GA-9: Close Race You Say? Then Let’s Make “The Gays” The Issue

There’s an unwritten but fairly firm rule in “modern” Georgia GOP politics. When a race is close, you can always scapegoat the gays. The more rural the district the more effective the tactic.

The following campaign video was emailed this morning by the Doug Collins campaign. I’ll have more to say on it tomorrow. In the mean time, decide which is more harmful: Collins’ decision to go here, or Zoller’s denial that she ever supported non-religious civil contracts for domestic partnerships when it’s fairly clear she did.

And as a bonus, would all of the noted constitutional scholars from Georgia 9 please describe where the Constitution prohibits civil contracts between any two adults.


  1. Calypso says:

    “And as a bonus, would all of the noted constitutional scholars from Georgia 9 please describe where the Constitution prohibits civil contracts between any two adults.”

    My contention all along. The state should have no say so on this issue. If a particular religious institution decides not to perform or recognize a civil union, that is their perogative. But here in Georgia the astute, fair-minded, would never let something like beliefs in any particular myth cloud their thinking regarding the law, would it?

    • saltycracker says:

      Fine by me but when we start talking about reform, let’s get modern and scrape all spousal benefits paid from tax fundings. Then we don’t have to worry about a further expansion of definitions.

  2. Bob Loblaw says:

    Just another small government Republican! Ceee-vul Ewe’n-yuns aren’t very mountain, Martha!

  3. KD_fiscal conservative says:

    The Collins’ folks are scared and they know gay bashing and hitting Martha on the social issues may actually work. Its a sad situation, but that’s the way Georgia politics works and Chip Lake knows it. In a poll done by the Martha folks early in this race showed her up, but Doug caught up using that strat. and prety much tied her in the primay.

    Another low blow liberal tactic by Collins’ ever astute “press secretary” was giving out Martha’s personal cell-phone number to his supporters harass her. That will gain the Collins’ folk exactly zero new votes, and makes them look very unprofessional.

    As far as Martha just coming out(pun intended) and saying I don’t care if gays enter civil unions….it may be the “right thing to do” but that’s a strategy that will all but guarantee defeat in this ultra-far right N. GA district.

    • girl with a gun says:

      “ultra-far right N. GA district”

      I find it funny when people think this is a far right district. Just because there is a “R” next to their name does not make them conservative; most just switch parties to stay in power. I live in the city of Gainesville and all are “leaders” are liberal.

      • KD_fiscal conservative says:

        Hall’s a little different from the rest of the district, and I’m willing to bet the majority of the district is anti-gay, and anti-abortion…which are the two main issues the Collins’ folks are hitting Martha on.

        • debbie0040 says:

          Doug Collins is part of the good ole boy system voters clearly want to dismantle and he is trying to distract from that by throwing out the gay card. Voters will see through that ploy and it will backfire…It has made people very angry and that is something you really don’t want to do..

          Hall County also voted down T-SPLOST by a pretty huge margin….

      • KD_fiscal conservative says:

        The activist Left tends to use that tactic as a political tool, I guess people on the right could do the same, but regardless, it’s an amateur move, which doesn’t help the Collins’ folks and makes them look like desperate unprofessional fools.

        • girlwithpearls says:

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t she give out her phone number, herself, at every debate/forum?

          • KD_fiscal conservative says:

            She doesn’t give it out at “every debate/forum” but she has given it out before. But that’s irrelevant, you guys gave the number to your supports with the specific intent of harassing her.

            That is pathetic.

        • seekingtounderstand says:

          I am shocked at how bad this makes Collins look. He could have just said “I have been in service to others my entire life and will continue to do so using my skills of……”
          I am not perfect and have made mistakes but I will hold my self answerable to a higher power.” I have a servants heart and want to help save America.
          Instead he choose to look foolish going in the mud.

          Martha Zoller you should have risen above the mud fight also. Your a strong and capable women offering voters a change from the good ol boy system.
          A change many want. We do not care about social issues as much as you think we do.
          Government at the Federal level should get out of our lives!

          Both Canidates are good people who will do a good job, their campaigns have gotten off the track.

        • debbie0040 says:

          KD, you and I actually agree on something…

          The left uses the race card when they are losing an argument. Looks like Doug pulled out the gay card and it is disgusting

          • KD_fiscal conservative says:

            “KD, you and I actually agree on something…”

            lol yeah…I think we’re on the same Team this race.

            • debbie0040 says:

              Absolutely are. Martha would make a great Congresswoman.

              Does the debate tonight allow for questions from the audience? There one in particular I would like to ask.

              • KD_fiscal conservative says:

                The ETC3 TV debate? I’m not sure if the candidates can ask each other questions, but I don’t think so.

                You can email ryan or martha to see what they say if their’s something you think she should ask.

              • Bob Loblaw says:

                Debbie, I got a question in particular I’d like to ask:

                When are the lawsuits coming against the T-SPLOST in the regions that adopted them? You were promising them. This venerable firm is awaiting your decision!

                This is no time for doubletalk!

                • debbie0040 says:

                  Sen. Rogers said he would introduce legislation to repeal T-SPLOST. No need for a lawsuit if he does that. Also T-SPLOST went down faster than the Titanic in the metro area and 8 other regions.

                  We have not been contacted by activists in the regions it passed wanting to file a lawsuit.

              • Three Jack says:

                “Martha would make a great Congresswoman.” Not if she caves in everytime a hillbilly Republican challenges her position on social issues. I like Martha and would vote for her if I lived in the district. But her recent attempts to backtrack on strong libertarian positions is concerning.

          • taylor says:

            I ask, is this not an attempt to play the gender card?

            “I agree with South Fulton. I think some of you have issues with strong women. It is clear from some of the comments…” –debbie0040 August 14, 2012 at 5:26 am — commenting on Handel’s upcoming book

            I do believe there is such a thing as a race card, gay card, gender card, etc., but I think when it’s being played may depend on one’s perspective.

  4. GOP dawg says:

    So let me get this straight (no pun intended) I have to choose between a candidate that supports civil unions (or is unsure if she supports civil unions) and a candidate that supported tax increases and corporate welfare. Honestly I should just stay home, but I am going to vote in this run off because it is duty to chose my Congressman and honestly only one of those problems affects me.

    Zoller’s issues with civil unions does not affect my marriage or my faith. Collins’ votes to spend my money affects everything I do. Furthermore, civil unions is not a federal issue; marriage is a state issue and civil union activists have discovered that and moved to changing the laws state by state either by legislative, referendum, or by court challenge. If Collins is worried this might happen in Georgia then he should stay in the State House and lead the fight here.

    • Monica says:

      Well, not quite. I support civil unions, so I should just roll with Zoller (I’m also a fiscal conservative). The problem in all of this is not that she supports civil unions – which she clearly stated, but the fact that now she’s just so embarrassingly and obviously lying about.

      Is it really too much to ask in this day and age to have a politician that would be HONEST? I mean – seriously, is it too much? I’m tired of it. So when Rick Perry stood there in front of a booing audience and stood by his votes on immigration and HPV, is it wrong to admire someone for that – even though I disagreed with his decisions? I just don’t get it.

      People would much rather have politicians tell them what they want to hear than tell them the truth, and if they do tell the truth – voters punish them for it.

      For his honesty, Perry got kicked out of the race and probably will never be a serious contender for president again. But a conniving, lying politician – as long as he (or she) lies like a dog – can get anywhere. No one is to blame for that but the electorate.

      I have no intention – whatsoever – to vote for Collins. I don’t care for Zoller’s lack of integrity. So, once again, I’m without a candidate.

      • Joshua Morris says:

        Monica, where and when did Martha lie about her views on civil unions? I’ve spent some time discussing this issue with her over the last year, and I don’t see a discrepancy. If I remember correctly, she supports the right of any two people to make a contract between themselves, but she just doesn’t support giving a same-sex civil contract the title of ‘marriage’. I’m pretty sure that she supports a contract that would give all the same rights and protections of legal marriage.

          • bowersville says:

            Which is why I don’t understand why this has lingered on. Voters understand the difference between a same sex legal contract and ‘marriage.’

            • Calypso says:

              Unfortunately, I think you give many voters way too much credit in their ability to appreciate the difference between the two. Especially when you’ve got hellfire and brimstone to listen to every Sunday morning, Sunday evening and again on Wednesday nights.

              • girl with a gun says:

                Doug like’s to quote Martha on one thing and talk about the other because he knows most don’t know the difference. He is being deceitful.

        • Monica says:

          Sigh.. There’s an interview with CNN from April 12, 2009 where she clearly states she supports civil unions, and no, it’s not in any way taken out of context (like it possibly could be, you either said something or you didn’t). Now she says she doesn’t support them AND that she never said that – she has been asked during the debates.

          And this is where the embarrassing part comes in for me. They play the audio of her saying words “I support civil unions” and she just shakes her head like a child changing subject to Collins how he doesn’t want to talk about “real” issues (which I’m sure he doesn’t), why doesn’t she just cover her ears and go “lalalalalala.”

          It’s fine if you want to go into technicalities and make excuses for her, but the plain true is that 3 years ago she said she supported civil unions, now she says she doesn’t and that she never did. So, good luck with that.

