Your morning jolt: Race and the basics of Southern politics

With one week to go, we’re getting down to campaign basics. And in the South, that means a healthy dose of racial innuendo.

bargeobamapic

A mailer from John Barge, the Republican candidate for state school superintendent, arrived at the house on Monday. On its cover was a photograph of his Democratic rival, Joe Martin, and President Barack Obama.

Other than the headline, which you can see here, the flyer makes no mention of Obama. The other three pages of the flyer are devoted to Martin’s lack of classroom experience – a legitimate issue worthy of debate. (Martin, who is not a lawyer, was a longtime member of the Atlanta school board.)

“It is what it is. It’s certainly a distraction,” Martin said in a phone conversation. Attempts to obtain comment from the state GOP, which paid for the flyer, were unsuccessful.

On the other side of the fence, PeachPundit has nabbed sound from what it says is a radio ad playing on stations with African-American audiences. Listen to it here.

The GOTV message includes sound clips of Republican nominee for governor Nathan Deal speaking of “ghetto grandmothers,” bragging about his opposition to the Voting Rights Act, and a denial that he has any idea where Obama was born.

My AJC colleague Aaron Sheinin has come across the same sound clip, which includes the notation that the 30-second spot is paid for by the Barnes campaign.

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dealrapeshieldpic

Also from the mailbox: Don’t let Democrat Roy Barnes or Republican Nathan Deal tell you that this argument over a rape shield law in the 1980s doesn’t mean anything. Both candidates for governor have sent out mailers elaborating on the issue.

The Deal flyer relies almost solely on quotes from a column by AJC opinion columnist Jay Bookman, who called Barnes’ treatment of the topic “exploitive” and “grossly unfair.” It makes no use of a Politifact Georgia article that found some substance to Barnes’ charges.

barnesrapeshieldpic

The Barnes flyer features contemporary news articles from the fight – and a photograph of a sheriff’s deputy holding a ticket clipboard – with a “W ‘04” sticker on the back. How’s that for subliminal?

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Hours after an 11Alive/V-103/WMAZ poll conducted by SurveyUSA showed Georgia’s race for governor might not reach a conclusion next week, a second survey hit the Internet – showing almost exactly the same stats:

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state finds Deal earning 49% of the vote to Barnes’ 39%. Libertarian candidate John Monds is a distant third, picking up just five percent (5%) support. Another five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, while one percent (1%) are undecided….

Even so, Rasmussen moved the race from “leans Republican” to “solid Republican.”

***

Members of the Atlanta Tea Party will be rallying at 6:30 p.m. this evening outside the chambers of the Gwinnett County Commission, to encourage the resignation of Commissioner Kevin Kenerly, who was indicted last week on bribery and other charges.

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Henry County wants two Republican state lawmakers to return federal stimulus money. From CBS Atlanta:

Henry County has given state Rep. Steve Davis seven days to pay more than $25,000 it said he owes the county.

As part of the Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the federal government awarded Henry County more than $6 million to combat home foreclosures by buying, renovating and selling them at bargain prices. One of the stipulations however was government officials could not profit from the program.

Henry County said late last year it discovered a problem with two companies it hired.

“When we looked through some of the contracts, noticed some signature that we felt might pose a conflict of interest,” said Henry County spokesperson Julie Hoover-Ernest.
Hoover-Ernest said the county contacted the federal government for clarification.

“Ultimately they did come back and said that there was a conflict of interest, and they weren’t going to reimburse us for the money,” she said.

The county said the conflict involves a company owned by Davis and a second company that employs state Rep. John Lunsford. Hoover-Ernest said the companies were awarded a total of about $40,000 that must be repaid.

“John Lunsford said he will reimburse us the money, but Davis aid he will not,” Hoover-Ernest said.

Late Monday afternoon, Davis released a statement to CBS Atlanta.

“These are politically motivated accusations which are designed to confuse and distract voters from the real issues we have been working on: creating jobs in Henry County, educating our children, and improving our region’s transportation system. We are reviewing the documents closely and will respond appropriately however we believe that we have fully complied with the law, and will of course continue to do that.”

