Southern White Republicans

April 24, 2014 14:00 pm

by Jon Richards · 4 comments

This morning’s New York Times has a major piece that, in the print edition, is titled “Why a Democratic Majority Has Yet to Materialize.” In the online version, the headline is “Southern Whites’ Loyalty to G.O.P. Nearing That of Blacks to Democrats.”

Produced by the paper’s new “The Upshot” election analysis department, the story features a map of the United States highlighting areas where President Obama had less than 20% white support in the 2012 election. Much of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia is colored in. Looking for reasons, the Times opines this:

[T]he South remains culturally distinct. It’s the nation’s most religious and evangelical region. And the so-called culture wars have polarized American politics along religious lines, often pitting the South against the rest of the country.

Despite the South’s continued economic and population growth, there’s not much sign that the gap between the South and the rest of the country is poised to narrow. Young voters have moved the rest of the country abruptly to the left on issues like gay marriage and immigration, but young Southern whites are just as conservative as their parents and grandparents. If they remain so, the gap between the South and the rest of the country could grow further.

Or, as Speaker Ralston stated yesterday in referring to his House district, “It’s a community where we cling to our religion and our guns.”

Does this data reflect the popular meme that Southern Whites didn’t vote for President Obama because he is black? The story brings that possibility up, but notes that the percentage of support by white southerners of Democratic candidates began to decline prior to the 2008 presidential election. I would prefer to think that the data the Times uses means that southern whites reflect their largely Scotch-Irish heritage, including being distrustful of a powerful central government.

Go ahead and read the whole thing. The story makes some interesting observations about how the increasingly Republican white south could affect the fortunes of both the GOP and the Democrats in the years to come.


Lindsey Takes To The Air

April 24, 2014 12:45 pm

by Buzz Brockway · 4 comments

11th district candidate Edward Lindsey has a new TV ad but through the magic of You Tube, you can watch it here:

For the record, I’m supporting Lindsey but he’s never delivered me a pizza.


Jef Fincher, one of the two candidates running against incumbent House Education Committee Chairman Brooks Coleman in the Republican Primary, has gotten some pretty big muscle in the District 97 race: Herman Cain will be a special guest at a meet-and-greet for the benefit of Fincher.


Cain is still very popular among conservatives in Georgia. Will Cain’s presence draw in more voters for Mr. Fincher? I guess we’ll see at 7p on May 20th.


Hacked Ethics

April 24, 2014 11:42 am

by Eric The Younger · 3 comments

Fresh from the tipline and confirmed using multiple machines and browsers, our lovely ethics site has been hacked.

If you go to instead of seeing the normal splash page where you can do your research on lobbyists as well as elected officials, you get to see a lovely photo of Iran courtesy of the Ashiyane Digital Security Team .

Why would an Iranian hacker group take out the Georgia Ethics website? I haven’t a clue, but maybe they just wanted to be kind and let the State of Georgia know there was a security flaw.




It seems to have been fixed.


Here at Peach Pundit, we’re serious about politics. For years, we’ve done our best to bring readers the information they need to know in order to make a decision about whom to vote for in elections. With early voting for Georgia’s May Primary starting on Monday, we want to make sure our readers in Georgia’s 12th district are well informed.

Just as cable channels redefined the news reporting of the big 3 TV networks and blogs like Peach Pundit began producing the content formerly found in print newspapers and magazines, so has social media, and especially Twitter, become a dominant force in distributing information to potential voters.

Therefore, rather than attempting to analyze the nuances of the Georgia 12 congressional race, we’re going to refer you to the Twitter accounts of Rick Allen, John Barrow, Delvis Dutton, John Stone, Diane Vann and Eugene Yu. By examining their tweets, we’re confident our readers will be able to make wise choices when they enter the voting booth.

To make things easier, we’ve assembled some of the best of their tweets below the fold….
[click to continue…]


While I prefer debates more, I enjoy attending candidate forums.  Weird; I know. Nathan posted about the HD 54 forum hosted by the Atlanta Young Republicans, and I attended it last night.  The event was well attended, moderated by the lovely Michelle Carver, and three of the four Republican candidates appeared: Beth Beskin, Loretta Lepore, and John McCloskey.  Angelic Moore was unable to attend.  Between the buzzwords, the rehearsed answers, and the soft questions, forums are the electorate’s chance to try to discern how the candidates differ.  You wanna know what is MY favorite part of these forums?  It’s what the candidates don’t say.  Those little parts of resumes that are left off, the subliminal agendas that you see a foreshadowing of, and the voting record of which the candidate doesn’t wish to speak…  These are the gaffs that make my little black heart beat faster.  [click to continue…]


Before I get started let me say I’m supporting Sharyl Dawes in the GOP School Superintendent race. She’s a close friend and has been for a number of years. This post is not meant to advocate for Ashley Bell but to use my small bully pulpit to advocate for a larger issue I think is important.

It’s no secret the GOP isn’t attracting many votes from the African-American community. It’s also no secret that many in the GOP have been saying we need to do better and we must figure out a way to attract more African-American and minority voters to the Republican party. Something is going on in the GOP race for School Superintendent that I believe is harmful to our party’s efforts to attract more minority support.

Ashley Bell switched parties a couple of years ago. At the time he was a County Commissioner in Hall County and considered by some to be an “up and comer” in the Georgia Democratic Party. It was news when he switched. Since then he lost re-election in Hall but earlier this year he joined the cast of thousands in the race for Georgia’s School Superintendent. Does he have a chance? Who knows, but he has a much right to run as anyone else in the race.

Being a former Democrat, a former Democratic elected official, and a former rising star in Democratic politics, it should not come as a surprise to learn that Ashley Bell voted for, said nice things about, and probably even campaigned for Democrats. Apparently this has shocked some people and they are out there trying to spread the word about his past.

It’s easy to get caught up in “who’s the most Republican” in the Republican primary. Republicans these days love to toss out that this or that person is a “RINO” but did Republicans disqualify Reagan, Perdue, Deal, and a host of others who switched parties at some point in their careers?

Is it fair to expect African-Americans to be held to a higher standard than others who switched parties? Can we really expect African-Americans to join the GOP if they think how they voted in the past will be held over their heads if they ever try to run for office as a Republican? We can’t say “we want more African-Americans to join the GOP” out of one side of our mouths and “We’ll never support someone for office who used to vote for Democrats” out of the other.

A candidate’s voting record and public statements are not off limits in a campaign and I’m not advocating anyone be given a pass. If Bell is going to win the GOP School Superintendent nomination he’s going to have to convince enough of his fellow Republicans he’s the right person for the job – just like every other candidate in the race. However, I want to urge my fellow Republicans to tread lightly when it comes to hammering African-American Republicans about their voting history.

Someone out there has set up a Facebook page accusing Ashley Bell of “pretending” to be a Republican. In my view that’s unfair and harmful to the Republican Party. Whoever is behind that line of attack ought to knock it off.

That’s my opinion and I welcome yours.


Actor William Macy is hosting an event for Jason Carter, and former president Jimmy Carter might also make an appearance. Here’s what the actor has been saying about the event on Twitter:


{ 1 comment }

I have a confession to make.

After Jessica S. left us at the end of February, I volunteered to do the Thursday Morning Reads, at least on a temporary basis. I knew Charlie was busy with the end of the legislative session approaching, and there was no time to recruit a replacement. Except, I already had.

Chet Martin is a Junior at the University of Georgia. I met him last summer at a political event we both attended, and I eventually realized he was also a writer. He explained the relationship between Waffle House and the GOP for the Georgia Political Review. He’s also a writer for USA Today College.

I told Chet if he sent me the Morning Reads, I would publish them for him. We would consider it an audition for a more permanent position to be decided on after Session ended and things wound down. Charlie agreed to the arrangement.

Yesterday was Chet’s 21st birthday. Charlie decided to give him something he really wanted: the ability to be a front page poster on Peach Pundit, at least as an intern. He’ll continue to do the Thursday MRs, and possibly some other projects, but now under his name and not mine.

Please join me in welcoming Chet to the Peach Pundit community. And, it’s OK to wish him a belated Happy Birthday.

I am going to see Outkast at Counterpoint in Atlanta on Sunday. In honor of their return to their native city, listen to the ridiculous, prescient song that the Hipster-Bible Pitchfork called the best track of the 2000s.
[click to continue…]


….and it’s not who you think.

Art Gardner released a statement today announcing his support for the recently-filed class action suit seeking to overturn the State of Georgia’s ban on same-sex marriages.  In his statement, Gardner says,

My rationale is that the State is very likely to lose this suit and it is a waste of taxpayer money to fight it.  In this time of tight budgets, the State can better use that money for other purposes.  I am a fiscal conservative, what some might call a budget hawk, and throwing hard-earned tax dollars away on fighting this suit is unwise.  Moreover, it is also time for the State of Georgia and the Republican Party to get ahead of this issue.  We (the GOP) are the original civil rights party, the Party of Lincoln, the party that strongly supported the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.  This suit presents our party with a golden opportunity to steer a bold new course, one that will set the State of Georgia and the Georgia GOP on an upward path.  I call on my fellow members of the GOP to join me in supporting the suit and urging the Attorney General to not fight it.

