State of Georgia Archives: on Government Reform


David Perdue: OpEd: Refusal to debate seemed lordly and dismissive

When the curtain went up on Democrat Jon Ossoff, he was standing alone onstage. Sen. David Perdue "declined to participate in this debate and so is represented by an empty podium," said moderator Russ Spencer after introducing the candidates. Perdue refused to give voters the benefit of his presence. He couldn't even be bothered to turn up and bob and weave and dodge tough questions. His absence seemed lordly and dismissive, which is precisely what Ossoff accused Perdue of being.
Source: Washington Post OpEd on 2020 Georgia Senate debate Dec 6, 2020

Kelly Loeffler: Issues in the election; Georgians must trust process

Q: Do you believe that the election was rigged?

Loeffler: It's very clear that there were issues in this election. There are 250 investigations open, including an investigation into one of my opponent's organizations for voter fraud. And we have to make sure that Georgians trust this process because of what's at stake in this election. The promise that Chuck Schumer made was to fundamentally change America and I'm making sure that we don't go down the road of socialism.

Source: Senate Runoff: 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate debate Dec 6, 2020

Kelly Loeffler: Denounce violence; hold election officials accountable

Q: What is your message to those who'd threaten officials?

Loeffler: As someone who has been the subject of threats of violence, I absolutely denounce it. The future of our country hangs on this state having free, fair, trusted elections. We've got to get to the bottom of these investigations that have started too late. I'm going to fight to make sure that we hold officials accountable for carrying out free, fair, trusted elections that are accurate.

Source: Senate Runoff: 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate debate Dec 6, 2020

Kelly Loeffler: Trump has right to challenge election results

Warnock: Yes or no, did Donald Trump lose the recent presidential election?

Loeffler: President Trump has every right to use every legal recourse available. In our own state, we've seen time and again that we have investigations that need to be completed. We've run two audits and discovered thousands of ballots across several counties here in Georgia that were not counted. I've called for a signature audit. We need to hold folks accountable involved in these investigations to move more quickly.

Source: Senate Runoff: 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate debate Dec 6, 2020

Raphael Warnock: Voter suppression happens all across the country

Q: Do you think there was voter suppression two years ago?

Warnock: Voter suppression is something that happens all across our country. It's happened here in the state of Georgia, but Stacey Abrams did not refuse to acknowledge the fact that her opponent was the governor. Here we are several weeks after the election and Kelly Loeffler continues to cast doubt on an American democratic election. It's time to put this behind us and get focused on the concerns of ordinary people.

Source: Senate Runoff: 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate debate Dec 6, 2020

Raphael Warnock: Four greatest words in democracy: "The people have spoken"

Warnock: I believe in the Constitution. This is the greatest system on the planet and our country is the only country where my story is even possible. I believe in our norms, I believe in the separation of powers, I believe in the non-violent, unchaotic transition of power. The four greatest words ever spoken in a democracy are, "The people have spoken."
Source: Senate Runoff: 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate debate Dec 6, 2020

Jon Ossoff: Perdue lying about stock trades is totally unacceptable

Perdue has been lying about his financial misconduct because [he] has repeatedly claimed that he doesn't control his day-to-day stock trades. But federal agents secured banking records, which revealed that Perdue did in fact personally instruct stock trading. For a Georgia Senator to be profiting from a pandemic about which he is lying in public, downplaying the risks while he trades medical stocks, and then lying to the people about his own financial misconduct, is totally unacceptable.
Source: Senate Runoff: 2020 Georgia Senate race press conference Nov 30, 2020

David Perdue: Republican Secretary of State should resign over election

Joint Statement From Senators Perdue & Loeffler: "The management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment. Georgians are outraged, and rightly so. Every legal vote cast should be counted. Any illegal vote must not. The mismanagement and lack of transparency from the Secretary of State is unacceptable. Honest elections are paramount to the foundation of our democracy. The Secretary of State has failed to deliver honest and transparent elections. He has failed the people of Georgia, and he should step down immediately."

The Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger responded: "Senators Loeffler and Perdue called for my resignation. That is not going to happen. From an election administration perspective, the election was a resounding success. Almost 5 million Georgians cast a vote in this election--that is a record turnout. The process of reporting results followed the law. Where there have been allegations of illegal voting, my office has dispatched investigators."

Source: 2020 Georgia Senate campaign website PerdueSenate.com Nov 9, 2020

Raphael Warnock: Will work to pass John Lewis Voting Rights Act

On voting rights: "I look forward to getting to the U.S. Senate so I can help pass the˙John Lewis Voting Rights Act," Warnock added. "I've always tried to leverage the moral truth to create moral good. My whole life has been about service. And that doesn't end at the church door, it starts there."
Source: NBC News on 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate race Nov 7, 2020

David Perdue: Idea of voter suppression is a lie out of the pit of hell

Q: Strict ID and other rules to combat possible fraud, even if limiting access?

Perdue: No position found. On chaotic GA primary, "more than 150 counties didn't have any problem. In a few we did. This idea of voter suppression is a lie right out of the pit of hell."

