Archive for August, 2010

Federal judge blocks expansion of embryonic stem cell research

Look for this to have repercussions in Georgia. Support for embryonic stem cell research is one of the key policy differences between Democrat Roy Barnes and Republican Nathan Deal in the race for governor:

Washington — A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked Obama administration regulations expanding stem cell research.

The nonprofit group Nightlight Christian Adoptions contends that the government’s new guidelines will decrease the number of human embryos available for adoption.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that the plaintiffs are entitled to bring their lawsuit in the courts.

A federal appeals court had ruled that two doctors who were among those bringing the lawsuit, adult stem cell researchers James Sherley of the Boston Biomedical Research Institute and Theresa Deisher of AVM Biotechnlogy, had the authority to do so, prompting Lamberth to reverse a decision he made last October.

Lamberth said that the injury of increased competition that Sherley and …

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The GOP enthusiasm advantage — in Georgia and elsewhere

Over at The Fix, the political website for the Washington Post, they’re talking about the enthusiasm advantage that Republicans are displaying in summer primaries:

Raw voter data backs up the polling. A three million-voter advantage for Democrats in the 2006 midterm primaries has turned into a three million-voter overall advantage for the GOP now.

And numbers compiled by Republicans show the percentage of voters taking part in GOP primaries has reached a two-decade high in more than half of the 37 states holding primaries so far this year.

Examinations of states with competitive races for governor and U.S. Senate included this:

In Georgia, Republican turnout was 63 percent of the total vote in the governor’s primary, where the GOP battle was, notably, much closer than former Gov. Roy Barnes’s Democratic primary win.

Still, the relative GOP turnout was more than 10 points higher than it was in both the 2008 presidential primary and the open Senate race won by Johnny Isakson (R) …

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When healing coincides with strategy: Dan McLagan stays on to chase down Roy Barnes

We’ve picked up word that two more Karen Handel operatives have joined the effort to help Nathan Deal, the Republican nominee for governor, across the November finish line.

Jeremy Collins, political director for the Handel campaign, will have something like that position in the Deal operation.

And Dan McLagan, the sharp-tongued Handel rhetorician, has been hired as a consultant for the state Republican party.

Given that McLagan also worked for Sonny Perdue in his 2002 upset, it’s easy to guess that McLagan will be offering advice on opposition research during the general election. A kind of certified Barnesologist.

It’s also easy to understand why McLagan will work at some distance from the GOP gubernatorial candidate. This from the Savannah Morning News, less than three weeks ago:

“What would truly destroy the party,” McLagan said, “would be to nominate someone like Deal who is under a federal grand jury investigation and could be indicted or, heaven forbid, arrested at any …

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Former GOP senator Chuck Hagel endorses Democrat Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania

What makes the following even more interesting is that Chuck Hagel’s name has already surfaced as a possible replacement for Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who wants to leave next year.

Then-U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) at 2007 hearing. Associated Press

Then-U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) at 2007 hearing. Associated Press

From the Associated Press:

Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel — a Republican — threw his support behind Democrat Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race on Monday.

Hagel told The Associated Press on Monday that Sestak has demonstrated during his two terms in Congress that he puts the interests of the nation and his constituents ahead of his party.

“I think he’s exactly what our country needs more of. I think he’s what the Senate needs more of — courageous, independent thinking,” Hagel said.

“That’s what the job is about. You are supposed to use your judgment.”
Hagel refused to comment on the candidacy of Sestak’s opponent, Republican Pat Toomey, a former congressman.

The men are seeking the seat long held by …

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Your morning jolt: Cash makes a fine ointment for GOP healing

At least one major supporter of Karen Handel is making an overture to Republican nominee Nathan Deal, in an effort to put a salve on road-rash from that nasty runoff.

dealinvite

Members of the influential McKenna Long & Aldridge public and legal affairs firm – and others, we presume – will host a Sept. 1, $1,000-a-head fundraising lunch for Deal at the World Trade Club.

Among the hosts: Eric Tanenblatt, the former chief of staff for Gov. Sonny Perdue and an enthusiastic Handel supporter during the late hostilities.

It’s not a peace offering that Deal can push aside lightly. Tanenblatt is one of the top GOP fund-raisers in the state.

***

All vacations require a catch-up period. And one of the more curious developments of last week was a report from Opensecrets.org that the Republican Governors Association – which has already entered the Georgia race with this TV ad – is funding its 2010 campaigns, in part, with a $1 million donation from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

News Corp. is the …

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Newt Gingrich declines appearance at 9/11 protest over NYC mosque

A certain Republican mulling over a 2012 presidential run apparently isn’t willing to place all his chips on the debate over a Manhattan mosque.

Last week, Gingrich ratcheted the August discourse to the Hitler level:

“Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor.”

But then there’s the following from this morning’s The Hill, a D.C. newspaper and website:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) will not be addressing a protest of the proposed mosque in lower Manhattan on the anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

The organizers of the rally, Stop Islamization of America and Freedom Defense Initiative, announced Gingrich as one of the event’s confirmed speakers on the Web last weekend.

On Monday, Gingrich launched himself into the spotlight of the debate on national television with controversial comments that brought a slew of criticism …

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Gone fishin’

Not really. But the primary has been a wearying affair, and I’ve earned some time off. Will be back if something big breaks. Otherwise, back in a few.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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Of Nathan Deal, Roy Barnes and Georgia geography

There’s the mess in Washington, and the mess in the state Capitol.

Decide which one worries you most, and you’re halfway to solving the riddle of the November race for governor of Georgia.

The other half of the mystery is trickier, and will come down to your opinion of two political veterans: An 18-year Washington regular who trumped Sarah Palin’s chosen “mama grizzly,” and the first ousted governor to attempt a return since Georgia was a dusty web of dirt roads.

After 12 hours of limbo on Wednesday, it became clear that Republican voters — by the slimmest of margins — had settled on former congressman Nathan Deal to beat back the return of Democrat Roy Barnes.

The contest is sure to become one of the most hard-fought and expensive in the nation. Millions of dollars are about to be spent to help you identify the nightmare that keeps you up at night, whether it be classroom size or health insurance mandates.

Deal and his allies will hang the albatross of President Barack …

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Jack Kingston: Sarah Palin should ‘butt out’ of state races

On the nationally syndicated “America’s Morning News” – an FM/AM talk show – U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston was drawn into a Wednesday morning discussion of Georgia’s Republican runoff for governor.

Would you have preferred that Sarah Palin butt out of it, Kingston was asked? “I wish she will,” Kingston said. But never mind the grammar – it was live radio. He continued:

“Because what’s she’s doing is dividing the Republican party at a time when we don’t need to be divided.

“Because in a case like this, really what people were saying – ‘Well, she’s endorsing Karen Handel because she’s a woman.’ [Palin] got up on stage on Monday and said, ‘I’m not doing it because she’s a woman – although she is a sister.’ You know — wink, wink.

“And I understand that. But what it does is, it makes Republicans say, well, maybe we do need to rethink Karen Han – I mean, Sarah Palin, as somebody who does shoot from the hip a little bit too much. Because I think Karen Handel is a very decent candidate, …

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Karen Handel concedes in Republican runoff for governor

The statement just arrived from her campaign:

I want to thank all of my friends, supporters, volunteers and my campaign team for a tremendous effort over the last 16 months. We ran a terrific campaign, beat the odds to come in first place in the Primary, and came so very close in the runoff election.

As of this morning, we are four tenths of a percentage point behind Nathan Deal with absentee ballots and overseas military votes yet to be counted.

We certainly have the option of requesting the automatic statewide recount. But we are not going to do that.

The best thing for our party is to rally around Congressman Deal as our nominee in the fight against Roy Barnes. Barnes would return Georgia to a past that is best kept in our rearview mirror. We must marshal all of our resources to defeat him.

I spoke with Nathan this morning and let him know that I endorse his candidacy and look forward to the fight against Barnes. I have also called on all who were supporting me to give …

Continue reading Karen Handel concedes in Republican runoff for governor »