Late Breaking 2012 Georgia General Primary Election News Open Thread

We’re more than 24 hours away from the polls closing in the 2012 Georgia General Primary, and as such, there is a lot of news, rumors, and other delightful inside baseball tidbits that most folks like to gobble up.  Check back here for any late-breaking election news and feel free to post any sort of updates and interesting stories from the elections in your neck of the woods in the comments section.  I understand that we’re in the bottom of the ninth, but please remain cordial with each other…we’re monitoring the comments.  You’ve been warned.

::OPEN THREAD::

Update from Representative Jay Neal’s campaign concerning anonymous mailings attacking him from an unregistered Political Action Committee:

Chickamauga, GA – July 30, 2012 – The reelection campaign of State Representative Jay Neal called on challenger Steve Tarvin to reveal what he knows about a negative mail piece House District 2 voters received in the days leading up to the primary election.

The negative mail piece says that it is “Paid for by Say No To Flip Flops” and attacks Representative Jay Neal who faces Tarvin in tomorrow’s Republican primary election. The mailer was sent from the same mail house that has done previous mailers for Steve Tarvin’s Campaign – Permit #96 out of Kennesaw, GA.

A review of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission (formerly known as the State Ethics Commission) does not list the organization credited with paying for the piece as registered, as political organizations in Georgia are required to do. This latest mailer is the third instance of an anonymous or unregistered negative political mail directed against Representative Neal.

Representative Neal commented on the piece “My political opponents are free to criticize me and send out negative information about me if they choose, but they should at least have the courage to put their own name on their negative mail instead of hiding behind fabricated or unregistered political organizations.”

The Neal campaign is offering Tarvin’s campaign the opportunity to disclose whether or not his campaign, or anyone affiliated with his campaign, was behind this negative mail piece and why it was paid for by a political organization that is not registered as required by state law.

25 comments

  1. saltycracker says:

    It is virtually impossible to become an “informed voter”.
    Half-truths, spins, deception and outright lies, many far from any revelant issues flood the citizens. Even on those I have known a long time took some time & direct questions to reassure myself that they didn’t trip up somewhere. Last minute double sleaze caused me to just to skip over voting in a few offices.

    One thing we can count on, if a cause is registered, it probably means the objective is the exact opposite. This is a flawed process that no one could be proud of, the turnout and results will reflect it.

    • saltycracker says:

      Correction: the turnout should be improving as more one-minute folks are knee-jerk voting to “do the right thing.”

  2. Bob Loblaw says:

    Talk about a need for a change in the Ethics laws? Whoever sends these anonymous mailers with a bulk rate stamp should be required to disclose them or the owner of the bulk rate stamp should be compelled to disclose who their customer is.

    • NoTeabagging says:

      And citizens should know how to contact these mailing companies and ask to be on a ‘do not mail list.

      • John Konop says:

        In all seriousness, the do not call list put a lot of people out of work. Would anyone support ending the ban as long as the people were employed in the USA?

        • NoTeabagging says:

          When local commissioners, etc,. use out of state calling services, they are not exactly putting people to work or supporting local business. Mindless pod people sending messages via automated software/service/machine is not exactly driving our economy.
          LOL

          • John Konop says:

            First, metro Atlanta is a calling center market. Second, jobs feed on jobs ie spending……..finally, we are in no position with the current job numbers to snub industries you do not like.

            • Charlie says:

              I wouldn’t want to create farm jobs by having uninvited folks plow up my front yard, and I don’t care to create call center jobs by having uninvited folks run up the number of phone minutes that I pay for.

                • Let’s change the situation around a little bit. If someone has a driveway gate with “No Trespassing” and “Private Property” signs posted on it, is it okay for people to open the gate and walk up to someone’s front door to try to sell them something? (Or even campaign, since politicians exempted themselves here.) That’s about how I look at the do not call list. I’m sure some people will disagree with me, but if someone is actively putting their name on a list because they don’t want to receive soliciting calls and they’re paying for that telephone line (unlimited minutes or not), should they not have the ability to do that?

  3. JRM2016 says:

    The question of anonymous political advertising is difficult, particularly since the requirement to state who paid for advertising was stripped in a previous legislative session. Then Senator Butterworth authored a bill which was passed in 2011 that would have restored this requirement, but Governor Deal vetoed the bill over what I believe to be legitimate constitutional concerns. Anonymous political speech has a history in America that predates our current Constitution (The Federalist Papers anyone?)

    However, I do think tightening up the law so that disclosure is made in every constitutionally allowable circumstance is yet another reason for a debate on comprehensive reform of our ethics/campaign finance law.

    Josh McKoon

    • I voted against Senator Butterworth’s bill because it contained a provision I felt threatened political blogging. That said I agree with Sen. McKoon, anonymous mailers need to be part of the discussion of reform.

      Blogging or writing a letter to the editor anonymously is one thing. Spending money on robo-calls or mailers to influence the outcome of an election is another. This isn’t just happening in HD2, it’s happening all over the State. We had a race here in Gwinnett a few years ago where big money interests were clearly using this aspect of the law to try to unseat a Commissioner they didn’t like.

      The public has a right to know who is spending money to influence elections.

      • NoTeabagging says:

        If candidates were required to publish their home telephone numbers, robocalls would stop!

        Anyone received robocalls, and mailers for candidates outside your district or county?
        Annoying! But no tears for the candidates wasting $$$ on calls and mailers going to annoy folks that can’t vote for them.

  4. John Konop says:

    This blog is filled with the best and brightest in the election world……. Can we get predictions on any incumbents not winning and ballot issues.

  5. Found a quick scribble describing anonymous political speech at a critical time in our nation’s history:
    “anonymous political speech isn’t just a great American tradition. It helped create the United States of America. The Federalist Papers, the series of essays that influenced the adoption of the Constitution, were published under the pseudonym “Publius” (in reality James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay). The anti-Constitution position was in turn articulated by “the Federal Farmer,” whose identity remains a mystery. Those interventions weren’t a threat to democracy – they were an expression of it.”

  6. Dave Bearse says:

    Not saying I agree, but I thought it was settled that money is free speech, and free speech can be anonymous. So if someone or a small group wants to spend their own money without seeking to raise money and doesn’t coordinate with a campaign, no need to register, no need to report the source of the money, and they can say its paid for by whatever group name they want so long as it’s not impersonating someone or another group, or not say its paid for by anyone at all.

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