Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has flown down to Macon this morning to argue against an effort by Republican Senate leaders to strip him of his authority to control that chambers’ business.
The Senate GOP caucus has gathered on the campus of Mercer University to vote on an effort to return to a system first enacted under Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, a Democrat.
Senate leaders of the chamber – including President pro tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, and Cecil Staton, R-Macon – want changes in the chambers rules that would give control over the flow to a committee of senators.
Cagle was initially not invited to attend the meeting. But Cagle spokesman Ben Fry said an invitation arrived at noon Thursday – shortly after the attempted palace coup became public.
We’re told that the vote, expected by 1 p.m. today, is close – and could hinge on newly elected members to the Senate.
The irony, of course, is the fact that Cagle – during his just-completed campaign – argued that election of Democrat Carol Porter would be tantamount to putting a figurehead in the office.
On her Facebook page, Porter has posted the following:
What is really happening is committee chairmanships are being promised from both sides to get their votes. Cagle, through his manipulation of the legislative voting process has been getting too large a slice of the lobbyist pie for too long and others want in. Corruption is having a brawl in GA! (I like to think I started it.)
David Nahmias, the former U.S. attorney, was appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to a partial term to the state Supreme Court because of his conservative credentials. He once clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and also served as a senior U.S. Justice Department official under President George W. Bush.
But the chief justice has found himself in a runoff against Tamela Adkins, a family law attorney who accepted no campaign contributions and barely campaigned.
And Republicans may be to blame. A friend tells us that if you put county-by-county results in a spreadsheet, you’ll find that Nahmias performed best in Democratic counties. His worst ones were primarily Republican. Apparently, Nahmias was swept up in some “throw-the-bums-out” fervor. The “i” for incumbent next to his name may have been a problem.
On Thursday, former Democratic candidate for attorney general Ken Hodges sent a note to his supporters, endorsing Nahmias – and citing the justice’s Bush Administration credentials.
Hodges lost to Republican Sam Olens on Tuesday. But defeat has freed up his sense of humor. “Vote early, vote often! Thank you,” he wrote at the end of the endorsement.
Hodges told the Albany Herald that he’s unlikely to run for political office again:
“I don’t see any more races in my future. I think I’m done,” Hodges said. “The only thing on my mind right now is spending some time with my family and getting back to work and a normal life.”
Georgia Politico says House Minority Leader DuBose Porter, D-Dublin, a former candidate for governor and exiting state lawmaker, is spreading the word that neither he nor his wife Carol will be running for chairman of the state Democratic party.
Over at the Georgia Report, Tom Crawford casts Republican Mike Keown’s defeat by U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop as a prime case of petard-hoisting:
Shortly before 1 p.m. on the afternoon of March 10, 2005, the Georgia House of Representatives voted 104-72 to adopt HB 499, a bill redrawing the boundary lines of the state’s 13 congressional districts.
HB 499 was one of the major objectives of Republicans who just that year had gained majority control of both chambers of the Legislature. They wanted to reconfigure the district lines that had been drawn in 2001 by the Democrats who then controlled the General Assembly.
One of the lawmakers voting with his GOP colleagues to pass the redistricting bill was a first-termer from Thomas County named Mike Keown. Like the other Republicans in that freshman class, he was following the instructions of Speaker Glenn Richardson and the House leadership in voting for the measure.
With that vote, Keown ensured his eventual political doom….
Because of the strength of the GOP wave in this year’s election cycle, [Republican Austin] Scott might well have defeated [U.S. Rep. Jim] Marshall even if the district’s boundary lines had not been redrawn in 2005. That’s an issue the political scientists can debate.
What we can say with a fair degree of certainty is that the 2005 redistricting by the Legislature’s Republican leadership saved the career of a Democratic congressman: Rep. Sanford Bishop in southwest Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District.
Without that redrawing of the boundary lines, Bishop would have been defeated by his Republican challenger: Mike Keown.
That was one of the unforeseen consequences of the 2005 redistricting. The Republican precincts that were moved into Marshall’s district were taken from Bishop’s district. To make up the lost population, more Democratic-leaning precincts were moved into the 2nd Congressional District.
As Marshall’s district became slightly whiter, Bishop’s district became slightly more African American in its demographic makeup.
The Republican wave on Tuesday wasn’t just on the surface. This from The Hill:
The GOP flipped control of at least 19 state legislative chambers Tuesday, a result that gives the party a commanding redistricting edge.
Republicans head into next year’s round of reapportionment with total control of the process in four critical states, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Texas, where redistricting expert Michael McDonald said he expects a “no-holds-barred” approach from the GOP.
In the same vein, from Portfolio.com, a business news site:
– Alabama and North Carolina were two southern states that shifted to GOP legislative control for the first time since Reconstruction. In face, before 1990, not a single legislative chamber in the South was controlled by Republicans. Following this election, 18 out of the region’s 28 chambers will have GOP majorities.
– The South, however, wasn’t alone to see that kind of flip. The trend played out in Maine, New Hampshire and Wisconsin as well.
– Among the nation’s governors, the office shifts to Republicans in 12 states. The reverse holds true in only five states, which gives Democrats the slightest bit of joy.