Archive for the ‘David Poythress’ Category

The jolt is back: Candidates for governor duck talk about science and jobs

Last month, Georgia Bio invited Democratic and Republican candidates for governor to a pair of forums, where they could express their views on science and economic development before an assembly of the state’s scientists, academics and CEOs of bioresearch companies.

The consortium of research and business interests scheduled two dates at Kennesaw State University: May 20 for Democrats, and May 27 for Republicans.

The stampede of candidates has been less than thunderous.

On the Democratic side, only three have agreed to attend: Attorney General Thurbert Baker, who last week declared biotech to be an essential part of his jobs program; former National Guard commander David Poythress; and Ray City Mayor Carl Camon.

House Democratic Leader DuBose Porter and former Gov. Roy Barnes have yet to commit, even though the KSU event is in Barnes’ backyard.

Response from the GOP side has been even weaker. Only former congressman Nathan Deal has agreed to appear.

Charlie Craig, president of …

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David Poythress aims a first TV ad at south Georgia

David Poythress, the former National Guard commander, intends to become the first Democratic candidate for governor up on television with the ad below, which starts Friday.

Here’s the script:

“People all over Georgia are hurting, and the politicians in Atlanta aren’t listening. They don’t seem to realize that this week’s paycheck won’t cover next week’s bills.

“My plan will help small businesses start hiring again and put folks back to work. And to prove I’m serious about getting results … I won’t accept a paycheck as governor until we get unemployment below 7 percent.

Georgians needs a fighter. As a three-star general, that’s what I do.”

The Poythress campaign is putting the size of the ad buy at “six figures,” and says it will air in a large part of Georgia below I-20: Albany, Augusta, Columbus and Macon.

Says campaign manager Wendy Davis:

We’ve been saying for months that we’re the little campaign that can do big things. We’re up on TV when most people thought we’d …

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Michael Thurmond and the gamble of a cautious man

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State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, left, wipes tears from his eyes following his announcement that he would enter the Democratic race for U.S. Senate. AP Photo/John Amis

Note: Portions of the column first appeared in a post earlier this week.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, considered one of the most cautious men in Georgia politics, on Wednesday took a huge gamble — and jumped into the U.S. Senate race against Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson.

Consider that Thurmond, despite his status as an A-list Democrat, starts with a vacant campaign treasury. Isakson has already squirreled away nearly $4 million.

Also consider that, within the dynamics of a general election, Isakson, 65, may be the strongest and most popular Republican in Georgia.

So the immediate question becomes whether Thurmond, 57, a former state lawmaker from Athens and a history buff, has been hiding a fondness for the roulette wheel. Or a penchant for Texas hold ’em.

The answer is yes — and …

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Your morning jolt: Behind Michael Thurmond’s run for the U.S. Senate

Michael Thurmond, known as one of the most cautious men in Georgia politics, spent the weekend on the phone with the essential stage hands of the state Democratic party, explaining the gamble he’s about to take.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. Bob Andres/AJC

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. Bob Andres/AJC

The three-term state labor commissioner has plans on Wednesday – moved from Tuesday, as first reported — to announce his U.S. Senate candidacy against Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson.

 

Consider that Thurmond is, like Attorney General Thurbert Baker or former Gov. Roy Barnes, an A-list Democrat – often mentioned as a candidate for higher office, but never taking the plunge.

Also consider that Isakson may be the strongest and most popular Republican in Georgia.

So the question becomes whether Thurmond, a former state lawmaker from Athens, has been hiding a passion for the roulette wheel.

The answer is yes – and no.

Thurmond is better than good on the stump, and has a friendly demeanor that goes down well with …

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Democratic candidates for governor back emergency school funding from Washington

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidates, from left to right, David Poythress, Carl Camon, Thurbert Baker, Roy Barnes and Dubose Porter. David Manning/AP

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidates, from left to right, David Poythress, Carl Camon, Thurbert Baker, Roy Barnes and Dubose Porter. David Manning/AP

The Young Democrats of Georgia achieved a relative rarity on Saturday, attracting all five candidates for governor to an afternoon debate at the University of Georgia.

Full attendance wasn’t too much of a surprise, since YDs are the largest cache of free labor available to Democratic campaigns. Yours truly moderated the affair, which made it difficult to take notes.

So we offer up an account from Blake Aued with the Athens Banner Herald:

Democratic candidates for governor called on Washington Saturday to bail out cash-strapped schools in Georgia.

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, introduced a $23 billion bill Wednesday to save teachers who would otherwise be laid off due to budget cuts. It’s needed in Georgia, five Democrats said during a debate at a Young Democrats convention in Athens.

“It is that desperate,” House Minority …

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Georgia Democrats and the health care dilemma

Clearly, the substance of the argument is different. But for anyone who grew up in the South during the ’50s and ’60s, the rhythm of the debate over health care has become eerily familiar.

We have John Lewis on the receiving end of invective from an angry crowd. A tortured Congress squeezes out a bill after decades of hesitation. A jubilant president signs it.

Back home, the Legislature immediately attempts a declaration of state sovereignty. The governor calls Congress’ action “a travesty,” and presses for a lawsuit to block what he declares to be an unconstitutional expansion of federal power.

And Democrats, just like in the old days, suddenly find themselves worrying about being tied too closely to a president and a ruling Washington regime.

Gov. Sonny Perdue has been eager to help. “It is imperative that current candidates for elected office publicly state their plans to either support the Obama-Pelosi legislation or fight for the people of Georgia,” the Republican …

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Hijinks at the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner

About to head over to the Georgia Democrats’ annual fund-raiser, to listen to national chairman Tim Kaine talk about the implications of Sunday’s health care victory.

But hardcore politicking will be happening there, too. Already we’ve picked up two examples.

On Friday, in an interview with WGAU (1340 AM) in Athens, state Democratic party chairman Jane Kidd was asked whether it was time to winnow the field of gubernatorial candidates. She replied:

“Well, yes. As a matter of fact, I do think – anytime before qualifying, you have to hope that your candidates are looking at everything that’s going on in their races, and for the good of the party, let’s keep the competition down to as few candidates as possible.”

Apparently, former National Guard commander David Poythress thought Kidd was talking about him. He sent out this bit of sarcasm this afternoon:

I hope Kidd can convince Barnes to not destroy the Party for the second time in less than a decade. With so many critical …

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Two candidates for governor had teacher certificates suspended — for misconduct with female students

According to state records, two candidates for governor — one Republican and one Democrat, both trained as high school educators — have had their teaching certificates suspended for misconduct involving female students.

Summaries of both cases, handled by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, are available for public inspection, courtesy of the state’s Open Records Act.

Ray McBerry, a Republican champion of states’ rights and a former history teacher, had his certificate suspended for one week in 2004 following allegations from the Henry County school system that he had “maintained an inappropriate relationship with a student and that he deliberately misrepresented the facts of the case in his first response to the school system’s investigation,” a case summary states.

Republican Ray McBerry

Republican Ray McBerry

McBerry had met the girl at church, where he was a youth minister, and said he was counseling her.

A complaint against McBerry was filed by the girl’s mother in December 2002. …

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A GOP look at how Thurbert Baker can beat Roy Barnes

Mark Rountree of Landmark Communications is a Republican strategist with no skin in the Democratic contest for governor.

But he recently sketched out for his clients a scenario in which Democrat Thurbert Baker beats Roy Barnes in an August runoff:

While Dubose Porter and David Poythress are in the race, it’s difficult to see them getting any major traction unless something big happens.

Their vote comes virtually entirely from voters who would otherwise likely vote Barnes. Porter may attract some southeastern geographic white support, as well as rural support in middle Georgia.

If Porter/Poythress combine to win 12% of the white vote and “other” vote
and 2% of the black vote;

If Baker wins 64% of the black vote (which could be 55% of the total 2010 Democratic primary vote), and 19% of the white and “other” vote (which would be 45% of the total), the combined non-Barnes vote becomes 50.25%, robbing Barnes of an outright win. And none of these possibilities is unrealistic.

In a …

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Your morning jolt: Obama arrives in Georgia with a 41% approval rating

The Savannah Tech auditorium is readied Monday for President Barack Obama's visit Tuesday. Carl Elmore/Savannah Morning News

The Savannah Tech auditorium is readied Monday for President Barack Obama's visit Tuesday. Carl Elmore/Savannah Morning News

Savannah – On his first trip to Georgia as president this morning, Barack Obama hopes to recapture the buzz of his cash-for-clunkers program.

Call it cash-for-leaky-old-houses. Homeowners would get instant rebates of $3,000.

The cost of the economic stimulus package is still being negotiated with Congress, but is expected to come in at $6 billion or so. Focused on energy-saving repairs and upgrades to existing homes, the idea is to create jobs for small contractors and reduce utility costs for homeowners at the same time.

My AJC colleague Bob Keefe has more info on the program here.

Obama will face a skeptical audience. A WSB-TV/InsiderAdvantage poll just out puts the president’s approval rating at 41 percent in Georgia, with 55 percent rating him unfavorably.

Take a look at Mike Luckovich’s cartoon this morning, and tell me whether it has a double …

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