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Politics and civics

Help flip Georgia blue on 05 January 2021

Help Jon Ossoff defeat David Perdue, and Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock oust Kelly Loeffler. Turn the US Senate to 50-50.

Georgians voted blue in a presidential election for the first time since 1992, endorsing President-elect Joe Biden. Now control of the US Senate rests with an 05 January 2021 runoff election. Neither Republican Senators David Perdue (one term) nor Kelly Loeffler (appointed term) captured 50% of the statewide vote on 03 November 2020.

Prior to the 2020 election, Republicans held a 53-47 majority in the chamber (plus two independents who historically vote with the Democrats). It’s currently 50-48. The outcome of these runoffs? Control of the US Senate. (The Vice President votes in case of a tie.)

Key dates

Get involved

Wanna help flip the state even more blue? Here are some ideas.

1. You can donate directly to Jon Ossoff’s campaign against Perdue and Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock’s campaign against Loeffler. Or go to GAsenate.com, which is a Fair Fight effort.

Other important non-profits in Georgia:

2. Volunteer (in- or out-of-state). See phone bank, texting and letter-writing campaign details at mobilize.us. Connect directly with the Ossoff and Warnock campaigns.

Both teams are using Blue Squad:

  1. Download Blue Squad (iOS or Android).
  2. Join the  Ossoff campaign and/or Warnock campaign on Blue Squad.
  3. Check your home feed to find new ways to help these campaigns.  Those missions will include registering friends to vote, keeping them informed, and finally making sure they vote.

3. Volunteer (in-state). The Georgia Democratic Party is seeking volunteers to be poll monitors, ballot processing monitors and poll workers. Or check FairFight.

4. Share your stories (in-state). The Warnock campaign is collecting supporter stories through their website and under the hashtag #WhyImVotingWarnock.

Attacks on Georgia Secretary of State

Both Perdue and Loeffler have called for the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, to resign.

Raffensperger is popular among Republicans in the state, and in 2018 President Donald Trump endorsed his campaign, tweeting that Raffensperger “will be a fantastic secretary of state for Georgia.”

Perdue and Loeffler provided no evidence of any wrongdoing with the November election.

[Raffensperger noted that] any complaints about the high volume of absentee ballots and the slow-drip release of results are the result of a law — passed by a Republican legislature and signed by Sonny Perdue, Trump’s own secretary of agriculture — that permits no-excuse absentee voting. Raffensperger deems the accusations of opacity regarding the results “laughable.” So did FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver, who argued that Georgia “has probably been the most transparent state in the country with respect to its vote counting process.”

The case for the challengers: Ossoff v Perdue

Perdue, 70, dropped out of the third debate against Ossoff, 33, who had criticized Perdue’s January stock trades in the second debate. Perdue has refused to debate Ossoff prior to the runoff, as well; consequently, the Atlanta Press Club will represent Perdue with an empty podium.

You did say Covid-19 was no deadlier than the flu. You did say there would be no significant uptick in cases. All the while you were looking after your own assets and your own portfolio.

On 24 January, “the same day that the Senate held a members-only briefing on the novel coronavirus” that included “confidential, non-public information,” Perdue bought stock valued “as much as $65,000” in DuPont de Nemours, the giant chemical company that produces personal protective equipment.

Perdue reported 10 different DuPont stock purchases [from 24 January to 02 March], representing an investment of up to $185,000.

He also continued to sell off shares of Caesar Entertainment, the casino company whose properties were shuttered as the virus spread. On March 26 the senator invested up to $50,000 in streaming provider Netflix, which has seen a surge in traffic as people stay home.

The first confirmed case of coronavirus in the US was on 21 January 2020. And Trump wasn’t tweeting about COVID on 24 January.

In addition, Perdue lied about Ossoff’s having been endorsed by the Communist Party in an interview with Hugh Hewitt on 01 October as well as in a subsequent TV ad.

For five years, Ossoff worked as an aide and national security staffer for Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and also ran Johnson’s re-election campaign in 2010. He briefly held top-secret security clearance before resigning in 2012 to attend the London School of Economics, where he received a master’s degree.

Ossoff has been endorsed by state and national teachers and the Alliance for Retired Americans. Perdue by the state Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business.

The case for the challengers: Warnock v Loeffler

Rev. Warnock, 51, a Democrat and pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, faces Loeffler, 49, a Republican who was appointed to her seat in late 2019.

Like Perdue, Loeffler attended the private Senate briefing on COVID-19 in late January and promptly began trading, ostensibly via a third party. Her husband runs the New York Stock Exchange.

Ms. Loeffler and her husband reported 27 stock sales beginning on Jan. 24 worth up to millions of dollars. Her husband is Jeffrey C. Sprecher, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. She has said she does not manage her own portfolio.

She bought a private plane to fly to and from Washington. Trump’s 2017 tax bill allowed her to write off the entire purchase with “a shell company, TVPX Aircraft Solutions, [which] seems to have been created for the sole purpose of getting Loeffler a jet on the taxpayer’s dime.”

Embedded in [the 2017 tax] bill is a provision that permits a company to write off the full price of a new or used airplane against the company’s earnings. It is not clear how much Loeffler paid for the jet, a 2010 Bombardier Challenger 300 that she has used for campaign travel, but an online listing asks $9.7 million for the same model and year.

Although the Stock Act “makes it illegal for members of Congress to trade on nonpublic information they encounter in their work,” no member of Congress has ever been prosecuted.

Warnock has been endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and End Citizens United. Loeffler, National Right to Life and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

 

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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