Archive for July, 2011

Bobby Franklin and the loneliness of a political purist

Last year required several Saturday morning trips to the state Capitol to catch up on desk work. Each time, state Rep. Bobby Franklin and two or three of his like-minded friends beat me there.

State Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta, in 2006/AJC file

State Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta, in 2006/AJC file

Though we had enjoyed a modest friendship over the past seven years, we never talked on those weekend occasions. Primarily because Franklin and his small band had duct-taped their mouths shut in a silent protest against abortion. The fact that Franklin neither sought — nor received — any press attention for these vigils, held outside whether rain or shine, wasn’t unusual.

It was just part of his daily regimen, Bobby being Bobby.

A private burial for Franklin, a 14-year veteran of the state Capitol, was held Friday. A public memorial service will be held Monday morning in Cumming.

Even if it’s not so stated from the pulpit, the theme of the service will be the ultimate loneliness of a man who put the purity of his politics above …

Continue reading Bobby Franklin and the loneliness of a political purist »

Phil Gingrey swings to the ‘yes’ column on Boehner plan

A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, who has been a staunch opponent of the debt-ceiling proposal pitched by House Speaker John Boehner, just confirmed that the Marietta Republican has switched to the “yes” column – an important get for Boehner that could show itself in a vote later today.

Previously, the Boehner plan required a select House-Senate committee to propose a series of off-setting budget cuts before President Barack Obama could request a second increase in the debt-ceiling next year.

Gingrey was won over by the inclusion this morning of an additional requirement, mandating that Congress also send to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. Here’s his interview with Jamie Dupree of AM750 and 95.5FM Newstalk/WSB:

For those of you keeping score, that means six House Republicans from Georgia now support the Boehner plan. Two – Tom Graves of Ranger and Paul Broun of Athens – remain in opposition.

- By Jim …

Continue reading Phil Gingrey swings to the ‘yes’ column on Boehner plan »

U.S. Rep. John Barrow to be shoved out of Savannah?

A reliable contact has just sent us this draft of new congressional lines now moving among influential Republicans in Georgia – the first detailed look we’ve seen:

ScreenShot095

Click here for a your own downloadable copy. As David Wasserman of Cook Political Report notes below, the map is the same one he posted in May.

Nonetheless, we’re being assured that these lines are being passed around as a starting point for a special session of the Legislature that begins Aug. 15. At a glance:

– In the 12th District, U.S. Rep. John Barrow, the last white Democrat from the Deep South, would be pushed out of his residence in Savannah. Previously, Republicans targeted him by forcing Barrow to move from his original base in Athens. Under this map, Augusta would become Barrow’s third home. If he survives a 2012 vote.

– The new, Republican-dominated 14th District would stretch from Hall County, home to both Gov. Nathan Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, northeast to Rabun Gap – and eastward into the middle …

Continue reading U.S. Rep. John Barrow to be shoved out of Savannah? »

Your morning jolt: Pay no attention to those ‘blackmailing’ credit agencies, says Newt Gingrich

With a House Speaker John Boehner’s debt-ceiling plan thrown into limbo last night, Washington is – gulp! – looking at the very real possibility that the federal government’s AAA credit rating will slip.

But don’t look for worry lines on the face of GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who spoke at a Thursday rally in Cobb County. From the Marietta Daily Journal:

“I am totally uninterested in satisfying Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s,” Gingrich replied. “They were totally wrong in 2008. They failed to do their job. They’re now overreaching in the opposite direction. There is zero reason to believe if you look at the Treasury Market that people around the world think we’re not a good risk,” Gingrich said.

And that was just the start of Gingrich’s long brief against the rating agencies:

“They’re so used to us bailing them out that they think that having stolen – I won’t say stolen, that’s too strong a word – having ‘absorbed’ hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout, they …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Pay no attention to those ‘blackmailing’ credit agencies, says Newt Gingrich »

Austin Scott joins Georgia Republicans in favor of John Boehner debt-ceiling plan

Over the course of the day, we’ll try to keep up with where Georgia’s Republicans are on House Speaker John Boehner’s debt-ceiling/deficit reduction plan, which will probably be voted on after the markets close today.

Some of you have wondered why we’re not counting Democrats. They’ve pretty much lined up against the legislation — this is primarily an internal GOP fight. At this point, we count five Republicans in favor, three against.

A 6 p.m. vote has been postponed while Boehner’s troops collect votes. Consider every vote essential:

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Coweta County, indicates he’s ready to support House Speaker John Boehner’s debt-ceiling plan. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Coweta County, indicates he’s ready to support House Speaker John Boehner’s debt-ceiling plan. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

– Lynn Westmoreland of Coweta County: This morning, he indicated he’s a “yes” vote.

“Having looked at the whole thing, I think we did make some positive adjustments with a few little changes we made. It looks like we’re getting about 60 percent of what the [Paul] Ryan budget did. We are …

Continue reading Austin Scott joins Georgia Republicans in favor of John Boehner debt-ceiling plan »

Details on funeral service for state Rep. Bobby Franklin

The office of House Speaker David Ralston has just announced that a memorial service for state Rep. Bobby Franklin, who died over the weekend, has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at Cumming Baptist Church, 115 Church Street, Cumming, Ga., 30040.

Flowers will be accepted or donations may be made to Rep. Franklin’s home church:

Chalcedon Presbyterian Church

302 Pilgrim Mill Road

Cumming, GA 30040

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

Continue reading Details on funeral service for state Rep. Bobby Franklin »

Your morning jolt: About the debt-ceiling crisis and unemployment checks

Five paragraphs into a piece on Georgia’s preparations for a drought of federal funds – if debt-ceiling talks in Washington collapse – Blake Aued of the Athens Banner-Herald has this calamitous line:

If the debt ceiling is not raised, unemployment checks could stop immediately….

But you can unwad that underwear. Brian Robinson, spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal and the source cited for the above information, says it’s not going to happen.

“We’ve been given no reason to believe there will be funding disruptions. This is not a government shutdown,” Robinson said this morning. “We don’t think unemployment checks will stop immediately.”

Robinson said that the point he was trying to make is that programs that are jointly funded by federal and state governments – Medicaid and PeachCare, for instance – could be carried by the state for an extra two weeks in an emergency.

But unemployment checks, while administered by the state Department of Labor, are completely funded through the …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: About the debt-ceiling crisis and unemployment checks »

Herman Cain apologizes to American Muslims

Looking to revive his flagging GOP campaign for president, Herman Cain today sat down with a group of American Muslims in Virginia – and then issued the statement below, apologizing for a series of statements. In an impromptu interview in Iowa, Cain said he would not permit adherents of that faith in his cabinet:

While I stand by my opposition to the interference of shariah law into the American legal system, I remain humble and contrite for any statements I have made that might have caused offense to Muslim Americans and their friends. I am truly sorry for any comments that may have betrayed my commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of religion guaranteed by it. Muslims, like all Americans, have the right to practice their faith freely and peacefully.

As I expected, we discovered we have much more in common in our values and virtues. In my own life as a black youth growing up in the segregated South, I understand their frustration with stereotypes. Those in …

Continue reading Herman Cain apologizes to American Muslims »

Tom Graves: No proof that John Boehner’s plan would prevent downgrading of nation’s credit rating

U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, was the morning voice of the tea party today, explaining on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” why he can’t support House Speaker John Boehner’s deficit reduction plan:

Graves was pointed toward this morning’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal, which ended with this paragraph:

If conservatives defeat the Boehner plan, they’ll not only undermine their House majority. They’ll go far to re-electing Mr. Obama and making the entitlement state that much harder to reform.

Graves’ answer: “That’s an interesting opinion. They’re welcome to run for office themselves.”

The Georgia congressman said he wouldn’t vote to raise the debt-ceiling unless Congress also sends to the states a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. He decried Washington’s “compromise mentality:”

”Compromise is what’s led us to the mess we’re in right now. We can’t compromise our way out of this….We should not be exempt from difficult decisions.”

On threats by …

Continue reading Tom Graves: No proof that John Boehner’s plan would prevent downgrading of nation’s credit rating »

Your morning jolt: Staffing becomes an unwanted topic for Tim Pawlenty campaign

Anytime you see the staff become the topic in a political campaign, you know a candidate is in trouble.

Today, it’s the turn of GOP presidential wannabe Tim Pawlenty – and his Atlanta-based campaign manager, Nick Ayers.

The Huffington Post started the ball rolling last week with a few lines suggesting that Ayers, a twenty-something wunderkind who only a few years ago was a go-fer for Sonny Perdue, was ready to jump ship to the campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry. It was forcefully denied:

“That’s insane. That’s on the record,” said Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant. Ayers laughed out loud when asked about the rumor and dismissed it out of hand.

On Monday, it was the turn of Matt Lewis and the conservative Daily Caller, with this harsh assessment:

If Mitt Romney was the most hated candidate among his 2008 GOP peers, Nick Ayers is probably the most hated among the political operative set — and for many of the same reasons: His self-promotion is utterly transparent — and his early …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Staffing becomes an unwanted topic for Tim Pawlenty campaign »