When the House voted Thursday to block federal funding to National Public Radio, U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, was the only Republican from Georgia to oppose the measure.
Actually, it was a lonelier stand than that. Woodall was only one of seven Republicans in the entire House to punch the “no” button, according to this New York Times chart. Woodall explained himself in a Facebook post last night:
Take a close look at my NPR vote today. Every article that I have seen on the vote says the bill “cuts NPR and reduces spending” yet that just isn’t true. The bill today didn’t allow us to cut one penny in spending, and I think that is outrageous. I voted “no” because we need to cut and save those dollars. This bill just shuffled and spent them. You and I expect better from this Congress, and I’m fighting for it.
You know that Georgia has been stripped of its supply of a lethal-injection drug, putting state executions on hold – to the frustration of prosecutors around the state.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents took the extraordinary step of confiscating the state’s supply of sodium thiopental from the state prison at Jackson.
The drug is the first portion of a three-drug cocktail used to put inmates to death.
A lawyer for a death row inmate had asked the U.S. attorney general to investigate whether Georgia had violated federal law when it failed to register with the DEA when it imported the sedative from Britain last year. The drug is no longer made in the U.S.
Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) caught up with Gov. Nathan Deal on the topic Thursday. The governor appeared tempted to make a states’ rights argument – but then walked it back:
Listen to the interview here. Said Deal:
”In our republic, states have opportunities and responsibilities. But we do need, of course to work with our federal authorities, whose primary mission in this case is to make sure that controlled substances are not distributed and put into the wrong hands. I do not consider the reception of these drugs by a state agency that is properly licensed by state law, and authorized by state law, to fall into that category.
“But we want to abide by the rules, and that’s what we intend to do….We’ll find out how this oversight happened and we’ll correct it.”
At least three scheduled executions could be delayed by the investigation.
U.S. Census figures covering Georgia were finally rolled out on Thursday, showing that metro Atlanta’s Hispanic population nearly doubled. Across the state, anyone concerned with politics pulled out a calculator. A few tidbits you might not read elsewhere:
– While nearly 2 million people have flocked to Georgia in the past decade, fewer than 4,000 since 2000 have trickled into Atlanta, according to the Associated Press. That’s less than 1 percent.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the numbers concern him.
“We’re going to look at the data,” Reed said in a telephone interview. “We believe that there are probably some challenges, but this is contrary to all the data they’ve been releasing for the past nine years.”
– Georgia State University political science professor Steve Anthony wondered what would become of rapidly depopulating rural areas of the state. “You now almost have three Georgias,” he said. “We’ve still got people in south Georgia, but how do you take care of what’s down there if there’s no people or tax dollars to take care of it?”
– GOP political strategist Mark Rountree points to one oddity: Gwinnett now has a far larger population than Cobb County. But Cobb still has far more registered voters – possibly due to Gwinnett’s swelling Asian and Hispanic immigrant populations. We’d also bet that Cobb’s population is significantly older.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider