Archive for the ‘Ray McBerry’ Category

On adopting a replica of the Arizona law in Georgia

Jekyll Island – Whether the children of illegal immigrants should be allowed into Georgia universities wasn’t a topic at a pair of debates among candidates for governor on Friday.

But whether Georgia should adopt a replica of the Arizona law – to identify and deport illegal immigrants – was a major topic among both Republicans and Democrats.

Georgia Governor

The debates were sponsored by the Georgia Press Association and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

As you might expect, all five candidates in the GOP debate,held first, favored adoption of a similar measure. (Karen Handel was absent.)

The entire answer of state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine:

“Yes.”

Eric Johnson said he’d go a step further, requiring all hospitals and public schools to ascertain the citizenship of the people they serve. The former state senator from Savannah said he would then sue the federal government to get back money spent on illegals.

He would also crack down on businesses that hire illegal aliens. The …

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Georgia Right to Life picks a fight with Karen Handel

Georgia Right to Life issued its endorsements in the Republican race for governor on Thursday – and picked a major fight with former secretary of state Karen Handel, the only woman in the contest.

The anti-abortion group gave five candidates its stamp of approval: state Sen. Jeff Chapman of Brunswick, former congressman Nathan Deal of Gainesville, former state senator Eric Johnson of Savannah, businessman Ray McBerry of McDonough, and state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine.

Republican candidate for governor Karen Handel

Republican candidate for governor Karen Handel

But in its press release this afternoon, GRTL placed most of its emphasis on the unendorsed GOP candidate:

“Ms. Handel proclaims herself pro-life; however, she does not meet the 21st century demands of being pro-life.” says Dan Becker, President of GRTL.

“For instance, Handel believes that a child may be aborted based on its manner of conception. When I asked her directly her thoughts on the value of embryos, she answered that she does not believe that …

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Jeff Chapman: Tea party organizers ’sold out’ to GOP establishment

On Saturday, FreedomWorks hosted a debate of four Republican candidates for governor.

Democrats were invited, but did not attend the Gwinnett County event. Two GOP candidates – Jeff Chapman and Ray McBerry — were excluded. Organizers cited their low, 2 percent showings in a poll earlier that week.

GOP candidate for governor Jeff Chapman of Brunswick. Ben Gray/AJC

GOP candidate for governor Jeff Chapman of Brunswick. Ben Gray/AJC

McBerry was barred for other reasons as well, an Atlanta Tea Party organizer explained – including his refusal to salute the U.S. flag, and a relationship he had with a 16-year-old girl when he was a public school teacher.

The exclusion has angered Chapman, a former state senator from Brunswick who has challenged his party’s close association with monied interests in the state.

Mike Griffin, a Chapman field organizer, said what really stung the campaign was the fact that former state Eric Johnson of Savannah, at 5 percent in the same survey, was permitted onstage. The poll had a 5 percent margin of error – which …

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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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Four GOP candidates to debate in Gwinnett — Jeff Chapman, Ray McBerry left out

FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Patriots will host a pair of debates this evening in the ballroom of the Gwinnett Center on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.

I’ll be moderating the 5:30 p.m. forum featuring the 7th District congressional race – though with seven candidates, “cat-herding” may be the better term. Send ideas for questions if you’ve got them.

A debate among the top four GOP candidates for governor – state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, former congressman Nathan Deal, former secretary of state Karen Handel, and former state Senator Eric Johnson – will follow.

The decision to exclude two candidates, Republicans Jeff Chapman and Ray McBerry, prompted tea party activist Debbie Dooley to send out an explanation this morning that included the following:

“They are polling below 2 percent two months out from the primary. We want to be focused on issues during this debate and not controversy. We feel strongly that two of the top four will go to a runoff and want …

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WSB/IA poll: Oxendine (yawn) still leads GOP field

WSB-TV and InsiderAdvantage released a poll today showing the Republican race for governor largely unchanged over an April survey, except for a stronger performance by former congressman Nathan Deal of Gainesville.

Both John Oxendine and Karen Handel dropped slightly, but not beyond the margin of error. The poll does not show any improvement in the standing of Eric Johnson, the former senator from Savannah, despite several rounds of TV ads.

By the numbers:

John Oxendine: 23%

Nathan Deal: 15%

Karen Handel: 14%

Eric Johnson: 5%

Jeff Chapman: 2%

Ray McBerry: 2%

Otis Putnam: 0%

Undecided/No opinion: 39%

The stats: 423 likely voters contacted by automated phone calls, with a MOE of 5 percent.
The April IA survey:

John Oxendine: 26%

Karen Handel: 18%

Nathan Deal: 9%

Eric Johnson: 5%

Other 11%

No Opinion: 31%

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Karen Handel: No more appearances with Ray McBerry

Republicans in the Sixth District held a gargantuan and elaborate series of candidate forums at Calvary Church off Chamblee Dunwoody Road on Saturday.

Yours truly moderated the gubernatorial forum, attended by all six candidates: John Oxendine, Ray McBerry, Eric Johnson, Karen Handel, Nathan Deal and Jeff Chapman.

There was an awkward moment toward the end. You’ll remember this column from Friday, describing the relationship between McBerry and a Henry County girl that started when she had just finished 10th grade.

She and her parents, on the record, say that the relationship became sexual. He denies touching her – but he quit his teaching job when the charges were lodged, and a judge ordered him to stay away from the young lady for six months.

In his closing remarks, McBerry said this:

“In the last month, I’ve found out why good people rarely get involved in politics anymore. I’ve had more lies said about me in the last month than I’ve had in my entire life of 42 years. …

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Parents, church and judge told future GOP candidate for governor: ‘Leave the girl alone’

Ray McBerry (center) with four other GOP candidates for governor at a 2009 forum. Elissa Eubanks/eeubanks@ajc.com

Ray McBerry (center) with four other GOP candidates for governor at a 2009 forum. Elissa Eubanks/eeubanks@ajc.com

Rachel Gandee was a band nerd in high school.

She didn’t drink. She didn’t smoke. Her grades were solid. The 16-year-old had just finished 10th grade and was, by her mother’s judgment, a good girl.

Then she fell in with Ray McBerry, a married history teacher and member of her small storefront church in McDonough. When their relationship began, McBerry was still four years away from his first Republican run for governor in 2006. He’s trying again this year.

Last month, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission released a summary of its investigation into McBerry, who resigned his position at Patrick Henry High School in Stockbridge in January 2003, shortly after Rachel’s mother filed a complaint.

Eventually, in 2004, the GPSC would suspend his teaching certificate for five days for abuse of a student, lying to administrators and violation of the …

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Your morning jolt: Cherokee tea party leader makes Time list of ‘most influential’

Time magazine today released its annual list of 100 most influential leaders, artists, thinkers, and heroes in the world.

No. 15, under the category of “Leaders,” behind Barack Obama (No. 4) and Sarah Palin (No. 9), is the name of Cherokee County’s own Jenny Beth Martin, tea party organizer extraordinaire:

Every revolution needs icons. The Tea Party movement may have mushroomed because of its reluctance to anoint a leader, but leaders have emerged nonetheless. In February 2009, Jenny Beth Martin was one of about 20 people who took part in the original conference call (convened via Twitter hashtag) in response to Rick Santelli’s now famous rant.

Her commitment to building the burgeoning movement has made her one of its breakout stars. Martin, 39, is a co-founder and the national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, an umbrella organization that claims 1,800 local affiliates with some 15 million members. She serves as co-chair of her hometown Tea Party in Atlanta, and she …

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Parents took out a restraining order against GOP candidate for governor

Ray McBerry may be the only candidate for governor of Georgia, Republican or Democrat, who has had a restraining order taken out against him.

This was done by the parents of a 16-year-old girl with whom he had developed a relationship while a high school history teacher in Henry County.

Jeff Sexton of SWGAPolitics.com has posted a copy of the order, signed by a local magistrate on Jan. 17, 2003, about the time that McBerry resigned his position at Patrick Henry High School in Stockbridge.

On Wednesday, Sexton published an account of the relationship by the young student. Today’s post comes from the young lady’s mother.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

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