          It has nothing to do with gays, it has to do with her already playing political games just to get elected. She’s not even a politician yet, I can only imagine what she’d do in a future. She won’t win, of course, it’s North Georgia, they put Nathan Deal in office while Karen Handel would have been much better.

  5. seekingtounderstand says:

    Two poorly run campaigns. After attending several debates neither canidate talks about issues that are important to ordinary people.
    Stop talking about social issues.
    Stop talking as if the Fair Tax has a chance in hell of every happening because politicans will never give up the power of changing tax law to help their friends.
    And for goodness sake stop talking like we are ever going to be a pure conservative government and how you are going to eliminate the departments of Education and EPA etc. It is never going to happen unless we bankrupt America and start over. Its impossible for our federal government to even cut budgets, to eliminate entire departments is crazy talk that means nothing.
    Talk about things that could really make a difference. Do you even have a clue?
    The debates where a waste of time and the flyers that you guys sent out where terrible and reflect badly on Georgia. Neither of these two are in touch with what voters care about and their campaigns reflect this. Very few people will show up and vote for a very important office.

  6. southernpol says:

    Just got another email from the Collins campaign on it.

    Went to the debate last night.. first one I have made. Whoever decided that the candidates should each ask the other 3 questions was not thinking. It was attack after attack for 30 minutes. Terrible idea for the 9th district GOP to not only allow, but encourage that kind of debate.

    The 9th district GOP leadership should explain why the debate format was setup the way it was. Total embarrassment.

    • Joshua Morris says:

      This has been part of the format at several debates now. After so many of these, I’m amazed that they’re not just repeating the same memorized script from start to finish. I’ve heard this stuff so much that I quit going after last month’s identical event, except with Fitzpatrick still in. There are only so many things to talk about in these races.

  7. ryanhawk says:

    I thought it was a good debate and you can tell a lot about the candidates from the questions they choose to ask each other. I’m sick of “forums” where disagreement is discouraged. This is a primary and we should give candidates an opportunity to talk about what makes them different and best for the job rather than pretend their aren’t any differences.

  8. debbie0040 says:

    Tea Parties are livid at Collins campaign tactics. The following was sent out by Lanier Tea Party. We are going to forward it to our email list in the Ninth District this week.

    What you are about to read is not to be construed as an endorsement of any candidate by Lanier Tea Party Patriots. It is simply a gathering of information to bring light to false information that has been distributed by one of the campaigns. Should we discover other false information by any campaign it is the job of the tea party to disseminate the truth…..voters cannot make sound decisions when untruths are being spread.

    On Saturday, August 11, 2012, I attended the GOP forum and the speaker, Kevin Harris, Former Executive Director of the State of GA Republican Party, made this statement, “Principles matter in politics.” If principles matter and we as voters should hold our elected officials accountable, then how much more should we hold them accountable to the principles of good conduct and truthfulness while they are running for office? Voters are trying to make informed decisions and when our politicians deliberate and obviously make an effort to distort and twist the truth then we must call them out on it.

    I recently received an email from the Doug Collins campaign and like many of you; I really did not pay it much attention. I am so accustomed to receiving and hearing negatives about the other candidates that I have chosen in my heart and mind to ignore anything that I cannot substantiate because so much that we hear about the candidates from the other candidates is just not true.

    Now I have learned that what was being intimated in this email was simply not true, but was blatantly false and intentionally misleading the voters. The tea party is trying hard to do things to help educate potential voters by giving them sound information on which to base their vote.

    The Collins email gave examples of statements that Martha has said or written with the obvious intent to make the voter believe she is not a true conservative candidate. Here is the first:

    Example 1 – According to her book, Martha wrote “Ronald Reagan was the problem with America.” (Indivisible: Uniting Values for a Divided America, p. 17)

    And here in its entirety is the paragraph from her book from which that snippet was taken. Read it and see if you think the Collins campaign is being honest and truthful.

    “Throughout high school, college, and into my early twenties, I bought into the liberal line. I thought Republicans were against minorities and that they didn’t want equality for women. I thought abortion was wrong, but that a woman had the right to choose. I thought Ronald Reagan was the problem with America. It is my shame now that I didn’t appreciate until he left office what President Reagan did for this country. At the time, I knew he had made me feel better about being an American, but I didn’t appreciate the scope of what he had accomplished.” (Indivisible: Uniting Values for a Divided America, p. 17)

    This smacks of something right out of the Democratic play book. We are seeing this offensive tactic every day from the Obama election team.

    Example 3 below comes from Martha’s book where she begins to explain her transition from liberal to conservative. Something that is not very unusual in young people. Here is the excerpt from the Collins email:

    Example 3 – Martha chose to actively campaign for Democratic presidential candidate, Michael Dukakis, noting his “conservative fiscal policy” and “liberal social policy.” (Indivisible: United Values for a Divided America, 2005, p. 18)

    Now read for yourself what Martha wrote about this transition period.

    “Sometime in 1986, I was flipping through the television channels and saw Newt Gingrich deliver a speech on C-Span. I had just moved into his district in Georgia, but I believed all the negative sound bites about him, so I wasn’t going to watch. What can this male chauvinist pig teach me? I thought. But for some reason, I paused to watch. At the end of the speech, I thought, Am I wrong about Newt Gingrich? This guy makes a lot of sense. Once I started reading about him, I found that, like me, he is a history buff. Once I moved to reading some of his articles and speeches, I realized I had been wrong about his ideology. Soon it occurred to me that if I had been wrong about him, what else had I been wrong about?

    I didn’t want to do anything rash; it would have been pretty radical for me to come out of the liberal closet as a Newt Gingrich Republican. So I began doing my home work. I knew the Democratic National convention was going to be in Atlanta, so I began reading up on the candidates. Michael Dukakis was getting some good press, and he seemed to be a blend of conservative fiscal policy with liberal social policy, which is where I thought I was. Dukakis also had an office in Atlanta, so I began to volunteer there in late 1986. Throughout the campaign and the election, I had wonderful experiences. I had an American-made car, so I was able to be a driver for Kitty Dukakis, Olympia Dukakis, Sam Donaldson and many high-level campaign staffers. I even got to share a meal or two with Governor Dukakis in Atlanta.

    Once when I was driving Mrs. Dukakis, she asked me why I was supporting her husband. I said I had some concerns that the Democratic Party was leaving me. I was concerned they didn’t have a place for a working person who was upwardly mobile, fiscally conservative, and socially moderate. I thought Governor Dukakis met those goals. Then she said, “You ought to be in one of our commercials. You have to meet Michael.” When we arrived at the airport, the governor was having lunch. Mrs. Dukakis said, “Michael, you need to talk to this girl.” He asked me why his message wasn’t getting out in the South. I thought, This man I think should be president is asking me what I think?! I told him Southerners like people who are warm and approachable and that he seemed cold. Needless to say, I was never in a commercial.

    Soon after that lost election, I decided the Democratic Party was not for me, and I started looking for a place to fit in. It was then I decided that the Democratic Party leaders didn’t have a clue what average people thought. Of course, I believe this is still true today.” (Indivisible: United Values for a Divided America, 2005, p. 18)

    This last example like some of the others really is a far reach in attempting to denigrate a fellow Republican. There is a link to the transcript on March 1, 2009 to which Example 2 refers.

    Example 2 – On March 1, 2009, Martha told CNN, “President Obama is a great guy.” (CNN Newsroom, March 1, 2009

    Example 4 – Martha told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in 2003 she believed Hillary Clinton was a good Senator saying, “And I will say she’s [Hillary Clinton] been a good Senator.” (CNN, Live from the Headlines). I did not search for this one simply because of how deceitful all the others where. I will leave it to someone else to verify as true or false.

    Example 5 – Martha wrote that Franklin D. Roosevelt, the man who created the earliest beginnings of our federal social programs and added billions to our national debt, was “fiscally conservative.” (Indivisible: United Values for a Divided America, 2005, p. 175).

    Here I would suggest you read what she wrote in her book for yourself. Those of you that have knowledge of Roosevelt also know that the Democratic platform on which he ran very conservative and even his concept for social security, while unconstitutional, just might have actually worked had it not been continually changed.

    If anyone has anything that Martha’s campaign has put out that is as blatantly obviously untrue or out of context I want to know it and I want to see the documented proof. This kind of stuff has got to be called out….if not you, then who is going to stop it. We all have a part in putting a stop to this. Now is the time to start. Help me hold these people accountable.

    Mike Scupin
    Local Coordinator
    Lanier Tea Party Patriots
    Gainesville, GA 30506

  9. bullFrog says:

    I would encourage you to watch the runoff debate on cable tonight from Ellijay.

    FYN & ETC3 is bringing you a two hour debate live on Tuesday evening August 14th from 8:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. The first debate at 8:00 p.m. will feature the 2 run-off candidates for District Attorney, B. Alison Sosbee and Joe Hendricks (I). The second hour will feature the 9th District Congressional candidates in a run-off, Martha Zoller and Doug Collins. The run-off election is Tuesday August 21st.

