Republican Gubernatorial Candidate David Pennington To Make Major Announcement

April 15, 2014 13:30 pm

by Nathan · 22 comments

Former Dalton mayor and Republican gubernatorial candidate David Pennington will be making a “major campaign announcement” tomorrow in the state capitol right outside of the Governor’s office:

ATLANTA, GA – David Pennington, the only Conservative running for Governor of Georgia, will be making a major campaign announcement outside of the Governor’s Office at the State Capitol tomorrow.

This comes on the heels of the recent court ruling regarding Nathan Deal’s near constant ethics scandals over campaign funds and private, personal business dealings.

When: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 12:30 PM
Where: Outside of Governor’s Office, Georgia State Capital, 203 Capitol Place SW, Atlanta, GA 30334
What: David Pennington Major Campaign Announcement

Discuss.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

John Konop April 15, 2014 at 1:35 pm

As many of you know I was a Karen supporter in the last race against Gov. Deal. With that said, taking everything into consideration, overall Gov. Deal has done a good job in his first term.

Harry April 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm
The Last Democrat in Georgia April 15, 2014 at 2:20 pm

With the exceptions of the delayed response to the first winter storm and the continuing ethics issues, I agree that Governor Deal has done a good job in his first term.

Outside of the winter storm debacle and the ethics concerns, Nathan Deal has done a good enough job to be comfortably re-elected to a second term as governor. But I have a growing fear that Deal could have some problems gaining separation from Jason Carter if ethics continues to be an issue during his re-election campaign.

The winter storm debacle already set kind of a negative tone to start his re-election campaign and if anymore major ethics issues arise they could combine with the bad aftertaste of the winter storm and other ongoing internal issues within the GOP to cause serious problems for Deal.

Of particular concern are the conflicts between moderates, establishment figures, Tea Party factions, Second Amendment/gun rights advocates, Social Conservatives and Libertarians and their continuing attempts to pull away from a GOP coalition that strangely appears to be growing increasingly fragile despite the GOP legislative supermajority and complete GOP dominance of Georgia government and politics.

If no more ethics issues pop-up for Deal, the fragile GOP coalition will hold and Deal will easily win re-election. But if the ethics issues keep popping up at inopportune times between now and November, this thing could get a lot more interesting than any of us might have ever thought it would be.

caroline April 15, 2014 at 4:48 pm

I think he’s going to be continued to be dogged by ethics problems but I don’t think it is going to matter. Karen Handel pointed out that he was lining his pockets when he was in congress and he still won the GOP primary and the governorship. I think his worst problem is going to be that it seems to me at least Republican voters just aren’t that thrilled with him. Maybe having a senate election will help voters show up. Does having someone like Paul Broun as the senate candidate help or hurt?

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 15, 2014 at 6:09 pm

“I think his worst problem is going to be that it seems to me at least Republican voters just aren’t that thrilled with him.”

…Republican voters not being thrilled with Deal is exactly what I’m worried about.

If the ethics issues continue to be a problem (ethics issues that will continue to be played-up and magnified by 10 by the media), I fear that many harder-line conservatives and Tea Partiers will stay home and sit on their hands and just not vote for someone whom they consider to be ethically dirty in Deal. I also fear that Libertarians will vote for the Libertarian candidate in larger numbers and I fear that moderate Republicans will vote in meaningful numbers for Jason Carter (who’s running around shouting to everyone that he is an “NRA Democrat”, something he can credibly claim after voting for the gun rights expansion bill).

Just the high name recognition alone of Jason Carter could be a potential problem for Georgia Republicans under normal circumstances.

But add the young Carter’s high name recognition to the bad start to the campaign year with the highly-flawed winter storm response (which seriously-depressed Deal’s poll numbers), continuing ethics problems for Deal, the young Carter’s seemingly robust fundraising abilities early-on, and kind of a general sense of internal dissatisfaction within the Republican Party and 2014 could potentially be a REALLY interesting year for Deal and Georgia Republicans.

“Does having someone like Paul Broun as the senate candidate help or hurt?

Having Paul Broun as the Republican Senate nominee could definitely energize the base of the GOP.

…But…having Paul Broun as the GOP Senate nominee could potentially hurt if Broun says the wrong thing at the wrong time, particularly against what will likely be another well-funded Democrat candidate with very-high name recognition in Michelle Nunn, whose famous father, legendary former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, continues to be very well-respected amongst conservatives and moderates (and even liberals) alike.

If a Paul Broun becomes the GOP nominee and says the wrong thing at the wrong time, it could send moderate voters flocking to Michelle Nunn in droves.

Jon Richards April 15, 2014 at 7:08 pm

TLDIG: Really?

Let’s see. The high name recognition of Carter, a political name that last held office more than 30 years ago, in a presidency that is frequently referred to in GOP political circles as either just above or just below the current white house occupant. I don’t see too many running to support him.

Winter storm: Yes, the first one wasn’t perfect. The second one was handled better, which mitigates the reaction to the first. Plus, polls in February are useless in predicting what will happen in November.

General dissatisfaction/Ethics: I just don’t see it, outside of the segment of the GOP that was going to vote for Pennington anyway. Attempts will be made to tie the problems with the commission to the governor, but I’m not sure they will stick.

Broun: Has a certain level of support within the GOP base, but that level of support is likely fixed. Should he make it into the runoff after the May 20th primary, he will likely lose to the other candidate because those that supported the candidates not making the runoff will, by and large, not gravitate to Broun. They will move to the other candidate, making him/her the eventual nominee.

I am reminded of a Facebook profile picture I saw recently. It was in essence a campaign button for Pennington, Broun and Bacallao for Governor, Senate, and State School Superintendent. That’s the TEA party slate.

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 15, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Mr. Richards: Yeah, really.

I get your point about the elder Carter’s disastrous one-term presidency. But the elder Carter has seemingly reformed his image and reputation as one of America’s worst-ever presidents by doing A LOT of humanitarian work after being voted out of office.

The younger Carter has been using his grandfather’s reformed image and reputation to raise tons of money early-on in this campaign season as he outraised Governor Deal $416,000 to $84,000 in the roughly 11 days after the end of the 2014 session of the Georgia General Assembly.

That kind of fundraising prowess within such a short period of time signifies that the younger Carter will likely be no pushover as an opponent and that this year will likely be different than the past several election cycles where Georgia Republicans might as well have been running completely unchallenged in most statewide races where Democratic opposition was lacking, to say the least.

I also completely agree that the second winter storm was handled much better than the first winter storm. But that first winter storm was such a major event that here in April, Governor Deal has yet to fully recover from the chilling effect that it had on his poll numbers in January and February.

That winter storm particularly seems to have re-opened a lot of old wounds about dysfunctional Republican governance of the state (particularly when it comes to transportation, education and general all-around competence) that the GOP had been not trying to remind voters of in a key statewide election year.

It also appears that every time some ethics issue is raised about Deal (and the recent Kalberman verdict was no small thing), that reminders of Deal’s other ethics issues follow (via the media) and help Deal’s poll numbers to stay depressed with conservative voters.

The ethics-related news reports are particularly concerning because they have the potential to repeatedly remind conservative voters (particularly Independents, moderates, Tea Partiers and even Libertarians) why they may be dissatisfied with Deal and the GOP.

The ethics-related news reports are also particularly concerning because they have the potential to depress fundraising efforts as seemingly evidenced by the early fundraising totals showing the young Carter with a financial haul and showing Governor Deal with depressed numbers in the immediate days after the end of the recent legislative session.

One also should not underestimate the power of the Tea Party on overall public opinion in major Georgia elections as it was the early and continued opposition of the Tea Party that sent public opinion of the much-touted T-SPLOST spiraling completely out-of-control in 2012.

Because of the Tea Party’s repeated stands in favor of improving ethics and accountability in Georgia government, much of the general voting public often listens to what the Tea Party has to say in advance of major elections. The general voting public may not necessarily do exactly what the Tea Party tells them to do, but the general voting public does take into serious consideration what the Tea Party has to say on many major issues.

You are very correct that it is still early and that there is still an abundance of time for Deal and the Georgia GOP to get back on track both financially and politically.

But a constant stream of highly-unfavorable ethics-related news reports could make getting back on track very-difficult for both Governor Deal and the Georgia GOP as it would allow the young Carter to hang around and remain even with (or even slightly ahead of) Deal in the polls.

