A note for anyone confused: This isn’t an evaluation made by PolitiFact the organization, but could rather be considered BatGurl’s tryout for PolitiFact.  Nothing said here represents the opinion of the writers over at the AJC.

With the Democratic Party of Georgia Chair election quickly approaching, it is unsurprising that there is some misinformation spreading around, and it is further unsurprising that some of it comes from candidates themselves.  One specific claim bears further evaluation and BatGurl is glad to dig deeper in search of the truth for our loyal readers.

Former State Senator Doug Stoner and his allies have been spreading the claim that he raised “over $700,000” for his re-election race in 2012.  (See Stoner make the claim himself at timestamp 12:59.)

Problem is, we had a hard time determining where he came up with that number at.  A basic search of the State Ethics Commission website reveals that Doug Stoner only raised $259,208.53 for his failed re-election bid in 2012.  Even in a link posted to Facebook by a Stoner ally, Justin Tanner, Doug Stoner only raised $276,482 for his 2012 campaign.  So, out of fairness to Stoner, lets use the higher number and assume the number Stoner’s own campaign reported to the Ethics Commission was wrong.   $276,482 is a lot of money, don’t get me wrong, but where I come from there’s a lot of difference between $700,000 and less than $300,000.

So in the spirit of PolitiFact, after researching the above, the claim that Doug Stoner raised over $700,000 for his 2012 campaign would be FALSE.

But lets evaulate it further, shall we?

So where might the number have come from?  Well, according to Follow the Money (the link posted by the Stoner ally), the total amount of money raised by Sen. Doug Stoner from 2000 to 2012 is $776,046, which is certainly an amount greater than $700,000.  That total over 10 years is impressive, however it would be equally appropriate to note that, from 2000 to 2010, Stoner’s main rival in the election, Rep. DuBose Porter, raised $1,174,999 according to Follow the Money.  (Note, Stoner’s totals are for 2000 – 2012, Porter’s for 2000 – 2010, a full election cycle less.)

So from 2000 – 2010, Doug Stoner raised $499,564 for his campaigns and DuBose Porter raised $1,174,999 for his campaigns.

So since some might say we’re being unfair to Stoner by taking away his biggest haul year (2012), lets take away the fact that Porter ran for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2010 and just compare state legislative races between 2000 and 2010.

But here again, we find that Porter raised $689,435 from 2000 – 2010 for his state legislative races to Stoner’s $499.654 during the same time period.  (Remember now, Porter didn’t actually run for a state legislative race in 2010, so again we’re giving Stoner an edge but Porter still out raises him.)

We can certainly have a separate discussion about the fact that, despite it was the most important race in the state last cycle, Stoner was only able to raise slightly more than $250,000.  But that’s not the point.  Stoner’s original claim that he raised over $700,000 in 2012 is unequivocally FALSE, and even his own numbers show that his ability to raise money pales in comparison to that of his principal opponent, DuBose Porter.

So two questions:

1) Why is Doug Stoner mis-representing the amount of money he was able to raise in his failed 2012 re-election bid?
2) Anyone want to start the term of the next DPG Chair on lies?

Discuss amongst yourselves.


34 Responses to PolitiFac: DPG Chairman’s Race

  1. Ginny says:

    I saw on facebook that the Georgia members of the DNC published a very strong endorsement of Dubose Porter for DPG Chair. Still respecting the other candidates, they made a serious point-by-point explanation of how they came to their decision. Having moved around and been involved elsewhere myself (and still connected to a lot of other state’s parties) I can say that Mr. Porter is a catch and golden opportunity for Georgia. compared to most any set of candidates seen at the state level. So while this discussion started with questions about Mr. Stoner, I think the truth is that Porter is the far-and-away best choice regardless.

  2. johnanthony says:

    Why are we our own worst enemy?

  3. johnanthony says:

    Why are we our own worst enemy? 🙁

  4. griftdrift says:

    Ahhhhh Democrats

  5. JMPrince says:

    Umm it’s been lovely to be receiving all the calls & emails lately. And to see such a lively exchange on the matter. And who knew Alanis invented/popularized irony? I thought it was Biblical. But sadly, no, this is not quite journalism either. We really don’t know how the numbers add up, and someone might have thought to ask before now too. But they didn’t, until now.

    I’m with Erica here, I’ll happily work with whomever makes it out alive on Sat. But my perfect or even preferred candidate was not in the race, and I can’t ‘count coup’ on those who aren’t. They would have combined the damed fiery martial spirt of Wm. Tecumseh Sherman, the judicious mercy of U.S. Grant, the homespun, plainspoken honest of Harry Truman, the powerful communication skills of a Bill Clinton, and perhaps even a dash of the sheer proven political mendacity and skill of LBJ & FDR. I imagine we’re making some progress just on that last bit alone, perhaps. But we’ll see what comes out in the wash & the vote on Sat. I’d still like that psyche evaluation first tho. That to me wildly more relevant & important than any accounting details. JMP

  6. Peaches says:

    Unlike BatGurl, I’ve stayed largely on the sidelines during this election, content to show up next Saturday, cast my vote, and go home.

    That said, one of the most troubling aspects of this election (and many of these comments), isn’t the fuzzy math or circular logic or finger pointing. Those are routine.

    What’s most troubling is the full court press coming from 55 Trinity Ave. A place from which no relief came during the previous two years when many of us appealed for help in dealing with the last train wreck of a chair.

    Yes, The Most Powerful Democrat in Georgia™ did ultimately call for the previous chair’s resignation, but just under the wire, and only after a prominent DNC member (and former DPG chair), went on record first.

  7. Austin-Cobb says:

    The authors of this piece and others regarding Mr Stoner’s fundraising claims have not manufactured false complaints, but have provided purposeful research of an existing concern on the part of many on the State Committee familiar with them.

    Fundraising, organization and effective reconnection with national Party elements (that are currently siphoning significant Georgia Democratic money elsewhere) are three major features recognized by everyone – including the three Chair candidates – that we need to elevate. Exaggeration or misrepresentation of records or abilities in those areas is something we legitimately need to clear up prior to our in-house election this weekend. While clearly some partisan hackles are being raised, most of what I see are well-mannered and necessary vetting.

    Aside from the questions about Sen Stoner’s money claims (none of which have been effectively refuted), some other representations by his camp raise further concern in both of the other areas mentioned above as well.

    Regarding organization, many of us in Cobb who have watched the evolution of our county party, blanche at the significance with which he states his role in the reformation and revitalization of our group. He has garnered the endorsements of friends such as County Chair Melissa Pike and Representative David Wilkerson — both of whom many of us believe truly deserve lion’s share credit for much of that lift. Because we know the solid service mettle of those two individuals in particular, it is understandable that they would humbly allow Mr Stoner to “borrow” that reputation in order to forward what they see as a positive agenda for our local and state Party. But if we don’t get the actual developmental skill in our next Chair, especially from the one candidate who specifically indicated likely pause (for fundraising) before hiring an Executive Director, we will suffer a fate very similar to the Chairmanship we just passed out of.

    Also, regarding his potential connectivity to the DNC and other national organs, there is a sincere question about the stated affiliations of some of candidate Stoner’s endorsements. While anyone’s endorsement and opinion carries all the weight – and only the weight – any observer chooses to give it, to misrepresent what an endorser’s significance might be to the matter at hand is inappropriate and must not only be cleared up, but the implications of the misrepresentations themselves considered.

    The question here is the “DNC Member” inference in the endorsements by Justin Tanner, Michele Taylor and Paul Vranicar. All three are DNC National Finance Committee members, and that is nothing to sneeze at. But that is not nearly the same as being an elected or appointed Member of the DNC, the very governing body of our Party. To the casual observer, just like Mr Stoner’s opaque, it’s-all-in-how-you-read-it fundraising answer, this seems a blatant attempt to feign a gravitas equivalent to that of Representative Dubose Porter in an area critical to our recovery and success as a state Party. National Finance Committee memberships are recognitions of fundraising achievement (in this case largely for the President’s campaign and other out-of-state pursuits), but these are not individuals on the State Committee or specifically vested in the interests of the DPG, let alone especially influential connections with the national body.

    Contrary to the circus that was the recent Georgia GOP Chair election, we should be proud of our effort to civilly evaluate our candidate choices and pursue what is best for our Party and platform. I hope with others, that the State Committee members will participate in strong numbers and thoughtful conduct this Saturday to achieve that goal.

  8. Truth says:

    Thank you and Bless you as well Ice Tina.

  9. Ice Tina says:

    Oh “Truth” Bless you. I hope your City of Atlanta job isn’t missing you today while you spend your day here.

  10. Truth says:

    This is the same poltifact author who completely reversed and retracted a politifact ruling two days ago from a false to true. This individual is not not exactly a beacon of credibility. I am just suggesting we should be careful before we take this as gospel. Let’s hear Senator Stoner’s response. This could be reversed. #Theseguysgetitwrongtoo.


  11. Erica Pines says:

    This is just great! All this bickering and so-called “Politifacts” against a strong candidate for DPG Chair. Yeah we care about the party, we care so much that we will talk smack about those who have a shot at been our next leader. That’s the image we want to portray. I have chosen who I will support. During that process I have not dissed the opposition, because I am willing to stand with and support our next Chair even if the candidate I cast my vote for does not prevail. These type of entries/comments have always and will always create tension and ill feelings inside the party. We know who the contributors of this blog are. Yes you have a right to voice your opinions, it’s your blog. But after the mess we’ve recently endured, I’d think we would simply allow the vote to take place, not bash either of the candidates and pledge to work together.

    Just my two pennies.

    • Augusta Wind says:


      If this was any other election, at any other time-I think you’d be completely correct, however….

      I really have no interest in finding out all the issues with a Chair after they have been elected in the name of party unity. The issue of fundraising is critical, in fact it’s about the only issue that is. If the Chair candidates have not demonstrated a past performance of serious fundraising capacity, it matters not whatever their other skills may be, we will be shuttered.

      Given that there is no “public square” in which to engage each other, BfD is about the only place that people have come. I sure would have liked to see all the disclosures about Berlon before he was elected, but instead he was given a pass.

      The last three years have been nothing but drama, loss,ill will, old guard vs new activists, lies, smears, lawsuits, drunken sailor spending, black eyes, awful press, etc..

      If all the people I know had spoken out about Berlon at the right time, who knows what could have been avoided.

      We might as well just suck it up and get through the next few days.

      Maybe after saturday we can hold hands and sing kumby-ya… but I would not count on it.

  12. CatherineAtlanta says:

    I am so thrilled to read and see so much new found interest in the workings of the Demcratic Party of Georgia! Having been involved for nearly a decade, it’s refreshing to welcome all these new voices. I’m looking forward to working with all of these newly interested folks in the months and years ahead. The message of unity is terrific, I am so glad that all three candidates are committed to pushing the party forward, no matter who is elected to the remaining term. It would be great to hear the candidates plans for continuing involvement, no matter the results. This would be excellent content for Saturday’s speeches.

  13. Anita Moorecock says:

    Wait, them me get this straight, a politician misrepresented his fundraising numbers to get ahead.

    Will wonders never cease.

    Kind of like Stoner saying he isn’t running for anything in the next couple years.. because anyone buying tripe is also opening emails from their nonexistent relatives in Nigera looking for that half million dollars.

    • Olga says:

      That isn’t all that Stoner misrepresents. He and his team are big in the rumor mill about other State committee members. He is pitting one state committee member against another. And THIS is how he will unify us. Fuggetaboutit.

  14. Truth says:

    I am sure that the good democrats will put alot of weight into an anonymous blogger’s opinion on who is bad for the party. “Batgurl’s” opinion will mean so much especially since Senator Doug Stoner only has the support of the states strongest democrats who we actually know i.e. Governor Barnes, Mayor Reed, Senator Carter, National Finance Committee members, Senator Curt Thompson, Representative Wilkerson, and so many others.

    But yea, we’ll listen to Batgurl’s opinion.

    • BatGurl says:

      I find it funny that you are bashing my anonymity while preserving yours. I believe Alanis Morrisette called that “irony.”

      And yes, I too have read the endorsements that come primarily from individuals who do not serve on the State Committee and therefore cannot vote on Saturday. I look forward to seeing DuBose’s endorsements, because I know they’re out there as well.

      • Fortherecord says:

        Kasim Reed, Roy Barnes, Curt Thompson, and David Wilkerson all have a vote if they are there on Saturday. Jason Carter does not because Nikema did not re-appoint him while making her at-large appointments, but I think most would find his opinion on this race relevant.

        I know there are many good people supporting all three of the candidates and I hope when this matter is settled we can all come together.

        • Anita Moorecock says:

          Operative words being “if they show up”.

