Here's the gist of Broun's e-mail:An aide to Republican Paul Broun confirmed Friday that the congressman sent supporters an email inviting them to enter a drawing for an AR-15.
Broun wrote that the drawing is intended to affirm his support for the individual right to bear arms. He asserts in the email that the gun is one that President Barack Obama wants to ban. Broun tells supporters that Democrats and the liberal media support the president's mission.
The rifle is similar to the one used in the 2012 massacre at a Connecticut elementary school. - ABC News Channel 6, 1/24/14
What's really scary is Broun isn't the only Tea Party candidate to do this:You see, it’s no secret that the Democrats and liberal media would love to take away our guns and mandate every aspect of our lives, but I refuse to let them get away with that. In fact, today, I have some exciting news for you.
Today, stand up with me and fight for our freedoms by joining our campaign’s contest to win a semi-automatic AR-15….
The contest ends on Thursday, February 27th, 2014. - Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/24/14
And it looks like Broun is trying to prove he the most conservative (and craziest) one in the GOP bunch:This cycle's hottest campaign trend, apparently: free assault weapons.
Following Republican South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright's announcement Thursday that he will raffle off an AR-15 assault weapon in his primary campaign against Sen. Lindsey Graham, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) will do the same in his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. - Huffington Post, 1/24/14
I've written a lot about this race because it's one of our best pick up opportunities this cycle and Georgia Democrats have a strong candidate in Michelle Nunn (D. GA), daughter of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (D. GA), to help revitalize the party in the Peach State. But there are two factors that could help Nunn win this race. The first is base turnout, especially in the African American community:
In a high school auditorium deep in southern Georgia last weekend, state GOP chairman John Padgett kicked off the first debate among the Republicans vying for Chambliss' Senate seat. A nearly all-white crowd of several hundred showed up for the debate, as did seven of the eight GOP contenders. Moderator Martha Zoller, a conservative radio talk show host, said this slew of Republican rivals have their work cut out for them.
"Whoever comes out of this primary is going to be bruised, bloodied and broke," Zoller said.
The debate largely boiled down to those candidates trying to out-conservative one another.
"I am a proven conservative, with a track record of actually getting the job done," said Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state.
Not to be outdone was 11-term Rep. Jack Kingston.
"I'm a consistent conservative with an A-plus NRA rating," Kingston said.
Rep. Paul Broun one-upped the others.
"I'm the only true conservative with a proven consistent record of that conservatism," Broun said.
Rep. Phil Gingrey, the other member of Congress who's running, skipped the debate for a fundraiser. He has made repealing the Affordable Care Act his campaign's centerpiece; so has Broun.
And Kingston, who's considered more moderate than the other two congressmen, called Obamacare "an absolute assault on the American dream."
"That's why I have voted 40 times to repeal it," Kingston said.
That's not good enough, though, for Broun, who chides his House colleague in a recent Web ad. - NPR, 1/24/14
And Medicaid Expansion could be the sleeper issue that helps Nunn win this race and she knows it:Georgia has changed significantly since Mr. Nunn left office in 1997. The population has boomed as African Americans have moved in and the Latino and Asian populations have risen. Between 1990 and 2010, nearly two million more people moved into Georgia than left it, according to demographers at the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
As a result, the electorate has shifted north, toward racially diverse Atlanta and some heavily Republican suburbs and exurbs and away from rural white cities in middle Georgia like Perry.
Democrats say they hope to leverage increased black turnout. In 2012, blacks accounted for 29.9 percent of voters, up from 21.2 percent in 1996, according to Georgia’s secretary of state, though part of that rise is attributed to Barack Obama’s presence on the ballot.
Ms. Nunn is courting them. On Monday, she marked Martin Luther King’s Birthday with Representative John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat and civil rights leader, who supports her.
If Ms. Nunn has a path to victory, Democratic strategists say, it will be by increasing minority turnout while attracting independent-minded whites, especially young voters and women. Democrats hope that a potentially fractious Republican primary, with eight candidates, will produce a far-right opponent whom Ms. Nunn could defeat.
“It’s a tough race, but she can win it,” said Roy E. Barnes, Georgia’s last Democratic governor, who lost a re-election bid in 2002. - New York Times, 1/24/14
I don't know what Broun's chances are of winning his party's nominee are just yet but a long and ugly primary is going to be brutal for the GOP's chances this year. But in the mean time, if you would like to get involved or donate to Nunn's campaign, you can do so here:The liberal group CREDO is running an interesting campaign. It is circulating state-level petitions designed to put pressure on GOP governors to opt into the Medicaid expansion. While it remains to be seen if such efforts will bring any pressure at all on Republicans, they are useful in that they suggest the Dem base may be energized on the issue, in states that are important in 2014.
In states with key Senate races, over 6,600 have signed CREDO Mobilize petitions in North Carolina, over 4,300 have signed in Georgia, and over 1,600 in Louisiana. In states with important gubernatorial races, more than 12,000 have signed petitions in Florida, and nearly 10,000 have signed in Texas. And it’s early days.
Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes statewide races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, tells me that base turnout will be critical for Dem chances, and that the Medicaid expansion is just the sort of issue that liberals can use to mobilize that base.
“For Democrats in Senate races this cycle, getting their base out is going to make the difference,” Duffy says. “They need every vote from their base they can get if they are going to hold the majority.”
The Medicaid expansion, Duffy adds, is one area where voters can really see tangible stakes, even if Obamacare overall remains unpopular. “People see the benefits — this is a pocketbook issue for them,” Duffy says. ”They need to get the base excited about something. This is a silver lining in a tough issue.”
Duffy says that in Senate races in North Carolina and Georgia and Louisiana, a lot turns on turnout levels among “minorities and low income women, waitress moms, single mothers.”
The Medicaid expansion, as an issue, is kind of taking on a life of its own, independent of Big Bad Obamacare. In Louisiana, Senator Mary Landrieu has aggressively criticized the rollout of the law, but has also attacked Republicans for refusing to implement the Medicaid expansion. In Georgia, Dem Senate candidate Michelle Nunn has called for fixes to the law while also saying the state should expand Medicaid, which 57 percent of Georgia voters support, according to a recent poll. Democrats are attacking GOP governors over it, too, particularly in the bid to oust Florida Governor Rick Scott. - Greg Sargent, Washington Post, 1/23/14