Your morning jolt: Post-election intrigue and an attack on the RNC’s Nick Ayers

Two weeks ago, a Democratic operative sent news of a curious online ad – with a link to this new web site – that he had run across at nyt.com.

It was an attack on Nick Ayers, the former aide to Gov. Sonny Perdue who made good in D.C. as the executive director of the Republican Governors Association.

nicksbrewtube

The anonymous web site takes a look at a DUI charge that Ayers, at age 24, was hit with in 2006 while he was campaign manager of Perdue’s multi-million dollar re-election bid. The charge was later reduced, as these things often are in Georgia.

Without knowing the source of the attack, we let the tip pass. But the Ben Smith team at Politico.com, knowing a little more about the Internet, did not:

”We’ve tracked an anonymous site set up to attack Ayers to the IP address of a Georgia Democratic consulting firm with informal ties to former governor and losing 2010 gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes….

An email to the site was not answered — but an IP tracking tool in a separate email confirmed that it was opened at an IP address belong to LUC Media, a firm founded by former Barnes chief of staff Bobby Kahn.

In an email to POLITICO, Kahn denied the firm’s involvement with the site despite the IP evidence. “Not us,” wrote Kahn.

As head of the RGA, Ayers poured $5 million and more into Georgia last year to keep Barnes from replacing his old boss – with very sharp-edged TV ads linking the former governor to President Barack Obama.

We talked to Kahn this morning, who said:

– No, his TV time-buying firm, LUC Media, did not put up the web site;

– Yes, he knows who did. But he wouldn’t out the culprit.

– No, the web site wasn’t created using Barnes campaign cash. (The site was reportedly registered in October.)

Kahn said his company’s web site popped up on Politico’s radar screen because the creator of the Ayers web site – again, he wouldn’t say who – was visiting LUC offices in Marietta yesterday. The visitor used the LUC Media wi-fi system to answer a Politico e-mail inquiry, Kahn said.

While important, IP addresses can be misleading. You’ll remember that last year, the office of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson was initially thought to be the possible source for a threatening comment left on a gay rights blog. As it turned out, the comment originated from U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ office.

That said, Kahn defended the web site:

“Yes, I know who did it. And I think it’s very funny. It raises some good questions that nobody’s raised. How did he get the charges reduced? And even though he did get the charges reduced, did he lose his license for a year? Because he refused to take the breathalyzer, and that’s automatic.”

We’ve got a call into the Republican National Committee, where Ayers is now part of an effort to rebuild the organization’s financial reputation under a new chairman.

Noon update: From up in Lawrenceville, attorney G. Jason Thompson, who appears to have some experience on the topic, sends this note:

Bobby Kahn does not understand Georgia DUI law. It can be confusing, however. If a person refuses to take the Intoxilyzer 5000, your license could be suspended for a year with no driving privileges (ie work permit on a 1st in 5 yrs DUI). However, when the charge is reduced (to Reckless Driving for example), it basically voids any suspension from the refusal. The only exception to this would be if someone had prior DUIs or had a “points” suspension.

***
My AJC colleague Bob Keefe in Washington was in charge of monitoring “date-night” logistics last night, during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address:

[O]ne of the most dramatic seating arrangements involved two Georgians. Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta, one of the House’s most liberal members, chose to sit next to Republican Rep. Tom Price of Roswell, one of the House’s most conservative members. The two sat right next to the Republican leadership table, where Price had a reserved seat. Price is chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee; Lewis is Chief Deputy Whip for Democrats.

Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson of Lithonia, as is his practice, didn’t pick out a seat until arriving at the speech – and he apparently almost missed getting one. Instead, he ended up seated with several senators on the Republican side of the House floor, one row in front of Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina and next to Democratic Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia. After the president stopped speaking, he took a picture of Wilson and several House Democrats who were seated together.

As a former House member, Sen. Saxby Chambliss knows well where Democrats and Republicans sit in the chamber and who typically sits where. He ended up sitting on the Democratic side of the chamber, in an area where Georgia Democrats Lewis and Sanford Bishop of Albany typically sit. Seated beside Chambliss: Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota on one side and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia on the other.

Right in the middle of the House chamber for Tuesday’s speech – fittingly so – were Democratic Reps. Bishop and John Barrow of Savannah. The two relatively conservative Democrats often vote with Republicans. Sitting between the two Democrats was another Georgian, Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah. Bishop, who took the aisle seat, stayed behind after the president ended his speech so he could get Obama to autograph a copy of his speech.

Democratic Rep. David Scott of Atlanta typically likes to get to presidential speeches early so he can get in the front rows and be among those who greet the president. Tuesday, though, he was deep in the chamber, sitting next to Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Marietta. Gingrey apparently made a concession, though: He sat on the Democratic side of the House.

***
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, had declared last week that bipartisan seating for the event was a Democratic plot to silence Republicans.

Broun preferred uncontaminated, GOP territory. And his Twitter account. Here’s a sampling of his real-time SOTU commentary, in reverse chronological order:

Good speech–but long on hope and short on reality.

Entrepreneurship is great-let’s not kill it with taxes and regulations.

Mr. President, you don’t believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism.

Mr. President, give them the tools they need to defend our country. Not just lip service.

“If a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it.” We will hold you to that.

***
About that no earmark thing. Because of the Republican pledge – and Obama’s – it has become highly important for Georgia that the president include $700 million or so in his budget for the dredging of the Port of Savannah, so that it can take larger ships. And create more jobs.

Obama’s budget is expected to be unveiled sometime between Feb. 14 and 16 – about two weeks later than usual. No one here is taking anything for granted.

On Friday, Gov. Nathan Deal plans to be in Savannah. A national news network will have cameras there, to catch the arrival of CMA CGM Parisfal, the largest container ship ever to call on the Port of Savannah. It will be a spectacularly tight fit.

Deal will be there to make the case for a port that’s six feet deeper. We do not know if the governor been asked to help apply the Vaseline required by the ship.

“Parsifal,” by the way, is the name of a Wagnerian opera about the search for the Holy Grail. Which seems appropriate.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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34 comments Add your comment

gm

January 26th, 2011
9:36 am

Those idiot threw Richard Steele the man who went coast to coast on the belhalf of the Rep party, helped win the election for this guy.

Hermain Cain, you are up next, to get used by these hypocrite bigots of a party.

Douglas

January 26th, 2011
9:42 am

“My AJC colleague Bob Keefe in Washington was in charge of “date-night” logistics last night…”

Really? Congress put an out-of-town reporter from a mid-sized city IN CHARGE of who sat with whom? Come on Jim, that is way too sloppy for you. Others, not so much, but you are better than that.

LMAO

January 26th, 2011
9:59 am

Broun = two words – mo-run. That’s why this guy shouldn’t help GA with the Savannah Port dredging. Ya’ll will never learn.

Cutty

January 26th, 2011
10:08 am

I would Brown that since I’m a socialist, you can kiss that dredging project in Savannah goodbye. What an arse hole.

Black Conservative

January 26th, 2011
10:21 am

Broun is an idiot. He expects the President to “give them the tools to defend our country” but yet he wants to cut federal spending. Doesn’t this mo-run understand that those tools have to be paid for by tax payers dollars…just like the federal health insurance he currently has signed his family up for.

Black Conservative

January 26th, 2011
10:25 am

Using Broun’s and others who think like him mentality, he would have been against using the federal $$ that were used to fund the building of the ATL airport back in the late 1960’s. The Sav Port dredging has the potential of elevating GA as a port destination for goods entering the US.

Last Man Standing

January 26th, 2011
10:36 am

gm:

“Hermain Cain, you are up next, to get used by these hypocrite bigots of a party.”

I believe that it is you, sir, who is the bigot.

tom mitchell

January 26th, 2011
10:42 am

I got a good laugh at the Nick Ayers story. Sometimes the press doesn’t do a good enough job digging into a DUI story and the shenanigans involved in fixing a ticket. Did the AJC look into how Nick Ayers avoided a mandatory one year suspension of his drivers license? An “average Joe” would not have gotten out of this pickle so easily, but I suppose a well-connected staffer for Gov. Sonny Perdue knows a few influential judges. Funny that the tee-totaller Gov. Perdue chose not to fire Ayers, but perhaps Ayers knew a few things on Perdue.

SayMyName

January 26th, 2011
10:50 am

BIGGER question is if Nick actually performed that 100 hours of “community service.” Anyone try and find the record of those hours?

Keith

January 26th, 2011
10:59 am

I love Paul Broun. After I heard him call Obama a liar on WGST this morning I love hi even more.

Oh, and gm, who is “Richard” Steele? Somebody hasn’t been paying attention in political science class.

redneck

January 26th, 2011
11:22 am

gm is down at the local library again trying to race bait as he always does

Ted Striker

January 26th, 2011
11:28 am

Sending out tweets during a State of the Union Address? Classy. Wonder if he did that at his son’s arraignment proceedings.

Ted Striker

January 26th, 2011
11:38 am

DeKalb Assistant Solicitor Wystan Getz didn’t get booked into jail.

Nick Ayers possibly avoided an automatic administrative suspension of his license despite refusing a breathalyzer exam.

Makes you wonder what would’ve happened if Damon Evans had a better relationship with Sonny Purdue and the GSP.

SawBe

January 26th, 2011
11:39 am

Bobby Kahn is a sleaze bag. Always has been, always will be. History will record his association with Roy Barnes as one of the major reasons for the implosion of the democratic party in Georgia. Nasty is not a policy.

jconservative

January 26th, 2011
11:42 am

Why not let private enterprise do the Port of Savannah? Why does everyone always look to Government to solve all problems? People who look to government to solve problems are fundamentally socialist.

