David Perdue, the Republican candidate for Georgia’s open US Senate seat, released another ad on Wednesday doubling-down on his debunked claim that Democratic opponent Michelle Nunn funneled money to terrorist organizations through the Points of Light Foundation. The foundation was started by former President George H.W. Bush and is now run by his son, Neil Bush. Nunn served as CEO of the foundation prior to her running for office. Perdue initially targeted Nunn and the foundation with an attack ad last week. He released another ad Wednesday morning making many of the same claims.
Below is the first ad:
Below is the ad that was released on Wednesday:
On Tuesday, Neil Bush called on Perdue to take down and denounce the first ad. Bush said he found it “shameful” and “disrespectful.” Considering that his dad had just endorsed Perdue, even though Nunn had worked for his organization, you can see why Neil Bush would be highly upset that Perdue’s campaign would try to smear Nunn via the Points of Light Foundation. Neil Bush said the following to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution regarding the first ad:
“That’s ridiculous. It really makes my blood boil to think that someone would make that kind of an allegation, whether it’s an independent political group or a candidate for office.”
Neil Bush also released a statement to the AJC formally asking Perdue to denounce the ad.
“Neither Points of Light nor Michelle Nunn have had anything to do with funneling money from our organization to terrorists organizations. Anyone who makes that claim needs to understand the facts and then they need to denounce those claims. To attack an organization founded by my father, whose integrity is unimpeachable, to smear our organization for political gain, is in my opinion shameful.
“It’s just wrong to suggest that Points of Light, or in the context of Points of Light, Michelle Nunn, had anything to do with funneling money to terrorists. If those allegations are being made, it’s symptomatic of what I consider to be one of our country’s growing problems. It really does upset me, honestly. Which is why I’m talking to you.
“To have a blemish on the great work that’s being done by Points of Light, to blow wind into the sails of a national service movement – it’s hurtful to our cause, and it’s disrespectful to our founder.”
Of course, since Perdue apparently has no moral compass, his campaign released the other ad the day after the younger Bush asked him to pull the first ad and repudiate it. Media outlets in the Atlanta area ripped Perdue for the dishonest ad. AJC’s Jay Bookman slammed the new ad as being 2014’s worst. After detailing the reasons why the ad is unbelievably dishonest, Bookman ended his article with the following statement:
Again, we’ve all grown too accustomed to dirty politics, and both sides indulge in it. But given our nation’s recent history and the threat posed by terror, this particular allegation borders on a charge of treason, not just against Nunn but against a non-partisan organization with a proud record of service. It also gives unintentional credence to the basic thrust of Nunn’s campaign against the stridently partisan, win-at-any-cost mentality that has afflicted our national discussion.
Frankly, the charge is also insulting to Georgia voters, treating them as extremely dumb and easily manipulated. We’re better than that, and those seeking to represent us ought to recognize that fact.
Meanwhile, 11Alive in Atlanta gave the ad a 7 (on a scale of 10) on its Bullmeter. The station pointed out that while Nunn’s campaign did claim that there could be distortions of her record, with opponents attempting to claim that she helped give money to inmates and terrorists, her campaign never actually claimed this was true. It just acknowledged that it was possible that an opportunistic candidate could try to make hay by connecting some dots that still didn’t lead to terrorism.
The claim that Points of Light funded organizations linked to terrorists is debatable. But the Nunn plan contains no admission of that. Instead, it refers to it only as a potential attack by Republicans –which they are doing now.
The whiff of bull is pretty strong here, according to our Bullmeter — giving this claim a pungent rating of seven out of ten possible Bull points.
It is apparent that Perdue is getting desperate. Despite Georgia being a solid red state, Perdue is unable to shake Nunn, and some recent polls actually show her with a lead. Due to that, Perdue is trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator (i.e. the base) and frame Nunn as a terrorist funding, amnesty loving commie. The thing is, he is angering a number of allies and Republicans along the way. That doesn’t sound like a winning plan to me.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) on Friday directed county officials to begin sending out overseas and military absentee ballots without a Democratic Senate nominee on them, a reversal from his position on Thursday.
But Kobach still intends to press Democrats to assign a replacement nominee for Chad Taylor, who has ended his campaign and was ordered off the ballot by the state Supreme Court.
In a letter to county election officers, Kobach said the ballots should be sent out with a disclaimer indicating that voters may receive a replacement ballot later with the name of a Democratic nominee on it.
