Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) told college students on Wednesday that the time has come to stop “re-litigating” past elections, even as she has yet to formally concede her defeat to governor Brian Kemp (R) in 2018.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is warning the Georgian government that an ongoing campaign of repression by the country’s ruling political party is endangering the Eastern European ally’s pro-U.S. opposition parties and threatening to sweep the country back into authoritarianism.
For months now, Georgians have taken to the streets to protest the ruling Georgian Dream party led by Bidzina Ivanishvili, the country’s wealthiest citizen. The demonstrations have been marred by violence and punctuated by the ruling party’s targeting of the largely pro-American opposition party.
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As the country backslides into authoritarian rule, the U.S. State Department and members of Congress are demanding Ivanishvili’s ruling regime end its campaign of intimidation or face new U.S. sanctions. The unrest marks a potential tipping point for Georgia as it shifts away from the United States and back to Russia, a move that threatens to erase more than three decades of pro-democracy progress.
“Despite the promise shown over the past three decades, recent democratic and economic trends are negatively affecting Georgia’s image in the United States,” Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.), Gerry Connolly (D., Va.), Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.), and Michael McCaul (R., Texas) wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to Georgian prime minister Giorgi Gakharia. Kinzinger and Connolly chair the House Georgia Caucus, while Engel and McCaul run the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
This is the second official letter sent to Gakharia by Kinzinger and Connolly, who expressed similar concerns about Georgia’s authoritarianism in December. The correspondence was the result of a Georgian multi-party opposition delegation that visited Washington, D.C., in December. Salome Samadashvili, a member of the pro-Western United National Movement party who serves in Georgia’s parliament, led the delegation and highlighted the Georgian Dream party’s democratic backsliding, sources said.
“Unfortunately, economic indicators show a sharp decline in foreign direct investment in Georgia as American and European companies have suffered harassment, causing many to reconsider their business ventures,” the lawmakers wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The lawmakers expressed particular concern over what they describe as “the decision to forego promised democratic reforms and the associated violence against peaceful protestors.”
In recent weeks, the effort to discredit opposition leaders pulled a page from Russia’s playbook when it ran a now-deleted series of Facebook campaigns that sought to discredit pro-U.S. voices and leaders in Georgia. These tactics, as well as the violent suppression of pro-democracy demonstrators, have sparked increasingly stern communications by members of Congress.
“Recent reports indicate that Facebook had to shut down an extensive network of accounts funded by Georgian Dream,” the lawmakers write. “The fact that these accounts were apparently spreading anti-democratic, anti-Western sentiments is simply unacceptable.”
The lawmakers are also concerned Ivanishvili’s ruling party is attempting to use Georgia’s justice system to discredit leading opposition voices. Giga Bokeria, a prominent member of the opposing European Georgia party, which also favors closer ties to the West, found himself summoned for questioning by the country’s prosecutor’s office over a years-old case.
“We are troubled by reports that prosecutors appointed by Georgian Dream are reopening old legal cases against the party’s opponents,” the lawmakers wrote. “While some of these cases may have merits, others are perceived as targeting leading opposition political figures, news operators, international corporations, and civil society members. Respect for the rule of law and an impartial justice system are key to a healthy democracy and to ensuring free and fair elections, which were guaranteed by your party.”
The unrest in Georgia has generated concern that the upcoming elections may be corrupted.
“We continue to encourage you to protect the legitimacy of these elections and ensure they are guarded against both internal and external interference,” the lawmakers wrote.
Georgia’s economy is also suffering as a result of the ongoing tumult. The lawmakers warn that this situation is only strengthening Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s influence in Georgia.
“Georgian Dream’s perceived political targeting of the U.S.-backed Anaklia Development Consortium has now deterred or prevented investment from American companies in this important project,” the lawmakers wrote. “These developments seem to reflect an increasingly unfavorable business environment and could deter future U.S. investment in Georgia. Decreased foreign investment not only hurts the Georgian people and their hopes for deeper integration with Western institutions, but it also strengthens Vladimir Putin’s hand in the region. Georgia could be a vital hub for goods traversing from the United States and Europe to Central Asia, and vice versa, which would serve as a boon for the Georgian economy.”
“We raise these concerns with the hopes of strengthening Georgia as a democracy and of preventing the broad bipartisan and bicameral support that Georgia enjoys in the halls of Congress from being negatively impacted,” the letter said. “We hope that your government will work with the United States Congress, Ambassador Kelly Degnan, the European Union, and non-governmental organizations to strengthen democratic institutions and enhance economic prosperity for the Georgian people so that Georgia can continue to be a strategic partner of the United States for many years to come.”
Failed Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is urging Democrats to move beyond past elections and focus on the future.
Abrams’s Wednesday remarks to a crowd of University of New England students came despite her refusal to concede to Republican governor Brian Kemp and continued insistence that she actually won the race. Abrams struck a different tone when asked about the current 2020 Democratic presidential field.
“We have to stop re-litigating past elections and have to start planning for future elections,” she said, according to an Associated Press report. She called on Democrats to fight voter ID laws and efforts to purge voter rolls.
A Washington Free Beacon analysis found that Abrams had publicly stated she won the gubernatorial election a dozen times within six months of losing. Abrams, a former state representative, told the New York Times “I won” and argued on MSNBC that the election was “stolen” by Georgia Republicans.
Abrams’s plea to forget the past came the day after former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton renewed a public feud with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), her top primary challenger in 2016. “Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done,” Clinton said in a Hollywood Reporter interview. “He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.”
Clinton initially declined to say whether she would endorse Sanders if the socialist Vermont senator won the nomination, though she later backtracked on Twitter.
I thought everyone wanted my authentic, unvarnished views!
But to be serious, the number one priority for our country and world is retiring Trump, and, as I always have, I will do whatever I can to support our nominee.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 22, 2020
Abrams likewise struck a neutral tone in the primary, telling students that Democrats had an “extraordinary crop” of candidates, adding that she would be “all in” if asked to help on the campaign trail. She has previously expressed willingness to serve as vice president under any of the Democratic candidates.
The post Stacey Abrams: ‘We Have To Stop Re-Litigating Past Elections’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.
A Georgia middle school teacher accused of molesting a 13-year-old student could face deportation because she is not a U.S. citizen.
An Army soldier surprised his mother, a school resource officer at an Atlanta high school after he came home early from a two-year deployment and showed up at school.
Despite widespread claims by elected Democrats that black Americans are being unprecedentedly discriminated against in polling stations, about 12-in-13 say they have never experienced voter suppression.
The reins of political power in the U.S. for the next decade could be determined in this year’s elections — not necessarily by who wins the presidency, but by thousands of lower-profile contests for state legislative seats across the country. In many states, the winners of those legislative races will have a role in drawing…
The post There’s So Much More at Stake in 2020 Than Just the Presidency – and Democrats Know It appeared first on The Western Journal.
Stacey Abrams, the self-proclaimed governor of Georgia and frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential nomination in 2020, continues to court the billionaires who have funded her political career.
Abrams will host Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg (net worth: at least $50 billion) at a voting rights summit in Atlanta on Friday. The invite-only event is being organized by Fair Fight, the political action committee Abrams started after her failed gubernatorial run in 2018.
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Bloomberg, who contributed $500,000 to Abrams’s failed campaign, donated $5 million to Fair Fight in December. The former New York City mayor was recently criticized by black filmmaker Ana DuVernay over his administration’s role in fighting a civil lawsuit brought by the so-called Central Park Five, a group of black teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of beating and raping a woman in Central Park in 1989.
“I really can’t respond.”
“I don’t remember.”
“Go read up on it.”
Sir. This will not work in 2020. The non-answers. The evasion. No, sir. Take the next opportunity to be clear about what you knew, what you did and what you did not do in this case.
A happy new year warning. https://t.co/unZOaUF4zD
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 1, 2020
Bloomberg, who has appeared in photographs with many of the worst villains of the #MeToo movement, has also faced criticism for using prison labor to make phone calls on behalf of his presidential campaign.
Abrams’s efforts to fight against so-called voter suppression stem largely from her belief that she “won” the Georgia gubernatorial election in 2018. In reality, she lost to Republican Brian Kemp by 54,723 votes. She was one of the first prominent Democrats to criticize the media coverage of failed Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, arguing that “race [and] phenotype plays a part” in the media’s adoring coverage of Beto, who launched his failed presidential campaign in March 2019.
The Georgia legislature is set to debate a bill that would require students to compete in the category of their birth gender.
Jon Ossoff, the Democratic Party wunderkind who lost a 2017 special election in Georgia despite raising a record-breaking $30 million, announced Monday that his Senate campaign raised more than $1 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Ossoff, 32, is trying to establish himself as the frontrunner in a Democratic primary that features three other candidates vying to challenge incumbent senator David Perdue (R., Ga.) in 2020. The doe-eyed failure raised more than $800,000 in the first three weeks after launching his campaign in September but remains a long shot to win the statewide election.
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The goods news for Ossoff is that he will actually be able to vote for himself this year. The candidate could not do so in 2017 because he did not live in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District. Ossoff was then running in a special election for the seat vacated by Rep. Tom Price, who briefly served in the Trump administration as secretary of Health and Human Services. Ossoff eventually lost to former rep. Karen Handel by 9,000 votes.
Ossoff was one of the first candidates to benefit from the national Democratic Party establishment’s unusual obsession with young (and woefully inexperienced) white male politicians who can’t win statewide elections. Following Ossoff’s defeat in 2017, Beto O’Rourke exploited a failed, celebrity-backed Senate campaign in Texas to launch a presidential campaign that also failed.
It is fair to say that after losing his Senate race in 2020, Ossoff will be well-positioned to win the Democratic nomination in 2024, when President Trump will be seeking a historic third term in office.
The post Human Cash Incinerator Jon Ossoff Raises Another $1 Million in Georgia Senate Race appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.
“This one changed my life. That one ride.”
The post Uber Driver Stunned When Generous Passenger Pays Off Her Student Fines appeared first on The Western Journal.
An Atlanta, Georgia, woman’s dreams of going back to college are finally coming true thanks to the help of a good Samaritan passenger on an Uber ride who paid it forward.
Failed Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams failed to convince a federal judge that nearly 100,000 inactive voter registrations should be reinstated to Georgia’s voter rolls.
A suspect who allegedly pointed a gun at restaurant employees in Macon, Georgia, got shot when one of the employees turned out to be carrying a gun for self-defense.
An illegal alien has been arrested after allegedly murdering a woman in Cobb County, Georgia and shooting her teenage son days before Christmas.
An Eastern screech owl is back in the wild after spending a good deal of the holiday season living in a Georgia family’s Christmas tree. Katie McBride Newman enjoys owls and has a smattering of owl ornaments that she placed on her Christmas tree this season. So when Newman’s 10-year-old daughter came to her in…
The post Girl Mistakes Live Owl Nestled in Christmas Tree for Decoration: ‘Mama, That Ornament Scared Me’ appeared first on The Western Journal.
Clint Eastwood’s latest film, “Richard Jewell,” earned only half of the projected box office sales during its opening weekend after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution demanded a disclaimer regarding the way one of the newspaper’s former reporters is portrayed in the film. Eastwood’s movie tells the story of security guard Richard Jewell, who was falsely accused of…
The post Clint Eastwood’s Latest Film Stumbles After Newspaper Demands Disclaimer appeared first on The Western Journal.
A youth minister has been arrested after slapping a TV reporter’s rear end slapped on live TV while she covered a Georgia road race. On Dec. 7, WSAV-TV reporter Alex Bozarjian was reporting live from the Savannah Bridge Run. Many of the runners passing by waved, made faces and performed the standard antics common to…
The post After Slapping Reporter’s Rear on Live TV, Runner from Viral Video Arrested appeared first on The Western Journal.
A man is facing charges after what a Georgia woman said was an attempted kidnapping in a Walmart parking lot. Katie Exum of Nashville, Georgia, said she was hoping to change her infant son and was walking in the parking lot of the Valdosta, Georgia, Walmart when she was approached by a man, WALB reported.…
The post Mom Says Attempted Kidnapper Tried To Rip Baby from Her Arms in Walmart Store appeared first on The Western Journal.
HuffPost called out Democratic Senate candidate Teresa Tomlinson Thursday for falsely claiming on social media that the liberal outlet proclaimed Georgia “in play” and Tomlinson “poised to win,” phrases that never appeared in the outlet’s story.
Reporter Jennifer Bendery interviewed Tomlinson and fellow Georgia Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico, two of the four candidates seeking to challenge Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.), for a piece headlined, “Georgia Democrats Haven’t Won A Senate Seat In 19 Years. Two Women Say They Can.”
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— Teresa Tomlinson (@teresatomlinson) December 12, 2019
Tomlinson’s Twitter account shared a graphic with the HuffPost official header and the text, “Georgia is in play and Teresa is poised to win it.” The juxtaposition made HuffPost D.C. bureau chief Amanda Terkel cry foul. She took to Twitter, writing that that was not the liberal outlet’s headline and that those words did not appear in the article.
So… that is not our headline at all. And that quote isn't anywhere in the story. This is something the campaign made to make it look like we said this. (And by the way, here is the link to the actual story: https://t.co/ww7cZ1jRW2) https://t.co/Gl5NhnriGn
— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) December 12, 2019
Tomlinson followed up later on Thursday with a tweet admitting it was not a real headline, but rather one being used on her campaign website. However, her campaign did not delete the initial tweet, nor did it delete an Instagram post also using the manipulated text.
*Note: This is not the Huffington Post headline. This is our headline on our website expressly stating that the post contains “excerpts from a Huffington Post piece.” The quoted excerpts are correct.The Huffington Post logo has been removed from the web post to avoid confusion.
— Teresa Tomlinson (@teresatomlinson) December 12, 2019
Greg Bluestein, a reporter with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, noted that Tomlinson’s campaign pulled a similar stunt earlier this year in a fundraising email. The campaign strategically edited the headline of one of Bluestein’s articles, “Tomlinson picks up some newspaper love – in Virginia,” to omit “in Virginia.”
“Teresa Tomlinson’s campaign is so desperate for good headlines from the media, they’ve resorted to writing fake ones and trying to pass them off as genuine,” said John Burke of the pro-Perdue Georgia Action Fund in a press release. “Just when we thought her candidacy couldn’t be struggling any more, this latest unforced error further shows she’s not ready for prime time.”
Tomlinson was the first Democrat to enter the Georgia Senate race following defeated gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’s announcement that she would not run. However, Tomlinson’s lackluster fundraising failed to clear the field. She currently has $1 million less in cash on hand than Jon Ossoff, another Georgia Senate hopeful who previously lost a special election to fill the state’s Sixth Congressional District seat in 2017.
A former two-term mayor of Columbus, Ga., Tomlinson told the Washington Free Beacon last month that the Democrats have not previously run “authentic” candidates like her who can appeal to Georgia voters outside metro Atlanta.
Georgia has not elected a Democrat to statewide office since the late Sen. Zell Miller in 2000. Perdue has a healthy $6.3 million in cash on hand as of the most recent federal filings. Election analysts favor him to win reelection.
The post Georgia Democrat Called Out for Sharing Doctored HuffPost Headline appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.