Archive for January, 2010

Nathan Deal: A $250k loan drawn on his own cash

Animal behaviorists will tell you that many species attempt to make themselves appear larger and more fierce, in order to fend off challengers.

This comes from the Associated Press bureau at the state Capitol:

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Nathan Deal used campaign contributions to secure a $250,000 line of credit from a bank whose board chairman has ties to the Republican congressman, a campaign spokesman said Friday.

Harris Blackwood told The Associated Press that the campaign placed $250,000 in a certificate of deposit with the Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia which then issued a line of credit for the same amount to Deal’s gubernatorial bid. Last week, Blackwood would not say specifically what Deal had used as collateral for the line of credit.

Blackwood said the money has to remain in the bank until the loan is paid back.

The maneuver effectively allows the Deal campaign — which has been among the fundraising leaders in the race — to appear to have more money on hand than …

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David Ralston on lawmakers in tax trouble: They’re working people, too

Paul Crawley of 11 Alive interviewed House Speaker David Ralston this week about the failure of several lawmakers to pay state income taxes again this year.

Ralston, who has had tax problems of his own in the past, said he was “disappointed,” but said the public should understand that many of the 236 lawmakers in the Capitol, all serving part-time, are under the same job pressures they are.

Said Ralston: “These legislators, many are working people. They’re subject to having many of the same problems as other working people. So I think you have to look at the individual case before you – and I don’t think you can make a blanket determination.

“Now, having said that, we do have to understand that we’re held to a higher standard – and that’s fine.”

But not even filing returns? Crawley asked.

“Not filing returns is a very serious matter and I would look with a lot of alarm in those situations because everybody can do that,” Ralston replied.

Crawley then asked the new speaker to …

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The rest of the story: Paul Harvey and J. Edgar Hoover

The Washington Post has this:

Previously confidential files show that Harvey, who died last February at 90, enjoyed a 20-year friendship with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, often submitting advance copies of his radio script for comment and approval. Harvey wrote Hoover and his deputies regularly. Hoover, in turn, helped Harvey with research, suggested changes in scripts and showered the broadcaster with effusive praise.

But the real twist, suitable for one of Harvey’s signature “Rest of the Story” vignettes, is how they met — on opposite sides of an espionage investigation.

The news is contained in nearly 1,400 pages of FBI files, released to The Washington Post in response to a one-year-old Freedom of Information Act request. The trove supplies new details about how America’s No. 1 broadcaster came to befriend America’s No. 1 G-man.

A hint: Harvey was caught after breaking into a U.S. nuclear facility in the ’50s, in a fit of “participatory” journalism aimed at showing lax …

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Foreign corporations may be the big winners from Supreme Court’s campaign finance ruling

Over at Newsweek’s political blog, The Gaggle, this thought is spurring a deal of talk:

Foreign businesses might be the real winners in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, the landmark case that allows corporations and unions to spend limitless amounts of money on presidential and congressional political campaigns. A majority of large businesses are now owned by foreign entities, and this means international corporations could pour tons of money into the United States political scene, potentially swaying the political climate.

The biggest questions with this ruling is the scope of the term “corporation,” says Edward Foley, law professor at the Ohio State University College of Law and director of the election-law program. Does the high court want this decision to apply to foreign corporations as well as domestic ones, he ponders? The truth is, the court didn’t make a decision one way or the other.

Meanwhile, USA Today has this:

More than 40 current and former …

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Your morning jolt: Georgia Public Broadcasting ventures into political humor

Georgia Public Broadcasting is out to prove that it has a sense of humor.

On Saturday, the state network will tape a performance of the Capitol Steps, a political satire troupe usually found on public radio only, at the old Rialto theater in downtown Atlanta.


The program will be aired later on GPB, and marketed to other PBS stations as well. We’re looking forward to “Ebony and Ovaries,” a musical duet between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Levi Johnson is also likely to make an appearance.

An 8 p.m. performance is sold out.

An anti-tax group will gather in Roswell on Saturday morning where members will be encouraged to burn their AARP cards in protest of that organization’s support of Democratic efforts at health care reform.

The 10 a.m. event is sponsored by Americans For Prosperity. U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) is to be there, as will some area physicians. Location is the Roswell Country Club. Other details can be found here.

The event is clearly a sign that …

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Accidental shotgun target says he removed two types of pellets, not one

Lori Geary of WSB-TV tracked down Russell “Monty” Robertson, the fellow who was sprayed with shotgun pellets Sunday while following a quail hunting party that included state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, a GOP candidate for governor.


From this evening’s broadcast:

“It’s wasn’t no Dick Cheney event,” said Robertson. “If they would have done what I said I’d have picked them out and went home.”

Instead, Robertson wound up at Redmond Hospital on Sunday afternoon. He still has bird shot in his leg.

“It was a low bird. I was behind him and the bird went the wrong way. They came toward me, they got down on the bird and I was in the way,” Robertson said.

The Oxendine campaign has identified the candidate’s 13-year-old son as the shooter. Robertson said on the WSB report that he’s not so sure:

“I don’t know what the DNR report says. I know that I took two different (types of) buckshot out of my leg,” Robertson said.

But Robertson said he’d hunt with Oxendine again. “I’m …

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‘Frustrated students, irate parents, and criminal teachers’

One of the hazards of hanging around a particular place too long are the obligations that mount up.

For instance, if your 7th grade teacher sends you a small treatise on students and testing – and expects you to publish it because she was your 7th grade teacher, and there are certain things that she knows about you – well, then, you do what you’re told.

The following is from Martha Pendley of Fayetteville, who, once upon a time, taught at the Meadows Elementary School off Old National Highway:

I am 86 years old and taught frequently until I was 80. I get annoyed by the controversy of “No Child Left Behind.” Of course, some children will be left behind others. They were born that way. Height, weight, IQ, interests, ambitions – the Good Lord made us that way.

A teacher’s job is to evaluate students, accept those differences, and working effectively with them – not to reject or warp them by forcing them to work at an impossible level.

Testing students should be for three …

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Rasmussen poll: Roy Barnes competitive against all GOP candidates

Georgia Republicans celebrating that victory in Massachusetts might want to sober up slightly. This was just posted at Rasmussen Reports:

If former Governor Roy Barnes is the Democratic nominee, this year’s gubernatorial race in Georgia is a toss-up for now.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the state finds that Barnes attracts 42% or 43% of the vote when matched against any of the top Republican hopefuls. The GOP candidates attract support ranging from 42% to 44%.

John Oxendine, Georgia’s fire and insurance commissioner, picks up 44% of the vote while Barnes gets 42% in that match-up. Oxendine holds a wide lead in the 2010 Republican Primary.

If Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel is the Republican on the ballot, it’s Barnes by a point, 43% to 42%. The numbers are the same – 43% to 42% – if Barnes is matched against GOP Congressman Nathan Deal.

If State Attorney General Thurbert Baker wins the Democratic nomination, he trails each of the three Republicans …

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Watching live video after shots fired at Texas capitol

I’ve spent the last few minutes watching livesteaming video from the Fox TV station in Austin, Texas, reporting on a gunman caught at their state Capitol. The basic facts from AP:

A man with a handgun fired several shots Thursday on the Texas Capitol’s south steps, but state troopers quickly tackled him and there were no reports of injuries, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

The Capitol was on lockdown as officials searched as a precaution. The south steps were secured by yellow police tape.

The capitol is to be reopened in the next 30 minutes. The best still photos of the take-down are floating through Twitter, and were shot by a woman from her photo studio balcony. In one still, you can see a trooper holding an automatic pistol backwards. One assumes it to be the one fired.

A state spokesman addressing reporters said the Texas state capitol does not have metal detectors, because those with concealed weapons permits are permitted to carry within the building – a …

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We’re back to eight GOP candidates in 9th District race for Congress

Last week, when former state DOT board chairman Mike Evans departed the Republican race to replace U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, we told you there was talk about making room for another candidate.

Even though seven GOP candidates remain.

We’re back up to eight now. I just finished a conversation with Chris Cates, a Blairsville cardiologist who said he’s closed up his practice to campaign full-time.

The timing is impeccable. Past the January financial disclosure deadline, thus avoiding any contribution comparisons with competitors. And two days after the stunning Democratic defeat in Massachusetts, which proved the power of the backlash over health care reform.

Republican strategist Tom Perdue is prepping Cates, so he’s to be taken seriously.

See his web site here.

If successful, Cates would be the fourth physician in the Georgia congressional delegation. Which would have to be some sort of record.

Technically, Cates is an interventional cardiologist. After your heart attack, or maybe …

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