Your morning jolt: Brandon Beach to challenge Chip Rogers

Last week, out of the blue, a press release in the name of state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers declared that the Cherokee County lawmaker had received re-election endorsements from every Republican in the north Fulton legislative delegation.

Brandon Beach, member of the state transportation board. AJC file

Brandon Beach, member of the state transportation board. AJC file

Now we know why Rogers felt the need to put the information out there.

This morning, Brandon Beach, president of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and a member of state transportation board, announced that he would challenge Rogers in the July 31 primary.

Beach, who was narrowly defeated by John Albers of Roswell in a 2010 race for the Senate, named jobs and transportation as his top two priorities – but apparently expects dissatisfaction in the local education community to provide much of the spark for his campaign.

Beach, from the press release:

“We have excellent schools in Cherokee County and North Fulton because of dedicated parents, teachers and principals. Cherokee and North Fulton need a senator who is an advocate for improving and sustaining our children’s education.”

He continued, “My opponent cloaks his top-down, Washington-like control of education with terms like ‘educational freedom.’ Real educational freedom is allowing teachers to teach and principals to manage schools. School boards and the parents that elect them know what is right for their school district, not bureaucrats in D.C. and Atlanta.”

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com

Rogers has been at the forefront of the charter school movement in Georgia, and was a sponsor of the proposed constitutional amendment, on the November ballot, to restore the state’s power to override local school systems that reject charter school applications. The issue has rent Cherokee County, where the local school board has rejected the application of the Cherokee Charter Academy.
This last session, new school district maps for Cherokee were drawn so as to oust the current school board chairman and vice-chairman.

With reapportionment, Senate District 21was shifted eastward, out of Cobb County and into the northernmost reaches of Fulton. Cherokee, home to Rogers has the bulk of the voting population.

Beach, a former Alpharetta city councilman, declared that “we need leadership with integrity in the state legislature” – perhaps a signal that the challenger intends to bring up Rogers’ business partnership with U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger. The two men purchased a dilapidated Calhoun motel with a $2.3 million loan – which almost immediately went into default.

Voters “deserve a senator that is approachable,” Beach said.

The challenger will have an uphill climb. Last week, when Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation establishing a funding system for state-ordered chartered schools , Cherokee County was the chosen venue for the ceremony. The governor has a general policy of endorsing Republican incumbents – and Rogers won’t be an exception.

Though it may be a temptation, we’re told that Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle intends to stay away from the contest. Rogers was a leader in the Senate Republican effort to strip the lieutenant governor of power over the chamber in November 2010.

***
ABC News has now posted, in its entirety, the White House interview in which President Barack Obama endorsed gay marriage:

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Over at the New Republic, Ed Kilgore makes this smart point about the inevitability of Obama’s decision:

There was a growing movement—endorsed already by eleven state party chairs—to place support for marriage equality in the 2012 Democratic platform. Given the president’s total control of the platform process, he would eventually have had to embrace it or squelch it; there’s not much of a middle ground any more on the basic proposition of marriage equality.

***
A New York Times review of the struggle in states to anticipate the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court rejection of the Obama administration’s health care overhaul includes these lines:

In Georgia, where the legislature has not yet authorized the development of an exchange to buy and sell insurance as required by the law, the state’s insurance commissioner, Ralph T. Hudgens, says he knows he may have to come up with a marketplace, regardless of how the Supreme Court rules. He said he opposed the mandate, but he believed the exchange could make it easier for citizens to buy policies. “Whether the mandate is struck down or not, Georgia is under the edict to establish an exchange,” he said.

***
Last night, state GOP chairman Sue Everhart sent out a letter to Republicans, reminding them that one of the chief points of next week’s state convention in Columbus will be to select 31 at-large delegates and 31 alternates to the national convention. Georgia will have the fourth-largest delegation there.

If you plan on going to Tampa, bring your checkbook to Columbus:

[I]f you are elected as a Delegate or Alternate to the 2012 Republican National Convention, there will be a mandatory meeting immediately upon the adjournment of the State Convention in the Chattahoochee Room of the Columbus Civic Center.

In addition to signing the oath, taking a photo, completing all paperwork and receiving additional pertinent information, each Delegate and Alternate must have a personal check or cashier’s check for $400, made payable to the Georgia Republican Party; the payment must be from personal funds as non-federal funds are not permissible. If you are planning to have a guest at the National Convention, an additional $400 will be required for your guest.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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33 comments Add your comment

Dr. Funk

May 10th, 2012
9:55 am

Wow, guess the Braves will be looking for a new starter now.

Centrist

May 10th, 2012
9:59 am

The partisans who post here claiming Chip Rogers does not represent his constituents’ viewpoint and is a crook will now have the opportunity to prove it if he is voted out by his own party.

But then the opposite may be true – not that partisans would ever admit.

Beach looks like a very qualified and competent contender whose stances on the T-SPLOST and charter schools should be a good litmus tests to see how that northern Senate district wants to be represented. He will certainly get glowing coverage from the AJC – but not sure whether that will help or hurt.

Becky

May 10th, 2012
9:59 am

GRC-note to self-do not take checks from Newt Gingrich.

td

May 10th, 2012
10:01 am

Obama decided money was more important then NC, VA and Indiana. Huge gamble to try to turn this into a base election. You will really see a dirty campaign now in an attempt to disgust the independents so much that they will stay at home.

Centrist

May 10th, 2012
10:12 am

@ td – Although social issues are huge with the media and both extreme political wings because they are divisive, Democrat, Republican moderates and Independents focus more on substantive issues like the economy, jobs, government spending, taxation, debt, deficits, foreign wars, ILLEGAL immigration, and health care legislation. 31 states have voted and now ban gay marriage, and only a small percentage of voters will base their votes for or against Obama/Romney over how they personally feel about it.

findog

May 10th, 2012
10:17 am

td, the president made a stand
if he loses he will be a hero to some
if he wins what will that mean for gay equal rights?

Centrist

May 10th, 2012
10:20 am

I left out probably one of the main reasons many voters choose a candidate – access to the Treasury by maximizing personal government benefits.

findog

May 10th, 2012
10:25 am

Centrist,
I really do not know where you are from
In 2004 a local church in my area had people at every poling location greeting their congregation
They didn’t need to do that for President Bush
They did not do that for McCain
I’ll bet they’ll be there again this year to vote against gays again via Romney

td

May 10th, 2012
10:26 am

Centrist

May 10th, 2012
10:12 am

Yes, independents and moderates may be focusing on issues but issues alone do not win national races. You have to have your base energized to work the phones, go door to door, raise money and be excited about your campaign (moderates are not the ones doing these activities). Moderates and independents are also more likely to to get disgusted and say to heck with both candidates and I will just stay home.

This is the gamble Obama is taking. He knows if this election was about his record and the issues then he will not win (see recent poll that says Romney has 10 point lead among independents). His coming out and supporting gay marriage, keystone pipeline, student loans, dream act and Trayvon Martin is him energizing the base and he campaign is already going negative on Romney.

He is gambling that he can get his base to turn out and at the same time Romney’s base (social conservatives) will not go to the polls in the same rate because Romney will stay on the issues and he can go so negative to get Independents and moderates to just stay home.

findog

May 10th, 2012
10:27 am

Centrist, as compared to minimizing donations to the federal treasury?

td

May 10th, 2012
10:30 am

findog

May 10th, 2012
10:17 am

Actually he was smooth and hedged his bets. If you watch the whole interview he said he was personally for gay marriage but felt it was a state issue to decide who can marry. This gave him room to come out and get word to the religious African Americans that if you do not agree then you can vote against it in your own state.

Michael #1

May 10th, 2012
10:32 am

I really dont care as I love cars. In fact I drive a truck and my wife drives a Cadilac or two.

[...] Republican Brandon Beach of Fulton County announced that he will run against Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) in the Republica…. [...]

Centrist

May 10th, 2012
10:47 am

@ finddog – So are you saying that voters who see their church greeters at the poll change their mind at the polling place for who they were going to vote for based on that single issue? Absurd.

No doubt that the relatively small percentage of taxpayers in the higher tax brackets vote their pocketbooks like the 49% who don’t pay income taxes and get government checks. Not even close to being comparable.

@ td – I understand the get out the vote tactics (both sides), and that social issues might make a small difference. My point is that it is small, and turnout is mostly based on the larger issues that are not susceptible to emotion evoked from phone banks, door knocking, and advertisements. 90% of campaigning is aimed at 5% of the electorate. For those of us in the other 95% – we are fatigued from the constant drumbeat over the peripheral issues.

sheepdawg

May 10th, 2012
10:49 am

i’m a democrat who will contribute to beach in order to rid our state of the corrupt chipper rogers

WOW

May 10th, 2012
11:25 am

@findog:

If I remember correctly there was an ammendment on the ballot about same sex marriage that year? Which caused a lot more church involvement in the issue. You will see less of that this time since most states who are going to pass ammendments have already done it.

yuzeyurbrane

May 10th, 2012
11:48 am

Rogers is an effete nouveau riche hypocrit. A product of a good public education, he sends his kids to private schools and persistently is at the forefront of efforts to destroy public education. This is without even touching upon his personal and public corruption and his consistently late 19th Century opinions on economic issues.

yellowdog.

