For every dollar that Democrat Carol Porter has available for her race for lieutenant governor over the next few weeks, Republican incumbent Casey Cagle has three.
Porter last week declared $405,196 on hand for the final weeks of the Nov. 2 campaign, with a total $533,548 raised. Cagle had $1.2 million in cash on hand, out of a total $1.7 million raised.
But even lopsided contests can be interesting. And Carol Porter’s spokesman, House Minority Leader and husband DuBose Porter, points out that she raised more than any Democrat other than Roy Barnes, the nominee for governor.
Libertarian Dan Barber reported $1,046 in cash on hand last week.
Cagle starts his TV campaign today with a warm-and-fuzzy ad that may be more of a reaction to the 30-second spots being aired by Democrat Roy Barnes in the governor’s contest, assailing Republicans for wholesale cuts to schools.
Cagle declares himself the champion of education in Georgia:
Cagle: “This is our future, whether she’s your grandchild, your child, or the precious little one you hope to have. Children are our priority.
“That’s why we refused to balance the budget on the backs of our children — protected educational funding critical to personal learning pathways, promoted flexibility for parents and teachers in schools, and launched innovative ideas that recognize one size does not fit all.
“Because Georgia’s future depends on the success of every child.”
Porter no doubt will disagree much of the content. But note the use of language – the words not mentioned. “Vouchers” is missing – not even “charter schools” makes an appearance.
Porter posted her introductory TV ad on YouTube last night, and plans a second ad later this:
But despite the lack of cash, or because of it, Porter was able to come up with an endorsement this weekend from Ray Boyd, the sometimes caustic, tea party-oriented real estate executive who tried to crash the GOP race for governor with a couple million of his own money. He was rejected when he refused to sign a loyalty oath.
Read the entire endorsement letter here. A few, sometimes ungrammatical, paragraphs:
“Casey Cagle, and his band of co-conspirators in the Legislature, uses their positions of power to enrich themselves and their friends at the expense of all Georgia taxpayers. Passing legislation retroactively to benefit just Governor Perdue is just one of the brazen acts of the political gang at the Capitol.
This is not “mud slinging”. This is simply the facts. Enough is enough. Georgia needs Carol Porter to begin the process of bringing integrity and good governance to the citizens of Georgia.
The campaign has also required the Republican lieutenant governor to address – in deeper detail – his relationship with former congressman Nathan Deal, the GOP nominee for governor.
Last week, in a much-overlooked interview, Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) asked about a meeting Cagle hosted in his office. Listen to the entire clip here, but this was the gist:
O’Hayer: You arranged a meeting for then Congressman Nathan Deal with Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham in your office, about the arrangement that the state had with then-Congressman Deal’s business. A lot has been made of that meeting with the commissioner. Was that a poor decision on your part?
Cagle: Well, the reality is, you know, yeah, there’s been a lot that’s been made of it. But any time a constituent calls me up, whether it happens to be a congressman or any other individual that has a concern, not necessarily knowing what the concern might be, that you facilitate a meeting – a conversation. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I mean, we do that on a daily basis.
O’Hayer: But how many other constituents – say, another small business person from north Georgia who wasn’t a congressman – would have gotten an audience with the state revenue commissioner in the lieutenant governor’s office with the lieutenant governor present?
Cagle: Well, the reality is that, you know, these are things that happen with regularity, Denis. And I will tell you, first-hand, that constituent services is a big part of what I do as a lieutenant governor. And —
O’Hayer: I’m not saying that you wouldn’t have set up a meeting with someone in a department. But you’re the lieutenant governor. You’re a busy person. You can’t be in the meeting with every individual constituent…Yet for Congressman Deal, there you were.
Cagle: Denis, you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill. I mean, I’m telling you. You need to look at my schedule. And you need to see how many meetings that I do have with department heads….This issue’s not about Casey Cagle. That needs to be very clear. And we have done nothing whatsoever that we wouldn’t do for anyone else in this state. That’s the reality, and that’s the bottom line.
The race for lieutenant governor has even touched – according to Charles Richardson, editorial page editor of the Macon Telegraph – the 8th District congressional contest.
Amy Morton, a Democratic activist, is demanding a look at the sealed 2001 divorce papers of state Rep. Austin Scott, the Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall.
Republicans have been aware of Scott’s sealed divorce since April. Scott, at one time, after deciding not to run for governor, set his sights on Lt. Governor, a post held by fellow Republican Casey Cagle.
For some odd reason, information about Scott’s divorce started leaking to various reporters from Cagle’s camp. Republican blogs were full of salacious details. What’s true or false about the dirty rumors I don’t know and won’t speculate here. Scott, however, decided to seek elective office elsewhere and leave Cagle alone.
How this information came to the public’s attention is not the relevant point. The records will be unsealed, just as Scott’s former colleague Glenn Richardson’s divorce records were unsealed. Why? Because those records are public documents. And there are more compelling reasons.