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

Indep- voter

September 27th, 2012
12:58 pm

Don’t you love how the New Democrats like to call those that don’t agree with them names…really makes me want to vote for them.

glacialspeed

September 27th, 2012
1:02 pm

Hey Crawford, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, you ignorant redneck.

MiltonMan

September 27th, 2012
1:08 pm

“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.”

Did not know that Roy the Rat was running against any of those you mentioned above – tahnks for the clarification.

Bottom Line: You libs keep nominating losers in this state – they will be sent home. Who are you guys even going to nominate in 2014 for gov??? The loser Barnes yet again??? How about elephant ears Mayor Reed? His support of TSPLOST will result in him losing at the state level.

Blue Dawg

September 27th, 2012
1:09 pm

Crawford and his dimwitted constituents give Dems a bad name anyway. I say don’t let the door hit you in your big fat *** on the way out.

BitterEXdemocrackkk

September 27th, 2012
1:13 pm

Lieberal democrackkks can’t break their 200 year RACISM habit! Great article from the best!

http://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2012/09/26/liberals_cant_break_200year_racism_habit/page/full/

Devil's Advocate

September 27th, 2012
1:16 pm

Do you define your party or does your party define you? Think about it people…

Mary

September 27th, 2012
1:22 pm

Rick Crawford…. why didn’t you switch parties before the primary??? you A$$ Glad to see you lose in the General as a Republican AND a Democrat!! It should be illegal to switch parties after an election. You should have to wait and declare for your re-election. If you switch you should forfeit your seat and let voters decide on what party they want in office..

GB's Hamburgers

September 27th, 2012
1:25 pm

All the good old dome boys were Democrats when that was how one got elected. When that changed, they switched. But, they didn’t change. Crawford is a good, smart, conservative family man. He’s nothing like the former governor’s fair hair boy, Preston Smith who campaigned with a photo of his family on his signs (four children). Quick as he got elected he dumped them for another woman. Vote for the man, people. The labels are totally irrelevant.

joe

September 27th, 2012
1:33 pm

“Once upon a time, the Democratic party was a comfortable place for someone with my beliefs. That day is gone.”–We should be hearing more of this in the future. The Democratic party is turning into socialists, communists, anti-consitutionalists, etc. More and more their beliefs directly conflict with the values that made/make America great.

Michael

September 27th, 2012
1:41 pm

Liberal? I guess Ralston forgets about that whole Dixiecrat thing.

Blue Dawg

September 27th, 2012
1:46 pm

Seriously? Do you even know what a Socialist looks like.
Look folks, it’s fine to be dumb. Nobody faults you for that.
Jesus loves you just the same.
But for heaven’s sakes, please don;t ruin political discourse by sticking your big unwashed nose into it.
You know you don’t know what you’re talking about. We know you don’t know.
You’re not fooling anybody by repeating all the silly buzzwords you hear in the mindless conservative radio/TV fodder.
You’re still the same sucker you were when you fell in love with Sarah Palin four years ago.
Politics is for educated people. I know the guys down at the dome in Atlanta like to dumb it down for you, and they pretend they don’t know much. But they know enough. And they know a lot more than you.
So just go back to shouting the “N” word at the TV and hitting on your nieces, and leave politics to the people who actually can discuss it wothout calling people “Socialist.”
It’s 2012 for crying out loud.

John

September 27th, 2012
1:48 pm

Rick Crawford was elected as a conservative democrat years after Purdue and the other republicans took control. He is also one of the few, if not only, true conservative dem’s left in the dome. He has been endorsed by Right to Life and NRA. Everything he stands for is now criticized by democrats.

John

September 27th, 2012
1:48 pm

Rick Crawford was elected as a conservative democrat years after Purdue and the other republicans took control. He is also one of the few, if not only, true conservative dem’s left in the dome. He has been endorsed by Right to Life and NRA. Everything he stands for is now criticized by democrats.

AD

September 27th, 2012
1:51 pm

…and Georgia leaps ahead into the 1950’s with blinding speed, once again illustrated what an enlightened place this state is…

DJ Sniper

September 27th, 2012
1:53 pm

Joe, it’s obvious that you’ve been hoodwinked and bamboozled by right wing talking points. There’s nobody in the Dem party that’s a socialist or communists, regardless of what fools like Allen West and Michele Bachmann say. Also, if anybody is a threat to the Constitution, it’s today’s GOP.

AD

September 27th, 2012
1:54 pm

I meant to type iIllustating”, not “illustrated”. The typographical perils of multitasking at work…

Nope

September 27th, 2012
2:18 pm

Dope, I will not do research for you concerning the history of marriage. I would like to think you are capable of researching on your own. I will tell you that the beginning of “marriage” as recognized within Christianity had more to do with treating women as “property” rather than equal partners sharing mutual love with their husband. There is a rather lengthy association between oppressive misogyny and Christianity. This tends to persist until this day, much like is seen within the Islamic religion.

