A conservative anti-spending super PAC is working to cut into Georgia Democratic senate candidate Michelle Nunn’s Jewish support, after a leaked memo from Nunn’s strategists referred to the Jewish community as a “financial opportunity” and suggested her position on Israel would be contingent on her fundraising strategy.
The Ending Spending Action Fund will run a full-page ad in the Atlanta Jewish Times on Friday hitting Nunn over the leaked document and declaring, “When it comes to defending Israel, Michelle Nunn can’t be trusted.”
Last week, the group also put out a TV ad blasting Nunn's stewardship of a foundation that gave grants to an organization that has been accused of funding the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
The Hamas link was listed as one of Nunn’s potential vulnerabilities in the leaked memo, which was first reported by National Review.
The confidential strategy memo said that Nunn’s “position on Israel will largely determine the level of support [in the Jewish community]. There is tremendous financial opportunity here, but the level of support will be contingent on her position.”
The document also described her “message” on Israel as “TBD” [to be determined].
Georgia Republicans see the anti-Nunn ads as an effective strategy for informing the Georgia Jewish community.
“I think that could be effective, especially in light of what’s going on today [with Israel’s operation against Hamas in Gaza],” said Chuck Berk, co-chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “There’s overwhelming support throughout Georgia from the Jewish and Christian community for what Israel is doing.”
Berk also noted that Nunn’s candidacy is backed by J Street, the dovish left-leaning lobbying group that often takes anti-Israel positions.
“If that’s the case, you have to scratch your head and wonder what is her position on Israel,” said Berk.
Eric Tanenblatt, a Georgia-based Republican strategist and fundraiser, called the leaked memo an “unfortunate situation for [Nunn’s] campaign” and said it plays into the idea that she has not been upfront about her positions.
“She unfortunately is having to answer for it, and it’s not as though she has been very forthcoming with where she stands on a variety of issues—not just issues relating to the Jewish community,” he said.
Tanenblatt, who said he has been a friend of Nunn’s for 15 years and is supporting the Republican nominee David Perdue, said part of Nunn’s problem is that she was not forced to clarify her stances during the Democratic primary.
“We now have two nominees, and we’re going to be able to hear where they stand on a variety of issues,” he said. “It’s going to be more interesting to hear where Michelle comes down on issues, just because we haven’t heard much from her.”