Your morning jolt: Jack Kingston’s race for House budget chairman comes to a head

This is a big week for U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah.

All three candidates for the chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee – and Kingston is one — will make presentations to the House steering committee on Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah

The committee could render its decision anytime afterwards.

Tea Party Patriots intends to make themselves part of the decision-making process. The group plans to hold a nationwide “tele-town hall meeting” from 7 to 9 p.m. this evening, featuring candidates for the leadership of several House committees.

Kingston will be one of those featured. Those who want to listen in need to register here by 2 p.m.

According to a handicapping by The Hill, Jerry Lewis of California has an inside track, but has been criticized as a pork-barrel addict – and may not appeal to the army of freshmen House members. On the other hand, says the D.C. newspaper:

[T]he fact that Kingston is more of an outsider could be a problem for leaders, since he could be more difficult to control.

An appropriations chairman can win loyalty for the leadership by pressuring agency officials to fund pet projects under threat of reduced funding for other projects. Some observers believe Kingston could balk at such requests from leaders.

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) also has a long track record of bringing home the bacon and he therefore has similar liabilities and strengths as Lewis. But the Kentucky Republican helped himself by announcing his support for the GOP earmark ban. In letters to colleagues he has pledged to open up the appropriations process to the wider membership.

But some supporters of the other candidates say Rogers has not performed well in front of the media and that could be a liability given the importance of explaining GOP spending positions to the public. In response to the criticism, Rogers has promised to prioritize media outreach in letters to colleagues touting his candidacy…..

Kingston has support from fiscal conservatives off Capitol Hill, though some of these supporters see his candidacy as a long shot. Still, they said Boehner and majority whip-designate Eric Cantor (Va.) may yet decide to go with him.

Budget watchdog groups are not making a major push for Kingston, who did not announced his candidacy for the chairmanship until Nov. 19. An earlier announcement could have allowed groups to do more on his behalf, one source said.

Kingston didn’t enter the race earlier because he had been waiting on a decision by leadership on whether Lewis would get a waiver, only to later be told that the steering committee would make the waiver decision at the same time they decide the chairmanship, according to a House aide.

Kingston is now in the race to give members an alternative to Rogers should Lewis be denied the waiver, the House aide said.

Georgia Women Vote is up with a radio ad urging women voters to “stand up for our sisters” in tomorrow’s runoff election. The Democratic-leaning group is supporting Tammy Lynn Adkins in the race against incumbent David Nahmias for a seat on the Georgia Supreme Court, and Toni Davis in her race against Chris McFadden for a seat on the state Court of Appeals.

So perhaps it wasn’t a coincidence that on Sunday, after church time, a robo-call rolled in from former GOP candidate for governor Karen Handel, urging a vote for McFadden.

At 7:29 a.m. last Thursday – presumably he had a turkey that just had to make an early entrance into the oven – former GOP gubernatorial candidate Eric Johnson wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving, and killed any rumors that he might be a candidate to become chairman of the state Republican party.

Wrote Johnson on his Facebook page:

I will continue to serve this state, but I will not seek the Chairmanship of the Georgia GOP. I want to protect my independence and help a new generation of leaders.

Next year’s redistricting session is already giving south Georgia legislators the heebie-jeebies, including state Sen. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler. From a Sunday op-ed piece in the Athens Banner-Herald:

Some are expecting South Georgia to lose up to two state Senate seats and between six and eight state House seats, resulting in South Georgia’s representation under the Gold Dome decreasing.

While we as politicians downplay geographical boundaries, preferring to think of our state as one Georgia, the fact remains that some issues are regional in nature. Perhaps no greater example can be found than water.

As North Georgia and the metropolitan Atlanta region grapple with water supply issues, will South Georgia’s lack of representation at the state level result in our giving up water rights?

Will our state’s economic development efforts be focused in North Georgia, resulting in South Georgia being neglected?

Will federal transportation dollars be concentrated in North Georgia as a result of more congressional influence?

While the sky is certainly not falling, and there may not be reasons to be concerned yet, Georgians south of the “gnat line” should be aware that changes are on the way.

On a similar topic, a piece on the disappearance of Democrats from the South includes this tidbit from an ever-blunt state legislator from Hartwell:

It’s much the same next door in Georgia, where five Democratic legislators have become Republicans since Election Day.
“Democrats have now become the party of the [Atlanta] metro area and of blacks,” said state Rep. Alan Powell, one of the party switchers and a veteran northeastern Georgia pol. “That’s not to be derogatory. It’s just what it is.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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21 comments Add your comment

SpaceyG on Twitter

November 29th, 2010
9:11 am

Appropriations? Isn’t that the committee Charlie Wilson was on? Then they made a movie about how he’d go, er, have *visitations* with the filthy-richTexas divorcée whenever he needed some, er, *inspiration*? That was a good movie! Wonder who could be dolt-y enough to play Jack Kingston?

Henry in Savannah

November 29th, 2010
9:33 am

Jack Kingston doesn’t fool around, so we don’t need to worry about that.

Bill Orvis White

November 29th, 2010
9:40 am

“[T]he fact that Kingston is more of an outsider could be a problem for leaders, since he could be more difficult to control.” ATTN TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: I don’t know about you, but I like that line. WE THE PEOPLE need someone who is ‘difficult to control’ because that kind of person thinks outside of the box and will be the leader to forge against the Socialist Democrat party.
Amen, Bill


November 29th, 2010
10:50 am

This guy is a hoot and a half whenever he appears on Bill Maher’s show.


November 29th, 2010
10:52 am

Henry in Savannah- A very bold statement. Only Jack Kingston can make that statement.


November 29th, 2010
11:01 am

Kingston might be the lesser of the evils.


November 29th, 2010
11:38 am

Kingston loves pork and earmarks for Savannah.Check the record!

[...] Jim Galloway points out, Kingston and the other candidates will make their final sales pitch tomorrow and decisions could be made soon [...]

Mr. KnowitAll

November 29th, 2010
12:16 pm

“Democrats have now become the party of the [Atlanta] metro area and of blacks, That’s not to be derogatory. It’s just what it is.”

Democrats have dug themselves into this corner….and now they get to live with it.


[...] Political Insider points us to this radio ad being run by ‘Georgia Women Vote.’ The ad asks women to go [...]

Last Man Standing

November 29th, 2010
12:53 pm

I don’t believe that “Billy in Savannah” has posted anything since the election, has he?


November 29th, 2010
12:56 pm

If you vote for even one unbalanced budget, you should be banned from ever serving on the Appropriations Committee.

If I really had it my way, I’d like to prosecute them for theft by taking, but since I don’t have it my way…

Alabama Communist

November 29th, 2010
1:18 pm

LOL…….Having Jack in charge of the Congressional Credit Card is like a Monkey who has just won the 10 Billion dollars Animal Rights lottery

Bob Portman

November 29th, 2010
1:35 pm

@ Alabama Commonist (sic)”:
Hey guy (or gal), get your supplier to cut your percentage a bit more. Youtr weed is far too strong now and it has further atrophied your brain(?) or what’s left on one. Perhaps I shouldn’t speak ill of “Commonists” in this day and time being as they still control at least one chamber of our government and the White House.

SpaceyG on Twitter

November 29th, 2010
1:47 pm

Yeah, Henry. Because people only do dumb stuff in the movies! *whew*

Jimmy Carter

November 29th, 2010
2:14 pm

I am the world’s smartest man.
I was a great President.
I should be receiving more praise in the media.

Term Limits..."Do as I say, not as I do", says JK...

November 29th, 2010
3:15 pm

One need only check a few of Jack Kingston’s position statements from his first congressional race, circa 1992, to understand that what Jack says and what Jack does are often 2 very different things. For example, Term Limits were a major feature of one Kingston “Ten Point Plan”. After only a couple of terms, though, Jack’s professed belief in “term limits” became, in his own words, 24 years, “12 in the house and 12 in the senate.”) Now that Jack is heading into 20 years in the House (and that’s on top of his state legislative years), that “term” (excuse the pun) has completely vanished from his vocabulary. Kingston’s “nice guy” image has amazingly and successfully sheltered him from the “career politician” label, along with his many years of hypocritical votes and positions on a wide range of issues. But don’t be fooled, he hasn’t had a real job since the early 1990’s.

Go Jack!

November 29th, 2010
6:30 pm

The selection of either Hal Rogers and Jerry Lewis would be like choosing a fox to lead the henhouse.

Jack is a strong, independent mind with a workable plan to bring sense to our national spending.

GOP Rule

November 29th, 2010
7:35 pm

The Republicans run the entire state government minus a few seats. Don’t let them try to blame Obama for anything now.


November 29th, 2010
9:28 pm

@ GOP Rule:

You expect way to much out of them. You know that everything will stil be Obama’s fault.

[...] Jim Galloway points out, Kingston and a other possibilities will make their final sales representation tomorrow and decisions could be done shortly after. powered by [...]