I frankly do not give a flying flip as to whether ANY church in this country wants to rcognize same-sex marriage. That is certainly their choice. What I do care about is that marriage inequality is unconstitutional. The SCOTUS has aleady determine that marriage is a civil right. It is a matter of time before gay marriage bans are struck down all across this country, like it or not.

Dope

September 27th, 2012
2:28 pm

I didn’t think you would let facts get in your way, Nope. Seems like you have quite an opinion on others but do not want to box yourself in on your own beliefs. Marriage is a right…..and every state where the question has been put before the electorate the definition of marriage has been between a man and woman (some facts for ya). Keep grinding (no pun intended) on your agenda. Maybe you can revive polygamy while you are pining for rights. You do believe that marriage should not be limited to only two people, correct?

baser13

September 27th, 2012
2:36 pm

I agree because we voted for a democrat not another traitor who runs when things get tough. Another Boehner moment where he welcomes them with open arms,. Thats why when Republicans say Democrats held the house for 2 years I clarify nope not even 1 since we don’t know when they bought the other band wagon republicans

tony austin

September 27th, 2012
2:38 pm

They should just get rid of “Democrat” and “Republican” and just call it what it is, “Liberal” or “Conservative”. That’s basically what it boils down to anymore.

TrailerParkTed

September 27th, 2012
2:40 pm

Seriously it’s Georgia, Georgia is stuck in 1966 and has been since 1966. It’s a state full of Trailer Park Republicans, now there are a few true republicans here but let’s be serious, If you’re not making at least 500k per year you are truly a sheep for the Real Republicans!

Truth Squad

September 27th, 2012
2:42 pm

The truth is that not every white person in this state is a Republican. It is also true that the demographic advantage the Republican Party enjoys in Georgia isn’t going to last past the next 5-10 years.

Sadly, it is also true that some of the white Democrats in this state are bigots. The latest party switcher is a testament to that fact. The state Democratic Party did not do a good job planning for the future.Therefore, they now are playing catch-up and losing folks like Ralston is short-term pain for long-term gain.

I look forward to 2016 when there is no black guy at the top of the ballot and Georgia will return to being a purple state. I think both parties need to stop taking this state for granted. It will be a good thing when they have to fight for Georgia like they fight for Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.

baser13

September 27th, 2012
2:44 pm

Dope we do does Romney? The text of the law has already been changed to parents for a family and people for unions. Just because you and your party are stuck in the 50’s doesn’t mean America let alone the world is. You can’t change sexuality any more than you can change capitalist greed. How did engineering HIV specifically for the gay community work for you?

Look before I leap...

September 27th, 2012
2:46 pm

Bait and switch with a middle finger salute.
Get the Democratic primary nod then tell the folks who got you there to eff off.
The Dems in that district will stay home and Kelley wins in a landslide.

baser13

September 27th, 2012
2:49 pm

T Squad you had my attention till the last paragraph, after that the T stood for Theracisthypocrite

Look before I leap...

September 27th, 2012
2:59 pm

The concept of marriage touted so vocally by the pious right bears little resemblance to what we see in current day western civilization.
In its earliest incarnations, marriage was simply a way of ensuring inheritance rights (land and title) and dynastic succession in the ruling classes. It was a way to demonstrate an heir’s legitimacy to the uneducated and illiterate masses.

Nope

September 27th, 2012
3:00 pm

Dope, what facts are getting in my way? The SCOTUS ruled long ago that marriage is a constitutional right. It does not matter what the majority of people want when it comes to civil rights. I am certain the majority of people in this state still prefer there not be any interracial marriage and would likely vote that way. Too bad for you and others like you that our Constitution serves to protect the minority from the majority.

I am not sure of my own beliefs of which I am afraid of “boxing myself into”. Can you tell me what those are? My agenda? My agenda is that my wife and I get to enjoy the same legal rights and benefits of marriage as my brother and his wife do. That is all….Well, that and to root against the UGA Bulldogs in every game.

AnnoyRedNecksVoteObama

September 27th, 2012
3:00 pm

Things the federal Government has done correctly
1. Saving the world from fascism
2. Implementing the worlds first true representative democracy
3.The first govt to protect the rights of its citizens from the tyranny of corrupt govt(bill of rights)
4. Abolish the slavery that was brought on by a truly free market economy
5. Implementing then improving the first true capitalist economy
6. protecting the world from the central powers, Osama bin laden, other terrorists
7. protecting workers from unsafe work conditions(even reagan praised collective bargaining)
8. Making sure the food we eat is mostly safe because manufacturers will always put your health before profits
9. Best national park and natural resource conservation program in the world
10. Saving the world from small pox, measles, diphtheria, AIDS and communists

Since you dont want anymore of this type of big government, I suggest you move to one of the many nations with less government like Mexico or Afghanistan. You can get some great property deals and I can promise you you wont get any of these services, I mean entitlements, that you loathe so much.

gsueagle

September 27th, 2012
3:03 pm

being a long time republican voter, why can’t lee anderson debate john barrow? untill this year never heard of lee anderson, would like for him to tell me more about himself.

baser13

September 27th, 2012
3:03 pm

Mike in D great post very well said.

Dope

September 27th, 2012
3:07 pm

With about the same results as crack for another community, baser. Might as well feed your beliefs…..you might want to work on sentence structure also….not the easiest to decipher.

baser13

September 27th, 2012
3:10 pm

Vote Obama they(Republicans) do favor big government, overbearing regulations and entitlement too bad citizens don’t benefit from Voter suppresion or corporate welfare.

Concerned Clergy

September 27th, 2012
3:10 pm

Ask us Democrat voting group how we feel about gay marriage.

Truth Squad

September 27th, 2012
3:12 pm

@baser13, you read misread my comment. The comment is consistent, and I think, factual. But hey, you got to use Theracisthypocrite, if incorrectly.

baser13

September 27th, 2012
3:16 pm

baser13 is short for baseroks13 what does your pseudonym stand for, idiocy or heroin?. I’m sorry teacher didn’t know this was an essay. The reason I forego grammar is google my name, I write all my posts on my PS3 Dualshock3 Sans le qwertyboard.

Why why why?

September 27th, 2012
3:18 pm

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.

It is underway. You see it happening in VA, and NC. GA turning purple, then blue is not that far away…..

baser13

September 27th, 2012
3:21 pm

The(You)Racist(I look forward to 2016 when there is no black guy at the top of the ballot)Hypocrite(Sadly, it is also true that some of the white Democrats in this state are bigots.)

CommonSenseIsUseful

September 27th, 2012
3:22 pm

Take a step back and look at the forest. Does anyone think that more people will vote for Obama this year than in 2008? Does anyone think he’ll lose less than 10% of the voters he had in 2008? Common sense is truly useful, folks. MSNBC is going to be quite enjoyable the evening of Nov. 6th “but, but, but our polls said . . .”

http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2012/08/22/analysis-election-factors-points-romney-win-university-colorado-study-says

K G

September 27th, 2012
3:30 pm

happy trails to this loser. he is just tryng to jump on the bandwagon to save his own carcass. little does he know Georgia will be turning blue within 5 year.

K G

September 27th, 2012
3:33 pm

its amazing how the gop likes to brag about being ethical when they elected one of the biggest crooks to become governor of the state. wow, talk about morals.

As I See It...

September 27th, 2012
3:36 pm

Today’s Georgia GOP = The Party of Honey Boo Boo

baser13

September 27th, 2012
3:37 pm

commonsense first your study is one of 13 conducted, second Obama is predicted to win in 8/13, third why wait till Nov 6 to be entertained the Debates are sure to launch Romney’s comedian career.

Earnestly

September 27th, 2012
3:42 pm

I am amused by all the political back and forth. The facts as I see them are: 8 years of republican rule brought us into the greatest recession ever. 12 years of republican rule has kept GA well behind every other state in every category except numbers of loud mouth republicans. If the republicans are so great at everything, why does putting them in charge always result in DISASTER?

Why why why?

September 27th, 2012
3:46 pm

CommonSenseIsUseful

September 27th, 2012
3:22 pm
Take a step back and look at the forest. Does anyone think that more people will vote for Obama this year than in 2008?

The fact that your guy, Romney, is running behind to what many of you claim is the “worst” president ever, guiding the slowest economic recovery since the depression, shows you what America thinks about Republican ideas and philosophies. Most of America has figured it out — they don’t need some out-of-touch millionaire who flip-flops more than a fish out of water, insults our allies, has the same economic and foreign policy advisors as Bush, running America into the ground in a W redux.

If you don’t believe the polls, I am not suprised. You GOOPers don’t really like facts or hard evidence (i.e. evolution, climate change, and science). You are in for an awakening Nov. 6th.

Obama 2012.

ricardus

September 27th, 2012
3:47 pm

Representative Crawford will not be content until he goes where he is supposed to go…to the Constitution Party. The CP is where you never have to vote for the lesser of two evils and where the Party Platform is the United States Constitution !!!
I can always vote my conscience not.

baser13

September 27th, 2012
3:50 pm

concerned clergy Jesus taught us to love all as brothers and sisters, I am a Mexican-American Non-Practicing Catholic who has faith but certain events such as the pope dictate to the nuns or the billions in donations used for legal fees and restitution have led me to stray from the church. No one is free of sin so let he who is cast the first stone, if you can’t condemn the accused anymore than you can yourself you must not sentence. I have great respect for all Religions and voting groups such as yours are important to ensuring democracy and equality, gays still attend church, donate and even help communities hatred does not.

julia

September 27th, 2012
3:54 pm

don’t let the door hit him in the backside on his way out.

Truth Squad

September 27th, 2012
4:00 pm

@baser13, again, you misread the last paragraph incorrectly. Saying that removing the excuse for racist Democrats who currently will not vote for President Obama in no way makes me a hypocrite.

The traditional way Democrats win statewide and federal races is by garnering a certain percentage of white voters and a certain percentage on nowhite voters. In 2008, President Obama underperformed in terms of the white vote. For example, he won North Carolina because he got a higher percentage of the white vote than in Georgia. The same is true in Tennessee. The difference is that one state (North Carolina), had more nonwhite voters and thus he was able to establish a winning coalition. I believe that the reason he underperformed in Georgia is due to Democratic bigots(and also they didn’t campaign here).

Barack Obama will not be on the ticket in 2016. I believe the Democratic bigots will come home then. Simple as that. Nothing at all hypocritical.

Remove your wingnut filter and I think you will agree with me.

baser13

September 27th, 2012
4:02 pm

Earnestly here is what a Republican wrote to me after I posted this
During Reagan’s administration, the unemployment rate declined from 7.5% to 5.4%, with the rate reaching highs of 10.8% in 1982 and 10.4% in 1983, averaging 7.5% over the eight years.[122][123] THAT’S 1 year after he took office that unemployment reached its highest rate ever. Inflation was fixed by S&L Crisis.
His response
“Inflation was fixed by S&L Crisis.”
LOL and you call someone else dense!
Reagan inhereited a terrible mess – high deficits, high unemployment a recession AND double digit inflation.The Inflation was killed off by Reagan and Volker together in 1982 with high interest rates, and that put us into a recession, and it temporarily increased unemployment – but your implication that it was done for no good reason is wrong – it was required because of the inflation Reagan inherited. The strong dollar money policy cut inflation rate by more than half. reagan got the growth going with the Kemp-Roth tax reductions and that tax cut helped create 20 million jobs from 1982 to 1989. As I noted the growth in 1983 and 1984 was a lot stronger than the pathetic ‘recovery’ under Obama, despite the much more difficult inflation challenges that Reagan had.
Actually Obama inherited a worse mess which led me to post
This is the 4th time I have to rewrite due to a WordPress error, pararagraphs and time lost. Fortunately it can be summed up in 4 words. WHAT DID OBAMA INHERIT. Also since you admit they created the recession back then admit Bush did the same now. Republicans got 12 years(1981-1993) Obama only had 4(2009-2013) . Last but not least you can’t compare gasoline or food prices 12 years ago to it’s present cost everything has risen by more than 30% in the last decade. Too much to teach since you lack critical thinking.12 years of deregulation and tax breaks, it’s about time they Pay the same rate.
Comment on Romney’s Playing Field Narrows
I don’t know let’s ask them.. “Why after taking tax cuts and lobbying for deductions that enabled your company to pay no taxes did you not hire”? Job creators respond ” The tax cuts weren’t big enough and what about our investor friends?”. We reply” 29 others did the same and had rates like  
-57% and at least 50 more firms paid fractions of 35% as for the friends 15% is as low as we can go.” To which they react “We will see about that,” they pick up their phones and within seconds you hear Rsquared answer, the CEOs outraged with indignation inform R2 ” Mr. Romney Mr. Ryan Sirs looks like if you want that 1% gains tax you’ll have to run for President don’t worry though we are sitting on vast cash reserves that these liberals want us to spend on hiring, and we feel your are our new employees unfortunately that means we have to cut thousands of more jobs.” after a 2 second silence R2 respond ” NO not employees you want me to get taxed at 35%? put us down as tax exempt, as for the layoffs don’t worry we’ll just blame Obama.”  
Moral of the story they have buckets to throw at Romney’s campaign because to them investing in tax cuts and deregulation would allow them to outsource employment, have no liability for adverse environmental impact, and have a direct lobby line to the White House.
Out of the last 32 years the Bush family has Presided over 20 years, you think it’s just a coincidence everytime a Rich, pampered, plutocrat capitalist gets elected the Middle and Lower class get nailed. Finally I got an admission of guilt from a Republican that for the greater good we need to be drained of wealth and assets, laid off before they cut social programs, and saved by the job creators. Nope America isn’t having it no more.
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/paul-ryan-compares-obama-to-nfl-replacement-refs/

Darwin

September 27th, 2012
4:02 pm

I guess once the Republicans eliminate Medicare and Social Security and run the economy off a cliff, we’ll need to find another FDR to save us. And then the Democrats will start looking good again. That’s how it all happened in the first place.