Beacon “Big 5” Debate February 4

The Beacon, a Roswell based publication that many North Fulton residents are familiar with, is holding a GOP Gubenatorial debate on February 4 in Alpharetta. PeachPundit will be there, liveblogging the debate.

The Beacon is pleased to announce the upcoming BIG 5 GOP Gubernatorial Debate to be held Thursday night, February 4 at the Metropolitan Club in Alpharetta, GA. Debate participants include Republican frontrunners Nathan Deal, Karen Handel, Eric Johnson, John Oxendine and Austin Scott. This is the first Governor’s Debate where the Big 5 are on the same dais. The format is freewheeling and wide open, allowing the candidates to ask each other the majority of the questions. The Beacon Big 5 Debate commences with a cocktail reception honoring the candidates at 6:00 p.m. The event is open to the public and the press and tickets are available on a first-come, first-seved basis for $10 each through January 29. Seating is limited and we expect the event to be sold out, so reserve your tickets now at

I’m told that the event is selling well, so if you plan on attending make arrangements today. As you can see, we’re pleased The Beacon is using PeachPundit to advertise the debate. This should be a great event!


  1. Jeff Scott says:

    Will the Ox be mixing the drinks at the cocktail reception?

    And what’s the over/under on Ox telling everybody that he’s the frontrunner and the only candidate that can beat Roy Barnes?

    • macho says:

      I know one of Barnes’ political guys. The irony is that publicly they will give you the standard opposition candidate response, “We don’t care who the nominee is, because we can beat all of them,” but privately they definitely hope Ox is the nominee.

    • BuckheadConservative says:

      I guarantee Ox is going to want a cocktail by the end of the thing. It’ll be interesting to see if Austin comes out swinging again.

  2. Debra says:

    Why not have all 7 candidates? It’s still early in the race and I think Senator Chapman would do well in the ratings given more exposure.

    • polisavvy says:

      I agree with you completely. If you are going to have a GOP debate, then you should have ALL seven of them there. July is six months away and anything can happen. Front runners could fall, scandals could be revealed, and other things could be game changers. Endorsements can also carry a good bit of weight and give candidates a lift in the polls. A lot could happen (and probably will).

      • LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

        I also agree. I’m supporting Chapman and would like to see more of him on stage. Also, McBerry is a nut, but he still deserves to be in a debate; especially this early in the race.

        • polisavvy says:

          I still am not convinced who I intend to vote for; however, if an organization is going to call something a debate, then it needs to involve all the candidates. No debate should just be between the people who are polling high. Ox didn’t even show up at the last one because, as his campaign told the Clarke County GOP, he would not appear at a debate where candidates polling under 5% would be appearing. He, unfortunately, is polling at the top. Some of the front runners weren’t all that impressive. There could be events/scandals that cause a front runner or two to fall. If that ends up being the case, then what have the people heard if you exclude any candidate?

          • Game Fan says:

            “Big-5”? I’m sorry but I never heard of this. Is this something steeped in GA tradition or something brand spanking new? I’ve heard of the Pac-10 and the final four but the big 5 just b-tch-slapped me upside the head.

          • AubieTurtle says:

            In general one is considered a nut if they deviate too far from the group average. If most of the party is made up of those who you consider to be RINOs, then they are the norm and he’s the outsider. Send one of the RINOs to another time, perhaps they’d be considered the nut but in this time and state, McBerry doesn’t seem to conform to the mainstream of the Republican Party of Georgia, which from the GOP persepective makes him a nut.

          • Red Phillips says:

            “McBerry doesn’t seem to conform to the mainstream of the Republican Party of Georgia, which from the GOP persepective makes him a nut.”

            No Aubie, it makes him a true conservative. If the rest deviate from the true conservatism they pretend to represent then that is an indictment of them and the modern GOP, not Ray. If Patrick Henry appeared today they would all call him a nut.

          • ByteMe says:

            I remember reading that “tall” was defined as being 2 std. deviations outside of average height and an NBA center was about 3 standard deviations.

            McBerry is “very tall”. 🙂

          • ByteMe says:

            Awww… now you’re taking your cheerleading for crazy guy personally. That’s ok. I expect little else, given the quality of your posts here.

          • Ramblinwreck says:

            Ray McBerry is the only candidate in the GOP race who believes in the Constitution. Start challenging the other GOP candidates on their stance on this and see what answers you get. You will get a lesson in weasel wording and tap dancing at the same time.

          • ByteMe says:

            Hmmm…. given the “popcorn quotient”, McBerry is fast moving up my list and is now #2 behind the Ox for who I’d most like to see run against Barnes.

            You McBerry-heads are doing a marvelous job. Keep it up.