Douglas

January 26th, 2011
11:50 am

Put aside the tacky-ness of twitting during the speech, but Rep Broun needs to READ the Constitution. No where does it mention any economic form, much less capitalism. The word “capital” only appears in the 5th Amendment, and there it refers to a “capital crime.” The point is, Representative, that one CAN believe in the Constitution AND in Socialism. That is not to say that one ought to do so, but it CAN be done.

Perhaps you need to think before you Tweet, lest you be thought a Twit.

markie mark

January 26th, 2011
11:50 am

@ black conservative – “just like the federal health insurance he currently has signed his family up for.”

Correct, sir. He got health insurance from his EMPLOYER, just like the rest of us do.

Douglas

January 26th, 2011
11:53 am

jconservative — and let’s privitize our highways and airports, too, and let those who use them pay for them. When we do that, the railroads will want to run passenger trains again because they’ll finally make money on them — instead of having our Socialist highway system nearly kill the one last private mode of transportation.

Pootin

January 26th, 2011
12:08 pm

Well, now I know who the losers read and where they hang out. Piss poor column, worse comments.

Aquagirl

January 26th, 2011
12:12 pm

Politico.com can’t be arsed to check out Ayers’ original DUI charges, but they jump in when someone blows the whistle? Why is it more important to investigate an anonymous website on an incident instead of the original incident?

It would have been funny if the House Sergeant at Arms took the cellphone from inattentive @$$hole Paul Broun.

Will

January 26th, 2011
12:13 pm

You have to understand Representative Broun within the Congress as a whole.

In a chamber with so many members, representing diverse districts across this grand republic, you will always have representatives of extreme, unAmerican thought. Broun, King (IA) and Bachmann (MN) are three examples of the extremist of the extreme on the right wing of American political thought. Waters (CA) and Kucinich (OH) are examples of the extremist of the extreme on the left wing of American political thought.

These extremists represent congressional districts who are obviously populated with like-minded voters but they do not represent mainstream thought within their political wing and, other than providing a lighting rod of response, they are marginalized within
their own wing.

As one republican legislator told me this weekend, “Paul (Broun) isn’t going to sit with any democrat because he doesn’t know any democrat and, even if he did, he could not find a democrat in Congress that would be willing to sit with him!”

khc

January 26th, 2011
12:20 pm

is broun from athens? if so, isn’t that an indictment of our higher ed in this state?

Hollis

January 26th, 2011
12:38 pm

Speaking of Damon”Red Panties” Evans, what’s the latest?

Andy

January 26th, 2011
12:42 pm

I want to know how Paul Broun got a medical degree. I thought being rational and actually caring for people was a requirement, not shaking hands and playing golf.

Black Conservative

January 26th, 2011
12:50 pm

@markie mark – Where is the Funky Fun Bunch? Anyway, you highlight my point.

Whether the dredging is done by the feds or private industry, the tax payer will eventually pick up the tab.

chuck padden

January 26th, 2011
12:52 pm

As to the Nick Ayers DUI and no drivers license suspension…I had no idea that Georgia’s DUI law was so weak if you know how to game the system. And, by the way, why hasn’t a press reporter called up Ayers and ask him to comment on this story? Sounds like Nick Ayers could clear all these questions up and we could all go on to other matters.

Joe Bob Perteat

January 26th, 2011
12:57 pm

Ayers is a drunk punk who should be kneeling in the x-bar Hilton right now.

Alabama Communist

January 26th, 2011
12:59 pm

No doubt the Republican with a DUI will claim that Alien Lizards from Lizard Lick North Carolina waterboard him with a six pack……….

TruthBe

January 26th, 2011
1:01 pm

Most of Government and the people that run the Government are corrupt these days. Democrats and Republicans are to blame. And the stupid people that keep voting the same folks in.

gm

January 26th, 2011
1:08 pm

redneck: Its call the truth, not race baiting, I’m sorry your party can not explain what they did to Steele.
Its a good lession black conservatives better learn.

RetiredSoldier

January 26th, 2011
2:03 pm

gm-

Using your logic the Rep Party is racist because it did not re-elect Steele chairman. Was the party racist when Steele was elected two years ago?

In 2012 if Obama does not win a second term, your logic is racism is the reason. Has it ever occured to you maybe people don’t like Steele’s or Obama’s job performance? Though I did not have a vote, I was for Steele two years ago. I would not have voted for him now. Guess that’s because I am racist.

I think your logic is a bit off.

RetiredSoldier

January 26th, 2011
3:22 pm

Bobby Anthony

January 26th, 2011
10:53 pm

Broun is a joke and embarrassment to Georgia. I remember when he ran against Jim Whitehead, he actually carried his little doctor’s satchel into the debate. I have always voted against him and will continue to do so. The tenth district has not had a competent representative since Doug Barnard retired.

Michael

January 27th, 2011
2:48 pm

If you read the tenor, punctuation and style of the comments closely you should notice only a few are commenting but they use different names.