Archive for July, 2012

Your morning jolt: One-third of early voters supported TSPLOST, says poll

Only a third of early metro Atlanta voters supported the transportation sales tax, according to the firm that conducted a general poll for Channel 2 Action News last week.

Rosetta Stone Communications, a GOP-oriented political service firm, last night polled 656 randomly selected early voters in the 10-county TSPLOST district. Support was measured at 32 percent.

As of last Thursday, 123,870 early votes had been cast – we should have updated numbers that include Friday’s ballots by sometime this morning.

Last week, Kevin Ross and Paul Benacke, Strategists for the Untie Atlanta campaign said that, while discouraging, recent polls don’t measure the new voters their campaign has driven to the polls. Wrote the pair:

The campaign sampled 5,991 out of the 33,551 absentee voters and we are winning 57 percent to 43 percent; furthermore, the campaign sampled 5,681 out of the 71,298 early voters and we are winning 53 percent to 47 percent.

The Rosetta Stone findings would appear to …

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Your weekend jolt: Fulton hopeful could be candidate for prosecution

The good news for Clarence Johnson on Saturday was that Secretary of State Brian Kemp overturned a ruling by an administrative law judge and decided that Johnson is, in fact, a bona fide judicial candidate for Fulton County Superior Court.

The bad news? After Tuesday, he may be a candidate for prosecution.

Johnson is running against incumbent Todd Markle.

Johnson’s candidacy had been challenged on the grounds that, when he filed notice of candidacy, he “swore under oath that he was not a defaulter of any federal or state taxes,” according to Kemp. It turns out that this is not so, that Johnson was making monthly payments to the Internal Revenue Service to erase delinquent taxes.

An administrative judge had ruled that the misstatement was enough to remove Johnson from the ballot. But according to Kemp, the letter of the law says that, because the attorney has entered a payment program to address his debt to the public, he remains qualified for the judgeship.

However, Kemp added …

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The unlikely partnership behind TSPLOST opposition

Colleen Kiernan couldn’t remember the exact day the alliance was formed. But it was over lunch, and definitely in the spring, said the director of the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club.

“Right around Earth Day,” Kiernan said, using a marker that probably never occurred to her partner, Debbie Dooley, a founder of the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots.

At table that day, the two women from opposite ends of the political spectrum quickly discovered they had something in common. “Conservatives and Republicans are not the only voters that distrust their elected officials. There is a lot of distrust among Democrats as well,” Dooley said.

If the transportation sales tax in metro Atlanta scrapes through on Tuesday, the partnership between Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and their last-minute efforts, will get much of the credit.

If the measure fails, victors raising their hands will range from Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, a Republican from Woodstock, to John Evans, the …

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The DeKalb County effort to discourage a city of Brookhaven

Max Davis, president of Brookhaven Yes, filed a complaint Friday with the state ethics commission against top administrators for DeKalb County, including CEO Burrell Ellis, alleging that they improperly used county resources to help opponents of the new city.

Incorporation is on the Tuesday ballot. Read the entire complaint here.

Among the evidence cited by Davis is an April e-mail advising top DeKalb officials about what must be done to dampen enthusiasm for the creation of the city, and undercut a report on incorporation by the Carl Vinson Institute of government in Athens. Here’s the final paragraph:

brookhaven

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Democrats urge voters into Doug McKillip’s first GOP race

You don’t often see one political party publicly push voters into another party’s primary. But that’s what’s happening to mark state Rep. Doug McKillip’s first appearance on a GOP ballot.

One Democratic mailer, aimed directly at female voters, compares McKillip to “a smelly diaper.”

Revenge is the reason. The Athens lawmaker, briefly chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, switched parties shortly after his 2010 election, and became the author of HB 954, the strongest anti-abortion measure to pass the Legislature in years.

McKillip is being challenged in the GOP primary by Regina Quick, who says the anti-abortion bill went too far.

The mailer below, paid for by his former fellow House Democrats, below advises Democratic voters to:

1. Hold your breath.

2. Pinch your nose.

3. Pick up a Republican ballot on July 31st.

4. Vote for anyone but Doug McKillip.

Here’s the front:

mckillipfront

And here’s the back:

mckillipback

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or …

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Your morning jolt: Karen Handel to head up GOP recruitment effort

In another sign that she’s not about to disappear from the political scene, former Republican candidate for governor Karen Handel was named Thursday as co-chair of a GOP program to recruit 150 women – and elect at least half – for state-level office across the country.

Leading the venture with Handel will be Kerry Healey, the former lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. They’ve got their work cut out for them. The Huffington Post, noting Handel’s appointment, turned up these numbers:

The Center for Woman American Women and Politics at Rutgers Univerity indicates that Democrats represent the majority of women state legislators in the country. The center’s statistics show that women make up 428 out of 1,971 state senators nationwide, with 265 being Democrats and 151 being Republicans, and one independent. Women hold 1,321 out of 5,411 state House seats nationally, with 791 being Democrats and 524 being Republicans, along with four progressives and two independents. To date, …

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Which has better odds: TSPLOST passage, or an engaged mayor?

Note to DeKalb County NAACP President John Evans:

If you want to throw Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed off-stride, even briefly, don’t accuse him of selling out south DeKalb in the TSPLOST package. Don’t suggest that he’s been colluding behind closed doors with business leaders.

Instead, ask him about his love life. Which happened this morning on Q100’s “The Bert Show.” The question: “Which has a better chance of happening…T-SPLOST passing or being engaged by the end of your first term?” Listen below:

The above photo is by the AJC’s Vino Wong.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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Newt Gingrich endorses Martha Zoller in 9th District race

Two days after receiving a nod from Sarah Palin, 9th District congressional candidate Martha Zoller has picked up another big endorsement – this time from Newt Gingrich. From the press release:

“For years, Martha Zoller has been a clear, clarion voice for the conservative movement here in Georgia and around the United States,” said Gingrich. “In Congress, Martha will lead the force that fundamentally changes ‘business as usual’ in Washington and will work tirelessly to implement conservative solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems.

Zoller explains that Gingrich is a long-time friend who, in the past, often served as a guest on her radio talk show. This was no doubt important to Gingrich, especially when he was trying to make sure that Georgia didn’t stray during his GOP presidential primary bid.

But this must have been a difficult choice for Gingrich. Gov. Nathan Deal has made no public declaration in this race. One daughter has endorsed Zoller; another is raising …

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Report: As lawmaker, Chip Rogers oversaw handicapping, casino mailings

Remember David Michaels, the Emory University student interning for Jim Walls and Atlanta Unfiltered? He’s at it again:

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, while serving as a freshman legislator, regularly oversaw production of promotional mailings that advertised over-the-phone sports handicapping services and an offshore casino, former printers and a onetime associate in the handicapping industry say.

Two Atlanta-area printing companies worked closely with Rogers between 1998 and 2004 to produce the promotional booklets, called Schedules USA, according to the former owner of one printer and a former employee of both businesses. The booklets contained game schedules and extensive advertising for the online Oasis Casino & Sportsbook, based in Curacao, as well as ads for pay-per-call tip lines that offered gambling advice.

Neither Rogers nor his re-election campaign offer a response in the article. Rogers faces a challenge from Brandon Beach of Alpharetta on Tuesday.

- By Jim …

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Your morning jolt: ‘Extreme liberal groups want you to vote no’ on TSPLOST

At least in targeted Republican areas, the Untie Atlanta campaign will rely on the late President Ronald Reagan to do its campaigning through Monday, with this TV ad:

Robocalls and mailers bearing Reagan’s name are arriving at Republican households as well. But the most interesting message that supporters of the transportation sales tax are now pushing toward GOP voters is one that makes hay of the Sierra Club’s opposition. Never mind that tea party thing.

Here’s the robocall that was placed on the Insider family’s voicemail by Citizens for Transportation Mobility:

”On July 31, you have a chance to vote yes on the transportation referendum. Extreme liberal groups want you to vote no. Their plan is to stop people from driving cars by raising gas taxes and putting tolls on our roads. Please vote yes for our fair transportation tax, and to stop more toll roads and higher gas taxes. Vote yes for TSPLOST, the citizens’ transportation plan.”

***
Anti-tax forces don’t have much …

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