Archive for October, 2010

A Saturday jolt: Barack Obama to blame for Georgia’s transportation woes, says Sonny Perdue

You know we’re in the silly season when even the most obvious truths can’t be uttered without challenge. From today’s Macon Telegraph:

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood was in Macon on Friday. AP file.

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood was in Macon on Friday. AP file.

Georgians have to work together for big transportation projects or they’ll keep falling behind, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood told a group of Macon-area and Georgia leaders Friday.

“Georgia needs to get its act together, and I think you’re starting to do that,” LaHood told about 200 people at the Macon City Auditorium during the Georgia Intermodal Leadership Summit.

LaHood said leadership at all levels needs to work together for the kinds of transportation projects that can change America over a generation.

“If Georgia wants a rail line and wants to be connected to high-speed intercity rail, you can make it happen,” he said.

“You need to have leadership from all of you, but you need it from the governor’s office, too.”

LaHood said …

Continue reading A Saturday jolt: Barack Obama to blame for Georgia’s transportation woes, says Sonny Perdue »

Poll by GOP firm: Democrats Jim Marshall, Sanford Bishop on verge of losing seats

Landmark Communications of Duluth on Thursday released the results of a 3,277-voter automated poll that predicted a GOP sweep of the governor’s race and four other statewide contests.

Landmark is headed up by GOP political strategist Mark Rountree. Let that be your “caveat emptor” notice. Late this evening, Rountree released a subset that addressed the 2nd Congressional District, currently held by Democrat Sanford Bishop of Albany, and the 8th Congressional District, held by U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall of Macon.

Says Landmark:

Republican Mike Keown is in a dead heat with 18-year incumbent Democrat Sanford Bishop, which had been unthinkable to most pundits only two months ago. Keown is ahead 47.2% to Bishop’s 44.9%, but within the margin of error which is 3.5%.

And in the 8th District:

Unless something dramatic happens, Democrat Jim Marshall is in a near-impossible hole in his race against Republican challenger Austin Scott. As of now, Marshall is at only 35.1% with a …

Continue reading Poll by GOP firm: Democrats Jim Marshall, Sanford Bishop on verge of losing seats »

Roy Barnes, beef cows, and the 16th rib

Democratic candidate for Georgia governor Roy Barnes talks about his cows in Marietta.  He owns 20 head, including calf Frisky, left, and Molly. AP/Rich Addicks

Democratic candidate for Georgia governor Roy Barnes talks about his cows in Marietta. He owns 20 head, including calf Frisky, left, and Molly. AP/Rich Addicks

What with Karen Handel and all, things are a bit backed up.

And I’m trying to cope with a new cell phone – an iPhone 4 – and all of its bells and whistles. Hence the experimental video from Roy Barnes’ house on Whitlock Avenue in Marietta – where, on Friday morning, he celebrated with reporters the birth of two calves by two cows.

That’s Marie Barnes on the left. David Mamet, watch out.

Make no mistake. Whitlock Avenue is a hoity-toity boulevard in Old Marietta. Cattle are not a regular part of this venue. But it’s always nice to find a politician with a real hobby. This one has the advantage of not involving state-owned flying machines.

The cows produced one of the odder exchanges of the 2010 season between reporters and a candidate. Barnes, lawyer son of a dairy farmer in Mableton, was in a pair of …

Continue reading Roy Barnes, beef cows, and the 16th rib »

Not as good as ‘Airplane!’ — but funny enough

David Zucker, whose box office hits include “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” series, once was a Democrat. And once supported U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California. He has offered the video parody below as an apology.

It’s not as funny as “Airplane!” – but on a late Friday afternoon, it’ll do:

Call Me Senator from RightChange on Vimeo.

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

Continue reading Not as good as ‘Airplane!’ — but funny enough »

Karen Handel: ‘I support the ticket.’ But only the barest mention of Nathan Deal

Former Republican nominee for governor Karen Handel is speaking right now to several dozen business women in downtown Atlanta.

Former GOP candidate for governor Karen Handel/AJC

Former GOP candidate for governor Karen Handel/AJC

She was introduced to a standing ovation and immediately warned the many, many reporters in attendance that they would be disappointed with the content of what she was about to say.

So she very quickly laid it out:

“I support the ticket and I reiterate that support today.”

No mention by name of Nathan Deal, the Republican nominee for governor and the fellow who beat her in the Aug. 10 GOP runoff, passed Handel’s lips during her address to the women’s group, Pocketbook Politics.

That said – or unsaid, Handel told her audience that the Nov. 2 vote is “too important to let what did or didn’t happen affect your voting decision,” she said.

“Who do you want making judicial appointments in our state?” Handel asked. “What if something were to happen to our fine U.S. Senators? Who do you want …

Continue reading Karen Handel: ‘I support the ticket.’ But only the barest mention of Nathan Deal »

Your morning jolt: Trouble brewing on Sonny Perdue’s turf

Trouble is brewing in Sonny Perdue’s home territory. And the governor has already tried to put a lid on it.

Last year, longtime Mayor Donald Walker of Warner Robins died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Chuck Shaheen took his place, but has faced serious fractures within his own city council. Add the salt of racial tension to that wound, and you’ve got a national story hailing from Houston County.

The cultural question: What does it mean when a white councilman tells a black councilman that he belongs in a cotton field? From WMAZ-TV in Macon last week:

The narrative, from WMAZ:

Warner Robins City Council member Daron Lee says remarks made by other council members turned racial for the second meeting in a row.

Lee [, [who is African-American] says Tom Simms Jr. referred to him as “boy” during a closed meeting two weeks ago.

Monday night [Oct. 11], council member John Williams said Lee should be working in a cotton field.

The exchange happened during a motion by Daron …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Trouble brewing on Sonny Perdue’s turf »

Landmark poll predicts GOP sweep of five state races

Landmark Communications of Duluth, headed up by GOP political consultant Mark Rountree, has released a massive, 3,277-voter poll that predicts an across-the-board, Republican sweep of the race for governor and four other statewide contests.

The automated telephone poll surveyed self-described “likely” voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.71 percent. The survey assumes an African-American turnout of 26 percent.

The survey gave Republican nominee for governor an 8-point lead over Democrat Roy Barnes. (An InsiderAdvantage poll earlier this week had Deal’s lead at 5 points.)

From Rountree:

Deal leads Barnes by 47% to 39%, while Libertarian John Monds carries 4%, slightly higher than the traditional Libertarian vote.

BY AGE: Deal leads with all age groups except the 18-35 age category – many of whom were not of voting age when Barnes was previously Governor. The 18-35 age group, traditionally the age group least likely to vote, goes for Barnes by 50-36%.

Deal …

Continue reading Landmark poll predicts GOP sweep of five state races »

Brain fried, again. U.S. Senate debate looms. Send questions. Quick.

Pull out that copy of Foreign Affairs that’s on the coffee table. I could use an hours’ worth of questions for U.S. Senate candidates Johnny Isakson, Michael Thurmond and Chuck Donovan.

The recession, job growth, and the mortgage crisis are all hot topics. So are earmarks and the federal budget. But don’t forget foreign policy. We’ve got two wars, a possible trade war with China, and that little border problem with Mexico.

Here’s the entire Georgia Public Broadcasting/Atlanta Press Club line-up for Sunday:

Insurance Commissioner

– Sunday, Oct. 24, 6-6:30 p.m.

– Invited Candidates: Shane Bruce, Ralph Hudgens, Mary Squires

– Moderator: Brenda Wood, WXIA-TV

– Panelists: Walter Jones, Morris News Service; Veronica Waters, WSB Radio; Andy Peters, Daily Report

Attorney General

Sunday, Oct. 24, 6:30-7 p.m.

Invited Candidates: Ken Hodges, Sam Olens, Don Smart

Moderator: Brenda Wood, WXIA-TV

Panelists: Walter Jones, Morris News Service; Veronica Waters, WSB Radio; Andy …

Continue reading Brain fried, again. U.S. Senate debate looms. Send questions. Quick. »

Your morning jolt: Republican tag-team levels three TV broadsides at Roy Barnes

One day after a statewide poll showed Republican nominee for governor Nathan Deal’s lead contracting, his campaign and an ally organization leveled three TV broadsides at Democrat Roy Barnes.

The 30-second spots by the Deal campaign and the Republican Governors Association focus on Democrat Roy Barnes’ occupation as a successful lawyer, and attempt to pair him with President Barack Obama.

Ironically, this first ad – from the Deal campaign – accuses the Democrat of using “scorched earth” tactics in his attacks on the Republican. The photograph, you’ll note, resembles the “wheat fields of despair” ad the Deal campaign lobbed at Republican rival Karen Handel in the August runoff:

In the child molester case mentioned above, Barnes represented the individual at a single bond hearing – not the trial – and was paid by the man’s employer.

The following RGA spot develops the Deal charge that Barnes and his law firm appeared before judges appointed by Barnes …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Republican tag-team levels three TV broadsides at Roy Barnes »

When a fiscal watchdog files for bankruptcy

For years, bureaucrats, attorneys, and lobbyists from MARTA have trudged to the state Capitol to defend their operations, their bookkeeping and their investments.

jchambers

State Rep. Jill Chambers, R-Atlanta, chairman of the legislative committee that oversees MARTA, holds up a transit agency contract during a 2009 hearing. AJC/Kimberly Smith.

They come at the beck and call of state Rep. Jill Chambers, R-Atlanta, who chairs the General Assembly’s committee that has oversight of the state’s largest transit operation.

Chambers has taken a fine-tooth comb to MARTA’s expenses, whether credit-card abuse by low-ranking drones or the leasing of its train lines and rail cars to private firms for tax benefits.

Last year, MARTA board members declared that they were forced to pay an extra $480,000 to lobbyists just to cope with Chambers’ demands. The lawmaker said she was merely attempting to help the agency avoid the embarrassment of bankruptcy.

So office-workers at MARTA are no doubt …

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