Archive for February, 2009

What’s Sonny Perdue thinking? Write your own caption here

It’s hard to say what Gov. Sonny Perdue has on his mind here, but he appears to have more than a mild headache as he listens to President Barack Obama this morning in a session with the National Governors Association.

Obama speaks to National Governors Association

Obama speaks to National Governors Association

From left to right, those in the bipartisan picture are South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican; Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat; Perdue, a Republican; and Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, a Republican.

Much of the debate over the weekend was over whether Republican-governed states would reject part or all of the $787 billion economic recovery package approved by Congress this month.

Perdue, of course, appeared to agree with Bobby Jindal of Louisiana on the issue of increased funds for the unemployed.

In his address to the governors, Obama addressed that concern specifically, citing it as an example of the “cable chatter” that is picking apart his initiative.

Said Obama:

“I think there are some …

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Radio ads target two GOP senators for school voucher vote

Speaking of religious conservatives reasserting their clout.

The Georgia Christian Alliance launched radio ads this morning in Gainesville and Augusta, in an attempt to pressure two Republicans to vote a school voucher bill out of a Senate committee this week.

Listen here to the ad aimed at Bill Jackson (R-Appling). And here to the ad aimed at Jim Butterworth (R-Cornelia.

The legislation is S.B. 90, which state Sen. Eric Johnson (R-Savannah) is using as a cornerstone for his campaign for lieutenant governor. The voucher bill is scheduled for a vote by the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

The bill would allow parents to shift their children to the public school of their choice, with the receiving school having the authority to refuse, or to any private school.

Say both radio ads:

“I’m Jason Fields. I want the best education for my children, and one that does not conflict with our family’s values. The Georgia Legislature’s now considering Senate Bill 90, that …

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A rebuilding year for Christian conservatives

One cold morning last week, 10 religious conservative groups gathered at the front steps of the state Capitol to list what they wanted from the 236 lawmakers inside.

Restrictions on fertility clinics. Defeat of a bill to permit Sunday sales of beer and wine in grocery stores. Say no to casinos. Provide help to young girls forced into prostitution.

No organization’s agenda was the same, and attendance was far from complete. The Georgia Family Council was missing. So was the Catholic Archdiocese.

Sadie Fields, head of the Georgia Christian Alliance, had chosen to do her lobbying a day earlier, testifying in favor of school vouchers and against academics who explore topics such as oral sex and male prostitution.

But two close friends of Fields, activists Kay Godwin and Pat Tippett from south Georgia, were at the morning event. They’re forming yet another group: Georgia Conservatives in Action.

Five years past the height of their power, when they persuaded two-thirds of the …

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Of condoms, Catholics and the University of Georgia

UGA health service poster

UGA health service poster

Nothing, apparently, is more volatile than sex, universities and a state budget crisis.

You know that Georgia State University took a great deal of heat this month for academics who claim bookish expertise about such forbidden topics as oral sex and male prostitution.

So when the Catholic League in New York objected today to a birth control poster issued by the University of Georgia, the institution folded like a pair of twos. The reason? The poster featured Michelangelo’s image of the hand of God giving life to Adam — except that between the two fingers was a condom.

“Carefully open condom wrappers with your fingers — don’t use a sharp object,” advised the poster, which was placed in dorms by the university health service, as part of Sexual Health Awareness Week, which ended last Friday. As all of you know.

The Catholic League, in a complaint filed today with UGA vice president for student affairs, Rodney Bennett, said the university had …

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An effort to draft Borders back into the Atlanta mayoral race

An effort to draft Lisa Borders back into this year’s race for mayor of Atlanta has begun in earnest.

Borders, now president of the Atlanta City council, dropped out of the contest last summer to spend more time with her ailing parents. A host of candidates, including state Sen. Kasim Reed and city councilwoman Mary Norwood, have gotten a six-month jump on her in the meantime.

My AJC colleague Eric Stirgus, who haunts City Hall, has passed on the following e-mail he received this afternoon from David Todd Jr., a  business and civic leader who is a long-time friend of Borders:

I am sure that by now you have heard rumors that Lisa Borders maybe stepping back into the race for mayor of Atlanta. I really think that she would be the very best for our city and I am urging her to her “dive back in” now!!

She has had thousands of requests from folks all over the city in many cases offering to help her fix what she needs to fix with getting her parents the proper care and then …..get …

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The Chicago Tribune’s devastating summary paragraph on Roland Burris

The Chicago Tribune has called for U.S. Sen. Roland Burris to resign his Illinois seat. Here’s the stunning gist of the piece, which leads the newspaper’s home page:

U.S. Sen. Roland Burris of Illinois exits his Chicago home. WCT

U.S. Sen. Roland Burris of Illinois exits his Chicago home. WCTseat. Here’s the stunning gist of the piece, which leads the newspaper’s home page:

Let’s see if we have it right: Burris had zero contact with any of Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s cronies about his interest in the Senate seat being vacated by President Barack Obama—unless you count that conversation with former chief of staff Lon Monk, and, on further reflection, the ones with insiders John Harris, Doug Scofield and John Wyma and, oh yeah, the governor’s brother and fundraising chief, Robert Blagojevich. But Burris didn’t raise a single dollar for the now ex-governor as a result of those contacts because that could be construed as a quid pro quo and besides, everyone he asked refused to donate.

The story gets worse with every telling.

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