Carrie L. Williams



U.S. Senate Candidate Al Bartell released the below public policy statement this morning in response to yesterday's media inquires of his campaign.  The public policy statement is the second Bartell has issued since qualifying in March. Bartell is running in the 2020 U.S. Senate Special Election in the state of Georgia, to fill retired U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson's seat.

Public Policy Statement
Response To Governor Kemp's
Statewide Re-Opening Strategy

"The Governor's public policy communication impacts both a public health and economic recovery strategy. 

"Small businesses are already or will soon face a liquidity crisis, which could wipe out whole segments of the economy.  Federal government COVID-19 disaster aid programs are experiencing a lapse in appropriations, or experiencing complications in aid delivery, including the Small Business Administration, state Departments of Labor, and a variety of banks.  

"Because few disadvantaged small business sectors receive formal financing, they may be left out when the government and lenders offer emergency funding. It could take working with finance providers, regulators, guarantors, buyers, and suppliers to integrate these disadvantaged small business sectors into financing networks.

"Data is urgently needed to be collected, communicated, and distributed on the impact on small businesses. Networks need to be leveraged to measure the impacts of the crisis and the data/analysis needs to be made available to both decision makers and small businesses. 

"This communication from the Governor provides public health technology and logistics to the people of Georgia.  Additionally, his communication manages benchmarks to re-open the economy for businesses and organizations in Georgia.

"The Governor now needs to strengthen his relationship with long-term federal partners, which includes the candidates in the Special Election for U.S. Senate.

"To whom much is given, much is required.

"May God be with us all."

-- Al Bartell, U.S. Senate Candidate
State of Georgia


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In a race that has already been categorized as a "multi-million dollar slugfest", Al Bartell's qualifying as an independent candidate in Georgia's 2020 U.S. Senate Special election this week is particularly noteworthy.

For one, in a network media interview following his qualifying at the Secretary of State Elections Division, Bartell stated he was running to ensure the United States Senate developed policies to have the everyday citizens of Georgia become financially stable.

" We've done the work in government to have corporations be financially stable -- to  have a stable economy. The Governor submitted a budget that's going to have our state government be financially stable.  Now, we have to get the citizens of Georgia financially stable -- to create the kind of future that can sustain them in the dawn of the 21st century.  I'm ready, and I am absolutely looking forward to being the voice for the people of Georgia in 2020 to have that happen. That's why I am running."

Secondly, Bartell was specifically named in a Public Opinion Strategies poll reported in the Marietta Daily Journal as having a projected 5% of the vote.  Conducted Feb. 17-20, the poll indicates U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler at 20%, with Congressman Collins at 19%.  Democrats have 31% of the vote-- the top Democratic candidate Matt Lieberman at 18%.  

Bartell's 5% suggests a potential to impact a run-off come November 3rd.  

In fact, Bartell believes his independent candidacy gives him an advantage with voters.

When asked by network media why voters should consider voting for him, Bartell explained, "As an independent candidate, I can speak directly to the people, and be the voice for the people. I am excited about that being an advantage. 

"Voters don't have to be distracted by the noise going on between the Republican and Democratic parties.  

"They can have a candidate that concentrates on them, focuses on them, and most of all, is willing to listen to -- has the time to listen to -- what they have to say.  And that gives me an advantage for being an independent candidate."

The U.S. Senate subcommittees and full committees are perfectly positioned, Bartell asserts, to have the capacity for communicating data that can support the development of policies that promote Georgians being financially stable.  Those same subcommittees and full committees also have the capacity for collecting and circulating data on policies that can have citizens -- whether urban, suburban, or rural -- experience greater financial stability.

"The United States Senate took the lead on having U.S. corporations be financially stable," the newly qualified U.S. Senate candidate shares.  "The Senate took the lead on our government becoming financially stable. What they didn't take the lead on was developing policies to have the everyday citizen become financially stable."  

Bartell says it's time for the United States Senate to deliver on that scope of work to the American public -- and that the people of Georgia can count on him to ensure that work gets done.  

That will take bold leadership.

" "Bold leaders and bold leadership in Georgia, I say to you today: the movement has begun.  Let us make our state a great place to live, work, worship, and play in the dawn of the 21st century." -- Al Bartell, qualifying statement


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In a lengthy interview with S.E. Region News after Sen. Johnny Isakson's farewell speech on Capitol Hill this month, Bartell addresses Washington Post senior reporter Paul Kane's assessment of the "terrible insult to Isakson's legacy" in the area of bipartisanship, the appointment of Kelly Loeffler to take over Isakson's seat until the Nov. 2020 special election, and his own plans to conduct a series of roundtable discussions on the role of the U.S. Senate as it relates to the people of Georgia.

Major segments of the interview are provided below:

SRN:  Senior congressional correspondent and columnist for the Washington Post, Paul Kane, wrote a political analysis after Sen. Johnny Isakson delivered his farewell speech on Capitol Hill, detailing what he termed a "terrible insult to Isakson's legacy[of bipartisanship]", which was the process/choice by Governor Kemp in appointing Kelly Loeffler to fill Isakson's seat until the Nov. 2020 elections.  What are your thoughts on Kane's analysis?

AB:  There are those here in Georgia who are interested in capturing the women vote in 2020, and have business interests in wanting to get into office.  They are looking to see if they can create a type of benchmark prototype, inside the current systemic prototype, which is designed and managed by political marketing stakeholders.  Those are the facts, the dynamics in our current governance model in the United States Senate.

I'm going toe-to-toe with that.

SRN: Do you have an alternative?

AB:  I'm interested in having everyday people have the same access to the decision-making process of the United States Senate as lobbyists, special interest groups, and corporations, which are the foundation of political marketing stakeholders.

SRN:  Senator Isakson, toward the beginning of his farewell speech, remarked that it was the "most enjoyable thing I've ever done in my life -- to be a part of the United States Senate -- not because I like to be a Senator, but because I like to be the people's representative."  

AB:  It was one of the bases for Sen. Isakson's respect among colleagues and constituents. Yet, the everyday citizen in Georgia has had little to no access to the decision-making process of the United States Senate. They -- and others -- have no context for that Constitutional right, given the divisive impact of partisanship in America.

SRN:  Is that why you accepted Sen. Isakson's challenge for bipartisanship?

AB:  Yes, that's why I'm accepting the challenge for consensus, bipartisan leadership -- to decrease the confusion, the gridlock, caused by partisanship.  The way you do that -- decrease the impact of partisanship -- is to have the people in our state, and across the nation, begin to understand the role of a United States Senator in the United States Senate.  I'd like to launch a series of roundtable discussions on that -- taking government out of the hands of political marketing stakeholders and putting it back in the hands of the people, where it belongs.
SRN:  Have you thought about what a shift your nonpartisan approach might be for people, particularly your potential colleagues in the U.S. Senate?  How do/will you maintain a nonpartisan approach in the midst of the divisive partisan rhetoric?

AB:  I have a commitment to impact, not just produce results.  To impact something, you can't be rallying against something or somebody.  When I am out to impact an issue or a situation, I am working with people, not working against people.

SRN:  In the area of urban leadership, and in addressing civil rights/human rights issues -- Over 50 years ago, Dr. King emphasized nonviolence as a core value approach to working together.  Is what you do in the arena of nonpartisanship, is that equivalent to Dr. King's nonviolence approach?

AB:  At the time when Dr. King spoke about nonviolence, and nonviolent approaches, barriers were visible -- and blatant.  Those same barriers today are now hidden behind data, information, and intellectual property.  

SRN:  So what do you see can impact the barriers to civil rights/human rights that are now hidden today behind the veneer of data/information/intellectual property?

AB:  I think it would be highly useful to talk about that fact, and tape those discussions, and have those discussions be published, distributed -- and viewed.

SRN:  What do you say to the media about nonpartisanship, who have been reporting on the seemingly escalating divisiveness between Democrats and Republicans, particularly at the level of the United States House and Senate?

AB:  I call upon the media to print and report just as much about the independent movement for nonpartisanship as they have been reporting on the partisan conflict between Democrats and Republicans.

SRN:  Tamar Hallerman, Washington correspondent for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, just wrote a lengthy piece on Sen. Isakson's last days, with an original sub-headliner that read, "Isakson leaves legacy of bygone bipartisanship, civility, and compromise".  Later in the article, she quotes the Senator as saying he expects there will "be lots more Johnny Isaksons."  Any comments?

AB:  Yes. Here are my comments:

"Sen. Isakson lays the platform for public policy leaders to respond to his challenge for bipartisan leadership. 

"The question is: Which leaders will respond -- and which leaders will continue to stay on the sidelines?   

"Al Bartell, Candidate for United States Senate in Georgia's 2020 Special Election not only responds but accepts Senator Johnny Isakson's plea for bipartisanship in the 21st century." 

-- End of Interview


Related news coverage
Updated: 12.12.19



GA U.S. Senate Candidate Al Bartell

During a period of Sen. Johnny Isakson's farewelling and Gov. Kemp's announcing, Georgia's U.S. Senate special election in 2020 is coming into full public view.  As Washington Post's Paul Kane notes in his  PowerPost Analysis , there's been no clear successor to "fill the void" as Sen. Isakson heads into retirement -- that "void" being someone to accept Sen. Isakson's parting challenge for bipartisan leadership.

Air Force Vietnam-era veteran and former Republican Al Bartell came forward this week to officially accept Sen. Isakson's challenge for bipartisanship. Bartell is running as an independent in the 2020 U.S. Senate special election in Georgia.

In a lengthy interview with S.E. Region News, Bartell addresses Kane's assessment of the "terrible insult to Isakson's legacy" in the area of bipartisanship, the appointment of Kelly Loeffler to take over Isakson's seat until the Nov. 2020 special election, and his own plans to conduct a series of roundtable discussions on the role of the U.S. Senate as it relates to the people of Georgia.  

S.E. Region News will be releasing Bartell's interview in segments over the holiday season.

Previous news coverage
Updated: 12.12.19



credit: AP Nick Ut

As a  Vietnam-era Air Force veteran , and   human rights leader, Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Al Bartell announced today he will be delivering a public apology to the Vietnamese community for U.S. acts of human rights violations during the Vietnam War.  

Bartell has been meeting with several leaders of the Vietnamese community, and will announce more details about a follow-on news conference being scheduled for the first quarter of 2020, he shared with S.E. Region News. 

A former Republican, Bartell is running as an independent candidate in the 2020 U.S. Senate special election in Georgia, following the upcoming resignation of Sen. Johnny Isakson  effective December 31, 2019.  There will be no party primaries or additional qualifying requirements for candidates to be placed on the ballot of this special election -- an election that will be happening concurrently with the regularly scheduled general election for Georgia's other U.S. Senate seat, now held by Sen. David Perdue. 

Special election details from Georgia's Secretary of State are anticipated to be made public upon Gov. Kemp's official writ of election, expected sometime before Jan. 1, 2020, once Sen. Isakson has submitted his official letter of resignation.

cover credit:  Time, Robert Ellison

credit:  Newsweek

Receiving his orders to  U-Tapao Air Base in Thailand, S.E. Asia during April 1975 -- the fall of Saigon -- Bartell was exposed to the impact of global power on disadvantaged people before age 20. "To whom much is given, much is required," the seasoned leader is often heard saying. 

For Bartell, the "much is required" imperative forever calls him to "go back" to his community and "do something about it."

Violence prevention, conflict management have been a central theme for Bartell in his public service career of "doing something about it."   A certified mediator with multiple mediation certificates and a focus in public policy management, Bartell -- as Director of Washington, D.C.'s ANC ( Advisory Neighborhood Commission) C8A/Anacostia (equivalent to Atlanta's Neighborhood Planning Units) -- leveraged his veteran experience in conflict resolution and airbase ground defense to reduce D.C. street violence/killings due to crack cocaine in the 1980's.

credit:  WAMC

Bartell remembers: "I had been working with my D.C. City Councilmember Charlene Drew-Jarvis, and learned that most municipalities went to their county or state government to acquire budget funding for violence prevention. D.C. had neither a county government nor a state government to go to.  That meant  we had to go directly to the federal government   -- at that time, the Bush administration -- for budget funding. And we did."  

"As a consultant in the area of conflict management," Bartell continues,  "I was tracking the causes of violence in America. At that time, the number one cause of violence in the U.S. was drugs.  It was landing in the larger, major urban centers of the U.S., with the first hit happening in the North, Northeast, and the West Coast.  It then moved to smaller urban centers, particularly in the S.E. region of the nation. 

"There were people in Atlanta Mayor Maynard Holbrook Jackson's administration that knew I had been impacting violence prevention in D.C. Mayor Marion Barry's administration. They asked me if I would come to Atlanta. I accepted their offer, and moved to Atlanta in 1990. 

"One of the first violence prevention scopes of work I took on was with the  Not Even One violence prevention initiative at the Carter Center, which led me to work with the Atlanta Project."

Al Bartell at Shatikey and Demiya Predatory Violence Prevention Act Griffin Family News Conference May 2013

Bartell has continued his commitment to violence prevention and conflict management in disadvantaged communities, both internationally and locally throughout his public service career.

He worked extensively with the Sierra Leonean Diaspora in Georgia and North America  2005-2007 to impact a free and fair, democratic, nonviolent national election process in a Civil War-torn Sierra Leone.  CNN covered the historic numbers of Sierra Leoneans going to vote on Aug. 11, 2007 in an unprecedented, predominantly non-violent election day, with a credible election process .  

The credible process came about, in part, from a coalition of international nonpartisan election monitoring officials Bartell helped Sierra Leonean Diaspora leaders to secure -- and with the courageous leadership of NEC Chairperson Dr. Christiana Thorpe.   

During an Amistad remembrance event held September 2008 in New Haven, CT, Bartell was present to symbolically accept a public apology offered on behalf of the newly elected Sierra Leone government  to African Americans for the historical role played by Africans in the slave trade. 

Historic Hogg Hammock Community on Sapelo Island

Nanny Goat Beach, Sapelo Island credit: Explore Georgia

Bartell has also supported descendants of the Geechee Gullah culture (originally from a geographic area on the coast of West Africa now recognized as Sierra Leone) -- specifically, the Geechee Gullah descendants on Sapelo Island near Savannah, Georgia, to ensure their rights get included in county and state public policy decision-making.

"It will be forty years, come 2020," Bartell reflects. "I didn't realize it back then, but I was stepping into the future of ushering in leadership for violence prevention --  in the current situation of violence in America."

Arguably one of Georgia's most impactful independent public policy leaders, U.S. Senate Candidate Al Bartell says he is committed to furthering the efforts and approach of consensus-building established by Sen. Isakson, and " restore balance in the public policy power of the U.S. Senate for all Georgians, across party lines."