The Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal has produced one of those odd unions between Republican conservatives and Democratic liberals.
Members of both factions are calling for the head of Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, one of many business leaders who supported ousted superintendent Beverly Hall throughout the investigation.
On Monday evening, state Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) upped the ante with a protest in downtown Atlanta – to argue that Williams’ defense of Hall will reflect on next year’s regional penny sales tax for rail and road projects.
At one point, in an e-mail, a Chamber executive suggested that the findings of an early investigation should be “finessed” past then-Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Williams is also treasurer of Citizens for Transportation Mobility, and will have a major hand in fund-raising for the campaign.
Williams has been out there defending himself. He gave two TV interviews last Friday – one to Channel 2 Action News. Williams told Richard Belcher:
”I think we all were duped….All of the signs that an external observer could look at were, ‘Things look good here.’ So, yeah, we were shocked – and angry, really.”
More from Williams:
“We’ll take our share of the blame, too. We should have kicked the door down, in retrospect.”
In their report on the CRCT cheating scandal, former attorney general Mike Bowers and former DeKalb prosecutor Bob Wilson named 178 educators who they said were engaged in changing test scores.
But many more will escape, they admitted. “There’s probably two to three times what we named. But we didn’t have enough to feel comfortable naming them,” Bowers told 11Alive News:
That Marietta Daily Journal trio of pundits – Otis Brumby, Bill Kinney and Joe Kirby – say Cobb County’s proposed property tax increase is likely to pass today with a narrow 3-2 vote by the commission.
Over at Suwanee Patch, Steve Burns says the Gwinnett County school system is out to eliminate classroom textbooks, in favor of a shift toward e-books:
The current textbook model “is not working,” school system Chief Financial Officer Rick Cost said. He noted that the system has not funded texbook adoption in the past three years for budget reasons; it normally would run $25-30 million annually.
On Monday, Secretary of State Brian Kemp certified the July 19 vote that put state Rep. David Lucas and Macon city council president Miriam Paris in an Aug. 16 runoff for the vacant state Senate seat of Robert Brown, the former Democratic leader in the chamber.
Brown came in third in a bid to oust incumbent Mayor Robert Reichert. Reichert and former major Jack Ellis are also in an Aug. 16 runoff.
U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Erick Erickson of AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB square off over the Gang of Six plan for reducing the federal deficit in this piece by Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News:
Much of the piece is devoted to Chambliss’ 2014 re-election bid. The killer quote: “If people want someone who’s not willing to address the issues, they don’t need to vote for me,” Chambliss said.
In Washington, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing today on the FairTax, whose chief advocate now is U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville. Former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will be the lead-off witness. Live-video streaming is to begin on the committee’s web site at 10 a.m. – but right now, the federal web site doesn’t appear to be working.
Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) has posted an interview with Atlanta family law attorney Randy Kessler, who says New York’s decision to allow gay marriages will create some messy divorce cases in Georgia.
ABC News is reporting that the Aug. 13 Ames Iowa straw poll will not include two potential GOP candidates for president – Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Alaksan governor Sarah Palin. But the contest will include both Georgian candidates:
The final ballot will include: [Mitt] Romney, [Jon] Huntsman, Gingrich, [Michele] Bachmann, [Tim] Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Thad McCotter. And the Iowa GOP confirms that write-in votes will be allowed and they will tally those votes by name.
In case you missed it, Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker had a Monday column on GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain and his struggles with his comments on Muslims – and whether he would exclude them from administration positions. It included this:
I sat down with Cain recently and offered him an opportunity to clarify his position. After half an hour or so, he eventually acknowledged the error of his comments while offering the usual litany of explanations. He also correctly recognized that no matter what he says, those who want to demagogue this issue will continue, and the evidence bears him out.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider