Political Notes — Who’s got more campaign cash than Trump?  Isakson, Price, Shafer . . .

[private]Donald Trump shocked the political world when the FEC reported this week his presidential campaign had just $1.3 million cash on hand at the beginning of June.

Trump was way behind his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, whose campaign had $42 million cash on hand, and the funding disparity set off alarm bells on both sides of the partisan aisle.

“These numbers are so disastrous that they mean it would be nothing less than malpractice for Republican delegates not to consider seriously the possibility of ditching Trump at the convention,” said conservative pundit John Podhoretz in Commentary.

“Trump’s amount of cash wouldn’t be terribly impressive for a competitive House race,” said Josh Marshall of the liberal news site Talking Points Memo. “His campaign is essentially broke.”

Trump’s campaign stash of $1.3 million is outmatched not just by Clinton’s fundraising total but also by at least three elected officials from Georgia.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who’s in the middle of a reelection campaign, had $5.57 million cash on hand as of May 4, according to FEC records.  That is more than four times the amount of cash as the Trump campaign.

Isakson’s Democratic opponent, investment adviser Jim Barksdale, nearly matched Trump’s amount when he loaned his campaign $1.1 million in personal funds.  Barksdale’s last reported cash on hand amount was $968,016.

U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell), who has token Democratic opposition in the general election from Rodney Stooksbury, had $2.52 million cash on hand in his latest FEC report — or nearly twice the amount of the Trump campaign.

Trump’s campaign cash is even exceeded by at least one state legislator: state Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth), the president pro tem of the Georgia Senate.

Shafer still has contributions he accepted when he mounted a brief campaign in the 2010 race for lieutenant governor, a race that Shafer abandoned when Casey Cagle decided to run for another term.

Shafer’s leftover campaign funds from the aborted lieutenant governor’s race total $142,634, according to his most recent disclosure report.  Shafer also has a cash balance of $1,258,112 in his legislative campaign fund — he has no opposition this year as he runs for an eighth term in the state senate.

Those combined funds total $1,400,746, which means Shafer is sitting on a bigger pile of campaign cash right now than Donald Trump.

Rubio running again

When Marco Rubio was running for president, he talked often about how much he hated serving in the U.S. Senate.  He backed up those words by missing dozens of Senate votes and committee meetings during his unsuccessful GOP primary campaign.

But after Rubio was crushed by Trump in the Republican race, he’s decided that he likes the Senate just enough to try to salvage his political career by running for another term.

Rubio announced his candidacy Wednesday and was already anticipating the criticism he’ll get from his opponents for changing his mind about serving in the upper chamber:

I understand my opponents will try to use this decision to score political points against me. Have at it. Because I have never claimed to be perfect, or to have all the answers.

Still, the people of Florida deserve to know why I’ve changed my mind.

I have often said that the U.S. Senate can be a frustrating place. And it’s true. After witnessing the gridlock that grips Washington, I think just about every American – Democrat or Republican – would agree.

But the Senate is also a place from which you can perform great services for the people you have the honor of representing. And I am proud of the work we have done to help thousands of Floridians over the last six years.

The Senate can also be a place from which great policy advances can be made. I am proud that we have done that too.

But as we begin the next chapter in the history of our nation, there’s another role for the Senate that could end up being its most important in the years to come: The Constitutional power to act as a check and balance on the excesses of a president.

Amazon expands Georgia operations

Online retail giant Amazon announced it will expand its Georgia operations by opening a 600,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Braselton that will ship large items such as household furnishings, sporting equipment, and gardening tools.

Amazon says it currently has about 1,500 fulltime Georgia employees and could add up to 500 more when the new center opens.

Jones takes command

Walter C. Jones, who headed Morris News’ capitol reporting team for nearly 20 years, is the new publisher of the Newnan Times-Herald, effective Tuesday.

Jones, at one time an aide to congressman Newt Gingrich, had been director of news services for Morris News Service and the Augusta Chronicle since January 1997. He earlier worked for the Griffin Daily News as a staff writer.

The new job won’t require a long commute for Jones — he and his family have lived in Newnan for several years.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report


Tags: Amazon , David Shafer , Donald Trump , fundraising , Jim Barksdale , Johnny Isakson , Marco Rubio , Tom Price , Walter C. Jones