Your morning jolt: Another anti-abortion bill may be sinking

Over in Iowa, the hot topic is the resurgence of social conservatives in the budding Republican caucus season.

Not so much in Georgia.

Social conservatives here have had a rough few years getting anti-abortion bills through the Legislature. This year, they have been reduced to one: SB 210, sponsored by state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, would make it easier to sue abortion providers.

Pro-life forces have long suspected that many of the state restrictions imposed on physicians who perform abortions – parental consent for women under 18 among them – are routinely ignored. Enforcement by the state is nearly non-existent, they claim.

SB 210 would allow another avenue for enforcement, through civil suits.

Pro-life forces have been concerned enough with the friction between certain portions of the Legislature and Georgia Right to Life, the state’s preeminent anti-abortion group, that they have asked former state GOP chairman Rusty Paul to help smooth the way for SB 210.

The bill passed the Senate nearly two weeks ago – after Democrats and some Republicans allied to insert a poison pill that negates much of the content.

Nonetheless, backers of the measure were surprised to read this assessment of SB 210 by House Speaker David Ralston on Monday:

“When you’re dealing with things that are so fundamental and so important, it seems to me that’s an issue we ought to be having a serious, thoughtful discussion about,” Ralston said. “I’m not sure that happened over there [in the Senate]. I’m not sure there’s enough time to have the kind of serious discussion that requires over here.”

Even before that, Mike Griffin, legislative director for Georgia Right to Life, had sent out an electronic missive to pro-life troops, urging them to start working the phones:

”Not only has the Senate passed 4 pro-life bills in 3 years, but they were able to do it with 100% Republican support! The bad news is that the Georgia House of Representatives has only been able to vote on and pass ONE of those bills! In fact, if the House does as it has done in previous years, three of the pro-life bills that originated in the Senate will not even have a single floor vote in the House!”

***
Georgia Tea Party Patriots has targeted the leadership of the Senate, which – according to the tea partyers – has stalled the tougher of two bills to control illegal immigration in the state.

But there’s good news, too. The tea party group says Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams are actually in cahoots with each other — a form of progress in and of itself:

”We have been told by very reliable sources that HB 87 is stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee because Sen. Williams and Lt. Gov. Cagle do not want this bill out of committee. They are facing enormous pressure from the Agriculture Lobby not to pass this bill.

“Please call and let them know that you will hold them accountable if this bill is stalled in committee. Do not let them tell you that they have no control if it is passed out of committee. If they wanted it passed, it would be out of committee. Sen. Williams helps appoint commitee members and chairmen.”

***
If you work in Gov. Nathan Deal’s office, there are about 11 different ways you can read today’s endorsement by former Gov. Sonny Perdue of Justin Tomczak in the race for first vice-chairman of the state GOP. From the press release:

“I don’t get involved in many intra-party races because party activists know better than I who gets the job done,” Perdue said. “But this one is unique—because I have personally observed Justin’s heart for the grassroots. His dedication was obvious to me from the day I asked him to join our team. He helped us build one of the largest, best equipped, and most successful grassroots political operations this state has ever seen.”

***
Rob Teilhet, the former state lawmaker and Democratic candidate for attorney general, has let it be known that he’ll be the new executive director for Georgia Conservation Voters, a statewide nonpartisan group dedicated to environmental issues – and politics.

***
AJC Politifact today takes a look at college student worries that Congress isn’t doing enough to address a $14 trillion federal deficit.

***
And it looks like the Supremes are on their way to another campaign finance revolution. From the New York Times:

The five justices in the majority in Citizens United, last year’s campaign finance blockbuster, appeared poised on Monday to strike down an Arizona law that provides matching funds to candidates who accept public financing.

***
Finally, Fulton County Democrats will assemble in the state Capitol on Wednesday for a bit of lobbying. They have published these guidelines:

What to wear: Dress professionally. Our representatives will be in suits and we should should dress to be taken seriously. Wear comfortable shoes!

What to bring: We will provide light continental breakfast and bottled water during the lobbying. Bring a small amount of cash for parking and lunch.

What else should I expect? You will need to go through a metal detector to enter both the CLOB and the Capitol. This is typical – do not be alarmed!

We would add this: If someone tries to sell you a 50-cent ticket for the elevator, don’t be fooled. They are 25 cents, up from a nickel when the Legislature raised all those fees last year.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

26 comments Add your comment

TeaPartyMrs

March 29th, 2011
9:05 am

Go Justin go!

He has the support of so many true conservatives all across this state!

It is great to see good things happening for this hard working young man.

Jack R. Smith

March 29th, 2011
9:18 am

I have watched Mr. Tomczak over the years and seen someone with a work ethic like few others. I look forward to seeing what he can accomplish at the GAGOP.

Rule .303

March 29th, 2011
9:28 am

Sad that they have to be reminded how to dress appropriately when coming to the Capitol to “lobby.” What exactly are they lobbying for/against anyway?

Common Cause GA

March 29th, 2011
9:31 am

If you worry about the way we run our elections and government, we’ll have all you need to know about good government and campaigns at http://www.CommonCauseGA.org

Last Man Standing

March 29th, 2011
9:45 am

“AJC Politifact today takes a look at college student worries that Congress isn’t doing enough to address a $14 trillion federal deficit.”

College students aren’t the only people worried about the national debt, but the sad fact is that not enough people are concerned! I guess that the college students of today know that this indebtedness will have a far more profound impact on them than it will have on older citizens.

It is past time for Congress and the Senate to tackle this problem.

No dog in this hunt

March 29th, 2011
9:51 am

Has anyone analyzed the impact of SB 210 on malpractice insurance? My concern is that the insurance companies would raise rates on all doctors to cover their losses, and we would all end up paying more for medical services.

Road Scholar

March 29th, 2011
9:55 am

As to abortion, is this the republicans idea of tort reform?

Any immigration bill that does not include the required use of e-verify and larger fines for businesses that hire illegal workers is a sham! get to the root of the problem…if they aren’t hired, they can’t work!!!!

mc

March 29th, 2011
9:59 am

Can’t wait for redistricting and more Midtown and Buckhead Reps! What is Georgia Legislative Black Caucus going to say about that. “Midtown and Buckhead Caucus” should sue if the represetnation is not afforded from population growth…

td

March 29th, 2011
10:02 am

“What else should I expect? You will need to go through a metal detector to enter both the CLOB and the Capitol. This is typical – do not be alarmed!”

This is a TSA search so be ready to have everything handled.

td

March 29th, 2011
10:05 am

Road Scholar

March 29th, 2011
9:55 am

“Any immigration bill that does not include the required use of e-verify and larger fines for businesses that hire illegal workers is a sham! get to the root of the problem…if they aren’t hired, they can’t work!!!!”

We do not agree on much but I am in 100% agreement with you are this one.

findog

March 29th, 2011
10:10 am

Did the FCD remind them to register as lobbyists?

findog

March 29th, 2011
10:25 am

LMS @ 9:45
Amen
No dog @ 9:51
Welcome to Georgia where its more important to make a statement then consider the real impact
Road @ 9:55
They at least dance with the one that brought them, there will never, ever be any legislation concerning undocumented workers that equally targets both sides of the problem. Every contractor I work to complete a sub-contract with must affirm that they follow e-Verify, and further that all current employees could do the same [not just new hires]
td @10:02
Does the TSA really have a presence in the state capitol building, or is this more homo-erotica?

Raquel Morris

March 29th, 2011
10:27 am

Wow Jim, you have nothing to say about our Dear Mayor and his inability to play well with others? Why am I not surprised?

From ignoring his own City Council to failing to vet his non-starter plan to take over APS with the State Legislature, Reed has quickly shown that his ego and arrogance are getting in the way of good governing.

td

March 29th, 2011
10:36 am

findog

March 29th, 2011
10:25 am

“td @10:02
Does the TSA really have a presence in the state capitol building, or is this more homo-erotica?

No they don’t have a presence at the capitol. The comment was meant as a little humor to add to Rule 303’s comment and for the comment made to not be afraid of the metal detectors. I guess you did not get the humor.

findog

March 29th, 2011
10:42 am

td, can never tell with you; could be trying to disenfranchise more African-American voters through intimidation

brandon

March 29th, 2011
10:44 am

Georgia Rupublicans run as social conservatives and then hide like roaches when they are asked to vote!!

Ralston is the biggest example and it’s a black eye on Georgia when so many other states are passing legislation that will reduce the number of abortions.

I’m sick and tired of all the RINO’s. The pro-life orgs need to start publishing voting records and uncovering the committee red tape that stalls these bills.

jconservative

March 29th, 2011
10:54 am

“…Congress isn’t doing enough to address a $14 trillion federal deficit.”

Congress, and the Georgia legislature for that matter, do not address the deficit because they are to busy addressing taxes. Apparently politicians get a lot more “miles per gallon” when talking about taxes than when talking about cutting spending.

So they talk about taxes.

And spending continues to spiral out of control.

This is a habit now in its 31st year with no end is in sight.

td

March 29th, 2011
10:55 am

findog

March 29th, 2011
10:42 am
td, can never tell with you; could be trying to disenfranchise more African-American voters through intimidation

Even if what I did say was not a joke then how could this be considered “intimidation”. Oh yea, it is intimidation to say anything that a stupid person may take as fact without checking. Is this not what the Democratic/liberal WHITE plantation owners(with the help of their BLACK race pimps) been doing to the African American community since the 1970’s?

Road Scholar

March 29th, 2011
11:00 am

td: Thanks. This proves that, if we would sit down with people of opposing views, and discuss not only solutions, but the cause of the problem, we can agree on common ground and move towards a better country!

td

March 29th, 2011
11:01 am

jconservative

March 29th, 2011
10:54 am

You are correct and it will not change until the American people stop the mentality of do not touch my entitlement in any fashion no matter what. We want our entitlement and do not care that our grand children are going to have to pay for it one day.

yuzeyurbrane

March 29th, 2011
11:06 am

I thought Rusty Paul was Governor? As to illegals bill, the only part that is probably legal and would have an impact is the e-verify section and this is the one that will probably kill the bill because it steps on the financial toes of hypocritical Republican corporate interests. If the bill survives at all, I predict it will be stripped of this so that all that is left is a racist demogogic bill that is also ineffective in dealing with the problem.

td

March 29th, 2011
11:07 am

Road Scholar

March 29th, 2011
11:00 am
td: Thanks. This proves that, if we would sit down with people of opposing views, and discuss not only solutions, but the cause of the problem, we can agree on common ground and move towards a better country!

You are correct again. Unfortunately, both sides are going to have to decide that this political class, that puts party loyalty and power above solutions, has to go and not re elect them.

Ric

March 29th, 2011
11:34 am

I thought the TEA Party was about fiscal responsibility?
Why are they supporting a bill that doesn’t include a fiscal note?
Shouldn’t the fiscally responsible TEA Partiers be demanding a fiscal note for HB 87 and SB 40?

Centrist

March 29th, 2011
11:55 am

While few people like the idea of abortion, it is against the Republicans philosophy of adding a layer of government in an attempt to restrict it. Passing restriction laws will only drive it into back alleys again. THAT is probably why there is not enough support to pass such bills.

Gentle persuasion, making immorality less acceptable, better birth control, and offering logical alternatives is the only way abortions are going to be reduced.

CobbGOPer

March 29th, 2011
12:53 pm

Better Justin Tomczak than Doug Grammar, who is just another member of Deal’s Gainesville Mafia.