The Internet tubes in Georgia are buzzing this morning with a claim by Nolen Cox, chairman of the Lowndes County GOP, that Gov. Nathan Deal is collecting names of those in support of, and opposing, the transportation sales tax up for a vote on July 31.
Cox cites this communique from Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson to members of that fair city’s elected leaders:
Mayor and Council:
Governor Deal has requested a list of all elected officials who support T-SPLOST. He is willing to make a commitment to campaign for the reelection of any local elected official who will publicly support T-SPLOST. How should I respond?
If each of you could respond to me I would appreciate it and I will merely pass it along. I want to be sure I say this was presented in no way as a threat or a negative, just as a commitment to help and support those who support T-SPLOST…
Somebody’s building a naughty-or-nice list. But it’s not Deal. Via spokeswoman Cindy Miller, a group affiliated with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce just claimed responsibility:
The Connect Georgia Campaign has had no communication with the Governor’s office regarding an accounting of the support by local elected officials for the upcoming TSPLOST vote on July 31.
As a matter of advocacy, our campaign is keeping track of advocates across the state, including elected officials, business leaders and community leaders. This is standard practice for an advocacy campaign.
If you think about it, and I’m sure you will, this makes much more sense. Threats of reprisal aren’t likely from Deal, given that as soon as the T-SPLOST campaign ends, a campaign to re-establish state authority to create charter schools begins.
On the other hand, Georgia’s business community is far more invested in the transportation sales tax than the governor, who always takes care to note that the vote was in place before he came into office.
Moreover, list-building implies that there is campaign cash to award and withhold. And that would be right up the alley of the Georgia Chamber, or its subsidiaries.
By the way, if any of you elected officials out there have an original copy of the Connect Georgia communication on this topic, we’d be happy to take a look at it.
Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News continues to pound away at Wright McLeod, the FreedomWorks favorite in the GOP contest for the 12th District congressional race:
Consider Brittany Best, an executive assistant with Mullins Management in Evans.
Official records show Best, 24, has only voted once and never donated to a federal or state-level campaign in Georgia. Until this year, that is.
Her boss, Joe Mullins, is big backer of Republican Wright McLeod, an Augusta attorney seeking to oust Democratic U.S. Rep. John Barrow.
Last Nov. 10, the 12th Congressional District hopeful’s campaign finance disclosure shows, Mullins gave $2,500 — the most the law allows. Joann Mullins, for whom McLeod’s campaign listed the same address as Joe, also gave $2,500….
On the same day, so did Heather Fehr, also an executive assistant to Mullins. Like Best, Fehr had never before donated to a federal campaign.
At the annual conference of his Faith and Freedom Coalition this weekend, GOP political strategist Ralph Reed offered followers his recipe for resurgence. From Buzzfeed:
“Number one, we’re going to build a database of 18.3 million social and fiscal conservative households in which reside 27.1 million voters,” Reed told members at the organization’s conference and strategy briefing. “We’re gonna contact each and every one of those voters 7-12 times by mail, by phone, by email, by text message, and in the case of 2 million of those households in the key battleground states, one of our volunteers — one of you probably — is gonna knock on their door and make sure they vote. And we are gonna make a specific push for early voting …Our goal is for 40 percent of those 27 million voters to cast their ballot before the polls open on Election Day.”
Reed added that the organization has already amassed significant information on many of its target voters, including tens of millions of cell phone numbers.
“We now have the cell phone numbers of 44 million conservative and Republican voters — 44 million — 13 million of those cell phone numbers are the cell phone numbers of evangelicals,” he said.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider