Chairman’s Corner: That’s why they call it the blues?

Before I begin the analysis of Tuesday’s election, let me first say we have an extremely important runoff on Tuesday, December 4 for Secretary of State and Public Service Commissioner. Brad Raffensperger is still a State Representative and is about to go into special session where he cannot raise money and then we will have Thanksgiving week which will be extremely difficult to campaign during.

WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE the Secretary of State’s Office. If John Barrow wins, he will follow the will of the Democratic Party and not state law. Democrats are hungry for this win as they claim Brian Kemp stole the election and the only way to elect Stacey Abrams is for the Democrats to take that office.

Make a donation to Brad by midnight by donating here: http://bradforgeorgia.com/donate/

Now, let’s talk about Tuesday…

I don’t believe in spin so I’m not going to sugarcoat what you already know, Tuesday was not a good day to be a Republican in the Atlanta suburbs.

While we in Cobb weathered the election better than our friends in north Fulton, Gwinnett, and DeKalb counties, Stacey Abrams’s margin of nearly 30,000 votes over Governor-Elect Brian Kemp’s means that in 2020 we will not only need to fight for every vote at the precinct level but will need every resource to do it with.

We have been watching over the years as the Democratic votes have been growing in Cobb. In 2015, I warned that the vote totals during high-turnout election years were growing on the Democratic side but remaining stagnate on the GOP side.

As you can see in the chart below, voter registration in Cobb County has increased by approximately 89,000 voters from November of 2008 to November of 2018.

Between 2008 and 2012, both high turnout Presidential election years, the GOP vote in Cobb increased by only 765 votes from 170,957 to 171,722. During that time, the Democrat vote totals decreased, but voter registration jumped by over 18,000 votes. While many of those new voters obviously didn’t vote, they added to the potential turnout.

Something else happened that was curious and of concern. While the GOP turnout in 2010, which saw Roy Barnes try to mount a return challenging Nathan Deal for governor, was at 133,785 votes to 70,521, just four years later in 2014, considered one of the best GOP election years in U.S. history, Democratic numbers jumped by 20,000 while GOP numbers actually went down 15,000.

That set the stage in 2016 that I had warned was coming in 2015.

That next year, Hillary won Cobb County and this year the Democrats nearly met the GOP high of 171,722 from November 2012 falling about 4,000 votes shy.

What’s more, despite claims of “voter suppression,” Cobb’s voter roles jumped by 84,000 new registered voters in only four years between 2014 and 2018.

If there are still 171,722 GOP voters in Cobb, then we still have a chance of coming back in 2020 and holding onto our county-wide offices. If not, then 2020 could see the GOP lose the County Commission 3-2, the Sheriff’s office, the District Attorney, the Clerk of Court, and other races.

Also, with a one vote majority in the legislative caucus, if we do not gain back at least one legislative seat, the Democrats will control redistricting in Cobb and be able to redraw county commission and school board districts as well.

Our Cobb County Board of Elections, which has five members; one appointed by the Board of Commissioners, one by the Republican Party, one by the Democratic Party, and two by the legislative delegation, flip from a 4-1 GOP majority to a 4-1 Democratic majority if the County Commission is lost.

So, is this just a matter of “Demographics as Destiny”?

That would explain the slow increase of the Democratic vote, but it doesn’t explain the rapid flip.

Back in May, I became aware that Democratic operatives were furiously knocking doors in GOP areas of Cobb and began asking when we would have the resources of lists and technology to engage in-kind. Initially I was told it would be in June. Soon it was pushed back until July…then August. At that point I asked whether or not the Victory Center would be opened at all so I could make other arraignments. I was told soon.

It wouldn’t be until September.

At that point, we were 4 months behind.

Even then, while the Democrats were using an army of paid door-to-door staff, we were asked to rely on volunteers.

We quickly went about ranking the races that would be the toughest and concentrated an aggressive volunteer door-to-door campaign for September through Election Day.

Our top tier of focus was Karen Handel, Congressional District 6, Leah Aldridge Senate District 6, Matt Bentley, House District 40, and Sam Teasley, House District 37.

Our next tier was Scott Sweeney, School Board 6, JoAnn Birrell, County Commissioner District 3, Kay Kirkpatrick, Senate District 32, Travis Klavohn, Senate District 38, Sharon Cooper, House District 43, DeAnna Harris, House District 41, and Ed Setzler, House District 35.

The rest of our candidates were in the third tier and considered to be in safe districts.

The only one of our top tier that was not lost was Karen Handel. Cobb voters turned out big for her, giving her more votes than Brian Kemp received. However, the DeKalb portion of her district ran the Democratic voter numbers up so high that the Cobb and Fulton wins were not enough. Lucy McBath won 60-40% in DeKalb.

As many of these districts had overlap, we were able to canvass for several candidates, as well as the top of the ticket all at the same time.

