9th District Leading Candidates Augment Staff

This week State Representative Tom Graves and State Senator Lee Hawkins announced additions to their 2010 campaign teams.

Graves announced the launch of Team 180.

Team 180 is an elite group of committed GA-9 Freedom Fighters who will mobilize as foot soldiers to help change America.  The goal of Team 180 is to turn the direction our county 180 and back to the roots on which it was founded.

Leading Team 180 is Campaign Chair Joe McCutchen.

“Joe is a tireless advocate for the free-market, less government, fewer taxes and more individual freedom,” said Graves.  “His vocal support of our campaign throughout the 9th District is invaluable and he will keep us accountable, making sure our words are backed up with actions.  I am glad he agreed to head up our campaign for Congress.”

“I am confident that Tom Graves, a super taxpayer champion, will be a great national leader for our conservative cause when we elect him to Congress,” said McCutchen.  “I am absolutely thrilled to serve as his campaign chairman and will work very hard to get him elected as we need him in Washington.  I am greatly impressed with this most dedicated small-government, Reagan-type conservative.  Tom puts the taxpayer first in all his decisions and will put the brakes on Washington’s big spending.”

Hawkins has launched his 2010 “Victory Team”

“Sharon and I are excited to announce our 2010 Congressional Campaign Victory Team,” said Hawkins.  “Combined, our team has experience running more than 2,000 campaigns in 40 states.”

At the top of his list is Campaign Manager, Bradley Hix.

Bradley Hix, Campaign Manager
Bradley received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign in 1988.  He has served as the Legislative Liaison for the Office of the Speaker in North Carolina, a prominent Republican.  While at the Office of the Speaker, Bradley served as Liaison to both the Majority Whip and House Majority Caucus.  In addition, Bradley has served as the Director of Campaign Operations for the Harold J. Brubaker Campaign Committee, Republican Policy Analyst for the Office of the Speaker (Illinois), Campaign Manager for the Illinois House Republican Campaign Committee and as an independent campaign consultant.

Also on the Hawkins team is Catoosa County‘s own Kailor Gordy who has come on board as Field Director for the 9th District’s Northwest Georgia Region. Kailor was formerly with the Mike Evans campaign and has worked with State Senate Transportation Committee Chair Jeff Mullis, who is officially remaining neutral until qualifying ends April 30. The primary election is July 20.


    • Captain Phatbeard says:

      That link doesn’t show very much lobbying at all. With that many question marks I was expecting something substantial.

      Can somebody explain to me why it is a bad thing to have a lobbyist on your campaign? Nobody has been able to give me a good explanation as to why I should care, but I expect somebody here can lay it out for me.

    • Back in Black says:

      Justin Tomczak (GOP Grassroots): As a Graves staffer, how do you answer this question:

      Tom Graves was part of Glenn Richardson’s “Hawk program” as a Hawk. The Hawk program was deemed so unethical by the public that Graves and the other Hawks were fired by Speaker Ralston and their positions eliminated.

      Is this true?

      • appachtrail70 says:

        No. Graves was never a hawk under Ralston. He was fired after he refused to be Richardson’s b****.

      • AthensRepublican says:

        A few of the Gold Dome insiders can fill us in. Seems if I remember that Richardson stripped Graves of some key committee assignments after he did not back Richardson on something. Wasn’t it Richardson’s DOT board pick? Bottom line: Graves has a history of standing up for what he believes in. A good thing.

        • Back in Black says:

          hahahahaha! knee slapper.

          how could he be fired if he wasn’t a hawk? of course he was! Tom Graves was actively involved in the most unethical power abuse by the House — stacking the decks on all committees. He WAS a hawk!

          And he buckled and disbanded his 216 group because, in his own words, he was afraid of offending the leadership.

          Graves is young coward. Congress needs more than sycophants.

          • appachtrail70 says:

            How is it unethical to accept a position your given? Do you understand the concept of ethics? You could argue that it was unethical if Graves ever didn’t vote his conscious as a Hawk to appease Richardson. Find me an example and I will stop supporting him. But watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu3QWFDwfiA, you will see Graves’ true principals.

            The 216 group members had a massive target on their shoulders. The group was starting to become ineffective because house leadership would shut down everything they did. They starting working covertly and got a lot of good things passed, Jobs Act to name one bill.

            Now w/o fear of retribution and w/the house leadership shaken up, they decided to bring it back. I don’t know how you can see fault in any of this, but not see fault in donating to Cleland and standing with the VP to accept Pork.

            What has Hawkins ever done in the Senate besides get slapped around by Casey C?

          • AlanR says:

            appachtrail — I thinks its highly unethical to support a system that adds a committee member who shows up only when needed to vote the Speaker’s way. The hawks weren’t real committee members, they did none of the boring work on committee. They just showed up when the speaker said show up, and voted the way the speaker said.

            Sorry if we disagree, but the whole hawk thing sounds like something Pelosi thought up.

  1. tarheel7 says:

    I just checked and appachtrail is absolutely right about Hawkins campaign being headed by a lobbyist. I suppose this means that Hawkins has a head start on becoming another typical DC politician.

  2. GOPGrassroots says:

    So now we’ve got a lobbyist running a campaign, Tom Perdue running (profiting from) an Atlanta candidate, one from Gwinnett (no not in the 9th), another who emails once a week but won’t fundraise, and 3 dozen others.

    There is one clear choice – Tom Graves – enough said.

    • Back in Black says:

      Justin Tomczak, shouldn’t you sign your real name as a Graves staffer?

      And what is it you do for State Farm again, Justin? Lobby or public affairs?

      • Captain Phatbeard says:

        If GOP Grassroots really is Justin Tomczak he is doing an embarrassingly bad job of not answering my questions.

        • Justin Tomczak says:

          I heard my name was being posted on Peach Pundit. Thanks for the shout out guys.

          I am proud to be helping Tom Graves in his run for Congress. He is going to make an excellent Congressman and will represent the 9th District and this State with distinction in Washington.

          Frankly I don’t see much value in responding to a few anti-Graves folks who want to go after him/me. But just to humor you who are concerned with my livelihood…I have a job I really enjoy at SF and am grateful to be gainfully employed. You may even from time to time hear me talking about the company on the radio, on TV or in print. 🙂 I like PR work and am doing something I enjoy for a good company.

          As far as Tom is concerned – when he thought the Speaker was right on something he supported the effort…and when Tom thought the Speaker was wrong on something he opposed it. Those of you trying to attack Tom know the story, know that he is a man of the highest integrity and I don’t need to give you a history lesson or respond to the attacks and questions you post.

          Anyway, thanks again for the Peach Pundit love. Have a great weekend everyone!

  3. steelfist says:

    This is pretty funny. Lee Hawkins was a lobbyist. Sharon Hawkins was a lobbyist. Lee’s campaign manager was a lobbyist. His finance assistant was a lobbyist intern – whatever that means. And his communications and grassroots consultant is a lobbyist. What is this guy thinking.

    • Mother Goose says:

      Can someone on this site please explain to me the uproar about this? I know y’all really get a kick out of bashing lobbyists, but what is the conflict or problem with having someone who once happened to be registered as a lobbyist transition into campaign management?

        • Jackster says:

          Mother Goose – I agree. It’s almost like you’re trying tosay there’s a conflict of interest by employing someone who was a lobbyist. By DEFINITION, whn you take a job running a campaign, don’t you cease to be a lobbyist for whatever cause you were employed by?

          And aren’t you hired because you have a good network, know how to play the game, and can give good advice?

          To me, the dirty word should be incumbent. All that really is to me is a REASON not to vote for you.

    • Captain Phatbeard says:

      My understanding is that Hawkins was president of the Georgia Dental Association, an organization to which he belongs (belonged?) because he is in fact a dentist.

      Does that count as being a lobbyist? I was just wondering because I checked the lobbyist database and there is no entry for Lee or Sharon Hawkins in it.

      • pleasestopnonsense says:

        both comments are my thoughts exactly.
        first of all, how is being an ethical lobbyist a sin against all humanity? the generalization for lobbyists across the board is disgusting to me. the average poster on here will quickly tell you that a lobbyist is a fire breathing dragon straight from the pits of hell, when it comes down to it, most know absolutely nothing about what it is their job entails.
        take this for example: what if a popular, power hungry legislator rams through legislation that advances his position in any given sector, whether that be corporate or private (but we all know this never, ever happens). say this particular legislation greatly benefits the big whig corporations of which power hungry legislator is benefiting from. BUT there are provisions in the bill that will completely bankrupt half of the small businesses in the state. if this bill was dressed up all nicley, and each voting member got a piece of the pie, it would pass before mitch sebaugh has a chance to count the votes.
        that is why there are lobbyists representing these respective companies, watching out for their client’s best interest.
        granted, there are bad ones, but legislators DO NOT read the bills, so who do you expect to do it for them? god, get over it already.

        secondly, as if the first wasnt long enough, why is there an assumption that Lee, himself is a lobbyist?
        he has been a practicing dentist for over 30 years. the attacks made on here by graves staff and puppets are humorous, at best, really.

      • Kellie says:

        Sharon had a different last name then. The two of them met while they were lobbying at the dome.

        There isn’t anything wrong with lobbyist. Anyone can be one. The problem comes in when companies hire hundreds of them to push there agenda and the constituents are ignored.
        Both Sharon and Lee were working for there own profession, not as professional lobbyist. They did nothing wrong.

        • Captain Phatbeard says:

          If somebody speaks on behalf of their own profession then I agree, there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever.

        • Game Fan says:

          If you’re a “people” and not a lobbyist then you would be naturally opposed to the lobbyists overall. Even LOBBYISTS are opposed to other lobbyists, so why shouldn’t THE PEOPLE raise a stink now and again? “The people” surely get cursed by the lobbyists, so what is this, a one way street? And if you “follow the money” Game Fan is betting it don’t start and end here in GA but rather up here.

          Sooo, this whole GA politicians with their “GA bills” is phony right out of the starting gate, see?

          • Jackster says:

            To me, it’s simple – Who pays for campaigns? It certainly isn’t me, the guy working a career job, one kid, and paying taxes, barely living paycheck to paycheck.

            It’s the PACS, and the lobbyists they employ. It angers me that we are having such a lively debate on healthcare, when we should first be having a national discussion about one fundamental question – Who actually pays for your congressman/senator, etc’s campaign? If you don’t like it, then are you willing to pony up the $$?

          • Game Fan says:

            The philosophical questions abound. For example, some would say only the most devious sociopath could get up at the podium to address “the people” with the talking points when he/she KNOWS the whole time that he/she is really doing the bidding of his corporate sponsors. As far as who pays for the campaign the need for a large budget in relation to other candidates would stem from the fact that the large contributors have created the need in the first place. They’ve created the playing field. But the big difference between the individual and the PACs and the lobbyists vs. the constituents is the former are making a financial investment or “business decision” with the expectation of a decent ROI. “The people” aren’t quite so savvy or sophisticated. Or selfish. Or unprincipled.

  4. GOPGrassroots says:

    dang, didn’t know that. This is unbelievable.

    Some people really think the voters in North Georgia are stupid.

    • pleasestopnonsense says:

      justin, now you know better than to just take what some couch potato says on peach pundit to the bank.

  5. steelfist says:

    Hawkins also hired Rex Elsass – one of the worst GOP media guys in the businesses. I don’t think they even let him in GOP HQs in Washington. That’s just a funny as Lee and his whole team are a bunch of lobbyists.

      • steelfist says:

        More than Graves, Jones, Tarvin, Cates, Stephens, Reese, Dooley, Loftman combined.

        Even more than the Democrat.

        • Captain Phatbeard says:

          That’s not a number. I am genuinely interested: how much was the pile?

          Because what I heard was that this “pile” was $200. Is that number right?

          • appachtrail70 says:

            So if Lobbyist Lee goes up to Washington and screws the people of the 9th a little by supporting minor liberalist policies its okay?

          • Captain Phatbeard says:

            My point is that while Hawkins donated $200 to Cleland I know he donated *thousands* to Republican campaigns, so I’m not really worried about his loyalties.

  6. steelfist says:

    The Gainesville Times reported that in 2009 Lee took the most money from lobbyists than any other member of the Gainesville delegation.

    “In 2009, lobbyists from interests such as Georgia Power, AT&T, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association spent $611.33 on Collins, mostly on meals and drinks.

    “Rep. Carl Rogers, R-Gainesville, received almost five times that in meals, drinks and football tickets from the University System of Georgia, the Georgia Poultry Federation and other interest groups.

    “Lobbyists spent even more on state Sen. Lee Hawkins…”


    • Captain Phatbeard says:

      I would expect lobbyists to spend more on a senator than a house rep, as there are fewer of them. Any chance Hawkins changed a vote as a result?

  7. kcordell says:

    Steelfist… whatever happened to your rumor that Hawkins was going to “drop out?” Do you still think he will?

      • Captain Phatbeard says:

        You were, however, the one who said in a previous thread that Hawkins’s staff had quit. This announcement seems to indicate that such a statement may have been hasty.

  8. Ramblinwreck says:

    The fact that Hawkins shared the stage with Sonny and Joe Biden praising the $33 Million of “federal” money “invested” in broadband infrastructure should be enough to disqualify him from serious consideration. You can’t decry big government on one hand and show up at an event to brag about how much money you’re stealing from your grandchildren and expect people to think you’ll be anything other than business as usual in DC.

      • Captain Phatbeard says:

        I don’t mind infrastructure spending; it’s one of the things the government should spend money on, in my opinion. Laying down broadband in North Georgia helps businesses, plain and simple.

        Ethanol subsidies? Get rid of that and come back to me.

        • appachtrail70 says:

          Because private companies could never lay down broadband with out government…….

          If every congressional district got 33 million dollars extra infrastructure, then that would be over 14 billion dollars. That comes out to c. $48.00 per American. Totally unacceptable. On of the most Conservative districts in the country doesn’t need a candidate who accepts pork.

          • Captain Phatbeard says:

            I for one have no problem paying $50 in tax revenue to add broadband access. It’s something I greatly believe in. You may not, and that’s fine, and I think reasonable minds can differ on that.

          • appachtrail70 says:

            I agree that we can disagree. But you can’t call yourself a Conservative and accept pork from the Stimulus Bill. Maybe Hawkins should run in the Democratic primary. He donated to Cleland, so it isn’t too far fetched.

          • Joshua Morris says:

            Come on, people. Senator Hawkins isn’t responsible for $50 of anyone’s tax dollars going to broadband infrastructure. He didn’t “accept” any “pork,” and he couldn’t haved turned it down if he wanted to, either. He’s just glad that if the federal govt insists on spending this money it’s getting spent on something that will help business. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m seeing federal dollars going to roads getting repaved in my district that don’t need repaving. Building infrastructure that will at least have some economic benefit is a better use.

            The thread-trolling, the lame attacks on Hawkins and the twisted misrepresentations of his loyalties only demonstrate that you Graves folks know you’re not leading this race. If I were you, I’d spend my time trying to help your guy’s image rather than hurting it by anonymously posting nonsense here.

          • appachtrail70 says:

            @Joshua Morris, Because Captain Phatbeard is doing something entirely different.

            “”Government has no place in increasing bureaucracy in order to create jobs,” said Hawkins. “Instead, government should be supporting projects like the North Georgia Network that provide the tools businesses need to keep employees employed and to expand their reach.”

            If you honestly believe government should be providing pork to Congressional districts, then go ahead and support Hawkins. Maybe he can be the only Republican to vote for the next stimulus package.

          • Joshua Morris says:

            appy, you still don’t get it. He can’t keep the money from being spent here. He’s just saying that it’s better to support private businesses with infrastructure that will help them create jobs than to create wasteful public jobs with the money.

            This project was not building a statue, building an expansion to a college, or building a road. It is an infrastructure project. It should have been a local project, but the Feds did it. So we’re glad that at least it helps local business.

  9. Ramblinwreck says:

    After I posted the above I checked my FB account and got an invite from Lee Hawkins to go to Alvin Worley’s outback in Ringgold. Mr. Worley is a big supporter of Jeff Mullis. I’ve never been to an event there or heard of one there that Mullis wasn’t behind. With Hawkins’ and Mullis’ backgrounds they could fill up the room with lobbyists. I declined the invitation but for the record we’d still like to have Senator Hawkins come to the Dade County TEA party and explain how he will abide by the intent of the Constitution and defend our right to life, liberty and property if he makes it to Washington. OR, will he just be business as usual which got us into this mess to begin with. We await his call. Based on his recent photo op with Biden I suspect I know but I’m ready to be surprised.

  10. Epicurean says:

    Tom Graves is a good man. But the numbers just aren’t in his favor.
    Lee Hawkins is going to win this election.

    Hall County voters are going to turn out in very large numbers to support Nathan Deal and Casey Cagle. Hawkins is going to reap the benefit of this turnout.

    With Evans out of the race, Hawkins has picked up enough of Forsyth to put him over the top.

    This may not sit well with some of you here, and again, Tom Graves is a good man who will hopefully make a great Congressman if Forsyth and Hall are separated from the rest of the 9th after reapportionment.

    But this time around, it will go to Hawkins.

    • steelfist says:

      We’ll see about that. That strategy worked out well for Congressman, I mean tire salesman Jim Whitehead. Tom has strong support in Hall, even stronger support in Forsyth and has a great organization in the other parts of the district. The 9th District won’t support a big government, Joe Biden lovin lobbyist representing them in Washington.