"You may vote using the ballot accompanying this letter as soon as you receive it, or you may wait to vote until you’ve received further notification from us," reads the disclaimer Kobach told elections officials they should include. It adds, "If a replacement ballot is sent to you, and you have already returned the ballot that accompanies this letter, only your replacement ballot will be counted."
The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Taylor, who ended his campaign on Sept. 3, fulfilled all the requirements to have his name removed from the ballot. Kobach had contended that Taylor’s name should stay on, since he did not explicitly say he was incapable of serving.
The ruling was a blow to Sen. Pat Roberts (R), since it cleared the way for independent candidate Greg Orman to pursue anti-Roberts voters without having to worry about losing some of them to a Democrat.
The court’s ruling prompted Kobach to demand Democrats field a replacement for Taylor. He said he was extending the deadline to mail overseas and absentee ballots to Sept. 27.
But Friday’s actions marked a new tack. It remained unclear whether Kobach could legally force Democrats to field a replacement candidate.
A Kansas Democratic Party spokesman did not respond Friday afternoon to a question about whether the party intends to appoint a replacement.
Arizona SB1070 architect and voter suppression kingpin Kris Kobach may be in trouble this November. I hope Kansans vote this Koch Brothers-sympathizing weasel out of office and replace him with Jean Schodorf! Let’s also give Greg Orman a victory!
h/t: Sean Sullivan at WaPost
#NCSen, #MNSen, #ARSen, #LASen, #IASen, #AKSen: Tea Partiers Swallow Their Pride To Defeat Democrats In November
On Wednesday the Tea Party Express sent out an email calling on supporters to help “Defeat Harry Reid’s Sinister Six.” Hagan was listed alongside Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Al Franken (D-MN), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), the Democratic Senate candidate in his state. The Republican primaries in those states have been relatively mild with comparatively less or even no fighting between establishment and tea-party aligned candidates. North Carolina, by contrast, was one of the most heated Republican primaries in the 2014 cycle.
A day earlier the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund sent out a similar fundraising email targeting just Hagan.
"Barack Obama and his liberal Democrat allies are pouring money and campaign resources into North Carolina like crazy," Tea Party Patriots Chairman Jenny Beth Martin wrote in the email. "They are desperate to save leftist Senator Kay Hagan. Tea Party volunteers in North Carolina need our help to win this critical Senate seat."
Establishment-backed Tillis defeated Dr. Greg Brannon, another candidate in the primary, who was actually the favorite of the insurgent tea party wing of the Republican party.
In the general election the race has managed to stay competitive. The TPM Polltracker average currently gives her a 4.7 point lead over Tillis.
Rooting for an establishment candidate isn’t ideal, but trying to get supporters to defeat Hagan is better than the alternative, Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund communications director Kevin Broughton told TPM.
"Obviously Thom Tillis isn’t our preferred candidate in North Carolina but he is the one non-Kay Hagan candidate and he’s the one candidate who will be a backstop," Broughton said. "If he takes that seat then the chances of our ultimate goal that I mentioned earlier and that’s preventing a runaway rubber stamp president for two years and our chances are better Thom Tillis than Kay Hagan."
Broughton said North Carolina is just one of the races where his group would be involved going forward in the 2014 election cycle, despite the fact that tea party-favored candidates didn’t win in those states. Broughton said Iowa, where state Sen. Joni Ernst, a favorite of both the establishment and the tea party, as well as North Carolina and possibly Georgia, would be priorities.
"At the end of the day, from a conservative perspective, these Republicans are closer to our agenda than the Democrats," a top policy advisor for a top tea party-aligned group told TPM. "However, conservatives will not give them any grace period once they are elected and will hold them accountable for the promises they make on the campaign trail. We will not wait several years to wake up and realize we’ve been duped."
#KSsen: [UPDATED: Democrat Chad Taylor has been allowed to drop out by the KS Supreme Court] Quitting my campaign got a Republican election-rigger into trouble he deserves
Kansas supreme court Justice Carol Beier, your apology is accepted – but a cup of coffee the next time I’m in Topeka would be nice.
A bit of background for the rest of you: at a hearing here in Kansas on Tuesday, Beier apologized for turning my withdrawal from a state House campaign into the center of a lot of unexpected national attention, as she and the other justices considered whether our Republican secretary of state, Kris Kobach, was right to prevent the Democratic candidate for United States Senate, Chad Taylor, from withdrawing from his race.
Earlier this year, I filed as a Democratic candidate for the fifth district of the Kansas state House of Representatives – a rural district in east-central Kansas comprising farms, hobby farms and some small blue-collar towns.
Although I was still in college, and still am, some of the local Democrats asked me to run because they had trouble finding a candidate to challenge an unpopular, one-term conservative Republican incumbent. What’s the point of a democracy if no one runs against the incumbents?
But as the school year approached and I began gauging the demands of my course work and a research study I was assisting, it became clear that it would be difficult for me to do my classwork and my campaign at the same time. And, because of deep state funding cuts to Kansas public universities by the very Republicans I wanted to challenge – as well as federal cuts to college aid – I have to work two or three jobs to pay for college.
Plus, in 2008, one of my older brothers challenged a Republican incumbent in a statehouse race when he was in college. My brother lost and, though he said it was worth it, the time he spent campaigning wasn’t kind to his grades.
So after long reflection – and discussions with my parents and teachers – I sent a letter to Kobach, the secretary of state, to withdraw my candidacy for the Kansas House of Representatives. I had no idea that I would become embroiled in a supreme court case.
Taylor’s letter to Kobach was considerably more important than mine: withdrawing his challenge to the long-serving senator, Pat Roberts (a Republican who I think has been in office far too long), created a national uproar because it would eliminate a three-way race between him, Roberts and a well-financed independent, Greg Orman. Without Taylor in the race, Orman might actually beat Roberts – or so conservatives like Kobach fear – and create problems for national Republicans who are hoping to seize a majority of the Senate in November.
So, although Kobach – a very close Roberts ally – accepted my letter and withdrew my name from the ballot, he refused to accept Taylor’s letter. Thus, the justices, Kobach and attorneys for Taylor spent several hours comparing the intricacies of my withdrawal letter with Taylor’s.
I won’t re-argue their case, but I will say that Kobach has indeed politicized the office of secretary of state, which is normally a dull position dealing with election matters and commercial and business registrations.
The secretary of state successfully pushed a draconian voter identification law designed, as he said, to fight “voter fraud”, although in reality it seems designed to prevent young people, the poor and people of color – those most likely to vote Democratic – from voting. Almost 18,000 of my fellow Kansans are in voting status limbo (and the state is facing two lawsuits) because of his voter ID law.
Before – and while – he was been secretary of state, Kobach has been moonlighted, writing and pushing controversial anti-immigrant laws that have been adopted by some cities and states … but not Kansas. He’s only faced problems doing so here because, these days, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce is dominated by large corporations – such as meatpacking houses, corporate farms and large construction companies – who depend on a steady supply of cheap labor provided by undocumented workers, and they lobbied vigorously against Kobach’s efforts.
There are those who say my little letter to end my campaign may crimp Kobach’s further political ambitions – which is funny because, in it, I wrote that I am a person who hates to quit any endeavor that I start. But in this case, my quitting may have done more public good than if I had stayed in the race and been elected.
My Gubernatorial/Senatorial Projections (09.16.2014)
- Safe D: IL, OR, others that are currently Dem-held
- Likely D: CO, IA, MN, NH
- Lean D: NC
- Tilt D: AK
- Tossup: AR, LA (Runoff Likely), KS (Orman-I)
- Tilt R: KY
- Lean R: GA (Runoff Possible)
- Likely R: SD (gain)
- Safe R: MT (gain), VW (gain), others that are currently GOP-held
- Safe D: HI, PA (gain), RI (gain), others that are currently Dem-held
- Likely D: ME (gain), MN
- Lean D: CO, CT, FL (gain)
- Tilt D: IL, KS (gain)
- Tossup: MI, WI
- Tilt R: AR (gain)
- Lean R: AZ
- Likely R: AK, GA (Runoff Possible), NE, NM, SC
- Safe R: IA, OH, OK, TX, others that are currently GOP-held
A GOP Senate means Obama’s executive branch nominees could face major hurdles if McConnell or his members don’t like them. Some nominees may be nonstarters; others may be subject to negotiations with McConnell. You want that nominee? Give me this.
"That’s going to create a dilemma for Obama even on executive nominees," said Ornstein. “Even for people he’d like to see leave, he will probably have to convince them to stay because there won’t be much of an opportunity to replace them. … It’s always tough in the final two years of an administration.”
The stakes rise enormously if a Supreme Court seat were to be vacated in Obama’s final two years. A Republican majority would have a big incentive to run out the clock on any Obama nominee and wait until after the 2016 election to confirm the next justice.
"A Republican Senate would complicate President Obama’s ability to fill a Supreme Court vacancy should one occur, and likely hinder him in winning confirmation of his chosen appellate court nominees," said Judith Schaeffer, vice president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, a progressive legal advocacy group.
Progressive legal advocates worry that a McConnell-led Senate would spell problems for Obama to confirm his picks for judges.
"While the progressive base is not as fervent over the courts and judicial nominations as is the conservative base, Majority Leader Harry Reid has demonstrated his understanding of the importance of these matters, and has used the last two years to help bring about a dramatic reduction in the number of vacancies," said Schaeffer. "Obviously, his power to continue in this direction would be drastically reduced if the Senate were to change hands."
h/t: Sahil Kapur at TPM
Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel is somehow still appealing his election loss to Sen. Thad Cochran, insisting that according to his magic math he was the real victor of June’s Republican primary run-off.
In an appearance on the Tea Party News Network’s “The Capitol Hill Show with Tim Constantine” this weekend, McDaniel said “we are fighting for our lives now as conservatives.”
“They need to order a new election, at the very least,” he said.
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
BREAKING: Democrat Chad Taylor drops out of #KSSen race
Orman’d caucus with whoever offers him the most. But it’s harder to go R after a fall of hammering Roberts & getting help from DSCC. #KSsen— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 3, 2014
BREAKING: Mississippi judge throws out Chris McDaniel's lawsuit against election result, says he missed deadline
A Mississippi judge on Friday dismissed Tea Party-backed Senate candidate Chris McDaniel’s lawsuit, in which McDaniel has been attempting to overturn his narrow defeat in the Republican primary against incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran — on the grounds that McDaniel missed the deadline to even file his challenge. Judge Hollis McGehee agreed with the Cochran campaign’s contention that under a 1959 state Supreme Court ruling, there is a 20-day deadline to file an election challenge. By contrast, McDaniel filed his challenge 41 days after after the June 24 Republican primary runoff, which Cochran won by about 7,000 votes. McDaniel’s lawyer told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger that McDaniel wants to decide over the weekend whether he will appeal McGehee’s ruling up to the state Supreme Court; McDaniel will announce his decision on Tuesday. McDaniel previously requested that the state Republican Party executive committee simply declare him the winner by about 25,000 votes, which the state GOP chairman declined to grant. McDaniel has been defiantly seeking to overturn the primary result, ever since the election night. Among other things, he has charged that Cochran’s campaign strategy — which involved reaching out to the (usually Democratic) African-American community to cross over into the Republican primary — had fraudulently overturned the will of genuine Republican voters.
A new television ad by the Nunn campaign targeting businessman David Perdue, the Republican nominee Nunn is facing in the Georgia Senate race, hits the former CEO for his time as the head of Pillowtex in North Carolina. The company went bankrupt soon after. The ad features people in neighboring Salisbury, N.C., many of them elderly, describing how the bankruptcy devastated many of the employees while Perdue “walked away with his $1.7 million.”
"Just months after David Perdue abandoned Pillowtex, the company went bankrupt," the ad said.
"All we were was people to make money off our backs," one of the people in the video, Cynthia Hanes, who the ad said worked at Pillowtex for 31 years, said near the end.
The one-minute ad is actually similar to the anti-Romney ads the pro-Obama Democratic super PAC Priorities USA made in 2012 that hit the former Massachusetts governor for his time at Bain Capital, painting him as a cold businessman who was willing to cut jobs as long as he made a profit. National Journal points out that Nunn has actually got Schor Johnson Magnus, the same strategists who made the Romney ads for Priorities USA, working for her campaign.
National Journal also notes that one of the anti-Romney ads, “Stage” was the “single most effective” ad of the entire campaign cycle, according to television analytics company Ace Metrix.
Watch Nunn’s new ad:
And compare it to the ad “Stage,” below:
Below is the TPM Polltracker average of the Georgia Senate race.
(Photo credit: Youtube)
In a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, the Kentucky Democratic Party is calling for an investigation into whether Mitch McConnell used official government resources to solicit contributions to his reelection campaign.
The letter reads in part:
Mitch McConnell is no stranger to unethical behavior. In 2013,CREW summed up McConnell’s ethical issues, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is a five-term senator from Kentucky. His ethics issues stem from his possible use of Senate staff and resources to conduct opposition research for his campaign. He was included in CREW’s 2007, 2008, and 2009 reports on congressional corruption for unrelated matters.”
Kentucky Republicans launched their own complaint against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes with the FEC that accused her of renting her campaign bus from her father at a below market rate. If this is true, the bus would be an illegal campaign gift.
Selling access to the Senate Dining Room is felonious degree of corruption. The fact that Republicans can only answer this serious charge by talking about a bus demonstrates the severity of the potential offense. None of this will be settled before Election Day, but it is extremely doubtful that the Senate Ethic Committee will get involved before November.
The Kentucky Senate race has gotten very ugly. Mitch McConnell has been corrupt for decades, but he has become so safe in his incumbency that he confidently flaunts his crimes out in the open. Republicans call President Obama a dictator and a king. They talk about impeachment for fantasy offenses, but it is their own Senate leader who is abusing his office and public resources to stay in power.
Instead of measuring the drapes in the Majority Leader’s office, Sen. McConnell deserves to be fitted for an orange jumpsuit.
Curtis’s selection on Saturday follows Sen. John Walsh (D-MT) dropping out of the Senate race following a plagiarism scandal centered around Walsh’s master’s thesis.
Democrats, as a result, had to hold a special convention to pick a new nominee to race Daines.
Curtis is a high school math teacher with strong support from Montana unions, according toThe Los Angeles Times.
Curtis beat rancher Dirk Adams in the nominating convention to get the Democratic nomination. She’s expected to face an uphill battle to beat Daines with just a few months before the general election.
In an interview with The Daily Beast Curtis said if she won the Senate seat her first priority would be campaign finance reform. But, the Daily Beast notes, Curtis still has to figure out a number of positions, including on recent events in Iraq.
"I’m still studying a lot of these issues," Curtis said. "I’m planning to listen to all sides and make these decisions listening to regular Montanans."
BREAKING: Brian Schatz has won the #HISen Democratic Primary
An inflammatory mailer sent to Anchorage, Alaska residents over the weekend by an anti-immigrant, Tea-party backed Republican primary Senate candidate features shirtless, tattooed men making gang signs with their hands, and a message that condemns the Democrat primary opponent for wanting “20 million illegals” to vote. Candidate Joe Miller’s mailer comes at a time when he’s a distant third in Republican primary polls and his state’s three Republican Senate candidates are emphasizing immigration to win their party’s nomination ahead of next week’s GOP primary election.
Tying the issue of immigration reform and gun rights, the mailer quotes Miller as saying, “And if 20 million illegals vote, you can kiss the 2nd amendment goodbye. I am the only candidate who favors the Voter ID.” The back of the mailer features photos of “Miller firing a handgun and teaching shooting to a boy and girl identified as his children,” the Alaska Dispatch News stated.
During a heated televised debate over the weekend, Miller defended his mailer, stating, “There’s a clear correlation, and the clear correlation is this: If you end up granting amnesty to those who don’t value gun rights, who have not been raised in an environment where the Second Amendment is cherished — is considered to be a God-given right — the reality is over a generation or two, the likelihood is very strong that the Second Amendment will not be here.” The Alaska Dispatch News reported that Miller stated, “We have violent thugs coming across our border and doing violent things.”
What’s more, at least one of the pictures depicted in the mailer isn’t even of gang members within the United States. The top photo featuring five men making hand gestures can be found on a book cover about life in a Mexican drug cartel from 2007.
Miller won the 2010 Republican Senate nomination, but lost to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in a general election write-in campaign. Despite refusing to indicate whether he would back Murkowski should he lose in the GOP primary, he recently stated that he has no plans to run as a third-party candidate. Murkowski and the Democrat incumbent Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) both voted for the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform last year, but the bill prohibits gang members from qualifying for any kind of earned pathway to citizenship.
Miller has challenged two Republican candidates, former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan and Lt. Gov Mead Treadwell, to sign a “no-amnesty” pledge, which asks candidates to promise to oppose legislation that would grant any form of work authorization to undocumented immigrants and to oppose legislation that increases the overall number of immigrants and guest workers. Both refused. At least 67 percent of candidates who signed the pledge, created by the immigration-restrictionist group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), have lost their primaries.
Miller has espoused other anti-immigrant sentiments, including touting his endorsement by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is known for his harsh treatment of immigrant prison detainees. Miller is currently running an ad that states his support for eliminating “foreign aid to countries that encourage illegal immigration.”