Archive for July, 2010

Quite a few prominent politicians will be looking for work next year

One sure thing about elections is that somebody has to lose. As the new year rolls around months from now quite a few familiar names will disappear from Georgia’s political scene thanks to the recent primary that left some prominent politicians on the sidelines. Read more

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Incumbents thrive on donating their dollars

How are incumbents able to hold on to much of their power, you might wonder? According to political writer Jim Walls part of the answer lies in the lack of restrictions on how much money they can donate to other candidates’ war chests. Read more.

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Deal, Handel continue to spar over abortion

Heading into the first weekend of the three-week runoff campaign, Republican gubernatorial hopefuls on Friday continued to spar over abortion rights and funding.

This time it was former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal on the defensive about a vote he made in 1993 that authorized $470 million in grants and contracts for family planning services. Deal, as well as Georgia Right to Life, a leading abortion rights opposition group, have been critical of Karen Handel over a vote she made while on Fulton County Commission that approved about $400,000 to go to Planned Parenthood.

Deal and Handel will face off on Aug. 10 in the Republican runoff.

Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said he was still researching the bill from 1993, which was first reported Friday by Erick Erickson on his conservative blog Erickson, who also founded popular Georgia Republican blog PeachPundit, is supporting Handel for governor.

But, Robinson acknowledged “there seems to be a vote here that sticks out from …

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Deal gets support from National Rifle Association

Republican gubernatorial hopeful  Nathan Deal was endorsed Friday by the NRA, one of the nation’s top defenders of the Second Amendment.

“In politics, one can learn the character of a person by working with them over time,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of NRA’s political action committee. “I have worked with Nathan Deal for more than a decade, and his record as a U.S. representative and as a Second Amendment supporter is stellar. His constant and unapologetic support for gun rights in Congress demonstrates a strong commitment to the rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen.”

Deal, who represented Georgia’s 9th District in Congress for nearly 18 years, faces former Secretary of State Karen Handel in the Aug. 10 Republican runoff for governor.

“I am honored to have the support of the NRA in my race for governor,” Deal said. “I honed my shooting skills as a soldier in the U.S. Army, and I stand with many Georgians in my strong defense of our Second Amendment rights. Gun …

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Obama to visit Atlanta for fund-raiser, speech to disabled veterans

President Barack Obama will visit Atlanta on Aug. 2, speaking at a national convention for the Disabled American Veterans group and appearing at a Democratic Party fund-raising luncheon.

It will be the president’s first visit to Atlanta since taking office, and his first to Georgia since a February trip to Savannah to talk about his economic stimulus program.

The DAV invites the president to speak each year at its national convention, but Obama is the first to accept an invitation to speak to the group since President Bill Clinton in 1996, DAV spokesman Dave Autry told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Forsyth ethics complaint stirs candidate changes

An ethics complaint filed in a Forsyth County political race is sending some Georgia politicians scrambling to amend their financial disclosure forms before the next round of elections.

Because of the complaint, the State Ethics Commission cleared up a question about which properties candidates should list on the state-required forms, which are required so voters can know what kinds of interests politicians represent or have. Some candidates own property-holding corporations, but did not list the properties the corporations owned.

Stacey Kalberman, an attorney who is the executive secretary of the commission, said Thursday if candidates receive benefits through the corporation such as use of a property or rent, they should list it. If a candidate has a small interest or gets less direct benefit, the issue becomes more gray.

“Use good sense,” she advised. “As one astute attorney I know advises, Do I want to disclose it? Or would I rather deal with it as an …

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Handel calls for resignations of Right to Life leaders

Karen Handel on Thursday said two top leaders of Georgia Right to Life should resign over “a second incident of disgusting and hateful comments.”

Handel, one of two Republicans battling for the Aug. 10 runoff for the party’s nomination for governor, said Melanie Crozier, the executive director of GRTL’s political action committee, and its president Dan Becker should be forced to resign. She also called on her runoff opponent, former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, to join her in demanding the pair’s jobs.

Washington-based Politico reported this week that Crozier was critical of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s decision to endorse Handel for governor because Handel believes abortion should be legal in the case of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is threatened. GRTL has also criticized Handel for not supporting tougher restrictions on in vitro fertilization.  Palin only recognizes the life of the mother exception, as does Deal.

“[Palin] has a son with Down’s Syndrome, and …

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Elections officials prepare for Georgia runoff

The primary may be over, but Georgia elections officials are already getting ready for the Aug. 10 runoff, according to an article in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. The Tuesday election hasn’t been certified, though that’s expected to happen on the state level sometime next week, said Nancy Boren, executive director of the Muscogee County Office of Elections and Registration. Unofficial results show Republicans Karen Handel and Nathan Deal headed into a runoff for the governor’s seat.

Other likely runoffs include the Democratic race for secretary of state and Republican races for attorney general and insurance commissioner. Once the state certifies the results, Boren’s office will begin work on preparing ballots for the runoff.

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Straw polls show politicians how voters think

Political parties are including straw poll questions on primary ballots more often to try to gauge the mood of voters, according to an article in the Athens Banner-Herald.

While the results have no legal ramifications, they serve as an important tool in policy arguments and help draw voters to the polls, according to local Republican leaders.

A little more than one-fifth of the people who cast ballots in Barrow County’s Republican primary on Tuesday thought passenger rail from Athens to Atlanta is a good idea. Meanwhile, 82 percent of Jackson County GOP voters said they would support a state constitutional amendment declaring that life starts at conception.

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Lack of local races hurt voter turnout in Athens

Turnout was low all across the state for the primary election, but especially in Athens.

Only 19 percent of Clarke County’s registered voters went to the polls Tuesday, lower than the 22 percent turnout statewide or turnout in any surrounding county, according to an article in the Athens Banner-Herald.

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