Archive for June, 2009

Listen to Mark Sanford live, via C-SPAN web radio

Update: Latest media tweets indicate the press conference has been postponed until 2:30 p.m., while the event is shifted to the Capitol’s more spacious rotunda.

Locked in your cubicle and want to hear the details of Gov. Mark Sanford’s hike through Argentina? C-SPAN just announced it will carry the South Carolina governor’s 2 p.m. press conference live, through this link.

If you’re in D.C., the event will be carried on old-fashioned radio at 90.1 FM.

One political web site in South Carolina is currently speculating that Sanford’s trip to South America has roots in domestic unhappiness.

Will Folks, a former spokesman for Sanford, wrote on his blog FITS that the governor and his wife Jenny have been in marital counseling “for several weeks now.”

Wrote Folks:

“This story got legs when the First Lady started talking,” a source close to the Sanfords tells FITS. “When she said she didn’t know where he was – and wasn’t concerned, that’s when people’s ears perked …

Continue reading Listen to Mark Sanford live, via C-SPAN web radio »

The civilized side of the health care debate

The Associated Press just filed the following from Washington:

A House hearing on overhauling the nation’s health care system was briefly interrupted by a real-life medical emergency when a young intern collapsed.

Several lawmakers who are also physicians — Republicans Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania and Phil Gingrey of Georgia — rushed to her side Wednesday and helped her stand and shakily walk out.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said the woman got dizzy, fell and hit her head. He said he hoped she’d be fine.

Waxman said that “we are distressed about this incident,” but joked that with good medical care even the prospect of the president’s health care bill wouldn’t prevent her from recovering. Waxman said, “maybe the hope of it will spur her on.”

Both of the physicians named above are Republican. Gingrey, of course, is from Marietta.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

Continue reading The civilized side of the health care debate »

Swindall indicted for contributions, says Atlanta city councilwoman

This is a bit backwards, but it looks like former congressman Pat Swindall has been indicted in connection with illegal campaign contributions during a 2007 Atlanta city council race.

A press release from Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd was just issued in response “to the indictment of Atlanta Real Estate Investor/Developer Pat Swindall and two of his business associates in an illegal campaign contribution scheme.”

We’ve no official word from the Fulton County D.A.’s office.

Said Sheperd:

“I am pleased to see this action taken by the Grand Jury. In my testimony to them yesterday, I confirmed the fact that I was not involved or aware of the alleged contribution scheme,” said Councilwoman Sheperd. “It is important for the people of District 12 to know that I would never accept contributions in exchange for political favors, and I plan to return the campaign contributions, which totaled $8,000, to the State of Georgia.”

Swindall was a two-term member of the U.S. House …

Continue reading Swindall indicted for contributions, says Atlanta city councilwoman »

Your morning jolt: Where Mark Sanford has been could determine where he’s going

So who knew the Appalachian Trail stretched that far south?

Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport this morning, debarking from a plane just in from Buenos Aires in Argentina.

His staff had said he’d been on a domestic hike to clear his head, but the South Carolina governor had left a trail of clues indicating this wasn’t actually the case. The State — the newspaper of record in the state capital — summarized the breadcrumbs this morning:

[Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer] admitted staffers still did not know the governor’s location. Sanford has been out of touch with staffers and family since leaving his security detail and driving off in a State Law Enforcement Division SUV on Thursday. The vehicle was spotted late Tuesday night at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, according to CNN.

— A mobile phone tower picked up his last known location near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Thursday, according to a …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Where Mark Sanford has been could determine where he’s going »

Mark Sanford spotted at Hartsfield-Jackson boarding plane, TV station in S.C. now says

The story of the disappeared Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina gets stranger by the hour.

The Associated Press is reporting that Sanford will cut short a secretive Appalachian Trail hike and return to work Wednesday after revelations he’d been gone for four days with no contact with his staff, wife or state leaders.

But the following was posted a few minutes ago by WYFF News 4, a TV station in Greenville, S.C.:

On Tuesday, sources told News 4’s Nigel Robertson that a state vehicle is missing and was tracked down, not to the Appalachian Trail, but to the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta.

Sources told Robertson that a federal agent spotted Sanford in the airport boarding a plane. Robertson was told that the governor was not accompanied by security detail.

Sanford has been out of reach for more than four days, including Father’s Day.

Sawyer has emphasized that the governor was hiking on the Appalachian Trail and that it wasn’t something the staff or Jenny Sanford were …

Continue reading Mark Sanford spotted at Hartsfield-Jackson boarding plane, TV station in S.C. now says »

Ralph Reed’s back — with a new Coalition

Ralph Reed, during his 2006 race for lieutenant governor. Oscar Sosa/SPECIAL

Ralph Reed, during his 2006 race for lieutenant governor. Oscar Sosa/SPECIAL

Ralph Reed, who 20 years ago made his bones in national politics by building the Christian Coalition into force to be reckoned with, has let it be known that he’s back at it.

Dan Gilgoff, who writes the God & Country blog for U.S. News & World Report, says Reed has formed a new group called the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Reed intends his organization to be broader than the Christian Coalition, which was founded after the failed presidential bid of televangelist Pat Robertson in 1988.

Writes Gilgoff:

“This is not your daddy’s Christian Coalition,” Reed said in an interview Monday. “It’s got to be more brown, more black, more female, and younger. It’s critical that we open the door wide and let them know if they share our values and believe in the principles of faith and marriage and family, they’re welcome.”

“There’s a whole rising generation of young leaders in the faith community, and rather than …

Continue reading Ralph Reed’s back — with a new Coalition »

Kingston outed for GOP session with Patch Adams

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (left) with Dr. Patch Adams.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (left) with Dr. Patch Adams.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) has been outed and convicted, drawn and quartered.

His crime: Arranging conversations with people who don’t toe the Republican line when it comes to health care.

Which in some Washington circles appears to be a capital offense.

Granted, the person with whom Kingston — and other GOP congressmen — conversed has the fashion sense of a clown. Which might also be part of the outrage.

On Monday, the conservative Washington Times dropped the following dime on the Savannah congressman:

Why were House Republicans holding an off-the record meeting on health care with the liberal Dr. Patch Adams Thursday morning?



An email about the meeting sent from Georgia Republican Rep. Jack Kingston’s office was obtained by the Washington Times from a disgrunteld GOP staffer who questioned why any Republican would seek Dr. Adam’s advice.

Adams, of course, was made famous in the 1998 film that …

Continue reading Kingston outed for GOP session with Patch Adams »

Your morning jolt: On grading Shirley Franklin, and whether Mark Sanford uses MapQuest

During a two-hour evening forum hosted by Leadership Atlanta on Monday, candidates to replace Shirley Franklin were asked how their styles would differ.

None really wanted to make that comparison.

But at the end of the night, each candidate was asked a more provocative question: On a scale of 1 to 100, how would you grade the current mayor?

According to my AJC colleague Eric Stirgus, despite the city’s financial troubles, concerns about crime and other criticisms, she scored well among the candidates.

Councilwoman Mary Norwood, first to respond, gave Franklin an 85. State Sen. Kasim Reed, who was Franklin’s campaign manager for both of her successful mayoral bids, said he’d award her an 88. Or a solid A, if grading on a Bill Campbell curve.

Political newcomers Jesse Spikes and Glenn Thomas gave the mayor an 85 and 80, respectively. The high score came from city council President Lisa Borders, who graded Franklin a 90.

“She has transformed the city,” Borders said, …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: On grading Shirley Franklin, and whether Mark Sanford uses MapQuest »

More on that thin ice the Voting Rights Act now skates on

At Scotusblog, Tom Goldstein, too, is now coming to the conclusion that today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act wasn’t the act of preservation that was first trumpeted:

Though the Supreme Court by a wide margin today formally declined to resolve a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5, the reality is far different. The decision unambiguously served notice that the Justices are prepared to invalidate the statute as it stands.

Congress is now effectively on the clock: it has the period between now and the date that it decides a follow-on challenge by a covered jurisdiction that is not permitted to “bail out” of the statutory scheme to amend Section 5. If the statute remains the same by the time the next case arrives, the Court will invalidate the statute.

For U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Sharpsburg), it was a different metaphor, but the same conclusion:

“The court’s ruling in this case isn’t a home run for anybody. But the court …

Continue reading More on that thin ice the Voting Rights Act now skates on »

South Carolina governor disappears. Last known whereabouts of Mark Sanford: Near Atlanta

This on the Associated Press wire:

Where is South Carolina’s governor?

Gov. Mark Sanford’s wife said Monday she did not know the location of the two-term Republican chief executive. Sanford’s staff declined to disclose where he was.

First lady Jenny Sanford told The Associated Press her husband has been gone for several days and she doesn’t know where. She said she was not concerned. Jenny Sanford said the governor said he needed time away from their children to write something.

Have you seen Gov. Mark Sanford? Photo credit: Associated Press

Have you seen Gov. Mark Sanford? Photo credit: Associated Press

Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer declined to discuss where the governor was. Sawyer told The Associated Press that Sanford was taking time to “recharge” after his failed fight against federal stimulus money.

Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said he didn’t know where Sanford is but said he had not been put in charge.

The State newspaper in Columbia has this:

The whereabouts of Gov. Mark Sanford have been unknown to state officials since Thursday, and some …

Continue reading South Carolina governor disappears. Last known whereabouts of Mark Sanford: Near Atlanta »