There are 26 days left until the two Georgia runoff elections to determine who will occupy Georgia’s seats in the U.S. Senate. Ordinarily, those of us who don’t live in Georgia wouldn’t likely give more than a passing glance to these elections or the candidates, but with the demographics of the senate hanging in the balance, all eyes are on Georgia. These two elections will play a huge roll in President-elect Biden’s ability to get his cabinet nominees confirmed, for starters, and down the road will be a determining factor in just how much of his legislation will be passed by Congress. It will also determine whether the iron-fisted Mitch McConnell will continue to lead the Senate in his obstructionist manner.
So, let’s talk a little bit about the Senate candidates from Georgia, shall we? This will likely be a two-part post, for I want to cover a bit about each of the four candidates … Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock on the Democratic ticket, and David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler on the Republican side. Let’s start with the race between Raphael Warnock and Kelly Loeffler.
Raphael Warnock has been the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta since 2005, following in the footsteps of his childhood hero, Dr. Martin Luther King. Warnock came to prominence in Georgia politics as a leader in the campaign to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Ordinarily, I would not favour a religious leader running for a seat in Congress, but everything I’ve heard and read about Warnock tells me that he would take seriously his oath to defend the Constitution and would always act with the interest of We the People in mind.
I often complain that our members of Congress were mainly born with a silver spoon in their mouth and cannot possibly understand the plight of the average people or the poor in this nation. The same cannot be said of Raphael Warnock who grew up in public housing as the eleventh of twelve children. He knows what it’s like to struggle to pay the bills and put food on the table.
In March 2014, Warnock led a sit-in at the Georgia State Capitol to press state legislators to accept the expansion of Medicaid offered by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He and other leaders were arrested during the protest. Kind of reminds me a bit of the late John Lewis and Elijah Cummings, both Civil Rights activists.
Kelly Loeffler currently holds the Senate seat for which she and Warnock are vying, but she was never elected to that seat. Rather, she was appointed a year ago by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp after Senator Johnny Isakson stepped down due to health issues. Far more is known about Loeffler than Warnock, none of it particularly impressive in my book.
Loeffler is, and has always been, a businesswoman, not a politician. Which in and of itself would not disqualify her, but her bigotry and shady dealings should.
She was previously chief executive officer (CEO) of Bakkt, a subsidiary of commodity and financial service provider Intercontinental Exchange owned by her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher. She co-owns the Atlanta Dream of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
Loeffler has strongly aligned herself to Donald Trump and frequently bragged about her “100 percent Trump voting record” during the campaign. She and other senators, including the other republican in this runoff election, David Perdue, took advantage of non-public information to sell stocks earlier this year before the pandemic caused the market to decline … insider trading. On January 24, 2020, the Senate Committees on Health and Foreign Relations held a closed meeting with only Senators present to brief them about the COVID-19 outbreak and how it would affect the United States (would have been nice if they had briefed We the People, huh?). Following the meeting Senator Kelly Loeffler and her husband Jeffrey Sprecher, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, made twenty-seven transactions to sell stocks worth between $1,275,000 and $3,100,000 and two transactions to buy stock in Citrix Systems which saw an increase following the stock market decline.
When she was asked about the Donald Trump Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump discusses groping women, Loeffler replied that she was “not familiar with that”. When she was separately asked about a recording of Trump telling Bob Woodward that he was intentionally downplaying COVID-19 in public, she responded that it was “fake news”. Never mind, I guess, that it was a taped conversation?
Loeffler supports ending the Affordable Care Act that provides health insurance to millions who would not otherwise be able to afford it, and she is staunchly anti-abortion and anti-LGBT rights. In fact, she is so opposed to women’s and LGBT rights that in the past year, she has donated large portions of her Senate salary to anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ rights organizations. Yes, you read that right. Of course, she didn’t need the money, for with a net worth of $500 million, she is the richest member of Congress.
In October 2020, shortly after Donald and Melania Trump were diagnosed with the coronavirus after attending events where they closely interacted with other individuals while maskless, Loeffler, who often appeared at rallies and gatherings without wearing a mask, posted the following ignorant tweet:
“China gave this virus to our President @realDonaldTrump and First Lady @FLOTUS. WE MUST HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.”
Never mind that as of today, nearly 300,000 people in the U.S. have died from the virus, and never mind that the Trumps were given treatments that none of the rest of us could possibly afford, and never mind that … oh never mind. Kelly Loeffler is an ignorant, arrogant rich bitch. Please, Georgians, DO NOT return her to Congress on January 5th! She is the antithesis of what this nation stands for … or once stood for.
The latest polls show Warnock leading by 2-3 points … let’s hope it stays that way, or even that his lead strengthens … which could well happen, given that Trump is telling republicans not to bother to vote in the runoff elections, that they would be ‘rigged’ – one of his favourite words. The election has been coloured with nasty, untrue ad campaigns by Loeffler, attacks against Warnock, and I’ll say no more on that, for I am sick and damn tired of hearing the republican lies and watching people fall for the conspiracy crap. For my part, I will stick to facts.
I will write about Jon Ossof and David Perdue, probably tomorrow morning since this sort of post is better done late at night when I have some uninterrupted time to read and research.