Gov. Sonny Perdue has scheduled a 10 a.m. presser today to announce that he’ll appoint Brad Bryant, a member of the state Board of Education, to succeed state School Superintendent Kathy Cox.
The governor intends to bypass two Republicans already on the July 20 primary ballot. Bryant is expected to immediately begin to campaign as an independent.
(His first hurdle: Bryant will have to collect 44,071 signatures by July 13, in order to win a place on the November ballot.)
But those two GOP primary candidates for state school superintendent – John Barge of Rome and Richard Woods of Tifton — have more to be angry about than an uncooperative governor.
They also have to worry about the ghost of Kathy Cox.
Cox announced on May 17, two weeks after the candidate qualifying period ended, that she would be taking a job in Washington.
But she didn’t send in her formal notice of withdrawal as a candidate until May 26, said Matt Carrothers, spokesman for Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
“That was too late to have her dropped from the ballot,” he said.
In other words, Cox – despite her departure from the state – will be listed as a candidate for re-election in the July 20 Republican primary.
After eight years on the job, she’s likely to get more than a few votes from those not up on the news. Carrothers said any ballots cast for Cox won’t be counted.
Counties will have notices placed at early voting sites, and at all July 20 polling locations.
Many thanks to the Paulding County Chamber of Commerce for letting me moderate their forum for state and local candidates last night. You can get a fine education at events like that.
For instance, the real estate downturn has left Paulding County with 10,000 vacant or partially developed lots. And 75 percent of its residents work outside the county. The figures were a major part of the Tuesday discussion.
Details of an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics into the activities of eight lawmakers, including one from Georgia, are quickly coming into focus.
At issue are a series of fund-raisers held within 48 hours of a House vote on a Wall Street reform bill, according to the Washington Post:
Seven of the eight members held fundraisers for their reelection campaigns on Dec. 9 or Dec. 10 — just before the House voted Dec. 11 in favor of a bill to make broad changes in how Wall Street and financial firms are regulated, according to a Washington Post analysis. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) held a “Finance Services luncheon” at the Capitol Hill Club on Dec. 10.
On the same day, a lobby firm with financial clients, Davis & Harman, hosted a fundraising breakfast for Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) at its Pennsylvania Avenue offices….
The House ethics manual instructs members to steer away from accepting campaign donations if the timing creates an unacceptable appearance of a conflict of interest.
Price has denied any breech in House rules.
Up in Roswell, The Beacon newspaper has been checking out the resume of John Albers, a candidate to replace state Sen. Dan Moody, who decided not to seek another term:
During a Chattahoochee Republican Women’s Club candidate forum in Roswell in March, Albers said he once ran a $5 billion division of AT&T. Seated in the audience was Dick Anderson of Roswell, who happened to have been the Group President of Global Business Services of AT&T.
Anderson said he never heard of Albers, in either AT&T or in the community, and doubted the validity of his claims.
“I have talked to several present and former executives of AT&T, BellSouth, Nortel and other telecom companies, and they had not heard of John Albers either,” Anderson said.
When questioned about his AT&T claim at a subsequent candidates’ debate sponsored by The Beacon in April, Albers back-pedaled and said he had been responsible for “large parts of a $5 billion organization.” He noted that AT&T is a huge conglomerate and that it‘s no surprise he and Anderson were not acquainted.
Anderson scoffed at the notion. He said he would have known any executive in Atlanta running a $5 billion telecom division or business.
Chip Koplin of Macon wrote a letter to his congressman, U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall, earlier this month.
A strong supporter of Israel, Koplin was concerned about the global condemnation showered on Israel following a raid by its commandos on a ship headed for Gaza.
“I would certainly hope that the U.S. Navy would have done the same if this flotilla attempted to reach Georgia via Jekyll or St. Simons island[s],” he wrote.
He asked Marshall to voice his support for Israel. But his congressman’s reply fell a little short. Instead of sending him Form Letter A, Marshall’s office sent the Macon resident Form Letter B:
Thank you for contacting me with your condemnation of Israel’s actions against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, and your demand that it be held accountable.
Humanitarian aid should be allowed to reach Gaza. The United States itself has provided a great deal of humanitarian funding and aid for Gaza. I have strongly supported that despite some criticism from supporters of Israel. Weapons, ammunition, other military supplies and fighters do not have humanitarian purposes.
I assume Israel’s intervention was designed to deter such non-humanitarian support. I’m told that Israeli soldiers were armed with only paintball guns and side arms in the event of an emergency[,] and that six of the boats in the flotilla were detoured to Israel without incident. So the question is what happened on the sixth ship?
Doug Moore, spokesman for Marshall, acknowledged what he called an “embarrassing” error. “It was just miscoded,” he said. Marshall personally called Koplin to apologize.
As far as the reply letter goes, Moore said it is identical to the pro-Israeli letter, except for the first sentence. Here’s the version that Koplin should have gotten.