Your morning jolt: Look for Mitt Romney to make pitch for Johnny Isakson

The re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson has been cursed with a great deal of money and a tailwind of public disappointment with Democrats in Washington.

So when it comes to getting the help of big-name Republicans, Isakson has found himself rather far down on the priority list.

Possible '12 GOP contender Mitt Romney/AP

Possible '12 GOP contender Mitt Romney/AP

That said, at least one prominent GOP presidential possibility will make a fund-raising appearance with Isakson. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, is expected here by the end of the month.

Former President Bill Clinton hosted a fund-raiser in Atlanta last week for Isakson’s Democratic rival, state Labor Commissioner Mike Thurmond.

***

Remarks by U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Coweta County, anticipating a government shutdown should House Republicans take control of that chamber, attracted Washington attention through the weekend.

Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer made Westmoreland the topic of a post on the White House blog:

“But for any who thought that blocking even such common sense measures was the limit of how far Republicans in Congress could go in putting partisanship ahead of getting Americans back to work, the Vice Chairman of the House Republicans’ campaign committee (the NRCC) was across town making clear that they were prepared to go much further.

“While the President was laying out bipartisan solutions to continue creating jobs, this Republican Congressman was rallying his political base in favor of his preferred solution – simply shutting the government down altogether…”

The liberal group Think Progress was kind enough to post the audio of Westmoreland’s remarks, made Friday at a gathering of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition:

Said Westmoreland:

”If we hold the line, if we get those courageous men and women to be part of our majority. If we say look, the American people we’re listening to the American people, this is what we’re going to do.

“If government shuts down, we want you with us. We want you with us. We’ve got to have you because later on you all will call us and say, ‘Look, I didn’t get my check. Daddy can’t go to the VA. You know, the national parks are closed.’

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland/AP

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland/AP

“We need to be sure that you are with us because let me tell you this, all Americans need to understand. We need to understand this and I hope you can help share this analogy with people. Just as when you talk about what is going to possibly happen, you know I was unfortunate to cut myself with a chainsaw. I don’t know how many of you have cut yourself with a chainsaw. Chainsaw is not the cleanest instrument if you’re going to cut yourself….

“[The doctor] said this is going to sting a little bit and it hurt like crazy. But you know what, if he didn’t clean out that wound, it would have never healed. I would have got gangrene. I would have died from it. And what has happened with this country, we have put Band-aids on things that need to be cleaned out. It’s going to take some pain for us to do the things that we need to do to right the ship.”

***

Over the weekend, the Associated Press published a pair of articles looking at the contradictions in the long careers of Democrat Roy Barnes and Republican Nathan Deal, two candidates for governor.

The opening paragraphs on Deal:

Nathan Deal is running for governor as a tax-cutting fiscal conservative.

But as a state senator in 1989, he voted to boost the state’s sales tax by one penny, which experts say remains the largest tax increase in Georgia’s history.

Deal said the vote 21 years ago doesn’t undercut his credentials and points to a long tally of votes since that one — most in Congress — which prove he has been a champion of keeping taxes low.

“It was a vote that I felt was appropriate. I do believe in consumption-based taxes, and it was consistent with that,” Deal said of the sales tax vote, noting that the final bill exempted some food from taxation.

Deal has held office for almost 29 consecutive years, and that long experience serves as the foundation of his campaign. It also furnishes a telling look at how some of his views have shifted over the years.

The 1989 vote wasn’t the first time he backed the penny sales tax increase. Records show that in 1984, he voted for a Senate resolution that would have boosted the state sales tax from 3 percent to 4 percent, with the proceeds split between education and property tax relief. The measure fell just short of the needed supermajority. Deal also sponsored a measure that would have placed a tax on alcoholic beverages to help fund treatment for alcoholics.

For Deal, the most obvious change over the years is party affiliation. He was elected to the state Senate and later to Congress as a Democrat. But in 1995, he swapped parties and became a Republican, adding to the ranks of then-U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Republican revolution on Capitol Hill.

And on one critical issue in particular, Deal acknowledges he has had a change of heart: abortion.

Deal — who says he is now firmly against abortion except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk — cast a handful of votes favoring abortion rights early in his congressional career, according to congressional records. In one, he opposed an amendment that would have forced family planning clinics to notify parents two days before providing an abortion to a minor.

Deal said once supported the right to have an abortion in the first trimester but no longer does.

And the opening paragraphs on Barnes:

When he first ran for governor in 1990, Roy Barnes was a vocal opponent of the lottery. He was defeated in a Democratic primary by Zell Miller, who made creation of a lottery to fund education the centerpiece of his campaign.

Since then, Barnes has become a convert, saying the funding is vital to education in Georgia.

“Originally, I had problems with the lottery,” the former governor said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I thought that it was the state taking advantage of its own people. But it’s here.”

Barnes, who is seeking his old job back, has made experience central to his campaign. But a look at his 26 years in elected office shows that on some key issues, his views have changed along with the times.

Barnes opposed abortion but now says he favors abortion rights after his daughters persuaded him to rethink his views. He is pledging to remove some of the special interest tax breaks he once favored.

And 17 years before he put his political future on the line by leading the racially-charged push to shrink the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag, he voted against a bill to create a state holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“There is not a day that goes by that I do not regret that vote,” Barnes told state lawmakers in 2001.

The former governor said it’s a perfectly normal “political evolution” for someone who has served as long as he has. Critics, however, accuse the former governor of tailoring his views to suit the prevailing political mood.

***

Finally, the Associated Press has pushed out what amounts to a warning on open records:

A prominent media attorneys warns that a new draft of rules that govern electronic filing of court documents would allow for the unprecedented sealing of court records by litigants.

Peter C. Canfield also warns that the draft rules give new powers to private technology vendors that could prove detrimental to the courts, the public and the media.

The State Bar of Georgia is considering the proposal to encourage a new statewide electronic filing system for court documents to replace the county-by-county patchwork.

Canfield warned in a letter to the Bar’s committee that the rules would give private vendors too much leverage. And he said that litigants would have too much leeway to seal electronic records without a judge’s approval.

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15 comments Add your comment

Red

September 13th, 2010
10:50 am

Seriously? Romney coming here? Only to expand his rolodex. Here’s hoping this milquetoast candidate fades away with little hope for his 2012 run. Sorry Mitt. A candidate with a RINO record who suddenly claims to be a conservative with nothing but speeches to prove it means nothing.

dap01

September 13th, 2010
12:07 pm

Who can I contact so that I can send in more taxes. As a Democrat, I feel that since I am part of the wealthy, I should go ahead and start the higher tax payments.

I hope all fellow Democrats join in. Do any of you know of an economist who might agree with me?

HELL NO YOU CAN'T!

September 13th, 2010
12:50 pm

I need my VA check! Now!

DannyX

September 13th, 2010
12:54 pm

“Who can I contact so that I can send in more taxes. As a Democrat, I feel that since I am part of the wealthy, I should go ahead and start the higher tax payments.”

Yes you can send your extra tax dollars to my organization, “Christians Against Socialized Healthcare.” CASH for short, make your tax payment check out to ‘CASH.’

Your CASH payment will go directly to the insurance companies. We bypass the lobbyist. We are able to get rid of the middleman. All the proceeds go to some nice, hefty, insurance company bonuses.

We’re not Muslim. We are Christian. An extra advantage, you will go to heaven.

Send us a CASH donation today. God Bless you.

Red

September 13th, 2010
1:06 pm

Deal – yep. One more party switching RINO governor for GA. I guess 8 years of Sonny was not enough. We keep welcoming these switchers who do nothing but change the D to an R just to stay in office to keep power. And then we complain about the abuse and corruption. Georgia conservatives and Republicans = FAIL.

DannyX

September 13th, 2010
1:32 pm

“Georgia conservatives and Republicans = FAIL.”

Don’t forget to add the Georgia Tea Party to your list of failures. Georgia is ripe for one of those “nonpartisan” Tea Party takeovers. The state government has been taken over by lobbyists. Ethics are nonexistent. Career politicians rule the land.

Georgia should be the prime shining example of how the Tea Party is not just an arm of the Republican Party. That they are more than a bunch of sniveling brats upset because they lost an election.

Georgia Republicans have been out of control. Georgia could have been used as the poster child for out of control government saved by the Tea Party. You blew it Tea Party. You’re nothing but a bunch of phonies.

[...] Political Insider’s Jim Galloway reports Romney, a possible presidential candidate in 2012, may make an appearance with incumbent Sen. Johnny Isakson by the end of the month. Last week, former President Bill Clinton appeared at a fundraiser for Thurmond. [...]

Disavantaged Insider

September 13th, 2010
2:10 pm

Oh Danny, you are so funny! Of course Ethics exists…it’s just that they are IGNORED. Nobody ever won an election on ethics reform, tho there’ve been a few who lost on the lack thereof. And as far as the state gummint being taken over by special interests, you need to learn the history of this great and venerable state — since it’s inception as a colony, all great decisions serve special interests. In fact, that is the history of mankind. The only person to buck that trend was Jesus, and see where that got him!

Young Lady

September 13th, 2010
2:57 pm

Mr. Westmoreland, I hope you’re fully prepared to go without pay, healthcare, and aid like you expect the American people to with you’re fun little idea there.

It didn’t work in 94/95, and it’s not going to work now. What you’re talking about is not pain or discomfort; it’s suffering for people that rely on these services. Frankly the fact you’re entertaining this notion show’s you’re completely unfit for office. Shutting down the government during economic crisis is a recipe for disaster and a very short term in office.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

September 13th, 2010
4:08 pm

O look! Draft-dodger Romney’s going to support draft-dodger Isakson’s work helping the corrupt rich get corruptly more rich. What news?

Doug Craig

September 13th, 2010
5:09 pm

If you want small goverment I would vote for Chuck Donovan, The only guy running who wants smaller government
http://www.donovanforsenate.com/

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

September 14th, 2010
2:58 pm

For me to even begin to consider giving him my vote you’ll have to prove a Marine Vet named Donovan, your candidate, isn’t Roman Catholic. Look around and notice how many candidates in local races in Black, White, Baptist and Masonic Georgia are Roman Catholics… It doesn’t happen for no reason. “They” know what “they” are doing.

The Centrist

September 15th, 2010
1:52 pm

Johnny, the real conservative wants Mitt Romney? The draft-dodgin’ Morman from the liberal State of Massachusetts whose Dad was the CEO of American Motors, and couldn’t beat Huckabee during the 2008 Georgia Presidential primary? Than Mitt Romney?

The Centrist

September 15th, 2010
2:00 pm

If you feel that since you are part of the wealthy, you should go ahead and start the higher tax payments. Most wealthy people making over $1 million annually do that anyway by making estimated tax payments. They will do it because they know they’re going to raise their salaries to offset any tax increases.

Mary

September 16th, 2010
3:01 pm

Mitt Romney for President 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!