Your morning jolt: A debt owed in a race for Congress

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.

Download the list here.

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

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

  • 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.
  • Some opinion:

  • 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.
  • And beyond:

  • 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.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    16 comments Add your comment


    June 11th, 2009
    9:30 am

    That little girl will be better off in Poland than Forsyth County that’s for sure. Anywhere is better than Forsyth County, even Clayton.

    9th District

    June 11th, 2009
    10:22 am

    There is not a bad thing anyone can say about Rep. Tom Graves.

    He is my choice for Congress and will serve the district well.

    You don’t have to worry about Tom’s actions, public or private, embaressing the constituents of the 9th.

    Go Tom go!

    Chip Waldsmith, Gainesville

    June 11th, 2009
    10:25 am

    Why is Mike Evans running for this spot? He is a lobbyist paid to go after Barack Obama’s stimulus/bailout handouts. This is not what the 9th District wants! Mike should stick with his lobbying efforts.

    Sarah Thompson

    June 11th, 2009
    10:31 am

    It’s time for new leadership in Washington, not recycled, tired old GOP politicians trying to get into office to pad their pockets and increase the fees they can make from lobbying. Voters are not stupid and can see right through these feigned attempts to “serve” the district.

    We need someone who will follow in the great tradition of our current congressman!


    June 11th, 2009
    10:51 am

    I know Mike, he is quite a nice guy, but he isn’t who we want to send to Congress. Though our district is quite conservative, the Democrats will go after him for his DOT debacle, his tax payer funded lobbyist profits, and his ethically challenged relationship with the Senate Transportation Chair who is rounding up these endorsements for him.


    June 11th, 2009
    11:23 am

    Are you trying to tell me the Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee is out rounding up money and endorsements for a lobbyist that uses tax payer funds to get more tax payer funds?


    June 11th, 2009
    11:44 am

    Hard to believe I know. Sen. Jeff Mullis is the Transportation Chair, former DOT official Evans is a registered lobbyist, and works on transportation issues…in a strange twist of events, the elected official is the one out campaigning for the lobbyist. I don’t know much about politics, but this seems quite peculiar. Usually I think it is the other way around, but not here.

    Chip Waldsmith, Gainesville

    June 11th, 2009
    11:46 am

    Maybe if Mike Evens wins this congressional seat, this Mullis character will resign from his Senate seat and become a federal lobbyist and try to get Mike to allocate more federal funds. Round and round we go!!!


    June 11th, 2009
    11:54 am

    I know Sen. Mullis well, and I do not undertand why he is raising money for a lobbyist from the other side of the state. He should be focusing on his affairs within his own district, which will not be supporting some guy who’s trying to get OBAMA HANDOUTS!!! Cut spending, pass the FAIR TAX, and stop our move into socialism!


    June 11th, 2009
    12:32 pm

    Mike Evans is running for this spot because he:

    1. Lives in the area
    2. Was a state legislator from the area
    3. Its an open seat in a very conservative district.


    June 11th, 2009
    12:35 pm

    Daedalus…..I live in Forsyth County and find your comments disturbing. Have you ever been here? Maybe there’s a reason a family from Poland likes to live in Forsyth County. Maybe there’s reason it is still one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. Sure it has a shadow history, but the county today represents nothing of what it used to be. Much better place than the neighboring counties around it I might say.

    Reagan Republican

    June 11th, 2009
    1:17 pm

    Sen. Chip Pearson
    Rep. James Mills
    Rep. Tom Graves
    Rep. Jay Neal
    Rep. Mark Butler
    Rep. Stephen Allison

    Just to name a few currently elected conservative officials who would be much better suited to seek this position. Let the lobbyist and he who does not live in the district and is also a lobbyist, continue on their merry ways.

    Will Jones and Copyleft are idiots

    June 11th, 2009
    1:47 pm

    I’m sure that Sanford will come up with a program that his relatives and supporters can run.
    Thus he can put them in more government funded jobs.
    Hey Sanford, get back to Albany and take care of the leeches over there.


    June 11th, 2009
    6:03 pm

    Reagan Republican, Do you not think the person who stood up to Glenn Richardson is not worthy of the 9th CD? Rep. David Ralston is the obvious choice, and the only choice. He is not a lobbyist, he has always stood up for the right thing, and he represents the true values of the people in the ninth CD, NOT special interest groups in Washington.

    Reagan Republican

    June 12th, 2009
    8:15 am

    David Ralston says he’s running for every race that opens up. I even joined his Ralston for Attorney General Facebook page. I didn’t mean to leave him off my list though. Good man, no shot at winning.

    Gena Abraham

    June 12th, 2009
    5:04 pm

    Mike Evans WAS a pretty good republican House member. And I think he was going to be a good DOT board member. Then, he fell under the spell of the Alabama Trailer Park Queen and he was never the same. There was contract steering by Evans to his political friends worth millions. Then he casts the deciding vote to hire Gena while being intimately involved with her. Ethical lapse after ethical lapse. Tom Graves has never had a problem knowing right from wrong.
    But here is the real question: How can a GDOT Board member (Steve Farrow) and the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee (Jeff Mullis) chair Mike’s Campaign Advisory Committe when Mike is a paid lobbyist ($5,000 a month from Forsyth County) to lobby for transportation stimulus dollars? Farrow and Mullis chair a political campaign for a lobbyist who is paid to lobby them for money! Amazing. And Farrow is the former chairman of the State Ethics Commission. Give me a break!!! Where is Liz Archer the Inspector General, or Thurbert Baker? This is why the GOP has done a complete melt-down in only 6 years. Greed, corruption and stupidity.
    Let’s make this real simple… Elect Tom Graves, a conservative with a history of ethical behavior, and let Mike and Gena get their on reality tv show on the Bravo channel “Are You Smarter Than an Alabama Trailer Trash Queen”.