We invested in infrastructure as well, making sure we had online sign-up for each event. We shared information as well so, as best as possible, we did not duplicate efforts or overlap the campaign organizations but supplemented where they could not.

However, despite posting on Facebook, our website at CobbGOP.org, Twitter, and in the barrage of emails like this one, we did not have one single volunteer signup online. That did not mean people didn’t still show up, but there were several weekends of door-to-door where the only volunteers regularly showing up for canvassing were me, Pam Reardon, Jeff Souther, Darlene Knight, and a couple of others. Pam Reardon and her husband Tom likely knocked on more doors than the rest of us combined! There were other Cobb County Republicans who devoted themselves to certain candidates and worked with them directly like Kim Sherk, but, for the most part, we struggled to have our volunteer needs met, all while we were going up against paid operatives on the Democratic side who were supplemented by a strong and engaged volunteer effort.

In the final weekend, volunteers made over 75,000 phone calls and knocked on nearly 2,000 Cobb doors.

The problem was, more than 50% of votes were already cast.

We won Election Day, we lost the three weeks of early voting. They were knocking doors in the spring, we didn’t start knocking until fall.

Most are aware they were targeting Republicans. For the first time ever, my household received mail pieces paid for by the Democratic Party of Georgia. Flush with cash, they called and mailed everyone, even committed Republicans. While we microtargeted to get out the vote, they covered it all. Even if they could get just one or two out of ten Republicans, that could, and maybe did, make the difference.

Our final issue was messaging. When a friend of mine; suburban, married, early 40’s with two kids and a GOP voting record brags to me on Facebook that she travelled from Cherokee County to Cobb to knock doors for Stacey Abrams, we’ve lost the messaging war.

Part of it is the lingering “Never Trump” wing, those who look at all the great things Donald Trump has done from the economy, to reducing taxes, to bringing North Korea to begin reducing its nuclear ambitions, to destroying ISIS, etc. (You can find a much longer list at https://www.whitehouse.gov/trump-administration-accomplishments) and still say they pick style over substance. Another part is that we were fighting history in that the President’s party historically loses seats in midterm years.

One of those will be fixed next election when Donald Trump is back on the ballot, but if we still have to fight the “Never Trump” Republicans and do not have a message to appeal to those who have flipped because they believe the rhetoric from the left which, in their minds, is reinforced by how Trump reacts, 2020 won’t be any better than 2018 was, and Georgia cannot stay red if we don’t retake territory.

In 2001, I was elected a Georgia Republican Party Vice-Chairman and Ralph Reed was elected Chairman. The State Party led as we started knocking doors much earlier in the cycle than ever before. The result was we gathered data to use in 2002 that made Sonny Perdue’s victory possible. The advantage of the position is it gave me a close seat to observe, participate, and learn. In 2001-2002, the Democrats were use to winning. They took the elections for granted and no longer engaging in grassroots. They looked a lot like we are beginning to look today.

We can do that again and beat the Democrats at their game and bring back that 171,000 Republican voters. It will take effort. It will take buy-in from our grassroots leaders. Most importantly, it will take all of us working together to make it happen.

MDJ: Early voting numbers dwarf 2014 turnout; politicos weigh in

Early voting numbers dwarf 2014 turnout; politicos weigh in

Ross Williams

Election Day is Tuesday, but for thousands of Cobb County residents, their civic duty is already done.

This year, 111,882 Cobb voters cast their ballots early in person, according to unofficial numbers from the Cobb Elections Department.

That’s nearly a 90 percent increase over the last midterm election in 2014, when 59,134 Cobb voters came to the polls early.

There were 17 days of early voting this year, two of them Saturdays, while in 2014, there was only one Saturday and 16 total early voting days.

No major incidents were reported this year, but there were long lines, and voters waited up to three hours during the busiest times.

Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler said she is happy with how things turned out. She said poll workers were happy to see the big crowds, though she does wish the department had arranged to have a second polling location open the first week.

During that week, only the county elections headquarters was open for early voting. The next week, Jim R. Miller Park became available, and in the third and final week, nine more spots opened up.

“I think overall it went well, although I wish we had arranged to have Jim Miller Park for the first week as well,” Eveler said. “Our Main Office is a little too small to handle that kind of turnout. We always expand our locations from few to many as the three weeks go along, but this election was unique in that there were so few people who were undecided, even in the first week of voting. … We knew this would be an exciting midterm so we offered all our locations, even some we normally only use in presidential years, and also extended hours.”

Eveler said there is a snowball effect to early voting — when people see long lines, they are more likely to get in lines themselves, making the lines even longer. But she said that may be good news for those planning to vote on Election Day.

“If people see lines to early vote, they figure they better get theirs done too,” she said. “They worry that early voting lines mean there’ll be lines on Election Day and it becomes important not to wait until Tuesday. In reality, the higher turnout in early voting reduces lines on Election Day.”

If you are one of those who plan to cast a ballot on Tuesday, you can do so between 7 a.m. And 7 p.m. Remember you must vote at your assigned polling location — you can find that at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov — and don’t forget to bring your photo ID.

Eveler also said to be sure to double-check your ballot before submitting and to report any irregularities to poll workers before casting your ballot.

Cobb party chiefs react

Perhaps nobody in the county has been paying more attention to the early voting numbers than the heads of the two major parties, Michael Owens of the Cobb Democrats and Jason Shepherd of the Cobb GOP.

Both men said they were glad to see people taking part, but neither dared to predict what the turnout might mean for their parties.

“I think it means the voters are engaged,” Shepherd said. “The question is: Is it our voters who are engaged, or their voters who are engaged? Right now it’s looking like everyone’s voters are engaged.”

Owens and Shepherd both spoke to the MDJ by phone from different last-minute get-out-the-vote efforts, capping off a long election cycle.

Owens said Cobb Democrats are working hard to capitalize on trends indicating the county may be moving toward the Democratic column, citing, among other points, that Cobb voters chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 election. He would not say whether he thinks the change will come this year, but he believes it’s coming.

“Cobb County is a red-to-blue county,” he said. “We know we’re trending toward blue. There’s a large part of the county that is already blue and that continues to grow. What we’ve historically considered red is definitely flipping, going up all the way to north Cobb County, up to Acworth. We have a solid trend toward Cobb County turning blue, and we’re going to continue trending toward blue.”

Owens said gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’ historic candidacy plays a role in that— if she wins, she will be the first African-American woman to govern any American state. But he said a solid stable of Democratic candidates up and down the ballot has encouraged Democratic voters to turn out in Cobb.

“It’s an opportunity for Democrats to vote for Democrats on the ballot in every part of the county,” he said. “Historically, that hasn’t been the case. … We have contested races in every single part of the county. … Not only do we support Stacey Abrams and (lieutenant governor candidate) Sarah Riggs Amico, but we’re actually engaging voters, talking about our candidates for state House … we have taken a focused effort to ensure we have good candidates across the county.”

Shepherd said he is well aware of the work Democrats have been putting in to flip Cobb County, referencing recent trips to town by big names such as former President Barack Obama, comedian Will Ferrell and media mogul Oprah Winfrey to stump for Abrams.

“The amount of effort Democrats are making in Cobb County, they see Cobb County as a big prize, Cobb being historically a Republican county, but one that went a little purple the last election cycle,” Shepherd said. “Democrats are working very hard to flip it. … They think Cobb is in play, and the Cobb Republican party is doing everything it can to make sure we can get out and show them Cobb isn’t in play. We’ll find out on Election Day.”

Shepherd acknowledged it is typical for the party in control of the White House to lose seats in a midterm election, but he wasn’t ready to accept a blue wave yet.

“The Democrats are really trying to push the blue wave, and the Republican Party is trying to stand out with a red wall to stop it,” he said. “They talk about waves; we talk about wave breakers.”

Chairman’s Corner: 2018 Constitutional Amendments

15 days until Election Day.
In addition to the candidates, there are five amendments to the Georgia Constitution on the ballot this year. While the Republican Party does not take an official position on these amendments, I hope we can answer some of the questions you may have.
Amendment 1 – Land conservation, parks, trails: This amendment will set aside a portion sales tax funds already being collected on sporting goods for conservation efforts. The goal is to raise $200 million over the next 10 years when the amendment automatically sunsets.
Amendment 2 -Business courts: This amendment would create special state business courts (supposedly out of the current state court budget) to specifically handle business litigation matters. Currently, State Courts and Superior Courts in the counties handle business matters. The goal is to have specialized judges hearing these cases. Also, unlike other Georgia judges, these Business Court judges would not be elected, but be appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Georgia House and Senate Judiciary Committees for a five-year term.
Amendment 3 – Timber tax: While the devil is in the details, this amendment is designed to lower the tax burden on timber landowners. There was already a tax provision passed in 2008 and this fixes some of the holes in that amendment. Georgia has one of the highest tax rates on timber that is between 3 and 6 times higher than neighboring states.
Amendment 4 – Crime victims’ rights: I will come out and say that I am voting for this amendment and Brian Kemp has endorsed it as well. Also known as “Marsy’s Law,” the amendment will require victims to not only be notified when certain proceedings occur. There is already a state law dealing with this issue, but there are several issues with the state law. First, many counties are ignoring the law as there are no repercussions for ignoring the law. The amendment will put the law on a constitutional rather than a statutory level and add teeth to go after jurisdictions that fail to notify.
There are valid criticisms, namely that a statutory change can accomplish the same thing without amending the Georgia Constitution and estimates that the cost burden may be as high as $11 million to comply with. Additionally, the notification are required even before a conviction which may mean some who have not been convicted of a crime may have to wait in jail longer because a victim couldn’t be found to be notified. Of course, the ultimate purpose is to make sure that an offender on bail or released from a sentence does not surprise a victim seeking revenge.
Amendment 5: Local option sales tax: This would remove the requirement that a county school system and a city schools system (like Cobb County Schools and Marietta City Schools) would have to agree before offering an amendment for a local option sale tax to support the school system. As noted in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Cobb County State Sen. Lindsey Tippins has said the measure was proposed because there were situations across Georgia where independent school districts serving a small portion of a county’s students would “hold the larger districts hostage” on the referendum in hopes of obtaining a larger share of the tax proceeds.
I hope this helps explain the five amendments that will be on the ballot. You can read the ballot language and download a sample ballot on the Cobb Board of Elections webpage at www.cobbelections.org.
Just 15 days left.

For Immediate Release: Cobb Democratic State Rep Hiding Shocking Past of Violence Against Women

Cobb GOP Chairman Calls on Rep. Smith to Withdraw from Ballot

“While they were arguing, Mr. Smith pushed her with [their] son in her arms.” – From Police Report 4/11/2007 Case #07-0494491

 

Marietta, Georgia – Cobb GOP Chairman Jason Shepherd is calling on Democrat State Representative Michael Andre Smith to withdraw from the ballot after shocking allegations recently came to light involving Rep. Smith’s two incidents, one resulting in an arrest, for attacking his then girlfriend. One incident occurred in Kennesaw in 2006 and the other in Marietta in 2007.
From the Police Report Case Number 07-49449:

 

Mugshot from Georgia State Representative Michael Smith’s arrest.

The publicly available police reports detail Rep. Michael Smith in one incident allegedly pushing his girlfriend while she was holding the couple’s baby, and in a separate incident breaking the passenger side window of his girlfriend’s car. Smith married his accuser soon after the last arrest. (Rep. Michael Smith’s booking photo (left) can also be downloaded below2).

Cobb GOP Chairman Jason Shepherd states, “In light of the serious nature of multiple allegations and the history of physical violence against his girlfriend that appear on Mr. Smith’s record, voters and the public should know who it is that is representing them in the Georgia House. Georgia women deserve a Representative who will champion their rights, not a Representative who, according to police reports, not only knocked over a woman holding her baby but broke the window of her car when she wouldn’t give him money. This type of behavior is unacceptable and Mr Smith needs to immediately withdraw from the election.”
As a result of the 2006 incident, Judge Lewis ordered Mr. Smith to, “STAY AWAY, ABSOLUTELY, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, BY PERSON, TELEPHONE, MESSENGER OR ANY OTHER MEANS OF COMMUNICATION” with the victim, and reminded him that any contact whatsoever may subject him “TO A SEPARATE PROSECUTION FOR THE FELONY OFFENSE OF AGGRAVATED STALKING.”3
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), in 2013, 29,779 Georgia women accessed domestic violence services. In Cobb County, the 24-hour crisis hotline is 770.427.3390. However, anyone facing immediate danger should call 911.
“On one hand we have seen a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court deeply scrutinized and questioned publicly about things he was never arrested for and happened decades ago; while on the other hand, right here in Cobb County, we have a Democratic State Representative who, according to police reports, seems to have freely admitted that he followed his girlfriend to her car demanding money and then broke the passenger side window of her car,” added Shepherd. “Violence against women is a serious issue, and Mr. Smith has some serious explaining to do. I stand with his opponent, DeAnna Harris, a survivor of domestic abuse. She can tell you this is a very serious matter. As a public official, he needs to answer for these allegations and immediately withdraw his candidacy.”
The general election date is November 6, 2018. Early voting begins Monday, October 15. Go to www.cobbgop.org for more information.
###

