Gov. Nathan Deal’s office confirmed Monday that he has asked Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to accompany him to Washington next week – for a strategy session on Port of Savannah funding with a bipartisan assembly of Georgia’s congressional delegation.
And if Reed could help arrange a meeting with other Washington notables, that would be nice, too.
“We’ve asked for a meeting with the president,” said Deal spokesman Brian Robinson. “The mayor has strong relations with President Obama. But obviously, that’s up to the White House at this point.”
Deal and Reed will be seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to deepen the Port of Savannah, so that the coastal transportation hub can handle larger ships set to begin passing through the Panama Canal in 2014.
The Democratic-Republican duo will also be paying a June 1 visit to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, to persuade him that Georgia is indeed serious about bringing mass transit – i.e., rail – to the state.
Robinson, the spokesman for Deal, said LaHood issued an invitation to new governors last December, asking them to stop by his office when they had put together a transit plan. “We’re taking him seriously,” Robinson said.
Georgia has missed out on serious federal funding for rail in the past. And in 2009, during a visit to Atlanta, LaHood famously warned the state that such funding is only possible “if Georgia gets its act together.”
The governor also plans to meet privately with House Republicans to discuss Medicare.
The Huffington Post listened in on a May 21 town hall meeting in Dacula between U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, and the locals. The topic was Medicare:
A Woodall constituent raised a practical obstacle to obtaining coverage in the private market within the confines of an employer-based health insurance system: What happens when you retire?
“The private corporation that I retired from does not give medical benefits to retirees,” the woman told the congressman in video captured a local Patch reporter in Dacula, Ga.
“Hear yourself, ma’am. Hear yourself,” Woodall told the woman. “You want the government to take care of you, because your employer decided not to take care of you. My question is, ‘When do I decide I’m going to take care of me?’”
Large portions of the crowd responded enthusiastically to the congressman’s barb, with some giving him a standing ovation, underscoring the fierce divisions within the electorate.
William Robert Woodall III, who goes by “Rob,” doesn’t appear to have been referring literally to himself, but rather speaking figuratively. It’s a good thing, because financial records show the 41-year-old congressman has done very little to take care of himself in his retirement.
Woodall’s 2009 financial disclosure forms, filed with the House of Representatives, show that his two largest IRAs have between $15,000 and $50,000 worth of assets, hardly the type of nest egg that would be able to cover the health care costs associated with aging absent government health care.
AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain’s claim that food stamp use has risen under the Obama administration.
Finally, if there are 30 minutes of your life that you don’t need, Talking Points Memo has collared the video from former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s appearance in Libya:
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider