WGST Peach Pundit Radio Redux

October 25, 2014 7:00 am

by Charlie · 0 comments

If you missed yesterday’s Peach Pundit radio with Rich Sullivan, Stefan Turkheimer, and myself, you have another chance this morning.

From 9am to 10am on WGST 640AM, you can hear us discuss poll numbers, the Gov & Senate race, Why you shouldn’t fake endorsements from Sheriff’s,  and why workforce development is critical when discussing any improvements we want to make in Georgia’s education system.

As usual, if you’re not near an AM radio, you can listen live here.


The Georgia Republican Party Executive Committee today named Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jenny Eckman to replace Charles Wyatt on the ballot for the Harris County Commission. Wyatt was running for re-election as District 1 Commissioner, but was disqualified after he pleaded guilty to two counts of bribery and violation of oath of office on Monday.

Wyatt was indicted back in May, and suspended from office in July by Governor Deal. His felony conviction two weeks before the election made him ineligible to run for re-election, forcing the state party committee to choose his replacement. Eckman is opposed in the race by former Probate Judge Martha Chewning, running as an independent.

Note: This post has been updated to reflect the fact that Eckman does indeed have competition for the commission seat.

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Via The Hill, the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund is endorsing David Perdue in his race against Michelle Nunn. Expressing concern about a Democratically controlled Senate, TPP President Jenny Beth Martin urged the group’s supporters to do all they could to support the GOP candidate in the race, where recent polls have him trailing Nunn.

The endorsement is the latest indicator the Tea Party, once staunchly at odds with the establishment wing of the Republican Party, is coming around to working with their former foes in order to win back the Senate.

Conservatives have long expressed wariness of Perdue for his support of the financial bailout and support for health care reform at the federal level, and Georgia Tea Party groups backed Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) over him in the primary runoff.

The endorsement comes after the Tea Party Patriots sent an email on Wednesday to supporters asking them to weigh in on the race. Martin said that supporters’ top priority is keeping Harry Reid from controlling the Senate.


A Landmark Communications/WSB-TV Channel 2 poll of 1,000 interviews conducted from October 20-21 shows a tie between Nunn and Perdue at 47%, with Swafford at 3%.  It also shows a small lead by Gov. Deal of 48-45, his first lead in a Landmark Poll since April. The poll has a margin of error of 2.75%.

The poll uses the same 29% African-American makeup as their previous polling.  Landmark Communications is using a higher female vote at 54% than the AJC’s poll released earlier today.  Mark Rountree stated:

“Never in modern history has Georgia had less than 54% female. It will be at least 54%. This matters because women are going double digits for the Democratic candidates — which means when you undervalue women in the weighting, you undervalue some Democratic votes.”

The polling also included some of the down ballots races and voter confidence in Ebola preparedness by the State of Georgia and the CDC.  These results, the poll questions and statistics, and some other points of notes can be seen after the break. [click to continue…]


Letting #HATEWeek Flow Through You

October 24, 2014 13:19 pm

by Ed · 9 comments

Y’all might have seen Lawton’s opus about the fake GSU (Georgia Southern). They’re making the trip up to Atlanta for a match of inter-collegiate varsity gridiron football on Saturday. Really, you can’t blame Lawton’s online enthusiasm. After all, Statesboro just got internet last year.

In case there’s any doubt which school is the real GSU, just consult the internet: we’ve got GSU.edu, they don’t. (Sorry, Grambling State!)

But if that’s not enough, even Southern has ceded GSU to us, surely in deference to our superiority in every arena. 

Southern raiding from great Georgia schools is a bit of a tradition.

To help elucidate the difference, GSU created a couple hashtags #StateNotSouthern being one and the Orwellian #HateWeek. (For you Southern grads, that refers to “1984”. The  book. Not the last year your threads were fashionable).

Speaking of the past, they keep harping on some “national championships” that they won. Of course no one thinks those are real championships and they were won in a division that doesn’t even exist anymore. I’m sure those will come in real handy for… something.

Southern’s confusion about their rightful place in the pecking order inspires about as much sympathy as one feels for Touchstone. But probably less.

And remind me please, which one of us had a perfect record last year? Oh yeah. GEORGIA STATE!

I say all this to say: I can’t wait for basketball season to begin. Go Panthers.


New AJC Poll Released

October 24, 2014 12:40 pm

by Lawton Sack · 16 comments

The AJC has released their exclusive poll conducted by Abt SRBI that shows Governor Nathan Deal with a slight lead of 46-41 over Carter, with 5% going to Andrew Hunt. It also shows Perdue with a lead of 44-42, with 6% going to Amanda Swafford. Perdue’s lead is within the margin of error of 3.6%, though.

The full crosstabs are available, but a quick synopsis shows:

  • 1,170 Georgians polled via cell phones and landlines from October 16-23
  • African-Americans – 29 percent
  • Females – A tick under 50 percent



Venturing into the sacred Georgia Political territory owned and trademarked by The Georgia Gang, there’s a bit of news in local DeKalb County politics.  No, not this corruption trial.  It’s the special election to replace Elaine Boyer, who resigned and then pled guilty to Federal charges (rather than bet on a hung jury).

Of interest in this race is that there was no primary, but it will be decided on a general election ballot.  For those who have suggested Georgia move to a “jungle primary” system similar to Louisiana, here’s a model of how that might work.

The point here is this:  This has traditionally been looked at as a “Republican” commission seat.  It’s pretty much been “the” Republican commission seat.  And yet, every DeKalb voter residing in the district has an open chance to pick between the five candidates who have offered themselves for service.  They can even pick this guy.

Much of the buzz on this race has been centered around professional candidate Nancy Jester.  She, after all, is close with quite a few social media types that have been pushing her candidacy hard.  Her main opposition is Wendy Butler, herself close to at least one DeKalb social media titan (our Deputy Editor Mike Hassinger is her Campaign Consultant).  Butler hasn’t been the social media darling Jester has, but has the advantage of having worked with a lot of different folks in official capacities.  We’ll cut to CL’s endorsement for those details:

Butler, until recently, served in leadership positions with MARTA, State Road and Tollway Authority, and the DeKalb Planning Commission. She also played an important role in incorporating Brookhaven and could bring insight to the county’s cityhood debate, though we imagine on which side she’d fall.

She’s got a resume that demonstrates a wide body of knowledge that would be useful for a Commissioner.  She’s also got a political network of folks that formerly supported Boyer.  Attempts to smear Butler with Boyer’s issues may be backfiring, as there are a lot of influential folks that supported Boyer that resent the guilt by association tactic.  They see themselves in those remarks.

Why all that to talk about a Creative Loafing endorsement (i.e, the Atlanta Intown Democratic endorsement)?  Go back to the fact that this is essentially a jungle primary.  Butler will have a significant portion of the GOP vote, possibly a plurality.  Adding a significant chunk of voters that may not want to vote for a Republican but can choose the “best” candidate in an open election makes this endorsement relevant.

We’ll see what the round table says about it Sunday, but from this non-DeKalb metro-Atlantan, it appears that Butler is assembling a coalition that can move her into the next round, if not take a victory outright on November 4th.


This may be the first of several polls on Georgia’s Senate and Governor’s races you’ll see this weekend. With a little more than a week away from Election Day, Democrat Michelle Nunn leads Republican David Perdue by a 47%-44% margin. Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford pulls 5% of the electorate.

The CNN poll of 565 likely voters was conducted from October 19th-22nd.

In the race for Governor, Jason Carter has 48% of the vote, while incumbent Nathan Deal has 46%. Andrew Hunt has 6% of the likely vote.

Both races are statistically tied, within the poll’s 4% margin of error. Crosstabs weren’t available.

The CNN story notes President Obama has a higher job approval in Georgia than in other states with competitive Senate races. It also highlights Nunn’s strong support among women, 56%-38%. But, CNN’s take on a possible runoff does not reflect conventional wisdom:

In a hypothetical runoff, Nunn still holds a small margin over Perdue, 51% to 47%. But the poll’s likely voter model can only estimate the November electorate, as a runoff election can draw a smaller and different crowd than the general election.

Many believe that if either race goes to a runoff, the Republican candidate would have the advantage.


Come hang with the cool kids today at the noon WGST Peach Pundit Radio Show at Johnnie MacCracken’s in Marietta.

– Yet another reason why we can’t have nice things.
– President Obama ‘helps out’ Michelle Nunn. Subliminal text: Run away! Ran away!
Scary mailer just in time for Halloween.
– Marietta Daily Journal endorses Governor Deal.
– Hancock County Probate Judge found guilty of embezzlement.

Nazi U-boat wreckage found off NC coast.
– Florida splitting into two states because of Global Warming. Or something.
– Evidently we aren’t paranoid enough… yet.
– Canadian Parliament gives standing ovation to Sargent-at-Arms that saved their lives.
– Queue the flying monkeys.

Random Everywhere:

– Where do all those baby blankets come from?
– A cosmic nursery?



Hail Southern, Beat State

October 23, 2014 20:30 pm

by Lawton Sack · 7 comments

The future of Bulloch County and Georgia Southern changed drastically in 1981 when former Georgia Southern College President Dale Lick made the decision to renew football at the school after not fielding a team since 1941. From 1981 to 2013, the enrollment at Georgia Southern increased from 6,603 to 20,517 and the population of Bulloch County increased from 35,785 to 71,214. Much of the growth has been attributed to the success of Georgia Southern’s football program over the last 30 years, including recognition of such by current President Brooks Keel.

The successful program started when Erk Russell, the defensive coordinator for UGA’s 1980 national championship team, was persuaded to leave UGA to become the head coach at Georgia Southern in 1981. Russell made the decision despite the widespread assumption that he would be the first choice to replace Vince Dooley when Dooley retired. Lewis Grizzard commented on the hire by stating “When they landed Erk Russell, they got themselves a franchise.” Grizzard definitely got that one right.

Erk was tasked with creating the program completely from scratch. They did not have a field to practice on, a stadium to play in, or football equipment and gear to use. The athletic director at the time, Bucky Wagner, had to go to K-Mart to purchase a football to use at the press conference to announce Russell’s hiring, as the school did not even own a football. Erk’s office would be housed in a single-wide trailer. It definitely was a far cry from the University of Georgia.

The community quickly came together to rally behind Erk and the football program. Money was raised to help support the team and build Allen E. Paulson Stadium. Its namesake, the founder of Gulfstream, donated over $1 million towards the building of the stadium. The football field is named after former Georgia State Senator Glenn Bryant of Hinesville, who donated over $250,000 for the property purchase.

A practice field was set up near the magical and mystical Beautiful Eagle Creek (really a drainage ditch) that still flows next to the practice field today. Dan Patrick, sports radio and TV personality, traveled down to Statesboro in 1988 and did an interview with Erk that also highlighted the creek. The video thankfully still remains and stands as a testimony to the years under Erk Russell.

Georgia Southern played its first NCAA game in 1984 as a member of the I-AA subdivision. They won the first of their six National Championships in only their second year by beating Furman in 1985. They would also win it all again in 1986. Erk Russell went out in style in his final season as a coach in 1989, as he led the Eagles to a 15-0 season and their third National Championship in front of a crowd of 25,725 at Paulson Stadium. I was twelve years old and in the crowd with my dad on that cold day cheering on my Eagles. [click to continue…]


President Obama Endorses Nunn

October 23, 2014 17:19 pm

by Will Kremer · 43 comments

President Obama took to the airwaves this afternoon to endorse Michelle Nunn. Unsurprisingly, Republicans have pounced on the quote and exclaimed a Michelle Nunn victory will usher in a new era of liberal darkness.

You can listen to the audio here or read the quote below:

OBAMA:“And if Michelle Nunn wins, that means that Democrats keep control of the Senate, and that means we can keep on doing some good work. So it is critically important to make sure that folks vote.”

The Republican National Committee spokesman, Rob Lockwood, had this to say:

President Obama made it very clear: a vote for Michelle Nunn is a vote for the Obama Agenda. For months we’ve said that a vote for Nunn was a vote to rubberstamp the Obama Agenda, and President Obama has now confirmed that accusation to be absolutely true.

President Obama gave Democrats nationwide a headache when he proclaimed Democratic candidates that avoid him are actually supporters of him and his agenda. To top that off, Nunn recently admitted she voted for President Obama in 2012.

While Nunn is not rolling out the red carpet for the President, she has surprised me with how closely she is willing to associate herself with Obama in the past two weeks. I am eager to read what–if any–ramifications the commenters think Obama’s endorsement will have on the Nunn campaign.

In related news, the AJC’s Daniel Malloy reports that David Perdue is wasting no time using Obama’s words on the campaign trail.


Republicans in north Georgia are getting together this weekend to encourage folks to vote. Below are the details, sent to me via email.

You’re invited to an old fashioned
“Get Out The Vote” Bluegrass & Barbecue honoring
Governor Nathan Deal
Georgia’s Constitutional Officers
Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle
Secretary of State Brian Kemp
Attorney General Sam Olens
Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black
Commissioner of Insurance Ralph Hudgens
Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler
State School Superintendent Candidate Richard Woods

Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014
4:00 to 7:30
Stacy Britt Angus Farm
724 E & M Dairy Road,
Hartwell, GA 30643

Host Committee
Rep. Alan Powell, Rep. Regina Ouick, Sen. Bill Jackson, Rep. Tom McCall, Rep. Tommy Benton, Sen. Butch Miller, Rep. Mickey Channell, Rep. Stephen Allison, Sen. Bill Cowsert, Rep. Terry Rogers, Rep. Dan Gasaway, Sen. Frank Ginn, Rep. Emory Dunahoo, Rep. Tim Barr, Sen. Steve Gooch, Rep. Chuck Williams, Sen. John Wilkinson, Rep. Lee Hawkins, Rep. Carl Rogers, Sen. Charlie Bethel, Rep. Kevin Tanner, Rep Rick Jasperse

Special Host: Speaker David Ralston
*Special Thanks to the Stacy Britt Family and other Sponsors!


Once again, Rich Sullivan is taking our show on the road.  This week (Tomorrow, Friday October 24th) we’ll be in historic downtown Marietta.  Even better, we’ll be at Johnnie MacCracken’s, a place I have been known to visit a time or three.

Joining me will be our Democratic Politics Editor Stefan Turkheimer.  That’s correct.  We’re bringing an in-town Democrat out into the burbs, just like the Democrats hope they’ve done with their voter base.

We’ll be on WGST 640 am from noon until 1pm.  If your AM radio dial isn’t handy, you can listen live here.


House Appropriations Chairman Terry England sent us the following this morning.  It’s clearly a open letter in support of Nathan Deal.  More importantly, it has actual facts regarding Georgia’s education spending to contrast to a lot of the campaign rhetoric we’ve been hearing. 

The Democrat seeking to become our state’s next governor has been telling voters that Republican Gov. Nathan Deal has “dismantled” education in Georgia.

The only thing being dismantled is the truth.

Gov. Deal absolutely has not “slashed billions of dollars from public education,” as Jason Carter falsely claims.

The fact is that the state’s first Republican governor, Sonny Perdue, increased education funding to a record $7.9 billion in FY2008 but over the next two years was forced to make almost $1.4 billion in cuts because of the impact of the Great Recession.

In his first term, Gov. Deal managed to restore that $7.9 billion funding level — which, by the way, is $2 billion more than when Democrat Roy Barnes was governor. [click to continue…]