Archive for October, 2012

Your daily jolt: Black voters in Georgia casting ballots at higher rate than ‘08

Even without any major statewide candidate contests to encourage turnout, African-American voters in Georgia are on track to cast a larger share of the presidential vote than in 2008, according to the latest figures from the secretary of state’s office.

As of today, 780,545 Georgia voters have cast their ballots for the Nov. 6 election. Of those, 33 percent have been African-American.

In 2008, when drawn to the polls by the prospect of electing the nation’s first black president, African-Americans cast 30 percent of 3.9 million votes in Georgia.

The question is whether this year’s participation statistic will shrink between now and Tuesday week. Even if it drops slightly, it could be taken as a sign that President Barack Obama’s political base remains enthusiastic, and hasn’t been discouraged by the ups and downs of October.

You also have to wonder what heavy black turnout would mean for Georgia’s charter school measure.

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Here’s that “first time” ad from the Barack Obama

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TV ad for charter schools puts a young lady in uniform

Here’s the TV ad that supporters of the November ballot issue on charter schools are riding with, starting today:

Autumn – we don’t have her last name – is wearing an Ivy Prep uniform and is a student there, campaign spokesman Bert Brantley confirmed.

The Ivy Prep connection is important, as my AJC colleague Nancy Badertscher explains today:

But nowhere is the amendment debate being more closely watched than in Gwinnett, where one in 10 Georgia public school students are enrolled and where, arguably, the dispute began a few years ago.

Gwinnett school officials filed a lawsuit in 2010 challenging the constitutionality of the Georgia Charter School Commission, an independent body created by lawmakers in 2008 and given the power to approve charter school applications that local school boards had rejected.

The suit, which cost the district $300,000, followed the commission’s approval of an application from Ivy Preparatory Academy in Norcross that the Gwinnett school board had …

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CNN retracts story on hormonal female voters

From the website of The Atlantic:

In a matter of hours, CNN [on Wednesday] published and removed a story about how hormones influence women voters, one that made claims about how women tend to lean liberal when ovulating because they “feel sexier.”

The story was based on an unpublished scientific study — insert scare quotes as needed — from researchers at the University of Texas, San Antonio that looked at the political tendencies of 275 women at various stages of their menstrual cycle.

Among the more withering critics was Alexandra Petri of the Washington Post:

This is just more ammunition for my elderly great-aunts to shake at me, demanding that I find myself a man before I go to the polls. “We wouldn’t want you to vote while single!” they shout. “What if the election falls on the wrong Tuesday?”

Here’all that’s left on the CNN website:

A post previously published in this space regarding a study about how hormones may influence voting choices has been removed.

After further …

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Your daily jolt: Colin Powell picks Barack Obama – again

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Buckhead Republicans and the open season on white Democrats

In this state, white-tail deer and white Democrats have something in common this fall. It’s open season on both.

For the last decade, one of the most worrisome trends in Georgia civic life has been the re-segregation of political power, as white voters have flocked to the GOP, collapsing the biracial coalition that kept Democrats in power for so long.

The trend is likely to continue on Nov. 6, as several white Democrats attempt re-election in new, post-census districts designed by a GOP-led Legislature to make sure they fail. U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Augusta, now the last white Democrat from the Deep South in Congress, is merely the most prominent.

State Rep. Rick Crawford, D-Cedartown, has promised to switch parties if he survives. Another, state Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta, may escape – in part because of a blunder by his Republican opponent, who last week falsely accused the Democrat of illegal drug use in a TV ad that was quickly deep-sixed.

There are others, but beyond …

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Firearm raffle aimed at voters now opened to all

The owner of a gun store in Cobb County offering voters a chance to win a free firearm has been visited by investigators with Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office, and has agreed to open his raffle to all comers.

The offer is made on a billboard that still can be seen on southbound I-75.

News of the agreement comes from state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, who lodged a complaint with Kemp, alleging that the offer violated a state prohibition of gifts in exchange for votes.

Kemp declared Fort to be “absolutely right” in a letter that can be found here. Further, Kemp enclosed a letter that he has sent to Jay Wallace, owner of Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, documenting the session with investigators. Read it here, but in part:

In our conversation on the matter this morning, you clarified that it was not your intention to restrict the opportunity to enter the drawing only to people who voted, and that anyone who requested to enter the drawing for the free firearm would be allowed …

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An offer from ‘The Donald’ to Obama: $5 mill for college, passport records

Oh, the suspense was just killing us. So what did Donald Trump’s bigger-than-big news about President Barack Obama turn out to be? A promise to deliver $5 million to the charity of Obama’s choice within an hour of the president’s release of his college records and his original passport application.

You know who didn’t need this? Mitt Romney. Already, the GOP presidential campaign has spent the morning fending off Democratic attempts to tie him to statements by Indiana Republican candidate Richard Mourdock, who last night declared that a pregnancy caused by a rapist should be viewed as a protected “gift from God” — ineligible for abortion.

Now Romney must deal with this post-birther nonsense, as partial payment for that Las Vegas endorsement he received from Trump:

The offer from Trump stands until the close of business Oct. 31.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

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Your daily jolt: TV campaign for charter school measure gears up

Supporters of Georgia’s proposed constitutional amendment on charter schools will launch a statewide TV campaign topping $500,000 on Thursday, we’re told.

Most of the cash, about $430,000, will be focused on metro Atlanta. Another $100,000 is aimed at Macon, Albany and Columbus. One assumes that Augusta and Savannah are being skipped because of costs (or lack of air-time) driven by the John Barrow-Lee Anderson congressional race.

We haven’t seen the TV ad(s) being pushed, but we do have an audio clip of a 60-second spot now running on metro Atlanta radio stations with strong African-American audiences:

We ran into state Rep. Edward Lindsey, whose name is uttered at the end of the above ad, at last night’s state Senate debate between Democratic incumbent Doug Stoner and Republican Hunter Hill.

The young girl named “Autumn” in the ad, he assured us, is a real student – and not a script-reading composite.

The above photograph is of Nina Gilbert, founder and executive director …

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Woman who claimed affair with Herman Cain plans a book

Ginger White, the former metro Atlanta resident whose claims of an affair with Herman Cain helped force him from the GOP presidential race, now plans a book. In which she plans to describe the former candidate’s “physical attributes, scars and marks.”

Cain has strongly denied having anything other than a friendship with White. Here’s her just-posted video interview with Lauren Ashburn and Howard Kurtz:

Says White, with a more than slightly pecuniary lilt to her voice:

“Most men, especially in corporate America, or most married men oftentimes, start these extramarital affairs and then they’re like, ‘I’ve got everything I want and need. I’ve got a loving wife at home. I’ve got kids. And I’ve got a nice little hottie on the side, too.’

“My thing was, okay, I’ll take advantage of you before you take advantage of me. Let’s flip the script. I’m not gonna be your nice little hottie…You want to take my time away from my kids, my family, I’m going to make you sort of pay for it just a …

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Nathan Deal convenes peace talks over ‘Augusta’ university

Gov. Nathan Deal has stepped into a hornets nest. And we’re not talking about charter schools. From the Athens Banner-Herald:

The group pushing to keep Augusta in the name of the newly consolidated university has initiated discussions with Board of Regents members looking for a possible compromise, officials said.

Nick Evans, the chairman of the Save the A campaign, said members of the group met last week with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Board of Regents “leadership,” including Chancellor Hank Huckaby and board Chairman Ben Tarbutton III.

At issue is the Board of Regents decision to give the consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Service universities the name of Georgia Regents University.

The name choice has already provoked a trademark infringement lawsuit by Regents University in Virginia. The Banner-Herald article includes this paragraph:

Deal’s spokesman, Brian Robinson, said the governor facilitated the meeting in an effort to find a resolution to the contentious …

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