Your morning jolt: Fulton judge to run against John Lewis?

Shirley Franklin’s Blogging While Blue this morning is all about talk of a 2012 Democratic challenge to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson:

Political insiders have told Blogging While Blue, that Johnson is making the rounds trying to measure support for his run. The biggest obstacle to challenging an incumbent congressman is name recognition and money. Johnson, a judge, should be able to leverage his contacts to raise a substantial amount of money.

In addition, Johnson is married to the daughter of Hamilton Holmes, Allison Holmes Johnson. Hamilton Homes integrated the University of Georgia in 1961 and was a pillar in Black Atlanta. What’s even more significant is that Allison grew up in Southwest Atlanta, which is seen as one of the political power centers of African American politics in Atlanta, and Johnson should be able to tap into her network of friends and associates.

The office of Gov. Nathan Deal this morning confirmed that Johnson this week had tendered his resignation. Read the letter here. The Republican governor will appoint his replacement.

Lewis, 71, declared last month that he would run for a 13th term.

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The first GOP presidential debate, to be broadcast at 9 p.m. tonight on Fox News from Greenville, S.C., is looking a little snake-bit. Major candidates – including Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney – are skipping the event.

Now it looks like the Associated Press will, too. Which means morning newspaper readers in Iowa and New Hampshire will miss out. From Politico.com:

The Associated Press announced Wednesday night that it’s not going to cover tomorrow night’s Republican presidential debate, citing “restrictions placed on media access.”

“The debate sponsors, Fox News Channel and the South Carolina Republican Party, will only allow photos to be taken in the moments ahead of the debate and not during the event itself,” the AP said in an advisory to editors.

“These are restrictions that violate basic demands of newsgathering and differ from other debates where more access was granted. Accordingly, the AP will not staff the event in any format nor will the AP disseminate any pool photos taken by another outlet.”

The AP said the decision was “consistent with longstanding policy” in coverage of events like these, and would be reassessed “should access conditions change.”
Reuters confirmed that it would not be covering the event photographically, because it shared concerns about access. However, Reuters did not confirm whether it would be going as far as AP and not filing text either.

Click here to read Gov. Nikki Haley’s expectations for the race in South Carolina.

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The Associated Press is reporting that Republican Newt Gingrich has opened an Atlanta campaign headquarters in advance of his expected entry next week into the race for president. As expected, Gingrich has taken rooms in the same Buckhead office building that houses the state GOP and Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign office.

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AJC’s Politifact Georgia today looks at the claim by Donald Trump, who will not be at tonight’s Greenville debate, that the U.S. isn’t building bridges anymore.

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And just in case you were wondering, Gov. Nathan Deal is Augusta today, to sign bills addressing golf carts and trauma care. In other words, the governor will not celebrate Cinco de Mayo by signing HB 87.

***
Channel 2 Action News reports that the city of Atlanta can’t find many documents involving the city’s pension fund, which is receiving an overhaul by Mayor Kasim Reed. The documents are the subject of a lawsuit by a taxpayers group.

***
Attorney General Sam Olens is on the coast this morning, to give a lesson in open government to the city of Savannah. From the Morning News:

Mr. Olens, Georgia’s attorney general, is scheduled to give the mayor and aldermen a lesson today on how to follow the law. His appearance at the council’s 11 a.m. pre-meeting before the regular 2 p.m. council meeting was triggered by three violations of state law during the council’s search for new city manager, followed by a recent decision to write an alderman a check for $50,373.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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81 comments Add your comment

Shirley GoAway

May 5th, 2011
9:40 am

Shirley needs to go home. Her performance as Mayor was terrible and she will certainly go down in history as the 2nd worst Mayor. Trying to remake herself as a politico lacks credibility because she lacks credibility.

Shirley go home!

Double Zero Eight

May 5th, 2011
9:44 am

It is time for Lewis to “ride into the sunset”.
He has gotten all the mileage that he can
for his involvement in the civil rights movement.
It is time for a change.

atlmom1

May 5th, 2011
9:51 am

double zero eight: no joke. He votes 100% of the time with nancy pelosi. Not representing his district at all.
But the thing is – we shouldn’t be keeping anyone in the house/senate for 26 years. 4, 6, 8 even is okay – but that’s how they get so out of touch with how the ‘regular people’ live. They only see things thru the eyes of lobbyists and that’s not good, of course.
We need some new people in there. And while I know nothing about Mr. Johnson, I would probably vote for him. Of course, 99% of the time, I vote against incumbents, but I’m not the usual person…

Centrist

May 5th, 2011
10:01 am

Media hissy fit – won’t cover “news” if restricted on photos.

Why didn’t the AP do the same for Obama’s Bin Laden death speech? They were similarly restricted from photos and actually re-enacted (false news) Obama walking to the podium.

Centrist

May 5th, 2011
10:03 am

shelley wynter

May 5th, 2011
10:04 am

JIm, Judge Johnson can BEAT Lewis very easily. He will appeal to conservative whites on northside and can pick up part of the influx of new and 2nd time voters in presidential race. Be interesting if Barack reaches out on behalf of lewis due to lewis’s support of hillary all the way up to convention dam near. This is the one guy who can beat lewis-young, Black professionals who have been asking Lewis “what have you done for me lately” will run to polls to vote for a qualified challenger. Would love to help out on his campaign :)

Last Man Standing

May 5th, 2011
10:10 am

Yay! Maybe “The Fossil” (John Lewis) will finally be ejected from the game. There just has to be a limit on how far yesteryear’s association can carry one. I will be as happy to see him leave as I was to see Cynthia McKinney go!

WOW

May 5th, 2011
10:11 am

Jim actually reads a blog from a lady who ran radio ads about how the GOP would bring back slavery.

WOW

May 5th, 2011
10:12 am

Did John Lewis ever find that “supposed saliva” that he claimed hit him at a Tea Party protest? LOL

WOW

May 5th, 2011
10:13 am

“Major candidates – including Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney – are skipping the event.”

Yeah, might have to do with the presidential election being a year and a half away. Also, it’s Greenville, SC. Not exactly a hub for a major debate.

joe

May 5th, 2011
10:29 am

Best argument for term limits I’ve ever heard…13th term, sheesh. Really hope Herman Cain makes a huge splash tonight…me thinks he’d make a great VP candidate.

WOW

May 5th, 2011
10:34 am

LOL, one of my comments went into moderation.

WOW

May 5th, 2011
10:35 am

Oh goody, all of my comments are going into moderation because I called out a few hypocritical Democrats as racists. LOL

WOW

May 5th, 2011
10:36 am

Why in the world did my Greenville, SC comment go into moderation?

WOW

May 5th, 2011
10:38 am

“Lewis, 71, declared last month that he would run for a 13th term. ”

And the same people will put this do nothing Democrat back in office. Shame on them. They deserve what they get, which is absolutely nothing.

WOW

May 5th, 2011
10:39 am

Hey left wingers, THIS is a sure fire winner for your messiah.

Obama floats plan to tax cars by the mile

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/159397-obama-floats-plan-to-tax-cars-by-the-mile

Junior Samples

May 5th, 2011
10:48 am

If John Lewis isn’t representing his district, explain how his incumbency has lasted 12 terms.

Just sayin’…

And if you don’t live in his district, I guess you can’t complain. You can only vote in the district where you live. Sorry, but rules are rules.

shelley wynter

May 5th, 2011
11:01 am

@junior. please articulate what he has done FOR district? In terms of amount of money brought back, federal programs and MOST importantly legislation, not symbolic, but real legislation he has written. Please, Sir.

shelley wynter

May 5th, 2011
11:02 am

@junior also please add-tax reform as he has been chair of a sub committee on ways and means

Jay

May 5th, 2011
11:06 am

Shelley, weren’t you campaigning with John Lewis less than six months ago? Yes, you were.

Parker Rubye

May 5th, 2011
11:10 am

“Channel 2 Action News reports that the city of Atlanta can’t find many documents involving the city’s pension fund, which is receiving an overhaul by Mayor Kasim Reed. The documents are the subject of a lawsuit by a taxpayers group.”

Wait a minute. I thought that Mary Norwood was supposed to have been the ditzy Buckhead lady who couldn’t find her way around City Hall. It sounds like Attorney Reed needs to give his employees a lesson on document retention. Unless of course, they were instructed to shred the pension docs!!!

Lum

May 5th, 2011
11:12 am

John Lewis is a good man who needs to retire. He is not presently serving his constituency very well.

Frederick Douglass

May 5th, 2011
11:13 am

The man got the Bejezzus beat out of him for what he ardently believes in, that stands for something. How many of you concerned citizens, would lay your lives on the line for your warped beliefs?

Clinton "Skink" Tyree

May 5th, 2011
11:13 am

@WOW: Eight posts in twenty minutes. You didn’t take your medicine did you?

shelley wynter

May 5th, 2011
11:24 am

@jay No I was not I was campaigning for a Supreme Court Justice candidate. I was at several Lewis functions however, and yes did vote for him SIMPLY because there was no choice, as his opponent was not viable for me. HOWEVER, Judge Johnson would be a viable choice for me. Its called freedom of choice in a two party system. But my question to you is “if I vote for someone at fedearal level in the last election, and I feel he is not doing a good job, I cannot vote for someone else in the next election?” Is that what you are saying?

shelley wynter

May 5th, 2011
11:27 am

@frederick, does having your head beat in 45 years ago mean you get to keep a job for life? and furthermore, did he not get his head beat in for proper representation or just Black representation? I would argue that the voter struggles of the 60s was for GOOD representation and not necessarilty Black representation.

Jay

May 5th, 2011
11:37 am

Ha! Take note, Mr. Johnson. See how quick Shelley flips at the prospect of cash.

shelley wynter

May 5th, 2011
11:43 am

where was cash mentioned? jay, Just like a blind supporter no facts and totally made up innuendo. Please answer the questions, sir.

Jay

May 5th, 2011
11:52 am

“Would love to help out on his campaign” — all of a sudden you’re an altruist willing to work for free?

If you’ll say you won’t accept a dime from this race, then I’ll accept it and rescind my criticism.

amitch

May 5th, 2011
11:54 am

@ Centrist! It is Osama not Obama! JACKASS!!(OBAMA IN 2012!)

T Man

May 5th, 2011
11:56 am

Hey Joe, That’s what I have also said about Herman Cain…..great VP. he is a very smart man. And I have also said Newt would make the best Sec of State we ever had.

shelley wynter

May 5th, 2011
11:58 am

thats what that means. help out like any other volunteer. BTW, since you said i was campaigning for lewis, (”yes, You were”) was I paid by him? NO. You see how when you are petty and disingenuous you most certainly can be shown to be extremely short sighted and usually not logical in your arguments. But yes, i would volunteer on johnson campaign. and Judge Downs’ as well. for that matter. Now for the final time-please answer the question, sir

Centrist

May 5th, 2011
12:03 pm

@ Frederick Douglas wrote: “How many of you concerned citizens, would lay your lives on the line for your warped beliefs?”

I gave 13 years to the U.S. military based all over the world. Bet some others here did, too.

@ amitch – reread my post. I was referring to Obama’s speech about Bin Laden. Who’s the Jackass now?

double

May 5th, 2011
12:06 pm

Good idea tax by mile,stop unnecessary wasted driving.Now if ajc would do the same on here.Charge by words ,time,etc.could stop some of your degrading remarks about others.

Jay

May 5th, 2011
12:06 pm

Sorry I missed your answer for all of your dodging. You will not accept a paid position with Michael Johnson or anyone else in that campaign?

shelley wynter

May 5th, 2011
12:14 pm

how is it dodging. I said I would volunteer on his campaign. That is clear, right? Now please answer my question..e remind you what it was-Are you saying because you voted for someone, you have to vote for that person again every time he runs? please answer this, sir

Jay

May 5th, 2011
12:24 pm

You can vote for whomever you want, but you should try to remember to thank John Lewis for that opportunity!

Frederick Douglass

May 5th, 2011
12:25 pm

Shelley I couldn’t quite understand your post. Centrist I gave three quarters of my life to the military, went a lot of places, met a lot of people, John Lewis is one of the most compassionate people I ever met.

shelley wynter

May 5th, 2011
12:38 pm

being from New york, my grandfather voted for Hulan jack and several others long before the southern struggle for voting rights. so I thank lincoln first. also, if I were to thank lewis for my “right” to vote then I would definately have to thank the hundreds of thousands of others who were just as if not more important to that struggle. first i would thank A phillip randolph, who conceived march on washington and ella baker, who conceived the SCLC. wanna continue my friend? and how does any of that excuse Mr lewis from being an effective legislator?

There is a sickness in GA

May 5th, 2011
12:43 pm

@shelley wynter You clearly over estimate the power Members of the House have in affecting conditions within their district. You are right through in understanding that bringing federal dollars back to their districts is one of the best ways they can serve the constituents who elect them and in the FY 09, the last year earmarks were funded, he helped direct a very respectable 17.5 million dollars back to his district. You can see the projects here (http://johnlewis.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=573)

However, to answer your question about what legislation he has written:

In the 111th (08-09) Congress he was the primary sponsor (meaning his staff wrote) of 53 separate pieces of legislation. Of those, 36 were specifically policy oriented. Twenty-four of those bills related to tax policy, one of which, the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act, became public law. More might have been enrolled in other bills and become public law as well, but I am not willing to do that much research.

It is highly unlikely that Johnson will unseat Lewis, either in 2012 or in 2014 (as Blogging While Blue suggests is his real goal). Fact is, in primaries name recognition wins the day and Lewis will win that battle all day long. However, with the district map changing that could lead to some interesting changes in the primary vote. We’ll see I guess. Still, unless given a compelling reason not to I will still support JL in the primary.

There is a sickness in GA

May 5th, 2011
12:52 pm

@shelley wynter You keep harping on Mr. Lewis as an ineffectual legislator. However, by the criteria you listed in your 11:01 and 11:02 posts he is in fact doing something for his constituents, not just sitting around collecting a pay check. Furthermore, if you believe a freshman Congressman will be nearly as effective as one so senior as Lewis, then you seriously underestimate the power of seniority on Capitol Hill.

In the interest of a constructive duologue though, what is it that you hope the next Congressman for this area will accomplish? What do you think his or her legislative priorities should be?

PatDowns

May 5th, 2011
12:54 pm

@ Jim Galloway

“…Now it looks like the Associated Press will, too. Which means morning newspaper readers in Iowa and New Hampshire will miss out.”

Quite an assumption you’re making. Did it ever cross your narrow, liberal mind that newspapers in those two states might send their own reporters or contract with stringers to cover?

Clinton "Skink" Tyree

May 5th, 2011
12:57 pm

@WOW: WOW finally took his meds. Whew!

Travis McGee

May 5th, 2011
12:57 pm

@WOW: Or, maybe he’s just in “Time Out>”

5th District Conservative

May 5th, 2011
12:58 pm

As a moderate, white 60-year-old guy who has lived in the 5th District for 40 years, I must say that John Lewis has indeed represented the majority of his constituents very well over the years. He is an honest, honorable man who has not gotten rich form being a Congressman. His politics don’t match mine, and I do think that it is time for him to retire, but I still have an enormous amount of respect for him.

Last Man Standing

May 5th, 2011
1:06 pm

Frederick Douglass:

“The man got the Bejezzus beat out of him for what he ardently believes in, that stands for something.”

Can you tell me how that, and that alone, qualifies him to be a congressman? What college did he graduate from? What degree(s) does he hold? What other real-life experiences does he bring to the table?

Alabama Communist

May 5th, 2011
1:08 pm

Congressman Lewis is a great America! Only racist Tea Party Republicans want some slave to replace him…

Last Man Standing

May 5th, 2011
1:14 pm

Alabama Communist:

You left off “bigot” and listeners to Limbaugh and Hannity. If you’re going to stand in for gm, get it right.

Ol' Timer

May 5th, 2011
1:15 pm

My wife and I were married in ‘61 and have voted in almost every election since — she as a Republican and me a democrat. After all these years of devotion to the Republicans, she finally recognized the fact that the Republican/Tea Party has moved so far to the right and become so radicalized by a fringe element that she voted democrat in our last election.

I’m afraid that some honest and devoted Republicans have watched their party hijacked by a fringe element that will cost them the next presidential election.

PatDowns

May 5th, 2011
1:19 pm

Those of you on here who are trying to diminish John Lewis’ courageous contributions to the Civil Rights Movement have zero concept of what he and other blacks had to face just 60 short years ago.

The verbal abuse, beatings and other extreme forms of violence – including lynchings – used against them in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and other areas of the South were either sanctioned or condoned by local polititians and law enforcement.

Attack Congressman Lewis’ politics all you want – that’s fair game. And, it will be his constituents who will determine if it is his time as a legislator is over.

However, John Lewis, the man, deserves only adulation, respect and deep gratitude from us all for his courageous fight against segregation and racism during a not so proud time in our country’s history.