In anticipation of a Wednesday presidential announcement from former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, the following paragraph from the Washington Times is driving most of the chatter:
Mr. Gingrich has recruited some of his party’s most sought-after campaign strategists and advisers and will conduct a unique 50-state “10th Amendment campaign” that throws out the old model of regional political directors. The campaign will rely instead, he said, on leadership and direction in each state from people who live in the state and understand the nuances of local politics.
In Georgia, that leadership presumably come from Gov. Nathan Deal – which gives more weight to this weekend’s vote for state GOP chairman in Macon. Deal is backing Tricia Pridemore, but incumbent chairman Sue Everhart is seeking a third term.
Also this morning, in a pre-announcement e-mail, Gingrich made a pitch to South Carolina and its primary — where Gov. Nikki Haley has challenged the former Georgia congressman to prove himself “relevant.”
Gingrich’s topic of choice was a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board against Boeing, for its decision to open a South Carolina plant after years of negotiations with unionized workers in Washington state. Writes Gingrich:
It is the timing of NLRB’s complaint, in fact, which seems retaliatory in nature, not Boeing’s business decision.
The complaint comes a full seventeen months after Boeing announced the location of the new facility and thirteen months after the union leadership first asked NLRB to look into the issue.
Boeing has already begun construction of the new facility, hiring over 1000 people in South Carolina and investing $1 billion. This complaint puts all those jobs created and all that money invested at risk.
Meanwhile, the Daily Caller reports Gingrich will have more company:
Iowa politicos [say] they expect Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann to announce her campaign for the White House at a Polk County GOP fundraiser the Tea Party star is headlining in Des Moines on May 26.
And an Associated Press poll has President Barack Obama’s approval rating hitting its highest point in two years – 60 percent – and more than half of Americans now say he deserves to be re-elected:
In worrisome signs for Republicans, the president’s standing improved not just on foreign policy but also on the economy, and independent Americans — a key voting bloc in the November 2012 presidential election — caused the overall uptick in support by sliding back to Obama after fleeing for much of the past two years.
Perhaps as early as today, but certainly by Saturday, Gov. Nathan Deal will sign HB 87, intended to tamp down illegal immigration in Georgia. Some farmers remain furious.
Charles Hall, head of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, says if farmers can’t employ large numbers of migrant workers they may stop growing:
“Squash, cukes, tomatoes, eggplant, Vidalia onions, and any fruit we grow in Georgia, and we grow peaches, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries. You know, potentially it could affect production levels for those,” he said.
Such crops are sold to the public at farmers markets and supermarkets, Hall said, and that means they can’t have any of the bruises or scrapes that mechanical harvesters can produce.
Instead, Hall says farmers could switch to so-called row crops such as cotton and peanuts that machines can harvest. But that would mean the state would cease producing some of its most high-profile crops, including peaches and Vidalia onions.
Hall said much will be determined by how the state implements the law. But he adds the bill could also spark a manual labor war with states like Florida that don’t use e-verify.
And Bryan Tolar, president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council, passes on this e-mail from a farmer he identified only as “Steve” in south Georgia.
”We grow 65 acres of Blackberries and are about 5 days from beginning harvest , we use 150 people for picking. We are worried because we usually are swamped with people asking for applications, and we have not had any so far to apply. When we ask crew leaders about this they tell us people are afraid to drive until work starts. We [hear] they are short of labor in blueberries.”
Tolar says he sent the e-mail to the governor as well – presumably with the fellow’s full name, and a phone number.
Today’s AJC Politifact Georgia takes a look at state Sen. Renee Unterman’s assessment of the burden that illegal immigrants place on the state’s health care system.
We’re apparently finally ready to study up on transportation, says public policy blogger Mike Klein:
Georgia intends to pursue federal funds to create a National Transportation Institute at Georgia Tech. Governor Nathan Deal made the announcement Tuesday morning in Atlanta, probably to the chagrin of the state’s northern neighbor because Tennessee has an institute in Knoxville. And, here’s the rub: the federal government would not have funds available for both centers.
Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News says about 100 people showed up at a $1,000-a-head luncheon for Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday:
They gathered on the 18th-floor City Club of Buckhead dining room that seats 100 and overlooks the Atlanta skyline.
“Every seat was taken,” said Deal spokesman Brian Robinson.
Robinson wouldn’t say how much money was raised, but other figures suggest a gross of well over $100,000.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider