Friday, July 30, 2010

Physicians Endorse Deal in Gubernatorial Runoff

The Georgia Medical Political Action Committee (GAMPAC), which is the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) political action committee, has endorsed Nathan Deal in the August 10 Republican primary runoff election for the gubernatorial race in Georgia.

“Nathan Deal has earned his reputation as an intellectual champion for patients and physicians in Georgia over a long period of time,” says GAMPAC Chairman Jack M. Chapman Jr., M.D. “And he genuinely understands the issues that matter to physicians, including tort reform and insurance reform and Medicaid funding.”

Dr. Chapman also stresses that, “Nathan Deal knows that there is a direct relationship between the medical practice environment and ensuring that our patients have access to the medical care they need.”

Dr. Chapman points out that Deal opposed the Clinton administration’s health reform proposal, and he says that Deal fought against the just-passed health reform law “at every turn” in his capacity as the leading Republican of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

“Nathan Deal understands that the new law gives the federal government too much power when it comes to our health care decisions,” Dr. Chapman says. “And he knows that it’s financially unsustainable.” The Gainesville-based ophthalmologist says physicians are confident that Deal, as governor, will take steps to mitigate the effects of the new federal legislation at the state level in the legal and legislative advocacy arenas.

MAG recognized Deal with The Kaufmann Award for outstanding government service in 1998, while the American Medical Association gave him the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service in 2009.

“The bottom line is that Nathan Deal has been an effective advocate for both physicians and patients in Georgia,” concludes Dr. Chapman. “It is imperative that we support him in his bid for governor if we hope to achieve our vision for health care in this state.”

GAMPAC is encouraging patients and physicians to visit for additional information and to support Deal with a campaign contribution.

FEC Reports Show Graves Significantly Outpacing Challenger Hawkins

With just days before voters return to the polls for a fourth time, the two candidates in the August 10th Republican Primary Runoff election filed their latest finance reports yesterday and U.S. Rep. Tom Graves reported $107,973 raised for the latest period bringing his total for the 2010 election cycle to $1,059,249.

The Federal Election Commission reports show Rep. Graves is significantly outpacing congressional challenger Lee Hawkins, who reported only $16,074 raised for the same period.

“I am grateful to our over 4,500 contributors who have invested in my campaign and in restoring liberty and prosperity in America,” said Rep. Graves. “Many of our donors have contributed more than four times to sustain the multiple elections we have faced in the last few months and I think that says a great deal about how much they believe in our message and what we have begun doing in Washington.”

Despite having gone to the polls three times in the last 90 days and Rep. Graves receiving the most votes in all three previous elections, 9th District voters will go to the polls one last time on August 10th.

Rep. Graves finished first in the July 20th GOP Republican Primary receiving 49.5 percent of the vote, taking a commanding 22.8 percent lead over Hawkins. He defeated Hawkins 56.5-43.5 percent in a Special Election Runoff on June 8th to fill the 9th District’s unexpired term.

For more information about Congressman Graves and his re-election campaign, visit

Governor Sarah Palin to Campaign For Karen Handel August 9th

Former Secretary of State and candidate for Governor Karen Handel announced today that former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin will come to Georgia to campaign with her on Monday, August 9th – the day before Georgia’s runoff election.

“I'm coming to Georgia to campaign with my friend Karen because it is absolutely critical that Georgians nominate an ethical leader and a true conservative to take the fight to Roy Barnes in November,” Palin said. “Karen Handel is a strong, pro-life leader who isn't afraid to take on the status quo and do the right thing. She will be the 21st Century Governor Georgia needs to tenaciously address the state’s challenges.”

“I am very excited that Governor Palin is coming to Georgia to help our final get-out-the-vote push,” Handel said. “The energy and enthusiasm she will bring will make a huge difference in the final push to victory in the run-off election.”

The get-out-the-vote rally will be followed by coordinated campaign activities with attendees for the run-off election the following day.

Media interested in covering the event should email and type “Palin Rally” in the subject line.

Members of the general public interested in attending can obtain tickets and sign up to receive more information as it becomes available at

12:00pm – 1:00pm
Rally with Governor Palin and Karen Handel

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vast majority of state Senate GOP rallies to Deal

Deal for Governor today announces the endorsement of the vast majority of state Senate Republicans. In all, 24 of the body's 34 Republicans have publicly signed as Deal backers.

"Nathan Deal is the principled conservative leader who can work with the Legislature to make the tough decisions that face our state in the coming years," said President Pro Tem Tommie Williams (R-Lyons).

Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) praised Deal's commitment to budget responsibility. "In the Senate, we've fought for zero-based budgeting and lower taxes for Georgia's families and job creators," Rogers said. "Nathan's Real Prosperity plan will deliver both. Nathan's plan makes our state more competitive, implements our vision for smaller government and will create new jobs for Georgians."

"I'm honored by the support of our state's conservative elected leaders. It's humbling that officials who have worked with both candidates and know us both personally agree that I'm the best candidate to lead this state over the next four years," Deal said. "These public servants represent the voice of Georgia's people. A good working relationship between the governor and the people's elected representatives benefits all Georgians."

In addition, three Republican Senate nominees, virtually assured of election, have endorsed Deal.

State Senators Endorsing Nathan Deal:

Senator Don Balfour, Snellville
Senator John Bulloch, Ochlocknee
Senator Jim Butterworth, Cornelia
Senator Buddy Carter, Pooler
Senator Ronnie Chance, Tyrone
Senator John Crosby, Tifton
Senator Greg Goggans, Douglas
Senator Johnny Grant, Milledgeville
Senator Bill Hamrick, Carrollton
Senator Seth Harp, Midland
Senator Bill Heath, Bremen
Senator Bill Jackson, Appling
Senator Butch Miller, Flowery Branch
Senator Jeff Mullis, Chickamauga
Senator Jack Murphy, Cumming
Senator Chip Pearson, Dawsonville
Senator Chip Rogers, Woodstock
Senator Mitch Seabaugh, Sharpsburg
Senator Don Thomas, Dalton
Senator Ross Tolleson, Perry
Senator Renee Unterman, Buford
Senator Dan Weber, Dunwoody
Senator John Wiles, Kennesaw
Senator Tommie Williams, Lyons

Republican Senate nominees who have endorsed:

Charlie Bethel, Dalton
Barry Loudermilk, Cassville
Lindsey Tippins, Marietta

Handel Releases New TV Ad plus Campaign Update

Contrasts Handel Conservatism with Deal Corruption

Former Secretary of State and candidate for Governor Karen Handel's campaign today unveiled its latest TV ad today. The ad is currently running in the Atlanta media market which is home to roughly 65% of Georgia's Republican primary voters.

Entitled "Solid," the ad contrasts Handel's record as a true conservative with Nathan Deal's long history of increasing the national debt as a Congressman and revelations about the secret deal he had with the state to financially benefit himself. These corrupt practices caused an ethics investigation in Washington, D.C., which ended in Deal's resignation from Congress, and an apparently ongoing federal grand jury investigation by the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta.

For more on that, click here.

Campaign Update:

Handel First Runoff Ad Unveiled
We unveiled our latest TV ad today. It contrasts Karen's record as a true conservative with Nathan Deal's long history of increasing the national debt and reckless spending as a Congressman, as well as his secret "deal" he had with the state to financially benefit himself. These corrupt practices caused an ethics investigation in Washington, D.C., which ended with Deal's resignation from Congress. The ad is even more relevant now that it has been learned that apparently a federal grand jury investigation by the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta is looking into the matter.

To see Karen's new ad click here.

Federal Grand Jury Investigation

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported yesterday "A federal grand jury subpoenaed records and testimony from a top state official last month involving gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal and a business arrangement he had with the state for nearly 20 years."

Click here to read entire article.

New Endorsements of Karen Handel

Karen Handel announced yesterday 22 new endorsements of her campaign by elected officials across the state.

"I am very excited to have so much support from these fine leaders from across Georgia," Handel said. "I look forward to working with them on the issues critical to Georgia as Governor."

The new endorsements include:

Representative John Lunsford
Representative Sharon Cooper
Representative Earl Ehrhart
Representative Matt Ramsey
Representative Allen Peake
Representative Mike Jacobs
Representative Jill Chambers
Representative Sharon Cooper
Representative and Republican nominee for State Senate Fran Millar
Republican nominee for Representative Jan Tankersley (previously endorsed as County Commissioner)
Republican nominee for Representative Lynne Riley (previously endorsed as County Commissioner)
Republican nominee for State Senate Josh McKoon
Chatham County Sheriff Al St. Lawrence
Chatham County Commissioner David Gellatly
Chatham County Commissioner Helen Stone
Chatham County Commissioner Patrick Farrell
Cobb County Commissioner Bob Ott
Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee
Cobb County Commissioner Helen Goreham
Henry County Commission Chairman B.J. Mathis
Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin
Gwinnett Sheriff Butch Conway
Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos
Chatham County School Board Member Julie Gerbsch

These individuals join the nearly 100 elected officials who have already announced their support for Karen (that list can be found here)

Handel also announced that several key members of Eric Johnson's finance team have come aboard with her campaign including Joe Rogers, Jamie Reynolds and Nancy Coverdell.

Sam Olens Disapproves Federal Judge's Ruling on Arizona Immigration Law

Regarding the federal judge's decision on Wednesday to block the contested provisions of Arizona's new immigration law one day before they were to take effect, Sam Olens, Republican candidate for AG, said the following.

"If elected Attorney General, I will work with the legislature to approve a strong illegal immigration bill that will strengthen our rights to enforce federal laws within our state. Arizona has taken a leadership role for the rest of the states. I will join their battle, and those of the other 17 states who have introduced similar bills."

Sam Olens was the first County Chairman in Georgia to work with his Sheriff to implement 287(g), a federal program whereby illegal aliens are held until they can be transferred into federal custody.

Since, the program has become a model statewide and has been adopted by five other local governments.

"It is outrageous that our federal government is not enforcing our nation's laws regarding our estimated 12 million illegal immigrants and securing the border. The battle will rest in the hands of our state's governors and attorneys generals. I vow to represent Georgians and enforce the rule of law." said Olens.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Deal reacts to tax reform commission, Arizona law ruling

As reform commission meets, Deal says solution can't raise taxes

Conservative Republican candidate for governor Nathan Deal today called on the state's tax reform commission to consider his economic growth plan "Real Prosperity" as the appropriate model for the future.

"In these tough times, we need to give Georgia a competitive edge in job creation, and that's what 'Real Prosperity' would do," Deal said. "The Tax Foundation has analyzed my plans and ruled that it would boost Georgia's business tax climate from 29th to 16th nationally. It would give Georgia the most competitive business climate in the Southeast and it would help Georgia families by cutting income taxes and eliminating the marriage tax penalty."

The tax reform council, whose work is slated to continue over the summer and into the fall, will make recommendations to the Legislature once its analysis is complete on how best to modernize Georgia's tax structure.

"Reform recommendations," Deal said, "should not increase taxes at all. Higher taxes kill jobs that Georgians desperately need and will further prolong our economic woes. I fully support the commission's review of the state's tax exemptions. We need to examine if these exemptions are fulfilling their original purpose or if they're out of date. We need to assure everyone is paying a fair share so that we can lower the rates for everybody."

Deal: Judge's ruling won't deter fight for immigration reform

Conservative Republican candidate for governor Nathan Deal said that Georgia should pursue an Arizona-type immigration law despite today's injunction by a federal judge.

"It's outrageous that the federal government is spending tax dollars to sue states for enforcing the law. If the federal government wants to help, it needs to help states like Georgia deal with the massive costs imposed by our open borders. States have a constitutional right to enforce the law. We're already doing that in several counties in Georgia, through a program that I worked on that allows local police to work with federal officials to deport people here illegally. So, how could it be illegal for a state to do what a federal program already allows for? President Obama needs to know that when I'm governor, he's going to have to sue Georgia too, because we're going to enforce the law and protect Peach State taxpayers."

Georgia has more illegal immigrants than Arizona. We average 30,000 new illegal immigrants moving here each year since 2000. One group estimates this costs Georgia taxpayers $2.4 billion annually at the state and local levels.

Statement of Preston Smith on Federal Judge’s Obstruction of Arizona Illegal Immigration Law

Preston Smith, Republican candidate for Georgia attorney general, today issued the following statement regarding federal judge Susan Bolton’s decision to block key parts of the popular Arizona:

“The liberal federal judge that blocked parts of the Arizona law is just one more infuriating example of a national government run amuck. Her activism usurped a state’s authority to take public safety into our own hands when the federal government has undeniably failed us. This decision is victory for Mexico and a loss for the taxpaying, law abiding citizens of the United States.

It should be no surprise that Judge Bolton is a Bill Clinton appointee; so in part, we have my opponent Sam Olens to thank for nonsense like this since he was on the team that got Clinton elected. As attorney general, I will use every tool I have to enforce our current laws against illegal immigration and work to strengthen them where necessary. Georgians can’t afford another attorney general ignoring this issue. The burden of illegal immigration on taxpayers is too high and the cost to public safety is too great.”

Earlier in the campaign, Smith pledged to aggressively enforce The Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act, one of the toughest immigration laws in the nation that he helped pass in 2006. Among its provisions, the law requires all public employers and those working on public contracts must participate in citizenship verification. It also stipulates that an arresting police officer must make a reasonable effort to determine the nationality of any person charged and arrested with a felony or DUI. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is to be notified if the prisoner is deemed to be in the United States illegally.


Preston Smith is seventh generation Georgian. He was elected to the State Senate in 2002 and became the youngest serving Senator in recent history. He is a graduate of Baylor University where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration. He later earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia. As an attorney, Smith specialized in civil litigation and has been admitted to practice in the state and federal trial and appellate courts. He also is a member of the State Bar of Georgia. He is endorsed by the National Rifle Association,, Georgia Right to Life, and the Republican Liberty Caucus.

Handel Announces 22 New Endorsements

Legislators, Mayors, County Commissioners Join Karen's Team

Former Secretary of State and candidate for Governor Karen Handel today announced 22 new endorsements of her campaign by elected officials across the state.

"I am very excited to have so much support from these fine leaders from across Georgia," Handel said. "I look forward to working with them on the issues critical to Georgia as Governor."

The new endorsements include:

Representative John Lunsford
Representative Sharon Cooper
Representative Earl Ehrhart
Representative Matt Ramsey
Representative Allen Peake
Representative Mike Jacobs
Representative Jill Chambers
Representative and Republican nominee for State Senate Fran Millar
Republican nominee for Representative Jan Tankersley (previously endorsed as County Commissioner)
Republican nominee for Representative Lynne Riley (previously endorsed as County Commissioner)
Republican nominee for State Senate Josh McKoon
Chatham County Sheriff Al St. Lawrence
Chatham County Commissioner David Gellatly
Chatham County Commissioner Helen Stone
Chatham County Commissioner Patrick Farrell
Cobb County Commissioner Bob Ott
Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee
Cobb County Commissioner Helen Goreham
Henry County Commission Chairman B.J. Mathis
Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin
Gwinnett Sheriff Butch Conway
Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos
Chatham County School Board Member Julie Gerbsch

These individuals join the nearly 100 elected officials who have already announced their support for Karen (that list can be found here)

Handel also announced that several key members of Eric Johnson's finance team have come aboard with her campaign including Joe Rogers, Jamie Reynolds and Nancy Coverdell.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp Certifies General Primary Election Results

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp today certified the results for the July 20 General Primary. The certified results of state and federal races can be found on the Secretary of State’s website:

In certifying the results, Secretary of State Kemp affirmed that all counties have provided to the state the total votes tabulated for each candidate. Further, Secretary of State Kemp affirms that the returns are a true and correct tabulation of the certified returns received by this office from each county.

Additionally, with the certification, the time period for a candidate for state office to request a recount begins. Certification does not preclude the state from continuing any current investigations related to the General Primary or from pursuing any future allegations that may arise from the election.

A General Primary run-off will be held on August 10, 2010 between the two candidates who received the most votes in races where no candidate received a majority of votes cast. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Early voting will begin as soon as ballots are available and will end Friday, August 6, 2010.

To find early voting locations in your county, please visit the Secretary of State’s MVP website at On MVP, registered voters can view a sample ballot, find their Election Day polling location and early voting locations in their county, check their registration status, track the status of their absentee ballot, and more.

Voters can request an absentee ballot from their county registrar’s office through the close of business on Friday, August 6, 2010. All absentee ballots must be received by the county registrar by close of business on Election Day, August 10, 2008. Photo identification is not required when voting by mail.

Eligible voters who did not vote in the General Primary can cast a ballot in the run-off. However, eligible voters who cast a ballot in the General Primary must choose the same party’s ballot for the run-off.

Voters will be required to show photo identification when voting in person. For more information on the requirements for photo ID, please call 1-877-725-9797 or visit

Brian Kemp was sworn in as Secretary of State in January 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives and the Capitol Museum.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Senator Seth Harp and Stephen Northington Endorse Maria Sheffield

Maria Sheffield is honored to announce that state Senator Seth Harp of Columbus and Stephen Northington of Cobb County have endorsed her campaign for Insurance Commissioner.

The following statement may be attributed to state Senator Seth Harp and Stephen Northington:

We support Maria because we can personally attest to her credentials as a true person of character and a candidate who has offered positive policy solutions for the issues facing Georgia’s next Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner. Throughout the campaign, we have had the chance to see the true character of Maria Sheffield and know she will serve with honor and distinction in this office.

We hope you will join us in casting your ballot for Maria Sheffield for Insurance Commissioner on Tuesday, August 10.

The following statement may be attributed to Maria Sheffield:

I am humbled and honored to receive the endorsement of these two Georgia leaders. I look forward to working with them as we bring a positive message to the people of Georgia in this run-off for conservative leadership at the Department of Insurance.

Kingston endorses Deal

Prominent Johnson backer calls on conservatives to rally behind candidate

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, today announced his endorsement of Nathan Deal for Governor.

"I encourage conservative Republicans in Southeast Georgia to join me in rallying behind Nathan Deal to be Georgia's next governor. For those who supported Eric Johnson, Nathan is the natural fit for the Aug. 10 runoff.

"As a member of Congress, Nathan earned a perfect score from the American Conservative Union which speaks volumes for his conservative record.

"On immigration, he introduced legislation and led the fight to end birthright citizenship. His citizenship verification law slashed Medicaid fraud, cutting Georgia's Medicaid rolls by 160,000 and saving our state millions.

"To fight higher taxes, he joined me in voting for the biggest tax cut in our nation's history, and I know he'll do the same in Georgia. According to the Tax Foundation, his plan for prosperity would boost Georgia's business climate from 29th to 16th.

"Nathan has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, Georgia Right to Life and Newt Gingrich.

"I know Nathan is ready to hit the ground running and to tackle the challenges facing our state in the coming years. That's why I'm wholeheartedly endorsing him and why I hope Georgians across our state will join me in doing the same."

Deal thanked his longtime colleague for his support.

"No one knows you better than your family, and the people who work with you," Deal said. "I've worked with Jack Kingston for many years on behalf of Georgians. I was proud to join him in working to deepen the Port of Savannah, which is a vital project for our state's economic prosperity. Jack is a great representative for Southeast Georgia, and I look forward to working with him as governor of Georgia."

Maria Sheffield - Positive Policy: Transforming Management at the Department of Insurance

I care about Georgia and I am committed to transforming the management of the Department of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner. Georgia is the largest state, land-wise, east of the Mississippi River. While we do face real budgetary restraints, I feel that we need to respect the majority of Georgians who live outside of Atlanta.

A Georgia taxpayer should not have to go to Atlanta to get routine help from their state government. Accordingly, I will work within the existing authorized budget to implement new management practices, utilization of resources and manpower, and use modern 21st Century technology (already used in the private sector) to bring state government to the taxpayers.

As Commissioner, I will schedule office hours in appropriate government offices across Georgia so I may be of personal service and directly available to Georgia's citizens. I will work with County Commissioners and Mayors to use their office space so Georgians can visit personally with me in their local community. I feel strongly that taxpayers will respond in a positive manner to having their public servants work together to have more local access to the Commissioner of Insurance.

Georgia must have forward thinking leaders who are committed to innovative and modern policies for the management of the state budget and state government. By personally getting out of the Department's Atlanta office and going to our great communities across Georgia, individuals and small business owners will save time and money and we will make state government more accessible.

For Georgia,
Maria Sheffield
Follow Maria Sheffield on Twitter: @mariasheffield
Join The Maria Sheffield Facebook Fan Page

Monday, July 26, 2010

AG Candidate Smith Becomes Online Sensation

“Uncommon Courage” web video approaching 80,000 views on YouTube

Preston Smith, Republican candidate for Georgia attorney general, is quickly becoming an internet star with his web video “Uncommon Courage.” Released less than three weeks ago, the video is on the verge of receiving 80,000 views on YouTube, an astounding number for a political video in this year’s Georgia primary season.

“Voters are understandably cynical and desperately searching for public servants who actually have a record in office of doing what they said they would do. Words alone are cheap these days, while real action is priceless,” said Smith. “Undoubtedly, conservative Republicans are responding to the video because of my anti-tax increase stance, but I think the speech is appealing to a broader group because I sacrificed political power in order to remain true to my principles and constituents.”

The video was released on July 8 and includes clips of Smith’s 2010 speech from the Senate floor after he was stripped of his committee chairmanship for refusing to vote for a tax increase. The video also displays newspaper headlines from all across Georgia praising his courage and unwillingness to compromise his principles.

“I represent between 150-200,000 constituents, and I am the only voice that they have in this Senate. Neither my principle nor their voice is on the auction block,” Smith said during his now-famous speech.

As Georgia’s Attorney General, Smith will continue to be a taxpayer champion by implementing zero base budgeting in the AG’s Office, challenging Obamacare on his first day in office, strictly enforcing our immigration laws, and stopping waste, fraud, and abuse.

The video, “Uncommon Courage” and entire text of Smith’s speech from the Senate floor can be viewed at

Preston Smith is seventh generation Georgian. He was elected to the State Senate in 2002 and became the youngest serving Senator in recent history. He is a graduate of Baylor University where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration. He later earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia. As an attorney, Smith specialized in civil litigation and has been admitted to practice in the state and federal trial and appellate courts. He also is a member of the State Bar of Georgia. He is endorsed by the National Rifle Association,, Georgia Right to Life, and the Republican Liberty Caucus.
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Belle Isle Endorses Brandon Beach

For everything there is a season. There is a time to fight. There is a time to lead. There is a time to help others. There is a time to follow.

Since our narrow loss Tuesday, I have done a great deal of thinking. I have thought a great deal about what is now in the best interest of the Citizens of Senate District 56. As you might guess, I am still deeply invested in the question of: who is the best person to represent the people of North Fulton in the Georgia Senate? Which will best advance a conservative system? Who is best able to bring about Georgia exceptionalism? Who will be able to help lead Georgia towards less government, more local control and greater fiscal responsibility?

After a careful review of our two options, I am fully convinced that man is Brandon Beach.

After the election, I sat down with Brandon. We talked about the future and the needs of North Fulton and Georgia. I found him to be genuine in his belief of the importance of a free-market economy and the belief that less government equals more jobs. In that conversation, he also pledged he would champion, among other conservative causes we care so deeply about, Zero Based Budgeting and Illegal Immigration reform. And, I know he will honor that pledge.

For these reasons, on August 10th, I will be pulling the lever for Brandon Beach. To all those who have been so generous as to support me, I ask that you do the same. Brandon is a proven and effective leader, and he will be a tremendous advocate for us at the State Capital.

Thank you,
David Belle Isle

Handel Announces 21st Century Education Plan

Technology in Classrooms, Retaining Best Teachers, Attacking Drop-Out Rate, Flexibility and Choice as Pillars of Reform

Former Secretary of State and candidate for Governor Karen Handel today rolled out her plan for 21st Century education reform in Georgia.

"We must all unite to ensure that every child has access to a high quality education and the opportunity to graduate from high school and be prepared for whatever is next – whether that is college or technical school or another path toward workforce preparedness," Karen said.

The Handel Plan focuses on:
  • Creating 21st Century classrooms that leverage technology and partner with community organizations and the private sector to enhance learning
  • Recruiting and retaining the best and brightest as teachers by reinstating the Master Teacher Program, recruiting top candidates for teaching positions and rewarding teachers for success.
  • Declaring a "state of emergency" on Georgia's drop-out rate using teachers and technology to detect at-risk students and bringing technical college programs into middle schools to provide an alternative path for those students who will not be pursuing a four-year degree path.
  • Reforming the system through local flexibility and choice.
  • Creating a 21st Century workforce
  • Using transparency and cost savings to focus educational dollars on classroom education
  • Creating a new funding model for education in Georgia
"Education will be a top priority as Governor," Karen said today. "We will fix education in Georgia in a way that will become a model for other states and our children top competitors in the 21st Century economy."

Handel has previously released detailed plans on ethics reform, job creation and economic expansion and permanently cutting the state workforce. Learn more at

A PDF copy of Karen's plan can be found here.

Statement from Eric Johnson

Simple words are inadequate to express my deepest appreciation for the sacrifices, support, and prayers of each of you. While we came up a little short on Election Night, Kathryn and I will always be grateful for all you did to help us campaign and put forth a plan to put Georgia back to work. I want to say a special thank you to my family for their faithful support, my campaign staff, the finance team and donors, the volunteers and interns, and all those who helped us try to “put Georgia back to work”. I also want to acknowledge my former legislative colleagues and the staff that helped me through those years.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to advance to the next round, but it was a wonderful journey. There is no doubt that we were called and answered. There is always joy in that. God has certainly blessed me. When I was first elected to the State House in 1992, I never thought I would serve in the majority- much less have a chance to lead it and then run for Governor of this great state. And, while unsuccessful in this campaign, I am proud to leave behind a conservative Republican majority and some real accomplishments- no income taxes for retired seniors, a smaller, better-run government, the Georgia Special Needs Scholarships and more charter schools, civil justice reform, and a constitutional amendment to protect our rights to hunt and fish.

My travels across this state just served to reaffirm what all of us already know- ours is a great state with a bright future. Ours is a state of people who are prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow with a fierce determination. Ours is a state of people who are prepared to make the tough decisions and embrace the bold ideas that will put our state back to work. Ours is a state of people who are prepared to take a stand against an out of control federal government and take a stand for our common sense conservative values.

I am proud that our campaign stayed positive and focused on the issues. As one of the architects in the effort to turn Georgia from ‘blue’ to ‘red’, I am a fighter. As a former Young Republican and County Party Chair, I am as partisan as they come. As the former Senate Republican Leader and President pro tem, I recruited and directed dozens of campaigns. But I never went negative against a Republican in my 18-year career and I kept my campaigns against Democrats focused on issues. I stayed true to my faith and my principles, and tried to be a role model to my staff and colleagues.

I leave the battlefield with my head held high and proud to have been in the trenches with each of you. In Micah, the scripture tells us that God requires us to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God.” I have always kept that command close to my heart. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for walking with us throughout this campaign. While this campaign may be over, my passion for this state and making it even better remains. I pray you feel the same.

Yours for a better Georgia,
Eric Johnson

Grassroots Favorite Endorses Ralph Hudgens for Georgia Insurance Commissioner

Statement from Gerry Purcell

For fifteen months, I have traveled throughout Georgia campaigning for the Office of Insurance Commissioner. I have sought to bring innovative, state of the art reform to the healthcare crisis we face in our state and our country. I have fought to give voice to those who are seldom heard in the political process. While our campaign was not victorious at the polls, I am certain that our message of reform was heard and will ultimately come to pass.

While I am no longer a candidate, I intend to remain very active in the political process. The Office of Commissioner of Insurance is a very important one to the people of our state.

Of the remaining candidates, Ralph Hudgens is the one candidate who is prepared to lead this office through the difficult times ahead. I have the utmost respect for him. He is a successful small businessman and leader. While others have been pushing paper, Ralph has created jobs and made payroll, year after year.

His opponent is an Atlanta insurance lawyer/lobbyist who was mentored by and maintains close ties to Commissioner Oxendine. After 16 years, we need a fresh start. Ralph's positive and clean primary campaign further demonstrates he has the ethics, the honesty, and the character that the people of Georgia deserve. Ralph took the high road in the campaign, while his opponent ran a divisive and toxic campaign.

When it comes to leadership, Ralph Hudgens is the candidate who spearheaded legislation to protect the rights of nine million Georgians to make their own health care decisions. That is leadership. You may also remember that Ralph and I are the only two candidates advocating interstate sales of health care to bring more competition and lower costs. Ralph is the leader who will fight for free market competition.

It is without hesitation that I endorse his candidacy for the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner!

Not only do I intend to vote for Ralph Hudgens on August 10th, but also Julianne and I intend to work tirelessly on his behalf in the remaining days of this runoff to ensure that he is elected. We encourage all seventy-two thousand Georgians who supported us on primary Tuesday to do the same!

Thank you and may God richly bless you,
Gerry Purcell

Karen Handel & Austin Scott in Newton County Tonight

Karen Handel (Gubernatorial candidate in runoff) and Austin Scott (8th U.S. Congressional Candidate)
Old Courthouse building on the square in Downtown Covington
2nd floor, Courtroom
(Seating for 170)

Downtown Covington, Georgia
Directions: Take I-20 east from Atlanta to exit 90, Turner Hill Rd./SR 12/U. S. 278. Follow Turner Hill Road south to Clark Street, turn right and the courthouse will be on the left.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Poll: Deal strongest candidate vs. Barnes

For 4th time in a row, Deal is Georgians' choice, GOP's best bet

In an independent poll released Thursday, Rasmussen Reports shows for a fourth straight time that Republican candidate Nathan Deal is the strongest candidate in a head-to-head matchup with Democrat Roy Barnes.

In the poll on the Georgia governor's race conducted a day after Deal captured a spot in the Aug. 10 Republican runoff, Deal had 49 percent to Barnes' 43 percent. This gives Deal an advantage beyond the poll's margin of error.

Deal's opponent in the runoff, Karen Handel, managed only a 45-44 lead over Barnes, putting the two candidates in a statistical tie.

The poll also showed that 54 percent of those polled believe Nathan is a conservative. That is 10 percent higher than Handel, who has received a "Pants on Fire" rating from Politifact for her efforts to deny her liberal record.

"This poll backs up my argument for why I'll win on Aug. 10 against Karen Handel and why I'll win in November against Roy Barnes," Deal said. "Georgia voters are studying the candidates, and they see that I'm the conservative they can trust on the important issues. Georgia Republicans are returning to the polls to decide their nominee for governor. They want a conservative and they want a candidate who can beat Roy Barnes. On both counts, I am that candidate.

"Republican voters will consider not only this lead over Barnes, but also the consistency of this lead over a period of months. Even after Barnes spent millions on television ads all over the state, my polling advantage over him has remained unchanged."

Also this week, Barnes issued a challenge for the eventual Republican nominee to debate him face-to-face without a panel of reporters.

"I accept Governor Barnes' challenge," Deal said. "When I am the Republican nominee, I'll meet him whenever and wherever. I hope Republican voters will strongly consider which candidate in this race is best prepared to take on Barnes toe to toe. My opponent skipped two major debates last week, including the only statewide televised debate. I look forward to explaining my plans for lower taxes on Georgia's families while Barnes tries to explain who is going to pay for the billions in new spending he has proposed."

Message from David Belle Isle re: Election

To all who supported us, to all who donated their time and sweat, to all who opened up their homes, to all who knocked on doors, to all who called strangers on our behalf, to all who donated their dollars, to all who fought to advance a conservative system, to all who punched the machine for Belle Isle last Tuesday: Thank you.

As you may know by now our message won in Alpharetta and Johns Creek, but we fell short in Roswell and Sandy Springs. But take heart, all authority is chosen by God, often for a plan we cannot comprehend.

Our race is now over, but our cause is not. We will continue to fight to advance a conservative system for the purpose of continuing and increasing American and Georgian exceptionalism. We hope you'll continue with us in this crucial and ongoing endeavor.

Your support, your hard work, your faith in our cause has brought upon me a multitude of debts owed to all of you, large and small. I will not forget them.

My greatest debt of gratitude goes to my wife Candice. She is an incredible woman and my very best friend. She stood by my side faithfully and lovingly amidst the most grueling of schedules. She picked up the slack at home so I could fight for a cause, a cause we all share.

I must also give special thanks to Rhonda Wilson, our campaign manager. She worked tirelessly and sacrificed much, working nearly full time on our campaign. She is a tireless advocate for freedom and liberty.

Thank you also to John Monson, a quality man, and an incredible friend. Not many friends will gladly forfeit a night's sleep at a moment's notice upon a friend's call. John is such a friend.

I cannot forget to mention Clint Austin, our consultant. He believed in us when we needed it most and moved greatly beyond the call of duty. Our prayers are now with him and his family as he goes to serve his Country in a year-long overseas deployment in the Navy Reserve.

There are so many others (many of which I have probably left off, forgive me): Dottie and Vic Delisle, Lori and Ron Wexler, Mike and Sharon Lowry, Mike Lotshaw, Joel and Kathleen Canada, Bonnie Steadman, Lee and Linda Butts, Roger Blackwell, Jim Styles, Mike Crawford, Nancy Bristol, Marjean Birt, Carol Williams, Rick Dreger, Chris Cupit, Todd Scnick, Jack and Kathy Lee, Cameron Smith, Will Cooper, Thomas Buscemi, Skip Grey, Nona and Don Shawhan, Tricia Pridemore, Brad Raffensperger, Phil Kingry, Kirk and Ken Driskell, David Molson, Rodger Daniel, Bill Dewrell, Julie Cooper, Dave Falnnery, Tommy Arey, Holly Palmer, Andy Christiansen, Fergal Brady, and so many of my friends in the Alpharetta and Roswell Rotary Clubs, my small group, and the 912 project.

Ladies and Gentlemen, our cause is just. We still know that a free society with a limited and fiscally responsible government has produced more freedom, more opportunity, more prosperity and more jobs for more people than any other system on the face of the earth. And, we still know that our future success as a state and as a nation, will depend upon the degree to which we adhere to this system.

God bless America, God bless Georgia, God bless Senate District 56, God bless all of you and God Bless Milton County!

David Belle Isle

Handel to Deal: GRTL Leaders Have to Go

Repulsive Attack Invoking Governor Palin's Son "Last Straw" for Group's "Attack Execs"

Republican Gubernatorial frontrunner Karen Handel today called on opponent Nathan Deal to join her in demanding the resignation of two top Georgia Right to Life executives in the wake of a second incident of disgusting and hateful comments – this time using the son of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in their continued attacks against Governor Palin and her endorsement of Handel.

In a news story in Politico this week, GRTL PAC Executive Director Melanie Crozier attacked Palin's endorsement of Handel and went so far as to say that "[Palin] has a son with Down's Syndrome, and under Karen Handel's laws, Handel would have felt like it was ok to go in and abort that child."

"This is a cruel and revolting lie and shows just how low GRTL leaders are willing to go for a political attack," Handel said. "I am deeply offended, and I can only imagine how offensive these callous remarks are to Governor Palin and her family – and to all Georgians."

Handel, who is pro-life, does not and has never held any belief that could remotely be construed as supporting the act Crozier describes.

"My little sister was born with a rare, life-threatening medical condition – one that few, if any, babies at that time had ever survived. It took miraculous, experimental neonatal care to save her and years of surgeries to ensure her the best that life can offer," Handel said. "My parents knew that she would likely be born with a health issue that she would likely not survive, but they chose life. In doing so, they gave me a sister whom I love more than I could ever express – a wonderful young woman who has enriched my life beyond measure. GRTL's assertions that I would ever support what they claim are outrageous, untrue, and way, way over the line."

This is the second time a GRTL leader has stepped over the line in personal attacks against Karen. In June, the group's President, Dan Becker, called her "barren" and "infertile" because Karen and husband Steve were unsuccessful in their decade-long attempt to have children.

