Your morning jolt: Before the vote, a Democrat says he’ll turn GOP

No matter what happens on Nov. 6, Democrats will be at least one seat down in the state House.

State Rep. Rick Crawford of Cedartown, one of the few remaining conservative Democrats in the Legislature, says he intends to switch to the GOP – if he survives the general election.

House Speaker David Ralston doesn’t think he will. Crawford faces a tough race in a newly redrawn west Georgia district that has a Democratic performance rating of 27 percent. Crawford’s Republican opponent is Trey Kelley, a 25-year-old manufacturer’s rep.

“I am fully committed to making sure Trey Kelley is elected to the House. He is an outstanding candidate who is working hard and is consistent,” Ralston said this morning. “While I respect Rick Crawford and appreciate his dilemma, the truth is that the [Democratic] Party didn’t just suddenly become liberal. It has been, is, and will continue to be a party that is far to the left of the great majority of Georgians.”

Jim Walls and Atlanta Unfiltered started the ball rolling yesterday:

Crawford, who had been pondering his party affiliation for a while, said Democrats’ endorsement of same-sex marriage pushed him over the edge. “I thought, ‘My time here is done,’” he said.

In a telephone interview this morning, Crawford elaborated — saying that he’d been thinking about making the switch for about two years. But the final straw didn’t land on the camel’s back until August — weeks after the summer primary — when the Democratic National Convention included an endorsement of gay marriage in its platform.

That, Crawford said, was different from President Barack Obama’s endorsement of same-sex unions in May. “That issue for me is kind of like the cherry on a sundae,” the state lawmaker said. “There’s been been a growing philosophical divide me and the Democratic party for a long time. Once upon a time, the Democratic party was a comfortable place for someone with my beliefs. That day is gone.”

Crawford says he understands that Ralston isn’t in a position to call off his general election House race — or render it moot by endorsing him. “I understand their position from a party standpoint. That process is now in motion. It’s an uncomfortable situation,” he said. “I have every indication that if I’m re-elected they will embrace me. They’ve been after me for a while.”

Before he announced his decision, Crawford called House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams to give her the news. She quoted Waylon Jennings.

“Mr. Crawford has been a long time leaving and will be a long time gone,” Abrams said, wishing him well but expressing doubts about the lawmaker’s situation. “That’s a very, very Republican district,” she said. “This young man” – referring to Kelley – “has been very engaged in the Republican party.”

***
We’ll be making calls today to get a head-count on the Georgia Senatorial Republican Trust fund-raiser up in Adairsville – the event that Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said he would skip because of his concerns over the legality of the way the Trust spent $140,000 this summer to defend GOP incumbents in the Senate.

But here’s what Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News had on the topic last night:

***
Earlier this week, Charlie Harper at PeachPundit.com endorsed the proposed constitutional amendment to ramp up the state’s authority to create charter schools. The column prompted this response from tea partyist Debbie Dooley:

I support Charter Schools but not sure I support this amendment because of the way it is set up.

As far as it having bi-partisan support, I would not count on it having broad based Democrat support. I heard rumors that the NAACP was supporting it so I asked people I knew that were involved with the NAACP. I was told that maybe one county chapter was but that was it. I think you are about to see prominent Democrats coming out opposing it. Some local tea party groups are already sending out emails opposing it. I have received emails from other conservative groups opposing it as well.

This referendum, like T-SPLOST will boil down to trust or lack thereof and true local control.

***
For some reason, the Republican campaign of Lee Anderson wants voters in the 12th Congressional District to take a closer look at U.S. Rep. John Barrow’s TV spot that brags on the Demcratic incumbent’s role in slashing government automobile fleets.

The ad involves a long line of nearly identical cars. Ryan Mahoney, spokesman for the Anderson campaign, wants to know where they came from. From the Augusta Chronicle:

Mahoney said it “would be the height of hypocrisy” if Barrow used government resources to make his point.

“It’s time for Barrow to fess up and let us know where he got the cars and how much did it cost the taxpayers to film his commercial? We are all waiting,” Mahoney wrote in an e-mail, adding that Burke County residents in the district were wondering about the fleet of cars they saw going up and down a county road.

The answer from Barrow spokesman Richard Carbo: Enterprise, the car rental agency. From the newspaper:

Carbo provided … a copy of an expense document showing that Friends of John Barrow paid $3,499.33 for 18 rental cars on Aug. 13. He said the logos were sign magnets the campaign used to make the cars appear to be government vehicles.

***
It’s highly likely that the outcome in the 12th District will be impacted by the presidential contest. The latest from Gallup:

September is turning out to be one of Obama’s best months in over a year: he is on track to average roughly 49% job approval this month, up from 45% in August and 41% in September 2011.

At the same time, the president is enjoying increased support from voters in Gallup Daily tracking of presidential election preferences. Registered voters favor Obama over his Republican challenger Mitt Romney by 50% to 44% in Gallup Daily tracking from Sept. 19-25.

***
Pessimism among Republicans is springing up in unlikely places. David Brody is the chief political correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network established by Pat Robertson.
In a piece announcing the distribution of a presidential voter guide by Ralph Reed and his new group, Brody included this note of doubt:

The Faith and Freedom Coalition is locked and loaded, as they get ready to mobilize Teavangelical voters across the country. The question is will the Romney campaign do their part and have a strong ground game too?

***
On the same topic, Kerwin Swint over at Kennesaw State University wonders whether Republicans might be engaging in a self-fulfilling prophesy when it comes to Mitt Romney.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

122 comments Add your comment

September 27, 2012 Headlines | TalkGA

September 27th, 2012
10:32 am

[...] We have yet another party switcher on our hands. [...]

Furiousstyles

September 27th, 2012
10:44 am

Meh…He’s only switching to save his own hide…another Lieberman.

cc

September 27th, 2012
10:45 am

“September is turning out to be one of Obama’s best months in over a year: he is on track to average roughly 49% job approval this month, up from 45% in August and 41% in September 2011.”

Really, Jim? Do you honestly believe those figures? Those polls are so heavily weighted Democrat that it makes them laughable, and certainly not believable!

double

September 27th, 2012
10:45 am

Rep. Crawford tells what to expect before election.Should he be elected, then switch should be a recall.

DJ Sniper

September 27th, 2012
10:53 am

It’s so funny to see conservatives throw a fit when polls have Obama leading, but when those same polls have Romney leading, they swear it’s accurate. Personally, I don’t pay attention to any of these polls, regardless of who is in the lead on any given day. The only poll I’m worried about is the final poll on November 6th.

ld

September 27th, 2012
11:03 am

Neither party really wants the eleventh hour turncoat.

Ralph

September 27th, 2012
11:04 am

Re: Rick Crawford, it’s sad to see the extinction of rural white Democrats, even if only to serve as a loyal opposition keeping the Republicans on their toes. But at this there is literally no future for conservative white Democrats in Georgia politics in this generation.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Eventually the Republicans will become so arrogant that they will screw up badly enough to fuel a resurgence of an opposition party, though it may not be in my lifetime.

ld

September 27th, 2012
11:04 am

Elect him then recall him? YES

JoeP

September 27th, 2012
11:04 am

What an idiot. He’s not a Democrat anyway. He’s a Confederate just like the Republicans rednecks.

yuzeyurbrane

September 27th, 2012
11:12 am

“Politics makes strange bedfellows”. I can’t believe that Debbie Dooley and I have now been in agreement on 2 issues for the same reasons, namely T-Splost and the charter school amendment (C-Spost),

I am not a great Barrow but at least he can put a whole sentence together. Anderson is pathetic and if he is elected it will say more about the voters of the 12th District than the caliber of the candidates. Another Georgia embarrassment.

yuzeyurbrane

September 27th, 2012
11:14 am

cc–keep drinking the kool-aid. I doubt even the election will bring you back from your alternative universe.