The full press release is below the fold.  [click to continue…]


Erick Erickson is the founder of this site, and remains our Editor Emeritus.  In his spare time, he edits, has a show on the nation’s largest talk radio station here in Atlanta on WSB, and is a Fox News contributor.  He’s been sitting out on the Georgia Senate race until now, and I know from past conversations he was genuinely torn between Paul Broun and Karen Handel.  Interestingly, the last time I heard him go down his depth chart, Jack Kingston was at #3.  It’s always fun explaining our race to national politicos who believe Broun and Gingrey are in one “Conservative” camp, Kingston and Perdue are in an “Establishment” camp, and frankly they’re all over the place when they try to categorize Handel.   The truth is (with a notable exception for Broun), they’re all difficult to put in a specific box or rank on a “Conservative” to “Establishment” line.  But I digress.

Erick decided this afternoon that early voting starts next week, and he won’t be sitting on the sidelines any longer.  He is, after all, the man that got WAY out front on the races with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.  We call them both Senator now.

Erick has made his choice.  It’s Karen Handel.

Of note, Erickson also told a caller earlier that David Perdue is “perhaps the worst candidate” in this race.  Shots, they are fired.



DALTON, GA, April 23, 2014 – Georgia Conservatives In Action announced today the endorsement of Conservative David Pennington for governor.”As the only conservative candidate in the race for Georgia’s governor, it is an honor to be endorsed by GCIA,” Pennington said. “As governor, I will work to cut spending, cut taxes, limit regulation and promote transparency.”Georgia Conservatives In Action is a social welfare organization whose mission is to educate, motivate and activate grassroots conservatives to have an effective voice in government.

“Our goal is to put forth a group of candidates who we feel most reflect our principles of pro-family, pro-life, less government and less taxes. These candidates will work tirelessly to make our nation and our state reflect our constitution,” said Kay Godwin, the group’s co-founder.

The Populists Republicans of America and Georgia Conservatives for Change have also endorsed Pennington. For more information, visit For immediate updates, follow Pennington at and

Contact: [email protected]


Well look at that.  Georgia made national headlines for our comprehensive carry bill in Time.  The article is below the fold.  While the article does little to explain anything about the bill, it is always interesting (at least to me) how Georgia is positioned in national headlines.  Forbes identified us as the 22nd best place for business and careers in 2013.  I wonder how this affects our rankings in regards to people willing to live and work in the state, open local businesses (including bars), and I will be interested to see how this affects our crime rate in the future.

[click to continue…]


Moments ago, Governor Deal signed House Bill 60 into law. We captured some of the tweets leading up to and including the ceremony. Take a look at them below the fold, and let us know what you think in the comments.
[click to continue…]


Last summer I received a certified letter from a group called the 60 Plus Coalition. The letter contained a certificate that I was to sign and return to them by a certain date. The letter warned that if I did not, the voters of my district would be informed of my refusal to do as instructed by 60 Plus. I threw the letter in the trash and hoped they would run an ad against me. I was looking forward to speaking to my local press and the voters of my district about how I don’t sign pledges under threat by special interest groups. Sadly, they have not run an ad against me but they did run ads against several of my colleagues. The ads caused no small stir and turned most of my colleagues against this group, even if they agreed with the groups’ stated aims. The ads only stopped when Peach Pundit’s Jon Richards wrote this post.

This morning an email was forwarded to me from Nathan Adams of a group called Georgia Taxpayers United (I’ve written about them before). The text of the email is below the fold. Adams is demanding candidates fill out his survey or be attacked. I received one of his surveys and after I read it I tossed it in the trash, as I’ve tossed several other surveys from groups all across the political spectrum. Some groups send surveys that are clearly meant to determine what a candidate thinks. Others (and it seems to me an increasing number) are worded to trip people up or box them into a corner so they can play “gotcha” politics. And still others like those from 60 Plus and GTU come with threats attached.

I’m more than happy to inform people of where I stand. Just last week I completed a short questionnaire from the League of Women Voters that will be published on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s website. Again this year I will fill out the “Political Courage Test” from Project Vote Smart. I’m also more than happy to answer questions from constituents as I do regularly.

Voters should also reject these kinds of tactics. People often complain about politicians being beholden to special interest groups. The tactics of groups like 60 Plus and Georgia Taxpayers United only contribute to the problem.

So here’s a tip to groups out there who want candidates and elected officials to fill out your surveys: don’t follow the lead of 60 Plus and Georgia Taxpayer’s United. Reject bullying tactics and have an honest conversation about issues that are important to you. And above all, remember that people like me weren’t elected by 60 Plus, Georgia Taxpayers United, or any other interest group. We were elected by the voters of our districts and ultimately we answer to them not you. [click to continue…]