Your daily jolt: Newly elected state lawmaker sends refunds to contributors

In an email sent last night, reader George Mortensen reported something strange and wonderful: A political candidate has written him a check.

Michael Caldwell of Woodstock is the young Republican – he was 23 as his campaign began — who ousted longtime state Rep. Charlice Byrd in the July primary, and in November defeated Democrat Lillian Burnaman.

As of Oct. 25, Caldwell reported raising $16,967 for the contest, and still had $2,343.

So the successful candidate has been sending his 13.8 percent surplus back to contributors on a pro-rated basis. Mortensen had given $20 to Caldwell this spring. Caldwell has sent him a check for $2.76.

Sigh. If only this kind of conduct would catch on. We’ve got a call into Caldwell, but have not heard back.

***
A rumor was floating around the state on Monday that U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, having survived another GOP attempt to oust him, was being courted by Democrats to run statewide in 2014 – whether against U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss or Gov. Nathan Deal.

In an interview this morning with my AJC colleague Daniel Malloy, Barrow shot both ideas down:

“I have no interest in running against Saxby Chambliss or the governor. I’m sticking with my job. It’s the best job I’ve ever had and it’s the only job I want to have.”

***
One radio personality at AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB has declared himself uninterested in a challenge to U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss. And one hasn’t.

My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy in Washington also squeezed this statement out of Herman Cain, who will soon take over Neal Boortz’ duties:

“My attention will be on exposing the economic pain and suffering to come from a second Obama term, [rather] than on a decision Senator Chambliss made. No, I’m not running!”

But WSB Radio evening-shifter Erick Erickson, the Redstate.com editor and frequent critic of Chambliss — who played a role in the Florida GOP effort to boost Marco Rubio over Charlie Crist, last night said something rather different. From Charlie Harper over at PeachPundit.com:

So, I managed to catch the first hour of Erick Erickson’s show tonight. He led off the show by stating that he has been approached by serious people asking him to consider a primary challenge to Senator Saxby Chambliss. He says he hadn’t really been considering it, but will get with his wife and give it “prayerful consideration.”

I’ve traded a couple of texts with him and would say this isn’t a publicity stunt. Nor has he decided he’s running and is being coy about it. It’s something he needs to think about. So he will.

***
Look for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson to take a larger role in verbalizing the Senate Republican position on the fiscal cliff negotiations this month as the voice of business-oriented conservatives. On Monday, Isakson was on CNBC, attempting to move the debate past Grover Norquist:

Said Isakson:

We’ve got to talk about comprehensive tax reform. We’ve got to talk about spending cuts. We’ve got to talk about debt and deficit reduction. Pulling out an isolated piece like raising rates or taking the mortgage interest deduction, whatever it might be, that doesn’t serve any purpose. You’ve got to look at the entire problem, solve the problem in a macro sense. If you don’t do that, we’re all dead.”

***
Some lessons take longer to learn than others. From Politico.com:

Not a single woman will lead any of the major House committees in the 113th Congress.

After a day of meetings closed to the public, the House Republican Steering Committee announced an all-male slate of committee chairs, including 12 returning lawmakers who will head up some of the most important panels in Washington. The chairs for the House Ethics Committee and House Administration Committee have yet to be chosen, so a woman could end up in one of those slots.

***
Fox5’s Dale Russell has some appetizing video of the $1,100 lunches that the nine-member Fulton County Development Authority has indulged in at its monthly meetings. Spokesman Rusty Paul concedes the spending was “over the top” and has been addressed.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

36 comments Add your comment

[...] (hat tip to Jim Galloway’s Political Insider) [...]

RomeGaGuy

November 28th, 2012
10:28 am

Erick will be as successful with his attempt, if he is stupid enough to follow through with it, as fellow radio hosts Herman Cain and Martha Zoeller.

Ben

November 28th, 2012
10:30 am

I’m proud to be in Representative-Elect Caldwell’s district! This is proof that he doesn’t believe in war chests. I’m with Jim – I hope it catches on.

Leftinthesouth

November 28th, 2012
10:32 am

Eric Erickson is just like Sarah Palin. He quit the Macon City Council because he couldn’t get his way and could make more $$ working for CNN.

Bob Loblaw

November 28th, 2012
10:42 am

I wonder who the “serious people” are that Erick is being allegedly approached by…

Prayerful Consideration

November 28th, 2012
10:43 am

I hope they cleaned their plates.

td

November 28th, 2012
10:44 am

I see John Barrow has some common sense. He knows as a Dem he has no chance of winning in a statewide election.

Danny O

November 28th, 2012
11:11 am

@ td:

I take John Barrow’s word for it that he has no interest in running statewide. But if he did, he would have a fighting chance if he were able to connect with voters across Georgia the same way he has connected with voters in the 12th district. Overall, Georgia is moe blue than the 12th district. Obama did better in Georgia than he did in the 12th District:

Georgia
Obama: 45.4%
Romney: 53.4%

12th District
Obama: 43.6%
Romney: 55.4%

However, Barrow would need to find a way to continue to receive support from Democrats in rural areas and smaller cities while not alienating metro Atlanta Democrats. That’s a tall task, but people have been giving Barrow long odds to win for years and he has consistently won a majority of votes in the 12th.

Shar

November 28th, 2012
11:11 am

I wonder if the Republicans thought to ask the members of the Science and Technology Committee for their views on basic reproductive biology and/or evolution before appointing them?

Jon Lester

November 28th, 2012
11:13 am

Yes, Erick is stupid enough to consider a run, and I think the “serious” people approaching him about it are banking on it. A national audience will enjoy witnessing the long, slow and excruciating public humiliation that awaits him as a candidate, as well as the damage it’ll rightly do to Zaxby in the process.

[...] the AJC Political Insider: In an email sent last night, reader George Mortensen reported something strange and wonderful: A [...]

Money and Mouth | The Penn Ave Post

November 28th, 2012
11:17 am

[...] a publicity stunt (and his friends say otherwise), wingnut blogger and pundit Erick Erickson is mulling a primary challenge to Georgia’s U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who has [...]

Shar

November 28th, 2012
11:18 am

@td: I believe that Barrow would have quite a good chance if someone as far right as Erikson were to defeat Chambliss for the Republican nomination. Barrow has a long record as an effective and accessible legislator and Erikson has an echo chamber.

However, I also believe that the Democratic leadership in the House will try to persuade Barrow not to run. As the lone white Southern Democrat, he is very valuable where he is.

Not only has the House leadership shunned women, they have shunned minorities. The committee chairs are universally going to old white men. Is it any wonder that the Republicans lost among both women and minorities?

Miss J

November 28th, 2012
11:50 am

@Shar

I don’t think the shunning of women and minorities will help the Republicans…but let’s list why a state that went for Bill Clinton and had a Democratic Gov for many years eventually went Republican.

1. The repeal of the GA State flag rallied many rural voters in this state and was seen as effort to “strip” GA of their “Southern Pride” by replacing the state flag.
2. Many Conservatives stood by and watched other states adopt civil unions and non traditional marriages and thus came out in droves to vote for a GA constitutional ammendment against gay marriage.
3. The influx of Hispanic illegals and the idea the GA must put a stop to it also mobilized the GA right.

For these reasons GA moved to the Red column and will be there for years —-until the minority population out grows the majority the state of GA will forever be changed (maybe for the better—-).

kreedham

November 28th, 2012
11:59 am

Wonder how the Republican women in congress feel about being left out!

J Throckmorton Malcontent

November 28th, 2012
12:12 pm

Why do most Republican senators look like turtles? Good grief.

jd

November 28th, 2012
12:20 pm

Sarah Palin is a lot easier to look at than Eric.

Kris

November 28th, 2012
12:25 pm

kreedham “Wonder how the Republican women in congress feel about being left out!

Its hard to walk when you shoot yourself in the foot, but shoot your self in both feet….Well we saw what happened in 2012 and as Paul Harvey always said and now the rest of the story to be played out in 2014.

@ J Throckmorton hope this answers your question.. he he

The Republicans are cutting off the nose to spite the face and cutting their own throats.

@ J Throckmorton hope this answers your question

td

November 28th, 2012
12:31 pm

Shar

November 28th, 2012
11:18 am

Oh please with trying to play the minority and woman card. Why did the NAACP, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson not come to the defense of Herman Cain or call for a total recount for Allan West? If they were Democrats then they would have filled the streets with protesters if this would have happened to a minority.

A African American person that is conservative is one of the strongest people in this country because their own people throw them under the bus, call them “Uncle Toms” or traitors to their race if they run for political office.

Rabbit

November 28th, 2012
12:36 pm

So Johnny says, “Pulling out an isolated piece like raising rates or taking the mortgage interest deduction, whatever it might be, that doesn’t serve any purpose.”

Got to call him on that one. The purpose it serves is that Republicans have ‘isolated’ raising rates and refused to allow it to even be a part of the discussion.

Rabbit

November 28th, 2012
12:36 pm

So Johnny says, “Pulling out an isolated piece like raising rates or taking the mortgage interest deduction, whatever it might be, that doesn’t serve any purpose.”

Got to call him on that one. The purpose it serves is that Republicans have ‘isolated’ raising rates and refused to allow it to even be a part of the discussion. Go see, “Lincoln,” Johnny.

td

November 28th, 2012
12:38 pm

Shar and Kris,

Are you now going to give Obama a pass for having 9 out of 10 of his top aids “old white men”? Let the hypocrisy begin.

“As President Obama moves to revamp his senior White House staff in the weeks leading up to Inauguration Day, he may want to consider adding something distinctly lacking from the highest echelons of the West Wing: Diversity.

Incredibly, nearly all the most senior advisors to the nation’s first black president – whose appeal to minorities and women won him reelection – are white males. Democrats made much during the campaign of an alleged GOP “war on women.” But Obama’s own battalions include relatively few of the distaff variety.