David C April 16, 2014 at 10:12 am

On the elder Carter point. I remember one of the more recent polls that came out either late last year or early this year gave Jimmy Carter something like a 2 to 1 favorability rating in Georgia. While Georgia’s gotten more Republican, he still won the state by 15 points in 1980 while getting defeated in a landslide around the country. Since then, if anything, he’s rehabilitated his reputation with his work with Habitat and around the world, shows up every so often at Braves games, and of course still teaches Sunday school down in Plains. He’s got a book out that says women’s rights are important, which is about as non controversial as can be, and women are key swing voters in Georgia. And in any event, the election isn’t just being fought in “GOP political circles.” It’s being fought among Republican leaners and independents and the like-the kind of people who don’t go around holding a grudge against someone who was last in the White House when they were in elementary school. So long as he doesn’t put his foot in his mouth in a big way, on election day 90-year old Grandpa Carter is most likely to be seen by the casual voter as just that, Grandpa.

caroline April 16, 2014 at 10:31 am

I think one thing people need to realize is that George W. Bush did a better job of rehabilitating Carter even more so than Carter could have done himself.

caroline April 15, 2014 at 7:25 pm

Well, my point kind of was he had ethical problems before. Handel hit him with them time and again and even he admitted they stuck to him and people don’t see him as being ethical. Unless you think that the current stuff going on is going to be more effective than his other ethical lapses I don’t see it having much effect on the GOP. Even if there is nothing more in the papers I’m sure Carter will remind voters over and over again of Deal’s problems. I expect that no matter what there will be a lot of people voting for the libertarian ticket instead of voting for Deal. Now whether there will be enough to make Deal lose? I surely cannot say. The polls certainly are not good for Deal right now but there have been people with similar numbers that ended up being reelected. The problems you are talking about are really not limited to GA. And in all honesty even if Deal is reelected the GOP needs to do some soul searching. If you look at the demographics the GOP is going to have to change to stay competitive in the future or it will become obsolete. Even Nathan Deal admitted as much himself.

Paul Broun doesn’t need to say anything to hurt himself in the general election. There’s already enough tapes of him saying things that would fill many segments of the Daily Show. Frankly the only one that I’ve seen that could run a decent senate race is Perdue because he seems to be trying to stick to the middle and not go around pandering to the far right like the rest of the candidates in the GOP primary have been. I’ve gotten flyers and phone calls from all of them and the only one talking about jobs is Perdue. I conside the high UE here in GA one of the worst problems. He also does not scare off the middle like all the others do. That being said going by unscientific yard signs it would seem that Broun has the most support.

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 15, 2014 at 9:52 pm

“If you look at the demographics the GOP is going to have to change to stay competitive in the future or it will become obsolete. Even Nathan Deal admitted as much himself.”

…That’s another major thing that I am worried about with this election.

With Georgia’s demographics trending in favor of the Democrats, a loss in the Gubernatorial race in 2014 could be potentially be very devastating to the Georgia GOP moving forward. That’s because many formerly overwhelmingly predominantly white outer-suburban Metro Atlanta counties have either already become or are on the verge of becoming “majority-minority” counties where non-white residents make up a majority of the population.

(…Formerly overwhelmingly predominantly white outer-suburban Metro Atlanta counties like DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Rockdale and Douglas have already become “majority-minority” counties, while other formerly overwhelmingly predominantly white outer-suburban Metro Atlanta counties like Newton, Henry and Cobb are right on the verge of becoming “majority-minority” counties.)

Also of great concern is a possible Hillary Clinton candidacy in 2016, which if successful, has the potential to take a significant chunk of the female vote (along with most of the minority vote) and swing a number of currently Republican-held legislative seats in the Metro Atlanta outer suburbs. Add a upset loss to Jason Carter in 2014 to a successful Hillary Clinton candidacy in 2016 and the overwhelming GOP dominance of Georgia of today would be a thing of the past by 2018.

With the current dysfunctional state of the Georgia GOP, there’s a worry that the current dominant GOP supermajority of the mid-2010′s (or any GOP majority) would be gone and be in serious danger of turning into a permanent minority by the early ’20′s.

The Georgia GOP has struggled (at times, mightily) as a ruling party with very-little, if any, meaningful Democratic opposition over the past decade. Even with their current overwhelming dominance and their recent fundraising and political advantages, there is a concern that the (at times notoriously-dysfunctional) Georgia GOP likely would not fare very well in a much more challenging political environment where it had growing and strengthening opposition from a rising Georgia Democratic Party fueled by accelerating demographic changes.

In any case, a Deal upset loss to Carter would be a very, very, very bad thing for the Georgia GOP because of the possible very-negative domino effect that it would have the potential to set in motion.

caroline April 16, 2014 at 8:51 am

Interesting that you’re pretty much implying that the GOP can’t change. I have to tell you though in my opinion the dysfunction on the state level is the least of the GOP’s problems. It’s the supporters that are actually damaging the party much more than anything Nathan Deal can do. My friends on facebook who constantly spout conspiracy theories and all kinds of other junk make the GOP look like it is full of wackos. Maybe the dysfunction on the state level is a result of the dysfuction of the GOP base?

Anyway, Hillary could carry GA since Obama lost it by what? 5 points or something? Her base of support is much wider than Obama ever had or has.

But even if Deal does not lose to Carter it’s not going to change the fact that the GOP’s time is limited. All Carter winning would do is make the changes start happening sooner rather than later.

Three Jack April 16, 2014 at 11:41 am

John,

What has he done in 4 years as governor to address the major issues facing Georgia; Transportation, Education and Taxation?

I would argue that Deal has spent more time trying to avoid ethics charges and appointing friends and family to high paying govment jobs than addressing these issues. I challenge you John to name 3 significant acts accomplished where Deal showed leadership during his first (and only with any luck) term.

gcp April 15, 2014 at 3:05 pm

I am for Pennington. Deal continues to support screwy tax credits such as the new credit for businesses to buy alternative fuel vehicles. While Deal supported the fair tax as a congressman he refuses to support a state fair tax. He supports the Medicaid bed tax, won’t commit to a decent gun bill, and was m.i.a on medical marijuana when the legislature was in session and yes, continuing ethics issues and the poor storm response are a concern.

Will Pennington be the nominee? Of course not and I will vote for Deal rather than the whining child Jason Carter in the general.

George Chidi April 15, 2014 at 4:35 pm

“Won’t commit to a decent gun bill …” What are you looking for? Howitzer rentals?

On Medicare, let’s have a moment of non-ideological clarity, please. Medicare exists in Georgia. It’s thin, but it’s there. There are no political circumstances under which it will not, and no amount of wishful thinking changes that. It’s the law.

The money has to come from somewhere, and if the people on Medicare could pay for it … they wouldn’t be on Medicare. How do you propose paying for it?

gcp April 15, 2014 at 6:09 pm

One objection is no campus carry but the bill has other flaws such as the “opt-in” for church carry.

I refer to Medicaid not Medicare and yes but we already fund both. The bed tax is merely an additional “fee.” This hospital bed tax went from a legislative voted tax to a yearly “fee” under Deal. The “fee/tax” or whatever they want to call it penalizes hospitals such as Piedmont while it gives money to CHOA, Grady and others.

Deal has a strange inconsistency; while he supports the bed tax he refuses to expand Medicaid and BTW I am against both.

F. Underwood April 16, 2014 at 10:54 am

Howitzer rentals could boost our Georgia economy.

Noway April 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Does anybody have a clue as to what this game-changing “announcement” is gonna be? I’m tired of holding my breath.

Will Durant April 15, 2014 at 7:07 pm

No clue but when I saw Nathan’s headline my first thought regarding the “Major Announcement” was if it equated to the Old Man’s “Major Award” in A Christmas Story.

Jane April 15, 2014 at 7:30 pm

He is either going to run as an independent or he will get endorsed by Derrick Grayson.

Harry April 15, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Grab a seat and get some popcorn.

Three Jack April 16, 2014 at 11:45 am

Really the only thing Pennington can classify as ‘major’ would be a large infusion of cash that would allow him to be a competitive challenger. Otherwise it is hard to figure what else might help his fledgling campaign gain traction against the ethically bankrupt current occupant of the mansion of W. Paces Ferry.