Your morning jolt: Georgia Chamber makes an unlikely plea to liberals for Amendment 1

Two attorneys, one from Decatur, on Thursday reported coming home to find the following unlikely robo-call on their answering machines:

“Georgia progressives have a chance to protect the rights of workers by voting yes on Amendment 1. Amendment 1 will give workers protection from being forced to sign unfair employment agreements at the workplace.

“Please take the time to vote yes on Amendment 1 at the end of your ballot. This message has been provided by the working Georgians at Jobs of Tomorrow. And we urge you to vote yes on Amendment 1.”

What’s unusual is that Amendment 1, despite its vague language, is designed to help strengthen the reach of employment contracts. To a degree that some say is unfair – especially in the current economy.

Jobs of Tomorrow is sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and its website says the measure is needed because current judicial rulings have:

….. resulted in cases of employees or franchisees being able to ignore signed employment agreements and take customers or proprietary knowledge with them to other companies with no consequences.

On the other side, critics say the proposed constitutional amendment – and legislation already conveniently in place to enforce it – could permit companies to require any worker described as a “professional” to sign an agreement that would bar the employee from engaging in any competing enterprise for years. Even if the employee is laid off or fired.

A committee comprised of the governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker determines the order that constitutional ballot questions appear every other November. So it is fair to say Amendment 1 is the top Republican priority – even ahead of the effort (Amendment 2) to establish a state trauma network.

But many have been put off by what they say is the wording of the ballot question:

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to make Georgia more economically competitive by authorizing legislation to uphold reasonable competitive agreements?”

In a recent session with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Republican nominee for attorney general Sam Olens said that he is in agreement with the aims of the proposed constitutional amendment. But he added this:

“The biggest problem with Amendment 1 is, there’s a lot of bad press due to the wording of the actual amendment. And candidly, I think voters deserve better. I think we ought to have restrictions on amendment language similar to Florida, where it has to be in plain English.”

***

State Rep. Jill Chambers, R-Atlanta, won a brief Fulton County court battle with the state Democratic party on Thursday. Chambers is locked in a tight battle with Democrat and attorney Elena Parent.

Democrats have been sending out campaign material detailing Chambers’ recent bankruptcy and divorce, including some material that Chambers said left her open to identity theft.

See the order here.

From the Fulton County Daily Report:

Following a short hearing Thursday afternoon, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Alford J. Dempsey Jr. granted Chambers’ request for a temporary restraining order barring the Democratic Party of Georgia from disseminating any portion of the lawmaker’s Social Security number for 30 days.

Chamber’s attorney, Sparks, had asked the judge to order the halt to any further mailing containing the numbers, and to order the party to gather any artwork, data, proofs or other materials containing the information and to file it with the court, but Dempsey declined to do so.

Democratic Party attorney Michael K. Jablonski told Dempsey that the party had no intention of mailing any more of the fliers and that no restraining order was necessary, but Sparks said those assurances were not sufficient.

***

Senate Minority Leader Robert Brown, D-Macon, has sent a letter to Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts that includes this:

Your persistent efforts to relocate the Georgia Music and Sports Halls of Fame from Macon to Atlanta give me cause to withdraw my support of and encourage others in the Georgia Legislature to oppose your proposal to bring Casino gambling to Georgia.

***
rapevictimpic

Republican nominee for governor Nathan Deal continues to fight back against Democrat Roy Barnes allegations that, while a state senator, he initiated legislation that would have weakened Georgia’s rape shield law.

This four-page defense arrived Thursday evening, featuring a rape victim whose attacker was prosecuted by Deal – then a district attorney. From the flyer: “Roy Barnes says Nathan Deal doesn’t care about rape victims. Roy Barnes is wrong, because Nathan Deal cared for me when a lot of other people wouldn’t.”

***

The AJC’s Politifact Georgia takes on the claims by Republican nominee Nathan Deal and Democrat Roy Barnes that they would keep their general election campaign civil. So far, we’ve counted a combined 27 negative ads. Where there’s smoke…..

***

Rasmussen Reports, SurveyUSA, and InsiderAdvantage all use automated polling equipment for their surveys – i.e., robo-calls. So over the next four days, you might keep in mind this observation from Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com:

Most of the automated polling firms have a Republican-leaning house effect. For instance, it’s about 2 points for Rasmussen Reports (our estimate for Rasmussen includes polls conducted by its subsidiary, Pulse Opinion Research) and 4 points for SurveyUSA.

Another automated polling firm, Public Policy Polling, has almost zero house effect. But some of the smaller robopoll firms, like Magellan and Merriman River Group, also have a Republican-leaning effect.

On average, the robopoll firms have a 2-point Republican-leaning house effect, whereas the live interviewer polls have a 0.7-point Democratic-leaning house effect. The difference between the two, then, is 2.7 points.

***

The timing – five days before the vote – is unusual and perhaps even useless, but the Georgia Association of Educators on Thursday announced it had endorsed Democrat Michael Thurmond in the U.S. Senate race over Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson and Libertarian Chuck Donovan.

***

One day after Newt Gingrich dropped in on a Gwinnett County rally to support Republican nominee for governor Nathan Deal, the Washington Post has this about his 2012 presidential ambitions:

The former [U.S. House] speaker, who flirted with the idea in the past, is less coy about it this time. Gingrich says he won’t make an official announcement until early next year. But he notes that he is already “transitioning” his four businesses so that they don’t become political impediments.

The remaining question, Gingrich said in an interview, is “whether or not it is practical, which I increasingly think it is.”

Gingrich acknowledged that he wouldn’t be the GOP establishment’s pick – or an immediate front-runner. He also said he knows the race for the nomination would be a steep climb “when you have someone as well financed as [former Massachusetts governorMitt] Romney would be.”

But if Gingrich could pull this one off, it would be the greatest political resurrection since Richard Nixon – a name that comes up often when you talk to Gingrich’s longtime friends and advisers.

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74 comments Add your comment

money for nothin

October 29th, 2010
9:50 am

Ralph

October 29th, 2010
9:58 am

More AJC wishful thinking to use a blogger who says robo calls are Republican leaning. Almost ALL pollsters apply statistical corrections to their results that end up with likely voters. Rasmussen and SurveyUSA have good track records, where InsiderAdvantage does not (until close to the election when they take out leftist bias so they don’t look quite as silly).

Next week we will see how accurate the polling is – and the AJC will be very quiet about that.

Jeff

October 29th, 2010
9:58 am

GAE endorses a Democrat, and this is news at all??

Did Nathan try to profit from this victim’s story in the print ad like he did on his Facebook wall? I didn’t get this particular ad. (Yet?)

Oh, and Vote NO (only because there is no ‘HELL NO’ button) on ALL Amendments!

Publius

October 29th, 2010
10:02 am

You’ll never guess who said this…

“If you cannot afford to leave the public housing project, you are not free. If you do not know how to find a job and do not know how to create a job, you are not free. If you cannot find a place that will educate you, you are not free. If you are afraid to walk to the store because you could get killed, you are not free.” (Newt Gingrich, acceptance speech as newly-elected Speaker of the House, Jan 4, 1995).

lmno

October 29th, 2010
10:09 am

I am definetely voting “NO” on Amendment 1.

I do not like these no coompete employment contracts in the first place and certainly don’t want to strengthen them.

Cutty

October 29th, 2010
10:15 am

Who wants to steal the identity of someone that’s bankrupt?

Checkers

October 29th, 2010
10:16 am

When even your friends compare you to Nixon…

@crazyforliberty (Doug Craig)

October 29th, 2010
10:19 am

lmno

October 29th, 2010
10:26 am

Im voting YES on #2!

td

October 29th, 2010
10:29 am

I agree with Sam, until they put these amendments in plain language then I will vote NO to all of them.

steve

October 29th, 2010
10:30 am

I identify myself as a conservative, but I cannot get past Nathan Deal’s ethical lapses. Reading a copy of the House investigation on Deal:
—The rules say that while a member of congress, one cannot be an officer in a corporation; and there in black and white is the incorporation papers of Deal’s business listing him as the Secretary. Unless I missed it, I never did see his explanation for this lapse.
— Deal violated the rules as to outside income for house members and then cleverly tried to reclassify his income from his business as “dividends” rather than income.
—Deal has never addressed other ethical violations openly.
I am so disappointed in the debate questions where it is thought that what the candidate’s favorite food is, is more important than DIRECT questions about Deal’s ethics.
How about it Jim, what do you say?

Savannah

October 29th, 2010
10:34 am

Clint Murphy: A Republican who’s backing Barnes
By clint murphy
Created 2010-10-26 00:18
I’ve worked in Republican politics the better part of my adult career from local races to presidential campaigns, both paid and as a volunteer.

However, the race to be Georgia’s next governor is so important it has caused me to break with my party and support Roy Barnes.

I do so with certainty and confidence that Roy Barnes is the best person for the job to get Georgia’s economy back on track so that we have a strong climate for job growth and an opportunity for prosperity for all Georgians.

Nathan Deal, the Republican candidate in this race has too many ethical shortfalls to be able to focus full time on being our governor. He resigned in the still of the night to avoid a full investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

Continued evidence of his repeated abuse of his congressional office for personal gain shortchange an opportunity for all Georgians when someone is so willing to blatantly put their own agenda ahead of the public good.

With unprecedented challenges facing our state, we need a governor without potential legal and financial distractions.

Barnes did not have to run for governor. He had a good life in a successful private legal practice, but, like so many he didn’t like the direction that Georgia is heading.

With record unemployment and mismatched priorities, our state is heading in the wrong direction and it needs a governor who can and will make the tough decisions necessary to grow our economy to encourage job creation and address the challenges of transportation, taxes, and education with honesty and transparency.

Some in my party are determined to scare voters into believing that Barnes is a Barack Obama clone. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, in 2002, in a CATO Institute report on the nation’s governors, Roy Barnes was ranked among the nation’s best governors along, with Florida’s Jeb Bush and Colorado’s Bill Owens.

He pushed through a Taxpayers Bill of Rights that saved homeowners $350 million and cut unemployment insurance taxes saving businesses $1 billion. Under Barnes’ leadership, Georgia grew over 235,000 jobs.

He did it before and he’ll do it again. Barnes has outlined a plan to put Georgians back to work, address our state’s long-term water needs and has even proposed a bold plan for the creation of an independent, non-partisan commission for reapportionment.

I hope that voters will put what is best for Georgia first and foremost and cast a vote for Roy Barnes for Governor.

Clint Murphy is a Republican activist in Savannah who most recently served in 2008 as the deputy director in the Southeast for GOP presidential nominee John McCain’s campaign.

JF McNamara

October 29th, 2010
10:39 am

Vote No unless you want to be at the mercy of your company for the rest of your life. I can’t believe anyone who is not a business owner would even consider voting for this.

Dose of Reality

October 29th, 2010
10:44 am

***BREAKING NEWS***

When elected, Governor Roy Barnes pledges to require all future constitutional amendments be written containing word no larger than 5 letters so that td can understand them! HAHAHAHAHAHA

professional skeptic

October 29th, 2010
10:48 am

The language used to write some of these ballot items is shockingly misleading. If you poke and pry long enough through the twisted semantics and devious double-speak, you’ll eventually be able to determine which special interests these amendments were crafted to benefit.

On “positive” vs. “negative” campaigning:

As I’ve asked before, how can Barnes possibly be expected to stay positive when Nathan Deal’s corrupt acts and shady misdeeds are so overwhelmingly negative?

The Goobernator

October 29th, 2010
10:57 am

An Amendment that restricts employment rights does NOT make this state economically competitive.
Georgia continues writing vague, misleading amendment questions. They all deserve a NO vote.

Jeff

October 29th, 2010
11:00 am

CM:

Actually, most of the blogs are avoiding that story like the plague.

professional skeptic

October 29th, 2010
11:06 am

Thank you, CM. I’m praying this story didn’t break too late.

td

October 29th, 2010
11:07 am

Dose of Reality, Good morning. How does it feel to be a loser? politically and personally?

McGill

October 29th, 2010
11:09 am

The Georgia Association of Educators once again proves its essential uselessness.

BPJ

October 29th, 2010
11:11 am

Please vote yes on Amendments 2, 3, and 4. #2 is to fund a statewide trauma care network. Because this dedication of funding would be in the constitution, the legislature could NOT divert it to other uses. #3 & 4 are needed because, under the existing constitution, the DOT cannot start a multi-year project unless the funding for all the years is in an account. I don’t think any other state does it that way.

Seeking Humanity

October 29th, 2010
11:23 am

Limited government is the prinicple. Yet, those government officials in power intentionally mislead voters by writing proposed amendments in the most confusing way possible. That results in the abuse of power and government. Instead of empowering the people, they treat people like small-minded children who don’t have the capacity to understand an issue and therefore, make an informed vote. But because so many are closed-minded, they will simply vote along red or blue lines and ignore that if presented with a fair description of the issue, most of us actually believe in some red things AND some blue things.

GaBlue

October 29th, 2010
11:23 am

Amendment 1 would give corporations more power over our lives. If you cannot leave your employer to seek a better opportunity at another similar company, then your right to work and take personal responsibility for yourself and your family is restricted. How could that possibly be good for the people of Georgia? Let employers take personal responsibility for keeping good employees by treating them better than their competition. Those trying to make the free market a one-way street do not have our best interests in mind.

Ralph

October 29th, 2010
11:27 am

Almost all polls now say Democrat Marshall is going to lose his 8th Congressional District seat by a wide margin.

Slightly left leaning Larry Sabato (University of Virginia) now says that Democrat Bishop is going to lose his grossly Barnes/Democrat gerrymandered 2nd Congressional seat even before the next redistricting.

professional skeptic

October 29th, 2010
11:34 am

Jeff
October 29th, 2010
11:24 am

Let’s get Politifact’s take on this before we try to cover things up.

catlady

October 29th, 2010
11:36 am

Humm. Let’s see. Possible zoning violation (Barnes) vs. insolvent, caught using his office to benefit himself (Deal). Which one is worse? Oh, I forgot, Barnes also has a D after his name–he is obviously unfit for office (sarcasm)

Diogenes

October 29th, 2010
11:39 am

Newt Gingrich was correct about a number of points he made in his famed Floor Speech in 1995. What he failed to state, though, was that the private economy is what steals your freedom. You can extend civil liberties as far as you like, the real threat of oppression in a democratic regime is not from the government. It is from the private sector.

Diogenes

October 29th, 2010
11:42 am

Stop the Chamber of Commerce from promulgating their new world order!

yuzeyurbrain

October 29th, 2010
11:47 am

It looks like their is nonpartisan opposition to Amendment 1. Good. What a deceptive piece of X*&**X it is. And robocall is just an outright lie. If you are a salesman in particular you would essentially be deprived of your right to earn a living in your chosen field. Employers hold almost all of the cards right now; don’t give away one of the few you still have.

yuzeyurbrain

October 29th, 2010
11:50 am

Interesting about Rasmussen. I have suspected that from a casual review of comparative polls. I guess Roy’s chances should be bumped up a few points.

Jeff

October 29th, 2010
11:52 am

PS: Both Erick Erickson and myself have already written about it, last December. He did it on RedState and Peach Pundit, I did it on SWGAPolitics.com. I don’t remember any of the titles, nor do I have the links readily available. If you look on SWGA for the post “My IRV Ballot” (should be on first or second page), I link to Erick’s RS post as one of the reasons to support Porter as my number 2 choice for the office.

Last Man Standing

October 29th, 2010
12:00 pm

Jeff – October 29th, 2010 – 11:29 am

I agree totally with you, and would agree with you just as strongly if a democrat was so involved. There must be a line somewhere that should not be crossed.

Last Man Standing

October 29th, 2010
12:07 pm

inmo:

“I am definetely voting “NO” on Amendment 1.”

These damn things are worded so that sometimes a “No” vote is actually a “Yes” vote, or vice versa!

If this isn’t passed, I assume that an employer can still exercize his/her right not to employ anyone who will not sign a “no compete” contract?

Standford

October 29th, 2010
12:10 pm

Nathan Deal and it seems all republicans continue to claim tax cuts are the only solution to all our problems. Unfortunately for most of us, they only want to cut taxes for corporations or the elite upper 2%, the idle rich. This foolish policy hasn’t worked for the last 50 years; the problems just keep getting worse and worse.

The republicans still want to raise revenue but they try to hide the increases as fees for services or targeted taxes that adversely affect working people and those of us who aren’t protected by special interest groups with deep pockets like the Chamber of Commerce.

Wake up people! These phony polls are rigged to produce the results they paid to get. They only want your money and your support so they can control every aspect of your life. Stop letting the GOP and their corporate pollsters motivate and manipulate you with hate and fear. They continue to play on the fear of anyone who might be a little different; years ago it was the Irish or Jewish, Native- Americans or African-Americans. Now it’s Muslims or gays, environmentalist, the unions or any other group that tries to expose their corruption.

john l

October 29th, 2010
12:13 pm

hell no to amendment 1!

john l

October 29th, 2010
12:14 pm

hell no amdment 1

Anon

October 29th, 2010
12:14 pm

Ralph, you said “Slightly left leaning Larry Sabato (University of Virginia) now says that Democrat Bishop is going to lose his grossly Barnes/Democrat gerrymandered 2nd Congressional seat even before the next redistricting.”

How do you figure that the 2nd district is gerrymandered? Have you seen a Georgia Congressional map? It’s one of the least crazy looking districts in the state. The current map was redrawn in 2005 and was not a product of Roy Barnes. Just FYI.

Audrey in Georgia

October 29th, 2010
12:19 pm

Vote No for Amendment 1.

Autonomy

October 29th, 2010
12:20 pm

Anyone Who votes for Nathan Deal and any current elected officials who are standing up in support of this epitome of filth and corruption in our government deserves what they get. Gwinnett County, the ring leaders of the whole bunch, are openly defrauding the public “as a courtesy” to us. I would rather elect Richard Nixon. At least he is dead and can cause no more harm. Do any of you even know what corruption means? There ought to be an IQ test during every debate. But even then no one would know if they were right or wrong. I am offended by the complete ignorance of voters. Go ahead and push the R button. You have already destroyed every decent thing about this state that there ever was.

lmno

October 29th, 2010
12:21 pm

“If this isn’t passed, I assume that an employer can still exercize his/her right not to employ anyone who will not sign a “no compete” contract?”

