In the chapel of the University of Georgia last night, U.S. Rep. John Lewis ripped into Georgia’s new illegal immigration measure, declaring that the act passed by the Legislature last week resembles the South’s old Jim Crow laws and South Africa’s apartheid statutes.
Georgia’s new law authorizes state and local police to arrest illegal immigrants and sets penalties of up to a $250,000 fine and 15 years in prison for anyone who uses a fake ID to get a job.
“We can be arrested and taken to jail until we prove who we are,” said Lewis, one of the leaders of America’s civil rights struggles 50 years ago and now in his 25th year in the House of Representatives. “This is a recipe for discrimination. We’ve come too far to return to the dark past.”
Before its passage, state lawmakers removed a provision that allowed law enforcement officers to stop suspected illegal immigrants without probable cause. As written, police officers would have to have suspicion that another crime has taken place.
As Japan considers building a no-go zone within a 20-kilometer radius of its failed nuclear plants, the disaster is imprinting itself on opinions about nuclear generators here. From ABC News:
Americans by a 2-1 margin oppose building more, an 11-point spike in opposition from a few years ago. In the aftermath of Japan’s nuclear plant crisis, 64 percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll oppose new nuclear plant construction, while 33 percent support it. “Strong” opposition now far outstrips strong support, 47-20 percent. Opposition is up from 53 percent in a 2008 poll, and strong opposition is up even more, by 24 points.
If you’re a Southern Co. executive, you’ll surely be interested in this chartage.
Former Roswell pollster Whit Ayres, who now has an Arlington, Va., address, has signed on with Horizon PAC, the presidential campaign-in-waiting for former Utah governor Jon Huntsman. From Chris Cillizza and the Washington Post:
“I think the Republican nominating contest is more wide open than at any time in my lifetime,” Ayres, a longtime Republican pollster, said in a email to the Fix. He praised Huntsman, who is currently serving as the U.S. Ambassador to China, as a “fresh face and a new conservative voice.”
Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich kicks off the The New Hampshire Republican State Committee’s “Live Free or Die Speaker Series” this evening.
Over at the Georgia Report, Tom Crawford posits – following Gov. Nathan Deal’s New York visit with bond-rating agencies – that the legislative collapse of tax reform last week might not have been an altogether bad thing:
The visit takes on added significance in light of the fact that one of the “big three” rating agencies, Standard & Poor’s, on Monday downgraded its outlook for federal government debt instruments from “stable” to “negative.” A similar downgrading of Georgia’s gilt-edged AAA bond rating would cost the state millions of dollars in higher interest rates when it floats its bond issues.
From the standpoint of bond ratings, one of the best things that may have happened to Georgia in recent days was the failure of the legislative leadership to pass the tax revision package they were trying to roll out towards the end of the session.
That tax proposal, which was hammered out behind closed doors by House leaders but never brought to the floor for a vote, would have reduced the state’s annual tax revenues by anywhere from $130 million to $200 million….
If the Legislature actually passed a tax revision bill that reduced state revenues by such a large amount, “they’d drop our bond rating, sure as anything,” predicted Sen. George Hooks (D-Americus), the former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“Wall Street doesn’t care where you get your revenue – sales tax, income tax, whatever,” Hooks said. “They just want stability.”
Bloomberg reports that Attorney General Sam Olens has put Georgia in a column with seven other states expressing concern over a proposal to reduce mortgage balances for some homeowners as part of a settlement of a nationwide foreclosure investigation:
A deal with the top mortgage servicers in the U.S. that includes writedowns could encourage homeowners who are current on their loans to stop making payments, Olens, a Republican, said today in a telephone interview.
“You’re declaring in advance who the winners and losers are,” Olens said. “I’m a little concerned that this process disengages the normal market forces.”
AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at U.S. Rep. Tom Graves’ statement that “America’s wealthiest 25 percent pay 86 percent of total income taxes.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider