If you needed any more evidence that the movement still has some organizational tweaks to make, consider this late Friday e-mail from the Tea Party Patriots – attempting to stop the flood of e-mails and phone calls it had sent the way of freshmen members of Congress assembling in Washington this morning.
The red-lettered message also indicated a need for the group to update its contact sheets. Embarrassing calls were directed at losing candidates, too:
Thank you for making calls to your Congressmen-elect urging them to attend our freshman orientation this weekend. It’s time to turn off the heat.
We also need to apologize to some people. In our haste to compile the list and get it out to you, some people who didn’t win their races were incorrectly included as having won. People who dedicate a year or more of their lives to running for office, and who don’t succeed, are as deserving of our respect and support as those who ultimately prevailed….
Specifically, we need to offer our sincere apologies to a John Koster [Republican, Washington state], Jesse Kelly [Republican, Arizona], and Keith Fimian [Republican, Virginia] who ran for office and did not get elected but who were inadvertently added to our list.
Additionally, we had a long call with David Harmer from California tonight. He is in a recount, and is dealing with the results of what appears to be large scale voter fraud, and may not win his office. The last thing he and his family need is pressure from us, and we apologize for any stress we may have added to their lives….
Late last week, Denis O’Hayer over at WABE (90.1 FM) asked state Rep. Harry Geisinger (R-Sandy Springs) whether he intended to re-introduce legislation to bring pari-mutuel betting – i.e., horse racing — to Georgia. Listen to the interview here.
“I think what you’ll find is, the majority of [House members] will vote for it,” he predicted.
And House Speaker David Ralston? O’Hayer pressed. Geisinger dropped the news that the speaker had toured a major facility operated by one of the major entities supporting the legislation:
”I have spoken to him, and he is aware of what the industry now foretells in Georgia. He’s had an opportunity to go and look at Churchill Downs and see how massive it is.”
O’Hayer, of course, called Ralston, who didn’t share Geisinger’s rosy future for his bill:
”I went to visit the management at Churchill Downs this past summer while I was in Louisville for a national legislative conference. I was invited over, was glad to have an opportunity to visit.
“I guess I was sort of struck by the real problems that are facing the horse-racing industry in the United States today….Many horse tracks around that nation have had some serious financial problems and I think many of these tracks view adjacent casino gambling to be the only way out of their financial problems. So I came away with a fairly stark picture of the financial health of this industry….”
Ralston was asked whether he could see the legislation moving. He replied:
“I think it would have a challenge here. A real challenge here in Georgia, frankly. It’s clearly not the panacea that some would have us believe in terms of being an economic win for the state. ….I think the question is not whether horse racing is going to come to Georgia. I don’t really think that’s an appropriate question anymore. The question is do you want to bring horse racing and casino gambling to Georgia. It’s a pretty tall order….
“I think before members of the general Assembly give they’re support to an expansion of gambling in Georgia, I think they’re going to want to know there has been some sort of educational effort made, and an effort to bring the people of Georgia into the discussion beforehand.”
During the GOP primary runoff for governor between Nathan Deal and Karen Handel in August, Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams of Lyons jumped into the contest with gusto – on Deal’s side.
Which may be one reason you haven’t seen Deal try to protect Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle of Gainesville.
In the midst of the fight, Williams received a letter in defense of Deal from an old friend of the former north Georgia congressman. Williams posted the letter on his Facebook page – but neglected to include the name of the author. So letter quickly became attributed to the leader of the Senate.
The problem is that the letter includes this paragraph:
”I know this man and have watched him closely since we were first graders together in Sandersville Elementary School. We went all the way through elementary school and high school together, participating in many of the same activities.
Then, we went to Mercer together. We pledged the same fraternity because we had made a pact that we would join the same one (he became president of that, too). He was in our wedding, but my wife was the star of that event.
But Deal is 68. Williams is 55. Either Deal was a very slow starter, or Williams was – well, transcendental.
Williams’ staff says they’ve been trying to correct misperceptions, but that can be a tall order on the Internet.
Randy Evans, the former state GOP counsel, included this paragraph in a weekend newspaper column about the November elections and the Republican wave:
”Georgia Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias illustrated what happens when candidates who should simply ride the ticket, do not.
“Justice Nahmias is a true conservative and if a political party designation was required in judicial races, he would be a Republican. He was appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue and is supported by Governor-elect Nathan Deal.
“If he had simply run his race as a Republican, then he would have undoubtedly joined the rest of the statewide Republican candidates and won his election without a runoff. He did not.
“Instead, he ran a decidedly inclusive race, noting prominently both Democrats and Republicans who supported his election. Rather than create consensus, it created voter confusion. As a result, Justice Nahmias received less than 50% of the vote, and now faces a runoff election on November 30.”