The Oxendine campaign responded this evening with a press release / e-mail blast to supporters. It doesn't address the details of the story, but it does call The AJC liberal. I counted six phrases in "air quotes."
For those of you who aren't quite as clever as Team Oxendine, those typically denote sarcasm. The press release in full:
AJC Declares John Oxendine the Front-Runner for Governor 2010"Brilliant strategy."
Date: 10 May, 2009
To: Georgia Republicans
From: Kathryn Ballou, Campaign Manager
Team Oxendine is aware the "professional, objective, and transparently unbiased journalists" over at the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) have answered the most debated question in the Georgia Republican Party at present time: Who really is the front-runner for the GOP nomination for Governor?
How did those conservative folks at the AJC decide? Was it from our John Oxendine Contract with Georgia press release we sent them stating what John will do for Georgians if elected Governor? A positive, issue-oriented, conservative piece with solutions to 12 of the major issues facing Georgia taxpayers. No.
The staff of the AJC, who are seeing record increases in new subscriptions, increasing the size of sections, hiring new staff on a daily basis, and expanding the area they sell the paper... wait, no, we have that backwards. They are losing subscribers at an historic pace, shrinking the actual size of the paper, laying people off left and left (they can never go right), and decreasing the areas they sell papers. Yes, these intrepid, profit generating, cracker jack "reporters" have attacked John Oxendine with a front page "story" which they consider to be serious investigative reporting.
What they have really done is confirm to conservatives which Republican candidate they are afraid of - which Republican candidate they do not want to win. This is a time honored tradition at the AJC. Attack and smear any real conservative who might actually win. Attack, attack, attack. Talk about anything but the issues.
At Team Oxendine, we wear this hit piece as a badge of honor. Georgia Republicans know perfectly well a candidate is not a serious front-runner until they have been attacked and smeared by the AJC. That day has come and the AJC has sent a message loud and clear - John Oxendine is a conservative the liberals cannot tolerate. We are proud to know the "fair and balanced" crowd at the AJC is not for John Oxendine.
We concede today that Georgia Republicans should anticipate the AJC will endorse Karen Handel in this primary. They will swoon about her "mainstream" approach and her "center of the road consensus building" approach to government. The AJC will praise her as a John McCain, go-along-to-get-along, centrist Republican.
If you are still in doubt as to the left-wing, anti-conservative, anti-American bias of the AJC, then consider this - with over a year to go before the Republican primary, they rushed this anti-Republican story in the Sunday Mother's Day edition. They placed it above a story of a real Georgia hero - Karmen Callaway, a Georgia Mom whose three sons are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Even on Mother's Day, the AJC would rather place a smear attack on the Republican front-runner ahead of a positive story about a Georgia Mom and her hero sons. That tells you all you need to know about the credibility of the AJC.
We accept that John Oxendine is a target of the liberal, leftist, big government AJC and that Karen Handel is their type of centrist, anti-conservative Republican.