Sure they can. But no compete contracts in this state have largely been unenforceable. I had to sign one for my previous company. I left the company and was sent a letter threatening me if I were to contact any of my clients. But in the end, the company couldn’t stop me from working in the field.

If they put enough teeth into these contracts, then your insurance agent, financial planner, attorney, or plumber could basically become captive of his company. If the company mistreats him/her and they leave, they will either have to get out of the business or move to another state.

Its wrong. The company has the right to hire and fire you, they shouldn’t have the right to dictate your future employment.

Ralph

October 29th, 2010
12:31 pm

There are many criticisms about Nate Silver’s poll ratings, but this one is at the heart of it:

[Silver needs to] broaden the scoring of poll accuracy beyond the final poll conducted by each organization before an election. He includes all polls with a “median date” (at least halfway completed) within 21 days of the election. As he writes, we have seen some notable examples in recent years of pollsters whose numbers “bounce around a lot before ‘magically’ falling in line with the broad consensus of other pollsters.” If we just score “the last poll,” we create incentives for ethically challenged pollsters to try to game the scorecards.

This is why the InsiderAdvantage poll is worthless until the last week, when ALL polls usually align to reality. Rasmussen has much higher ratings on other poll ratings than Silver’s and has been consistent while others are now just removing their bias.

Those who want to delude themselves that these polls this week are wrong will be deeply disappointed next Wednesday.

td

October 29th, 2010
12:34 pm

lmno

October 29th, 2010
12:21 pm

We do not agree on hardly any issues on this blog but I agree with you on this one. Restricting the freedom of the marketplace is totally wrong, unless you want to pay me not to go to work for a competitor.

Alabama Communist

October 29th, 2010
12:38 pm

But if Gingrich could pull this one off, it would be the greatest political resurrection since Richard Nixon – a name that comes up often when you talk to Gingrich’s longtime friends and advisers.* Jim

More like the greatest ” Man Up” resurrection since the invention of Neo-con Virgra on the American people………..

Michelle Mal's Kin

October 29th, 2010
1:01 pm

The language used to write some of these ballot items is shockingly misleading. If you poke and pry long enough through the twisted semantics and devious double-speak, you’ll eventually be able to determine which special interests these amendments were crafted to benefit

They deliberately do that. Before this version of the bill was put on the ballots, they hired a focus group and used all types of combinations to see which one would work on the “public”. Obviously, this one passed. BEWARE – these things are loaded with legalese written by a bunch of LAWYERS! It’s supposed to be ambiguous and stump you…..if they wrote it in plain english it would never get passed.

Also regarding the comment on “your boss can hire/fire you at will if you don’t sign” that’s true enough; but what about these companies that have branches in other states? Say you’re a marketing rep with Coca Cola – Coca Cola is a worldwide company so even if you moved to another state to look for employment after leaving Coke – the way that Ammendment could be interpreted, you could STILL be in violation of the non compete contract. And a company as big as Coke, will have enough money to hire enough lawyers to chase you into hell and back if they wanted to.

Bottom line, Just like your old Granny used to say “If you have to ask you can’t afford it” or “if you don’t understand it, Vote NO”.

pete

October 29th, 2010
1:28 pm

#1 is to protect the buisness owner not you the employer.#2 is just a tax trap.Voter beware

Sandra

October 29th, 2010
1:54 pm

Well if the Chamber of Commerce supports it, I will definitely vote against it.

Bill

October 29th, 2010
2:01 pm

Interesting fact: On Bush’s final day in office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 closed at 7,949, 1,440, and 805, respectively. Today, as of now, they are at 11,121, 2,516, and 1,184. Since President Obama took office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 have increased 40%, 74%, and 47%, respectively.

Last Man Standing

October 29th, 2010
2:05 pm

Bill:

“Since President Obama took office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 have increased 40%, 74%, and 47%, respectively”

Great!

Where are the jobs for the unemployed?

Bill

October 29th, 2010
2:10 pm

They’re coming slowly. In 2008 (Bush’s last year), we lost an average of 317,250 private sector jobs per month. In 2010 (so far), we have gained an average of 95,888 private sector jobs per month. In September, private-sector payroll employment continued to trend up modestly (+64,000).

Retired Soldier

October 29th, 2010
2:12 pm

Bill-

Are you proposing that the climb in the stock market is due to_______. Fill in the blank please.