Your morning jolt: Charlotte blinks at bids for the 2012 political conventions

Twice in the last six months, Georgia GOP chairman Sue Everhart has stuck up for her national counterpart Michael Steele.

The first was in January, when he was elected chairman of the Republican National Committee. The second was just last month, when she helped tamp down an internal rebellion.

An unspoken benefit of such loyalty is a leg up when metro Atlanta submits its bid for the 2012 Republican National Convention.

A small group has been working on the project for the last six months. Already the competition may be shrinking — as cities tally the spending that might be necessary.

The city of Charlotte is balking at the prospect of hosting a gathering of either national party.

The following can be found in this morning’s Charlotte Observer:

A convention could pour millions of dollars into the local economy and bring a raft of free publicity from media around the globe.

But Mayor Pat McCrory says hosting a convention could cost $60 million.
And experts say the economic benefits and media exposure are often far smaller than city boosters tell the public.

In recent years, cities such as Los Angeles and New York have declined to submit bids or withdrawn them because of the cost of hosting conventions.

N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue sparked debate last month when she said she had lobbied Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine to hold his party’s 2012 convention in Charlotte. City Councilwoman Susan Burgess said she has also signed a letter to Kaine urging the party to select Charlotte.

The issue surfaced again last week during a City Council meeting when McCrory told the audience he had spoken with Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. Denver hosted the Democratic National Convention last summer.

“Before we can seriously consider either convention, we need details about the cost,” McCrory said. “It cost a lot of money. We need to evaluate the return on investment.”

In Georgia’s Republican primary for governor, Secretary of State Karen Handel is likely to benefit from being slapped around by a U.S. Justice Department now run by the Obama administration.

Her voter screening system, intended to spot non-citizens and others with residence problems, was declared inaccurate and discriminatory. See my colleague Aaron Gould Shein’s take on the issue here.

We didn’t listen to the broadcast, but we’re told Handel got several mentions on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show Monday.

However, it’s worth noting that Republicans are not united on the fight that Handel has decided to wage.

Randy Evans, former counsel for the state GOP and the party’s representative on the State Elections Board, called the screening process called the screening program a “terrible waste of taxpayer dollars and a slap in the face of Latino voters.”

“And yes, I know this is the requested approval from the DOJ from the case from last year — in advance of the new legislation that is the SoS codification of the compromise ruling. But from the DOJ perspective, they are one and the same,” he wrote in one of two e-mails on Monday.

While you ponder the above, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:

  • Bad news: Equitable building in downtown Atlanta goes up for auction Tuesday.
  • Better news: NCR to move headquarters to Duluth.
  • Carter site could become national park.
  • Soldier from Dalton dies in Iraq.
  • Hundreds of Gwinnett residents protest proposed tax hike.
  • Despite the recent high-profile rash, violent crime in Atlanta is down in 2008.
  • Firefighter cuts may raise city of Atlanta insurance rates.
  • Atlanta school district says no property tax hike.
  • Georgia Driver Services expands hours.
  • Some opinion:

  • Your Luckovich fix.
  • Jay Bookman takes note of metro Atlanta’s drought of leadership and vision.
  • Dick Goodman thinks subsidies for hurricane coverage is wrong.
  • Guy-Uriel E. Charles and Luis Fuentes-Rohwer warn the voting rights case before the U.S. Supreme Court could result in a radical ruling.
  • From elsewhere in Georgia:

  • Creative Loafing: Why U.S. Rep. John Lewis is on the no-fly list.
  • Atlanta Unfiltered: Nearly half the eligible businesses in Georgia may not carry workers’ compensation insurance as required.
  • InsiderAdvantage: The Ox – In Trouble Or Not?
  • And beyond:

  • WSJ: Gates is confident that Alaska’s missile defense sysem could stop a North Korean rocket.
  • NYT: David Brooks on the GM quagmire ahead.
  • Daily Beast: A good-bye to GM from Michael Moore.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    7 comments Add your comment

    Icare

    June 2nd, 2009
    12:28 pm

    Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel needs to write a letter to Eric Holder reminding him of the 9th, 10th and 14th amendments. The states created the federal government and the states are in charge of elections.

    Furthermore, not allowing the state to correctly maintain voter rolls disenfranchises US citizens who are the only people legally entitled to vote.

    Declare our sovereignty now!

    Republicans are the new Whigs

    June 2nd, 2009
    1:02 pm

    Icare you need to read your history books. The BS your talking about was settled in 1832 with the nullification crisis, the Civil War and your George Wallace style state rights crap didn’t work in 1964 and it won’t work now. You are stuck in an era of ignorance. Why don’t you pack up your white sheets and leave the country.

    Icare

    June 2nd, 2009
    2:00 pm

    Repugs: Exactly when were the 9th, 10th and 14th amendments overturned?!

    I wasn’t alive in ‘64, my sympathy if you’re that old.

    Icare

    June 2nd, 2009
    2:08 pm

    And, what in the holla do George Wallace and the Civil War have to do with illegals voting??

    Icare

    June 2nd, 2009
    6:52 pm

    herbK

    June 2nd, 2009
    7:04 pm

    Handel = Idiot, moron, deadbeat.

    “Icare: Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel needs to write a letter to Eric Holder reminding him of the 9th, 10th and 14th amendments. The states created the federal government and the states are in charge of elections”

    Hey, dork, the fed’s do what they want. Read up, study up, pull head from a$$.

    “I wasn’t alive in ‘64, my sympathy if you’re that old.”

    My sympathy you’re a moron & a waste of air.

    Cthpupaf

    June 22nd, 2009
    1:41 pm

    PpEqSE comment2 ,