Archive for December, 2010

The very picture of a gubernatorial couple

Gov. Sonny Perdue (left) and First Lady Mary Perdue watch the unveiling of their portrait by Secretary of State Brian Kemp (right) on Monday. John Spink/jspink@ajc.com

Gov. Sonny Perdue (left) and First Lady Mary Perdue watch the unveiling of their portrait by Secretary of State Brian Kemp (right) on Monday. John Spink/jspink@ajc.com

From the Associated Press:

Gov. Sonny Perdue has unveiled his official portrait to hang in the halls of the Gold Dome.

The painting debuted Monday in a ceremony at the Capitol in downtown Atlanta. The painting includes his wife, Mary Perdue, making it the first gubernatorial portrait to feature a First Lady.

The portrait was done by artist Rossin, whose full name is Rossen Raytchev Raykov. The Bulgarian artist is known for his photograph-like oil paintings of famous individuals, including Abraham Lincoln and Jackie Kennedy.

He also did the painting of civil rights icon Andrew Young, a former U.S. ambassador and former Atlanta mayor, that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Former Gov. Lester Maddox in 1996/AJC file

Former Gov. Lester Maddox in 1996/AJC file

The Capitol holds portraits of 46 governors — all who have served since …

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ABC News: Hal Rogers, not Jack Kingston, has inside track for House budget chairman

Major media are now turning their eyes toward Wednesday’s selection of the next chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.

Here’s the NYT assessment. ABC News is giving the leg-up to Hal Rogers of Kentucky over Georgia’s own Jack Kingston of Savannah:

A textual synopsis from ABC:

The front-runner is Hal Rogers (R-Kentucky), a 16-term Congressmen who known for funneling taxpayer money for pet projects in his district – and far beyond. Roger’s has brought so much federal money to his hometown (Somerset, Kentucky; population 11,000) that it is known as Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. There’s a $52 million National Center for Hometown Security. The tiny airport that received $17 million in federal dollars but has so little traffic that the last commercial airline pulled out in February. And then there’s the Hal Rogers Parkway, which was formerly known as the Daniel Boone Parkway before being renaming for Kentucky’s Prince of Pork.

– By Jim Galloway, …

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First Newt Gingrich, now Jeb Bush: Criminalizing illegal immigrants ‘the wrong approach’

With the November elections now history, one senses an effort by many Republicans to soften the rhetoric when it comes to illegal immigration.

Late last week, it was Newt Gingrich. “We are not going to deport 11 million people,” he said.

Over the weekend, it was one of the two Bush brothers. From the Denver Post:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said if his children walked the streets of Phoenix they might look awfully suspicious to police. His wife, Columba, is from Mexico.

Harvard professor Robert Putnam told the same crowd of city officials from across the country at the Denver Convention Center on Saturday that his grandchildren might likewise draw suspicions. His daughter married a Latino man, he said.

“I think it’s not right that they could be picked up just because of the way they look,” Putnam said.

Bush and Putnam spoke and then fielded questions at a National League of Cities convention about immigration issues, including the controversial Arizona immigration …

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Your morning jolt: She’s not Nathan Deal’s choice, but Sue Everhart wants to stay as GOP chair

Nathan Deal still has a month before he’s sworn in as governor, and already he’s facing his first challenge.

The governor-elect has quietly let it be known that he wants Tricia Pridemore, a Deal supporter and founder of the Georgia chapter of Glenn Beck’s 912 Project, as the next chairman of the Georgia Republican party.

Sue Everhart, chairman of the state GOP, wants a third term/Cox News Service

Sue Everhart, chairman of the state GOP, wants a third term/Cox News Service

But the current chairman, Sue Everhart of Cobb County, on Saturday declared that she’s not ready to leave – and would run for a third two-year term at the party’s state convention in May. She made her announcement at a breakfast meeting of Cobb party regulars.

“The chairman is elected by the grassroots. The governor does not appoint. There’s not a problem if the governor wants a particular candidate. I respect his wishes, but I am going to run for re-election,” Everhart said this morning in an interview.

“This is nothing against the new governor. I’ve complimented …

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With Democrats in twilight, a new political game emerges

Since the dust settled from last month’s elections, six state lawmakers, all white and all from rural Georgia, have thrown up their hands in despair.

With the Democratic Party entering a kind of twilight existence in Georgia, the six have declared themselves Republicans.

demsinchamber

A once powerful Democratic caucus gathers in November to elect officers.

