Mike Evans, one of several candidates now in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal in north Georgia, called on Wednesday to plug a list of supporters he’s signed on — including commissioners from virtually every county in the Ninth District.
But while Evans was on the phone, I had to ask him how things stood between him and state Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ranger), who is also in the congressional contest.
Graves stood with Evans, then chairman of the state transportation board, after Evans bucked pressure from House Speaker Glenn Richardson and sided with Gov. Sonny Perdue to elect Gena Abraham as DOT commissioner. Evans and Abraham later married.
Graves was punished for bucking the speaker.
Said Evans: “I’ll forever be in Tom Graves debt for doing the right thing. There’s not a bad thing I can say about Tom Graves.”
This week, U.S. Reps. Jack Kingston and Sanford Bishop took up for the city of Hinesville at a congressional hearing. The Army had planned to move two brigades of troops to nearby Fort Stewart, and urged the community to prepare for an additional 27,000 soldiers and their families.
The build-up was canceled last week. This from governmentexecutive.com:
Kingston said the city of Hinesville and other jurisdictions spent $38 million for schools and other improvements and private contractors spent millions more on housing and other facilities. “What can we do to compensate these folks? What else can the Army put there?” he asked.
Bishop demanded to know if the change was budget-driven. Army Secretary Pete Geren said there was little budget impact from Gates’ decision to use the additional soldiers to fully man 45 brigades rather than build additional units.
But he agreed that “the community has gone out on a limb” at the Army’s request. “We want to look at ways to mitigate that situation.”
Up in Washington, pundits are asking why Brian Schweitzer, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and governor of Montana, backed Terry McAuliffe in a contested Democratic primary for governor.
The question has relevance, since Schweitzer and the DGA have expressed great interest in the 2010 candidacy of former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes. This from the Washington Post’s The Fix:
Why the heck did the chairman of the DGA fly from Montana to Virginia to not only endorse McAuliffe but travel the state with him? We didn’t understand it when it happened and we understand it even less now. Schweitzer is ambitious and won a lot of hearts for his stemwinder at last year’s Democratic National Convention. But, the McAuliffe endorsement is rightly seen as a blemish on what has been a sterling electoral record for the Montana governor.
Eight-year councilman Ceasar Mitchell has picked 11:30 a.m. Monday to announce his candidacy to replace Lisa Borders as president of the Atlanta City Council.
Alan Abramowitz takes a look at public attitude toward big government today on Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, citing the the 2008 American National Election Study.
Among the questions included in the survey were three that dealt directly with the role of government. Each question asked respondents to choose between a pair of statements about the proper role of government in dealing with the nation’s problems:
— “The main reason government has become bigger over the years is because it has gotten involved in things that people should do for themselves” OR “government has become bigger because the problems we face have become bigger.”
— “We need a strong government to handle today’s complex economic problems” OR “the free market can handle these problems without government being involved.”
— “The less government, the better” OR “there are more things that government should be doing.”
In response to all three questions, a majority of Americans came down on the side of governmental activism. Fifty-six percent said that government had gotten bigger because the country’s problems had gotten bigger, 68 percent said that we need a strong government to handle complex economic problems, and 59 percent said that there were more things government should be doing.
While you ponder the above, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:
Four Georgia schools investigated for possible CRCT cheating. Emory psychiatrist reprimanded over outside work. Board of Regents approve a $6.27 billion budget. Forsyth girl, 11, to be sent back to Poland while parents remain in U.S. Feds drop election complaint against Vernon Jones. Cobb County board spares teachers, nurses’ jobs in 2010 budget. Watchdog coalition wants more federal stimulus info from state.
Your Luckovich fix. Kyle Wingfield on what to try before HMObama. Don Balfour says a tough economy demands restraint.
From elsewhere in Georgia:
ABC: The state revenue department has a backlog of 465,000 tax refunds as a result of budget cuts. Atlanta Unfiltered: Developer seeking tax break gave $45K to DeKalb County political races.
WP: A suspect’s long history of hate, and signs of strain. NYT: U.S. Commander in Afghanistan is given more leeway. WSJ: Disclosure forms show that U.S. House members took a beating in the stock market and investments in bailed-out firms.
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