Chairman’s Corner: 22 Days

22 days until Election Day.
2018 is a mid-term election year. Typically, in mid-term years, the party that has the White House will lose. That means, if history is any guide, Republicans are on the defensive this year.
However, politics have been anything but typical these last few years.
One thing that is certain though is votes. We know that Stacey Abrams and the Democratic Party of Georgia has been running a very aggressive absentee ballot campaign mailing out millions of absentee voter request cards.
They know we are not mailing out millions of absentee voter request cards.
The result has been obvious. According to the website www.GeorgiaVotes.com, so far in 2018, 52,968 Georgia voters have cast their votes by turning in their absentee ballots. This is a 127.8% increase over four years ago.
Why does that matter?
In Presidential election years, like 2016, approximately 70-80% of registered voters vote. In mid-term election years, like 2014 and 2018, only about half of registered voters vote in the election.
In Cobb County in 2014, only 214,490 votes were cast. This was 53.35% of Cobb’s registered voters. In 2016, 335,466 voters cast ballots. That was 79.09% of Cobb’s registered voters.
This is important because if only 53.35% of Republicans vote in Cobb in 2018 and 79.09% of Democrats show up, Cobb’s Republicans will be washed away in the Blue Wave simply because good Republicans stayed home and did not vote.
While I do not think that 79.09% of Cobb’s Democratic voters will vote in the next 22 days, what if it’s 58% or 60%? Lower than in 2016, but higher than a typical midterm election.
As I said, statewide, the absentee ballots being returned are more than double what they were four years ago. And in Cobb County, the numbers are even higher.
In Cobb County, absentee voting has jumped by nearly 285%!
While most of these voters, nearly 60%, early voted two years ago or did not early vote, but are doing so this year, over 40% of these early voters in Cobb are new voters.
And history and demographics suggest they are not Republican Voters!
If 285% of Democratic voters in Cobb show up on Election day versus Republican, the result can be catastrophic for Georgia.
As my Georgia Bulldogs found out this weekend, once you get behind, it’s hard to catch up.
We will have elected a Governor who wants to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), leaving our borders not only vulnerable to illegal aliens but human traffickers and drug smugglers as well, all while encouraging illegal immigrants to voteAll of this while falsely accusing Brian Kemp of voter suppression.
We will have a Lt. Governor who attacks Republicans as racist and sexist while her own company is being sued for racial and gender discrimination.
But if we are going to win, we need your help.
That’s why the Cobb GOP has created the “Keep Choppin” Pledge.
Take a minute to pledge to give just 10 volunteer hours between now and the election day to help our Republican candidates in Cobb and Statewide get elected.
Pledge to vote early or on Election Day.
Pledge to get your friends and family to take the pledge too.

It doesn’t take much for us to finish the drill and win in November.
And there are just 22 days left.

Chairman’s Corner: Mr. Kavanaugh Goes to Washington

by Jason Shepherd
29 days until Election Day.
In the 1939 Frank Capra classic movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, newly appointed Senator Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart) is falsely accused by the political machine back home run by Boss Jim Taylor, of corruption, bribery, and everything but sexual assault when he was in high school. The political machine controlled the press which fed the lies about Smith to his constituents, controlling the narrative and refusing to let any evidence that would exonerate the Senator get through to the people.
When his supporters, those who knew him best, went out and championed his cause, they were intimidated, bullied, harassed, and even assaulted. To stop the Senate from expelling him on these false charges, Senator Smith does the only thing he can do – filibuster the debate on his own removal. 
 
At the end, thousands of letters are delivered to the Senate floor calling for Smith’s removal…not one in support. Exhausted from speaking for hours, even through the night, discouraged by the thousands of letters against him, he directs his final words (the clip below) towards the senior senator from his state, Senator Joseph Paine (Claude Rains), a loyal part of the corrupt political machine that’s destroying the good name Smith has spent his whole life building. 
 
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Speech
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Speech
Like Jefferson Smith, Judge Brett Kavanaugh has now come into the United States Senate and has had to then defend his good name and reputation against accusations levied against him by the Democratic Party, the modern-day Taylor Machine.
False allegations trumpeted by United States Senators blinded by partisanship and more drunk on the prospect of returning to power (God, I too hope they never get it) than Brett Kavanaugh ever was at any high school party in 1982.
Allegations that were then repeated by an all-too-willing media, and, just like that, a man’s entire life’s work and reputation are tarnished and smeared, perhaps forever.
 
While those on the left might watch Smith’s passionate defense of his own innocence and cheer, when they see Brett Kavanaugh’s same passionate defense of his good name, they jeer and claim it’s further proof he does not have the “temperament” to be on the U.S. Supreme Court. 
 
Kavanaugh has all the temperament he needs. I wouldn’t want anyone on the Court who wouldn’t passionately champion the American idea that a person is innocent until proven guilty, even if the one he is passionately defending is himself.
 
At the end of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Smith’s name is only cleared when, in a moment of revelation and experiencing a crisis of conscience, Senator Paine tries to kill himself and, when stopped, runs screaming back into the U.S. Senate demanding that he be expelled admitting everything Jefferson Smith said about him and the Taylor Machine is true. 
 
