Archive for February, 2009

Did Obama just call the F-22 a Cold War relic?

For a Republican, Rep. Phil Gingrey of Marietta was fairly complimentary of President Barack Obama’s big speech last night.

But there were a couple things the president said that make him worry, according to my AJC colleague Bob Keefe in Washington.

First was the mention of a carbon cap-and-trade plan, which Gingrey said would really hurt Georgia — since the state doesn’t produce much in the way of renewable fuels, but is home to big-time coal burning companies like Atlanta-based power company Southern Co.

But what really worries Gingrey was Obama’s line about reforming defense spending “so that we’re not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don’t use.”

Gingrey and other Georgia members of Congress are pushing hard for the president to keep funding the production of F-22 fighter jets that are assembled in Marietta. Obama is expected to make a decision on F-22 funding on March 1.

Asked if he thought Obama were referring to the F-22, Gingrey said:

“You just don’t know. But …

Continue reading Did Obama just call the F-22 a Cold War relic? »

Taking the fight over sexual academics to Facebook

When he last appeared in the AJC two weeks ago, state Rep. Calvin Hill (R-Canton) had — before a House committee — backtracked a bit on his criticism of state universities that offer programs with a sexual emphasis.

Hill defended his interest in the issue but said he never specifically accused Georgia State University of doing anything wrong. He also said the media had blown the subject out of proportion.

“It’s been taken sideways by people who like the titillating words,” he said.

Apparently, Hill’s interest has been revived. On his Facebook page yesterday afternoon, the lawmaker posted this:

Exposing the Obscene Classes in GA Universities: You are paying for it!

They just don’t get it! Those off the wall folks that think I am gay bashing when I exposed classes on “Queering The South” at Kennesaw State and “ Queer Theory” at UGA, not to mention Georgia State’s experts in Male Prostitution, Queer Theory and Oral Sex.

I am exposing what your taxes are paying for. I have …

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Proof that Obama is sending Republicans to the couch

A friend ripped this from the pages of The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress:

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Perdue talks transportation with the man who controls the flow of dollars

Gov. Sonny Perdue wrapped up his four-day Washington trip on Tuesday talking about his new favorite subject — transportation.

Perdue met Tuesday with U.S. Transportation Department Secretary Ray LaHood to discuss transportation funding possibilities through the $787 billion economic stimulus program.

The governor told my AJC colleague Bob Keefe that he mentioned his controversial plan to overhaul Georgia’s transportation agencies in his conversation with the nation’s transportation chief.

“Secretary (Ray) LaHood … was very encouraging of our effort to get value from both federal and state transportation dollars,” Perdue said.

Perdue said one specific area where Georgia might benefit from economic stimulus funding is to help pay for a $1.3 million study of Savannah Harbor as part of the huge port expansion project that would deepen the Savannah River channel to accommodate bigger cargo ships.

“We talked about … some of the stimulus money could go to finishing up that study,” …

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Kathy Cox’s turn to see what the stimulus offers

First the mayor, then the governor, now the state school superintendent.

Kathy Cox is scheduled to be the latest Georgia official to road trip to Washington for a lecture on the downstream effects of the economic stimulus, says my AJC colleague Bob Keefe.

According to the White House, Cox is among school superintendents from around the country who are scheduled to meet Wednesday with Vice President Joe Biden — the new point man for economic stimulus programs — as well as his wife, former teacher Jill Biden, and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Last week, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and her colleagues from around the country came to Washington for economic stimulus details. Over the weekend Gov. Sonny Perdue and other governors were in town.

School superintendents apparently rank lower than mayors and governors. While Franklin and Perdue met with President Barack Obama at the White House, the superintendents meeting with the vice president is next door at …

Continue reading Kathy Cox’s turn to see what the stimulus offers »

In Texas, Hutchinson leads Perry with ‘landslide’ numbers, says poll

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson would beat incumbent Republican Rick Perry “in a landslide” if a primary for governor of Texas were held today, according to a North Carolina polling firm.

Public Policy Polling currently has Hutchinson at 56 percent, and Perry at 31 percent.

Read the polling memo here. Says PPP:

That 27% of likely Republican voters who have a dim view of Perry is obviously part of his problem. Those voters support Hutchison 85-8.

But they’re not necessarily the biggest thing that could keep him from nomination for another term. That’s because 47% of those surveyed have a positive opinion of both Hutchison and Perry, but within that group the Senator leads 49-33. When you have higher negatives than your opponent and lose out among your mutual admirers, that’s a recipe for defeat.

Hutchison leads Perry within every demographic group by race, gender, and age.

“Rick Perry is in grave danger of losing in the primary,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy …

Continue reading In Texas, Hutchinson leads Perry with ‘landslide’ numbers, says poll »

Perdue on the stimulus: He didn’t lobby House Republicans to oppose it

An interesting couple paragraphs appeared this morning on The Atlantic Monthly’s business blog.

The topic was the rift between Republican governors over the $787 million stimulus package:

Many Republican governors seemed more comfortable on the sidelines of their intraparty debate. “I’m sitting it out,” [Indiana Republican Mitch] Daniels said. He added, “I’m rooting for the bill to work. I’m trying to use its funds wisely.”

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue said that while he would have voted against the stimulus bill had he been a member of Congress, he didn’t urge Republicans in Georgia’s congressional delegation to oppose the measure because he would have “felt a little uncomfortable lobbying against it knowing we would use some portion of it.”

So far, Perdue said, he and his staff haven’t decided to reject any of the stimulus money, but their review process isn’t over yet.

Continue reading Perdue on the stimulus: He didn’t lobby House Republicans to oppose it »

The transportation push-back begins

Last Thursday, minutes after Gov. Sonny Perdue, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker Glenn Richardson unveiled a plan to reorganize the way Georgia makes road and rail policy, the rebellion started.

A series of three elections for membership on the state board that governs the Department of Transportation — which Perdue would like to see gutted — were held in the state Senate chamber.

Two of the races were uncontested were of no account. But in the 12th District race, state Rep. Bobby Parham (D-Milledgeville) — after several elimination rounds — beat Charles Tarbutton.

Tarbutton is not only close to Perdue, assistant vice president of the Sandersville Railroad Co., and former chairman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He’s the chairman of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s campaign for governor.

Parham, a 34-year veteran of the House, is also dead-set against Perdue’s plan to emasculate the state DOT board by creating a State Transportation Authority to supercede it.

“He wants to take …

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