In Dueling Communications, Kemp Wins Battle for Chutzpah; MacGinnitie Wins On Technicals

I just received an email from Brian Kemp with the subject line of “Grassroots Wins!”

I write you today as Georgia’s new Secretary of State to simply say thank you.

THANK YOU for being a part of the most impressive grassroots organization for a down ballot campaign in Georgia. THANK YOU for contributing to our amazing fundraising success. And THANK YOU for the opportunity to serve you in this vital office.

Over the last six months I have traveled thousands of miles and spent countless nights away from home building up our grassroots organization. Today, I am proud to share with you how our hard work has paid off.

I gather Kemp’s consultants told him he won his postion because of his grassroots and get out the vote effort. And when the universe of grassroots needed to turn out the vote is one person, I guess they’re technically correct.

Meanwhile, Doug MacGinnitie has a press release of his own. In it, he details that he has outraised Kemp during the fundraising period ending 12/31/09.

“I am humbled by the tremendous support we’ve received from across the state,” said MacGinnitie. “After less than a year of campaigning, we raised more money than a two-term state senator who has already run a statewide campaign. This is a great sign of our campaign’s growing momentum.”

MacGinnitie raised over $120,000, while Kemp raised just $106,000. In addition, Kemp actually spent more money than he raised during the final six months of the off year, spending $119,000. MacGinnitie spent nearly $50,000 less in the same period.

When MacGinnitie’s loan is factored in, he currently has a nearly three-to-one cash on hand advantage ($704,000 to $243,000).


“In addition to his strong financial report, MacGinnitie has won 7 out of 8 of the last major GOP grassroots straw polls held across the state.”

So, MacGinnitie has raised more money from individual donors, and won the vast majority of contested straw polls at GOP grassroots events. But the Grassroots win because Kemp was appointed by a committee of one.

I hope the grassroots know how much they’re understood and appreciated by some people.


  1. John Konop says:

    What is the real difference between them via policy? And who would do a better job running the office? I have met Brian a few times and he has always come across like a bright guy to me. And as far as Doug I know very little about him and have no real opinion.

  2. PaulRevere says:

    The appointment notwithstanding, MacGinnitie definitely got more while spending less. That’s a good quality for someone who wants to run a state dept.

  3. If I were the leaving SOS, I would have made sure a placeholder/benchwarmer would have taken over the seat. That’s not a shot at Handel, she did what she felt was right morally and politically – it’s just what I would have done. It would have required playing ball with the Good Ole Boy in Chief, but it would have done the least damage.

    The SOS position seems to becoming a toxic one. One man turns it down, gets a promotion to head of Mercer Athletics – so one of the two Republicans get it. Now you have grassroots backlash on him. The SOS is an important role, nearly if not more important that the Governor. It’s not some ball to be batted around like it was.

    It’s funny how Kemp said the grassroots got him there. I guess in a way it did. Grassroots elected Purdue, right? Does that mean our Grassroots Candidate John Oxendine will ascend?

    I must cease my snarky ramblings, before Mr. Pundit sends me to the corner.

    • macho says:

      A little like saying if you finished your meal at a restaurant, you would want to choose the next group to take your booth.

          • Why would you presume I think she had a vote? That is clearly note what I said, in fact what I said was very precise in meaning.

            It is a very common practice for political office holders stepping down without scandal to have some input as to their replacement. Especially when the party in power is the same party as the politician leaving office.

            You see, I have tailored what I have said very carefully. It is not a shot at Handel, as I feel she did what she felt she had to do. If I wanted to dredge up issues with Handel, this would be the last place I would start. It would have been nice to have had a nice, fair, and clean race for SOS on the GOP side – but now one candidate will have an advantage that is slightly unfair.

    • Doug Deal says:

      Some would say that the Ga GOP has the concept of grass roots backwards. For example the party chairman sends out a “grassroots newsletter”.

      You just have to think of it like one of those up-side-down planters, where the roots are at the top, with the Governor as the deepest tap-root.

  4. Cato says:

    Salvo from the Kemp campaign.

    After Doug and his straw polls, looks like there’s some fighting back. Interesting.

    However, I have heard that polls are only good for one thing… Holding up tents…

  5. AthensRepublican says:

    Brian Kemp will do well. He had assembled support from all around the state and that is what I believe will allow him to be elected by the people in spite of the Governor handpicking him. That is if we don’t nominate a candidate at the top of the ticket that can’t beat Roy Barnes (like John Oxendine) and sinks the entire ticket.

  6. Doctor Death says:

    Brian Kemp IS grassroots. A common man for the common man, not some stuffed shirt lawyer. If Macginnitie had been appointed He would never have told the Govenor NO. Icarus you are so ridiculously biased!! Saying “MacGinnitie raised over 120,000
    while Kemp raised just 106,000 that is a difference of 14,000 but your langauge is so over-inflated (like your ego) that you make it sound like a ridiculous difference. Then you add the huge loan He made to his own campaign as further proof! You are really having to prop your guy up. Sad!

  7. buckheadted says:

    It is quite amazing that the Kemp who has all this grassroots support got outraised by MacGinnitie. It looks like Doug is out there doing what a candidate is supposed to do.

    How much of Kemp’s money has come from lobbyists and his fellow Senators and Reps?

    Looks like Perdue and the insiders are trying to prop him up.

  8. ReynoldsGA says:

    Regardless of the appointment, Kemp is an outstanding candidate for Secretary of State. He knows the state well and that proves through his grassroots numbers. 159 county chairs is a huge number for a down ballot race. Where is MacGinnitie’s support coming from? The Sandy Springs/metro Atlanta area? Oh, silly me, I forgot metro Atlanta doesn’t acknowledge the rest of the state.

    MacGinnitie may have raised more money, but when you actually look at the disclosures, Kemp wins in numbers for the primary. By the way, when was the last time a candidate poured nearly a half million dollars of his own money in a down ballot race?

    Can anyone say Guy Milner? That got us real far. $480,000 total from MCG so far. What is this guy thinking; trying to prop up the Obama stimulus?

    Kemp has really rallied good financial support across the state, which I believe is a stronger sign of who the frontrunner is.

    Lastly, if grassroots elects John Oxendine, God help us all.

  9. Sandy Springs GOP says:

    uhhhhh, Mr. Icarus, i got the same email and you left out a very important part of it. Somehow, and I don’t know how he did this, but he put together a grassroots person in every county in Georgia. That’s just incredible. Doug hasn’t even organized in north Fulton. I know, cause I’ve been begging him to let me do it for him but these kids around him won’t let me.

    You really should try to be more fair.

    Doug won some straw polls. which is encouraging if a bit silly as we all know how those things go.

    Kemp has put together an impressive statewide grassroots effort. he deserves a tip of the hat for that.

    • BuckheadConservative says:

      That’s funny. I’m on his North Fulton team. I’ll check into this for you. Give me your name and I’ll pass it along.

      But seriously…can we get a clean up on the sock isle here? This is getting a bit foolish.

  10. BuckheadConservative says:

    Although a MacGinnitie supporter, I fully expected Kemp to out raise Doug in this disclosure. Very, very impressed that Doug bested him this quarter. Real sign of strength. If this were still an open primary, I’d say Doug would be the clear front runner. After the appointment, I don’t know what to call it but it looks like Doug is doing all the right things. Keep up the good work.

  11. Howard Roark says:

    From Mr MacGinnitie’s report:

    3a All loans received this reporting period. $430,000.00

    Looks like lots of grass roots support.

    • Tyler says:

      When you exclude MacGinnitie’s loan to his campaign he still beats Kemp by $14,000 ($120,000 vs. $106,000). That’s the grassroots support being referred to, along with the straw polls.

      • Cato says:

        Check contributions toward general v. primary accounts. Kemp wins 106,000 to 96,000. The other $14,000 is impressive, but useless unless Doug gets past a tough primary against an incumbent.

        • BuckheadConservative says:

          None of that takes away from the fact that Doug brought in more from donors and spent less, all while building his cred across the state. I think it’s indicative of how a businessman runs a campaign versus a politician. If you donated to Doug’s campaign, you should feel good about your contribution. Congrats again to Doug and keep up the good work. We need more folks like him in office.

  12. a says:

    Check your facts. MacGinnitie did put a substantial amount of money behind his principles. But he still out-raised Kemp by about 15K.
    And he spent about 50K less to raise more. Who’s the true fiscal conservative?

  13. HowardRoark says:

    If the way they’re running their campaigns is any indication of how they’ll run the SoS office, it looks like Perdue picked the wrong guy. I wish there were an InTrade market for this race. MacGinnitie would be a strong buy.

  14. JSBarrington says:

    Yes, MacGinnitie has more cash on hand but it is not from people across the state investing in him, it is from a personal loan.

    I have no problems with trying to buy an election, but I have that if you don’t have people all around the state investing in you, then you lose.

    MacGinnitie wins straw polls. Great! That account for about 1/100th of a percent statewide. Go Doug.

    • BuckheadConservative says:

      I think you are willfully ignoring the plain facts of the disclosure. Minus the loan, Doug still out raised his opponent. They “buying an election” line bogus and you know it. The guy has been hustling across the state since day one. And when he gets in a room full of GOP Activist, with his name on the ballot side by side with his opponent, they choose him. Not scientific, but it’s better than the alternative…losing those same polls.

      There’s still a long way to go, but for a MacGinnitie supporter this is encouraging. I hope it encourages others who may be undecided to take a look at his campaign.

  15. old political pro says:

    Ok, even though I’ve been around for decades, even I’m confused. Stripping away all the spin and the loans and the general election contribs you can’t use……who raised more primary funds and who has more donors?

    I’m sure some staffer on here can answer that.

    • BSMcElhaney says:

      Just because the box says it’s a “lifetime supply” of socks doesn’t mean it really is. The fine print clearly states “an ample supply for one individual during the course of an average lifespan with normal wear and tear.”

      On a completely unrelated note, it might be a good idea to limit one username per IP address.

  16. old political pro says:

    Guys, seriously, $14k in a statewide race is nothing. Its not even a lot in a county commission race.

    • AthensRepublican says:

      I agree, but I was impressed McGinnitie was able to raise as much as he did. Though, Kemp is better known and has a higher name ID. It used to be that GOP primaries were won and lost in the donut counties. That is no longer the case. McGinnitie is still the underdog here and even more so now that Kemp is the SOS. This race is Kemp’s to lose.

      • BuckheadConservative says:

        But hey, that’s why we have the elections, no? History, even right here in Ga, is full of races won by guys considered underdogs at this point.

        • AthensRepublican says:

          I agree with your first statement. To your second statement, I don’t think this race fits. It is Kemp’s to lose.

      • Ken in Eastman says:

        MacGinnitie may not win this race – and I agree it would be difficult for him to win – but he has served notice that he is a force to be reckoned with just because of his fund raising.

        I look forward to talking with him.

  17. BillonCapitolHill says:

    I think Kemp’s consultant should spend less time on peach pundit and more time on a race in the 9th district.

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