You can now count Cecil Staton, the Senate majority whip, among the many state lawmakers in serious financial trouble.
Georgia Southern University says the Macon Republican and his company, Georgia Eagle Media, owes more than $52,000 in shared advertising revenue generated through radio broadcasts of the school’s football games.
According to 13WMAZ in Macon, Staton signed a five-year deal with the university in 2006:
The university’s response to 13WMAZ’s open-records request showed Staton’s last reply to Georgia Southern dated May 24.
In it, Staton did not directly acknowledge the late payments, but wrote, “As a local business, we are barely surviving the worst three years broadcast media has experienced in decades due to the bad economy. At just the most difficult time for us you simply send a letter saying that’s it. No call to a friend. No word of warning.”
What the WMAZ report doesn’t mention is that Staton chairs the higher education subcommittee of the larger Senate committee that oversees the state budget.
Also raising eyebrows in Macon: The endorsement of two Democrats by state Rep. Allen Peake, a fervent Republican. Peake has clashed frequently and loudly with former state Senate Democratic leader Robert Brown, who resigned this month to run for mayor of Macon against incumbent Robert Reichert.
Wrote Peake in an e-mail to his GOP audience:
The election will be decided in the Democratic primary on July 19. If you normally only vote in the Republican primary, and live in the city, your vote will only be heard if you vote in the Democratic primary. The choice is very clear – Robert Reichert. While I may not always agree with Mayor Reichert, you can never doubt his integrity (he pays his property taxes and files his state income tax returns on time), and you can be assured he will never embarrass our community…..
Brown’s campaign has incorporated Peake’s endorsement into a fundraising communiqué:
We must not let Republicans chose our leaders. We definitely do not need to let them defeat one of our strongest Democrats in Georgia. When this Republican leader and other Macon Republicans attacked President Barack Obama, then-Senate Democratic Leader Robert Brown placed billboards all over Macon for six months expressing support for President Obama.
Peake also endorsed Democrat Miriam Paris in the contest to replace Brown in the Legislature. Also in the contest is veteran state Rep. David Lucas.
GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty was the kicked tire at a West Paces Ferry Road fundraiser that drew $100,000, according to Todd Rehm of PeachPundit.
Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News snagged the only interview with the former Minnesota governor, and asked Pawlenty whether he regretted not delivering a punch when asked about “Obamneycare” during that New Hampshire debate a few weeks ago.
Pawlenty said he did. “It was a direct question. I should have answered it more directly,” he said. The video:
Today’s AJC Politifact Georgia tests GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s comparison of his campaign staff woes to those of Ronald Reagan in 1980.
In an email to constituents, state Rep. Calvin Smyre of Columbus, the former chairman of the state Democratic party, announced that he’ll be laid up as of today with hip surgery at Hughston Orthopedic Hospital in Columbus.
Wrote Smyre, one of the longest-serving members of the Legislature:
”I will spend approximately three to five days at the hospital for recovery and observation, and then home to recuperate. I will likely be out of the office for approximately three weeks.”
Which means he should be up on his feet again just in time for the special session to address redistricting.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider