GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman will make a whirlwind tour of the state Capitol this morning, dropping in on Gov. Nathan Deal, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, and House Speaker David Ralston.
Look for Huntsman to make a brief appearance on the House floor, but the former U.S. ambassador to China (and Singapore) has no media availability scheduled. The best we can offer is this recent clip of CNN’s Piers Morgan interview with the candidate, who speaks Mandarin with an impressive Beijing accent.
Says Huntsman: “The unfortunate thing is, Piers, I’m known by the wrong quarter of, of the world’s population.”
The city of Canton may already have a buyer for the reservoir it’s trying to get out from under, according to today’s Marietta Daily Journal:
Leaders of the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority say they will consider buying out the City of Canton’s 25 percent stake in the new Hickory Log Creek Reservoir in north Canton. That would make the authority the sole owner of the 400-acre reservoir.
The authority is a wholesaler and sells water to retailers like the Cobb County Water System and the cities of Marietta and Smyrna.
Legislative committees will be taking up congressional maps today. Much of the focus is likely to be on the secondary effects of the proposed new districts – on the make-up of such authorities as the Board of Regents and the state Board of Transportation, where representation is determined by congressional districts.
Besides the precinct changes, the proposed border would move Columbus’ representative on the Georgia Department of Transportation Board, former bank president Sam Wellborn, into [Sanford] Bishop’s District 2. Board members represent specific congressional districts, and Wellborn currently represents District 3.
Worries that Columbus could lose a crucial seat on the transportation board and that voters might not care for the precinct shifts have some legislators wondering if the proposed district line can be moved back to near where it is now, said state Sen. Josh McKoon of Columbus.
In addition to new territory in his 14th District, U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, may have picked up another season of primary opponents.
We hear that former Paulding County commission chairman Jerry Shearin is considering the contest. And John Druckenmiller at WRGA (1740AM) in Rome says Floyd County may produce yet another candidates.
Columbus and state Sen. Josh McKoon are also at the center of a debate over the taxation of Internet sales that’s likely to heat up in January during the Legislature’s regular session. From Walter Jones and the Morris News Service:
Hotels in Georgia’s border cities could lose business to competitors in the neighboring state without a law to exempt online travel companies from paying local occupancy taxes on their markup, according to witnesses testifying Tuesday before a legislative committee.
Online booking sites like Expedia, Hotwire and Travelocity stopped displaying hotels in Columbus after the Georgia Supreme Court ruled they weren’t exempt from that city’s hotel-motel tax. Instead, a search for lodging in that city turns up available rooms across the river in Phenix City, Ala., cutting into business for the Columbus hotels.
McKoon, the sponsor of SB 244, said his concern was for hotel employees. And no doubt, the hotel owners.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider