Archive for July, 2009

Gorilla Glue responds: Don’t glue Obama down

The president of the Gorilla Glue Co. has a message: Its product, while terribly effective as an adhesive, should not be used to glue anyone to their seat.

Especially not the president of the United States.

In response to former Georgia Gov. and U.S. Sen. Zell Miller’s comments Thursday that President Barack Obama should have Gorilla Glue placed in his Oval Office chair and be told to “sit awhile,” Gorilla Glue President Peter Ragland felt compelled to respond.

In a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ragland said:

“Zell Miller’s recent comments have thrust our product and company into the limelight. While our products are known for being strong and tough, we certainly would not advocate attempting to glue the leader of the free world to his chair.”

MIller’s comments came in Atlanta in a speech to the annual gathering of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a national organization of conservative state lawmakers. Miller was complaining that Obama has been …

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Gingrich: Which Sotomayor will be on court?

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said Friday that he wonders whether the Supreme Court nominee testifying this week in the U.S. Senate will follow the same ideology once she becomes a Supreme Court justice.

Gingrich, speaking at a news conference before a speech in Atlanta at the American Legislative Exchange Council, said that the nominee Sonia Sotomayor will surely be confirmed by the full Senate following here testimony to the Judiciary Committee this week. But Gingrich said he questions whether Sotomayor has been honest with the committee.

“The person who has testified this week is dramatically more moderate than the person who gave those speeches,” Gingrich said from a suite at the Hyatt Regency, referring to the time that Sotomayor now famously quipped that a “wise Latina” might make better decisions in some cases than a white man. “I think she will be approved by the Senate. It will be interesting to see which person ends up as judge.”

If, Gingrich said, …

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Zell: Use Gorilla Glue on Obama’s chair

Decrying a federal government he says is out of control, former Georgia Gov. and U.S. Sen. Zell Miller said Thursday that America is “spending like we’re Paris Hilton.”

But the comparison to the blonde socialite might not be the worst offense in Miller’s litany of all that’s wrong with the country.

Speaking to more than 1,000 conservative – overwhelmingly Republican – lawmakers from around the country, Miller said, “Today, we’re spending like we’re Paris Hilton, regulating like we’re Ralph Nader, nationalizing like we’re Hugo Chavez, printing money like we’re the Weimar Republic and taxing like we’re, well, the Democratic Congress.”

Miller was the Thursday keynoter at the annual gathering of the American Legislative Exchange Council, which ostensibly is a bipartisan or nonpartisan group of legislators. In practice, however, ALEC is overwhelmingly Republican, as evidenced by the the speakers Thursday who bashed President Barack Obama and the the Democratic majority in Congress. …

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Moore: Obama a threat to U.S. future

Barack Obama’s economic policies are going to ruin America and represent “the greatest threat to freedom and liberty in our lifetime,” economist Stephen Moore told a gathering of more than 1,000 conservative lawmakers Thursday morning in Atlanta.

Moore, a supply-side advocate who writes a column for the Wall Street Journal, was speaking to the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council at the Hyatt Regency. The organization, made up mostly of Republican lawmakers, is having its annual meeting in Atlanta this week.

“I believe everything we have done in Washington in the last six months, virtually every single policy move and maneuver that has been made teo deal with this recession, everything that’s been done has been the wrong thing to do,” Moore said.

Moore has also been critical of Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, even calling for his impeachment just a month into Perdue’s first term in 2003.

In particular, he said, the Democrats’ so-called cap-and-trade energy …

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Perdue critic to speak at ALEC this week

When 2,000 conservative lawmakers from across the country descend on Atlanta today, they are unlikely to know they’re bearing witness to a long-running feud.

The decision by the American Legislative Exchange Council to invite economist and columnist Stephen Moore to speak at its annual meeting, being held this week at the Hyatt Regency, might not have raised many eyebrows.

Not the case for those familiar with Moore’s relationship with Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue.

After all, Moore, then writing for National Review Online, called for Perdue’s impeachment in 2003 not even a month into the Republican governor’s first term. In the six years since, Moore – who now writes for The Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages – has continued to be an occasional critic of the governor’s tax and economic policies.

In a rare interview from his Capitol office Tuesday, Perdue said Moore has been and continues to be off-base.

“I’m not going to say I don’t care, but I don’t read Stephen Moore,” Perdue …

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State to get Recovery Act money to help with rebates on energy-efficient appliances

Kristi E. Swartz

Georgia will receive up to $9.3 million in federal stimulus money to encourage consumers to buy energy-efficient appliances, the U.S. Department of Energy said Tuesday.
The money will go to the state energy office as part of a larger rebate program for Energy Star-rated appliances.
The program will allow consumers to receive rebates when they buy Energy Star washers, dishwashers and other appliances.
It’s up to the state energy office to come up with the details: which appliances qualify for a rebate and how much money consumers can receive. The state agency, which is part of the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, must give that information to the federal energy department.
This is the latest bucket of energy-related federal stimulus money for Georgia. The state will also receive $82 million in stimulus dollars to boost its statewide energy plan.
Another $125 million in Recovery Act money is supporting its weatherization program …

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Final 2009 numbers show state revenue off $1.9 billion

Tax revenue collections were off a total of more than $1.9 billion in the 2009 fiscal year that ended June 30, Gov. Sonny Perdue’s office announced Friday.

Collections of state personal income, corporate income and sales taxes were off 11.1 percent for 2009, compared to 2008. In June alone, tax collections fell 17.8 percent from the same 30 days in 2008.

For the year as a whole, corporate income tax collections fell most dramatically, as the state took in 26.3 percent less from businesses in 2009 than in 2008. Personal income taxes fell by 12.2 percent while sales taxes were off 8.8 percent.

“It means it’s pretty much status quo, and that’s not a good thing,” said Alan Essig, executive director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, a private think tank. “With reserve funds and some savings the governor has prepared, we’ll pay our bills.”

Indeed, when the final books are closed on fiscal year 2009 in the next few weeks, Perdue will likely have to transfer around $350 …

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Barnes’ Web site goes live

Roy Barnes, the once and potentially future Democratic Georgia governor, made his first major public foray into the 2010 race on Friday with the launch of Roy2010, the campaign’s official Web site.

The site features updated photos and a video from Barnes, who lost his bid for re-election in 2002 to now Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Barnes announced in June that he would join the race for the Democratic nomination, but did not officially begin his campaign until this week.

The new site is still fairly bare bones, with little in the way of the new tools that have come to define 21st century campaigns. While the video on the site is via, Barnes has yet to launch official Facebook or Twitter accounts, but campaign aides said Friday all those toys are coming soon.

In the video, Barnes says he doesn’t have computers or telephones yet, or even a campaign office, but the enthusiasm to seek his former job.

Barnes’ entry to the race makes it a four-way primary for Democrats. Also …

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Governor’s office to consider new unit to keep track of federal stimulus money, jobs, projects

By Kristi E. Swartz

A new federal stimulus office may be created under Gov. Sonny Perdue to help keep track of Recovery Act money and whether it’s being misspent, a governor’s spokesman said Thursday.
The office is just in the idea phase at this point. Members of the four agencies in charge of following stimulus dollars — the state auditor, inspector general, accounting and planning and budget — will meet with Perdue over the next few weeks to discuss the idea further, spokesman Chris Schrimpf said.
The state is researching ways to fund the office. The federal Office of Management and Budget has guidelines on how stimulus money can be spent for administrative purposes, and a bill is pending in Congress on how to keep track of the stimulus money, Schrimpf said.
A federal audit released this week says state resources for oversight of stimulus money “continue to be limited,” saying the state auditor and inspector general want to hire more people to …

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State tracking jobs tied to federal stimulus money, needs more people to audit funds, report says

By Kristi E. Swartz

The state has started using an automated system to keep track of jobs created and saved because of federal stimulus money, a federal audit said this week.

Meanwhile, the state auditor and inspector general said they need more people to keep track of stimulus dollars as well as to review contracts and investigate accusations of money being misspent, the Government Accountability Office said in a report, the second one released since stimulus funds were disbursed.

Georgia is one of 16 states and Washington that the Government Accountability Office will follow over the next few years to see how federal stimulus dollars are spent. The GAO picked these states because they hold two-thirds of the nation’s people and will receive two-thirds of the stimulus money.

The American Recovery Reinvestment Act is about creating jobs and pulling the economy out of a recession. It is up to the states and their agencies to keep track of these jobs, though the …

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