In both Georgia Senate races on the November 3 ballot, no candidate received 50% of the vote, which forced a runoff as mandated under Georgia state law. Now, Republican incumbent and Trump stooge Sen. Kelly Loeffler is up against Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock. The other Republican incumbent/Trump stooge Sen. David Perdue is again duking it out with the much thirsted after Democrat Jon Ossoff.
Here's the latest on what's happening in what's become "the center of the political universe":
It's (early) voting time!!!!! Polling locations all across the Peach State swung open their doors to welcome in-person early voting, which begins today and ends on December 31. 1.2 million Georgians have already requested absentee ballots, while more than 200,000 people have already turned in their mail-in votes.
It’s the first day of early voting in Georgia for the Senate runoffs and people were lined up in the rain before the sun is even up here in Marietta this morning pic.twitter.com/e20fKVRJNM
— Caroline Kenny (@carolinerkenny) December 14, 2020
Biden will make an appearance in Georgia on Tuesday: To stump for both Ossoff and Warnock's campaigns. Last week he also encouraged supporters to donate to the new Flip Georgia Fund, which will split proceeds evenly between the Ossoff campaign, the Warnock campaign, and the Democratic Party.
Loeffler posed for a picture with a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan: Chester Doles—who nearly beat a Black man to death in 1993—posted a picture of him with a smiling Loeffler on his social media on Saturday. Her campaign said she had "no idea" who Doles was and if she did, she "would have kicked him out immediately because we condemn in the most vociferous terms everything that he stands for." Miryam Lipper, director of communications for the Ossoff campaign, commented, "This is Georgia's GOP."
ALERT: Kelly Loeffler just posed for a photo with Chester Doles, a former KKK leader who runs the white supremacist American Patriots USA.
In 1993, Doles nearly beat a Black man to death.
In 2017, he marched in Charlottesville.
This is who @KLoeffler is proudly appealing to. pic.twitter.com/4YZcvL05rf
— Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@jewishaction) December 13, 2020
Who asked for this? Will Farrell and Zooey Deschanel were joined by John Lithgow, Wanda Sykes, and Ed Helms in a live script reading of Elf to raise money for the Democratic Party of Georgia. In total, the event raised $402,966 for both Ossoff and Warnock's campaigns. Buddy the Elf is a confirmed Dem!
Man assaulted while campaigning for Ossoff and Warnock: He was attacked while holding signs encouraging people to vote for the two Democrats. According to witnesses, the suspect punched the man then ripped up his campaign signs. The unidentified suspect was arrested and charged with battery, says the police, while Ossoff, Warnock, and Perdue condemned the attack.
Artnet News decided to dredge up this pre-general election controversy for no reason, but I love it: "Georgia Runoff Candidate Kelly Loeffler Allegedly Owns a $56,000 Warhol Portrait of Mao, and a Fellow Republican Thinks It’s Weird."
New York Times' podcast The Daily goes down to Georgia: Last week, host Michael Barbaro spoke with the Times' national political reporter Astead W. Herndon about the two Senate races and how things are looking for the Democrats in the Peach State. It's a good primer on some of the narratives going on right now. Give it a listen:
In Georgia Senate runoff-adjacent news: The Peach State's electors—which include former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams—formally cast their 16 electoral votes for Joesph Robinette Biden, Jr. this morning.
Perdue's finances continue to come under fire: ProPublica reported that the senator sold his Washington, D.C. home to a finance industry official whose organization is under the purview of the Senate Banking Committee, which Perdue sits on. The $1.8 million deal was made privately, without the home being listed publicly on the market. Out of the five local real estate experts ProPublica consulted, four said the sale price was high. The fifth said it was squarely fair market value. If Perdue did indeed sell the home for above a fair market price, it would be an ethics violation as it provided an opportunity for the buyer to curry favor with the committee. He would also need to disclose the sale as a gift. Both Perdue and his wife have maintained that they sold the home at a fair price and point to a lender appraisal confirming that, but it's sure looking like Perdue is getting rich off being a public servant.
Perdue also got dunked on by AOC on Twitter: Why do old white politicians think they can out-tweet millennials?
And what money are you going to buy that ticket with, Perdue?
The curiously “well-timed” stocks you’ve cashed in on while in office? https://t.co/oRqNuCQj7P
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 12, 2020
Let's look at an ad: Ossoff recently dropped this campaign video featuring Lawanda G. of Douglasville, GA, talking about the conversation she must have with her son about how he carries himself in the world. “Instead of college talk, we're talking about coming home alive,” she said. The ad promises that Ossoff will fight for the new Civil Rights Act to stop police brutality and racial profiling.