May 10th, 2012
12:09 pm

hooray for prez; and beach if he can win; rogers needs to go;

double

May 10th, 2012
12:22 pm

Church greeters at the polls are there just to remind you to vote for or against an issue.Just a little slycology.

double

May 10th, 2012
12:24 pm

Not meaning there would be any deception among church members.

Centrist

May 10th, 2012
12:24 pm

So far we have sheepdawg, yuzeyurbrane, and yellowdog who oppose Rogers. Anybody who posts on the AJC for Rogers?

honested

May 10th, 2012
12:24 pm

The rethugs begin to eat their own.

It should make for an interesting primary season.

And for all the hot air on the President publicly stating a position that is not carefully stated to garner favor with religious nuts any longer, it isn’t likely to affect even ONE vote.

double

May 10th, 2012
12:29 pm

LMS and TD no longer #1 agitators.Meebo beats them out.

DannyX

May 10th, 2012
12:32 pm

“Anybody who posts on the AJC for Rogers?”

Not many. The Get Schooled blog was full of furious residents from Cherokee County outraged at the stunt Rogers pulled on their school system.

Over here we still get a kick out of bringing up the Rogers/Graves Roach Motel caper. What a fool Rogers is.

Shine

May 10th, 2012
12:36 pm

I dont agree with gay marriage….civil unions, yes. But I am still voting for Obama in November.

Boot some kooks!! Vote democrat!!

bart

May 10th, 2012
12:37 pm

The legislature would be more effective without Chip Rogers. There is no question that he is anti-public education, so our public school systems would certainly be better off without him too. He is a typical corrupt, in-it-for-myself politician. Rogers obviously does not believe in local controI, which I thought was the GOP mantra. I hope Beach is successful, but Rogers is so entrenched and has so much money behind him, it’ll be tough.

Centrist

May 10th, 2012
12:41 pm

Tea Party sees gains in Senate – The Hill http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/225941-tea-party-sees-gains-in-senate

Besides tea partyer Richard Mourdock of Indiana who defeated Lugar, strong tea party candidates include Rep. Jeff Flake, who is favored to win the Arizona Senate Republican primary; Josh Mandel, the GOP nominee in Ohio; and Ted Cruz, who may be part of a runoff election in Texas.

The leading tea partyers currently in the Senate are the chamber’s Tea Party Caucus founders Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Mike Lee of Utah. DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund has endorsed Flake, Mandel, and Cruz.

william henry talbot walker

May 10th, 2012
12:56 pm

Centrist

May 10th, 2012
10:47 am

“…90% of campaigning is aimed at 5% of the electorate. For those of us in the other 95% – we are fatigued from the constant drumbeat over the peripheral issues.”

All of your post deal with peripheral issues, and that’s by design – just what the guys who crashed the entire world’s economy want you to focus on. While your citing figures on welfare cadillacs, they are robbing you blind. Who are they? The totally unregulated crooks in the financial sector, who have verty quietly inserted their agents into both political parties, and continue to repel any and all efforts to regulate the banks. They are still skimming hundreds of billions of dollars off of investors.

honested

May 10th, 2012
1:02 pm

centrist,

The hopeful reality is that the well of people who turn to folks like jim deminted for advice is shallow.
They can bellow all they want to while their public support withers.
Their hand has been played and provided no additional confidence in the American People.

Big Hat

May 10th, 2012
2:11 pm

Tea Party now, Tea Party tomorraw’, Tea Party farevah !

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 10th, 2012
2:25 pm

Tea Party yesterday, Tea Party shallow, Tea Party bagged.

Vestidos de Noiva

May 10th, 2012
9:10 pm

Hi I’m Abeln Kriegler, a Canadian, originally of Nova Scotia, living life across the pond in London, England with my beardy British beau and a very cranky cat.
Vestidos de Noiva

[...] to Jim Galloway, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle is saying he will stay out of the Republican primary. While Rogers was part of the November 2010 move to strip some legislative powers from Cagle, Beach [...]