Ossoff: No. Criticizes "major purges" of voter rolls and "mass disenfranchisement." Need a new Voting Rights Act.

Source: CampusElect on 2020 Georgia Senate race Nov 3, 2020

David Perdue: Strong advocate for Congressional term limits

Frustrated with what he saw as a growing national security crisis and a massive national debt crisis, Perdue ran for Senate in 2014 as his first public office. A strong advocate for term limits, this will be Perdue's first and only reelection campaign.
Source: Fox News on 2020 Georgia Senate race Nov 3, 2020

Doug Collins: Opposed voting rights bill as unconstitutional

Q: Support stricter ID requirements and other rules on voting?

Doug Collins: Likely yes. Opposes voting rights bill, which "would essentially federalize state and local election laws;" that is "unconstitutional."

Kelly Loeffler: Unclear. Introduced bill to raise penalties for voter fraud and illegal ballot harvesting.

Raphael Warnock: No. Supports restoring oversight provisions of Voting Rights Act, which made voting restrictions harder to enact.

Source: CampusElect on 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate race Nov 3, 2020

Jon Ossoff: End Citizens United; get dark money out of politics

Q: Your opinion on campaign finance?

Ossoff: Yes. "We must end Citizens United and get secret, dark money out of politics."

Source: CampusElect on 2020 Georgia Senate race Nov 3, 2020

Jon Ossoff: We need a new Voting Rights Act

Q: Strict ID and other rules to combat possible fraud, even if limiting access?

Ossoff: No. Criticizes "major purges" of voter rolls and "mass disenfranchisement." Need a new Voting Rights Act.

Perdue: No position found. On chaotic GA primary, "more than 150 counties didn't have any problem. In a few we did. This idea of voter suppression is a lie right out of the pit of hell."

Source: CampusElect on 2020 Georgia Senate race Nov 3, 2020

Kelly Loeffler: Raise penalties for voter fraud, ballot harvesting

Q: Support stricter ID requirements and other rules on voting?

Kelly Loeffler: Unclear. Introduced bill to raise penalties for voter fraud and illegal ballot harvesting.

Raphael Warnock: No. Supports restoring oversight provisions of Voting Rights Act, which made voting restrictions harder to enact.

Source: CampusElect on 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate race Nov 3, 2020

Raphael Warnock: Restore oversight provisions of Voting Rights Act

Q: Support stricter ID requirements and other rules on voting?

Raphael Warnock: No. Supports restoring oversight provisions of Voting Rights Act, which made voting restrictions harder to enact.

Kelly Loeffler: Unclear. Introduced bill to raise penalties for voter fraud and illegal ballot harvesting.

Source: CampusElect on 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate race Nov 3, 2020

Jon Ossoff: Trying to take away sacred right to vote is disgraceful

I'm inspired and moved by the way Georgia voters overcome obstacles put in their way, but at the same time deeply disgusted by the way Georgia forces its voters to wait 10 hours in line to vote. We recognize now that when people are made aware that someone's trying to take away their hard-won sacred rights, they're galvanized in their determination to exercise those rights. So the people are undeterred, but the state of Georgia continues to disenfranchise its citizens. And it's a disgrace.
Source: The Nation magazine on 2020 Georgia Senate race Oct 26, 2020

Jon Ossoff: Open to discussing getting rid of filibuster

Q: Would you support getting rid of the filibuster?

Ossoff: I'm open to discussing any proposed changes to Senate rules. But what are the implications when the shoe is on the other foot? It's not just a yes-or-no question. But I rule nothing out and look forward to the debate. And just to be clear: I look forward to legislating on behalf of Georgia, not just getting mired in gridlock.

Source: The Nation magazine on 2020 Georgia Senate race Oct 26, 2020

Jon Ossoff: Open to term limits for federal judges

I am open to term limits for federal judges. Any judicial reforms should be contemplated only in order to ensure the federal judiciary is impartially upholding the rule of law and defending the public interest. I'm interested in debate that will be healthy and open about the merits of term limits for federal judges.
Source: Atlanta magazine on 2020 Georgia Senate race Oct 23, 2020

Valencia Stovall: Federal education standards; our system is outdated

Q: Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?

A: Yes. Our education system is outdated and doesn't meet the needs of all students. There are too many variations in how the delivery of education is made. In order for parents, students and potential employers to better understand the learning capacity of the students, there must be some level of comparison which can transform assessment innovation programs. It can also save money spent on redundant services and those which are not effective. Funding for schools should not be dependent upon local tax bases. More support can be given to skill trade certification for every high school graduate.

Source: 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate PVS Political Courage Test Oct 10, 2020

Kelly Loeffler: Condemned Pelosi for Commission on President Capacity

Loeffler is slated to introduce a resolution condemning Speaker Pelosi for "politicizing the 25th Amendment." The Democrat expressed support for a bill that would create a "Commission on President Capacity" to invoke the 25th Amendment if needed. "From the Russia collusion hoax to the sham impeachment and now the 25th Amendment farce, Nancy Pelosi has disgraced the office of Speaker in a desperate attempt to rig the system and seize power.
Source: The Hill e-zine on 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate race Oct 9, 2020

Shane Hazel: No regulation of indirect campaign contributions

Q: Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?

A: No. If you have money, give it to your neighbors and local businesses. I have contended for this approach in 2020 because it's the right thing to do, and it ensures I will never be bought for a vote.

Source: 2020 PVS Political Courage Test on 2020 Georgia Senate race Sep 1, 2020

Raphael Warnock: Restore Federal election oversight under Voting Rights Act

Warnock challenged Republican opponents to back restoring certain rules for federal oversight of elections that the Supreme Court invalidated in the Voting Rights Act in 2013. "Those who will offer pious platitudes in honor of John Lewis over the next coming days need to get busy in Congress renewing the Voting Rights Act," Warnock said. Warnock has fixed voting rights as a central theme of his campaign.
Source: The Augusta Chronicle on 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate race Jul 21, 2020

Raphael Warnock: Restore Voting Rights Act to ensure elections are fair

Reverend Warnock understands that our vote is our voice, and that the ability to use our voice is a matter of human dignity. The best way to honor John Lewis' legacy is not to simply offer pious platitudes, but to get busy restoring the Voting Rights Act that was gutted by the Supreme Court. And in the middle of a global pandemic, it also means giving states the resources they need to protect access to the vote for all. Our elections must be fair, open, and safe for every eligible citizen.
Source: 2020 GA Senate campaign website WarnockForGeorgia.com May 17, 2020

Matt Lieberman: Protect voters whose rights are endangered by local laws

Matt Lieberman's views are largely unknown so far. In a video declaring his candidacy, he called for a ban on assault-style weapons, proclaimed himself pro-choice, and endorsed a "Voting Rights Act for the 21st Century" to protect voters whose rights might be endangered by state and local laws.
Source: Newsmax.com on 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate race Oct 8, 2019

Keisha Lance Bottoms: Opposes plan for state to take control of Atlanta airport

A plan for the state to take over control of Atlanta's airport introduced by Republican state Sen. Burt Jones, would create the Georgia Major Airport Authority. The airport is currently owned by the city. Bottoms has come out against the proposal, calling it "theft" from Atlanta.

The legislation would create the Georgia Major Airport Authority, a board appointed by state officials to oversee operations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Sen. Jones said state control is needed because of corruption issues in the procurement process. Critics say those issues involved past administrations and that Bottoms has taken steps to reform the process.

Source: Associated Press on Georgia legislative voting records Mar 7, 2019

Brian Kemp: 1.5 million voters removed from the voting rolls

Q: When Brian Kemp was secretary of state, he did oversee a process in which 1.5 million voters were removed from the voting rolls. But isn't that just people being removed from the rolls because of inactivity?

STACY ABRAMS: Maintaining clean voter rolls is absolutely appropriate, but the vigor with which he did so--a perfect example is the 92-year-old civil rights activist who's lived in the West End of Atlanta for more than 40 years, has voted in every single election since 1968, and was removed from the polls. She went to vote, and had to take more than 2 hours to get a provisional ballot. This is someone who has never failed to vote. The problem we have is that it's death by 1,000 cuts. It's not sufficient to simply purge voters from the rolls for inactivity. He removed voters who were eligible. And the larger issue is this. Trust in our democracy relies on believing that there are good actors who are making this happen. And he was a horrible actor who benefited from his perfidy.

Source: CNN interviews for 2018 Georgia Governor race Nov 18, 2018

Stacey Abrams: Deliberate interference & disenfranchisement in `18 election

Q: Stacey Abrams acknowledged that Republican Brian Kemp will be the next governor of Georgia:

[VIDEO CLIP] ABRAMS: This is not a speech of concession, because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true, or proper.[END VIDEO]

Q: Abrams is now planning to launch a federal lawsuit against the state for what she called gross mismanagement of the election. Leader Abrams joins us. You said that "Democracy failed in Georgia," referring to, as you called it, incompetence and mismanagement. But do you think that there was deliberate interference in the election?

ABRAMS: Yes. And I believe it began eight years ago with the systematic disenfranchisement of more than a million voters. It continued with the underfunding and disinvestment in polling places, in training, and in the management of the county delivery of services. And I think it had its pinnacle in this race. There has been a dramatic discrepancy in the way absentee ballots are both allocated & counted across the 159 counties.

Source: CNN interviews for 2018 Georgia Governor race Nov 18, 2018

Stacey Abrams: Disenfranchisement was death by 1,000 cuts

Q: When Brian Kemp was secretary of state, he did oversee a process in which 1.5 million voters were removed from the voting rolls. But isn't that just people being removed from the rolls because of inactivity?

STACY ABRAMS: Maintaining clean voter rolls is absolutely appropriate, but the vigor with which he did so--a perfect example is the 92-year-old civil rights activist who's lived in the West End of Atlanta for more than 40 years, has voted in every single election since 1968, and was removed from the polls. She went to vote, and had to take more than 2 hours to get a provisional ballot. This is someone who has never failed to vote. The problem we have is that it's death by 1,000 cuts. It's not sufficient to simply purge voters from the rolls for inactivity. He removed voters who were eligible. And the larger issue is this. Trust in our democracy relies on believing that there are good actors who are making this happen. And he was a horrible actor who benefited from his perfidy.

