Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will make his first appearance in Georgia as a presidential candidate next Tuesday at a West Paces Ferry fundraiser.
The $500-a-head event will be held at the Cherokee Town & Country Club, just down the way from the state’s most prominent public housing occupant, Gov. Nathan Deal – who has declared he’s sticking with Newt Gingrich.
But as you can see on invitation, the list of hosts – after former Gov. Sonny Perdue, former state Sen. Eric Johnson, and Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus – includes Tricia Pridemore, Deal’s unsuccessful candidate for state GOP chairman.
Otherwise, the host list looks like a reunion of Perdue staffers, led by Nick Ayers, Pawlenty’s campaign manager. Click here to see the entire invitation.
The cash is much needed. With a campaign contribution disclosure looming — which will be a measure of his viability — the Washington Post reported on Thursday that at least five of Pawlenty’s staffers, including two top strategists, are working for little or no pay.
Pawlenty has been to Georgia twice in the last year — last November on a low-key scouting mission, and in January for a quick book-signing appearance.
Here’s the Wall Street Journal that, very likely, is at the top of the GBI’s reading list today:
A group of hackers that has claimed attacks on websites run by the U.S. Senate and the Central Intelligence Agency posted a cache of documents from Arizona police, calling it a protest against a controversial state law.
On Thursday, Lulz Security posted files labeled as training manuals, emails, intelligence documents and other material that it says it poached from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
LulzSec, as the group commonly refers to itself, said the posting of the documents was a protest of Arizona’s SB1070, controversial state legislation that critics say is anti-immigration. The key provision of the law has been frozen because of legal challenges.
The Macon Telegraph today has an excellent piece on state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black’s assignment to explore a state-created guest worker program:
The first thing that Commissioner Black and his researchers will learn is that Georgia already has access to a guest worker program, the H-2A temporary foreign agricultural worker program. The H-2A program, overseen by the federal government, requires active participation by the Georgia Department of Labor to ensure the proper processing of employers’ applications for guest workers and ensure that jobs are made available to qualified U.S. citizens and immigrants. So if Georgia designs its own guest worker program, Georgia taxpayers will be paying twice.
Black seems to understand he’s been charged with duplicating efforts, saying “Just how that (the proposed state guest worker program) interfaces with the federal program is certainly a question that is out there.”
What the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s research would uncover is a long history in this country and in other nations of massive problems with any guest worker program. Guest workers cannot switch employers. They are dependent on employers to obtain their visas and to invite them back the next year. Their “non immigrant” status leaves them without bargaining power and creates a fear of challenging illegal treatment which encourages employers to prefer guest workers over available American workers and helps keep wages low for both.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce is getting ready to dump a chunk of change on behalf of next year’s regional transportation sales tax votes. From the Gainesville Times:
Efforts include spending $2 million to $3 million on an advertising campaign in markets outside metro Atlanta, public policy director Ryan Mahoney told a regional transportation panel meeting in Gainesville Thursday.
The Atlanta Chamber of Commerce has taken the lead in marketing the vote in metro Atlanta, he said.
“We’re going to be … helping provide some support and coordinating with local folks, such as yourselves, local chambers of commerce and business leaders on strategy in each of the other 11 regions,” Mahoney said.
The state’s Transportation Investment Act of 2010 calls for regions throughout the state to develop road project lists to put before voters in July 2012.
State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, our first Republican in the job, continues to say things you’d never hear his Democratic predecessor say – like this suggestion that many of Georgia’s jobless are enjoying their vacation. From the Times-Herald in Coweta:
“We have created a mindset and sometimes people get used to living a certain way. They don’t start looking for work until unemployment payments run out. Unemployment payments can be an incentive for people not to go back to work. They are learning to ‘get by’ on unemployment. We have trained society that if things go bad, we’ll take care of it. Having some safety nets are okay, but we shouldn’t make it too easy to fall into and stay put.”
AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at the claim by GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich that “every 10th dollar spent by the Social Security Administration on its program for the poor…is waste or fraud.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider