In the Loop

  • The Strokes Stump for Bernie While Biden Bashes Trump



    Aughts alt-rockers The Strokes opened for Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire Monday night.

    As a primary that kicked off in disarray wraps up in New Hampshire, presidential candidates raced across the Granite State for the last time Monday night.

    On the final evening before people hit the polls, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders held the largest rally of the week.

    “In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of people here tonight,” Sanders said. “In fact, there are three times more people here tonight than at any other Democratic rally in New Hampshire.”

    The crowd of more than 7,500 erupted through the candidate’s stump speech decrying the power of elites, the absurdity of the American health system, the influence of corporations and big money in politics, the failed war on drugs, and rapidly accelerating income inequality.


  • Socialism Is on Trial in the New Hampshire Primary

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    Photo Credit: Derek Kouyoumjian

    Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a debate Friday in Manchester.

    Friday night’s debate in Manchester kicked off with a discussion on the political viability of “democratic socialism” in American elections.

    Moderator George Stefanopolis asked candidates whether the acceptance of the label by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would damage the chances of Democrats winning back the White House and Senate in November.

    While none of his opponents explicitly said the label would be a detriment in the general election, members of the field’s more conservative wing emphasized the risk in nominating a candidate as left wing as Sanders.


  • Brian Patterson Says He's Ready to Take Over as DA

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    Chief assistant district attorney Brian Patterson said he's ready to take over for his boss, Ken Mauldin, and run no matter when Gov. Brian Kemp calls an election.

    Mauldin recently announced his resignation, which will make Patterson the interim DA effective Mar. 1 unless Kemp appoints someone else in the meantime.


  • Gonzalez: Kemp Should Call Special Election for District Attorney

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    Deborah Gonzalez.

    Western Circuit District Attorney Ken Mauldin announced earlier this week that he's resigning. No big deal, right? He wasn't going to run for re-election anyway. So Gov. Brian Kemp appoints someone who gets beaten by the favorite in the Democratic primary, Deborah Gonzalez, in November.

    Well, not so fast. An obscure law passed in 2018 means that there will be a special election in November for district attorney, not a regular one. That means no Democratic primary in May and a nonpartisan "jungle primary" where every candidate is on the November ballot together. Which means a likely runoff in January if a Republican gets in the race—and Democrats don't turn out for runoffs.

    Still, to Gonzalez, it's better than the alternative: If Kemp waits until after May 3 to appoint someone, the election gets pushed to 2022.


  • New Hampshire Students Press Candidates to Remember Poor People in Climate Change Policies



    Photo Credit:  Derek Kouyoumjian

    Deval Patrick speaks at the NH Youth Climate and Clean Energy Town Hall.

    NEW HAMPSHIRE—Students at a youth climate town hall extracted promises from several presidential candidates that their climate-change policies will benefit low-income people, not hurt them. 

    “Equity has to be at the heart of climate policy,” said Pete Buttigieg, who appeared at the NH Youth Climate and Clean Energy Town Hall Wednesday morning, hours after partial returns showed him in first place in Iowa’s Democratic caucuses. The former mayor of South Bend, IN was responding to Dartmouth College MBA student Melina Sanchez Montanes, who asked what he would do to make sure low-income households “don’t bear the brunt of the transition” to cleaner energy. 


  • District Attorney Ken Mauldin Is Resigning


    Ken Mauldin, the district attorney for Clarke and Oconee counties, is resigning effective Feb. 29, he announced today.

    Mauldin had already said he would not run for re-election this year, but had planned to serve out the end of his term. However, he said in a news release that he's had a change of heart.


  • Candidates for DA, Congress Speak to Oconee Dems

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    Deborah Gonzalez.

    Deborah Gonzalez and Andrew Ferguson used the opportunity of the meeting of the Oconee County Democratic Party last month to introduce themselves to those in attendance.

    For Gonzalez, it was a matter of a re-introduction, and she said she was going to respond to the “first question most people ask me.”

    She said she was running for district attorney of the Western Circuit, which includes Oconee and Clarke counties, rather than to reclaim her seat as District 117 representative to the Georgia House because she thinks she will have “the biggest impact” as district attorney.

    Andrew Ferguson was new to the group, so he spent more time talking about his background, his motivation for wanting to challenge U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, the incumbent Republican in District 10, and his stands on a number of issues.


  • What Did Antwon Stephens Do With All the Campaign Cash He Raised?



    Antwon Stephens.

    A newly appointed Clarke County Board of Education member never disclosed what he did with $100,000 he reported raising to run for mayor in 2018, and is under investigation for potentially violating federal campaign finance law as well.

    Antwon Stephens raised money to run against U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) this year despite being ineligible to serve in Congress because he won’t turn 25, the minimum age, until June of 2021. When Collins became President Trump’s chief defender in the House impeachment hearings, actress Alyssa Milano and prosecutor-turned-pundit Preet Bharara tweeted links to Stephens’ ActBlue fundraising account to their millions of followers. 

    According to a letter from the Federal Election Commission to Stephens’ campaign treasure, Ty Kelley, dated Jan. 26, he failed to file a statement of organization in a timely fashion. In addition, he has not filed any reports disclosing his campaign’s donors and expenses, although the most recent deadline was Friday.

    Stephens also did not file any campaign finance disclosures for his mayoral campaign since Jan. 31, 2018, the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections confirmed. In that report, Stephens stated he had raised $102,396 and had $88,695 on hand.


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