    • Ramblinwreck says:

      The fact that Jeff Mullis’ first lobbyist pick for the seat dropped out it appears now that he is doubling down on another lobbyist who will do nothing to halt the out of control spending going on in Washington. You can’t believably claim to be against something while you’re standing on the stage with the walking gaffe machine Joe Biden talking about how great it is to get $33 Million that we had to borrow from China or run the printing press to create. I think people have awakened and know the difference now.

    • Captain Phatbeard says:

      For those of you who accuse me of “defending Hawkins” and “declaring the race for Hawkins,” that post is what one of those looks like.

    • AthensRepublican says:

      It is way to early to determine how this race is going to shake out. There are quite a few really good candidates in the 9th.

  11. rugby says:

    “Team 180 is an elite group of committed GA-9 Freedom Fighters who will mobilize as foot soldiers to help change America. The goal of Team 180 is to turn the direction our county 180 and back to the roots on which it was founded.”

    That’s some serious chutzpah.

    • ByteMe says:

      Not to mention a complete misunderstanding of the power of being a freshman representative in a body with over 400 recidivists.

      • rugby says:

        And what does it mean to turn our country 180?

        Maybe a Gator can explain that, but as it requires some thinking, I am not expecting much. 🙂

        • ByteMe says:

          Picture our country as a giant wooden vessel racing toward a huge Niagara-sized waterfall. Now picturing it attempting to turn away from the falls…

          … and running aground on some rocks.

          Pretty sure that’s what he means.

        • ByteMe says:

          And you know that around the state of Florida, we always understood that if you didn’t have the grades or scores to get into UF, there was always FSU, because they’d take nearly anyone.

        • Game Fan says:

          “…The goal of Team 180 is to turn the direction our county 180 and back to the roots on which it was founded.”

          Methinks “county” should be “country”.
          IMHO “180” should be “180 degrees”.
          Of course in skateboard vernacular you can “do a 180”. But “do a 180” doesn’t really resonate with moi in the political context. If you’re using the ship analogy, many would be happy with a click or two to the right. For a short time. Otherwise you’re going to go in circles.

        • Captain Phatbeard says:

          So does that means Graves’ 180 group is either smarter than normal voters, more connected than normal voters, or has more money than normal voters.

          I’m not sure which is the most condescending but hope that’s not what Graves meant.

          • appachtrail70 says:

            If Graves had wrote that Team 180 is an elite group of people….. it could be considered condescending, but he wrote an elite group of GA 9 Freedom Fighters. So someone on Team 180 is basically a super GA 9 Freedom Fighter. Really isn’t to complicated Phat.

          • Captain Phatbeard says:

            If you can describe phone bank members as an “elite group” of “Freedom fighters” with a straight face then you’re a better actor than I am.

    • benevolus says:

      Yeah, what does “back to the roots” mean? Are we going to have stockades again? Witch trials? No fire department?

    • Back in Black says:


      A lot of chutzpah from a guy who disbanded 216 Policy Group because he was afraid of rocking the boat.

      Why did he quit?

      The record: Kinda gutless.

      “Graves for House: because the House needs more spineless jellyfish.”

    • Captain Phatbeard says:

      By the apparent rules of this forum, because Mullis is not an overt cheerleader for Graves, there’s hate for him.

      • Ramblinwreck says:

        Nobody “hates” Jeff Mullis. Note that Jeff Mullis has supported two candidates, Evans and Hawkins, both from the far Eastern side of the 9th District. Why is that? When Georgia gets another Congressional district in 2012 that district in all likelihood will be in North Georgia and will split the 9th. If Graves wins the seat will not be empty, it will have an incumbent. If a candidate from the East side wins it will be a vacant seat. Jeff’s fondest desire is to be a Congressman and a Graves win will end that dream. In spite of his statement to the media that he would remain neutral till after qualifying he is now hosting an event in Ringgold for Hawkins so if you choose to believe anything else he says then I have some beach front property in Dade County I’d like to make you a deal on.

        Hawkins and Mullis could be the poster boys for the failure of the GOP in Washington and Atlanta over the last few decades. While proclaiming to be a “conservative” Hawkisn, like Mullis, then claims that you have to be “pragmatic” and work with the system and take “stimulus” money we borrow from the Chinese our grandchildren will have to repay or that the Fed prints driving us toward hyper inflation. Witness his appearance with Biden and Perdue praising the $33 Million being “invested” in broadband infrastructure in NE Georgia. If he has the stones to brag about this BEFORE the election do you think he will act differently and change his stripes after he gets to DC?

        You cannot fix a problem with the same thinking that created the problem and Lee Hawkins and Jeff Mullis to not represent new thinking but the same old strategy that generational theft is OK as long as I benefit from it and can get elected/reelected.

        • pleasestopnonsense says:

          Ben, did you use any state funds to assist any undertakings of the Dade county budget while you were in office?
          I’m just curious.

          • Ramblinwreck says:

            State funds definitely. Atlanta requires us to collect taxes from citizens and send it in and the counties should get some of it back in LARP (local assistance road paving) dollars. I would have been just as happy if the county had been allowed to just keep the fuel tax money we collected and paved our own roads with that.

            This is a lot different than running on a “conservative” (whatever that means any more) platform of smaller limited government and more personal responsibility and then begging for millions of “stimulus” dollars that can’t be repaid in the next several generations. Hawkins dash to be part of the photo-op with Biden and Perdue when they announced the $33 Million internet expansion in NE Georgia funded by generational theft told me everything I needed to know about how he’d act if he ever gets to DC.

            Jeff Mullis was just given an award by the Atlanta Business Chronicle for his effectiveness in getting a $14 Million “federal grant” (stimulus money) to study a Maglev rail line from the Atlanta airport to the Chattanooga airport. Evidently driving the country to bankruptcy is OK as long as the business community is behind it. They will call you “most influential.” Taxpayers/voters are starting to learn another name for that. They call it “former elected official.”

        • appachtrail70 says:

          Why are you trying to turn this on Ben? Your reinforcing his point that a vote for Lee Hawkins is a vote for the same old same old DC pork.

          • pleasestopnonsense says:

            Actually, I’m not at all.
            Why is me asking a simple question about Mr. Brandon’s leadership as a county executive dubbed turning it around on him?
            I just want to know if he was successful in rejecting all state and federal dollars and relying soley on the income generated in “the State of Dade.”

            I’m honestly just curious to hear the response, if there is one.

  12. AlanR says:

    Which is worse?

    Being a lobbyist, spending money on legislators and contributing to their campaigns, or being a legislator that accepts the grease?

    A registered lobbyist has at lease stated his intentions.

    Which one of these candidates have been so interested in ethics that they have not taken anything from a lobbyist?

  13. Captain Phatbeard says:

    Here is a question for the Graves supporters. Again I want to make clear that I am a potential Graves voter but have some issues I’d like cleared up:

    Today the Graves supporters have gone on about lobbyists and also about how they love Graves. Graves was a Hawk for Richardson. How do Graves supporters reconcile their hatred for lobbyists with their love for a candidate who was the willing servant of a man who abused his position on behalf of lobbyists, including one he cheated on his wife with? Is Graves really not worried about lobbyists, or is he just a bad judge of character?

    • steelfist says:

      Captain Phatbeard – if you are open-minded as you say you are, what are 3 reasons why you would vote for Tom at this point in the campaign?

      • Captain Phatbeard says:

        A fair question.
        One, I think he is a conservative on fiscal issues. Two, he’s pro-life. Three, he has spent time in a legislature and that is a personal requirement for me in a Congressman. The problem I face is that Hawkins shares those qualities as well and I think both are the only viable candidates remaining, with all due respect to the others.

        Therefore the tiebreakers come down to other matters, such as who the candidate associates with politically, how the candidate conducts themselves, and what sort of campaign a candidate runs. I consider those things to be a proxy of legislative effectiveness once they get up to DC.

        So here’s some of what Graves has to overcome to get my vote:

        1) Graves’s stump speech is all about how he (and the rest of us little guys) can continue his strong record of “beating the odds.” The example he gives of “beating the odds” in his stump speech is the work his wife did to run an abortion doctor out of Gordon County. Though I agree with the end result, that does not seem like a particularly tough thing to do. It instead sounds like an attempt to shoehorn a hot-button topic into a speech and that makes me raise my eyebrow. I do not like it when candidates use religion as a justification for their candidacy (such as when Bobby Reese basically announced at the 515 Tea Party Rally that God told him to run).

        2) Graves also was not “beating the odds” when he served as a Hawk while Richardson was trying to kill local governments through the GREAT tax. This concerns me because somebody who will screw local governments from Atlanta will screw state governments from DC. Hawkins may have given $200 to Max Cleland for whatever reason before he ran for office, but he certainly never (to my knowledge) collaborated with anyone trying to eviscerate local governments.

        I have some disagreements with Hawkins as well on some issues which is why I am still undecided.

  14. SkyDog says:

    Team 180 will be team 120 before it’s over. He’ll lose a third of his supporters when the story about the lobbyist comes out.

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