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.
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.
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.
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.
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