In both the House and the Senate, GOP leaders are now within a few arm-twists of the two-thirds majority necessary to settle all constitutional questions and — perhaps just as important — override a governor’s veto.

November’s Democratic deflation could tempt one to declare politics at an end in Georgia. But it is simply moving into a more subtle, intramural phase in which six virginal Republicans could play a crucial role — particularly in the House.

Georgia politics has become an all-Republican matter of fiscal conservatism vs. social conservatism. With Democrats largely on the sidelines.

The new battle lines have been …

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A White House declaration for Auburn. Really.

Via Twitter, my AJC colleague Aaron Sheinin, whose primary character flaw is an unfortunate association with the University of South Carolina, posed the most important national security question of the weekend to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:

Many thanks to Jason Pye for helping out with the video-editing.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

Continue reading A White House declaration for Auburn. Really. »

Newt Gingrich: ‘We are not going to deport 11 million people’

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich appears intent on keeping high-flying Republicans grounded in reality. From Politico.com:

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich

“We are not going to deport 11 million people,” Gingrich said Thursday as he kicked off his first forum on Latino issues. “There has to be some zone between deportation and amnesty.”

A possible presidential candidate, Gingrich stressed that his target of establishing an entirely legal work force is “not a call for amnesty.” Rather, he said, it’s about applying common sense to the immigration debacle.

“Dos y dos son cuatro” (two plus two equals four), he said to chuckles.

Gingrich’s comments came as he and other GOP leaders seek to step up their outreach to Latino voters, the fastest-growing constituency in the country and one Republicans have struggled to win in recent elections. Gingrich is billing his first conference — sponsored by The Americano, a bilingual website he launched last year to attract more …

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Your morning jolt: Discordant notes over Port of Savannah funding

This bipartisan effort to obtain federal funding for the dredging of the Port of Savannah has some serious messaging kinks to work out.

On Thursday morning, members of the metro Atlanta business community held a kind of rally to emphasize the need for federal funding of the $551 million project. The dredging, needed to accommodate larger ships passing through the Panama Canal, has been identified it as the most economically important infrastructure project in the state.

Mayor Kasim Reed of far-away Atlanta has committed to acting as a kind of liaison to the White House, dropping these details to my AJC colleague Dan Chapman:

Reed, in an interview Thursday, said he met four months ago at the White House with one of the president’s top domestic policy advisers to discuss the deepening. He brought along Alec Poitevint, a prominent Georgia Republican and the GPA’s chairman, and Curtis Foltz, the ports’ executive director. Reed will make another White House pitch in …

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Catching up: Tommie Williams on his new job, and Sue Everhart on Michael Steele

Holidays get in the way, and occasionally the Internet fails to scoop up some of the better news tidbits. So consider this a bit of catching up.

Many in the state Capitol, including House Speaker David Ralston, have wondered out loud who in the Senate will be acting as the voice of the chamber, given Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s demotion.

They suspect that Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, will act as chairman of the newly empowered Committee on Assignments, and be the man in charge of one-on-one negotiations. However, nothing has been set down on paper.

But in the Nov. 13 edition of the Jesup Press-Sentinel, Williams indicated that a) he will run the Committee on Assignments, voting only to break a tie; and b) he will be the one that Gov. Nathan Deal and Ralston should phone when a deal is to be brokered.

From the article by Drew Davis:

[Williams] also said that, in negotiating with the governor and the speaker of the House on behalf of the Senate, he expects to …

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Your morning jolt: The earmark that Tom Graves didn’t request

The National Journal has toted up the 2010 earmark requests by the 52 members of Congress who form the Tea Party Caucus:

According to a Hotline review of records compiled by Citizens Against Government Waste, the 52 members of the caucus, which pledges to cut spending and reduce the size of government, requested a total of 764 earmarks valued at $1,049,783,150 during Fiscal Year 2010, the last year for which records are available.

“It’s disturbing to see the Tea Party Caucus requested that much in earmarks. This is their time to put up or shut up, to be blunt,” said David Williams, vice president for policy at Citizens Against Government Waste. “There’s going to be a huge backlash if they continue to request earmarks.”

U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, backed $16.1 million in earmarks.

Three members of the Georgia delegation, U.S. Reps. Paul Broun of Athens, Tom Price of Roswell, and Lynn Westmoreland of Coweta County, showed up as “zeroes” in the National Journal …

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