Archive for September, 2010

Roy Barnes won’t return Bishop Eddie Long’s check

Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes says he won’t return the $5,000 contributed to his campaign by Bishop Eddie Long of New Missionary Baptist Church.

From Lori Geary and Channel 2 Action News:

“The allegations are troubling but there’s not been one deposition taken, not one thing. Let’s let the legal process work,” said Barnes.

Last week Barnes canceled a scheduled fundraiser with Long. Barnes told Geary the decision was mutual.

“I haven’t talked to him. I sent messages back and forth. Of course we knew the press would be there and we didn’t want to take away from our fundraiser. In any regard, we just thought it was appropriate. It was jointly reached by staff,” said Barnes.

Barnes is not the only candidate to receive money from Long. State and federal campaign records show a long list including Michael Thurmond, Hillary Clinton, Thurbert Baker, Mark Taylor, Maxine Waters and Max Cleland.

The $5,000 contribution from Long to Barnes was made on June 28, for the July 20 …

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Your morning jolt: Sonny Perdue comes down with a case of Bulldog frustration

Note to Mark Richt: Bulldog frustration now extends to a certain address on West Paces Ferry Road.

From the Savannah Morning News:

[T]he alumnus in chief – Gov. Sonny Perdue – has joined those who are barking at the Dawgs.

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Gov. Sonny Perdue. Ben Gray bgray@ajc.com

Perdue, who played for Georgia in the 1960s, said Monday the team needs more “intensity” and must get “serious about winning.”

“I hope it’s temporary,” he said at a news conference that was about politics until someone noted Georgia is 0-3 so far in the Southeastern Conference.

“I love Coach (Mark) Richt,” said the former high school and college quarterback, who now calls plays for state government.

But Perdue, who recently gave an inspirational talk to the fledgling Georgia State University team, had only tough love for his alma mater.

“There is a level of intensity that we’ve got to demonstrate for the rest of the season,” said Perdue, who had a cameo role in the film, “We are Marshall.”

The governor said the Dawgs …

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The candidate, the name change, and the domestic violence arrest

Jason Shepherd, a Republican candidate for a state House seat in Marietta, called this morning to give advance warning.

He was about to get dumped on by Georgia Democrats, he said. And with the exception of Tom DeLay, no one has ever produced a flattering mug shot.

Sure enough, the package arrived shortly afternoon. Ten years ago, as Jason Goldfarb, Jason Shepherd was arrested on a charge of domestic violence by his live-in fiancée.

A 2002 AJC file photo showing Jason Shepherd as a volunteer for U.S. Rep. John Linder in his contest against fellow Republican Bob Barr.

A 2002 AJC file photo showing Jason Shepherd — using that name — as a volunteer for U.S. Rep. John Linder in his contest against fellow Republican Bob Barr.

The charges were later dropped, but paperwork lives forever. (The state Democratic party does not dispute the lack of prosecution.)

Shepherd, now 34, faces Democratic incumbent Terry Johnson in the Nov. 2 general election.

First, about the arrest as Mr. Goldfarb. Said the GOP candidate:

”My parents got divorced in ’88. My father basically abandoned us. That was when I was in middle school. …

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Your morning jolt: Why Roy Barnes can’t afford a runoff

Topics below include: Roy Barnes, Republican Governors Association, Fox News, polling, Eddie Long, Politifact, and Ralph Reed.

The same thought has been knocking around in my head, but Larry Peterson at the Savannah Morning News got to it first:

The Miami of Ohio football team and Georgia Democrats have something in common, and that should worry Roy Barnes.

Miami has never won an overtime game and Georgia Democrats have never won a statewide runoff.

Of course, different conditions trigger overtime and runoffs. A tie extends a football game into overtime; a runoff occurs when no one draws a majority of the votes.

But chronic inability to win overtime games and runoffs may have similar influences on strategy. That is, if Barnes faces the likelihood of a runoff, he may be tempted to make aggressive – even risky – moves to avoid one.

***

Longtime Atlanta PR man Charlie Hayslett passed along this product of an e-mail chain from a cousin:

“I just got an automated call conducting a …

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Saxby Chambliss, the Internet and nameless speech

It is painful to admit, because no one likes to trash his own neighborhood.

But when it comes to political discussion, there are times when you have to wonder whether the Internet has become the world’s largest bathroom stall.

At 2:39 p.m. on an otherwise quiet Tuesday last week, Republicans in the Senate turned away an attempt to permit homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. military.

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss/AP

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss/AP

Forty-six minutes and 50 seconds later, on a blog dedicated to gay and lesbian issues and bearing the odd name of “Joe.My.God,” an untoward comment popped up in the middle of a discussion of the vote on “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“All [gays] must die,” wrote the author who called himself “Jimmy.”

The deleted word was a common vulgarity not permitted in most newspapers, but neither the word nor the sentiment was unusual. We have some very angry people sitting at keyboards. Joe Jervis, the New Yorker behind the blog, says he gets dozens of that kind every day.

So Jervis …

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Roy Barnes pitches tax breaks for job-creators; Nathan Deal says defer taxes for new start-ups

From the Associated Press:

Savannah, Ga. — Democrat Roy Barnes said Friday he wants $300 million in new tax breaks for businesses that create jobs in Georgia and vowed he would deny state contracts to firms that send jobs overseas if he’s elected governor.

“It’s time we get serious that it’s our people that need jobs,” Barnes told an economic development conference in Savannah.

Nathan Deal, Barnes’ Republican rival in the race, said he’s largely waiting on a tax commission formed by the Legislature to study and suggest revisions to the state’s tax code. Its recommendations are due in January after the new governor takes office.

But Deal told the same group he’s pitched an idea to defer taxes owed by small businesses in their startup years when they’re most vulnerable to failure.

“They fail generally during the first three to five years, and taxes just become a burden on them,” Deal said. “If they fail, they don’t create any jobs and they don’t pay any taxes.”

The tax breaks …

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Nathan Deal on Ga. 400 toll: ‘Georgians will support new tolls only if we keep promises’

The State Road and Tollway Authority, led by Gov. Sonny Perdue, on Friday voted to continue the Ga. 400 tolls until 2020, reports my AJC colleague Ariel Hart.

The decision will no doubt have an impact on political campaigns up and down the ticket, beginning with the governor’s contest.

The first word from the campaign of Republican Nathan Deal expresses his disagreement with the decision, but includes no criticism of Gov. Sonny Perdue — not even a mention:

“Ga. 400 commuters are also taxpayers like all other drivers in our state, and I don’t think it’s fair to continue to single them out for this daily fee,” Deal said. “It’s certainly true that this corridor has undergone explosive growth in the past 20 years , but so have many other corridors in the metro Atlanta area.

“In these tight budget times, we must consider all options for improving mobility in metro Atlanta and throughout the rest of the state. Tolls will play a role in how we fund needed expansions in highway …

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Your morning jolt: Has Oxendine unleashed an army of loan companies on Georgia consumers?

Topic below include: John Oxendine, Ralph Hudgens, Republican Governors Association, Roy Barnes, Nathan Deal, Jim Marshall, Austin Scott, Sanford Bishop, Mike Keown.

The GOP nominee for state insurance commissioner suspects that John Oxendine, the man he seeks to replace, is unleashing an army of high-interest, small loan companies on Georgia consumers during his last days in office.

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State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine/AJC

In a Sept. 16 letter, State Sen. Ralph Hudgens of Hull, on legislative stationery, accused Oxendine of issuing an “extraordinary” number of industrial loan licenses. The permit is a much-coveted permission slip to jump into the unsecured loan business, issured solely on the insurance commissioner’s say-so.

Moreover, Hudgens asks Oxendine – who finished a stunning fourth in the Republican primary for governor – to essentially sit on his hands through the end of the year.

“It is important that nothing be done in the final weeks of your tenure that would …

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Sonny Perdue will weigh in on extension of Ga. 400 toll

Something’s cooking on the brouhaha over whether or not to extend tolls for Ga. 400 beyond next year’s expiration date.

Gov. Sonny Perdue has scheduled a 10:30 a.m. Friday presser. Which means some news is about to be made.

My personal guess had been that Perdue would back Nathan Deal, the Republican nominee to replace him, who has made ending the toll on Ga. 400 a part of his campaign platform.

But I’ve also been told that Gena Evans, executive director of the State Road and Tollway Authority, has been meeting with state lawmakers — and asking them not to attack the governor should he back an extension of the Ga. 400 toll.

It’s not like we’ve got a lot of transportation dollars out there.

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

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Republicans for Roy, the gun dude from Alabama, and other matters

The campaign of Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes has announced the formation of a steering committee of “Republicans for Roy.”

There have been clues that this was coming.

NRbarnesad

One hint was this Barnes ad on the web site of National Review, a popular Internet watering hole for conservatives:

In announcing his “Republicans for Roy” committee and its web site, Barnes made specific reference to Tom Perdue, the enfant terrible of the Georgia Republican party – and U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’s former campaign manager.

Perdue this week called on Republican nominee Nathan Deal to withdraw – citing the candidate’s failure to reveal his dicey financial situation.

The members of “Republicans for Roy.”

– Curtis B. Avery, Jr., a retired cattle farmer in Harris County;

– Gale Buchanan, former U.S. undersecretary of agriculture, a resident of Cook County;

– Carlton E. Joyce, a Chatham County attorney;

– State Rep. Bob Lane of Statesboro, who retires this year after 30 years in the …

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