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