Archive for August, 2009

The memo that’s about to shake the Atlanta mayor’s race

A memo arguing that African-Americans should unite behind a single black candidate in the race for mayor of Atlanta is about to become a prime topic of debate.

The material, which we include below, is said to be distributed by Aaron Turpeau, a long-time City Hall figure, on behalf of something called the Black Leadership Forum.

Turpeau argues that Council President Lisa Borders is the only candidate who can prevent the election of Councilwoman Mary Norwood as the first white mayor since Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell.

Both Borders and state Sen. Kasim Reed, also an African-American, have scheduled pressers this afternoon. AJC colleagues Eric Stirgus and Ernie Suggs will be there. We anticipate that Reed will demand that Borders renounce the memo.

Here’s the statement Reed’s campaign has put out in the last few minutes:

“Not only do I find these comments racially charged and vitriolic, I completely repudiate them because they are fundamentally wrong and do not belong in today’s …

Continue reading The memo that’s about to shake the Atlanta mayor’s race »

Your morning jolt: Carter says Kennedy bore consequences of Chappaquiddick ‘like a man’

As noted yesterday, Jimmy Carter’s formal statement on the passing of Edward Kennedy said nothing but good about the Massachusetts senator.

But on last night’s PBS “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” the former president was slightly more candid. Carter, who endured a challenge from Kennedy for the 1980 Democratic nomination for president, noted that Kennedy himself admitted that his personal failings limited his political career.

Said Carter:

”But [Kennedy] more than made up for that, after 1980, and during the years that he served before in the Senate — and although after the [1969 ]Chappaquiddick incident occurred. And I think he suffered from the consequences of it. He bore it like a man, and he survived in the minds and hearts of the American people.”

On Facebook and elsewhere this morning, the most conservative Republicans in Georgia were pointing to the poor judgment of U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who on Tuesday was caught saying something nice about President …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Carter says Kennedy bore consequences of Chappaquiddick ‘like a man’ »

The trial balloons begin: Romney to replace Kennedy?

Peter Roff, over at U.S. News & World Report, has floated the following:

It would be an intriguing thing if, after waiting a day or two out of respect for the late senator, [Mitt] Romney were to downshift and announce he will be a candidate in the upcoming election to fill [Ted] Kennedy’s vacant Senate seat.

Such an announcement would likely be embraced immediately by the Republicans, who would like almost nothing more than to deny Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada his new, hard-won, 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority.

As a self-funding candidate who has already been elected once statewide, Romney has nearly 100 percent name ID. And, in an environment where President Obama seems to be dragging the Democrats down, he would be a serious threat to the Democratic hegemony in Massachusetts’s congressional delegation. Meaning Romney likely would win….

From the Senate floor, Romney could show his fellow Republicans, and the country, just what kind of president he would …

Continue reading The trial balloons begin: Romney to replace Kennedy? »

CREW files ethics complaint against Nathan Deal

The non-profit group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed a formal complaint against U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Gainesville) with the Office of Congressional Ethics, alleging that the congressman violated House rules and federal law by improperly intervening with Georgia political leaders to preserve a program that financially benefits him.

The complaint is based on this article in Sunday’s AJC.

Download the entire CREW complaint here. Deal, now a Republican candidate for governor, on Monday evening sent an e-mail to supporters in which he said:

The implication that I intervened with state officials to benefit myself is completely false, outrageous, and nothing more than a back alley, in-the-shadows attempt by one of my political opponents to damage my good name and reputation with a cheap political shot.

This afternoon, Deal’s congressional office issued a similar statement:

“I welcome the opportunity to defend myself and my office from this …

Continue reading CREW files ethics complaint against Nathan Deal »

S.C. lieutenant governor will ask Sanford to resign

This just posted by The State newspaper in Columbia:

Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer plans to call on embattled Gov. Mark Sanford to step down during a noon news conference today. Bauer will also renew his pledge to bow out of the 2010 gubernatorial race should Sanford resign within a month or so….

Bauer is the first constitutional officer to join a growing chorus of lawmakers pushing for Sanford to resign, including a majority of Republican state senators.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

Continue reading S.C. lieutenant governor will ask Sanford to resign »

Your a.m. jolt, Part II: Gwinnett tax protestors stage a return

Those same Gwinnett County protestors who blocked a tax hike approved by the county commission this spring have summoned themselves to order with another town hall meeting — this one at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Center.

The meeting is hosted by Gwinnett Citizens for Responsible Government. The group FreedomWorks is apparently picking up the tab.

The purpose of the meeting, organizers say, is to discuss the cuts imposed by the Gwinnett commission after it dropped plans for the 25 percent property tax hike.

“We knew when we stopped a tax increase there would be budget cuts, but we assumed the citizens would have input and suggestions to the budget cut process. This has not happened,” said Debbie Dooley in an e-mail exchange. “Many times when elected officials are denied a tax increase, they do retaliatory budget cuts. In other words their strategy is to cut programs they know are extremely important to tax payers in hopes to change …

Continue reading Your a.m. jolt, Part II: Gwinnett tax protestors stage a return »

Your morning jolt: How Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter created each other

After winning a second nomination for president in 1980, President Jimmy Carter, left, shakes hands with Sen. Edward Kennedy on the podium at the Democratic National Convention in New York's Madison Square Garden. Associated Press.

After winning a second nomination for president in 1980, President Jimmy Carter, left, shakes hands with Sen. Edward Kennedy on the podium at the Democratic National Convention in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Associated Press.

Revised at 4:50 p.m. Monday:

Early Wednesday morning, Jimmy Carter issued his formal reaction to the death of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy.

To speak anything but good about the dead would have been out of character.

“Sen. Kennedy was a passionate voice for the citizens of Massachusetts and an unwavering advocate for the millions of less fortunate in our country,” Carter said.

But it’s worth remembering that, for several years, Ted Kennedy was singled out by many Southern Democrats as the villain who robbed Georgia’s first president of a second term in the White House.

Kennedy’s 1980 primary challenge to Carter was, in a very real way, the making of both men. Weakened by the intraparty feud, Carter was defeated by a Hollywood actor turned …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: How Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter created each other »

Lyndon LaRouche and the ‘Nazi’ label

No doubt you remember the young woman from Barney Frank’s town hall meeting — the one who tied Democratic plans for health care reform to Nazism.

The NYT political blog, the Lede, notes that Frank’s interrogator turns out to be a follower of famed wingnut Lyndon LaRouche.

Writes the Lede:

For those unfamiliar with the range of his thinking, Mr. LaRouche also claims that the Queen of England is a drug smuggler, and recently suggested that “top circles in London, who are furious at President Barack Obama for flubbing the British demands to impose fascism on the United States,” may soon “attempt to assassinate the President.”

No one is more put out by the fact that Mr. LaRouche has received no credit for introducing Nazis into the health care debate than Mr. LaRouche himself. In a news release this month, his political action committee wrote, “Lyndon LaRouche and the LaRouchePAC are the source of the campaign to expose the Obama ‘health care’ policy as modeled …

Continue reading Lyndon LaRouche and the ‘Nazi’ label »

In the 9th District, Evans fills his cup on water issue

Perhaps because one of them may soon be saddled with the problem, the 2010 candidates for governor have been relatively cautious in their reactions to last month’s ruling by a federal judge denying metro Atlanta’s access to Lake Lanier for drinking water.

But in the 9th District race to replace U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, Republican Mike Evans — one of nine GOP candidates — thinks the issue might be worth a sharper discussion.

He’s got a mailer on the topic topped by this headline:

Here’s a sampling of the text:

The federal government is planning to shut off our water in Forsyth County. We must act now!

…The judicial ruling is very clear and very simple. Congress has three years to change the law governing Lake Lanier and allow us to use it for drinking water or else…

Forsyth County will have its water completely shut off.

Evans also uses the issue to take an early shot at GOP rival Tom Graves, who on his Facebook page last month said he was “troubled” by U.S. …

Continue reading In the 9th District, Evans fills his cup on water issue »

The South and the Heisman Trophy

Washington apparently isn’t the only place where a Republican-dominated South has run short of juice.

This from today’s Wall Street Journal — the sports section — on college football’s Heisman Trophy:

College football fans are famous for holding grudges. Sometimes it’s a blown call, a turncoat coach, a phantom touchdown or an old water jug that wasn’t promptly returned.

But in some parts of the country—and especially in the South—there’s one old grievance that still burns hot. When it comes to the Heisman, they say, the South gets a raw deal.

While the voting is designed to be egalitarian—the 870 media members who vote on the award are equally divided among the nation’s six major regions—for whatever reason, Heisman voters have not been kind to Southern football. Since 1935, the year of the first award, individuals from the Midwest have won 22 Heismans overall while the Southwest has claimed 16 and the West 11.

The total for the South, as defined by the …

Continue reading The South and the Heisman Trophy »