Zoller v. Collins – A Case of Dueling Banjos..Err…Press Releases

Banjos aren’t the only thing you’ll hear in the Northeast Georgia mountains this time of year.  If you listen closely, you can hear the electrons buzz by you at lightning speed as they transmit their snark-laden emails about how one candidate is the obvious conservative candidate and the other is low-down dirty lib’rul.  Ain’t Congressional run-offs fun?

So, you have Representative Collins going after Ms. Zoller concerning the legalization of marijuana (although the video that Collins uses only has Zoller saying that she and other conservatives are reconsidering the issue as she reiterated in one of the candidate forums).  He’s also going after her concerning other social conservative issues saying that she’s not as conservative has he is.

Of course, Ms. Zoller isn’t taking this lying down.  She’s going out in full force combating what Collins is saying about her.  She also has a snarky name for him: Gold Dome Doug.  She goes after him by pointing out his legislative record such as voting for various things as the hospital bed tax and a motel/hotel tax to pay for a new Falcons stadium as well as his support for T-SPLOST.

A thought struck me as I was typing this up…there seems to be a lot of parallels between this run-off and the Republican gubernatorial run-off in 2010.  You have the “outsider” give the establishment candidate give him a run for his money and force him into a run-off after a close primary election.  The establishment candidate is scared of losing such a lucrative position of power, so he throws a lot of junk at the outsider candidate claiming she’s for killing babies, wants to see “the gays” get married, and makes you think that she’s to the left of Barack Obama since she obviously wants you to smoke pot, eat Krystals, and listen to Bob Marley or The Beetles.

Of course, 2 years ago, you had social conservatives and the TEA Party going behind now-Governor Deal.  I still find it funny that the person that they vilified, former Secretary of State Karen Handel, 2 years ago now earns their respect (I’m sure that and a buck-fifty will buy you a Coke) after she stood up to Planned Parenthood and supported defunding them as an executive with Susan G. Komen….but I digress.

Now you see the TEA Party rushing in to back Ms. Zoller’s election bid, but it seems like this will come down to a contest between the mountain conservatives vs. TEA Party conservatives.  If you look at the election map, the race may come down to White County since that was the only county that didn’t go for either Collins or Zoller, but Zoller did get come in 2nd in White County.  Oh, this does make for interesting political drama, indeed.


  1. caroline says:

    I think it’s indicative of what’s going on nationally with the GOP. GA isn’t the only state experiencing this kind of stuff.

    And Susan G. Komen is still feeling the fall out that Handel created with that one. Nancy Brinker just announced that she is stepping down. Once Handel started this stuff, people started to really look at Komen and see where they were using their money and found a lot of reasons to no support them anymore. Once the cat was out of the bag so to speak, there was no putting it back in.

  2. Joshua Morris says:

    I think the biggest factor that isn’t mentioned here is that this is the first truly contested race for either of these candidates. It shows.

    I’m no brilliant consultant, but if I were Doug, I’d be casting a wary eye at whoever advised him to do some of these ads. They’re so obviously out of context that I really think they’re hurting him with even the least informed voters. Maybe I’m wrong.

    Some of the accusations by the Zoller camp seem a little silly, too, but they’re not so far out in left field. They remind me more of the regular stuff we see around here during every contested primary cycle, in which candidates seem to go a little over the top in an accusation to get people to at least pay attention and look into the negatives in the other candidate’s record.

    I’ve done my best to stay out of this race publicly, since Martha has given me opportunities to sit in with her over the last year, but it seems pretty clear that she has the momentum right now. Doug has not been able to counter her late endorsements from national heavyweights, and Martha’s campaign is coming across as far more positive when it matters.

    • seekingtounderstand says:

      Both are nice people. So whats the difference?
      Martha seems to be branding herself for future media jobs which is really smart on her part.
      Does being a lawyer (Doug) help Georgia when it comes down to voting on bills no one reads or understands?
      They both would probably do a good job………….. With the new health care law and Marthas husband being a doctor that could be an advantage for her as well as GA.
      Dougs careers seemed to have been jobs of service to others and does not seem to be seeking the media spot light. Ask yourself if you want Ga represented by a “Firebrand” conservative for the next ten years seeking the media attention? Service vs. media star is how I see the difference in the two very nice people. Martha is way ahead in my hall county neighbor poll.

  3. bullFrog says:

    Doug Collins has resorted to the last defense of someone who can’t stand on his record – hence his releases are filled with doped-up, baby-killing, homosexuals coming to take over the 9th District. He backs his charges with sophomoric sound and video splicings that had nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    The distinction between the two is that Collins has no objection to raising taxes (T-SPLOST, hotel/motel, hospital beds), raising debt ceiling for the Board of Regents (which raises tuition), voting against concealed carry rights, along with intruding into your life (didn’t want Sunday sales voted upon). No surprise here that the Tea Party is hanging tough.

    Collins is the g0-along-to-get-along kind of milquetoast legislator that will have no impact in Congress. The crowd in DC will already know Martha Zoller when she walks in the door, and she’s the kind of person who will engage the entrenched to turn the country around.

  4. mountainpass says:

    Thanks Nathan for the banjo reference. Got the same thing after answering where I lived while being interviewed on a NW GA radio show.

  5. In Hoc says:

    The key factor in the recent attacks from the Collins campaign seems to be Martha Zoller’s book. He pulled quotes from that book, but he doesn’t use the full context. Collins supporters are realizing this, and understanding that he is just another lying politician. His attacks are going to backfire and he will lose the election.

    Good riddance. Desperation Doug doesn’t need to be in Washington anyway.

  6. KD_fiscal conservative says:


    Interesting comparison you make with the 2010 governors run-off, does anyone know who the consultant was for Deal? I think Chip Lake, Dougs chief strategist, was one of them, but I may be wrong.

  7. saltycracker says:

    Got no dog in this fight but when I hear North Georgia politician opposed to legalizing pot it reminds me of the thunder road politicians opposing legal whiskey for their bootleggin’ buddies.

    Lots of stuff is grown on Gov’munt land….

    • John Konop says:

      Why would anyone support the failed war on drugs? Not only have we wasted 13 billion a year between enforcement and tax revenue, it has created a massive increase in poverty. You take someone with a health issue put them in prison with criminals and give the record do when they get out so they cannot get a good job. Why anyone not think they would either end back in prsion or at a low end job for life on a macro? Please help me understand why anyone would support this concept?

      • Harry says:

        I’m a law-and-order type of guy, however the US needs a new approach on the drug war – probably along the lines of diagnosis and readily available treatment with less serious and less expensive maintenance such as methadone. Allow the drug companies to develop other alternatives. Allow controlled marijuana be dispensed by drugstores and dry up that source of gang income.

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