          I’m sure David Wilkerson will, I don’t expect Mayor Reed, Gov Barnes to show…Sen. Thompson is a wild card.

        • Willie Stark says:

          What state committee list were you looking at? I haven’t seen one with Jason Carter listed as a member.

          I guess we are starting the blame Nikema game now…

  15. Truth says:

    I am not angry. I just disagree with you and think you are wrong and that your type of politics, writing, jorunalism or whatever you call this is bad for the party. I guess that because I challenged your flawed logic, faulty premises, made-up controversy, and misappropriation of the politifiact trademark, you don’t like that.

    Its not hard to guess the point of the article, you call it a politifact and say you are digging for the truth in the article. You are not. A search for the truth would require some balance, a fair hearing, and some integrity. If something is a possibility, did you check with the other party to determine intent. If their is ambiguity, then truth would dictate that it be cleared up with the individual who made the statement. You did no such thing. You are not searching for truth, you are searching for excuses, and a reason to bash another democrat. It is awful.

    I will not engage in your type of self-interested, divisive politics because I believe at the end of the day, better voices will prevail and that our party will unify in spite of folks like you.

    This is a made-up controversy by someone who has clearly admitted their bias.

  16. Truth says:

    You undermine your entire premise. The point of this fake politifact is to determine whether a statement is true or not. If you are conceding, as you admit you are, that Stoner could have been referring to his entire Senate rus, then you calling his statement “false” and then asking two misleading questions at the end: 1) Why is Doug Stoner mis-representing the amount of money he was able to raise in his failed 2012 re-election bid?; and 2) Anyone want to start the term of the next DPG Chair on lies, proves my point that this attack is gratutitous, groundless, lacking in reason, and unwarranted. If he was referring to his Senate run than regardless of the comparison that you say “pales” his statement would be true and this entire fake politifact would be irrelevant.

    These types of distortions must stop. Then using someone else’s words to try and prove your point is even more flawed. You are just trying to mislead people. Our party does not need this right now.

    I think you can challenge the things the leaders have said and we can have open party debate. That is not what this is though. You are accusing him of lying and misrperesenting facts (as your questions indicate), while simultaneously admitting you could be wrong (as your comment above indicates). This is the worst form of politics and journalism.

    This has to stop.

    • BatGurl says:

      I am, in fact, not so conceding. If you look at the statement above, I stated my belief that he and his supporters are claiming that the $700,000 refers to just 2012. I don’t believe the words “even assuming” constitute a concession; in fact, they should indicate the opposite. It seems that it is you who is distorting my words. Please let me know where I “concede” anything above, because simply calling something a concession does not make it so.

      Yes, I am using another’s words. Another’s words that were appropriated and are at this very moment being used by Senator Stoner as an endorsement. I would call that appropriation, because he sent that email out FROM HIS EMAIL LIST to the whole State Committee. So yes, unless Senator Stoner disavows the statement made (that he sent to everyone) by Rep. Wilkerson, it’s fair game.

      I’m sorry you’re angry that Doug Stoner got called out, but there’s no smokescreen here. There are no distortions, just statements of fact. I’ll let everyone else read what I wrote above, follow the links, and do the math themselves. But the math is pretty obvious, I think.

      And I’m flattered you think I’m a journalist, but alas, I am not. Never have been. This is a blog, and calling it journalism, though kind, is not correct.

      Finally, I don’t recall stating the “point” of this post. I won’t make any bones about it: I think Doug Stoner would be terrible for the Democratic Party. I have plenty more reasons than those enumerated above, and if you so desire, I’m happy to discuss them in more detail. I’m not wholly unbiased, to be sure, but I can’t make up facts. They speak for themselves.

  17. Truth says:

    It is gratutitous. There is nothing balanced at all about your statement or this blog for that matter. Did you interview Doug Stoner or ask him about his statement, whether he was referring to one race or multiple races? I watched and listened to the video and it easily can be interpreted that way. I am sure he knew how much he raised. But this is so bogus. It is a made-up controversy for you, whoever you are, to further your own agenda. This is an attack on a strong democrat. Something that I am sure that all of us, who are fighting for unity and for the future of the party abhor.

