U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue may be walking different paths again, this time on the topic of Roy Moore.
The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama was accused earlier this month of having sexual contact with a woman when she was 14 years old and he was a 32-year-old bachelor. Three others said Moore approached them as teenagers.
The ground shifted more on Monday, when a fifth woman came forward to say that, decades ago, she was sexually assaulted by Moore when she was 16. Even before this last woman stepped up, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said it was time for Moore to step aside.
On Monday, in a speech to the Marietta Rotary Club, Isakson said the same. From the Marietta Daily Journal:
“The allegations seem a lot more credible than any defense he has put up.” Isakson said. “Something like that is inexcusable and should be intolerable.”
“As a member of the Republican Party and an elected Republican, there’s no circumstance under which having a Democrat would be better (than having a Republican),” said Isakson, “That said, anybody who violates the moral code of ethics and decency should not be serving in the United States Senate.”
Meanwhile, Isakson’s fellow senator from Georgia has been less eager to confront the pitchfork crowd behind Moore. Perdue used the “if true” construct last week, when the sexual misconduct allegations against Moore came to light.
Perdue kept his thoughts on Moore to himself on Monday — emails to his press shop went unanswered.
Isakson could have far more invested in the situation. Colorado Republican Cory Gardner, the head of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, said senators should expel Moore from the body should he win the Alabama special election on Dec. 12.
As chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, Isakson would take the lead in the proceedings required for Moore’s expulsion. The body has not expelled anyone since the throes of the Civil War, in 1862.
An Isakson spokeswoman declined to discuss what such a process would look like under Isakson’s watch. (Tamar Hallerman)
Many in Alabama are complaining about East Coast journalists parachuting into their state and roiling their waters unnecessarily. But the paragraphs below were written by Anna Claire Vollers of the Huntsville Times. They speak of Greg Legat, who worked in a music shop at a Gadsen mall in the early 1980s:
Legat, now 59, said an off-duty Gadsden police officer named J.D. Thomas told him about various people he should look out for when he was working. This was around 1981, and Thomas worked security at the mall.
One of the people was a pickpocket, he said, while another was someone prone to pick fights.
One was Roy Moore.
Cathy Woolard may have finished third in the race for mayor of Atlanta last week, writes Tharon Johnson at InsiderAdvantage this morning, but the city’s LGBT community may be about to display some serious electoral clout.
Johnson notes that both Alex Wan and Keisha Waites, candidates in runoffs for Atlanta city council president and Fulton County Commission chairman, respectively, are gay.
And Woolard now holds the key to the Atlanta mayor’s race. Writes Johnson:
With two LGBTQ candidates on the ballot in Atlanta and one former LGBTQ candidate wielding the support of most of that community’s support, the election on Dec. 5 represents a unique opportunity for our city and county. LGBTQ Americans are vastly underrepresented in government, but Atlanta and Fulton could make two small steps in changing that.
Lance Bottoms and Norwood may not personally be representative of that community, but the easiest path to City Hall will mean being an ally….
I look forward to seeing how far they are willing to go.
Keisha Lance Bottoms, one half of the Atlanta mayoral runoff, was behind a mic with Rose Scott on WABE (90.1 FM) on Monday afternoon. Twice, Scott asked Bottoms if she needed to put some distance between herself and incumbent Mayor Kasim Reed. The second attempt drew this reply from Bottoms:
“Honestly, Rose, I think it’s really a sexist narrative. I am an accomplished professional in my own right, and I have been for the last 25 years. I’ve said this in other outlets and I’ll say it here: Mayor Reed was not there when I finished in the top 10 percent of my class when I graduated from Frederick Douglas High School in Atlanta. He was not there when I finished first in my class from FAMU. He was not there when I passed the bar the first time…
“I am here as an independent person, and I’ll be an independent mayor.”
Atlanta Councilman Kwanza Hall, who captured about 4 percent of the vote in last week’s mayoral race, will endorse Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms at a press conference on Tuesday. Other endorsements could come soon. Vincent Fort, who captured 10 percent of the vote, is set to meet with Bottoms after huddling with Councilwoman Mary Norwood over the weekend. (GB)
Atlanta mayoral candidate Mary Norwood made an appearance at the Hillary Clinton book tour at the Fox Theatre. The self-described independent also swung by the Democratic National Committee meeting in Atlanta in February. She’s facing a stream of attacks painting her as a “closet Republican” as she prepares for a December runoff against fellow Councilwomen Keisha Lance Bottoms. (GB)
The complaint filed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle against the city of Decatur, for allegedly violating a state law that requires local governments to cooperate with the feds when it comes to illegal immigration, will be heard by the state Immigration Enforcement Review Board at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Coverdell Legislative Office Building.
Background can be had here. His people have said Cagle is making the complaint as a private citizen, but the agenda states that the complaint was filed by “the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.”
Republican businessman Clay Tippins has loaded up his campaign for governor with veteran political operatives. His general consultant is Leigh Ann Gillis, a veteran of the Sonny Perdue and David Perdue bids for office. Fred Davis, the prominent adsmith, will be his creative go-to. Ron Butler, another Perdue veteran who also worked for U.S. Rep. Karen Handel, will handle his direct mail. And pollster Dave Sackett and digital guru Jacob Hawkins, who both worked for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, have signed on. (Greg Bluestein)
No surprise here, but U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, announced his bid for reelection on Monday. The Democrat said he plans to focus on affordable health care, boosting wages and increasing funding for public schools should he win a seventh term next year. Johnson hasn’t faced any serious competition for the Fourth District seat since he edged out Democratic incumbent Cynthia McKinney in 2006. He’ll at least two primary challengers next year (TH).
In yesterday’s Jolt we mentioned John Bardis, one of Tom Price’s deputies tasked with approving the onetime health secretary’s official trips. Politico.com reports that Bardis was a Georgia-based entrepreneur – he made a fortune after selling his metro Atlanta-based MedAssets medical supply company in 2015 — until he was hired to serve under the former Roswell congressman’s staff at the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year:
Bardis’ resulting wealth from the sale — and generosity around the office — has led some in HHS to nickname him “the billionaire.”
Before joining the federal government, Bardis used his own corporate jets to fly executives, sometimes for charity missions, which may have made him more indulgent of Price’s requests for one, according to one individual who’s worked with him.
Federal contract records show that Price’s private charter flights were booked through Bardis’ office. But while Price resigned, Bardis remained at work on several HHS projects, including helping to draw up a cost-savings plan that is expected to result in significant personnel cuts across the agency. The plan has caused significant discomfort throughout the agency, which has only been compounded by the uncertainty surrounding the investigation into Price’s travel.
The House on Monday passed a bill authored by U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Monroe, that would cut down on federal pensions paid to former U.S. presidents. The second-term Republican says the lifestyle led by most former commanders-in-chief, complete with book deals and top-dollar speaking gigs, makes full taxpayer-funded support unnecessary. President Barack Obama vetoed similar legislation sent to him by the last Congress. (TH).