Roll Call, the Washington newspaper, has removed its screen on this:

On April 1, 2008, Rep. Phil Gingrey paid Mitchell Hunter, his former chief of staff, $6,000 for campaign consulting fees. That payment came one day after the Georgia Republican signed a letter to the Appropriations Committee requesting an earmark for the National Center for State Courts, which had recently hired Hunter as a lobbyist.

The center got its earmark that year — $100,000 to help state courts implement federal rules — and paid Hunter $100,000 for lobbying services. Gingrey paid Hunter $28,650 for “campaign strategy” and “fundraising consulting” in 2008, according to Federal Election Commission records maintained by CQ MoneyLine. Gingrey has paid Hunter’s firm another $54,090 since then.

Hunter said there is absolutely no connection between his work for Gingrey’s campaign and his lobbying services. Both Hunter and Gingrey’s office said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) was the lead sponsor of …

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Your morning jolt: What’s it take to become tea-party approved? Only $100 a year

Say you’re a political candidate and you want to flaunt your tea party credentials. What does it take?

Only $100 bucks – every year. No refunds.

Several anti-tax groups – tea party organizations included — are warning candidates away from Official Tea Party Approved, a for-profit Georgia company with a web site offering good conduct documentation for office-seekers.

U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, is quoted on the web site, offering a testimonial:

”I applaud this organization’s effort to hold Members of Congress accountable, and I am pleased to be named an ‘Approved Candidate’ by this website.”

But a spokeswoman said this morning that the congressman asked Tuesday that his name and quote be removed. She said that U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, and state Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, had also been featured endorsing the web site — but asked that their names be erased.

From Virginia “No Relation” Galloway, head of the Georgia chapter of Americans for …

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Catching up: A new Deal ad, more finance questions, and ATL support for Sanford Bishop

Republican nominee for governor Nathan Deal aims to get back on message today with the following TV spot aimed at metro Atlanta and points south:

The script:

Nathan Deal: The recession hit Georgia hard. Plants closed. People lost their jobs. Too many others fear they might. I’ll bring real prosperity to Georgia with tax cuts that create jobs. We’ll cut taxes on businesses that already call Georgia home. Incentivize private lending pools. And cut government red tape, so new businesses come here and bring their jobs.

Male voiceover:Nathan Deal. He’ll get it right — the first time.


Shannon McCaffrey of the Associated Press has this into-the-weeds look at the financial disclosures filed by GOP nominee for governor Nathan Deal:

When Republican gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal amended his campaign disclosure form last week, he added some business properties to his asset column and increased the value of another property — boosting his net worth.

Now, questions are …

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Carter’s book: “This may be my last chance to assess White House years’

Word is flying around that former President Jimmy Carter has been hospitalized in Cleveland, after complaining of not feeling well on the flight there.

This from the Carter Center:

While on a flight to Cleveland, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter developed an upset stomach, and, upon arrival, was taken to Metro Health Hospital for observation. He is resting comfortably and is expected to resume his book tour this week.

Carter had been scheduled to make a 1 p.m. appearance just east of Cleveland to sign copies of his new book, “White House Diary.” Carter was scheduled to call Atlanta for a 20-minute interview – which I’d planned on using for a Sunday column – on his way back to the airport.

Carter’s election as governor in 1970 forged the alliance between black and white voters kept Georgia Democrats in power through the end of the century. It would have been worth asking the former president what he thought the chances were for a revival of that partnership.

His …

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