          • Red Phillips says:

            “cheerleading for crazy guy personally”

            ByteMe, how old are you? Third grade? Is Peach Pundit a serious political site or the playground? Grow up and make a serious argument instead of calling people names like a child.

          • ByteMe says:

            Red, you’re just annoyed that none of us can see the halo you see around McBerry’s head.

            Seriously: Stop. Drinking. The. Kool-Aid. It’s not good for your perception of reality.

          • Red Phillips says:

            No one thinks McBerry has a halo, but in a political climate awash in centrism and moderation for centrism and moderation’s sake, people get excited when they hear a politician who actually wants to restore the Constitution.

          • ByteMe says:

            Yeah, Red, because God forbid we elect politicians who appeal to the majority of us instead of a teeny-weeny minority.

          • Red Phillips says:

            “Yeah, Red, because God forbid we elect politicians who appeal to the majority of us instead of a teeny-weeny minority.”

            I’m asking that politicians appeal to the Constitution. Quaint idea, I know.

          • ByteMe says:

            No, Red, you’re not. You’re pushing a marginal candidate who is failing miserably to gather any political or public support and appears to just be running for the sake of pushing his for-profit events and groups. Don’t pretend that there’s a larger principle than that at stake.

      • Lawful Money says:

        Don’t be ridiculous – haven’t you heard?

        Mr. Fredericks has determined the “viable” candidates for you. In fact, he determined them for us all sometime last spring, announced them in his “Beacon”, and has personally dictated who was “electable” at GOP get-togethers in North Fulton ever since.

        Don’t you think we should all be grateful that he has unilaterally pared down the ballot choices for us? What a time-saver…and golly, who wants to expend the effort researching and comparing real issues and the intellect/integrity of the candidates seeking to hold office to resolve those issues?

        Shouldn’t we be impressed that his “Big-5” has remained the same since only days after two of them announced their candidacy…and shouldn’t we simply expunge any recollection of his “viable” candidate predictions in other races, long after those “viable” candidates have withdrawn or otherwise demonstrated themselves to be little more than rodeo clowns?

        And what about that example of “journalistic integrity” he sets – should we not honor him for his fastidious efforts to keep the debate focused on 5 interchangeable hacks with the same non-answers? Why cloud the issue? Just start with an agenda, engage in non-stop redundancies about who is “electable”, keep the lone voices of reason, law, liberty and defense of the constitution out of what you claim is “uncompromising coverage”, and set yourself up as a champion prognosticator for predicting the lack of name recognition you, yourself, have helped create.

        We don’t need no stinking truth upsetting this script.

        Seriously though….we wonder who Mr. Fredericks is taking orders from.

        Even in this day and age of depreciated morals and of “journalism” bought and paid for – it is surprising to witness such transparent manipulation and cowardice. There are 7 Republicans on the ballot currently, and the Beacon can invite or dis-invite to their little tea party whomever they see fit.

        What they can’t do, and still claim to be a legitimate member of a legitimate “press” presumably acting in interests of real journalism – no to mention honoring their own slogans which include “hard news, differing views, real reviews” & “uncompromising coverage of north Fulton” – is decide who the public is to be permitted to know is running, and have dictated to THEM what the terms of attendance will be by one or more of the interchangeable five….

        They can call it a “debate”, a “forum”, a “candidate dinner”, or a “shouting match” & they can have any format they wish – but claiming they can’t fit the other two candidates in the same room with the 5 bobble-heads is not only transparent in its deceit, it’s an admission of corruption.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      I have no dog in this fight (Neutrality disclaimer done), and so would like to see all seven. It will be interesting to see how future debates are handled.

    • CMOB says:

      If it is a true debate where the candidates talk to each other and ask questions then time element is to be considered. With 7 there would be a great deal less interaction between the top candidates. The field should be cut down to the top 3 perhaps where we can see the stark differences in them

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      While living in Texas, I saw a forum with 18 candidates. This was for the nonpartisan special election for the US Senate seat eventually won by Kay Bailey Hutchison – this included an older guy (Billy Brown) who dressed in a white jump suit a la Elvis with what looked like an admiral’s hat. Seriously

      Then they held a debate with the top six candidates who were not in the forum. The former was entertaining. The latter was important. Draw your own conclusions, though I wish there was a way to include all of the GOP candidates.

  3. Tireless says:

    Barnes would love to face Ox in the election. Let’s see…in one corner we have the good old boy trail lawyer and in the other corner we have the high pitched dude wearing a fire hat with a red emergency light flashing……oops, my bad, Ox isn’t allowed to use the red light after he was caught abusing that device.

    This should be an interesting debate with a more open format that will allow the parties to mix it up.

  4. Bill30097 says:

    This is disgusting. I guess the Beacon libtards must support the Ox. Why else would they arrange a debate that excludes McBerry because the OX has stated he is afraid to debate McBerry. Even Eric Holder’s girl Karen Handel does not avoid McBerry the way the Ox does. I am 56 and never in my entire life have I missed a vote nor have I ever voted for a Demcrat. If a RINO such as Ox or Handel are the “Republican” nominee then I will do what I do whenever a RINO steals the Republican nomination: skip the race or vote Libertarian.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      I have a feeling I’m going to be going with my first choice, John Monds (but the boy had better do something with that website, it hasn’t been updated in . . . well, a while). I’m waiting to see if GA GOP is ready to do anything substantial to reverse the tide, but it seems like they would rather keep sending bunch of “yes men” into office. If the Republicans regain a majority in D.C. again next election, we’d better damn well pray that whoever ends up in the Governor’s office isn’t someone who will just drop their principles and blindly follow unprincipled party leaders.

  5. a4s4 says:

    I am with Bill on this. This is a disgrace. Every candidate should at leaste be invited to debate. Regardless of who you support, how can you not agree. Its about time the Republican party learn a leason. This endless cycle of big government dem candidates vs. big government rep candidates is ruining this country. Open up your eyes people…..The Beacon will be getting a few phone calls I can promise you that.

  6. Red Phillips says:

    Ray was the “Rock Star” after the last debate, and the rest of the candidates know it.

    Was Ray deliberately excluded, or are they just celebrating the fact that they have the “big 5” so far?

    • polisavvy says:

      I wouldn’t necessarily call him a rock star; however, he does deserve to be there, as does Mr. Chapman. These debate organizers should either play fair or go home.

    • AthensRepublican says:

      I did not have much opinion on McBerry prior to the debate last week. After hearing him, I thought he came across as an egotistical idiot.

          • Republican Lady says:

            You don’t appear to think that Karen is capable, that she is Holder’s shadow. Any particular reason you think that way? Share!

          • Jeff says:

            What is funny about the McBerry crowd saying Handel had to call Holder is that Handel broke Federal law by IGNORING the US DOJ – even while it was in GOP hands!

            Why would her “boss” be someone she breaks Federal law ignoring?

            Seriously, MUCH easier to tie her to Go-Fish Perdue than Eric Holder.

          • Bill30097 says:

            Jeff needs to get his facts straight.

            Question for Republican Lady: Do you think Federal law as interpreted by Erc Holder trumps the Constitution? If so, then you rightly need to support Handel. If not, then McBerry is the choice. At West Point the cadets are taught that they are not required to obey an unlawful order such as firing on unarned civilians or to obey an unConstitutional order such as participate in an illegal coup againt the government. Handel could at the very least have appealed the Holder DOJ’s unconstitutional order. She chose not to do so which can only be interpreted as agreeing with it.

          • Jeff says:


            The facts of Handel’s violations of VRA Section 5 are well documented. Not overly surprising that a McBerry supporter would say they’re not though, since y’all probably think McBerry’s violations of State law aren’t documented either.

          • Icarus says:

            “Jeff, you are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts. ”

            …says the genius who claims that McBerry has won every straw poll but one.

    • Romegaguy says:

      He wasnt a Rock Star after the last debate. The other candidates know it. Ray knows it. And the voters know it.

      • Ramblinwreck says:

        Someone must have forgotten to tell the people who flocked to talk to him afterwards. I guess they aren’t voters.

        • Jeff says:


          Ray can attract small crowds. Whoopie! My DOG can attract small crowds.

          Why hasn’t he filed his disclosure yet? What is he hiding?

          Maybe the fact that his campaign has NO money and is falling apart at the seams?

          • Jeff says:


            THIS VERY SITE proves you wrong on that one. I’ve seen SEVERAL posts on this site regarding straw poll results over the last six months, and I honestly don’t remember seeing McBerry winning a single one.

            Talk about needing to get your facts straight!

          • Ken in Eastman says:


            I’m not saying you are wrong, but will you please post the straw polls Ray McBerry has won?

            I think this would help straighten out the facts, don’t you?

          • Icarus says:

            I’ll say Bill is wrong.

            I’ve attended two events where there were open straw polls that were pre-announced and suppored by local GOP organizations; Glynn County and Walker County.

            McBerry didn’t win either.

            There have been many more similar to the above that McBerry didn’t win.

            I’m assuming that Bill has a qualifying statements to “all the straw polls” such as

            …all the straw polls hosted by Georgia First, or
            …all the straw polls by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, or all the straw polls for the President of Georgia.

            But by any measure of Republican grass roots activity (you know, the 97% of Republicans who are RINOs to all McBerry supporters, so these 97% don’t count in their eyes), McBerry is not a winner. Far from it.

