Plus, a new ad from the Committee to Protect Medicare PAC calls out both of Georgia’s Republican senators over allegations of insider trading.
Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue faced sharp criticism from faith leaders and healthcare workers recently over accusations of attacking the Black church and profiteering off the pandemic.
The two Republicans are locked in highly contested run-off elections for their seats. Loeffler’s Democratic opponent, Rev. Raphael Warnock, is pastor of Atlanta’s prominent Ebenezer Baptist Church, the spiritual home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Loeffler has repeatedly sought to paint Warnock as a “radical liberal” for championing healthcare access, voting rights and LGBTQ protections. She referenced him with that label 13 times during a pre-election debate.
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The African-American church has long been a bastion of activism, advocating for rights of citizens since its inception centuries ago. In response, a coalition of dozens of Black faith leaders have rebuked Loeffler in an open letter reported by the New York Times.
“We call on you to cease and desist your false characterizations of Reverend Warnock as ‘radical’ or ‘socialist,’ when there is nothing in his background, writings or sermons that suggests those characterizations to be true … [Warnock’s outlook] visualizes a just and ardent world where love, fairness and equal justice under the law for marginalized people of all races is not only accepted as an authentic prophetic message in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, but also a central message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” the letter states, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We see your attacks against Warnock as a broader attack against the Black Church and faith traditions for which we stand.”
The group also called out Loeffler’s “naked hypocrisy” for continuing to support President Donald Trump’s failed attempts to challenge the results of the presidential election. “What can be more radical, more seditious than supporting 59 attempts to overthrow the will of the people by tossing Black votes?” they write.
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Loeffler went on the defensive on Sunday, tweeting Warnock: “No one attacked the Black church. We simply exposed your record in your own words. Instead of playing the victim, start answering simple questions about what you’ve said and who you’ve associated yourself with. If you can’t—you shouldn’t be running for U.S. Senate.”
Much of Warnock’s criticism about Loeffler has centered around the billionaire’s recent gains from stock trades she made since her appointment last year to serve out the remainder of Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term, who resigned for health reasons. In a few short months, Loeffler has made hundreds of thousands of dollars in trades, sometimes hours before the announcement of COVID-related federal policy that affected the stock’s value. She was subsequently investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Senate Judiciary Committee, but not charged with insider trading.
Perdue, Georgia’s senior senator, has also drawn scrutiny. He has made more trades than anyone else in Congress.
An ad paid for by the Committee to Protect Medicare (CPM) PAC slammed both Republicans over the trading, especially in light of COVID-19’s economic devastation on everyday Americans.
“While we were fighting for the lives of our patients, Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue tried to profit off of the coronavirus pandemic,” doctors in the ad say. “While they’re getting rich off our pain, our hospitals are closing.”
The $100,000 ad buy comes just weeks before the Jan. 5 election, when the Georgia GOP is outspending Democrats to the tune of $56 million. However, Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Warnock are pulling in record numbers of small-dollar donations, far more than their opponents.
More than 1.3 million Georgians have already cast their ballots, and early in-person voting continues through Dec. 31.