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 Prosperity:

“I got several emails from concerned candidates and local Tea Party leaders in GA. It is disgusting that a company identifying itself as The Tea Party is trying to profit at the expense of candidates across the state.

“I hope candidates and voters are not taken in by this. The Tea Party movement is a broad coalition, no one owns it, and no one has the right to speak exclusively for it.”

Voices for the Rome Tea Party, the Georgia Tea Party, and Tea Party Patriots said much the same thing. A spokesman for Lipton also warned of copyright infringement.

The web site of Official Tea Party Approved doesn’t make clear who is behind the operation. Let’s make that today’s assignment for you hackers.


With little more than a month before the Nov. 2 election, opposition research is in full, wierd flower.

On Tuesday, a PDF arrived detailing a report that state Rep. Austin Scott of Tifton, now a Republican candidate for Congress, with the Tift County Sheriff’s Department on Sept. 2, 2004.

Wrote a deputy:

Mr. Scott advised that on the morning of 090204, at 0830 hours, he discovered that his “Norton” subscription had expired on his computer that was located in his residence. When he later attempted to upgrade his P.C., he noted that there was 3 Window accounts on his computer. 1 was titled “administrator,” #2 was titled “Austin Scott” and the [third] was titled “Craig.” Mr. Scott advised there was no one named “Craig” that had legitimate access to his computer. He feels as though someone may have either hacked into his computer via remote access or by entering his home. He took photographs of the screens displaying suspicious data.

The Insider talked to Scott last night, who said that he walked his complaint in to the sheriff’s office.

No deputy was summoned to his home, the state lawmaker said – adding that the picayune nature of the report was an indication that Democrats are worried about his challenge to U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall of Macon.


The Associated Press reports that former President Jimmy Carter, feeling normal and hoping to resume a book publicity tour soon, remained in an Ohio hospital Wednesday after doctors recommended additional observation following an overnight stay for an upset stomach.

“His doctors at MetroHealth Medical Center recommended additional observation during the day. He looks forward to resuming his schedule as soon as possible.”,” Christina Karas, spokeswoman at MetroHealth Medical Center said Wednesday.


At 9 a.m. Thursday at the OK Café, Sam Olens, the Republican nominee for attorney general, will breakfast with Mitt Romney – the only major GOP presidential presumptive not hogtied by a Fox News contract. The ’08 candidate is also scheduled to appear at a fund-raiser for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson in the evening.


You don’t have to always agree with the Rev. Joseph Lowery. But you can’t help admiring the way he talks. From my AJC colleague Ernie Suggs, in an article on Sandy Spring’s escape from the strictures of the Voting Rights Act:

“One thing we want Sandy Springs to know is even if they opt out, they can’t opt out of the scrutiny, they can’t opt out of the concerns we have and they can’t opt out of the vigilance,” Lowery said. “We shall call upon the Justice Department to look at this and ensure that Sandy Springs will not be exempt. Justice must roll down like waters for the citizens of Sandy Springs just like the citizens from Turkey Run.”


U.S. Rep. John Barrow has joined several other House Democrats in playing coy on the question of whether he would vote to re-elect House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. From the Savannah Morning News:

His spokeswoman, Jane Brodsky, didn’t answer directly when asked last week whether he’ll back Pelosi if she seeks to keep her post.

“November is a long way off,” Brodsky said. “Congressman Barrow doesn’t even know who’s running.”


Politifact Georgia today looks at the veracity of a TV ad sponsored by a group called Citizens for the Republic that claims children born today will carry a $30,000 share of the national debt.

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28 comments Add your comment

Atlanta CPA

September 29th, 2010
9:34 am

I have finally got all the typos out. sorry I didn’t get it right 1st time, I may apply to be Deal’s CPA.

I have been looking at some of the numbers in this morning’s Deal Financial Disclosure and some things just don’t pass the smell test:
1.Here is a quote from Deal’s Sept 15 AJC disclosure.
“Deal bought the property seven years ago for $430,000, according to public records. On 5 acres, it features a main house of about 4,000 square feet, a 1,900-square-foot guest house and a pool. Deal listed the property for sale about a year ago for $985,000, its assessed market value, but has not found a buyer. ”

His Sept 24 th says “Residence in Gainesville — current value listed as $996,000 ”

Obviously if you try but can’t sell a house for $996,000, it is NOT worth that much.

