UPDATE 3: Does the Democratic Party require that its candidates for the United States Senate argue about a bunch of who cares, or is that just these two guys, with me and my friends in the media enabling it?
From Mr. Pettys on tonight's debate: While they agreed on all substantive issues, the two traded shots over who voted for who in past presidential elections and over campaign tactics. Each accused the other of dishonesty, and Jones refused to say he would even support Martin if he won the runoff.
Lucid Idiocy quiz: Is Saxby Chambliss currently:
a.) laughing so hard a junior staffer has to give him the heimlich
b.) saying "excellent" and rubbing his hands together so fast that it starts a fire.
c.) rolling around in the $4 million he'll use to bury one of these guys... should they manage to be competitive.
d.) all of the above. ain't that an image.
UPDATE 2: From Martin Campaign Manager Ellery Gould: "The Agriculture Commissioner told us he was endorsing Jim. Now, four months later, he says he's not. Nothing has changed in our campaign, so any explanation would have to come from Mr. Irvin."
I think I'm done writing about this race. The Insider has some stuff up on a forthcoming Martin endorsement — one that hopefully won't end with anyone accusing anyone of lying about it. And Vernon Jones is taking a trip around the state tomorrow to talk about some of his endorsements, so look for coverage of that elsewhere.
Also, the runoff debate starts at 7 p.m. tonight on GPTV, and The Athens Banner-Herald's Blake Aued is set to live blog it. So did Wheatley.
UPDATE: The Martin campaign says it has a call in to Commissioner Irvin, and wants to talk to him before commenting. Read into that what you like. Me, I'll refer you to question 2 below.
Well, make it (at least) two endorsements that Jim Martin's senate campaign has claimed, but apparently doesn't actually have.
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin's office says he didn't endorsing anyone in the race, which is down to the Aug. 5 runoff between Martin and DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones.
From Yao Seidu, an Irvin spokesman: "He is a loyal Democrat and, being a loyal Democrat, they don't endorse candidates in the primary elections."
When I noted that the Martin campaign has claimed Irvin's endorsement, Mr. Seidu replied: "They can do that, but the commissioner's response is he's a loyal Democrat and he makes endorsements in November."
You may remember the Martin campaign said it had former senate candidate Josh Lanier's endorsement based on a friendly conversation between Martin and Lanier. Lanier then said he was staying neutral.
As for the Irvin claim, that goes back to when Martin got into the race. I don't have the initial release, but the insider quoted from it at the time.
I've got an call into the Martin campaign for an explanation.
But, 1.) How do you run a race against Vernon Jones and end up looking shady?
And, 2.) Is this all a case of people truly remaining neutral, or of people just technically remaining neutral because Jones might win?