    FYN (Fetch Your News) hosted a debate a few weeks back for the candidates – Collins blew that one off – and I thought it featured the most thoughtful questioning of all the debates/forums. I believe the stream comes over

  10. Three Jack says:

    Martha is so right on marijuana, gay marriage etc. when she ain’t running for office. Stick to what you said gal…you look absolutely foolish trying to re-write past statements in order to appease wackjob, backward ass DBs like Collins.

    • KD_fiscal conservative says:

      I agree, but “wackjob, backward ass DBs” make up a large enough portion of the district that she can’t win saying she doesn’t care about civil unions.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        Time to trot out a quote/shaort anecdote that I think Charlie posted on PP some time ago that was attributed to Seantor Herman Talmadge.

        Talmadge, in lecturing a young Sam Nunn on ignoring correspondence from “the nuts”, is said to have “spit vigorously into his spittoon” and sternly warned the junior Senator “If you don’t get the nut vote, you can’t carry a county in Georgia.”.

  11. CobbGOPer says:

    You should all remember that this is the work of Collin’s consultant and former Westmoreland Chief of Staff, Chip Lake. Looks like all those years in DC turned him into a cutthroat.

    • SallyForth says:

      If he was Westmoreland’s CoS, he was already a cutthroat, like Westmoreland was when he was at the State Capitol.

      • CobbGOPer says:

        He didn’t go after Dylan Glenn half as hard as he’s going after Martha. However, I think part of that was that Westmoreland wouldn’t let him… seriously. I think Lynn held him back a lot in that race.

        Of course, Dylan being a black Republican, the campaign was doomed anyway. We’re not progressive enough here to vote for minority (or female) Republicans. Not yet, anyway. Hopefully Martha will help break that particular glass ceiling in Georgia.

        • Self_Made says:

          You do understand that primary politics and the red meat rhetoric is why there aren’t as many black Republicans as there could (should) be, right? It’s not because “they all want free….stuff”.

          • CobbGOPer says:

            Having been a political consultant, yeah, I understand primary politics and red meat rhetoric. I’m not sure you do, however.

  12. KD_fiscal conservative says:

    The Collins’ camp is making some major tactical errors with the attacks. They are viciously attacking Martha directly by e-blasting and posting on their own facebook page daily hit pieces and they are all signed directly by Doug. (Just to be clear he, ofcourse, lacks the intellectual capacity to craft the fairly well written pieces, but he someone writes them for him, and he signs them). I’m not sure why they want Doug so closely linked to the attacks, especially in a primary where the opponent is liked by most of the district, but its not a good move, and I’m people are turning on his overwhelmingly negative campaign.

    • In Hoc says:

      I agree. These attacks have become the entire basis of the Collins campaign. Even his staff is on that Facebook page is continuing the lies. I’m tired of it.

      And for someone who was so proud to be a pastor, he should hold himself to a higher standard; yet his lack of doing so makes him an even worse choice to serve our district.

          • Bob Loblaw says:

            Looking forward to seeing how he deals with this issue once he returns to active duty, where gays now openly serve. Will he contradict his Commander?

            It’s time for him to focus on the things that are close to home and quit worrying about whether Martha said this or that. The dude’s a dork. Endorsed by many, but the dude is an empty suit. What did he pass that was so great while in the G.A.?

            Zoller has spoken for this area for years and should speak for the area in Congress. It’s time for Doug to actually BE in Hall Co. for a little bit and remember what’s there.

  13. AMB says:

    Ickickick. All these horrible people being hateful for political gain. Simply horrid. Aren’t there party bosses to tell them to knock it off or else?

    • Calypso says:

      Unfortunately, I think most of the ‘party bosses’ feel the same way, particularly if it gets them the requisite number of votes. Why would one even want to represent a majority of people that believe like that?

      • CobbGOPer says:

        “Why would one even want to represent a majority of people that believe like that?”

        Cause Congress is a sweet gig, didn’t you know? Ample opportunity for self-enrichment.

  14. Dave Bearse says:

    A woman flip-flopping on civil unions is reminiscent of the 2010 Georgia gubenatorial primary and runoff. The 2010 primary established that Collins overall strategy can be a winner. Collins is in better position than Deal who received only 2/3rds the votes that Handel, so my guess is that Collins need only competently stay on that message and abortion to succeed.

    • bullFrog says:

      Collins and competent? In the same message?

      But in all seriousness, didn’t the moderator do a pretty fair and even job in his questioning?

      • Dave Bearse says:

        I’m not in the District, and get much of my information about the race here on PP.

        All I’ve seen is some of what was in the clip within the post. Collins efforts in that clip were unappealing. Based on that, I think others that have questioned Collins being so heavily on the front line have a good point.

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