2. His Sept 15th says” The only significant asset Deal plans to keep is a cabin in Habersham County, aides said. That property, too, is assessed at about $700,000; on the financial disclosure he filed in May, Deal said he owed $610,000 on the mortgage.”

On Sept.24 the same asset is “Home planned for retirement in Demorest — current value listed as $975,000″

I don’t know how the value has grown by nearly $300,000 in 9 days but I have a nice house in the mountains that is worth about 60% of what I paid for in 5 years ago. If I were a betting man I’d say this asset is pretty much under water.

3. Much of Deal’s other listed assets are in commercial/ undeveloped land. How did Deal’s accountant come up with the values? If he is using Cost, they are way overvalued, most of my developer clients that are this heavy in commercial property are now in bankruptcy.

4. Why did Deal not use an independent accountant from the Atlanta area who is familiar with the area rather than a retired supporter from Tifton?

I end as I started Deal’s latest financial disclosures simply don’t pass the smell test


September 29th, 2010
9:44 am

Austin Scott is a lightweight. I can’t speak to Jim Marshall’s credentials but, Austin Scott will do Georgia no favors in Congress.


September 29th, 2010
9:48 am

Jim, info on the Tea Party site sent via e-mail. Enjoy!


September 29th, 2010
9:49 am

Just another ANTI-right of center headline for this article. Another day, and another AJC leftist bias. I guess the sun will rise again tomorrow, too.

Cold Shower

September 29th, 2010
9:52 am

Atlanta CPA:

I agree with everything you said. Deal’s numbers have never added up and he simply can’t pass the smell test. BUT, none of this seems to matter with the voters. I am a long time Roy supporter and this worries me. Deal has been hit with everything including the kitchen sink. There is little doubt that this man is as crooked as Sonny Perdue. But the polls seem to say the voters know Deal is a crook, but that Roy may not be a better option. Roy needs to stop all of the negative ads and start offering solutions. That’s what Deal seems to be doing and I guess its working. At least the poll numbers indicate that it is.
All of us who have known Roy for years know that he his smart, capable and the only man in the race who can turn Georgia around. It would be tragic if Georgia voters elected a blatant liar and phony like Deal, but it could happen. Georgia voters needs a cold shower and a dose of reality.


September 29th, 2010
9:59 am

Jim- You were looking for who owns the company Official Tea Party Seal of Approval, Inc. and its corresponding website, The owner is Michael Altman of Marietta, Georgia.


September 29th, 2010
10:22 am

Deal’s accountant uses the same Georgia DOT “Fast Forward,” system that works great until audited. Those pesky auditors killed road building in Georgia and if they do not look out they could take down the good godly Republican candidate.

clear choice

September 29th, 2010
10:31 am

Deal’s shady accountant from Tifton ought to be ashamed of himself. Shysters like him are a discredit to the accounting profession.

When Hell Freezes Over

September 29th, 2010
10:53 am

Cold Shower:

“Deal has been hit with everything including the kitchen sink.”

Exactly, and the AJC has been hitting Deal hard nearly every day. The unabated hammering of Deal has not had the desired affect. This constant slamming of Deal has actually helped him, but nobody at the AJC seems to be intelligent enough to figure it out.

Trying to determine what would help Barnes is now wasted effort. It’s all over but the voting, and Barnes has the AJC to thank for it.

Corrupt Deal Real Steal

September 29th, 2010
10:56 am

If the tea party is selling out for $100, how much will the corrupt Deal get for a judgeship? Inquiring minds want to know.

Keep doing this GOP

September 29th, 2010
10:56 am

@ Cold Shower, what if Deal and Cagle get indicted by the federal grand jury?, Roy wasnt my first choice, (I voted for David Polythress), but i will vote for him over deal any day. Deal is a plain out crook. And i would like to state that the person running the Insider Advantage poll is none other than Matt Lowery, who used to be the head of the state Republican party if i am not mistaken. If i am , please correct me.

3 Arrows

September 29th, 2010
11:02 am

A U.S. bankruptcy judge has ordered the reopening of a 2009 bankruptcy filing by Republican gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal’s daughter and son-in-law.

.The bankruptcy stems from a failed sporting goods business started by Carrie Deal Wilder and her husband, Clint Wilder, that Deal invested in and left him with $2.1 million in debts.

A U.S. bankruptcy trustee sought to reopen the Wilders’ case after it was revealed that Clint Wilder was not eligible for a discharge of his debts, including those from the sporting goods store, because he did not divulge a prior bankruptcy in 2001.

Debtors must wait at least eight years between bankruptcies to have their debts discharged under Chapter 7 of the federal bankruptcy code.

Clint Wilder’s first bankruptcy, filed in November 2001, was within the eight-year window, preventing discharge.

Wilder filed for the second bankruptcy in July 2009 and signed under penalty of perjury that he had not had a previous bankruptcy within the previous eight years.

The reopening of the filing was reported Tuesday by The Fulton Daily Report.

Deal and his wife, Sandra, should have been mentioned as creditors or guarantors on the loans for the business, Wilder Outdoors Inc. The Deal campaign said the Wilders left them off in error.

“[The Wilders] are not public figures, they are not running for office,” Brian Robinson, a spokesman for Deal, said Tuesday. “This will not affect Nathan Deal or this campaign.”

Deal has pledged to pay off the debt related to the business and is in the process of liquidating his IRA to cover a portion of the obligation.

Also Tuesday, questions arose about Deal’s latest financial disclosure.

Deal might not have followed state guidelines for valuing certain properties in the amended financial disclosure for 2009 that he filed Sept. 23 with the State Ethics Commission.

The disclosure might reflect fair-market values, but they do not appear to conform with state guidelines.

The Sept. 23 disclosure, filed seven days after a previous amended disclosure, came after scrutiny about turmoil in his personal finances arose and certain assets and liabilities appeared to be omitted from earlier reports.

In the Sept. 23 disclosure, Deal’s reported net worth grew nearly 40 percent to $2.86 million. The amendment included substantial increases in both assets and liabilities related to a Gainesville-based salvage business Deal owns with a partner.

Stacey Kalberman, executive secretary of the State Ethics Commission, commenting about disclosures in general and not specifically about Deal’s, said state election law requires candidates to value their real estate holdings based on the tax assessor’s appraised value used to levy property taxes.

The commission did not state an opinion about Deal’s disclosure, and an opinion would not have an effect on the market value of Deal’s properties.

Jimmy Allen, a forensic accountant hired by the Deal campaign, said the values reported on Deal’s Sept. 23 disclosure accurately reflect his client’s net worth. Using county tax records instead of bank appraisals, he said, would unfairly reduce Deal’s wealth because it wouldn’t reflect true market value.

A commercial property in Metter, the site of Deal’s Gainesville auto salvage business, a cabin in Habersham County and the Wilder Outdoors site are listed at market value in the Sept. 23 disclosure, far exceeding their tax values.

Allen said Deal is solvent and can repay debts related to the failed sporting goods business.

Rick Thompson, a former head of the State Ethics Commission, who worked with Allen on the latest disclosure, said state law is vague on the issue.

Code requires candidates to use value for property tax purposes on an annual “short form,” but it isn’t clear how property is to be valued in the longer form candidates fill out during election years.

Kalberman, of the State Ethics Commission, said the law is clear.

“It doesn’t make sense to me you would use one valuation on one portion of the form and another on another part,” Kalberman said.

A spokesman for Democratic candidate Roy Barnes said he used the most recent tax appraiser’s appraised value in his report.


September 29th, 2010
11:03 am

Does it surprise anyone that the tea party charge $100? Thse are the same idiots that are buying 3 time College drop out Sean Hannity, drug user, Glen Beck, Sara Palin, no job in 2 years books.

These Fox News idiots dont reseach for themself and make big money off of these Anti Obama bigots.


September 29th, 2010
11:03 am

I suspect,

that millions of liberty-loving individuals, (call them TEA partiers if you will),

are prepared to pay more than 100 dollars for their cause.

November will tell, as will 2012.

Keep doing this GOP

September 29th, 2010
11:09 am

Im sorry, its Matt Towery………………..

Matt Towery has served as campaign chairman for Newt Gingrich and chief strategist for numerous national political campaigns. He is known for his bipartisanship. Matt Towery became the first and only Republican to preside over the Democratically controlled Georgia House prior to leaving politics in 1997.

Puke Time

September 29th, 2010
11:37 am

High dollar houses in Jawja, esp. the exurbs, are worth at most 40% of peak price of 2005-2006, if they sell at all. Commercial 25% and raw land/ready to build lots are selling now for less than 10% of peak. ATL Bus Chronicle just reported on a huge sale by Synovus where prime ready to build lots in a good part of Roswell sold for $3K each; overall sale of all properties 12 cents on the dollar. And things ARE NOT BAD YET. The situation by spring will be clear as a total disaster. Goobernor will not matter, but if Deal is elected rest assured he will find buyers for all properties at a favorable price. LOL!!!

Cold Shower

September 29th, 2010
11:37 am

Keep doing this GOP:

You are correct about Matt Towery being with Insider Advantage. Matt is an egomaniac to the Nth power and he truly believes he is the political kingmaker of Georgia and the United States. The fact is, his polling is one of the more inaccurate ones out there, despite his claims to the contrary. Matt has an insatiable thirst to feel important. In reality, his political strategy has had about the same success as his poll numbers.


September 29th, 2010
12:08 pm

someone does not like the tea party movement, but I hope that the movement stays alive and that ” we the people” ! can influence more than a two party system that no more cares about the people but do insist on their own way. Clap-clap if you agree!!!!!!!!!!


September 29th, 2010
12:19 pm

deal an’t no deal at all and
barnes should return to Mass for a pat on the back from the Kennedy’s, What in heavens name have we done to our state. We get rid of one and now we will bee saddled with another useless Leader.


Brenda Ballard

September 29th, 2010
12:30 pm

Jim Marshall is a snake in the grass! Austin Scott is going to clean his clock. You mean you thought it was a worthy story to tell that

James Killingsworth

September 29th, 2010
12:35 pm

Brenda I am with you…. who cares if Austin thought some one had been on his computer, Jim is a has been for us come November 2nd.

Lynda Briggs

September 29th, 2010
12:40 pm

Jim Marshall has had all us fooled for so long. I told my husband if he gives that creep a penny of our money he can go live with the THING! He also said he would not be voting for and with Nancy Pelosi who does he think would even believe that I am no IDIOT Jim Marshall. As far as Nathan Deal oh dear lord people please do not be stupid he is a Jim Marshall.

Todd Jones

September 29th, 2010
1:53 pm

Oh well Jim Marshall is so worried he can not tell us what he is going to do for us, he way to busy bashing Mr. Scott. I hope Mr. Scott will stay on the issuses and not do any negative adds.

Alabama Communist

September 29th, 2010
2:21 pm

Not to be out done by the Republican Tea Party! The Bilderberg New World Order group is selling endorsements for 1 Trillion dollars to any Republican Tea Candiate who is promise to be a sure winner in any election on the face of Planet…So far, 4 Republican Tea Party Candiates from Georgia have sign promissory notes payable in 3 centuries to them with a added amendment that Natham Deal would be a co-signer should they default on payment……..


September 29th, 2010
6:42 pm

Let’s all get out of this economic mess by voting for those who made it happen over eight-plus years and their Party!!!
GOPers love it when you help them ruin your bank accounts, house values, jobs, loans, and medial care.
Keep voting for them, and soon they will own you!!!


September 29th, 2010
6:44 pm

Vote for Nathan Deal, wthically challenged by the Congress, in debt and a great source for more corruption, and still waving the false financial reports like they were tickets to the Governor’s mansion!!!!

The Centrist

September 29th, 2010
8:49 pm

So, if all these tea-party folks win elections, does anyone have a clue what are they going to do when they get into office? They are flip-flopping so much, they make John Kerry look like a beached whale.


September 30th, 2010
11:11 am

The initials of Official Tea Party are OTP.