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.
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 Politico.com 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