            For the love of God, the man can’t even file a simple disclosure. Would you guys just go ahead and cough up the inevitable excuse that the disclosure is somehow unconstitutional so we can go ahead an laud him for one more “patriotic” act by only following the laws he feels applicable to himself.

          • Red Phillips says:

            “the 97% of Republicans who are RINOs to all McBerry supporters”

            Assuming those numbers are true, and I wouldn’t dispute them much, then that is an indictment of the 97% who think the Constitution shouldn’t be followed, not the 3% who do. And we have a lot of work to do to change minds.

            What part of “Constitutionalism” do you have a problem with? Do you think the Constitution is a “living and breathing” document and “original intent” is a dead letter? Do you think precedent is more important than original intent? Do you reject the doctrine of enumerated powers? Do you broadly read the “commerce clause” and the “general welfare” clause? Do you think it would be nice if the Constitution was followed as originally intended, but it just isn’t practical at this point? Explain.

          • Icarus says:

            Here’s my point:

            You claim to represent a party with views that relate to less than 3% of its members. You then choose to call everyone else “RINO” or “moderate”.

            You can perform mental masturbation to the word “Constitution” all you want. As long as you represent ideas, practices, tactics, and a vision that is supported by less than 3% of members in a world where 50% + 1 decides what happens in the name of that organization, I think you should see the irony of calling the extreme supermajority of those who identify with that group as the frauds.

            Ray has his own organization and occasionally his own party. Feel free to stick with GAFirst. League of the South, and the “Constitution Party” if you wish, or not. Just quit calling the 97% of Republicans who don’t wish to turn the clock back to 1780 Rinos.

          • Red Phillips says:

            I generally try not to use the word RINO much (although sometimes I let it slip) for that reason. (When I use it, I usually use it to describe people like Collins and Snowe, not most Republicans.) The Republican Party historically speaking is not the conservative party and certainly not the states’ rights party. (It is historically speaking the Court Party as opposed to the Democrats Country Party.) The parties to some degree switched positions over the several decades from the New Deal until Reagan +/-, so that now the GOP is considered the “conservative” party.

            Of course it takes 50% + 1 to win, and of course strict Constitutionalism is unfortunately not the majority opinion. That means we have work to do and one of the ways you do that work is to run candidates.

            I have never claimed that McBerry has majority support in the GOP. What I would say is that like Ron Paul he has a disproportionate number of supporters among a certain type of activists. That translates to a strong presence on internet forums, for example, but not as much in a primary.

            But perhaps you would like to address my question above. If you don’t want to “turn the clock back to 1780” then on what grounds do you believe it is OK to ignore the Constitution? A government that does not follow its Founding document is acting lawlessly.

          • Icarus says:

            I have no desire to answer your questions, because this isn’t a blog about constituional law, it’s a blog about politics. Politics requires you to get 50%+1, or build a coalition with someone who can get 50% +1.

            McBerry’s gang has decided to attack those closest to their own views (i.e., Chip Rogers), so there’s no hope of a coalition. And I think we all understand that Ray won’t get to 50% + 1. So, why spend all the time on a blog about politics, when there’s no actual attainable goal from the McBerry camp?

            So, as far as politics goes, we have the same claims McBerry made when he ran against Perdue in 2006. Lot’s of hat, absolutely no cattle.

            I look forward to seeing the “Big 5” at the debate.

          • Red Phillips says:

            Some of us have this quaint idea that the politics of the country/state should be limited by the Constitution.

            If this is just a blog about the “horse race” then you need to tell everyone else that, as others are regularly weighing in with their opinions on all things constitutional.

          • polisavvy says:

            I agree with Icarus on the point he just raised. My feeling is that if McBerry is such an upstanding guy and citizen, then why has he continued to remain defiant and not file his disclosure statement? People are beginning to question his reasoning and it has the potential to be very damaging to his campaign in the long run.

        • anewday says:

          Guys, McBerry IS lying to YOU…He did not attract a crowd after the debate. I was there and I can promise you that it did not happen. Also he hasn’t won any straw polls. He made up results. I know that y’all are going to follow McBerry like the cultist that he looks like, but just know he is lying to you and is being a “politician” and spinning his press releases to get gullible people like yourself to believe in his crazy rhetoric.

  7. anewday says:

    Let’s be realistic….While I would want all of the candidates to be in a debate it is very unrealistic. Once you have 7 candidates it is no longer a debate but rather a forum. Again, I wish all could be in the debate, but I do kinda understand where the newspaper is coming from.

    As for McBerry, I do not believe that he should be allowed to anything until he files his disclosure for last period. If he does not want to play by the rules then he should be excluded from everything as a gubernatorial candidate. IF he can’t do a disclosure I would hate for him to get close to our budget.

    • polisavvy says:

      Anewday, I understand where you are coming from and you are correct about McBerry. I digressed when I said that all candidates. Maybe I should have said all candidates except the one who refuses to follow the rules and do what he is obligated to do. I know, I know, it sounds unrealistic; however, if you excluded McBerry because of his lack of filing, then you are singling out Chapman. Where’s the fairness in that? I am just glad that the candidates I am considering are invited; however, I do feel sorry for the ones who are supporting candidates who weren’t invited. If your guy wasn’t invited, how would you feel; and, as a candidate who is not invited, how would you feel?

      • GOPGeorgia says:


        One can claim victories all they like in debates, but straw polls have winners that are determined by tabulated votes. McBerry has not won all straw polls.

        BTW, I think that all of the candidates who are openly running in the GOP primary and obeying the laws relating to such should be allowed to debate. When he files he disclosures for last period, I will be in favor of McBerry to be included in all debates. Until then, not so much.

        • polisavvy says:

          We are in 100% agreement on this about the straw polls and the filing of disclosures. If you don’t follow the rules, then you should not be allowed to play, period.

          • Ken in Eastman says:


            Please post a list of the straw polls McBerry has won. I would like to know. I don’t even need percentages (tho it would be nice) just where and when.

          • GOPGeorgia says:


            McBerry came in second in Walker County where I live. Deal lives over two hours away, and he won. Are you implying that he lives in Walker County? You are correct that McBerry came in second in that straw poll, but it was not close at all.

            However, in Union County Deal won there but Handel came in second. Deal also won in Jackson County and Cobb County. Handel has won DeKalb, Oglethorpe, and Muscogee counties.

            Oxendine won the Henry County Women GOP straw poll, a UGA CR straw poll, Glynn County GOP Straw poll, Tift County GOP straw poll, and a straw poll at the 11th District Convention. Eric Johnson won the straw poll for LG there.

            McBerry’s FB page says he won a Paulding County GOP online poll and an Augusta area YR’s online poll. There is a Columbia County YR group, but I saw no mention of a poll on their website or on Paulding County GOP’s website. An online poll IS NOT the same as a straw poll.

            I’ve looked and can’t find where McBerry has won a single straw poll. Can you please cite your sources?

          • Ken in Eastman says:


            (Cue Twilight Zone music)

            Rod Serling (wearing a back suit and skinny tie with white shirt;standing in harsh single spotlight surrounded by darkness; kill music): Bill30097 is certain that his candidate, one Raymond McBerry, has triumphed in every gubernatorial GOP straw poll in the state of Georgia save one. (Puffs ever-present cigarette) He knows he has this knowledge but cannot remember its source. Frustrated in his attempts to find evidence, Bill30097 steps into the only place he can justify his statements (pause) The Twilight Zone.

            (Cue music, dissolve shot)

            Seriously, Bill, can you post any straw polls that McBerry has won? If not, then perhaps you need to rethink a few things.

  8. Clone Of B. Plyler says:

    I support Jeff Chapman. Every candidate should be at any debate before the July elections. It ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

  9. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    I see they’re charging $10 per ticket to the debate. Is a door charge a common thing for political debates? Sorry if this is an ignorant question, but I’ve only watched them on TV.

    And why would anyone pay for an incomplete product?

      • Tireless says:

        I Binged the guy and he reads like a Ron Paul wannabe. Great concepts to debate, pathetically stupid to think you can implement……much like Ox blathering on about GA implementing a Fair Tax. I hope some of the clowns running in the repub primary start to drop out before the public gets wind of this three ring circus. lol

        • AubieTurtle says:

          The thing about guys like McBerry is that they tend to hang around long after a front runner emerges. But I doubt the Republicans have that much to worry about his general nuttiness. While some left leaning blogs are sure to have fun with him, most of the general public will understand that he’s someone on the margin.

        • Red Phillips says:

          “Great concepts to debate, pathetically stupid to think you can implement”

          Tireless, if people think following the Constitution as intended is undesirable, then fine. They should just be honest about it and not pretend they support the Constitution or invent hair brain explanations like a “living breathing” Constitution to explain away their contempt for it. If people think following the Constitution would be great, but it just isn’t going to happen, then I can respect that. To be honest, I think the chances of us ever restoring the Constitution are somewhere between slim and none. I think it is much more likely that the US is going to collapse like the former Soviet Union under the weight of our massive debt, unfunded liabilities and the Fed’s reckless printing of fiat currency, than it is that we will restore the Constitution and get it all turned around. If people say they want to follow the Constitution but don’t really realize how radical that would be (this includes many well meaning conservatives), then fine. It is entirely understandable that they wouldn’t realize what following the Constitution would mean because true Constitutionalism gets almost no mainstream hearing. It is up to true Constitutionalists like McBerry and his supporters to educate them. What really gets under my skin is dishonest people who call themselves conservatives, but who attack as “fringe” or whatever those who are actually trying to conserve something. These people generally know what they are doing. If McBerry and his supporters (and I are one) are guilty of anything it is naiveté or impracticality, not nuttiness.

          • Bill30097 says:

            It is easy to get more concerned about winning by moving to the “center” than standing on principles. I remember the same types complaining about Reagan being a “nut” who could not win. Later they said a “moderate” like McCain was needed to win. We ignored them in 1980 but too many listened in 2008.

          • Jeff says:

            Ray doesn’t follow the Constitution. Ray wants the South to Rise Again and is hell bent on starting the Second American Civil War any way he can.

          • Red Phillips says:

            Jeff, I hate to break it to you, but states rights are constitutional. McBerry, wants to use them to keep the Federal Leviathan in line. I’m not exactly sure why a Libertarian like yourself would be against that.

          • Ken in Eastman says:


            Regarding McCain, I have yet to understand it. I know quite a few Republicans and I have yet to find one who says McCain was their first choice. Not a single one.

            I don’t know if it’s cognitive dissonance or all of the independents who voted in open GOP primaries, but John McCain was not a conservative by anyone’s stretch of the imagination.

          • GOPGeorgia says:


            Sen. Jeff Mullis was backing McCain when McCain was carrying his own bags. McCain was his first choice. I think McCain was my third choice.

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            Thanks, Doug.

            So there was at least one. McCain was far down my list. My first choice was Duncan Hunter.

  10. AlanR says:

    Don’t take any chances this time. Leave the sound off and follow the debate on the liveblog. Can’t wait.

    It’s more fun, more interesting, and regrettably for Georgia, it makes more sense.

  11. Ludwig Von Beachbum says:

    It is 5/7 of a debate. Not a real debate. Why would this be billed as “great or big”?

    So their advertising here….. Oh I get it. It’s about money. The stuff evil Lobbyist use to sway opinions.

  12. Mayonnaise says:

    I think this will work in Ray’s favor. All he has to do is hold a rally outside the debate and he’ll get more press than the folks inside.

    As for the debate, it’ll be two wins in a row for Eric Johnson.

  13. Technocrat says:

    What a waste this debate is, hopefully the OX will find something else useful to do and skip it. He is being suckered in to the Handel den of evil – North Fulton.

  14. Ken in Eastman says:

    Reality check? Anyone?

    Some of these remarks make Salvador Dali’s paintings look like realism.

  15. B Balz says:

    Well since we are into animals this is not a dreaded threadjack.

    I read this and all I could keep thinking of was squirrels. As in “Nuttier than squirrel farts.”

  16. Game Fan says:

    It’s interesting to see how the politicos think regarding McBerry. The “supporters” as “followers” for example, when in reality the grassroots would be the single largest group who think the least about politicians and most about the real world and the most independent-minded folks having the fewest “followers”. Or how a Constitutionalist would be some type of destabilizing influence. In comparison to what? The fiscal liberals? Corporate sock puppets? The Bushes, Clintons, Obama and their “followers”? Supporters of the “War on Terror”? Open borders? Jeez there sure is a hue and cry over a guy with such a small chance of winning.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      Game Fan,

      When I look at what McBerry needs to do to make the runoff and compare it to what he is actually doing, then either I am missing something or he is not actually attempting to win.

      I could be wrong. He could be the greatest political genius since Winston Churchill. He may have a way to make his way into the top two contenders.

      McBerry needs to make the run-off in order to get the GOP nomination in order to become governor. In order to do so he needs to be one of the two highest vote getters in July. He has a very loyal, very small base.

      McBerry must increase his support and to do that he must reach out to people who are not comfortable with some of his positions or convince large numbers of people that his positions are correct. He is not reaching out and there appears to be little chance of him:

      1 – Converting people to his belief by July;
      2 – Convincing people he is the person to lead the movement; and,
      3 – He is the right one to govern this state.

      So, if he’s not running to win, then what is he doing? If he is running to win then how does he plan to make the runoff?

      Just some questions I’d like answered.

      • Red Phillips says:

        “or convince large numbers of people that his positions are correct”

        And how exactly would you suggest he do that? He has had speaking engagements almost every day of the week for the last several months. He is making the rounds.

        If he isn’t a danger then why doesn’t the moderation for moderation’s sake (MFMS) crowd just shut up about him and let him do his thing? The MFMS crowd is more disdainful of the “extremist” in their own party than they are libs in the other party. They are more concerned with purging/silencing the thought criminals in their own party who actually want to follow the Constitution than they are about countering liberals. What drives this?

        • ByteMe says:

          Your logic is the same as people who try to complain that if “Sarah Palin is so unqualified, why don’t they stop attacking her and leave her alone?” Ummm… could it be because she won’t leave the stage and keeps making stupid stuff up?

          Political extremism for the point of selling tickets to an event (or to get better ratings for a cable news channel) is harmful to Democracy.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          Hi Red,

          By expanding his positions and finding a way to make the (as you call them) RINOs less uncomfortable. Oh, and as long as his supporters keep referring to the majority of Republicans as Republicans In Name Only then his progress rate in that regard is doubtful.

          Red, I respect your belief in Constitutionalism as we have discussed before. I have more respect for you and Bill (even though I do like tweaking his nose) than I do for your candidate.

          I’m not even arguing message, just simple politics. He has 6 months to get enough voters. That’s 26 short weeks.

          Unlike some people, I don’t think McBerry is clinically insane and I don’t think he’s stupid. He’s obviously bright, articulate and educated in American history. He can also be entertaining, but I am not sure of his goals.

          He says a lot of politically incorrect things that do need to be said. He also takes his points so far that thoughtful people recoil. He cannot win by doing so. He knows that.

          Question: Is Ray McBerry attempting to become the next Georgia governor? There is reason to ask that question. I won’t go any farther than that. You (and Bill) will have to answer that question for yourselves. Good luck.

      • Game Fan says:

        Your grassroots would simply want more outsiders in for longer. This gets the word out. Raising a stink is part of the “message” too, as the “status quo” is exposed circling the wagons, see? The grassroots is less likely to hitch their wagon to the probable “winners” and more likely to stick to their principles as, not being directly involved in politics, has nothing to lose, no “credibility” points gained or lost by supporting the outsider. There’s no downside. There’s no “adjustment period” needed. No “rethinking”, or “re-aligning” in support of the “top tier” in order to “get brownie points”, favors, ect… It’s a different world overall.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          As I have said before, it would suit me to have all 7 in the debate. The negative is that it obviously takes away time from the other candidates.

          If Chapman and McBerry were smart they would find someone to host a one-on-one DEBATE (not forum) between them shortly after the Big 5 Forum at a nearby location. They would pick up some press and get more publicity than the Big 5 just because it’s a debate and they could also react to what was said at the Big 5 Forum.

          If they’re not doing it then they should. I would even have folks passing out fliers before the Big 5 Forum to encourage the crowd to walk to the other venue. They will get a good crows just out of curiosity and the political junkies will go to both.

  17. Baker says:

    Got my ticket earlier today, looking forward to seeing some of you folks there perhaps. Since animals seem to be a popular thread item, can we assign one of the real Big 5 (lion, elephant, African buffalo, rhino, and leopard..right?) to each of these candidates that it would best suit? I suppose picking who gets lion would be difficult, but one guess for the buffalo.

  18. GA_Patriot2010 says:

    Interesting that 90% of the posts on here are about Ray McBerry not being invited. All you RINO lovers and star struck Oxen-Deal fans need to face the reality that McBerry isn’t going away. And your well connected, rich, career politician Ox will one day have to step up and debate him. Looking forward to it!

    • anewday says:

      He’s going to go away quick if he does not file his disclosure. McBerry does not need to be invited to anything if he can not play by the rule. I have noticed that none of these supporters can say anything to justify him breaking the law.

      He probably also needs to fix his old disclosure since it says nothing of the marketing on facebook. That’s how I found out about McBerry, and alas when I look to see how much his campaign has spent on facebook he has left it off the disclosure.

      • GOPGeorgia says:

        I agree with you that he needs to file, but let’s be fair; Face book is free. Have any other candidates listed face book? I kind of doubt it, but I’m sure some of them will say something like web advertising or web-site expenses.

        • anewday says:

          The marketing on facebook is not free. It is a pay by click advertising campaign. The groups and what not are free, but the ads are not. I found an ad for McBerry’s campaign on facebook. Everytime someone clicked on the ad it charged McBerry 25 cents.

          • polisavvy says:

            Thank you for letting people know that advertising on Facebook is not free. I know of at least one candidate who has listed it and every charge incurred, regardless of dollar amount.

          • anewday says:

            Yep I know of only one too…Austin Scott. The only candidate who has put down the actual amount spent on facebook.

          • polisavvy says:

            I was floored when I viewed his disclosure statement. He listed ALL items even the ones under $101.00. I lost count as to the number of times Facebook appeared. Extremely transparent filing!

        • GOPGeorgia says:

          I was referring to FaceBook profiles and fan pages as free. I was unaware of any actual ads that were bought by any campaign. Congrats to Austin Scott for listing them.

          • anewday says:

            Understood. That’s how I found out about McBerry. It was a facebook ad back in February or March of last year. I actually liked McBerry, and still do for the most part, but after doing some research I figured out that he was a little to extreme for my likings. If he could stick to the Constitution and not talk of things like secession I would be on his team.

          • Jeff says:


            I’m largely with you. Before he got all bat-crap crazy on us with all the war talk, the only thing I had on him was his theocratic ways, and even that was more based on one or two concrete issues (abortion for one) along with more side-type stuff.

            In those few moments when Ray is actually lucid and talking about civil liberties, he can be someone I agree with tremendously.

            But then, inevitably, he goes off into one of his conspiracy theorist lunatic rants, and I simply can NOT go there.

    • LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

      Can you spare $10?
      Seriously, I’d go if it were all 7 candidates. Even though at this point Chapman and the McDingle guy don’t seem to have a chance, they still deserve to be there.

      • B Balz says:

        I just reserved my tickets.

        I agree with GAGOP and others that the rules apply to each candidate if they choose to be involved in public forums or debates. A 7 person debate is unwieldy, but do-able.


        • Kellie says:

          I have 2 tickets for me and a political junkie friend of mine.
          Who wants to meet for a drink before hand??

          • polisavvy says:

            That would be cool. I’d love to meet a lot of y’all. It would be nice to know the face behind the names.

          • polisavvy says:

            No, you are wrong about that one. I really would like to meet some of y’all. I didn’t say I’d like to meet everyone who posts on here. Some scare me! I’ve already heard about you, though.

          • Kellie says:

            Icky, lol. You will do better with a drink. 😉

            polisavvy – you’re new so you will need to buy. lol
            Where should we meet? I’m not sure what is close by. Is there a bar in the venue?

          • Kellie says:

            polisavvy – Do you see the treatment we get around here? I’m a woman and I have to buy the drinks! And people think conservatives are against women’s lib. lol

            Icky – please wear pants! 😉

          • polisavvy says:

            Kellie, I agree with you about the pants. I just had a terrible vision! We better watch it, or they will go Arlen Specter on us, and call us out for not acting like ladies. 🙂

  19. drjay says:

    being all capitalist and stuff, isn’t reasonable that a private entity that is actually charging admission, should be able to have whatever sort of forum they please and invite whomever they choose?

  20. Red Phillips says:

    I’m just going to put this at the bottom, because I am getting tired of scrolling up and down trying to find old comments. This is in response to Ken and whoever else.

    First Ken, if you look above I answered the RINO complaint already. I generally avoid using that term to describe rank and file Republicans and reserve it for the Olympia Snowes of the world. The sad fact is that mainstream conservatism is the standard of the party and authentic conservatives are the outliers, so I recognize the irony in the outliers calling the majority RINOs. What they could very accurately be called is CINOs, conservatives in name only. Ray is in many ways closer to what the Republicans and conservatives pretend they believe, but not how they actually act. For example, Ray is the only candidate who takes seriously the sovereignty resolution we passed at the State Convention. For others it was just window dressing, red meat for Bubba and nothing else.

    But let’s say someone is a Constitutionalist and they survey the current political landscape and accurately determine that it is inhospitable to Constitutionalism. They have only a few choices as I see it. 1.) They could just throw their hands up in the air and take their ball and go home, but that would be an unproductive and immature response. Or 2.) they could determine that the political landscape as it currently exists is a given and isn’t going to change appreciably, so recognizing Constitutional restoration as an unachievable ideal they seek to work within the system to make the best they can out of a bad situation. I can totally respect this stance. It is reasonable and practical and even arguably conservative in a hard headed realist sort of sense. Or 3) they could attempt to alter the political landscape for the better and make it more receptive to Constitutionalism.

    Now if they chose path 3, how are they supposed to change the landscape? Are they supposed to engage in some massive PR campaign, and then if and only if they are successful run a candidate? Are they supposed to relegate themselves to think tanks, Ivy Towers, blogs, obscure magazines, etc. and just fight the battle on a purely intellectual field and hope the people come around? Why can’t running a candidate who espouses your ideas be part of the effort to change the landscape? Must the political ground be totally fertile before a candidate can run without being called names by the militant centrists?

    What I do not have any use for is the people who call themselves something, conservative, but then make fun of the people who are more authentically what they claim to be. The only enemies to the right of me mentality. What I do not understand is hostile, militant centrism, an element much in evidence on this blog. Is Ray really that threatening to these people? If he has a message that is so self-evidently “fringe” then why sweat him? Why not just let him plug along. What drives this? What would cause a person to get all worked up over someone who wants to follow the Constitution as originally intended that they just want them to shut up and go away and are driven to call them names when they don’t? Does this happen on the left? Were there centrist or self-identified liberal Dems all worked up over Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich? Do they call Bernie Sanders bad names? Perhaps these hostile centrists need to look within themselves and figure out what drives their obsession.

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