When the Legislature reassembles next week, the pro-tax and anti-tax sides will be ready to pounce.
On Monday, backers of a dollar-a-pack cigarette tax will pitch their cause as one solution to a billion-dollar state budget gap. They’ll bring in the No. 2 medical officer for the American Cancer Society, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld.
On Tuesday, the anti-tax group Americans for Prosperity will host a noon rally on the steps of the Capitol. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and no friend of Gov. Sonny Perdue, will be one of the speakers. Click here for the rest of the day’s AFP agenda.
House Speaker David Ralston on Thursday announced that a bipartisan fund-raiser for Haiti last month brought in a total $46,302. The fund-raiser also featured one of the more astute political moves we’ve seen out of the region’s predominant transit agency.
Beverly Scott, general manager and CEO of MARTA, presented the speaker with a $30,000 contribution from MARTA employees.
Republicans in particular are suspicious of the polling results in Georgia being pumped out by Public Policy Polling of North Carolina this week. Most prefer Rasmussen’s view.
But one Republican who’s not complaining is Karen Handel. A PPP poll of the GOP race for governor put the standings thusly:
– John Oxendine, 27%;
– Karen Handel, 19%;
– Nathan Deal, 13%;
– All other candidates, 2-3%;
– Undecided, 32%
To use a cycling metaphor, the PPP poll is the first survey to show Handel breaking away from the peloton in an attempt to chase down Oxendine.
The Chatham County Democratic party held its annual fund-raiser down in Savannah on Thursday. All five candidates for governor were there, as well as the party’s one announced candidate for lieutenant governor.
Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News led with these quips from former Gov. Roy Barnes:
“I don’t know what they’re doing up there,” Barnes told more than 400 people at the Toby Buttimer Awards dinner. “It seems like there is a bottle of crazy pills up there, and they took it.”
He ridiculed a GOP-backed state Senate resolution calling for Georgia to secede from the union if the federal government passes new gun-control laws.
“We’re in pretty bad financial shape,” joked Barnes, who leads the five-man Democratic field in the polls and in campaign fundraising. “I don’t think we can afford another war with the United States.”
He also made fun of a Senate-passed bill that makes it a misdemeanor to implant a microchip in someone against his will.
“Now let me tell you this,” he said as the audience roared with laughter. “If somebody holds me down and drives a microchip into my head, it had better be more than just a damn misdemeanor.”
If elected, Barnes promised to rid the Capitol of the “wingnuts” and “stop the stupidity and craziness.”
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