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So things have been pretty rough on the GOP side in the Georgia U.S. Senate primary to succeed Senator Saxby "Chicken Hawk" Chambliss (R. GA).  Two GOP candidates have had some bad press lately.  First there's Congressman Phil Gingrey (R. GA-11):

UNITED STATES - JUNE 12: Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., attends a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center to introduce border security legislation titled "Support More Assets, Resources and Technology on the Border of 2013." The bill would allow for the
The Phil Gingrey’s campaign for U.S. Senate took a blow on Monday, as four top staffers resigned.

General consultant Chip Lake, who once served as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, confirmed his departure via email.

"I have nothing but respect for Phil Gingrey. We were just at a crossroads and I thought it would be better for both parties to move on. I wish him nothing but the best," he wrote.

The departure comes only a week after he became the first GOP candidate in the Senate contest to launch a TV ad, in which he promised to repeal Obamacare in his first term or “go home.” - Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/19/13

And Congressman Jack Kingston (R. GA-01) made the news when he said this:

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston announces that he's joining the race for retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss' 1st District U.S. Senate seat, Thursday, May 2, 2013 in Savannah. Kingston is currently the U.S. Representative for Georgiaís 1st congressional district located in Southeast Georgia. (AP Photo/Savannah Morning News, Steve Bisson) THE EXAMINER.COM OUT; SFEXAMINER.COM OUT; WASHINGTONEXAMINER.COM OUT
A Republican lawmaker running for Senate in Georgia is calling for improvements to ObamaCare, breaking with his party's proclaimed policy to simply let the law self-destruct.

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) on Monday questioned whether the Republican tactic to let the law fail was "responsible," and touted a bill he proposed to fix a portion of the law as a path forward on ObamaCare.

Speaking to local conservative radio station Z Politics, Kingston mentioned the “Small Business Fairness in ObamaCare Act" that he introduced, which would exempt some small businesses from the mandate to provide insurance to their employees under ObamaCare.

"And there’s some criticism, 'Well, are you helping improve this law when you make that change? And should we be doing that?'" Kingston said of pushback to his bill.

"A lot of conservatives say, 'Nah, let’s just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.' But I don’t think that’s always the responsible thing to do," he added.

"I think we need to be looking for things that improve healthcare overall for all of us. And if there is something in ObamaCare, we need to know about it." - The Hill, 11/25/13

Wow, that's a bold statement coming from a Republican, especially one running for Senate in Georgia.  How did that go with the base?

A blogger for argued that Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) has surrendered on Obamacare after the Republican congressman and Senate candidate said that it would not be "responsible" to let the Affordable Care Act collapse entirely.

"Sadly, the recent comments by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) suggesting that we should help fix the law serve as a vivid illustration of why we failed the battle to defund the law," wrote blogger Daniel Horowitz, who also serves as the policy director for the conservative Madison Project, in a blog post titled "Jack Kingston has Surrendered on Obamacare" on Tuesday.

"Coming to terms with Obamacare is nothing new for Kingston," Horowitz wrote in the post. "At the beginning of the year, he said “I don’t want to go in there saying, ‘By golly, there’s a new sheriff in town.’" - TPM, 11/26/13

Ouch, and what's worst is now Kingston made himself a punching bag for this guy:

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Georgia, announces his plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss in 2014, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, in Atlanta. The Athens Republican is the first candidate to enter the 2014 field officially, but he's certain not to be the last as several GOP congressmen mull a race that blew wide open when Sen. Chambliss announced last month that he would not seek a third term. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun launched an attack against his Republican Senate primary rival Rep. Jack Kingston today on Obamacare, after Kingston suggested he would be willing to work on fixes to the new law.

Here follows the press release from Broun:

    "Just yesterday, Congressman Jack Kingston wondered aloud on a radio program if allowing ObamaCare to fail is the ‘responsible’ thing to do. Unlike Congressman Kingston, Dr. Paul Broun is certain that allowing ObamaCare to continue is absolutely irresponsible. Dr. Broun is not trying to fix ObamaCare; he is working to fully repeal it.

    "While Congressman Kingston has introduced a bill which seeks to fix ObamaCare, Dr. Broun has authored a bill which would not only repeal ObamaCare in full, but replace it with patient-centered, market-based solutions. As a medical doctor, providing access to affordable and quality care is a priority for Dr. Broun, however, he supports private-sector, market-based reforms like his Patient OPTION Act, which accomplish these goals without the intrusion of government into the healthcare decisions and privacy of Americans’ lives. It is clear that Congressman Kingston and Dr. Broun stand on opposing grounds: one supports fixing Obamacare, and the other supports repealing and replacing ObamaCare with solutions that serve patients best interest, not government." - Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/26/13

With Gingrey's campaign staff problems and Kingston making an attempt to sound sane and rational, Broun is surely to benefit from this.  However, he will have to deal with Karen Handel (R. GA):

The federal government needs more than conservatives in office, it needs “governing conservatives,” said Karen Handel, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

“Individuals who have a track record of really getting things done in tough environments,” she said. “And that’s the track record that I have and the kind of experience and leadership that I’m going to bring.”

Handel, one of many Republicans in a growing field of candidates to fill the seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss, spoke to the Republican Women of Forsyth County during a lunch meeting Wednesday.

Many in the audience at Norman’s Landing restaurant sported Handel stickers. Some were supporters who said they’ve known Handel since before her days in government.

For those unfamiliar with the candidate, Handel highlighted her successes as the chief executive officer of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Fulton County Commissioner and Georgia Secretary of State.

The state’s voter photo ID law was her idea. She said it was a highlight of her time as secretary of state, despite the legal battles with the U.S. Department of Justice to get it implemented. - Forsyth News, 11/23/13

So it's hard to say at this point if Broun will end up the victor or if someone like Handel will be the wild card.  But Kingston's remarks will hurt him and Gingrey's staff shake up could be problematic.  Either way, it's enjoyable to watch the GOP rip each other a part.

While the Republicans spend their time tearing each other a part, U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn (D. GA) and gubernatorial candidate State Senator Jason Carter (D. GA) are helping their party rebuild in Georgia:

Georgia's top Democrats yesterday gathered to help raise awareness, and cash, for the upcoming 2014 election season.

The Democratic Party of Georgia hosted $250-per-plate luncheon at Downtown's Freight Depot to help replenish its coffers. It was also an opportunity to rub shoulders with state Sen. Jason Carter, who recently entered the governor's race, and U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn.

According to the Associated Press, the fundraiser brought in more than $150,000. The cash, party officials said, would be used to help expand the party's footprint, rally supporters, and convince voters to head to the polls next year. Prior to yesterday's event, the DPG's latest campaign financial reports showed that it only had an estimated $130,000 cash on hand (Georgia's GOP had more than $800,000). - Creative Loafing Atlanta, 11/21/13

Both Nunn and Carter are candidates that excite Georgia Democrats:

But new party Chairman DuBose Porter said enthusiasm is at a high since Nunn, daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, and Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, announced they'll be running as Democrats next year. Nunn will be seeking the seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, while Carter has announced plans to run for governor.

"It feels great after a long time of limited success," said state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta. "We've got two young, vibrant candidates at the top of the ticket and fundraising is turning around."

Nunn and Carter were a big reason why Columbus attorney Paul Kilpatrick made the trip to attend the fundraiser. Both he and Joe Sports, an Atlanta-based lobbyist who served as executive director of the state Democratic Party in the late 1960s, said they could feel the energy and enthusiasm surrounding the two candidates.

"People vote for the individual, and they like the idea of supporting Sam Nunn's daughter and Jimmy Carter's grandson," said Sports, adding he thinks both will be able to bring in rural, independent voters. "Democrats had a good record dealing with farm issues and agriculture, and I think they can continue to do that."

Party officials say Democrats raised more than $150,000 during Wednesday's fundraiser. That money will be critical to building up the party's statewide organization ahead of next year's elections by registering voters, establishing a broad donor network and recruiting grassroots supporters.

"I Like to say, it takes coal to run a train and it takes gold to run a campaign," said longtime state Rep. Calvin Smyre, D-Columbus. "It takes resources to be successful in this system." - Ledger Enquirer, 11/20/13

And Georgia Democrats also received some help from a candidate from a neighboring state:

Both Nunn and Carter gave brief remarks at the event and declined to speak with reporters. Also in attendance was former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who said he was in town to meet with Ted Turner when he heard about the fundraiser. Now a Democrat, Crist is running again for governor and said there is reason for Democrats to be optimistic. The key will be talking about issues that people care about, he said.

"You talk about the values of the middle class, and why it's important to have someone who has your back and cares about issues like public education and how your children are going to have the opportunity to get a high-paying job in the future," Crist said. - The Telegraph, 11/20/13

With a nasty GOP primary along with the FBI investigating Governor Nathan Deal (R. GA), Republicans are very nervous about Nunn and Carter's chances.  That's why they're resorting to this:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is hitting vulnerable Democrats and Democratic candidates with a new Black Friday-themed ad campaign focused on ObamaCare.

The ads, first reported by ABC News, will target Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), and Democratic candidates Rep. Bruce Braley, running for Iowa's open Senate seat, Rep. Gary Peters, running for Michigan's open Senate seat, and Michelle Nunn, running for Georgia's open Senate seat.

Republican volunteers will put flyers on cars outside shopping centers, fashioned after sale advertisements that feature facts about ObamaCare's impact in each state.

The flyers also charge that each candidate or senator "deceived middle class workers and families," based on the erroneous claim made by Democrats and President Obama that, under ObamaCare, Americans could keep their insurance policies if they liked them.

And the NRSC is running an online ad campaign on shopping sites and social media, targeting Black Friday shoppers and women. Those ads read "Black Friday Sell Out!!! Mary Landrieu misled Louisianians about Obamacare," and click through to a petition for viewers to demand a "refund." - The Hill, 11/26/13

But the AFL-CIO is also lending a hand in taking down the GOP in Georgia:

The nation's biggest labor group is taking its support for an immigration overhaul to the TV airwaves, with Spanish-language ads that hammer Republican House members.

One uses the words of three GOP members. There's Steve King of Iowa saying: "They're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert," played after a shot of Latinos at a wedding ceremony. And Alabama's Mo Brooks saying: "I'll do anything short of shooting them," after the image of a soldier hugging his wife. Georgia's Paul Broun is featured saying: "These illegal aliens are criminals and we need to treat as such," after a photo of roofers at work.

The spots are running in Atlanta; Orlando, Fla.; Denver, and Bakersfield, Calif. — the districts of Broun, Daniel Webster, Mike Coffman and David Valadao. The union said it is spending more than $1 million, with the ads running a minimum of 210 times in each of the markets over two weeks. The union is also running English-language versions of the ads in the Washington, D.C., market.

Six more GOP House members are targeted by the AFL-CIO's "Cost of Inaction" campaign, with online ads and in-district grass-roots work. The Bakersfield television ads also reach the district represented by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy. - NPR, 11/7/13

In the mean time, Nunn's been out on the campaign trail talking to voters:

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn visited the Port of Savannah for the first-time Tuesday, highlighting job creation during a one-day campaign swing.

“It’s a rare example of where I think we have a great bipartisan support,” said Nunn following a private tour. “We need to ensure that the port is fully funded. Certainly the state has taken the lead, but we need to get the federal funding that has been well articulated as being important.”

Nunn made her way afterward through soaking rain down the road to Carey Hilliard’s Restaurant on Augusta Road, where she met with a handful of local supporters, some of whom have been active in the party. The former nonprofit chief executive briefly discussed increasing jobs and economic development.

She also expressed her frustrations with reporters about the recent roll-out of the federal government’s health insurance website, which she called a “failure.” Nunn included it among other problems with the law she said need to be fixed, such as the time frame to implement it and the issue of some full-time employees having their hours cut.

On the recent nuclear deal with Iran, Nunn said it needs to be closely monitored and the U.S. should be prepared to extend sanctions if the agreement terms are not followed.

Nunn was scheduled later in the evening to speak at a private fundraiser held at the Jewish Educational Alliance on Abercorn Street. Tickets for the event ranged between $35 and $250.

Nunn’s impressive fundraising effort since officially entering the race last July has caught the attention of political watchers around the country.

She reportedly raised nearly $2 million from 6,700 donors in 10 weeks, making her the leading Democratic contender in the open race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss. - Savannah Now, 11/27/13

If you would like to donate or get involved with Nunn's campaign, you can do so here:

And if you would like to donate to Jason Carter's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 12:05 PM PST.

Also republished by Kos Georgia, LatinoKos, In Support of Labor and Unions, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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