Archive for the ‘Tea party’ Category

About the ‘liberal’ plot to get those ‘good people’ at the Gold Dome

Following up on last week’s post about the state GOP’s chance to put ethics reform on the July primary ballot: Georgia Republicans did just that at their annual convention in Columbus, as well as approving a resolution calling on lawmakers to address the issue of lobbyist gifts in the next legislative session. It was a strong message from the party’s grassroots membership to the elected officials who wear the GOP label, and primary voters now have a chance to reinforce that message with a “yes” vote in July.

Speaker David Ralston was critical of this message, however, when he made his own remarks in Columbus:

In times of great majorities like we enjoy now, we must remember that there are those around us who seek nothing less than to divide us. There are those who would sow the seeds of dissension and discord in order to advance a self-absorbed agenda that’s not consistent with the best interests of our party.

Let me be very clear. Regardless of the course that others may take, …

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Georgia GOP can send lawmakers a loud message about the need for ethics reform (Updated)

UPDATE at 3:42 p.m., Friday, May 18: The Georgia GOP’s executive committee voted to put a question about ethics reform on the July 31 primary ballot. No exact wording available yet, but the references to “unlimited spending” and a $100 cap sound promising.


A year ago, Georgia Republicans convening in Macon flashed an independent streak: They re-elected a grassroots favorite as state party chairman over the hand-picked candidate of new Gov. Nathan Deal. The message was that the party faithful would maintain a bit of separation between themselves and the man they worked to elect.

Tomorrow, party leaders have a chance to make a similar declaration of independence from the legislators they send to Atlanta in droves, over the matter of ethics reform.

Ethics reform went nowhere in this year’s legislative session, but it wasn’t for lack of effort by grassroots conservatives. Tea partyers allied with such groups as Common Cause to draft an ethics bill, recruited …

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A left-wing ‘temper tantrum’ to short-circuit elections and their consequences

Three years ago, the combination of a $787 billion stimulus and multibillion-dollar bailouts sparked the first tea party rallies. The tea partyers protested, yes, but most importantly they pledged to “remember in November” — that is, November of the following year, when the next congressional elections would be held.

Liberals, confident the tea parties would fail, called it a “temper tantrum.” That “tantrum” wound up sweeping many a Democrat out of office. Now, liberals are throwing a fit of their own. But they aren’t waiting for the next elections. They want their way, now.

That’s the upshot of both the threatened boycotts of a conservative legislative group’s corporate sponsors and the attempted recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. The left, having lost last time, is too impatient to bide its time.

The conservative group in question, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), has been around since 1973. It has been quite active in Georgia since Republicans took the …

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Activists rate Romney’s appeal to Georgia conservatives

After all the hand-wringing and rancor, the Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Republican primary came to an abrupt, if unofficial, conclusion this week. On paper, 20 state contests and two challengers remain. But Rick Santorum’s suspension Tuesday of his second-place campaign removed the last, best challenge to Mitt Romney. Barring tragedy or scandal, the former Massachusetts governor will be the GOP standard-bearer against Barack Obama come November.

Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul pledge to soldier on toward Tampa and this summer’s GOP convention, but Romney has earned the right to begin running against Obama instead of his fellow Republicans. His biggest bit of unfinished primary business is whether the 60 percent of GOP voters who chose a candidate other than Romney will transfer their loyalty to him without some wooing. If the general election becomes a matter of which party can fire up its base more, can Romney inspire the kind of conservative turnout needed to win?

Georgia, where Romney …

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By the numbers: Why ethics reform makes sense in Georgia

The Pareto Principle is alive and well under the Gold Dome.

Roughly speaking, the Pareto Principle holds that 20 percent of the people produce 80 percent of the results. In business, it might mean a handful of salespeople are responsible for most of a firm’s revenue. In agriculture, it might mean — as the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed a century ago — one-fifth of the pods produce four-fifths of the peas.

Regarding our General Assembly, I allude not to how many lawmakers introduce the bulk of bills that are passed — although that might be true. Rather, I’m talking about gifts from lobbyists to legislators.

My review of such gifts reported in 2011 found that, for the top three leaders in the House (David Ralston, Jan Jones and Larry O’Neal) and Senate (Casey Cagle, Tommie Williams and Chip Rogers), 19 percent of reported gifts accounted for 72 percent of the money spent.

Pretty close to Pareto.

The dividing line that created the 19-72 split was a gift value of $100. …

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Two must-reads about why the right kind of class warfare could be good for us

If you have any interest in the running debates about economic inequality, subsidies, “fair” taxation, tax breaks, crony capitalism and many other themes raised by tea partyers and/or the Occupiers, there are two articles you really must read. I’m going to provide some excerpts below, but please click on the links and read each piece in its entirety. I think most of you will find some wisdom in them, wherever you land on the political spectrum.

The first one is by law professor M. Todd Henderson, writing on this week:

The ‘Occupy’ movement will never succeed against its “one percent” adversaries until it begins to understand that there is not a single one percent, but rather many. …

For example, in education policy, teachers are the one percent, while students and parents are the 99 percent. But it is generally the power of the concentrated teachers’ unions that drives decisions about education spending and policy. The fact that teachers unions support Occupy …

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In Time’s minds, at least, OWS is tops in 2011

I find it hard to believe this is true for most Americans: Time has declared the top U.S. news story of this year “Occupy Wall Street Protests Spread.” Here’s the magazine’s explanation:

On Sept. 17, a couple hundred protesters demonstrating against the excesses of corporate execs and the pervasive influence of high finance in U.S. politics set up camp in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park and refused to leave. It was an unlikely occupation, one without leaders, agendas or even a clear sense of goals, but it soon was echoed in myriad cities across the U.S. and the world. To some, Occupy Wall Street is the left-wing iteration of the Tea Party, directing their rage not at big government but at the big banks that gutted the world economy and took billions in bailouts from the U.S. government while awarding themselves hefty bonuses.

But many in the movement see their cause as part of a more global zeitgeist, in keeping with the anti-austerity demonstrations in Europe and the …

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Legislators, Deal should make sure CAPCOs go nowhere

A little over a week ago, I wrote about how good ideas go bad. The following idea is just plain bad, and needs to be stopped. From the AJC:

A potentially costly and controversial investment law that was killed seven years ago appears to have wandered off the set of “The Walking Dead” and back into the state Legislature.

In 2004 lawmakers buried the program to funnel $75 million in tax credits through investment companies to small businesses before it could grow. Now a new Legislature has decided to bring it back, and this time it would cost taxpayers as much as $125 million. In addition, some of the legislators who lined up to repeal the law in 2004 are the ones reviving it. …

Proponents of the bill argue it would provide the money needed to help companies expand and create jobs. Opponents say that — as with the previous law — the new measure will simply hand piles of taxpayer money over to a few investment firms, which will reap most of the benefit.

Here’s how the current …

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On a Georgia congressman’s intra-party boat-rocking

Politico has a piece worth reading this morning about Georgia’s Tom Graves as a reflection both of the new, tea party-infused, independent streak of many freshman GOP members of the House and of the problems Speaker John Boehner has had in keeping his caucus in line.

The story comes on the heels of the AJC Political Insider’s reports that Bob Barr is considering a primary race against Graves. But, given Barr’s switch to the Libertarian Party (he would run against Graves as a Republican) and his outspokenness against a number of GOP actions, I doubt he would make for a more compliant representative of Georgia’s soon-to-be 14th Congressional District.

The whole piece about Graves is worth reading, both for the local interest and the broader intrigue about whether Boehner can hold things together. But, agree or disagree with Graves, this statement of his toward the end of the Politico story sounds like what a lot of people say they want from their representatives in …

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Occupiers: If you want to impress us, leave the park

As I write this, there are about one and a half hours left before the deadline Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed set himself for actually enforcing the law against camping in city parks — er, I mean for Occupy Atlanta folks to comply with said law. I wrote several days ago that Reed should enforce the law, and I still believe he would be wrong to let the Occupiers continue to take advantage of his lenience.

But today’s post is directed toward the Occupiers themselves.

I understand that some of you don’t appreciate comparisons to the tea party — and that the feeling is reciprocated. But the fact is that the tea party became an influential political movement not because of its ability to stage large rallies on a recurring basis, but because of its ability to work within the political process.

The Occupy rallies are small by comparison, and I would be interested to see whether your numbers would grow or shrink if you were to pack up and returned, say, two weeks from now. So I’m skeptical …

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