Archive for June, 2010

Graves promises to file disclosure forms

By Jeremy Redmon/jredmon@ajc.com

U.S. Rep. Tom Graves said Monday he would file his required financial disclosure forms with the federal government after one of the GOP challengers for his seat accused him of missing a May 15 filing deadline.

Graves said he wasn’t notified until Friday that the disclosure was required. However, the website for the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct says congressional candidates must file such disclosure forms by May 15 every year. Graves filed such forms last year.

“The (House) Clerk’s office has paperwork they send you in order to fill out, and that paperwork wasn’t received by us,” Graves said in a telephone interview Monday. “And they notified us of that on Friday. We got it and it will be filed later today. It is not much of a change from our report filed last year.”

A Graves campaign official said he would send a copy of the congressman’s latest disclosure forms to the AJC, but he did not do so by press time.

On Monday …

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Breaking: Arizona governor endorses Handel

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, architect of that state’s controversial illegal immigration policy, has endorsed Karen Handel to be the next governor of Georgia.

Handel’s campaign made the announcement Monday afternoon.

“As a former secretary of state, I know how that office prepares you to be governor,” Brewer said in a statement. “I’ve had to make tough choices. When Congress failed to act on illegal immigration, I took action to solve the problem. Now I’m taking on the Obama administration as they try to stop us. I know Karen Handel. She has the experience, courage and tenacity that make her the best candidate to be governor.”

Brewer said she believes Handel will “fight to pass similar illegal immigration laws in Georgia.”

Handel said Brewer is “an inspiration to conservatives” for her fight against illegal immigration.

“She also made the hard decisions and cut Arizona’s budget to align with today’s economic realities,” Handel said.

Brewer became a hero to many conservatives …

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Difficult distinguishing GOP rivals for state superintendent

In watching the Atlanta Press Club debates, Get Schooled blogger Maureen Downey saw little difference in the two Republican candidates for state school superintendent, John Barge and Richard Woods, making it a difficult decision for GOP voters next month, she says. Read the complete story.

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Fixing state finances a tough job for next governor

The shrinking budget scenario is a now-familiar one for state officials, and for the Democrats and Republicans hoping to replace retiring Gov. Sonny Perdue. State finances have tanked since the Great Recession hit home in 2008. Nursing sickly state finances back to health will be a monumental job for the next governor. Read the complete story.

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Candidates for governor say creating jobs will be top priority

Several candidates for governor say job creation will be their top priority if elected in November.

More than 100 people gathered at Grady High School for the Atlanta Urban League Young Professionals’ Super Saturday event. They heard Democrats DuBose Porter, David Poythress, Thurbert Baker and Bill Bolton, as well as representatives of Democrat Carl Camon and Republican John Oxendine, agree that the most important thing they can do as governor is get Georgians back to work.

The candidates also offered examples of a time when they bucked the political winds. Read the complete story.

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Breaking: Denied by the GOP, Boyd abandons independent bid for governor

Ray Boyd, the mercurial millionaire who burst on to the Georgia political scene in April, announced Sunday he was giving up his long-shot bid to run for governor as an independent.

Boyd came out of nowhere when he dropped $2 million of his own money into a campaign account and announced he would run for governor as a Republican. But after refusing to sign a GOP loyalty oath, state party leaders refused to allow him on their primary ballot.

Boyd then began the long and arduous process of collecting signatures from nearly 50,000 registered voters to qualify for the November ballot as an independent. On Sunday, Boyd said it proved to be too much of a challenge.

“The ‘fire in the belly’ burns as strongly as ever,” Boyd said in an e-mail to supporters. “I will simply invest my time, energy, and funds in other ways to help insure that our children and their children will continue to have the same opportunity to enjoy the freedoms that were past down to us by our forefathers.”

Boyd …

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Fulton judge sets hearing on Oxendine ethics case for July 8

A Fulton County judge will hear arguments July 8 from two insurance companies trying to block the State Ethics Commission’s efforts to investigate more than $100,000 in contributions to Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine’s campaign for governor.

Commission executive secretary Stacey Kalberman said Judge Kimberly M. Esmond Adams set the date. The insurance companies, State Mutual Insurance and Admiral Life Insurance Co., both of Rome, want Adams to quash Ethics Commission subpoenas that sought documents related to the contributions. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last year that Oxendine collected $120,000 in contributions from a series of Alabama-based political action committees with ties to the insurance companies, which Oxendine regulated.

The companies’ lawsuit forced the commission to cancel its own hearing in the case last week. On June 17, Adams ordered that “all hearings and actions in this matter before the State Ethics Commission are …

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New GOP group plans to spend millions this fall

This from the Associated Press: In a campaign season of anti-establishment ferment, some of the Republican Party’s best-known insiders are building an ambitious fundraising machine for the fall elections and beyond.

They started with a bang in April, cashing a $1 million check from a Texas oil magnate. After a quiet May, friends and foes are watching to see if the new organization’s core group, American Crossroads, can reach its goal of raising $52 million by November. Read the complete story.

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AJC Q&As: We’re asking the questions; you compare candidates’ answers

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution news staff and editorial board are asking candidates for statewide offices the questions Georgians want answered. The Q&As focus on major issues facing the state’s next leaders. Now you can compare their positions side by side. Read the candidate’s answers:

News staff questions for gubernatorial candidates

Editorial board questions for gubernatorial candidates

Editorial board questions for school superintendent candidates

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Competition is good for everything — except the Georgia ballot

Competition will solve any problem, according to the wisdom of the rubber-chicken circuit.

School systems would be sharper if they only had some competition. Widget prices would plummet and wages would skyrocket, if only the power of competition were unleashed.

Fox News’ Glenn Beck even wonders if competition from private armies might juice our national defense. “I’d like to give it a whirl,” he says.

The one place where increased competition can’t work — and in fact is too dangerous to attempt — is the Georgia ballot. Republicans and Democrats agree on this point. Over the last 70 years or so, both parties have conspired to make sure that they remain the dominant actors every election cycle. This one included.

Since 1988, a small piece of ground has been given up to the Libertarian Party, which can place candidates on the ballot by votes of its state convention. But Georgia law still places a tremendous — some would say insurmountable — burden on the non-aligned individual …

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