Archive for the ‘DeKalb County Races’ Category

Is the breadth of the tea party movement inflated?

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The Washington Post said it spent months trying to get a better understanding of the tea party movement, which has galvanized a large vocal segment of the electorate angry with Washington and what the say is the country’s downward spiral, and The Post has come to this conclusion:

[That the tea party is] “not so much a movement as a disparate band of vaguely connected gatherings that do surprisingly little to engage in the political process. …

Seventy percent of the grass-roots groups said they have not participated in any political campaigning this year. As a whole, they have no official candidate slates, have not rallied behind any particular national leader, have little money on hand, and remain ambivalent about their goals and the political process in general….

The findings suggest that the breadth of the tea party may be inflated. The Atlanta-based Tea Party Patriots, for example, says it has a listing …

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Confusing amendments on Georgia ballot explained

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Confused about the five amendments on the ballot next Tuesday? Voters may have a hard time weighing through the densely worded proposals, so AJC staff writer Steve Visser provides an explainer for each one. As Visser points out, the problem with amendments is the legal wording can make it unclear why the measure is being proposed and what it accomplishes. The five amendments:

Amendment 1: Making non-compete agreements more binding

Amendment 2:  Providing funding for trauma centers

Amendment 3: Change in transportation funding

Amendment 4: Allowing state multi-year contracts

Amendment 5: Allowing owners of industrial area property to get city services.

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Ballot measure for trauma would add $10 to Georgia car tags

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By Carrie Teegardin, AJC staff writer

Plenty of Atlanta drivers speed through the South Georgia segment of I-75 on the way to Florida’s beaches.

But they might slow down if they knew what some health care workers call that portion of the interstate: “the corridor of death.”  The stretch of road earned the name because people who get in car crashes in much of South Georgia are at least 50 miles from a trauma center – a hospital equipped to handle serious injuries.

Georgia voters will decide on Nov. 2 whether they want to add $10 to the cost of annual vehicle registrations to improve trauma services statewide. Hospitals, emergency services workers and public health officials say the $80 million that would be raised every year by passage of Amendment 2 is needed to save lives.

Everyone wants a fast response when they dial 911 for help, but selling the new $10 fee may be difficult. Some metro Atlanta voters …

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Georgia election: Anger sends DeKalb voters to polls

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By Megan Matteucci, AJC staff writer

Anger at their school board has driven large numbers of DeKalb County voters to vote early, and many say they’re determined to dump the five incumbents who are seeking re-election on Nov. 2.

More than 100 voters stood in line during their lunch break Thursday, many saying they came because of disappointment in their school board representatives. As they waited in line, parents swapped complaints about their schools.

“In my opinion as a parent and homeowner who cares, every incumbent on the school board needs to be voted off the board to send a message that turning a blind eye to corruption, poor oversight and out of control nepotism and cronyism must not be tolerated, especially when it comes to our children,” said Viola Davis, who has a child in middle school.

As of Friday, more than 13,500 DeKalb voters cast early ballots. Another 10,500 mailed in ballots, according …

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1,900-plus serving in military file for absentee ballots

County elections offices have received more than 1,900 applications for absentee ballots electronically from military and overseas voters, Secretary of State Brian Kemp said this week.

Requests for absentee ballots in electronic format have come from Georgians stationed or living in approximately 45 countries in North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

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New poll shows Republican sweep in top Georgia races

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Another poll shows the same expected sweep by Republicans on Nov. 2. The Landmark Communications poll has Republicans on top in the races for governor and four other statewide contests. Republican Nathan Deal beats Democrat Roy Barnes by 8 points instead of the 5 points found in the recent InsiderAdvantage/WSB-TV poll earlier this week.

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Lobbying becomes a booming business despite tougher rules for lawmakers

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At a time when the economy has most industries hurting, the business of lobbying is booming, reports AJC’s Bob Keefe in Washington. He reports that while Congress passed tough rules aimed at lessening the ways lobbyists can influence politicians three years ago, the money flowing to lobbyists continues, and among the companies making sure their voices are heard are Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. and Southern Co.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and its affiliated companies, for instance, paid Washington lobbyists about $6.3 million in the first half of this year alone — double what they spent in the comparable period last year, according to public records.

The rise in spending on lobbyists by Coca-Cola and its affiliates coincided with a rise in legislation that could have affected the company, such as a proposed tax on soft drinks, new school nutrition guidelines and environmental legislation affecting water use.

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DeKalb DA candidate was suspended by State Bar

AJC reporter Megan Matteucci reports that one of DeKalb County’s two candidates for district attorney has been suspended twice by the State Bar of Georgia.

Decatur attorney Constance Pinson Heard is running against former DeKalb Solicitor-General Robert James.

The two are competing for the seat vacated by Gwen Keyes Fleming, who resigned last month to become a regional administrator with the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show Heard was suspended twice for violating State Bar standards. James has no complaints with the Bar, according to its records. Read more of the article.

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Energized Republicans turning up the heat

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By Aaron Gould Sheinin, Tammy Joyner, Jeremy Redmon, AJC staff writers

Just 50 miles apart, Cherokee and Clayton counties are political polar opposites.

Cherokee is rock-ribbed red, having gone 75 percent for Republican presidential nominee John McCain in 2008 and where nearly 10 times as many voters cast ballots in the GOP primary in July as in the Democratic.

Clayton, meanwhile, gave 83 percent of its votes to Barack Obama for president, and five times as many voters participated in July’s Democratic primary as in the Republican one.

As Election Day approaches, the two counties tell a story that is being played out across the nation: Republicans ready to take back Washington are gearing up for a banner year, while Democrats are laboring to prevent major losses.

Ralph Reed, a former state GOP chairman and chairman of the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition, predicts the November election will …

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Rep. John Lewis hits campaign trail — everywhere

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By Bob Keefe, AJC staff writer

WASHINGTON — With his own seat seeming safe, Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta is hitting the campaign trail for everybody else he wants to see elected — at least as much as he can.

Friday, he was in Florida campaigning for Rep. Ron Klein in Boca Raton. Also on his calendar: stops for Rep. John Spratt of South Carolina, Sen. Harry Reid in Nevada and other candidates in Virginia, Florida and other states.

Lewis is always a popular draw for Democrats. Knowing his history with the civil rights movement and his training as a preacher, most candidates want Lewis to show up for them on Sundays.

“They want me on the weekends to visit the churches,” he told me on a phone call from the road, “but you know, there’s only so many Sundays.”

Who says there’s no bipartisanship in Congress?

Newsflash: Georgia’s most liberal and most conservative congressmen are working …

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