Nope

September 27th, 2012
11:27 am

Nice to see another person on record who supports discrimination based on sexual orientation. The GOP wants to keep the USA in good company regarding mariage equality. You know, like with Iran, Iraq, Afganistan, Saudi Arabia, etc.

Mike In Dunwoody

September 27th, 2012
11:29 am

He’s welcome to switch parties. People like him are forever stuck in a time warp, unable to accept changing times and evolving social realities. People aren’t as willing to accept and endorse that kind of repressive discrimination in anymore. This isn’t 1952 Georgia. Live and let live.

A ton of factors will lead to a significant Democratic resurgence in this state within the next 10 years, and changing demographics are pivotal to that happening. McCain didn’t win here in a landslide; neither will Romney. Democrats only need to enlist stronger candidates for office and work harder to get their supporters registered and to the polls. That said, I’m convinced Georgia is not nearly as “red” as the pundits and politicians would like to believe. Time will reveal that to be true.

Billy

September 27th, 2012
11:30 am

Nope, it’s standing up for what’s right. Read the first chapter of Romans if you need spiritual enlightenment on the subject. If you support what the Dims support, you fall into that number…

Rockerbabe

September 27th, 2012
11:44 am

If my district rep or senator pulled a switch-a-roo at the last minute, I won’t vote for him/her. Party loyalty is important to a lot of us; otherwise be an independent. Changing party affiliation at the last minute is disrespectful and deceptive to the voters in the district.

Norris T

September 27th, 2012
11:45 am

Billy. I love how you quote the bible then insult someone. You are the perfect example of the new Christianity in this nation — a religion of hatred wrapped in a bible used to beat those who disagree with you.

Red

September 27th, 2012
11:47 am

Considering our current and previous governors are party switchers, is this a surprise? The Gold Dome is full of RINO’s – hence the greatest problem with bureaucracy. They are big government social conservatives – southern Democrats who came over to save their own skins. Opportunists. There are very few true conservatives in the Legislature. I guess Ralston is saying, we’ve got enough switchers now – probably just not wanting to divvy up the pie among “Republicans” any more.

pb

September 27th, 2012
11:47 am

Mike in Dunwwody,

You are right. GA is not really true “red”, but it has gone Republican last few times in Presidential races.Changing demographics is true, but will take a long time for urban mult-ethnic voters to outnumber suburban and small town ones, who tend to be Republicans .Meanwhile, we have to suck it up, and put up with these guys in charge. But keep the faith !

Mike In Dunwoody

September 27th, 2012
11:47 am

Billy, while it may warm your innards to think you are doing The Lord’s work by judging and oppressing others, I have a very different viewpoint. Instead of you suggesting I read Romans, maybe you need to read the entire Good Book yourself, and then share it with others who think like you because there is nothing at all holy about the Republican Party. It is a gathering of bigots and misguided, self-righteous extremists whose main agenda is promoting and pedaling hate and division.

Its fairly typical of Republicans to assault people with Scripture but don’t even have the compassion to support health care programs for the poor and vulnerable in our society. Republicans “hate” abortion but don’t even give a damn about the people who are already living on this Earth. How ironic.

And that, to me, doesn’t sound very Christian. Thank God people are starting to see the Republican Party and its supporters for the hypocrites they really are.

Anita

September 27th, 2012
11:48 am

Wow, there should be a law against this. Democrats would not have voted for him if he was a Republican. I think I will look into getting this bill into Congress.

MiltonMan

September 27th, 2012
11:53 am

“Billy. I love how you quote the bible then insult someone. You are the perfect example of the new Christianity in this nation — a religion of hatred wrapped in a bible used to beat those who disagree with you.”

Norris is the same type of person who will bash Christians using one side of his mouth & then praise Muslims on the other side of his mouth.

Nope

September 27th, 2012
11:55 am

Billy, I will not read Romans or any other biblical text. I do not believe in fictious sky fairies. That’s the great thing about this country, right? I don’t have to believe the same things as you believe. I also do not think that laws in this country should reflect anyone’s religious beliefs. Period.

Marriage was, in fact, a pagan ritual long before it was highjacked by “Christians”.

