Michelle Nunn Faces Criticism from Progressives and Republicans Alike
(APN) ATLANTA — Michelle Nunn, the centrist candidate seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Georgia, is facing severe criticism from progressive Democrats and from Republicans alike, for her and her campaign’s tactics of vaguery, inaccessibility, equivocation, and deception, and for Republican-lite policy positions that are neither progressive nor openly right-wing.
Progressive Democrats, including her opponents in the Democratic Primary and their campaigns, have criticized Nunn for supporting the Keystone XL Pipeline; for supporting the once-proposed U.S. Invasion of Syria; for opposing same-sex marriage as a matter of policy; and for opposing the timely implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Affordable Care Act Implementation:
Nunn is the daughter of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA) and the former Colleen Ann O’Brien, a former C.I.A. operative. She and her family have close ties to many Republicans, including the Bush family.
This is something the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) seems to be proud of. In their write-up of Georgia’s U.S. Senate contest–in which they fail to mention the existence of other Democratic candidates–the DSCC writes: “Michelle Nunn brings to this race the experience of a CEO, a career devoted to service, and deep working relationships with the Bush family and many Republicans in Georgia going back generations.”
She is being supported by billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Warren Buffett; former Republican U.S. Sens. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and John Warner (R-VA); several Chamber of Commerce interests; and the Cox family behind Cox Media Group. The latter explains how the AJC Political Insider blog always seems to get the scoop, but, even with all the donations, Channel 2 WSBTV was only able to interview Nunn for a whole six minutes.
APN previously interviewed Dr. Branko Radulovacki (“Dr. Rad”) and former State Sen. Steen Miles regarding their policy positions. Nunn’s campaign, however, failed to respond to several interview requests. APN noted Nunn’s publicly stated positions in prior articles.
One APN reader contacted the Nunn campaign. “I have checked with her campaign staff and they say she is for equality in marriage. This was confirmed by me, today with a member of her professional staff (or so I was told by one who answered her campaign phone number around 2pm today 31 Jan, 2014). I think you should double check this point for better accuracy.”
However, on this point, the Nunn campaign is being disingenuous and deceptive. Nunn may personally support same-sex marriage as a personal opinion, but she has already taken a public policy position against it, saying states should decide.
Another APN reader sent an email to colleagues asking them to reconsider their support for Nunn. A volunteer with the Nunn campaign wrote back insisting, “Michelle is the Democrats’ only chance to win this senate seat. She is NOT opposed to same-sex marriage nor opposed to timely implementation of the ACA.”
However, again, Nunn has already taken positions against same-sex marriage and timely ACA implementation, even as her campaign attempts to deny or obscure these facts.
Yet, on many issues, Nunn has failed to take a position. This is something the Republican Party has noticed and plans to attack her for, should she win the Democratic nomination, all the way through the November General Election. Therefore, this strategy of vaguery and dodging does not appear to have long-term plausibility.
On February 18, 2014, the Georgia Republican Party sent out an email with the subject line, “Nunn of Your Business.”
“Fellow Georgian, Michelle Nunn is scared to debate. She’s afraid that under the pressure it will become abundantly clear that she’s not ready for primetime. Or even worse, she might reveal her unwavering support of President Obama’s liberal agenda,” Adam Pipkin, Executive Director of the Georgia Republican Party, wrote.
“So instead, Nunn ducks and dodges important questions on key issues like the answers are ‘Nunn of Your Business,’” Pipkin wrote, linking to the following page where voters can email Nunn asking for clarity: http://gagop.org/emailmichelle/
“We think Georgia voters deserve better. You deserve to know where Michelle Nunn stands on Obamacare, gun control, and tax reform. You deserve honesty and candor from your next U.S. Senator, not the silent treatment,” Pipkin wrote.
NO SOPHIE’S CHOICE ELECTION
“I told the Democrats, I don’t want no Sophie’s Choice election,” Stacey Hopkins, a social media coordinator for the Dr. Rad campaign, who spoke in her personal capacity, told Atlanta Progressive News.
“Michelle Nunn will not talk, period. She didn’t at the Georgia Municipal Association debate. She didn’t show up. She said she didn’t need to debate yet. Michelle Nunn is so comfortable in thinking she has the Primary, the nomination in lock, that she’s not bothering to debate anybody,” Hopkins said.
“You know why they’re doing that? They don’t want her to open her mouth,” Hopkins said.
“The came into the DPG [Democratic Party of Georgia meeting] like she was the Queen. Late, not even fashionably late. She stood in the back of the room, she said what she wanted to say, and then she left,” Hopkins said.
“She’s playing coy. They’re keeping her under wraps. It’s the Karl Rove playbook. Republicans will tell you, don’t say… [anything]. They’re letting [Republican Primary candidates, US Reps.] Broun and Gingrey run their mouths,” Hopkins said.
“Forums? There are organizations that are having them and she never comes. She’ll never meet with people. She shows up at Ebenezer [Baptist Church], she’s sitting there with [U.S. Rep.] John Lewis. When I go, I don’t see your ass there,” Hopkins noted.
“There’s nothing progressive about Michelle Nunn. I think she’s a GOP lite candidate. The Democratic Party has shifted so far to the right, when they say center, they mean a moderate Republican. They need to go back. They are out of… alignment,” Hopkins said.
“Michelle Nunn, she ain’t gonna win, I’m gonna send… [her] right back to Points of Light and Hands on Atlanta. Go on back, girl. You done got out your lane,” Hopkins said.
MILES’S COMPLAINTS TO THE DSCC
Former Sen. Miles, meanwhile, has sent complaints to the DPG and the DSCC for their inappropriate early support for Nunn.
In November 2013, Miles sent out a press release, which she forwarded to DPG Chairman Dubose Porter.
“Sadly, newly elected party Chair Dubose Porter is not a man of his word and is in violation of… Section 1.7 of the Georgia Democratic Party Bylaws which explicitly prohibits supporting a Democratic candidate who has opposition during a primary or special election,” Miles wrote.
“The blatant disregard of other Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate and publicly stated support and other actions favoring one candidate over others is a clear violation of party rules, thwarts the democratic process and perpetuates ‘good ole boy’ blatantly discriminatory practices,” Miles wrote.
“It is not a good look. While I cannot speak for other candidates, it is deeply disappointing for Chairman Porter to personally pledge his ‘fairness’ at the party elections only to renege on that promise and violate party bylaws by openly supporting one ‘anointed’ candidate. Is it because the ‘anointed’ candidate has considerably more money than the state party?” questioned Miles.
“On several occasions he spoke out in favor of Michelle Nunn, and had a Democratic gathering at which she was to speak along with Jason Carter and Connie Stokes. I didn’t go, I didn’t pay 250 dollars to be ignored. Dr. Rad paid the money, they just totally ignored him. It was a Democratic fundraiser at the Georgia Freight Depot,” Miles told APN.
On March 08, 2014, Miles also sent a letter to the DSCC.
Like Hopkins, Miles also predicts that Nunn will not win the Primary. “I predict you will see a stunning political upset the likes of which will go down in the annals of political history,” she said.
“I just want to say I deeply resent not Michelle Nunn’s name, not Michelle Nunn’s money, what I resent is her arrogance; her affluenza; and the idea that she’s just going for a coronation without doing the work,” Miles said.
“I am in support of Jason Carter. Jason Carter is a duly elected senator from this great State of Georgia. He has earned the right in my view to run for Governor of this State, as is Connie Stokes,” for Lt. Governor, Miles said.
“Michelle Nunn has no political experience. Michelle Nunn has passed out awards, while others of us have been earning them for community service. She’s always ballyhooing she knows so much about volunteerism; not that she volunteered; she passed out awards at Points of Light,” Miles said.
“The Bush organization set up Points of Light, everyone knows that,” Miles said, referring to former President George Bush, Sr.
“Hands on Atlanta, that was set up by her dad and some of his contacts and friends,” Miles said.
“I’m not running a campaign against Michelle Nunn. I’m not interested in her half-truths, in her missteps.”