Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

Michelle Nunn's felon fundraiser

When Michelle Nunn attended a fundraiser on Capitol Hill the other day, as we reported, one of the three co-sponsors of the event was Virtual Murrell, who owns a government relations firm in D.C.

The conservative National Review dug deeper into Murrell's background and found quite a tale:

Murrell was indicted in 1994 by a federal grand jury on charges that he solicited and received over $37,000 in bribes from businesses in San Francisco while serving as an aide to an Oakland city councilman. The indictment found him guilty of violating the Hobbs Act, a federal statute that prohibits elected and appointed officials from using their public positions for personal gain. Murrell pleaded guilty and, in 1995, was sentenced to a year in prison.

His brush with the law was not his first time in the spotlight. In the late 1960s, as distribution manager for the Black Panthers, Murrell was a vocal proponent of the party’s ten-point platform. Archival news footage from the local San Francisco station KRON-TV shows him arguing, on the eve of his draft date in 1968, that African Americans should be exempt from military service because blacks are “victimized by the white racist government of America.”

“I’m due to report for induction tomorrow morning for the purposes of being drafted into the United States Army,” Murrell says. “If this racist, ethnocentric, imperialistic dog forces me to go, I have no other choice other than to sabotage your arsenal and to arm black people to use [arms] against this racist power structure to defend themselves.”

Nunn spokesman Nathan Click said her campaign is returning donations linked to Murrell. He also told National Review: “Our campaign was unaware of Mr. Murrell’s criminal history and disagrees with his comments.”


The organization's charter expires at the end of September, just in time for the election season. Supporters say it helps U.S. companies better compete with foreign rivals, while opponents view it as a disruption to a free market system.

Rep. Jack Kingston and the rest of Georgia's GOP delegation in 2012 voted against the reauthorization of the bank's charter. Businessman David Perdue signaled he shares similar concerns.

"I'm looking for a level playing field," he said. "And I feel like the Import-Export bank creates imbalances at times."

Then he pivoted to broader concerns about the nation's fiscal policies.

"The main thing about all these things is the federal government's role is to create a level playing field. If we're going to open our markets to other people, they're going to have to open their markets to us. ... And we have to make sure these financing arms out there don't create advantages or disadvantages around the world. We just want to make sure we have a level playing field. That's all we want."


Sunday's Atlanta Press Club debate between David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston just became more important. Both camps said it was the only debate they would attend before the July 22 contest.


The Southern Conservatives PAC, the pro-Jack Kingston super PAC, reported raising $780,000 since May. Donors include a range of prominent Republicans, including liquor magnate Don Leebern, Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus and former state Sen. Dan Moody.

Check out the full gang here.


A new poll of the U.S. Senate race from Morris News, Fox 5 and InsiderAdvantage has David Perdue closing the gap with Jack Kingston to a virtual tie ahead of the July 22 GOP runoff, with Kingston at 42 percent and Perdue at 41 percent.

Here's the methodology on the combined phone and Internet poll:

The survey of 1,278 likely voters and voters who have voted early was conducted by phone and online July 7-9. It is weighted for age, race and gender. The “SuperPoll” has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7% and a confidence level of 95%.

The polling folks at the Huffington Post have expressed their skepticism at the methodology. What's most noteworthy is the movement from InsiderAdvantage's poll from a month ago that showed Kingston with an 11-point lead.


Our AJC colleague Nicholas Fouriezos caught up with radio host Herman Cain on Thursday night at a fundraiser for businessman David Perdue's Senate bid. About 50 donorsgathered at the Eagle's Landing Country Club home of Jeremy and Michelle Gwaltney, who helped with Cain's presidential campaign.

Cain, who calls Perdue his "brother from another mother" and explains in the video below why he has taken such an active role in the Perdue campaign:


Rep. Paul Broun is shooting down talk of impeachment hearings against President Barack Obama.

The Athens Republican, soon to be out of a job after failing to make a Senate runoff, told The Hill that it's not worth trying.

“Harry Reid’s [D-Nev.] going to block anything we do in that regard,” said Broun, who said back in February he would vote to impeach the president.


To the right is the roster for a Kingston fundraiser scheduled for Tuesday at 5 Seasons Brewing in Atlanta, stocked with young professionals.

Among them are one state senator and 18 state House members. It should easily raise more than the $2,500 Perdue got from Concord 51.


Kingston's Super PAC, the Southern Conservatives Fund, chipped in another $90,000 to its TV buy on Thursday, bringing its runoff total to $555,000.

And Brent Bozell's "ForAmerica" put up another

$50,000 for online ads, bringing its total to $100,000.


The folks over at Better Georgia dug up some interesting new details about Qiana Keith, the former Georgia GOP aide who claimed in a lawsuit she was discriminated against because she was black.

The left-leaning group dug up a Facebook post from Keith that noted Gov. Nathan Deal helped her husband with "veterans issues" and urged her friends to vote for him.

Better Georgia said in its post that the move "was not an easy position for Keith to take in 2010. It couldn’t have been done lightly. And this brings us to an important question today: Qiana Keith defended Nathan Deal against racism charges. Will Nathan Deal now support Qiana Keith?"


The runoff fundraising numbers are now in. If you missed them yesterday you can find the full roundup here.

The House race winners: Barry Loudermilk in the 11th, Jody Hice in the 10th and Buddy Carter in the First.


About those child migrants at the border: Some could be heading our way soon. Georgia Baptist Children's Homes and Family Ministries sends word that the Obama administration contacted them in March when looking for resettlement options.

From President and CEO James Harper:

“As a Christian caring ministry to children, we believe it is our mission to reach out to any child who comes to our door.

" From 1998 – 2005, our ministry operated a successful residential program for hundreds of unaccompanied minors from approximately 53 different countries around the world.

"In March of this year, our agency was contacted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement concerning our interest and capabilities in providing these types of services once again.

"At this time, we continue to have an open dialogue with State and Federal agencies and stand ready to assist these children in need.”


We'll leave you with this tweet, which caught our eye:

Just got to Kaanapolis, home of Pillowtex. Should be interesting. #GASenate

— Karen Handel (@karenhandel) July 10, 2014


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