Your morning jolt: Mountain vs. tea party strategies in 9th District race

Within 48 hours of landing in a runoff, the 9th District congressional campaigns of Republicans Doug Collins and Martha Zoller found themselves in agreement over what the next three weeks will look like.

They just don’t agree on what to call it.

On Wednesday, the Collins campaign declared itself in a fight against interlopers – Alaskan ex-governors, celebrities from D.C. and such. By which it meant Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain. All have endorsed Zoller, a former radio talk show host, and were joined today by another GOP presidential candidate, Rick Santorum.

Call Collins approach a North Georgia mountain strategy that could require much input from former U.S. senator and governor Zell Miller, whose grandson Bryan Miller is running the Collins campaign.

Meanwhile, the Zoller campaign on Thursday fully embraced as precursor the tea party victory of Ted Cruz in Texas, who beat Gov. Rick Perry’s choice in the Republican race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate. From an email to supporters:

We are part of a national movement that is changing the political landscape throughout this country. Just this week, following Marco Rubio’s earlier example in Florida, Tea Party Conservative Ted Cruz took down the professional-politician establishment in Texas.

Just like Texans and Floridians, voters in Georgia’s 9th Congressional District are poised to do the same.

Responds Collins strategist Chip Lake: “Martha’s no Ted Cruz”

There’s no word yet on whether Palin will pay a visit to northeast Georgia on Zoller’s behalf, but the Washington Post this morning has an assessment of the former governor’s endorsements:

Each of five candidates she has endorsed this year who have faced primaries or other campaigns have won, including former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz, who Tuesday beat the state’s well-connected lieutenant governor for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate….

For candidates, Palin’s endorsement process is as mysterious as it is desirable. She conducts no formal interviews, distributes no candidate surveys. Often she keeps her nods secret even from their recipients until just before they become public.

She has endorsed just nine Republicans this year — five of them women, according to the Web site of SarahPAC, her political committee. In an interview on Fox News on Wednesday, Palin said that she is making down-ticket races, not the presidential campaign, a focus of her efforts this year. She called Senate and House races “so instrumental in reforming government, shrinking it, allowing the private sector to grow and thrive.”

Chick-fil-A claimed record sales on Wednesday, when
conservative Republicans called on supporters to show their support for a fast-food franchise embroiled in the debate over same-sex marriage. Those critical of CEO Dan Cathy’s comments on the issue have called for a “kiss-in” today.

But check out this map put together by the Wall Street Journal that shows why, at least in the short term, Cathy’s remarks aren’t likely to hurt his company. Currently, CFA outlets are primarily in the South, which has shown the most antipathy toward marriage equality. Expansion into other areas could become a problem, however.

The Transportation Leadership Coalition will have a press conference in the state Capitol this morning to begin its campaign to eliminate penalties faced by transportation regions that failed to pass the TSPLOST on Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, an opponent of the transportation sales tax, explained his take on the issue to Channel 2 Action News:

State Sen. Bill Heath of Bremen on Thursday challenged his runoff rival Bill Carruth of Dallas to a series of three debates in each of the counties covered by the District 31 seat. From a letter he has sent to the Carruth campaign:

”You have made many false and misleading accusations about me. Frankly the voters are confused as some of the accusations are difficult to believe.

Therefore, as a service to the voters, I have reserved venues in each county where we can gather and discuss these very important issues. I know the timing is very short, but with early voting beginning on August 13th, time is of the essence….

If I haven’t heard from you by 5:00 pm on August 3, 2012 I will assume that you do not want to face the voters to explain your accusations.

Heath says he has lined up an AJC reporter to moderate the three gigs. We’re not sure who that is.

The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop’s assertion that 900,000 military veterans are without jobs.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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59 comments Add your comment

Anyone But Chip

August 3rd, 2012
9:19 am

When will Chip be asked why he would vote yes for a law that contained such a penalty for lack of passage?

Why is he getting a pat on the back for suggesting he’ll immediately repeal a law that he helped implement?

What about the penalty “sounded good at the time” to Chip Rogers?

Pete Gibbons

August 3rd, 2012
9:29 am

Have you heard the robocall endorsement of Zoller by Palin? Palin mispronounces Zoller’s in the call. It doesn’t really seem like Palin did her homework before making her endorsement.

[...] this to the list of folks that fit the race as Jim Galloway summed up this morning.  Rick Santorum ain’t from ’round here neither.  But a heck of a lot of people up [...]


August 3rd, 2012
9:39 am

I will say it again. HB 277 of 2010 is unconstitutional and should be thrown out regardless of passage. The extortion clause for accessing motor fuel tax money by a county is absurd especially when it is in perpetuity until passed and we have a Governor proclaiming there will be no do-overs.

Road Scholar

August 3rd, 2012
10:06 am

Rogers is a joke. He votes for a bill, then lobbys against passage, now he says the penalty contained in the bill is not the right thing to do. Sir, voting against the bill at the time of passage was the right thing to do if you did not support its contents ! Duh! Fail to see which way the wind was blowing?

Maybe the penalty is to not fund projects in those counties that soundly voted down the bill. I mean, do they want any improvements based on their vote? Couldn’t trust the politicians or GDOT? They revoted most of the politicians back in (at least for a runoff or against the opposing party), and GDOT’s board is elected by the legislators from their congressional district. The candidate who wins is usually backed by the Governor! I go back to Why did they reelect them?

Maybe the politics should be taken out of GDOT and let professionals do there job! Like it used to be!


August 3rd, 2012
10:08 am

People in the 9th have another option – Jody Cooley!

Mr. KnowitAll

August 3rd, 2012
10:10 am

Jim–your bias is showing again!! Support for Chic-Fil-A came from people that supported the CEO’s right to state he supported the Bible’s interpretation of marriage.


Retract your mis-statement, Jim


August 3rd, 2012
10:15 am

Did Heath get tears on the letter? He does have a propensity for sobbing like a little girl while trying to hang on to government’s attempts to limit liberty.


August 3rd, 2012
10:17 am

It’s time we vote against the establishment-Do we need others telling us how to vote?Look at the ones we have elected,now telling us how to vote.

Vote no Tsplost

August 3rd, 2012
10:21 am

While the TSPLOST fight has been won in 75% of the districts, 113 counties are now left with a 2 year, 20% penalty on any further Federally funded road work.
In essence, the TSPLOST bill, contained a coercive poison pill, I call it extortion. Those counties within the districts that voted, no will have their Federal matching funds share, increased to 30%, for two years for any future federally funded projects, instead of the normal 10%.

I write this asking, is this is not extortion on the state’s part??? Why can’t the 113 NO VOTING counties, not launch a class action lawsuit to over throw this odious arm twisting, and in my opinion, illegal penalty?

Also, while the big fight has been won, now there is moping up to be done. Hopefully, any pro TSPLOST Senators and representatives, standing for reelection, will be defeated, and I hope everyone that will use any new found, anti TSPLOST contacts, to help defeat these elected officials.

OUR state employees have taken notice, and some of their kind have already fallen at the ballot box. We have momentum lets not loose it now. Use it, and lets vote these unscrupulous supporters of this sneaky TAX out of office.

Jack Smith

August 3rd, 2012
10:27 am

Martha Zoller is endorsed by a bunch of losers/DC establishment folks. Not folks we care about in the 9th.

Doug Collins is supported by the voters of the 9th District who frankly don’t like being told by failed politicians that they all need to support their girl Zoller.

Martha claims Tea Party support, but it’s all from a few ladies in Atlanta. The Tea Party voters in the 9th stand with Doug Collins.

Marlboro Man

August 3rd, 2012
10:28 am

$4 for $.50 worth of chicken, knock yourself out, those folks are laughing all the way to the bank.


August 3rd, 2012
10:29 am

People in the 9th are tired of Deal and his puppets. Collins will lose. I would rather see Zoller endorsed by some nationally known people than all of the GA general assembly like Collins is.

Just Wait

August 3rd, 2012
10:30 am

If I lived in the 9th District, Palin’s endorsement would be the kiss of death for any candidate.


August 3rd, 2012
10:36 am

Give Chip a break. He probably didn’t have time to read the bill.


August 3rd, 2012
10:38 am

Personally, I find boycotts encouraged by anyone for any reason to be silly.

However, it would be interesting to poll those in line to support Cathy’s personal beliefs Wednesday regarding the statements of Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council (one of the organazations to which CFA’s Winshape Foundation has donated in recent years)….

The Family Research Council’s Senior Researcher for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg, in his official capacity as a fellow of the FRC,has stated that gay behavior should be outlawed and that “criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior” should be enforced.


August 3rd, 2012
10:41 am

Doug Collins’ and his 9th district supporters are hardly Tea Partiers. Look at his endorsers from the legislature – all but one are T-SPLOST supporters! Each one had the opportunity to stop that tax monstrosity and didn’t. Collins only changed his public stance when he was confronted with the issue within the district!

The only thing consistent that Collins has done was refuse to sign the 2010 Americans for Tax Reform pledge, and he lived up to that by voting for the largest tax increase in Georgia history.

Fitzpatrick was right in the GPB debate about T-SPLOST violating home rule. That didn’t matter to Collins and his pals.

Doug Collins IS T-SPLOST, and T-SPLOST is a big-time loser in the 9th district.


August 3rd, 2012
10:43 am

@ Vote no Tsplost – The 20% penalty is not just for 2 years. Failing passage re-votes cannot take place more often than 24 months. As worded the 20% penalty stays in place until the end of time unless a TSPLOST referendum passes for your county’s “special district”. From HB 277 of 2010:

In the event a special district sales and use tax election is held and the voters in a special district do not approve the levy of the special district transportation sales and use tax, the local governments in such special district shall be required to provide a 30 percent match for any local maintenance and improvement grants by the Department of Transportation for transportation projects and programs for at least 24 months and until such time as a special district sales and use tax is approved.


August 3rd, 2012
10:44 am

BTW, FRC Pres/CEO Tony Perkins has stated that attempting to criminalize homosexual behavior is NOT a goal of the organization……just a point of clarification re: Sprigg’s comments/opinion.


August 3rd, 2012
10:45 am

Hopefully, the mountian folk will refuse to procreate with the tea peeps.

Santorum Endorses Martha Zoller In GA 9

August 3rd, 2012
10:55 am

[...] this to the list of folks that fit the race as Jim Galloway summed up this morning.  Rick Santorum ain’t from ’round here neither.  But a heck of a lot of people up there in [...]


August 3rd, 2012
11:02 am

As a Georgia ninth citizen I see this as a choice:
Radio talk show host, business manager for her husbands
Lawyer/lawmaker who serves as a Chaplin in the Georgia Army National Guard
Do I go with giving a radio personality a chance to do all the things she has claimed the broken federal government has yet to address [while hosting a show from the capital]?
Do I go with the guy who actually to the political risk to rid Georgia of the first republican speaker since reconstruction [Glen Richards]?
She is a nice lady and not nearly as loopy as Beck or Rush. He has served the state and nation without the stupidity of the foil hat crowd. Which will cause the least harm, while exceeding the high moral standards of my last two representatives [very low bar]?
Think I have to go with the minute man over the tea party bear!


August 3rd, 2012
11:03 am


I would concur with Mr. Know it all that you sort of simplified who the Chick-fil-A supporters were. I know an aweful lot of people who supported the Chick-fil-A day who are anything, but conservative Republicans. There were lots of black churches that participated.

Bob Loblaw

August 3rd, 2012
11:08 am


A class action suit against the state? Ha! Soverign Immunity. Are you getting legal advice from Debbie Dooley? You don’t need more doubletalk! You need Bob Loblaw!

That’ll be $400.


August 3rd, 2012
11:15 am


You are correct about the participation of religious black people supporting Mr. Cathy’s free-speech junk-food palooza. This tells me that nearly fifty years later, the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement have not been learned. After all, who cares if gay citizens face discrimination? Right? Equal protection under the law isn’t for everybody, you know. Praise the LAWD; we still got somebody to step on.

East Cobb RINO, Inc. (LLC)

August 3rd, 2012
12:01 pm

“It doesn’t really seem like Palin did her homework before making her endorsement”

If she would not do homework before debates or nationally telecast interviews for the VP race 4 years ago, why would she bother for something as trivial as a Congressional race?


August 3rd, 2012
12:05 pm


August 3rd, 2012
11:15 am

There is no such thing as a “right” to marry. Marriage is defined on a state to state basis based on the mores and values of said state.


August 3rd, 2012
12:06 pm

Go Martha Go !!!! She has my support….

Auntie Christ

August 3rd, 2012
12:16 pm

I’m wondering if the Cathy’s business strategy will now become part of the lesson plans for Wharton Business School MBA candidates. The course can be entitled “How to Quadruple Yearly Sales Through Political Incorrectness,” and can teach these future managers to make statements like :Hitler had some good ideas,” or “Abortions should be safe, legal and available at every 7-11″ There is no downside, just make the most egregious statement imaginable, then sit back and count your money as the libs or cons line up around the block to support you by purchasing your product. It could remake capitalism altogether.


August 3rd, 2012
12:17 pm

The Chikkk Fil-A controversy has provided the world with many laughs; Jon Stewart covered this very well last night on Comedy Colbert already weighed in as well. And here is one too:

It is all fun and games till someone loses an eye.

Hillbilly D

August 3rd, 2012
12:18 pm

What the 9th District really needs is another Phil Landrum.

Look before I leap...

August 3rd, 2012
12:55 pm

“There is no such thing as a “right” to marry. Marriage is defined on a state to state basis based on the mores and values of said state.”

In the not too distant past, in many states you would not have been able to marry your wife.
Substitute “mores and values” with “ignorances and prejudices” and you are much closer to the truth.


August 3rd, 2012
12:58 pm

Look before I leap…

August 3rd, 2012
12:55 pm

“In the not too distant past, in many states you would not have been able to marry your wife.”

You are going to have to give me a history lesson there my friend because I have never seen a law in Georgia that did not all white men to marry Asian women.


August 3rd, 2012
1:14 pm

Read Loving v. Virginia 388 U.S. 1……

“Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

Replace “racial discrimination” with “sexual orientation discrimination” and “person of another race” with “person of the same gender”. What constitutional (secular) reasoning validates the former but not the latter?


August 3rd, 2012
1:22 pm

Georgia’s anti-miscegenation law that was overturned by the SCOTUS’ 1967 decision re: Loving v. Virginia prohibited whites from marrying any/all “non-whites” (as did the laws in SC, TX, VA), which…of course…included Asians. Missouri’s law specified Blacks and Asians.


August 3rd, 2012
1:26 pm

td, if there is no right to marry why did the republicans pass the defense of marriage act? Is it constitutional to pass laws to protect rights that don’t exist?

Look before I leap...

August 3rd, 2012
1:29 pm


Do you have a reading comprehension problem today?
I said “in many states”.

The following states had anti-miscegenation laws on their books that banned caucasians from marrying asians:
and rum roll please….

GA – all non-whites from 1750 until 1967 when this idiotic law was over-turned by SCOTUS.


August 3rd, 2012
1:40 pm

who are all these people anyway. mediocre at best and none of them stands out……what are they saying? they may be “nice” folks somewhere, but game changers and statesmen and women, i should say not………give me a break…..the gold dome should be turned upside down and these power hungry fools shaken loose……..a new start. new ideas, etc. etc. etc. ga legislature is an embarrassment… dont count dont you get it…………….

Rafe Hollister

August 3rd, 2012
1:41 pm

All the losers on here, questioning Palin’s intelligence and Dan Cathey’s humanity and goodwill should hope they are as bright and well intended as those two. Palin is a political King/Queen maker and Cathey is running one of the fastest growing, well run, businesses in America.

The only problem CFA will have growing outside the south, is getting the franchises up and running fast enough to meet the demand. As displayed by the T-Splat vote, common people often have little regard or respect for the opinion of those, who present themselves as the ruling elite.

Flying Tigers

August 3rd, 2012
1:44 pm

The immoralality of the democratic party is what is destroying this once great nation. The Russians once said they would take over this country without firing a shot because we would rot from within. Well the democratic party has completely turned its back on God and this being a christian nation, which by the way is what we were founded on. To hell with the democrats and what they are doing to this once great country, but I quess if people like sheep want to be led to the slaughter so be it. Praise God for the few true christians we have left in this country, that try to live a moral life instead of making excuses as to why we murder children through abortion and accept homosexuality as ok. One clue, it is not ok, but that is ok America, keep letting the sleazy democrats keep your heads buried in the sand…and oh by the way republicans, you are not much better. God please help the tea party so that my children might have some sort of decent future, instead of the disaster the Obuma policy’s will bring.

Look before I leap...

August 3rd, 2012
2:00 pm

Palin as king maker?
Karen Handel and Newt Gingrich might have something to say about that.
Martha Zoller is about to have her butt handed to her.

In the first 19 days of Aug, 2010, Palin was 1-29 in endorsement success.
Her lone victory was Tom Emmer who ran opposed for the GOP governor’s primary.
Emmer lost to Democrat Mark Dayton in the general.

Palin is a poison pill and according to Karl Rove, her endorsement is “not worth snot”.


August 3rd, 2012
2:09 pm

Flying Tigers, you DO realize that the actual Tea Party movement that was so influential in the mid-term elections was able to do so by bringing in many independents/moderates….partly by explicitly NOT getting inolved with social issues, right?


August 3rd, 2012
2:14 pm

Flying Tigers,

I double dog dare you to stand on the front steps of Ebeneezer Baptist Church on Sunday morning and say what you so bravely typed just a few minutes ago behind the protective cloak of cyber anonymity.

What do you say, buddy? Do you have faith in your convictions? Well… do ya?


August 3rd, 2012
2:32 pm

findog – 1:26 pm

You wrote:
“td, if there is no right to marry why did the republicans pass the defense of marriage act? Is it constitutional to pass laws to protect rights that don’t exist?”

Permit another voice on what you just posted. Where in the “Defense of Marriage Act” is any inference made to “Rights” that don’t exist? Enlighten me.

Look before I leap...

August 3rd, 2012
2:32 pm

Flying Tiger seems to want the US to return to the ways of the Christian Bible.
If so, we will need to bring back slavery and polygamy and stop women from working outside the house.
No formal education or land ownership for the women folk either. Women voting? Ahh hell no!

The upside is, by removing 50% of the workforce, that pesky traffic congestion thing goes away.
Of course we also lose 50% of production output in the US and a corresponding decline in GDP.
But might be worth it in order to have the right to execute homosexuals and stone our daughters for being disobedient.

Going Right

August 3rd, 2012
2:37 pm

What a truly asinine and completely insidious post from and equally asinine and brain-dead blogger.
Same vicious vile and venom spewed by one who has nothing better to do than write stupid blatherings.
Yawn, 100-fold.

Going Right

August 3rd, 2012
2:39 pm

Don’t have to reference the blogger as he (or she) knows who it is.


August 3rd, 2012
2:40 pm

There’s no disputing Collins is the ‘insider.’ His ‘consultant’ Chip Lake? Used to be Lynn Westmoreland’s congressional Chief of Staff. That entire campaign is inside-the-beltway hacks.

Georgia United

August 3rd, 2012
3:31 pm

Nathan Deal,

You did not fool us with the 400 fees. We know you blocked 285 today as revenge for tsplost. We know you read this, or at least your people do.

Traffic in Georgia better flow like a dream for two years or we are electing someone who will prosecute you in two years when you get out. Consider this your only warning.

Last Man Standing

August 3rd, 2012
3:49 pm


Still arguing with idiots to amuse yourself? Why waste the time?

Just saw the new photos of the ‘kiss-in’. How totally repulsive is that?