Gingrey sits on the House committee that last week grilled Tony Hayward, the BP executive, about the oil spill in the Gulf.
First, there was the matter of that apology from U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), who declared – and then undeclared – that BP was the victim of a White House “shakedown.”
Did Gingrey agree?
“I don’t. I think I understood the point he was trying to make, but I think he was off-base on that, because quite frankly, the CEO of BP, Tony Hayward, met with the president, and the suggestion was made that an escrow fund be created – a $20 billion escrow fund, to be administered by a third party.
“If he agreed to that, then he agreed to it. Certainly that’s what it appeared to be. I would not call that a shakedown, and I don’t think anybody held a gun to his head. I’m sure there was a good deal of pressure to get him to agree to that, but when Joe said that, I thought, well, maybe that’s something he may want to explain and clarify.”
Gingrey said he had his suspicions that BP cut corners to sink that well, nearly a mile below the water’s service, and called Hayward’s testimony “extremely frustrating.”
Then the Georgia congressman said this:
“For the life of me, I can’t understand why BP couldn’t go into the ocean floor, maybe 10 feet lateral to the – around the periphery – drill a few holes and put a little ammonium nitrate, some dynamite, in those holes and detonate that dynamite and seal that leak. And seal it permanently.
“And although I didn’t ask him that question yesterday — I think I had three minutes — if we get another bite at that apple, I’m going to ask that question, over and over again. What is going on here?
“I feel like, and I’ve had people advise me — people in my own district, by the way, who have a lot of experience in mining, say that this could be done.”
That’s how Red Adair rolled.
On ABC’s “This Week,” White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said Sunday that Barton’s apology was a reflection of a protective attitude that Republicans show toward corporations. “These aren’t political gaffes,” Emanuel said (NYT). “Joe Barton was speaking from prepared remarks.”
Which prompted Sarah Palin to fire up her Twitter machine:
RahmEmanuel= as shallow/narrowminded/political/irresponsible as they come,to falsely claim Barton’s BP comment is “GOP philosophy” Rahm,u lie
Over the weekend, the Associated Press took a look at how DuBose and Carol Porter divvy up the kids in their Democratic contests for governor and lieutenant governor.
But if you want to see what Georgia’s business community thinks of Carol Porter’s chances, take a look at this invite to a June 23 fund-raiser for Republican incumbent Casey Cagle, hosted by Gov. Sonny Perdue and House Speaker David Ralston.
Today is the last day that a voter can register to vote in the July 20 primary. Candidates interpret the deadline as a sign that time is running out.
Over at the Savannah Morning News, Larry Peterson hints very strongly that Eric Johnson, the local guy in the race for governor, will launch his TV ad campaign this week.
The Republican candidate for governor must move quickly if he is to have any real chance to win his party’s nomination….
Johnson may have misspoken when he talked earlier this month about an impending “air war” on TV between himself and Oxendine.
He doesn’t need to beat Oxendine just now, and – for the moment – there’s no upside to attacking him.
The Ox might want to buy some positive exposure to use as a cushion, but he doesn’t need to attack Johnson or any other Republican.
He knows that well enough; his recent barbs have targeted former Gov. Roy Barnes, the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination.
But Johnson does need to beat the two other Republicans he trails: former Secretary of State Karen Handel and former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal.
Blake Aued of the Athens Banner-Herald reports this morning that the Board of Regents will meet – by phone – to start tightening its policy toward illegal immigrants:
Committee members will meet via conference call to talk about requiring more proof of Georgia residency to be eligible for in-state tuition.
A Mexican illegal immigrant raised in Georgia who paid in-state tuition at Kennesaw State University sparked the discussion, but regents spokesman John Millsaps said it won’t be limited to illegal immigrants.
“It’s going to be a broader look at the residency status for everyone,” Millsaps said.
Meanwhile, the Board of Regents is under pressure from lawmakers to crack down on illegal immigrants. Fourteen state senators wrote the regents letters last week urging them to ban illegal immigrants from enrolling.
The senators’ letter told the board it is violating state and federal law by allowing colleges and universities to admit illegal aliens.
But strict laws the state legislature passed in 2006 denying many government services to illegal immigrants exempted the regents, allowing the board to set its own policy.