Of what are arguably the ten top most important White House advisers, only one – Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett – is a woman. Jarrett is also African American.

But the other nine are each white men: Vice President Joe Biden; Senior Advisor David Plouffe; Chief of Staff Jack Lew; National Security Advisor Tom Donilon; Counselor to the President Pete Rouse; National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling; Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer; Acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients; and Press Secretary Jay Carney.”

http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2012/11/28/obamas-senior-white-house-aides-men/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+WhiteHouseDossier+%28White+House+Dossier%29

MiltonMan

November 28th, 2012
12:52 pm

““I have no interest in running against Saxby Chambliss or the governor. I’m sticking with my job. It’s the best job I’ve ever had and it’s the only job I want to have.””

In other word, Barrow has zero chance of beating Saxby. Heck the clown can barely win his district.

RGB

November 28th, 2012
12:53 pm

Liberals love to focus on the color and gender of people (when they are Republicans).

It draws attention away from the fact that their president does not want to revive our sinking economy.

See, it’s not that he doesn’t have a plan–he just simply doesn’t have the desire. Ensuring that we all “enjoy” a lower standard of living and poorer health with be Obama’s legacy. Oh, and he’s an Africanized American too.

Puerile Pedant

November 28th, 2012
1:04 pm

Live in a glass house td?

You also seem to go out of your way to mention that Obama has appointed women to head the State Department, DHS, EPA, etc., and appointed two women to the US Supreme Court.

Keep those eyes shut, your mind closed, but your mouth open. It makes it easy to ignore your drivel.

td

November 28th, 2012
1:07 pm

Puerile Pedant

November 28th, 2012
1:04 pm

Would you like to care to see who had a more diverse cabinet: Obama or Bush?

See the thing is you libs have this false bs going about diversity and Republicans and refuse to look at your own house.

Shar

November 28th, 2012
1:26 pm

@td: Neither party can claim to have representation proportional to demographics. However, the Democrats have far less to prove than do the Republicans. And why, do you suppose, did your source’s list of “most senior advisors” leave out such titles as Speaker of the House, Secretary of State or Attorney General but include Chief of Staff and Communications Director?

At any event, this is yet another attempt to attack the other side while desperately hoping that it will suffice as an effective defense. It doesn’t. The Republicans failed to convince women and minorities to vote for them because those voters did not feel that the party shared their concerns or welcomed their voices. All of your attacking, deflecting or claiming these things to be untrue only prolong the electoral weakness.

You know that the issue of the committee chairs is sublimely stupid and tone deaf. So does everyone else. You would help your party more by working to fix this than by useless and unconvincing attacks.

WAW

November 28th, 2012
1:56 pm

Nov 6, 2012 – answer to all the above questions. The (R)’s need to listen to the American People instead of grandstanding for media cameras. Enough is enough!

Road Scholar

November 28th, 2012
2:17 pm

jd: “Sarah Palin is a lot easier to look at than Eric.”
Only when her mouth is closed….or the sound is turned down!

Drew

November 28th, 2012
2:20 pm

“Would you like to care to see who had a more diverse cabinet: Obama or Bush?”

It’s Obama. Of the 32 cabinet-level officials who have served in the Obama administration (including the President and Vice-President), 16 were white men and 16 were not. Of the 45 cabinet-level official who served in the Bush Administration, 27 were white men and 16 were not.

Red

November 28th, 2012
3:44 pm

Erick was one of the clowns shoving Saxby down everyone’s throats back in 2002. People told him and many like him Saxby was a milquetoast RINO. But he insisted back then Saxby was trustworthy. He’s defended him many years since and suddenly gets this epiphany that someone was right? And now wants to run? What an ego this guy has. It’s ilk like him that the party is full of people like Saxby….good ol’ southern Democrats. And the opportunistic ego really has it in his mind to run? The sad thing is I can believe fools who are cheering this move on. And this reinforces why the GOP is in the state that it is. People were upset with McCain saying never again would a RINO weakling win the nomination but those same people made darn sure Romney got it only to watch him fail in the easiest election ever. Time to kick these clowns out. Entertainers like Erickson do NOT need to be rewarded.

Don Coyote

November 28th, 2012
3:56 pm

Don Balfour could send $10 to every registered voter in his district from his campaign war chest and still have money left over.

NoMoreRawDeal

November 28th, 2012
4:33 pm

@Don Coyote:

Shhh! That’s how he got re-elected this time around…

[...] the AJC Political Insider: In an email sent last night, reader George Mortensen reported something strange and wonderful: A [...]

[...] state representative from my hometown of Woodstock, GA in Cherokee County.  It was reported by AJC Political Reporter Jim Galloway that Michael Caldwell, Representative-Elect for HD 20, returned on a pro-rated basis what was left [...]

[...] John Barrow Shoots Down Idea of Senate Run [...]