Source: CNN interviews for 2018 Georgia Governor race Nov 18, 2018

Stacey Abrams: Sued in 2016 to stop "exact match" on voter registration

Q: Let me ask you about an issue that's been front and center for your campaign over the last week to 10 days. And that is this issue of rejected voter registration forms due to this issue of exact match. If it isn't an exact match, then suddenly the registration gets thrown out. 70% of these registrations belong to African American voters. Do you believe this is an intentional decision by your opponent and the office that he runs?

STACEY ABRAMS: Absolutely. I was part of a coalition that sued him in 2016 to force him to stop using this process. And a federal judge agreed with us, said that he had unlawfully canceled more than 33,000 registrations. And they forced him to restore those registrations. In response, the Republicans passed a law in the 2017 legislative session to allow him to do it again. And so the challenge is twofold. One is that we know this is a flawed system that has a disproportionate effect on people of color. But it also has the ability to erode trust in our system.

Source: Meet the Press interviews for 2018 Georgia Governor race Oct 14, 2018

Brian Kemp: 53,000 voter registrations put "on hold"

The Georgia NAACP is preparing to sue Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican nominee for governor, in response to a report that Kemp's office has put on hold tens of thousands of voter registration applications, most of them from African-Americans, ahead of the election.

The injunction would seek to reopen voter registration in Georgia to ensure that 53,000 registrants on hold in Kemp's office--and possibly others affected by an outage of the Georgia Department of Driver Services and the state's voter registration website--would be allowed to register for the upcoming election. The last day to register to vote was Tuesday.

The strict policies enforced by Kemp's office for voter registration and verification have been under scrutiny in his gubernatorial campaign. Under Kemp's verification policies, voter application information must perfectly match information on file. If they don't match precisely, officials can put the application on hold.

Source: Politico.com on 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race Oct 11, 2018

Brian Kemp: OpEd: Precise name-match disenfranchises voters of color

Under Kemp's verification policies, voter application information must perfectly match information on file at the Social Security Administration and the state's Department of Driver Services. If they don't match precisely, officials can put the application on hold [and have done so for 53,000 applicants].

An analysis conducted by The Associated Press found that almost 70% of the registrants currently on hold are black. Georgia's population is 32% black. [Kemp's gubernatorial opponent Stacey] Abrams needs strong African-American turnout in the state to win the governor's race. Allies of Abrams argue that Kemp is deliberately trying to purge voter rolls to his advantage.

Kemp's office said in a statement in July, "Despite any claim to the contrary, it has never been easier to register to vote in Georgia and actively engage in the electoral process. The numbers do not lie."

Source: Politico.com on 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race Oct 11, 2018

Stacey Abrams: Protect voter's rights against voter suppression tactics

As Minority Leader, Stacey fought back voter suppression tactics and introduced legislation to expand access to the ballot. Through the New Georgia Project, Stacey registered more than 200,000 people of color, forced the restoration of 33,000 illegally canceled voter applications, and defeated attempts to intimidate voters. As Governor, she will oppose policies that seek to undermine the rights of Georgians.
Source: 2018 Georgia Governor website StaceyAbrams.com Aug 17, 2017

Stacey Abrams: Founded voter registration project

Dedicated to civic engagement, she founded the New Georgia Project, which registered more than 200,000 voters of color between 2014 and 2016.
Source: 2018 Georgia Governor website StaceyAbrams.com Aug 17, 2017

Tom Price: Healthcare regulation leading some to leave the field

Price called for a more hands-off approach to regulation, arguing that while the government should oversee healthcare IT to an extent, the view adopted should be from a figurative distance of 60,000 feet. Price underscored his argument by suggesting that government regulations are leading to mass frustration among healthcare providers, with many choosing to leave the field as a consequence. "We need physicians to be patient-facing, not computer-facing," he said.
Source: AdvancedMD.com on 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate race Apr 28, 2017

Jon Ossoff: Investigate corrupt politicians and organized crime

I lead a company that produces documentaries investigating corrupt politicians and organized crime. Our team has taken down human traffickers, exposed dozens of corrupt officials around the world, and uncovered atrocities committed by ISIS in Iraq. Previously, I was a senior national security staffer in the U.S. Congress, working with our military and intelligence community to keep Georgians safe while investigating wrongdoing by government contractors.
Source: 2017 Georgia House campaign website, ElectJon.com Apr 21, 2017

Brian Kemp: Stricter voter ID laws against threat of illegal voters

The wide-open race for Georgia governor seems likely to resurface a long-running feud between Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams over voter rights. Kemp, who as secretary of state is Georgia's top elections official, and Abrams, the House minority leader and head of a voter registration group, have long sparred over election policy.

The two have long been on opposite sides of the debate over elections issues, with Kemp advocating for stricter voter ID laws to prevent what he called the threat of illegal voters casting ballots and Abrams contending those new rules could disenfranchise minorities, the disabled and the elderly.

But they clashed the sharpest during the 2014 after Abrams new voter registration group, the New Georgia Project, which said it submitted 86,000 voter registration forms during the 2014 cycle, but Kemp's office argued that tens of thousands of applications were either missing or had not been properly submitted.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 2018 Georgia governor race Apr 11, 2017

Stacey Abrams: Head of a voter registration group; focus on minorities

Republican Brian Kemp, who as secretary of state is Georgia's top elections official, and Democrat Stacey Abrams, the House minority leader and head of a voter registration group, have long sparred over election policy.

Kemp advocated for stricter voter ID laws to prevent what he called the threat of illegal voters casting ballots and Abrams contending those new rules could disenfranchise minorities, the disabled and the elderly.

But they clashed the sharpest during the 2014 after Abrams new voter registration group, the New Georgia Project, announced ambitious goals to register 800,000 minority voters within a decade. The group said it submitted 86,000 voter registration forms during the 2014 cycle, but Kemp's office argued that tens of thousands of applications had not been properly submitted. The voter group supported a coalition that sued Kemp's office again in 2016 over the cancellation of nearly 35,000 registration applications from 2013 to 2016 due to mismatched information.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 2018 Georgia governor race Apr 11, 2017

Stacey Abrams: Exact-match process violates Voting Rights Act

HB 268: Seeks to void a recent federal court settlement requiring the Secretary of State to refine its voter registration process to exclude the "exact matching" process that led to the unlawful cancellation more than 30,000 voter registration applications since 2013. The bill would also require non-partisan voter information groups and Election Protection groups providing to move their tables or booths beyond the 150 foot barrier and at least 25 feet away from voters standing in line--depending upon the length and location of lines of voters throughout the course of Election Day.

MY VOTE: NO. HB 268 would negatively impact reforms recently agreed to by the Secretary of State in the federal settlement of the "exact match" federal voting rights lawsuit and would likely lead to further expensive and time-consuming litigation. Furthermore, it likely violates the First Amendment, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the National Voter Registration Act.

Source: 2018 campaign website on Georgia voting record HB 268 Mar 30, 2017

Stacey Abrams: Stop redistricting voters of color to dilute their votes

HB 515: This bill amends the boundaries of multiple House legislative districts. Of most concern, the new map packs African-American voters from Republican HD 40 into heavily Democratic HD 53. In HD 111, the revised maps continue a process initiated in 2015 to dilute black votes by shifting voters into adjacent districts and by adding white voters to the district in 2017.

MY VOTE: NO. Voters of color are facing increased inconvenience by repeated shifts in their districts, in order to accommodate diminished GOP voting strength. With each redrawing of the lines, voters of color are shifted to new legislators and divided from neighbors.

Source: 2018 campaign website on Georgia voting record HB 515 Mar 30, 2017

Brian Kemp: Protect our elections from fraud with Voter ID

Protecting our elections from fraud and criminal activity is a top priority for Secretary Kemp. He is a strong and vocal advocate for Voter ID laws requiring voters to show some form of identification to vote. When the Obama Justice Department and liberals in Washington tried to undermine Kemp's common sense election protection measures like the verification of citizenship of new registered voters, he sued them in federal court and won.

Secretary Kemp also implemented his Stop Voter Fraud website and Voter Fraud Hotline allowing citizens to report questionable election activities online or by phone. Additionally, Kemp's Investigations Division increased its partnerships with state and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute voter fraud.

Under Secretary Kemp's leadership, Georgia's elections are secure, accessible and fair. Kemp continues his efforts every day to stop voter fraud and make it as easy as possible for all citizens to participate in the democratic process.

Source: 2018 Georgia Governor campaign website KempMeansBusiness.com Mar 15, 2017

Tom Price: Regulators should be teammates and allies to business

We need regulation, there's no doubt about it, but we need regulation where the regulators are seen as teammates and allies to folks creating jobs out here and businesses, not adversaries. Right now, what we've got is (an) administration that has empowered the regulators so that when they come into a business, it's no longer in a counseling manner It's to punish them, it's to fine them, it's to make them frightened for the very survival of their own business.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal on 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate race Jan 18, 2017

Drew Ferguson: Constitutional amendment for term limits

A New Amendment for Our Constitution: I have signed the U.S. Term Limits pledge to vote for a term limits constitutional amendment.

America's confidence in the federal government has eroded to the point that it is nearly non-existent. Restoring the nation to a true citizen-legislature where members of all facets of our communities represent their neighbors for a short time then return home to live under the laws they wrote is absolutely necessary to moving our country forward.

Our founders never envisioned a permanent political class, but we have one and it insulates lawmakers from the consequences of their decisions in Washington. Voters don't believe that their representatives 'get it,' and I fear that the professional politicians have even forgotten what 'it' is.

Source: 2016 Georgia House campaign website FergusonForGeorgia.com Nov 8, 2016

Jim Barksdale: Repeal Citizens United and ban Super PACs

On issue after issue, from the pharmaceutical giveaways, bailouts to bad actors on Wall Street, bad foreign trade deals that harm wages and job opportunities in Georgia and across America, to the Washington crowd's inability to pass comprehensive immigration reform, our elected leaders in Washington are doing the bidding of the special interests and their lobbyists rather than listening to people.

Campaign finance reform: Our broken campaign finance system rewards elected leaders to put the interests and campaign contributions of the special interests and their lobbyists ahead of the people and good governance. Jim supports repealing the disastrous Citizens United decision through a constitutional amendment that bans Super PACs and also takes large anonymous donations out of our electoral system. Jim believes it's time to elect new leaders that will hold Washington accountable and that is why he's running for U.S. Senate.

Source: 2016 Georgia Senate campaign website JimBarksdale.com Aug 8, 2016

Allen Buckley: Our country faces excessive debt, entitlements, & regulation

Buckley lost bids for the Senate in 2004 & 2008, and lieutenant governor in 2006. Buckley said this time around he thinks he can "possibly" win the election on a campaign of cutting the size of federal government and reining in programs. "My campaign will emphasize the real issues and provide solutions to the significant problems our country faces, including excessive debt, entitlements, regulation and foreign intervention," Buckley said. "I do not believe any opponent I will face shall do the same."
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 2016 Georgia Senate race Oct 7, 2015

Amanda Swafford: Photo ID for voting

Question topic: People should be able to vote without photo identification.

Swafford: Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Georgia Senate race Sep 30, 2014

David Perdue: Absolute power corrupts; support check and balance system

Question topic: What in the nature of mankind caused America's Founders to carefully define, separate, and limit powers within the Constitution?

Perdue: The Founders saw firsthand that danger of entrusting too much authority in any one individual. They recognized that absolute power corrupts. Therefore, they drafted a Constitution that delineated specific duties and powers between the three branches of government so that there was a check and balance system preventing one person or branch from amassing absolute power.

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Georgia Senate race Sep 30, 2014

David Perdue: Photo ID for voting

Question topic: People should be able to vote without photo identification.

Perdue: Strongly Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Georgia Senate race Sep 30, 2014

Rick Allen: Enact congressional term limits

Q: What in the nature of mankind caused America's Founders to carefully define, separate, and limit powers within the Constitution?

Allen: The Founders secured our rights by establishing three branches of government, as the government itself is an entity from which the citizens need protecting. In the vein of checking government power, I want to enact term limits on those serving so that we can stop sending politicians that think they are above the law to Congress and replace them with ordinary people who have served their communities and want to go to Washington to secure every citizen's natural rights and make a difference.

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Georgia Senate race Sep 30, 2014

Rick Allen: Require photo ID to vote

Q: The founders established pure democracy in the Constitution because they believed that it is the best form of government to ensure the safety and equitable treatment of all citizens?

Allen: Strongly Agree

Q: People should be able to vote without photo identification?

Allen: Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Georgia Senate race Sep 30, 2014

Andrew Hunt: Erase laws instead of creating new ones

Law Erasers: Move away from the law-making mindset: The more laws there are, the less Freedom people and companies have. About 50% of our elected officials are attorneys, while attorneys only make up less than 2% of the population. Deal and Carter are both attorneys, and the laws they help create mark their successes. I will reduce laws and regulations, increasing freedom and reducing the cost of simply living life and doing business.

I will establish an open and transparent government. This means keeping Georgians informed. I will let people know what bills are being written and who is writing them. If any changes are being made to the bills, who made them? Most importantly, if any individuals or businesses receive perks from a bill, I want people to know who they are and what the benefits constitute of. That way, voters can be more informed as to whom they'd like to reelect. I'm here to serve the people, not my party or special interest groups. I will say no to deception and corruption!

Source: 2014 Georgia gubernatorial campaign website, AndrewHunt.us Aug 31, 2014

Andrew Hunt: Ensure easy access to voting, including electronic

We must ensure that there is easy access to voting, but that there is no improper voting or tabulation. Our current voting machines are aging and do not offer a hard copy record to audit. There are optional modern 'electronic' ways of voting but a person then would be tied to their vote so that voting could be verified (the personal voting record would remain confidential and be deleted once there is no dispute about winner from the candidates). Traditional voting with no name tied to a ballot of course should always be available, but we need to have a better system with audit capability of these. People must know it is a fair system and yields accurate results so they know that their vote matters. Additionally, there should be easier ballot access for all parties wanting to run for office.
Source: 2014 Georgia gubernatorial campaign website, AndrewHunt.us Aug 31, 2014

Michelle Nunn: Amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision

By instilling common-sense, good government reforms, we can stop the revolving door between Congress and lobbyists, and blunt the power of deep-pocketed special interests:
  1. Lifetime Ban On Members of Congress Becoming Lobbyists: I pledge to never become a lobbyist whether or not my proposal becomes law.
  2. No Budget, No Pay: If Congress can't do its job and pass a budget, it shouldn't get paid. And neither should the President.
  3. Get A Price Tag For Every Bill: Congress shouldn't introduce bills without knowing how much they'll cost taxpayers.
  4. End Secret, Unlimited Special Interest Spending In Elections: I would support an amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision that allows a few special interest billionaires to secretly spend millions to sway an election.
  5. Pledge To Meet With Every Senator In First Year and Bring Legislators Together: In the Senate, I will work to bring both sides together by meeting one-on-one with every Senator.
    Source: 2014 Georgia Senate campaign website, MichelleNunn.com Jul 2, 2014

    Paul Broun: Photo ID for voting

    Question topic: People should be able to vote without photo identification.

    Broun: Strongly Disagree

    Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Georgia Senate race Jul 2, 2014

    Michelle Nunn: AdWatch: Michelle helps organizations make changes

    Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn (D) is facing her first attack ad, a sign Republicans are increasingly nervous she has a real chance to win her race. The Ending Spending Action Fund, a GOP-affiliated super-PAC, is launching an ad attacking her for her support of ObamaCare and accusing her of supporting higher taxes, calling her "the last thing Georgia taxpayers need."

    Nunn's campaign fired back. "These ads are exactly the type of dishonest attacks Georgians have come to expect from our broken political system," said a Nunn spokesman. "There's no better contrast to these attacks from deep-pocketed special interests than Michelle's own story of working with businesses, charities and religious organizations to make change."

    The ad has a small $150,000 buy behind it, according to a source tracking the buy.

    Source: AdWatch by The Hill weblog on 2014 Georgia Senate race Apr 1, 2014

    Derrick Grayson: Keep Georgians engaged; keep government transparent

    On the issues, Grayson maintains a common-sense approach to applying classic constitutionalism to the legislative process. An important component of his Senatorial style would include keeping Georgians engaged, he says. "When legislation comes across the floor, if I've got to pay somebody out of my own pocket, we will go through that legislation and we will disseminate what's in it to the American people," he states. "Because when you tell people what's really going on in D.C., they tend to do things a little bit differently."

    "That transparency that Obama was talking about?" Grayson adds. "We didn't get that." Cutting spending, preserving Second amendment rights, and encouraging devolution in the education system hover at the top of Grayson's policy to-do list, which focuses on restoring individual freedoms across the board. "I will not compromise on the liberties and freedoms of the American people. Period," he says. "That's not debatable. It's not optional. It's a job requirement."

    Source: CommDigiNews.com on 2016 Georgia Senate race Mar 24, 2014

    Derrick Grayson: PACs have agendas; don't take their money

    A strong constitutional conservative with the ironclad principles to prove it, Grayson declines to take cash from organizations that would compel him to return the favor down the line. "[PACs] have agendas that they want to see pushed, and I don't want their money," he says. "You want to give, fine. But the only thing I owe you is 100% of the Constitution. That's all I'll owe anybody who donates to this campaign."
    Source: CommDigiNews.com on 2016 Georgia Senate race Mar 24, 2014

    Michelle Nunn: If Congress doesn't pass a budget they don't get paid

    Q. One point of your "5 Ways to Fix Washington" is if Congress doesn't pass a budget they don't get paid, you realize Dems didn't pass a budget for four of the last five years in order to protect ObamaCare, right?

    A: There's blame on both asides of the equation for the failure of getting things done in Washington.

    Q. So are you equally happy to run against Democratic dysfunction as you are Republican dysfunction?

    A: I'm running against dysfunction in Washington and I'm running against the polarization and I'm running for a spirit of focus on common ground and problem solving, which I think would be helped by sending more people to Washington with those commitments also with a lens that's outside of Washington and brings a new perspective.

    Source: Time Magazine interview on 2014 Georgia Senate race Mar 6, 2014

    Michelle Nunn: Bar members of Congress from becoming lobbyists

    Q. One point one of your "5 Ways to Fix Washington" bars members from becoming lobbyists. You realize, that most former members who lobby aren't technically lobbyists, right?

    A: I'm not saying that I don't want people in Congress to not continue to influence things for the public good. I think what I'm pointing out is that we should not have congressmen and women use the privilege that they have through their service and apply it parochial or special interests.

    Source: Time Magazine interview on 2014 Georgia Senate race Mar 6, 2014

    Jason Carter: Verifiable paper trail important for credibility in voting

    Q: Do you support a voter verified paper audit trail in electronic voting?

    A: I would rather see a paper trail. I have personally monitored elections in other countries. One of the most important aspect and credibility of those elections is a verifiable paper trail that people can look at and see that their votes have been counted. In order to achieve it, we have to figure out how much it costs. We have to do all the things that are required to make a real policy out of it. As a concept, I wish we had a paper trail. I would certainly call for it. I think it's important for credibility of that system. People need to know that their votes are counted.

    Source: Atlanta Progressive News Q&A: 2014 Georgia Governor's race Feb 13, 2014

    Nathan Deal: Fulfill true purposes of government then get out of the way

    Last year, I told you that I had a goal: To fulfill the truest purposes of government--the ones for which Georgians need their government most--"and then get out of the way so that they can live their lives in freedom and as they see fit."

    So far, I believe we have done that well. We have made communities safer, improved educational opportunities, provided for infrastructure improvements, driven workforce development, generated a better business environment and created jobs.

    Source: 2013 State of the State address to Georgia Legislature Jan 17, 2013

    Doug Collins: Increased transparency about campaign contributions

    Q: Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?

    A: I do believe there is room for reform and increased transparency inside the election process, especially on the national level.

    Source: Georgia Congressional Election 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

    Sonny Perdue: Make government more responsive, efficient, & value-driven

    We spent the first six years of my administration, before this recession even began, making government more responsive, more efficient, more value-driven. And then came the biggest state revenue drop since the Great Depression.

    It would be easy to sit back and point fingers at Washington. But we must reject the course forward that promises the next generation little more than an expensive bill--crushing entitlements and unfunded mandates.

    Source: Georgia 2010 State of the State Address Jan 13, 2010

    Hunter Hill: No term limits; no campaign spending limits; yes voter ID

    Q: Do you support the current limit of terms for Georgia governors?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support limiting the number of terms for Georgia state senators and representatives?

    A: No.

    Q: Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates? Individual?

    A: Yes.

    Q: PAC?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Corporate?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Political Parties?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state-level political campaigns?

    A: No.

    Q: Should Georgia participate in the federal REAL ID program?

    A: Yes.

    Source: Georgia Congressional 2008 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2008

    Vernon Jones: Increasing individuals donation limits for federal campaigns

    Source: Georgia Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test Jul 2, 2008

    Brian Kemp: Require voter ID to ensure purity of elections

    Legislative Summary: A BILL relating to form of proper identification at polls, so as to change the forms of identification that are acceptable at the polls. It shall be the duty of the State Election Board to obtain uniformity in their practices and proceedings and legality and purity in all primaries and elections. Each voter shall present proper identification to a poll worker prior to admission to the polling place. Proper identification shall consist of any one of the following: A Georgia driver's license; a valid Georgia voter identification card; or a valid United States passport.

    Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 32-22-0 on Jan. 24, vote #599; Sen. Kemp voted YES; passed House 111-60-6 on Jan. 25, vote #564; signed by Gov. Perdue Jan. 26.

    Source: Georgia legislative voting records: SB 84 Jan 24, 2006

    Casey Cagle: Require voter ID to ensure purity of elections

    Legislative Summary: A BILL relating to form of proper identification at polls, so as to change the forms of identification that are acceptable at the polls. It shall be the duty of the State Election Board to obtain uniformity in their practices and proceedings and legality and purity in all primaries and elections. Each voter shall present proper identification to a poll worker prior to admission to the polling place. Proper identification shall consist of any one of the following: A Georgia driver's license; a valid Georgia voter identification card; or a valid United States passport.

    Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 32-22-0 on Jan. 24, vote #599; Sen. Cagle voted YES; passed House 111-60-6 on Jan. 25, vote #564; signed by Gov. Perdue Jan. 26.

    Source: Georgia legislative voting records: SB 84 Jan 24, 2006

    Sonny Perdue: Require voter ID to ensure purity of elections

    Legislative Summary: A BILL relating to form of proper identification at polls, so as to change the forms of identification that are acceptable at the polls. It shall be the duty of the State Election Board to obtain uniformity in their practices and proceedings and legality and purity in all primaries and elections. Each voter shall present proper identification to a poll worker prior to admission to the polling place. Proper identification shall consist of any one of the following: A Georgia driver's license; a valid Georgia voter identification card; or a valid United States passport.

    Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 32-22-0 on Jan. 24, vote #599; passed House 111-60-6 on Jan. 25, vote #564; signed by Gov. Perdue Jan. 26.

    Source: Georgia legislative voting records: SB 84 Jan 24, 2006

    Alan Keyes: Congress should have the last word, not the Supreme Court

    When they put the whole thing together for the federal court system, they gave jurisdiction to the Supreme Court of the US, and then they gave it appellate jurisdiction over all other cases arising under the Constitution, “with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.” When they tell you that the Supreme Court has the last word, they lie! The last word belongs to the representatives of the people, and it’s time for them to speak in defense of our right to honor God Almighty
    Source: Rally in Blairsville, Georgia Oct 21, 2003

    Alan Keyes: Obeying the dictate of federal judges means no Constitution

    If we must lock-step, knee-jerk obey the dictate of judges on the federal bench when their orders have no basis in law or the Constitution, then we have no laws and we have no Constitution! We have only tyranny and oppression! We reached this point on an issue that is not the least important issue that a free people can face. Indeed, if we look at the example of the folks who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we would be justified in asserting that it may be the most important right of all.
    Source: Rally in Blairsville, Georgia Oct 21, 2003

    • The above quotations are from State of Georgia Politicians: Archives.
    • Click here for definitions & background information on Government Reform.
    • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
    2020 Presidential contenders on Government Reform:
      Democrats running for President:
    Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
    V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
    Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
    Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
    Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
    Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
    Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
    Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
    Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
    Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
    Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
    Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
    CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
    Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
    Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
    CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

    2020 Third Party Candidates:
    Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
    CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
    Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
    Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
    Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
    Howard Schultz(I-WA)
    Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
    Republicans running for President:
    Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
    Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
    Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
    V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
    Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
    Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
    Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
    Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

    2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
    Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
    Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
    Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
    Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
    Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
    Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
    Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
    Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
    Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
    Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
    Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
    Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
    Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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