Archive for September, 2010

Facing Obama veto, Isakson loses fight to tighten union votes at Delta

A measure backed by U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, to tighten union votes at air carriers such as Delta, failed 43-56 vote on Thursday.

Three Democrats joined with all GOP senators, his office reports.

According to Bloomberg, the vote was preceded by a statement from the White House Office of Management and Budget, saying it would recommend that President Barack Obama veto the measure if it passed:

“Outcomes should be determined by a majority of the valid ballots cast,” the administration statement said.

From a press release issued by Isakson:

“The recognition of a union under the Railway Labor Act is essentially permanent and irrevocable, and now a minority can organize the entire bargaining unit,” Isakson said. “This administration simply refuses to obey the will of the majority and has chosen to overturn 75 years of precedent to grant favors to labor unions. In fact, in large measure, it seems to me this rule is a ‘card check light.’”

The Isakson measure was …

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Meet the new, vegan Bill Clinton

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked former President Bill Clinton how he lost so much weight. “Plants,” he replied. So Clinton may be our first vegan ex-president.

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Your morning jolt: Georgia’s race for governor has become an unpopularity contest

Topics below: Rasmussen poll, Saxby Chambliss, Pledge to America, Michael Thurmond, Ralph Reed, Phil Gingrey, Democratic Governors Association.

Rasmussen Reports is out this morning with the first (automated) poll that measures the full impact of reports on the financial problems of Republican nominee Nathan Deal:

Despite a swirl of questions about his past financial dealings, former Republican Congressman Nathan Deal remains slightly ahead of Democrat Roy Barnes in the race to be the next governor of Georgia.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Georgia Voters finds Deal with 45% support, while Barnes earns 39% of the vote when leaners are included. Libertarian candidate John Monds trails with five percent (5%). Six percent (6%) prefer another candidate in the race, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

This marks a fallback for Deal whose support has been steadily rising from 43% in March to 51% last month. But Barnes is also at the low end of his support, …

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Saxby Chambliss says gay slur originated with his office

My AJC colleague Bob Keefe in Washington has this:

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ office has determined it was indeed the source of a highly publicized homosexual-bashing slur on an Internet site.

But in a statement, Chambliss’ office said it has not discovered exactly who was behind the slur, and has turned the matter over to the Senate Sergeant At Arms.

“The (Sergeant at Arms) has worked side by side with our personnel to determine whether the comment in question emanated from our office. That appears to be the case,” an unsigned statement from Chambliss’ press office read.

“There has not been a determination as to who posted the comment,” the statement read. “That part of the review is ongoing, and is now in the hands of the Senate Sergeant at Arms.”

Spokeswomen for Chambliss did not return a reporters phone calls or emails seeking more details.

Tuesday, a poster identifying himself as “Jimmy” wrote “All (gays) must die” on Joe.My.God., a blog dedicated to gay and lesbian …

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Flip a coin: In the midst of a tea party revolt, a vote on a tax increase for trauma care

There are certain rules of polite society that Momma made us learn by rote.

When spitting in front of company, use a paper cup. If you have to wear a pair of underwear more than once, turn it inside out.

And never, ever pitch a tax increase during the apex of a tea party-driven, anti-government convulsion. That was her big one.

And yet, on the first Tuesday of November, we will have just that — a statewide referendum to approve a $10 surcharge on your annual auto tag fee.

Why? Because in certain areas of Georgia, many visited frequently by you, your spouse and your precious offspring, emergency medical care is so scarce that your chance of surviving a major accident has dipped to 50-50.

Flip a coin — live or die.

With 8 million vehicles in Georgia, the levy could raise $80 million a year to fund a network of 16 trauma centers within reach of most of the state — and offset the high cost of medical specialists constantly required to be on hand or on call.

The campaign for …

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Roy Barnes cancels an Eddie Long fundraiser

From the Associated Press:

Campaign officials for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes say they have canceled a fundraiser that was to be hosted by a pastor at the center of a sexual coercion lawsuit.

Barnes spokesman Emil Runge says the event was canceled Tuesday, when the lawsuit involving two young men was first reported. The campaign would not say Wednesday if the event was scrapped before learning of the allegations against Bishop Eddie Long.

Long is pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, a 25,000-member megachurch near Atlanta. He is one of Barnes’ more prominent black supporters and hosted a fundraiser for the former governor during the Democratic primary.

Long also donated $5,000 to Barnes’ bid.

Runge called the allegations “troubling” but said the campaign wouldn’t comment further until more was known.

The Republican Governors Association is already asking whether Barnes intends to return Long’s campaign donation.

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Larry Sabato: Georgia GOP ‘goofed’ in picking Nathan Deal

About 20 minutes ago, Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, sent out the following thought on his Twitter account:

Former GOP candidate for governor Karen Handel

Former GOP candidate for governor Karen Handel

Can you imagine what Karen Handel is telling friends in GA? GOP made a big goof in nominating Nathan Deal 4 GOV in a squeaker.

In fact, we’ve made inquiries into whether Handel, who lost the Aug. 10 GOP runoff by a mere 2,500 votes, was interested in an interview – with no result.

Ironically, news of Deal’s financial troubles has paralyzed Handel. She can’t appear in public without some nosy journalist asking the obvious question.

And no matter how she were to respond, Handel would run into trouble. If the former secretary of state professed her enthusiasm for the current state of affairs, no one would believe her.

And if she were to wish, out loud, that her staff or the press had come across the information earlier, then she would be …

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Your morning jolt: Of illegal immigration and old newspaper clippings

Two candidates for governor on Tuesday traded old newspaper clippings in a tiff over illegal immigration.

From his stronghold of north Georgia, Republican Nathan Deal – no doubt eager to tread familiar ground – began the discussion.

From the Dalton Daily Citizen:

“My opponent, Roy Barnes, has a proven track record of promoting services for illegal aliens, such as welfare programs, tuition assistance and even driver’s licenses,” Deal said. “Only now is Mr. Barnes changing his tune after reading the tea leaves.

As proof, noted Republican operative and Roy Barnes biographer Dan McLagan pointed reporters to a Sept. 21, 2001 article in the AJC:

Gov. Roy Barnes said Thursday the state should grant some form of driver’s license to illegal immigrants, something that has long been a top priority of advocates for Georgia’s booming Latino population.

Barnes said the state could create an international driver’s license for non-citizens or follow the lead of North Carolina and …

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A note from Nathan Deal’s daughter: ‘Now it’s personal’

A Republican friend has passed along a long missive from Katie Deal, daughter of the former congressman, defending her family in the wake of revelations about its difficult finances.

The 31-year-old actor is the youngest of four siblings.

The Nathan Deal campaign confirmed the authenticity of the letter, but it’s obvious from the content that this didn’t originate with the candidate’s organization. In part:

Yesterday I was attacked on YouTube. Today I read a blogger’s comment that “the whole Deal clan are a bunch of shysters and charlatans” and was labeled “Deal and his crooked family” by another blogger. Up until recently it was just politics. Now it’s personal….

Katie Deal, daughter of Nathan Deal

Katie Deal, daughter of Nathan Deal

I didn’t realize the severity of the financial situation that my parents are in until recently. Now before you attack me on this, the reason for that is because it was never my business until the paper made it my business. What my parents choose to spend their hard-earned …

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Did Saxby Chambliss aide leave threatening slur?

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss confirmed Tuesday that he investigating whether one of his staffers left a threatening slur on an Internet discussion of the right of gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military.

“We have seen the allegations and are moving quickly to understand the facts. This office has not and will not tolerate any activity of the sort alleged,” Chambliss spokeswoman Bronwyn Lance Chester said. “Once we have ascertained whether these claims are true, we will take the appropriate steps.”

The comment was posted on Joe.My.God., a blog dedicated to gay and lesbian issues.

“All [gays] must die,” wrote the commenter, identifying himself as “Jimmy,” shortly after a Democratic bid to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” faltered in the U.S. Senate.

Blog author Joseph Jervis of New York City used the Internet Protocol address attached to the comment to trace the slur to “the neighborhood” of Chambliss’ office in Atlanta. Readers quickly …

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