Archive for the ‘Max Wood’ Category

Sam Olens breaks through an ancient Georgia barrier

Republican candidate for Georgia attorney general Sam Olens speaks during an election-night party Tuesday, Nov. 2 2010, in Atlanta. AP/John Amis

Republican candidate for Georgia attorney general Sam Olens speaks during an election-night party Tuesday, Nov. 2 2010, in Atlanta. AP/John Amis

With only the smallest notation of the fact, Republican Sam Olens broke through one of the oldest barriers in Georgia politics last week.

The man who will be our next attorney general is also the first Jewish candidate to win a statewide, partisan race in Georgia.

Olens did it the hard way, some — not him — would say, as a member of a party whose Christian conservative base hasn’t always been tolerant of religious nonconformity.

The former chairman of the Cobb County Commission would just as soon see his accomplishment pass unnoticed. And in an interview at the state Capitol, before a meeting with Democrat Thurbert Baker, whom he will replace in January, Olens declared that geography worried him more than his faith during the campaign.

“There were four things against me,” Olens said. Yes, he was Jewish. But he was also a …

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Your morning jolt: Georgia’s GOP delegation fractures over Iraq, Afghanistan funding

The Republican portion of Georgia’s congressional delegation on Tuesday showed a significant fracture when it comes to funding the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From the New York Times:

The House of Representatives agreed on Tuesday to provide $59 billion to continue financing America’s two wars, but the vote showed deepening divisions and anxiety among Democrats over the course of the nearly nine-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.

The 308-to-114 vote, with strong Republican support, came after the leak of an archive of classified battlefield reports from Afghanistan that fueled new debate over the course of the war and whether President Obama’s counterinsurgency strategy could work.

Voting for the measure were Georgia Democrats John Barrow of Savannah, Sanford Bishop of Albany, Jim Marshall of Macon, and David Scott of Atlanta; Republicans Tom Graves of Ranger, Jack Kingston of Savannah, Tom Price of Roswell, and Lynn Westmoreland of Sharpsburg.

Voting against the …

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Endorsement fever: Roy Barnes tightens his grip, and Sam Olens shows GOP depth

Watching the Roy Barnes campaign roll out his African-American support in the Democratic contest for governor is something like watching a python put the squeeze on its chosen victim.

It’s done quietly, respectfully, and with a minimum of fuss. But the progress is relentless, coil by coil, day by day.

This morning at the state Capitol, Burrell Ellis, CEO of DeKalb County – home to Attorney General Thurbert Baker – endorsed Barnes. As did Richard Oden, chairman of the Rockdale County Commission, and Eldrin Bell, chairman of the Clayton County Commission.

Also on a long list of Barnes supporters was state Rep. Calvin Smyre of Columbus, who as chairman of the House Democratic caucus has worked closely with one of Barnes’ rivals, House Minority Leader DuBose Porter. That had to hurt.

In the Republican race for attorney general, Sam Olens – the former chairman of the Cobb County Commission – announced endorsements from two of the most plugged-in Republicans in Georgia.

See …

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Your morning jolt: Rolling in the mud with candidates for attorney general

You didn’t need a poll on Sunday night to see the terrain in both the Republican and Democratic debates for attorney general. You just had to watch.

Both contests received 30-minute airings on GPTV, courtesy of the Atlanta Press Club.

In the three-man Republican contest, the question is whether the late entry of state Sen. Preston Smith of Rome will push the race into a runoff.

By way of attacking him, both Smith and former federal prosecutor Max Wood of Macon conceded front-runner status to Sam Olens, the former Cobb County commission chairman.

Smith immediately showed off his endorsements by the National Rifle Association and Georgia Right to Life, asking Olens:

“Why aren’t you endorsed by those organizations?”

Said Olens:

“You were a legislator and that gave you an advantage in regard to getting their endorsements. But I candidly think there’s little if any difference on those issues, because frankly we agree on them.”

But Smith trumped Olens with a …

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The religious subtext in a Republican fight over prayer

We have a fight over prayer that’s not just about how and when one should talk to God.

Last week, Sam Olens, one of three Republican candidates for attorney general, put up his first TV ad of the primary. The 30-second spot addressed Olens’ courtroom defense of the opening invocations given at meetings of the Cobb County Commission — which he led as chairman.

One of his primary rivals, former federal prosecutor Max Wood of Macon, took exception.

Wood said that he has held his tongue when Olens has mentioned the topic in front of GOP crowds. “But when he came out with a television commercial touting himself as some big hero in support of prayer, I thought the whole story should be told,” he said.

In a press release, Wood pointed out that, last year, Olens and the Cobb Commission permitted an atheist to give the opening prayer. “As a Christian and as an American, I am insulted that Olens would allow a man without faith to stand up at a public meeting and encourage …

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Your morning jolt: Praying over Sam Olens and Max Wood

We have a fight over prayer that’s not just about how and when one talks to God.

On Wednesday, we told you about the new TV spot from Sam Olens, Republican candidate for attorney general, which touted his defense of an opening invocation given at meetings of the Cobb County Commission – which he chaired:

Former federal prosecutor Max Wood of Macon, one of Olens’ two primary opponents, pronounced himself profoundly “disappointed.”

From Wood’s press release:

Olens brags that he helped set up a regular invocation before Cobb County Commission meetings. He does not tell voters, however, that he allowed an atheist to perform an “invocation.”

“As a Christian and as an American, I am insulted that Olens would allow a man without faith to stand up at a public meeting and encourage others to give up their religion,” Wood said. “As a candidate in this race, I am insulted that Olens would brag about this without telling voters the full story.”

In 2005, Smyrna atheist Ed …

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Your morning jolt: AG candidates don crime-fighting capes

The Democratic race for attorney general has kicked into gear, with both candidates donning their crime-fighting capes in a post-Fourth rush to the July 20 primary.

State Rep. Rob Teilhet was first on Monday with a 30-second TV spot trading on a quote that calls him the state’s “most forward-thinking crime fighter.” He emphasizes a proposal to expand the state’s DNA data base to include all those arrested on felony charges, and promised to established a unit aimed at prosecuting crimes against children.

See it here:

Former Dougherty County district attorney Ken Hodges continues to draw attention to his experience as a prosecutor – and Teilhet’s lack of same. Says his ad, which begins today: “You might want to choose the only Democratic candidate who’s ever prosecuted anyone. It’s a tough job, and it helps if you know how.”

See it here:

The Democratic TV ads could have repercussions on the Republican side with its three candidates – former Cobb County Commission chairman …

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Your morning jolt: Abortion and the Democratic race for governor

DuBose Porter, the Democratic candidate for governor, called Saturday afternoon to discuss his acknowledgement that he considers himself “pro-life” in the abortion debate.

He had signaled as much already. Porter was the only Democratic candidate for governor to attend a forum hosted this winter by the Georgia Christian Alliance.

(By coincidence, while Porter and I were talking, Sadie Fields, leader of the Alliance, was telling supporters that she was retiring her group. But this is another topic.)

At the root of Porter’s call was a weekend piece by the Athens Banner-Herald, noting the collapse of a set of gubernatorial debates by GeorgiaBio and what it said about political attitudes toward embryonic stem cell research in Georgia.

It’s a big issue among the research community at the University of Georgia. But in the course of researching the article, ABH reporter Blake Aued had to ascertain Porter’s related position on abortion. Wrote Aued:

I prefaced a question about embryonic …

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An uprising of young Turks within the Georgia GOP?

One wonders whether we’re watching a young Turks movement building within the Georgia GOP, around an anti-tax/pro-reform platform. A wayward state senator from Rome has just told his GOP caucus that he’s running for statewide office.

My AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin has filed this:

State Sen. Preston Smith (R-Rome) will run for attorney general, taking advantage of a recent surge of publicity over his battle with party elders over a proposed tax increase.

Smith is the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said in a news release Monday that he will file paperwork tomorrow to run for attorney general, joining former Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens and former prosecutor Max Wood in seeking the GOP nomination.

Smith lost his committee chairmanship this month after refusing to back a new tax on hospital profits. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, also a Republican, and other Senate Republican leaders said the GOP caucus took a position to back the bill. HB 307 …

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Your morning jolt: Finances and the race for governor

Eight Republican candidates for governor enter the final four months before the July primary ready to throw nearly $7.3 million at the contest, according to financial disclosure reports filed with the State Ethics Commission.

The GOP candidates with the most cash on hand: state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, with $2.03 million; newcomer Ray Boyd with $2 million; and Eric Johnson with $1.7 million.

While finishing second in a recent statewide poll, former Secretary of State Karen Handel has less ready money for spending ($573,610) than former congressman Nathan Deal ($796,312).

Oxendine, state Sen. Jeff Chapman of Brunswick ($17,655 COH) and state Rep. Austin Scott of Tifton ($87,550 COH) have been barred from fund-raising since the Legislature has been in session.

Moreover, economic uncertainty played havoc with fund-raising for all candidates, and Oxendine Johnson was able to claim $701,100 raised in the last three months – the most of any GOP candidate. But that …

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