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Of ‘dadgum minds’ and New York City confabs

Georgia Democrats sure know how to come charging out the gate.

Last week the General Assembly said ‘Sine Die’ to the 2014 session, meaning full-fledged campaign season has arrived. The Peach State’s left-wing set rang it in with some muddled messaging, ethical questions, and a trip to New York City to raise some dollars to make Georgia resemble it more.

I’m not joking.

For starters, confusion had its day over whether or not the party supports a constitutional amendment capping the state income tax at 6 percent. Two Democrats bucked leadership on the House side to support such a plan, giving it a two-thirds majority and meaning it’ll be on the ballot in November.

The response from Democratic Party of Georgia chairman DuBose Porter minced no words – “It appears that they have lost their dadgum minds.”

All things considered, that’s hilarious. The proposal was first voted on by the state Senate, which saw three Democrats show their support.

One of them was none other than Jason Carter – Jimmy Carter’s grandson. He’s the anointed standard bearer for governor this year, with no Democrats contesting him in the May primary.

In other words, by the law of transitive sarcasm, his own party’s chairman thinks he’s lost his “dadgum mind,” or something.

National publications are arguing, with an increasing frequency, that Georgia soil is shaping up to be more favorable for Democrats in 2014 than initially expected.

Heh. They can’t even get on the same page when it comes to an amendment that’s going to be on the ballot at the same time they are.

D'oh

Such a cluster of mixed messaging would make for enough stress in the final week of the legislative session, but no, they had to go one further. Carter’s went wheels up to New York City over the weekend, for a fundraising confab with his grandfather and some of his old buddies.

Swanky.

Others have pointed to potential ethical issues in this matter. That stems from state candidates being barred from building campaign warchests while the legislature is in session. Though the gathering came days following Sine Die, pledges of contributions were surely accepted prior to the actual event.

Carter’s campaign has pushed back, saying the fundraiser was technically to fill the coffers of the “Democratic Party of Georgia’s 2014 Victory Fund,” and not the candidate himself. He was simply the guest of honor.

We all know who that fund will be supporting, but whatever. And at any rate, my issue isn’t so much the field of grey Carter’s campaign chose to tread on that front.

No, it’s that when he was within earshot of the gavel heralding session’s end, he went wheels up to Bill DeBlasio’s New York to fill campaign coffers for a race in Georgia.

Raising out of state funds is going to happen, and particularly given the Peach State’s makeup as a state that’s not sent a Democrat to the Governor’s Mansion since 1998. I get that, but these optics are atrocious.

Wheels up New York as soon as you get a chance is about as out of touch with Georgia values as someone could possibly muster. It really surmises the mission behind the entire effort, which is all for the purpose of electing another Carter – something Republicans aren’t going to forget about anytime soon.

And the contributions from national Democrats to Jason Carter’s campaign are all going to be used to portray him as anything but one of them.

When it comes to that notion, there’s only one way to really put it:

Brandon Howell is a conservative communications strategist and a contributor to the Peach State political blog Georgia Tipsheet. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonDHowell.

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