Skip to comments.Underdog Majette goes after Isakson
Posted on 11/01/2004 3:37:36 AM PST by jpw01
ATLANTA - Underdog Democrat Denise Majette hammered away at front-running Republican Johnny Isakson in two U.S. Senate race debates Sunday, attacking his support for a national sales tax as bad for Georgia and challenging his claims he has never supported a tax increase.
She suggested it bordered on criminal for him to accept a lake lot lease from Georgia Power Co. while serving in the Legislature and then to sell it at a profit years later. The sweetheart deal for key lawmakers was disclosed years ago. Majette has made it the focus of one of her ads.
The aggressive stance reflected her underdog status in the campaign to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Zell Miller. A weekend poll showed Isakson leading her 49 percent to 36 percent.
Isakson disputed Majette's charges and generally avoided direct attacks, but said at one point, "I would never try and categorize one of my opponents maliciously with something that's just not true."
The doubleheader began with a morning forum sponsored by Atlanta's WSB-TV and ended with an Atlanta Press Club-sponsored debate aired over the state's public broadcasting network.
Libertarian candidate Allen Buckley, also included in the debates, positioned himself as the alternative to both major party candidates, particularly in the field of economics.
"If you want to live over your heads for the next four to 10 years ... don't vote for me," he said. "Ms. Majette and Mr. Isakson are clearly better choices." For the long term, Buckley insisted, "I am the best choice in this race."
In the morning debate, Majette declared that a national sales tax which Isakson supports is "a plan that's going to be bad for Georgians. Eighty percent of Georgians will pay a higher tax under the 23 percent national sales tax proposal that Mr. Isakson has co-sponsored."
Isakson, a congressman for five years, couched the proposal as just one of many ideas that should be considered in a broad national debate.
"I am not going to dismiss the suggestion of a single person to put on the table as a methodology to improve taxation in this country," he said. "And I resent those that would distort facts for political gain ... ."
Buckley, a tax attorney, said the proposal would cause the nation's deficit to triple.
"This is not the answer," he said.
Challenging Isakson's claim that during a nearly 30-year career in public office he never backed a tax increase, Majette said she had 17 examples showing that was incorrect.
Isakson called that a distortion but acknowledged as state school board chairman he backed a plan allowing local voters to decide if they wanted to raise the sales tax to pay for school construction. A property tax rollback was part of the package, he said.
In the evening debate, Majette reeled off a list of tax-raising measures Isakson supported and challenged him, "Will you finally level with the people of Georgia and tell them the truth?"
Isakson replied, "Almost all are referendums where voters determine their tax, not the politicians. That's a big difference between you and I."
To Majette's charge that he profited handsomely from a lake lot he was given the opportunity to lease from Georgia Power Co. while a state legislator, Isakson told Majette her facts were wrong. The profit, he said, was on a house he built on the lot for $200,000 and sold years later for $800,000.
In the evening debate, a panelist asked why he hadn't surrendered the lot, as some other legislative leaders did when the arrangement was brought to light.
"I had no reason," he said. "I had done nothing wrong in the first place."
Majette insisted, however, that in several states "what he did is illegal and people can go to jail for that."
As in other encounters, Isakson gave strong backing to President Bush and his conduct of the war against terror and in Iraq. He said he supports the Patriot Act despite fears from many that it unnecessarily infringes on civil liberties. However, Isakson said lawmakers must monitor its enforcement vigilantly.
Majette urged a pullout from Iraq as soon as practicable and said other nations should help bear the burden.
We will always be stuck with second best with Isakson.
Please don't do this a day before the election. We will always stuck with Majette if Cain's supporters do not help fellow Republicans.
Isakson is an awful candidate. He makes McCain look good. What is wrong with the Georgia GOP picking this awful clown? He's lost how many, let me guess, 20 times to the Democrats running for previous offices around Georgia.
Yet, he did win the primary, didn't he? Many people lost several times before they won and become succesful. I'm not Georgian, for sure, but there's no point now, a day before the election, that you complain about the Republican standard bearer.
I voted for Cain. I can assure you although Johnny is my second choice, I will vote for him. I would never vote for Denise-never, never. Personally, I don't believe she has a snowballs chance in a very warm place.
Someone needs to bring this to Neal Boortz' attention. Neal is a Libertarian and a BIG supporter of the Fair Tax proposal.
Great to hear that. Sometimes, I also want to scream if I see Bush team didn't do something they should have, but I figure out at the end phase like this what we need most is unity.
There is no chance that Majette will win, and zero chance that Cain's supporters won't help defeat Majette, but Isakson is about as much a Republican as John McCain is.
I sickens me to know that Paul Coverdell's seat in the Senate will be filled by a RINO.
Although Herman Cain does operate on principle and is fiscally and socially conservative, he would not have been able to start working immediately in Washington. It takes time to build the networks.
Isakson is by far the better candidate for anyone who is concerned for the future of our great state. Majette is a social liberal and has not truly represented the people in her district. I think Isakson will win by a landslide. And I am thankful, for if Majette would win, she would vote as she thinks best and not as you ask.
Cain on his first day in Washington would have been a better Senator than Isakson at the end of a 6 year term. Isakson is an opportunistic politician who is what he needs to be. Kind of like Kerry, now that I think of it.
Better then a Democrat.
There is always the primaries next time.
The only difference between a Democrat and a RINO is that the Democrat is more honest; he admits that he's a Democrat. I'd rather keep Zell Miller.
No, the only difference is who is majority leader and who is minority leader.
Did Miller vote for Frist as Majority leader or did he vote for Daschle?
The difference is that an Coverdell and Miller were statesmen, and Isakson will never be.
I voted for Isakson because he is better than Majette, but that is the only reason. He is better than Majette because she is a nut case, almost as bad as McKinny. On the other hand, she would be easier to defeat in the next election, but she could do a lot of damage in 6 years.
Maybe Bush will appoint Isakson to some useless post during the next 4 years and we can replace him with a Republican.
However, remember, we are dealing with retaining the Majority of the Senate, which in turn, effects chairmenships of committees.
We do not want Ted Kennedy, Hillary and Kerry heading any committees.
You are quite right, we don't. Which is, in the end, why I voted for him.
Actually, that should be third best. Herman Cain was my first choice, but Mac Collins would be much better for conservatives than Isakson. I'll vote for Isakson though, what choice do I have?
Wish Herman Cain had done it, but Majette will lose big time in Georgia
Denise Majette: Isn't she the one who finally sent Cynthia McSwine home?
Majette should have stuck with what she knows - demagoguing black voters.
I agree on both counts. As I said before, I voted for Isakson in the end, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Most people around here though, only know what party a candidate belongs to by the letter at the end of his or her name. Most of them will vote for Isakson, which is good. All I can hope for now is that the Republicans in Ga. will hold Johnny's feet to the fire for the next 6 years.
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