"What this group's leaders are doing is morally wrong. Their comments and their attacks are offensive and cruel. More importantly, these two individuals are setting back the pro-life cause that I so firmly support," Handel said today. "I ask Nathan Deal to join me in calling for Becker and Crozier to resign or be removed from the board of GRTL, so that this organization can be honorable once again. "

Debate Invitation From Maria Sheffield to Ralph Hudgens

I invite my run-off opponent to put policy first and join me in four positive, policy debates focusing on the issues.

The voters of Georgia want to know more about the office we are both seeking and our positions on the issues relating to this important office.

Accordingly, I suggest we agree – before our schedules are full – to debate in the following cities between now and August 10, 2010: Albany, Rome, Gainesville, and Lawrenceville.

I have confidence my opponent and I can find dates we agree on and I am certain we will have several local entities who will host us for a positive, policy debate.

I have directed my campaign manager to reach out to my opponent’s campaign manager and I look forward to his accepting this offer to put the issues first in this campaign.

Jeremy Jones Statement on Primary Election Results

It has been an exciting 18 months. In that time I have traveled all over North Georgia, especially in Walker, Dade, Catoosa, and Chattooga counties. I have met many wonderful people who are really the heart and soul of our great state.

While the election certainly did not turn out the way we wanted, I am grateful for those who had faith in me to represent the district in Atlanta. The election for this race is now over as Senator Mullis will not face a Democrat in the general election in November. Though I will not be in Atlanta this year, I hope some of my ideas and philosophies are carried to the capital for the upcoming session.

I ask we continue our diligence to ensure we have a government working FOR us, not around us. It is easy to get excited during an election season, but the true strength in our Republic is when we stay focused all of the time. Do not hesitate to stay in contact with all of your elected officials. From the county commissioner to the Governor, when they do not hear from we, the people, the assumption of acceptance is all too often made. That is what has gotten our country in debt of over 109 Trillion dollars.

I look forward to maintaining the many friendships I have made over the past months. I intend to stay active in the political process; I hope you do as well.

Once again, thank you, and God Bless you, Georgia, and America.

Jeremy Jones

Deal calls on Palin, Romney to moderate debates

Conservative candidate invites former governors to tour state for talks with Georgians
Conservative Republican candidate for governor Nathan Deal appreciates former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's interest in Georgia's governor's race and invites them to travel to Georgia to moderate a series of debates between Deal and former Secretary of State Karen Handel.

"As a native Georgian, I'm thrilled to see such interest in this race and appreciate the national attention they're bringing to my home state," Deal said. "Former Secretary Handel says 'Bring it on.' To that end, I propose two debates a week - moderated by former Govs. Palin or Romney or both - to be hosted in all corners of the state.

"I am willing to coordinate these debates with newspapers across Georgia. We can also coordinate with television networks throughout the state, so that Georgians have the opportunity to hear the candidates for governor share their vision for Georgia.

"As they begin preparations for their respective 2012 presidential campaigns, traveling to our wonderful state will afford presidential aspirants Palin and Romney the opportunity to meet with Georgia voters and familiarize themselves with the issues impacting Georgia's future.

"Two debates per week, over the next three weeks, is not too much to ask of two individuals hoping to convince Georgians to entrust them with their pocketbooks and their values."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jody Hice, Candidate for Congress, 7th District Update

Thank you for your support in the primary yesterday!

I am grateful for the enthusiastic support of over 20,000 voters that propelled me into a strong second place finish.

Now our campaign “to take America back” continues toward the run-off on August 10th. We are in a great position to win this election! But it will take a lot of prayer, energy, hard work, and money to be successful.

During the campaign I’ve been bold in my stand against the radical, left-wing policies of President Obama. I am outspoken because this is no time for timid, weak leadership.

The political left is not timid. With President Obama in the lead, they are aggressively pursuing a strategy of “change” that is bad for America! Obama’s policies threaten our freedom and our economy, and, therefore, the future of our country.

I respect the office of the presidency. But I do not respect the policies of this president!

Please stand with me as I stand up for the Constitution, freedom, the Free Enterprise system, and our conservative values. Please help me stop the Obama-Pelosi Express to Socialism.

I will fight for the FairTax and for immediate comprehensive tax reductions. This is the real way to stimulate our economy and create new jobs. We must get Americans back to work.

I will fight to de-fund and Repeal ObamaCare. We must not allow the Left to destroy the quality of healthcare for our citizens.

In order for me to fight for you in Congress, I MUST HAVE YOUR HELP TODAY. Elections are very expensive endeavors. It takes a lot of money to communicate effectively with voters.

The Run-off will be here in just three weeks so the time to raise the DOLLARS NEEDED is very compressed. That’s why I am calling on you to please make your most generous contribution right away!

I not a veteran political operative with the support of career politicians and special interest groups. I am depending upon the financial help of people who believe we must “take America back.”

Time is critical. The need is real. Please contribute now.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

For America,

Dr. Jody Hice
Candidate for Congress
Georgia's 7th District

Former Governor, Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Endorses Karen Handel for Governor

Says Karen Has the Skills to "Get the Economy Back on Track and Foster Job Creation"

Former Governor and Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney today endorsed Karen Handel's candidacy to be Georgia's Governor.

"A successful businesswoman and public servant, Karen Handel's blend of executive, political, and business experience is just what Georgia needs at this critical time. The leadership skills that she has honed in both the private and public sectors will enable her to make tough decisions and enact the reforms needed to get the economy back on track and foster job creation," said Romney.

Romney's PAC has also sent Handel's campaign a $1,000 contribution.

"I am excited about our big first place showing in the Primary last night and doubly energized buy this endorsement from a highly successful Governor who has become a national Republican leader," Karen said. "I am proud to have his support and humbled by the confidence he has shown in me."

Governor Romney ran a close second in Georgia's Presidential Primary in 2008 and was supported in his run by 32 Georgia members of Congress and legislators including:

Congressman Phil Gingrey

Congressman Jack Kingston

Congressman Tom Price

Congressman Lynn Westmoreland

Sen. Bill Hamrick

Sen. Jack Murphy

Sen. David Shafer

Sen. Cecil Staton

Rep. Tim Bearden

Rep. Jon Burns

Rep. David Casas

Rep. Mickey Channell

Rep. Brooks Coleman

Rep. Steve Davis

Rep. Matt Dollar

Rep. Mark Hamilton

Rep. Bill Hembree

Rep. Calvin Hill

Rep. Doug Holt

Rep. Billy Horne

Rep. Chuck Martin

Rep. John Meadows

Rep. Butch Parrish

Rep. Don Parsons

Rep. Matt Ramsey

Rep. Tom Rice

Rep. Carl Rogers

Rep. Lynn Smith

Rep. Richard Smith

Rep. Willie Talton

Rep. Wendell Willard

Rep. Roger Williams

A Message From Gerry & Julianne Purcell

One of our favorite quotes comes from Teddy Roosevelt:

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood.who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."

All who joined us in the arena dared greatly over the last 15 months. We were honored and grateful to have you with us at our sides.

In the beginning, few gave us a chance. Undaunted, we cast a bold vision and fueled it with ideas, passion and a whole lot of old-fashion hard work. Our efforts earned grassroots support across the state, and soon we were shaping the discussion of the campaign. Everywhere our message was heard, we won. At the finish line, though, while we were not outworked, we were greatly outspent. We came up short. This time.

To Senator Hudgens and Maria Sheffield, both of whom worked diligently to make the runoff, we offer our congratulations. Our prayers are with you.

To our exceptional team, volunteers and core supporters, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We treasure you, always.

To the hundreds who engaged in political process for the first time through our campaign, stay in the fight. Georgia, and America, need you.

To the 71,000 Georgians who cast a vote for us in our first time in the arena, thank you. We are not going away.

To Georgia, let's dare greatly together to make our state a model for the nation. Too much is at stake for any of us to sit on the sidelines.

Leaders lead. We press on. We dare greatly.

Our very best,

Gerry & Julianne Purcell

Tim Echols Update (in run-off w John Douglas, PSC race)

Echols: “I will be a strong consumer voice.”

Tim Echols and his grassroots campaign collected 35% of the GOP Primary vote Tuesday night putting him in a run-off against John Douglas.

“Jeff May called and said he will be supporting me in this run-off,” said Echols. “I am honored to have his support.”

Echols said that his team knocked on almost 50,000 doors and that consumers are concerned about rising utility bills.

My opponent in this PSC run-off voted to pre-charge consumers for infrastructure construction,” said Echols. “I disagree. Shareholders should bear that cost, and Georgia consumers should not be charged until the project is completed.”

Echols said he wants to continue the legacy of Baker and be Georgia’s “conservative consumer watchdog” on the Commission. “The PSC is the gatekeeper and makes sure the energy providers, phone companies and others regulated entities are held accountable,” said Echols. “I intend to ask the hard questions to these companies and make sure consumers are protected.”

Echols said that serving on the Public Service Commission is an incredibly complex job with a mountain of data that has to be analyzed before any hearing—a challenge he looks forward to. “The action of the PSC impacts your electric, gas and phone bill,” said Echols. “Voters can count on me to scrutinize all rate requests before the Commission.”

Echols has spent the last 15 years at the Georgia Capitol training young people and their parents on how the legislative process works. “Being involved in training others in how to impact public policy has prepared me for this position.”

Tim Echols has been married to Windy Davis Echols of Roswell 27 years and they have seven children ranging from a 21 year old to a 10 year old. Echols has three degrees from the University of Georgia. He is the author of the book "Real Citizenship," a primer on grassroots political activism. The book is available on Amazon. Echols has been active in GOP politics assisting candidates all over the country. He grew up in Clayton County and attended public schools there before attending the University of Georgia.

Karen Handel Campaign Update

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am truly honored and humbled to have led the field and earned a spot in the runoff for the Republican nomination for Governor! What an exciting night it was, and I know that I would not be where I am today without your consistent and dedicated support!

We have come a long way and I can’t thank you enough. Republican Party voters spoke loudly and clearly last night. They want new, ethical leadership. They want someone they can trust to say "no" to the good old boys and politics as usual and stand strong for the values you and I believe in and hold dear. They want real reform, and together we will give them that.

Needless to say, in order to win the nomination, I NEED YOUR HELP once again! While we received an incredible 33% of the vote, our opponent will bring out even more vicious attacks and will have the money to continue spreading falsehoods and deceiving messages about me. We must raise more money in a shorter period of time than ever before. I need your help now so we can continue spreading our message of reform and job creation to the voters of Georgia.

Will you please make a contribution to my Runoff campaign? Your generous contribution is crucial to fund our television campaign. Your generous contribution is crucial to me being able to defend my record and share with the voters of Georgia my conservative record and vision for our state. Please click here to make an urgent online contribution now!

Your support is critical to our success on August 10 - the maximum a person, company or PAC can give to the runoff is $3,600 – so please give as generously as you can. Time is of the essence and I need you now more than ever!

Because I know you are with me, I am excited and ready to take on the challenge that lies ahead. As we have always said, BRING IT ON! But we must raise the money necessary to run a winning campaign – we have everything else we need: a strong conservative message, a grassroots organization that is second to none, statewide momentum and more importantly, enthusiastic and loyal supporters like you. But we must have the financial resources to take on our opponent and win, and we must have them quickly. Please send a contribution today!

Thank you again for all you have done for me and helping me get to this exciting place! I look forward to the next three weeks and campaigning all across this great state. It will be tough, but with your continued help, we will win on August 10 and be one step closer to being the next Governor of Georgia.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!



Monday, July 19, 2010

Everson Optimistic Going Into Last Day of Historic Election

Melvin Everson reflected today on the culmination of 16 months of hard work in his drive to be elected the first Republican Labor Commissioner in Georgia history.

“I think I’ve seen about every Interstate, back road and dirt road in this state,” said Everson, the first African-American Republican elected in a contested election in Georgia since Reconstruction. “That’s where the votes are though. I’ll put it this way, I’ve paid a lot of gas tax all over the state.”

Everson began running for Labor Commission in April of 2009 while incumbent Michael Thurmond was still looking as though he would seek re-election. “I saw a need for major conservative reform in the Labor Department, especially in light of the growing unemployment in the state,” Everson said. “Once Thurmond decided not to run for Labor, this race got more popular, I looked around and said ‘Where were y’all 8 months ago when I was on the road talking about reform and bringing jobs back?’”

The reform platform that he is proposing includes making the Labor Department a partner in economic development, updating IT to stop fraud and ensure no one shirks their responsibilities and that illegal aliens never receive unemployment benefits, partnering with the state’s Technical Colleges to establish an ‘entrepreneurship curriculum’ and creating a one-stop shop online for small business start ups…the real job creators.

“I have really enjoyed this campaign,” Everson said. “Most recently though, I have had the honor to defend my friends in the Tea Party from the charge of racism. This is a fight I’ve continually had for years. The conservative values that the Tea Party folks and I share are what’s best for people of all colors. I hope that in some small way my election can help show that to people and help to push back against those that would divide us along racial lines like the Reverend Al Sharpton.”

If Everson wins the primary tomorrow, he would be in position to be the first African-American Republican elected statewide not only in Georgia, but in the South. Everson and his wife Gerri will be watching returns Tuesday night at the Rose and Crown Tavern, 1931 Powers Ferry Road, Atlanta 30339. The event is being hosted by The 9-12 Project and other 9-12 endorsed candidates will be in attendance.

Stephen Northington Update: To Be Heard You Must Vote

Do you think your vote doesn't count? Not one single person will cast a vote in tomorrow's primary whose vote will count more than yours. Every Insurance Commissioner in Georgia has been an attorney or career politician - or both. How is that working out for us so far? Call five friends today, remind them to vote and let them know you are supporting Stephen Northington, the candidate for Insurance Commissioner who has the knowledge and experience to understand what the real issues are in the fight against a Federal takeover of our health care. The one candidate who knows firsthand what it's like to deal with the Department of Insurance on behalf of clients and knows what changes will make real improvements for Georgia's citizens. You can maintain the status quo of letting the lawyers and politicians run our government or you can see that we return to what our government was meant to be - a citizen government working for the benefit of Georgians.

I want to offer a heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of Georgians who have worked to elect Stephen Northington as your next Insurance Commissioner. Without you, it would not have been possible!

Preston Smith Update

I want to ask for your help to elect a conservative as our attorney general in tomorrow’s Republican Primary. The proven conservative in the race for attorney general is Preston Smith.

Preston Smith is the only candidate who has the leadership experience and the management background necessary to do this job. As the next attorney general, Preston will fight Obamacare and will fight to ensure that Georgia’s illegal immigration laws are enforced.

Preston Smith is the only candidate for attorney general who has received endorsements from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Preston also received endorsements from Georgia Right to Life and the Republican Liberty Caucus. These conservative causes have endorsed Preston Smith because he has a proven record of being a consistent conservative.
Publish Post

Preston’s message is resonating with people all across Georgia. They are supporting him with prayers, volunteer work and contributions.

And now, as we approach the next phase of the campaign, please accept our thanks for your support, your contributions and for your vote.

You can also help by forwarding this message to your friends and family, and urge them to vote for Preston Smith on July 20 as the conservative choice for attorney general.

To learn more about Preston, please watch the video posted on his website. The video tells the story of how Preston would not be strong-armed in to violating his constituents’ trust or his conservative principles. He gave his word and he kept it.

Please visit Preston’s website at PrestonSmith.Org

Johnson Makes Statewide Push Before Primary

Surging campaign stays focused on jobs and the economy

Senator Eric Johnson, Republican candidate for Governor, today made his final statewide push before the Tuesday, July 20th primary election with stops in Atlanta, Dalton, Columbus, Macon, Augusta, Albany, and Savannah. Recent polls have shown the Johnson campaign surging towards a spot in the runoff.

“I can feel momentum building in our campaign as more and more voters sort through all the silliness and clutter to find the proven conservative in this race,” said Johnson. “We have always said that we are going to peak on Election Day and that is exactly what we are doing.”

Johnson has laid out a detailed plan to put Georgia back to work, a comprehensive plan to crack down on illegal immigration, and a bold plan to personalize education. The campaign has not done or released a single negative ad, mail piece, or automated call.

“Attacks on our fellow Republicans aren’t going to create one job, they aren’t going to stop one teacher furlough day, they’re not going to lower taxes for one Georgia family,” said Johnson. “I am staying focused on the issues that matter and the voters are taking notice.”

Johnson has been endorsed by newspapers from across the state, including The Albany Herald, The Blackshear Times, Marietta Daily Journal, The Cherokee Tribune, The Alma Times, The Charlton County Herald and Savannah Morning News. His campaign has also been endorsed by former U.S. Senator Mack Mattingly, Congressman Jack Kingston, and 51 current members of the Georgia General Assembly, the most of any candidate.

An architect and a respected conservative leader, Eric Johnson served as President Pro Tempore of the Georgia State Senate. In that role, he passed legislation that cut over $2 billion in taxes, reduced wasteful spending, empowered small businesses, and protected doctors and businesses from frivolous lawsuits. He and his wife Kathryn have two grown children and live in Savannah.

For more information please visit

Sam Olens Update

Thanks Supporters! Please join us tomorrow for our Victory Party!
Thank You Supporters!

It has been 15 months since I announced my candidacy for the Republican ticket for Attorney General. Since, I have traveled to nearly every county in Georgia and met thousands of new friends and supporters. I am deeply humbled by the support statewide and the trust of the more than 165 elected officials who have endorsed my candidacy. I am grateful to everyone who has helped in ways large and small. I thank you for your hard work and I pledge to serve you and the state of Georgia with honor and integrity.

Sam Olens

Join Us for the Victory Party Tomorrow

Join us on Tuesday night for an Election Night Party to watch the returns and celebrate a primary victory for Sam. We will be honoring you for your support and your vote.

Hosted By: Campaign Chair Robert Ingram, Moore Ingram Johnson & Steele Law Firm


Emerson Overlook Building
326 Roswell Street
Marietta, GA 30060
*Parking garage is located behind the building.

Time: 7:00 p.m.

For additional information, call the campaign office at 678.809.4302.

Last Day to Remind Contacts to Vote Tomorrow!

Today is the final day to remind your friends and contacts to vote tomorrow for Sam Olens, Republican for Attorney General. This election is vital to the future of our state, and our next Attorney General will make decisions that will affect Georgians for generations to come. Sam Olens is tested and has a proven conservative record. Let's work together to elect Sam Olens as the Republican nominee for November.

Chuck Efstration for Congress Update

Below is a message from Chuck Efstration asking for your vote in Tuesday's Republican Primary. Please feel free to forward the message to your email list.

Also, you are invited to join Chuck Efstration at his Victory Party Tuesday night at McCray's Restaurant in Lawrenceville. Please see the details below.


Tomorrow, July 20, we have an opportunity to send a message to Washington. For far too long Washington has been out of touch with the American people, and our conservative values have fallen by the wayside. I am running to be a fighter that will provide conservative leadership and never back down from the beliefs we hold dear. Please vote tomorrow at your designated polling precinct. Information regarding the location of your precinct can be found here:

Voters deserve accountability from their elected leaders. I have signed a contract with the voters of the 7th district:
I will fight for the Fair Tax and never vote to raise your taxes.
I will never support a bill that includes an earmark. This is something I can do right away to curb the out of control spending in Washington. I am the only candidate in the race who has made this public promise to the voters.
I will never support government mandates on American business and will work to repeal Obamacare in favor of market based health care reform.
I will fight for tougher ethics rules and term limits for members of Congress.

I will support the interests of voters and businesses in District 7 by:
Meeting with national and international industries to discuss the benefits of bringing their business to the 7th district.
Holding 20 town hall meetings, in person, each year, in order to know exactly the needs and desires of my constituents.

As an Assistant District Attorney in Gwinnett County, I have had the privilege to serve our community by prosecuting felony crimes. It is an honor to have the endorsement of Danny Porter, Gwinnett's District Attorney. Also, as the recent chairman of the Gwinnett Republican Party, I worked very hard to advance conservative principles. I became frustrated and disenchanted with candidates who spoke like conservatives on the campaign trail only to legislate like liberals once elected.

I am proud to have the endorsement of nationally known conservative Erick Erickson, the managing editor of It is important that we have a fighter to stand up for our conservative principles. I have the will and energy to lead and will never bow to the leadership of either party if they are in conflict with conservative principles.

As your representative, it will be critically important that I maintain constant communication with the voters. I plan to be a commuter Congressman so that I never lose touch with the district. Far too many good people have gone to Washington only to be corrupted by the culture of power. When I am not voting on a bill or in a committee meeting, I will be right back at my home in Dacula.

Tomorrow, we have a wonderful opportunity to send new blood and fresh ideas to Washington. I will be a fighter for our conservative principles. It will be an honor to be your Congressman from the 7th District, but more importantly, I will be humbled to carry the banner for our conservative values.

Thank you for your prayers, your vote and your support as we work to send new blood and fresh ideas to Washington, D.C. Vote Chuck Efstration on July 20.

Chuck Efstration
Conservative Republican for Congress

Gerry Purcell Update: Positive for Georgia

Campaigning across Georgia for 15 months has been a great honor for Julianne and me. From the beginning, we were determined to run a positive campaign. It has not always been easy, especially when others have attacked, but staying positive is exactly what we have done. I am proud of that and proud of my team.

For the last 15 months, our campaign has led on solutions that are crucial to Georgia:
Disclosing the suffocating, hidden insurance premium tax that costs thousands of jobs in Georgia
Fighting dangerous nationalized healthcare from Washington, D.C.
Creating jobs in the private sector by having more competition in Georgia's insurance markets
Needing new leaders in Georgia who will implement a no wiggle room ethics policy

We are proud to have remained focused on these issues that are important to you.

Together, we can bring a new day to Georgia by electing new leaders to help get us out of our current fiscal and ethical challenges.

Please vote for Gerry Purcell for Insurance Commissioner tomorrow, July 20th!

**If you need to know where you vote, please click here.

Gerry Purcell is a life-long conservative and native of Toccoa, Georgia. A graduate of Truett-McConnell College and the Chaminade University of Honolulu, Gerry began his career as a military intelligence officer, earning several distinguished honors including the George Marshall Leadership Award. Gerry entered the corporate world with Mobil Oil, where he turned around five failing multi-million dollar business units. After a bout with cancer at age 29, he started his career over in health insurance, which he considers his calling. Gerry is now nationally recognized as a free-market health care and insurance expert, saving millions for companies and local and state governments nationwide. Gerry and his wife Julianne currently reside in Alpharetta. Gerry launched his campaign for Insurance Commissioner in March 2009 with the intention of bringing new leadership and real, common-sense solutions to Georgia government.

Maria Sheffield Update: Momentum for Victory

Dick Williams & Phil Kent on GA Gang TV show yesterday:

Maria Sheffield is coming up. Maria is the most visible candidate everywhere - A CONSERVATIVE.

Campaign Activity Momentum for Victory

Maria Sheffield Victory Van Tour

For the final two days of the Primary, Maria Sheffield will visit Georgia communities listening to Georgia taxpayers and talking about the election on Tuesday.
The Maria Sheffield Victory Van will tour across metro Atlanta and North Georgia today and tomorrow. Follow Maria Sheffield on Twitter and Facebook today and tomorrow for updates and the Maria Sheffield Victory Van Stops.

Maria Sheffield Pick Up Truck Victory Brigade

Be on the lookout the final two days of the Primary for one of the Maria Sheffield Victory Brigade Pick-Up Trucks. These volunteers will be across Georgia with large Maria Sheffield signs in the beds of their trucks serving as rolling victory billboards.

Thank You, Georgia

I am excited that I am within the margin of error for first place in the independent, professional polls in the Insurance Commissioner Primary.

I am humbled to continue to be one of the top two candidates in the GOP race for Insurance Commissioner in terms of actual campaign contributions raised. I am proud that so many Georgians are responding to my positive, solutions-oriented campaign.

Even though we are strong in the polls, the race is close and we can take nothing for granted. Victory is near, but I need your help to get our positive conservative message out to as many voters as possible today and tomorrow?

Will you e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter to vote for me? Will you write to people on your Christmas card, Faith, Civic, and any other lists and ask them to vote for me? Will you call your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers and ask them to vote for me?

Thanks for your prayers and your support!

Maria Sheffield Releases 14 POSITIVE Policy Videos:

Leading the way on policy in this race, Maria Sheffield has released 14 positive, policy videos on a wide range of topics addressing insurance and general government policy issues.

Maria Sheffield is a true Reagan conservative offering positive, policy positions and solutions to the issues facing Georgia. We need an Insurance Commissioner who offers honest, realistic, and professional solutions and Maria Sheffield is doing that!!

Visit to watch all fourteen videos – they are hosted on the home page.

Maria hopes that you will share these videos with your family and friends. Feel free to forward them on!

SWGA Politics Endorses Maria Sheffield

The respected and influential political website SWGA (Southwest Georgia) politics has endorsed Maria. Maria is thankful for this endorsement. Maria appreciates that her stand for the Constitution, Liberty, and Southwest Georgia has been recognized by these key leaders.


This is Rhubarb Jones.
I want you to join me in supporting my good friend Maria Sheffield to be our next Insurance Commissioner.
I support Maria Sheffield for a lot of reasons but mainly because Maria Sheffield will oppose all Obamacare policies: Maria Sheffield will fight the health insurance takeover by Obama.
Maria Sheffield is a Reagan conservative. Maria Sheffield is pro-life, pro gun, pro Fair Tax, pro TEA Party, and pro business.
I am asking you, your family and friends to vote for Maria Sheffield in the Republican Primary on July 20 for Insurance Commissioner.
This is Rhubarb Jones and I am asking you to give my friend Maria Sheffield your prayers and your vote on July 20 in the Republican Primary for Insurance Commissioner.

File Attachments


Chatham County Sheriff Al St Lawrence Endorses Maria Sheffield

Sheriff Al St Lawrence has endorsed Maria. Maria is the candidate for law enforcement and fire fighters.

From Sheriff St Lawrence:

I am pleased to announce my endorsement of Maria Sheffield – Georgia’s next Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner.

Gene Key - Immediate past GA State Director of The Fair Tax Endorses Maria. Maria Sheffield - The Fair Tax Candidate

As immediate past Georgia State Director for Americans for Far Taxation - The Fair Tax - I am proud to endorse Maria Sheffield for Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner.

I support Maria Sheffield for a lot of reasons and one of the most important is because Maria Sheffield will oppose all Obamacare policies: Maria Sheffield will fight the health insurance takeover by Obama.

Maria Sheffield has the most direct experience both in state government and the private sector of any candidate – as a result Maria Sheffield understands the policy involved in a manner the other candidates simply cannot.

Maria Sheffield is a strong advocate and supporter of the Fair Tax. America needs a second Tax Revolution, we need real tax reform, and simply tweaking the Tax Code fixes nothing. As Fair Tax volunteers, our objective is very simple: to secure passage of H.R. 25. Maria Sheffield supports this simple, fair, and transparent Fair Tax Bill that expands freedom. Maria Sheffield understands we must also repeal the 16th Amendment.

The Georgia Fair Tax movement needs elected officials who are proactive supporters of the fair Tax and Maria Sheffield has proven to be true leaders for the Fair Tax.

Obamacare and Insurance

Maria Sheffield’s principal opponent stated, "The insurance commissioner can't do squat about healthcare."
Reporters have called fighting the Obama takeover of healthcare and insurance, “the central issue in the GOP primary” and Maria’s opponent just declared he will do nothing to oppose the Obama healthcare and the takeover of insurance.
Worse, her opponent has declared, “I stand by my statement.”
This outrageous statement has been reported in dozens of newspapers and blogs across Georgia and nationwide. You can bet Obama is hoping her opponent wins so he can introduce socialized healthcare and insurance in Georgia.
Maria Sheffield, a true conservative leader, has promised to use every resource of the Department of Insurance to fight Obamacare in Georgia.

Maria Sheffield thanks you for your prayers, support, and hard work. Thanks to you, Maria was within the margin of error for first place in the independent, professional polls.

For Georgia,

Team Sheffield

P.S. You can also follow and join our network pages here:

Join Maria on

Follow Maria on

Visit Maria at


The League of Women Voters Practices Censorship in their “Voter” Guide
Refuse to Allow Candidate’s Freedom of Speech Regarding Obama

In an unacceptable and obscene act of censorship to deflect criticism of President Obama and Obamacare, the Georgia League of Women Voters has demanded Maria Sheffield modify her words regarding her criticism of President Obama and Obamacare. Maria Sheffield was forced to change her answers to be allowed to be included.

“It is beyond comprehension that an organization which purports to be for democracy and free elections would, in any way, censor qualified candidates answers. This smacks of Russia or Cuba. It is an outrage and a travesty of the process of free speech and Liberty,” said Sheffield.

“I am angry that people are so blinded to a political philosophy that they would destroy the credibility of an organization to protect a political issue they care about, this is a sad day in Georgia for freedom of speech,” said Sheffield.

Below are the answers Maria Sheffield originally submitted and what the League of Women Voters censored:

Why are you running for office?

I care about Georgia. Taxpayers need the best insurance options, at reasonable prices, and deserve to be treated fairly and promptly. I care about firefighters, they need a Commissioner who will work with them to investigate arsons and provide service from the state. I care about law enforcement personnel; they need a Commissioner who will work with them on both fraud and arson investigations to resolve cases in an expeditious manner. I care about the victims of natural disasters such as fires, floods, and hurricanes and will get them the relief they need.

How can the commissioner better protect Georgia consumers?

I support expanded resources for our local firefighters so they have the equipment to fight fires and pursue arsonists. I also support giving Sheriffs the resources they need to effectively investigate insurance fraud and arsons. Insurance fraud affects all taxpayers and I will enhance our fraud investigation division to fight this serious crime. I will reduce the size of state government: review all aspects of state government; cut those programs or expenses that are not constitutional and streamline all others - government is not a jobs program. I support free enterprise and small businesses: we don't need unnecessary rules and regulations. I oppose new taxes. I will implement Zero Based budgeting, for too long state agencies have been allowed to use accounting practices that run counter to the best interest of tax-payers. I will oppose all policies that are unconstitutional and seek to take away the ability of Georgian’s to make insurance decisions for themselves.

Should the insurance commissioner take contributions from insurance agents and insurance companies?

Georgia law prevents the Insurance Commissioner from accepting contributions from any entity he or she regulates – I strongly support this law. I support the right of individuals to participate in the process and support the candidate of their choice. I was the first and only candidate to introduce a full ethics statement to better govern the Department of Insurance. I will ban all lobbyist and industry paid meals – we must have transparent government that answers to the taxpayers not the insider lobbyists.

Georgia ranks 8th in the nation in auto insurance premium costs.

Why are we ranked that high and what can be done to lower premiums?

Excess government regulation is one factor. I intend to cut unnecessary government regulations and improve filing processes and procedures so new products can be brought to market quicker. I will work with the industry to encourage more companies to become licensed to do business in Georgia, thereby increasing competition. Other factors are the premium tax and uninsured drivers. I will encourage the Georgia Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement to focus on reducing the number of uninsured drivers in Georgia. I will review all administrative regulations and fees with the intent to eliminate all outdated costs.

Do you think Georgia should comply with a federal request to create a state pool for high-risk insurance plans?

The federal government failed to appropriate enough money to cover the actual costs associated with a high risk pool in Georgia. This means that Georgia taxpayers would be left with a huge unfunded liability. The high risk pools are nothing but a trapdoor by the Obama Administration to raise taxes and sneak socialized medicine and healthcare into Georgia. I will oppose these and I will use all of the constitutionally authority I have to continue to keep insurance regulated at the state level.

What is your recommendation to deal with the uninsured consumers of health facilities?

The appropriate role for this solution is for the free market and Faith charities to take the lead with government supporting them by removing rules and regulations that might hinder their efforts. We should encourage doctors and other health care professionals to donate their time by exploring tax cuts and tax credits based on volunteer time. Georgia must work to create more alternatives to the emergency rooms – the invasion of emergency rooms by people seeking non-emergency care causes costs to skyrocket.

Do you think newly constructed homes should meet minimum safety requirements developed at the state or the county level?

I support the state setting minimum requirements and allowing counties to increase requirements if needed based on local conditions. I support giving authority to local governments when possible and practical. I am concerned about regulations that might add unnecessary costs to consumer purchases and builders without offering tangible benefits. New requirements must have input from local fire enforcement officials.

Karen Handel Campaign Update

Thank you for all the support and encouragement you have given me over the past 15 months. We are now in the final hours of the primary election and we clearly have the momentum.

A new poll released today by WSB-TV Channel 2 shows us with a strong lead going into the election. But we expect a very low turnout, so anything can happen. Please don’t let up as we near the finish line.

My message of creating jobs, lowering taxes, cutting the size of government, and providing strong, ethical leadership is clearly resonating.

When the status quo is challenged, politicians get desperate. A panic set in with some of our opponents in this race. Everything but the kitchen sink has been thrown at us.

They have spent $1 million in false, negative attacks over the past week. In some of the mailers they did not even put their name on the false attacks. And Republicans all across Georgia have seen right through them.

Ironically, the attacks come from two politicians who were Democrats when Bill Clinton was running for President and I was working for the Vice President and Mrs. Quayle in the White House. I am a lifelong conservative, pro-life Republican.

The new poll released today by WSB shows us with a lead going into Election Day:

Karen Handel 28
Nathan Deal 17
Eric Johnson 14
John Oxendine 13

While we are encouraged, we cannot take anything for granted. Please be sure to vote tomorrow. Encourage your friends, family and co-workers to go to the polls tomorrow and vote for me. We have all worked too hard to let up now.

Thank you again for your support and I hope you will be able to join us tomorrow for our Victory Party in Atlanta.


Join Karen Handel for an Election Night Victory Party 6:00 pm until ?????
Westin Atlanta Perimeter North
7 Concourse Pkwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30328

Seth Harp Issues Statement Responding To John Oxendine's Comments

Senator Seth Harp (R-Midland) released a statement in response to Commissioner John Oxendine's comments regarding Seth Harp during last night's Atlanta Press Club Republican Gubernatorial Debate.

"Our campaign's previous statements about the rampant ethical issues of the current Insurance Commissioner's Office were not about John Oxendine, as candidate for Governor, but about cleaning up the Insurance Commissioner's Office," said Harp. "I'd like to assure the people of Georgia that the Harp administration will be a vast departure from the current leadership and that there will be a fair playing field for all involved. I will run the Office of Insurance Commissioner with integrity, honor and accountability."

A lifelong Republican, Seth Harp is a former Marine, having volunteered to serve in combat in Vietnam, and also a former J.A.G. prosecutor. Harp's parents instilled in him a commitment to serve others and, regardless of whether you've been told to, to always "do the right thing."

A resident of Muscogee County, Seth is married to Linda Collins Harp of Camilla, Georgia and they have two married daughters, Mary Rebecca Dick and Leslee Shannon (and three grandchildren). The Harps are members of Wynnton United Methodist Church in Columbus where they have taught Sunday school.

Eric Johnson: The Momentum Continues!

A new poll by InsiderAdvantage/WSB TV shows Eric rapidly gaining support with a large number of voters still undecided. With these trends continuing through tomorrow night, we will secure our spot in the primary runoff election.

Remind Your Friends!

This election is shaping up to be incredibly close. Your personal endorsements can determine the outcome of this race. Many people vote for a candidate because someone they trust asked them. Please remind all of your friends, family, and coworkers to vote for Eric Johnson. Right now you can help by:
E-mailing 25 contacts
Calling 10 friends
Posting a reminder on Facebook to vote for Eric
Ask your friends to do the same.

Every Vote Matters!

If you have not voted already, please take time to make your plan for voting tomorrow. Registered voters can vote between 7:00AM- 7:00PM tomorrow at their assigned precinct. If you are not sure where your precinct is located, you can visit the Secretary of State’s website to view your voting information.

Victory Party in Atlanta!

We hope you can join us tomorrow night as we celebrate our victory! The party will start at 7:00PM at the Double Tree- Buckhead, 3342 Peachtree Road NE in Atlanta. We hope to see you there, and thank you again for your continued support and prayers!