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05 August 2010

Preston Smith Continues Hammering Sam Olens Over Past Party Affiliation

Former Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens voted in five consecutive Democratic primaries before making the switch to the Republican Party in the summer of 1992. Since then, Olens' record in the voter file shows nothing but loyal support to the GOP.

Still, that hasn't stopped Republican state Senator Preston Smith from making Olens' past partisan affiliation an issue in the GOP primary for attorney general.

The Smith campaign sent over today two articles from the Marietta Daily Journal. One, dated February 25, 1992, lists Olens as a member of the Cobb chapter of the Clinton for President committee. The other, dated November 20, 1990, reports on Olens' election as treasurer of the Cobb County Democratic Party.

Pointing to the two articles as proof, Preston Smith repeated his calls for Sam Olens to "come clean about past work for liberals" like Bill Clinton.

"The real issue is that Sam refuses deal with the consequences,” said Smith. “Avoiding an unpleasant situation isn’t much of a strategy and certainly doesn’t inspire confidence in your willingness to vigorously defend Georgians against an overreaching federal government.”

I'm very curious about the strategy being employed by Preston Smith's campaign.

Why are they making an issue out of the way a man voted twenty years ago? More importantly, what are these consequences that Olens refuses to deal with?

It seems as if the Smith campaign is suggesting that Republican primary voters will not cut Sam Olens some slack for supporting Democrats over two decades ago. Maybe those are the consequences facing Olens in the Republican race for attorney general, but I think GOP primary voters are smarter than that.

"Elections," Bill Clinton says, "are about the future."

So this run-off election is not about Sam Olens' past voting history or past participation in one political party. The August 10th run-off is about the future of Georgia's office of attorney general, and the vision Olens and Smith have for it.