Archive for November, 2009

Another poll shows ATL mayor’s race a dead heat

WSB-TV and InsiderAdvantage today released a poll that, like a survey earlier this week, shows the Atlanta mayor’s race in a dead heat: Kasim Reed at 46.3 percent, and Mary Norwood at 46.1 percent.

This from IA CEO Matt Towery:

“What sticks out in this survey to me is the fact that Norwood does well with men while Reed does better with women. A closer examination explains this: African American men are the least likely to vote, based on our analysis, and African American females are one of the demographics most likely to vote.”

Which could give an advantage to Reed, he said.

The WXIA/V-103/Survey USA poll had Reed slightly ahead, 49 percent to Norwood’s 46 percent. – but the lead didn’t exceed the margin of error, and thus wasn’t statistically significant.

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OSHA looking at WSB truck shock?

Doug Richards of WXIA-TV has this on his personal blog, Live Apartment Fire:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been investigating the near-tragic accident that destroyed a WSB live truck and sent a reporter and photographer to Grady hospital.

Our info comes from a newsroom employee with knowledge about the case. The employee asked not to be named, saying WSB is “trying to downplay” the incident out of embarrassment and fear that the station may face fines and/or damages.

Richards also has an e-mail Q&A with WSB reporter Tom Jones, which includes this:

What was the shock/explosion like?

The explosion sounded like something out of Baghdad. It was horrific and rocked the van.

Were you able to keep your wits about you? How?

It was very difficult to keep my wits because of the smoke that quickly filled the truck. Then I noticed fire in the back quickly approaching. My photographer was the hero because his training quickly kicked in. He repeatedly pleaded with …

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Your morning jolt: A call for the speaker’s resignation, and the possibility of another Carter in the state Senate

In a carefully worded editorial this morning, the Brunswick News this morning has become the first newspaper in the state to publicly call for House Speaker Glenn Richardson’s resignation. The coastal enclave is a large source of Republican votes and cash.

Wrote the newspaper:

He’s telling everyone he can handle the stress of his job, of being the leader of the House and with his weighty personal issues.

Given the trauma in Rep. Richardson’s life, given his attempt at suicide just weeks ago and given the tremendous revenue problems pressing down hard on the state and its taxpayers in all 159 counties today, it would be best for all concerned for Richardson to resign as Speaker of the House.

And the sooner, the better. It’s difficult enough to deal with inner turmoil without the added load of having to deal with a grizzly bear of a budget mess because of a sick economy.

Just as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, there will be more budget cuts, more financial pain in the …

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Bill Clinton to host fund-raiser for Thurbert Baker

Remember that stampede to Barack Obama last year? Thurbert Baker didn’t join it. This from Associated Press:

Attorney General Thurbert Baker is getting some high-profile help in his bid to become Georgia’s first black governor.

Former President Bill Clinton will headline a fund-raiser for Baker Dec. 7 in New York.

Baker praised Clinton for building a strong economy, saying he would do the same in Georgia if elected to replace Republican Sonny Perdue.

In 2007, Baker endorsed then-Sen. Hillary Clinton’s bid for president, becoming one of her most prominent backers in Georgia. Barack Obama went on to win Georgia’s Democratic primary and the White House.

Since leaving office, Bill Clinton has remained one of the Democratic Party’s most sought-after fundraisers.

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A majority of GOP voters think ACORN stole the ‘08 election for Obama

This posted by Public Policy Polling of North Carolina:

PPP’s newest national survey finds that a 52% majority of GOP voters nationally think that ACORN stole the Presidential election for Barack Obama last year, with only 27% granting that he won it legitimately….

Belief in the ACORN conspiracy theory is even higher among GOP partisans than the birther one, which only 42% of Republicans expressed agreement with on our national survey in September.

Overall 62% of Americans think Obama legitimately won the election to only 26% who think ACORN stole it for him, as few Democrats or independents buy into that line of thinking.

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The Mary Norwood rap

The Mary Norwood campaign for mayor of Atlanta just unveiled a supporter-created GOTV rap video. There’s no embed code available, yet, so this link will have to do.

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Jesse Jackson: ‘You can’t vote against health care and call yourself a black man’

This from The Hill, a D.C. newspaper and Web site:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday night criticized Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) for voting against the Democrats’ signature health care bill.

“We even have blacks voting against the health care bill,” Jackson said at a reception Wednesday night. “You can’t vote against health care and call yourself a black man.”

the remark stirred a murmur at the reception, held by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Foundation as part of a series of events revolving around the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s run for president. Several CBC members were in attendance, including Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who’d introduced Jackson.

Davis, who is running for governor, is the only black member of Congress from Alabama.

He is also the only member of the CBC to have voted against the health care bill earlier this month.

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Nathan Deal says he’d sign tobacco tax hike

The no-tax philosophy that many think will be a key part of the Republican primary for governor is about to collide with state budget realities. This from Larry Peterson and the Savannah Morning News:

U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal says he’d sign a bill raising the state cigarette tax $1 a pack if he’s elected governor next year.

Campaigning this week in Savannah, Deal said the bill deserves consideration, but added he probably wouldn’t push for its passage.

The Gainesville lawmaker’s comments are the closest any GOP candidate for governor has come to backing the proposal.

The proposal by state Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, has been opposed by the GOP majorities in the House and Senate.

But some experts say it may get another look when the legislature reconvenes Jan. 11 and tries to grapple with a worsening budget crisis.

A tobacco tax is one of those “sin” taxes considered the easiest way to raise revenue. Gov. Sonny Perdue used a tobacco tax hike to close a budget gap in 2003, his …

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Your morning jolt: Cracker Barrel and the Atlanta race for mayor

Ten years ago, a young African-American low on his law firm’s pecking order was drafted into the legal defense of Cracker Barrel restaurants.

The chain peddles Southern cooking and country crafts to interstate travelers. At the time, Cracker Barrel also stood accused of serving up other Southern traditions as well, most notably discrimination against black customers.

The lawyer in question, Kasim Reed, is now running for mayor of Atlanta. Reed’s involvement in one of several Cracker Barrel lawsuits was noted this week by Atlanta Progressive News, a liberal Web site that has endorsed rival Mary Norwood.

The information was clearly intended to chill Reed’s labor support and — never mind the Rev. Joe Lowery’s endorsement on Wednesday — send shivers up and down the spines of black voters.

The 1999 case Reed was assigned to involved wage, not racial, discrimination. It quickly went to mediation.

“I was brought on to make Cracker Barrel better,” Reed, 40, said this week. His …

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Judge says U.S. Corps of Engineers responsible for Katrina damage to New Orleans

Wow. This from the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

In a groundbreaking decision, a federal judge ruled late Wednesday that the Army Corps of Engineers’ mismanagement of maintenance of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet was directly responsible for flood damage of homes in St. Bernard Parish and the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. could result in the federal government paying $700,000 in damages to three people and a business in those areas, but also sets the stage for judgments against the govenment for damages by as many as 100,000 other residents, businesses and local governments in those areas who filed claims with the corps after Katrina.

If successful, the damage claims could total billions of dollars.

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