If only real life were that simple. If only the villains came clean and those falsely accused were vindicated. We won’t hold our breath waiting for Senator Diane Feinstein to have a moment like Senator Joseph Paine.
Sadly, real life is more like the book and movie To Kill a Mockingbird. There, attorney Atticus Finch loses the defense of Tom Robinson, a black man who, in 1930’s Alabama, was clearly falsely accused of the rape of a white woman, Mayella Ewell, a rape that a physical disability would have made impossible for him to commit.
Finch protects Robinson when a pre-trial lynch mob tries to remove him from the jail to kill him, but, after the guilty verdict, he cannot protect him and word comes back to Finch that Robinson is killed, allegedly trying to escape, a claim that seems all too convenient after the lynch mob and the clearly biased verdict.
Mayella Ewell was fine to see Tom Robinson go to prison for something she knew was not true. There was never a time when she, like Senator Paine, confessed. In fact, Mayella Ewell’s father seeks violence and revenge. He attacks Atticus Finch’s two children, however, his justice is swift as the reclusive neighbour Boo Radley kills Ewell with his own knife and saves the children.
Today we see the left seeking the same violence. We cannot forget the crazed left-winged activist who took shots at Republican Congressmen, including our own Congressman Barry Loudermilk, and seriously injuring Steve Scalise of Louisiana, or Congresswoman Maxine Waters’s call for more violence.
Still, Kavanaugh’s confirmation has brought a new round of insanity from protesters actually clawing at the bronze doors of the U.S. Supreme Court, as my friend Emily Zanotti points out in The Daily Wire, to calls for violence from the likes of even Georgetown University professors.
However, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert  writer Ariel Dumasmay have given the left’s real epitaph of the Kavanaugh confirmation when she tweeted (and soon deleted)

As I said in the beginning…29 days until the election.

AJC: Ga. Republicans see Kavanaugh’s confirmation as rallying force

What took you so long?

That was the sentiment broadcast by many metro Atlanta Republicans on Saturday as the Senate prepared to cast a final vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.

At a pair of county GOP meetings in Atlanta’s northern suburbs, the party faithful cheered the news that the D.C. circuit court judge appeared on the cusp of confirmation, and they vowed to use that hard-fought win to galvanize Republican voters ahead of a midterm election that’s viewed as favorable to Democrats.

Democrats have “lost another battle, but that is not getting them down and out,” said Jason Shepherd, chairman of the Cobb County GOP. “Which means we have to fight double hard in order to get out the vote in 31 days.”

Shepherd was urging the more than 120 people assembled for a party breakfast in Marietta to get involved on behalf of a slate of Republican candidates assembled that morning, which included U.S. Rep. Karen Handel to lieutenant gov. nominee Geoff Duncan.

Roughly 30 miles to the Northeast, at a canvass launch for U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall in Cumming, Paul Stykitus didn’t need any help getting motivated.

“I think the Kavanaugh nonsense has just turned any fair-minded individual to say, ‘enough’s enough,’” said the 69-year-old sales director. “I think he should have been confirmed earlier.”

As dozens of protesters assembled in Atlanta’s Woodruff Park to voice their opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation, many local Republicans blamed Democrats for smearing the judge’s reputation even before California professor Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexual assault.

“It’s just a witch hunt,” said Paul Frank, a Cumming retiree, adopting the refrain President Trump has used to describe the ongoing Russia investigation. “It’s another Democratic ploy to try and get their people in.”

Kelli Warren, president of the Republican Women of Forsyth County, said she was pleased about Kavanaugh’s nomination advancing.

“To me, the most important thing is the presumption of innocence,” she said. “With Dr. Ford, where were her witnesses? … And I say that being the mother of a daughter who recently, I found out, is a victim of domestic violence. I’m totally empathetic to that situation, but we can’t persecute or blame someone if we don’t have proof behind it.”

Local GOP officials expressed confidence that Kavanaugh’s confirmation would drive GOP voters to the polls in November.

Patrick Bell, chairman of the Forsyth County GOP, said many voters have come up to him upset with the “lack of decorum” surrounding the confirmation process, and especially the way anti-Kavanaugh protesters have swarmed Republican senators on Capitol Hill, at the airport and at a D.C. restaurant in the case of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. He predicted the tactics will “backfire” on Democrats in November.

Many GOP voters who had not been paying much attention to politics until recently, he said, “are fed up with everything, and I think that the mob rule is bringing them out,” Bell said. “They’re tired of it.”

Georgia’s U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who had a contentious run-in with protesters in a northern Virginia airport on Monday, similarly criticized such protesters in a fiery Senate floor speech on Wednesday in which he accused his Democratic colleagues of inciting overzealous activism.

“When the paid activists who support you attack my wife, you have gone too far,” the first-term Republican said. “You are inciting this disrespect of our law.”

Perdue and his Georgia GOP colleague Johnny Isakson both recently announced their intent to support Kavanaugh.

Democrats similarly vowed to use Kavanaugh’s promotion to drive their voters to the polls next month.

“We are going to get so damn engaged in the political process in this country they’re not going to know what hit them,” state Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, said at the Woodruff Park rally. “We will win.”

Staff writer Meris Lutz contributed to this article. 

(more…)

NYT: After a Primary on the Fringe, Georgia Republican Tacks Toward the Center

By Richard Fausset

Sept. 2, 2018

ATLANTA — Brian Kemp, the Republican running for Georgia governor, won his party’s nomination with the help of a TV ad that explicitly arguedthat he is not a moderate guy. Titled “So Conservative,” it portrayed Mr. Kemp as a gun-toting, “politically incorrect conservative” who would personally round up “criminal illegals” in his pickup truck.

But that was then. In his latest TV ad, playing now in the Atlanta Metro market for the November general election, Mr. Kemp, in a check-print, button-down shirt, speaks to the camera in a kindly, drawly baritone about “growing jobs, not government,” investing in education (of the locally controlled variety), and “rewarding legal — not illegal — behavior.”

In many Republican primaries, it seemed impossible to be too far right as long as the candidate succeeded in getting President Trump’s endorsement, as Mr. Kemp did. But now, locked in a competitive general election race against the Democrat Stacey Abrams, Mr. Kemp has been trying to gravitate to the center, attempting at least one strategy for surfing the volatile, polarizing energy that permeates the 2018 election season.

So ConservativeCreditCreditVideo by Kemp for Governor

That energy was on display last week in neighboring Florida, where Republican voters chose their own “so conservative” nominee for governor (the Trump acolyte Ron DeSantis), while Democrats opted for a “so liberal” choice (the Bernie Sanders-endorsed Andrew Gillum). It is too early to know, in that race, how, or whether, those candidates might seek to pivot to the center.

Mr. Kemp’s pivot has been both stylistic and substantive, and it comes as Ms. Abrams, 44, a Yale Law School graduate and former state house minority leader, has been campaigning around Georgia arguing, with wonkish delight, that her progressive policy ideas — including robust investment in public education, gun control and the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare — amount to mainstream common sense. Her campaign calls it an “opportunity” agenda, and believes it will resonate more widely than the hot-button conservative agenda that Mr. Kemp is still known for that focuses on issues like illegal immigration and the Second Amendment.

Ms. Abrams is also hoping to appeal to moderate voters, placing decidedly more emphasis on her plans to create jobs and invest in education than her criticism of some Confederate memorials, which she has modulated recently.

On policy, Mr. Kemp, 54, Georgia’s secretary of state, recently made a small but important tweak to his longstanding promise to sign a state version of a federal religious freedom law, a possibility that frightens many in the Atlanta business community who fear that it could prompt harmful boycotts and backlash from liberals who believe such a law would be used to discriminate against the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender community.

Various iterations of a similar state law have been promoted by Georgia conservatives in recent years as a way to protect people of faith from being forced to engage in practices they deem contrary to their beliefs. In 2016, Nathan Deal, the current governor and a Republican, vetoed a religious freedom bill that did not exactly mirror the federal law, pleasing some of Georgia’s most powerful corporations.

Mr. Kemp ran as a far-right conservative during the Republican runoff and was endorsed by President Trump.CreditJessica McGowan/Getty Images

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mr. Kemp told a hospitality industry group Tuesday that he would veto any religious freedom bill that went beyond the federal law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law in 1993 by then-President Bill Clinton, a Democrat.

It was an example of how Mr. Kemp must simultaneously placate the social conservatives and rural Georgians who responded to his primary messages, as well as white suburbanites and the powerful Atlanta corporate community, whose sensitivities have been heightened by the fact that metro Atlanta is among those cities trying to attract a second Amazon headquarters.

Such sensitivities are well known to Ms. Abrams, who opposes such legislation not only on moral terms but on economic ones, arguing that it sends a message that could scare off investment and potentially harm Georgia’s burgeoning film and television industry.

Mr. Kemp will have to walk a fine line from here on out, said Charles Bullock, a professor of political science at the University of Georgia.

“If Kemp moves too far to the center he risks alienating some of his strong supporters from the primary,” he said. “They may feel they’ve been betrayed, or lied to, once again.”

But others say Mr. Kemp’s excesses in the primary were more in terms of atmospherics than positions he might have to walk back, and that he faces few risks of losing rural white conservatives in a race against an African-American liberal woman from Atlanta.

(more…)

Chairman’s Corner: A bit of political potpourri – Randolph County, National Debt, and Socialist Democrat Economics.

Chairman’s Corner
by Jason Shepherd
 
A bit of political potpourri.
First off, there has been a development in Randolph County.
Apparently the weeks of lobbying by the Democratic Party of Georgia, Stacey Abrams’s campaign, and a whole host of left-leaning groups has paid off…dare I say…BIGLY! The Democratic controlled Randolph County Board of Elections has voted NOT to consolidate their precincts.
I would like to congratulate GA Democrats for winning their crusade against the Randolph County Democrats who were trying to close the few Republican precincts in Randolph County…OH WAIT, that’s right, the precincts destined for the chopping block were precincts the GOP typically won.
From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU Democrats…because of your efforts, the minority of Republican voters in Randolph County will continue to have easier access to the polls to vote on election day.
Secondly, I want to take a moment to talk about the debt and the deficit…yeah, I know, I’ve now lost all but about three people on our email list, but hopefully you’re one of those three and are sticking with me!
I’m sure you’ve heard the Democrats state that we need to repeal the Trump tax cuts because they are blowing a TRILLION DOLLAR hole in the deficit and will add trillions more to the national debt.
According to the Democrats, even if Stacey Abrams PAID all of her back taxes to the IRS instead of giving it to her own campaign for governor, it would do nothing to fix the new deficit created by the Trump Tax Cut.
Time to raise taxes again (of course Democrats don’t care if taxes go up, they don’t pay them anyway…right Stacey?)!
However, actual numbers (things that scare the naysayers on the left) tell a completely different story.
YTD June 2017, the federal government had collected $1,199,238,000,000 in individual income taxes and had a total tax collection of $2,507,820,000,000.
YTD June 2018, after the massive Trump Tax Cut, the federal government has collected $1,305,490,000,000 in individual income taxes and had a total tax collection or $2,540,804,000,000, an increase of $32.984 billion.
That means the federal government brought in $1,045.70 MORE every second of every hour of every day than they did last year.
Still, somehow, all we hear is how the debt is increasing because of the Trump tax cuts.

Investors Business Daily hit th at issue in April, ” The CBO claims that the  economy  will experience only 1.9% annual growth for the next decade. (This is up a smidgeon from its 1.8% prediction at the start of the Trump presidency.) To be fair, CBO’s growth estimate is in line with most of the blue-chip forecasters’ estimates.  But that prediction makes no sense. GDP growth averaged 1.95 % annually under Obama – and nearly everything he did on the economy was anti-growth.”

But with the wealth of economic prowess that can be found in today’s Democratic Congressional leadership, including their new rising star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (did you know she has a bachelor’s degree in economics? If not, wait, she will remind you), it’s no wonder that they would on one hand call the Trump Tax Cut “crumbs” and then accuse these very same “crumbs” of threatening the entire financial health of the United States.
Some more of that economic prowess can be found in the video below.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Economic Genius
Finally, we are excited to announce that the 2018 Cobb Republican Victory Center will be open starting next Saturday, September 1 at Cobb GOP Headquarters!
We will have staff on hand so you can come make phone calls for all of our GOP Candidate, get door-to-door materials, yard signs, and more!
Stay tuned to your email and the Cobb GOP Facebook page for more information, including about specific days and times to volunteer for specific candidates.
Yours always in freedom,
 
null
 
Jason Shepherd
Chairman, Cobb County Republican Party

East Cobb News: Cobb, Georgia elected and party officials react to Sen. John McCain’s death

State and local officials in Georgia and Cobb have offered condolences and issued statements regarding Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCains’s death on Saturday.

From U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, an East Cobb Republican who served with McCain on the Senate Armed Services Committee since 2005:

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, Sen. John McCain death
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson

“John McCain has left an example for all of us of what it takes to be an American patriot. His willingness to reach out to all to do what is right inspires us to work to find common ground. His life and work have left their indelible mark on history, and we all owe John a lot. May God bless John and his family.”

From David Perdue, a Republican from Warner Robins and Georgia’s junior senator:

“American patriot is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of John McCain. He dedicated his life to serving the country he loved so much & for that we will be eternally grateful.

“John’s wit, wisdom, and leadership will be missed in the United States Senate – especially on the Armed Services Committee.”

U.S. Congressman John Lewis, a Democrat from Atlanta:

“We have lost a great warrior who defended this nation’s honor in times of war and peace. He risked his life for America as a soldier, guarded our integrity as a prisoner of war, and dedicated his entire life to public service.  Only a few will ever be remembered for standing on the courage of their convictions.

“Sen. John McCain was one of those rare people who was never afraid to do what he believed was right. Our nation is forever indebted to men and women of  conscience who struggle—in their own way, according to the dictates of their own hearts—to act on the ideals of democracy and work to build a more perfect union. I send my deepest condolences to his family. They are in my thoughts and prayers.”

Jason Shepherd, Cobb GOP

Jason Shepherd, chairman of the Cobb County Republican Party:

“For more than a century, his family has served our nation. His grandfather entered the Navy in 1906 and died an Admiral 4 days after witnessing with his son the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay on September 4. He, along with his father and grandfather before him, has left his mark on American history. 
“His passing at 81 means an era in American politics is over. While each of us had our opinion of the man who lived a very public life, privately, he was still also a husband, a father, a grandfather, a brother, and a son.”

U.S. Sen Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, wants to rename the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington after McCain. Richard Russell was a longtime senator from Georgia, serving from 1933 to 1971.