Saturday, August 07, 2021

Famed Political Scientist And Election Expert Told Oconee County Republicans That Biden Won In Georgia In November

***Fraud Was Not Widespread, He Said***

Political scientist Charles Bullock, an expert on Georgia elections and politics, told Oconee County Republicans at their meeting last month that Joe Biden won the November election in Georgia and that a focus on election fraud in the race was incorrect.

Bullock said that there is always some evidence of minor irregularities in elections but that there was no evidence of any major fraud that would have changed the results last November.

Bullock, the featured speaker at the July meeting of the party, made his comments about Biden’s victory and the lack of significant fraud in response to a question after his formal comments to the group.

The news release distributed after the meeting by Adam Hammond, vice chair of communication and outreach for the local party, made only a very general reference to Bullock’s comments at the meeting.

The post on the party’s Facebook page regarding the meeting says only “Dr. Charles Bullock gave an interesting analysis on the state of politics in Georgia.”

The party has recently banned independent recording of its meetings and has not released any video or audio recording of the meeting.

Bullock has confirmed that he had made the comments about Biden’s election and the lack of evidence of significant fraud in the November election.

Bullock’s Expertise

The party had promoted Bullock in its announcements leading up to the July 27 meeting at the Chamber of Commerce in Watkinsville.

Screen Shot From Party Facebook Page
Bullock In Center Picture, Bottom Row

Bullock, who lives in Oconee County, holds the Richard B. Russell Chair in Political Science and is Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia.

Bullock also was named a University Professor in 2015, an honor bestowed on faculty who have had impact inside the university and outside its boundaries.

Bullock has been at the University of Georgia since completing his doctorate at Washington University in 1968.

He has a national and international reputation for his expertise in southern politics, legislative politics, and elections and electoral systems.

Nature Of Presentation

I did not attend the meeting on the advice of my doctor. The meeting was crowded and held in the basement of the Chamber of Commerce building, and I am immune compromised.

On Friday, at my request, Bullock provided me with a copy of his 14-slide PowerPoint from his presentation to the Oconee County Republicans.

The first of the slides shows the Democratic victory in November of 2020, and the second shows the Republican edge falling below zero for the first time since 1968.

Other slides, based on a Fox News Poll, show Biden underperforming 2016 Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton among those aged 18 to 29 years old but outperforming Clinton in every other age group, with the gap particularly large among those 65 years old or older.

Biden and Clinton both defeated Republican nominee Donald Trump among those under 45 years old, according to the slide.

Bullock’s final slide was titled “Positive Signs for Georgia’s GOP” and noted that Democrats flipped only three of the 16 seats they needed to take control of the Georgia House of Representatives and only one Senate seat.

“Mid-term elections are not kind to the president’s party,” the final line of that slide reads.

News Release

In the past, when I could not attend Republican and Democratic party meetings, I arranged to have them recorded so I could write about them. No other reporter attends either Republican or Democratic Party meetings in the county.

First Three Slides From Bullock's Presentation
Click To Enlarge

In June, Party Chair Kathy Hurley informed me that I would no longer be allowed to record meetings or have anyone else record them for me, and that the party would provide news releases summarizing what happens at meetings, possibly with its own video recordings.

I received a news release from Hammond on Aug. 2 that claimed to summarize the July 27 meeting.

The page-long press release, in the fifth of six paragraphs, mentions Bullock.

“The final speaker of the evening was renowned political scientist Dr. Charles Bullock,” the news release stated.

“Dr. Bullock shared an outline of the current political climate in Georgia and lessons learned from the 2020 elections,” the release continued.

“His talk was especially interesting as we work to educate ourselves and the community on the importance of voting while continuing promoting large voter turnout in Oconee County,” it stated.

I wrote back and told Hammond, who is a former television journalist, that I would like to know what Bullock had said. He did not respond.

What I Learned

Last week I learned that Bullock had addressed the legitimacy of Biden’s election and voter fraud in his comments.

I wrote Bullock, with whom I have worked over the years in my capacity as director of an international journalism research and training center at the University of Georgia, and asked him if he would confirm what I had learned.

I told Bullock that I had learned “that you either in your prepared comments or in response to a question said that Biden won in Georgia and that the focus on election fraud was incorrect.

“You said that there was always some minor evidence of minor irregularities but that there was no evidence of any major fraud that would have changed the results,” I continued.

Bullock wrote back, sent me his PowerPoint, and said “As to what was attributed to me, I said something to that effect in response to a question in the Q&A.”

I also wrote back to Hammond and told him that I knew that Bullock told the Republican Party meeting “that Biden won in Georgia and that the insistence of voter fraud was wrong.”

“Can you send me a video clip of Chuck’s presentation and the exchange regarding voter fraud?” I asked.

I have not heard from Hammond.


Unknown said...

I wonder why the county Republicans don't realize that those that lean Republican or are Independents could benefit from having their meetings be open for people to view, especially in this county where most people share those views. I doubt that anything they are saying could really be of use to people in the county that identify as Democrats. Perhaps they are "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" as my grandmother used to say.

Jeanne Barsanti

Lee Becker said...

Just a reminder. I will only publish comments that people sign with a real name.