Mike In Dunwoody

September 27th, 2012
11:58 am

PB, you’re right-as Democrats, we need to keep the faith. After all, Republicans can’t continue ruining this state forever. But I’m thinking more of us Dems are spending too much time on the bench and sidelines and not getting out on the playing field. Clearly, the state of Georgia reached an all-time Republican low when it elected a non-indicted felon as its governor. Not talking about the former governor, though he could fit that criteria as well, but I’m speaking of good ole dirty Deal-ing Nathan. The man who never heard of ethics.

We Dems have got to do a better job of voting and encouraging others to do so as well. Otherwise, we’ll be stuck with these buffoons for an eternity.

MiltonMan

September 27th, 2012
11:58 am

“Its fairly typical of Republicans to assault people with Scripture but don’t even have the compassion to support health care programs for the poor and vulnerable in our society. Republicans “hate” abortion but don’t even give a damn about the people who are already living on this Earth. How ironic.”

Yes, nothing like loving the government that takes over a whole industry like healthcare when the same government has screwed-up royally comparable programs like Social Security, USPS, Education, etc, etc., but hey keep hating those republicans who do not walk lockstep with you pal.

Corporate Greed

September 27th, 2012
12:00 pm

No doubt the Dude is very confuse where he belongs in America and Georgia..In fact he could be the first dude in USA Georgia to switch to the Georgia Color Freedom Tea Party in Georgia..To you rednecks Republicans, that Georgia is a former State of the former Soviet Union and no, their football team did not play Albamia for the National Title last year

MiltonMan

September 27th, 2012
12:01 pm

“We Dems have got to do a better job of voting and encouraging others to do so as well. Otherwise, we’ll be stuck with these buffoons for an eternity.”

Just ignore the fact that you clowns keep electing uber-losers like Jim Martin, Roy Barnes, Vernon Jones, etc., etc. We are enjoying seeing the once proud democratic party implode in this state. Funny as all get out that you clowns elect Vic Hill as sheriff of the most dysfunctional county in this state.

Norris T

September 27th, 2012
12:01 pm

Really MiltonMan? Prove it. Show me wher ein my comment I praised Islam or ANY religion. I don’t want ANY religion wrapped up in my government. You don’t like the Taliban? Then don’t create the Christian version on these shores.

K-Lover

September 27th, 2012
12:01 pm

You live in a bubble. All you do all day every day is talk to people who think exactly like you. You have no perspective. The GOP only stands for less government when it comes to taxes. When it comes to legislating and regulating morality then by golly the GOP wants and NEEDS the government involved. Ronald Reagan never cow towed to the religous right, in fact he abhored them. This is how he attracted a wide swath of independent voters. Please, please keep your social issues a part of your platform. As long you do that there is no way in what you freaks call Hades the GOP will ever win nationally again.

cc

September 27th, 2012
12:03 pm

“Keep a steely grip on this data point: the polls that show Obama with a four, six, eight or ten point lead have assumed there will be 8%-11% more Democrats voting than Republicans. The CBS/NYT poll weighted Democrats +11 in Virginia, where in 2008 Obama’s exit polls were only Democrats +6. If we give the Democrat voters a more usual 1% lead, most of these polls actually show Romney winning by a landslide.”

“According to John McLaughlin most polls that favor Obama are based on random calls, not even registered voters, let alone likely voters. He accuses the Obama campaign of pressuring pollsters to produce false results, a tactic that almost won Gore the election in 2000:”

“The Democrats want to convince [these anti-Obama voters] falsely that Romney will lose to discourage them from voting. So they lobby the pollsters to weight their surveys to emulate the 2008 Democrat-heavy models. They are lobbying them now to affect early voting….Major pollsters have samples with Republican affiliation in the 20 to 30 percent range, at such low levels not seen since the 1960s in states like Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and which then place Obama ahead. The intended effect is to suppress Republican turnout through media polling bias.”

“The more reliable Gallup Poll, from September 11-17, shows Obama and Romney neck and neck in the swing states. But according to Karl Rove, this is awful news for Obama, because he is running six points behind his 2008 performance in those crucial states. The only explanation is that Obama’s old supporters are not planning on voting for him again. The media can spin Obama’s disastrous economic performance any way they like. The Gallup poll indicates that voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin are not buying it.”

Bobby

September 27th, 2012
12:03 pm

So Crawford wants to join the Klan, aka the GOP. Hate is a family virtue. Just ask WSB Radio and Neal and Donna Boortz. Boortz, Erickson, Cain, all spewing hate and WSB Radio does not permit alternative talk show hosts. We wonder why people are so bigoted in Georgia.

JoeP

September 27th, 2012
12:05 pm

Actually Reagan and the religious right were pretty tight.

Mike In Dunwoody

September 27th, 2012
12:07 pm

“Yes, nothing like loving the government that takes over a whole industry like healthcare when the same government has screwed-up royally comparable programs like Social Security, USPS, Education, etc, etc., but hey keep hating those republicans who do not walk lockstep with you pal”.

Meanwhile, Republicans will continue outsourcing our jobs, while giving corporate welfare to companies like ENRON. Remember them?

Or what about the Iraq war, which costed thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. Remember? The conflict over there that helped land us in this economic mess that Republicans keep trying to blame on President Obama? How ironic that an entire political party has forgotten two words: GEORGE BUSH. Republicans are good at feigning amnesia when its beneficial to them.

At least Democrats have tried to fix the health care problem, while Republicans just stood in the way. Oh, I forgot, Republicans hate government–at least, that is, when they aren’t running it and enriching themselves at the expense of the middle class.

CATL

September 27th, 2012
12:07 pm

Sorry to break it to you cc but this is from Gallup’s website today:

“Registered voters favor Obama over his Republican challenger Mitt Romney by 50% to 44% in Gallup Daily tracking from Sept. 19-25.”

pb

September 27th, 2012
12:17 pm

Give ‘em, hell, Mike !

Mike In Dunwoody

September 27th, 2012
12:20 pm

MiltonMan: “Just ignore the fact that you clowns keep electing uber-losers like Jim Martin, Roy Barnes, Vernon Jones, etc., etc. We are enjoying seeing the once proud democratic party implode in this state. Funny as all get out that you clowns elect Vic Hill as sheriff of the most dysfunctional county in this state.”

I think I’d vote for Roy Barnes and the rest of ‘em over Sarah Palin, Todd Akin, Trent Lott, George Bush (either of the two), and that now-imprisoned Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman who was filling her purse with bribe money.

Mitt Romney purchased his nomination, as is typical in Republican politics. But the GOP never counted on the public realizing the depth of the man’s dishonesty: He’s even decided to play musical chairs with his own tax returns. Further, he’s changed ideologies so many times that I’m not sure if his wife even knows what he believes.

I

September 27th, 2012
12:24 pm

I will make sure I don’t vote for him. I’m happy he is switching sides before the election so people would know.

Voting

September 27th, 2012
12:26 pm

I can’t WAIT to vote this election year. OBAMA 2012!

Committed to freedom

September 27th, 2012
12:26 pm

Both parties are basically the same, so nobody should ever be surprised by these types of announcements. They both hate freedom, they both hate liberty, they both support the police state, the empire, the regulatory apparatus, fiat money, government overreach, welfare (corporate or personal), warfare, etc. It would actually be nice to see some of these guys bailing from their parties and joining a 3rd party. At least then we would know that something fundamental had REALLY changed in their attitude towards government and its supposed role as OUR servant.

Dope

September 27th, 2012
12:27 pm

Hey Nope,

Tell us at what point in history same sex marriage became a ritual? Enlighten us, please.

Q

September 27th, 2012
12:30 pm

Face it GOP. You’ve lost November and you know it now.

So sad. Maybe s*ck less and more peeps would vote for you.

bdawg

September 27th, 2012
12:30 pm

What little respect I HAD for our speaker is gone now. You CAN be a conservative Democrat and not “cow cow” to all party beliefs. Remember, the Republican stigma or label of pro rich and screw the poor. This great state survived quit well prior to 2002 under Democratic control and became the showplace of the south. If we are not careful, we could become as insignificant as “Mississippi” if the “frat boys” in power aren’t careful. They only have committment to themselves and not their constituents.

