Skip to comments.Senate race looking like itíll be hotly-contested
Posted on 03/17/2004 4:37:16 AM PST by William McKinley
Who is Johnny Isakson?
Forget for a moment what you have read in newspapers or seen on TV about the 6th District congressman who is running for the U.S. Senate.
If your information came only from e-mail and Internet commercials, you would know this cyberspace version of Johnny Isakson:
Isakson consistently votes in the House with Democratic leaders Dick Gephardt, Nancy Pelosi and (brace yourself) Barney Frank. Career-Republican Isakson is really a secret ally of ruthless labor unions, mean feminists, obnoxious gays and, worst of all, liberals.
Isakson supported legislation that would provide aid and comfort to child molesters and voted against measures to help commercial pilots defend themselves against terrorists. In other words, hes sympathetic to creeps but has no enthusiasm for protecting brave flyers who ferry him to Washington and back.
He opposes zero drug tolerance in schools. So he wants kids to have a little sniff-and-snort in the classroom, does he?
And, of course, hes a raving abortionist who favors distribution of the French abortion pill. Got that? The French pill. In addition to everything else, he must be one of those awful frog lovers.
Most of this stuff is signed by rival Congressman Mac Collins senatorial campaign. Some of it is anonymous. The Isakson campaign says its all a pack of lies except the allegation about the frogs that we forgot to ask about.
Until this Internet campaign began, you probably thought of Isakson as a stand-up guy, a successful real estate executive, a 35-year pillar of the Republican Party, a former state legislator, a former state school board chairman, a Georgia Bulldog and a Methodist. Arent you happy to be set straight?
Nor can Congressman Collins escape Isaksons (slightly softer) Internet truth gun. The 8th District lawmaker, a member of the important Ways and Means Committee, votes almost automatically against all important pieces of farm legislation, the email rap sheets tell us.
He even opposed the main farm bill to re-establish programs to supply payments to farmers when commodity prices fall below a specific level. He voted against billions for agriculture research, much of which would have gone to UGA and other Georgia schools.
A congressperson from, say, Delaware or New York might get away with votes like that. But a senatorial wannabe from Georgia one who would follow in the footsteps of Sens. Russell, Talmadge and Nunn could never, ever vote against such legislation, or could he?
Like Isakson, Collins has an impressive resume: congressman, former state senator, county commissioner and a successful trucking line owner. The data against him paints him as an irrelevant loose cannon in Washington or a stupid bungler who doesnt comprehend his job. Or both.
The Republican primary, which will probably decide the successor to Democrat Sen. Zell Miller, is still months away (July 20), but the intensity of the campaigns between the two perceived main candidates is already picking up steam.
Collins tears at Isakson, trying to reduce his poll numbers and slow his stream of campaign contributions. In every poll, Isakson leads. He is way ahead in the campaign money game (more than $4.5 million at last count); he is No. 1 in favorable ratings among voters and he seems certain to get the most votes in the primary.
However, in the four-candidate primary race, no one is likely to capture the 50 percent-plus-one needed to avoid a runoff with the No. 2 vote-getter.
Collins evidently assumes that he will be the second-place finisher with a chance to win in a runoff. If running to become runner-up is indeed his strategy, Collins may be aiming his ammunition at the wrong target. At this writing, Herman Cain, an ultraconservative black business executive, appears a reasonably good bet to finish second, ahead of Collins.
So far, Cain has avoided the early nastiness of the Collins-Isakson bout. Instead, Cain, using positive TV commercials in smaller Georgia markets, paints himself as a rags-to-riches multimillionaire determined to repay his nation for the good things it has done for him. Cains agenda is so conservative that he makes Collins and Isakson appear to be Bolsheviks.
Cain is easily the best speaker and, by far, the most ardent anti-abortion candidate in the field. Having reported about $1.8 million in campaign funds, Cain is ahead of Collins, whose total is about $1 million.
Besides, a vote for Cain assuages the guilt of some Republicans who feel uncomfortable with the racist label sometimes applied to the Georgia GOP. Cains campaign assiduously avoids mention of racial topics as the candidate drives home his anti-abortion, anti-IRS and pro-George Bush messages.
Though an additional black candidate has not campaigned as actively as the others, Al Bartells relatively few votes will help keep the front-runners totals below 50 percent and thus in the runoff range.
Despite the more visible Collins-Isakson fracas, the primary results could easily produce an Isakson-Cain runoff with Collins eliminated and all those bags of dirt gathered for a final runoff assault going for naught.
Nope. I thought of Isakson as a RINO who sold his soul to Satan by making abortion-rights the pillar of his failed 1996 bid for the office he is once again seeking. He was supposed to be some kind of bridge between the state's dominant Democrats and its weak Republican Party. As Georgia shifts to the Republicans, we don't need his kind anymore. I hope Cain trounces him.
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