Over the weekend, one of the Political Insider’s dedicated readers in Marietta, blessed with fast keyboard fingers, received a call from a polling firm that had taken aim at state employees.
The survey was clearly trolling for union support – with all the talk of layoffs, the subject is a natural. But the questions also attempted to determine where state employees are leaning in the race for governor.
Respondents were asked to say whether they rated the following favorably, or unfavorably:
– The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees;
– Barack Obama;
– Workers United;
– Nathan Deal;
– Sonny Perdue;
– The Georgia State Employees Association;
– The National Association of Government Employees;
– John Oxendine;
– Service Employees International Union;
– Roy Barnes;
– Karen Handel;
– Labor unions;
–The Democratic party
– The Republican party;
– The tea party.
There was no mention of Eric Johnson, the former GOP state senator from Savannah. Then came this question: “In November 2010, would you vote for John Oxendine or Roy Barnes?”
And this one: “Would you vote for Roy Barnes because he a) makes creating jobs as top priority and has a plan to turn ga around; or b) is concerned that we face a crises in quality of service in state government and will organize state workers to make state government more efficient.”
The wording may not be exact, but the point of the poll does come across.
In contemplating the implications of a Michael Thurmond run for U.S. Senate, we neglected to mention those who are already eyeing his job as state labor commissioner.
With Thurmond as an incumbent, we were headed for a rare, statewide confrontation between two African-Americans.
State Rep. Melvin Everson (R-Snellville) has been in the race for some time. His March campaign disclosure indicated that Everson had raised a total $17,792, and had $9,661 in cash on hand. However, a campaign aide said the disclosure form had been filled out incorrectly, and that Everson has raised a total $45,255, with $13,770 in cash on hand.
But over the weekend, as Thurmond’s news settled on the body politic, we heard that state Rep. Mark Butler (R-Carrollton) was looking at the contest.
On the Democratic side, we’ve heard no name but that of Darryl Hicks. His Facebook page says he’s running for secretary of state – which he did in 2006, losing to Gail Buckner in a runoff.
But Hicks’ Web site is properly vague.
But if Hicks jumps into the race, and Everson fends off Butler, we’re back to a black-on-black statewide race.
With the Legislature in its 37th day, two groups are kicking up dust over bills that need to be stopped or passed, depending on your point of view.
The League of Women Voters is rallying its troops against Gov. Sonny Perdue’s HB 1184, which would allow the purchase of stripped-down health insurance policies from companies in states not subject to Georgia’s coverage mandates.
That bill’s in the Senate.
The Network of Politically Active Christians is calling for help to pry SB 529 out of the House Judiciary Committee – in a form that would allow a U.S. Supreme Court challenge to Roe v. Wade.
Read some background here. At bottom, the bill would ban physicians from performing abortions on women they believe to have been “coerced” into the procedure.
But the measure also bans abortions performed because of the race or gender of the fetus, and this is the portion of the bill that Georgia Right to Life hopes will prove to be the basis for a court case.
GRTL President Dan Becker says he suspects a substitute to SB 529 will be offered, stripping away the race and gender provision.
Robo-calls from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have already hit the phones of Republican voters. But an e-mail from the NPAC may be overstating the case.
The e-mail claims that Georgia chapters of the NAACP and the SCLC support the legislation. But that support has been withdrawn, we’re told.
On Monday evening, the state Democratic party of Georgia put out a press release noting that Gov. Sonny Perdue has appointed Amanda Mercier, a law partner of House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) to a Superior Court judgeship.
“Judges should be chosen for their knowledge and impartiality, not their personal contacts,” said party chairman Jane Kidd. “It is apparent that the Republican leadership is unable to put a stop to the back-room deals we’ve seen from them in the past.”
For political junkies, even bigger than the inner turmoill of Charlie Crist is this from the New York Times:
With Conan O’Brien about to change the calculus of late-night cable programming, the Comedy Central channel has made a move to lock up its two dominant stars, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
The network has signed the two hosts – who both attract more young viewers than even the late-night shows on the broadcast networks – to new contracts that will keep them in the 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. weeknight slots through the next presidential election in 2012.
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