    There is nothing on this blog at all that talks about any support Senator Stoner has. Elected officials, multiple National Finance Committee members, and even a former opponent have come out in support of Stoner. Yet, none of that is mentioned on this site. We have seen blogs just like this one attack Governor Barnes and Mayor Reed-strong democrats who have spent their lives in public office actually governing and fighting for democratic values. This blog is not representative of who our party ought to be. You are bad for the party.

    At a time when party leaders, including DuBose Porter, Steven Henson, Steve Golden, Stacey Abrams, and others are calling for unity, these type of attacks must stop.

    This type of stuff simply should not be tolerated among like-minded democrats. It is a gratutitous and groundless attack that is completely one-sided and unbalanced. If you want to continue to engage in this type of politics, feel free. I just think it has no place in the democratic party.

    • BatGurl says:

      Gratuitous: lacking good reason; unwarranted

      Read the entire post. Even assuming he was referring to the $700,000 being over his political career (something I mentioned as a possibility), it still pales in comparison to the fundraising totals of his opponent, DuBose Porter. For a man who just sent out an email touting his fundraising abilities, this is unquestionably fair game. Are you really suggesting that we must take all statements made by Stoner or Porter at face value? That we cannot push back on anything? Because that is what this post is intended to do– push back. I will note that you did not combat any of the points made, but instead are attacking the fact that they were.

      As to the other point you make, that his statement can be interpreted in more than one way, visit this link: http://www.dougstoner.com/#!endorsements/c1v5w

      In his endorsement letter, Rep. Wilkerson says:

      “Doug knew the odds of winning in the new district were long, but he decided not to simply hand over the seat to the Republicans. He dug in and raised more than $700,000, coming within four points of maintaining a seat that was supposed to be an easy pick up for the GOP.”

      That to me seems like an unequivocal assertion that Senator Stoner raised $700,000 for the last cycle, not that he raised $700,000 in his political career.

  18. Rubyduby says:

    I’ve had my mind made up for a while now who I would be voting for, even before one of the candidates dropped out. I’ve gone back and forth really putting a lot of thought into this and I keep coming up with the same issues with Mr. Stoner. First off, with his self-professed fundraising ability, why didn’t he do it for the party before? And more importantly to me, I’ve been a state committee member for 10 years and I have never once seen him at a party function. I have never been to a party function where I didn’t run into Dubose. This Saturday, I will gladly be voting for Dubose Porter for the DPG Chair. ~Sarah Todd

  19. Truth says:

    “Anonymity is the enemy of civility.” -Seth Godin.
    It extraordinarily insincere for you to author a blog about truth, while simultaneously misleading people to believe this is an actual Politifact ranking, which it is not. This gratutitous attack on a strong democratic candidatefor Chair is nothing more than a smear aimed at besmirching his reputation using the politics of division. That you would add Mr. Tanner to the attack is even more questionable. This is not right. This is exactly why our party is in bad shape. You are bad for the party.

    Poltifact is an actual entity that I am certain would not appreciate you misappropriating the use of their trademark. This is not an actual politifact.

    • BatGurl says:

      If anyone was confused by the fact that this is not, in fact, something stated by PolitiFact, my bad. This is more of an audition for PolitiFact.

      But let’s be clear: this isn’t a gratuitous attack. I have linked the statement made by Senator Stoner, as well as the actual reports of what he raised. I don’t understand why exactly that is gratuitous. Furthermore, Justin Tanner did, in fact, post those links on his page. Nowhere did I say anything disparaging about Mr. Tanner, just simply stating the fact that he posted the “Follow The Money” links himself, and that he is a supporter of Senator Stoner’s. Justin Tanner is a good person, and I have nothing negative to say about him.

      Just for the sake of clarity, I’m more than happy to add a disclosure at the beginning to state that this is not an actual PolitiFact ranking, but is an analysis made in the spirit of PolitiFact.

  20. Andre says:

    I have no dog in this hunt, but since DuBose Porter was Speaker Pro Tempore, then House Minority Leader, wouldn’t it be expected that his fundraising totals would be higher than most?

    After all, money follows power under the Gold Dome. A quick look at the fundraising totals of those legislators in leadership demonstrates that fact, when compared to a back bencher.

    • Steve Golden says:

      I think I made this same comment to you on Facebook, but out of want for disclosure, I recall that Senator Stoner was also in leadership as well.

      • ire says:

        Caucus Chair in 10. An easier vehicle to raise money but no cash cow.

        At any rate, this is a dumb post.

  21. ire says: