DuBose Porter, the Democratic candidate for governor, called Saturday afternoon to discuss his acknowledgement that he considers himself “pro-life” in the abortion debate.
He had signaled as much already. Porter was the only Democratic candidate for governor to attend a forum hosted this winter by the Georgia Christian Alliance.
(By coincidence, while Porter and I were talking, Sadie Fields, leader of the Alliance, was telling supporters that she was retiring her group. But this is another topic.)
At the root of Porter’s call was a weekend piece by the Athens Banner-Herald, noting the collapse of a set of gubernatorial debates by GeorgiaBio and what it said about political attitudes toward embryonic stem cell research in Georgia.
It’s a big issue among the research community at the University of Georgia. But in the course of researching the article, ABH reporter Blake Aued had to ascertain Porter’s related position on abortion. Wrote Aued:
I prefaced a question about embryonic stem cells by asking him whether he was pro-life or pro-choice.
“I don’t know if that’s where government needs to be,” he dodged.
I pressed a little bit, and he said he believes abortion ought to be legal in cases of rape, incest or to save the mother’s life. So, otherwise, you’re pro-life, then, right? Right, he said, but with the caveat that state governments don’t have much control over the issue.
“I really think this is something that ought to be handled in the courts later,” he said.
The Insider wondered outloud – all right, online – about what this said about Carol Porter, spouse of the gubernatorial hopeful and a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in her own right.
But DuBose Porter called to say that this wasn’t the proper question at all. The south Georgia lawmaker declined to address his wife’s position on abortion. She’s running her own campaign and would have to speak for herself, the husband said.
The real question, DuBose Porter said, was former Gov. Roy Barnes’ position on abortion – where is he?
We’re pretty sure that Barnes’ take on abortion is akin to that expressed by Hillary Clinton – “safe, legal and rare.”
But we’ve got a call into the Barnes campaign. And another call into Carol Porter’s campaign for lieutenant governor.
Early voting began Friday north Georgia’s 9th District congressional race, where former state lawmakers Tom Graves of Ranger and Lee Hawkins of Gainesville, both Republicans, are locked in a June 8 runoff.
In today’s AJC, Jim Walls – who also operates AtlantaUnfiltered.com, an investigating web site – details the financial advantage Graves has created by latching to Washington-based Club for Growth, an expert bundler of campaign contributions.
Over the weekend, Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News took a look at accusations, arising from Nathan Deal’s Republican campaign for governor, that GOP rival Karen Handel once said nice things about gay people:
They go back to 2003, when Handel was elected Fulton County Commission chairman, and first surfaced in 2006 when she was elected secretary of state….
Deal says she backed adoptions by gay couples and county employee benefits for gay domestic partners — and joined the pro-gay-rights Log Cabin Republicans.
If she did, that might have played well in Fulton County – but wouldn’t with most conservatives likely to vote in the July 20 GOP primary.
But she didn’t support such adoptions or benefits, said spokesman Dan McLagan. Like other Republicans, she spoke to the Log Cabin group, McLagan said, but – as far he knows – didn’t join.
Debates featuring the 7th District congressional race and the contest for governor, hosted by FreedomWorks, drew more than 300 people to the Gwinnett Center on Saturday.
The five-hour event featured several straw polls, which turned out as follows, according to organizers:
For governor: Karen Handel (R), 82; Nathan Deal (R), 77; Eric Johnson (R), 67; John Oxendine (R), 52; Jeff Chapman (R), 7; Ray McBerry (R), 1; John Monds (L); Otis Putnam (R), 1 (R).
For 7th District congressional race (All Republican); Clay Cox, 68; Jody Hice, 43; Chuck Efstration, 34; Rob Woodall, 29; Tom Kirby, 20; Jef Finger, 11.
For attorney general: Max Wood (R), 62; Sam Olens (R), 42; Preston Smith (R), 33; Ken Hodges (D), 2.
Gov. Sonny Perdue has signed a bill that transfers the responsibility for enforcing proper kosher food labeling from state Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin – to his own Office of Consumer Protection.
The Legislature had given unanimous passage to HB 1345, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta).
The revised Georgia statute will amend the existing kosher labeling law, enacted in 1980, in a manner that is patterned after the “public disclosure” models adopted in Maryland, New York, and New Jersey.
Public disclosure requires stores selling unpackaged food represented as kosher to inform the public as to the identity of the kosher certifier and other relevant information regarding the standards adhered to when making such a claim….
Though no court in Georgia deemed the state’s kosher law unconstitutional, a challenge was filed by local Conservative Rabbi Shalom Lewis and the American Civil Liberties Union. In response to the lawsuit, a bill was originally introduced in the House to repeal the kosher labeling law, but that measure was not brought to the floor for a vote.
“Had the current law simply been repealed, consumers would have likely faced an increase in kosher fraud,” says Rabbi Reuven Stein, director of supervision at the Atlanta Kashruth Commission. “Any store could have advertised its products as kosher without any requirement to substantiate their claim. House Bill 1345 does not replace the need for a reliable kosher supervisor or agency, but it will give consumers information about the kosher standards being used so they can make informed decisions.”
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