Corker says Democrat is ahead in race to succeed him

Corker says Democrat is ahead in race to succeed him

By Elana Schor (Politico) – Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) offered warm words on Wednesday for the Democrat vying to take his seat, estimating that former Gov. Phil Bredesen is six percentage points ahead of GOP rival Rep. Marsha Blackburn. After reiterating a vow that he would not campaign against Bredesen, Corker also declared that there’s “no question” the Democrat would “have crossover appeal” in November’s closely watched race to succeed him. “I think he’s got real appeal,” the retiring Corker said of Bredesen, describing the Democrat as “a friend of mine” and a productive partner for more than two decades. Read...
D.C. Takes Aim at Sex Trafficking

D.C. Takes Aim at Sex Trafficking

Last week, President Trump signed into law the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017. Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson had been a co-sponsor of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, which was incorporated into the final legislation. It passed by a vote of 97-2 – Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rand Paul (R-KY) being the only Nays. “The legislation signed into law by the president today is an important step toward holding perpetrators of the vile crime of online sex trafficking accountable and allowing victims to seek recourse,” said Isakson. “This legislation updates and strengthens our laws while keeping the internet open, and I’m glad that it is now law.” The Act amends the Communications Act of 1934 to create an exception for sex trafficking, making it easier to target websites that knowingly or unknowingly facilitate human trafficking. Backpage was one prominent website that did so – and seven of its executives were just indicted in federal court in Arizona and state courts in California and Texas. It is now shut down. Free speech advocates have expressed concerns about the unintended impact of the bill – likely prompting the nay vote from the libertarian Paul. And despite the shutdown of Backpage, there are numerous other websites that still perform the same services. The legislation is perhaps particularly in Georgia, where the human trafficking problem is particularly bad largely thanks to the ease of logistics with Hartsfield-Jackson airport and the interstate system. One of the features that is so beneficial for the economy also ends up facilitating some of the worst crimes possible. Georgia’s Attorney General...
Kaine to oppose Pompeo for secretary of state

Kaine to oppose Pompeo for secretary of state

By Martin Matishak (Politico) – Sen. Tim Kaine announced on Sunday he would oppose Mike Pompeo’s nomination to be secretary of state, further complicating the CIA director’s confirmation prospects on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “We have a president who is anti-diplomacy. And I worry that Mike Pompeo has shown the same tendency to oppose diplomacy,” Kaine, who as a member of the committee voted for Pompeo to take over the CIA, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I don’t want a secretary of state who is going to exacerbate [President Donald Trump’s] tendencies,” the Democratic senator from Virginia said, noting Pompeo’s opposition to the Iran nuclear deal and support for taking military action without the approval of Congress. Read...
Georgia’s Sixth and Seventh Districts host competitive races

Georgia’s Sixth and Seventh Districts host competitive races

By Hastings Wyman – This November, Georgia Democrats are seeking to motivate the Blue Wave that swept their party to victory last year in Virginia’s gubernatorial and state House of Delegates contests, Alabama’s US Senate election, as well as other elections where, even if they fell short of victory, they out-performed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 showing. Two of these races will be in the Atlanta area, in the 6th District, where freshman US Rep. Karen Handel (R) will be seeking a full term, and in the 7th, held by four-term US Rep. Rob Woodall (R). Despite Democratic ambitions, one GOPer is not overly worried. “I don’t see any storm clouds on the horizon,” says former GOP state chairman “Chuck” Clay, now an attorney with Nelson, Mullins. He notes that there may be an underlying Trump problem, but “I don’t think it’s there as yet.” However, Republican consultant Brian Robinson told WXIA-TV’s Doug Richards, “[W]hat concerns me is the energy I’m seeing amongst the Democratic base.” Nevertheless, says Clay, “I don’t see any serious problem at this point” for Handel or Woodall. “Both have tried to bridge gaps where they can, though both are conservative.” He adds that the 6th and 7th “are two of the strongest Republican districts in the state.” For now, the governor’s race is taking most of the oxygen out of the room. For the Democratic congressional candidates, the Democratic Primary outcome may be influenced by voters’ choices for governor, and whether they choose to vote in the Democratic or Republican Primary. Moreover, in the General Election, if there is a popular Republican heading the ticket for...
A look at finances in the Georgia Gov.’s race

A look at finances in the Georgia Gov.’s race

Even though many of Georgia’s gubernatorial candidates were not allowed to fundraise for three months during the 2018 legislative session, big money numbers were turned in the latest reporting period. In fact, the candidates for governor reported millions of dollars added to their campaign funds, according to financial disclosures filed this weekend. The report covers Jan 31 through March 31, which gave some candidates only two days of fundraising after the session ended March 29 at midnight. On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has the most money on hand, although he was limited to two days of fundraising (which brought in $20,206)  because of the General Assembly limitations. He currently has over $4.5 million on hand which he has set aside for heavy TV airtime. His total contributions to date are $6,790,315. Cagle has also begun his second Bus Tour across Georgia. The two Republicans who seem to be fighting it out for the second spot, former state Senator Hunter Hill and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, each have over $1 million in cash on hand. Hill pulled in major donations from Braves chief executive Terry McGuirk and Robert Loudermilk of the Loudermilk Companies real estate firm during this reporting period, and now has $1,120,864 cash on hand. His total contributions this reporting period were $442,891, and he reported spending $500,000 on campaign ads which hit TV airways during this time period. Hill has raised $2,702,053 to date. Kemp, who was limited in fundraising this period as a state Constitutional Officer, raised  $34,970 this period, but has  $1,631,521 cash on hand. He has spent over $500,000...
Scott running for Senate in epic showdown with Nelson

Scott running for Senate in epic showdown with Nelson

By Matt Dixon (Politico) – TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Rick Scott made his long-awaited Senate candidacy official Monday, setting up an epic battle against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and testing the limits of whether a close alliance with President Donald Trump is political poison or a pathway to success in the nation’s biggest swing state. Scott has never shied away from his friendship with Trump — who has repeatedly urged him to run against Nelson, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat. And regardless of the constant string of White House controversies, Scott has distanced himself from the president only to the mildest of degrees. But the self-made Scott, who was born poor and raised in public housing, then won the Florida governor’s mansion as a political novice, wants everyone to know that he’s his own man. Read...