Category: Statewide Races

Jason Carter Wants Indy Investigator Into Deal Ethics Complaints

Jason Carter is calling for an independent investigator to review the handling of ethics complaints against Gov. Nathan Deal that were at the center of three lawsuits filed against the state ethics commission.

Carter made the request in a letter Wednesday to Attorney General Sam Olens.

The complaints date back to the 2010 campaign, and Deal was cleared of any major violations by the commission.

Since then four former commission employees have claimed retaliation for work investigating the Deal complaints, and a jury sided with one of them in April. The state has decided to settle with the other three.

Deal’s spokeswoman Jen Talaber says there is no connection to the governor’s office and Carter is “playing politics” with the letter.

NRA Endorses Carter in 1st Congressional District

The National Rifle Association has endorsed Buddy Carter in the race to replace Jack Kingston in the 1st congressional district.

From the NRA letter to Carter’s campaign:

“Based on your leadership on Second Amendment issues in the Georgia State House of Representatives and Senate, you have earned an ‘A’ rating from NRA-PVF in the July 22 Republican primary runoff. An ‘A’ is reserved for a candidate who has supported NRA positions on key votes in elective office.”

Perdue Launches New, Anti-Kingston Website

Republican candidate for United States Senate, David Perdue, announced on Tuesday that his campaign has launched a new, anti-Jack Kingston website. focuses on what Perdue calls “Kingston’s four crowning achievements from over two decades in Congress.”

From the Perdue campaign:

“Congressman Kingston, a long-time appropriator, voted for thousands of wasteful earmarks before they were banned.

“During his 11 congressional campaigns, while Kingston was handing out earmarks with taxpayer money, nearly half of his campaign contributions came from PACs and lobbyists.

“Kingston ran for Congress in 1992 on congressional reform. Among the ideas that he claimed to support, Kingston advocated term limits. Fourteen years and seven terms later, he came up with another reform plan that included energy independence and tax reform. Now, eight years later, the congressman has a ‘new plan that includes energy independence and tax reform.

During his over two decades in Washington, the federal debt has ballooned by $13 trillion from approximately $4 trillion to over $17 trillion. Meanwhile, Kingston has voted numerous times to raise the debt ceiling and even voted to raise his own pay seven times.”

Carter’s Role in Grandson’s Campaign Limited to Fundraising

That’s according to the AP, which ran a lengthy profile on Sunday on Jimmy Carter’s role in Jason Carter’s gubernatorial campaign.

The article says the former president hasn’t made any campaign appearances but has been hosting private fundraisers, which have helped $1.8 million in contributions through March.

The article says Carter faces an uphill battle to unseat Gov. Nathan Deal, and the state GOP has been trying to link Jason Carter to his grandfather’s so-called “liberal” record.


New Poll: Kingston Leading Perdue, Deal and Carter in Dead Heat

The first poll in the U.S. Senate runoff between U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston and David Perdue gives the coastal Georgia congressman an edge.

The AJC is reporting that a Public Policy Polling survey gives Kingston 46 percent over Perdue’s 34 percent.

The poll also shows about 20 percent of voters are undecided in the  July 22 runoff.

Gov. Nathan Deal and state Sen. Jason Carter are neck and neck, at 43 percent each. Libertarian Andrew Hunt is polling at 7 percent.

Massachusetts Guv Getting Involved in Peach State Politics

Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts is adding staff to his political action committee and wading into campaigns in Georgia and Texas as he expands his national political profile.

According to the AP, Patrick says longtime aide and current chief of staff in the governor’s office Brendan Ryan would be joining his Together PAC.

The Democratic governor says the addition of Ryan will allow the PAC to send staff to help consult with candidates in other of the country.

Patrick says the PAC has already been active in Texas governor’s race on the Democratic side and in Georgia’s U.S. Senate contest.

Patrick says that help sometimes involves writing checks to candidates, but more often consists of offering tip on grassroots organizing and helping candidates frame their arguments when talking with voters on key issues.

Georgia U.S. Senate Race Still Leaning GOP, Sabato Says

Both Jack Kingston and David Perdue are the preferred candidates of inside-the-beltway GOP strategists, that according to the latest edition of Sabato’s Crystal Ball.

Managing editor Kyle Kondik writes that while third-place finisher Karel Handel “might also have been a decent general election candidate, she disappointed many Republicans with her lack of fundraising.

“Bringing up the rear among the top candidates were Reps. Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun, who performed so poorly that their combined vote total didn’t even match third-place finisher Handel. Broun and Gingrey have made controversial social issues comments in the past, the kind that cost Republicans elections.”

Sabato’s organization is still leaning the race as GOP, but, “it’s not a given that Kingston or Perdue will escape unscathed from a long and perhaps brutal runoff.”

Deal Gets NRA Seal of Approval

The NRA – arguably the nation’s most influential and effective single-interest organization – has released its scorecard for the upcoming Georgia primaries.

Gov. Nathan Deal received an A+ from the NRA, while his primary opponents, John Barge and David Pennington, received a question mark.

The NRA also released its list of endorsements for state House and state Senate races.


Kingston Announces 39 North Georgia Endorsements

Jack Kingston’s campaign for U.S. Senate today released the names of 39 North Georgia elected officials who have endorsed his candidacy.

The list includes state legislators, sheriffs, county commissioners, and municipal officials.

::Update:: The list of North Georgia endorsers can be found here. A similar list of South Georgia elected officials released on Monday can be found here.

Actor William Macy Stumped for Lyrics in Carter Song

Actor William Macy is hosting an event for Jason Carter, and former president Jimmy Carter might also make an appearance. Here’s what the actor has been saying about the event on Twitter:


Carter Campaign Looking for a Song

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jason Carter is looking for a song for the spring campaign season.

Here’s the message that went out on Thursday via Twitter:

Peach Pundit’s Mike Hassinger says he will buy a drink for the best response from our readers.

We also did some searching for other memorable Georgia-related campaign commercials.

Unfortunately, we were unable to find any audio or video from one of our all-time favorites: Paul Coverdell’s 1992 campaign commercial featuring an elderly lady who sang, a capella, a ditty about how Georgia wanted then-incumbent Wyche Fowler out of the U.S. Senate “because he’s just like Teddy Kennedy.”

But we did find one from his grandfather’s 1976 presidential campaign:

Carter Campaign Manager: ‘We’re in trouble.’

The Jason Carter gubernatorial campaign has sent a message to supporters claiming it doesn’t have enough money to buy TV ads.

Campaign manager Matt McGrath is asking for $5 donations “to help get Jason’s message out.”

Here’s the message: 

“We’re in trouble.

“Gov. Deal just spent more than a million bucks to plaster his new commercial on every TV across the state.

“I’ve been looking over our budget, and we simply can’t afford to go on the air to tell Jason’s story yet. So we need your help.

“Chip in $5 to help us get Jason’s message out.

“Deal has spent years stockpiling millions of dollars for his campaign. There are a lot of deep-pocketed special interests who want to beat Jason in this race. We need to count on you to stand against them.

“Deal’s ad is full of distortions about his weak record as governor. But until we can afford to match his ad buy, it’s the only message that most Georgians will hear about this race.


Matt McGrath
Campaign Manager
Carter for Governor”

Release Your Tax Returns, Handel Says

On the same day that her first TV commercial hits the airwaves, Georgia U.S. senate hopeful Karen Handel called on the other Republicans in the race to release their tax returns from the last five years.

“Throughout her career, Karen has been a leader in ethics reform and government transparency,” says campaign manager Corry Bliss. “In an effort to promote government transparency, The Handel for Senate Campaign is making available the last five years of Karen’s tax returns and challenging all other US Senate campaigns to do the same today.”

While as secretary of state, Handel’s campaign says she set limits on gifts to employees (including herself); established a nepotism policy to address cronyism; and required a one-year “cooling off” period before employees could take lobbying positions with companies seeking to do business with the agency he or she worked for previously.

Nosy reporters can check out her tax returns at her campaign office.

‘Back to Basics’ Republican Study Budget Endorsed by Kingston

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston’s office said on Thursday the Senate hopeful has voted in favor of the Republican Study Committee budget.

The “Back to Basics” Republican Study Budget says the proposal is designed to balance the budget in four years; ensure a strong national defense; and reform entitlements to stave off a debt crisis, in addition to implementing a Republican healthcare reform bill and repealing Obamacare. The RSC Budget is also calling for pro-growth tax reform as well as passage of the RSC’s JOBS Act. 

Kingston and two other Senate candidates, U.S. Reps. Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun, all voted against the budget sponsored by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan on Thursday.

The idea of a balanced budget Constitutional amendment also made headlines on Wednesday, courtesy of George Will’s column in The Washington Post. Will highlighted a proposal that would call a constitutional convention under Article V of the Constitution to enact a balanced budget amendment.