Leaked Campaign Memo Exposes Michelle Nunn's Weaknesses

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 11:04 PM

By Greg Richter

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Democrat Michelle Nunn's run for the Georgia Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss suffered an embarrassment when details of a campaign memo were accidentally leaked online.

The memo was briefly posted on the Internet in December, National Review Online reported Monday. The memo looked at what might turn voters off about the candidate, who is the daughter of former longtime Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn.

According to the document, Michelle Nunn might come across as a "lightweight," "too liberal" and not a "real Georgian." She also could be scrutinized for donations made to a group linked to "terrorists" when she headed the Points of Light Foundation, NRO reported.

Nunn also needs to appeal to rural voters to counter her image as a big-city Atlanta resident, the document said.

Nunn grew up Bethesda, Md., during her father's 25-year Senate career, attending Washington's National Cathedral School. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard University. She returned to Georgia after graduation to do charity work.

The memo focuses on targeting Jews and Asians as fundraisers and blacks and Hispanics as much-needed voters to counter the shift of white Georgians to the Republican Party.

Nunn's strategists also seem to count on help from the media in squashing attacks by Nunn's Republican opponent, who at the time had not been determined. David Perdue won the GOP nod in a runoff last week.

Though she is thought by Democrats to have the best chance of helping keep the Senate in their control, Nunn has dodged giving her position on key issues, including Obamacare. Republicans are using the unpopular healthcare legislation as a campaign issue.

Nunn's campaign strategists also worried about her work as CEO of the Points of Light Foundation. During her tenure, the group gave $33,000 in grants to Islamic Relief USA, a group fighting hunger, illiteracy and disease.

The group is under the umbrella of Islamic Relief Worldwide, which has ties to Hamas, which the U.S. government has labeled a terrorist organization.

Nunn also used a former death-row inmate as a contributor for a book produced by the HandsOn Network even though the man had continued to have trouble with the law after his release from prison.

Nunn campaign manager Jeff DiSantis called the document a draft, USA Today reported.

"Like all good plans, they change," DiSantis said. "But what hasn't changed and is all the more clear today is that Michelle's opponents are going to mischaracterize her work and her positions, and part of what we've always done is prepare for the false things that are going to be said."

Ward Baker of the National Republican Senatorial Committee told USA Today that the documents show "a deliberate effort to manipulate Georgia voters and hide the fact that Nunn's campaign is a proxy for the agenda of Barack Obama and Harry Reid."

2014 Michelle Nunn Campaign Memo



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