Archive for November, 2010

Deal names remaining members of his transition team

Governor-elect Nathan Deal has announced the remaining members of his transition team and they include lobbyists, his campaign accountant and attorney, his daughter-in-law, several outgoing Republican state lawmakers and one former political foe.

The 26-member committee is supposed to advise Deal as he prepares to take the reins of power from fellow Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue in January. Among other things, the panel will help Deal decide who to hire for his cabinet.

Several of Deal’s panel members have been lobbyists, including: Dan Lee, a former state senator who has lobbied for numerous clients at the State Capitol; Rob Leebern, a D.C. lobbyist and former congressional staffer; Joe Tanner, a lobbyist and former Georgia Department of Natural Resources commissioner; and Monty Veazey, a lobbyist, former state representative and president of the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals.

Lobbyists were also among the names of a few panel members Deal announced last week, …

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Millsaps elected chairman of state ethics panel, Belinfante chosen as vice chairman

The Georgia State Ethics Commission on Thursday unanimously elected Patrick Millsaps as its chairman and Josh Belinfante as its vice chairman.

Both lawyers, Millsaps and Belinfante were appointed to the commission by Gov. Sonny Perdue. Belinfante served as Perdue’s chief legal adviser.

An ethics watchdog, the five-member commission enforces certain laws through investigations and hearings and can assess civil penalties and suspend or revoke lobbyists’ privileges.

The governor appoints three members to the panel. The state Senate Committee on Assignments appoints a fourth member and the speaker of the state House of Representatives appoints the fifth.

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Deal heads for vacation, won’t be at ARC breakfast

Gov.-elect Nathan Deal will not speak at the Atlanta Regional Commission’s “State of the Region” breakfast Friday morning as he takes a few days off following Tuesday’s election.

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The commission had invited both Deal and Democrat Roy Barnes, whom Deal defeated Tuesday. But a Deal spokesman said the Republican had not committed to attending and will be out of town.

The ARC breakfast is expected to bring together more than 1,000 regional leaders for a forum on key challenges. Ron Sims, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is the keynote speaker.

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Deal prevails after winning key counties in North and South Georgia

Republican Nathan Deal cruised to a convincing victory in Tuesday night’s race for the Governor’s Mansion after winning Cobb and Gwinnett counties, achieving his goals for voter turnout in several other parts of North Georgia and winning most of South Georgia.

“We were very pleased that we did well in both North and South Georgia and in metropolitan Atlanta,” Deal told reporters at a State Capitol news conference Wednesday. “It was very overwhelming, quite frankly, that we had such widespread support. We were greatly honored to see that kind of distribution of voter turnout.”

In all, Deal won 120 of Georgia’s 159 counties, while Democrat Roy Barnes won 39, including Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton and Rockdale. Deal focused on getting out the vote in six: Cherokee, Columbia, Coweta, Fayette, Forsyth and Hall. He won each of them by more than a 2-1 margin. In Cherokee, for example, Deal picked up 76 percent of the vote. And in Forsyth, Deal captured 81 percent.

“These …

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Voter turnout boosted across metro Atlanta

A struggling economy, Georgia’s spirited race for governor and a Republican wave that swept the nation helped boost voter turnout in the Atlanta area Tuesday.

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Greater percentages of voters cast ballots in Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties Tuesday compared with the 2006 general election, which also included a race for the Governor’s Mansion.

In all, Republican gubernatorial winner Nathan Deal won 120 counties, including Cherokee, Cobb, Gwinnett, Forsyth and most of those in South Georgia. Democratic challenger Roy Barnes won 39 counties, including Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton and Rockdale.  Read the full article.

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Georgians could gain more clout on Capitol Hill

Tuesday’s Republican rout will make Georgia’s congressional delegation even more solidly Republican — and potentially open doors for some GOP Georgians to move into leadership positions in the U.S. House. See more of AJC’s Bob Keefe’s report from Washington.

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Nahmias faces Supreme Court runoff against rival who didn’t campaign

Four candidates in statewide judicial races learned on Election Day they still have four weeks to go.

On Tuesday, Georgia Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias, appointed to the bench last year by Gov. Sonny Perdue, did not get enough votes to win the race outright. He will face Lawrenceville family law attorney Tamela Adkins in the Nov. 30 runoff.

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Nahmias received 48 percent of the vote and Adkins, who did not campaign or accept contributions, received 35 percent. Atlanta lawyer Matt Wilson, who mounted an aggressive campaign against Nahmias, finished a distant third. On Wednesday, Adkins said she will begin an active campaign over the next four weeks leading to the runoff.

There also will be a runoff to decide who will be the next judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals. The winner will succeed Judge Edward Johnson, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Toni Davis, who works at an Atlanta personal injury law firm, finished first in a crowded field of six candidates. She …

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What should Nathan Deal’s top priorities be?

Now that Nathan Deal has added the “governor-elect” to the front of his name, he is turning his focus from campaigning to governing.

He’s named his transition team and his chief of staff to form his administration and set his legislative priorities.

But, we want to know from you: What should he focus on first? Jobs? Cutting taxes? Transportation? Education?

The AJC’s James Salzer is working on a story that will address the challenges Deal faces. And we want to hear from you on what should be at the top of his priority list. E-mail jsalzer@ajc.com and include your name, age, city of residence, and a phone number where he can reach you for more.

The new governor is making his list, make sure it’s the same as yours.

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Deal names transition team, says Riley will be chief of staff

Gov.-elect Nathan Deal on Wednesday named a transition team and an inaugural committee to help him navigate the busy next two months and announced that his long-time aide Chris Riley will remain his chief of staff.

See photos from the press conference

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Meeting with reporters in what will soon be his office at the Capitol, Deal said he has already launched two websites to help the public stay informed on progress in the transition and the inauguration: www.dealtransition.com and www.dealinaugural.com.

Rogers Wade, the chairman of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, will lead Deal’s transition team, which also includes:

  • Pete Robinson, chairman of Troutman Sanders’ lobbying arm and a veteran of the Capitol lobbying corp. Deal’s team indicated that Robinson would stop lobbying while serving on the transition.
  • John Watson, Gov. Sonny Perdue’s former chief of staff and the founder of a major Atlanta lobbying firm. He is now an executive in a commercial real estate firm.
  • Philip …

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Election Day problems reported to hotline

Tuesday’s election was not without its problems here and elsewhere. The Election Protection Coalition, which is made up of voting rights groups that operated a national hotline for voting-related complaints, said it received 15,000 calls, including 476 from Georgia.

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Complaints included problems with voting equipment, registration and a few isolated incidents of voter intimidation, though not by tea party activists, the group said. The tea party said it would have poll watchers to monitor for any voting abuses, a move critics said was designed scare liberal voters from the polls.

The hotline also received numerous calls from California, Texas, Pennsylvania  and  New York.

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