Dope

September 27th, 2012
12:31 pm

Norris T:

The hyperbole is amusing….Taliban in Afghanistan and Christians in the US……I think everyone thinks there one in the same, right? LMAO

Dope

September 27th, 2012
12:33 pm

Face it, ueer. GA is a red state and you can’t change that.

dixie

September 27th, 2012
12:35 pm

Ralston said this morning. “While I respect Rick Crawford and appreciate his dilemma, the truth is that the [Democratic] Party didn’t just suddenly become liberal. It has been, is, and will continue to be a party that is far to the left of the great majority of Georgians.”
Yes, Democrats believe that the earth is more than 6,000 years old, slavery is bad and women deserve the same rights as men. Those crazy Democrats and their left-wing beliefs. Whatcha gonna do?

Mike In Dunwoody

September 27th, 2012
12:36 pm

“It would actually be nice to see some of these guys bailing from their parties and joining a 3rd party.”

But that won’t happen because politics is big business, bought and paid for by corporations and lobbyists who demand their needs be met and adhered to before anything as insignificant as the public good gets in the way. And let’s face it: The Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of KOCH and FOX News, i.e., Rupert Murdoch et all.

Its an imperfect system that is not likely to be made any better by a third party gaining popularity. Not as long as there is money–lots of it–on the table. However, I do believe that Democrats think America is stronger when there is equal opportunity and that those opportunities for equality are abundant. Republicans? Not so much. But America is stronger when everybody has a seat at the table.

Norris T.

September 27th, 2012
12:37 pm

DOPE: When you start legislating with the bible… yes.

zeke

September 27th, 2012
12:40 pm

I personally do not see how anyone with the general welfare, no not government payments, of the country at heart could vote for or be a democrat!

citizen

September 27th, 2012
12:48 pm

Democrats will make a resurgence in Georgia by simple demographics and economics.
The new Republicans have concentrated their efforts on such narrow minded issues that the majority of voters just don’t agree, (R)edistributing wealth upwards.
Within the past 25 years, productivity gains have gone to the wealthiest 10 percent.
90% of us work and see our efforts concentrated in the stockholders.
Us middle class workers have seen our household income shrink while the 400 wealthiest Americans’s income rose by $200 Billion last year.
Oh, and by the way, if you follow the money,, a lot of the new wealthy got that way through the Department of Defense contracts. 6% of GDP is defense spending, Department of Energy has 1.3% of GDP spending.
Also, most college graduates today are female and females just naturally have a higher ability to reason and be reasonable, that’s why we were chosen to bear and raise children. Well, mostly that is.

Marlboro Man

September 27th, 2012
12:51 pm

In GA party matters zero, the GOP have nothing to brag about.

Mike In Dunwoody

September 27th, 2012
12:54 pm

Dope: “Face it, ueer. GA is a red state and you can’t change that”.

That might explain why a quarter of Georgians are now on food stamps. Two consecutive Republican governors and half the people in the state are still living on dirt roads and in trailer parks.

Georgia Republicans have put the brakes on gay rights and have declared war on illegal immigrants, but can’t seem to stop their leaders from cashing in on those under the table deals. The Georgia GOP mantra: We”ll stack the dough, and let the rest of ‘em eat cake. It gives an all new meaning to the wore-out Republican term “values”, doesn’t it?

Oh, I forgot, Republicans in Georgia overlook those pesky inconsistencies and instead opt to cast the blame on the federal government and Obama. Meanwhile, Mr. “Born Again” Sonny Perdue is sitting pretty with all that cash he lined his pockets with on those land deals while in office. You know, the same kind of deal that the AJC says Nathan Deal’s supporters are lining up for him under our noses?

The only time a Republican politician knows what a recession is is when he/she can’t find a lobbyist with a suitcase full of cash.