Money frames a mountain vs. tea party race in the 9th

Since Tuesday’s vote, the tight Republican race for the new 9th congressional district has been a contest to frame the next 15 days of debate.

And the money is quickly following suit.

State Rep. Doug Collins, the frontrunner by 738 votes of 109,778 cast last week, wants to keep the race local. His new “We are the 9th” slogan and condemnations of “celebrity” interlopers such as Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich are aimed at blunting the momentum of his rival, former radio talk show host Martha Zoller.

On Thursday and Friday, the Collins campaign reported nearly $20,000 in new campaign contributions. The largest chunk — $5,000 – comes from former U.S. senator and governor Zell Miller and his wife Shirley. Miller remains the most influential political voice in northeast Georgia.

Another $11,000 comes from Georgia attorneys (Collins is one of their number), including $2,000 from Jim Butler in Columbus.

Zoller will attempt to generate a wave of tea party support, pointing to the victory of tea party favorite Ted Cruz in last week’s U.S. Senate race in Texas.

Zoller reports $11,500 raised since Tuesday’s vote. The largest portion, $5,000, comes from the political action committee of Washington-based Citizens United.

Another $2,500 comes from Ray Boyd, the would-be 2010 Republican candidate for governor. Boyd stepped in to help fund opposition to the transportation sales tax referendum that failed last week, though he has yet to disclose the amount of that contribution.

(My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy notes that Jack Kingston of Savannah is the only Georgia House member who has placed a bet in the race for the 9th. He’s given $1,000 to Zoller.)

On Friday, the Zoller campaign slammed “Gold Dome Doug” for his part in passing the TSPLOST referendum legislation that imposes a penalty on regions that didn’t pass the sales tax. Zoller accused Collins of ducking a tea party debate on Friday:

Collins, who approved the T-SPLOST referendum in the state House, apparently doesn’t want to answer questions about that penalty.

The Collins campaign admitted to a scheduling “snafu” that forced it to cancel, but said the candidate has already agreed to meet Zoller four times before the Aug. 21 runoff.

In an effort to rally social conservatives to his side, look for Collins this week to emphasize his service as an Air Force chaplain with Iraq experience.

Joel McElhannon is a top campaign strategist for Zoller; Chip Lake, the former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, plays the same role on the Collins campaign.

McElhannon and Lake are also on opposite sides of the District 31 state Senate runoff between GOP incumbent Bill Heath of Bremen (McElhannon) and Bill Carruth of Dallas (Lake), and the 12th District congressional runoff between state Rep. Lee Anderson of Grovetown (McElhannon) and Rick Allen of Augusta (Lake).

***
In the 12th District contest, Anderson has reported $6,500 raised since the runoff. Allen has raised $254,500. A $250,000 loan to himself by the construction company owner makes up the largest part.

Allen had previously loaned himself $250,000. Anderson is in the hole to himself for $178,000.

***
Another 12th District tidbit: Former Republican candidate
for governor and state Senate leader Eric Johnson of Savannah on Friday evening Tweeted out this:

”Rick Allen has the best chance to win Georgia’s CD12. He built a construction business and can renovate Congress. Hard hats for Allen!”

Johnson’s old Senate district covers much of the 12th. Here’s the abrupt response from McElhannon, on Anderson’s behalf: “I’m shocked to learn that an architect who wants business from R.W. Allen Construction would support Rick Allen. Shocked. Can’t wait to see whose support Rick Allen buys next.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

49 comments Add your comment

Bill from Atlanta

August 5th, 2012
12:04 pm

Dump Collins, Tea Party rules!! They will save the country from the liberals and rino repubs

oppo

August 5th, 2012
12:16 pm

whats up for doug next? money from roy barnes? his donor list reads like a john edwards democrat trial lawyer rolodex

Observer

August 5th, 2012
12:42 pm

Most of zany Martha’s support coming from outside the district and outside the state. We are the 9th District and we support the consistent conservative – Doug Collins

Hillbilly D

August 5th, 2012
12:56 pm

Like I said the other day, what the 9th District really needs is another Phil Landrum. Neither of these two come close.

mug

August 5th, 2012
1:09 pm

Mountain love is the best kind of love.

[...] Money frames a mountain vs. tea party race in the 9thAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Joel McElhannon is a top campaign strategist for Zoller; Chip Lake, the former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, plays the same role on the Collins campaign. McElhannon and Lake are also on opposite sides of the District 31 state Senate … [...]

Mr. KnowitAll

August 5th, 2012
1:45 pm

We all know Doug Collins is an (ex. Democrat) Nathan Deal flunky.

I seriously hope the people of the 9th don’t fall for the old school insider, Collins, that has been around government for years. It’s time to flush out the good-old-boy way of doing things and bring in someone with Constitutional principles representing the independent, self supporting mindset the mountain people of Georgia.

double

August 5th, 2012
2:07 pm

endorsed by Ralston,Deal,Zig/Zag the dino.I also hope the good mountain people will go against the establishment and vote for a change.

Road Scholar

August 5th, 2012
2:12 pm

Apparently, since most of the money is from rich donors or PACs, the republican residents in their district think that they think running for office is free! Like transportation!

Susan

August 5th, 2012
2:22 pm

Regarding Rep. Collins’ “We Are The 9th” slogan & “condemnation of celebrity interlopers”…apparently he isn’t aware that the actions of Congressional members impacts the entire country.

findog

August 5th, 2012
2:54 pm

Martha! was tieing a yellow ribbon around the tree while Doug was in theater of operations. All you plastic Jesus on the dashboard conservatives need to either back the military candidate or admit you are only for perpetuating the military-industrial complex for share holder stock value.

No Longer Republican

August 5th, 2012
2:56 pm

Zany Zoller got the endorsement from the queen of stupid from Alaska. That is enough to know so I won’t be voting for her. Not thrilled with Collin either, but he is the lesser of two evils.

findog

August 5th, 2012
2:58 pm

Jim,
Slight point of geological order: the fourteenth is really the mountain district the ninth is more precisely a foothills district.

Last Man Standing

August 5th, 2012
4:08 pm

In the words of a friend, “I ain’t got no dog in this fight”, meaning I don’t live in the 9th. I do hear a whole lot of barking here from other people who also don’t live in the 9th.

My only hope is that the TEA Party prevails!

Long live the TEA Party!

Last Man Standing

August 5th, 2012
4:11 pm

Never Was Republican:

“Zany Zoller got the endorsement from the queen of stupid from Alaska”

Sounds as if you have stupid on the brain.

A.M.

August 5th, 2012
4:13 pm

Enter your comments hereCollins claims to be 100 percent pro-gun, but in 2010 during debate on SB308, he voted in sub-commitee for an amendment to make it a crime for licensed individuals to carry a firearm at private schools and institutions, thus denying these places their private property rights. The amendment was proposed by Stacy Abrams, a staunch anti-gun democrat. 100 percent pro-gun? Its not nice to tell fibs, Doug.

Attack Dog

August 5th, 2012
4:14 pm

We have seen damage of having a rubber stamp GOP congress and an obstructionist one, and in both instancesd they have refused to take responsibility or held accountable by Dixiecrats for their actions.

Attack Dog

August 5th, 2012
4:23 pm

Flashback: Some have called Reed a crook, but take a blind eye and clogged ears to the fact that recently three Dixiecrat Gwinnett Commissioners amid corruption allegations.

jd

August 5th, 2012
5:08 pm

A.M. that amendment protected the private property rights of those institutions — they were lobbying for the amendment. If I say no guns on my property, then what I say goes — or else! (Yes, I do own guns)

Last Man Standing

August 5th, 2012
5:16 pm

“We have seen damage of having a rubber stamp GOP congress and an obstructionist one, and in both instancesd they have refused to take responsibility or held accountable by Dixiecrats for their actions.”

If you mean by “obstructionist” that they have attempted to stem the tide of communism pushed by obama and the dummycrats, God bless them for doing so. I would like to die before my country does, but if the aforementioned have their way, I will live to see my country cease to exist in any recognizeable form.

Andy McClure

August 5th, 2012
5:47 pm

@jd- Correction- that amendment was being pushed by SOME private institutions, not all of them. And the fact that it was proposed by Rep. Abrams (who never saw a restriction she didn’t like), should have been a no-brainer. I respect your right to forbid guns in your establishment or on your property. That is your right. But to propose an amendment that applies to all over the concerns of a few is not protecting private property rights, it is infringing upon them and those who wish to be able to decide for themselves. “Constant Conservative” Doug does not seem to see it that way in this regard. I spoke to someone from the Collins campaign about this vote face to face and he assured me Mr. Collins would be in touch with me to discuss my ‘mis-understanding’ (as he put it). That was 2 months ago and I have yet to hear from Mr. Collins. Of course, if I voted against the rights of gun-owners while claiming to be their champion, I’d probably avoid talking to them too.

Wilbur

August 5th, 2012
5:53 pm

Its hard for most of us to imagine more damage than that done by the last overhwelming democrat congress with Obmacare, Stimulus, TARPII and Dodd Frank’s smothering and inneffective regulations. If that overwhelmingly democrat congress is our standard, obstruction is a welcome relief. I don’t think more damage has ever been done to the republic in less time with less regard for the constitution than in the two year run of Democrat control of he house, Senate and White House.

Last Man Standing

August 5th, 2012
6:00 pm

Wilbur:

Well said, and all so very true!

Attack Dog

August 5th, 2012
6:23 pm

1. The Collins-Zoller race is proof positive that America already ceases to exist in any recognizeable form. Proof positive is that the debate is about gun, gays, and god (yes little “g”), instead of America’s dependency on fossil fuel, healthcare, and third world wages. 2. Has the Dixiecrat US house passed a jobs bill or budget with numbers yet?

Andy McClure

August 5th, 2012
6:38 pm

As of 2011, the House had passed 25 jobs bills and all have died at the Senate door step. I’m sorry, who controls the Senate?

Attack Dog

August 5th, 2012
6:44 pm

1. We can do the spell-check police silliness too…”Obmacare?” 2. Collins-Zoller agree with Stimulus I, TARP I, the Iraq (Where is the WMD) War, and an unregulated financial system 3. Every time you hear a Dixiecrat say “Obamacare,” think about Collin’s source for healthcare and Zoller being a female.

BitterEXdemocrackkk

August 5th, 2012
6:46 pm

Sounds like Zoller is clearly the best Constitutional based candidate! Go against whomever the
establishment candidate is until WE the PEOPLE take back our country!

Attack Dog

August 5th, 2012
6:53 pm

1. If Collins or Zoller were in Congress, they would have passed the 15-meanlingless bills that they knew would pass the smell test. 2. All 15, not 25, were associated with maintaining the Bush tax cuts on the “job creators.” Question…if the Bush tax cuts on the job creators is the magic key, and they haven’t been raised…where are the jobs?

Attack Dog

August 5th, 2012
7:07 pm

Dixiecrats control the Senate with the filibuster and the numbers game. Can we agree that Collins and Zoller would have voted against extending the the Senate-passed middle class tax cuts, like all House Dixiecrats did? Imagine if Reid had used the nuclear option threat on any bill!

Attack Dog

August 5th, 2012
7:09 pm

Collins and Zoller would probably agree that the Constitution should be read before every House session. However, reading comprehension is another story.

hiram

August 5th, 2012
7:14 pm

Why are the teapartiers so obsessed with the constitution? It’s obvious that they have never read it, and have no idea what’s in it, and I’m surprised that they can even spell it.

Last Man Standing

August 5th, 2012
7:21 pm

Atlanta Dog:

The most dangerous of people are those who don’t know what they don’t know. I’m afraid you fit nicely into that category. You are far too impressed with your imagined intellect.

Last Man Standing

August 5th, 2012
7:29 pm

obama is “focused like a laser” on the economy and jobs. The GDP was 1.5% last month and the unemployment rate was REPORTED at 8.3%, but anyone with half a brain knows that it is higher. There are less people emplyed today than when obama ascended to the throne even though there are many more people in the work force.

Sleep on, America! Do not accept the reality that is in front o you.

Kris

August 5th, 2012
7:55 pm

@ Attack Dog “Collins and Zoller would probably agree that the Constitution should be read before every House session. However, reading comprehension is another story”.

I agree and maybe a lesion in ethics.

It would be hard to DUMB down the Constitution down to a Tenth grade level for them. (No offense to sophomores).

hiram

August 5th, 2012
10:02 pm

“Michele needs our support for her efforts to expose the Obama Administration’s connections to militant Islam. She is being opposed even by those in the Republican Party and it has been said that they are threatening to take away her position on the National Intelligence Committee.”

http://www.teapartynation.com/profiles/blogs/bachmann-exposing-muslim-brotherhood-connections-in-obama

Now I understand – they’re all insane…

Bernie

August 5th, 2012
11:06 pm

Rwpublicans eating their own….Bon appetit!

honested

August 6th, 2012
7:57 am

What does it matter?
Unless the House flips, one of them will go to Washington and do nothing for two years (see Election 2010 for more information).

[...] Brockway · 0 comments TweetLocal News – TEA Party vs. Mountains voters in the 9th Congressional runoff? And former State Senator Eric Johnson takes sides in the 12th runoff. – Groups calls for repeal of [...]

Tom E. Gunn

August 6th, 2012
8:03 am

How about for once we get someone to run that represents the people? In this race, no one. In the new seventh, no one. We gripe and complian about the candidates, but we never have anyone to choose from. No one “wins” this election .

Just a taxpayer

August 6th, 2012
8:05 am

I’m from the 9th. This race is a disgrace. On one hand we have a liberal in conservative clothing; on the other we have a mouth without a brain. Talking points are only cheap talk. Look at the initiatives these two have taken in their lives and represent this, not the failings of the other candidate.

td

August 6th, 2012
8:23 am

Do not get to vote in this district but if I was then I would be voting for Martha. The conservatives need more articulate women and she fits the bill.

td

August 6th, 2012
8:24 am

Tom E. Gunn

August 6th, 2012
8:03 am

“How about for once we get someone to run that represents the people?”

And just who would that be, a Liberal Democrat?

td

August 6th, 2012
8:29 am

honested

August 6th, 2012
7:57 am

“What does it matter?
Unless the House flips,”

The house is not going to flip and the Senate is going to become Republican.

smart dawg

August 6th, 2012
8:39 am

I dislike the big boys telling me to vote for their crony. Not that I’m a big fan of martha’s; but I will vote for her.
Each of them would likely vote the same way so it really doesn’t matter.

hiram

August 6th, 2012
8:42 am

smart dawg
August 6th, 2012
8:39 am

“Each of them would likely vote the same way so it really doesn’t matter.”

No duh…

Jack Smith

August 6th, 2012
9:05 am

Martha Zoller never once mentioned the Constitution until now when she is gunning for the votes of Fitzpatrick. Martha will say anything to get elected, but you would expect that from someone who’s entire career is all talk. We have enough hot air in Congress and I don’t need a bunch of GOP Presidential wannabes telling me how I should vote. I’m with Doug Collins.

9thWatcher

August 6th, 2012
9:32 am

Hey, Jack Smith … check your facts. Martha mentions the constitution and foundations of our country multiple times in her platform – the MAP for Prosperity. The MAP has been published for months now, while Collins has none.

It’s ok to have preferences in a race, but you don’t get to make up your own facts.

9thWatcher

August 6th, 2012
9:37 am

It will be interesting to put Collins’ reserve chaplain service on the table. Imagine an airman in need of pastoral counseling and he ends up running into Collins. “What church do you have back home, Chaplain?”

“Well, it’s like this … I don’t have a church, son. You see, I’m a lawyer. And a state legislator.”

“Thanks, Chaplain, I’ll find counseling with someone else.”

Over it

August 6th, 2012
9:38 am

Out here in Paulding County we are being over run with old guard mentality. Bill Heath has been an excellent Senator and Bill Carruth is an insider scam. For all those reading in District 31, look at Heath’s record and show your support. Don’t inflict our county with good old boy cronyism!