Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is apparently ignoring the advice of Trump and his many supporters to pick Rep. Doug Collins to replace Senator Isakson and is choosing a bigtime Republican donor:
AP – Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has decided to appoint a Republican donor and financial services executive for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by three-term Sen. Johnny Isakson, a GOP political consultant told The Associated Press on Monday.
His choice of Kelly Loeffler, a political newcomer, defies Republicans who had pushed him to choose Rep. Doug Collins, one of the staunchest defenders of President Donald Trump.
The consultant spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday because Kemp has yet to publicly announce the decision, which comes after weeks of speculation over his choice for a Senate seat Democrats are hoping to win in 2020.
Loeffler, perhaps best known as co-owner of the Atlanta Dream professional woman’s basketball franchise, will have to defend the seat next November as Republicans battle to maintain control of the Senate and the White House.
By picking Loeffler, Kemp might have set up a bitter GOP clash over the seat, as Collins has publicly left open the door to running against her next year.
Loeffler is the CEO of financial services firm Bakkt, which offers a regulated market for Bitcoin. She was previously an executive at Intercontinental Exchange, a behemoth founded by her husband that owns the New York Stock Exchange. Bakkt is a subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange.
Breitbart reported over the weekend that Trump has pressured Kemp to choose Collins for the Senate post:
President Donald Trump has reportedly pressured Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to appoint Doug Collins as the interim senator. White House senior advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner also support Collins’ temporary appointment to the U.S. Senate. Even though the White House strongly supports Collins’ appointment, a Georgia-based political strategist said Collins is not one of the governor’s top choices for the seat.
Breitbart also reported on Loeffler’s questionable ties to Planned Parenthood and her support for “country club” Republicans like Romney and Ryan:
Loeffler donated $750,000 during the 2012 presidential election to Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. The financial executive has also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to former Speaker Ryan’s political campaigns and PACs. Now, when the question of her potential Senate appointment has come to media attention, Loeffler donated $100,000 to Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee that is raising funds for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC).
$750k is a HUGE amount of money to donate to Romney. But let me point out that most of that money was donated after Romney had won the primary. Only 100k was donated in March of 2012, a month before Santorum finally pulled the plug on his campaign.
As far as Loeffler’s question ties to Planned Parenthood, here’s what they wrote:
Loeffler is the co-owner and co-chairman of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Atlanta Dream.
After the Trump administration announced plans in 2018 to cut family planning funding from abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood, WNBA President Lisa Borders said that she and the league “stands with Planned Parenthood.”
Borders’ statement follows shortly after the WNBA announced its “Take a Seat, Take a Stand” program, which provides donations to one of six organizations, including Planned Parenthood, for every WNBA ticket purchased.
Loeffler’s team also promoted the program, which favors donations to the abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
Questionable ties, for sure. But again let me point out that Loeffler is the co-owner of the team and not the sole-owner, therefore we can’t blame her alone for these decisions. I’m not saying that Loeffler isn’t pro-Planned Parenthood, but just saying we don’t exactly know how all of this went down. I’ve seen some on social media declaring Loeffler as a Planned Parenthood donor and based on this, I wouldn’t say that with any level of assurity, or at all at this point. But yes, she should be questioned about all of this and it doesn’t bode well for Kemp that he’s choosing her.
Loeffler’s given a lot of money to a lot of Georgia Republicans and other Republicans as well, including John McCain, Michele Bachmann, and Romney and Ryan. And this smells like her cashing in on her donations, to be honest. Whether that’s the truth or whether she’s deserving of the job, I don’t know. I only know what I’ve written about in this post and that other Republicans, who would rather see Collins get the post, are freaking out over this report:
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) December 2, 2019
UPDATE: It’s worth nothing that Kemp said last week he would never nominate someone that wasn’t pro-life, pro-2nd amendment, and pro-freedom:
I stand with hardworking Georgians and @POTUS. The idea that I would appoint someone to the U.S. Senate that is NOT pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-freedom, and 100% supportive of our President (and his plan to Keep America Great) is ridiculous. (1 of 2) #gapol
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) November 27, 2019
The attacks and games are absolutely absurd. Frankly, I could care less what the political establishment thinks. Happy Thanksgiving! More information after the holiday! (2 of 2) #gapol
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) November 27, 2019