U.S. House-speaker-in-waiting John Boehner, R-Ohio, is to dip into at least two Georgia congressional races this week, in an attempt to flip two Democratic House seats into the Republican column.
On Tuesday, the House minority leader holds a fund-raiser in Perry for state Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Macon.
We have fewer details about a Wednesday appearance that Boehner is to make for state Rep. Mike Keown, R-Coolidge, who is mounting a surprisingly strong contest against U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany.
And we have no word yet on whether Boehner will make an appearance on behalf of Ray McKinney, the Republican running against U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Savannah.
In the 8th District congressional race, Marshall gave an account of himself – and his new opposition to U.S House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — on Fox News Sunday:
Marshall said he would like to see someone like U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., become speaker.
The Macon Telegraph has this financial breakdown of the 8th District race:
Republican challenger Austin Scott’s campaign filled out his campaign coffers with more money than Democrat incumbent Rep. Jim Marshall over the summer months.
However, Marshall has more money to spend going into the final stretch for the Georgia 8th Congressional District race, campaign disclosure forms filed Friday show.
Scott raised nearly $457,000 in contributions during the three-month period that ended Sept. 30, and he has about $352,000 cash to spend on the campaign.
Marshall raised less but has more money to spend the forms show. The incumbent’s campaign raised about $300,000, but has $838,000 to spend.
But don’t kid yourself. These congressional races are just as likely to be determined by third-party money that comes from who knows where.
The Macon Telegraph also suggested a line of questioning that might require some preparation from Boehner. The newspaper notes that the National Republican Congressional Committee has financed ads against Marshall criticizing his support for the October 2008 bailout of Wall Street and its banks:
But there’s a problem: The vice chairman of the NRCC, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, also voted for the TARP bailout. Twice.
And the chairman, U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions. Twice.
And the leader of all the House Republicans, U.S. Rep. John Boehner, also voted for it twice. And Boehner urged his colleagues to vote for the bailout, pleading about the same neighbors the NRCC is worried about:
“Think about what happens if we don’t pass this bill. Think about what happens to your friends, to your neighbors, to your constituents.”
Dinner was on the table, so it was impossible to take good notes. But among those debating on Georgia Public Broadcasting on Sunday evening, courtesy of the Atlanta Press Club, were candidates for state labor commissioner.
Democrat Darryl Hicks accused Republican Mark Butler, a member of the state House, of improperly threatening officials with West Georgia University when they sacked a lobbyist with whom he had a relationship. Butler said no threats were ever uttered.
Here’s contemporary video from Channel 2 Action News.
Despite his statewide campaign, Republican nominee for attorney general Sam Olens – former head of Cobb County government – has taken time to defend David Hankerson, the longtime county manager. His job appears to be threatened.
Friday’s front-page MDJ story reporting that a majority of the five-person commission would consider voting to oust Hankerson today quickly elicited a fiery response from Olens. The former chairman wasted no time e-mailing …Friday morning to weigh in with a strong defense on Hankerson’s behalf.
“Please review the Gwinnett County administrator’s contracts over the last two decades. Look in the (state) Archives. Review the contracts (of managers) of other (similar) jurisdictions,” Olens wrote. “Ask the Georgia Municipal Association, the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at UGA about his reputation.”
The Gainesville Times has cleared up some smaller details involving Republican nominee Nathan Deal and his request that a private road – which he owned – be taken over by Hall County.
In the end, the newspaper reported:
….the small road was never accepted into the county maintenance system.
Hall County Engineer Kevin McInturff said Deal was granted no special favors in his application.
“[It] went through the identical channels as if anyone else had gone through it,” McInturff said.
Before it can be accepted into the county maintenance system, a road must go through a determination.
“It’s for the Planning Commission to make a recommendation on whether a road is indeed a road. It doesn’t imply any public maintenance, it just allows certain legal privileges,” McInturff said.
He said the Public Works Department looks at factors such as whether the road is gated, how it was constructed, how it was maintained, etc.
Once the Planning Commission votes to approve the road determination, an application for road acceptance can be submitted.
For the county to accept a road into the maintenance system, it must be brought up to industrial standards: 24 feet of pavement, 2-foot curb and gutters on each side and paved with inches of stone and 6 inches of asphalt.
“That part was never done so the county never accepted the road,” McInturff said. “If you go out there today the road is still gravel.”
Hall County Right-of-Way Supervisor Larry Poole said requests for road acceptance are pretty common.
“We get a fair number of requests,” Poole said. “But they have to bring it up to standard. It’s quite expensive, so most times they don’t go forward from that point.”
On Oct. 20, 2005, the Hall County Planning Board approved the road determination for Old County Dump Road.
One month later, Riley sent an e-mail to Hall County Attorney Bill Blalock asking about the process of road acceptance.
“Nathan and Ken Cronan owners of Gainesville Salvage and Disposal made application to the County to for (sic) petition to accept Old County Dump Road into the Hall County Road system and thus maintain the road as it once did during the open years of the Hall County Landfill,” Riley wrote. “At this point Nathan has been informed that the petition needs no further action by the County due to the approval of the planning and zoning board. However, there are some of the opinion that since the road will be maintained by the County, approval from the full commission is required. Can you add some clarification to this dilemma?”
In March of 2006, a road acceptance package was prepared by Hall County Engineering.
However, the acceptance was never approved by the Hall County Board of Commissioners because the road was not brought to county standards.