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The AJC’s Politifact Georgia takes on the race for state labor commissioner today, examining charges from Republican Mark Butler that his Democratic rival, Darryl Hicks, has violated the state’s ethics laws several times.

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During a Sunday debate aired statewide on Georgia Public Television, state Sen. Ralph Hudgens, R-Hull, a candidate for insurance commissioner, was quite open about his relationship with lobbyists for the insurance industry.

Democrat Mary Squires takes him to task for that candor with the TV spot below:

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In Georgia congressional races, most eyes will be on a Tift County judge who this morning will hold a hearing on whether Republican Austin Scott, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Macon, can keep papers from his 2001 divorce sealed.

Scott’s 11-year-old son on Monday served notice that he wants a say in the matter.

Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Committee unleashed two more TV ads in south Georgia – one against Marshall and another against U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, who faces a strong challenge from state Rep. Mike Keown.

The anti-Marshall ad:

The anti-Bishop ad:

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71 comments Add your comment

lmno

October 26th, 2010
8:36 am

About time someone used the “Ghetto Grandmother” comment in an ad. It is a perfect example of how Nathan Deal feels.

Monds for Georgia

October 26th, 2010
8:37 am

How much real classroom experience has Barge had? Why did Barge not show up at the forum last night? It’s a bit early for deciding that some votes don’t matter. Anyone looking at the polls that shows Willis in the double digits for Superintendent? Better not hedge bets yet. Willis will get more votes than polls give her credit for, and she is the one with real classroom experience. Still teaches. In fact, she hasn’t taken but three days off of work for campaigning.

Douglas

October 26th, 2010
8:46 am

Joe Martin is a “Radical Liberal?” That has to be the biggest pile of stinking effluent I have ever seen. If it weren’t for the fact that the State GOP is run by lilly-livered, panty-waist, pointy-head-elite geekoids who still live with their parents and can’t get dates, I’d be surprised.

McGill

October 26th, 2010
8:49 am

Hey Douglas, good job. A measured response!

steve

October 26th, 2010
8:51 am

your comments on the Barge mailer are so off-base. he’s not playing the race card. he’s playing the POLICY card. people like Obama just fine. They HATE his policies. the only one’s consistently playing the race card are the the left-wing, lame stream, haven’t-had-an-original-insight-in decades press – like the AJC.

Douglas

October 26th, 2010
8:51 am

Willis sounds like she’d have some idea of what she’s doing. Too bad really, but that’s not allowed in Government (in case you haven’t noticed). Also, she’s a Libertarian, and I know too many of y’all to take that seriously. And stop dissing the Poles! They are nice people!

td

October 26th, 2010
8:55 am

Jim, Showing a picture of a liberal President and a liberal candidate means the person is using race? You have got to be kidding me. Your innuendo is that Dr Barge is a racist. What a freaking hack job. Is this because Dr. Barge is pulling 13% of the African American vote and you liberals are can not stand it? Is there any Republican candidate that you have not took a shot at?

lmno

October 26th, 2010
8:58 am

I think Jim was referring to the commercials that are running against Deal on radio more than that mailer.

Monds for Georgia

October 26th, 2010
8:58 am

td, you seem to be blinded by the Republican dogma. Have you even stepped out and looked at other candidates, or are you being paid by the Republican party?

td

October 26th, 2010
9:21 am

Monds for Georgia

October 26th, 2010
8:58 am
td, you seem to be blinded by the Republican dogma. Have you even stepped out and looked at other candidates, or are you being paid by the Republican party?

I have meet Kari Willis, talked to her at least 3 times and listened to her in two forums. She is a very nice lady and I am sure a very good teacher. I do not think she has the qualifications to be the State school Superintendent. She understands what it is about to be a classroom teacher but Dr. Barge and even Jim Martin makes her look like a light weight when it comes to understanding policies of the DOE and managerial experience. I think it is a minimum requirement of this position to have been in the classroom but it is also a minimum requirement to have had managerial experience and to understand the polices of the state and federal DOE’s. Do you not agree that this job and its duties are to important to take a chance on a person with no managerieal experience?

I have looked at the alternatives. Also, I am not a die hard Republican but a conservative first with libertarian leaning beliefs. I am totally against the liberal/progressive agenda and refuse to throw away my vote on a candidate, that has no chance of winning, unless their is not a conservative candidate on the ballot.

Last Man Standing

October 26th, 2010
9:22 am

What is a “ghetto grandmother”? From my experience, it could be a woman from age 30 to 80 living in Section 8 housing, receiving food stamps, drawing some form of welfare or social security and voting democrat for a livelihood. There normally will be no male involved, except as a sperm doner.

It would be safe to assume that “ghetto grandmothers” will not be voting Republican in this election cycle or any other election cycle.

The “ghetto grandmothers” will be rounded up, loaded on some conveyance and trucked to the polls. They will be instructed how to vote – and they will vote accordingly.

Democracy at work.

Skeptical

October 26th, 2010
9:24 am

Deal will probably be elected just because GA is a red (neck) state. He will be the biggest embarrassment since Lester Maddox and will probably be indicted. How will that look to industries considering expansion?

Intown

October 26th, 2010
9:35 am

It is at times like these that I am reminded why, despite attempting to give Republicans half a chance to change my mind, I always end up voting a straight Dem ticket. They always seem to be the lesser of two evils by far.

BlueCityConservative

October 26th, 2010
9:36 am

So suddenly running a mailer comparing your opponent to an unpopular president with low approval ratings is racist?

Great reporting, Jim.

Last Man Standing

October 26th, 2010
9:41 am

Skeptical:

“He will be the biggest embarrassment since Lester Maddox”

Governor Maddox was not an embarrassment. The so-called news media created that on their own. Governor Maddox was honest to a fault and left office poorer than when he entered it. No one ever points out the fact that Governor Maddox was responsible for the hiring of more black people as state employees than any governor before or since him. Governor Maddox also stopped the state legislators use of various state employees to their own ends.

Was he colorful? You bet. Was he an embrrassment for the state? No!

Jim G.

October 26th, 2010
9:41 am

Right, and Kasim Reed’s election, after he’d lost an initial election to Mary Norwood, had absolutely nothing to do with race. It’s only white people who make things racial. And you wonder why newspapers are dying.

Road Scholar

October 26th, 2010
9:46 am

Jim G: What party does Kennerly represent? Every article/editorial has omitted this info.

td

October 26th, 2010
9:47 am

“Among voters not affiliated with either party, Deal holds a 51% to 30% advantage over his Democratic challenger, with Monds earning 11% support.” Rasmussen poll.

So I guess it is not all the Republicans fault that Deal will be the next Governor of Georgia? It seems those pesky independents did not like Barnes previous policies either or is it the independents were hoodwinked by the Obama message and are embarrassed now and are going to send a message?

dagnabit

October 26th, 2010
9:50 am

“Crooked” Deal will be the next governor. I can’t wait.

THE FACTS

October 26th, 2010
9:52 am

LOOK UP NATIONAL DEBT UNDER THE PREVIOUS PRESIDENTS AND YOU MIGHT BE SHOCKED TO FIND THAT THERE WERE ONLY TWO REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS PRESIDE OVER A BALANCED BUDGET EISENHOWER AND NIXON.AFTER DOING SO ASK YOURSELF ABOUT THAT TAX AND SPEND REPUBLICANS ARE ALWAYS SPUING ABOUT DEMOCRATES.

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sadbuttrue

October 26th, 2010
10:07 am

Deal is a strong armed mobster. He runs mob businesses. Landfill, Salvage Yard, North Ga Aviation (transportation). So, he will win, and we will be ran into the ground by him and his mob buddies.

tesla

October 26th, 2010
10:15 am

Enter your comments here

Blue Baron

October 26th, 2010
10:16 am

Kennerly was a republican.

Last Man Standing

October 26th, 2010
10:21 am

Base

October 26th, 2010
10:35 am

Steve Davis is a crook content to be a player with tax payers money. He needs to be investigated.

Last Man Standing

October 26th, 2010
10:39 am

THE FACTS:

You are talking two different things when you speak of a balanced budget and the national debt. Somehow, I don’t think I could explain that to you.

GaBlue

October 26th, 2010
10:47 am

What do y’all think of an incumbent who refuses to debate his opponent? Campaign advisors often say that if you’re ahead in the polls, don’t risk it. But truthfully, unless incumbents are challenged, WHEN and HOW are they HELD ACCOUNTABLE? People often complain about the sad state of our government, but we are culpable in that we cast the votes. If you elect someone and don’t force them to answer for their actions, then you get what you get. As citizens, it’s our duty to expect answers, even from an incubent who’s ahead in the polls. To me, it seems like a man of integrity would turn out for the debate because he’s confident in his record, and has nothing to hide. What are your thoughts?

td

October 26th, 2010
10:55 am

GaBlue

October 26th, 2010
10:47 am

Who are you talking about?

GaBlue

October 26th, 2010
11:05 am

td,

It’s a general question. I know that my congressman has ducked out on several in the past, even ones he commited to months ahead of time. It’s not uncommon, and it may happen again tonight. Do you care to offer your thoughts, or do you just want me to give you a name so you can fling an insult or three?

findog

October 26th, 2010
11:10 am

Last Man @ 9:22
Congressman Deal was describing his role in legislation to demand proof of citizenship for federal or state health care benefits when he said: “We got all the complaints of the ghetto grandmothers who didn’t have birth certificates and all that. We wrote some very liberal language as to how you can verify it. My mother was born in 1906 and she didn’t have a birth certificate. They didn’t give birth certificates back then. But we got her one, because you can do it under the proper procedures of your state.”
Brought to you by Eric Johnson and Karen Handel, so maybe you are right in clarifying the Congressman’s actual position

Tancred

October 26th, 2010
11:15 am

Obama is just another incarnation of Willie Horton. You’ve probably seen that Intar-Webs ad that simply puts disembodied heads of Obama and Cynthia McKinney next to Barnes. It works. Look at how all these towns and counties in the Atlanta MSA want nothing to do with black-run Fulton, Dekalb, Clayton, etc. Can’t really blame them, either. White flight continues, and the tax base with it. Deal and Barnes are both “good ol’ boy” old-school politicians. With the state’s population of 65% white and 30% black, it will be a “good ol’ boy” each time.

That said, that doesn’t explain the efficacy of a trolley going up and down Peachtree. WTF?

tesla

October 26th, 2010
11:18 am

The fact is Deal hates gays, jews, and immigrants. Someone needs to investigate him to see if any illegal aliens have worked at his salvage yard, his house, his friends or families houses. I am sure no Deal would ever hire a landscape company with illegal workers or no illegal workers would ever be hired to work at his salvage yard. Has a gay person ever cut his hair, worked at his house, cleaned his office, or an illegal alien ever cleaned his office?

Virginia

October 26th, 2010
11:21 am

Last Man Standing

October 26th, 2010
9:22 am
What is a “ghetto grandmother”? From my experience, it could be a woman from age 30 to 80 living in Section 8 housing, receiving food stamps, drawing some form of welfare or social security and voting democrat for a livelihood. There normally will be no male involved, except as a sperm doner.

Hey Last Man, have you been sending your Social Security checks back to Washington? Do you refuse to let that nasty Medicare pay part of your medical bills? If not, maybe we should call you a “ghetto grandfather”!

findog

October 26th, 2010
11:28 am

Last Man @ 9:41
Well, I have to agree with you about Governor Maddox 100 percent; now a days he would probably be a republican because he was actually a real conservative. The only reason the revisionists history buffs think he was an embarrassment was his ability to ride a bicycle backwards or his steadfast insistence on an individuals right to deny service to those he does not wish to serve. Even Hosea William’s gave him credit for integrating government agency’s like the state patrol; so Skeptical I am afraid you chose the wrong man to malign…

Retired Soldier

October 26th, 2010
11:30 am

Virginia-

Still waiting.

Friend of Sam

October 26th, 2010
11:31 am

Why is it that the AJC has given zero coberage for the Attorney Generals race. You do a disservice to the voters of Georgia, and to an excellent candidate and hopefully the next Attorney General of the Stae of Georgia, Sam Olens.

Virginia

October 26th, 2010
11:31 am

@RS: I answered you last night. Take another look when you sober up.

Last Man Standing

October 26th, 2010
11:32 am

Virginia:

Don’t get your boxers in a bundle. I must have written something that you took to heart. It’s too early in the day for you to have your attitude turn sour. I’ll try to get around to that in due course.

Charles

October 26th, 2010
11:32 am

Why does Jim Marshall want to read his opponent’s divorce papers. What slime.

And how can David Schaeffer say he’s independent when he gave $1000 to Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign?

Last Man Standing

October 26th, 2010
11:36 am

Virginia:

I do get a social security check every month, Virginia, and I began paying into social security when I was 12 years old – and paid into it my entire working life. I would much have preferred to NOT pay into it, forego the “benefits” and invested the money that I was FORCED to pay into it.

Virginia

October 26th, 2010
11:43 am

Last, you did not answer. But you, like your fellow tea baggers are such hypocrites it doesn’t surprise me. And, I never take anything to heart that you post. You are so typical, you love that SS check every month and you demand that Medicare pay every penny you can wring out of them, but then you scream about BIG GOVERNMENT – pathetic.

Virginia

October 26th, 2010
11:44 am

Last, then send it back if it offends you so much.

bart

October 26th, 2010
11:48 am

Skeptical, I couldn’t agrre with you more!

Last Man Standing

October 26th, 2010
11:57 am

Virginia:

“But you, like your fellow tea baggers”

Would you please point out to me where I EVER claimed to be a part of the Tea Party movement? I am not but I do understand and agree with them for the most part. You are quick to categorize people when, frankly, I don’t thin you have a clue – about much of anything.

Tancred

October 26th, 2010
12:03 pm

Taken objectively, some of these attack ads are pretty damn great. I like the one when they take Barnes’ statement about those kids who died under state control and make it repeat and echo: “you’re going to have children that die every day,” you’re going to have children that die every day.” Out of context? Yeah. But it sure sounds evil and “callous” as the ad points out. Things like dead children work better than some tit-for-tat money stuff, that’s why Barnes had to do that rape ad.

What will they do next????

td

October 26th, 2010
12:03 pm

GaBlue

October 26th, 2010
11:05 am
td,

It’s a general question. I know that my congressman has ducked out on several in the past, even ones he commited to months ahead of time. It’s not uncommon, and it may happen again tonight. Do you care to offer your thoughts, or do you just want me to give you a name so you can fling an insult or three?

I was just wondering? No “insults” intended behind the inquiry. I know if a any candidate is way up in the polls then they will very much limit the number of debates just for the fact that they could make a mistake.

findog

October 26th, 2010
12:06 pm

Charles,
Congressman Marshall is not the one wanting access to the records, although the complainant is an avowed democrat.
The problem is that the first republican speaker of the Georgia House had his divorce sealed by his former law partner turned judge to hide the lobbyist affair.
Now every candidate in Georgia with a sealed court record will have people calling for court documents to be opened, which should lead to a boom in arbitration cases.

But then Charles I assume you knew that and in this wonderful fall season of sliming could not resist slinging a little mud…

Virginia

October 26th, 2010
12:07 pm

Thanks Last, from you that means so much! Boxers in a bunch anyone?

Drew

October 26th, 2010
12:08 pm

Is it true that Joe Martin sued the Department of Education? I read somewhere, he took 2 million dollars from some school districts then abandoned his lawsuit just before he qualified to run for superintendent? Can anyone verify this?